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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 10, 1955

REPORT FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'COMMENTS ON THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE FROM THE PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES AFTER THE CONFERENCE'

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    Description of the reaction to the Asian-African Conference in both participating countries and capitalist ruled countries.
    "Report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Comments on the Asian-African Conference from the Participating Countries After the Conference'," May 10, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00059-01. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114686
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Material on Asian-African Conference (1)

Compiled on May 10, 1955

Comments on the Asian-African Conference

from the Participating Countries After the Conference

1. India

When Nehru arrived in Rangoon on April 27, he said that the conference was an astonishing success. At the banquet in honor of the Saudi Arabian prime minister on May 30, Nehru said that the Asian-African Conference was a major event and its conclusion could be said to represent the sentiment, desire and demand of the Asian-African people.

On April 28, Nehru said to journalists at Delhi Airport that the Asian-African Conference was surely in the interest of peace. He went on that everybody had the right and obligation to defend himself, and that big power politics was not allowed to harm this right. Regarding the negotiations on the Taiwan issue, he said that he wouldn’t care who would or wouldn’t participate in the negotiations, but what he wanted was that something must be done. When Nehru made a report at the Indian House of the People on April 30, he said that the most important resolution of the conference was the declaration on the promotion of world peace and cooperation. He went on that these principles could be widely applied and were of historic significance. He also said that the Bandung Communiqué fully embodied the Five Principles, and even gave play to the further explanation of these principles. (When Nehru stopped over in Calcutta on April 27, he told the journalists that some items of the Five Principles were not included in the conference communiqué, but it didn’t mean that he had given up any item of these moral principles.) In speaking of colonialism, he said that the conference unanimously condemned colonialism in terms of the meaning well known by everybody. He also mentioned the anti-Soviet speech made by Ceylon at the conference, saying that it could not be listed into the colonialist category. In speaking of collective defense, he stressed that India opposed military treaties.

On May 1, Nehru said to the masses at the celebrating meeting that India stuck to a neutralist policy. In speaking of American aid, he said that India could not use the American money to make it prosperous.  

On May 4, Nehru made a statement at the House of the People on the military suppression of the Goa people by the Portuguese authorities, saying that this event reflected the serious situation in Goa, and demonstrated the suppression of the regular freedom of the citizens and the terrorist rule of the people by the Portuguese authorities.  

After the conference, the foreign minister of Afghanistan, Nasir, the prime minister of Sudan and the prime minister of Saudi Arabia visited India.

India’s activities regarding the Taiwan issue are as follows:

On April 30, Nehru announced that Menon would visit Beijing. On the same day, Menon met the American Ambassador in India, Kubo. On May 3, Madam Pandit met Eden and Macmillan the next day.

2. Burma

On April 26, U Nu said to the correspondents of the American News Week that he firmly believed that China had no ambition for territory and their greatest desire was to seek peace. He went on that as for Burma, the Five Principles had provided full security. In answering the question of whether he thought that the American intent was war, he said that he knew that Eisenhower was a peace man. Regarding the issue of Taiwan, U Nu said to the correspondents on April 29 that he hoped China and the USA would hold negotiations and Burma would like to offer its assistance.

On May 2, U Nu made a report at the routine meeting of the Burmese Cabinet on the conference, saying that the conference symbolized the unity of the countries of Asia and Africa and it would be recorded as a glorious page in history.

U Nu would visit Egypt on May 28 and the USA in early June. He would visit Israel, Yugoslavia, Britain and Japan as well.

3. Indonesia

On May 1, the minister of intelligence of Indonesia said in Jakarta that the participating countries of the Asian-African Conference might take the Joint Communiqué as the basis for their cooperation and that the Joint Statement issued by the prime ministers of China and Indonesia was an example for the realization of the conference communiqué.

On May 2, the Indonesian prime minister talked to journalists on the issue of the Western Irian, saying that 29 countries fully supported Indonesia in its demand on the Western Irian and the situation had been developing more and more favorably.

