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June 5, 1974

Intelligence Note, Polish Embassy in Bucharest, 'Concerning Romanian-Sino Relations'

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

 Bucharest 05 June 1974


Intelligence Note

concerning Romanian – Sino relations  


A. Both sides, Romanian and Chinese, vouch for the existence of extensive and wide brotherly relations between the two countries. In their statements, the Chinese expose Romanian determination to fight for their independence and sovereignty, which - in their opinion – is a positive contribution to the struggle of small and medium-sized states against the domination of the great powers. Romania sees China's policy as an effective instrument in the fight against imperialism and hegemony. Standing on the foundation of the existence of the 14 socialist countries camp, Romania expresses the opinion that the existing differences should not interfere with the strengthening and expansion of relations between parties and countries.


The controversy between China and the Soviet Union is a temporary phenomenon and should not affect the development of the relations of states within the socialist camp. Despite these bilateral declarations we can observe a decreasing number of contacts between Romania and China in the first half of this year. This reduction in the number of visits, which is still substantial, does not mean a departure from the decision, accepted during the visit of N. Ceaușescu in Beijing in 1971, to reinvigorate relations in all fields. We have only noted lowering the rank of the official delegations and visits, exchanged between the two countries and giving these visits a lower profile. The reason for this stems from two factors, namely:


- the internal situation in China is unstable, which is carefully and anxiously observed by  the Romanians. It has an impact on the reduction in the number of Chinese party-government delegations in general, which also affects Romania.


    1. internal situation in SRR - mainly in the economic field - it is still difficult and complex.

Many of these difficult problems can be solved with the help and cooperation of the socialist countries, and above all with the help of the Soviet Union. Because Romania holds 21% of its total trade with the Soviet Union, and only 4% with China, it can not get close to the PRC in any spectacular way or abandon the concept of balancing between Moscow and Beijing. Each irritant in Romanian - Soviet relations would have a negative impact on the realization of ambitious economic plans, which form the basis of the RCP's internal politics. It should be noted that the current year has a special significance for Romania. It is the year of  the country's 30th  independence anniversary jubilee, falling in August this year.  The 11th Romanian Communist Party Congress will be held in October. Romania will make every effort to ensure that many delegations at the highest level possible, especially from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, arrive at these celebrations.


2. An official schedule of Romanian-Chinese visits set for 1973 was rich and included the exchange of party, economic, social, cultural, military and other delegations. The plan of visits was  carried out, but at the end of last year there were signs that the most important Chinese delegations did not arrive in Romania and there was no chance that they will in the near future. The Chinese delegation's revisit remains an open question and Chou En-lai's invitation to the SRR is still valid.


N. Ceausescu's envoys, vice-chairman of the State Council – [Emil] Bodnăraș and the secretary of the Central Committee, responsible for RCP's ideological issues, [Cornel] Burtică  - of the "first suit" of Romanian leadership - staying in Beijing in September 1973, underlined this matter very strongly.  


During this visit they discussed with Chou En-lai the question of  further development of bilateral relations  as well as the ideological problems of the socialist camp.


This visit was intended as a further impetus to intensify contacts with China, but it did not meet the expectations of the SRR. This year only one Chinese delegation is due to arrive for a three-week stay


/February / - a delegation from the Ministry of Health, headed by the Deputy Minister Cian Sin-dzhun, who signed a protocol on cooperation with the SRR and a two-week stay / March this year / of a light industry delegation. At that time, a lot of sports groups came to the SRR. We note also that some groups of Chinese are often seen in various parts of the country, but the reasons for their arrival are not known to us.


A larger number of official visits may be observed on the Romanian side. And so in April, a delegation of the RCP's activists visited China, led by a member of the CC and the First Secretary of the district Bistrița A.[dalbert] Crișan. He was received by the CC of the CPC. In May this year, a large youth delegation of the Union of Communist Youth visited China, chaired by the Minister of Youth I.[oan Traian] Ștefănescu. The delegation received quite a high setting in China and was received by the CCP in Shanghai  and then by high-ranking functionaries of the CC of the  CPC,including the Vice-chairman Ie Cien-in and a member of Political Bureau Ci Den-kuci.


A specific feature of this visit might be the inclusion of N. Ceausescu's daughter – Zoia in this delegation. She joined the delegation at the last stage of its stay, and thus gave it a higher rank.


A few days ago, after pressures from the Romanian side, a military delegation went to China in the framework of the so-called holiday exchange which is only a "smokescreen" for the working nature of the visit. Gen. Col. V. Alexe, the territorial defense force commander is the head of a group of Romanian army officers. Following this delegation, Radio and TV representatives went to China to sign a protocol of cooperation.


A revisit of the Chinese General Staff delegation should be expected and the time of its arrival will overlap with the celebrations of the SRR 30th independence anniversary.

