The People's Republic of China shall unite with all peace-loving and freedom-loving countries and peoples throughout the world, first of all,
with the U.S.S.R., all Peoples' Democracies and all oppressed nations.
It shall take its stand in the camp of international peace and democracy,
to oppose imperialist aggression to defend lasting world peace.
Europe Albania: Xu Yixin (1954.09-1957.05) Bulgaria: Cao Xiangren (1950.09-1954.10) Denmark: Geng Biao (Concurrently) (1950.10-1955.04) Czechoslovakia: Tan Xilin (1950.09-1954.10)
Finland: Geng Biao (Concurrently) (1951.03-1954.09)
GDR: Ji Pengfei (1953.10-1955.01)
GB: Huan Xiang chargé d’affaires (1954.10-1962.06)
Hungaria: Huang Zhen (1950.08-1954.10)
The Netherlands: Zhang Yue (1954.12-1955.04) With rank of charge d'affaires
Norway: Geng Biao (concurrently) (1950.10-1955.05, Minister)
Poland: Peng Mingzhi (1950.07-1952.04) Zeng Yongquan (1952.09-1955.01)
Romania: Wang Youping (1950.08-1954.11)
Soviet Union: Wang Jiaxiang (1949.10-1951.02) Zhang Wentian (1951.04-1955.01)
Sweden: Geng Biao (Concurrently) (1950.09-1956.02)
Switzerland: Feng Xuan (1950.09-1955.06)
Asia DPR Korea: Ni Zhiliang (1950.08-1952.03)
India: Yuan Zhongxian (1950.09-1956.02)
Indonesia: Wang Renshu (1950.08-1951.11) Huang Zhen (1954.11-1961.06)
Mongolia: Ji Yatai (1950.07-1953.07) He Ying (1954.09-1958.08)
Myanmar [Birma]: Yao Zhongming (1950.08-1958.01)
Pakistan: Han Nianlong(1951.09-1956.02)
Vietnam: Luo Guibo (1954.09-1957.09)
Countries recognizing China
October 1949 Soviet Union ambassador
Bulgaria: 03-10-1949 30 September 1950
March 1950 Romanian ambassador
Hungary: 04-10-1949 17 July 1950 Czechoslovakia: 05-10-1949 14 January 1950 Poland: 05-10-1949 12 June 1950 Yugoslavia: 05-10-1949 02 January 1955
October 1949 Mongolia
24 June 1950 GDR ambassador
Albania: 20-11-1949 13 September 1954
June 8 1950 Birmese ambassador
20 May 1950 Indian ambassador
12 November 1951 Pakistani ambassador
GB: 06-01-1950 Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 07-01-1950 07 february 1957 Denmark: 09-01-1950 24 June 1950 Israel: 09-01-1950 No diplomatic ties Norway: 10-01-1950 1955 Afghanistan: 12-01-1950 No diplomatic ties 20 january 1955 Finland: 13-01-1950 13 February 1951
12 June 1950 Sweden ambassador
Vietnam: 15-01-1950 December 1950 Switzerland: 15-01-1950 28 December 1950
August 1951 Swiss ambassador
The Netherlands: 27-03-1950 11 december 1954 Indonesia: 13-04-1950 20 January 1951 Lichtenstein: 14-09-1950
In this article, the focus lies on the relationship of the People's Republic of China with the Soviet Union. In his "On coalition government", Mao Zedong states:
"We hold that the Kuomintang government must cease its hostility towards the Soviet Union and speedily improve Sino-Soviet relations. The Soviet Union was the first country to renounce the unequal treaties and sign new, equal treaties with China. At the time of the Kuomintang's First
National Congress called by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1924 and the subsequent Northern Expedition, the Soviet Union was the only country to help China's war of liberation. When the anti-Japanese war broke out in 1937, the Soviet Union was again the first country to help China against the Japanese
aggressors. The Chinese people are grateful to the Soviet government and people for this help. We believe that no final and thorough settlement of the problems of the Pacific is possible without the participation of the Soviet Union."
Remarkable is the position of Stalin. The GMD government approached the SU leader, Stalin to mediate between GMD and the CCP in January 1949. Stalin is willing to do so and informs Mao Zedong of his plans. He immediately explains to Mao Zedong, he will make the terms for negotiations so strict, the GMD government will never accept them. In his telegram to Stalin, Mao Zedong rejects the mediation proposal in a firm language.
"The government of the USSR has always wished, and still wishes, to see China as a peaceful, democratic and united country. But it is for the people of China itself to choose the way to achieve peace, unity and democracy in China. The government of the USSR, relying on the principle of noninterference in the other countries’ internal affairs, cannot accept mediation between the two sides in the civil war in China Chinese people."
On January 18, Stalin responded to the GMD in clear accordance with Mao’s insistence that foreign powers not be involved. It can be seen as a clear sign from the CCP to the SU, they want to be acted on as a partner, not as a subordinate.
The relationship with ‘freedom fighters’ in several Southeast Asia is also a subject of this chapter. These ‘freedom fighters’ are seen as partners against imperialism. Several initiatives to promote world peace are described with the emphasis on the Geneva conference on Indochina and Korea.
Pro Soviet Union....
In January 1940, Mao Zedong clearly states his choice on the foreign affairs policy of the PRC:
"In particular, Soviet assistance is absolutely indispensable for China's final victory in the War of Resistance. Refuse Soviet assistance, and the revolution will fail."
