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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1964

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'AMBASSADOR YAO, PLEASE SET AN APPOINTMENT WITH SUBANDRIO'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry responding to a previous cable sent by Ambassador Yao Zhongming, describing a discussion with Subandrio about a recent Chinese nuclear test. The Foreign Ministry suggests that Subandrio, by suggesting a that the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva should invite China, is collaborating with "imperialists and the revisionists in their conspiracy to oppose the nuclear test in China." The Ministry asks to set up an appointment with Subandrio to clearly express China's disagreement with his suggestion, including in the cable specific answers to the previous suggestions Subandrio made to Yao.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Ambassador Yao, Please Set an Appointment with Subandrio'," October 27, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-01870-01. Obtained and translated by Taomo Zhou. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121563
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Ambassador Yao [Zhongming],

We have received your telegram on the 21st and the 22nd [of October].

We agree with what you said in your previous meeting with Subandrio. Subandrio suggested that the Conference on Disarmament among eighteen countries in Geneva should invite China and a number of Afro-Asian countries. By saying this, he actually struck up a different tune to our proposal to convene a summit conference of all the countries of the world. He is collaborating with the imperialists and the revisionists in their conspiracy to oppose the nuclear test in China. It seems that Subandrio is not only trying to give us a hard time, but also trying to use this as an opportunity to start negotiating with the United States and the Soviet Union. Therefore, we have to clearly express that we would never agree with his suggestion, and we have to resolutely destroy his trickery. Please set an appointment with Subandrio and tell him that according to instructions from the Chinese government, you will convey the following replies to the suggestion he offered in your previous meeting:

1. The Chinese government would like to express its gratefulness towards Your Excellency’s complete affirmation towards the nuclear explosion in China and towards your position that China should have its own nuclear weapons. President Sukarno warmly congratulated [Chinese] Ambassador [to Indonesia] Huang Zhen on the success of nuclear test in China, and expressed his full support towards China’s proposal to convene a summit conference of all the countries of the world, which encouraged us greatly.

2. On the Conference on Disarmament among eighteen countries in Geneva, the Chinese government understands that this conference is organized by a United Nations resolution. The Chinese government has repeatedly declared that, before the recovery of China’s legitimate rights at the United Nations, we will never participate in any conference related to the United Nations. This is the unswerving position of the Chinese government and the Chinese people. The Conference on Disarmament among eighteen countries is manipulated by a few big powers, and is used to implement their policies of nuclear monopoly and nuclear blackmail. Indonesia, a country which adamantly opposes imperialism, has not participated in that conference. The conference does not reflect the will of the peoples of the world, and has not achieved any results in the past two years. Even if a couple of Afro-Asian countries get involved, the fundamental characteristic of the conference cannot be changed. The Chinese government understands that Your Excellency put forward the suggestion with good will. However, it is actually impossible to discuss the issues of general disarmament and complete prohibition of nuclear weapons at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, which is controlled by a minority of big powers. As Your Excellency knows, the issues of general disarmament and complete prohibition of nuclear weapons are closely related to the critical interests of the peoples of the world, and has to undergo discussions and negotiations in which all the countries of the world participate equally.

3. The Chinese government puts forward the proposal to convene a summit conference of all the countries of the world based upon the aforementioned conditions. We advocate that in the first place, the countries that currently own or will soon own nuclear weapons should assume the obligation not to use nuclear weapons. This is not only imperative for preventing nuclear war and for safeguarding world peace, but also reasonable and simple to implement. If this cannot be accomplished, the so-called advocacy for disarmament and complete prohibition of nuclear weapons can only be regarded as hypocritical and deceitful. This proposal by the Chinese government has already received positive responses and enthusiastic support from quite a few Afro-Asian countries. Of course, it is strongly opposed by the American imperialists and other countries that advocate for nuclear monopoly and carry out a policy of nuclear blackmail. For the early elimination of the threats of nuclear war, we welcome any measure that helps promote the fruition of China’s proposal.

Please inform [KPI Party Secretary] Comrade [Dipa Nusantara] Aidit about the content of the above message and your previous conversation with Subandrio, and solicit his advice.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

27 October 1964