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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 01, 1949

FROM THE DIARY OF N.V. ROSHCHIN: MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION WITH CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG ON 16 OCTOBER 1949

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin records his conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong where he congratulates Mao on the successes of the People's Liberation Army. Mao assures Roshchin that China will not take up diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and that it will officially recognize the GDR once the Soviet Union does.
    "From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin: Memorandum of Conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on 16 October 1949," December 01, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, f. 0100, op. 42, por. 19, pap. 288, ll. 28-31. Translated for CWIHP by David Wolff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117863
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From the Diary of N. V. ROSHCHIN

Top Secret, Copy 4, 1 December 1949, No.109

Memorandum of Conversation

with the chairman of the People’s government of China MAO ZEDONG [MAO TSE-TUNG] on

16 October 1949

On 16 October at 1700 hours Beijing time in the palace hall Qingzhendian the ceremony in which Ambassador to China N. V. Roshchin transmitted his credentials to Mao Zedong took place. Present on the Chinese side were the General Secretary of the Government Lin Boju, Chief of Staff General Nie Rongzhen, Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, the Foreign Ministry Director Wang Bingnan and the Head of Foreign Ministry Protocol Yan Baohang. On the Soviet side, aside from the ambassador, ten embassy officials and the VAT. The transmittal took place in a solemn setting.

After the ceremony Mao Zedong invited the Ambassador and the foreign minister Zhou Enlai for a talk.

During the talk Mao Zedong expressed his satisfaction on the swift arrival of the Ambassador from Moscow and hopes for a quick establishment of regular air ties between Beijing and Moscow.

Mao Zedong expressed a feeling of deep gratitude to Comrade Stalin and toasted his health.

Then Mao expressed his gratitude to the Soviet government for recognizing the PRC on the second day after its creation and for the swift arrival of the Ambassador, expressing confidence that all questions that arise in the future between China and the USSR will be decided by both governments in the spirit of sincere friendship.

Reminding the Ambassador of their last meeting in 1945 in Chongqing, Mao noted that in the four years since then historic changes took place in China and the whole world and the camp of democracy grew steadily in strength. The victory of the Chinese people is a new contribution to the goal of peace and security and it is not by chance that the Soviet Union and new democratic countries recognized the PRC and its government so quickly and unanimously.

Even Yugoslavia, continued Mao, announced its recognition, although the Chinese Foreign Ministry did not send any formal requests for recognition. [underlined in original from “although”—trans.] The Chinese government, said Mao, decided to ignore the recognition decision of the Yugoslav government and not to reply.

The Ambassador asked Mao if he knew Moscow’s official point of view on this question as passed to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Mao said yes and again hurried to assure that the Chinese government would not reply to Yugoslavia and would ignore all attempts by the Yugoslavs to entrap [zaviazat’] China into relations. The Ambassador noted that this question was within the competence of the Chinese government.

After this Mao returned to the question of the new victories in the camp of peace and democracy, pausing on the creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), underlining that the importance of this event is clear from the fact that Com. Stalin personally sent a message to the president of the GDR. The way that Mao spoke of reading the text of this message, made it completely clear that he was extremely upset that China still has not received congratulations from Com. Stalin on the creation of the PRC. In the course of the conversation, Mao underlined several times that the GDR was created 12 days later than the PRC.

Then Mao expressed the intention of the Chinese government to recognize the GDR as soon as it is recognized by the Soviet Union. He asked, however, [for me] to tell the Soviet government that he would like advice on the GDR’s recognition by the PRC.

At the end of the conversation I congratulated Mao on the occupation by the People’s Army of Canton [Guangzhou] and toasted his health as chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee.

In an answering toast Mao wished me success in my work for the strengthening of friendship between our great peoples and in the name of the Chinese government promised me full aid and support. The conversation with Mao took place in an entirely friendly atmosphere. Zhou Enlai, the foreign minister, also was present, as were translator Shi Zhe and Embassy Counselor S. L. Tikhvinskii.

USSR Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China N. Roshchin

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