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Military Commission. During the early stage of the Cultural
53 Nie Rongzhen, also one of the ten marshals, was then a member of the CCP CC and vice chairman of the CCP Central Military Commission. He had been in charge of China's national defense industry (including the building of China's A bomb and H bomb) and, during the Cultural Revolution, was the least criticized of the four marshals.
54 After the CCP's Ninth Congress in April 1969, Mao Zedong instructed the four marshals to study the international situation together and to present to the Party's central leadership a written report. Zhou Enlai then assigned Xiong Xianghui, one of his long-time top aids, to assist the four marshals in preparing the report. From June 7 to July 10, the four marshals held six meetings for a total of 19 hours. On July 11, they completed this report and presented it to Zhou Enlai. Xiong Xianghui took detailed notes at these meetings. The except of the report translated here is based on the material released in his memoir, “The Prelude to the Opening of Sino-American Relations," Zhonggong dangshi ziliao (CCP History Materials), no. 42 (June 1992), pp. 56-96.
55 We now know, however, that China dispatched a total of 320,000 engineering and anti-aircraft artillery troops to Vietnam in 1965-1969. For a discussion, see Chen Jian, “China's Involvement in the Vietnam War, 1964-1969,” China Quarterly 142 (June 1995), pp. 357-386.
56 This refers to the Sino-Indian border war of 1962.
5? The four marshals are probably alluding to Nixon's press conference remark of 14 March 1969. Nixon's reference to “a potential Chinese Communist threat” is cited in Raymond L. Garthoff, Detente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, rev. ed. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1994), p. 246, citing Presidential Documents, vol. 5 (March 17, 1969), p. 404. The context for Nixon's statement was the new administration's announcement that it would proceed with an antiballistic missile (ABM) system, which had been justified by the Johnson Administration by the need to be prepared for a potential Chinese danger, and the implication that the Soviets, too, had an interest in containing the Chinese threat: “'I would imagine,” Nixon said, “that the Soviet Union would be just as reluctant as we would be to leave their country naked against a potential Chinese Communist threat." We thank William Burr (National Security Archive) for alerting us to this quotation.
58 Sato Eisaku served as Japan's prime minister from 1964 to 1972.
59 The CCP CC issued the order on 28 August 1969. The order, primarily intended to bring about a general mobilization in border provinces and regions, especially Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Helongjiang, was also widely carried out in other parts of China. The order thus resulted in a nationwide mobilization in China late in 1969.
60 On 23 July 1969, using Shanxi province as a case, the CCP CC ordered that all mass organizations should end “struggle with violent means,” that the PLA should take resolute measures to restore order, that transportation and communication systems should be unconditionally restored, that all counterrevolutionaries should severely punished, and that production should be unconditionally resumed. See Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao, vol. 13, pp. 54-55.
61 Alexei Kosygin was a member of the Soviet Party Politburo and chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union.
62 On 11 September 1969, Kosygin, after attending Ho Chi Minh's funeral in Hanoi, made a short stop in Beijing and met with Chinese premier Zhou Enlai at the Beijing airport. The meeting lasted for 3 hours and 40 minutes. According the Chinese records, the two sides reached four tentative agreements at the meeting: (1)The two sides agree to maintain the status quo of the border; (2) the two sides agree to avoid military conflict on the border; (3) the two sides agree that their military forces should avoid contact in disputed areas; and (4) the two sides agree to let their border authorities consult and negotiate with each in case a dispute emerges. Zhou Enlai and Kosygin also agreed that, after reporting the results of the meeting to the two Party's central leadership, they would confirm these results by exchanging formal letters. (Zhonghua renmin gongheguo shilu, vol. 3, part 1, pp. 510-511.) For Zhou Enlai's letter to Kosygin dated 18 September 1969, see Document 13. [Editor's Note: for English translations of Soviet records pertaining to the meeting see Ostermann, "New Evidence on the Sino-Soviet Border Dispute, 1969-71," pp. 191-193; and Cold War International History Project Bulletin 6/7 (Winter 1995/96), pp. 197-199.)
