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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 22, 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 Indians on Khrushchev's removal and China's nuclear test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in India, 'India's Reactions to Khrushchev's Removal and China's Nuclear Test'," October 22, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 113-00396-14, 189-191. Translated by Caixia Lu.
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Cable Received by the [Chinese] Foreign Ministry

Level: Urgent

Received from the India Desk

Foreign Ministry Incoming (64) You (1155)

India's Reactions to Khrushchev's Removal and China's Nuclear Test

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

Prasad, the Indian interpreter in our embassy and former faculty of Peking University, said: Most people that he met had good things to say about Khrushchev’s fall from power and our successful nuclear test. The impact of Khrushchev’s removal was even greater among the intellectual members of the Communist Party of India [Rightist]. Those who had been actively anti-China in the past have now seem to lose their support and even their roots have been dug up by others. They seem a little ashamed when I met them and were no longer indulging in saber-rattling. Those who had doubts or who wavered in the past are now feeling encouraged and making clear their admiration of China. They think that what the Chinese party had said are correct and are requesting to see our documents. Some are even accusing Khrushchev of being like Hitler, and a liberal. Some were influenced by reactionary propaganda with regards to our nuclear explosion and expressed worry about our intentions. But after explaining to them, they felt that China had a point. Prasad talked about the following examples:

1. He had gone to visit [Pandit] Sunderlal, former Chairman of the India-China Friendship Association and had thought that the latter would not have good things to say about the two events as he had a rather good opinion of Khrushchev all along and was a Gandhian who preached non-violence. But unexpectedly, Sunderlal said “it was beneficial” that Khrushchev was removed and that Khrushchev’s attitude toward Stalin was “deplorable”. He also felt that China’s nuclear explosion was favorable to peace and was full of praise for our declaration on the 16th.

2. Pan-de [sic], a secretary at the headquarters of the Communist Party of India [Rightist] spoke to him after Khrushchev’s fall [They are neighbours], and accused Khrushchev of attempting to divide the people, and that he had felt all along that it was wrong for Khrushchev to prepare to convene a meeting on 15 December. But this person had never said such things in the past. Prasad jokingly asked him: “Why did you not bring this up in the past?”

3. Xi-Pu-La-De [sic], a staff member at the Communist Party of India [Rightist] union had originally harboured ill-feelings toward [Shripad Amrit] Dange, now he is even more agitated. To him, it was completely wrong of the Communist Party of India’s central committee to openly instruct them to uphold peaceful co-existence from the factory floor to international relations. He also said that the Soviet Union aided India in setting up steel plants and that workers were similarly exploited by capitalists. The benefits had all gone into the pockets of the big capitalists. What class viewpoint was this exactly?

4. Srivastava, the Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Rightist) recently approached me for “The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement” saying that he wanted to study the Chinese party’s "Theory of Intermediate Zones". This person is the Dange’s righthand man but is unhappy with him.

5. Fan-Er-Ma, a former Hindi-language teacher of Peking University had been prejudiced against me ever since the [Sino-Indian conflict?], and often criticised the way I did things to Prasad. Recently he was at Sunderlal’s place when he said that Chairman Mao was the undisputable leader of the world’s communist parties, but was fearful of China’s nuclear explosion, and expressed surprised at Sunderlal’s support of China. As this person had worked in China before, to this day he has yet to find a job and is in pretty bad shape. Someone wanted him to write an anti-China article, but his wife [who had also worked in China] staunchly refused to let him do so. But she had won a Ford Foundation fellowship not too long ago and had gone to the United States to study.

6. Prasad’s landlord is a merchant, and he told Prasad after China’s nuclear explosion that: “China has finally ignored international public opinion and gone ahead with the explosion.” Prasad explained our position on the nuclear tests to him according to what we said in our declaration. He said that although he remained unconvinced after listening to it, he could not find any reason to oppose it.

7. There were journalists who sought the views of Vinoba Bhave, the Gandhian who launched the Land Donation Movement, regarding China’s nuclear test, with the aim of using him to oppose China, but Vinoba Bhave said he did not wish to comment at present.

8. Du-de [sic], a researcher at the Indian Council of Research on International Issues, had recently discussed the Sino-Indian border issue with Prasad, and he felt that some circumstances that Prasad was describing were completely new. Prasad said: how would you arrive at the correct judgement if you do not consult Chinese documents? Du-de [sic] said he wished to do so and Prasad recommended that he look at Nehru's Philosophy Revisited.

Prasad said that most ordinary folks were concerned about livelihood issues and did not trust what the government said. After Khrushchev lost power, there were people who joked that the government could invite Khrushchev to India and that India’s problems would be resolved once he was here. Bhave recently published an article rebuking those who upheld the status quo and he said that Communism was better than maintaining the status quo as it could unite the poor. This also reflected the people’s dissatisfaction.

[Chinese] Embassy in India

22 October 1964