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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 23, 1964

CABLE FROM LI QINGQUAN, 'TALKS WITH BEAUMARCHAIS ABOUT THE ISSUE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND FRANCE'

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

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    Li Qingquan and and Beaumarchais discuss the issue of "two China's" in the normalization of relations between China and France.
    "Cable from Li Qingquan, 'Talks with Beaumarchais about the Issue of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and France'," January 23, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 110-01997-07, 83-85. Translated by Fan Chao. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118550
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24 January 1964

In the charge of Department of West European Affairs

Incoming Telegram of Foreign Ministry

Grade: Extra, extra urgent

From the transmitter-receiver in Switzerland

Foreign Ministry Incoming (64) January No. 1052

Talks with Beaumarchais about the Issue of the Establishment of Diplomatic relations between China and France

To the Foreign Ministry:

Today, the director of Department of European Affairs of French Foreign Ministry, [Jacques] de Beaumarchais, paid us a visit on time. He claimed that the main purpose of his visit was as follows: although he had been authorized to assume the obligations on behalf of the French government, regarding the agreement reached with us he still made a report to the French government after the last talk, and now again he was to inform the Chinese side of the formal confirmation of the French government. Meanwhile, Beaumarchais mentioned again that the French side was going to send advance personnel to Beijing to found the embassy from 20 February to 25 February [1964], and asked when the Chinese side was going to send its advance personnel to Paris. But, viewed from the entire process of the conversation, his actual intention of this visit was to inquire about the attitude and response of the Chinese side, when many countries were making their comments after the message of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between China and France had been released. (Not only to inquire the ordinary responses, but also to sound out if our attitude has changed. When I said that we were also going to send advance personnel to Paris after the issuance of the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and that they were to be informed after our government instructed as to the time, he showed gratitude. During the entire process of the conversation, he was always very careful).

After Beaumarchais talked about the above two issues, he expressed that the business was done and we started a chat. We first talked about the visit by the delegation of the French parliament to China, and then he said the French side, as he told me last time, had informed the governments of some countries of the decision on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and that newspapers had many comments on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. He asked me if I had read them. I said I had noticed these comments, but it seemed that the French side had not kept a secret as they promised, and the contents of our talks were almost released. Beaumarchais explained immediately that the French had asked them to keep a secret, but the western newspapers always like to tell many inside stories. And he continued to say that, now some tones of mitigation and understanding have emerged among the comments, and he asked if I had read Lippmann’s article.

I took this opportunity to clarify our stance against “two Chinas,” pointing out that Lippmann’s article took the tone of so-called understanding as a cover, but actually continued to pursue the plot of “two Chinas,” taking advantage of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and it was totally different from the stance expressed by Mr. Faure and General de Gaulle. The US is always pursuing a policy against the Chinese people. In order to occupy our country’s territory, Taiwan, it tried all its best to create a conspiracy of “two Chinas,” such as two Chinas, one and a half China, one China and one Taiwan, United Nations trusteeship, referendum of the Taiwanese people, and so on. Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, so any attempt to separate Taiwan from China and the conspiracy of creating “two Chinas” will be resolutely opposed by all 650 million Chinese people. The United States has always tried to bully others, invading and enslaving other countries. Now the United States is interfering in and opposing the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. It proved once again that the United States’ hostile policy to China has not changed. The United States not only opposes China, but also opposes you [France], setting things against you. At last, I expressed that I hope the friendship between the two countries will improve after the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and I wish for common endeavors by our two countries for the cause of world peace and justice.

When I was talking, Beaumarchais nodded from time to time, and showed his surprise only when I pointed out that the United States also opposed France.

After my speech, Beaumarchais expressed that he learned about both the Chinese stance and the United States’ stance. The Chinese side also learned about the policy of General de Gaulle and his decision on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. He continued to say that General de Gaulle will talk about his views on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and talk about his expectations on this move for Sino-French relation as well as the worldwide significance of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France.

I am looking forward to instructions on whether my speech was proper and necessary.

The conversation transcript is to be reported in another telegram.

Li Qingquan

23 January 1964