BEIJING — China denied on Monday that the late Communist leader Mao Tse-tung at one time sought to lure U.S. troops into China's heartland and massacre them with nuclear weapons.
The soon-to-be-published memoirs of Soviet President Andrei A. Gromyko charge that Mao tried to enroll Soviet help for the plan, the New York Times said last week.
The newspaper said Gromyko, Soviet foreign minister from 1957 to 1985, wrote that he traveled to Beijing in August, 1958, to reject the plan.
He quoted Mao as saying that even if a nuclear war wiped out 300 million Chinese, there would still be plenty left to repulse intruders.
China's Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement carried by the official New China News Agency that Gromyko's "recollection and related description do not square with facts."