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A Crucial Step toward the Breakdown of the Sino-Soviet Alliance:

The Withdrawal of Soviet Experts from China in July 1960

a Romanian Party Congress in Bucharest. Shortly thereafter, the Soviet leader decided to withdraw all Soviet advisers from China immediately, and to terminate all important contracts and projects. According to the Chinese, Moscow withdrew 1,390 experts, tore up 343 contracts, and scrapped 257 cooperative projects in science and technology, "all within the short span of a month.”

„15

The immediate effects were substantial; the longer-run result was to politicize trade by adding to the long list of issues over which the two sides were now in conflict. 16 Now it was but a matter of time until a full and final rupture took place in the summer of 1963, featuring an exchange of public broadsides in which both Khrushchev and Mao came in for violent personal attacks.

With these highlights (or lowlights) of the dispute in mind, let's return to certain personal characteristics of Khrushchev that help to explain his allergic reaction to Mao.

One such trait was a combination of vaulting ambition and an extraordinarily low level of culture. Just as important was a persistent sense of inadequacy centered around his lack of education and refinement. Khrushchev's remarkable rise slaked both his ambition and his shaky sense of self-esteem. But with ever greater power and fame came more responsibility in areas about which he knew nothing, and over which he had little control. Under such circumstances there were bound to be failures, but with them came increased doubts about his own capacities, thus aggravating a moodiness, impulsiveness, and hyper-sensitivity to slight that had been there all along but were usually covered by gregariousness and extraversion.

Increasingly during his long career, Khrushchev reacted with hostility to actual or implied criticism (especially from better educated and more cultured intelligentsia types), going so far in some cases as to pursue what amounted to vendettas against his antagonists. Moreover, one round of failure led to another to which he reacted badly as well. None of this cycle, I hasten to add, can be isolated from troubles inherent in the Soviet system, and in any effort

by Chen Jian For scholars of Sino-Soviet relations, that the Kremlin leadership abruptly decided in July 1960 to recall all Soviet experts working in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is not fresh information. During the great polemical debate between Beijing and Moscow in the 1960s, the Chinese leaders and media repeatedly claimed that the Soviet leadership took this action in order to put more pressure on Mao Zedong and his comrades, so that they would yield to Moscow's evil intention of maintaining China as the Soviet Union's inferior subordinate.1 As this decision came at a time when China was facing great economic difficulties in the wake of the “Great Leap Forward,” Mao and his comrades also used it to make the Soviets the scapegoat of the Leap's disastrous aftermath. Consequently, Moscow's decision proved to be a crucial step toward the breakdown of Sino-Soviet alliance.

Despite the importance of this event, scholars have been unable to gain access to many pertinent documents. Most of our knowledge has been based on Beijing's and Moscow's official accounts, which, as one might expect, offer no more than an incomplete and sometimes distorted version of the story. Recently, however, Dieter Heinzig*, a German scholar who has extensively studied Sino-Soviet relations and is completing a monograph on the Sino-Soviet relations, 1945-1950, unearthed a key document about this event in the archives of the East German Socialist Unity Party (SED) in East Berlin: a copy of the note delivered by the Soviet Embassy in Beijing to the Chinese Foreign Ministry dated 18 July 1960. It was in this note that the Soviet government formally informed Beijing that it had decided to recall all Soviet experts from China and explained in detail why it had decided to do so. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev provided a copy of the note to his Communist comrades in East Germany together with a cover letter, which introduced the background and motives of the decision, thereby more or less repeating the arguments of the note.2

Reading this note, one is impressed by the depth of the divergence already present between Moscow and Beijing in 1960. Indeed, the language used in the note was serious, revealing both disappointment and anger among Soviet leaders. While presenting the reasons underlying the decision to withdraw Soviet experts from China, the Kremlin emphasized three particular grievances. First, they made it clear that they had noticed Chinese “dissatisfaction with some Soviet experts and advisors." Second, they criticized the Chinese side's "unfriendly" treatment of, and “sp[ying) on,” the Soviet experts. Third, and most important, the Soviet leaders emphasized that they were extremely unhappy, even angry, about the Chinese practice of forcing the Soviet experts to embrace Beijing's viewpoints on the world situation and the orientation of the international communist movement as elaborated in the lengthy article “Long Live Leninism,"3 which explicitly revealed that the ideological divergence between the Chinese and Soviet leaders was having a tremendous negative impact upon the development of the state relations between the two Communist powers.