And although Mao Zedong formerly shortly accepts the idea of walking a “third way”
"The concept of an “intermediary zone” was put forward from the spring of 1946. This concept had rich connotations and far-reaching significance. One element of the concept was that the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union would not decidedly influence the political situation in China. However, the concept of an “intermediary zone” lasted for only a short period in the minds of the CPC leadership, because Moscow raised the theory of “two blocs” in September 1947."
In 1944, Mao Zedong is even positive about the US;
“China must industrialize. This can be done — in China — only by free enterprise and with the aid of foreign capital. Chinese and American interests are correlated and similar. They fit together economically and politically. We can and must work together.”
And in 1945, Mao Zedong is in favor of a visit to Washington instead of Moscow.
As we have seen in Part 4, Stalin is not willing to accept a visit from Mao Zedong in Moscow, instead he sends
At these secret meetings on February 1 and 4, 1949, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Mikoyan agree that China belongs to the anti-imperialistic camp which is guided by the SU. There is no middle course available. See documents.
On the 2nd plenum of the CCP in March 1949, Mao Zedong states in his opening speech:
"As for the question of the recognition of our country by the imperialist countries, we should not be in a hurry to solve it now and need not be in a hurry to solve it even for a fairly long period after countrywide victory. We are willing to establish diplomatic relations with all countries on the principle of equality, but the imperialists, who have always been hostile to the Chinese people, will definitely not be in a hurry to treat us as equals. As long as the imperialist countries do not change their hostile attitude, we shall not grant them legal status in China. As for doing business with foreigners, there is no question; wherever there is business to do, we shall do it and we have already started; the businessmen of several capitalist countries are competing for such business. So far as possible, we must first of all trade with the socialist and people's democratic countries; at the same time we will also trade with capitalist countries." He continues "…plus the support of the working class of the countries of the world and chiefly the support of the Soviet Union, the speed of China's economic construction will not be very slow, but may be fairly fast. The day is not far off when China will attain prosperity."
Even after March 1949, the choice to join the SU is not final and Mao Zedong makes explicit openings to the West. In a talk with Kovalev, the Russian envoy in China, Mao Zedong states he will accept loans from the US and have diplomatic relations with capitalist countries.
There are 2 important reasons for this idea. China needs some raw materials and capital goods which the SU cannot provide.
Stalin still has diplomatic relations with the GMD regimeand he has not unconditionally supported Mao Zedong.
From 26 June to 14 August 1949 Liu Shaoqi and
secretly visit Stalin in Moscow.
"Stalin considers the foreign policy principles we mentioned in our report to be correct. These principles are the conflict with imperialist countries and cooperation with the Soviet Union and each new democratic country; making use of contradictions within capitalist countries; developing China’s trade and commerce with all countries, in particular with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe." Stalin promises to recognize the People's Republic of China as soon as a government is established. He also makes a commitment to conclude a comprehensive agreement with China when Mao Zedong is visiting the SU.
Finally, the choice is made and announced on the radio on June 30, 1949.
"That is, ally ourselves with the Soviet Union, with the People's Democracies and with the proletariat and the broad masses of the people in all other countries, and form an international united front.
"You are leaning to one side." Exactly. The forty years' experience of Sun Yat-sen and the twenty-eight years'
experience of the Communist Party have taught us to lean to one side, and we are firmly convinced that in order
to win victory and consolidate it we must lean to one side. In the light of the experiences accumulated in these forty years and these twenty-eight years, all Chinese without exception must lean either to the side of imperialism or to the side of socialism. Sitting on the fence will not do, nor is there a third road."
On July 19, 1949, Deng Xiaoping explains this policy to cadre of the party
"Chairman Mao says we are leaning to one side on our own accord now to avoid being maneuvered into leaning to one side in the future."
There are several other motivations for this option. One is the personal experiences of the 13 politburo members of the 7th Central Committee. Peng Zhen and Peng Dehuai have no direct connection with the SU, while all other members have been in the SU. Some children or adopted children are or were in SU. Liu Shaoqi and Ren Benshi both have studied at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. (Communist Eastern University.)
In the 1930’s,
, and Kang Sheng
were the Chinese representatives in the Comintern (alliance of communist parties).
After 1945 when the SU defeated Japan in the Northeast of China, Gao Gang and Peng Zhen have on regular basis contact with Russian diplomats, military personnel, and economic experts.
Zhou Enlai is the person with many international experiences. He has visited Japan, and parts of Europe (France, GB, Germany and the SU). Zhu De has been in Germany and SU.
Only Zhang Wentian (Japan and SU) and Dong Biwu have been in the US.
Li Shaoqi puts forward another motive to join the SU camp when he attacks the Yugoslavian leader Tito because he decides to stay outside of the SU camp.
"Only the Communists and the international proletariat, only the Soviet Union and the New Democracies led by the Communist Parties are the most reliable friends of all oppressed nations fighting for their liberation from imperialist oppression, for national independence. To harbour mistrust and unfriendliness toward the Soviet Union and the New Democracies led by the Communist Parties and to regard “the capitalist countries as less dangerous to Yugoslavia than the Soviet Union”, as the Tito-ites are doing, is extremely erroneous and harmful." On October 1938, Mao Zedong writes:
"Can a Communist, who is an internationalist, at the same time be a patriot? We hold that he not only can be but must be.(...)And only by achieving national liberation will it be possible for the proletariat and other working people to achieve their own emancipation. The victory of China and the defeat of the invading imperialists will help the people of other countries. Thus in wars of national liberation patriotism is applied internationalism."
