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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September, 1963


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    Mao Zedong begins to espouse his theory of the “Two Intermediate Zones,” with Asia, Africa, and Latin America constituting the first, and Europe and North America constituting the second.
    "Mao Zedong, 'There Are Two Intermediate Zones'," September, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Party Literature Research Center, eds., Mao Zedong on Diplomacy (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1998), 387-389.
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(September 1963; January and July 1964)


All of you are concerned about the situation, particularly the international situation. Some comrades are concerned that the collaboration between the Soviet Union and the United States will bring disadvantages to us. I always believe what Wang Xifeng says in A Dream of Red Mansions: "Bigness has the difficulties of being big." Now the U.S. and the Soviet Union both have big difficulties. Rost, chairman of the U.S. Policy Committee, once published an article whose keynote was that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union faced many difficulties and that these difficulties were insurmountable. I don't know this man, but our views happen to coincide at some points. The United States is being rebuffed everywhere, both domestically and internationally; Khrushchev146 too. Don't forget this point. In the words of Leng Zixing in A Dream of Red Mansions, "A centipede does not topple over even when dead." The American magazine Hammer and Steel also says that the U.S. is like a hollowed big tree, leafy outside but insect-ridden inside.

In my view there are two intermediate zones: the first, Asia, Africa and Latin America and the second, Europe. Japan and Canada are not happy with the United States. The six-nation Common Market, represented by De Gaulle, is made up of powerful capitalist countries. Japan in the East is a powerful capitalist country. They are unhappy with the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Are the Eastern European countries that satisfied with Khrushchev of the Soviet Union? I don't believe so. Things are evolving and contradictions are revealing themselves. In the past few years the French were trying to assert their independent character, but not to the degree they are today. The contradictions between the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries are also developing and their relations are very tense. Relaxation in the world situation? Don't be deceived by all that. In my view it is not so easy for the Soviet Union and the U.S. to come to an agreement. Many Atlantic countries will not support the U.S. either. De Gaulle has said everywhere that France will not be a satellite country; their struggle is one of control and countercontrol. Khrushchev claims that we follow the same line as De Gaulle; in fact we have never seen De Gaulle We mainly rely on the people domestically and internationally, not on the leaders of major countries. People are reliable.

(September 28, 1963)

(From the verbatim record)


We have diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union; we are two countries in the socialist camp. But the relations between our two countries are not as good as those between China and the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party or China and the Ikeda faction. This is something we should think about. What's the reason? Because the U.S. and the Soviet Union both have nuclear weapons and want to dominate the world. The Liberal Democratic Party is, however, under American control. So far as its international status is concerned, Japan is secondary to the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Secondary countries also include Britain, France, West Germany, Italy, and so on. Thus we have some work to do. Japanese monopoly capitalists are not that united with the U.S. Though Britain is quite close to the U.S., they are not that united either. France annoys the U.S., and West Germany has become important. It will inevitably confront the U.S.

So when we talk about intermediate zones, we refer to two separate parts. The vast economically backward countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute the first. Imperialist and advanced capitalist countries represented by Europe constitute the second. Both are opposed to American control. Countries in Eastern Europe, on the other hand, are against control by the Soviet Union. This trend is quite obvious.

(January 5, 1964)

(From the verbatim record)


The United States reaches out to the entire West Pacific and Southeast Asia. Its reach is too long. The Seventh Fleet, stationed in this area, is the biggest in the U.S.; it has six aircraft carriers, half of America's total number of 12. The Sixth Fleet is stationed in the Mediterranean. When we shelled Jinmen in 1958, the Americans got scared and maneuvered part of the Sixth fleet eastward. The United States has Europe and Canada under its control; it controls all of Latin America, except for Cuba. It has now reached out to Africa and is waging a war in the Congo.

People all over Asia, Africa and Latin America are opposed to U.S. imperialism. A large number of people in Europe, North America and Oceania are against U.S. imperialism. Some of the imperialists are against U.S. imperialism too. De Gaulle's opposition to the U.S. is evidence. We now put forward the view that there are two intermediate zones: Asia, Africa and Latin America are the first, and Europe, North America and Oceania, the second. Japan belongs to the second intermediate zone too. The monopoly capitalists in Japan are not happy with the U.S.; some openly oppose it. Although there are still others who rely on it, in my view, in the course of time many of these people will finally throw out the Americans sitting on their backs.

(July 10, 1964)

(From the verbatim record)

* These are excerpts from three talks: ( 1) at the Working Conference of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, ( 2) with Kikunami Katsumi, Politburo member of the Japanese Communist Party, and ( 3) Japanese Socialists.















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