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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 16, 1955

SUMMARY OF THE TALKS BETWEEN PREMIER ZHOU AND NEHRU AND U NU

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    Summary of the meeting between the Burmese, Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers. The three wished that permanent economic and political institutions could be set up at the Bandung Conference but expressed doubt on that possibility and on whether these institutions could work as desired. Besides, Zhou Enlai proposed the issuance of a document to express the participants' common aspirations. The issue of the Five Principles was also touched upon.
    "Summary of the Talks between Premier Zhou and Nehru and U Nu," April 16, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00015-01, 1-10. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114671
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Summary of the Talks between Premier Zhou and Nehru and U Nu

(This document has not been checked and approved)

Time: 16 April 1955, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Place: Premier Zhou’s Villa, Bandung

Persons present from our side: Vice Premier Chen Yi and Pu Shouchang (interpreter and note taker)

Nehru said that after his arrival in Bandung yesterday, he discussed the procedure and agenda of the Afro-Asian Conference with U Nu and the Indonesian prime minister [Ali Sastroamidjojo]. Nehru said that the main points of their discussion had been written out, including all the agreed points from the Rangoon talks. Nehru personally handed over this written material (Appendix I) and, at the same time, India will put forward the proposed agenda (Appendix II) during the informal meeting of the heads of the delegations at 3:00 pm this afternoon.

Nehru said that some people now had an ambiguous idea, believing that permanent political and economic institutions should be set up after the conference. In regard to the permanent political institution, he said that the 29 countries must doubtlessly have their representatives, but the 29 countries had so many differences in opinion that it was unimaginable how this institution would effectively perform its function. He went on [to say] that the Joint Secretariat of the Five Colombo States did not work in a very concerted way now. He said again that the permanent institution must have a headquarters, and if the headquarters was in Jakarta, many of the participating countries had no representatives in Indonesia.

U Nu said that, as he said in Rangoon, he believed the only purpose of this conference was to provide an opportunity for the delegations of various countries to meet. He continued that this conference could announce several general principles to the world, and after this conference, the countries supporting these principles would hold another conference and then set up a permanent institution. He continued that this institution would consist of those countries with concerted views on important issues and could be, consequently, effective. However, the present conference could not make any resolutions on important issues, and even if it set up a permanent institution, this institution would not have any effective ways to implement the resolutions.

Premier Zhou said that if the conference could succeed in two matters, it would be of great significance. The first was to use a document, no matter what form it would be, to express our common aspirations, including the Five Principles stressed by Prime Minister Nehru in the Rangoon talks. The second was to set up a permanent institution. We could find a way that would not bind the participating countries too tightly, such as a liaison institution. Such an institution could facilitate contact between the governments from the participating countries, especially since some of the participating countries of the conference were not UN members. If the headquarters of the institution were set up in Jakarta, participating countries with diplomatic envoys there could join the institution, countries without diplomatic envoys in Jakarta could dispatch their secretaries to join it, and distant countries might contact by mail.

Regarding the proposal by U Nu, Premier Zhou said that it would be better if this conference could issue a document and set up a permanent institution. Thus, we could demonstrate to the world that we didn’t discriminate against any Afro-Asian state. Such an institution not only did not contradict the UN Charter, but was also in conformity with the purpose of this conference, i.e. friendly and good neighborly relations among the Afro-Asian countries.

Nehru still doubted that such an institution could be effective and said that it was not wise if the conference did anything to enter into a rivalry with the UN.

U Nu said again that even if an institution could be set up after the conference, it could not win respect from the world due to its ineffectiveness and that it would be much better to form a small but effective institution later.

Nehru said that setting up a permanent political institution will be considered and discussed according to the development of the conference. Then he talked about the permanent economic institution. He said that two institutions were now studying and discussing the Asian economy. One was the UN Far East Economic Commission and another was the Colombo Planning Organization. He said that at the present time, there was a danger, i.e. the Marshall Program could be performed in Asia as in Europe. If the Afro-Asian countries formed an economic institution but their economic demands were different, few of the Afro-Asian countries could provide aid so that the Afro-Asian countries might be divided into two factions of supporting or opposing the Marshall Program. He said that perhaps we could set up an organization, but it was not permanent and could have regular meetings, or set up a liaison institution as Premier Zhou proposed. He added that this issue could be considered and discussed again according to the development of the conference.

Nehru talked about the Five Principles again, saying that he didn’t list the Five Principles as an item in his proposed agenda in order to avoid causing argument. He said that the first three of the Five Principles were the most important ones, i.e. mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, nonaggression and noninterference with each other’s internal affairs. The three principles could be discussed when the meeting discussing the seventh item of his proposed agenda takes place. Thus, nobody could oppose it.