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July 17, 1955

Cable from Pu Shouchang to Qiao Quanhua, 'The Premier's Specific Instructions'

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Top Secret


[To] Comrade [Qiao] Guanhua [Assistant Foreign Minister],


Regarding the preparatory work for the ambassadorial talks, the Premier [Zhou Enlai] has the following specific instructions. In addition to my oral report yesterday evening, I am delivering the following memo as requested:


First, please send the following telegrams:


1) Please telegram the full text of “Plan [for Sino-American Ambassadorial Talks]” to Ambassador Wang Bingnan, Minister Feng Xuan, and Ambassador Liu Xiao [Chinese Ambassador to the Soviet Union];


2) Please telegram other embassies the excerpt of the “Plan;”


3) Please notify Ambassador Wang to book a plane ticket for Geneva on the 19th or the 20th; If the Sino-American talks are to be postponed, it is OK to waste the ticket;


4) Please notify Li Huichuan [Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union] and Qiu Yingjue [Diplomat at the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia] by telegram, telling them to go to Geneva to assist Feng Xuan with the preparatory work;


5) Please notify Minister Feng Xuan by telegram, telling him to leave for Geneva tomorrow and to get in touch with the Soviet delegation via the Soviet Minister to Switzerland or the Soviet Consul General at Geneva. Please ask Comrade He Wei [Assistant Foreign Minister] to notify the Soviet embassy at Beijing and tell him to deliver the full text to [the Soviet embassy];


Second, please prepare speeches for two days for Ambassador Wang:


The following is the outline of the first day’s speech:


1) Introductory remarks and the proposal of two agendas;


2) If the US side doesn’t agree to the discussion of Agenda II, we should express disappointment and ask them to give it a second thought and respond the next day;


3) If the US side agrees to the discussion of Agenda II, [we should] propose items to be included in Agenda II (The Premier estimated three alternatives: a, the US side would agree to the discussion of Agenda II on the spot; b, the US side would reject the discussion of Agenda II on the spot; c, the US would agree to respond the next day. The Premier said that no matter what it might be, we should receive journalists after the meeting, announcing our request for topics to be discussed and the US responses. It seems necessary to prepare a speech for that purpose as well);


4) If the US side insists on keeping the content of the meeting secret, we should say that we would not make the detailed discussions known to the public, but the meeting agenda should be made public;


5) Regarding US nationals in China, the US might attack us. Please prepare a rebuttal based on the speech from the previous Sino-American meetings;


6) Regarding the issue of Chinese students in the US, please prepare a rebuttal, including the two points in the “Plan” (six out of twenty-seven Chinese students from the list provided by the US in 1954 have not returned to China. We have not received a list of the eighty-two Chinese students identified in 1955 from the US side). You should also mention that the deadline of 6 September  [set by the US immigration authorities for their exit] is an issue.


7) Regarding US nationals in China, you should prepare a full notification. The Department of American and Oceanic Affairs has prepared a classified list of names as instructed by the Premier; You may refer to it;


8) Regarding our position that we only discuss US civilians, not military personnel, you should also prepare a speech (In addition, during our conversation tonight, you raised several possible situations. Please also prepare speeches based on your estimation);


The following is an outline of the speech for the second day:


1) [Ambassador Wang is] instructed to notify the US side that we have approved the exit of nine US nationals (For details, see the material prepared by Department of American and Oceanic Affairs); releasing three convicted US nationals before their jail time expires;


2) If the US side agrees to discuss Agenda II on the first day, except the four points in Agenda II mentioned in the first day, we will not say anything else about it on the second day.


Please have all aforementioned speeches ready by tomorrow (the 18th). Please send for the Premier’s review after being checked and approved by the Party Committee of the Foreign Ministry.



With best wishes,

Pu Shouchang

17 July 1955


Zhou Enlai's instructions regarding the Sino-US talks


Document Information


PRC FMA 111-00009-03, 41-43. Obtained and translated by Yafeng Xia.


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