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October 30, 1964

Cable from the International Liaison Department and Foreign Ministry, 'Transmitting the Circumstances of the Premier’s Talk with the Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires of Vietnam, Romania, Albania, Cuba, and Korea'

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Foreign Ministry Top Secret Telegram

Qiao reviewed before sending    Sent to Ji Pengfei

Sent to Vietnam, Romania, Albania, Cuba, Korea, Soviet Union    Special No. 416 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs1964

Level   Most Urgent   Notes appended                                


Transmitting the Circumstances of the Premier’s Talk with the Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires of Vietnam, Romania, Albania, Cuba, and Korea


Ambassadors Zhu Qiwen, Liu Fang, Xu Jianguo, Hao Deqing also copied

Ambassador Pan: (Top Secret)


Following is a summary of Premier Zhou Enlai’s talk with the ambassadors and charges d’affaires of five countries to China -- those of Vietnam, Romania, Albania, Cuba, and Korea -- in a meeting on 29 October.


The Premier said that we know something about the change that has taken place in the Soviet Union, but we still do not quite understand it. Generally speaking, Khrushchev’s stepping down is a good thing. The situation in the Soviet Union has changed. This change is limited not only to the Soviet Union but also affects the fraternal countries, the fraternal parties, and the international communist movement, as well as our common enemy -- imperialism and its agents. Simply put, it is a good thing and has brought about change.


Some persons ask whether or not Khrushchev’s stepping down is a sham. Now he retreats behind the curtain and later will return to power. We do not see it that way. The reason is that he has withdrawn from all posts, other than that of member of the Central Committee. Khrushchev’s documents and photographs have been withdrawn, which proves that he made a mistake, was criticized within the party, and will be publicly criticized. Some persons ask whether or not there will emerge a second Khrushchev. At present, this is not possible. Because he just came under criticism, no one will immediately repeat these mistakes. Otherwise, why criticize him? As for the future, after a few decades, that is another question.


There are also some persons who wonder whether at present these people, having worked with Khrushchev, have made a change in form but not in content. This idea is without foundation. In traditional Chinese medicine there are main medicines and prescriptions. Now even the main medicines have been taken away. The situation, of course, has changed.


There is also the saying that the change is not great, that it is not a 180-degree turn. To be sure, it is not a 180-degree turn, but the direction has changed. Those who have studied triangles understand that, if the angle has changed, then the direction has change. It is not the same as the original direction but has departed from it and is headed in another direction. In short, it has changed and moved its position.


We have these views among our people and general party members. This is how we have answered the question.


We have sent the Soviet Union’s new leaders a congratulatory telegram, expressing our congratulations and hopes. That is, we have expressed our welcome and support regarding this matter. On the other hand, there are those who are unhappy with our support. First of all, imperialism -- our common enemy – is very unhappy. This shows that they most fear the Chinese and Soviet parties, the two countries, the various countries of the socialist camp, and the various parties of the communist movement uniting again unanimously against the enemy. Imperialism sees this as a bad thing, not a good one. Contrary to us, it does not want to see change. It hopes for a reduced effect, even a retreat, in change.


We have a rule: all who are happy with imperialism are not good for us; all who are unhappy with imperialism are good for us. Since imperialism and its agents have adopted such an attitude, we have adopted the contrary attitude. We support the Soviet Union’s positive actions. This is first.


Second, we also must promote this change and develop it. The objective of this promotion is to unite together once again, naturally on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and internationalism, against the enemy. Our situation is different from the difficult one of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) at present, with difficulties both at home and abroad and change that is slow to come. Some things have to go a bit slower, possibly. It is good as long as there is gradual change. We should support the positive things that they do and push them to change in a good direction.


Third, there are some things that require us to wait and see. In some situations, there may be controversy over major issues. One cannot blur principle. However, our press since the 16th has not published articles blurring the debate. This is because we have to wait and see. As for the prospects for development, we still have to look at it.


The above is our view, given for the reference of the fraternal parties. We believe that the fraternal parties will make their own judgments. Our views are preliminary, and we are ceaselessly examining and discussing them.


The Premier said that our Party wishes to adopt an action and promote it. On the evening of the 28th, I spoke on behalf of the Party Central Committee to the Soviet ambassador. I said that we were willing, on the basis of the congratulations and hope expressed in our congratulatory telegram, to engage with the CPSU Central Committee and the Soviet government. Our proposal: First, we are ready to send a Party and government delegation to celebrate the October Revolution. If the Soviet side agrees, we will decide on a person to send. If the Soviet side has difficulties and is unwilling to engage, we will offer a second proposal. We hope to engage those in charge of the CPSU Central Committee and government to come to Beijing and engage us, either publicly or note, as the Soviet Union decides it. If the Soviet side has difficulties at present, we ask that the Soviet side put forth its own proposal. We would be willing to consider it. On the 29th, after our Party Central Committee’s discussion, it was decided to propose to the CPSU Central Committee a further proposal, that is, to invite 12 fraternal parties and fraternal countries (China, Korea, Vietnam, Albania, Cuba, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland), excluding the Party and government delegations going to Moscow to celebrate the 47th anniversary of the October Revolution, at the same time to carry out the necessary engagement. If everyone here agrees, you may respectively and directly propose it to the CPSU Central Committee and the Soviet government. Of course, at the same time you may also inform us. China intends to send a representative at the level of premier. Other parties will make their own decisions. Why have we put forward this proposal? First, Romania and our country have invited the dozen socialist countries to our national days. With these two examples, this proposal is solid and reasonable. Second, the Soviet government, under Khrushchev’s leadership, completely broke off relations with our Party and government. The Albanian comrades have had a condition: Khrushchev must admit his mistakes before they engage. Khrushchev having now stepped down is in fact an acknowledgment of those mistakes.


We very much hope that the Albanian comrades seriously consider our proposal. This is an opportunity. We have thus reached out and said that we must unite together and oppose the enemy. We have taken the initiative. Our parties have a faith in common: that the absolute majority of the Soviet Union’s people, and the vast majority of its party members and cadres, are revolutionary. It is for this very reason that Khrushchev stepped down and was dismissed. We are going now to offer encouragement, to encourage the broad masses and cadres of the Soviet Union. We will thus inspire them and, at the same time, influence their leaders and frustrate imperialism and its agents.


Central Committee International Liaison Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

30 October 1964


Copies:  [Zhou] Enlai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Peng Zhen, Chen Yi, Kang Sheng, [Yang] Shangkun,   Central Committee Office of Confidential Secretaries, Central Committee International Liaison Department

Liu,  Zhang,  Luo,  Ji,  Qiao,  Han,  Liu,  Gong,  Dong,  General Office (2) MFA Second Asian Affairs Department,  American and Australian Affairs Department,  Ambassadors,  file copies,  30 copies in total

Distributed:  31 [October] 1:15                  Copied:  2 [November] 23:30



Document Information


PRC FMA 109-02678-04, 33-38. Translated by Stephen Mercado.


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