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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 08, 1965

RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN VICE FOREIGN MINISTER QIAO GUANHUA AND NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR IN CHINA PAK SE-CHANG

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Qiao Guanhua and Pak Se-chang discuss preparations for the Second Asian-African Conference, revealing their views on the potential participation of South Vietnam, South Korea, and the Soviet Union.
    "Record of Conversation between Vice Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua and North Korean Ambassador in China Pak Se-chang," June 08, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-00836-20, 32-39. Translated by Jake Tompkins. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118874
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Record of Conversation between Vice Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua and [North] Korean Ambassador in China Pak Se-chang, 8 June 1965

Time: 8 June 1965, 5:30pm

Location: East Foreign Ministry Building Reception Room

In Attendance: Vice Minister Liu Xianglun

Translator: Tang Yingbin

Recorder: Zhang Qi

Synopsis:

The [North] Korean ambassador introduced the Algerian Special envoy [Mohamed] Yazid to discuss [North] Korean participation in the [Second] Asian-African Conference. Yazid primarily raised the following topics to the [North] Korean representative:

1. Tshombe's participation in the [Asian-African] Conference; 

2. Vietnam's participation in the [Asian-African] Conference;

3. Malaysia's participation in the [Asian-African] Conference;  

4. Participation of the South Korean puppets in the [Asian-African] Conference;  

5. The USSR's participation in the [Asian-African] Conference;  

6. Ben Bella's opening address.

They also discussed China and [North] Korea's approval of Algeria's opposition to the participation of Tshombe and the South Vietnamese puppets in the conference and expressed wishes for representatives from the South Vietnamese Liberation Front [the Viet Cong] to attend as well. They expressed complete disapproval of the USSR participating.

After the introduction by the [North] Korean ambassador, Vice Minister Qiao raised the topic of the past two days of the 7th Standing Committee meaning, the issue of a permanent structure [for the Asian-African Conference], and that of the Chinese and Vietnamese delegations' date of departure for participation in the Asia-Africa Conference.

(After greetings are exchanged)

Ambassador Pak [Se-chang]: I've come with our brother, the envoy from Algeria to discuss matters. After the envoy's arrival in [North] Korea, he met with our Foreign Ministry on 6 June, and he met with leader Kim [Il Sung] yesterday (the 7th). The Algerian envoy discussed a total of six points with us:

1. Concerning the question of Tshombe, Algeria has chosen not to issue an invitation because the majority of Asian and African countries oppose Tshombe. It would be improper to issue him an invitation.

2. As for South Vietnam, Algeria has decided not to invite the puppets from Saigon to participate, and instead to invite representatives from the South Vietnamese Liberation Front to attend as observers.

3. In regards to Malaysia, Yazid only mentioned that Algeria has sent an envoy to discuss this issue with Sukarno.

4. Regarding South Korea, though the decision was made at Jakarta to invite them, Algeria has yet to issue said invitation. He said that Algeria has decided to maintain this position until the Foreign Ministers' Conference at which point they will meet and again consider the situation.

5. On the question of the participation of the USSR, he has expressed that Algeria's position is a difficult one. Algeria has difficulty taking an active stance on this issue.

6. Lastly, on the topic of Ben Bella's inauguration speech, he said that Ben Bella's speech will not be one of etiquette and formality, rather one that will set the course for the conference as well as clarify his own positions.

After Yazid explained Algeria's positions, we discussed our own attitudes on the aforementioned topics.

Firstly, we expressed our approval of their decision not to allow Tshombe and the South Vietnamese puppets to attend the conference. We hope that representatives from the South Vietnamese Liberation Front will be allowed to attend as formal delegates representing South Vietnam. We told them that this is our wish. We also explained to the Algerian representative that the South Vietnamese puppets are simply cronies of imperialism and cannot represent South Vietnam. Additionally, we told the envoy that we take a position of utter opposition to the question of the USSR's participation in the conference. Finally, we will certainly raise the flag of revolution high at this conference's meeting, increasing cohesion in the struggle of the Asian and African peoples. We wish them success in their struggle.

These were basically the topics of our conversation with the Algerian envoy.

Additionally, in order to help our Algerian counterpart understand the situation of South Korea, we provided a set of materials such as proof that South Korea is actively deploying troops to South Vietnam, etc.

