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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 01, 1958

FROM THE JOURNAL OF K.A. KRUTIKOV, 'RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH GONG PUSHENG, CHIEF OF THE PRC MFA DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS'

This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Gong Pusheng outlines the competitions between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China for representation in different international political bodies.
    "From the Journal of K.A. Krutikov, 'Record of a Conversation with GONG PUSHENG, Chief of the PRC MFA Department of International Organizations'," March 01, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 5, op. 49, d. 131, ll. 17-21. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/280698
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from the journal of

K. A. KRUTIKOV

[handwritten: China]

SECRET Copy Nº 2

16 July 1958

288

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with GONG PUSHENG, Chief of the PRC MFA Department of International Organizations

1 July 1958

I visited Gong Pusheng today at her invitation.

Gong Pusheng mentioned that in a number of conversation I had touched on some aspects of the question of “two Chinas” and that she had promised to present us in detail with the available guidelines on the approach to different kinds of phenomena which might lead to the creation of a situation of “two Chinas”. She apologized for not being able to hold this conversation for two months (Note: from conversations with PRC MFA officials we know that these questions have been recently examined in the MFA with the involvement of a large group of PRC ambassadors who were located in the PRC).

She declared, the United States of America, has recently stepped up intrigues to create a situation of “two Chinas”. It is generally known that the PRC opposes “two Chinas. The principled provisions of the PRC position on this question are well known to the Soviet comrades and there is no need to present them again. The Americans are striving to push through the idea of “two Chinas”, so to speak, unofficially, “through the back door”. They are avoiding making an official statement on this question, but acting chiefly through various public and other unofficial international organizations.

[handwritten at the bottom of the first page: To the archives. Informative material, used in work. CPSU CC Sector chief I. Shcherbakov 29 September 1958]

First of all, continued Gong Pusheng, the Americans are trying to force the PRC out of the international organization and conferences in which the PRC is already participating.

Not long ago the Western countries undertook an attempt to create a “two Chinas” situation at a session of the International Conference on Large Electrical Systems which was held in France. The PRC was invited to take part in the work of this Conference and the PRC government decided to join this organization. At first, according to our information, there were supposedly no Nationalists in this organization. However, when the PRC representatives arrived in France it turned out that three Nationalists had also arrived to take part in the Conference. Of course, our representatives declared a protest against the participation of the Nationalists in the Conference and demanded that they be removed from the Conference. This proposal of ours did not pass. In addition, the Westerners even made a suggestion to remove the PRC representatives from the Conference session, but it also did not receive a majority. Afterwards the PRC representatives declared a protest against the presence of the Nationalists at the Conference and declared that the PRC was leaving this organization.

The International Union of Bicyclists, Gong Pusheng said further, accepted the PRC as a member and initially declared that the Nationalists could not be accepted in this Union; however, the Nationalists then found a way into this Union.

The International Olympic Committee recognizes the existence of “two Chinas”, and therefore the Nationalists were accepted by them as Committee members.

The International Volleyball Federation opposes the acceptance of the Nationalists as one of its members, and therefore, seeing no better method of counteracting the pressure of the Westerners, it is using a tactic of procrastination. A conference of this Federation is to be held in 1959. But in view of the fact that it would be very difficult to avoid discussion of the question of the membership of the Nationalists, the leadership of this Federation decided not to hold the Conference at all next year.

The International Association of Table Tennis, headed by the British Communist Montagu, also opposes the membership of the Nationalists. The Nationalists have repeatedly demanded Taiwan be accepted as a member of this Association. At the present time the leadership of the Association is studying the question of the steps which ought to be taken not to allow the Nationalists to be accepted as Association members.

The World Federation of United Nations Associations has always acted in the sense that it recognizes only the PRC and not the Nationalists. In particular, the leaders of this organization have declared that the Taiwan organization headed by Zhu Jiahua cannot represent China. We, said Gong Pusheng, have been forced to take into consideration that the World Federation of United Nations Associations is actually a propaganda organ attached to the UN. The leaders of the organization went to the PRC in the year before last, and they were given a good reception. A number of Chinese leaders (Zhou Gensheng, Wen Jiangping, and Wu Maosun) took part in the conference of his organization as observers. But all the same this organization is nevertheless not consistent on the question of “two Chinas”. It is not at all consistent in the area of recognition of the PRC and non-recognition of Taiwan. Therefore the question of “two Chinas” might arise in connection with this organization. The problem is that this organization, without recognizing the right of Taiwan to represent all China, at the same time considers the Taiwan association as such (without the right of representing anyone, with the exception of itself) nevertheless can be accepted in the organization. The Nationalists and the Americans have done a lot of work to incline the leaders of the organization to just such a “resolution” of the question and, as is evident, they have already managed this. According to a statement of the Nationalists the question of the acceptance of Taiwan as a member of the organization has already been considered twice, but as yet unsuccessfully. This question remains open and, obviously will again be discussed at the next regular conference of this organization.

