Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 29, 1972

ZHOU ENLAI'S REMARKS ABOUT THE LIN BIAO ISSUE

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Zhou Enlai made statements on the Lin Biao Issue and responses of foreign representatives from the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union. In addition, he delves into modern Chinese History after the Anti-Japanese War.
    "Zhou Enlai's Remarks about the Lin Biao Issue," July 29, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2001-298, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Obtained by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Ryo C. Kato. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118836
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118836

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

(Premier’s [Zhou Enlai's] Statements on the Lin Biao Issue)

There are of course generations that go against the flow of time.

In China’s case, we won the villages and cities through the victory of the people’s war, and in 23 years accomplished a socialist revolution.

There are those like Lin Biao that, despite being a Vice Premier, rebelled against Chairman Mao [Zedong].

He was with Chairman Mao since the Jinggang Mountain days, but ideologically they did not agree. He was quite individualistic. People abroad believe that it was Lin Biao who defeated the 500,000 strong army during the crucial Northeast Campaign [of the Chinese Civil War]. He was with Chairman Mao. He was a coward and was afraid. Chairman Mao gave orders over and over again. He finally acted after this. After Chairman Mao gave direct orders from Yan’an, the enemy was defeated after only a month. He was not aware that our army had become experienced while Jiang Jieshi’s [Chiang Kai-shek] army had been weakened.

He was undermining Chairman Mao’s strategies. Chairman Mao did not listen to his opinions. Lin Biao attempted to assassinate Chairman Mao.

China’s army, its citizens, and the [Communist] Party were all winning victories. We were oblivious to both his plotting and his attempt to escape. We attempted to educate him, but he became worried and fled to Mongolia. It was early dawn on September 13 [1971]. The American intelligence caught wind of this the quickest. Then it was Japan. The Soviets were unable to catch this. The Soviets did not know what had happened at first. Even when the Soviet representative went to the site, they did not get it. The Mongolians found out after their foreign ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador. They then buried the remains. After the foreign media began running this story, the Soviets raised their doubts. They unearthed the remains, and after running tests they confirmed that it was Lin Biao. Lin Biao had gone to receive medical treatment from the Soviets on two occasions.

[Leonid] Brezhnev repeated that it was disappointing, disappointing, disappointing, disappointing, disappointing. There were no problems domestically. Kissinger came to talk with us. Jiang Jieshi came to know of this occurrence much later. He had been a student of Jiang Jieshi’s, so it must have been a shock to him. Although by the time the news of the event reached Jiang’s ear, everything had been already settled.

China is now a far cry from Jiang Jieshi’s era of military cliques. Everything has changed. Prior to the Anti-Japanese War, we did not cease fighting against the likes of Yan Xishan and Feng Yuxiang and the military clique. This was under the orders of the Party. Due to this the rule of Jiang Jieshi was not a calm one.

Immediately after the end of the Anti-Japanese War, Jiang Jieshi and the military clique were swaggering on account of American support. They proclaimed five-point and four-point plans. Chairman Mao convened the Chongqing talks. Jiang approved the Yalta Agreement and a treaty was established. However, they lost their humanity and the five million man army was defeated after only three years.

Jiang Jieshi was likely pleased after learning of the Lin Biao affair. However, there were announcements and instructions for the entirety of the Party. We made similar announcements and instructions to the people. And now we are at a point where we can speak about the affair with our friends abroad. Brezhnev was likely disappointed and Jiang Jieshi was likely in despair. Even Toji Hideki began with elation, but he ended in despair. The Japanese and Asian people were the ones who suffered.

Chairman Mao told Mr. Nango Saburo that he is thankful for Japanese militarism. This is in the sense of learning from bad examples. The first is Jiang Jieshi; the second is Japanese militarism; and the third is American imperialism.

The Chinese people gained self-awareness through these. During the Meiji-era, the ruling class was still rampant.

There were peasant uprisings and we retook Nanjing, but we were unable to proceed north. This was during the period between 1851 and 1863.

When the British and French invaded China, they burned down the Old Summer Palace and the emperor at the time died. This was in 1861. Subsequently, the Empress Dowager Cixi ruled for forty years. This was for China a dark age, and for Japan this period was the Meiji era. This was in 1861.

After the Meiji era, militarism was rising and China was weakened. Victory for Japan was an easy outcome. They were triumphant in the 1894 Sino-Japanese war.

Next in 1904, Japan fought the Russians. Because the Russians were unable to use the Suez Canal, they had to take the long way and rounded the Cape of Good Hope. Having defeated the Baltic Fleet, Togo was named a ‘God of War’ and the ideology of worshipful militarism was born. Because of this, the Japanese made their mistake in the Second World War. The Chinese people were awakened by Japan and learned a great lesson. We believe that the Five Principals of Peace are not only beneficial to the Chinese people, but can also contribute to the peoples of the world.

I spoke with Mr. Haneda from the Social Democratic Party about the efforts for self-defense. I feel that it is fine to report to Mr. Nakasone [Yasuhiro] as well, that it is important to keep a strong spirit for the self-defense of a nation.

The next Tanaka cabinet is a coalition government of four parties.

It is important to maintain cohesion. It is important for the opposition party to raise their opinions and give criticisms when the cabinet makes mistakes. The other side is holding the power. It is important to give correct opinions and vigorously make their opinions heard so that Prime Minister Tanaka accepts them. If he accepts them, it will be progress.

