January 22, 1950 (Sunday)




Two days later, Zhou, joined by

  1. Wang Jiaxiang,

  2. Li Fuchun,

  3. Ye Jizhuang, and

  4. Wu Xiuquan

started negotiations with Soviet officials headed by Andrey Vyshinsky, the Soviet foreign minister.

Zhou paid special attention to making the forthcoming treaty a solid military alliance.

According to Wu Xiuquan, one of Zhou's top assistants, Zhou insisted that the treaty should clearly state that if one side was attacked by a third country the other side "must go all out to provide military and other assistance."

This persistence paid off as a clause of explicit mutual military commitment was added to the new treaty.[56]

Mao also needed Soviet economic aid to reconstruct and to modernize China.

In exchange for Soviet support, Mao recognized the independence of Outer Mongolia and allowed the Russians to maintain their privileges in Manchuria, including control of Port Arthur for several more years.[57]

Although the Soviets were somewhat hesitant to make a clear military commitment to China, they ultimately concluded that it was in their interests to do so as they had much to gain and little to lose.





Two other events released by Chinese sources afford further ground for the belief that the Korean problem was at least a topic of Mao-Stalin discussions.


When Mao was still in the Soviet Union, Kim Il-sung sent Kim Kwang-hyop to visit China, asking the Chinese to return all remaining Korean-nationality soldiers in the PLA's Fourth Field Army. [see the 19th]

According to the memoir of Nie Rong-zhen, acting general chief staff of the PLA, the Chinese agreed to this request after discussions between himself and Kim.

He sent off a report for this matter to the CCP Central Committee on 21 January, and the Committee approved the Korean request the next day.[65]


Then, according to Nie, 14,000 Korean-nationality PLA soldiers, together with their equipment returned to Korea in the Spring of 1950.[66]


What should be particularly noticed here is the unusually expeditious approval of the CCP Central Committee's approval of the second Korean request.

Since late 1948 and early 1949, Mao had stressed at several occasions that "in diplomatic affairs nothing was small" and everything should be reported to him and the Party's Central Committee.[67]

It is thus unlikely that Nie or even Liu Shaoqi, the person in charge of CCP's daily affairs during Mao's absence, would fail to report to Mao about such a matter which was by no means "small."

And if Mao could OK this request in so quick a manner or Liu believed that he could authorize the request by himself, this should be logically taken as an indication that both within the CCP leadership and between China and the Soviet Union there had existed a well defined consensus on the Korean problem.



William Batt, Jr. to E.W. Kenworthy concerning Captain Martin's reassignment..

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Songs of the week




Notes for Sunday January 22, 1950