In a word, Gong Pusheng summed up, during the time since the 18th International Red Cross Conference in Toronto in 1952 the Nationalists have tried to get into five international organizations in which the PRC is a member, with the support and encouragement of the Anglo-Saxons: three athletic organizations, the International Conference  for Large Electrical Systems, and the World Federation of United Nations Associations. It needs to be said that all these organizations speak in favor of “two Chinas” in one form or another. However, there are such sentiments in these organizations: if because of PRC resistance the Nationalists do not succeed in becoming members of these organizations, then they (these organizations) will seek the exclusion of the PRC from their memberships. The Americans and the Nationalists unquestionably stand behind all this. One of the arguments of the initiators of such unseemly maneuvers is the false assertion that sports and science are outside of politics.

Gong Pusheng said, members of a delegation which had taken part in the work of the conference of the International Football Federation recently returned to China. She continued, you of course know well that the PRC, in opposing attempts to create a situation of “two Chinas” at the aforementioned session, declared a protest against the participation of the Nationalists in it and left this organization. The Soviet delegation, stressed Gong Pusheng, gave great help to the PRC representatives in the fight around this question.

Then Gong Pusheng switched to a systematic presentation of the specific circumstances which might be used by hostile forces to create a situation of “two Chinas” in international organizations and to a presentation of PRC policy in the fight against attempts to create a situation of “two Chinas” in corresponding cases.

In our opinion, Gong Pusheng said further, about five of following situations might take place and often do take place which can be used to create a situation of “two Chinas”. In each specific situation we will resort to definite forms of counteracting the hostile maneuvers.

1. International organizations maintaining collective membership and recognizing both the PRC as well as Taiwan (the latter usually acting under the name “Republic of China”, “the government of Formosa”, etc.).

In all such cases the PRC has acted and will henceforth act to expel the Nationalists from them.

If they will not listen to the demands of the PRC in such bodies then we Chinese will leave the corresponding conferences, such international organizations, and international conferences. For example, we have left the International Red Cross conference; we have left the Internal Red Cross Conference and we have left a session of the International Conference on Large Electrical Systems, and right now we are still studying the question of leaving its permanent body; we have also left the International Federation of Football, etc.

At the present time there are nine international athletic organizations of which the PRC is a member, and both the Nationalists and the PRC have still not left them:

a) The International Olympic Committee (we have still not left this body, but did not taken part in the Olympic Games in Melbourne);

b) The International Swimming Federation;

c) The International Basketball Federation;

d) The International Wrestling Federation [Translator’s note: now called United World Wrestling];

e) The International Track and Field Federation;

f) The International Shooting Union;

g) The International Kettlebell Lifting and Physical Culture Federation;

h) The International Union of Bicyclists;

i) The Asian Table Tennis Federation.

According to our data, continued Gong Pusheng, at the present time it is unlikely that the Nationalists will be expelled from these nine bodies, but the situation which has existed for a long time is also very disadvantageous politically.

Therefore right now we are studying the question of taking vigorous steps. (Note: later the PRC MFA informed the Embassy that a decision had been made to leave these nine organizations and that the Chinese comrades want to convene a conference of representatives of fraternal countries in Peking on 19 July discuss this question).

Before joining any international organization or taking part in any conference we always ask if the Nationalists are there. As is well-known, we quite often make requests of Soviet comrades for assistance in collecting information about such bodies.

Then Gong Pusheng said that in response to the protests of PRC representatives to the participation of Nationalists the latter left one or another international body only once – in 1952 they left the 18th International Conference of the Red Cross in Toronto.

2. International organizations maintaining individual and collective, and individual membership.

For example, the International Law Organization and the Organization of Sinologists are such organizations. From the point of view of form, if some people from the PRC will be in such organizations then it would seem that the situation of “two Chinas” cannot arise. However, in fact, in such cases it is hard to avoid the appearance of a situation of “two Chinas”. If any Nationalist ends up in such a body then he would of course inevitably say what is being done at that moment on Taiwan in that specific field. Not long ago a conference of the Society of Specialists in Agricultural Economics was held in India. It was “awkward” for the Indians to refuse visas to the Nationalists, and they issued them visas. Taking this into account we simply decided not to send our specialists to this conference.

On the whole, stressed Gong Pusheng, we have decided right now not to take part in a majority of such bodies, but every time we study the question of this especially. Previously we participated in such conferences, but in the last two conferences we did not participate.

When representatives of Chinese emigrants living abroad take part in international organizations or conferences, each time we study the situation especially. The problem is that these people or their organizations might not be connected with the Nationalists and [be] acting at their own initiative. At the same time we are striving to exhibit great caution in such matters: we carefully study the political side [litso] of such people and their connections, for the Nationalists might all the same use Chinese emigrants to gradually create a situation of “two Chinas”.

