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October 26, 1972

Draft of a Planned East German Demarche, to be Read to the Chinese Ambassador, Against Chinese Statements on the Occasion of the Establishment of Chinese-West German Diplomatic Relations and Walter Scheel's Visit

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Erich Honecker

Willi Stoph

Berlin, October 26, 1972

Valued Comrades!

In connection with the creation of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany, official representatives of the PRC have emerged with statements that are directed against the interests of the German Democratic Republic. 

Therefore, I suggest that a representative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the GDR orally present our standpoint on this vis-à-vis the ambassador of the PRC to the GDR. 

I have attached a draft of this oral statement here. I request confirmation of its receipt. 

With socialist greetings,


Oral statement of a representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the GDR vis-à-vis the ambassador of the PRC to the GDR in connection with statements of official representatives of the PRC during the visit of FRG Foreign Minister Scheel in Beijing


Mr. Ambassador!

As you know, the German Democratic Republic views the struggle for freedom and security against imperialism and revanchism as its main foreign policy objective. That is at the same time a contribution to the revolutionary global process. This is very meaningful for the realization of the principles of peaceful coexistence between states of differing societal orders in Europe. Due to the constructive and perseverant policies of the USSR, GDR, and other states of the socialist community, initial successes have already been achieved in this struggle. In this manner, the government of the FRG was prompted to recognize certain realities of European post-war development. 

The treaties between the USSR and PPR with the FRG, the Quadripartite Agreement over West Berlin, the transport treaty between the GDR and the FRG and other agreements strengthen in a legally binding manner the results of the Second World War and post-war development, in particular the inviolability of borders, the recognition of territorial integrity and the sovereignty of all European states.

As is well known, negotiations are ongoing between representatives of the GDR and the BRD over the normalization of relations on a legal basis. The GDR hopes that these negotiations can be soon brought to a positive close.

The reactionary forces of imperialism of the FRG do not however cease to disturb the process of détente in European and the normalization of the situation and to frustrate the political arrangements that have already been achieved. To this end they propagate such unsustainable theories like for example that of “the final settlement of the Germany question through a peace treaty”, of the “reunification of Germany” and the “unity of the German nation”, and the “the state of West Berlin belonging to the FRG”, among others. 

This conception of certain circles in the FRG of shoving a currently “still outstanding German peace arrangement” into the foreground lets it be seen that they still have not given up their unrealistic aim of incorporating the GDR into the FRG. At this same time, for these circles, it is also about undermining the political arrangements made in referenced treaties and conventions, which are the basis of every stable European security, and debasing them as a provisional arrangement. In this manner, the recognition of the borders that arose after the Second World War, including the border between the GDR and the FRG, is questioned anew. The arrangements of the Quadripartite Agreement over West Berlin are attacked with the same intent. One does not leave anything un-attempted in order to make more difficult the general and equitable inclusion of the GDR into international life. 

In light of these facts, the GDR could only determine with surprise that the problem of a so-called unresolved German question also recently came up from representatives of your country. Certain circles in the FRG are also anxious to support your policy aimed against the GDR with these formulations. 

As is generally known, two sovereign states, independent from each other and with opposing social orders, have arisen on the territory of the former German empire. They have each created in their own territory their own economic system, their own culture and their own way of life. Twenty years of opposing societal development cannot be reversed. In contrast to the FRG, where the middle-class nation persists and where the national question is defined through the irreconcilable class opposition between the bourgeoisie and the working masses, the socialist nation is developing itself in the German Democratic Republic, in the German socialist state. For the peoples and states of the GDR and the FRG, there is no national fastener and no in any way motivated unity of the nation. The class contrasts are not to be washed away and thus between these states there can be only relations that are based upon the principles of peaceful coexistence. 

It would correspond to the interests of the GDR if the People’s Republic of China would respect this position of the GDR and the circumstances that have arisen in Europe. We allow ourselves in this context to point to the fact that the GDR has always supported the People’s Republic of China’s struggle against all the scheming of imperialism to deny the PRC the place to which it is entitled in international life. The GDR also supports the PRC’s just position that Taiwan is an inalienable component of the PRC. 

As you know, the GDR is commencing its principled policy for a further normalization and development of interstate relations with the People’s Republic of China. An improvement of relations in keeping with the current prospects would redound to the advantage of the people of the GDR and of the Chinese people. 

I ask that you convey my explanation to the government of the People’s Republic of China.

This document is a demarche to be delivered to the Chinese ambassador in East Berlin on the occasion of China's establishment of diplomatic relations between West Germany and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The demarche says the West German government is pursuing a revisionist policy and does not accept the post-war separation of Germany. It assesses the role of Bonn in international relations as detrimental to the entire Socialist camp and regards the visit of West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel to Beijing, as well as diplomatic relations between China and West Germany, as damaging the interests of East Germany. The author asks China to reconsider this policy, with reference to East Berlin's support for the PRC's territorial claims to Taiwan/Formosa.

According to a marginal note, the demarche was never delivered.


Document Information


Included in the document reader for the international conference "China and the Warsaw Pact in the 1970-1980s" held by CWHIP and the Parallel History Project March 2004 in Beijing. Translated by Samuel Denney.


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Leon Levy Foundation and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars