January 22, 1960

USA-CHINA: Washington, 21 – For the first time, the United States agreed today to have an international discussion with communist China about the question of gradual disarmament. An official State Department announcement set out the change in America’s position. «Talks on disarmament involving 10 parties will begin on March 15 in Geneva. The first task at this meeting will be to ascertain the intentions of the communist bloc with regard to its cooperation with the West in a program of gradual disarmament. If the communists accept this agreement and if real progress is made in the talks, it would be reasonable to discuss cases of other countries participating in such a disarmament program, including communist China.» Previously, Peking radio had broadcast a statement by China’s Foreign Minister Chen Yi, indicating that China has always supported Russian proposals to reduce armaments and armed forces and was in fact willing to undertake such obligations, but on the condition that its voice is heard on equal terms. Otherwise, it would not consider any international agreement to be binding on China.

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