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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 19, 1958

NOTE OF CDE. N.S. KHRUSHCHEV TO THE CC PRESIDIUM ABOUT THE PREPARATION OF DOCUMENTS WITH A PROPOSAL TO CONVENE A CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENTS ON THE QUESTION OF THE SITUATION IN THE AREA OF TAIWAN

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY), Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Outlines of two proposed documents for the Soviet Union to deliver, one to President Eisenhower and one to the 13th UN General Assembly. The proposed texts discuss the conflict between China and Taiwan and a potential meeting between the heads of state of the US, USSR, PRC, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand to review the situation.
    "Note of Cde. N.S. Khrushchev to the CC Presidium about the Preparation of Documents with a Proposal to Convene a Conference of Heads of Governments on the Question of the Situation in the Area of Taiwan," September 19, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 52, op. 1, d. 351, ll. 141-153. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/209712
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NOTE of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev

to the CC Presidium about the preparation of documents with a proposal to convene a conference of Heads of governments on the question of the situation in the area of Taiwan

(dictated by Cde. Khrushchev)

19 September 1958

TO THE CC PRESIDIUM

I think that we ought to prepare two documents.

The first document is a message to US President Eisenhower and other governments about a summit conference on the question of the elimination of tension in the Far East.

As Cde. Kuznetsov told me, the US has turned to the Czechoslovak government about a resumption of an exchange of opinions on the preparation of summit meetings. It is not excluded that they will raise this question with us. It seems to me that they are raising this question intentionally. In principle the US does not want to force a meeting of Heads of governments but raises this question to distract the public’s attention from the tense situation in the Far East and to switch the public’s attention in another direction, to discussions about the preparation of a meeting of Heads of governments to recognize the importance of the conflict in the Far East. The US government thus wants to create the opinion that nothing special is occurring in the Far East and that this conflict will not grow into a military conflict and serve as the beginning of a world war.

All this is being done intentionally. It seems to me that at the present time we ought not conduct a correspondence about a summit meeting at all. Accordingly, [we] can wait with a reply. We have not given a reply to the 1 July US letter on this question. And, I think [we] ought not hurry with a reply. I think that right now it is [to our] advantage to prepare and send documents to the President of the United States of America and other governments which give an analysis of the situation which has developed in the Far East, and to point out who is at fault in the aggravation of the situation, which threatens peace, and to propose a meeting of Heads of governments to consider the question of eliminating the tension created in the Far East. This document ought to point out that a danger of war has arisen in the Far East, and the hotbed of war is to some degree being transferred from the Middle East to the Far East, that the US and Britain have undertaken aggressive actions in the Near East and they were and remain guilty for the tense situation in this region. The flashpoint of war has still not been eliminated, since the troops have not been withdrawn from Lebanon and Jordan, and accordingly the threat to peace in this region has not been eliminated. A dangerous situation has also been created in the Far East at the same time. Here the first thing is that this question needs to be solved in a meeting of Heads of governments.

I think it would be possible to name the following countries which should be involved in taking part in this conference: the Soviet Union, the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

It is understood that appropriate messages need to be prepared to the governments of all these countries. As concerns the place of the meeting, then Delhi might be named with the stipulation that the government of India agrees to this.

The documents which are prepared for delivery to these governments ought to say that the position of Japan in questions of securing of peace in the Far East has great importance. But we mean that troops of the United States of America are based in Japan, the US maneuvers with these forces, creating a threat in the Far East. Thus, a situation is created that Japan is being drawn into a war if it comes out on the side of the US. If the US unleashes a war in the Far East then, naturally, Japan cannot remain aside; it is a rear base for the supply of American troops with weapons and materials. Consequently Japan will obviously not be excluded from the conflict if it turns into a war.

The second document is a letter to the chairman of the 13th UN General Assembly session (not naming the chairman) and the delegations of the countries taking part in the work of the 13th UN session.

In this document it is necessary to give at least a brief explanation of the situation and make a corresponding appeal. Attached a copy of the message to Eisenhower to this document. Turn to the UN General Assembly session with an appeal so it takes the situation which has been created in the Far East closer to the heart and supports the efforts of peace-loving countries which are interested in securing peace in the entire world (it is necessary to give the necessary reasoning here).

I think this would be a strong move by which we would strengthen the advantageous positions of the Soviet Union even more and put the US and the other imperialist countries in a disadvantageous position.

If the members of the CPSU CC Presidium agree with these proposals then the MFA ought to be charged with preparing these documents.

I attach my additional views in outline form.

N. KHRUSHCHEV

19 September 1958

The following points ought to be reflected in the first appeal (or message) (I offer an outline of the plan).

Mr. President of the United States of America!

