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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 28, 1955

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY REFERENCE DOCUMENT NO.1

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Chinese Reference Document No. 1 which includes the following articles: Ike says to correspondents that the USA is willing to hold direct negotiations with New China Britain wishes to be a loyal mediator between New China and the USA Burmese newspapers’ comments on Taiwan issue Nehru, Nasir and others speak to correspondents in Calcutta Menzies’s comments on Zhou Enlai’s proposal Kotalawela’s comment on the Asian-African Conference USA and Red China Bright prospect Bright prospect The Five States of the Colombo Conference and the USA Comments of the prime ministers of India, Pakistan and Egypt on the Asian-African Conference The Bandung Conference The Five States of the Colombo Conference and the USA. Allen’s comments on the Asian-African Conference Pakistan and Egypt on the Asian-African Conference
    "Chinese Foreign Ministry Reference Document No.1 ," April 28, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00084-02. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114684
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For Reference

No.1

April 28, 1955

Catalogue

The Taiwan Issue

Ike says to correspondents that the USA is willing to hold direct negotiations with New China

Britain wishes to be a loyal mediator between New China and the USA

Burmese newspapers’ comments on Taiwan issue

The Asian-African Conference Issue

    Kotalawela’s[1] comment on the Asian-African Conference

    Comments of the prime ministers of India, Pakistan and Egypt on the Asian-African Conference

    Burmese newspapers’ comments on the Asian-African Conference

The Taiwan Issue

Ike says to correspondents that the USA is willing to hold direct negotiations with New China

    According to the AFP news from Washington, Eisenhower said to correspondents on April 27 that the American Government was ready to hold direct discussions with Communist China on all issues which would adequately lead to the relaxation of international tension except for the issues directly relating to Kuomintang[2] China.

    The American president said that he completely agreed with Dulles’s statement issued yesterday, i.e. the USA was willing to hold direct negotiations with Peking on the truce in Taiwan Straits.

    Eisenhower said that last Saturday’s announcement of the State Department Communiqué probably made a wording mistake that Kuomintang China must participate in all the talks relating to the Taiwan region.

    He said that as for Kuomintang China, the truce in the Taiwan region was purely an empty talk as the Kuomintang troops would not attack China’s mainland.

    The president said that negotiations with Communist China could include the issue of the American Air Force pilots detained in China.

    He said that Dulles’[3] statement yesterday was approved by him before hand, and that the communiqué of the State Department in reply to Zhou Enlai’s proposal was not inclusive. He added that the wording of the communiqué might exceed the original meaning of the author, or the communiqué might have a mistake in wording.

    The president said that in his opinion the “change” of American policy on Communist China was rather ostensible than realistic.

     He also said that the army of Kuomintang China was only a defensive force.

Britain wishes to be a loyal mediator between New China and the USA

    According to the AFP news from London, the Defense Secretary Macmillan disclosed on April 27 that Britain was actively preparing to act as “a loyal mediator” between the USA and Communist China to end the dangerous Taiwan crisis.

    Macmillan told the House of Commons that Britain had asked Premier Zhou Enlai to directly explain his proposal on negotiations with the USA and that Britain would take action before Zhou Enlai returned to Peking, which was apparent evidence that Britain had started the delicate work for reconciliation between the two countries. In doing so, Britain doubtlessly was thinking of next month’s election, i.e. the trump card of the Tory party was to describe Prime Minister Eden[4] as “a peace and reconciled man”

    Therefore, Macmillan could tell the House of Commons that “our effort in the Taiwan affairs was not fruitless”.

    From then on, the British diplomat in Peking had been seeking a peaceful solution.

    Another reason for Britain to concern the end of the Taiwan crisis was that it feared that the conflict between China and the USA would harm Hong Kong, and that normalization between China and the USA would remove the embargo on strategic goods, which was in the interest of Hong Kong.

Nehru, Nasir and others speak to correspondents in Calcutta

    According to the AFP news from Calcutta, Nehru said on April 27 that Premier Zhou Enlai made “a good and fair proposal” in the Bandung Conference that China was willing to discuss the Taiwan issue with the USA, and that Zhou Enlai had opened up “a broad road for other countries to explore”.

