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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 07, 1979

MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS SONODA AND HUANG HUA (SUMMARY RECORD)

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Huang Hua and Sonoda discuss Vietnam, Cambodia, and Korea.
    "Meeting of Foreign Ministers Sonoda and Huang Hua (Summary Record)," February 07, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, 01-1237-1, 017-021. Contributed by Robert Hoppens and translated by Stephen Mercado. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120022
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3. Meeting of Foreign Ministers Sonoda and Huang Hua (Summary Record)

February 7 (Wednesday), 8:15 to 9:15

At the Prime Minister's Official Residence

The Other Side

Foreign Minister Huang Hua

Ambassador Fu Hao

Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Wenjin

Special Assistant Pu Shouchang

Protocol Department Director Wei Yongqing

Second Secretary Tang Jiaxuan (interpreter)

Third Secretary Zhao Zhongxin (recorder)

Our Side

Foreign Minister Sonoda

Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takashima

Asian Affairs Bureau Director-General Yanagiya

China Division Director Tanino

Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister Sato

Principal Deputy Director Uchida

Assistant Director Hashimoto (recorder)

Official Nagabusa (interpreter)

[Page 25 is missing.]

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[Foreign Minister Sonoda] (5) (a) Concerning the problem of the Indochinese Peninsula, in regard to Vietnam, no matter what, we are resolutely opposed to the idea of seeking to resolve the problem by force. In addition, we have expressed time and again that we will have to act prudently concerning future economic aid. Our country does not understand Cambodia's true state of affairs and we are troubled by it.

(5) (b) Regarding the Sino-Vietnamese border, the ASEAN countries are uneasy over what your country will do at the border. We would like your country to deal with it prudently and wipe away their unease.

(6) Concerning the problem of non-alignment, I would like our two countries henceforth to be in contact and to discuss the matter closely with one another.

Foreign Minister Huang Hua: (1) Concerning economic exchanges, I would like to deepen discussions via the routes of discussions between our two governments and peoples. The point of both large and small enterprises participating together will benefit the future development of relations between our two countries. I agree in principle on it.

(2) On the issue of Japanese schools, I will look into it after returning to China and would like to attend henceforth to a resolution.

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(Next, the other side raised three points: (a) Concerning the problem of ownership of the Zenrin Student Hall, we hope to be able to see a reasonable resolution. (b) Concerning the prosecution of the Yokohama Overseas Chinese, we would be happy to see them released without trial.  (c) Concerning the Chinese schools in Japan, they are dominated by the Taiwan faction, so we would like your cooperation for them to become schools for all the overseas Chinese.)

(3) Concerning the problem of the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese side in its recent visit conveyed to the US side the opinion of North Korea that the United States, as a country concerned, should have direct contact with North Korea and exchange opinions. Militarily, the Republic of Korea is stronger than North Korea. Even if the US military were to withdraw from the Republic of Korea, not only would it not affect the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, but it would benefit the entire situation. There is no possibility of North Korea joining together with the Soviet Union. As North Korea's leader has repeatedly stated the principle of independent and peaceful re-unification, the problem of invasion from the north does not exist.

(4) (a) Vietnam's conducting a large-scale attack against Cambodia and setting up a puppet government are not isolated acts. Vietnam's ambition to establish the Indochina Federation is apparent, and it serves the Soviet Union's hegemony in the region. Cambodia failed in its frontal defense against Vietnam's offensive, but the Cambodian army has not suffered a major blow and guerrilla warfare will likely continue for a long time.

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China will continue aiding Cambodia as much as possible. I would like countries other than China as well, from various positions, to take such positions as giving moral or material support to Democratic Kampuchea and halting aid to Vietnam.

(4) (b) (After mentioning Cuba's actions in Africa and other topics)

Vietnam, which has a population of 50 million, is now boasting that it has become the world's third military power after the United States and the Soviet Union. We should not stand idly by and do nothing in regard to this "Cuba of the Far East." We should teach them to become at least a little moderate.   If not, the concern is that this will have an adverse effect on the general situation, including Southeast Asia.

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The present situation in Southeast Asia is not a great threat to China but is a great threat to Japan, the United States, and Western Europe. The goal of Soviet expansionism is the Strait of Malacca. Regarding the Sino-Vietnamese border problem, we have repeatedly warned Vietnam, which has carried out numerous attacks, on three points:  (1) China always carries out what it has said it will do, (2) China engages in mature deliberation when dealing with problems, and (3) China does not do reckless things.

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