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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 11, 1955


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    The Chinese Foreign Ministry examines the attitude of several parties to the Asian-African Conference, including India, Egypt, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan.
    "Report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Attitudes of Various Countries towards the Asian-African Conference on the Eve of the Conference' ," April 11, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00084-19, 211-214. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou.
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No. 103

Compiled by Intelligence Dept. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 11, 1955

Development of the Asian-African Conference

No. 4

Attitudes of Various Countries towards the Asian-African

Conference on the Eve of the Conference

(Information collected by April 10)

1. The Attitude of India

On the eve of the Asian-African Conference, the attitudes of the participating countries are getting clearer. So far as the present development, the force supporting peace and neutrality is increasing.

The speech given by Nehru on March 31 represented the attitude of the countries supporting peace and neutrality. Nehru stressed in his speech that the significance of the Asian-African Conference lay in the “rise of Asia and Africa” and hoped that the conference would “directly and clearly put forward the Five Principles”. He criticized the Manila Treaty, the Middle East Military Alliance and USA for creating tension along the Chinese coastal islands.

Nehru’s speech broke the low and deep tone of India, Burma, etc since the Bangkok Conference. At that time, Nehru expressed that the conference wouldn’t discuss the much controversial issues, saying that co-existence was not stressed and he didn’t know what results the conference would achieve. U Nu only said that it would be satisfactory if only all of us could meet each other at the conference. But this speech rather clearly expressed India’s attitude and position, which will surely influence Burma, Indonesia, etc.

2. The Attitude of Egypt

India worked hard to draw over and influence Egypt and other Arab states.

After Nehru’s talks with the former Cambodian King and U Nu, the Egyptian Prime Minister Nasir and the Afghan Vice Prime Minister Naim Khan will visit India. The Syrian Vice Prime Minister will also visit India after the meeting. On April 6, India and Egypt signed a Friendship Treaty. Recently, the foreign news agencies and the Indian side repeatedly said that Egypt would follow India’s neutralist policy in the Asian-African Conference. The British Scotchmen carried an article, indicating that Nasir should not follow India too close to affect its relations with the UK. With regard to Egypt, the contradictions between Egypt and USA, UK, Turkey, etc increased after the signature of the Turkey-Iraq Treaty so that Egypt wishes to get support from the Asian-African countries in the Asian-African Conference in order to strengthen its position for bargaining with imperialism, which is why Egypt inclines to neutralism. Egypt’s act will also influence Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to follow the Egyptian policy. An article carried by the Paris Forum of France had to admit that the Asian-African Conference would have an immeasurable meaning to the Arab states.

With the increase of the positive factor of peace and neutral countries, their dark and anti-Communist side still exists. Nehru stressed the “non-interference with each other’s internal affairs” in the Five Principles, believing that “the saying of the Communist interference in other countries’ internal affairs is correct”. The Shabang Monthly of Ceylon even claimed that the Asian-African Conference should “absolutely not interfere with each other’s internal affairs”, asked “China to guarantee that it will not carry out subversive activities by infiltration tactics”, and demanded the Soviet Union to “dismiss the KGB”, etc., which reflects that some of the Asian countries have doubt about and fear of China, which are just used by UK and USA to spread rumors and sow discord. The article published by the British Information Office attempted to make use of Tibet, border, overseas Chinese and other issues to sow discord.

  3. The Attitudes of Thailand and the Philippines

The anti-peace and anti-neutral countries headed by Thailand and the Philippines in recent days were busy with their preparations to undermine the conference.

To counter the mood of anti-colonialism and demanding national independence of the Asian-African countries, the anti-peace and anti-neutral countries may raise the anti-Communist “ Pacific Charter”, alleging that this “Charter” aims at maintaining “national independence” and “national autonomy” and it “does not only oppose the old colonialism, but also neocolonialism”. The assistant foreign minister of Thailand said on March 31 that Thailand would advertise the Manila Treaty in the conference, and news from Manila said that the Philippines would ask the conference to accept the “Pacific Charter”.

To counter the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, the anti-peace and anti-neutral countries will put forward the issues of opposing “Communist infiltration and internal subversion”. In recent days, the Thai foreign minister repeatedly spread the rumor that China was training 3,000 to 5,000 Thai Chinese and Thais as spies, and said that Thailand was concerned with the overseas Chinese in Thailand and once again mentioned the Naibili issue.

The tone is no different from the recent US propaganda. The news from Tokyo by the Deputy Director of UPI Hoberechit on March 24 and the special background material published by the US Information Office on April 3 attempted to cover up US aggressive actions in Southeast Asia and said that the US “supports the national independence of the Philippines, Indonesia, etc”. On April 7, the US Information Office published another “special background material”, making use of the issues of overseas Chinese, border, Korean War, Vietnamese War, the asylum of Naibili and Singh in China, the increase of our military strength, etc, to spread rumors and made instigations, asserting that China “doesn’t abide by the Five Principles”.

4. The Attitude of Japan

After Japan announced that Takasaki Tatssunosuke was the Chief Representative of Japan to attend the Asian-African Conference on April 1, Takasaki met Hatoyama to talk about Japan’s action in the conference. It is said that Japan will not support any practical anti-colonialist proposals, only agreeing with most of the delegations on the opinions concerning the general principle of national independence, and that if the conference is divided into two hostile groups, Japan will stand on the side of the “American allies”.

The Japanese Yumiuri Shimbun said that Hatoyama would apologize to the Asian countries invaded by Japan in the conference, guarantee to use Japanese technologies to develop Asian countries, and ask to expand cultural exchange among Asian countries. Japan would pay great attention to the economic discussion, and the Japanese representative would bring with him a lot of advertising materials about Japan’s economic potentiality and trading plans.