    Nasir told correspondents that he believed that Zhou Enlai’s proposal was “reasonable”, and that he was moved by Zhou Enlai’s personality. He went on that he even changed his view on him, but not on Communism. He also said that “the Chinese premier is a person who gets on well with others and sincerely desires to cooperate with others”.

Menzies’s comments on Zhou Enlai’s proposal  

    According to Reuter’s news from Canberra, the Australian Prime Minister Menzies mentioned the proposal on the negotiations between China and the USA at a press conference on April 24, saying that “it’s natural that people always have reservation on these peace proposals consistently put forward”.

    Menzies also said that “the Asian and African people’s strong anti-communist opinion appeared in last week’s discussion” at the Asian-African Conference, which, “so far as we know, might cause Communist China to put forward a moderate proposal”.

Reactions of the diplomats in Washington to the peace negotiations on Taiwan  

    According to the UPI news from Washington, the British Foreign Secretary Macmillan had instructed its Charge d’Affaires in Peking, William Du, to get the details of Zhou Enlai’s peace proposal. Sources from diplomatic circles said that Macmillan maintained that Dulles’ reconciled attitude towards Communist China should be immediately followed by Britain’s mediation in Peking. The British Charge d’Affaires Scott immediately met Dulles after his speech so as to confirm Dulles’ attitude. It was said that the Australian Prime Minister Menzies was also making efforts to consolidate the method through diplomatic channels for other countries taking responsibility for Taiwan, which was discussed between him and Dulles in his recent visit to the USA. It probably included some guarantees on Taiwan by Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other countries after the difficult question of Mazu and Jinmen islands was settled. But the guarantees would not be made before the general election at the end of May. The Australian ambassador would discuss the recent development in the Taiwan region with Dulles this afternoon. Some diplomats felt that the relations between Zhou Enlai and Nehru were not very good after the Asian-African Conference because Nehru failed to inform Zhou Enlai of his frank speech about Communism beforehand and the reconciled atmosphere Nehru had expected didn’t appear in the conference. They also said that the Pakistani prime minister sent Dulles a private letter, requesting to try every means to seek for the possibility of negotiations, which had given a good impression on the Pakistani high-ranking officials and received a warm welcome in London and the other capitals of the Commonwealth countries.

Bright prospect (New Times of Burma on April 28, 1955)

Dulles told correspondents in Washington that it wasn’t impossible to sit down to talk the Taiwan issue with the Chinese Communist Party, which primarily demonstrates the change of American policy on Communist China. Dulles’ statement has produced a realistic and well-received tone in Asia after a few days when Mr. Zhou Enlai announced his peace proposal. All peace-loving people and mediators should immediately seize this opportunity to solve the problems through negotiations. Both sides of the Taiwan dispute-China and the USA-seem to be making cautious concessions, but the USA is somewhat slow in action. China has almost entirely given up its former stand, i.e. the Taiwan issue was the invasion of Chinese territory by the USA. Dulles’s recent view and the American primary reaction to Zhou Enlai’s proposal contradict each other. Although Dulles still maintained that the negotiations with the Communist Party were not the recognition of the Peking regime, the USA is aggressively making actual concessions so that now somebody should take the initiative to break the ice between the two countries. Dulles himself admitted that the interrogative sentence of “then whose turn?” (It might refer to whose turn to make concession) should be regarded as a guideline and all rigid formulas should be cast aside in front of the existing threat of war. The earnest observers must always keep in mind that the Taiwan situation is still in danger despite of all achievements of the Bandung Conference. The time is ripe for a third party to control it and arrange the representatives of the USA and Communist China to hold the initial direct meeting. It is doubtless that many barriers must be removed if the meeting is held between the high-leveled leaders of two countries, but it’s imperative to immediately find a neutral place to start the preliminary work. Since U Nu is undoubtedly respected by the leaders of both sides, Burma now can offer its service in this regard. The questions raised by the American correspondents at the Dulles press conference represented the thought of the American people. Despite the big gap in their stands, they agreed to talk at least, i.e. the opportunity for negotiations between China and the USA exists at the present time. Even as Dulles has correctly insisted that the negotiations between China and the USA must start from the truce in the Taiwan Straits, it could also be hoped that this would not be an unacceptable condition for China. Once both sides sit down together, the thing will be a half success and effort for negotiations on the permanent solution to the Taiwan position will naturally start. Although the USA openly wanted to negotiate with China, it didn’t want to start the negotiations with the absence of Kuomintang. This is not a too big barrier, as in all disputes the two parties rarely wish to see each other, unless the dispute doesn’t exist at all. The USA will probably be persuaded by its friends, such as Pakistan and other countries, that it shouldn’t lay too much stress on the participation of Kuomintang in the negotiations. The wrongness of the American policy must be taken into consideration, which will be pointed out at the meeting between Burma and Kuomintang in Bangkok. The plan put forward by the Ceylonese prime minister on the solution to the Taiwan issue by trusteeship and referendum will be brought forth later.