On May 4, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia said that Indonesia fully supported China on the issue of Taiwan, as Premier Zhou clearly expressed China’s support to Indonesia on the issue of the Western Irian at the Asian-African Conference. On May 5, the minister of intelligence of Indonesia, in commenting on the news spread on Indonesia’s mediation on the Taiwan issue, said that the Indonesian Government would start mediation when it had received such a request. He went on that Indonesia recognized the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan was a part of China.

On May 2, the Indonesian Cabinet approved the Treaty on Dual Nationalities. On April 30, the Socialist Party of Indonesia issued a statement against the treaty.

4. Pakistan   

On April 25, Ali said in Bandung that if Pakistan could lend a helping hand on the Taiwan issue, it would do it at any time, but added that both sides must show the evidence of their sincerity.

On April 26, Ali said in Singapore that it seemed that Premier Zhou was sincere and desired peace, but he didn’t change his view on China. He added that Communism might suit China, but it was not suitable to other countries. On April 28 when he arrived in Karachi, he said that he would like to take part in any Sino-American negotiations on the Taiwan issue. He believed that China had no intention to impose its ideology on its neighbors and had no intention to invade others, and that the Communist countries and the non-communist countries could cooperate. On April 29, the Pakistani ambassador in the USA visited Dulles, saying that Pakistan would not be a mediator.

On May 1, Ali made a broadcasting speech in Karachi, saying that the talks between him and Premier Zhou promoted understanding between the two countries, which would boost friendly relations between Pakistan and China and facilitate the cause of world peace. The foreign news agencies said that he announced that he would visit China in his speech.

On May 2, Ali expressed that Pakistan would not take part in the mediation on the Taiwan issue.

On May 1, Pakistan declared it would close its two consulates in Afghanistan and also asked Afghanistan to close its consulate and trade office in Pakistan.

On May 7, the Pakistani Government announced that Ali would visit the Philippines at the end of May.

5. Ceylon  

On April 24, the Ceylonese prime minister said to journalists that he intended to visit China in September or October. On April 25, he said in Bandung that the American response to Premier Zhou’s statement on the Taiwan issue was too hasty, which made the thing become more difficult.

On April 26, Kotalawela said at the House of Representatives of Ceylon that the atmosphere of the Asian-African Conference was sincere, like a family gathering with difference and argument, but the spirit of reconciliation and common interest prevailed. He went on that it was possible to coexist on the basis of the ten principles, and that the Asian-African Conference demonstrated the consolidation of the two continents of Asia and Africa as the two continents that had not much of a right to speak in international affairs before the conference.   

He mentioned that the conference condemned all kinds of colonialism. He said that the view of the Chinese premier on colonialism was somewhat different, but he agreed to condemn it. He also said that although he didn’t agree to Premier Zhou’s view, he found that Premier Zhou was “a reasonable person and sincerely respects others’ opinions”.

On May 27, the opposition faction put forward a non-confidence motion against Kotalwela, considering that it was not proper for him to raise anti-Soviet issues at the Asian-African Conference, which had seriously harmed the conference. The motion was voted down by 37 votes to 14 votes.

6.  Egypt

On April 25, the three countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria held a meeting in Bandung to discuss the issue of organizing the new Arab League. In the evening of April 27, Nasir said in Calcutta that Premier Zhou was “a good Man, not fierce to anybody”. He went on that “I think that many countries have wrongly believed that Bandung is a place where anti-western propaganda is carried out, and that the opportunity for Egypt to recognize Communist China has always existed”.  

On April 28, Nasir said to the journalists at Delhi Airport that Egypt welcomed the convocation of the next Asian-African Conference and that the major achievement of the conference was the unanimous agreement obtained on the major issues put forward in the conference.

On May 2, Nasir returned to Cairo and said to the masses that Egypt would pursue an independent foreign policy in the future. He went on that “I have also declared that Egypt would make an effort together with other freed countries to eliminate imperialism from the globe”.

