Chairman Mao Zedong (hereinafter referred to as Mao): You are
both very young, and this is of great advantage to your
Deputy Prime Minister U Ba swe (hereinafter referred to as Ba):
It is just because our country is young, and so are the
Mao: Our country is also young, but we are relatively older,
because we have been engaged in guerrilla warfare for a long time.
The area of Burma is not small; what is the amount of land per
Deputy Prime Minister U Kyaw Nyun (hereinafter referred to as
Kyaw): On average, one acre of cultivated land per person, but we
still have a lot of reclaimable wasteland. The area of cultivated
land at present is 210 million acres, which can probably be
increased by 40 million.
Mao: The Chinese people have only three mu per capita, half what
the Burmese people have. Our reclaimable land is rather scanty, but
you need not be afraid that China would covet Burmese territory.
Burmese territory belongs to the Burmese people. No Chinese is
allowed to covet it.
I asked prime Minister U Nu when he came to China whether anyone
in Burma is afraid of China. He said some people were. I explained
to him then that Burma need not be afraid of China. We are
resolutely against aggression—aggression against any country.
Kyam: We believe China in this respect. However, before prime
Minister U Nu's visit to China and his meeting with Chairman Mao,
Burma was indeed a bit afraid of China, because Burma is a small
country, while China is a big one. Since Premier Zhou Enlai visited
Burma and we jointly initiated the Five Principles, we came to
understand each other. Therefore, there is no fear in Burma
Mao: Burma used to think of Yunnan Province as being wrapped in
darkness, wondering how many troops China stationed there and what
it was cooking against Burma. Burma was then very uneasy about us,
so we suggested that Burma set up a consulate in Yunnan to
Ba: It is quite natural that we had such fear, because
historically big countries always bully small ones, and Burma is
situated between big countries. Anyhow, our fears have now
Mao: Prime Minister Nehru also told us that some countries are
afraid of China, some of the United States, and some even of India.
China and India, Burma, Laos and Cambodia are friendly neighbors,
so we are quite at ease in our southwest. We are also at ease in
the north, because the Soviet Union, Korea and the People's
Republic of Mongolia are there. What we are worried about is our
east. Surely we are not afraid of Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan or
Hong Kong, but of the United States, which will make use of these
places to plot against us. We have a very long coastline of 12,000
kilometers, so we have to pay more attention to our maritime
defense. There is no need to station many troops in our
Ba: By no means will Burma join any military bloc or become the
base of any imperialist power.
Mao: China is a large country and it has a great number of
things to take care of . How could we have the idea of aggression
against others when we can barely manage our own affairs? Although
we have a big population, we are able to meet the people's needs
for food and clothing by relying on ourselves. Some Western
observers, such as Attlee, hold that China with too big a
population will have difficulty in finding a way out. They do not
know that in China it requires only one fifteenth of a hectare (one
mu) of land to feed one person, and even one thirtieth of a hectare
(half a mu) is enough in some places. Our population is increasing
and is estimated to reach one billion by the end of the 20th
century, but by then both our industry and our agriculture will
Premier Zhou Enlai: By that time every ten persons may have one
hectare of land, or one and a half mu for each person.
Mao: That's why China will not expand outward. How nice if
humans were able to invent artificial food, like the synthetic
fibers for clothing at present.
Kyaw: If the synthetic fibers could be mass-produced, the land
now used to grow cotton and hemp could be turned over to food
Mao: How many remnants of Kuomintang troops are still in
Ba: There are a few, but they move about in the Burmese-Laotian
and Burmese-Thai border areas and are difficult to locate. They
flee to Laos or Thailand when we send armed forces to pursue and
attack them, and they come back to make harassment as soon as our
forces have left.
Mao: Is the number less than before?
Ba: It is estimated between 1,000 to 1,500 persons, they are no
longer a political organization but just a gang of bandits, who
loot and plunder wherever they go. They were 12,000 to 16,000 when
they numbered most.
Mao: These Chinese did great harm to the Burmese people,
destroying Burmese villages. I wonder if Burma will demand
compensation from China.
Kyaw: The Chinese government has nothing to do with these bad
Mao: Yet we feel this way. You are helping us wipe them out, and
this is mutual cooperation, because they are our common enemy.
Ba: In this regard, Thailand has given us some help, and so has
China. For instance, when we sent our air force to bomb these
Kuomintang troops, our planes sometimes flew over Thailand
territory, and we had to apologize to Thailand from time to time.
Everything is all right now, since we have arrived at an
understanding with Thailand.
Mao: It would be good if Thailand could change into a country
like yours. Thailand is a member state of the Southeast Asian
Treaty Organization, but the majority of the people of Thailand
harbor no hostility against us. Some people in Thailand are afraid
of our aggression. Hence someone spread the rumor that China was
going to give Pridi Phanomyong, the ex-prime minister of Thailand,
now seeking political asylum in China, an army of 100,000 soldiers
to stage a comeback; another rumor was that China was carrying out
Free Thailand activities. Of course, Thailand came to understand us
Kyam: True, Thailand had such fears of China in the
Mao: They have sent some delegations here to see what is going
on, and it is better now.
Does Burma have diplomatic relations with Thailand?
Ba: Yes, since long ago. However, the improvement in relations
between the two countries is a matter of recent years.
Mao: I said to Prime Minister U Nu last time that I hope Burma
would help China by working on Thailand.
U Hla Maung (Burmese Ambassador to China): Prime Minister U Nu
has made efforts in this respect. Pakistan is a SEATO member, but
it has diplomatic relations with China. Why not Thailand?
Mao: Your observation is quite correct.
Ba: Prime Minister U Nu will go to Thailand before long.
Mao: Please tell Prime Minister U Nu that we hope he will give
us further help. We are grateful for his help in the past. We
believe that Thailand will improve its relations with us after a
period of time, but right now it still dares not do so.