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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 20, 1964


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 Pakistan summarizes local media responses to China's successful nuclear test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'Pakistan's Reaction to China's Nuclear Explosion'," October 20, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 113-00396-07, 48-52. Translated by Caixia Lu.
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Received by the Foreign Ministry

Level: Extra Urgent, Advanced, Received from the Pakistan Station

Foreign Ministry Incoming (64) You (979)

Pakistan's Reaction to China's Nuclear Explosion

To the Foreign Ministry, Investigation Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Central Military Commission Intelligence Department and Xinhua News Agency:

News of our first atomic bomb explosion spurred widespread reactions in Pakistan. Almost all the newspapers published editorials praising our great achievement, as well as supported and welcomed our government’s declaration. Pakistanis from all walks of life who have been in contact with me all expressed their congratulations. There were even people who paid me a visit or called me just to convey their congratulations. Some organized tea parties to celebrate. [Miraj] Khalid, the Secretary General of the Pakistan National Organization for Afro-Asian People's Solidarity said that 16 October was a great day. He felt that current developments in the international situation had made it more favorable to the Asian and African peoples, and work should be stepped up to strengthen Asian and African solidarity. The reactions of Pakistanis on the whole were quite good, and they were mainly focused on the following points:

1. Praised our great achievement, felt that our nuclear explosion boosted the spirits of the Asian people and was Asia’s pride. The Associated Press of Pakistan quoted political observers in Rawalpindi on the 18th as saying: “China’s nuclear explosion enhanced the prestige of the Asian countries, because as an Asian country, China possessed nuclear weapons.” Ka-De-Ji [sic], the editor of the Associated Press of Pakistan felt that “China’s nuclear explosion was also Asia’s nuclear explosion and a demonstration to the nuclear powers.” “We are as happy as you are.” The Anjam pointed out in its editorial on the 18th that this “was an outstanding achievement”. “We congratulate our great neighbouring country on this glorious achievement. In fact, this is an act that has made the whole of Asia proud.”

2. Felt that China’s possession of the atomic bomb was of great significance and had deep impact, and ended for good the nuclear monopoly of the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union. The Azad published its editorial on the 18th saying: “The political significance of China’s explosion of the atomic bomb is greater than its scientific significance. On this point, the Asian countries have already told the Western scientists that they don’t need their leadership.” “First, it was the United States who scared the whole world with its atomic bombs, then the Soviet Union, Britain and France also used their atomic bombs to threaten the people of Asia”, “But now China has broken their nuclear monopoly.” The Awaz pointed out that “China has declared her desire for peace at the same time that she detonated the nuclear bomb, thus China’s international reputation will be further enhanced. The impact of China’s nuclear explosion is significant and deep.” The Mountain Post opined that this was an effective blow against the nuclear blackmail of nuclear powers. It pointed out that: “After the success of China’s nuclear test, it’s the end of the nuclear monopoly of the Soviet Union, the Unites States, Britain and France. The Morning News reaffirmed in its editorial on the 18th that China’s possession of an atomic bomb would alter the current international situation and change the balance of world power.


3. Welcomed and supported our government’s declaration and felt that China truly embraced peace. The Mountain Post mentioned our government’s declaration in its editorial as saying: “China declared after explosion of its first atomic bomb that it would use this to safeguard world peace which is a step truly deserving of praise.” “China’s suggestion indicates that it really hopes to have world peace.” The Associated Press of Pakistan pointed out in its report on the 18th that China’s declaration showed its sincere hopes for world peace and that it was time for countries around the world to reach an understanding to completely ban nuclear weapons. The Dawn felt that China’s suggestion reflected the hopes and demands of people around the world who were peace loving. The Daily Jang’s news editor Inam Aziz said: “China’s suggestion is fair and reasonable. China possesses nuclear weapons and yet advocates the complete eradication of nuclear weapons. This not only shows that China is truly peace-loving but also shows that China is principled in whatever it does, unlike Khrushchev, who says one thing yesterday and does another today.”


4. Felt that China had insisted on relying on itself without any external help and it had raised its technological standards and showed startling achievements in its theories of industry, science and self-sufficiency. Ahmad Khan, the secretary of Pakistan-China Friendship Association Lahore said, it was clear that China successfully exploded its first atomic bomb without the assistance of other countries, and that makes it even more remarkable. The head of the western branch of the Pakistan Institute of Industrial Science Research Ka-Li-Mu-La [sic] felt that the Soviet Union and the United States had all made erroneous judgments about China’s level of scientific development. He said the Soviet Union had predicted that China would not be able to manufacture atomic bombs before 1970, but China had done so six years earlier. The Today paper pointed out that “China’s nuclear explosion is important because this explosion achieved success without help from any other country.”

5. Pointed out that China’s international reputation would be greatly enhanced, and it would soon gain a legitimate place in the United Nations. The Associated Press of Pakistan stated in its report that: “China will become the first Asian nuclear power and will definitely gain a place in the United Nations”, “Without China’s participation, the UN’s efforts to ban nuclear weapons will have no effect.” Almost all Pakistani newspapers had reckoned that we would soon regain our place in the United Nations. Some revealed their thinking that by giving us our legitimate place, there would be controls on our nuclear development.

In addition, some papers hoped that we would not be like the Western countries in keeping the secret about atomic bombs and that we would reveal it especially to friends like Pakistan [The Anjam]. Some expressed dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in Pakistan with regards to our successful nuclear explosion. The Leader, after doing a comparison in an article, pointed out that China had worse conditions than Pakistan before its liberation, and asked why China had advanced while Pakistan had no achievements. It asked that Pakistan learn from China, and that its scientists should work hard at doing research in the laboratories instead of engaging in exaggerated talk all day long. The Azad said: “Those who see Coca Cola and Nylon as signs of progress must understand, their power and freedom depend on the atomic bomb. They have to do such an experiment.” Some were worried that India would use China’s possession of nuclear weapons as an excuse to demand the same from the United States. The Azad said: “China’s nuclear explosion will cause India to seek such help from the United States.” The Today paper said in an editorial full of pacifist ideas that “No matter which country owns nuclear weapons, they are a disreputable means of destruction. They can destroy everything.” “People have no need to be happy about China’s nuclear explosion, but from legitimate considerations of the current situation of world politics, it is difficult to criticize China.” “If China conducts underground nuclear tests, it would not attract opposition. According to the Test Ban Treaty of 1963, underground explosions are allowed.” “Although we can use the way we choose to criticize the atomic bomb, we cannot reject China’s point of view. China’s leaders may say so and have already made it clear several times that it was forced by current major powers to possess nuclear weapons.”

The above is reported for reference.

Chinese Embassy in Pakistan

20 October 1964