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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 09, 1965

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 'THE SOVIET REVISIONISTS HANDLING OF AND RESPONSE TO CHINA'S SECOND NUCLEAR EXPLOSION'

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

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    The Chinese Embassy in Moscow reports responses to the second Chinese nuclear test among Soviet news agencies, upper and middle class citizens, and students.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'The Soviet Revisionists Handling of and Response to China's Second Nuclear Explosion'," June 09, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-03637-03, 21-22. Translated by Caixia Lu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134748
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Cable received by the Foreign Ministry

From the Soviet Desk

Level: Usual

Foreign Ministry Incoming (65) Ji (607)

The Soviet Revisionists’ Handling of and Response to China's Second Nuclear Explosion

To the Foreign Ministry and the International Department Central Committee of CCP:

Here is a summary of the Soviet revisionists’ handling of and the masses’ responses to our second nuclear explosion:

1. After our nuclear explosion, the Soviet revisionists did not make their position known nor publish any commentaries and only published some objective, simple reports in the press. But in the internal news distributed by the Telegraph Agency of Soviet Union, there were scores of articles on the attacks and “protests” by some countries. At the same time, they attacked us in a roundabout way by publishing the talk of others. For instance, the Izvestia published the Danish and Norwegian prime ministers’ answer to reporters’ queries in which they voiced their opposition to nuclear proliferation. When publishing the question and answer session with the Danish Prime Minister, it even published the following headline in bold: Denmark does not want nuclear weapons. In addition, the Soviet revisionists, with an ulterior motive, have recently tabled a draft resolution to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.

2. The middle and upper classes in the Soviet Union are generally more cautious in declaring their stand. Some even avoid making their position known outright. For instance, when Ambassador Pan shared this news with Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Presidium [T.] Kulatov, the latter did not say a thing. When talking about this issue, Major General Shevchenko [sic], propaganda division of the general political department deliberately avoided our people. General Bata was one of the more friendly officials, and he said that this was a very great achievement. China had again taken one huge step forward. One major general also said that this was a huge achievement that the Chinese people had made in science. There were individuals who expressed opposition to our nuclear test, and felt that the money should be used to improve the people’s lives.

3. The Soviet students mostly said they were happy about it and congratulated us warmly. They generally felt that China should possess atomic bombs and should strengthen its defense. China’s possession of the atomic bomb was a great contribution to the safeguarding of world peace. Many people praised the Chinese for their love of labour, willingness to work, and their creativity. Some people even hoped that we could soon detonate a hydrogen bomb. But there were also some people with muddled thinking and who were more influenced by pacifist ideas. They opposed all nuclear tests without distinguishing right from wrong and felt that nuclear tests were wrong no matter who conducted them, because nuclear explosions caused pollution to the atmosphere and were harmful to human health. There were also a minority who provoked us directly.

Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union

9 June 1965

Copied to: Enlai, Xiaoping, Peng Zhen, Chen Yi, Kang Sheng, Ruiqing, Confidential Affairs Bureau of the General Office of the CPC, Foreign Affairs Office, Propaganda Department of the CPC, International Department Central Committee of CPC, Investigation Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, Military Intelligence Bureau, the Third Department of the General Staff Headquarters, Lengxi, Muzhi

Liu, Zhang, Luo, Zeng, Wang, Qiao, Han, Liu, [unclear], [unclear], Huan, General Office of the CPC, Research Office of the State Council, Soviet Union and Europe Office, News Bureau, Zhang yan, Wen Jin, Ambassador, Confidential Affairs Bureau, Archives, 60 copies printed in total

Received on the 10th at 5am, Transcribed and translated by the 10th, 5pm. Received at 6.10pm, on the 10th, printed at 6.35am on the 11th.