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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 22, 1963

CABLE FROM THE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'INDICATING THE SPIRIT OF AMBASSADORS’ TALKS WITH THE ROMANIAN SIDE'

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

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    The Chinese Foreign Ministry lays out China's policies toward Romania in the context of the Sino-Soviet split.
    "Cable from the Foreign Ministry, 'Indicating the Spirit of Ambassadors’ Talks with the Romanian Side'," November 22, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-03901-01, 3-5. Translated by Max Maller. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119326
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[...]

To the [Chinese] Embassy in Romania:

The cable dated 14 November [1963] was received.

If the Romanian foreign minister or some other leader arranges to meet with an ambassador, we are in principle in agreement with the ideas brought up in the previous cable, with the addition of the following:

(1) If the other side yet again suggests stopping the open polemics, try to point out that Khrushchev’s so-called “appeal to stop public quarreling” is merely a form of deception, and that his goal is to conceal his rash anti-Chinese activities. On the one hand he says, do not [engage] in open polemics; on the other, he attempts still more crudely to attack our party. Following the release of this “appeal”, between 28 October and 10 November the Soviet press published more than 80 anti-Chinese editorials and articles. Khrushchev’s speeches go back on his word, they are not credible. We already have experience with this: we need to listen to his rhetoric and watch his behavior.

(2) If the other side mentions the issue of divergence, in addition to the points already espoused in our publications, it will be sufficient for you to make some short statements, simply stating your position. Based on the conversational situation, we can fluidly and naturally oppose the Romanian side’s thoughts and ideas, explaining our outlook on a few of the issues. The following are some issues we have thought of:

(i) That our revelation of the traitorous action of Khrushchev’s in signing the “Three Countries Treaty” [the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States] would mean that Romania is also at risk to betray us. You may point out that our criticism is based on facts and only concerns Khrushchev. We do not consider Khrushchev and the other socialist nations that attended the signing ceremony to be a unanimous faction, and we certainly do not consider the Romanian Communist Party leadership and the Soviet Communist Party leadership as a unanimous faction.

(ii) That we must, as it is said, “adopt a patient, cautious attitude.” You may point out:

a) We were always “patient” and “cautious” about a Sino-Soviet divergence. For example, it was not until four years after the Sino-Soviet divergence, one year after the Soviet leadership began attacking us publicly, that we finally wrote three documents. And it was not for another two years, after Khrushchev reached a new anti-Chinese high tide at the “European Five Parties Summit”, that we were finally forced to write eight more documents. This July, after the Soviet Communist Party published an open letter in which they attacked our party, naming names, and launched even rougher anti-Chinese activities, we finally rose in our defense. Consider that recently when our branch secretary and 10 fishermen were injured by gunfire on the Sino-Soviet border, leading us to give out arms and mobilize a patrol, we did not retaliate, nor have we to this day levied any public criticism.

b) The revisionist road implemented by Khrushchev brings major harm to the socialist infantry and the international movement. Romania believes that it can keep silent. We do not wish to contradict them, but we believe, in the interest of the socialist infantry and the international movement, that we cannot keep silent, otherwise history will never forgive us.

c) Based on the facts, Khrushchev has occasionally demonstrated a momentary convergence on some issues. This is the outcome of struggle, not patience. If we do not uphold our struggle with him, the sufferers will be made greater, not fewer.

(iii) That our propaganda documents should avoid “sharp [class struggle]”, “offenders”, “excess”, and other topics. You may point out that we are already very restrained and discerning. However, we have spoken up about the honest situation as well as the original appearance of things. Moreover, we have not spoken as comprehensively as we might have, such that there are still things left over.

(iv) Regarding the issue of “calling a state that is socialist in nature with a socialist government ‘non-socialist.’” If the other side brings up this saying of the Soviets’, you may express that we have not said that the Soviet Union is not a socialist state. If the other side bases their views on our newspapers’ revelations of capitalist movements within the Soviet Union, you may point out that our newspapers are merely circulating a few select pages from the Soviet press, so as to more conveniently raise our own awareness: we have not made any allegations against the Soviet Union. If the other side is referring to Yugoslavia, you may express that we have already published a document regarding this issue. Our point of view has full factual support and is completely accurate.

Aside from the foreseen questions and answers listed above, we ask the ambassadors to do some planning of their own and prepare answers, so that in conversation you may conveniently confront the opposite side’s thoughts and explain the issues.

[Chinese] Ministry of Foreign Affairs

22 November 1963