Skip to content

April 16, 1960

Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou's Calling on Chief of Staff Ne Win

This document was made possible with support from Henry Luce Foundation

Document No. 246


Ministry of Foreign Affairs Document


Classification: Top Secret

Destroy after reading


Printed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office was issued on April 26, 1960.

Share within the Ministry to the commissioner rank and above.


Record of Conversation: Premier Zhou Calls on Chief of Staff of Ne Win


Time: April 16, 1960, 5 pm to 6:40 pm

Location: Home of Ne Win


Chinese Side Participants: Premier Zhou, Vice Premier Chen, Vice Minister Zhang, Ambassador Li, Secretary Pu Shouchang, and Secretary Zhou Jiading

Burma participants: Chief of Staff Ne Win, Maung Maung, Ambassador Kyaw Win




Ne Win: "I heard that the President of Burma has asked you to extend your visit to Burma. I must apologize to you. I only heard about this from Ambassador Wen Wen yesterday. In fact, the President should not get involved in such matters. The relationship between the President and the Prime Minister The relationship is a very important issue. A precedent created now would have very bad historical consequences."


Premier Zhou said that the matter has passed and has not affected the relations between China and Burma.


Ne Win: "There is no misunderstanding between us because of this. The problem between the President and I has not been completely resolved."


Premier Zhou: "This is your internal affair. We cannot interfere."


Ne Win said that the president should not go directly to Ambassador Li to discuss fasting. The President fasts too much. If the fasting really solved all the problems, it would be fine. When the Nepalese Prime Minister visited Burma not long ago, the President refused to allow the Nepalese Prime Minister to visit the Presidential Palace. At the time, the prime minister lived in the presidential palace, and so had not alternative but to force the President to agree.


II. China-Burma relations

Ne Win: "With regard to the ratification of the China-Burma Burma and the agreement, I believe that everything will go smoothly. It is only a matter of time. The current ruling party agrees to the China-Burma Treaty and Agreement. Our Union Parliament will approve it next week."


Premier Zhou: "There are also some complicated issues between China and Burma, but the two sides have not discussed them in connection with the border issue, otherwise the border issue would not be resolved.


"For example, the issue of the Kuomintang army operating in Burma, we understand that because they are armed, and especially with the strong support they have, it has been difficult for you to destroy them immediately. We have adopted an understanding attitude and will wait for the Burma government to gradually eliminate them."


"Recently, our military attaché in Burma, Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Keding passed along some information about the Kuomintang army in Burma. Now I am willing to provide your Excellency with two points of information. The first point is that the Kuomintang Liu Yuanlin troops are on the Mengbian border with Laos. A large airport was built there. The runway is 24 meters wide and 18,000 meters long and was completed in February and March of this year. In March, Kuomintang army planes landed 12 times at Mengbai. According to our understanding, some very long equipment was shipped not only from Taiwan, but also from Bangkok as well. We can see from this that a strong force stands behind him. The command of the Kuomintang Liu Yuanlin is located at the Burma border at Jiangle within Burma."


Premier Zhou went on to say: "In the future, the United States and Chiang Kai-shek will create new incidents on the Sino-Burmese border. Therefore, we regard the Kuomintang army in Burma as a common scourge of both our countries. If they enter China, we will destroy them."


Ne Win: "We must try our best to destroy them."


Premier Zhou: "In the future, we will often provide information to your headquarters through the military attaché Jiang Keding. I suggest that Your Excellency designate Lieutenant Lun as your liaison with Lt. Col Jiang Keding.


Ne Win: "Thank you. Over the past four to five months, we have noticed planes flying into the China-Burma border area. We found one in Lashio. We knew that it was not a Chinese plane, but we don't have enough anti-aircraft equipment. These planes worry us very much. We are afraid that they will make the Chinese government misunderstand the situation. I also want to tell you that we also noticed some planes in the Sino-Indian border area last year. We suspect that this is the United States transporting some people to Tibet."



Premier Zhou: "This is the second thing we wanted to talk with you about. For two or three months earlier this year, we found some planes flying at high altitude over Burma to Tibet and then flying south back to Bangkok. Other planes flew through China on the way back. These are the US-Chiang Kai-shek clique planes. The United States has air bases in Thailand. When the Sino-Indian border issue was tense last year, we also found planes crossing the Sino-Indian border on the way to Tibet…Now we both have a clear understanding. These are not planes from China or Burma. Therefore, we can force them to land or shoot down in our respective territories. Originally, we did not send the current Air Force to Yunnan. However, recently we noticed that the US-Chiang Kai-shek clique planes have been frequently flying to Tibet to parachute in spies, some of whom we caught. Now we are stationing an Air Force unit in Yunnan for defense. I am informing you of this now because you are the Chief of Staff of the Burma Armed Forces. Since you have received this advance notice, you need not worry about it."


Ne Win: "You have to do this. It is useless to argue with Thailand. We have talked to them many times in the past and they agreed to do something about it but they never do anything."


Premier Zhou: "If our two countries exchange information, these things will not affect friendship between the two countries."


Ne Win: "That is currently beneficial to both parties."