The government of the Soviet Union has received your document (make clear what this document is called) delivered to so-and-so concerning the question of preparing a summit meeting of Heads of governments. This question is very important and we will reply to it in detail, although we have expressed ourselves quite exhaustively, and you already know our point of view, which remains unchanged. We hold the same positions as before, which are presented in the documents which you know.

Mr. President! We think right now the main question which bothers all countries and the public of all countries most of all, regardless of religion, party affiliation, or the social structure of the country is the question of whether there will be a chance to eliminate the tension which has been created in the Far East, or will it develop, as it is developing today, and spill over into a military conflict which might result in a chain reaction and cause a worldwide fire of war. Therefore, in order to be specific in questions of fighting for the elimination of tension and the relaxation of relations between countries and the securing of peace in the entire world, we think that it is necessary to take on the main thing. The main thing today is the elimination in the nucleus of the hotbed of war which has generated earlier and is in such a state when at any minute war might break out in the Far East. Therefore we think that it is necessary to have a meeting of the corresponding Heads of governments, on which first of all depends the elimination of the hotbed of war in the Far East and the securing of normal relations and peace in this sector of the world.

We consider a meeting of the Heads of government necessary to hold an exchange of opinions on all question which the participants of this conference might raise. It seems to us that the following composition would be desirable: the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, the President of the United States of America, the head of the government of the People’s Republic of China, Cde. Mao Zedong, the Prime Minister of India Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister of Pakistan…, the President of Indonesia Mr. Sukarno, the Prime Minister of Burma U Nu, the Prime Minister of Cambodia…, and the Prime Minister of Thailand…(name the heads of the governments).

These countries are directly interested in securing peace in the entire world and first of all in securing peace in this sector of the world. If a war begins here it might first directly or indirectly affect these countries. Therefore it is desirable for these countries, if of course they agree, to take part in this conference. We are turning to them with a suggestion about this question and think that such a conference will be useful; it would be welcomed by the peace-loving peoples of all countries.

I am not naming Japan here. Japan is [one] of the countries located in this part of the world, and is the largest country after China and the Soviet Union. I want to express my ideas why I am not naming this country. It seems to me until Japan was liberated from occupation by the United States of America it didn’t take an independent position. On the contrary, the United States uses the Japanese islands as a base to concentrate their forces and, accordingly, to prepare for war in this region; American troops are being moved from Japan to take part in military operations, as occurred during the conflict which took place in Korea, but also right now, when a tense situation has developed in the region of Taiwan. Therefore, we think that it is impossible to count on a free and objective statement and adoption of a position by the Japanese government when considering such an important question as the question right now of eliminating tension in the Far East.

I understand that you can might that one of the motives which gives rise to the difficulties of meeting in such a group is that the US does not recognize the People’s Republic of China, that the US has no diplomatic relations with it.

Mr. President, if one is guided by higher ideals, the ideals of securing peace in the entire world then this phenomenon cannot serve as an obstacle to meeting and exchanging opinions. The question of recognition or non-recognition concerns two countries, but the question of whether there is to be peace or war concerns all countries because in present conditions and with modern means of destruction any little spark at any one point is dangerous, especially as when such great powers as the US, the People’s Republic of China, and the Soviet Union are drawn into this military conflict. You can easily imagine that this might be the beginning of a world war.

The considerations connected with the question of recognition or non-recognition cannot serve as an obstacle to a meeting. Here it is necessary to be guided by higher ideals, the ideals of securing peace in the entire world. Of course, it would be better if there were no abnormal situation which is occurring right now and which creates unnecessary difficulties in securing peace. I mean the non-recognition of the People’s Republic of China by the United States of America and the absence of diplomatic representatives through whom a normal situation could be created between such great countries as the PRC and the US. But if this is absent then the fault in it is not in the People’s Republic of China, but in the United States of America.

The heads of governments should firstly discuss the question of the elimination of the conflict in the Far East. The elimination of this conflict should begin with the People’s Republic of China taking its place in the UN. Then the US should withdraw its troops from the coastal islands in order not to create a threat of a conflict with the Chinese people expelled from continental China [by] Chiang Kai-shek and in order to liberate these islands, and also the island of Taiwan. As long as Chiang Kai-Shek is on these islands, and the main thing is that as long as US troops are there and the US 7th Fleet cruises in the strait between China and Taiwan there cannot be a normal situation and one cannot be confident that a military conflict will not arise in this part of the world which might explode into a big world war.

Mr. President, it is necessary to clearly picture the situation which has been created. You speak of prestige. Prestige has great importance, but it is necessary to reckon with facts, with history, with the evolution which is being made, and with the phenomena which have changed the situation in China. A revolutionary struggle has been waged in China for ….years. The entire Chinese people were active participants in the resolution of the question of the direction in which China should further develop.. China lost millions of people in this struggle. The Chinese people voted for the People’s Republic of China with armed combat. They expelled Chiang Kai-Shek, whom the US helped and who has cost America (so many) billions of dollars. And in spite of the first-class American weapons with which the army of Chiang Kai-Shek was supplied, the People’s Revolutionary Army of China under the leadership of Mao Zedong (find strong expressions) defeated and expelled Chiang Kai-Shek. The People’s Republic of China was created as a result of this struggle, and all the Chinese people have united around the government of this republic.

