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June 27, 1962

Memorandum of Conversation between First Vice Premier Hysni Kapo and Albanian Labor Party Politburo Member Ramiz Alia with PRC Premier Zhou Enlai


(At the meeting our side was also represented by our ambassador to the People's Republic of China, comrade Reis Malile, who also took the notes appearing below.)

From the Chinese side the following were present: comrade Chen Yi, Deputy Chairman of the Council of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs; comrade Zhou Enlai, Deputy Chairman of the Council of State; comrade Wu Xiuquan, Deputy Director of the [International Department of the] Central Committee of the Communist Party of China; and comrade Luo Shigao, PRC ambassador to the People's Republic of Albania.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: We have been received very warmly at every place we have visited around your country. I take this opportunity to express the gratitude of our party and people for everything that the Communist Party of China, the PRC government, and the Chinese people have done for our party and people. I would also like to transmit to you the greetings of comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mehmet Shehu, who wanted to come themselves, but could not make it for the reasons you already know.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: I thank you for the kind words you expressed for our party, government and people, as well as for the greetings of comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mehmet Shehu. We, just like you, are preoccupied with the health of your comrade leaders, comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mehmet Shehu, because they are at the forefront of a difficult struggle against the imperialists and the revisionists. The Chinese party and people greatly admire your resoluteness; our hearts are continuously trained on you and we understand very well the situation you are currently facing. That is why it is a good thing that comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mehmet Shehu stay behind in Albania to lead this struggle. This is how our party and people also operate; they do not allow comrade Mao Zedong to leave the country, while the rest of us can. In the world the imperialist enemies still rule, in fact over an area larger than that governed by socialism. In many countries the reactionaries rule and in some socialist countries the revisionists, who follow in the footsteps of the imperialists, are in power. It is why, in these conditions, the movements of our leader comrades must be careful.

But in the work of a party there is also a division of duties; some must stay behind to conduct their duty within the country's borders, and others must at times leave the country. Travel to the fraternal socialist countries must be conducted, but if the need should arise, we must also go to the enemies. How can you catch the tiger, if you do not go to his lair? For justice, for the truth, and for Marxism-Leninism, we must not hesitate, even to enter a bonfire. So we must also go to the enemy's home. You, the Albanians, are such people. We are also of the same kind. For example, in the year 1950 comrade Wu Xiuquan went to the UN and took part in the proceedings of the Security Council. Jiang Jieshi's [Chiang Kai-shek's] representative was also there. Comrade Wu Xiuquan did not go there with the hopes of changing American imperialism, but with the goal of letting the working masses of the world understand our position; he went there to raise our banner and to win the opinion of the world, and this was done despite the fact that the situation was difficult, since the war in Korea had only started three months previously.

During the civil war we have fought against Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek], but at that time we were also dealing with the issue of the war with Japan, which preoccupied us. It was easy for Jiang Jieshi to strike at the Japanese. But during the time that we were fighting against the Jiang Jieshists, we were also conducting talks with them to gain unification of all the forces of the country in the war against the Japanese imperialists. Even after the capitulation of Japan, the units that were led by comrade Chen Yi and comrade Li Xiannian continued the war against Jiang Jieshi, while I would continue talks and conduct negotiations with him. Later, I called those comrades and all three of us talked to the enemy, the Jiang Jieshists and the Americans. This shows our experience. Though we were fighting against the Jiang Jieshists, we were also talking to them.

In the war against the Japanese we had three slogans: To fight against the Japanese and never capitulate; to preserve our unity and avoid division; and to progress forward steadfastly and avoid retreat. Jiang Jieshi could never oppose our slogans; he would not dare say that I want to capitulate or that I am against unity. By following this course, we thus won over the masses and isolated the Jiang Jieshists. We only had one adventure in this sector when comrade Mao Zedong went to Chongqing. This was a mistake by Stalin. In the telegram that Stalin sent us, he said that if comrade Mao Zedong did not go there, the Chinese nation would be wiped out and [Stalin] advised us not to continue the civil war. Can this not be called interference in our internal affairs? Either way, we respected his advice. Comrade Mao Zedong went there, but we continued the war. Later the war was interrupted and we used the time to strengthen our army, but when comrade Mao Zedong returned to Yan'an, Jiang Jieshi restarted the civil war.