A sensitive, controversial, yet central, concept pervading the Soviet note (in a more general sense, also dominating the overall development of Sino-Soviet relations) concerned "equality.” Throughout the note, the Soviet leaders attempted to argue that they had always paid close attention to treating China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as other “brotherly Parties," as equals, and that the decision to withdraw Soviet experts from China was based on the belief that it would better serve a more equal relationship between the two Communist powers.

No matter how sincerely Moscow's leaders might have believed this, the leaders in Beijing would have viewed the whole issue in a radically different way. What is important here is to put the note into a historical context. During the long process of the Chinese Communist revolution, the CCP had consistently regarded itself as part of the Soviet-led international Communist movement. Mao Zedong's "lean-to-one-side" state

continued on page 249

ard.19

(of the sort Khrushchev, and later attack by retreating beyond the Urals Khrushchev later claimed that he took Gorbachev, mounted) to reform it. But and holding out until the Chinese en- Mao's 1958 sallies equably and even neither can they be separated from the tered the war, Khrushchev was not only self-critically, since he understood how personal deterioration that Khrushchev appalled by the idea itself, he was up- the Soviet request for radio stations on (and Gorbachev, too?) underwent as the set that he couldn't tell whether the Chinese territory could rub the Chinese world they tried so hard to improve Chinese leader was being serious. the wrong way.

21

But that claim reveals unravelled around them. The fact that “I looked at him closely,” more about his desire to be seen by hisKhrushchev's Kremlin colleagues, who Khrushchev recalls. “I couldn't tell tory as mature and statesman-like than eventually ousted him, held his mishan- from his face whether he was joking or about his actual mood at the time. dling of relations with Mao against him, not.”18 Later, when he better under- Khrushchev claims he wasn't inand that in part, they were correct to do stood Mao's bluster about standing up timidated by Mao's swimming prowess: so, underscores both Khrushchev's self- to the United States even at the risk of “Of course, I couldn't compete with destructiveness, and its impact on over- nuclear war, Khrushchev decided that Mao in the pool—as everyone knows, all Sino-Soviet relations.

“Mao obviously regarded me as a cow- he's since set a world record for both In the beginning of his decade in

speed and distance. I'm a poor swimpower, Khrushchev attached a very high Given his chip-on-the-shoulder at- mer and I'm ready to take my hat off to priority to consolidating the relations titude toward his own Soviet intelligen- Mao when it comes to swimming."22 with Beijing that he believed Stalin had tsia, the last thing Khrushchev needed But if he didn't acknowledge what Dr. put at risk. Khrushchev condemned was to feel intimidated by Mao's philo- Li calls this "insult," surely that was Stalin for condescending to Mao, for re- sophical pretensions. In this context, because Khrushchev wouldn't admit to garding the Chinese leader as a kind of consider the pompous way Mao alluded being humiliated. "cave-man Marxist,” and for manifest- to Khrushchev's mistakes and then for- Khrushchev's withdrawal of Soviet ing "a kind of haughty arrogance" dur- gave them in a speech in Moscow in advisers was as self-defeating as it was ing the latter's visit to Moscow in 1949- 1957: “Lenin once said that there is not crude and precipitous. The adverse eco50.17 Khrushchev launched his own a single person in the world who does nomic impact affected both sides. Morerelationship with Mao with the feeling not make mistakes. I have made many over, Moscow lost the chance to exert that he could, should, and would do mistakes and these mistakes have been influence, and to derive invaluable inmuch better by the Chinese leader than beneficial to me and taught me a les- telligence from advisers in China. The Stalin had done. But instead of evok- son. Everyone needs support. An able then Soviet Ambassador in China, ing Mao's gratitude and respect, the fellow need the support of three other Stepan Chervonenko, recalls he was Chinese leader seemed to be conde- people, a fence needs the support of “amazed” at news of the withdrawal, scending to him. Not only was such lack three stakes. These are Chinese prov- and took steps to try to prevent it. “We of fealty a problem in larger ideologi- erbs. Still another Chinese proverb says sent a telegram to Moscow. We said the cal and political terms, it grated irritat- with all its beauty the lotus needs the move would be a violation of internaingly on Khrushchev’s uneasy self of green