During the politburo meetings from 6 to January 10, 1949, the members discuss the foreign policy and Mao Zedong warns them not to choose side for the US
"The mistaken view prevailing among some Chinese people as well as some of our party members that exaggerates the strength of American imperialism must be constantly watched and overcome." This illusion could prove the source of danger as the Truman administration sought to salvage American interests in China. Facing defeat "sending its running dogs to infiltrate the revolutionary camp and organizing so-called oppositionists." He even imagined that Washington might grant diplomatic recognition as a way of securing its influence in China the better to push this strategy of "'destruction from within."
Shortly after this meeting on January 19, 1949, the CC instructs on diplomatic issues
" All embassies, government embassies, consulates and their affiliated diplomatic agencies and diplomats of capitalist countries recognized by the Kuomintang government will not be recognized until the People’s Republic of Treated as foreign nationals, but should be effectively protected. The military attaches of these countries should be treated the same as diplomats. However, for American military attachés who directly assisted the Kuomintang in fighting the civil war, they should send troops to monitor and must not be given freedom. ."
In contrast, the directive stressed that diplomats from the Soviet Union and other new democratic countries should be treated differently, as
"Regarding the embassies and consulates of the Soviet Union and new democracies and their diplomatic institutions and personnel, because their foreign policies are fundamentally different from those of capitalist countries, our attitude towards them should be fundamentally different" To regulate all foreign affairs, every city has to appoint a special team which will deal with any problems rising from this policy. Mao Zedong is convinced that there is no future for the capitalistic nations, and the model of Western democracy is not a good alternative for China, instead the people’s dictatorship is the only way to handle the situation in China (See Part 8).
The choice for “leaning on one side” also means China will adopt the social, political and economic model of the SU. In 1949, the success of this model is apparent in the SU and the Eastern Bloc. When Yugoslavia detaches itself from the Eastern bloc, the CCP immediately condemns this step.
Two remarks on the contrast between the daily routine and the official foreign policy in the first years of the republic.
"At the level of international diplomacy, the central government was focused on reorienting foreign policy towards the Soviet Union, but throughout the new country ground-level foreign affairs work was mostly directed towards managing the substantial legacies of a century of close interaction with Western countries."
Mao Zedong sees this contrast and reacts:
"Whereas we formerly followed the course of non-recognition of capitalist countries and their diplomatic representative offices in China, i.e. the diplomacy of free hands, then now, with the taking of the central power into its own hands (as well as taking into account the special economic interests of the capitalist countries in Shanghai) we will be compelled to adopt the diplomacy of semi-free hands, i.e. on some occasions to enter into de facto relations with them, not allowing, however, the legal formalization of these diplomatic relations."
After the proclamation of the People's Republic, Mao Zedong can finally visit Stalin in December 1949. On February 14, 1950, at the end of his visit, a treaty was signed between the SU and the PRC. See Article 55.
In 1939, Mao Zedong identified two important enemies of China:
"They are imperialism and feudalism, the bourgeoisie of the imperialist countries and the landlord class of our country. For it is these two that are the chief oppressors, the chief obstacles to the progress of Chinese society at the present stage. The two collude with each other in oppressing the Chinese people, and imperialism is the foremost and most ferocious enemy of the Chinese people, because national oppression by imperialism is the more onerous."
In his interview in 1946 with Anna Louise Strong
Mao Zedong put forward that the struggle between American imperialism and the SU will at first not be fought directly but:
"… a vast zone which includes many capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Before the U.S. reactionaries have subjugated these countries, an attack on the Soviet Union is out of the question."
In June 1949, when the PLA prevails in the Civil War, Mao Zedong warns
"... I think it is necessary to call people's attention to the fact that the imperialists and their running dogs, the Chinese reactionaries, will not resign themselves to defeat in this land of China. They will continue to gang up against the Chinese people in every possible way."
November 15, 1949, Liu Shaoqi states at the Trade Union Conference of Asian and Australasian Countries” in Beijing:
"...the fighters of national liberation wars in Viet Nam, Birma, Indonesia, Malaya and Philippines are acting
entirely correctly …The experience of the victorious national liberation struggle of the Chinese people teaches that the working class must unite with all classes, parties and group and organisations willing to fight the imperialists and their hirelings and to form a broad, nation-wide front, headed by the Working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party." At this same conference, Li Lisan
, proposes to form an international revolutionary army.
This proposal disappears into oblivion.
In February 1949 Mao Zedong tells Mikoyan the CCP
"…maintained contacts with the communist parties of Indochina, Siam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Birma, India, Malaya and Korea. At that time, the CCP had closer ties with the communist parties of Indochina and Korea but less close ties with other countries, with which they maintained contact mainly through liaisons in Hong Kong. The CCP had very little contact with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). Mao proposed discussing and establishing an Asian Communist Information Bureau like the Cominform in Europe after the situation had stabilised in China."
From 1949 onwards, most Asian communist parties orientate on the People's Republic of China instead of the Soviet Union. They see the Chinese model of revolution after some local adjustments as a practical example for their own revolution. The ‘freedom fighters’ can count on financial and psychological support, not on military.
To improve the ideological base of the Asian communist parties:
"..., it started to prepare for the “First Study Group,’’ a training program for high-ranking officials from communist parties in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaya, Indonesia, Birma, and India. The study sessions lasted for one year, with CCP Politburo members as instructors and textbooks containing selected writings of Mao Zedong. The location of the Study Group was Zhongnanhai, Mao’s new headquarters."
