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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Che in the People's Republic of China, 1960

In the fall of 1960 the great revolutionary leader Che Guevara went on a diplomatic mission that saw him visit a number of socialist countries including Czechoslovakia, the USSR, North Korea and the People's Republic of China.

The visit to China came at at time when relations between China and the rest of the socialist world were becoming more strained.

There was no evidence of this at all during Che's visit however. Che was greeted by large and enthusiastic crowds throughout his trip. He met with Mao, Zhou Enlai and other senior leaders.

He also visited factories, farms and schools where he danced with children, ate in workers' canteens, talked with directors and planners, took photographs and went to a number of events and rallies.

From a few different sources we have put together 26 photos of this tour.

Che arrives at the airport.

Che was greeted by dignitaries and a large crowd. He gave a brief speech during which he said "Comrades and friends of the great people of China, it brings me profound satisfaction to be here at the head of a delegation of our government on a mission of friendship between our peoples."

Che met with Mao and Zhou Enlai. Here is a brief extract from their conversation:

Mao: Cuban Delegation, welcome.

Guevara: It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity of greeting Chairman Mao. We have always venerated Chairman Mao in our struggle. We are an official delegation, representing Cuba, but members of our delegation were born in four nations.

Chairman: You are an Argentinean.

Guevara: Born in Argentina.

Chairman: Where else were people in the delegation born?

Guevara: [Ramiro Fernando] Maldonado [Secretary-General, Revolutionary Social Party of Ecuador] is an Ecuadorian, [economist Albán] Lataste a Chilean, I was born in Argentina, all the rest born in Cuba. Although some of us were not born in Cuba, the Cuban people do not resent us by saying we were not born in Cuba. We actually defend the Cuban revolution. Fidel represents the will of all Latin Americans.

Chairman: You are internationalists.

Guevara: The internationalists of Latin America.

Chairman: Asian people, African people, and the entire socialist camp support you.

Che is shown around a factory.

Che visits and takes photographs at a chicken farm

Che visits another factory and eats in the workers' canteen

Che visits a school and meets and dances with the children

Che signs a joint communique of friendship between Cuba and China

Large rally greeting Che at which he was presented with flowers.


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