of its leave to set it off. You, com- tional law. If our help to the Chinese self. As a white European, Khrushchev rade Khrushchev, even though you are must end, then at least let the advisers felt a sense of superiority over the up- a beautiful lotus, you too need leaves stay until their contracts were up. We start Chinese. All the more devastating to set you off. I, Mao Tse-tung, while hoped that in the meantime, things then that the upshot of Mao's treatment not a beautiful lotus, also need leaves would get patched at the top.” 23 of him was to make Khrushchev him- to set me off. Still another Chinese prov- Nor was Chervonenko the only self feel inferior.

erb says three cobblers with their wits Soviet official appalled by Both in 1954 and during their later combined equal Zhuge Liang, the mas- Khrushchev's action. Leonid meetings, Mao's negotiating methods ter mind. This corresponds to comrade Brezhnev's former aide, Aleksandrovsuggested to Khrushchev that the Chi- Khrushchev’s slogan-collective lead- Agentov later traced the beginning of nese leader was playing him for a fool. ership.”20

“internal split between the leader Yet that was precisely the sort of image Even with a perfect translation into [Khrushchev] and his own associates" which Khrushchev could not abide, par- Russian, it wasn't clear whether Mao's to a series of “impulsive foreign policy ticularly because he had been forced to words were a compliment. At this stage measures that damaged our own state trade on it for so long to survive Stalin's of their relationship, Mao's sin wasn't interests. All you have to remember is terrible suspiciousness toward his top a direct personal challenge, but rather the unexpected pull-out from China of lieutenants. his maddening inscrutability.

not only of our military but also ecoAs one who prided himself on tak- Knowing Khrushchev's aversion to nomic advisers—all in spite of existing ing the measure of his interlocutors, being criticized, one can imagine the agreements and contracts. Why? BeKhrushchev was particularly annoyed effort it took to contain himself in the cause of the ideological argument and that he couldn't figure Mao out. When face of Mao's attacks. Ever since 1954 the rivalry between Khrushchev and Mao tried to convince him that the he had gone out of his way to give the USSR should respond to an American Chinese almost everything they wanted. The withdrawal of advisers reflects

Mao...."24

170.

ply playing."25

13 Ibid.

particularly vividly the role of “Memuary Nikity Sergeyevicha Khrushcheva,"

SUSLOV ON MAO
Khrushchev's personality. Would any

Voprosy istorii 11-12 (1992), 66.
2

continued from page 244
Ibid., 80.
other Soviet leader have acted so

3

Sidney Hook, The Hero in History (Atlantic rashly?

Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1943), 151- cannot accept that even our friends talk to Several times Khrushchev de

us down their nose (svisoka razgovarivali s 4 scribed Mao and the environment

See James David Barber, “Classifying and Pre

nami]"; later, after calling the discussions dicting Presidential Styles: Two Weak Presiaround him as "Asiatic," referring esdents," Journal of Social Issues 24:3 (July 1968),

ultimately "quite useful," Suslov noted:) pecially to the Chinese leader's reliance 51-79.

One should not omit the fact that the 5 on "flattery and insidiousness." De- “Memuary,” 66.

aforementioned mistakes and shortcomings 6 scribing politics as “a game,"

Li Zhisui, The Private Life of Chairman Mao

in the field of domestic and foreign policy New York: Random House, 1994), 115-118. Khrushchev confessed his continuing 7

Ibid., 220-224.

of the Communist Party of China are largely frustration at the way Mao played it. “I

8

Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament explained by the atmosphere of the cult of believed him," the Soviet leader com- (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974), 258.

