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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 19, 1965

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN PAKISTAN, 'REACTIONS TO CHINA'S NUCLEAR TEST'

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

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    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan describes different responses of Pakistani government officials and foreign government diplomats in Pakistan regarding China's first nuclear weapons test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'Reactions to China's Nuclear Test'," May 19, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-01719-01, 4-6. Translated by Caixia Lu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134735
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Cable Received by the [Chinese] Foreign Ministry

Level: Urgent

Received from the Pakistan Desk

Foreign Ministry Incoming (65) Chen (1091)

Reactions to China's Nuclear Test

To the Foreign Ministry:

Continuing the report on the reactions to our nuclear test:

1. The Pakistani government and people from all corners of life expressed great understanding and praise for our nuclear test. More than a hundred Pakistani officials, Karachi’s well-known figures, journalists and the diplomatic corps, etc. attended a reception hosted by our embassy on the 18th. Pakistani officials were led by Additional Foreign Secretary [Agha] Shahi and included several directors, the Chief Administrator of Pakistan Civil Aviation and the Director of Shipping, and all of them expressed their congratulations and happiness to us. Some opined that they agreed with our stance, and felt that we had produced the atomic bomb to deal with the nuclear threat from the United States. Some said that this was the pride and glory of the Asians. Some said that we could talk to the United States on an equal footing now that we have the nuclear bomb, and could speak on Pakistan’s behalf. Director of Research Hayat [sic] said that India would be able to produce atomic bombs within two years, and that the United States was providing technological know-how to India. Should India do so, so would Pakistan. Pakistan would rather die of hunger than yield [to India]. Apart from expressing their congratulations, the former Director of Commerce and Director of Shipping were concerned that we lack the means of transportation and would be unable to deal with the American threat. The Director of Shipping said that as all the countries possessed poison gas during the Second World War, no one used them. But in North Korea and in Vietnam, only the American imperialists had biological weapons, thus they were used.

Therefore, we could only deal with the American threat if we have the means of transportation. He hoped that we could store them in a safe place after the whole process was complete. Some well-known public figures and journalists had also expressed their hearty congratulations and said that this was the pride of the Asians. Some expressed belief in Japan’s reports that China had the means of transportation. Some expressed their views on the issue of bringing India under the “nuclear umbrella” by saying “What does Pakistan have to fear now that China has atomic bombs?”, “China having atomic bombs means Pakistan having atomic bombs, because China has always supported Asian and African countries in resisting invasion. Some wished to know when we were going to detonate our third bomb. The scientist Ka-Li-Cha-Ku-Man [sic], who professed to not talk about politics, said that he hoped that it would be done in a better manner if it were to be done, and that we could pull Japan to our side.

2. The various diplomatic representatives that we had met during this reception and other occasions had the following attitudes:

The military attaché and first secretary of the United Arab Republic’s embassy expressed their hearty congratulations and felt that they were safe now that we possessed atomic bombs. They could not produce atomic bombs given that they are a small country. The military attaché even said that since the first bomb yielded 20 kilotons while the current one yielded 70 kilotons, he hoped that the third would yield 500 kilotons and hit the United States. The United Arab Republic could make Israel suffer with just 1 kiloton.

The military attaché of the Myanmar embassy expressed his congratulations.

The air attaché of the British Embassy asked why the first bomb had not used plutonium but uranium 235. He expressed hope that our country would develop more power stations instead of atomic bombs and said that there was no end to the arms race.

The Soviet attaché said that this was an important matter, and that the Soviet government was supportive of China convening a world summit on banning nuclear weapons.

The Second Secretary of the Embassy of Algeria said that he was not interested in the issue, and he also asked why China did not approve of the Soviet Union’s participation in the second Asian-African Conference

The Third Secretary of the Embassy of Iraq asked: Was it true that the Japanese Communist Party had congratulated China on the success? He had thought that Japan had historically feared China’s domination of Asia.

[Chinese] Embassy in Pakistan

19 May 1965