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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 25, 1959

DEPUTY DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR HE YING RECEIVES INDONESIAN CHARGĂ© D'AFFAIRES SULEMAN AND DISCUSSES MATTERS RELATED TO SINO-PAKISTANI RELATIONS

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    He Ying and Suleman discuss the visit of a Chinese Muslim delegation from Taiwan to Pakistan and the state of Sino-Pakistani relations more generally.
    "Deputy Department Director He Ying Receives Indonesian Chargé d'Affaires Suleman and Discusses Matters Related to Sino-Pakistani Relations," July 25, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00609-08. Translated by Anna Beth Keim. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116936
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Deputy Department Director He Ying Receives Indonesian Chargé d'Affaires Suleman and Discusses Matters Related to Sino-Pakistani Relations

25 July 1959

Time: 25 July 1959, 3:00 p.m.

Location: Donglou Reception Room

Interpreter: Zhong Shukong

Recorder: Zheng Qinmei

Chargé d'Affaires Suleman: I have learned from the newspapers that the Chinese government protested to the Pakistani government regarding the Pakistani foreign minister’s reception of the Jiang [Chiang] clique’s “[Muslim] hajj delegation,” and I have also read several newspaper commentaries in a row [on this topic].  I would like to understand the background of this major incident in order to report it to my government.

Deputy Director He Ying: China and Pakistan are both Asian countries, and both are countries that participated in the Bandung Conference; we understand why the Chargé d'Affaires pays attention to the two countries’ relations.  I will now tell the Chargé d'Affaires about some of the circumstances and my personal views.  The Chinese government has always been willing to maintain and develop friendly relations with Pakistan based on the principles of the Bandung resolutions, and has made earnest efforts to do so, but on the Pakistani government’s side, especially in this recent period, there have emerged time and again statements and actions detrimental to Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, and blatant interference in China’s internal affairs. For example: In the United Nations, to this day [Pakistan] follows America’s stance on China’s right of representation.  In a letter to the Chinese embassy in Pakistan in October 1958, the Pakistani foreign ministry actually denied China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen [Quemoy] and Mazu.  On the issue of Tibet, some Pakistani officials in charge—including the foreign minister—issued slanderous remarks regarding China’s pacification of the rebellion in Tibet, which is purely a matter of Chinese internal affairs. [They] interfered in China’s internal affairs.  Although China has been extremely forbearing with regard to these extremely unfriendly statements and actions by Pakistan, we have also promptly issued warnings and protests to Pakistan around the time [these things happened]; but the current Pakistani government does not take these warnings and protests seriously at all.  For example, this time, when we learned that the Jiang clique’s so-called “hajj delegation” had arrived in Pakistan and was conducting activities to slander China and sabotage Sino-Pakistani relations, the attaché at our embassy in Pakistan acted on July 1st to raise this matter with the Pakistani foreign ministry, and demanded that these activities be stopped.  But the Pakistani government paid no heed to this; not only did it continue to tolerate these anti-Chinese activities, but what was especially serious was that the Pakistani foreign minister personally received this “delegation” of the Jiang clique on July 4th. So this incident cannot be viewed as isolated or coincidental.  It is the Pakistani government acting without regard for repeated damage to Sino-Pakistani relations and persistently following after America in the plot to create “two Chinas.”  It is not possible for this action by Pakistan not to arouse extreme indignation on the part of the Chinese people and the Chinese government.  There is a Chinese proverb:  “If this can be tolerated, what cannot?”  So this time we lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani government.  If Pakistan does not change its attitude, Sino-Pakistani relations will be damaged further.

Suleman: It is rumored that the Pakistani foreign minister didn’t receive the Jiang clique’s “delegation” at all.

He: After we sent out our official letter, we heard that a handful of Pakistani newspapers alleged that the Pakistani foreign minister had not received the Jiang clique’s “hajj delegation.”  But what is strange is that when all of Karachi’s major newspapers published the news of the Pakistani foreign minister receiving [the delegation], Pakistani officials were silent, and offered no denial.

Suleman: Yes, Pakistani officials have never denied it.

He:  Hong Kong and some other pro-Western newspapers have wantonly played up the story of the Pakistani foreign minister receiving the Jiang clique’s “hajj delegation.”  The Pakistani government’s aforementioned actions can only injure our friends and delight our enemies. We acted this time to lodge a strong protest with the Pakistani government, and publically announce this matter, because there was no alternative; it was a measure that had to be taken to protect the principles of the Bandung resolution, and enable Sino-Pakistani relations to develop normally on the basis of the Bandung principles.  

Suleman: I agree with what you said about it only injuring friends and delighting enemies.  Indonesia attaches much importance to China’s diplomatic actions, and at the same time, Indonesia’s foreign policy does its best to urge Asian and African nations to unite so that Western nations cannot sow discord.  Hearing you explain the situation just now, I understand that the Chinese government lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani government and publically announced the matter because they could endure it no longer.  You have indeed already shown the greatest possible degree of patience and restraint.  I will report what you have said in detail to my government, so that it can better understand China’s attitude toward this incident and toward Sino-Pakistani relations.

After an exchange of pleasantries, the Indonesian Chargé d'Affaires took his leave of Deputy Department Director He.