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Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks, 1955-1970

Although China and the United States were without formal diplomatic relations until 1979, the two countries agreed to maintain communications through a special mechanism, the Sino-American “Ambassadorial Talks” in Warsaw, Poland, which lasted from August 1955 through February 1970. This collection presents documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives on the first fourteen meetings of the Ambassadorial Talks. For other Digital Archive collections on US-China relations, see Sino-American Confrontation, 1949-1971, and Sino-American Cooperation, 1972-1989.

Popular Documents

September 30, 1958

Memorandum of Conversation: Premier Zhou Receives Indian Ambassador to China Parthasarathy

Premier Zhou and Ambassador Parthasarathy discuss Chinese representation at the United Nations, progress at the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks in Warsaw, and the ongoing crisis in Taiwan. Zhou expresses frustration with American intransigence regarding Taiwan, particularly its insistence on a ceasefire, which Zhou views as an attempt "to fool the people of the world," and vows that China will continue to fight in Taiwan.

May 31, 1956

Memorandum of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of Ambassador R.K. Nehru

Premier Zhou Enlai and Ambassador Nehru discuss the Korean ceasefire, the role of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee, the Sino-American ambassadorial talks, and the situation in Indochina.

July 18, 1955

Plan for the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks in Geneva

The Chinese Foreign Ministry outlines objectives and strategies for negotiating with the United States.

September 19, 1958

Letter, Mao Zedong to Zhou Enlai

Mao responds to a letter from Zhou Enlai summarizing the Chinese-American ambassadorial meeting in Warsaw September 15 on the Taiwan Strait crisis.

July 30, 1955

Instructions on the Sino-American Ambassadorial Level Talks at Geneva (Excerpt)

Instructions from the PRC Foreign Ministry to its negotiators at the Sino-American talks. These instructions concerned the PRC's basic policy, their attitude toward the question of expatriates, the US embargo against China, possible higher level Sino-American talks. Possible issues that could be raised by the US were also mentioned: The matter of US assets in China, the issue of shooting down commercial airliners, and the issue of cease-fire across the Taiwan Strait. Besides, the Foreign Ministry gave instructions on the attitude to adopt at the meetings as well as the need to constantly ask for instructions.