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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 01, 1949


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    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Zhou Enlai speaks on behalf of Mao Zedong, expressing the Chairman's desire to make a visit to Moscow.
    "From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 10 November 1949," December 01, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, f. 0100, op. 42, por. 19, pap. 288, ll. 81-85. Translated by David Wolff.
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From the Diary of N. V. ROSHCHIN

Top Secret, Copy 4, 1 December 1949

Memorandum of Conversation

with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister ZHOU ENLAI on 10 November 1949

On 10 November at 1700 on his own initiative the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai visited the Ambassador at the Embassy and after conversations of a protocol nature according to the instruction of Mao Zedong communicated the following for transmittal to the Soviet government:

I. Mao Zedong has long cherished the hope of visiting the Soviet Union. When this summer a Chinese delegation under Liu Shaoqi went to Moscow, Mao Zedong himself wanted to lead the delegation, but at that time the CCP leadership had just arrived in Beijing and the government was not yet organized, with massive organizational work in the offing that could not be carried out without Mao Zedong, who therefore stayed in Beijing. Additionally, Liu Shaoqi’s trip was unofficial and under the cover of Gao Gang’s Manchurian mission.

When Liu Shaoqi was in Moscow, while talking with Com. Stalin he communicated Mao’s desire to meet with Com. Stalin and that Com. Stalin said that he would be glad to meet Mao Zedong in Moscow at any time. Stalin communicated an analogous position via Com. [I.V.] Kovalev in the 5 November talk. When Mao Zedong met Kovalev, he expressed his desire to visit Com. Stalin in Moscow in December in order to personally congratulate Com. Stalin on his birthday. In Mao’s opinion, delegations of friends of the USSR from all over the world will come to Moscow for Com. Stalin’s 70th birthday and therefore Mao’s trip to Moscow can be completely in the open.

On 8 November Mao Zedong personally sent a corresponding telegram to Moscow. Today Mao Zedong gave Zhou Enlai plenipotentiary rights to visit the Ambassador, to present Mao’s wish to visit Com. Stalin and to ask the Ambassador to communicate this to Moscow.

To the Ambassador’s question, what will be the nature of Mao’s visit to Moscow and which Chinese government leaders would accompany him, Zhou Enlai answered that aside from establishing personal friendly contact with Com. Stalin, Mao will also, of course, raise the question of the Sino-Soviet Treaty. No one other than Mao will travel to Moscow, and if as a result of Mao’s trip, a new Sino-Soviet Treaty can be worked out, then Zhou Enlai can travel quickly by plane to Moscow to sign this document.

Then Zhou Enlai asked if the Ambassador would accompany Mao Zedong to Moscow and the Ambassador replied that he would follow instructions from Moscow.

2. Zhou Enlai asked if there was any answer regarding the disavowal of the GMD delegation at the UN. The Ambassador answered in the negative, but promised to ask the Foreign Ministry again.

3, 4. [Contains Zhou report on ties between retreating GMD troops and Indochinese colonial governments.]

5. [Roshchin requests aid in moving his embassy’s materials from Nanjing to Beijing.]

USSR Ambassador to the PRC N. Roshchin