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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 19, 1955

REPORT FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'THE JOINT SECRETARIAT OF THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Chinese report on the creation of the Joint Secretariat of the Asian-African Conference and its work to prepare the Conference (venue, broadcasting, etc.) The report also discussed the preparation of India, Afghanistan and Japan. Besides, American efforts to sabotage the conference through its vassal countries were also mentioned.
    "Report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'The Joint Secretariat of the Asian-African Conference'," February 19, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00021-02. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114660
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Secret

Ji has read it.

The Joint Secretariat of the Asian-African Conference

First Asian Affairs Department

(From the Reference News by February 19)

  

The Joint Secretariat of the Asian-African Conference was formally set up in Jakarta on January 7 this year. The secretariat consists of the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Under the secretariat, there is a Press Committee and a Public Relations Committee. The Secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Abdunija is the Sectary-general of the Joint Secretariat.

The Joint Secretariat holds routine meetings every week, carrying out the organization work for preparation and discussing the tentative agenda of the Asian-African Conference. The secretariat issued its first communiqué since the invitations had been sent out on February 15, declaring that Thailand, Libya, China, Afghanistan, Abyssinia, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Iraq and Egypt had accepted the invitation in their official reply. Not a single invited country has refused the invitation till now. The initiating countries will undertake the expenses for 10 representatives of each invited country, and each invited country may dispatch another 10 representatives, for whom the secretariat will arrange the accommodation and boarding for them, but the expenses will be paid by themselves.  

The Indonesian Government specially established a Joint Committee and a Local Preparatory Committee for preparing the Asian-African Conference. The Joint Committee consists of the representatives from the Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Engineering, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Culture and Education, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Police with Abdunija as its head. The Local Preparatory Committee consists of 15 departments such as accommodation, security, conference, finance, communication, transportation, protocol, entertainment, exhibition, electricity and gas, health, press, women, mass rally and reception with Governor of the Western Jawa Haryawena as its head.

The Joint Secretariat now has decided that the Peace Goddess Mansion with a capacity of over 1000 seats will be the site for the plenary session and the Subsidy Fund Plaza will be the site for the meetings of the political, economic and social affairs committees. The latter has 7 conference rooms, and there are 30 rooms on the second floor for the offices of 30 representatives. English and French are defined as the official languages for the conference and the conference also provides the facility for simultaneous translation into any other languages.

The Press Committee under the Joint Secretariat will make an overall plan for the news coverage and reports by journalists. The Broadcasting Station of the Republic of Indonesia will “give 10 minutes everyday to the foreign broadcasting stations to directly broadcast from Bandung or invite the representatives to make broadcasting speeches”. In addition to news telegrams, the committee will also provide the news agencies with 20 Morse broadcasting frequencies and other convenient facilities. The committee has now fixed 4 hotels and some private houses to accommodate the nearly 400 journalists (It is also said there are 600 journalists). According to the announcement of the Ministry of Indonesian Intelligence, Reuters will dispatch 10 journalists, UPI 6, AP 4, AFP 4 and Tass 4. Besides, the secretariat has decided that each delegation may take 5 correspondents and photographers with them.

All the participating countries of the Asian-African Conference have entered the intensive period for preparation. In India, the Secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jeha, Joint Secretary Gaul and Husseini, and the representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Education have formed a working group. The Indian Delegation will consist of Nehru, Menon, Dr. Said Mahmoud, Ark Chanda (the positions of the two aforesaid persons will be checked), Federal Secretary Duter and several consultants (including economic consultant).

It is said that Japan will dispatch a 20-person delegation headed by Foreign Minister Shigemitsu Aoi to attend the conference. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan set up a special institution to discuss the issue of the realization of the economic connection between Japan and the Southeast Asia, which will be put forward at the Asian-African Conference. Japan will convene a meeting of its diplomatic envoys in Southeast Asian countries in Karachi in March to exchange information on the economy and industrial plans of these countries. This meeting will make a joint report to the government as part of the preparation for the Asian-African Conference.

The Afghan Delegation will be led by its Vice-prime Minister Mohamed Naim. Prime Minister Nasir will lead the Egyptian Delegation. Foreign Minister Prince Wong will lead the Thai Delegation, consisting of 12 persons. General Lomoro of the Philippines, the personal special envoy of Magsaysay to USA, will attend the conference.

The USA is now trying hard to sabotage the Asian-African Conference. According to the UPI news, Washington is now instigating its vassal countries to dispatch their “powerful” delegations to attend the conference, intending to boycott the speech by China at the conference and put forward an “active proposal” on economic and cultural cooperation in order to lure the Asian-African countries. The Thai Government once openly expressed that it would indulge in sophistry over the American invasion of Taiwan. These countries may raise the issues of Malaya, overseas Chinese, “communist invasion”, etc at the conference. The Secretary of State of USA, Dulles, will go to Burma and Indochina after the Bangkok Conference to carry out sabotage.

It is said that in addition to the discussion on the issues of politics, economy, atomic energy, cultural exchange and trade at the conference, the Indian Delegation will propose to set up a News Agency of Asian States.

In addition to the plenary sessions, it is very possible that the conference will hold various committee meetings, such as a Political Committee, Economic Committee, etc, so that we should prepare some reports on specific topics and relevant materials at an early time.