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September 24, 1963

Record of Conversation between Yumjaagiin Tsedenbal and the Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia, Zhang Canming

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation



Ulaanbaatar, 24 September 1963.


Tsedenbal: […] In the future relations between our two peoples can develop according to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. They must develop on that basis. People will certainly approve if friendship between our two peoples is developed on the basis of these great principles.


Zhang: The border between our two countries is not only delimited by the mountains and waterways, but is also connected by the Gobi desert. It is not merely a matter of delimiting the border by mountains and waterways.


Tsedenbal: The border between our two countries is 4,500 km long.


Zhang: That’s very long.


Tsedenbal: Now work is underway to erect border markers. It should be finished soon.


Zhang: This work is being carried out very successfully. This is an expression of friendly relations between our two countries.


Tsedenbal: Now the two sides’ commission is working. I have not had a chance to become acquainted with the latest situation. You probably know the work situation yourself. Now they are putting up these border markers. In the future, during the communist period, borders will not be needed anywhere. They will remain as historic reminiscences for young people to study.


Zhang: This is the law of dialectics. For example, now we have a proletarian dictatorship. Its aim is to annihilate classes. Now we are erecting border markers. Their aim is to annihilate borders in the future.


Tsedenbal: Yes. It has to be like this. Borders are a product of class society. During that period, nation states separated from each other. Now such borders are also needed. In the future, in the communist period, they will not be needed. In the future there will be no nation states that close themselves up in a box.


Zhang: In the communist period, the world will be one big family.


Tsedenbal: Yes, society, based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism, will develop further, and there will be no regard for people’s nationality and skin color, there will be one language and one culture.


Zhang: Now all work we are doing is directed towards the building of communism. […] Now your army expenses have been cut down a lot?


Tsedenbal: They have been. They can’t compare with the previous period.


Zhang: There are only socialist countries around you.


Tsedenbal: Our army does mainly construction work.


Zhang: As for us, along with construction work, we have to resist the imperialist threat, and so we need appropriate forces. For example, imperialists are occupying our Taiwan.


Tsedenbal: Today’s weapons are very dangerous. Today’s bombs are several million times more dangerous than previous bombs. Today’s weapons are as dangerous as nothing seen before, and therefore all honest people must strive towards preventing war. The weapons that protect the entire socialist camp and all people are the Soviet nuclear weapons. This is the force that restrains the imperialists. When there are weapons in the Soviet Union that protect our camp and all of humanity, there is no need for countries like ours to have such large military forces as before. Instead of this, young people can engage in peaceful labor and soldiers can be used for construction work.


Zhang: […] How many soldiers do you have now?


Tsedenbal: About 14,000. With the air force included, not more than 15,000.


Zhang: These soldiers are probably used mainly for construction work?


Tsedenbal: Almost [all] do construction work. The weapons that protect Mongolia, China, the entire socialist camp and all peace-loving peoples are in the Soviet Union. […]

A discussion between Mongolian Politburo member Tsedenbal and Chinese ambassador Canming. The two speak about how border demarcation and standing armies in countries like Mongolia will be obsolete during the future "communist period."

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Document Information


Mongol Ardyn Khuvsgalt Namyn Arkhiv, fond 4, dans 28, kh/n 182, khuu. 70-80. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Sergey Radchenko.


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Memorandum of Conversation


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Leon Levy Foundation