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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 20, 1949

KOVALEV REPORT TO STALIN ON A CONVERSATION WITH MAO

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    Kovalev reported to Stalin on his converation with Mao Zedong. He said Mao intended to suggest two options for Stalin's consideration. The first one is to discuss Soviet-China treaty and other aggrements and then sign them. The second option is to discuss wiouthout formalizing these into agreeements.
    "Kovalev Report to Stalin on a Conversation with Mao," December 20, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Sergei N. Goncharov, "Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War." Kovalev’s unpublished memoirs; partially reproduced in Kovalev, 2:89-90. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119645
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Kovalev Report to Stalin re: a Conversation with Mao, Dec.20, 1949

To Comrade Stalin,

     Today, on December 20, Mao Zedong invited me to his place. [N.T.] Fedorenko also attended the meeting in his capacity as interpreter. Mao Zedong said the following:

1. He had already reported to the CCP Central Committee the contents of his talk with you on December 16 and is waiting the opinion of the Central Committee members on the questions touched on in the conversation with you.

2. Mao Zedong wants to have another meeting on about December 23 or 24.

3. Mao Zedong is intending to suggest for your consideration two options for the program of future talks. The first option foresees a discussion of the following questions: (1) a Soviet-Chinese treaty, (2) a loan agreement, (3) a trade agreement, (4) an agreement on the establishment of air [transport] communications, and (5) other questions, including the question of Burma’s recognition of China.

Under this option, it is suggested that Zhou Enlai be summoned to Moscow for shaping and signing the agreements. Mao at the same time noted that he would use the time needed for Zhou Enlai’s trip to Moscow for a tour to Stalingrad and Leningrad.

The second option essentially consists of a discussion of the same issues as the first but without formalizing them into agreements. In this case, there would be no need for Zhou Enlai to come to Moscow. For formalizing and signing agreements, Zhou could come some other time.

During the conversation, Mao Zedong stressed several times that in the resolving of all questions, including the questions of his rest and medical treatment in the Soviet Union, he is totally dependent on your consideration.

4. Mao Zedong expressed a willingness to visit and to talk to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik)’s Politburo members [V.M.] Molotov, [N.A.] Bulganin, [A.I.]Mikoyan, and [M.N.]Shvernik.

5. Mao Zedong asked me to relay his requests to you for Comrades I.V. Kovalev and Fedorenko to be with him and accompany him at all times. Mao Zedong explained this request by the fact that a number of different questions have arisen for him about which he wishes to consult.

[I am] reporting that though he has been feeling in need of talks and advice, I have not visited him every day. He noted that he treated my absence as an unwillingness to provide him assistance with advice that he constantly needs.

At the same time, Mao Zedong expressed a wish for Kovalev and Fedorenko to be present with him at the ceremony and the reception for the 70th birthday of Comrade Stalin.

[I am] asking for your instructions.