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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 22, 1960

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN DEPUTY MINISTER GENG AND PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN KHAN ABDUR RAHMAN KHAN AT AMBASSADOR KHAN’S BANQUET FOR VICE PREMIER CHEN

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    Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Khan and Chinese Deputy Minister Geng discuss Sino-Afghani trade, Sino-Pakistani relations, and the status of Pakistani and Chinese nationals in Indonesia. While both officials express hope that Sino-Pakistani relations will improve and any Sino-Pakistani border issues will soon be resolved, Geng expresses his displeasure with Pakistan's long-standing opposition to the restoration of China's seat at the UN.
    "Memorandum of Conversation Between Deputy Minister Geng and Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Khan Abdur Rahman Khan at Ambassador Khan’s Banquet for Vice Premier Chen," August 22, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 203-00033-11. Translated by Anna Beth Keim. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117119
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Memorandum of Conversation Between Deputy Minister Geng and Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Khan Abdur Rahman Khan at Ambassador Khan’s Banquet for Vice Premier Chen

(not yet vetted by Deputy Minister Geng)

Time: 22 August 1960, 8:00 p.m.

Translator and Recorder: Zhang Longhai

(Following exchange of pleasantries)

Pakistani Ambassador: What activities does Foreign Minister Chen have tomorrow?  I would very much like to chat with him.

Deputy Minister Geng: Talks were held at 9 a.m. today.  China and Afghanistan are going to sign a trade agreement and issue a joint communiqué, and also a treaty of friendship and mutual non-aggression.

Pakistani Ambassador: How is Sino-Afghan trade?

Deputy Minister Geng: The volume of trade between China and Afghanistan is not large; in the past it was only 300,000 or 400,000 U.S. dollars.  There will be an increase after the new agreement is signed.  (The Pakistani ambassador also inquired about what goods China and Afghanistan send to each other.)

Pakistani Ambassador: China and Afghanistan are very friendly [with each other].  Pakistan also wishes to develop friendly relations with China.  In the past, the Pakistani prime minister and Chinese premier visited each other; from now on there should other visits—for example, cultural exchanges and trade.

Deputy Minister Geng: We have consistently desired to promote friendship between China and Pakistan.  When you have the chance to meet with the Pakistani ambassador to China (currently back in Pakistan to report on his work), please tell him that he could take the initiative more for some activities.

Pakistani Ambassador: Your Excellency should make efforts to promote Sino-Pakistani relations; Your Excellency can play an important role.  We hope that the promotion of Sino-Pakistani relations will begin with trade.

[Pause for dining]

Pakistani Ambassador: How are the problems between China and Indonesia?  Ambassador Huang Zhen is a very good friend of mine.

Deputy Minister Geng: As you know, China has many nationals in Indonesia.  The Indonesian government’s actions leave the Chinese nationals unable to make a living.  The Chinese nationals used to live in one village; the Indonesian government forced them to move to another village, and forbade them to take any property when they did so.  We cannot agree with this kind of action.  The Chinese nationals have lived in Indonesia for many generations.  If the Indonesian government is unwilling to recognize them as Indonesians, then it should treat them as foreigners.  They should have the freedom to leave Indonesia, and to take their property with them.  This is something we cannot agree with.  Do you also have nationals in Indonesia?

Pakistani Ambassador: Pakistan also has some nationals in Indonesia.  At present it is Chinese nationals who are suffering the most difficulties, then India, and thirdly us.  I had many ethnic Chinese friends when I was in Indonesia; they all worked very hard and honestly.  The wealth they’ve gained is due to their ability and hard work, and the Indonesian government is unwilling [to have this happen].

Deputy Minister Geng: The way they treat people from Holland and [other] Western countries is different.

Pakistani Ambassador: Holland occupied and exploited Indonesia for three hundred years; it left Indonesians without opportunities for education, or service.

Deputy Minister Geng: Your opinion is very good.  How is the situation in the Congo these last few days?

Pakistani Ambassador: There are some difficulties.

Deputy Minister Geng: It seems that what U.N. troops are currently doing in the Congo is different from what [U.N. Secretary General] Hammarskjöld said in the past.

