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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 15, 1954


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

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    Zhang Qingfa reports on the Indonesian reactions to the Asian-African Conference, including a lengthy article by an Indonesian journalist promoting economic cooperation among the Afro-Asian countries.
    "Cable from Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, 'Regarding Reactions to the Asian-African Conference Announcement'," November 15, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00002-04, 109-111. Translated by Jeffrey Wang.
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Forward to: [Chen] Jiakang, Gong Peng

Priority Level: Rush

From: Indonesia

Date: 1954 November 15

Already forwarded to: Zhou [Enlai], Deng [Xiaoping], Chen, Xi [Zhongxun], Foreign Ministry, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, Military Unified [Command], Military Intelligence

Regarding the Reactions towards the Afro-Asian Conference

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Unified [Command] Department:

(1) Sukarno answered an ANTARA journalist on the 10th [of November]: “Colombo Conference” countries will be holding a conference on December 28th to 30th at the Bogor Presidential Palace; and the Afro-Asian Conference will probably be held in late February or early March [1955] at Bandung. It was claimed that many invited countries are preparing to attend. On the same day, during a commemorative assembly celebrating “Hari Pahlawan” [Hero's Day] in Jakarta; the assembly mentioned “respecting and supporting” the Afro-Asian Conference which invited all Asian and African countries to attend.

(2) On the 9th, Indonesian journalist Wu-dou-yu-su-duo-duo [sic] (currently investigating his background) wrote an evaluation with the title “Afro-Asian Conference and Economic Cooperation.” He claimed: Common history, fate and interests have caused Afro-Asian countries to be closer to each other; on the issue of colonialism and the issue of economic cooperation not only is there no contradiction, there are common needs; therefore there are great hopes for Afro-Asian countries in fulfilling work on the economic and political side together. Western European countries formed the “Organization for European Economic Cooperation” and its “extended” European Payments Union in order to overcome economic difficulties caused by World War II; [the Western Europeans] received great benefits from commerce and payment relationships. But suppose we can create an equivalent organization to the above described organization without American aid; we can further study the four basic spirits of European economic cooperation organization.

1. Increase production

2. Improve regional commerce relationships

3. Stabilize finances through “convertibility” (convertible [sic])

4. Distribution of important material according to the needs of each country

Further claim: Since [we] hope that economic cooperation between Afro-Asian countries can be like the content and organization of Europe’s cooperation organization; why not study the possibility of the four points above in order to provide models.

1. Economic development is an important issue faced by Afro-Asian countries. All [these countries] lack capital and human resources, hence they can cooperate with each other on economic development. As for capital, outside aid is required; resolve [the issue of capital] through the United Nations or other international organizations like “International Monetary Fund” “World Bank” as much as possible. But must avoid aid from any particular side as much as possible.

2. It is very important to expand regional and cross-regional commerce, it is also beneficial; hopefully the British Commonwealth countries can relax their policy of commerce restrictions.

3. Afro-Asian countries are actually divided into blocs [such as] the British pound, the American Dollar, the Dutch guilders and the French Franc. Therefore unified conversion should be sought after in order to stabilize finances. An “Afro-Asian payment union” similar to the “European payment union” should be created.

4. The issue of distributing important material can be easily resolved by methods of common production or import combined with [common] storage.

The newspaper finally explained: Although the “South East Asia Treaty Organization” which is preparing for a new war also has a plan to aid backward Asian countries; [the South East Asia Treaty Organization] should not worry that it will have clashes of interest with the Afro-Asian Economic Cooperative Organization because the latter has economic development and world peace as its objective.

(3) The five countries’ prime ministers at the Colombo Conference once discussed the issue of “South East Asia economic cooperation”. Indonesia is especially enthusiastic about taking steps to establish a “regional economic organization.”

(4) Organized Afro-Asian Conference system material: after July and especially near January, the Ali [Sastroamidjojo] government will be busy dealing with cabinet shuffling and will not have time to deal with major international events; public opinion seldom discusses the Afro-Asian Conference with the exception of a section of “Ali [Sastroamidjojo] cabinet’s foreign policy” and various continued reports of active material after June; currently it is difficult to organize system material.

Zhong Qingfa

November 15