Under the leadership of Li Weihan, the CCP establishes one year later a research committee to improve the relations with other Asian communist parties. China gives no overt support to these countries. The relation between the People's Republic of China and the foreign communist parties is more determined by strategic considerations than solidarity. The Communist Party of Vietnam, Birma can count on concrete support.
Thai and Malaysian communist parties, which both have many Chinese members, can only count on moral support.
The CCP leaders are convinced that true independence only can be achieved under the guiding of a communist party. Independence gained in a peaceful manner is no real freedom. These countries will stay colonies or semicolonies of the imperialistic countries. That is why:
"Beijing thought “whether from economic, military, or political dimension, Birma’s nature has not been changed, it
still is a typical colony country” after its independence."
In the conversations between Stalin and Liu Shaoqi they talk about the situation in Indochina and the rest of Asia. Stalin divides the world in 2 parts, the SU will focus on the West and China on the East. They agree that the CCP will back the Vietnamese communist party in its independence struggle.
On December 24, 1949, Stalin and Mao Zedong once more agree to this division of spheres of influence. Both the SU, as the People's Republic of China compete for the favor of the Communist Party of India. In 1951, the Communist Party of India choses to follow the Russian model for revolution. Outside Asia the communist party of Algeria can count on moral backup from China.Wang Jiaxiang, declares in 1951
"Since Indonesia and many other Southeast Asian countries had already achieved their national independence, the CCP branches in these countries should be dissolved completely.39 In 1952 the CCP Central Committee ordered the shutdown of its organizations abroad, ranging from youth groups and semiunderground civic associations to underground party headquarters. The CCP Central Committee encouraged its dismissed overseas cadres to return to the PRC by promising them recognition for their achievements and reassignment to new posts.40" December 24, 1949, the Politburo in Beijing decides to send Luo Guibo
as special CCP envoy to the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh
In December, the Vietnamese communist troops in cooperation with the PLA hunt down and destroy GMD forces in South China.
Luo Guibo’s assignment includes improving the communication between the two parties and to gather data to assist the Vietnamese adequate.
"Liu (Shaoqi) stressed to Luo that ‘it is the duty of those countries that have achieved the victory of their own
revolution to support peoples who are still conducting the just struggle for liberation’ and that ‘it is our
international obligation to support the anti-French struggle of the Vietnamese people.'" At the end of January, Ho Chi minh arrives in Beijing to meet with Liu Shaoqi. Mao Zedong, who stays in Moscow, gives his fiat to form a committee which will coordinate the aid to Vietnam.
Ho Chi minh goes to Moscow to meet with Stalin and Mao Zedong. Stalin refuses to give direct support and in accordance with the agreement refers him to Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong is prepared to help Vietnam. See Article 54
Gao (2001) makes a remark which is worth noticing.
"The peace theme in the war culture of the 1950s merits special attention for at least two reasons. First, it suggests that neither world revolution nor internationalism could hold strong appeal for the Chinese people in the 1950s. It was only one year after the end of the Civil War (1946-1949), and the people were not ready for involvement in an international conflict. Chinese writers, artists, and journalists stressed defense of peace as the only redeeming factor in an otherwise senseless and brutal war."
In 1950, Piccaso designed a dove as a symbol for the international peace conference. In the People's Republic of China, this dove became a common figure on many magazines, stamps (see Stamps) and propaganda posters (see below and Posters).
"As a symbol of peace, the dove thus became a Chinese fortune animal ranking in importance with the dragon and phoenix. The world of the doves became a paradise of peace, in which the Chinese people lived or hoped to live."
Shortly after the proclamation of the People's Republic, the new regime sees three potential areas of conflict, in which foreign interference can bring China's position in jeopardy. These areas are Taiwan, (Article 2) Korea, and
Indochina (Article 54)
At the first meeting between Mao Zedong and Stalin on December 16, 1949, he poses:
"The most important question at the present time is the question of establishing peace. China needs a period
of 3-5 years of peace, which would be used to bring the economy back to pre-war levels and to stabilize the country
in general. Decisions on the most important questions in China hinge on the prospects for a peaceful future. With
this in mind the CC CPC entrusted me to ascertain from you, comr[ade]. Stalin, in what way and for how long will
international peace be preserved."
Stalin reassures Mao Zedong, Japan, the US and the European countries are not planning any war. The current peace will last for 25 years or more. He notices smiling
"..there is no one to fight with China, not unless Kim Il Sung decides to invade China?" The Chinese government wants to bring about world peace by several means, for example, membership of the UN, the organization of World Peace Congresses, and cultural and sports exchanges between countries.
The new regime does not want to rely only on the SU for peace. They also seek for membership of the UN and want to take over the seat of Taiwan. To accomplish this, Beijing seeks help from the SU. In the conversation between Vyshinsky and Mao Zedong on January 6, 1950, the Russian minister supports the claim of the People's Republic to the seat on the Security Council and argues that as long as the GMD delegate retains his seat the SU will not cooperate in the Council.
Two days later, Zhou Enlai sends a cable to the UN in which he demands the expulsion of the Taiwan delegation. On January 10, 1950, the US government states that they will block the membership of the People's Republic of China. 3 days later, the SU delegation leaves the Security Council.
On August 1, 1950, the delegation is back.
