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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 01, 1979

CONVERSATION BETWEEN JAMBYN BATMUNKH AND LE DUAN

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    In December 1979 Mongolian party and government delegation headed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Mongolia Jambyn Batmunkh visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and had held talks with the leaders of these countries on issues pertinent to the Sino-Vietnamese war of 1979, Pol Pot’s regime, situation in Indochina and Chinese foreign policy in Asia.
    "Conversation between Jambyn Batmunkh and Le Duan," December 01, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mongol Ulsyn Zasgiin Gazryn Arkhiv: fond 1, tov’yog 28, kh/n 19 (1980 on), khuu 12-19. Obtained and translated by Sergey Radchenko with the assistance of Onon Perenlei. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208458
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RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE GENERAL

SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE

VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST PARTY COMRADE LE DUAN

AND THE MPR PARTY AND GOVERNMENT DELEGATION

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party comrade Le Duan received the MPR party and government delegation headed by the member of the MPRP Central Committee Politburo and the Chairman of the MPR Council of Ministers comrade J[ambyn]. Batmunkh on 1 December 1979 for a friendly, intimate conversation.

[…]

LE DUAN We are always happy and thankful that the Mongolian people treat the Vietnamese people with friendliness and intimacy.

We know well that your party, government and comrade Tsedenbal pay incessant attention to providing even more aid to our people.

We think that the time had come for the Vietnamese people to live in peaceful conditions after many years of war. But a new danger, an obstacle emerged on our road to development.

It is the aggressive policy of the Chinese rulers. We are not alone in the honest struggle against this new danger. The mighty Soviet Union, MPR and other socialist countries are on our side. And also all honest people support us.

J. BATMUNKH […] Using this opportunity, on behalf of our people, party, government and delegation, I would like to extend warm fraternal congratulations to the heroic Vietnamese people for dealing a powerful blow to Beijing rulers’ great power arrogant hegemonic policy, crushing the Chinese aggression and winning a new victory.

This is a victory of the heroic Vietnamese people, a victory of socialism.

At the time when the Chinese rulers colluded in all respects with the evil imperialist forces and carry out adventurist policies and aggressive activities with regard to Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos, our people stand firmly united with the fraternal peoples of Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos. We shall always support your, comrades, honest struggle to protect the freedom, independence and socialism of the motherland from foreign aggression.

LE DUAN At the time when Beijing rulers who have completely colluded with imperialism are preparing another aggression against the SRV, it is of particular importance that your party and government delegation is visiting our country. Comrade Tsedenbal understands this well. Therefore it is understandable that we wanted for comrade Tsedenbal to come in person.

The fact that you have come undoubtedly irritates the Chinese rulers. China completely abandoned socialism, and moved to the road of reaction and aggression, of direct attack against Socialist Vietnam.

You and we know better than any other country the reason for China’s aggressive policy. Chinese aggression is not only directly aimed at our state, but at your state as well.

During the Soviet-Chinese talks, the Chinese side made shameless demands that the Soviet [Union] pull out troops from the MPR and stop helping us.

Everyone knows for how many decades our struggle against the Chinese aggression continued. The Chinese aggressive policy is not a completely new thing. The Chinese rulers beginning from the old age pursued an aggressive policy of conquest against Mongolia, Vietnam and other states of Southeast Asia.

The fact that the Chinese aggressors did not invade Vietnam earlier is really the result of our efforts. Our side put in much effort and patience in order to have such relations between the two countries as before, not to complicate the situation.

After America’s shameful defeat, the nature of the Chinese aggressive policy became even clearer. Therefore we paid attention to preparing the population in the China-Vietnam border area against the possible attack of the enemy. The result of this is that we were able to beat back the attack of about 600 thousand Chinese troops who participated in the aggression with only our border and volunteer forces. We did not involve our regular army in this war. Even if China invaded with a million troops, we could win. In our northern part there are 25-30 million people, of them 10 million can take up arms against the enemy. One woman who fought this spring destroyed 20-30 soldiers. Therefore we are not afraid of a Chinese attack. Reactionary and imperialists forces are destined to defeat.

Our two states are in important positions geographically and politically.

This makes us closer.

J. BATMUNKH We are in agreement with what you have said. Our two countries are really in the same position. Our state has a 4700 km long border with China. China accumulated large military force along this long border.

This is very dangerous. This shows that the Chinese aggressive policy is not propaganda but a real danger.

This evil policy of Mao did not begin only in the 1960s, but many years ago. Mao Zedong even back in 1936, when he had talked with American journalist Edgar Snow, said that Mongolia must become a part of China after the victory of the Chinese people’s revolution. According to the white paper about the Vietnamese-Chinese relations that you had published, Mao exactly at the same time spoke to the same person about an aggressive policy with regard to Vietnam.

In 1949, after the victory of the Chinese people’s revolution, the Chinese rulers more than once put the question of annexing Mongolia to the Soviet leaders.

On 10 July 1964 Mao told a delegation of Japanese socialists: Mongolia must be a part of China, only the Soviet leaders are creating obstacles to this.

The current Chinese rulers are obviously implementing that previous evil policy.

Comrade Le Duan, you talked about the unlawful demand of the Chinese side in the Soviet-Chinese talks to pull out the Soviet forces from the MPR. Our government has published a statement on this for the entire world.

One of the indications of the great power arrogant policy of ignoring our state by Beijing rulers is that the question of pulling out the Soviet forces from the territory of the MPR was put not to the MPR government, but, bypassing us, to the Soviet government. Our people have a right to defend freedom and independence. Here, the Treaty between the MPR and the USSR plays an important role. On the basis of the treaty the Soviet troops are stationed in our country. You all know that the reasons for this are China’s aggressive hegemonic policy and adventurist actions.

We are taking economic losses from the hostile policy of the Chinese leaders. There is a necessity to take measures to strengthen our defence forces.

China sends spies and informers to our country. Diplomats work as spies. They have been caught spying on special objects with their cars’ license plates changed.

Also they widely use Chinese immigrants for this work. Besides, they constantly break our laws and regulations. We are expelling some people from our country. […]

LE DUAN […] We value friendship established with the Soviet Union and other fraternal countries. […] Maoism will perish and communism will win in China. There cannot be another way.

J. BATMUNKH You completely agree with our opinion. […]