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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 07, 1979

TêTE-à-TêTE MEETING OF PRIME MINISTER AND VICE PREMIER DENG (RECORD)

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Deng and Ohira discuss developments in Indochina and on the Korean Peninsula, as well as relations with the United States.
    "Tête-à-tête Meeting of Prime Minister and Vice Premier Deng (Record)," February 07, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, 01-1237-1, 001-011. Contributed by Robert Hoppens and translated by Stephen Mercado. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120020
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Stopover of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping

(Record of Meeting)

February 7, 1979

Asia and China

Following are the records taken and compiled of the meetings of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sonoda with Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping and his party while in Japan (both meetings on February 7).

1. Tête-à-tête Meeting of Prime Minister and Vice Premier Deng (Record) . . . 2

2. General Meeting of Prime Minister and Vice Premier Deng (Summary Record) . . . 16

3. Meeting of Foreign Ministers Sonoda and Huang Hua (Summary Record) . . . 24

4. Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General's Post-Summit Briefing . . . 30

I. Summit Meeting

1. Tête-à-tête Meeting of Prime Minister and Vice Premier Deng (Record)

February 7 (Wednesday), 8:15 to 9:15, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence

The Other Side:

Vice Premier Deng

Vice Premier Fang Yi

Japan Affairs Division Director Ding Min

Deputy Wang Xiaoxian (interpreter)

Our Side:

Prime Minister Ohira

Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister Sato

[A line is blacked out.]

[Page 3 is omitted.]

[The first part of page's first sentence, from the omitted page 3, is missing.]

… governments of both countries and, as in many cases the governments will ultimately make a decision; we ask that your side regularly provide sufficient information. (In response, Vice Premier Deng replied that that was "fine.")

(2) In regard to the leaders of both countries engaging in exchanges, I hope that Premier Hua Guofeng will pay a visit to Japan and request Your Excellency's consideration in its realization. I myself am honored to have received an invitation to visit China and, taking into account the political schedule and such, I would truly like to visit China at a convenient time. (Vice Premier Deng, on hearing this, said that he would like once again at this opportunity to extend, in the name of Premier Hua Guofeng and the Chinese government, an invitation to Prime Minister Ohira to visit China at as early as time as possible. If the visit were to take place, he would surely receive a warm welcome from the Chinese people. He also said that Premier Hua would gladly accept an invitation to visit Japan but thought that the time for Hua's visit to Japan would be after Prime Minister Ohira visited China.)

(3) Concerning Asia, it has been common for some time that many problems occur on peninsulas, and the Indochinese and Korean peninsulas are no exceptions, with many problems happening there. There is great tension on the Indochinese Peninsula. The Government of Japan requests that your country take care in handling this so that peace and stability may return to this region, and we are certain that this will happen by means of your country's strength. Japan's approach is from such a position. We hope that henceforth our two governments will consult with one another as a matter of course.

(4) Concerning the Korean Peninsula, North-South talks have been taking place but have not gone beyond propaganda. However, the appearance of such signs should be welcome. Along with hoping that the talks bear fruit, we think it necessary to cooperate in order to create an international environment in which that would be possible. Accordingly, our country has been having step-by-step contacts with North Korea, continuing economic and cultural exchanges. The Republic of Korea in the economic aspect alone [rest of sentence, found on page 6, is missing].

[Page 6 is omitted.]

2. Next, there were the following remarks from Vice Premier Deng.

(1) One reason that I have stopped over here on returning from my visit to the United States is because I wanted to inform you what the visit to the United States was like. Another reason is that, as Prime Minister Ohira has assumed his office, I think that it is natural as a friend for me to pay a visit and, particularly as there are many problems that we are newly facing, that it is beneficial for the leaders of our two countries to exchange opinions on bilateral issues, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, and the international situation. I would like not only to inform you of what the visit to the United States was like but also to exchange opinions on the problems happening in Indochina.  

(2) Prime Minister Ohira's remarks on the Korean Peninsula resemble those that President Carter made when I talked with him. Also, we exchanged opinions with your country the last time that I visited Japan. It is a fact that good signs are beginning to appear now. Concrete proposals have been made by the North. The situation is now one of waiting for the South's response. In general, the South [portion of sentence missing] shows a positive response to this [rest of sentence on page 8, which is omitted].

[Pages 8 and 9 are omitted.]

