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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 22, 1955


This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    The Indonesian ambassador tells Zhou that the Indonesian government has sent out the letter of invitation inviting China to attend the Asia-African Conference. Indonesia hopes that PRC will send delegation to this conference and that the Chinese premier will visit Indonesia. Zhou Enlai expresses that after the Chinese government receives the official letter of invitation, the government will give official reply.
    "Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou's Reception of the Indonesian Ambassador Arnold Mononutu," January 22, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00051-07, 199-205. Translated by Jeffrey Wang.
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Top Secret

Minutes of Premier Zhou’s Meeting with Ambassador Mononutu
(Not proofread)

Time: 22 January 1955, 2:30-4:00 PM

Location: Zhongnanhai Area, West Hall

Personnel accompanied:

Minister’s Assistant Chen Jiakang,

Pu Shouchang (Interpreter and [responsible for] documenting)

1. On the issues of the Afro-Asian conference and visiting Indonesia:

Mononutu said that he received the Indonesian Prime Minister’s telegram; it mentioned that the Indonesian government has already sent the Afro-Asian conference invitation to the People’s Republic of China. [The Prime Minister] wants him to give the [invitation] to the Chinese government once he receives it. The Indonesian Prime Minister also wants Mononutu to give Premier Zhou [Enlai] the following verbal message. First of all, Indonesia hopes the People’s Republic of China will attend the Afro-Asian conference. Second of all, the Indonesian Prime Minister hopes to have the honor of receiving his Excellency Zhou Enlai in Indonesia as the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Mononutu said, after the Afro-Asian conference, Premier Zhou Enlai can perhaps stay for a period in Indonesia and discuss with the Indonesian Prime Minister about issues related to the two countries. After this, the Indonesian Prime Minister will be very happy to respond to Premier Zhou [Enlai]’s invitation to visit China.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] thanked Mononutu for his notification. Premier Zhou [Enlai] said, after the Chinese government heard the news that the five Kuala Lumpur conference countries’ decision to convoke the Afro-Asian conference and invite the People’s Republic of China, it will express its welcome and support for the [Afro-Asian] conference. [The Chinese government] will express its willingness to participate [in the Afro-Asian conference]. However, because we are still waiting for the official invitation, the Chinese government has not yet officially expressed its acceptance of the invitation. We now express once again to the ambassador our thanks to the five Kuala Lumpur conference countries. [We give our thanks] especially to Indonesia, because Indonesia is not only the conference’s advocator but it is also now the conference’s founder. We also thank the five Kuala Lumpur conference countries for inviting the People’s Republic of China to attend the Afro-Asian conference. Once we receive the official invitation, we will provide an official response. As for the people selected to attend the conference for China; this still requires discussion by the Chinese government. If the Chinese government decided to send me, then I will have the opportunity to also visit Indonesia at the same time, and discuss with the Indonesian Prime Minister about issues related to [our] two countries. For example, the issue relating to dual nationality, we can settle the wording. We are very happy to know that the Indonesian Prime Minister will visit China after the appropriate period after the Afro-Asian conference. We’ve been waiting for a long time, we are willing to start preparations.

Mononutu said, since the Kuala Lumpur five countries invited the [selected] countries of the Afro-Asian conference, therefore reception must be done by the five countries rather than just Indonesia alone. Hence it is hoped that Premier Zhou [Enlai] can unofficially express whether or not it is possible to arrive at Indonesia a week earlier or stay a week later after the conference; so to more conveniently conduct the official visit.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said, the ambassador’s discussion of the Afro-Asian conference and the visit to Indonesia separately is the correct [way to proceed]. As for whether the time of the visit is before or after [the Afro-Asian conference] this will depend on if the Chinese government decides to send [me] to attend the conference. We will provide a response to this question on another date after we conduct further study.

After inquiry by Premier Zhou [Enlai], Mononutu said the Afro-Asian conference will probably be held around April 20th, and end around the 27th. This is because starting on the 27th it is the beginning of Ramadan, and it will continue for forty days or so. During these forty days, every day from sunrise to sundown, Muslims do not eat or drink, and can only eat and drink after sundown. This kind of rule is very commonly followed all over Indonesia. Mononutu said, according to his knowledge, the Indonesian President and Vice President follow this kind of rule, whether or not the Indonesia Prime Minister is also the same, [he] does not know. Mononutu asked if he could telegraph his government that Premier Zhou [Enlai] might combine the two affairs of participating in the Afro-Asian conference with [officially] visiting Indonesia; first visit Indonesia with the identity of Premier of the People’s Republic of China and then participate in the Afro-Asian conference as the head of the People’s Republic of China delegation. He said, since Ramadan starts right after the Afro-Asian conference, therefore as a personal suggestion, he hopes Premier Zhou [Enlai] will visit Indonesia before the Afro-Asian conference.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said, because of Ramadan, if the visit to Indonesia were to happen at the same period as the Afro-Asian conference then the [visit] can only take place before the conference instead of after. If the ambassador were to mention the possibility of such in the telegram, that is well too. Premier Zhou [Enlai] then asked if the Indonesian Prime Minister were to visit China after the Afro-Asian conference, would that also be affected by Ramadan?

Mononutu said, it will be affected, therefore it is more appropriate [to have the visit to China] in June or July.

