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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 17, 1965

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 'REACTIONS TO CHINA'S SECOND NUCLEAR TEST'

This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), Henry Luce Foundation

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    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union describing positive responses of Soviet officials and the foreign missions regarding China's second successful nuclear test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Reactions to China's Second Nuclear Test'," May 17, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-03637-03, 10-12. Translated by Caixia Lu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134744
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Cabled Received by the [Chinese] Foreign Ministry

Level: Urgent

Received from the Moscow Desk

Foreign Ministry Incoming (65) Chen (973)

Reactions to China's Second Nuclear Test

  

To the Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the PLA:

The following are the reactions to our second nuclear test garnered at the banquet of the Bulgarian Embassy on the 17th:

When [Chinese] Military Attaché Zhong was talking about our second successful nuclear test, Marshal of the Soviet Union [Vasily] Sokolovsky said: Now there is an international call for the banning of nuclear tests. Hence it is meaningless to look at nuclear tests politically. Your first nuclear test was still meaningful while it was pointless to do a second one. Because 10 or 100 nuclear atomic bombs makes no difference in the wars of the future. This is weakening politically. There were some other people listening when Sokolovsky was talking. Military Attaché Zhong said that our development of nuclear weapons strengthened the power of the socialist camp. Our nuclear weapons experiments were totally meant to break the monopoly of the great powers. We need to continue experimenting in order to perfect the nuclear weapons.

Deputy Chief of the Soviet Army Batov told Military Attaché Zhong’s interpreter in a low voice that: This is a very great achievement, you had taken yet another huge step.

A major general from DOSAAF told Military Attaché Zhong: The Chinese people are passionate about labor and science. This is a huge scientific achievement for the Chinese people.

Major General Shevchenko, head of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the General Political Department seemed intent to avoid this issue, and was ambivalent about it.

The Jordanian Ambassador Jamil Tutunje took the initiative to congratulate us on the success of our second nuclear explosion. The Yemeni ambassador Saleh Ali Al-Ashwal also took the initiative to convey his congratulations to Ambassador Pan. He said, this was not just the Chinese people’s victory, but it had also increased the power to safeguard peace. This achievement is very important to the small countries. He wished us continued success in this area. The Cambodian chargé d'affaires Sor Teng Leng also expressed his hearty congratulations.

The Romanian military attaché Colonel Te-luo-fen [sic] said, it was very good that China successfully detonated its second nuclear bomb, and felt that this was yet another blow to the imperialists’ atomic monopoly and atomic diplomacy. Major General Novick, the Czech military attaché, said that this was very good and a huge achievement.

On the other hand, the [North] Vietnamese ambassador to the Soviet Union, Nguyen Van Kinh, wrote a letter to [Chinese] Ambassador Pan [Zili] on the 15th to send his hearty congratulations on the success of our second nuclear test and he felt that this was yet another blow to the imperialists’ atomic monopoly and atomic diplomacy, and an outstanding achievement in terms of reinforcing and strengthening the might of the socialist camp and the national liberation movement as well as safeguarding world peace. The Chinese people’s victory had further encouraged the Vietnamese people in their anti-American struggle for national salvation

[Chinese] Embassy in the Soviet Union

17 May 1965