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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 08, 1962

FROM THE DIARY OF S. V. CHERVONENKO, TRANSCRIPTS OF A CONVERSATION WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CC CCP DENG XIAOPING, 9 APRIL 1962

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    Ambassador Chervonenko and Deng Xiaoping discuss a proposed conference of world communist leaders.
    "From the Diary of S. V. Chervonenko, Transcripts of a Conversation with the General Secretary of the CC CCP Deng Xiaoping, 9 April 1962," May 08, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120726
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FROM TIIE DIARY OF

S.V.  CHERVONENKO

"8" May, 1962

COMPLETELY SECRET

Copy No. 1

TRANSCRIPT  OF CONVERSATION

WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY of the CC CCP, DENG XIAOPING

9 April 1962

On April 5, in keeping with instructions from the Center, I turned to the CC CCP with a request to meet with Mao Zedong or with a person to be named by him, in order to inform the Chinese side of the negotiations of com. A.A. Gromyko with D. Rusk on the German issue. After a silence lasting for four days, the replied to us that Deng Xiaoping had been instructed by the CC CCP to meet with the ambassador and that at the same time, the CC CPSU's commission could be fu1filled in the conversation with him (if we had no objections).

I visited Deng Xiaoping in the CC CCP building.

In connection with Deng Xiaoping's question about my trip to Moscow, I told him in detail about the work of the March Plenum of the CC CPSU, about our party and government's measures in the area of agriculture. Having thanked me for this information, Deng Xiaoping stated: "We wish very much that you resolve the issues connected with agriculture as soon as possible."

Referring to his commission, Deng Xiaoping then handed me a letter from the CC CCP of 7 April 1962, which is an answer to the CC CPSU's letter of 22 February 1962, as well as a copy of the CC CCP' s letter to the Vietnamese Laborers' Party of 5 April 1962. (The said documents have been sent to the Center separately.)

Since these letters by the CC CCP are long, Deng Xiaoping stated that he would not read them.  The basic content of the letter of the CC CCP to the CC CPSU, he continued, consists of the fact that, no matter what, the CPSU and the CCP must close ranks and in a spirit of unity resolve the issues which are of imminent import [nazrevshie voprosy]. With these aims, he said, in the CC CCP letter it is proposed that a new conference of representatives of all of the communist and workers' parties be convened. The desire to hold such a conference had been expressed in letters to the CC CCP from a series of fraternal parties.  Deng Xiaoping said that the Communist Party of lndonesia, the Vietnamese Laborers' Party, the Communist Party of Great Britain, Sweden, and New Zealand (in the order received) had sent such letters.

Speaking further, Deng Xiaoping said that, as accumulated experience shows, evidently a preparatory consultation between separate fraternal parties should first be conducted. Developing this thought, he emphasized that "the convocation and rapid conducting of a conference in the present conditions is not an easy matter," and that for this reason, it was necessary to conduct major preparatory work and to overcome a whole series of difficulties.  Substantiating the necessity of this work, Deng Xiaoping said that if such a conference did not yield positive results, it would be better not to conduct it. He further noted that at the Moscow conference in 1957, the fraternal parties assigned the convocation of subsequent conferences to the CC CPSU.

Not being acquainted with the text of the letter, I did not make any substantive comments on its contents.  I only emphasized the sincere striving for unity and solidarity expressed in the CC CPSU's letter of February 22.

Deng Xiaoping said that the conference should be a means to ensure this unity and solidarity of the fraternal parties.  "How else could it be? The representatives of the fraternal parties," he stated, "must meet and come to common conclusions, and on this basis already there can be unity and solidarity.  In a word, the conference should be assured of success, and for this, major preparatory work is necessary."

Before the Moscow conference of 1957, Deng Xiaoping continued, fine preparatory work was conducted.  For that reason, the results of the conference were good, and large problems did not arise at the conference.  Similar preparation, although perhaps it was insufficient, was conducted before the Moscow conference of 1960. This preparation continued for four or five months, and included bilateral meetings of the representatives of the CCP and the CPSU, the work of the editorial commission, and so on. In other words, he said, the time of the convention's convocation should be defined taking preparatory work into consideration. In this he refrained from a clear formulation relating to whether the Chinese leaders had bilateral consultations with the CPSU in mind.

Deng Xiaoping said that the convocation of the conference affected all parties and that consultations should be held with all parties. He emphasized that above all it was necessary to consult with the CC CPSU, insofar as the resolution of the Moscow conference of 1957 put on the CC CPSU the rather heavy obligation of convening, as necessary and in consultation with the other parties, a convention of the representatives of the communist and workers' parties.  He noted that, in case of necessity, holding bilateral or multilateral consultations with separate fraternal parties could help ensure the success of the conference.

Since I did not know the text of the Chinese letter, I asked Deng Xiaoping several clarifying questions.

I asked him what the Chinese comrades had in mind - the convocation of a convention in the near future or the more distant future. Deng Xiaoping answered that in the letter it did not talk concretely about the time-frame for convening the conference. Given the assurance of detailed preparation for it, he stated, we are ready for it at any time. However, he insistently repeated, the most important thing is to conduct preparatory work before the conference.  We are assuming that if the conference is conducted, its success must be guaranteed, that is, the achievement of solidarity at the conference.

By way of clarification, I asked Deng Xiaoping whether the Chinese comrades foresaw a preparatory consultation between the CCP and the CPSU on the subject of the conference, or whether the CC CCP was now informing all parties about the given proposal. At this point, Deng Xiaoping expressed himself obscurely [tumanno], noting  that the proposal to call together a conference was also being repeated in answering letters by the CC CCP to the Vietnamese Laborers' Party to other fraternal parties of socialist countries, and also to some communist parties in capitalist countries. You probably know, he said, that some fraternal parties sent the CC CCP letters in which they condemn us in connection with the events during the Stockholm session of the Worldwide Council on Peace.  The communist parties of Great Britain and Sweden proposed conducting a conference of fraternal parties to discuss this issue.  Aside from the said countries, the fraternal parties of the European socialist countries, as well as France, West Germany, Finland, and some others sent letters to the CC CCP.  We wrote them answering letters, in which we inform them about the given letter to the CC CPSU proposing the convocation of a conference.  We think, he noted, about also informing other parties, "whoever can be informed" about this proposal.

He said that the answering letters from the CC CCP to other fraternal parties had contents that were approximately analogous to the letter of the CC CCP to the Vietnamese Laborers' Party of 5 April.

Having received the said documents, I stated that I would convey them to the CC CPSU without delay.

Referring to the CC CPSU's assignment, I informed Deng Xiaoping of com. A.A. Gromyko's conversations with [Dean] Rusk. He thanked me for the information and said that he would quickly convey it to Mao Zedong and to other comrades.

During the conversation, I informed Deng Xiaoping that the Soviet trade economic delegation headed by com. N.S. Patolichev was arriving in Peking on 13 April. Deng Xiaoping stated that the Chinese side would welcome the arrival of this delegation.

He stated that the session of the VSNP was still continuing its work, and that evidently it would conclude it in a few days.

Candidate for membership in the secretariat of the CC CCP, Yang Shangkun, employees in the CC apparatus, Yan Minfu, Zhu Ruizhen, as well as the adviser to the embassy, O.B. Rakhmanin and second secretary A.A. Brezhnev were present at the conversation, which continued for more than an hour.

Ambassador  of the USSR to the PRC

signature

(S. CHERVONENKO)