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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 22, 1952

REPORT, ZHOU ENLAI TO CHAIRMAN MAO [ZEDONG] AND THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

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

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    Zhou reports on his meetings with Soviet counterparts. The discussions concerned the Lüshun Port, a possible Sino-Soviet-Mongolian railway, and rubber.
    "Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee," August 22, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 7 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2018), 86-87. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208201
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To Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee:[1]

The two delegations met for the first time last night. The Soviet side was led by Ambassador Alexander Panyushkin. We discussed three issues during our hour-and-a-half meeting.

On the exchange of letters on Lüshun Port, the Soviet side agreed in principle to the draft prepared by the Chinese side. They will give us a formal reply after examining the issue.

They agree to the construction of a Sino-Mongolian railway but, in principle, it would be better to sign an agreement among China, Mongolia, and the Soviet Union. The construction work is entrusted to the Ministry of Railways and the Ulan Bator Railway Co., Ltd., for work to be done in China and Mongolia. We raised the issue of changing the different rail gauges, the Soviet side didn’t like that idea. If Chinese freight trains were to go directly to Ulan-Ude in Siberia, the Soviet side would also have difficulties.

The question of whether China will in the future changes all its rail gauges involves too many other issues that are difficult to settle now so the delegations both view that it is best to be cautious about this issue. The Soviet delegation asked that we put our proposal in writing. We will makes changes to the original draft to reflect our opinion and put the suggestion that the gauge of the Chinese portion of the route be changed into an annex that will explain the difficulties that it would involve.

As for rubber technology cooperation, we decided that documents on this should not be published now. After we explained the issues, they asked us to put it in writing for them so that they could study the issue. During the discussions, they asked about our rubber planting plan, what equipment would be needed, how long rubber could be tapped, and the quantity that could be obtained. They noted that the international market price of rubber is very volatile. Now the United States is forcing down the price but still it is higher than in normal years.

With regard to issues such as construction during the Five-Year Plan, national defense construction, and loans, we proposed to report to Comrade Stalin about China’s domestic situation and overall national construction policy and then have a discussion. They agreed.

This afternoon I saw Chairman [of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union] Nikolay Shvernik. This afternoon the entire delegation will make a pilgrimage to Lenin’s tomb.

Zhou Enlai

August 22

[1] The editors of Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC) included several footnotes in this document that provided biographical information on the individuals mentioned. These footnotes have not been translated into English. – Charles Kraus.

CHINESE (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

毛主席并中央:

昨晚双方代表团第一次会晤,苏方有潘友新[1]大使列席。会商一小时半,谈了三个问题。关于旅顺口的换文,苏方原则同意我方所准备的草案,俊研究后再给我们正式答复。关于中蒙间铁路的修筑,原则上认为由中、蒙、苏三国出面签订协定较好,修筑工作则委托中国铁道部及乌兰巴托尔铁路股份有限公司(苏蒙合办的)分别在中蒙国境内进行。宽窄轨问题,经我提出后,苏方并无此设想,如中国货车直开至西伯利亚乌兰乌达,看苏方亦有困难,至将来中国是否全改宽轨,关系太大,现在很难确定,故代表团均主张慎重。苏方要我方将意见写给他们,我们仍根据原定草稿改写成意见,并将中国一段修宽轨事,只作附注写上,并说明困难所在。关于橡胶技术合作,商定此项文件毋须发表,内容经我们说明后,他们要我们将草案给他们研究。在商谈中,他们问及橡胶种植计划,需要的器材及将来割胶年限和数量,并提到国际市场价格亦常有起落,现在价格虽被美国压低,但仍较常年价格为高。

关于五年建设、国防建设和贷款等问题,拟候向斯大林同志报告国内情况及建设方针后再行会商,他们同意。

今日下午见斯维尔尼克[2]主席,二十四日午间代表团全部人员渴列宁墓。

周恩来

八月二十二日

根据手稿刊印。

[1] 潘友新,当时任苏联驻中国大使。

[2] 斯维尔尼克,又译什维尔尼克,当时任苏联最高苏维埃主席团主席。