Skip to content

September 23, 1970

Discussion between Mao Zedong and Pham Van Dong



Beijing, 23 September 1970



Mao Zedong: It seems to me that it is unlikely that a world war will erupt.  The big powers do not want to fight such a war, they are afraid of each other.  In the meantime, many countries in Europe, such as Britain, France, Italy, and West Germany, do not want to fight such a war.



Mao Zedong: Why have the Americans not made a fuss about the fact that more than 100,000 Chinese troops help you building railways, roads and airports although they knew about it?


Pham Van Dong: Of course, they are afraid.


Mao Zedong: They should have made a fuss about it.  Also, their estimate of the number of Chinese troops in Vietnam is less than their real number.


Pham Van Dong: We think that they find it difficult to deal with China.


Mao Zedong: If they did this, what would they do later?  The Americans still want to go to Beijing for talks.  It is what they propose.  They said that Warsaw was not suitable and we replied that if they wanted to go to Beijing, [they should] just go.  Later, they did not dare to go.  [U.S. National Security Adviser Henry A.] Kissinger is a stinking scholar.  I have read the report about the meeting between comrade Xuan Thuy and Kissinger.[2]  The last part of it is very funny.  Kissinger is a university professor who does not know anything about diplomacy.  I think that he is not someone who can compete with Xuan Thuy, even though I have not met Xuan Thuy.


Pham Van Dong: We have two comrades who are good at diplomatic struggle.  They are Xuan Thuy and Nguyen Thi Binh.


Mao Zedong: I see that you can conduct the diplomatic struggle and you do it well.  Negotiations have been going on for two years.  At first we were a little worried that you were trapped.  We are no longer worried.  




Mao Zedong: Now I want to talk about the activities by the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam.  Zhu Qiwen turned out to be a GMD agent.  It is better to give his records for you to read.  You will know what he did when he joined the GMD, how he betrayed us, how he fled and was arrested.  He caused troubles during the time he served in Vietnam.  He is not a good person.


There are some people conducting a chauvinist policy, [and who are] never sincere in helping other people.  They send bad diplomats abroad.



It is therefore better for you to come here to talk directly with us.  It will be easier than to do business with our “mandarin ambassadors” when they are abroad.  You do not have to fear that they  will report negatively about you if they are not pleased.  You do not have to accept entirely their views.  I heard that some Chinese living in Vietnam commited wrongdoings.  They should have been punished by Vietnam’s laws.  They must be punished because you have enough evidence against them.  Yet, the Chinese Embassy was protecting them and the Embassy listened to them.  Maybe there is corruption in the Embassy.


Zhou Enlai: There are also secret service people over there.  




Mao Zedong: Every Chinese province is now a fortress, ready in case of an American attack.  But even in such a case, we still continue to help you because you are also in difficulties.  Any one who says that we do not help you because we are also in difficulties is a reactionary.  We have held the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, [and] Guangzhou responsible for helping you as well as the rest of  the Southeast Asian region.  The entire production by these provinces is for you.  Cadres from these provinces will visit Vietnam to prepare for an American attack on China.  Because you pin them down, they have not attacked China yet.  In short, what I want to say is: You are fighting very well on the  battlefield.  Your policy for the diplomatic struggle is correct.  We must give you what you want.  I have no further comments.



[1]On the Chinese side, Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, Kang Sheng, Huang Yongsheng, and Li Xiannian were present.

[2]Secret talks between Xuan Thuy and Kissinger had been going on alongside the official negotiations in Paris since 4 August 1969.

Mao Zedong praises Vietnam for skilled military and diplomatic efforts.

Document Information


CWIHP Working Paper 22, "77 Conversations."


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



Meeting Minutes


Record ID