personality of com. Mao Zedong. Formally plained at one point, but "he was sim

Quan Yanchi, Mao Zedong yu Heluxiaofu

the CC of the Communist Party of China [“Mao Zedung and Khrushchev") (Jilin: Jilin renmin chuban she), 126-128.

observes the norms of collective leadership, When Mao boasted about Chinese 10

Quan, Mao Zedong yu Heluxiaofu; Tracy B. but in effect crucial decisions are made uniqueness, recalls Khrushchev, “I was Strong and Helene Keyssar, “Anna Louise Strong: single-handedly, and thus are often touched jolted by all that bragging." The true Three Interviews with Chairman Mao Zedong,"

by subjectivism, and in some instances are China Quarterly 103 (September 1985), 503. believing internationalist in Khrushchev 11

Quan, Mao Zedong yu Heluxiaofu, 126-128.

simply not well thought through. Glorificawas offended by Mao's “nationalism 12 Li, Private Life, 261

tion of com. Mao Zedong is visibly on the and chauvinism.” But since no one was

rise in China. In the party press one can in14 a bigger boaster than Khrushchev him

Li Yueren, Waijiao wutai shang de xin

creasingly find such statements that “we, the Zhongguo lingxiu [“New China's leaders on the self, surely there is an element of pro- diplomatic stage") (Beijing: Jiefangjun chuban

Chinese, live in the great epoch of Mao jection in criticizing Mao for sins she, 1989), 182-183.

Zedong," comrade Mao Zedong is portrayed 15 Khrushchev shared. Likewise when he

Letter of CCP CC to CPSU CC, 29 February

as a great genius. They call him the beacon charges that Mao's "putting his own 1964, in John Gittings, ed., Survey of the Sino

illuminating the path to communism, the Soviet Dispute (London: Oxford University Press, person first created friction, and even 1968), 139. See also Steven M. Goldstein, “The

embodiment of communist ideas. One more than friction in relations between

Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1937-1962: Ideology and equates the name of com. Mao Zedong with our two countries.":26

Unity” (manuscript), forthcoming in Harry the party, etc. One presents the works of Granted, then, that the Sino-Soviet Harding, ed., Patterns of Cooperation in the For

com. Mao Zedong in China as the last word dispute was personal as well as politi- eign Relations of China.

Gittings, Survey, 130-131; Goldstein, “The

of creative Marxism, of the same rank as cal, and that Khrushchev let himself be Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1937-1962."

the works of the classics [klassiki] of Marxprovoked by Mao for the sorts of rea17 Memuary," 68, 74.

ism-Leninism. In effect, the works of com. 18

Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, sons I have cited. To fill out the picture

Mao Zedong are put in the foundation of all 256-257. further, we would need to know why 19

Khrushchev Remembers (Boston: Little,

educational work in the party and in the Mao reacted to so negatively to Brown, 1970),470.

country. Even in PRC's colleges and uni20 Khrushchev. What was it about Michael Schoenhals, ed., “Mao Zedong: versities the teaching of social sciences durKhrushchev personally that Mao found Speeches at the 1957 Moscow Conference,"

ing the last two-three years has been reduced Journal of Communist Studies, 2:2 (June 1986), so irritating? Did Mao deliberately go 121-122.

to the study of Mao's works. All this, unforout of his way to provoke his Soviet 21

Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament, tunately, pleases (imponiruiet) com. Mao counterpart? Or was he unaware of how 260.

Zedong, who, by all accounts, himself has Khrushchev perceived and reacted to 23 Interview with Stepan Chervonenko, Mos

come to believe in his own infallibility. This him? Did aides of either or both lead

reminds of the atmosphere that existed in cow, 1993. ers play on their bosses' sensitivities, 24

Andrei Aleksandrov-Agentov, “Brezhnev and our country during the last years of life of either knowingly or unknowingly, so as Khrushchev," Novoe vremia 22 (1993), 39. I.V. Stalin. Of course, we could not talk with

25 intensify the antagonism between them? Memuary,” 66, 70.

the Chinese comrades about it, but the Ple26 Ibid., 70, 80. Or were they adept enough at outrag

num should be aware of this, yet another ing each other all by themselves?