It is said that Kotalawela’s plan is not well-received by the relating parties. This should not discourage the study of the plan, as people will never be content with reconciliations or concessions. Regarding this plan, the USA and Kuomintang don’t like it, nor does the Communist Party of China. But we must face the reality, unless there is no way out but war. It is almost impossible to ask the USA and Kuomintang to surrender, just as it is to ask the Communist Party to give up all its demands on Taiwan. It seems that the only way is to let the people of Taiwan solve the issue themselves after a period of neutral trusteeship.

The United States and Red China    

By the Burmese Ahlin on April 28, 1955

Premier Zhou Enlai declared at the Bandung Conference that China was willing to hold direct negotiations with the United States in order to relax the tension in the Taiwan region. With regard to Premier Zhou’s proposal, Pakistani Prime Minster Mohammed Ali informed the US Secretary of State Dulles that Premier Zhou was really sincere.

Secretary of State Dulles reportedly expressed satisfaction at the talks to be held with the People’s Republic of China, for which we are also feeling delighted. Meanwhile we are even more excited that there are indications that Dulles has agreed with Zhou’s proposal that China is “willing to hold direct negotiations with the United States on a truce around the Taiwan Straits without the participation of Kuomintang representatives”.

We must recognize those efforts made by the participating countries of the Bandung Conference, especially the 5 Colombo Conference states, in the promotion of negotiations on the Taiwan issue between the USA and Red China. Those who have promoted mutual understandings between them should also be recognized. We hope to make continuous efforts to realize the talks between the USA and Red China.

The Secretary of State said that although he agreed to hold talks with Red China, he has to study certain phrases in Zhou’s proposal. Zhou’s sentence was that “Red China would never give up its right to liberate Taiwan”. This sentence is absolutely clear.  Zhou Enlai means that China must liberate Taiwan from the big power’s control.

So there is no need to study this sentence of Zhou’s at all. If Zhou should liberate Taiwan by force, we would not agree, nor do the Colombo states. We hope Dulles will remain cool-headed on this issue in order to make efforts in realizing negotiations with Red China.

This is a question of relaxing tension in the Taiwan region. Therefore, it can be solved by face-to-face talks alone between the two big powers. As far as the truce is concerned, in our opinion, it will come true naturally, provided the two parties agree to talk.

Besides, all other related outstanding problems can be solved altogether as long as Red China and the USA agree to negotiate the Taiwan issue. For instance, the Chinese government could release the arrested American pilots before long. In fact, the USA did not put forward such a precondition that it hold talks with Red China only after the latter should release its pilots. For this reason, the broad mind of America merits attention, too.

Secondly, the Kuomintang side totally disagrees to the direct talks between the USA and Red China. But the USA and the Kuomintang are allies so that it is believed that the latter could understand the former’s attitude. At present, the Kuomintang is in a very important position on the Taiwan issue, so the American attitude in showing respect to Kuomintang should deserve no criticism.