Premier Zhou: “We have related ethnic groups on both sides of the border. Some of them are very primitive. Sometimes there are incidents of fighting, robbing, and killing. We believe that these are local problems, were not ordered by higher authority and do not affect the friendship between our two countries. The local armed forces of the two sides, the armed defense commanders should exchange more information. We need to have more exchanges and more joint activities so that we can make big things become smaller and make small things disappear.”


Ne Win: "Yes, it is also important to improve the lives of people in the border areas. We should make joint efforts to do this."


III. China-India, China-Nepal, Burmese-Indian, and Burma-Nepal Relations


Ne Win Expressed his Hope that Premier Zhou will Make a Successful Visit to India


Premier Zhou: "The principles for the settlement of China-Burma border issues can also be applied on the China-India border. The settlement of the China-Burma border issue is an example in all respects. China and Burma have simplified some complicated issues between the two countries and linked problems at different borders. For example, we gave Luoxian (Nuosai) troops asylum, but they were not allowed to carry out political activities. They only work to make a living. The situation of the Dalai Lama in India was different. We have no opinion on the granting of asylum in India, but the Dalai Lama’s activities went beyond this range. He supports Tibet independence and sent representatives to attend the so-called "Tibet Conference."


Ne Win: "We detained the Burmese who attended the meeting on Tibet last year."


Premier Zhou: "That is a sign of your friendship."


Ne Win: "India wants to bring Burma and India closer together. Last year, Indian newspapers carried articles claiming that China had violated its pledges to Burma. I visited India after visiting the United Republic. During our meeting, Nehru raised border issues with me. I told Nehru that the propaganda in the Indian newspapers was not true. The responsibility for delaying the Sino-Burmese border agreement lies not with China but with Burma. Because Burma wants to rent from China at Nanyuan in the border area and China would like to exchange some territory with Burma. Burma is encountering some difficulties because it needs to persuade some people. Therefore, it has been delayed. After I visited India, those Indian newspaper propaganda piece no longer appeared."


Premier Zhou: "We paid close attention to your visit to Delhi. We feel that you are being fair towards both China and India."


Ne Win: "On the Sino-Indian border issue, I doubt whether India is as blameless as it might appear on the surface. Therefore, we are fair with both India and China."


Premier Zhou: "We have noticed that you have not addressed the issue. This is very fair."


Ne Win: "We believe that we must understand the actual situation before we can say anything. Otherwise we have nothing to say."


Premier Zhou: "India understands very well that Tibet belongs to China and has repeatedly acknowledged it."


Ne Win: "As long as India recognizes that Tibet belongs to China, no matter what happens in Tibet, China is sovereign and India cannot challenge that. Not matter what anyone says they know about Tibet or know about China, they don’t understand China as well as the Chinese themselves do."


Premier Zhou: Just like the rebellion of the Shanbang. ”


Ne Win: "We are trying to resolve it as peacefully as possible, but if we can't solve it peacefully, we will have to resort to other methods and even the use of military force."


Ne Win: "Recently, when Nepal’s Prime Minister visited Burma, he asked me what I thought about China and India. I said that this has nothing to do with us, but I understand China’s attitude towards small countries like Burma and Nepal, as long as we (Burma and Nepal) are sincere in our dealings with China. China will do its best to help."


Premier Zhou: "Thank you for your explanation. The Prime Minister of Nepal also said in Beijing that the way China and Burma resolved their border issue has encouraged him."


Premier Zhou then explained the issue of Mount Everest to Ne Win.


Cc: The Chairman, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, Lin Biao, Deng Xiaoping, Lin Boqu, Dong Biwu, Peng Zhen, Rong Heng, Hun Chun, Liu Bocheng, He Long, Liu Xiannian, Lu Dingyi, Chen Boda, Kang Sheng, Bo Yibo, Wang Jiaxiang, Tan Zhenlin, Tan Zheng (2), Liu Lantao, Yang Shangkun, Qiao Mu, Luo Ruiqing, Zhong Xun, Li Kenong, Xie Fuzhi, Kong Yuan, Li Tao (2), CC Foreign Affairs Office (8), CC Propaganda Department, CC International Liaison Department (5), CC Investigation Department (4), Military Intelligence (2), Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Foreign Trade, Ministry of National Defense (2), PRC Commission for Cultural Liaison with Foreign Countries, PLA General Staff Department, Central Military Commission General Staff Department Combat Operations, Wu Lengxi, Zhu Muzhi,

Chen, Zhang, Luo, Ji, Zeng, Hengyi, Meng, Qiao, General Office (3), Soviet and European Division, First Asian Division (4), Second Asian Division, Western Europe, US and Australia, Asia and Africa, News Department, Consular Affairs Division, Treaty Affairs Division, Ambassador, 8 additional copies for a total of 95 copies.


Received on April 25, 1960, printed on April 26, 1960





Zhou and Ne Win discuss bilateral relations, politics in Burma, the presence of the Kuomintang armed forces in Burma, and relations with India and Nepal.

Document Information


PRC FMA 203-00036-01. Translated by David Cowhig.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Record ID



Henry Luce Foundation and Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation