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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 30, 1982


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    Erich Honecker tells Chen Dong that "what marred this relationship [between East Germany and China] is known and does not need to be spoken of."
    "Record of Conversation between Erich Honecker and Chinese Ambassador Chen Dong," April 30, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PAAA, MFAA ZR 46/87. Obtained by Zhong Zhong Chen and translated by Sean O'Grady.
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File 80212
Far East Department Berlin, 30.04.1982
[Illegible Handwriting] E H  3.5.82

N o t e
on a conversation of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic, Comrade Erich H o n e c k e r, with the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Comrade Chen Dong, on 30.04.1982 during his farewell visit

Ambassador Chen Dong gave heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to meet with the Comrade Chairman of the State Committee before his departure. Comrade Chen Dong conveyed the warm regards of the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the PRC, Ye Jianying. Ambassador Chen Dong emphasized that during his four years of work in the GDR, his assignment was completed successfully with the help and support of relevant institutions of the GDR, and through this he was able to learn about the achievements of the GDR during its development. For this, he thanked the Comrade Chairman very sincerely. Ambassador Chen Dong explained that he is pleased that the relationship between the GDR and the PRC can grow in new ways. He hopes that the cooperation will be further strengthened.

Comrade Erich Honecker gave his thanks for these regards and asked to reciprocate them. During the ambassador’s four years of work, Comrade Erich Honecker emphasized that the GDR became more stable. Great efforts were taken to fulfill the decisions of the 10th Party Congress, great difficulties were overcome in this process and the GDR is further consolidated. Comrade Erich Honecker expressed his joy that this conversation with the Comrade Ambassador Chen Dong takes place at a time when relations between the GDR and the PRC are improving. We are therefore convinced that this cooperation will develop further. The agreed exchange of students, scientists, athletes, the exchange of television films, etc., all testifies that these contacts will be extended. Comrade Erich Honecker emphasized that Comrade Ambassador Chen Dong had worked actively for this. Also, in the realm of economic relations, there are new contours that concern the exchange of goods and scientific-technical cooperation. Thanks to the work of the Ambassador, the first contacts at the party level were established. Comrade Erich Honecker explained that he had familiarized himself with the report from the two members of the Central Committee of the SED that stayed in China; it reminds him of the article of the two members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China regarding their visit to the GDR. Comrade Erich Honecker explained that the German communists always had a good relationship with the Chinese Communists. What marred this relationship is known and does not need to be spoken of. This relationship can only be developed on the basis of reciprocal respect. In our youth, Comrade Erich Honecker emphasized, solidarity with the Chinese communists was among our critical tasks. During visits to the Lenin-School in Moscow, Comrade Erich Honecker explained that there were good relations with the Chinese Communists who were also studying there, for example, a report by a young Chinese Communist on the battle against Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] in Shanghai and an exhibition about the White Terror in China left deep impressions. The slogan “China Hands” was very popular then.

Comrade Erich Honecker emphasized that the GDR and the PRC were founded at the same time. The development of relationships between the two states serves the interests of both countries. The GDR will also continue to actively work on improving cooperation, contact between the two parties should also be strengthened. Comrade Erich Honecker expressed thanks to Comrade Ambassador Chen Dong for his work in developing the relationship between the GDR and the PRC.

Department Manager