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January 19, 1949

Guidelines of the Chinese Communist Party on the Question of Work in the Sphere of Foreign Policy

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1. At the present time we still do not have formal diplomatic relations with a single foreign country. The governments of many imperialist countries, especially the government of American imperialism, are helping the reactionary government of the Guomindang in its fight against the liberation of the Chinese people. As a consequence of this, we cannot recognize the representatives of these countries who are in China at the present time as official diplomats. Such a position on our part gives us an opportunity to keep the initiative in foreign relations in our hands and not be subject to the limitations connected with the previous traditional traitorous policy of the Guomindang government. In principle, the special rights of the imperialists in China should be eliminated and the complete independence and liberation of the Republic of China be accomplished. This principle ought to be immutable. However, when putting this principle into practice [we] ought to act depending on the character of a particular question and the situation. It is necessary to raise and solve such questions which are in the interests of the Chinese people and with respect to which there is a possibility of solving them. For the time being questions which still cannot be solved ought to be put aside for the future. With respect to such questions which do not constitute a danger to the Chinese people [we] ought not to be hasty with their solution, even if they can be easily solved. [We] especially ought to not be hasty with the solution of such questions which have still not been properly studied and the time has not yet come for their solution. In general, we ought to demonstrate principle and flexibility in the sphere of foreign policy.


2. At the present time [we] ought to hold to the following rules in practical matters:


a) The question of diplomatic relations


We are not recognizing the embassies and consulates of capitalist countries recognized by the Guomindang government, and also are not recognizing their diplomatic establishments and diplomatic officials until the People's Republic establishes formal diplomatic relations with these countries. We regard them as foreign residents in China and offer them corresponding protection. [We] ought to treat the officials of the staffs of military attaches of these countries the same as diplomatic officials. Inasmuch as the US is giving direct aid to the Guomindang in the Civil War in China, then it is necessary to entrust the military with monitoring the military attaché of the US in China and not grant him freedom of action.


Since the policy of the USSR and the countries of new democracy is principally different from the foreign policy of the capitalist countries we should hold to a completely different position toward their embassies, diplomatic establishments, and their officials. However, in connection with the fact that the People's Republic still has not established diplomatic relations with them, we ought to maintain unofficial diplomatic contact with the diplomatic establishments of these countries in China, and also with their military attaches.


b) The question of foreign investments in China.


We officially and legally do not recognize the governmental and private economic and special rights of the capitalist countries in China, [nor] their commercial and industrial enterprises and capital investments. However, at the present time [we] ought not be hasty with declarations that we will prohibit, return, or confiscate these enterprises. [We] ought to issue an order about the immediate prohibition of such enterprises which cause the greatest harm to the economic life of the people, for example, with respect to foreign financial and speculative organizations, and also those causing the greatest harm to the state sovereignty of China, for example, with respect to the shipping companies in the inland rivers of China. [We] ought not be hasty with halting the activity of such enterprises such as, for example, foreign banks. First it is necessary to order them to register their capital value, and to monitor their accounts and practical activity. [We] especially ought not to touch the insurance companies and companies that insure floating cargo.


c) Questions of foreign trade.


[We] ought not be hasty with the establishment and restoration of general trade relations with the capitalist countries, and [we] especially ought not to be in a hurry to conclude general trade agreements with them. In those cases when it is advantageous and extremely necessary to us import and export trade might be conducted with these countries, which should be of a temporary, separate, and local nature. While holding to such a principle the export of salt, soda, coal, and other goods from Tianjing can be permitted.


d) The income of a maritime customhouse


It is necessary to collect customs duties from export and import trade until we work out a new customs tariff at the old customs tariff [rate]. The maritime customhouse staff ought to totally receive and assign their own people to manage it. Leave all the previous officials at work in the maritime customhouse with the exception of reactionary and harmful elements.


It is necessary to continue to collect taxes from foreign investments in China at the old rates until the new rates are worked out. It is necessary to conduct an inspection of ships in Tangku and other ports and not give them the opportunity to enter and leave the ports without permission.


e) Foreign missionaries in China.


Permit the continued residence and work of foreign missionaries in China who are already on liberated territory. Temporarily forbid the issuance of permission for the entry of new foreign missionaries into China.


f) Foreign academic institutions in China.


The existence of private foreign academic institutions in China is temporarily permitted, but the directors of the schools should be Chinese.

Foreign academic institutions in China should be a source of money coming for their maintenance. The subject matter of foreign academic studies should be the same as in Chinese schools.  It is forbidden to open new foreign hospitals without suitable permission. The existence of foreign elementary schools for foreign children living in China is permitted, but these schools should be registered.


g) Foreign hospitals in China.


The continued existence of foreign hospitals in China is permitted, but they should be under our supervision and control. It is forbidden to open new foreign hospitals without appropriate permission.


h) Foreign newspapers, magazines, telegraph agencies, and foreign correspondents in China.


It is not necessary for now to immediately close foreign newspapers and magazines which already exist in China, but it ought to be suggested to them that they submit a compilation of their publications for one year for review. After studying these publications for some time, in general permission not ought be given for their publication, while coordinating this question with headquarters. In some special cases [we] ought to either not interfere in the publication of individual print media at all or suggest that their publication be placed into Chinese hands.


