155. Telegram From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Department of State0

989. Yugoslav officials commenting on one-sided nature foreign policy portion Tito’s recent speech at Socialist Alliance Congress (Embtel 924)1 have attempted defend implicitly acknowledged lack of balance with explanation Khrushchev today urgently needs all support possible in view what they perceive to be dangerous differences between USSR and Red China on questions coexistence and détente in international relations. According Yugoslavs this support desirable even though it brings them no immediate returns in terms for example greater Soviet acceptance Yugoslav brand Socialism.

Counselor on China desk in Yugoslav Foreign Secretariat said today that recent publication in Peiping theoretical journal Red Flag several articles ostensibly discussing Leninism were most significant, revealing high level Chinese Communist attitude toward détente sharply different from that of Khrushchev. Some Soviet officials still holding influential positions within Kremlin as well as some satellite [Page 410] leaders are sympathetic with Chinese views he said and distrustful prospects success current Khrushchev path. This thought presumably prompted remark earlier this week by another senior Yugoslav official who in discussion Tito speech with Embassy Officers finally remarked “which do you prefer, Molotov or Khrushchev?” China desk officer however deprecated idea of Soviet internal weaknesses claiming Khrushchev has introduced many measures in recent years assuring him widespread support within USSR. Difficulty he said is external rather than internal. Chinese Communists today militant aggressive and inspired (notwithstanding various admitted shortcomings and difficulties) with overall success their approach. Danger therefore lies more in possibility that if Khrushchev not able demonstrate success his foreign policies his authority will be weakened. Chinese less concerned over dangers war in view especially their huge population. They might therefore feel free embark on adventures which could be disastrous for world peace.

Views expressed by Chinese desk officer generally reflected in other private comment Yugoslav officials recent weeks. While such comment could be considered more apologia for one-sidedness Tito remarks at Socialist Alliance Congress they have virtue of consistency with previous Yugoslav interpretation Red China-Khrushchev relations and may thus reflect sincere conviction (augmented by Red Flag articles) that support for Khrushchev offers best hope for control as they see it of Chinese threat to world peace.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 768.003/5–760. Confidential. Repeated to Moscow, Paris, London, Zagreb, and Sarajevo.
  2. Telegram 924, April 20, reported that Tito’s April 18 speech praised Khrushchev’s visit to the United States and other Soviet diplomatic initiatives for promoting “peace” and the “relaxation of tensions” and accused “militaristic advocates” of cold war in the Western nations of continuing to resist Soviet peace initiatives, stirring up conflict in the third world, and resisting decolonization. (Ibid., 768.003/4–2060) In telegram 721, April 23, the Department of State instructed Rankin to protest to Yugoslav authorities the “continuing Yugoslav tendency to follow biased line” on foreign policy issues. (Ibid., 611.68/4–2160)