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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • July 26, 1958

    Report to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, 'On the Economic and Political Situation in the PRC' (excerpts)

    S. Antonov's report on the economic and political state of the PRC. Antonov writes that China should be able to equal England's steel production within the second Five-Year Plan. Also notes the heightening of Chinese-Japanese tension, as China recognizes the possibility of renewed Japanese militarism.

  • October 02, 1958

    Memorandum of Conversation of Mao Zedong with Six Delegates of the Socialist Countries, China, 2 October 1958

    To the other delegates, Mao discusses their shared goal of defeating imperialism, primarily through peaceful methods. He stresses widespread Marxist reeducation of the Chinese people and increased Chinese industrial and agricultural production as means for improvement. Mao also reminds them that socialist nations must be firmly united under the leadership of the Soviet Union to fight colonialism and imperialism, and while the communes are necessary to organize locally, the party remains the core administrative unite of communized peoples.

  • November 29, 1958

    Memorandum of Conversation of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chen Yi, at Dinner in the Soviet Embassy in Honor of the Ambassadors of the Socialist Countries in China, 8 November 1958

    The Chinese Minister of Foreign affairs, Chen Yi, proclaims that the PRC and Chinese communist party are organizing the completion of the “great leap” of economic construction in China, thanks to the aid of the USSR and other socialist countries. He notes that the USA is not as strong as it seems, the relationship between the PRC and the USSR is growing stronger, and visits to China by ambassadors of the socialist countries are highly encouraged.

  • January 12, 1959

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Summary of Conversation between Chairman Mao and Governor Sampaio of Brazil'

    President Mao Zedong exchanged views with Governor Sampaio on Chinese development, the role of Asia, Africa, and Latin America vis-a-vis the West, and Brazilian foreign policy. Mao also describes his personal studies of the English language.

  • January 23, 1959

    Letter from Prime Minister of China to the Prime Minister of India, 23 January 1959

  • March 25, 1959

    Mao Zedong's Remarks at the March 25, 1959, Meeting in Shanghai

    Mao Zedong’s comments on agriculture and industry at a Communist Party meeting held in Shanghai.

  • March 26, 1959

    Mao Zedong's Interjections at the March 26, 1959, Meeting in Shanghai

    A key document in scholarly debates about the Great Leap Forward, this file summarizes Mao Zedong’s comments on agriculture and industry at a Communist Party meeting held in Shanghai.

  • March 26, 1959

    The Chairman's Interjections during Comrade Bo Yibo's Report on Industrial Production on March 26

    Another version of Mao Zedong's remarks at a Communist Party meeting held in Shanghai, a key talk in scholarly debates about China's Great Leap Forward.

  • June 03, 1959

    Report of Conversation with the General Secretary of the CCP CC, Deng Xiaoping

  • July 02, 1959

    Report, State Committee on the USSR Council of Ministers on International Economic Ties, 'On the Present Economic Situation in the People’s Republic of China'

    Soviet report on the PRC's economic situation. Notes that the expectations for Chinese economic growth were set too high, and records Chinese food rations.

  • September 15, 1959

    Mikihail Zimyanin's Background Report for Khrushchev on China (Excerpt)

    Mikhail Zimyanin, head of the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s Far Eastern department, reports to Khrushchev on the “new stage” in Sino-Soviet relations after the victory of the people’s revolution in China; China and the Soviet Union now share the common goal of developing socialist societies in their respective countries.

  • October 22, 1959

    Letter of Hungarian Ambassador Sándor Nógrádi to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on the Meeting of Hungarian President István Dobi and Mao Zedong

    In their conversation, Dobi and Mao Zedong discussed politicial, economic, and agricultural development in Hungary and China, and compared opposition to the current Great Leap Forward in China to the 1956 uprising in Hungary.

  • December 25, 1959

    Record of Conversation from Vice Premier Chen Yi's Reception of the Envoys of Fraternal Countries to China

    Chen Yi briefs diplomats from the Soviet Union and elsewhere in Eastern Europe on the overseas Chinese crisis in Indonesia.

  • August 25, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Investigative Report on the [North] Korean Embassy in Beijing Supposedly Assuming Responsibility for the Provision of Essential Foodstuffs to Korean Residents of Beijing'

    The North Korean embassy seeks to provide additional food to Korean expatriates living in Beijing, apparently due to the Great Leap famine.

  • December 05, 1960

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of the Vietnamese Government Economic and Trade Delegation led by Vice Premier Nguyen Duy Trinh

    Zhou and Nguyen Duy Trinh exchanged views regarding agricultural and industrial development. Zhou made comments on Vietnam's first five-year plan.

  • January 01, 1961

    Report from Polish Military Attache in Beijing

    Military Attache Siwicki reports on the year's biggest issues such as; the economic crisis in China, Great Chinese Famine; discrepancies in ideology between USSR and China, such as questions of loyalty to Communist cause in the leadership and army; Chinese's interest in weapons of mass destruction; poor condition of Chinese army and society in general; and China's imperialist goals and overview of interactions with other countries

  • January 06, 1961

    From the Journal of S. V. Chervonenko, Record of Conversation with Mao Zedong on 26 December 1960

    Ambassador Chervonenko records an unexpected and surprisingly warm meeting with Mao in which the leader talks about his lessened role in the Chinese government.

  • January 31, 1961

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of the Vietnamese Government Economic and Trade Delegation led by Vice Premier Nguyen Duy Trinh

    Discussion on the Vietnamese agriculture and industrial development. Zhou spoke about Chinese experience on developing socialism during the Great Leap Forward.

  • February 01, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Poland, 'A Summary of the Conversation between Ochab and Comrade Deng Gang'

    Edward Ochab and Deng Gang discuss the "difficult" situation in China following the Great Leap Forward.

  • March 09, 1961

    Information Memorandum, Zhou Enlai's Comments

    Zhou Enlai informed the titulars and charges d'affaires of the socialist countries about Chinese internal situation and the state of affairs created after the 9th Plenum. He appealed that socialist countries should have faith in the socialist structure and not allow the temporary difficulties to give rise to misunderstandings.