3. Some UN organizations and other international organizations and conferences in the headquarters bodies of which there are Nationalists, but they are absent in the grass-roots organizations.

Gong Pusheng said, we prefer not to participate in such organizations (both at headquarters and in grass-roots bodies). UNESCO can serve as an example. in the headquarters bodies of this organization there are Nationalists, but they are not in its individual grass-roots bodies. But we do not take part in neither in those, nor in others.

In a word, stressed Gong Pusheng, our principle is to join international life and international organizations “through the front door, not through the back door”. First, we Chinese have maintained contacts with some organizations through several of our individuals, who acted in such cases not as PRC representatives, but as representatives of certain international organizations. For example, at one time Liu Ningyi and Liu Changsheng took part in the work of ECOSOS [the United Nations Economic and Social Council] as members of a VFP [World Federation of Trade Unions] delegation. Henceforth we will not employ such a form of participation in international life, for in the final account everyone knows in whose name a Chinese representative can act.

Not long ago the VFP leadership invited us to include our representatives in its delegation to an ECOSOS session, but we declined.

4. The furnishing of materials to international organizations by China.

A number of organizations and, in particular, UNESCO, often turn to us with requests to give them suitable materials, lists of different books and items, etc. We have not give such organizations materials and will not do so in the future. If they, these organizations, get some materials somewhere themselves then this is their business but we, stressed Gong Pusheng will not furnish materials.

As concerns propaganda in favor of the PRC through UN bodies, she continued further, then there was an exchange of opinions on the substance of this question between Cde. Zhao Yimin, deputy chief of a CPC CC department and Cde. G. A. Zhukov, Chairman of the State Committee for Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries. insofar as she, Gong Pusheng, knows Cde. Zhao Yimin spoke in the sense that it is undesirable to use these channels both for propaganda as well as for dissemination of materials about the PRC. In particular, it is undesirable to use UNESCO and the journal it publishes for these purposes where Taiwan is mentioned among other publishers. Gong Pusheng repeated several times the idea about the undesirability of “our materials or materials about us being posted in journals or other printed media where Taiwan or Taiwanese organizations are mentioned as publishers”.

Gong Pusheng noted in passing that “it would not be bad if the Soviet Union and the other friendly countries could use their influence for such publications to halt propaganda in favor of the Nationalists”.

5. Various international bodies entering into certain relations with the UN.

Several forms of such relations might occur here. We will dwell on several of them.

a) An international body adopts a resolution and we should determine our attitude toward it.

If the UN Charter is mentioned in the resolution then it is still not a basis for dissociating oneself from the resolution. If the UN is mentioned in the resolution at all then in such cases we especially prefer to study this question specifically. For example, if it points out in the resolution, let’s say, that the UN should support the anti-colonial, anti-imperialist struggle of Lebanon, then we will endorse such a resolution. If the resolution says that the countries which endorse it should take on some obligations in accordance with a decision, let’s say, of UNESCO or another international organization, then in such an event we will specify the position of the PRC especially each time in connection with the fact that it is not a UN member and can therefore not take upon itself corresponding responsibilities ensuing from the decisions of UN bodies.

For example, continued Gong Pusheng, the conference of solidarity of the countries of Asia and Africa adopted a decision about compiling an encyclopedia of the history and geography of the countries of Asia and Africa and about the formation of the corresponding reactionary group of historians.

The resolution pointed out that this book will cover the history of the struggle of the Afro-Asian peoples against colonialism and that the encyclopedia should be compiled in accordance with the requirements established by UNESCO.

Gong Pusheng stressed, we can have nothing against this publication, as such, but as concerns requirements about its compilation in accordance with principles established by UNESCO, then “we cannot accept such wording”, for the PRC is neither a UN member nor a UNESCO member. The PRC representative especially pointed at the conferences that, until the PRC is restored its legal rights, the PRC cannot agree with point 3 of the resolution which speaks of the observance of UNESCO principles when compiling the encyclopedia.

b) An international body establishing consultative ties with the UN.

We think that in each individual case it is necessary to study all the aspects of the question especially. As concerns us, we are against the establishment of such ties with the UN, and during voting we will abstain. Such a situation has arisen in the past, for example, in the International Organization of Journalists. Deng [To], who took part in a session of this Organization, abstained from voting and make a corresponding statement about the position of the PRC.

c) UN representatives take part in the work of one international body or another.

In such cases we are guided by the following considerations. If the UN representatives take part in these bodies with the rights of observers and do not play a decisive role in them, then we do not object. If the UN representatives, where China’s rights have still not been restored, play an important role in these bodies or make important reports, we do not take part in the work of such bodies. It was something like that at the conference of the women of Asia and Africa. Observers from the UN took part in it who acted like representatives of a superior [vysshaya] organization, with instructions and resolutions. The PRC delegation left the conference during their statements.