Pakistani Ambassador: The U.N. troops have an arduous task there, and have met with some constraints; during Partition, Indians and Pakistanis also slaughtered each other.  But today the African people have stood up, and the era of “exploitation” will come to an end.  The exploiters are sucking blood there; they are white people.

Deputy Minister Geng: I agree with you.

Pakistani Ambassador: Relations between our two countries should be promoted, firstly in trade and culture.  Your Excellency should make efforts toward this.  Because you have lived in Pakistan.  Right now the Russians are conferring with us about petroleum development.  And Pakistan is closer to China.

Deputy Minister Geng: China’s situation is different from that of the Soviet Union — China is not as rich as the Soviet Union; we just began construction not long ago.  But we will certainly make efforts to help a friendly neighboring country if they need it. At present we are still deprived of our lawful seat at the United Nations, and our territory of Taiwan is still under occupation; based on our experience, on one hand [we must] of course carry on the struggle, but the main thing is to hurry and build up the nation, to have more industry and iron and steel, and a higher level of industry.  If you are powerful, problems are easy to solve.  So the main thing is to rely on oneself.  One should decide oneself what road to take.  We need peace, and to work hard on construction. Now there’s such a strange thing [happening] in the world — it’s said that China has invaded others’ [territory], when in fact it is our territory Taiwan that is still under invasion; to this day China is still suffering invasion and harm from others.  We are patient, because the people of the world are discerning; they will understand the truth.

Pakistani Ambassador: Pakistan is friendly toward China.  We applaud China’s accomplishments in construction; before very long, China will become the strongest nation.  China has abundant resources, it has people working industriously, and it has good management.  China’s territory should be returned to China.  Yes, every nation must depend on itself.  In Pakistan, since the establishment of the new regime, we have done quite a few things and made quite a lot of progress; this is not something that can be faked, you can see it in the newspapers — faking can’t be done for long.  Pakistan has to develop industry and education, and more importantly agriculture.  But the education issue is like light; it illuminates other areas [trans. note—i.e., well-educated people can effect needed change in many different areas.].  Pakistan has abundant resources, and the people are tough, so the problem now is to have good management and good leaders.  We have drafted a plan for construction, which is being implemented very well at present.  Pakistan and China are both new nations, and both have to build.  We are very friendly toward Asian and African nations, especially to neighbors.

Deputy Minister Geng: With Your Excellency’s permission, there’s an issue I would like to discuss.  Ever since China and Pakistan established diplomatic relations more than ten years ago, China has regarded Pakistan with true friendship [trans. note—this implies both desire for friendship and for well-being of friend]. The Pakistani government and people are friendly toward China.  But there is a problem.  Your Excellency can check the record for the last six years concerning the restoration of China’s lawful U.N. seat.  Although you say you sympathize and endorse our lawful seat, for six years in a row, in discussions about restoring China’s seat, your representative at the United Nations has opposed the restoration of China’s lawful seat.  We hope that you can act according to your own will, not in obedience to others, and thus our friendly relations can increase.  Your one vote may not make much difference, but regardless, this is not a friendly gesture.  We look at what [you] actually do. At the Foreign Ministry I am assigned to Southeast Asian countries.  I am willing to do all I can for friendship between the two countries—I stayed in Pakistan for three years and am close to many friends there; I hope you believe me.

Recently Pakistan wanted to discuss the Sino-Pakistani border; if you raise [the issue] formally, we are willing to consider it.

Pakistani Ambassador: I hope it can be resolved peacefully, and in an informal way.

Deputy Minister Geng: If you really want to resolve the border issues, we hope to resolve the entire length of the border all together.  There has never been a problem with the Sino-Pakistani border.  The Kanjut [Hunza] region historically had close links to China, [but] ever since it acceded to Pakistan, from the day it announced the accession, we haven’t said anything about it.

Pakistan Ambassador: I heard about that when I was in Pakistan, but I hope it can be peacefully resolved.

(Conversation ended due to departure of Afghan prime minister)