 The vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Egypt told the press that China was a broad potential market for Egyptian goods as China would buy all the cotton produced in Egypt. He went on that the contact between Egypt and China in Bandung was carried out in a cooperative atmosphere, but this cooperation had nothing to do with politics. In speaking of concluding a trade agreement between the two countries, Nasir said that so far it had not been studied, but nothing could prevent the conclusion of such trade agreement, which “has nothing to do with politics”.

The foreign news agencies said that Nasir would visit China and that Egypt had invited the Chinese premier, Indonesian prime minister, Pakistani governor, Nehru, U Nu, Afghan King, etc to visit Cairo within one year.

7. Afghanistan

On May 4, the minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan told the Afghan journalists that the Asian-African Conference was a historical event for the Asian-African people. He went on that the participants had different views, but the resolutions in favor of peace were unanimously adopted. He stressed that Afghanistan hoped that the Asian-African countries would establish good relations.

On May 6, the Afghan ambassador in London said that he found that Premier Zhou was a well-educated, modest, intelligent and resourceful statesman. He went on that he had such an impression that Premier Zhou wished to pursue an independent policy and wanted to peacefully settle the Far Eastern issue.

On May 4, it was rumored that Afghanistan had given an order for the general mobilization of the 25-32 years old men to strengthen its defense due to the deterioration of its relations with Pakistan.

8. Syria

On April 25, the Syrian chief representative said in Bandung that the conference

was unexpectedly successful, which demonstrated that over half of the people in the world supported world peace. He went on that it was of great significance that the people with different views had reached an agreement on a common ground in international affairs, the issues of Palestine and North Africa in particular.

9. Saudi Arabia

On April 25, the Saudi Arabian chief representative said in Bandung that the

conference had proven that the Asian-African people universally had national consciousness and the Arab countries really benefited from the conference as their friends supported the Arab position on the issues of Palestine and North Africa. He said after his visit to India that he prayed to God that the two countries could unite together to safeguard peace, justice and humanity. On May 5, he visited Pakistan.

10. Nepal

On May 3, the head of the Nepalese Delegation said to the correspondent of the

Indian Forum that the conference was full of unity sentiments among the Asian-African countries. He went on that it didn’t matter how many articles it had, only if the spirit of the Five Principles could exist. He added that Nepal would be out of any military treaties.

11. Yemen

On May 2, the Yemeni prime minister issued a statement, announcing that Yemen planned to pursue the Arab policy on implementation of an overall coalition with Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

12. The Sudan

On April 25, the Sudanese prime minister said in Bandung that the conference was extremely successful as it specified the common principles in a very short time. He went on that Sudan supported complete independence, but did not agree to form an alliance with Egypt and hoped to keep friendly relations with Egypt. In New Delhi, he said that the Asian-African countries must cooperate among one another. He would visit Afghanistan after his visit to India on April 28.

13. Jordan

On April 25, the Jordanian chief representative said in Bandung that the conference was a great success for the Arab countries. He went on that his reaction to the conference was that the whole world condemned war and hoped that the conference would facilitate the promotion of world peace. He believed that the Arab countries succeeded in the issues of Palestine and North Africa.

14. Liberia

On April 29, the Liberian chief representative said in Manila that his country welcomed the convocation of the next Asian-African Conference. He went on that the conference was a tremendous success and that his deepest impression was that most of the motions put forward in the conference were passed. The Liberian chief representative would visit Japan and the USA after his three days’ visit to the Philippines.

15. Iran

On April 25, the Iranian chief representative said in Bandung that he hoped that China could feel how strongly Asia demanded it to solve the Taiwan issue in a peaceful way, no matter how important China stressed it. He went on that he hoped for China to cooperate with Asia and not resort to any violence or armed force, which might cause conflicts among related countries.  On May 3, the Iranian Foreign Minister Andiran said to an AFP correspondent in Tehran that Iran would not transfer its military bases to other countries, nor would it act as an anti-Soviet springboard.

