Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 28, 1955

MAO ZEDONG, 'THE CHINESE PEOPLE CANNOT BE COWED BY THE ATOM BOMB'

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Mao Zedong spoke to the Finnish Ambassador Carl-Johan Sundstrom on the history of Chinese wars with European powers and states that China and Finland have had friendly relations. He then addressed the possibility of the U.S. waging an atomic war over Taiwan and how Chinese would respond. Finally, Mao foreshadowed the downfall of U.S. and British ruling classes to the end of tsarist Russia and Chiang Kai-shek should the United States enter another world war.
    "Mao Zedong, 'The Chinese People Cannot Be Cowed by the Atom Bomb'," January 28, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, vol. 5, 152-153. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122054
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122054

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

THE CHINESE PEOPLE CANNOT BE COWED BY THE ATOM BOMB

January 28, 1955

[Main points of a conversation with Ambassador Carl-Johan (Cay) Sundstrom, the first Finnish envoy to China, when he presented his credentials.]

China and Finland are friendly countries. Our relations are based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

China and Finland have never come into conflict. In the past, China's wars with European countries were only with Britain, France, Germany, tsarist Russia, Italy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Holland, these countries all came from afar to commit aggressions against China, as in the invasions by the Anglo-French allied forces and by the allied forces of the eight powers, including the United States and Japan. Sixteen countries took part in the war of aggression against Korea, including Turkey and Luxembourg. All these aggressor countries claimed to be peace-loving while branding Korea and China as aggressors

Today, the danger of a world war and the threats to China come mainly from the warmongers in the United States. They have occupied our Taiwan and the Taiwan Straits and are contemplating an atomic war. We have two principles: first, we don't want war; second, we will strike back resolutely if anyone invades us. This is what we teach the members of the Communist Party and the whole nation. The Chinese people are not to be cowed by U.S. atomic blackmail. Our country has a population of 600 million and an area of 9,600,000 square kilometres. The United States cannot annihilate the Chinese nation with its small stack of atom bombs. Even if the U.S. atom bombs were so powerful that, when dropped on China, they would make a hole right through the earth, or even blow it up, that would hardly mean anything to the universe as a whole, though it might be a major event for the solar system.

We have an expression, millet plus rifles. In the case of the United States, it is planes plus the A-bomb. However, if the United States with its planes plus the A-bomb is to launch a war of aggression against China, then China with its millet plus rifles is sure to emerge the victor. The people of the whole world will support us. As a result of World War I, the tsar, the landlords and the capitalists in Russia were wiped out; as a result of World War II, Chiang Kai-shek and the landlords were overthrown in China and the East European countries and a number of countries in Asia were liberated. Should the United States launch a third world war and supposing it lasted eight or ten years, the result would be the elimination of the ruling classes in the United States, Britain and the other accomplice countries and the transformation of most of the world into countries led by Communist Parties. World wars end not in favour of the warmongers but in favour of the Communist Parties and the revolutionary people in all lands. If the warmongers are to make war, then they mustn't blame us for making revolution or engaging in "subversive activities" as they keep saying all the time. If they desist from war, they can survive a little longer on this earth. But the sooner they make war the sooner they will be wiped from the face of the earth. Then a people's united nations would be set up, maybe in Shanghai, maybe somewhere in Europe, or it might be set up again in New York, provided the U.S. warmongers had been wiped out.