Richard Nixon made a round-the-world journey in JulyAugust 1969, and spent time in Asia. During a stop in Guam, Nixon announced at a news conference that while in the past Asian nations had received both men and money from the United States to fight communist threats, in the future, to receive American military and financial support, they would have to furnish their own troops. This notion of a new American Asian policy became the “Nixon Doctrine." In China, Caokao xiaoxi (Reference news), an internally circulated daily newspaper, immediately reported Nixon's remarks.
64 Following his agreement with Kosygin reached at their 11 September 1969 meeting at the Beijing airport, Zhou Enlai wrote the letter to Kosygin with the expectation that he would receive a letter with the same content from Kosygin. However, Kosygin did not reply positively to Zhou because of opposition from other Soviet leaders, especially those from the military.
65 Choi Yong Kun was a member of the Presidium of the Political Committee of the Korean Workers' Party and chairman of the supreme People's Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He headed a North Korean party and governmental delegation sent to attend the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. This visit substantially improved Sino-North Korean relations, which reached a low ebb during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, paving the way for Chinese premier Zhou Enlai to lead a highranking Chinese Party and Governmental delegation to visit North Korea in April 1970 (the first such visit by Chinese leaders since 1966).
Qiao Guanhua, China's vice foreign minister, later served as China's foreign minister from 1975 to 1976.
Yu Zhan headed the Soviet-East European Section of Chinese Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Chai Chengwen headed the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Defense. 69 Please refer to Document 13.
Ji Pengfei was China's vice foreign minister.
Huang Yongsheng was PLA chief of staff and a member of the CCP Politburo. He was purged and disappeared from China's political scene after Lin Biao's death in September 1971.
22 The Sino-Soviet border negotiations began on 20 October 1969, without producing any concrete results. Tensions along Sino-Soviet borders did not relax until the late 1980s.
New Evidence on the Korean War
Editor's note: The documents featured in this section of the Bulletin present new evidence on the allegations that the United States used bacteriological weapons during the Korean War. In the accompanying commentaries, historian Kathryn Weathersby and scientist Milton Leitenberg (University of Maryland) provide analysis, context and interpretation of these documents. Unlike other documents published in the Bulletin, these documents, first obtained and published (in Japanese) by the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, have not been authenticated by access to the archival originals (or even photocopies thereof). The documents were copied by hand in the Russian Presidential Archive in Moscow, then typed. Though both commentators believe them to be genuine based on textual analysis, questions about the authenticity of the documents, as the commentators note, will remain until the original documents become available in the archives. Copies of the typed transcription (in Russian) have been deposited at the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute and repository of declassified documents based at George Washington University (Gelman Library, Suite 701; 2130 H St., NW; Washington, DC 20037; tel: 202/994-7000; fax: 2021 994-7005) and are accessible to researchers. CWIHP welcomes the discussion of these new findings and encourages the release of the originals and additional materials on the issue from Russian, Chinese, Korean and U.S. archives.
Deceiving the Deceivers: Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, and the
Allegations of Bacteriological Weapons Use in Korea
By Kathryn Weathersby
'n January 1998 the Japanese newspaper Sankei
documents purportedly obtained from the Russian Presidential Archive (known formally as the Archive of the President, Russian Federation, or APRF) by its Moscow-based reporter, Yasuo Naito. These remarkable documents provide the first Soviet evidence yet to emerge regarding the longstanding allegations that the United States employed bacteriological weapons during the Korean War. Sankei Shimbun subsequently agreed to make the documents available to scholars; a translation of the complete texts is presented below.
The circumstances under which these documents were obtained are unusual. Because the Presidential Archive does not allow researchers to make photocopies, the texts were copied by hand and subsequently re-typed. We therefore do not have such tell-tale signs of authenticity as seals, stamps or signatures that a photocopy can provide. Furthermore, since the documents have not been formally rele sed, we do not have their archival citations. Nor do we know the selection criteria of the person who collected them.
