Secret Papers About China Are Released by the C.I.A.

According to the New York Times: “The Central Intelligence Agency made public on Monday a rich trove of previously classified documents on China, including the supposedly authoritative National Intelligence Estimates issued over the 30-year period of Mao Zedong’s rule. For scholars of what Mao called China’s ‘continuous revolution,’ of its tumultuous and intertwined relationships with the United States, the Soviet Union and Taiwan, and of the American intelligence efforts aimed at understanding the unfolding events, the documents disclose a mixed record of insights and miscues. A National Intelligence Estimate published in June 1954 said that no clearly established factions existed within the Chinese leadership. In fact, the first major party purge had taken place earlier that year, but did not become public for another year… Among the most important judgments, Mr. Suettinger wrote, was a consistently accurate assessment that the Communist Party in China was never challenged from 1948 on in its predominance of power on the Chinese mainland. Other assessments contained in the documents include one written in 1950, on the eve of China’s entry into the Korean War. It correctly said that Chinese forces were capable of either halting the northward path of United Nations forces or of ‘forcing U.N. withdrawal further south through a powerful assault.'” The full story is here.

The text of the documents is available on the CIA website here.


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