Monday, January 17, 2011

A Collection of Documents on the 1962 War

I have posted on my website a large collection of historical documents on the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. These documents are mainly from the Indian, Soviet and Eastern European and American archives. More will be posted during the coming weeks.Click here to read.

Here is a sample of the documents: 
Memorandum of Conversation of N.S. Khrushchev with Mao Zedong on 2 October 1959
N.S. Khrushchev:
Keep in mind that we achieved [the present-day] situation without giving up on any principled positions.
We raised this issue also because we do not understand your position, do not understand in particular your conflict with India. We had a dispute with Persia on border issues for 150 years. 3-4 years ago we resolved this issue by transferring to Persia some part of our territory. We consider this issue as follows: five kilometers more land we have or five kilometers less.this is not important. I take Lenin’s example, and he gave to Turkey Kars, Ardahan and Ararat. And until today area a part of the population in the Caucasus are displeased by these measures by Lenin. But I believe that his actions were correct. I am telling about all this to show you that for us this territorial issue was not insurmountable. You have had good relations with India for many years. Suddenly, here is a bloody incident, as result of which [Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal] Nehru found himself in a very difficult position. We may say that Nehru is a bourgeois statesman. But we know about it. If Nehru leaves, who would be better than him? The Dalai Lama fled from Tibet, he is a bourgeois figure. This issue is also not clear for us. When the events in Hungary took place, then Nehru was against us, and we did not take offense at him, because we did not expect anything from him as a bourgeois statesman. But although he was against it, this did not prevent us from preserving good relations with him.
If you let me, I will tell you what a guest should not say the events in Tibet are your fault. You ruled in Tibet, you should have had your intelligence [agencies] there and should have known about the plans and intentions of the Dalai Lama.

Mao Zedong: Nehru also says that the events in Tibet occurred on our fault. Besides, in the Soviet Union they published a TASS declaration on the issue of conflict with India.

N.S. Khrushchev: Do you really want us to approve of your conflict with India? It would be stupid on our part. The TASS declaration was necessary. You still seem to be able to see some difference between Nehru and me. If we had not issued the TASS declaration, there could have been an impression that there was a united front of socialist countries against Nehru. The TASS declaration turned this issue into one between you and India.

Mao Zedong: Our mistake was that we did not disarm the Dalai Lama right away. But at that time we had no contact with the popular masses of Tibet.
N.S. Khrushchev: You have no contact even now with the population of Tibet.

Mao Zedong: We have a different understanding of this issue.


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