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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 18, 1964


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 India describing mixed responses of Indian government officials and public regarding China's successful nuclear test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in India, 'India's Reactions to China's Nuclear Test'," October 18, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 113-00396-14, 187-188. Translated by Caixia Lu.
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Cable Received by the [Chinese] Foreign Ministry

Level: Extra Urgent, Advanced

Received from the India Desk

Foreign Ministry Incoming (64) You (732)

India’s Reaction to Our Nuclear Test

To the Foreign Ministry:

1. Government leaders such as [Lal Bahadur] Shastri, [Yashwantrao] Chavan, Chagla and Sen had all slandered us for conducting the nuclear test. Shastri took the lead in stirring up anti-China feelings among the various countries. The Chairman of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation's committee for India had also called on other countries to censure us. India is commemorating the second anniversary of its anti-Communist, anti-China campaign, and Shastri will once again raise a hue and cry during a nationwide broadcast tomorrow night. The All India Congress Committee of the Indian National Congress will be meeting on 7 November and they will be discussing the issue of our nuclear test. A Press Trust of India report from Tokyo, said that the radioactive dust from our successful nuclear test will spread to countries such as India, Pakistan, the Soviet Union and Mongolia.

2. The people on the streets of Delhi are all talking about it, members of the friendly diplomatic missions mostly congratulated us. The Indian translator at our embassy also took the initiative to congratulate us. The editorials of the various newspapers are as follows:

(1) One should not belittle China’s achievements. The success of China’s nuclear test demonstrates its huge progress in scientific, technological and industrial realms.

(2) The direct military implications of the nuclear test are not great, but it will have huge political and psychological impact. China’s status among Asian and African countries will be greatly elevated, and the possibility of it entering the rank of the United States will increase. India’s reputation among the Asian and African countries has taken yet another hit after the military failure in 1962. India has to think of a way to deal with it.

(3) Khrushchev’s fall from power and the success of China’s nuclear test mean that China may become more aggressive. India needs to be prepared. The West will step up military aid to India.

(4) The government should consider the issue of India conducting nuclear tests.

3. The Secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Rightist) mentioned our nuclear test in its statement yesterday, accusing us of having expansionist aims. Basu said in Calcultta that there was nothing wrong with China conducting nuclear tests and that posed no threat to India.

[Chinese] Embassy in India

18 October 1964