16. Lebanon

On May 2, when the Lebanese prime minister stopped over in Hong Kong, he said that he believed that Premier Zhou would keep his promise on the Taiwan issue in negotiations with western countries. He went on that he felt that the situation in the Taiwan region was relaxing. He also said that the conference was extremely successful and had been very helpful for the relaxation of the Far Eastern situation. The Lebanese Representative in the UN, Maliek, said in Bandung that the conference was a victory for the anti-communists and that the conference resolution didn’t interfere with the rights of all countries to join NATO or other defense alliances.

17. Iraq

On May 6, the Iraqi chief representative arrived in Taibei for a three-day visit. He said to the correspondents that any Taiwan peace could take effect only if was it under the principles of the UN. He went on that Iraq should set up its diplomatic mission in Taiwan. According to the report of the Central News Agency, he also said that the conference was a complete failure for the Communist China.

18. Laos

On April 28, the Laotian Prime Minister Ket Sasolis said in a written speech in Bangkok that Laos was very satisfied with the achievement obtained by the Asian-African Conference and that the satisfaction of Laos was not only the unanimous agreement on the resolutions by the conference, but also the friendly and sincere talks with the heads of all other delegations. He said that his talks with the representatives of Thailand, India, Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc were successful and helpful, especially he mentioned that the Chinese premier told him that China would not invade the territory and interfere with the internal affairs of other countries, nor were other countries allowed to interfere with China’s internal affairs. On April 23, 27 and 28, the Laotian Royal Army successively attacked the Laotian Fighting Troops, but the Vientiane Broadcasting Station shouted that the Laotian Fighting Troops attacked the Royal Army.

19. Cambodia

On April 25, Sihanouk of Cambodia said in Bandung that Premier Zhou assured  him that China would sincerely abide by the Five Principles and had friendly sentiment towards Cambodia. On April 26, he said in Singapore that China and North Vietnam guaranteed this to him. He added that “we must observe the Geneva Agreement” and that he could not accept the invitation to visit China as he would be busy with the election in Cambodia and the coronation in the coming six months.

20. South Vietnam

On April 27, Nguyen Van Thuy said at a press conference in Saigon that most  of the participating countries of the Asian-African Conference agreed to the cause of South Vietnam. He went on that he asked Nehru and U Nu to make inquiries from the representatives of North Vietnam about the possibility of postponing the time limitation for the citizens to move southward. The reply was that there was such possibility and that negotiations could be held at the governmental level.

21. Japan

On April 25, Hatoyuma and Shigemitsu Aoi expressed that they were happy at the achievement obtained by the Asian-African Conference and pledged that Japan would cooperate with other countries to promote the independence and economic development of Asia.

Hatoyuma said at the meeting of the diet for passing the budget in 1955 that Japan would maintain its anti-Communist stand, but it would make a demarcation between the two matters of establishing normal relations with the Communist countries and accepting Communism. He went on that Japan would seek to promote trade relations with Communist countries on the basis of mutual respect and trade while maintaining cooperation with the USA.

On April 25, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to journalists that Japan would play a key role in the next Asian-African Conference. He went on that Japan was very cautious in this conference because of the sensitiveness of the USA and some Asian countries’ suspicion of Japan. He added that Japan’s tactics were successful so that Japan gave a good impression to other people in Bandung.

On April 30, Takasaki boasted in a report to the Senate and Diet that Japan played an important role in the conference as Japan’s proposals were accepted and adopted.

After the conference, the representatives of some Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen) were invited to visit Japan.

22. Thailand

On April 28, Prince Wong said in Singapore that Thailand would not be in a hurry to sign an agreement on nationalities because he wanted to study the full text of the agreement between China and Indonesia. He went on to talk about this issue with Premier Zhou in Bandung and “the Communist Party as a whole has not caused troubles in Thailand at present time”.

He said that the conference would have an important impact on world peace. He went on that he believed that “Premier Zhou means what said in Bandung”, and that he didn’t expect but seemed to “wish to seek for a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue”.  

