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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • October 14, 1959

    From the Journal of Ambassador S.F. Antonov, Summary of a Conversation with the Chairman of the CC CPC Mao Zedong

    October 1959 conversation between Mao Zedong and the Soviet diplomat and sinologist S.F. Antonov, in which Mao attempted to reassure the Soviets that China would not provoke war with the United States or with its Asian neighbors. In his conversation with Antonov, Mao attempts to lessen the impact of China’s displeasure with Soviet policies. He tries hard to show his agreement with Moscow on every issue—the United States, Taiwan, India, Tibet, disarmament.

  • November 23, 1967

    Cable, 'India Visit by the Federal Chancellor'

    Description of Federal Chancellor Kiesinger's visit to India, summarizing the issues he discusses with Indira Ghandi during his stay there. First, Kiesinger explains the position of West Germany regarding the Vietnam War, issues in the Middle East, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and German trade with China. Indira Gandhi then raises a number of issues, including German-Indian relations, India's conflicts with Pakistan and China, India's current domestic problems, and a concluding hope that West Germany and India can deepen relations.

  • December 27, 1967

    East German Report on First Interkit Meeting in Moscow, December 1967

    Report from the East German representatives on the Interkit meeting held from 14-21 December in Moscow. Describes the meetings agenda and the drafting of a joint assessment on China. Notes that the "Soviet comrades were attributing extraordinary high importance to the undertaking" and were very concerned about Chinese anti-Sovietism.

  • December 18, 1968

    Memorandum from Department Head Egon Bahr, 'Establishment of Relations with the Communist States in Asia'

    Bahr discusses the possibility of West Germany establishing relations with China, Mongolia, North Korea, or North Vietnam.

  • March 11, 1969

    Embassy of the GDR in the PRC, 'Note about the Inaugural Visit of Comrade Ambassador [Gustav] Hertzfeldtt with the Acting Ambassador of the USSR in the PR China, Comrade Yelisavetin, on 10 March 1969'

    Notes on acting Ambassador of the USSR in the People’s Republic of China Alexei Yalisavetin’s remarks to German Democratic Republic Ambassador Gustav Hertzfeldtt about what he viewed as China’s troubling anti-Sovietism as well as the PRC’s attempt at rapprochement with America and West Germany. Yalisavetin also discussed the eventuality of Mao Zedong’s death and named Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, and Yao Wenyuan as likely successors.

  • June 23, 1969

    Note from Department Head Ruete, 'Meeting with the Bonn Xinhua Representative on June 13, 1969'

    A West German diplomat meets with a Xinhua correspondent to discuss China's relations with Bonn

  • December 24, 1969

    Telegram Number 2592/98, 'China and the German Problem'

    French diplomat in Beijing Etienne Manac’h writes that "China is very concerned by the trend towards détente emerging in East-West relations."

  • March 10, 1970

    East German Report on the Third Interkit Meeting in Warsaw, March 1970

    This East German report, issued after the Interkit meeting in Warsaw, addresses the situation in China under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Among the issues discussed are the ninth congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Mao's anti-Soviet foreign policy, especially China's relations with the US and West Germany. The ninth congress of the CCP is said to have stabilized Mao's position and is seen as the founding congress of a new party. Among other topics, the delegates also discuss ways to improve anti-Maoist propaganda.

  • November 20, 1970

    Memorandum from Department Head Oncken, 'Establishment of Relations with the People's Republic of China and Albania'

    West German diplomats explore whether or not Bonn could or should normalize relations with China and Albania.

  • April 15, 1972

    Telegram from the Director of Department II to the Ambassador in Beijing regarding the Conversation with Chinese Diplomats in Moscow

    A Polish diplomat reports on new developments in Chinese foreign policy toward Europe, Japan, and Indonesia.

  • August 02, 1972

    Note from State Secretary Freiherr von Braun, 'Meeting of MP Dr. Schröder with Mr. Foreign Minister in Hinterthal on July 30, 1972'

    Trip report on Dr. Gerhard Schröder's visit to China and an agreement signed by the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister expressing interest in normalizing relations with West Germany.

  • August 07, 1972

    Ambassador Pauls, Washington, to Foreign Office, 'German China Policy'

    A message from West German Ambassador Pauls about German-Chinese relations and the possible problems it could pose for the German-American relationship.

  • August 31, 1972

    Note about a Conversation of the Head of the Far East Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the GDR, Comrade Schneidewind, with the Ambassador of the PR China in the GDR, Peng Guangwei, on 31 August 1972

    Comrade Schneidewind and Ambassador Peng Guangwei discuss reports that China may be establishing diplomatic relations with West Germany

  • October 12, 1972

    Department Head van Well to Foreign Office, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    Report on a West German Foreign Ministry delegation to China lead by Walter Scheel exploring the possibility of opening diplomatic relations. In meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei they discuss detente, Chinese mistrust of the Soviet Union, and the CSCE.

  • October 13, 1972

    Telex from Department Head van Well, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    In a meeting with Foreign Minister Walter Scheel, Zhou Enlai expressed support for West Germany’s proposal to join the United Nations, discussed European security, and the China's mistrust of the Soviet Union.

  • October 26, 1972

    Draft of a Planned East German Demarche, to be Read to the Chinese Ambassador, Against Chinese Statements on the Occasion of the Establishment of Chinese-West German Diplomatic Relations and Walter Scheel's Visit

    This document is a demarche to be delivered to the Chinese ambassador in East Berlin. It was written by Erich Honecker, the general secretary of East Germany's Socialist Unity Party, on the occasion of the establishment of diplomatic relations between West Germany and the People's Republic of China (PRC). Honecker says the West German government is pursuing a revisionist policy and does not accept the post-war separation of Germany. Honecker assesses the role of Bonn in international relations as detrimental to the entire Socialist camp and regards the visit of West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel to Beijing, as well as diplomatic relations between China and West Germany, as damaging the interests of East Germany. He asks China to reconsider this policy, with reference to East Berlin's support for the PRC's territorial claims to Taiwan/Formosa. According to a marginal note, the demarche was never delivered.

  • November 27, 1972

    Report by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on Talks Between Zhou Enlai and Walter Scheel

    These statements by the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) concern talks between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel. The CC assesses the improvement of relations between China and West Germany as adverse to the interests of East Germany and of Socialism. China is criticized for not supporting the idea of a European conference on security and cooperation and for sustaining the role of organizations such as the European Economic Community and NATO. The CC expresses disagreement with China's abstention from the disarmament process and with its position within the UN.

  • June 06, 1973

    Telex from Ambassador Pauls, Beijing, to Foreign Office

    Ambassador Pauls reports a conversation with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua about the possibility of a Soviet attack on China and Chinese "Second strike capability."

  • July 18, 1973

    Preparatory Materials for East German Protest Against the Intended Establishment of a Chinese Trade Representation in West Berlin

    These documents are related to East Germany's protest against the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. The East German Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses that West Berlin cannot be regarded as part of West Germany. Therefore, by initiating diplomatic relations with West Berlin without considering the existence of the internationally acknowledged Four Power Agreement on Berlin between the US, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, China is deliberately acting against the interests of East Germany.

  • August 02, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the Head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, Tji Hai-yuan

    This is a memorandum on a conversation reflecting the differences of opinion between the head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy Tji Hai-yuan with regard to the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. East Berlin is clearly concerned such a step might favor West Germany's alleged goal of winning sovereignty over West Berlin, in violation of the Four Power Agreement. Tji states that he does not understand the East German position, and that the activities of Chinese diplomats in West Berlin are in accordance with international law. He rejects the notion that these relations might conceivably harm the interests of East Germany.