In these regrettable circumstances, how do we evaluate the authenticity of the new evidence? Until the Presidential Archive begins granting access to its important holdings through regular channels rather than through the ad hoc arrangements it has used thus far, we must rely on textual analysis and our experience working in other Russian archives. Are the contents of the documents persuasive enough to overcome the skepticism
raised by their irregular provenance? Their style and form do not raise suspicion. The specifics of persons, dates and events are consistent with evidence available from a wide array of other sources.' As is apparent from the translations below, their contents are so complex and interwoven that it would have been extremely difficult to forge them. In short, the sources are credible.
They are, however, fragmentary. The contents address—and appear to answer—the key question of the veracity of the allegations, but far more documentation, particularly from China, is needed to give a full account of this massive propaganda campaign. In an accompanying article, Milton Leitenberg discusses the history of the allegations and analyzes the disclosures made in these new sources. This commentary examines the context in which these documents originated, discussing not only what they reveal about the Soviet/Chinese/North Korean campaign falsely to accuse the U.S. of using bacteriological weapons in Korea, but also about the power struggle within the Soviet leadership after Stalin's death, the determination of the new leadership to distance itself from Stalin's foreign policy, and the impact of these developments on Moscow's relations with China and North Korea.
Except for the first brief excerpt from a Mao to Stalin telegram of 21 February 1952 [Document No. 1), the context of these documents is the byzantine power struggle within the Soviet leadership in the first months after Stalin's death in March 1953, and the attempt by that leadership to alter those policies of their predecessor which they regarded as most harmful to Soviet and/or their personal interests. An important part of this succession struggle and policy realignment was the successful effort by Lavrentii P. Beria, the former NKVD head and a possible successor to Stalin, to remove Semen D. Ignatiev, a Khrushchev protegé, from his post as Minister of State Security. Ignatiev was a rival for control of the security services and had also overseen the “Doctor's Plot,” the deadly new purge Stalin had begun in the weeks before he died. With the entire leadership determined to end the purge so as not to become its victims, Beria was able to arrest M.D. Riumin, the subordinate of Ignatiev who was directly responsible for carrying out the “Doctor's Plot." The security chief himself, however, was only removed from his post and then expelled from the party. He was not arrested, presumably because his patron provided sufficient protection. Pravda explained on 6 April 1953 that Ignatiev had been removed because of “blindness and gullibility,” relatively mild charges in that environment. After Khrushchev succeeded in arresting Beria in June of that year, he reinstated Ignatiev in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee (CPSU CC).
The documents below show that Beria prepared two formal charges against Ignatiev. The second charge has long been assumed-his participation in the Doctor's Plot. This is the meaning of the Party Control Commission's claim (Document No. 12] that he was guilty of "gross violations of Soviet legality and the falsification of investigative materials” according to which "Soviet citizens were subjected to groundless arrests and charged with false accusations of committing serious state crimes." The first charge, wever, has not been known. The Commission declared that during his tenure as minister of state security of the USSR he “received a document of special political importance in April 1952" but did not report it to the government, with the result that the prestige of the Soviet Union, (and of] the camp of peace and democracy suffered real political damage.”
The documents below indicate that the information Ignatiev allegedly concealed from the government was the falsity of the Chinese allegations that the Americans were using bacteriological weapons in the Korean War, claims which formed the basis of a massive international political campaign the Soviet Union had conducted over the previous year. To support his case against Ignatiev, Beria obtained testimony from three Soviet officials who had dealt with this matter while they served in North Korea, two former advisers and the current Soviet ambassador to the DPRK. The statements of these three describe in detail [Documents Nos. 2, 3, 4) remarkable measures taken by the North Koreans and Chinese, with the assistance of Soviet advisers, to create false evidence to corroborate their charges against the United States.
