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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 08, 1962

MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED BY THE AMBASSADOR OF THE SOVIET UNION TO ZHANG HANFU ON 8 JUNE 1962

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation

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    The Soviet Government presents its views on developments along the Xinjiang-USSR border.
    "Memorandum Submitted by the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to Zhang Hanfu on 8 June 1962," June 08, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-01765-03, 27-28. Translated by 7Brands. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121618
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Memorandum Submitted by the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to Zhang Hanfu on 8 June 1962

The Government of the Soviet Union has received the statement of the Chinese Government on the large scale border crossing of residents from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region into the territory of the Soviet Union as submitted by Vice Minister Zhang Hanfu to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to China on 19 May.

The Government of the Soviet Union has already made a statement on the facts surrounding the incident of residents of the People’s Republic of China breaking through the Sino-Soviet border on 29 April. It is not necessary to repeat the non-debatable facts. However, it is regrettable that the Chinese Government did not consider the facts and the substantiated arguments presented in the declaration of Soviet Union in its reply dated 19 May.

The Government of the Soviet Union agrees with the conclusions put forth in the declaration of the Chinese Government that bilateral cooperation is essential in order to resolve the problem of the sudden and large-scale border crossing of residents of the People’s Republic of China. The Government of the Soviet Union has wished to settle the problem through mutual cooperation from the very beginning. Cherishing such wishes, the Government of the Soviet Union instructed its Ambassador to China to report to the Chinese Government on the relevant issues on 23 April, immediately after the present conditions on the border were reported. At the same time, Soviet border guards notified the Chinese border authorities more than once of the incidents of large-scale border crossings and invited the Chinese border authorities to take measures to stop such border crossings. The Soviet Union has invited China to dispatch representative to the Soviet Union to persuade the border crossers to return to China with full support from the Soviet Union. But the Chinese Government has not wished to cooperate with us. The fact is that the Chinese Government has failed to take the necessary measures to stop incidents of illegal entry from Chinese territory to the Soviet Union.

In the declaration of the Chinese Government dated 19 May, it seems that the Chinese Government is making efforts to stop such border crossings and plans to continue such measures. However, the flow of border crossers from China has not seemed to decrease, putting the Soviet Union in a rather awkward situation. It is notable that many of the border crossers have claimed that they refuse to return to China, arguing that the large-scale flight of residents occurred mostly during the day under the supervision of local authorities who, moreover, did nothing to obstruct [the movement]. Additionally, some incidents demonstrate that local authorities in China have even assisted Chinese citizens with going to the Soviet Union by providing transportation and delivering them to the border. Such assistance has been particularly obvious over the past several days.

The Soviet Union has taken measures and is taking [other] measures to stop the illegal border crossings from the territory of the People’s Republic of China and for that purpose has reinforced its border troops by several folds at in this region. However, our measures do not seem to have worked effectively because the Chinese Government has failed to take effective measures (the restoration of normal order at the border depends mainly on the efforts of the Chinese Government). Instead, you have only made certain oral promises. What you have done has forced us to entirely block the border with Xinjiang so as to stop such illegal border crossings. At the same time, we expect the Chinese Government to take appropriate measures to alter the situation because we do not believe that it is normal for fraternal nations to have shared borders which are entirely blocked off.

We expect that normal order will be restored at our border through our mutual efforts and that such unpleasant experiences at our border will come to a conclusion as soon as possible.

7 June 1962