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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 03, 1955


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    Indonesian Ambassador to China and Zhou Enlai talked about the Ambassador's plan to accompany Zhou Enlai to Burma before coming to Indonesia for the Asian-African Conference. They also discussed lodging for the Chinese delegation in Jakarta as well as the principle of non-interference in other countries' affairs.
    "Minutes of Premier Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Indonesian Ambassador Arnold Mononutu," April 03, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00003-02, 29-33. Translated by Jeffrey Wang.
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Top Secret

Minutes of Premier Zhou’s Meeting with Ambassador Mononutu

(Not proofread)

Time: 1955, April 3rd, afternoon 5:00PM to 6:25

Location: Zhongnanhai Area, Xi Hua Ting / West Hall

Personnel accompanied: Vice Minister Zhang Hanfu, Minister’s assistant Chen Jiakang, Pu Shouchang (Interpreter and [responsible for] documenting)

First Premier Zhou [Enlai] gave [the Ambassador] a letter addressed to the Indonesian prime minister which contains his acceptance of an invitation to visit Indonesia.

Mononutu said: if Premier Zhou consents, then he would like to accompany Premier Zhou to Indonesia.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said this time he will respond to [Burmese] Prime Minister U Nu’s invitation first and head to Burma, the Chinese delegation’s chartered Indian flight is also flying directly from Yangon to Jakarta; not passing through Hong Kong. Since there is no flight route between China and Burma, travel can only occur via driving from Kunming to the Sino-Burmese border, the journey is very long and troublesome which [we] are afraid would be inconvenient to Ambassador Mononutu, wouldn’t it be better to meet in Jakarta instead?

Mononutu said if traveling by automobiles is convenient to Premier Zhou [Enlai] then it is of no inconvenience to him. The question is if it would be any trouble for the Burmese government to receive [him]. Therefore, it might be better to meet Premier Zhou [Enlai] in Jakarta instead. However, this is solely because of unwillingness to trouble Premier Zhou [Enlai]’s party and the Burmese side, rather than due to any sort of inconvenience. He also said, if Premier Zhou [Enlai] feels that there would be no inconvenience and thinks that the accompaniment is appropriate to [diplomatic] protocols, then he can ask the Indonesian embassy in Burma to make the appropriate arrangements. He said, the Indonesian Embassy press personnel while in Beijing recently said that Indonesian prime minister is of the opinion that perhaps Mononutu could accompany Premier Zhou [Enlai] to Indonesia.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said for China this is not a problem. The problem is on the Burmese side. Could Ambassador Mononutu converse with the Ambassador of Burma, the Chinese government could also converse with the Ambassador of Burma. This is because, for Burma, they will be receiving an additional guest so there is need for prior discussion.

Mononutu said if the Chinese government in principle does not have an opposing opinion then he shall go and converse with the Ambassador of Burma, hopefully the Chinese government will also provide this suggestion to the Ambassador of Burma.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said on one hand Ambassador Mononutu can meet and converse with [Burmese] Ambassador U Hla Maung, on the other hand the Chinese government will also converse with the [Burmese] Ambassador U Hla Maung as suggested by Ambassador Mononutu to see whether or not this arrangement is convenient for the Burmese side.

Mononutu said Indonesia has an embassy in Burma which can arrange everything for him, there is no need to trouble the government of Burma. In addition, he is going to Burma under the identity of Ambassador not as a member of Premier Zhou [Enlai]’s party; rather he is simply accompanying Premier Zhou to Indonesia. His mission only starts when Premier Zhou [Enlai] steps on Indonesian territory.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] asked Ambassador Mononutu to contact Vice Minister Zhang [Hanfu] to resolve this issue.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] told Ambassador Mononutu that there are a total of twenty four people on the Chinese delegation, some people have already left. The delegation for this time’s visit to Burma consists of eighteen people, three reporters. Premier [Zhou Enlai] also told Mononutu that the news of the Chinese delegation leaving Beijing will only be announced after the [delegation] has crossed the Burmese border.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] then said that other than himself, also going to Indonesia for the official visit are; Vice Premier Chen Yi, Minister Yeh Ji Zhuang from the Foreign Commerce Ministry, Vice Minister Zhang [Hanfu], advisors, personnel and etc. total number of people should not exceed ten.