Still, even after this, we continued the talks with them. The delegation stayed in Nanjing until they were expelled. We did not leave before being expelled, though the building where our comrades were staying in Nanjing was surrounded by spies, but we dared to stay there because we knew that the Chinese people and party were behind us and because we were convinced that we would win.

When our struggle for the liberation of the country was nearing a victorious end, Jiang Jieshi once again asked for talks with us. We accepted their proposal and their delegation came to Beijing. The conditions that we presented to their delegation were accepted by the delegation, but not by the government of Jiang Jieshi, because the Americans did not agree to them. So we continued our drive south. In the white books [sic] published by Kennedy, there are many documents on this event.

The policy of our party is that we have two ways of achieving victory. The first way is through revolution. We are for armed war against the enemy. But we also have another way of doing this. We also do not refuse peaceful struggle. The only thing is that this must be supported by armed war. We have waged legal and illegal wars. We have great animosity toward the American imperialists, but in Warsaw we talk with their representatives. Even now we do not exclude the possibility of talks with Jiang Jieshi if he would like to send a delegation here. This is our tactic; this is Leninism. In the struggle that Lenin waged against the Second International, the division came only after [Karl] Kautsky published the book “Wilhelm II.” Lenin fought against him though he was in the minority. This has entered the tradition of our party since comrade Mao Zedong came to its helm.

So we use two revolutionary methods and our experience has shown this to be effective. This is our experience in the struggle against imperialism, as well as in the struggle against modern revisionism. This is also how we have acted with India. Though our relations with India are now tense, we always leave the door open to talks. India is placed in a difficult position, because while we are for talks, they are against them. In order to have talks, India requested preliminary conditions – that we pull back – while we do not ask for any preliminary conditions, though this does not mean that during the meeting we would not set our conditions. This is how we gain the initiative. The conflict on the Sino-Indian border started in the year 1959 and in 1960 this conflict became more grave. We then invited [Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal] Nehru for talks, he answered negatively and asked that comrade Zhou Enlai go to Delhi for talks. At that time, the spirit of the official Indian leadership was hostile toward us; in fact the pictures of comrade Mao Zedong and comrade Zhou Enlai were torn publicly there. Despite this, comrade Mao Zedong and the Central Committee of our party decided that in that situation I should go to Delhi for talks. This placed Nehru in a passive position. We then placed six conditions on him for the solution of the Sino-Indian border problem, which they did not accept, but which they could also not dispute.

The struggle against the modern revisionism should also follow this course. Though there have been two meetings of the communist and workers' parties in 1957 and in 1960, [CPSU First Secretary Nikita] Khrushchev does not change his revisionism; he now has the majority in the international communist movement; some peoples and some sister parties are now following him. In this situation we are for meetings so that we can defend our correct positions there and to place N. Khrushchev in a passive position. He (N. Khrushchev) does not dare publicly to oppose the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the need for unity in the international communist movement. This is how we can hold in our hands the banner of Marxism-Leninism and that of the [1957] Moscow Declaration.

Now we, as the minority that understand Marxism-Leninism correctly, must work hard so that the masses of the party and of the peoples know the truth well, and then united with them, we can fight for the truth. To achieve this, time is needed as well as a long struggle, but in the end the undecided elements and the rightists will eventually come to our side too. In our struggle we must not only unify the leftist elements but the centrists as well, and even the rightists. In this way we will cause the decomposition of the revisionists. That is why we must not only fight against the revisionists in the ideological sense, but also in the international meetings of the parties, waging in them a continued and resolute fight. Of course, all that I am saying is drawn only from the experience of the struggle our party. We place this experience before you for judgment, using the principles of Marxism-Leninism as a starting point; you may then decide for yourselves. We always admire the manners of fighting your party uses, but at the same time we also present to you our party's experience of struggle and implore you to transmit this and our other thoughts to comrade Enver Hoxha and comrade Mehmet Shehu.

