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The Diplomacy of Zhou Enlai by Ronald C. Keith (auth.)

By Ronald C. Keith (auth.)

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24 The Diplomacy of Zhou Enlai One of its primary responsibilities was the translation and dissemination of Mao's writings on that subject. The desire to cultivate favourable international opinion was reflected in Zhou's own heavy schedule of meetings with Western journalists and celebrities. Wang Bingnan has described Zhou's leadership of the Bureau. Zhou emphasised 'independence and self-reliance' in foreign affairs and urged his Wuhan subordinates to break the Guomindang's monopoly over foreign affairs.

On 30 September 1950 Zhou reported on China's international status, naming the following 17 countries in order of the date of the mutual establishment of diplomatic relations, the USSR, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Korea, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Mongolia, East Germany, Albania, Burma, India, Vietnam, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Indonesia. Great Britain, Norway, the Netherlands and Finland were still in the process of negotiation at the time of this reporting. Zhou ignored Yugoslavia which had formally offered to establish relations in a Belgrade communication of 5 October.

It projected a new domestic politics rooted in a new national consciousness, which in the rhetoric of the time saw the Chinese standing up to throw off the yoke of slavery. 'Self-reliance' is, in Chinese, ziligengsheng. It consists of two two-character compounds, the former meaning 'self-standing' and the latter meaning 'changing one's life'. Zhou's propaganda contrasted 'standing on one's own to change to a new life' with the obsequious dependency of the national government on outside forces to defeat the Japanese.

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