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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 29, 1961

CABLE FROM THE FOREIGN CULTURAL LIAISON COMMITTEE, 'REQUEST TO SEND CULTURE AND FRIENDSHIP DELEGATION TO VISIT AFRICA'

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    The PRC Foreign Cultural Liaison Committee proposes to send a propaganda team to Guinea, Mali, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Tunisia, Syria, and Iraq.
    "Cable from the Foreign Cultural Liaison Committee, 'Request to Send Culture and Friendship Delegation to Visit Africa'," December 29, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 108-00323-05. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120322
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Foreign Cultural Liaison Committee of the People's Republic of China

Issued (61) Liaison 2 Zhu Zi No. 2449, Confidential

Principal addressee: Foreign Affairs Office of the State Council

Distribution: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Liaison Department of the CPC, Investigation Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, Central Committee Propaganda Department, Ministry of Culture, Central Broadcasting Affairs Bureau, Foreign Languages Press

Subject: Request to Send Culture and Friendship Delegation to Visit Africa

For the addressee’s approval:

In order to strengthen propaganda work in Africa and to promote cultural exchanges, we proposed to send to West Africa and North Africa in January and February 1961 [sic; probably 1962] a propaganda unit organized by the Foreign Languages Committee, the Foreign Affairs Propaganda Group, the Propaganda Department of the Central Propaganda Department, and the directors of foreign propaganda units including the Film Bureau, the Broadcasting Bureau, and the Foreign Languages Press.

The main tasks of the delegation are:  

1. Understand the effectiveness of our country’s propaganda, the influence of Mao Zedong Thought in Africa, the opinions and requests of people from all walks of life with regard to our country’s propaganda work, the practices and reactions of the cultural and propaganda work of the imperialists and revisionists, so that we will be able to our proposals and measures for improving our country’s propaganda work in Africa.

2. Promote cultural exchanges and friendly relations, discuss cultural exchange issues with other countries and strive to sign cultural agreements with them, agree on a cultural agreement implementation plans and certain specific agreement in some areas of cultural work (such as radio, film, and student exchanges), and to establish contact with local cultural officials and local culture and propaganda organs, make friends, and to establish relationships.

3. Suitably propagandize about our revolution and national construction and experience and our peaceful foreign policy, exposing the falsehoods and slanders spread by the imperialism.

The countries to be visited are Guinea, Mali, Ghana, the United Arab Republic [Egypt] and Morocco.  If possible, they also hope to visit countries with which we have not yet established diplomatic relations such as Tunisia as well as other countries with which we have diplomatic relations such as Syria and Iraq. During their visit to Guinea and the United Arab Republic, they can negotiate and sign the cultural exchange implementation plan for 1962. While in Mali, Morocco and Syria, they can use negotiating and signing a cultural cooperation agreement as the purpose for their visit. For the visit to the United Arab Republic, Morocco, and Tunisia, they can use making a return visit as the purpose of their visit. For the visit to Ghana, they can use learning about cultural development and education in order to promote cultural exchanges as the purpose of the trip. For the visit to Iraq, they can use the implementation of the 1962 cultural exchange plan as the purpose of the visit. We can have preliminary discussions through China's embassies to assess the interest of foreign countries in a visit. If some countries, for one reason or another, dodge the subject or do not welcome a cultural delegation visit, we could change the purpose of the trip to visiting cultural organizations in order to learn about their work.

The proposed Chinese cultural friendship delegation would be composed as follows:

Head: Zhu Guang (Deputy Director of the Foreign Language Committee, Vice President of the China-Africa Friendship Association)

Secretary General: Chen Gongqi (Director of the Foreign Language Committee, Director of the China-Africa Friendship Association)

Members: Xin Guanjie (Head, Foreign Affairs Office Propaganda Team), Zhu Tingguang (Deputy Director, Publicity Department of Zhongxuan), and Situ Huimin (Deputy Director, Film Bureau) or other suitable person

A deputy director or supervisor of the Broadcasting Bureau or director of the African Broadcasting Group

Foreign Languages Press deputy president or head of the People's China French edition

Translation: One each for English and French.

Please provide guidance as to whether the above proposal is suitable.

People's Republic of China Foreign Cultural Committee

December 29, 1961