As to the other sister parties of Asia, such as the Communist Party of Indonesia, the Korean Workers' Party, and the Vietnam Workers' Party, we think that their tactics are quite correct, as the delegation of our party that held talks with you previously also indicated. We must keep in mind that revisionism is now in power in many countries. The revisionists have severed diplomatic relations with you, and because of what they have done they are in a passive position. With these actions that he takes, N. Khrushchev does not gain any favor in the world. There are also some parties that think like N. Khrushchev, but that do not follow him, such as for example the Polish party that did not sever diplomatic relations with Albania. Keeping this in mind, you now have the initiative in hand.

The peoples require that we have unity, that we have good relations with each other in the socialist countries. In the relations between the socialist countries, diplomats must be careful, because they represent their government, the people and their desires in the country where they have been assigned. You are in a positive situation not only in the area of diplomatic relations, but you are in such a position in the area of trade relations as well. We also have trade relations with the imperialists; in fact, we may do even more trade with the countries that have revisionists at their helm, but this must be done on the basis of the principle of equality and in the interest of the peoples. We desire to see that you develop trade with the socialist countries of Europe and with the Soviet Union. Such a thing will have a great influence on the peoples of these countries; it will be in the interest of all the peoples of socialist countries.

In relation to economic problems, you expressed here your gratitude for the help we have given you. I am really sorry that the truth is that we do not have the ability to fulfill each and every one of your needs. We understand your condition well; you are a small country that cannot solve all of its problems, but we are certain that your country has an ancient tradition of perseverance in overcoming your difficulties and, based on your own forces, you will move forward. In this spirit, we try to fulfill our duty as much as possible in assisting to the development of your economy, but you must, first of all, rely on your own forces. For as long as your economy is not walking on its own feet, we will not be comfortable.

While we are on the topic, I would like to inform you about our economic situation. China used to be a backward country, with a very weak economy, much weaker than even pre-revolutionary tsarist Russia. After our victory, the our economy's period of recovery was not very long, though the war very much destroyed our country. In our first five-year plan we did some initial work. In our second five-year plan, based on the specific situation in China, we laid down the general course for the construction of socialism. Our course of the three banners is a correct one. As to our industry, it is weak. We have constructed some objects in this sector, but we have yet to develop a full system for the production of all those items we need. A proverb says: I have the piano, but I do not have the violin. For example, in a plane production plant we cannot produce all the plane parts we need because we do not posses certain kinds of steel, in particular special steels for the production of MiG 17s, MiG 19s, and MiG 21s.. During all these years we have achieved some results, especially in conventional armaments, but are not yet able to produce everything.

Comrade Chen Yi: This has been dependent also on the assistance that the Soviet Union has given us during the past 10 years. The assistance that the Soviet Union has given us has not been complete. For example, we produce training aircraft, but no helicopters. For the production of planes, we are forced to buy some of the parts from the Soviet Union. We produce televisions and movie equipment, but we have to buy some of the parts from the Soviet Union. We will need time before we are able to produce them on our own.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The level of mechanization in our country is still low; that of electrification is low as well. We are able to produce equipment [domestically] and during the last few years the number [of these products] has grown, but we are still unable to produce some key items; such things we are forced to import. Now we do not posses precision machinery; we will need time for those.

In addition, the industrialization of the country also requires advanced agriculture, otherwise, the people cannot be supplied with foodstuffs and the raw material industry cannot be supplied with all it needs, either. During the last three years we have faced several natural disasters. This year our agricultural [production] will also not fare very well. As to summer production, this year's harvest will be lower than that of last year, because some places suffered from floods, while in other parts of the country we had severe droughts. As a result of the drought, it is possible that agricultural production will not be good in general. We had planned to have higher agricultural production this year, but no longer have hope for such an achievement, so this year we will once again be forced to import grains. This presents us with the problem of the procurement of the necessary foreign currency. We will buy only 10 tins of grain per capita, but this will mean that we will buy several millions tons of grain. The recovery of some of the industrial plants [weeds] this year will be slow. We have done some work toward the increase of agricultural production; we have decreased the number of clerks and workers and have sent many of them to the farms.

Our market this year is better; we are seeing the initial results, but we will need a lot of time for the recovery of agriculture. Our industry was also hurt badly from the recall of the Soviet specialists. The Soviets did not consult with us on the recall of the specialists. As a result, thousands of specialists immediately left their work in the field. But this was, at the same time, a trial for our country so that we may draw lessons on how to walk on our own feet. We do not complain why others do not help us; China is a large country and we must increase our capacity to produce.