Mononutu said if the number of visiting people does not exceed ten, then everyone could probably all stay at the Jakarta palace. However, he cannot be certain of this. Then he asked while at Bandung whether or not Premier Zhou [Enlai] is willing to stay with other people of the delegation, this is to better make arrangements. He said the Indonesian government has already booked the two largest hotels in Bandung; the better hotel is for the head of every country’s delegation and those delegations with fewer people to stay at.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said the Chinese delegation will according to numerical arrangement have a few responsible delegation members stay at this hotel so as to have better contact with others. The Chinese delegation separately rented a private residence, the delegation head and a few others will stay at this private residence.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said the Afro-Asian conference could be held due to the advocacy of the Indonesian prime minister. This is the first time in history. This produces a very good opportunity for interaction between Afro-Asian countries. The convocation of this conference took one or two years of preparation and complication, it hasn’t been easy, but it is timely.

Mononutu said this time Premier Zhou [Enlai] can personally interact with the five Prime Ministers of the Kuala Lumpur countries and make common contribution to peace in South East Asia.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said we hope to contribute our powers to the [cause] of peace and friendliness under the advocacy of the five countries of the Kuala Lumpur [conference]. We shall work towards establishing collective peace and expanding the scope of the peace zone as specified by the opinion of the five Prime Ministers of the Kuala Lumpur [conference], especially the views of the prime ministers of Indonesia, Burma, and India. We are unwilling to have outside interference; we also do not attempt to interfere into others’ [affairs]. To establish friendly cooperation under the [above mentioned] spirit will strengthen peace. This is the first time Afro-Asian countries are deciding their own fate, and this will contribute to world peace. Afro-Asian countries [contribute to world peace] through mutual-respect of each other’s independence. [Afro-Asian countries] do not oppose countries outside the Afro-Asian region. As long as countries of the Afro-Asian region have the wish for peaceful cooperation, we welcome them.

Mononutu said the point described by Premier Zhou [Enlai] has not yet been fully understood by some countries. This conference is for the first time in contemporary history; it is the result of a revolutionary change in post-World War II South East Asia. On one hand it does not want interference from outside of this region, on the other hand it also respects countries outside of this region. [Afro-Asian countries] are willing to be peaceful and friendly with [countries outside this region] on an equal basis. However, some countries are unwilling to fully acknowledge this revolutionary change in South East Asia. Before World War II, these countries [outside of the region] held leadership authority in South East Asia, and now they are unwilling to give up their leadership authority to the appropriate Asian countries. There was such a case recently, which proves that certain countries do not understand the psyche of Asian countries. The Australian Parliament invited the Indonesian Parliament to send a delegation on a friendly visit to Australia, but this invitation has a condition attached to it. [The condition] is that this delegation must not only include the various representatives of parties that support the Indonesian government, but it must also include representatives of parties that oppose the Indonesian government. This is a clear attempt to interfere in Indonesia’s internal affairs. The Indonesian parliament through a secret vote decided the delegation roster. However after notifying Australia [of the members of the delegation], Australia even said that some of these delegation members are not acceptable. Therefore Indonesia has already indefinitely postponed this affair.

Premier [Zhou Enlai] said: we have an opposite case. Last year, Japan’s left wing Socialist Party requested to send a parliamentary delegation from their party to China, it was opposed by the government of Shigeru Yoshida. [The government of Shigeru Yoshida] requested that the delegation include representatives from all parties. The left wing Socialist Party was a bit hesitant to this, but [we expressed that] we welcome this as long as the Japanese parliament and government consent. This explains that our attitude is the opposite of Australia, we respect the Japanese parliament and government. However, the government of Shigeru Yoshida did not respect us; it wanted to choose the Taiwan government for the Chinese people. Ambassador Mononutu is correct in saying that some countries do not know how to respect others’ independence.

Mononutu said: he hopes this conference would enable these countries to believe that the countries of Asia also have self-respect and from this [these countries] should be able to understand the situation of the countries of Asia.

Forward to: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai (two), Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Peng] Dehuai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, Su Yu, [Li] Kenong, [Ye] Jizhuang, Vice Minister, Assistant of the Minister, Office Center, Confidential Center (two).