Notwithstanding this refusal, Mao Zedong appoints Zhang Wentian as head of the delegation in case the People's Republic of China is allowed in the future to the Council. On September 30, 1950, Zhou Enlai warns:
"Anyone who attempts to exclude the nearly 500 million Chinese people from the United Nations or who ignores and violates the interests of this one-fourth of mankind, imagining that any Far Eastern problem that directly concerns China can be solved arbitrarily without China’s participation, will certainly meet disaster" In November 1950, China gets the opportunity to explain to the Security Council her position on the Korea War. The SU regime opposes this invitation.
The Chinese diplomat takes the opportunity to claim the seat of the Taiwanese representative.
"… in denying admittance to a permanent member of the Security Council representing 475 million people, it cannot make lawful decisions on any major issues or solve any major problem … the people of China have no reason to recognize any resolutions or decisions of the United Nations."
It is on October 25, 1971, the People's Republic of China becomes a member.
World peace Council....
Peace Conference for Asia and the Pacific 1952
Forster (2019) observes while the PRC was engaged in the Korea War, it saw itself as a peace-loving nation.
"...a definition of “peacefulness” that was nonpacifist but was—and in fact is—internationally shared under the headline of “collective security.” Within this discourse, peacefulness and even peace itself did not mean the absence of war, but rather a fight against the “right” enemy" ...In the Eastern Bloc and with it in the PRC, this “aggressor” was in the early 1950s identified as the Western camp, which was further labeled “imperialist” and “war-mongering.” This made the Korean War a “peaceful” war.
April 1949, the SU, East European countries and communist parties from West Europe are holding a peace conference in Paris. In October 1949, The CCP held a conference for the defense of world peace.
A year later, China sends a delegation with representatives from the CCP and the Minzhu Dangpai to the World Peace Council.
In July 1950, China started a campaign 'Signature for Peace Week'.
More than 200 million signatures against atomic bombs are collected.
"In addition to the collection of signatures for the 'Stockholm Peace Petition', local branches of the
'Chinese Peace Congress’ were set up in many major Chinese cities, PRC delegations were dispatched to various international meetings and, upon their return, mass rallies were called to provide heroic welcomes; the Chinese press devoted generous coverage to such activities at home and abroad; and 'peace propaganda teams' were even organised to tour China's rural areas." The influence of the WPC is very limited.
From October 2 to 12, 1952 a Peace Conference of the Asian and Pacific Regions was held in Beijing. Its goal is to support the post-war ‘economic and cultural reconstruction’ in the world through the safeguarding of perpetual peace of the world. See Meeting.
Exchanges of Sport and Culture....
The political leaders of China attach great importance to the exchange of culture and sport as a way to improve relations
between countries. In 1950 until 1954, these exchanges took place between East European countries and the People's Republic of China. In 1952, Chinese athletes took part in the Olympic Games of Helsinki. In 1954, the People's Republic of China becomes a member of the IOC, but in 1958 Beijing decides to terminate the membership because Taiwan is also member of the IOC. For that reason, they also resign from 11 international sports federations.
See also Article 48 and Article 45 for more details on sport and culture.
Chapter 7 discusses in detail several aspects of the foreign policy of China.
The Geneva conference. Introduction....
The Berlin conference in January 1954 (See Article 54 and Timeline ) results in a peace conference on Indochina and Korea. See 18-02-1954 Agreement Berlin Conference.
The SU has dragged out of these negotiations, China's presence at these peace conference on Indochina and Korea in Geneva in 1954.
Leading up to the meeting in Geneva the SU and China have regular contact. In April, Zhou Enlai visits Moscow 3 times and the positions are matched to each other and the unexperienced Chinese delegation is trained in international deliberations. These consultations on the terms under which the Chinese will consider an armistice on the Korean Peninsula start in December 1950. "Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in particular paid special attention to using the conference to announce that the “new China” had emerged as an important actor and prestigious force in international affairs. Zhou Enlai thus repeatedly emphasized internally that Beijing had to do everything possible to make the Geneva Conference a success."
Zhou Enlai expects unlike SU leaders many results of the conference
"That China, [North] Korea, and Vietnam can jointly participate in this international conference is in itself an unexpected event and one of our [diplomatic] victories. It will be a bigger success if we can take this opportunity to express our positions and principles on all the issues and offer explanations on certain questions so as to resolve some disputes."
The Chinese ambassador in the SU, Zhang Wentian says to foreign minister Molotov"… the PRC is intent on taking an active part in the Geneva Conference and thinks that if no great successes are achieved at it, then any success here will be important since a path for active participation in international affairs is being opened for the PRC."
During the Conference, Zhou Enlai uses the opportunity to break through China's isolation on the world stage. No effort is spared.
".. the PRC rented one of the grandest château available, the ―Grand Mont-Fleuri. The château was transformed into a museum as antiques were shipped from China to decorate its rooms and corridors. Zhou calculated that the international and media curiosity regarding the PRC would make the château a beehive of activities and elicited informal visits from foreigners. PRC press attaché Xiong Xianghui later estimated that 505 international groups and 3,800 people had visited the PRC’s premises."
Zhou Enlai speaks on several occasions with the Foreign Affairs minister of the UK Eden
the foreign affairs minister of France Bidault
and with the French premier Pierre Mendes-France.
Chinese representatives have also a meeting with West German businessmen.
At an informal meeting, there is even contact between Zhou Enlai and the American negotiator Walter Bedell Smith, who says:
"I hope that our two countries can move toward a better mutual understanding."
