On this day 49 years ago, Mao’s conversation with King Birendra

In the afternoon of 1973, Mao Zedong met Nepal’s King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya, and Foreign Minister Karki at the swimming pool residence in Zhongnanhai. Zhou Enlai and Wang Hongwen were also present.

When talking about Sino-Nepali relations, Mao Zedong said: Your country is a good country, but unfortunately we have not been able to help much. Because we still don’t have the ability to build a railway to your border, and building a road is of little use. You do very little business with our Tibet. If you want to do business with Beijing, you have to build a railway to your border. I just want to repair the railway.

Karki said: You have done a lot to build our friendship and relationship. In the years to come, Nepal and China will maintain the same good friendship as now.

Mao Zedong said: Small countries should not be bullied, but should be helped without interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. As for the big countries, we have to hit them¹ a few times, especially the two big countries with atomic bombs.

During the conversation, Mao Zedong suggested that the ambassadors of various countries stationed in China visit various parts of China, saying: Open the door to the third world, and also the second world. Walk around! From what I see, you can go to Zhenbao Island, Shenyang, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Dalian, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and remote places like Sichuan and Guizhou. When looking at a factory, you have to look at a good one, a mediocre one, a bad one, or a commune. Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself. It is not good to only limit what others are optimistic about. In this part of China, some things are done well in some places, and some things are not done well. To say that they are all good is to brag.

When talking about his physical condition, he said: I also have heart disease, so go and spread the word. The Chinese people don’t even know that I’m sick. Discuss it in the Politburo. It is necessary to publicize and create public opinion. A sudden death is not good. Two years ago, I almost went to God. God invited me to drink shochu, and he also has Moutai there.

1 By “hit them” not in offensive (physical violence) but used rhetorically.