After the expulsion of Chiang Kai-Shek from the continent the Chinese people under the leadership of their government are successfully building socialism and have great successes both in the area of the development of industry, agriculture, culture, and an increase of the standard of living. The Chinese people have also shown their love of peace, showing that they favor the establishment of normal relations between countries.

Right now the US keeps Chiang Kai-Shek on Taiwan. It is clear that this is done with one goal, to begin a war against the People’s Republic of China in order to then extend Chiang Kai-Shek’s rule to China. We have already declared and repeat that people can pursue such a policy who have lost the sense of understanding the real situation. If crazy people are found which attack China then the Soviet Union will not be a witness, it will immediately help People’s China [SIC], and the aggressors who are trying to attack China will be defeated. (Give appropriate reasoning)

It is necessary to repeat here what meaning and what interest the US has in these islands.  They are 10,000 kilometers from the US and it would be a crime before the whole world, before the American people, before mothers and fathers, wives and children, and brides of those who would be sent to fight for these islands to be taken away from China, to fight for the interests of the imperialists. The young people of America and other countries will give their lives for the interests of monopolists.

No, Mr. President, it is necessary to weigh all this and find the correct conclusion. The correction conclusion is a meeting of the Heads of governments to eliminate the danger of war in the Far East. If you do not understand the progressive importance of recognition of China by the United States of America at this time then you can’t admit [it]. You will not be President forever, there will be other presidents, who will be able to better assess the situation and who will have a great commitment to securing peace in the entire world, and they will do this. But that it will be done, of this there can be no doubt. I do not doubt this, as no sober-minded person in the world has a doubt. (Give reasoning)

It is not necessary to make the document long.

Dictated by N. S. Khrushchev

19 November 1958

recorded by Zakharova

Suggestions for the plan of the second document

to the Chairman of the 13th UN General Assembly session (do not name the name)

to all the heads of the delegations represented at the United Nations General Assembly session

Mr. Chairman! Gentlemen representatives of the countries comprising the United Nations! Allow me to address you on a question which troubles all humanity right now.

(Present the same arguments here, only briefly, because the message to Eisenhower will be attached. It is necessary to find easily-understood phrases for each country, pointing out that the US is misusing its wealth and its position. In giving financial credits, and with other means, the US is making other countries dependent, not only economically, but also morally, to the detriment of securing peace in the whole word, and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries).

Some countries economically dependent on the United States of America, under direct threat, like Guatemala and Cuba, for example, do not dare vote against US proposals or to support reasonable proposals which are submitted for the purposes of ensuring peace. This happens as a result of the abnormal conditions which have developed.

It is not a matter right now of some secondary question, but about peace in the entire world; the question is if a war breaks out will the most modern means of destruction be employed, will cities be ruined, treasures destroyed, hundreds of millions of people killed, and will those who remained alive be condemned to death as a result of contamination by atomic radioactive substances [?] Therefore it is necessary to imagine the terrible threat which hangs over humanity right now.

in order not to allow a war it is necessary to discard all conventions and approach the solution of this question soberly, with consideration for the interests of all countries and respect for the sovereignty of other peoples. The question here is not of rewarding an aggressor, but about support for some gains, as Mr. Dulles said about this in his statement. It is difficult to even choose an expression to characterize the explanation which Dulles gives in declaring that the Chinese people, claiming Taiwan and other islands, are displaying their “aggressiveness” and want to acquire he coastal islands. For China does not demand that the US cede it San Francisco or any other territory belonging to the United States of America.

China does not demand that any islands be incorporated in it like, for example, the Japanese island of Okinawa, which the US has seized. China does not demand that its troops be quartered on the islands of Japan, as the US does. China wants only one thing – independence, non-interference in its affairs, and the preservation of the integrity of territory belonging to China since time immemorial.

Substantiate these positions. The whole world knows that at one time Taiwan was seized by Japan After the defeat of the Japanese imperialists according to such-and-such treaty signed by the US, Taiwan belongs to China. Therefore it should in fact belong to China. But which China? There is only one China, it is the People’s Republic of China, headed by the government of this republic. The head of this country is Mao Zedong and the Prime Minister is Zhou Enlai. There are the leaders who represent the Chinese Republic and the Chinese people.

Appropriate appeals on the substance of the question need to be drafted. Write briefly, but in easily-understood words.

Dictated by N. S. Khrushchev

19 November 1958

recorded by Zakharova

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