The US Secretary of State Dulles prevents further rapprochement and even refuses to shake the outstretched hand of Zhou Enlai. On a lower level, there are negotiations about American POWs in China and Chinese students in the US. They come to no result but in 1955 there are talks between the Chinese and American ambassadors in Warschau. The contacts with the UK resulted in the exchange of trade missions and change in the status of the UK representant to the status of chargé d’affaires.
The Geneva conference on Korea....
Article 4 of the Korean armistice states:
"Recommendations to the Governments Concerned on Both Sides.60 In order to insure the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, the military Commanders of both sides hereby recommend to the governments of the countries concerned on both sides that, within three (3) months after the Armistice Agreement is signed and becomes effective, a political conference of a higher level of both sides be held by representatives appointed respectively to settle through negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, etc." It took a long time before the conference took place. 2 complications caused problems, one issue was the refusal of the US to recognize the PRC and DRK, the other obstacle was, the unwillingness of the PRC and the DRK to meet under UN auspices because they considered the UN itself to have been belligerent in the Korean War. The
four-power agreement eventually reached in Berlin in February 1954 stated that the Soviet Union would invite China and North Korea, and the United States would invite South Korea and others participants: Australia, Belgium, Canadia, Columbia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and the UK
. The head of the delegation of China was Zhou Enlai. A staff of more then 200 people went with him, the most important aids are Zhang Wentian, Wang Jiaxiang,
and Huang Hua.
This conference tries breaking the deadlock after the cease-fire of 1953. See Article 54.
There are several issues on the agenda; the reuniting of Korea, the withdrawal of foreign troops, and the repatriation of prisoners of war.
The conference starts on April 26, 1954 and ends on June 15, 1954. The talks render no success on any subject. The end communiqué of the noncommunist countries concludes:
"We believe, therefore, that it is better to face the fact of our disagreement than to raise false hopes and mislead the peoples of the world into believing that there is agreement where there is none.""Zhou Enlai cannily riposted by taking the microphone and proposing a concluding statement for the conference: "The states participating in the Geneva conference agree that they will continue their efforts towards achieving an agreement on the peaceful settlement of the Korea question on the basis of establishing a united, independent and democratic Korea. As regards the question of the time and place for resuming appropriate negotiations, it shall be decided separately by the states concerned through negotiation."
The Geneva conference on Indochina....
Before Zhou Enlai leaves for Moscow in April 1954, he has a fairly detailed negotiation plan drawn up with the key points: ceasefire, withdrawal of all foreign troops from Indochina so that no foreign troops are stationed near South China and general elections to bring about a united Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The conference on Indo China starts at May 8, 1954, one day after the defeat of French troops at Dien Bien Phu. It is attended by representatives of Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, France, Laos, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, the Viet Minh (i.e., the North Vietnamese), and the State of Vietnam.
China wants a deal on the whole of Indochina, the other countries want a separate concord on Laos and Cambodia because in those Regions no French troops are present.
The aim to reach an agreement on reuniting Vietnam turns out to be impossible and in an exchange between Zhou Enlai, and Mendes-France, the Chinese politician suggests:
"Currently, Vietnam has two governments. The military regrouping areas must be determined, but it doesn’t [require] a [political]division. During a period of time after the cease-fire, a free election will be held through negotiations between the two governments. This is their own domestic affair. We can show our support, even though we can’t intervene. Laos and Cambodia also need to achieve their unifications through elections."
From July 3 to 5, 1954, Zhou Enlai and Ho Chih minh had a meeting in Liuzhou. Zhou Enlai convinces the North Vietnam delegation to accept the temporary partition of Vietnam and the independence and neutrality of Cambodia and Laos.
In return, the People's Republic of China will increase its support.
See Article 54.
Shortly after the Geneva conference, China is very satisfied with the results. Laos and Cambodia stay neutral, no intervention from the US in Indochina, and a growing prestige as protagonist of the Afro-Asian opposition against imperialism. The Renmin Ribao proudly announces:
"For the first time, the People’s Republic of China, as one of the world’s major powers, negotiated major international issues with the major powers, and made its own contributions, which won praises from a wide range of public opinions in the world. The international status of the People's Republic of China as one of the world's major powers has been universally recognized, and its international prestige has been greatly enhanced. The Chinese people are extremely excited and honored by the efforts and achievements of our delegation."
On July 8, 1954, Mao Zedong proposes 11 new instructions about Chinese diplomacy.
"[b]egin to establish a Southeast Asian peace zone, effect and develop cooperation in the zone, and sign non-aggression pacts or collective peace treaties”; “unite all peaceful forces (including government), isolate and split up U.S. [interests]”; “International Peace and United Front”, etc."
The PRC’s policy after Geneva was to build on the momentum and strive for a peace area in Southeast Asia and further to prevent US involvement in Asia.
"While the PRC was attracting the states in Southeast Asia with trade and assurance of
peaceful coexistence, the establishment of SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization) alienated these same states from the US. Despite US efforts to enroll Asian members, most of them refused the organization, and only Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines joined SEATO....PRC leaders were satisfied SEATO was not popular in Southeast Asia, but at the same time, they were upset SEATO was finally established and Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam were put under its protection, which, according to their understanding, violated the Geneva Agreements."