On April 29, in answering the question by a correspondent at Bangkok Airport whether the negotiations between China and Thailand on dual nationalities concerned the recognition of China, Prince Wong replied that “recognition has never existed”, nor did Premier Zhou’s invitation for him to visit China involve the question of recognition.

On April 29, the Thai Foreign Minister Prince Wong said at the press conference at  Bangkok Airport that Thailand “has achieved all results and benefit as it wished” from the conference. On the question of Taiwan, he said that “many questions should be directly negotiated between the USA and Communist China; on the question of overseas Chinese, he said that the agreement signed between China and Indonesia was acceptable in principle, but the decision would be made after the study of the agreement and that Thailand had better negotiate with China on this question.

On May 1, General Charusreni, Head of the Thai Delegation for attending the eight-country Military Program Meeting of the Manila Treaty in Baguio, said that Thailand did not need the troops of the Manila Treaty to reinforce the defense of Thailand and that Thailand did not have the danger of imminent invasion by the Communist Party. UPI said that Thailand was not enthusiastic in the military meeting of the Manila Treaty, because it got a deep impression from China’s pledge that China had no intention to invade Thailand. On May 1, when the ambassador of Bandit Chiang in Thailand visited Prince Wong, Prince Wong assured him that Thailand had no intention to recognize China, nor would it hold negotiations with China on the question of nationalities.

According to the broadcast in Chinese from Jakarta on April 27, Prince Wong and Premier Zhou had achieved satisfactory results in their talks. Prince Wong expressed that the result of the Asian-African Conference demonstrated that it was a big mistake for Thailand to completely depend on the USA. He believed that Thailand would soon reconsider its foreign policy so as to suit the development of the new situation.

On May 3, in his visit to the USA, Luang Pibo stressed cooperation between the USA and Thailand in Washington and slandered that China was a threat to Thailand. On the same day, the so-called Anti-subversion Committee of the Manila Treaty held a meeting in Bangkok.

23.  The Philippines

On April 25, Lomoro said in Singapore that the Asian-African Conference was a “tremendous success of the world” and all the resolutions adopted there would finally leave a mark in history. He went on that the big and small countries on the two continents of Asia and Africa created unity, in which they held meetings on the basis of equal status of sovereignty and issued the resolutions by unanimous agreement.

On April 25, Lomoro said to the correspondents at Jakarta Airport that the conference was very successful, all the countries, big or small, were all equal at the conference, the resolutions were adopted by unanimous agreement, and all countries had the opportunity to exchange ideas. But he said that what impression the conference would leave in history would depend on how we should implement the resolutions adopted. On the same day, when he arrived in Singapore, he said to the correspondents that after he spoke in defense of the Manila Treaty, nobody from any sides had attacked the treaty again. He added that the conference was the success of the whole world, but he couldn’t see how it could be a victory for the Communist countries, and he stressed that the communiqué condemned all kinds of colonialism, including Communism.

On May 2, Lomoro talked about the Asian-African Conference again in Honolulu, saying that this conference aimed at countering the “free world”, he had “some fear and tremble” to attend the conference, and worried that it would be very difficult for him to find friends, but the result of the conference demonstrated that “the people of the anti-free world didn’t get what they hoped and confronted the vigorous, militant, and powerful democratic force”.

On April 27, at the military meeting of the Manila Treaty countries in Baguio, the representative of the Philippines tried hard to support the proposal on the establishment of an eight-country invasion army, expressing that the Philippines was willing to provide cannon fodders.

On May 1, the Philippine Senator Raul said to the correspondents that he didn’t agree to dispatch the Philippine expeditionary army abroad. On May 5, Raul and another parliamentarian Recktor said that the relations between the Philippines and USA should be examined and that excessive dependence on the USA had made the Philippines to lose its face in neighboring countries.  

 (Note: The comments from the four countries of Turkey, the Gold Coast, Libya and Ethiopia are in short)