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January 15, 1964

Cable from Kong, Huang, and Tong, 'Situation of the Ghana Visit'

This document was made possible with support from Henry Luce Foundation

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Telegram Received


Priority: Express Advance

From the Ghana Desk
MOFA received (64) Zi-729


Situation of the Ghana Visit


To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:


On the fifth day of our visit to Ghana, the situation is as follows:


1. Kwame Nkrumah met with Premier Zhou. His first words were: "Welcome! We appreciate that you could come." I am very grateful to Chairman Mao for his condolence letter. When the Prime Minister immediately gave the full text to the press official it was released in full on the 12th. The Ghana radio station has replayed it several times. Not changing the date of the visit after Nkrumah was stabbed was the right decision to make. It showed strong support for Nkrumah in this difficult time.


2. The Ghanaian people’s welcome to the Prime Minister was also extremely enthusiastic. In particular, the women sang and danced, and they waved their hands and cheered. The cheers of the African people for our country come from the heart and are extremely simple and touching.


3. The Ghanaian authorities attach great importance to security and have taken many security measures. The final schedule was more reasonable with no visits outside the capital and a more relaxed program and so Zhou, Chen and other comrades were able to get some rest. We also took the opportunity to prepare for the next phase.


4. We have had two formal discussions. We will meet again this afternoon. Premier Zhou and President Nkrumah held two separate talks. Other comrades talked with the Ghanaian side about the seven-year economic plan and the joint communique (the Ghanaian side has proposed a draft with a more impressive tone).


5. During the two meetings, we exchanged views on seven issues according to the agenda proposed by Nkrumah: (1) China’s policy on UN membership; (2) China-India border issue; (3) disarmament and nuclear weapons ban; (4) Asian-African membership issues; (5) the issue of anti-imperialist meetings of people of all countries in the world; (6) China supports the issue of African reunification and the establishment of all-agency issues; and (7) wo what extent can China support the seven-year plan of Ghana? In addition, the second Asian-African conference and the second non-aligned country conference were also discussed. The above questions, the main views of Nkrumah are as follows:


a. The Black African National Liberation Movement began in Ghana. Many countries in West Africa have achieved formal independence, but remain under foreign economic control. This will inevitably result one day in the imperialists re-establishing their political control. The African Summit was the result of a compromise and therefore did not resolve the issue. Nkrumah advocates an African federal government that could start with a few countries and then gradually expand to encompass all of Africa. After the withdrawal of the United Nations forces, the Congo should be replaced by an all-African army.


b. Ghana’s foreign policy is to demand lasting peace in the world, war-like policies hinders construction. Even less do we want a nuclear war. But to attain peace we must extirpate the root causes of war - imperialism in both its old and new forms. Ghana advocates peaceful coexistence but cannot live in peaceful coexistence with imperialism. Premier Zhou explained that peace should be attained through war and not by begging other countries to be reasonable. Nkrumah agreed.


c. Regarding the three-nation Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Nkrumah advocates the establishment of an African nuclear-free zone and said that other countries should work together to achieve this and so he endorses the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Ghana agreed with China’s proposal, but fears that the heads of the capitalist countries are not sincere and the World Summit cannot be achieved. Canada advocates holding a summit meeting of the socialist countries or a summit of the leaders of Asia, Africa and Latin America countries.


d. As for the Conference of Non-Aligned Countries, Nkrumah believes that since the Belgrade Conference some of the non-aligned countries are actually aligned. Nkrumah disagree with Nasser's optimistic view about the conference the non-aligned countries, he is skeptical about this conference. He agreed to convene the Asian-African Conference after preparations. He advocated the convening of a conference of the anti-imperialist peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.


e. China-India border issue. In view of India's overall acceptance of Colombo's proposal, the Chinese side has some reservations. Therefore, he advocated convening a meeting of foreign ministers participating in the conference to promote it. Once the invitation was issued, the Myanmar government did not agree, and other countries did not reply. After hearing Premier Zhou’s explanation, Nkrumah said that he immediately informed the Colombo countries: "Since the tension on the border has eased, there is no urgent need to hold a meeting. Once the situation requires it, a meeting should be held."


f. Regarding the restoration of China’s seat at the United Nations, Nkrumah said that he believes that the United Nations has 34 African member countries. The situation is favorable. After several fights, the majority will change.


6. In the two separate talks between the Prime Zhou and Nkrumah, the Premier did most of the talking. The Primer explained five aspects of China's revolution and construction: (1) establishing a solid core leadership; (2) establishing a broad united front; (3) establishing a politically aware armed forces; (4) proper steps should be followed to carry out the collectivization of agricultural collectivization and the nationalization of industry and commerce; (5) self-reliance and construction. Nkrumah fully agreed and took notes in his notebook.


Next, the following issues were discussed:


(1) Disagreement between China and the Soviet Union: Premier Zhou discussed this at the request of Nkrumah. The Premier explained the origin of the differences, and disagreements on the issue of peaceful coexistence and war. Our country’s position on the issue of the representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and our attitude of resolving differences was explained. Nkrumah said that he fully understands our position. However, he added, over the long-term, the imperialist country will take advantage of these differences. That will hurt the emerging countries so he hopes that a solution will be found.


(2) On African Unity: Premier Zhou discussed the need to distinguish the left, the middle, and the right in Africa, and pay attention to the majority. Merely mentioning African unification will get some people excited but what is needed is an example. Nkrumah expressed agreement. However, he explained that the African unification is a pressing and urgent demand of the African people. Moreover, African countries need to take advantage of the current fluid situation and hurry up and unify. Otherwise, Africa will become balkanized and imperialist supporters will stand behind all the small countries. The result will be imperialist control of Africa. He also said that the Zanzibar revolution was organized by Ghana.


(3) The Congo: Premier Zhou stated that forces have withdrawn there and that an African army has entered to fill the military vacuum. The Premier did not offer solutions on those two issues. We believed that the Congolese people can maintain order themselves. Nkrumah explained that he advocated the entry of African troops with the consent of the Congolese government.


(4) An anti-imperialist conference of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America: Premier Zhou affirmed that this is a good idea, but it is better to open the second Asian-African conference and then convene the anti-imperialist conference after that. Nkrumah expressed his agreement and advocated preparatory talks among five or six foreign ministers including those of China, Indonesia, Ghana, Algeria and Algeria. Premier Zhou stated that his views could be conveyed to President Sukarno.


(5) Sino-French relations: At the request of Nkrumah, Premier Zhou explained our views on the government of Charles de Gaulle and how we should use the contradictions among the imperialist countries.


After the formal talks this afternoon, the Premier Zhou will discuss Ghana’s Seven Year Economic Plan with Nkrumah.


Kong, Huang, Tong

January 15, 1964




A summary of Zhou Enlai's conversation with Kwame Nkrumah that covered Sino-Ghanian relations, China's status at the UN, liberation movements in Africa, Sino-Indian relations, the Non-Aligned Movement, nuclear weapons free zones in Africa, and the Congo crisis, among other subjects.

Document Information


PRC FMA 203-00400-02, 134-137. Translated by David Cowhig.


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