All foreign telegraph agencies are prohibited from publishing their bulletins and having private radio stations and radio transmitters. An agreement ought to be concluded with the TASS and Telepress agencies so that their bulletins are issued by the Xinhua Agency. Do not recognize foreign correspondents who have come to China without special permission to enter the country or [who] are located in the cities of liberated areas. They are not permitted to gather any information or to send it by telegraph. They are to be regarded the same as foreign residents in China.


i) Foreign cultural institutions in China.


As regards foreign cultural institutions which previously existed in China it is necessary, after a certain period of checking on them, to detail people to watch over them for their reorganization or for accepting them, depending on circumstances and with permission of headquarters. Discussions ought not be held about opening new foreign cultural institutions in China.


j) Foreign philanthropic institutions in China.


Institutions which belong to imperialist governments, for example, the Main Directorate of Economic Cooperation, ought not be recognized. [We] should refuse to accept aid from them. Allow the acceptance of aid from international economic cooperation organizations if this does not harm our state sovereignty and the independence of our people's organizations. It is necessary to clarify who is behind the Anglo-American philanthropic organizations or private persons. Permission for their activity ought to be refused to those who are reactionaries, but on the other hand the philanthropic activity of progressive organizations and elements ought to be welcomed. It would be a mistake to encourage the activity of any and all foreign philanthropic organizations in China.


k) Foreigners in service in China.


In principle we do not recognize the previous agreements between non-political Chinese institutions and foreign advisers and technical specialists. However, where this work of foreigners is not dangerous it is permissible to leave some foreign workers. In the event the agreements about hiring foreign workers are broken, they can be given money to return to their homeland.


l) The entry of foreigners into China.


The issuance of permission to foreigners to enter China ought to be terminated until the end of military operations, excluding exceptional cases.


m) All the above foreign residents in China who live on liberated territory should obey the orders of the People's Government and not engage in any harmful or espionage activity. In the event such activity on their part is detected they will be strictly punished or expelled from China. Without special permission the above foreigners should not have weapons on them, or set up radio stations for receiving or sending telegrams. The weapons or radio stations they have should be handed over to our police organs for secure storage [opechatanie] and given back to them when they leave China. It is permitted for foreign diplomats to have a personal weapons, but [their] radio stations should be securely stored.


n) All foreigners living in China should appear at suitable institutions with a photograph by a deadline set by the police organs (the section for the management of foreign residents at police headquarters) for the registration and inspection of passports. If everything is found to be in order they should be protected.


o) Finally, the most important is the circumstance not to permit interference in the internal affairs of China by any foreign government or the UN. China is an independent country and all matters in China should be solved by the Chinese people and the Chinese People's Government independently. If foreigners propose the intermediation of foreign governments in the Civil War in China [they] ought to be answered with a categorical refusal.


3. Foreign relations organizations


a) In places where foreign citizens live it is necessary to create sections in police bureaus to manage foreign residents which are to be charged with monitoring the residence of foreigners, their movements, and the registration of the type of their employment, call upon them to give explanations, check their activity, and register their passports. When forged passports and illegal activity are detected these sections should report what happened to the police bureau with the purpose of imposing a punishment or expulsion from China.


b) It is necessary to create offices for foreign resident matters in city governments which should deal with questions of the registration of the entrepreneurial activity of foreign residents (for example, of a factory, enterprise, bank, firm, school, hospital, a religious mission, an organization, a newspaper, a magazine, a [telegraph] agency). For minor matters the office should turn to the city government for direction, but for major issues, to the Government of the liberated region. For questions of industrial production, importing and exporting, bank loans, and other special questions the office should raise the question with the appropriate institutions and simultaneously inform headquarters about this.


c) In some cities it is necessary to create groups to study foreign policy questions in the Military Control Committees. The group should be headed by one of the senior officials of the city government, and the group should be made up of senior officials of the office for foreign resident matters in the city government and the section of the police bureau for the management of foreigners. They should study matters relating to foreign residents and other questions of a foreign policy nature, gather the corresponding materials, periodically send reports to headquarters, and submit their suggestions.


d) Directorates for foreign resident matters should be created in the Government in the liberated region of Manchuria and the Government in the liberated region of North China which should also be the offices for the affairs of foreign residents living in the city (for example, Mukden [Shenyang] in Manchuria, Beijing in North China. Do not create them for now in Eastern China, in Northwest China, and in Central China). These directorates should supervise their work in other places.


e) At the present time offices for foreign resident matters should be created in the city governments of Harbin, Mukden, Beijing, Tianjin, and Ji’nan, and sections to manage foreign residents should be created in the police bureaus. The appointment of people to the posts of chief of these offices and sections should be done with the approval of their headquarters. In other cities, if more than 100 foreign citizens live there, the above organizations can be created and the appointment of senior officials made with the permission of headquarters. In such cities where less than 100 foreigners live then only sections to manage foreign residents should be created in police bureaus.



Translated from Chinese [by] [signature] (S. P. Andreyev)

4 July 1949


A Chinese Communist Party file outlining views on foreign policy, foreign trade, and social and cultural exchanges.


Document Information


RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 328, ll. 56-62. Translated by Gary Goldberg.


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