Since it had long been standard operating procedure in the Soviet Union for security services officials to obtain false confessions from an accused person or false incriminating testimony from the associates of the accused, it is possible that these blandly stated accounts of
outrageous activities have as little relation to reality as the countless coerced “confessions” collected during Stalin's reign. In this case, however, the censure of Ignatiev for allegedly hiding knowledge of the baselessness of the Chinese claims against the U.S. was accompanied by a decision of the entire leadership to cease the campaign on this issue, apparently because of the risk of embarrassment to the Soviet Union should the claims be revealed as fabrications. The Central Committee Presidium ordered the Soviet delegation in the United Nations not “to show interest in discussing this question or even more in *fanning the flames' of this question" [Document No. 6). It also commissioned Molotov to present within a week a proposal on the position the Soviet government would take on the issue in the future [Document No. 7). Even more significantly, the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers dispatched an emissary to Beijing and Pyongyang with the harsh message that the Soviet government was now aware that it had been misled regarding the claims that the U.S. was using bacteriological weapons and that it “recommended” that the Chinese and North Korean governments cease their accusations (Documents Nos. 8, 9, 11]. Beijing and Pyongyang followed the Moscow's instructions, all three states ceased their campaign regarding these allegations in April 1953. The post-Stalin leadership therefore took significant action on the basis that the allegations of American use of bacteriological weapons were false and consequently potentially damaging to the Soviet Union.
While the testimony contained in these documents regarding the fabrication of evidence of bacteriological weapons use are credible, the claim that Ignatiev and V.N. Razuvaev, the Soviet ambassador to Pyongyang, removed from his post for the same alleged offense, kept this information from the Soviet leadership seems disingenuous. Documents from the Russian Foreign Ministry Archive (available through normal research procedures) indicate that Soviet officials at many levels, from embassy advisers to Stalin himself, were involved in managing the North Korean propaganda campaign about American use of bacteriological weapons so as to prevent the falsity of the claims from being revealed. For example, in March 1952, the month after the Chinese and North Koreans first made their allegation, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko ordered Korea specialist G.I. Tunkin? and two other officers then serving with him in the Foreign Ministry's First Far Eastern Department, to inform him immediately about the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1929 (sic) and 1949 regarding investigations of claims alleging violations of rules of warfare. Gromyko's order was prompted by alarm over U.S. Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson's request to the chairman of the International Committee of the Red Cross that the ICRC investigate the charge that bacteriological weapons were being used in Korea. Gromyko anticipated that the ICRC might soon ask permission from the DPRK to conduct such an
investigation and he therefore needed to prepare a strategy approve advice to the DPRK regarding statements it to fend off such a request. Tunkin and his associates should make in relation to the use of bacteriological informed him that since the Geneva Convention specified weapons. Ambassador Razuvaev suggested that the that the parties participating in the armed conflict would Soviet government recommend to the Korean friends” themselves investigate the facts of any alleged violation of that they make a statement about their adherence to the the convention, the DPRK could refuse a proposal from Geneva Protocol of 1925 forbidding the use of the ICRC to conduct an investigation. It is worth noting bacteriological weapons, since the World Peace Council, a that Gromyko's order was issued before Moscow received Soviet front organization, had called on all governments to a request from Pyongyang for assistance in formulating a sign, ratify and observe the Geneva Convention. The reply to the ICRC. And it is all but certain that the
Foreign Ministry's First Far Eastern Department reported initiative on such a matter involving the United States to Vyshinsky that they considered Razuvaev's proposal came from Vyshinsky or Stalin, not from the deputy unacceptable for two reasons. First, for the DPRK to issue foreign minister. The Soviet leadership was concerned such a statement now, after war had been going on in enough about the potential ramifications of Acheson's Korea for two years and the DPRK had protested against proposal that it began preparing a response even before the use of bacteriological weapons by the Americans, receiving a request for advice from Pyongyang or Beijing. would "give a strange impression and elicit Tunkin recommended that the Foreign Ministry ask its bewilderment." Second, since “social opinion accuses the ambassadors in the PRC and DPRK “what they know USA, not the DPRK, of violation of the Protocol” the regarding the position the Chinese and Korean friends North Korean position on the question “will remain strong propose to take in connection with Acheson's appeal."} regardless of whether it makes a statement of adherence to A month later the highest levels of the Soviet
the Protocol." government approved advice to Pyongyang regarding how Numerous other records from the Russian archives, to avoid a visit by an international team of medical
including documents published in Issue 6/7 of the Cold professionals who would be able to report accurately on War International History Project Bulletin, make it clear evidence of the use of bacteriological weapons in Korea. that the Soviet Union exercised extremely close Vyshinsky requested Stalin's approval of an answer supervision over the actions of the North Korean drafted by Ambassador Razuvaev for the DPRK to make government, and that decision-making within the Soviet to U.N. Secretary General Trygvie Lie's proposal that the foreign policy apparatus was very highly centralized. World Health Organization provide assistance in
Even minor questions, such as whether the DPRK could combating the spread of epidemics in North Korea.
