Foreign Ministry declassifies 1961 – 1965 Records

70% of the foreign ministry’s records dating from 1961 to 1965 have been unclassified and made accessible to the public. That is the biggest share of any set of files having been declassified to date. Chinese nationals and foreigners can access the files at the foreign ministry once they provide a letter of introduction from their working organization and their ID card.

Ynet.com quotes the foreign ministry’s archive director Guo Chongli (郭崇立) saying that the border wars with India and the ideological debates in Sino-Soviet relations are some of the major items. Another is the continuing series of American-Chinese meetings on embassy level. There were 26 of them during those five years. The meetings recorded and objected to American U-2 planes violating Chinese airspace.  Also at the time, China and France established official diplomatic relations, from where the breakthrough was reached in relations with leading Western powers. China and Japan established liasion offices and exchanged permanent correspondents.

Guo said that another item was the Vietnam War, and that despite the twists and turns in Sino-Soviet relations, some support for Vietnam from the Soviet Union was still provided via Chinese territory at the time.

since the first files were declassified in 2004, they had been accessed more than 3400 times to date, thereof more than 700 times by users from outside China, according to Ynet.com.

Source: Ynet.com, Nov. 13

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