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January 12, 1947

Record of a Conversation between Soviet Ambassador in China A. A. Petrov and General Zhang Zhizhong on 7 January 1947

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Incoming Nº 477

12 [January] 1947

Outgoing Nº 19




between Soviet Ambassador in China A. A. Petrov and General Zhang Zhizhong on 7 January 1947


On [date missing] January I was visited by General Zhang Zhizhong, Chairman of the government of Xinjiang, who had recently arrived in Urumchi. In the conversation held between us Zhang Zhizhong stressed that he had applied all his efforts to organizing Soviet-Chinese [Translator's note: one word off the page in the left margin] in Xinjiang. Zhang Zhizhong thinks that there are [no] reasons in Xinjiang creating obstacles to a very serious friendship between [the USSR and] China. "In Xinjiang, he declared, there are no Chinese-American [or Chinese]-British relations, there exist only Soviet-[Chinese] relations". Zhang Zhizhong reported that he had established [word off the page, possible "close"] contact with the Soviet general consul in Urumchi and that General Consul Savel'yev often holds long and serious [word off the page], going far beyond the bounds of Xinjiang problems. Zhang [Zhizhong], in his words, suggested that Cde. Savel'yev turn [Xinjiang] into a model province of Soviet-Chinese friendship" in order to show the Chinese public what genuine [friendly] relations can be established.


Zhang said further, I think that current Chinese-Soviet relations cannot be considered satisfactory, that in the [international] relations of China relations with the USSR should not occupy a place which differs from the US; moreover, an active [word off the page] policy of China should become a lever to strengthen Soviet-[Chinese] relations.


Zhang Zhizhong said that in Xinjiang the question of economic and trade cooperation with [the USSR] has been broadly developed. Proposals about the forms of this cooperation have already been given to the General Consul of the USSR in Urumchi by the [Chinese] side. Now we [?are awaiting?] an answer, concluded Zhang Zhizhong.


I asked Zhang Zhizhong's opinion about the domestic political situation in China.


Zhang Zhizhong said that, when leaving Xinjiang in March of last year, he was confident that the question of relations between [one word missing, presumably "the CPC"] and the KMT had been finally settled on the eve of his departure [with an agreement] about the cessation of military operations in Manchuria. While in Xinjiang for nine months he did not have good information and could in no way understand the reasons which led to a resumption of military operations. Right now, said Zhang, I am becoming familiar with the situation and am trying to look into the reasons which led to a resumption of the civil war.


In reply to my question, do press reports that he will be charged with attending peace talks with the CPC correspond to reality, Zhang said that he has not as yet received any assignment but subjectively he would eagerly take this matter upon himself since he thinks the question of domestic peace in China demands immediate resolution and of course  can be solved, if only because it is much simpler than those great international problems which have been successfully resolved at the last [General] Assembly of the United Nations and Council of Ministers of  Foreign Affairs.


Zhang Zhizhong noted further that the Chinese public [half a line missing] by virtue of the fact that in talks [some text missing between pages] [needs] peace and how the Chinese people thirst for this peace.


Zhang Zhizhong denied rumors that he will not return to [one word missing] and get a new appointment in the central government. The substantive part of the conversation ended with this. Pu Daomin, Chief of the West Asian Department and First Secretary of the Embassy B. S. Isayenko took part [in] the conversation.




three copies [made]


to Cde. V. M. Molotov

to Cde. Ya. A. Malik

[to] file

[date] 1947 lr


Petrov and Zhang discuss Xinjiang-Soviet trade and the overall state of Sino-Soviet relations.

Document Information


Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Dmitriĭ Antonovich Volkogonov papers, 1887-1995, mm97083838. Translated by Gary Goldberg.

Original Archive


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Memorandum of Conversation


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MacArthur Foundation