The revival of personnel traffic between China and Romania may be the beginning of June, with the start of Beijing- Bucharest air connection, via Karachi and Athens, excluding Moscow.


3.Co-operation in the economic field evolves dynamically. It is based on long-term plans, defined annually with signed protocols. A large economic and trade delegation, headed by the first deputy prime minister, [Ion] Pățan, visited Beijing in November last year. The delegation also held talks with Chou En-lai and was received by Mao Tse-tung. A protocol, signed for 1974,  assumes a significant, by as much as 25%, increase in the exchange, as  compared to 1973, which accounts for 272 million rub compared with 217 million rub in  1973, 170 million rub in 1971, 120 mln rub in 197070  and 43 million rub in 1965. Romania imports Chinese machinery, chemical products, metallurgical products, textiles, rubber, food products, certain types of weapons and a small amount of raw materials. As for weapons, Romania has lately purchased three ships "Shanghai-4" type with a displacement of 140 GRT. There is also a cooperation in the production of tactical missiles, mainly fuel to them.


The largest part of Romania's exports to China are trucks and drilling rigs. Romania also exports machinery and equipment for industry, ships, locomotives, electrical, chemical and metallurgical products, etc. As for weaponry, Romania provides China with large quantities of small arms and ammunition. There has been a positive trade balance between the SRR and the PRC for the last several years.


Despite a clear increase in turnover and economic cooperation, there are some obstacles resulting primarily from the lack of interesting range of products and also from technological underdevelopment of China. Romanians expected imports of investment goods at a high level. They are not satisfied with the increase in the supply of consumer goods. Credit opened by China failed, so far, to fulfill the hopes associated with it by the Romanian side. Cooperation with China, despite earlier optimistic assumptions, still remains far behind Romanian economic relations with the Soviet Union, not to mention the Comecon. It seems to us that Romania is beginning to realize the impossibility of using cooperation with China  as even a partial offset to economic partnership with other socialist countries.


4.Romania is firmly committed to the defense of China and its political and ideological concepts. Mao Tse-tung's birth anniversary received the proper setting for the press and the Chinese leader was presented as an unyielding fighter for justice in international relations, large format communist, theoretician of Marxism-Leninism and a tireless revolutionary.


Newspaper articles on the CPC's success in building communism in China are written in the same tone.  Major events inside China and Beijing's international contacts are meticulously recorded by the local media. With shortcuts - exclusion of insults at the Soviet Union – there was a paper commented on the 10th Congress of the CCP and a speech given by the Chinese delegate at the last session of the United Nations. The SRR rigorously respects the principle that no materials may be distributed if they contain any criticism of Maoism. This refers also to E. Gierek's paper at the 6th Congress.

N. Ceausescu, if asked in an interview to the press about the importance of the USSR and the USA policy to world peace, immediately exposes the role of China on the international arena. As one knows, the RCP is of the opinion that China or any communist party can not be subject to criticism from other communist or workers' parties


This rule affects the Romanian approach to the concept of convening a meeting of world communist parties. We note that in the period of joint actions against Maoist policies, there has been an increased number of publications and events in Romania, illustrating the revolutionary friendship of the RCP and the CCP and the success of the Chinese people in the work of building communism.


In 1973 two publications, deserving our attention, were published, namely: "RCP - an active unit of a grand international revolutionary army" with a large section devoted to the Romanian-Chinese relations / pp.312-357 / and "Battle traditions of Romanian-Chinese friendship" vol. l . Vol 2 - in preparation.


5. Maintaining brotherly relations with China fits into the framework of the SRR and the Romanian leadership's political strategy. China International activity limits the freedom of action for the USSR and the USA  and thus contributes to the expansion of Romanian autonomy and Bucharest's political freedom of maneuver. China is a counterweight to the Soviet Union and the United States, which gives the SRR political benefits by building good relations with Beijing / with constant strengthening its relations with Moscow and Washington at the same time/. By holding extensive contacts with the CCP, as the only member of the Warsaw Pact, Romania wants to raise its prestige and its importance in the international arena. For China, Romania is an important partner, which is a part of all  politico-economic and military organisms of the Warsaw Pact.


In this way China ensures the protection of their interests within the socialist camp and has the opportunity to influence the direction of the diversity among the socialist countries. The overlapping of bilateral political goals is the prerequisite of the Sino-Romanian relationship's durability, as long as there are differences between Moscow and Beijing. Romania believes that maintaining good relations with both the Soviet Union and China will strengthen its ability to mediate between them in order to reconcile the two countries at feud or at least alleviate or mute the existing dispute.  

Detailed Polish report on Romanian relations with China.

Document Information


Archive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland, D-I-R-2413-2-74, 3. Obtained and Translated by Adam Burakowski.


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