The modern revisionists have created great difficulties for us, but the greatest difficulties for us come from the imperialists, because the greatest part of our border is shared with countries that are on the side of imperialism. For a long time now, the imperialists have coaxed these countries to form a crescent-shaped enclosure around China, but until now this has not happened yet. Now, American imperialism, seeing our difficulties, is inciting Jiang Jieshi against us, with the intention of having him attack the continent.

(After this comrade Zhou Enlai explains the situation on the basis of the notice given by the Xinhua news agency, and then continues): We unmask the intrigues of the American imperialists and have undertaken military measures. If Jiang Jieshi should dare to attack us, we will eliminate him. We unmask the American imperialists through our propaganda on these issues. We also told them in the talks in Warsaw that if an attack should happen, [the Americans] will not escape from the responsibility.

On this issue there are two possibilities. Keeping in mind our warning to them, the American imperialists and Jiang Jieshi might not undertake anything. But they might still try their hand at an attack and in that case we will liquidate them completely.

We wanted to inform you about our situation. We have been born with difficulties and that is how we are growing. The same thing that is happening to us is also happening to you – you were born with difficulties and with difficulties are growing.

In our third five-year plan we will continue to strengthen the defense and the economy of our country, and, in the end, we will once again walk with a great leap. Keeping in mind all the above, with a feeling of sorrow we say to you that in the economic relations between our two countries it is possible that we will not be able to fulfill our obligations to you before the deadlines. You are not an economic delegation, but I still wanted to inform you of this.

As to the trade volume for 1962, it will reach 52 million new rubles. Of this amount, it is certain that 36 million new rubles, or 67% of the agreement, will be realized. In the amount that will not be realized, the following items are included:

1) We cannot supply you this year with the grain that has yet to be delivered for the year – a total of 55,000 tons. The same goes for 900 tons of crude oil. It is possible that we will not be able to supply these articles to you. We wanted to consult with you on this.

2) As to the goods which we should supply to you by purchasing them from other countries, they are not certain. The majority of them we will be unable to give to you, such as the lubricants, for example. The same goes for the goods we will procure from capitalist countries; since we do not have foreign currency, we will not be able to give them to you.

3) For some objects which we do not produce on our own and which are not very necessary, we wanted to consult with you about them.

So, for this year we will not be able to fulfill the agreement we have with you. There is very little hope that the amount will reach over the 36 million new rubles.

When comrade [Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers] Abdyl Kellezi was here, we discussed these objects. After we discussed them further, and based on the production capacity of our country and the conditions of yours, we are of the opinion that until the end of the year 1964, with great travails, only 10 objects can be implemented; the other 19 objects can be categorized as such:

For the nitrogen fertilizer plant, Italy refuses to give us the necessary technical data, so that object could not be secured. The same goes for the glass factory. For the other 17 objects, we think that you should build them later than the planned deadlines, in other words, you should extend them to sometime in 1966 and 1967, and even later. We are not able to build them within the deadline, because we are short in equipment. The same thing is also going on with Vietnam and the other countries to which we have promised assistance; we are forced to extend the deadlines with all of them. Of course, this may bring some difficulties to you, but we must take responsibility for this. On the other hand, we think that, judging from your workforce, you will not be able to fulfill all the construction required. This is our opinion, but your government does not accept this. You have announced these objects in your five-year plan, but the plan can also be amended and there are plenty of examples of this. Comrade Stalin has said that a suitable plan must be amended often. And now N. Khrushchev, as well as other socialist countries, amends their plans.

In a few words, we are bringing you some difficulty in the economic relations between our countries. This is a truth that troubles us. We know that you have not come to China for this matter, but we beg you to transmit this matter to the ALP CC. We will cooperate through the Albanian embassy with the group of Albanian specialists that have come here.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: You evaluated correctly the position of our party and the care that it must pay to its leadership. The CCP is very correct to thus protect comrade Mao Zedong who is not only yours, but also of the world communists, who see in him an eminent leader of international communist movement. Comrade Mao Zedong is the son of your people and your party, but all that he has done for Marxism-Leninism belongs to us all.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The same goes for your struggle and your leaders, who are also ours.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: We understood well all that you said to us. All those parties that are led by Marxism-Leninism in their struggle, are the same in one way or another. To a certain degree, as far as our conditions have allowed, our party, during the war, has tried to draw in all the masses of the people.