[The document continues from the top of page 10.]

(3) The problem of Indochina, in particular Vietnam's large-scale invasion of Cambodia, is not a problem for China alone. It is a problem for the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, and one that also involves the international situation. It is an important side of the Soviet Union's global strategy. It is true that we do not think that, if we do not handle this well, Vietnam is going immediately to invade China or some such.  However, if we do not apply the necessary sanctions and punishment, Vietnam will likely, after bringing Laos under its control and occupying Cambodia, threaten the ASEAN countries. We must watch for the Soviet Union's making use of Vietnam to reach for ASEAN and aiming for the region's Finlandization. It is no coincidence that the Soviet Union two years ago launched an Asian security system, which in effect is Finlandization and nothing other than the Soviet Union seeking to gain control.

I told President Carter as well that the Middle East problem, too, has not been resolved, that problems have already also arisen in Iran and Afghanistan, and that there are signs that problems will soon arise in Pakistan as well. The US side expressed its concern over problems occurring in Saudi Arabia as well.  On this visit to the United States, I told many US politicians that the Soviet Union, not having accepted the lessons and sanctions of the Cuba Incident, has come to advance recklessly.  I also said that it would be better to take strong action in regard to Iran. I think that they can still take some form of action, but it has become rather late. Against Soviet hegemonism, they should take strong action and consistently confront it with a punishing stance.

At present, Vietnam has been acting wildly around us, bringing Laos under its control, making use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail to send 100,000 to 200,000 soldiers to invade Cambodia. Also, for more than a year Vietnam has been endlessly stirring up trouble on the Sino-Soviet border and engaging in escalation.   The Soviet Union in the area of the Indian Ocean has been extending its influence to the Middle East and Southwest Asia and in the east has been making use of Vietnam. In between there is the important Strait of Malacca. The countries of Southeast Asia have reason to worry over Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia. Vietnam's acts are based on its Soviet treaty, which has a military character. The Soviet global strategy is advancing at a rapid pace, with the Soviet Union strengthening its Pacific Fleet, putting military bases on two of your country's northern islands, and such. The Soviet Union has failed in some areas but gained in others. In Somalia and Egypt, unable to realize their dream, they have failed. In India as well, in contrast to the era of the Gandhi regime, things have not been going well. Everywhere else, however, the Soviet Union has made gains.  

In regard to this problem, the United Nations is showing a good reaction and, there is absolutely no support in the world, other than the Soviet Union, for Vietnam's acts.  The Soviet Union's southward policy, making use of Southwest Asia and joining with Vietnam, has brought change to some countries. For example, compared to the era of the Gandhi regime, India is undertaking an improvement in relations with neighboring countries.  

What we must watch is that Desai has said that, if the new regime were to ask for recognition, he would consider recognizing it. Considering such a situation, we must take effective measures and prevent a response such as India's from emerging in ASEAN.  

The acts of the Soviet Union, making use of Vietnam, do not concern China alone but Japan as well, particularly as that route is likely Japan's lifeline. For example, your country imports 20 percent of its oil from Iran. Other than that, this route is likely important to Japan for a number of reasons. I do not intend to raise them one by one here.   

We carefully considered these problems before the visit to the United States. In light of no action taken in the West in regard to Cuba's reckless advance, if we do nothing regarding the Cuba of the East, that is to say, Vietnam, then the result will be a bad one. Therefore, America or some other country should apply the necessary punishment. Of course, there should be a limit to sanctions. In addition, naturally, it is not that we are not considering a reaction from the north. It is not the case there is no danger there. China will bear the burden of such danger. Applying such punishment is not only necessary for China but for the Asia-Pacific region as well.

(4) Prime Minister Ohira, hearing this, made the following remarks.

Your remarks have been most informative. Thank you for expressing such profound insight and thinking.   As we have told you some time ago, we have warned Vietnam that, so long as they do not take peaceful action, economic cooperation cannot be considered.  Our intention is thus to handle it in taking into consideration the concerns of the ASEAN countries and China's thinking.  

(5) Finally, Vice Premier Deng made the following remarks.

I (Deng) summarized China's thinking for President Carter in three points. One is that China has given repeated warnings and China always carries out what it has said it will do. Another point is that China acts after profound thought and mature deliberation. Finally, Chinese do not recklessly do stupid things.  

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