temporarily use a Soviet steam shovel located in a Razuvaev explained that Lie had sent telegrams with this Manchurian port, were decided at the level of foreign proposal to Pyongyang on March 20 and March 29, but minister or deputy foreign minister. It is therefore not "the Korean friends considered it inadvisable to answer credible that Soviet advisers in Korea could have engaged these telegrams.” However, after the DPRK received a in the falsification of evidence on this important matter third telegram from Lie on April 6, the North Korean without the knowledge and approval of the highest levels government appealed to Razuvaev for advice regarding of the Soviet government. whether it should continue to ignore these
Why then did Stalin conduct this risky propaganda communications. Razuvaev recommended that the DPRK campaign? It appears that the initiative for the allegations answer Lie, to which the Soviet Foreign Ministry agreed, came from the Chinese. As Milton Leitenberg notes, but with changes to his proposed text. The draft answer Japan had used bacteriological weapons in China, the U.S. sent for Stalin's approval—with copies to Molotov, had shielded the Japanese officers responsible for their Malenkov, Beria, Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Bulganin and development, and epidemic diseases were widespread in Khrushchev-stated that the proposal could not be
Manchuria. Memoir and documentary sources from China accepted because the World Health Organization did not cited by Shu Guang Zhang? indicate that, as Mao claimed have proper international authority. Furthermore,
in Document No. 9, the allegations were first made by apparently as an additional pretext to fend off such a visit, Chinese commanders in the field. Not wishing to be guilty the DPRK should state that "the USA continues to refuse of a lack of vigilance, particularly after Soviet advisers to discuss the use of bacteriological weapons, which are had warned the Chinese officers that the Americans might forbidden by the Geneva Protocol of 1925."4
use bacteriological, chemical or nuclear weapons in Korea, Later that month Vyshinsky was again asked to
the field commanders nervously concluded that the
American planes that dominated Trying to reach CWIHP by Email?
the skies over North Korea and
occasionally overflew Chinese General inquries and publication requests: COLDWARI@wwic.si.edu territory were responsible for the Christian Ostermann, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
outbreak of cholera, plague and Nancy L. Meyers, Administrator: email@example.com
other infectious diseases in early 1952. After receiving the reports,
Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai ordered a laboratory investigation of the evidence and dispatched epidemic prevention teams to Korea. However, they also denounced the United States for engaging in bacteriological warfare, apparently before the laboratory tests were completed. The evidence presented below suggests that once Mao learned that his commanders' reports were inaccurate, he decided to continue the propaganda campaign anyway. Since one of his main reasons for fighting the Americans in Korea was to maintain revolutionary momentum within China, as Chen Jian has persuasively argued, he was apparently unwilling to forfeit the domestic benefits of charging the United States with using heinous weapons against Chinese soldiers, not to mention the propaganda value internationally. The North Koreans were similarly disposed both to believe the allegations and to find it worthwhile to fabricate evidence, a contradiction that the passions generated by this war could well have sustained.