In August 1949 the Russian embassy is moved along with the GMD government to Chongqing. [↩]
18-07-1949 Liu Shaoqi about his meeting with Stalin. Mao Zedong tells Kovalev the US are willing to loan about 300 million dollars to China. He considers this as an attempt “ …for saving American capitalism from a crisis (in accordance with the Marshall Plan) and for putting the Chinese people under the yoke, in the same way as they were able to do this under the Jiang Jieshi regime.” But Mao Zedong continues: “the CCP CC considers it possible to change the previously accepted point of view on the relations with the capitalist countries. Whereas we formerly followed the course of non-recognition of capitalist countries and their diplomatic representative offices in China, i.e. the diplomacy of free hands, then now, with the taking of the central power into its own hands (as well as taking into account the special economic interests of the capitalist countries in Shanghai) we will be compelled to adopt the diplomacy of semi-free hands, i.e. on some occasions to enter into de facto relations with them, not allowing, however, the legal formalization of these diplomatic relations.” 13-04-1949 Kovalev reports to Stalin on conversation with Mao Zedong.[↩]
30-06-1949 Mao Zedong "On the people’s democratic dictatorship" Shen (2012b) states "On April 3,(1949) the Chinese Communist Party with other (“democratic”) Chinese parties issued a joint statement of opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty. This statement, drafted by Mao, was the first public recognition that the Soviet Union would be an ally of New China. 14". Shen (2012b). Page 76[↩][Cite]
Henry A. Kissinger reveals: “Years later the Chairman told Party leaders of the struggle required to gain Stalin's support: After the revolutionary victory, [Stalin] suspected that China would be like Yugoslavia and that I would become a Tito. Then I went to Moscow to conclude the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance [signed on February 14, 1950], but this involved a struggle. He [Stalin] did not want to sign it, finally agreeing to do so after two months of negotiations. When did Stalin begin to have confidence in us? It began in the winter of 1950-51, during the Resist-America Aid-North Korea Campaign. He finally came to believe that we were not Yugoslavia, and that I was not a Titoist." Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff, Washington, undated Memorandum February 1, 1972 [↩][Cite]
October 1938 Mao Zedong The role of the Chinese communist party in the national war. Chen (2005) states: "While Soviet orthodoxy supported the nationalist revolution led by the Chinese Communists in their struggle for an independent state, it opposed nationalism in any socialist state. As the CCP took power in China, it was expected by communist ideology and by socialist brother states to demonstrate communist internationalism in its foreign policy: that is, to stand with other socialist countries and to take joint actions for the common course of socialism and communism. For the CCP, shouldering this new international responsibility with a state’s capacity became a new obligation, which it could not reject." Or as Premier Zhou Enlai put it, "socialist patriotism is not a narrow nationalism, but a patriotism aimed to strengthen national pride under the guidance of internationalism" Cited in Chen (2005). Page 41 [Cite] "If Soviet aid, Soviet programs, and even Soviet behavior were all by definition inspired by internationalism,” how could they possibly stand accused of what Mao and others eventually referred to as “great-power hegemony [daguozhuyi]” and “chauvinism [shawenzhuyi]”?
Among “friends” in the bloc the Soviets could do no wrong, as the Soviet Union was by definition the center and foundation of the broader collaborative effort to oppose imperialism and capitalism. Both of the great powers of the twentieth century, the United States and the USSR, promoted their own values and customs abroad in a way that reminded the rest of the world of nineteenth-century colonialism.45 In Soviet foreign policy, even the use of these terms was hopelessly compromised. An “internationalist,” noted Stalin in 1927, “is one who, unreservedly, without wavering, without conditions is ready to defend the USSR.”"46Jersild (2014). Page 9 [Cite][↩]
In the same text Mao Zedong claims several areas “In defeating China in war, the imperialistic powers had taken away many Chinese dependent states and a part of her territories. Japan took Korea, Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands, the Prescadores Islands, Port Arthur; England seized Birma, Bhutan, Nepal and Hong Kong} France occupied Annam; and even an insignificant country like Portugal took Macao.” In 1954 edition of this text any reference to Birma and Nepal has disappeared, See Stoel (1958). Page 143 [↩][Cite]
23-11-1949 Liu Shaoqi Speech at the Trade Union Conference in Beijing (excerpt).Heinzig (2004) remarks "Liu Shaoqi’s speech was received negatively and condemned as “ultra-leftist” by the members of the delegation from the Soviet Federation of Trade Unions present, who were led by the organization’s secretary, Leonid Solov’ev. Solov’ev convinced the other foreign delegates to adopt this opinion. They expressed their opposition to Liu’s proposals, and to the idea of armed conflict in particular. The Soviet line was to support armed conflict only in those Third World countries that were seeking to liberate themselves from colonial rule." Heinzig (2004). Page 284 [↩][Cite]
The military support is limited to advising and training of guerrilla fighters. "In anticipation of a pan-Asian revolution, the CCP Central Committee issued an intraparty directive (drafted by Liao Shaoqi) on March 14 (1950). After the victory on the home front, the directive stressed, the CCP and the Chinese people now had an “unflinching international responsibility” to help, by all available means, the oppressed nations of Asia in their struggles for liberation. To do so was also necessary for “consolidating the triumph of the Chinese revolution on a worldwide scale.” Toward that end, the CCP must be ready to provide “warm and fraternal” support for the communist parties and revolutionary groups in various countries, in order to encourage their struggles” cited in Li (2014). Page 58 [↩][Cite]
Sheng (2014). Page 273. [Cite] Shen (2018) remarks "But the KWP (Korean Workers Party) did not send any delegates. This clearly indicates that Moscow had no plan to shift its control of North Korea over to Beijing." Shen (2018). Page 25 [↩][Cite]
Gao (2001). Page 182. He further remarks