Our primary goal at this conference is to clarify our positions to Algeria, and to wish that our coming together for the Asia-Africa Conference will bring about significant achievements.

When I picked him up at the airport early this morning he said that this meeting was very successful, he is quite satisfied with the results.

Vice Minister Qiao [Guanhua]: Thank you for your explanation.

After Yazid returned to Beijing yesterday, we received him on behalf of the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization and invited him to a meal, since Yazid is the Algerian chairman of the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization. He told us that Algeria is prepared to raise high the flag of opposition to imperialism and colonialism. Yesterday we were rather busy and unable to receive him, so [Vice] Premier Chen Yi met him at the airport this afternoon to speak with him for a while. He is very satisfied with the meeting with North Korea. I asked him, “What do you think of South Korea attending the conference?”  They said that they completely support North Korea's position and that they want to try it and see.

Pak: They said they will wait until the Foreign Ministers' conference and continue observation.

Qiao: Alright, then we will both continue to work hard.

Algeria has some experience. There was a time in their history where their situation was similar to that of present day Vietnam. We hope they will continue their work. We hope that by holding this conference in Algeria, we can help to spread their influence. This discussion has clarified some previous questions, indicating that the work we have done with them has been of some use.

In addition, we discussed the question of whether or not to establish a permanent structure to these conferences after the conclusion of this one. We expressed our position, which is that it would be best not to. He said that this problem should be easy to handle, and that he will pass our opinions on the Ben Bella.

Pak: Do they wish to establish a permanent structure [for the Asian-African Conference]?

Qiao: He thinks that if we are to establish such a system, that we should do so in Algeria, just as Indonesia wants to do something similar in their country. He says that the matter should be easy to handle, but in reality it's not that he doesn't want to do it. If we are to do it, we should do it in Algeria, or not at all.

Our position is that even though everyone agrees that we should hold the conferences in Beijing, we do not want to do it, it would be very inconvenient. It would take a large amount of energy, so we do not want to argue about this in future. Last time we met with [Foreign Minister] Subandrio, he agreed that we should not establish such a system, but the Indonesian Vice Foreign Minister, Mme. Supeai, has advocated such a system when visiting China in the past. It's possible that they still had not notified her. These are matters that concern Yazid.

As for the matter of the standing committee, the telegrams we have received are still not complete. But there is something we can discuss.

As for the economic issue, we have expressed that we do not approve of the standing committee writing a document of our collective comments on the United Nations Trade and Development Conference in Geneva. We spoke on this matter all day on both the 4th and 5th. There are some right now who support our stance. The result of our deliberation is that the standing committee will not write a formal document; rather, send a record to the Foreign Ministers' Conference along with an ordered letter showing the topics we discussed for their reference. But, this letter could become a formal document. Even if it is formally written by Algeria, we will still have a look before it is sent.

As for the opposition to the Saigon puppets and Park Chung Hee clique attending the conference, we three nations have done well. They are preparing to bring up these two issues at the same time, but up until now there has never been any result. I estimate that they will certainly fail in creating a partnership. There are some who choose to advocate on this issue and some who choose not to. They will argue about it; one way or another they will argue about this kind of thing, but once they're done arguing they can bring the issue to the Foreign Ministers' Conference.

Has your delegation solidified their plans?

Pak: We still have not heard who will be included in our delegation, nor when they will leave.

Qiao: Comrade Zhou Enlai is currently out making visits; he plans to go to Algeria to have talks before the conference.

Pak: He won't return to Beijing before the conference?

Qiao:  He will. Comrade Zhou Enlai left for Tanzania today. He will come back before going to Algeria. I think our delegation will leave a little early. Since they will go to the United Arab Republic [Egypt] first, they should leave early. However, we won't decide the exact date until Comrade Zhou Enlai comes back. We'll let you know as soon as we've decided.   

Pak: Thank you very much.

Qiao: We can cooperate. Once the Vice Premier of Vietnam, Comrade Nguyen Duy Trinh, is done visiting Africa he can go directly to the conference. Aside from him there is also a group of comrades who plan to leave Hanoi on the 14th, arrive in Beijing on the 15th, and then go to Algeria. Lastly, there is Prime Minister Pham Van Dong who still has not decided when to leave for the conference. We've been handling these issues over the past few days.

Pak: Yes, as the time for the conference nears, we'll be more and more busy.

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