In short, Premier Zhou Enlai has made an unexpected compromise, as the five Colombo states desired, for the sake of relaxing the tension in the Taiwan Straits. Therefore, we are confident that all of us will support and promote talks between the USA and Red China. The British side has also expressed its interest in and satisfaction on this event, for which we sincerely hope that the negotiations could become a reality. .

The Five States of the Colombo Conference and the USA.    

The Rangoon on April 29, 1955

Although the Taiwan issue, the powder magazine in Asia, saw the hope of a solution at the Bandung Conference, the door to negotiations seems to be closed due to rejection by the USA. According to what the Ceylonese prime minister said, the proposal on negotiations on the Taiwan issue was put forward by the premier of Red China after his consultation with the five Colombo states. In view of this fact, the rejection of the proposal by the USA is tantamount to no importance paid by the USA towards the five Colombo states.

Efforts were made by the five Colombo states for the peace of Taiwan and Red China has accepted the proposal made by the five Colombo states, but the USA rejected it, over which the five Colombo states should ponder seriously and look into accordingly.

    Regarding this issue, the five Colombo states, receivers of the American military and economic aid, had better discontinue receiving this aid as the first step. If no action is taken, the USA will continue to pay no importance to the opinion of the world and no importance to the opinion of the five Colombo states. If the five Colombo states tolerate the attitude of the USA, then they will endlessly suffer from “being ridden on their own heads” by the USA.

    

USA and Red China

Editorial of Hanshwadi on April 28, 1955

We are extremely happy at the proposal produced through outside contact at the Bandung Conference on the negotiations between the USA and Red China, and in addition we are more gratified at hearing the news that Prime Minister U Nu has expressed his willingness for mediation at any time. We are sure that there is no need to make more of an explanation of the reason for our gratification, as the Far Eastern Taiwan issue is the fiercest one among all international issues. Among the independent neutralist countries in the Far East, no other country is more suitable than Burma to be a mediator in terms of economy, politics, religion, culture and diplomatic relations. Secondly, in the atomic weapon era, in case the flames of world war were caused by the Taiwan issue, the sufferers would not only be the belligerent countries, but also their vassal countries, and other neutral countries would be affected as well. So, in order to prevent such a disaster, who will not welcome the negotiations?

We regret to hear some people say that “although Red China has put forward the proposal on negotiations and Prime Minister U Nu has expressed his willingness to mediate, the American side has not yet made a clear reply; meanwhile whether the negotiations shall come true or not is still in doubt as the American side once expressed that Chiang Kai-shek must participate in the negotiations, and also the past negotiations on the Korean issue ended without results”.

We regret even more that some people went so far as to list various reasons to criticize the negotiations and claimed that in any case they wouldn’t be realized.

In short, our opinion is that the situation will get worse if negotiations are not conducted, and there is nothing to lose if negotiations are held.  As the saying goes, “hope sometimes may turn into a disappointment, but sometimes hopelessness turns into hope”, so that we should not lose hope when our just endeavors are made for the interests of the world’s people.  We believe that we should not only support and render a helping hand to the endeavors, but also pray for the success of the endeavors.

The Asian-African Conference

Kotalawela’s Comments on the Asian-African Conference

According to the Reuter’s news report from Colombo on April 27, the Ceylonese Daily News carried an interview by its correspondent with the Ceylonese prime minister on the result of the Asian-African Conference. The Ceylonese prime minister said that Mr. Zhou Enlai was not so bad as other people had said, and that “I hope he is really as good as he looks”. In answering the question of what’s the attitude of Ceylon towards the alliance since the declaration of the conference had approved regional alliances, he said that various countries in the past were afraid of joining alliances, but “now it is about  how to get assistance from our friends in order to cope with the situation just in case. This principle has been accepted by the Bandung Conference, that is to say, to join alliances for defense will not be misunderstood and those who do so will not be called puppets accordingly. Take Ceylon as an example: we need assistance from our friends when we are in difficulty. And Britain is our best friend”.

