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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 15, 1961

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN N.S. KHRUSHCHEV AND PRESIDENT SUKARNO

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Sukarno tells Khrushchev about his trip to China and the possibilities of Chinese annexation of Taiwan. Khrushchev says the USSR fully supports the PRC's actions. The parties also discuss the reorganization of the United Nations.
    "Record of a Conversation between N.S. Khrushchev and President Sukarno," June 15, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 52, op. 1, d. 565, ll. 68-70. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/270650
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RECORD OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN N. S. KHRUSHCHEV AND PRESIDENT SUKARNO

15 June 1961[1]

Travelling from Peking to Belgrade President Sukarno and those accompanying him stopped at Vnukovo Airfield. A breakfast was held in honor of the President during which a conversation was held between him and N. S. Khrushchev.

President Sukarno briefly informed N. S. Khrushchev about [their] visit in China, passed greetings to him personally and the other Soviet leaders from Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhou Enlai, and said that he had had a very warm conversation with Mao Zedong. A Treaty of Friendship between Indonesia and the China was ratified as a result of [their] visit in the PRC. A mass rally was held in Peking at which President Sukarno made a big speech. One of the main questions discussed with Mao Zedong was the question of the reunification of Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China.

President Sukarno said that there is a dual opinion on this question among the leaders of Indonesia and Indonesian political leaders: some think that the question of China can only be solved by recognizing the existence of one China in the world; others are of the opinion that at this time one could more rapidly solve this problem by going through two stages – first the admission of the PRC into the UN, and then solving the question of the reunification of Taiwan with China within the framework of this international organization. When Chen Yi, the PRC Minister of Foreign Affairs, was in Indonesia, said Sukarno, I asked him directly about the position of the government of China on this question and received the reply that the problem of the reunification of Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China can only be solved by the recognition of the existence of one China in the world.

In conversations Mao Zedong confirmed this position, and now the Indonesian government has no doubt how it should speak on this question. Consequently, continued Sukarno, I spoke at the mass rally in Peking with the motto “Only One China Exists in the World”. He asked further, what position the Soviet government takes on this question.

N. S. Khrushchev replied that the Soviet government completely supports the position of the PRC government.

President Sukarno asked N. S. Khrushchev whether he personally, as a revolutionary leader and theoretician, admits the possibility of solving the Taiwan problem by passing through two stages, and further said that during the period of the revolution in Indonesia the government had to repeatedly solve some complex problems not right away, but gradually, in several stages. In particular, the problem of the creation of initially the United States of Indonesia, and later the unitary Republic of Indonesia, from the tiny Indonesian Republic with a capital [tsentr] in Jakarta was solved by such a method.

N. S. Khrushchev said that during the Revolution V. I. Lenin allowed the solution of many complex questions by temporary compromises in those cases when it was difficult to solve them right away. For example, in a difficult period for it the Soviet government temporarily agreed to create the so-called Far East Republic with a capital in Vladivostok. V. I. Lenin defended the idea of the Brest Peace Treaty although, in accordance with it, Ukraine was torn away from young Soviet Republic, etc.

On the question of the reunification of Taiwan with the PRC, stressed N. S. Khrushchev, we consider the position of the government of China to be correct and, to avoid the possibility of unnecessary differences, we completely support this position.

Sukarno informed N. S. Khrushchev that at the upcoming conference of neutral countries which will evidently soon be held in Cairo he intends to again speak in support of the idea of the need to reorganize the UN and the creation of a UN Secretariat composed of representatives of the three groups of countries which exist on Earth.

Sukarno further said that he would like to make fun of the UN in that form in which it now exists, inasmuch as this international organization does not at all reflect the situation which has developed in the world. He asks N. S. Khrushchev’s opinion about such a tactical step.

N. S. Khrushchev said that he completely agrees that the UN be mocked, and spoke about the pressing need to change the entire structure of this organization. In confirmation of the fact that at the present time the activity of the economic bodies of the UN does not meet the needs of the peoples, he cited examples of the ineffectual recommendations of this organization concerning Angola and some other questions. Speaking of the infiltration of imperialist forces into UN bodies, N. S. Khrushchev pointed out that it is this very factor which prevents the solution of many urgent problems of modern times, including the question of returning West Irian to the Republic of Indonesia. The change of its constitution by the Netherlands for the sake of keeping West Irian and the support of the Netherlands’ position in this matter by the imperialists confirms that imperialist forces are working in the United Nations as they please. Should all this really be tolerated, asked N. S. Khrushchev, and he said that if such [things] continue further possibly the United States  will want to also include Indonesia into its territory.

President Sukarno warmly supported N. S. Khrushchev’s thoughts and said that he had repeatedly spoken about the UN in the company of his ministers in a very sharp form. He also agreed about N. S. Khrushchev’s statement that in its present composition the UN bears full responsibility for the murder of Patrice Lumumba and that the late Premier of the Republic of Congo was very far from Communism, although the imperialists also called him pro-Communist.  

N. S. Khrushchev said that in the evening he would speak on radio and television, presenting the substance of the conversations with Kennedy and share his impressions from the Vienna meetings with Sukarno.

Present at the conversation from the Soviet side were Cdes. L. I. Brezhnev, V. V. Kuznetsov, and N. A. Mikhaylov; and from the Indonesian side Ministers Leymana, A. Erpinpraja and Suharto.

The conversation was recorded by V. Sigayev

[1] The record of the conversation was not reviewed by N. S. Khrushchev.