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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 06, 1979

CONVERSATION BETWEEN JAMBYN BATMUNKH AND KAYSONE PHOMVIHANE

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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 Laos and had held talks with the leaders of these countries on issues pertinent to the Sino-Vietnamese war of 1979, Chinese aggressive foreign policy in Asia.
    "Conversation between Jambyn Batmunkh and Kaysone Phomvihane," December 06, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mongol Ulsyn Zasgiin Gazryn Arkhiv: fond 1, tov’yog 28, kh/n 20 (1980 on), khuu 16-22. Obtained and translated by Sergey Radchenko with the assistance of Onon Perenlei. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208462
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RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE MPR PARTY AND GOVERNMENT DELEGATION AND THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE LPRP, PRIME MINISTER OF THE LDPR COMRADE KAYSONE PHOMVIHANE ON THE

OCCASION OF A FRIENDLY MEAL

6 December 1979 Vientiane

Points talked about before the meal:

K. Phomvihane: Our defense minister comrade [Khamtay] Siphandon is very busy. He is working on defending the northern part of the country. When we meet in the Politburo and ask comrade Siphandon: is the northern part ready for defense, he always replies “ready”. Now all military comrades who defend the country are saying that a great military force – like an ocean – could come from the north. However, our soldiers and officers are not afraid of the great number of people and arrange measures for the destruction of the enemy by a lesser force. Now every village and rural community in the northern part of our country has a military organization. Military colleges are intensively working for almost a year. The local population is prepared to defend their localities independently. The people are carrying out the great task of identifying the Chinese spies and every [China-]organized group. The Chinese side carries our various activities in the local population, does various things to mislead the population, carries out espionage. There are many people in the northern part of Laos with relatives living in China. We think it is correct to use these links for our own needs. It is important to use them to collect military information. The population on the Chinese side lives in poverty. The reason for that is that 50 percent of their earnings are taken as tax. We in that region united people into co-operatives on voluntary basis to stimulate the cooperatives movement.

But the Chinese force the people into communes, if one does not join, he goes to jail, therefore some relatives [of our people] who live in China congratulated [our people] on our co-operatives movement. People understand that the Chinese policy gives no good. All of the administrative power in the region was taken by the Chinese in their own hands. One of the things the minorities hate and resist the most is the forced decrease in the population growth rate.

J. Batmunkh: This Chinese policy is a long-time, traditional policy.

K. Phomvihane: In general the small nationalities have uprisings and movements against the Chinese government policy.

J. Batmunkh: As for Inner Mongolia, we know well what kind of policy is pursued. Firstly, several parts were cut off from Inner Mongolia and given to other provinces. Secondly, a part of the population was relocated in the country’s proper. Thirdly, during the “Cultural Revolution” Chinese (of Han nationality) were sent to every Inner Mongolia family.

After the Chinese attacked Vietnam, our border guards observed that the Mongolian families which lived on the Mongolian-Chinese border were relocated into the country’s proper.

As for Xinjiang, they are pursuing the same policy. The things that you talked about happen on every Chinese border.

K. Phomvihane: In the beginning of this year the Chinese carried out much ideological work to lower the morale of our army and the people. They threatened that they would clear Laos, including Vientiane, in 24 hours.

I apologize. I am talking about one awkward issue. This is what the Chinese talked about. It is enough for all the Chinese to piss into the Mekong River for Laos to be flooded. The Chinese arrogantly say that for Laos with its three million people to be defeated it is enough for all Chinese to throw their shoes [at us].

J. Batmunkh: They say the same thing about us.

K. Phomvihane: In some parts of China, military readiness is not as good. When the planes come flying [attacking China], they will quickly pull out Mao Zedong’s book to read.

We are not afraid of the Chinese number. Our minorities are also not afraid.

ACQUAINTED /J. BATMUNKH/

CHECKED /M. DUGERSUREN/

RECORDED BY /N. CHANTSAL/