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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 05, 1961


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

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    Huang Zhen and Jerzy Knothe discuss the socialist bloc's foreign policy coordination.
    "Record of a Conversation between Deputy Secretary Huang Zhen and the Polish Ambassador to China," August 05, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-02308-01, 8-10. Translated by Max Maller.
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Record of a Conversation between Deputy Secretary Huang Zhen and the Polish Ambassador to China

The Polish ambassador detailed the situation within Poland and requested information on our attitudes toward the following:

1) Questions about Germany Peace Treaty and West Berlin

2) China’s representative power in the UN

3) An appraisal of the new direction in Pakistani foreign relations

4) An appraisal of Nepal’s foreign relations policies

5) China’s economic situation

6) Questions about the redistribution of the population into the countryside.

Time: 11:00 A.M, 5 August [1961]

Location: Guest Room, East Building

Receiving Persons: Deputy Director Xu Ming

Translator/Recorder: Wang Yan

Both sides exchanged conventional small talk. Then the ambassador said, “I recently returned to Poland for a six week vacation. I saw that the national situation is very good in all respects. The common estimates for this year’s harvest is quite good. However, that is not to say that our agricultural problems are over. There are still some problems with agriculture, such as the lack of available labor in some regions. Among peasants, there are also instances of indulging in crops without paying attention to investing. We are currently advocating for mechanization by way of small agricultural groups. Aside from that, agricultural groups are carrying out collective labor education through public activities. We believe that small agricultural groups can be used to advance collectivization. Our industrial situation is not bad either. According to the recently published report on production in the last six months, industrial production has gone up 11.4% compared with this same term last year. In terms of international questions, many people are paying attention to the issues in German Peace Treaty and West Berlin. It seems that the response to these issues in the public has been quite placid. There are no feelings of panic or instances of panic buying. Most people believe that these occurrences will not lead to military conflict. I do not know what the views of our Chinese comrades are with respect to this question, what measures might possible by adopted against the US, or what your assessment is of a possible peaceful resolution to this question.”

Ambassador [Jerzy] Knothe continued: “Another question that people generally pay attention to is that of the United Nations Conference this Fall. They believe that this is a test of the new direction in US foreign policy. Everyone is also very focused on the question of China’s representation in the UN. The Chinese comrades put it correctly when they said that any American involvement in the ‘two Chinas’ conspiracy is unacceptable. However, if some neutral state were to present a new proposal, I wonder what China’s considerations would be then.”

Vice Secretary Huang immediately asked if there was any new information. The ambassador made clear that there was not.

“This is just hypothetical. If a neutral state proposed letting the PRC enjoy full membership in the UN, so long as Taiwan would not be eliminated, what would China’s response to that be?”

Ambassador Knothe also mentioned Pakistan’s recent praises toward China, and asked for the Chinese comrades’ evaluation of this. He also asked whether the King of Nepal’s visit to China meant that their policy would henceforth be shifting more toward independence (from India). The Polish ambassador also asked about China’s economic situation and the redistribution of the population into the countryside.

“I am very interested in this,” he expressed. “If you could find a comrade who can explain this to me, I would be extremely grateful.”

Vice Secretary Huang expressed that our attitude toward Germany, Jordan and West Berlin is clear. We have continually supported the USSR’s recommendations. And the members of the Warsaw Treaty are currently meeting in Moscow. Ambassador Liu Xiao is attending as an observer. He expressed that our stance on the issue of Chinese representation in the United Nations is also quite apparent. Our Polish comrades are quite clear on this. What our stance on Pakistan will eventually be is still not so clear to us. We have to wait and see, though we expect it to be clear enough after the United Nations Conference. As far as Nepal’s foreign policy, every nation has its special interests. They all want to implement policies that are conducive to their national interests. Regarding the ambassador’s request, we can make a connection with the relevant department. At the same time, we hope the ambassador will introduce us to Poland’s record in this area and supply us with their learning.

Afterward, we continued with the small talk.