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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 19, 1961


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    Report describing an upcoming Algerian governmental delegation visit to Beijing - with a planned stop in Moscow - as an opportunity for Algeria to seek support from Chinese and Soviet leaders in its struggle with France. Specifically mentions, among political goals, that the delegation should ask the Chinese and Russian governments to push for the governments of East Germany and Albania to officially recognize the GPRA.
    "Annex #2 to 'Development of Relations with Socialist Countries since March 19, 1961'," March 19, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 08/13/07; Fond: GPRA, 1958-62; Archives Nationales d’Algérie, Alger. Translated from French and transcribed by Pierre Asselin, with Paulina Kostrzewski.
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Annex #2

The desire of the government of China to see an Algerian governmental delegation visit Beijing became obvious following an initiative by our ministry, an initiative whose goal was to have GPRA delegates be welcomed in Moscow. This coincidence suggests that the Chinese initiative was made in concert with the Soviets who do not seem inclined in this current context to officially welcome a government delegation, but at the same time do not want to give us the impression of sacrificing us in favor of France.

The trip to Beijing affords us the possibility of stopping in Moscow and meeting with Soviet leaders. This favorable opportunity for our government would allow it to present its point of view on the role and the status of the Algerian revolution in the struggle against French imperialism and its Western allies. This opportunity will allow us to address under ideal circumstances the issue of support from the totality of socialist countries for the struggle of our people for its independence. Serious preparation for these meetings is extremely important for the success of this mission. Thus, we believe that it is useful to offer some suggestions relative to:

1. The logistical preparation of the trip.

a) To have a real impact the trip of our delegation must be preceded by a denunciation of the role of the West in the continuation of the war in Algeria, and a campaign promoting friendship between China and Algeria. To that end, it would be very interesting to bring together in a brochure all the articles published in our newspapers about China, about the trips of previous delegations, and about the declarations of our representatives, including the joint Sino-Algerian communiqué dated 20 December 1958;

b) The government must give great importance to this delegation.  Other than the political advisers who will accompany the Ministers, the delegation should also include a photo journalist, someone in charge of protocol, and an Arab interpreter. Because, if by necessity the language of communication will be French, communiqués and declarations can only be issued in our national language;

c) The government must from now on determine the grants or loans in cash or in kind that we will solicit, create a list to that effect, approximate the amount relative to our needs and the total assistance that our revolution receives, and relative to our own recourses;

d) The political tasks of the delegation cannot be satisfactorily fulfilled without a political dossier on the Algerian revolution and its tactical and strategic implications (political, economic, social, and military issues in Algeria – balance of forces between French imperialism and the Algerian revolution – the GPRA confronting the new endeavors of imperialists in the Sahara – the issues of Maghrebian unity and Arab unity). This dossier will shape the tasks of informing and explaining and will serve to elaborate our positions on those different issues;

e) The government should, if possible, nominate a representative in Beijing and officially announce the nomination before the departure of the delegation;

f) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would reduce the workload of the delegation if it previously discussed with the Chinese embassy in Cairo the agenda for discussions, the program of visitation, and the substance of the joint Sino-Algerian communiqué;

g) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs could at once prepare an acceptable response to the issue of Chinese volunteers which will surely be raised by our counterparts.

2. Other political objectives of our delegation.

Our delegation must:

a) Promote in a clear and straightforward fashion our right to independence;

b) Ask China to act on our behalf toward the USSR and stress that right [to independence] and not the historical links between Algeria and France;

c) Explain to Soviet leaders, if a meeting with them is possible, that the fluidity of their positions and the context in which they are presented have allowed our enemies to confuse the conscience of workers’ opinion in Europe and in France on the nature of the Algerian resistance and the revolutionary meaning of our quest for independence (refer to articles published in the French press);

d) Ask that the Chinese and Russian governments intercede on our behalf with the governments of popular democracies, especially with the German Democratic Republic and Albania, to recognize the GPRA.  Success on that front will not be without rewards on the positions of Federal Germany and the countries of the Mediterranean basin (Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Egypt, etc…)