(Further on, comrade Hysni Kapo describes the policy of our party toward the National Liberation Front, and then continued): During the course of the national liberation war we have also entered into negotiations and talks with the heads of the reactionary organizations with the intention of drawing the masses into the war effort. Of course, when it becomes necessary, we must also go to the enemy to talk. A proof of this is the course of your party and its correct line. To a certain degree this is very similar to our country. In 1946, the People's Republic of Albania was recognized only by the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The imperialists were organizing plots even at the UN and only the Soviet Union defended Albania there. A delegation of our country also went to the UN then to unmask American imperialism and its lackeys. This is similar to what you said that we must go to the lair of our enemy and strike him there. We all know what imperialism is, though should it become necessary, we know that we must also talk to our enemy.

We also have other examples that show the policy of our party in this area. The position of Greece toward the People's Republic of Albania is well known. (Then comrade Hysni Kapo explains the relations of our country with Greece, and continues further): Despite the enemy stance of the Greeks, the ALP and our government have continually taken steps for the amelioration of our relations with Greece. (Further on comrade Hysni Kapo explained the stance of Yugoslavia toward our country and our efforts to achieve normal relations at the governmental level and on this, comrade Hysni Kapo said, we have used to the principle that one must also talk to the enemy as a starting point.)

Our relations with the countries of the communist family are completely different from the relations we have with the countries that are ruled by other social systems. Within our family the Leninist rules and principles must always be respected. These rules and principles have been thrown away by N. Khrushchev. It is a fact that our party was publicly attacked as being traitorous, as anti-Marxist, etc.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The Second International also accused Lenin as being a traitor, as an agent of imperialism, etc., but he still took part in the meeting of the Second International because not all of the mass of communists saw its errors. According to our opinion, in the midst of the international communist movement, as well as between the socialist countries, the talks are necessary. N. Khrushchev made a big mistake in not inviting Albania to the 22nd Congress of the CPSU. The attacks that he initiated against you at that congress unmask him.

In the meeting of the Warsaw Pact [Political Consultative Committee] that was held in February of 1960, N. Khrushchev called comrade Mao Zedong a “discarded shoe” (an old boot). This made us very happy, because by this N. Khrushchev showed that he is a revisionist. He has been slandering us for a long time now, but we nevertheless went to the 22nd Congress of the CPSU. The speech I read at the congress, at the behest of the CC of our party, was soft but with effect in the world. Our participation in the congress did not add to the weight of N. Khrushchev, but to that of the ALP. The participation of the other sister parties that stand on correct ground did not add to the weight of N. Khrushchev. Marxism-Leninism allows us to follow the above-mentioned tactic in the midst of the international communist movement as well, to take part in the unmasking of the enemies. We would be isolated without our participation in the meetings.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: I thank comrade Zhou Enlai for the speech that he read at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU in defense of the ALP and of Marxism-Leninism.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The thanks you express are not necessary. The speech I read was necessary and it was held in the interest of the preservation of Marxism-Leninism.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: When we speak of the Soviet-Albanian disagreements, the issue is not only at the disagreements themselves, it is an issue of Marxism-Leninism. We were hit at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, but the arrows were intended for somewhere else as well. (Here comrade Hysni Kapo explained how these blows were also directed against the CCP.)

Comrade Ramiz Alia: The handle of the hammer falls on Albania, but the head strikes China.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: Yes, it is so. The main blow is directed against China. We have a proverb here that says: Let us strike at the oak, so that the mountain can hear.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: Had N. Khrushchev invited us to the 22nd Congress, we would have taken part. The attack he initiated against us at this congress has neither frightened us, nor made us any weaker. In Albania there is a unity that has never been seen before in either the party, nor in the people. His attacks have strengthened us even more. In this a role is played by the correct line of our party and an external factor, the struggle of the sister parties in the defense of Marxism-Leninism and, above all, the struggle of the CCP, its assistance and the international solidarity.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The main help is the internal factor.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Explains the issue related to the unity within our party, then continues on to say that) … we agree with what you (comrade Zhou Enlai) said that Lenin, despite the division between the parties in the Second International, continued to take part in its meeting. (Further on, comrade Hysni Kapo pointed out the situation at the Meeting of Bucharest [the conference of the Romanian Workers' 20-25 June 1960]).

