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December 24, 1962

Cable from Yao Zhongming, 'Conversation with Sukarno'

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Conversation with Sukarno


[To] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs:


Sukarno met me in Bogor this morning. When Sukarno and several invited envoys were enjoying entertainment programs in Bogor last Saturday evening, Subandrio talked with me about his and Mrs. [Sirimavo] Bandaranaike’s visit to Beijing. He said that Sukarno changed his mind and would not allow him to make the visit in a short time. He told me to have a direct conversation with Sukarno on the spot, but I declined because it was “inconvenient for public attention.” Then he entrusted the Secretary of the State to arrange a meeting between Sukarno and I as soon as possible, so it seems that he [Sunbandrio] wanted to change Sukarno’s mind and allow him to visit Beijing.


Afterwards, the Ministry instructed that the timing of Subandrio’s visit to China should be left to take its natural tendency and that I no longer should take the initiative to urge him. So the focus of my talk with Sukarno shifted somewhat.


I first told Sukarno when Mrs. Bandaranaike would go to Beijing and how long she would stay in China. Then I said that the persons dispatched by the other participating countries in the Six-Nation Conference were welcome to visit China at the same time as or at a different time from Mrs. Bandaranaike and that China hoped for Indonesia to push other countries in respect to this issue. I asked him for his ideas on the Six-Nation Conference. I said that some people proposed to convene a conference of Non-Aligned countries, allowing Yugoslavia to have a hand in the Sino-Indian boundary issue, but China would not agree to this.


Sukarno remarked that:


1. As for the Six-Nation Conference, the meeting nearly failed because of the activities carried out by [Ali] Sabri of the United Arab Republic under the influence of India, but thanks to the efforts of Ne Win, Subandrio, and other people, the meeting finally passed a resolution that it would not take sides with any party and decided to dispatch Mrs. Bandaranaike to visit Beijing and Delhi. Sabri’s proposal was not agreed upon at the meeting and a decision different from Sabri’s proposal was made, so it is presumed that India would not support this decision and Nehru would not honor the decision of the Six-Nation Conference. It has been confirmed now from the information obtained from each party that India is not willing to accept the of the Six-Nation Conference and this may be the reason why India does not consent to Mrs. Bandaranaike’s first visiting Delhi. Sukarno hoped that China would take the advice of the Six-Nation Conference. This would not only compel India to retreat, which is conducive to the settlement of the Sino-Indian dispute, but also offer China an opportunity to show the world another time that China has displayed great sincerity, which will certainly enhance China’s position in Asia.


2.  As for China’s hope that representatives of other participating countries would also visit Beijing, it is very good from a political and strategic perspective. Last week, Ceylon requested that Sudan De Rio accompany Mrs. Bandaranaike to Beijing and Indonesia consented in principle, but as there were some new trends in the struggle in Irian Jaya, the Netherlands refused the request of the delegation of Irian Jaya to shorten the period of rule under the United Nations and attempted to violate the decision of completely turning over Irian Jaya to Indonesia. Therefore, Indonesia must carry out further struggle and now the delegation of Irian Jaya has been ordered to go to the United Nations. This was the situation faced by Indonesia a week ago, so it is necessary for Subandrio to stay in Jakarta so that he can discuss and consider the actions that can be taken. But if the Irian Jaya issue mitigates, Subandrio will be dispatched to China. The talks between Chinese leaders and Mrs. Bandaranaike are very urgent. In subsequent time, I will discuss and report this matter and the issue of facilitating representatives of other countries to visit China. With respect to convening a meeting of Non-Aligned countries, he only shook his head to express his disagreement.


Lastly I said that I could not comment on the proposal of the Six-Nation Conference because I had not read it. With respect to his consideration of the timing of Subandrio’s visit to China, his decision would be fully honored by us. There would be no problem if Subandrio visited China at the same time as Mrs. Bandaranaike or if his visit was delayed.


Sukarno again said that he agreed in principle to Subandrio’s visiting China and he said he would discuss this with Subandrio this afternoon.


When I went to leave, he asked me to stay a while and talk about the visit of Chairman Mao Zedong and Chairman Liu Shaoqi.


Yao Zhongming

24 December 1962


Yao Zhongming and Sukarno talked about the Six-Nation Conference and its implications for the Sino-Indian border conflict. Besides, the issue of Subandrio and Mrs. Bandaranaike visiting China was also discussed.

Document Information


PRC FMA 105-01787-06, 108-111. Obtained by Dai Chaowu and translated by 7Brands.


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Memorandum of Conversation


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