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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 24, 1955

SPEECH BY PREMIER ZHOU ENLAI AT THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Premier Zhou praises the delegates at the Bandung Conference for their work in opposing colonialism, safeguarding world peace, and promoting friendly cooperation among African and Asian countries, while beseeching them to join China in working towards the peaceful unification of Korea and eliminating the tension in the Taiwan area.
    "Speech by Premier Zhou Enlai at the Closing Session of the Asian-African Conference," April 24, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translation from China and the Asian-African Conference (Documents) (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1955), 29-31. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121624
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Honourable Chairman, Distinguished Delegates:

Our Conference has made achievements. On behalf of the Chinese Delegation, I would first like to offer thanks to the five Colombo powers for their initiative in sponsoring this Conference, to our hosts, the President, the people and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, for their warm hospitality, to the Chairman of our Conference, the Prime Minister of Indonesia, for his efforts, to all the delegations for their co-operation, and to the Joint Secretariat of the Conference and all those who have taken part in the work of the Conference for their valuable contribution.

The achievements of the Conference lie in the fact that understanding among Asian and African countries has made a good start or has been further promoted and that agreements on some major issues have been brought about in this Conference. These achievements will be of great help to our common task of opposing colonialism, safeguarding world peace and promoting friendly co-operation among us. This Conference has to a considerable extent satisfied the aspirations of the peoples of Asia and Africa and of the world.

This Conference has also reflected the fact that our approaches to and our views on many questions are different. We have also discussed in part our differences. However, such different approaches and views did not prevent us from achieving common agreements. We have been able to make achievements in opposing colonialism, safeguarding world peace, and promoting political, economic and cultural co-operation because we peoples of the Asian and African countries share the same fate and the same desires. For the same reason, I would like to declare once again that the Chinese people extend their full sympathy and support to the struggle of the peoples of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia for self-determination and independence, to the struggle of the Arab people of Palestine for human rights, to the struggle of the Indonesian people for the restoration of Indonesia's sovereignty over West Irian, and to the just struggle waged by all the peoples of Asia and Africa to shake off colonial oppression and win national independence and the people's freedom.

I wish to point out further that the Declaration on the Promotion of World Peace and Co-operation adopted by the Conference will help to relax international tension and, above all, the tension in the Far East. It is our view that full implementation of the agreements on the restoration of peace in Indo-China should be guaranteed by the parties concerned. The peaceful unification of Korea should speedily be sought by the parties concerned through negotiation. China and the United States should sit down and enter into negotiations to settle the question of relaxing and eliminating the tension in the Taiwan area; though, of course this should in no way affect the Chinese people's just demand for the exercise of their sovereign rights in liberating Taiwan.

Finally, I hope that the contacts among the Asian and African countries and the friendly intercourse among our peoples will become more frequent from now on.

I wish all the delegates good health and a happy voyage home.

(April 24, 1955)