Comrade Zhou Enlai: Your support for our party at the Meeting of Bucharest was pivotal.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: Both you and we knew beforehand what N. Khrushchev would bring up at this meeting and despite our participation. In addition, we also participated in the Moscow Meeting [November 1960] despite the difficult situation that had been created there. We took part there not because we thought that N. Khrushchev might change his thoughts and his stance, but because it was necessary for us to discuss the problems of our family. We should not have given the upper hand to the enemy by taking the first step in that direction. And N. Khrushchev stepped on the norms of the relations between the parties and of the Moscow Declaration; he organized the open attack on the ALP at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU.

(Further on comrade Hysni Kapo describes the unequal situation in which our party has been put after the 22nd Congress of the CPSU and the situation it would have faced had it gone to the meeting; later he explained the reasons why the position of the ALP is correct and pointed out that the CCP stands on other conditions. He then said that on all the principal issue both of our parties stand on similar grounds and our points of view only differ in the issue of the meeting. But, comrade Hysni Kapo continued, we will transmit your thoughts to the Central Committee of our party. We have been led by the spirit of the friendship and sincerity that ties us every time we have expressed an opinion here.)

You, comrade Zhou Enlai, spoke here about your economic situation. We are two bodies with one single heart; every difficulty of yours is felt by us too. We understood by the explanations that you gave that you placed your heart in our hand and did not keep any secrets from us. We understand very well the measures that you have taken.

We are not empowered by the Central Committee of our party to talk with you about economic problems; the leadership of our party has entrusted us with discussing only the issue of the nitrogen fertilizer plant and only to see where we stand on the deadlines for the objects. As to the issues that you brought forth, we cannot express any opinion, but we think that the changes that you propose will bring extremely grave economic and political hardships to us, such as, for example, the failure to fulfill the agreement on bread supplies. We would never want to cause you to have less bread than us, but considering the conditions in which we find ourselves, we would ask that this issue, as well as the others, be looked at one more time.

(Further on, comrade Hysni Kapo speaks in more detail to comrade Zhou Enlai about the imperative need for procuring grains and shows the real basis on why we asked for them. He also pointed out the need for deliveries of oils, of tubes, etc. Comrade Hysni Kapo then said to comrade Zhou Enlai that we understand the intent of your point that we must walk on our own feet, but because of the economic conditions of our country we are not able to achieve this at the moment, but we have mobilized all the working masses for the complete fulfillment of all the tasks of the 3rd five year plan.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: (Spoke once again and said that we should tap into our reserves.)

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Pointed out that we have very few reserves; that they are only enough for a time of war; and that in fact even from those we have already taken out for the first three months of the year with the hope that we could replace them with the assistance form China.)

The decrease in the number of objects from 29 to 10 that you would like to do is very troublesome for us. You expressed the opinion that our plan might be overloaded. You have also expressed this opinion to comrade [First Deputy Premier] Spiro Koleka. We analyzed all these issues one by one at the Politburo and came to the conclusion that we have the power to construct all the objects that we have included in the plan. Comrade Abdyl Kellezi was sent here exactly for the conclusion of the agreements. The signing of the agreements with you calmed us because the objects that we will receive from you are the foundation of our third five-year plan for industry and if we could be given them, we have the power to build them. The failure to receive 19 objects would be a very damaging thing for us and that is why we plead with you to reconsider this issue. We will report to the Central Committee of our party about your point of view on this, but we can tell you beforehand that we know the situation and the effect that such a measure would have on us would be very grave.

As to the nitrogen fertilizer plant, it was known for a while that it would come from other countries. If the Italians will not provide it, let us look somewhere to see if it can be found, because agriculture is also vital in our country and nitrogen fertilizers play an important role in agriculture.

