Skip to content

April 13, 1950

Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Nikolai Bulganin

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation


Comrade N.A. Bulganin:


[We] assume you have already read the telegram of March 22.  Now, to clarify the situation regarding our past military orders and the time(s) needed, [we] wish to inform you of the following:

(1) In order to assure the normal carrying-out of educational work in the six aviation institutes of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, please do what you can to send us, during April, all the purchases on the requisition form signed by Comrade Mao Zedong on February 11, including parts and back-up equipment for airplanes and engines, aviation tools, ammunition and models for making airplane wheels.  Please also send the advisors that have been requested.

(2)  In order for the students who were recently transferred after the expansion of all aviation institutes to be able to start classes on time (May 1, 1950), during May please send all purchases on the requisition form signed by Comrade Mao Zedong on Feb 15, including the forty-two airplanes (twenty IA18, ten R9, and twelve T2), twenty-four engines and two-hundred parachutes; plus the 100,000 rounds of ammunition that General Liu Yalou ordered from General [S.M.] Shtemenko. Please also send the advisors that have been requested.

(3) The People’s Revolutionary Military Affairs Committee of the People’s Republic of China anticipates two military campaigns in 1950: the conquest of the Danshan Islands in June and of the Jinmen Island in August.Three newly formed air force regiments will participate in these two campaigns.  So, before mid-May, please send all purchases on the requisition form signed by Comrade Mao Zedong, including the 84 airplanes (24 T2 bombers and 60 R9 chasers).

(4) Besides the above-mentioned 84 airplanes, please send 312 airplanes by December 1950 (140 R9, 28 UR9, 28 IA11, 14 IA12, 64 IA12, 19 UT2 and 19 UTB) so that the aviation students who are graduating at the end of this year will be equipped when the time comes.

(5) Please send, during February, all the rest of the purchases on the Feb 15, 1950 requisition form: 190 airplanes (110 T2 and 80 R9) so that newly-added aviation students who are graduating next March will be equipped.

(6) Concerning the requisition form in the above-mentioned first item, see the letter Comrade Mao Zedong sent to Comrade Stalin on Feb 11, 1950. For the rest of the items in Nos. 2 through 5, see the Air Force part of the requisition form attached to the Feb 15, 1950 letter from Comrade Mao Zedong.  Please consider and act in accordance with these.  We look forward to receiving instructions in reply.

With sincere

Bolshevik greetings!

Zhou Enlai

April 13, 1950

Zhou Enlai requests and gives deadlines for the sending of aviation equipment and personnel from Moscow, mentioning that China is anticipating military conquests of the Danshan and Jinmen islands.

Document Information


Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 2 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 299-300. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler.


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



Leon Levy Foundation