William Taubman, a professor of political aspect in the life of the Communist Party of Documents from still-closed Chiscience at Amherst College, is working on

China.... nese archives, as well as additional

a biography of Nikita Khrushchev. materials from Russian archives, and

(Source: Excerpted from Suslov draft report not only memoir accounts, valuable as

to CC CPSU Plenum, 18 December 1959, they may be, will be needed to address

Center for the Storage of Contemporary these and many other aspects of the

Documentation (TsKhSD), Moscow, fond 2, Mao-Khrushchev relationship.

opis 1, delo 415, listy 56-91; document provided and translated by V. M. Zubok.)

22 Ibid., p. 259.

SOVIET EXPERTS

viet withdrawal of experts from China ment presented to the PR of China and the continued from page 246

as strong evidence to claim that other socialist countries the proposal to re

Beijing's struggle against Moscow was call the Soviet experts, taking into considment in June 1949 formalized the PRC's not just one for true communism but

eration that these countries had by then foreign policy framework, essentially also one for China's sovereignty and

trained their own cadres and were, in the

opinion of the Soviet Government, well caestablishing the “new China" as the national integrity. Khrushchev and

pable of solving by their own efforts the Soviet Union's junior partner. Although other leaders in Moscow seemed also

practical tasks they were encountering in the never happy with such a relationship, determined to meet Beijing's challenge fields of economic and cultural developMao and his comrades believed that it to the Soviet Union's position as the in- ments. The majority of the people's demohad been necessary in order to promote disputable leader of the international cratic countries had at that time agreed to China's economic reconstruction, safe- movement.6 In retrospect, the Soviet the proposal of the Soviet Government, and guard the nation's security interests, and decision of July 1960 can be interpreted the Soviet experts were recalled from these create momentum for the continuation as a crucial step toward the complete countries to their motherland. After the Chiof the Chinese revolution after its na- breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance.

nese leaders had expressed their critical at

titude toward the Soviet experts in the year tionwide victory. The situation began

1958, the Soviet Government once again to change, however, after Stalin's death Note: The Soviet Embassy in Beijing to

presented to the Government of the PR of in March 1953, and especially after the

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the

China the proposal to recall the Soviet ex20th Congress of the Communist Party

People's Republic of China, 18 July

perts. But this time, just as in the year of of the Soviet Union in February 1956.

1960

1957, the Chinese side pronounced that it Mao and his comrades increasingly be

favored prolonging the stay of the Soviet lieved that it was the CCP, not the Strictly confidential

experts by claiming that they were needed CPSU, which should play the central

in the PR of China. role in the international communist The Embassy of the Union of the So

Recently, the Chinese side, when dealcialist Soviet Republics in the People's Re

ing with the Soviet experts working in the movement. This growing sense of public of China has been instructed to in

PR of China, began to pursue an apparently China's superiority, which, in a historiform the Government of the People's Re

unfriendly line toward the Soviet Union, cal-cultural sense, had a profound oripublic of China of the following:

which was incompatible with the obligation gin in the age-old “Middle Kingdom"

In strict observation of the Treaty of

of the treaty as well as with the norms prementality, combined with many other Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance

vailing between socialist countries. Followmore specific problems of the sort usu- between the USSR and the PR of China, the

ing the instructions from their superiors, ally present in any alliance relationship) Soviet Government sends, in compliance

Chinese officials distribute specially comto create a widening rift between the with the request of the Chinese Government,

piled material in Russian language among Chinese and Soviet leaders. During a considerable number of experts to work

the Soviet people propagating views diKhrushchev's visit to China in Septemin China. For this purpose, the Soviet orga

rected against the position of the CPSU and nizations have selected the best and most ber-October 1959, the potential tension

of other brotherly parties. They make efexperienced experts, often bringing disad

forts to draw Soviet experts living in the PR that had long accumulated between vantages to the national economy of the

of China into discussions on questions Beijing and Moscow exploded. Indeed, USSR. By taking part in the socialist con

where certain differences of opinions exist during a long meeting between struction of the PR of China, the Soviet ex

between the CPSU on the one side and other Khrushchev and Mao and other Chinese perts consider their activities fulfilling

brotherly parties on the other; they make leaders on 2 October 1959, the two sides their brotherly international obligations to

efforts to impose their viewpoints upon the emotionally criticized the other's do- wards the friendly Chinese people. All the