"Asking for peace became a paramount theme of art and literature, which distinguished popular culture of the 1950s from that of the preceding and following years. This was unusual because “asking for peace” is a somewhat passive slogan for the communist philosophy. Mao’s works always emphasized the significance of revolutionary wars. The statement he made in 1937 was constantly recited by the Party cadres, soldiers, and students: “Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in class society, and without them it is impossible to accomplish any leap in social development and to overthrow the reactionary ruling classes and therefore impossible for the people to win political power.”9" Gao (2001). Page 182 [↩][Cite]
Zhong (2013) remarks “The purpose of Wu Xiuquan’s delegation could be summarized as: first, to provide direct diplomatic support to the Soviet Union in the United Nations; second, to accuse the Americans of invasion of the Chinese territory of Taiwan; third, to create a propaganda campaign to elicit support from the “peace loving” people around the world to condemn US invasion in Asia; fourth, to mobilize domestic popular support for the war efforts. The last one was mentioned repeatedly in Zhou’s speeches in those months” Zhong (2013). Page 56 [↩][Cite]
Forster (2019). Page 2 "In October 1950, the Chinese Committee of the Council for the Protection of World Peace was merged with the Committee to Resist America and Aid Korea (Tong, 2011: 21). The group’s new name was Chinese People’s Committee for the Protection of World Peace and Resistance
against American Aggression" Page 9. Forster cites the May 1950 instruction of the CCP "The Chinese people’s liberation war [to retake Taiwan and Tibet] is a great contribution to the opposition of aggressive war and the protection of world peace." Page 11 [↩][Cite]
"Yet the proceedings of the congress demonstrated just how narrow the meaning of peace was. During the course of the sessions, the victory of the Chinese Communist armies was announced, bringing the assembled ‘peace’ delegates to their feet in an outburst of cheering. The delegates were asked if they wanted the Chinese war to continue. They answered with a thundering "Yes!" They were asked if they wanted peace now in China. They shouted "No!"153" Dobrenko (2015). Page 70 [↩][Cite]
"As early as August 1949, at the dawn of the PRC, the CCP sent a basketball team to Hungary to participate in the Second World Festival of Youth and Students, an international event held within the Communist camp since 1947.75 Exchanges between the PRC and eastern European counties flourished in the 1950s. In August 1950, China sent volleyball and basketball teams to the Second World Student Congress in Prague.76 After the Congress, the two teams continued their tour in Czechoslovakia and Romania. In December 1950, the PRC welcomed its first foreign sport delegation – a basketball team – from the Soviet Union. The Soviet team toured Beijing and seven other major cities and played 36 friendly matches with local basketball teams. Two years later, a Polish basketball team visited China. Ten friendly matches were played in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenyang, which attracted a total of more than 100,000 spectators.77 In 1953, Chinese athletes participated in the Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students in Romania.78 In 1954, 128 Chinese athletes participated in the 12th Universiade in Budapest.79" Fan (2012). Page 17. A Chinese football team with 24 players trained in Hungary in 1954 [↩][Cite]
"The top Communist leaders were so busy consolidating their power, building their nation, and fighting the United States in the Korean War that the upcoming 1952 Helsinki Olympics was not even on their radar screen. Had the Soviet Union not intervened, the People's Republic of China might not have thought about the Olympic movement or the Olympic Games until much later. But luckily for Beijing, the Soviets brought up both issues early enough for the Communist government to take part..." Page 77. The main reason for the PRC to participate was the promise of the SU to help exclude Taiwan from the IOC. "The delegation left for Finland on July 25 and arrived in Helsinki on July 29, one day before the closing ceremony. It failed to take part in any competition; only one of its swimmers participated in a preliminary competition and he failed to qualify for the next round.25 Even so, Beijing did participate in some of the Games’ cultural programs." Page 83. Xu (2008). Page 77 and 83. [Cite] See also Xu (2008). Pages 19-28 [↩][Cite]
"Zhou himself was very pleased with the result. On the way back to Beijing,
his aides asked the premier to reflect on his Geneva experience. He commented:
(1). The solution of all international disputes can always be based on negotiation
and consultation. As long as both sides have a good will and understand each other,
no matter how complicated the issue is, there will be a path toward its solution.
(2). At a conference all the formal speeches and debates are read line by line from
a prepared text [zhaoben xuanke], and speakers often indulge in exaggeration
without substance for the purpose of either saving face or propagandizing. This is
not aimed at resolving practical problems and can not do so.
(3). Activities after a formal meeting including private contacts provide an
opportunity for participants to have a frank exchange of views, probe into each
other's intentions, put one's cards on the table, negotiate and bargain and reach
detailed agreements. These are the practical and fine methods used to resolve
(4). To find effective solutions always requires mutual understanding, accommodating each other's needs, yielding to the other's reasonable demands, and
showing consideration for each other's interests, so as to seek a common ground for
an agreement. If neither side can agree on certain issues, they ought to be shelved
for the time being. This is what compromise is all about. . . .
(5). When we deal with small and weak nations we must pay special attention to
their face [mian zi]\ in other words, we must never hurt their national pride. As a
major power we should and could understand this." Cited in Zhang (1994). Page 361 [↩][Cite]
22-07-1954 RMRB "Another major victory for peace negotiations" [↩]
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization was an international organization for collective defense in Southeast Asia. Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States signed the pact on September 8, 1954 in Manila. SEATO placed South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos under its protection. [↩]