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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 11, 1955

REPORT FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'SEVERAL DISTORTED VIEWS ON THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    A Chinese report on interpretations of the Asian-African Conference around the world that they found "distorted", including topics like colonialism, collective self-defense, views on the UN, the ten principles of peace and cooperation, and mutual cooperation in the development of Asia and Africa.
    "Report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Several Distorted Views on the Asian-African Conference'," May 11, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00004-14, 97-105. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114687
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[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China]

Department of European and African Affairs

11 May [1955]

Several Distorted Views on the Asian-African Conference

1. Colonialism

(1) Regarding the paragraph condemning “all kinds of colonialist behaviors” in the communiqué of the conference, the representatives of Turkey, the Philippines, Ceylon, Pakistan and Indonesia pointed out at the end of the conference and after the conference that they would “condemn not only the old colonialism”, but also lay more stress on “condemning the new communist colonialism”.

(2) The Ceylonese prime minister said that “the view of the Chinese premier on colonialism is different”, but he “agreed to this condemnation”.

(3) The spokesman of Egypt said that “Nasir also believes that a kind of colonialism exists in the communist side”.

(4) Public opinion in the USA, UK and France commented that the paragraph on colonialism was a “compromise proposal”, and “did not list the examples of old imperialism or the new communism”, which “is translated as that it even condemns the Soviet colonialism”.

2. “Collective Self-defense”

(1) The representatives of the American vassal countries which participated in the conference, such as Turkey, Pakistan, the Philippines, Ceylon and Lebanon expressed after the conference that the stipulations of the communiqué on “collective self-defense” (Article V and Article Vl of Peace Declaration) only reiterated the principle of “regional defense” of the UN Charter, and admitted that the participating countries had the right to join so-called “self-defense” organizations such as the Atlantic Treaty Organization and Manila Treaty Organization.

(2) Public opinion in the USA (according to the Reuters news from Washington) said that the people believed that the statement in the communiqué on the respect of each country’s right to “individually or collectively” arrange its own security and the non-use of the collective defense to “serve the special interests of any big country” at the same time reflected the compromise of the different interests of the representatives of Asia and Africa.

(3) Public opinion (Reuter’s news) in UK distorted Premier Zhou’s speech, saying that Premier Zhou once expressed that if the western countries continued to establish military alliances, China and its friendly neighbor would have to take the same method, which was taken as an indication of no objection by Premier Zhou to the Communiqué and Article V of the Peace Declaration.

(4) Nasir said that the Communiqué and Peace Declaration did not give any approval to “collective security treaty” (i.e. NATO and Manila Treaty Organization). Egypt strongly opposed any participation of big powers in the Arab or Middle East security treaty.

3. The United Nations

(1) The Representatives of American vassal countries such as Ceylon and Thailand stressed that “all participating countries, including China, enthusiastically maintained the authority and prestige of the UN”.

(2) The Indian Press Trust reported in explaining China’s attitude towards the UN that China “has noticed” that the resolutions such as the Right to Self-determination, the Declaration of Human Rights, etc meant “agreement” to the resolutions. Some other news agencies even extended the meaning as a change of China’s attitude towards the UN.

(3) The comment of the Indian Press Trust held that it was necessary for China to clearly express its attitude towards the UN resolutions passed in the past five years.

(4) The Reuters news reported that the stress of the communiqué on the increase of the representativeness of the Asian-African countries in the UN Security Council and the participation of a number of participating countries in the UN meant the revision of the UN Charter.

4. The Ten Principles of Peace and Cooperation

(1) The Turkish representative, Zoru, in his closing speech explained China’s agreement to the Ten Principles as the promise of a solution without resorting to the use of military force “despite any of its special issues” or the “domestic or international nature” of the issues. Kotalawela said that China had “undertaken” the obligation not to commit any invasive acts in Taiwan”.

(2) The AP news maintained that it was the “victory” of the west, as peaceful “coexistence” had been changed into “existence”.

(3) The Ceylonese prime minister said that the “sincerity” of mutual existence was yet to be proved by action.

(4) Ali of Pakistan said that the Ten Principles contained his seven-item proposal,

but “several items of the Five Principles of China and India were not included in the Bandung communiqué”.

5. Mutual Cooperation in the Development of the Asian and African Regional Economy

(1) Dulles said that the conference stimulated the interest of the USA to give“American Aid” in the regions where the conference represented. The US Information Service claimed that the conference encouraged the participating countries to continue to carry out friendly cooperation, including import of capital with countries other than those in this region.

(2) AFP said that the conference expressed that the door was still open to the west in regards to the economy.