Skip to content

October 11, 1950

Cable No. 4785, Filippov [Stalin] and Zhou Enlai to the Soviet Ambassador in Peking

Top Secret


Cable Nº 4784




Peking, to the Soviet Ambassador. Pass immediately to Cde. Mao Zedong.


"Your representatives arrived today, and we senior VPK(b) officials and your representatives had an opportunity to discuss the issues of which you are aware. The following became clear from the exchange of opinions:


1. The Chinese forces designated for assistance are not ready, are poorly-armed, do not have enough artillery, have no tanks, aircraft cannot be provided for protection before two months, and a minimum of six months is needed to supply and train these troops.


2. If direct aid is not given within a month with a considerable quantity of well-armed troops then in view of the precariousness of the Korean units north of the 38th parallel Korea will be occupied by the Americans.


3. Accordingly, substantial aid with troops can be provided to the Koreans only after six months, that is after the occupation of Korea by the Americans, that is when it will no longer be needed.


In view of the above and considering the unfavorable conditions in the internal situation of China which according to the reports of Cde. Zhou Enlai would follow China's entry into the war, we have unanimously come to the following conclusions:


1. In spite of favorable international conditions, in view of their unpreparedness at the present time the Chinese troops should not cross the Korean border in order not to find themselves in an unfavorable position;


2. If the troops have already crossed the border they ought not to move further than the mountainous regions along the Chinese border;


3. Consider it advisable for Korean units to occupy the mountainous regions north of Pyongyang and Wonsan for defense and to transfer part of the troops to partisan status in the rear of the enemy;


4. Withdraw the best of the mobilized Koreans with command personnel to Manchuria quietly and in small groups where Korean divisions are to be formed from them;


5. Pyongyang and other important locations south of the mountainous region of North Korea are to be immediately evacuated.


As regards the tanks, artillery, and aircraft required by the Chinese comrades to reequip the Chinese army the USSR will begin to supply them in full. We await your decision."


Signed: Filippov

Zhou Enlai


11 October 1950


Report when this is done.


One copy printed for Cde. Stalin.





Instructions for the Chinese army in light of the fact that the Chinese forces designated to assist Korea are not ready.

Document Information


AP RF, f. 45, op. 1, d. 334, ll. 134-135; and RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 334, ll. 0134-0135. Translated by Gary Goldberg.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date





Record ID