Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai concerning the extension of the Port Arthur agreement, the construction of a Sino-Mongolian railroad to the Soviet Union, and the situation in Korea. On the issue of Korea, they discussed sending arms shipments to China and Chinese arms production; the possibility of a Chinese offensive in Korea; and the return of POWs. Stalin reaffirmed his commitment to assisting China in the war in Korea.
August 22, 1952
Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee
This document was made possible with support from Henry Luce Foundation
To Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee:
The two delegations met for the first time last night. The Soviet side was led by Ambassador Alexander Panyushkin. We discussed three issues during our hour-and-a-half meeting.
On the exchange of letters on Lüshun Port, the Soviet side agreed in principle to the draft prepared by the Chinese side. They will give us a formal reply after examining the issue.
They agree to the construction of a Sino-Mongolian railway but, in principle, it would be better to sign an agreement among China, Mongolia, and the Soviet Union. The construction work is entrusted to the Ministry of Railways and the Ulan Bator Railway Co., Ltd., for work to be done in China and Mongolia. We raised the issue of changing the different rail gauges, the Soviet side didn’t like that idea. If Chinese freight trains were to go directly to Ulan-Ude in Siberia, the Soviet side would also have difficulties.
The question of whether China will in the future changes all its rail gauges involves too many other issues that are difficult to settle now so the delegations both view that it is best to be cautious about this issue. The Soviet delegation asked that we put our proposal in writing. We will makes changes to the original draft to reflect our opinion and put the suggestion that the gauge of the Chinese portion of the route be changed into an annex that will explain the difficulties that it would involve.
As for rubber technology cooperation, we decided that documents on this should not be published now. After we explained the issues, they asked us to put it in writing for them so that they could study the issue. During the discussions, they asked about our rubber planting plan, what equipment would be needed, how long rubber could be tapped, and the quantity that could be obtained. They noted that the international market price of rubber is very volatile. Now the United States is forcing down the price but still it is higher than in normal years.
With regard to issues such as construction during the Five-Year Plan, national defense construction, and loans, we proposed to report to Comrade Stalin about China’s domestic situation and overall national construction policy and then have a discussion. They agreed.
This afternoon I saw Chairman [of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union] Nikolay Shvernik. This afternoon the entire delegation will make a pilgrimage to Lenin’s tomb.
 The editors of Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC) included several footnotes in this document that provided biographical information on the individuals mentioned. These footnotes have not been translated into English. – Charles Kraus.
Zhou reports on his meetings with Soviet counterparts. The discussions concerned the Lüshun Port, a possible Sino-Soviet-Mongolian railway, and rubber.
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