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October 2, 1959

Mao Zedong, 'The Relations Between China's Mainland and Taiwan Are Different from Those Between the Two Germanys, Two Koreas and Two Vietnams'

This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation



(May and October 1959)



The Relations Between China's Mainland and Taiwan Are Different from Those Between the Two Germanys, Two Koreas and Two Vietnams


(October 2, 1959)


We have always said that the Taiwan question is an internal affair of China. China must liberate Taiwan. There are two ways of liberation: by peaceful means and by means of war. During the Bandung Conference Premier Zhou Enlai made the statement that we were ready to negotiate with the United States, and negotiations started later. They went on for four years, first in Geneva and then in Warsaw-at first, once a week, later once two weeks and then a month and now once every two months. Neither side wants to suspend the talks. The U.S. stopped for a period. Later we wrote a letter stating that no negotiations were no good and suggesting a date for talking. The U.S. said it could not comply with the date set, but talks could be resumed. Our answer was that the talks could be put off for a year, but negotiations were restored when Jinmen was shelled. The venue for the talks was moved to Warsaw at the suggestion of the U.S. In the negotiations we put forward only one suggestion, that is, that they withdraw their troops from Taiwan. Once the troops were withdrawn, we would have no dispute with them. The rest was between us and Chiang Kai-shek. We could have opened negotiations with Chiang Kai-shek. However, the United States does not agree. It fears having Chiang Kai-shek opened talks with us. Our shelling of Jinmen in fact is not war. We do not want to take over Taiwan all at once. It does not matter if we leave Taiwan in Chiang Kai-shek's hands for ten, 20, or 30 years. We don't have to take Jinmen and Mazu for we do not want to start a war over them.


China's problem is different from that of Germany, not only because of the different population, but also because China was an allied country during the war, a victorious country, while Germany was a defeated country. Germany was divided by international treaty, namely, the Potsdam Treaty. The 38th Parallel88 in Korea was drawn at the Potsdam Conference. Later, through the Korean War, the line was redrawn through negotiations between Comrade Kim Il Sung and the Chinese Volunteers on one side and the United States on the other. The division between South and North Vietnam was decided at the Geneva Conference. The split between Taiwan and the mainland has no ruling by any international protocol. That is why the United Kingdom is not happy with the occupation of Taiwan by the United States, and even some Americans resent it.


(From the verbatim record)





[1] Excerpts from: 1. Mao Zedong's talk with the People's Chamber delegation of the Democratic Republic of Germany; 2. Mao Zedong's talk with Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; 3. Mao Zedong's talk with Communist Party delegations from 17 Latin-American countries.


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Translation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Party Literature Research Center, eds., Mao Zedong on Diplomacy (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1998), 295-296.


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