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March 3, 1962

Issues related to Recognizing the Burmese Military Government (Bilingual Chinese-English Text)

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Cable to Ambassador Li on 6 March 1962 at 12 AM: “Please send the Burmese Foreign Ministry the recognition cable from Chen Yi and the congratulatory cable from Premier Zhou [Enlai] to General Ne Win.


On March 2 the Chinese embassy in Burma notified the Foreign Ministry: The Burmese coup d’etat will take control of the government in the manner of [Gamal Abel] Nasser. Its nature will be to claim complete power. “As of now the Burmese have not sent the embassies any notification of the formation of a new government.” They recommended that no time be wasted in acknowledging the Burmese government once they obtained a formal notice.


The new Burmese government’s foreign ministry sent the embassy a diplomatic note with the March 2 declaration of policy attached, the contents of which they wished to be forward to our government. By the looks of the new government’s actions, they will not elect to announce the instatement of a new government or formally request the acknowledgement or public announcement of a new government. What is unclear is whether they desire acknowledgement, or whether they will send out separate diplomatic notifications, thus automatically upholding the preexisting ties with other nations. In light of this situation, the embassy recommends: 1- High priority: Premier Zhou sends a congratulatory cable to Ne Win, 2- Medium priority: the Foreign Ministry or an embassy sends out a diplomatic response, demonstrating an appreciation for the new government’s diplomatic communiqué.


On March 3, the Foreign Ministry pointed out: pay [close] attention to other nations’ response and behavior toward the new government. “At present, we do not see fit to publicize our attitudes to foreign states.”


On March 6 at 2 P.M. the embassy sent a cable to the Foreign Ministry. On that day, India’s government had already instructed its ambassadors to restrict judgment and send statements of acknowledgement to the new Burmese government. At 2 P.M. they had already met with Minister of Foreign Affairs U Thi Han. “The Burmese have already secretly informed our embassy that their Minister of Foreign Affairs would only conduct meetings with ambassadors after receiving statements of acknowledgement. England and Thailand have still not [received] government notifications. Our acknowledgement cannot be withheld any longer. Please spread this ASAP, the best course would be for Premier Zhou to give his signature to an acknowledgement on behalf of the government.”


The Chinese Embassy in Burma cables to the Foreign Ministry to report on developments in Burma following the Ne Win coup.

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PRC FMA 105-01780-01. Obtained for CWIHP by Hongwei Fan and translated for CWIHP by Max Maller.


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