Promoting the people’s voice so that the government acts is instrumental in the reform of society.

JAPANESE (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

 (林彪問題等首相発言

 時代の流れに叛いていく輩は当然いるでしよう

 中国の場合は,人民戦争で勝利を勝ち取り農村から都会を包囲し23年ばかり社会主義の改革をやってきました

 林彪のような副主席でありながら,毛主席に叛逆する者が出ました。

 歴史的には,井岡山時代から毛主席と一緒におりましたが,思想の面では毛主席と合わず,個人主義が強かったのです。最大の戦役である東北の戦役では,外国の人々に50万の大部隊を繊滅したのは林彪だとも思われています。彼は毛主席と一緒でした。彼は臆病で恐がっていました。毛主席は何度も何度も命令を出したのです。それからやっと動き出したのですが,延安から毛主席が直接指導してから一ヶ月余りで,繊滅できました。私たちの軍隊が鍛えられて,蒋介石の軍隊が弱っていることを認識できなかったのです

 毛主席の戦略配置を破壊していました。毛主席は彼の意見を聞きませんでした。林彪は毛主席を暗殺しようとしたのです

 中国の軍隊にしても,人民にしても,党にしても,勝利を勝ちとっていました。彼の陰謀であっても,彼が脱走しようとしたことは思い付きませんでした。彼を教育しようとしましたが,彼は不安になり蒙古に逃げました。9月13日の未明のことです。これは,アメリカの消息がいちばん早く,一番にキャッチしました,次が日本です,ソ連はダメでした。ソ連は始め判りませんでした。ソ連の顧問が現場にかけつけて見ても判りませんでした。蒙古の外交部は中国の大使を呼んで判りました,そして埋葬しました。後で外国のニュースが流れ,ソ連が疑いを持ち,埋葬を掘りかえして検査の上,林彪を確認しました。林彪はソ連に病気の治療に2度いっていたのです

 ブレジネフが残念,残念,残念,残念,残念とくりかえしました。国内は何もありませんでした,キッシンジャーが来て話し合いました。蒋介石はもっと後で判りました。蒋介石の学生でもありましたから,蒋は大変なことだといいましたが,耳に入ったとしても,既に全部納まっていました

 中国はいまや蒋介石時代の軍閥の時代とちがいます,すっかり変ってしまいました。閻錫山や馮玉祥等と抗日戦争前は軍閥との戦争は止まったことはありませんでした。それは党の命令で説得し得なかったので蒋介石の天下は穏やかではありませんでした

 いちばん最初抗日戦争終了当時はアメリカの援助で威張っていました。五項目,四項目の綱領を出しました。毛主席は重慶会談を行ない,ヤルタ協定は蒋が承認し,条約を締びましたが,人心を失っていき500万の軍隊は3年余りで繊滅してしまいました

 林彪の出来事が起きて,蒋介石は喜んだことでしよう。しかし,党内全体に公表し学習をしました,人民に公表し学習をしました。そして現在,外国の友人にも話せるようになりました。ブレジネフは残念がり,蒋介石は失望したでしょう。東条英機も初めは有頂天になっていましたが最後は失敗しましたね,苦難をもたらせられたのは,日本の人民であり,アジアの人民でありました。

 毛主席は南郷三郎さんにいいました,日本の軍国主義に感謝しているということを・・・・・・・・・・これは反面教師です。その第1蒋介石であり,第2は日本の軍国主義であり,そして第3はアメリカの帝国主義です

 これによって中国人民は自覚いたしました。明治維新の時代は,未だ支配階級がはびこっていました

 農村蜂起はありましたが,いい指導者がなく南京を取りましたが北上はできませんでした。1851年~1863年までの一時のことでした。

 英仏が中国に攻めてきて延命院が焼き払われ当時の皇帝は死んでしまいました。1861年のことです。その後,西太后が40年間支配いたしました。それが暗黒の時代であり,日本の明治維新の時代でした。1861年のことです

 皆さん方は,明治維新のあと,軍国主義が抬頭し中国が弱まっていたので,日本の勝利がたやすくできました。1894年の中日戦争で勝利しました

 その後1904年,ロシヤとやり,ロシヤはスエズ運河が通れず,アフリカの喜望峰を廻って遠廻りをしました。バルチック艦隊を破った東郷が軍神と呼ばれ,軍国主義崇拝思想が生まれ,それがため第2次世界大戦で失敗しました。中国人民は目覚めたし日本に教訓を学びました。平和五原則は,中国のみの有利だけでなく,世界の人民に貢献し得ると思います

 社会党の成田さんに自衛のための努力について話しました。中曽根さんに話していいと思いますが民族の自衛の気概を持っていることはいいことです

 こんどの田中内閣は四派の連合政府ですね

 仲良くすることが必要です。野党は意見を出し間違ったら批判をするということですね。権力は向うが握っているのですから・・・・・・・正しい意見,積極的意見を出して田中首相にそれを受け入れさせることです。それを受入れれば前進です

 人民の意見を促して政府に実行させることは,社会の改造に役立ちます

ORIGINAL SCAN PDF

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to view the PDF file in a new window.

PDFs cannot be printed inline in the page. To print a PDF, you must first download the file and open it in a PDF viewer.