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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 10, 1965

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 'RECENT RESPONSES FROM THE SOVIET REVISIONISTS TO THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM'

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    The Chinese Embassy in Moscow offers a critical assessment of Soviet policy toward Vietnam.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Recent Responses from the Soviet Revisionists to the Situation in Vietnam'," April 10, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-03654-02, 9-12.Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118725
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Soviet Union #1596

April 20, 1965

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Telegram

Class: Very Urgent
From Moscow Station
Foreign Ministry (65) No. Mao-674

Recent Responses from the Soviet Revisionists to the Situation in Vietnam

To the Foreign Ministry:

Over the past ten days, the Soviet Revisionists have made the following responses to the situation in Vietnam:

1. Recognition that the situation is very serious. [Aleksei] Kosygin in his April 7 speech in Poland said: “an actual state of war has begun” in Vietnam and that no-one should underestimate how serious the situation is. [Leonid] Brezhnev in his April 8 speech said: “The situation gets worse by the day. Not only does this threaten peace in Southeast Asia but also in other areas far outside the region.” A commentary in the fourth issue of the magazine “International Life” stated: The “present crisis” in Vietnam is the “most acute” since the Korean War. The magazine reported on some foreign reactions including quotes of statements such as “The present Vietnam Conflict is in very grave risk of becoming an international war.”

2. Continuing to make propaganda about its pretended support: The Soviet Revisionists did not give the important statement of March 22 by the South Vietnam National Liberation Front the attention it deserved. However, in its most recent official statements has taken a position, saying that “the statement was widely welcomed by the Soviet Union, other socialist countries, and by everyone who values peace and progress.” Some mass organizations also expressed their positions. The Soviet Committee for Solidarity with Asia and Africa in an article resembling a statement announced that it supported the National Liberation Front's statement and stated that if necessary, it would send volunteers to Vietnam to participate in the struggle. Kosygin recently also openly acknowledged that the South Vietnam National Liberation Front is a “real force”, When Brezhnev in an April 8 speech mentioned assistance to Vietnam, he stated that he is prepared to give Vietnam “any assistance it needs to strengthen its national defense capabilities in order to oppose the invasion of U.S. Imperialism.”

3. In a phony call for solidarity against imperialism, it made a veiled attack on us. Kosygin in his April 7 speech said “The Soviet Union calls on all peace and freedom loving people to unite and be determined as they organize to a counter-attack against the invaders.” Brezhnev in his April 8 speech made repeated phony calls for solidarity, saying things like Vietnam now needs effective assistance. There is no time for delay. We urgently need solidarity against the enemy. He stated that on the issue of assistance to Vietnam, past and future obstacles are not on our side” (here he was using a Russian language expression that can be translated as “The cause for past and future inaction is not us.”) A commentary in the fourth issue of “International Life” made a more naked attack on us, saying that disunity among the socialist countries “the help that those who adopt measures against solidarity give invaluable assistance to the invaders.”

4. They have not yet adopted a formal position on Johnson's April 7 speech in which specious peace talks plot. Reports on the speech however revealed some contradictions. Individually signed short commentaries expressed the view that since Johnson did not mention the invasion of Vietnam but announced the willingness to continue for a long time to come, means that the position of the U.S. has not changed. They stated that Johnson's “unconditional discussions” nonetheless had a condition: the people of Vietnam would have to halt their liberation struggle. 

[Chinese] Embassy Moscow

April 10, 1965

Distribution: Chairman Mao, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Peng Zhen, Chen Yi, He Long, Lu Dingyi, Kang Sheng, Nie Rongzhen, Luo Ruiqing, Yang Shangkun, Central General Office Confidential Department, Foreign Affairs Office, Central Propaganda Office; Central Liaison Department, Central Investigation Department, Ministry of Defense, Military Intelligence Office, Lengxi, Muzhi

Liu, Zhang, Luo, Zeng, Meng, Qiao, Han, Liu, Gong, Dong, The General Office, Research Department, Division of Soviet and European Affairs, Second Asian Division, America-Australia Division, Press, Ambassador, Confidential Office, Archive 72 copies printed

Received on April 11 at 21:55
Transcribed on April 12 at 14:15
Approved on April 12 at 16:15
Printed on April 12 at 23:53