Soviet experts and try to lead them into opmestic and international policies, dem- while, the Soviet people staying in the PR position to the CPSU and the Soviet Gov

ernment. of China, in true observance of the instruconstrating that the Sino-Soviet alliance tions they have received, refrain from any

The leading officials at the Chinese was facing a real crisis. 4 The Soviet note recalling all Soviet

statements or action that could be interpreted institutions and enterprises where Soviet as interference in the internal affairs of the

experts are working persistently try to draw experts from China further intensified PR of China or as criticism of this or that

them into discussions on the above-menthe crisis. Beijing could see in it nothaspect of the domestic or foreign policy of

tioned questions. So, for instance, on May ing but Moscow's evil intention of imthe Communist Party of China or the Gov

19, the office director of the Scientific Reposing new “inequalities” upon them. ernment of the PR of China.

search Institute for Electric Industry of the This became particularly true when During the visit of Soviet leaders to the

PR of China in Guangzhou proposed to the Moscow, according to Chinese sources, PR of China at the beginning of August

Soviet experts working in the institute to 1958, the Chinese side expressed their dis

discuss the questions raised in an anthology turned down Beijing's request that the Soviet experts, at least some of them,

satisfaction with some of the Soviet experts especially published in the Russian language and advisors. This could be understood as a

under the title “Long Live Leninism," as should stay in China until they had fulreproach directed at the Soviet Union. It is,

well as to express their opinions on the ar5 filled their assigned tasks. however, well known that the Soviet Union

ticles included in this anthology. Among These developments virtually de

had never forced its specialists and advisors several groups of Soviet experts in Beijing stroyed the foundation of the Sino-So

on anyone. Already at the end of 1956 and and other cities of China, Chinese officials viet alliance. Mao would take the So- the beginning of 1957, the Soviet Govern

forced every Soviet expert to accept copies

ford University Press, 1968).
2

Khrushchev mentioned in the letter that as of
August 1958, there were about 1,500 Soviet ex-

perts in China.

The Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece, Hongqi (Reg Flag) published this article in its April 1960 issue. It summarized the CCP's viewpoints on international issues and the correct orientation of the international communist movement. 4

For an internal Soviet account of Khrushchev's visit to Beijing, see M. A. Suslov's report to the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU, 18 December 1959, contained in the Storage Center for Contemporary Documentation (TsKhSD), and excerpted in this issue of the Bulletin. 5

See Han Nianlong et al., Dangdai zhongguo waijiao (Contemporary Chinese Diplomacy,] (Beijing: Chinese Social Science Press, 1989), 364-365. 6

In this regard, it is revealing that the Soviet note is found in the East German archives, a clear indication that Moscow was spreading its version of events to reassert its leadership role in the movement.

Chen Jian is associate professor of history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and, during the 1996-97 academic year, a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.

of this anthology, which, as it was known, side.
contained anti-Leninist theses to which the In view of these facts it is difficult not
Soviet people cannot give their agreement. to believe the information provided by some
The deputy chief of the general staff of the [of our) experts indicating that they are be-
Chinese People's Liberation Army, Yang ing spied on. The meaning of these mea-
Zhengwu, and the head of the Propaganda sures is at a minimum incomprehensible to
Department of the General Political Depart- the Soviet people who came to the PR of
ment of the Chinese People's Liberation China with the deeply felt desire to help the
Army, Fu Zhong, both used a consultation Chinese people in building socialism.
meeting attended by a group of Soviet mili- Of course, all of this hurts the feeling
tary experts to propagate their views on of the Soviet experts and, even more so, it
questions about war and peace, as well as has caused such a just indignation that they,
an assessment of the current international due to the fact that they are being denied
situation, that are incorrect, faulty and in the trust they need, are forced to present to
contradiction to the basic theses of the (No- the Soviet Government the request that they
vember] 1957 Moscow Declaration of fra- be allowed to return to their motherland.
ternal (communist) parties. There exist also The Soviet Government deems it nec-
a whole series of other cases in which lead- essary to declare that the afore-mentioned
ing officials of Chinese institutions and en- actions on the part of the Chinese side are
terprises endeavor to draw Soviet special- unfriendly towards the Soviet Union. They
ists into discussions, to put them under pres- are in contradiction with the Treaty of
sure, and to influence them by suggesting Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance
to them viewpoints quite different from the between the USSR and the PR of China, ac-
positions of the CPSU.

