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July 1987

Zhao Ziyang's Visit to Hungary. Evaluation by Delegation Members

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Strictly confidential!


Evaluation of Zhao Ziyang's visit to socialist countries


In the evaluation of Chinese party circles and in the opinion of the Chinese leadership, the visits paid by Zhao Ziyang, Premier of the State Council, to five Eastern European countries mark a turning point in bilateral political relations. Great significance is attributed to these visits in respect to the comprehensive concept of the so-called "European policy" as well.


According to the Chinese evaluation the main outcome of Zhao Ziyang 's visits to socialist countries is the implementation of the theory about "finding some kind of counterbalance to the two great powers, the USA and the Soviet Union, which is the common interest of European countries". The Chinese are convinced that a certain degree of pressure is exerted on socialist countries in their ongoing negotiations with Western European countries as a result of their [Chinese] policy.


On the other hand, the Chinese leadership is realistic in their assessment of the Chinese potentials to influence the policy of socialist countries towards the Soviet Union. It is no longer assumed that they [China] could complicate or weaken the relations between the said countries. Nevertheless, Zhao Ziyang's visits are evaluated as successful in this aspect as well. The visits are mutually considered as a significant step forward in the further advancement of bilateral relations irrespective of the existing differences in opinion regarding regional issues (Afghanistan, Cambodia), which implies that socialist countries take their alliance with the Soviet Union into consideration in such matters, while China takes a position that is different in principle from that of socialist countries.


Certain differences were perceived during consultations on the evaluation of the international political situation, but these differences do not pose obstacles in the further development of bilateral relations. Furthermore, it is judged favorably that differences in the evaluation of the situation in Afghanistan and Cambodia were only identified during the visit, and the socialist countries did not aim at gaining stronger support for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


While Chinese leaders are of the opinion that economic cooperation is first priority in the relationship with socialist countries, Chinese party leaders attribute second priority to this aspect. In their view, if economic aid provided by socialist countries to China is assessed pragmatically, then the assistance received from them is only secondary compared to the potentials of advanced capitalist countries. However, China will utilize economic and technical cooperation with socialist countries. Socialist countries have the demand for larger volumes of traditional commercial goods, mainly textiles, articles for daily use and electronic products manufactured by Western and Chinese joint companies. The CCP has instructed various ministries to examine opportunities for forming joint companies with socialist countries.


Regarding the relationship between China and Czechoslovakia, Chinese party circles judge Zhao Ziyang's visit to Czechoslovakia as having been highly successful. It is stressed that talks were first of all aimed to further develop bilateral relations. It became clear in the "open and sincere" discussions held between the Chinese delegation and the Czechoslovakian leadership that there was an extremely wide scope for cooperation. Said circles have made reference that Zhao Ziyang has drawn up the direction for widening bilateral relations, and is strongly in favor of increasing the share of socialist countries in China's economic relations. The above mentioned circles judge positively Husak's proposal to sign agreements, effective until the end of the century, in commercial, economic, scientific and other fields. These agreements would provide a framework for the deepening of bilateral ties.


Chinese representatives consider Zhao Ziyang's visits absolutely successful and in line with their foreign policy. The highest level talks have brought completion to the process of normalizing of bilateral relations. The objectives of the talks have been reached, and China has not been forced to divert from the development of bilateral relations or from its concept based on the 5 principles of peaceful coexistence.  


The visits have also contributed to creating a greater degree of equilibrium in Chinese foreign policy before CCP's forthcoming 13th congress.


In the future China will exert efforts in order to establish cooperation with socialist countries in the military and security fields as well. In accordance with the resolution of the secretariat of the CCP's CC passed in the first quarter of 1987, this question will bear the same significance as the normalization of party-to-party relations. Chinese embassies in socialist countries will have a significant role in establishing contacts and laying the foundations for the relations between officials of the two sides.


Received: 23 July 1987


Prepared in 2 copies.

1 copy for Directorate III/I

1 copy for the archives


[Russian original of the above Evaluation on pp. 50-52. ]





The visit to Hungary by Zhao Ziyang and the high level delegation was evaluated as a historic event and an extremely important landmark in our bilateral relations.


In their analysis done after the visit, the work performed by the delegation was evaluated as highly successful and progressive.


It was pointed out that the relationship with the Hungarian comrades as well as with the leaders of the Hungarian state and the leaders of the party showed a steadily strengthening tendency. Special significance was attached to the fact that the Hungarian leadership and the Hungarian people had maintained a constructive attitude regarding relations between the two countries all along the "unpleasant and bad times" too. Our countries had been seeking mutual friendship and providing mutual assistance since 1949, examples of which constituted now a part of history.


Recent efforts to reform the economy indicated that both socialist countries were committed to mutually help one another. During the talks, the Hungarian leadership spoke openly about existing problems and results alike.


An overview was presented of further reform measures aimed at the transformation of the Hungarian economic life and of efforts to adjust them to the reality in world economy. They found the [Hungarian] economic reform principles worthy of attention, and cast no doubt on these principles despite existing problems.


They highly appreciated the consultations, conducted in a fraternal atmosphere, on the necessity to carry on with the current Hungarian political processes and to make more powerful attempts at finding the way out of the economic recession.


The exchange of ideas included discussions of a good number of common economic problems, among others, external and internal factors that impact the national economy.


In their opinion, the difficulties arising from the structural changes in Hungary coincided with a number of external factors that affected the economy unfavorably: the price of raw materials and crude oil had fallen, and a significant drop had to be experienced in the price of agricultural products, which were previously doing well.


Estimated at over 10 billion US dollars, our foreign debts are excessively high in their view.


In terms of economic activities they informed us that the Hungarian ministry for foreign trade had delivered a supplementary list to the trade agreement concluded between our two countries.


The proposal had been submitted, and they presumed that it would be accepted by the Chinese ministry for foreign trade.



A Hungarian report on Zhao Ziyang's visit to Hungary and the ongoing reform processess in China and Hungary.


Document Information


Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security (ÁBTL), 1. 11. 4. S-II/2/87 pp. 47-49; 53-54. Obtained by Péter Vámos and translated by Katalin Varga.


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MacArthur Foundation and Leon Levy Foundation