Stalin's allies thus presented him with an opportunity for a dramatic version of what the Bolsheviks called “agitation and propaganda.” The ferocity of the American bombing of North Korea, which elicited considerable international criticism, enhanced this opportunity. As I have discussed elsewhere,9 from the fall of 1951 until his death, Stalin encouraged the Chinese and North Koreans to take a hard line in the armistice negotiations in Korea because he concluded that prolonging the war benefitted the Soviet Union. From his point of view, so long as it safely remained a stalemate, the war drained U.S. resources, exacerbated tensions among the Western allies and provided the Soviet Union with an excellent opportunity to gather intelligence on American military technology and organization. To this list should now be added the propaganda value of charging the United States with war crimes.
In this instance, as in so many others, Stalin's reasoning was decidedly shortsighted. Having little understanding of “capitalist” economies, he could not see that the drain on American resources caused by the war was more than offset by the increased military spending it prompted. Similarly, blind to the actual bonds between the Western allies, he exaggerated the tensions the war caused and underestimated the extent to which Soviet actions in Korea solidified the Western alliance, particularly with regard to the controversial issue of rearming (West) Germany. Unaccountable to anyone within his own country, he was unable to perceive that false charges of war crimes could work to the detriment of the accuser.
It is therefore all the more striking that the new leaders in Moscow moved so decisively to distance themselves from Stalin's foreign policy. Not only did they immediately resolve to end the war in Korea,'' but they also stopped the propaganda campaign of false allegations against the Americans, on the grounds that it damaged Soviet prestige. For the same reason, they renounced the
territorial claims Stalin had made against Turkey in 1945 and restored diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, Greece, and Israel. At the same time, however, they implemented the decision to end the bacteriological warfare allegations in a way that was highly insulting to their Chinese allies. Moscow instructed the Soviet ambassador to Beijing, V.V. Kuznetsov, to inform Mao Zedong in blunt language that the Soviet government and the CPSU CC had been misled: The information the Chinese had supplied about the Americans' use of bacteriological weapons in Korea was false [Document No. 8). According to Kuznetsov's account of his ensuing conversation with Mao, the Chinese leader understandably refused to take responsiblity for the false reports, the falsity of which had been well-known to the Soviet government. Instead, he simply said that the claims had been based on reports from Chinese military officers in the field and that the reliability of those reports would again be investigated. During the conversation, Kuznetsov reported, Mao displayed "some nervousness”
"he smoked a lot, crushed cigarettes and drank a lot of tea,” though he calmed down by the end of the conversation. Zhou Enlai, moreover, “behaved with intent seriousness and some uneasiness” [Document No. 9).
One can only speculate about why the Soviet leadership treated its important Chinese ally in a manner virtually guaranteed to worsen relations between Moscow and Beijing. Perhaps it was just a manifestation of the durability of Stalinist practices, despite the new leadership's desire to improve on their predecessor's record. It may also, however, have been Beria's initiative, as reckless as his reported proposal to abandon “building socialism” in the GDR for the present or his attempt to persuade the Yugoslavs to cooperate in security services." If Beria initiated the directive to Kuznetsov (and managed to push it through the Council of Ministers), this could explain why the Chinese did not, so far as we know, include this episode in their later complaints of illtreatment by Moscow. Since Beria was arrested a little over a month after this conversation, the remaining leadership could claim that while this action was indeed improper, they had taken care of the problem. But why would Beria have wanted to insult Mao? Perhaps, considering himself Stalin's successor, he was attempting to demonstrate to the most powerful of the foreign Communist leaders just who was in charge. In 1938, after Beria was named head of the NKVD, Stalin called him in to his office and brought up the old charge that he had spied against the Bolsheviks in 1919.12 The Soviet godfather did not intend to remove Beria; he just wanted to make sure the new security chief, always a potentially dangerous person, understood who was in charge. It would have been natural for Stalin's protegé to use comparable methods against Mao. If so, Khrushchev's accusations of dangerous adventurism on Beria's part were even more well-founded than previously known.
How did the DPRK leadership view Moscow's