On the whole, Gong Pusheng said in conclusion, we are for international cooperation, but in the specific conditions listed we will act approximately as stated above. In addition, Gong Pusheng stressed, we will always ask the fraternal countries in a form acceptable to them to oppose the participation of the Nationalists in any international bodies under whatever label they operate (“The Republic of China”, “The Government of Formosa”, etc.).

Further clarifying their position that the PRC favors international cooperation, Gong Pusheng said that in favorable conditions the Chinese comrades favor participation even in those bodies where representatives of capitalist countries dominate, for it is nevertheless possible to derive some benefit (even if small) from participation in such bodies. One can derive something useful, for example, in the field of technology, science, etc. from participation in international technical and other conferences, but also to use such bodies for a certain expansion of our influence, etc. Gong Pusheng stressed, “But we do not have blind faith in the ability of derive any benefit for ourselves from participation in such bodies and conferences. Everyone understands that truly valuable, secretive things are not submitted in such conferences and organizations. Yes, and on the other hand, in all these fields we can rely on the aid of the USSR and the other fraternal countries. Of course, participation in international bodies always brings a certain benefit, but in these conditions our non-participation in various international events also does not bring us great harm. We are careful that “in chasing the small, you can lose the big”, that is, being careful that participation in certain international events not give a motive for malicious maneuvers to create a “two Chinas” situation. That is why we also advocate participation only in individual international events which actually promise a definite benefit and do not act to harm the prestige of the PRC. However, we don’t expect much from participation in international events.

Gong Pusheng noted, the truth is, in the PRC there are a certain number of people who blindly trust in everything foreign, do not believe in themselves or the Chinese people, and favor absolute participation in all international events. Some leaders of the democratic parties of China might be included among such people, and also a certain number of old specialists in various fields of science and technology. These are incorrect sentiments, of course.

Gong Pusheng stated further, we think that “non-participation in certain international events is even advantageous to China in some respects, for the fact of non-participation in them by the PRC will facilitate the isolation of the US in the international arena in a certain sense and intensify dissatisfaction with respect to the American government everywhere which, as is well-known, is the chief motive force of the idea of “two Chinas”.

The International Geophysical Year can be cited as an example. The non-participation in it by the People’s Republic of China had led to the enormous Chinese territory falling from the sphere of conducting suitable scientific research work, and this has already caused many complaints, in particular, against the US. Sometimes we are not in a hurry to take part in one international organization or another even when its member countries oppose the idea of “two Chinas”.

Gong Pusheng stressed that the PRC “is not afraid to not take part in various international events, and we think that the PRC’s non-participation will gradually be feared by just the capitalist countries which are right now striving to remove the PRC from taking part in international events”. “In addition, we believe that the time will come when, on the contrary, they will favor PRC participation in international life. This confidence of ours rests on a confidence in our strength, and on a confidence that China, which Is rapidly developing in all areas, will in the near future reach an advanced international level in very many respects”.

If, for our example, our soccer players, she continued, play well, then the International Football Federation (which we left) will in the end be forced to ask us to join it.

In conclusion Gong Pusheng requested assistance with the following. According to our information, she said, on 4 June 1958 Fang Zhi, the General Secretary of the Taiwanese “Committee to Give Aid to [Our] Fellow Countrymen on the Mainland” (Translator’s note: several Chinese words follow, presumably the Chinese term for the preceding organization), declared that at the present time there is an intention to increase the number of members of the “Executive Committee of the Project to Give Aid to Refugees in Hong Kong” under the UN [several Chinese words follow, presumably the Chinese term for the preceding organization] from 24 to 25. However, in his words, it is intended to include a Nationalist representative in this Committee. Referring to the fact that the Chinese comrades do not know such a committee, Gong Pusheng requested [we] inform them of the main information about this organization (its exact name, date of creation, the nature of the organization, and its officials). I promised to make inquiries about this question.

I thanked Gong Pusheng for the conversation which was useful to us, and stressed that such conversation will help us better understand the views of the Chinese comrades in this important question.

Present at the conversation were Yang Hushan, a PRC MFA official of the Department of International Organizations; Fang Zuan, a PRC MFA official; and R. Sh. Kudashev, an Embassy attaché.

COUNSELLOR OF THE SOVIET

EMBASSY IN THE PRC

[signature]

(K. KRUTIKOV)

nm.6

1 – to Cde. V. V. Kuznetsov

2 – to Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 – to Cde. M. V. Zimyanin

4 – to Cde. G. A. Zhukov

5 – UVI [Directorate of Foreign Policy Information]

6 – to file

Drafted by Kudashev

11 July 1958

Nº 569

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