2. China’s cultural delegation visiting Indonesia and Chinese artifacts to be displayed in Indonesia:

Mononutu said he once mentioned to Vice Minister Zhang Han Fu that it would be more appropriate for the Chinese cultural delegation to visit Indonesia in early June; because during the Afro-Asian conference it would be difficult to find hotels in addition to the reception difficulties posed by Ramadan.

Mononutu then mentioned about the Chinese artifacts to be displayed in Indonesia. He said, the Indonesian Prime Minister, Minister of Education and Minister of Foreign Affairs all attended the opening ceremony. The President also specially visited [the display] once, and wrote a few lines in the autograph booklet. Main point being that China is currently walking towards a bright future and this is also [true] for the arts.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] thanked the Indonesian government for the arrangements made for our display, and specially thanked the Indonesian President for his compliments.

Mononutu also said the Indonesian Foreign Ministry wants him to thank the Chinese government for the friendly reception of the Indonesian delegation for the negotiations on the issue of dual nationality; especially how the Chinese government dispatched a chartered plane for use by an ill member of the Indonesian delegation. He said the Indonesian Foreign Ministry will have a letter of thanks, and it will be sent to our Foreign Ministry tomorrow.

3. The issue of dual nationalities:

Premier Zhou [Enlai] asked, regarding the agreement on dual nationality; is it currently possible to conduct initial dialogue in Beijing and Jakarta simultaneously so to prepare for the final signing.

Mononutu said he once suggested to the Indonesian government to use the agreed records of dialogues as the basis [for an agreement]. Then the Indonesian government can produce a draft agreement and send it to the Chinese government for consideration, or the Chinese government can produce a draft agreement and then have it sent to the Indonesian government for consideration. However, to date the Indonesian government has not replied to this suggestion. He then said last time the Indonesian delegation went to China for negotiations, originally they had wanted to produce a draft agreement during the negotiations, but in the end because no one in the delegation could translate legal terms from English to Indonesian he production of a draft agreement was delayed. Lastly, he said since these kind of language experts are in Jakarta, the agreement can only be drafted in Indonesia.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said wait until after the ambassador knows of the Indonesian government’s decision, then [we] will talk.

4. Regarding Premier Zhou’s discussion with Hammarskjold:

Mononutu requested to know some [information] about the situation regarding Premier Zhou [Enlai]’s discussion with Hammarskjold, he said this request is his own initiative, and the Indonesian Prime Minister did not instruct him to do so.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] provided on the spot the main points of his discussions with Hammarskjold and the summary of his discussion with Trevelyan.

Mononutu said, he will immediately use coding to send these two shares of material back, and will strictly keep the secret within the Indonesian embassy only himself and the telegraph operator would be in the know. He then said, he had once sent a telegraph on rumors to the Indonesian government; in it he mention that the Chinese government does not want to make a deal on the “prisoner of war” issue; for example for joining the United Nations, etc. But, [the Chinese government] provided two reasonable requests as the conditions for releasing the “prisoners of war”, that is, one, the United States should not send any more spies to China, and, two, the United States should stop interfering with the internal affairs of China.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said, in his discussion with Hammarskjold, we did not bring up any conditions, and no promises were made. Regarding the thirteen American pilots, they are not prisoners of war, they are spies. Our contact with the Secretary General of the United Nations is beneficial. He once requested to receive [information] about the situation of these personnel, we have already sent pictures of their living and footage to Mr. Hammarskjold. We have provided another suggestion, that is to allow the families of these people to visit China, this news has already been released in the news today.

As for the two points mentioned by Mononutu, in the discussion we brought up the issues, not conditions. We believe on both issues the United States should [bear] responsibility. However, the United States will not follow what we [have] said. The Chinese people and the peace loving people of this world will all oppose this kind of invasion and interference by the United States. President Sukarno also once said, some countries are conducting interference and conspiratorial activities against Indonesia.

Mononutu said the Dutch government recently declared they know nothing about the infiltration activity against Indonesia; they also guarantee that they will respect Indonesia’s sovereignty. But actually, Dutch private businesses such as banks and corporations have continued to fund Dutch underground activity in Indonesia. The above statement by the Dutch government was fourteen days ago, the American embassy in Indonesia also officially declared that the aid from the United States to Indonesia is to help maintain Indonesian sovereignty. Clearly the United States government and the Dutch government have already discussed the matter with each other beforehand. This kind of statement, released one after another can only arouse greater suspicion of the Indonesian people.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said indeed, the more they talk the more suspicious it is. We must observe their behavior in order to judge whether or not what they say is trustworthy. Countries like China, Indonesia, India, Burma, Pakistan, Ceylon, Japan, etc. are all still in the state of being bullied and humiliated. We are not yet completely free of this kind of situation, this will require a long struggle.

Mononutu said, before World War II, China was still not resolute about unification like now; India and Indonesia although conducted consistent struggle against colonialism and imperialism, but still could not effectively cooperate with China. Now that India, Indonesia and etc. countries obtained greater independence, in addition to a powerful new China standing on the side, this will strengthen the struggle against colonialism and imperialism.

Premier Zhou [Enlai] said, we should cooperate with each other, support each other and learn from each other.

This document was forwarded to: [Zhou] Enlai (2), Vice Minister, Minister’s Assistant, [Chen] Jiakang, Yue Qian, Huang Hua, Secrets Center