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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 23, 1958


This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Indian Ambassador R.K. Nehru pens a farewell letter to Mao Zedong.
    "Ambassador R.K. Nehru's Letter to Chairman Mao," January 23, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00372-02. Translated by Anna Beth Keim.
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Attachment: Ambassador Nehru’s letter to the Chairman

Your Excellency:


Yesterday evening my wife and I saw you for the final time of our current stay in China. Thank you for giving us this opportunity, for we would have been very unhappy to leave China without being able to see you. Thank you also for taking time out of your many duties to come to Guangzhou. You wanted us to stay one more day; it is difficult to express in words how grateful we are for this expression of kindness.

A person is always happy to return home, but we are leaving China with heavy hearts, because China has become our second home. We have lived in many countries, but we have never made so many friends, never felt so warmly familiar in a place; this is because our two nations have broadly similar backgrounds and similar problems. Even more importantly, it is because our two nations both feel that our unity is extremely important not only for the benefit of our two countries but for the benefit of peace in the world.

We have not yet fully expressed our thanks to you, during the two years that we have stayed in China, for the kindness you have bestowed [on us].Among the many memories we will carry back with us is our personal relationship with you. I cannot describe how unhappy we are that circumstances do not allow us to stay another day in Guangzhou. Your request that we stay another day was an expression of utmost friendliness and hospitality, and we thank you deeply.

Please forgive me for giving you this long letter, but I must express our inner thoughts. These thoughts concern the ever-growing friendship between our two countries and the Chinese friends to whom we are bidding farewell. You have kindly said that my wife and I, to a certain degree, promoted the development of this friendship; these words made us happy.

We express our thanks to you, and to the government and people of China. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you longevity, and smoothness and success in your great work. We hope that the day will come when we are fortunate enough to see you and our Chinese friends once more. [We] wish China prosperity and strength, and for everlasting friendship between our two countries.

With warmest greetings and highest respect,


People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Chairman Mao Zedong

24 January 1958, Guangzhou