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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 14, 1952

REPORT, ZHOU ENLAI TO THE CHAIRMAN [MAO ZEDONG]

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

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    Zhou and Stalin discuss the Korean War POW issue as well as the United Nations.
    "Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong]," September 14, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC),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), 130-131. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208213
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To the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee:[1]

 Received your telegram of September 13 at 2200 hours.[2] We brought up the Mexican Three Point Proposal at yesterday evening’s meal. Comrade Stalin believes that the Americans are urgently looking for a way to solve the Korean armistice problem. Comrade Stalin himself brought up that he would write a letter to the Chairman about Asian and United Nations issues for me to carry back to the Chairman. He added that the United Nations has already lost the function that it should have had and that we should prepare conditions for a new alliance [of nations].

Stalin said: “You need first of all to find a way to persuade Asian countries to form a regional alliance. If you succeed, the Soviet Union will join it.”

Then I passed on to him the point that the Chairman often makes, saying that we have for some time no longer been interested in the United Nations. Now the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting of World Peace Council is now gathering mass support for an Asian alliance.[3] That may force some Asian countries to approve the alliance. Stalin said, “There is no hurry. The participants in the regional alliance will be governments.”

Now that I have received the Chairman’s telegram, within a day or two I will see Comrade Stalin and ask him to provide clearer guidance on these two issues.

Zhou Enlai

September 14 

[1] The footnotes in this document were produced by the editors of Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC) and have been translated into English. – Charles Kraus.

[2] Telegram of September 13 at 2200 hours refers to the telegram that Mao Zedong sent to Zhou Enlai on September 13 at 2200 hours. The telegram text includes:  

“The soon to be convened meeting of the United Nations General Assembly will discuss the Korean issue and the three point suggestion to solve the prisoner issue that Mexico proposed. (The Three Mexican Proposals refers to the Mexican POW [Prisoner of War] Settlement Proposal that Mexico had prepared to offer to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The proposals have three main parts: 1. Prisoners of the two sides that have expressed themselves willing to return to their country should be returned; 2. The remaining prisoners should be given temporary refugee status by other member states of the United Nations. These prisoners should be returned according to a procedure that is to be determined later; and 3. After the Korean situation returns completely to normal, their homelands should provide to those prisoners all assurances and conveniences in order to facilitate their immediate return to their countries. If some of the prisoners want to return home before the Korean situation has returned completely to normal, the governments concerned should make arrangements as above and give them various conveniences to facilitate their return to their countries.) It seems that the discussion of the Korean issue at the United Nations was instigated by the United Kingdom. This proposal from Mexico may also be instigated by the United Kingdom. The United States has expressed its willingness to discuss the former and has not expressed its attitude towards the latter. What attitude should we take between the two, please contact the Soviet Union? Comrades agreed. ”

[3] Refers to the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting of World Peace Council meeting that would soon be convened on October 2, 1952 in Beijing.