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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 27, 1963

CABLE FROM THE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'QUESTIONS REGARDING THE GERMAN DIPLOMAT WANTING TO ESTABLISH FRIENDLY RELATIONS WITH CHINA'

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

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    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that East Germany, which "has served as Khrushchev’s anti-Chinese vanguard," is interested in improving relations with Beijing.
    "Cable from the Foreign Ministry, 'Questions regarding the German Diplomat wanting to Establish Friendly Relations with China'," April 27, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-02574-02, 1-2. Translated by Max Maller. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119324
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[…]

To embassies and charge d’affaires abroad:

The German Democratic Republic’s nominal chief envoy of its trade mission to Algeria, Fo-li-xiao Si-tu-te [sic], said to our former ambassador, “After Germany had finished with the Inner Six, the German foreign ministry convened a meeting, based on a decision that despite divisions between parties, all German diplomats should strive as much as possible for friendly relations with China, [North] Korea, etc. Furthermore, we need not wait for Soviet approval to suggest the friendliness project; it should begin immediately.”

Over the last three years, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany has served as Khrushchev’s anti-Chinese vanguard. Their attitude toward us has been most harmful. They continue to uphold their erroneous position with one face, while another face is done up to look friendly. They wish to solidify foreign relations, but this seems to reflect Germany’s desire, in light of the upcoming talks between China and the Soviet Union, to get a leg up toward improving relations with us. In addition, they vainly hope to mooch some material advantages from us, do some intelligence work, and obtain our assistance in the Afro-Asian state programs. Faced with this, we must grasp the flag of harmony, while still adopting a cold attitude. We must further elevate our alert so as not to be fooled. If Germany approaches all of our offices in this manner, our response could be: China has always valued its friendship with you. We have actively supported your struggles, fulfilled your desires as much as possible, and never done anything unfair toward you. But you have rewarded virtue with grievances: in the border issues between China and India you have neglected proletarian internationalism and openly attacked us. You even insulted our representative committee at the Germany’s meeting with the Inner Six, etc. Now you want to solidify relations. If these are honest words, we welcome it; however, we must continue to keep an eye on your actual behavior. If Germany comes to us with suggestions or demands, they can simply deliver over their intelligence research. There will be no assumption of liability.

If the German side speaks about “harmony” and “friendship”, and then complains, makes oblique insinuations, or engages in provocation, we should resolutely struggle, trounce them in the act, and not fear for nervousness.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

27 April 1963

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