Kotalawela said that some people had said that he attempted to undermine the Bandung Conference, but he said that must be spread by the sympathizers of the Communist Party. He said that “the question of Soviet colonialism I put forward was not to undermine the conference, but made the conference more vigorous”. The Ceylonese prime minister added that Ceylon would take a wait-and-see policy before the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.

Comments of the prime ministers of India, Pakistan and Egypt on the Asian-African Conference   

According to AFP’s news report from Calcutta on April 27, the Pakistani prime minister pointed out that after the Bandung Conference, the 10-point communiqué included all the 7 items put forward by Pakistan. He added that some items of the Five Principles formulated by India and Communist China were not included in the Bandung Conference Communiqué.  

Nehru said that because some items of the Five Principles were not included in the Bandung Conference Communiqué didn’t mean that he had given up “any moral principles”. He went on that he would completely abide by the Bandung Conference Communiqué, but this would not prevent him from making further efforts to improve it as long as he kept in conformity with the communiqué. He also said that “the Bandung Conference is in favor of everybody, it is not only in favor of the participating countries, but also the bystander countries”.

Nasir said that in his opinion the 10-point conference communiqué “has no difference in terms of content” with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. He went on that the 10 points of the conference were “the improvement of the Five Principles”. He added that any defense system should be initiated by the people of the region. He also said that “the Middle East defense can only come from the people of the Middle East”, and insisted that “the participation of the western countries in the Middle East defense shall be explained as colonialism”.

Nehru, at the side of Nasir, said to the correspondents that in his opinion the majority people of any country should have the utmost right to run the affairs of the country, and in Africa the majority people were Africans. He went on that India wouldn’t ask for any privileges, and that the racial discrimination was enforced by the South African authorities, not the Indian people. He added that although many participating countries of the Bandung Conference had no diplomatic relations, they reached a common agreement, which “has set a good example for those countries which have never held any meetings, nor have they reached any agreements”.  

Allen’s comments on the Asian-African Conference

According to a Reuters’s news report from Washington on April 27, the Assistant Secretary of State Allen yesterday said that the Asian-African Conference was “a good and useful conference”. He said at a luncheon in honor of the Asian City Administration Delegation that despite the severe criticism of the USA by the conference, the criticism was welcome as a method of drawing forth truth.  

Imperialists are cowards

The People on April 28

During the Asian-African Conference, all newspapers in London were not published except for the Workers Daily as the printing workers in London were striking in order to increase their wages. Regarding the news and comments on the Asian-African Conference, the newspapers other than those in London, such as the Guardian in Manchester, carried a few.

Some newspapers published in Britain commented that “the Bandung Conference couldn’t make any important solutions due to the fact that the allies of imperialism are participating in the Asian-African Conference and they would undermine the conference, therefore, no agreement could be reached by the conference……”

The newspapers published in New York and Washington also unblushingly commented on the Asian-African Conference, as that Mr. so-and-so and others, the participants of the conference, were their friends so that they believed that the conference couldn’t score any achievements.

But after the opening of the conference, 655 journalists went to Bandung to cover it and the news they sent by telegrams amounted to 280,000 words per day, which had proved how public opinion of the world was interested in the Bandung Conference.

Since the opening of the conference, it had been going on steadily. The people of the world and the “masters” had seen from the conference how capable the saboteurs were.

At last, the henchmen took some action in the rage of their “masters” and the conference had come to a successful close.

Yesterday, the broadcasting station of the British government broadcasted a comment on the Bandung Conference. The comment itself fully exposed how distressed the imperialists felt regarding the achievements of the Bandung Conference.

The imperialist’s comments originally said that the Bandung Conference couldn’t score any achievements, but one week later they changed their tone. The London Broadcasting Station said that “although an ordinary people can’t see the resolution of the conference or whether the conference will succeed or not, a man with political foresight may see clearly that the achievement scored by the Communist Party of China in the Bandung Conference is immeasurable”.

The commentator of the London Broadcasting Station commented that “it is very dreadful that the premier of the New China has invited Prince Wong of the Thailand to dispatch an inspecting group to China at anytime to see whether China has concentrated its troops along the Sino-Thai border for attacking Thailand”.

