Skip to content

June 3, 1959

Report of Conversation with the General Secretary of the CCP CC, Deng Xiaoping

From the diary of P.F. YUDIN



“3” June 1959



Report of Conversation

with the General Secretary of the CCP CC, DENG XIAOPING


27 May 1959


While visiting com. Deng Xiaoping on the instructions of the Center, I informed him about the course of the negotiations in Geneva.


Deng Xiaoping requested that I convey great thanks to the CC CPSU for providing this information, and also said that it would be reported to Mao Zedong and other leading figures in the PRC forthwith. In passing, Deng Xiaoping said that Mao Zedong was not feeling well-was sick with the flu. Liu Shaoqi is also not quite well-his right hand hurts. Zhou Enlai is not in Beijing at present.


Touching on the issue of a summit meeting, Deng Xiaoping agreed with the opinion that the meeting evidently would take place. He also inquired as to the background (kharakteristika) of the new US Secretary of State, [Christian A.] Herter. I talked about the information we have on this issue from MID [Foreign Ministry] USSR.


Having mentioned the upcoming visit by [Averell] Harriman to the Soviet Union and his intention to visit the PRC, Deng Xiaoping stated that they had already discussed the issue of the expediency of Harriman's visit to China and came to the conclusion that at present the visit would not be useful. However, he added, we are not ruling out a visit by Harriman to China in the future.


I briefed Deng Xiaoping on the basis of the information we received from MID USSR on Sukarno's stay in Turkey. Having displayed a great interest in this issue, Deng Xiaoping noted that, of all the nationalist countries in Asia at present, Indonesia is taking the best position. This is particularly evident in the example of Indonesia's attitude toward events in Tibet.


Afterwards, we touched on the issue of Yugoslavia, of Tito's trip through the countries of Southeast Asia, of Yugoslavia's position on the Tibet issue, and on the difficult state of the Yugoslav economy. In the conversation, it was noted that nationalist bourgeois circles in Arab countries were accepting Yugoslav ideology. We both agreed that it was necessary to strengthen our common propaganda in the Arab countries in the interests of exposing the Yugoslav provocational policy.

Deng Xiaoping emphasized that in some ways the Yugoslav revisionists were now more dangerous than the Americans and the social democrats of the Western countries, and that, as a result, it was a very important task to expose the Yugoslav revisionists. We are devoting a lot of attention to this issue, he said, which is the reason for the Yugoslavs' particular protest. Deng Xiaoping said that after a report by a Xinhua correspondent in Belgrade about a strike by Yugoslav students protesting poor food was published in the Chinese press, the Yugoslav authorities made a statement of protest and warned the Chinese correspondent that if such an episode occurred again they would take appropriate action against him.


Touching on the plan thought up by Tito and Nasser for a meeting of the leaders of four countries - Tito, Nasser, Nehru and Sukarno-with the aim of "coordinating neutrality policies in connection with the Geneva conference," Deng Xiaoping said that Nehru was firmly opposing the meeting. Sukarno was showing a vague interest (kak-budto proiavliaet nekotoryi interes) in the plan. Foreign agents report that [Indonesian Foreign Minister] Subandrio has allegedly decided to communicate with the authors of the plan (Tito and Nasser) about the concrete details of the proposal. As of yet, it is hard to say what Sukarno's final position will be on this issue, Deng Xiaoping noted, although it is already clear that Tito and Nasser are very interested in calling such a meeting.


Having noted that the Americans need an instrument like the current Yugoslav leaders and that the Americans are making fairly good use of that instrument, not economizing in their spending on it, Deng Xiaoping expressed confidence that in the end that money would be spent in vain, as was the money spent on Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-Shek].


I inquired as to the situation at present in Taiwan.


Deng Xiaoping expressed the opinion that Jiang Jieshi would probably not give up power and would remain "president" for a third term. If Jiang Jieshi remains as "president," he said, that would be better for us than if Chen Chen or even Hu Shi occupied the post. The Americans would be happiest with Hu Shi; in the worst case, they would agree to Chen Chen. Jiang Jieshi suits them least of all. On the Tibetan issue, Deng Xiaoping noted, the views of the PRC and Jiang Jieshi coincide: both we and he consider that Tibet is Chinese territory and that we cannot permit the Tibetan issue to be put before the UN.


In answer to my question as to what the economic situation in Taiwan was, Deng Xiaoping said that the Jiang Jieshi-ites were living at the USA's expense. That, he added, is not a bad thing. Let the Americans waste their money. In the final analysis, Taiwan will be returned to the bosom of its native land - China. However, for that to happen, we need time; we must wait a bit. The circumstances are becoming more and more favorable for the PRC and less and less so for the USA. The Jiang Jieshi-ites in Taiwan are beginning to think hard about the prospects which await them. There are many factors contributing to this: the growing international authority of people's China, its economic successes, the long separation from the native land, and so on. The most important thing of all is that they know the Americans want to wash their hands of them (otkazat'sia). The USA does not trust Jiang Jieshi, and he does not trust the United States.


Later on in the course of the conversation, several issues of the domestic situation of the Soviet Union and China were touched on.


I told Deng Xiaoping about the preparation taking place in our country for the CC CPSU plenum.


Deng Xiaoping noted that at present throughout China, prospects for the harvest are not bad. In some regions, up to 50% more wheat will be harvested than in 1958. The overall wheat harvest will probably be up to 20% higher than the previous year's harvest. It is somewhat worse with the early rice harvest. In places, crops suffer from flooding-in others, from drought. If rains come soon to the drought-affected regions, the situation could be corrected.


Deng Xiaoping went on to note as a serious shortcoming the fact that, of last year's total harvest, a lot of grain was used as free food for peasants in communes. This, he emphasized, has had a negative effect on the supply of grain to the cities. Deng Xiaoping recounted that before the introduction of free food provision for the peasants, much less grain was consumed; they used it economically, and if the grain situation was difficult, they found a way out. Now, 500 million mouths are constantly demanding cereals, are demanding plentiful and tasty food. At present, the biggest shortcoming, he repeated, is that the peasants are consuming a lot themselves and are not giving enough grain to the state. The resolution of the Seventh Plenum of the CC CCP on regulating the communes provides for a gradual restoration of order in this important matter.


At the end of the conversation, Deng Xiaoping briefly touched on the issue of the Dalai Lama. Previously, he said, Nehru calculated that the Dalai Lama would play a huge role in the Indians' plans and that chaos would begin in Tibet without the Dalai Lama. Quite the opposite, in Tibet, things are going well without the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has turned out to be a burden for Nehru. Nehru and the Americans are spending 200 thousand rupees monthly to maintain the Dalai Lama and his entourage. At present, Nehru intends to return the Dalai Lama to Tibet. If he returns, Deng Xiaoping added, we will pay him much more than the Indians and the Americans. In the past during each visit by the Dalai Lama to Beijing, he was given 200 thousand yuan for minor expenses. While the Dalai Lama was in Lhasa, he was given 700 thousand yuan every month (for him and his entourage).


In connection with this, I noted that the Tibetan peasants, who had been freed from dependence as serfs, had gained the most from the Tibetan events.


Having agreed with me, Deng Xiaoping said that the masses of the people in Tibet had already risen up to carry out democratic reforms.


The candidate member of the secretariat of the CC CCP, com. Yang Shangkun, translator com. Yan Mingfu, and the first secretary of the USSR Embassy in the PRC, com. F.V. Mochul'skii, were present during the conversation.


Ambassador of the USSR in the PRC

[signature] (P. Yudin)


Document Information


TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 49, d. 235, ll. 40-44. Obtained by Paul Wingrove and translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie.


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