The Chinese government has declassified almost 26,000 diplomatic files from between 1956 and 1960 and made them available for public viewing.

The official Xinhua news agency reports the files contain documents, recorded conversations and telegrams from major diplomatic events during the period.

The files include documents signed by Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai and records of diplomatic efforts between China and 14 Asian, African and Latin American countries. They also include diplomatic discussions between China and both the Soviet Union and the United States.

Xinhua reports China first declassified diplomatic files in January of 2004 and officials say they expect to declassify more in the future. The files are available to the public at the Archives Bureau in Beijing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.