The commentator commented that “the New China has also invited the Philippine Minister Lomoro to send a government delegation to the southeast coastal area of China to inspect whether China is preparing for war, which is very dangerous to imperialists”.

The Bandung Conference has made the participating countries feel that “we may get united and are not enemies of each other, so that the Bandung Conference is not important to the ordinary people, but very important to politicians.

The participating countries believe that the proposal put forward by the New China on negotiations with the USA is sincere, therefore the Chinese representative has scored a tremendous achievement in the conference……”

The London Broadcasting Station is just like a merchant who “is very jealous of seeing others make a fortune”. Therefore, the misfortune of imperialism this time is really “pitiful”.

When Dulles and Eden went to the Southeast Asia to sign the Southeast Asia Defense Treaty, they both unblushingly said that “the Southeast Asia Treaty is not for invasion, but purely for defense”. Now, when Mr. Zhou Enlai announces that China had no intention to invade others and prepared to invite the five countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines to dispatch their inspection groups to the Chinese border areas to inspect, the “masters” who endeavored to knock together the Southeast Asian “defense” will really feel that all their previous efforts were wasted and sigh in vain.

Despite the distress of the imperialists, the essence is nothing but a failure of their illegal activity. The imperialists once attempted to use the Chiang Kai-shek “government” to replace the true government of the Chinese people, which represents 600 million people, one fourth of the world populations. Now the 28 participating countries of the Bandung Conference have known that the Chiang Kai-shek “government” is not the government of the Chinese people and that the government of the New China represented by Zhou Enlai pursues a peace policy. It’s nothing but this achievement that has deeply distressed the imperialists.

A cold war prepared and engineered by imperialists was uprooted in the Bandung Conference.

Perhaps, the imperialists would suspect and take it out on their vassal countries because of the failure, blaming them for disloyalty or good-for-nothing.

But the imperialist vassal countries failed and put up their hands to surrender.

Just cause is bound to win.

The Bandung Conference

The Times of Burma on April 28

We still don’t know the particulars and the resolutions of the conference as the report on the Bandung Conference has not been published. The newspapers only reported some fragmentary news about the conference. The important one is the report signed by the 29 countries. One point may be inferred from the fragmentary news, that the purpose of the conference has not been fully brought about. In other words, the Bandung Conference has not scored the achievement it expected. It’s not strange that the conference has not succeeded, as the Asian-African countries have never met each other before, don’t know each other and have different views so that it’s impossible for them to unite together. But why isn’t the conference an achievement if we view it positively?

It is said that the conference discussed issues on world peace, the Five Principles, ban on use of atomic weapons, opposition to racial discrimination, etc. All are old issues, not new. But the characteristics of the conference are that the Communist Party is also a form of colonialism and the People’s Government of China put forward a proposal on the negotiations with the USA. In the past, the mention of colonialism usually indicates Britain and the USA. In the Bandung Conference, the representatives of Ceylon and the Philippines raised the concept that the Communist Party was colonialism, which caused defense by the Chinese representative. This is one of the characteristics of the conference. In the past, the Red China shouted without end, but now it put forward a proposal on negotiations with the USA, which may be said to be the first concession made by China. This is the second characteristic. It seems that Zhou Enlai is sincere in putting forward this proposal. But the once frightened USA dares not to accept Zhou Enlai’s proposal promptly, demanding that Red China show its sincerity by actual behavior. What reaction Zhou Enlai’s proposal will cause is still unknown.

The Bandung Conference is closed. What influence will the conference produce on the change of the international situation? Will the resolutions adopted by the conference be respected by the big powers? Do the big powers consider the Bandung Conference a children’s party? Was there a demand for unity or quarrel causing a breakdown in the conference? A number of these questions can not be answered at present time. These questions can only be answered when the jointly signed report is published and the reactions of the big powers are made public.    

[1] John Kotalawela was Prime Minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from 1953 to 1956.

[2] Kuomintang is the Chinese Nationalist Party, led by Chiang Kai-shek during this time.

[3] John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959.

[4] Sir Anthony Eden was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957.