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December 3, 1950

Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Wu Xiuquan and Qiao Guanhua

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Wu [Xiuquan] and Qiao [Guanhua]:


[I] received and read [your] December 1 telegram.  When you see Rau tonight, tell him only that the outline of his suggestion has been conveyed to Beijing.  Do not reply further.  Besides contact those on our side and attending Rau and Trygve Lie’s banquet, you should concentrate on preparing for the political committee speech so that [we can] give the American imperialist representatives a counter-strike this week.  America is suffering a disastrous defeat on both its eastern and western lines and is retreating towards Pyongyang, Seisin, and Wonsan. The UK and France are very afraid of getting involved in a war with China, so are anxious.  America wants to fool [us] into an armistice so as to stabilize the front and augment its military strength in order to attack again.  Now they are worried, but we are not.  You should take the offensive.  Whenever you meet people who say North Korea should sheath the sword, do not refuse negotiations.  You can respond that, as soon as the American armies withdraw from Korea, the Korean War will cease by itself.  [You can also say] you are willing to report their opinions to Beijing.  To all who say that the Taiwan issue cannot be solved now, you should concentrate on this [point] to prove that the American imperialists’ invading North Korea and invading Taiwan are one and the same thing, and ask in reply: if the American imperialists can invade Taiwan while invading North Korea, why can’t the Chinese people assist North Korea while resisting America’s invasion of Taiwan?  In a word, you should not separate the invasion of Taiwan from the invasion of North Korea; you should not accuse [the US] of the invasion of Taiwan only while avoiding a direct answer on the North Korea [issue], should not always declare that your main task is to accuse [the US] of the invasion of Taiwan, and (should not) be afraid that talking about the North Korea issue will force us into the defendant’s position.  It should not be like this.  You should talk about the North Korea issue and the Taiwan issue with great confidence, proving at every opportunity that the American imperialists are invading North Korea and Taiwan; the UN resolution is illegal, and not allowing us to participate in the UN is disregarding 475 million Chinese people.  You should not avoid an oppositional stance in negotiations.  On the contrary, we should declare at every opportunity that no issue related to China can be solved without the Chinese joining the discussion and without the approval of Chinese representatives, therefore, any resolution [passed] or measure taken [without China’s involvement] is invalid and illegal.

Zhou Enlai

Seven o’clock, December 3 [1950]

Zhou Enlai gives instructions on how the Chinese side should respond when confronted with questions of whether China should back down in regards to the North Korean issue and the Taiwan issue. In particular, he emphasizes that the Chinese side should focus on blaming American imperialism for the invasions of North Korea and Taiwan and maintaining that China's involvement in these issues is essential.


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. 3 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 575-576. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler.


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