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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 27, 1955

CABLE FROM THE STATE COUNCIL, 'ON THE SYSTEM OF TRAVEL BETWEEN NORTHEAST CHINA AND KOREA'

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    China and North Korea agree to stricter regulations on citizens crossing the Sino-Korean border.
    "Cable from the State Council, 'On the System of Travel between Northeast China and Korea'," March 27, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dalian Municipal Archives, 2-2-794, 25-27. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/188188
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The Lüda [Lüshun-Dalian] City Chinese Communist Committee Confidential News

State Council March 30, 1955

Level: Urgent

Original number 60

Number illegible character

Request for instructions: [illegible character] [illegible character] [illegible character] City [illegible character] [illegible character] The Public Security Bureau please invite the Deputy Director, Foreign Affairs Department [illegible sentence].

Signature: Jiang[illegible character] [illegible character]

Abstract: On the System of Travel between Northeast China and Korea

To the Northeast and North China Military Regions; the Northeast, [Inner] Mongolian, and Suiyuan Public Security Commands; the Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang People's Committees; the Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Departments; the Inner Mongolian Public Security Department; the Liaoning, Harbin, Lüda, Inner Mongolia Foreign Affairs Offices; and the Chinese Embassy in [North] Korea:

With regard to the system of travel between the Northeast and [North] Korea, China and Korea have now reached the following agreement, and I hope that you will act accordingly:

(1) Since July 1, 1955, the two sides have abolished the system of travel then in effect between the peoples of China and Korea and the Northeast of China and Korea.

(2) From April 1, 1955, the Korean side may issue exit-entry permits to: 

1. The Korean People's Army and military personnel stationed in or from Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia (for transfer of soldiers, change of work location and transfer to duty station because of work [illegible character]);

2. Persons who retired from the military service after having been transferred to the Korean People's Army from the Chinese People's Liberation Army or the Chinese People's Volunteer Army and who are now returning home [i.e., to China];

3. Repatriated personnel and repatriation of the sick and wounded.

Those who use this pass will not need to apply for a Chinese visa when entering or leaving China. However, the repatriation of the sick and wounded must be approved by the Chinese side before the North Korean side can issue a pass.

(3) The locations of the above listed personnel entering and leaving China are Andong, Changdian Hekou, Ji'an, Linjiang, Tumen, Zhashanyu, Sanhe Village, and Nanping.

The areas covered by the pass in China are and provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang as well as Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia.

(5) Passes are divided into one-way, round-trip and multiple round trips, and the validity period is only three months and may not be extended.

(6) The issuance authority for the pass is the Korean State Border Exit-Entry Bureau and the Fourth Office of the North Korean Office in Shenyang.

(7) From July 1, 1955, Chinese and Korean personnel, except for border residents and military personnel who can waive the visa of the other party according to the existing regulations, must hold the a passport issued by the diplomatic department of their country and a visa issued by the other party if they wish to enter the other country’s borders.

Concerning the current system of travel between China and Korea, since it has already used for some years, people became accustomed to applying for entry-exit permits from the public security offices of the various provinces and cities. In order to avoid the misunderstanding and the dissatisfaction that might arise from the abolition of the entry-exit permit system, and since bad people might take advantage of the change to spread false rumors, the State Council hopes that the provincial committees and the public security departments and offices will also inform the relevant authorities about the change [illegible character] and to explain and educate the masses ahead of the change and tell them about the new system of travel between China and Korea.

People should get an explanation that the current entry-exit system was only temporary and is now being replaced by a normal system for travel between the two countries. An example should be given to illustrate the disadvantages of [illegible] the current system and that because of its major drawbacks it should not continue. In the future, if someone wants to go to Korea, they should apply for a passport from the issuing authority of China. After receiving the passport, they should go to the Korean Consulate General in Shenyang to get a Korean visa. Otherwise, the will not be able to cross the Korean border.

In addition to the existing three offices in Liaoning, Harbin and Lüda, the passport issuing departments of the three northeastern provinces will increase the size of their Foreign Affairs Section of the Jilin Provincial People's Government. Regarding the specific issues about the issuance of passports by the Foreign Affairs Sections, (such as the approval authority and mastering passport issuing work), ask the Jilin Province and the Liaoning Province Foreign Affairs Offices to study the issue and submit an opinion to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before May 1st.

Passport issuing agencies should obtain the number of passports they will need this year from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the future, the border inspection agency will carefully check the documents for those who use the Korean Entry-Exit Permit to prevent counterfeiting or forgery. A sample of the Korean Entry-Exit Permit is sent by the Public Security Command.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already verbally informed Korea that we will proceed according to the current method with a one-way temporary exit permit for the convenience of Korean nationality people and for Korean resident in China who wish to participate in building Korea who want to go to Korea to participate in national construction there.

State Council

March 27, 1955