(Further on, comrade Hysni Kapo gives general information on the agriculture situation in our country. If we do not secure nitrogen fertilizers, he said, we will always have to import our bread. The change of plan will be a very grave thing for us to bear, especially when considering our political, economic, and geographic position. Comrade Hysni Kapo then pointed out our great needs in the area of strengthening our defenses and gave some details about the armed forces of the countries that surround Albania. He also pointed out that despite the economic weight that the armed forces place on the country, they are necessary for the security of our fatherland.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: I am aware of some of the things that you pointed out, but there are also some new things. First of all, on the issue of the defense I had known the information from the talks I have had with your comrades from the military delegations. Whatever potential for military materiel assistance we have had, we have given to you and we will continue to do some part in the future.

We are convinced that the heroic Albanian people, led by the party will withstand all the enemies that will dare to attack your country. The issue here can be compressed into two main problems for you: [illegible] … fertilizers. We cannot fulfill the grain plan. For this year could you use some amount of grain from the military reserves? Whenever we will have freed foreign currency, we will replace all you use. The amount of grain that you would receive this year, we will give to you next year. We would like to help you with chemical fertilizers, but we are not able to solve the technical side of the production of the nitrogen fertilizers. The Italians refuse to give us the technology.

Comrade Li Xiannian: We are still trying to procure it from the Italians.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: We will still try to achieve something with the Italians. We assure you that whenever we manage to get the patents, we will first of all help you and then we will look into our needs. But if they do not give it to us, there is nothing we can do. We will also ask comrade [PRC Foreign Minister] Chen Yi to talk about this issue with the Italian firm MOTAI when he goes to Geneva [for the conference on Laos]. The faraway water cannot put out the fire that is nearby, goes a wise proverb of our people. Even if we get the technology, we will need 2, 3, or even more years before we can start producing [nitrogen fertilizers].

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Points out that in no way can the small reserve of grains intended for the military be touched and gives an explanation of our country's great need for the nitrogen fertilizer plant. Then he adds that the gasification shop construction can be postponed for later, but that the other shops must start to be built now.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: We do not have the experience for this. This can only be done after we receive the documentation from the Italians.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: Let us at least start building the thermal power station that will supply energy to the nitrogen fertilizer plant since we know the capacity it must have.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: This also cannot be done. (Then he insists again that the nitrogen fertilizer plant needs a few years to be built) and you have an urgent need for chemical fertilizers. So I will speak with the comrades in the government so that we may furnish you with some next year and then do that again and again until the plant is constructed. 10,000 tons of chemical fertilizers spread on the fields will add 30,000 tons of grain. These are the proportions that we will use to supply you for the fulfillment of your needs.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Asks one more time that all the issues that comrade Zhou Enlai brought forth be reconsidered once again.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The thoughts that I brought forth to you are realistic. I think that we must share all the blessings and the misfortunes with each other. We will supply you with chemical fertilizers in the coming year; we will also give you the grain at that time. In the coming year we can give you up to 15,000 tons of chemical fertilizers.


Now there is no other way we could operate; we will have to postpone them. What I have presented here is the reality and we implore you to transmit them to the Central Committee of your party and to your government. Most needed for you are the fertilizers and the grains; the industrial objects can be postponed. The most important thing is the agriculture. I say this once again because I know that this issue is worrisome for you.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Points out the great worry that such a thing causes us.)

Comrade Zhou Enlai: I was in northeast China trying to solve the bread problem. Many industrial and very important centers there we have closed and the workers have all been sent to work in the fields.

Comrade Li Xiannian: We are responsible for all that we have said to you today, especially me who made promises to you. These last days I looked at the list of objects. We see that after they are all built, you will have a great need for a large workforce for them. By pulling all these forces from the village, your agriculture will become weaker.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: (Explains that we already have these forces and that the problem has been well studied from all sides.) If the problem we face is that we cannot build the objects due to technical shortcomings, that is another thing, but as to the necessary workforce for the construction and then for the operation of these objects, we can procure it.

Comrade Zhou Enlai: The main thing are the technical shortcomings; we simply are not able to [provide] it. We are your good friends, but we are also poor; we accepted your requests only after great deliberation.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: For us it is better to have a poor friend who is good, such as we have in the CCP and the Chinese people, than to have a rich friend, but one that seeks to stick a knife into your back.



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Central State Archive, Tirana, F14/ L14/ D7/ Viti 1962.


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