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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 01, 1963

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'OUR EFFORTS AGAINST THE SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES OF THE SOVIET UNION IN XINJIANG'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation

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    Report on Soviet activities in Xinjiang and countermeasures undertaken by the Chinese government.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Our Efforts Against the Subversive Activities of the Soviet Union in Xinjiang'," August 01, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-01100-14, 147-149. Translated by 7Brands. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118214
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[…]

Our Efforts Against the Subversive Activities of the Soviet Union in Xinjiang

[To] Embassies Abroad and Diplomatic Offices:

Foreign Affairs Circular No. 74

1. The Soviet Union has not ceased its subversive activities in Xinjiang. It has not only refused to repatriate the 60,000-plus residents who it instigated to flee to the Soviet Union last year, but has also spread propaganda across the border by sending letters from Soviet territory and dispatching those who fled to the Soviet Union last year [back to Xinjiang] to incite our citizens to flee to the Soviet Union, provoke ethnic relations, collect military intelligence on our border defenses, and plot new incidents. At the same time, the reactionaries and evildoers within Xinjiang have also, under the instigation of the Soviet Union, increased coordination [with the Soviets] to carry out sabotage.

As a response, we have taken resolute countermeasures. On the one hand, domestically the Xinjiang [Uyghur Autonomous Region Party] Committee has issued an order to punish anyone who makes or spreads rumors, instigates flights abroad, or drives a wedge in ethnic relations as counterrevolutionaries, whether they are Chinese citizens or foreign nationals. All regions have also suppressed counterrevolutionaries and dealt with traitors on a grand scale [while] conducting extensive socialist patriotic education campaigns. On the other hand, in order to prevent the Soviet Union from continuing to send people back to engage in subversion and especially to [prevent them] from allowing a small number of people to return in order to gain political capital, our border authorities have notified the Soviet Union that: the two governments should resolve the issue of repatriating the 60,000-plus people, [but] before this takes place our border authorities cannot accept the fragmentary handover of persons by the Soviets. If the Soviet Union connives to have some people illegally cross the border and harass our side, then the Soviet Union shall be responsible for the consequences. We have also recently rejected the repatriation of “individual Han” who fled to the Soviet Union last year and insist that the Soviet Union is obligated to return, without conditions, the 60,000-plus Chinese citizens along with their livestock and assets to China. We have reiterated our stance on the repatriation of these people.

2. In our note dated 30 August of last year, we pointed out that the Soviet Union’s subversive activities in Xinjiang. However, the Soviet Union tried to deny [this assertion] in the reply dated 19 September [1962], claiming that the Soviet Union would never do this considering the nature of its country and falsely accused that we were the victims of false intelligence provided by provocative elements. They also claimed that the massive and illegal flight of Chinese residents to the Soviet Union arose because of domestic reasons and even said that it was related to the publication materials about Albania in our newspapers. In order to continue to pressure the Soviet Union and give another account, we issued another note to the Soviet Union on the 18th of July this year which refuted its slander. As mentioned in the note, subversive activities conducted by one country against another are usually adopted as a way to interfere with the internal affairs of that country. It is never tolerable for a socialist country to take such measures against another socialist country. We used to firmly believe that the Soviet Union would never conduct such subversive activities against the fraternal countries. But the Soviet Union has abused our trust and friendship by doing such incredible things. In the note, I quoted a massive [number of] facts to reveal the Soviet Union’s long-term illegal subversive activities through its consulate and the Soviet Nationals Association. I also pointed out that the massive and illegal exodus of Chinese residents to the Soviet Union and the counterrevolutionary riots that took place in Yining [Gulja] last year were the consequences of such subversive activities on the part of the Soviet Union. In the note, we refuted the rumors [spread by] the Soviet Union by pointing out that the real cause of the illegal exodus and the Yining counterrevolutionary riots: [while] China sticks to its own correct line, the Soviet side wants to create more difficulties for China and put pressure on China through subversive activities. [The Soviet Union] also attempts to take advantage of this event to prove that the policies of the Chinese party and government are wrong China’s insistence on its own correct path of development. However, such plots are never going to succeed. In the note, I insisted that the Soviet Union should unconditionally and immediately repatriate the 60,000-plus Chinese citizens and stop its subversive activities so as to maintain the bilateral friendship. If the Soviet Union still refuses to repatriate them, no matter what excuse the Soviet Union may quote from, the Chinese government will reserve the right to file such a request forever.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1 August 1963

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