June 4, 1957

BRITAIN – CHINA: London, 1 – The Moscow newspaper Pravda writes today that Britain’s relaxation of restrictions on trade with Communist China is the greatest diplomatic defeat ever suffered by Washington. It said the decision also highlighted the divide between Britain and the US. Moscow radio emphasized that America, by continuing to exclude China, was like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. The defeat is also one for the the cold war being waged by the Americans against the poverty-stricken Chinese people. Today, British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan told a meeting of the Conservative Party that Britain’s decision to loosen restrictions on trade with Communist China did not mean that Britain loved Communism or China’s Communist regime. However, he added, Britain believed that China and the Soviet Union should be given equal treatment, while expressing the hope that the Americans would understand why Britain had acted as it did. Meanwhile the Japanese prime minister said in Bangkok, where he is on a visit, that Britain’s decision should have been taken jointly by the allies, rather than by Britain acting alone.

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