cording to which both sides have commitThe Soviet experts working in the PR ted themselves, in the spirit of friendship and of China consider such activities on the part cooperation and in accordance with the prinof the Chinese authorities as open disrespectciples of equality and mutual interests, to of themselves and of their work, as activi- developing and consolidating the economic ties intolerable in relations between social- and cultural relations between them. Such ist countries, and, in fact, as an open agita- activities on the part of the Chinese side tion against the CC of the CPSU and the make it practically impossible for the SoSoviet Government.

viet experts to continue to stay in the PR of The Soviet experts, taking into their China. consideration a variety of facts, have been The Embassy is instructed to inform compelled to conclude that they no longer the Government of the PR of China that the have the trust of the Chinese side they need Soviet experts and advisors, including the in order to fulfill the tasks put before them, military, will be, in accordance with their not to mention the respect these experts have own wishes, recalled to their motherland. earned by providing assistance to the Chi- While coming to this decision, the Soviet nese people for (China's economic and cul- side has also taken into consideration the tural development and military build-up. fact that the Government of the PR of China There exist several cases in which the opin- itself, in the past, has raised the question of ions of the Soviet experts were grossly ig- ordering a number of Soviet experts worknored, or in which there openly existed no ing in the PR of China to return to the Sowish (on the part of the Chinese] to take their viet Union. recommendations into consideration, de- The Soviet Government expresses the spite the fact that these recommendations hope that the Government of the PR of were based upon the well-founded knowl- China will understand correctly the causes edge and rich experiences of these experts. that have led to this decision. This even went so far that the documents prepared by the Soviet experts, which in- (Source: Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und cluded respective recommendations and Massenorganisationen der ehemaligen technical rules, were demonstratively DDR" im Bundesarchiv T IV 2/202/280. burned.

Translation from Russian: Dieter Heinzig This information leads to the conclu- and Anna Eckner. The copy of the Russian sion that the Soviet experts in the PR of note is not dated but known from other China are being deprived of the opportunity sources.] to fulfill their useful functions and to contribute their knowledge and experiences to Dieter Heinzig is deputy director of the Federal the fullest degree. They are practically put

Institute for East European and International Studinto such a situation that their selfless work

ies in Cologne, Germany.

1 is not being appreciated, and that they are

See, e.g., John Gittings, Survey of the Sino

Soviet Dispute: A Commentary and Extracts from encountering ingratitude from the Chinese

the Recent Polemics, 1963-1967 (London: Ox

CULTURAL REVOLUTION
ARCHIVE ESTABLISHED

The following item appeared in the China News Digest of 26 November 1996; it was posted

on H-Asia by Yi-Li Wu, a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Yale University, and brought to CWIHP's attention by Odd Arne

Westad, Director of Research at the Norwegian
Nobel Institute in Oslo:

Documents of Cultural Revolution

Moved to Archive

After nearly 37,000 documents, tape recordings, and exhibits of the Cultural Revolution era from 47 government ministries were moved to a new central Cultural Revolution archive in east Beijing, archivists said Tuesday that scores of them are either incomplete or in poor condition, United Press International reports from Beijing. A worker at the Beijing Municipal Government Archive said: “One of the biggest problems is there are no indices for the information and there is no way of knowing what is and isn't there." Many of the documents were issued by the late Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The new archive will not be open to the public or academics, and government archivists will spend a year or so studying the materials and indexing them in the hope of finding what are missing. They will also attempt to search for more documents although some concede that many of the most sensitive documents will never resurface." (Vic CHIN, YIN De An)

*

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