Zhou Enlai and Nehru discuss French and Portuguese colonialism in India and China, the Sino-American conflict, conflict in the Taiwan Straits, and the China issue at the United Nations.
October 26, 1954
Minutes of the Fourth Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and Nehru
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
Minutes of Premier Zhou Enlai’s Fourth Meeting with Prime Minister Nehru
Time: 26 October 1954, 3:45 pm-4:20 pm
China’s accompanied attendee: Pu Shouchang (interpreter and recorder)
India’s accompanied attendees: Pi-lai [sic], Nedyam Raghavan, Bai-chun-hui [sic] (interpreter)
Nehru: I would like to talk with you about two or three issues.
First, with respect to the Indonesian prime minister’s invitation for you to visit Indonesia, I said you had better go there after the situation was clear. I thought about this matter later. Judging from the situation, as far as I know, no new incidents will occur. So if it is convenient for you, it is worthwhile for you to visit Indonesia. Of course, it will depend on other issues.
Zhou: I have talked with the Indonesian ambassador about this issue. The visit seems unlikely to happen this year because there are only two months left. In November, I have to manage work in China because I cannot manage some work, especially the Five-Year Plan, when I’m abroad. As you know, the targets for our Five-Year Plan have not been determined yet. In December, Burma’s prime minister U Nu will visit China, and the Communist Party of China will hold a meeting. So, maybe my visit to Indonesia will fall next year, and I have told the Indonesian ambassador this expectation. The Indonesian ambassador said his president would be unavailable to visit China until next year. As for the specific time, we think we may visit Indonesia first.
Nehru: The second issue is only mentioned to remind you. Some changes have taken place in Pakistan. The Constituent Assembly was dismissed, and the cabinet was dismissed by the governor. The Pakistani prime minister was left in office to maintain the situation. Therefore, the political position of the prime minister has been greatly weakened. It is said that the election will be held soon. All these [circumstances] indicate Pakistan’s crisis. The third issue I would like to talk about is that Yugoslavia’s marshal Josip Broz Tito will visit India in two or two and a half months. He is of course welcome to visit India, but his visit this time is not to discuss some specific issues.
Zhou: As for Yugoslavia, I would like also to air my opinion. Recently, Yugoslavia has held generally good attitudes, and it conveyed its willingness to work toward world peace. Yugoslavia also showed some positive attitudes; for example, it does not agree to European secession. Yugoslavia has expressed its willingness to establish normal relations with China, and China will consult with Yugoslavia with respect to this issue. We will not refuse but will cooperate with any country that is willing to work for world peace. Mrs. Vikram Pandit said she would visit Yugoslavia, and I hope you will motivate Tito when he visits India this time.
Nehru: I would like to mention another issue. As you know, Canada made a proposal in the United Nations. Later, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States agreed to make the proposal with Canada, although the United does not attach great importance to the proposal. Now, the Soviet Union also wants to join them as a proposer. Our representative played a part in assistance, and he obtained some explanations and statements of the two parties’ stances. We offered a little assistance in a friendly manner.
Zhou: This is the first time that the four powers and Canada have made a joint proposal in the United Nations with India’s assistance. This indicates that the Soviet Union has the intention for reconciliation. The United Kingdom and France hold a good attitude, but the United States holds a bad attitude even under such circumstances. We know such issues take time.
Nehru: In addition, I would like to talk about the Korean issue. I have reported your opinions to Mr. Krishna Menon. I received his telegram reply this morning. He said sixteen countries were drafting a report. The report had not been signed and remained a draft. But the United States had already had some disputes with the United Kingdom and some other countries. The United States insisted that the United Nations supervise the election of North Korea, but China and North Korea will not agree to this practice. The United Kingdom hoped the United States would agree in not a very rigid way so that the United States would not be fettered by itself. We hope that the report just states the facts and makes no suggestions; otherwise, it will trigger some disputes. We hope the United Nations will avoid making any decision in this respect. We think this way will lead to success.
Zhou: You mean this report will make no suggestions?
Nehru: If there are some suggestions, such suggestions will be bad. This will make the United Nations admit that the Geneva Conference is continuing.
Mr. Menon thinks that it is unadvisable to suggest holding another conference. Consultations shall be made before a conference is held. After the way-out is found, it is feasible to consider continuing the Geneva Conference or holding a conference similar to the Geneva Conference. But we are willing to deem that the Geneva Conference is continuing rather holding a new conference.
You suggested that India attends the conference. We think it is unadvisable to take this as a condition because difficulties will arise. The best way is to resume the Geneva Conference first and then to propose suggestions at the conference rather than any country proposing suggestions.
Zhou: If it is possible to hold the Geneva Conference again, the second step is to invite India and other Southeast Asian countries, and this is a good way. But this way is on the precondition that the Geneva Conference can be held again.
Nehru: Our whole ideas are as follows. First, we think the Geneva Conference is continuing and has not ended yet, so this will make the United Nations indirectly accept our stance. Second, the Armistice Commission for Korea should continue to exist. Third, the United Nations should not pass any rigid resolutions or proposals because such resolutions or proposals will hinder our progress.
Zhou: I absolutely agree.
Nehru: You have said that the conference may be held in Geneva or New Delhi. Some difficulties may arise in holding the conference in New Delhi, and holding [the conference] in Geneva would be a better choice.
Zhou: Holding it in Geneva is fine, but it does not seem proper to discuss Asian issues not in Asia but in Geneva. But we will not disagree if the two parties intend to hold the conference in Geneva.
Nehru: We are willing to hold the conference in New Delhi, but we hope that misunderstandings or difficulties will not arise.
Zhou: After the recent political changes, how is Pakistan’s future? Although it is difficult to make predictions, I would like to learn about your opinion.
Nehru: It was recently said that Pakistan will hold an election. But in my opinion, they are not eager to do so because they want to maintain the status quo. Pakistan’s last government did so, and it did not resign until it could no longer maintain the situation. They attempted to have more time in power by promising to hold the elections soon. And the draft of the constitution has been abolished. If the election is held and is fair (this point is very important), the current leaders will suffer losses. The elections held in Pakistan in the past were corrupt and pre-arranged. But I still believe that most of the current leaders will be replaced if the election is to be held.
I have had several talks with you, and I benefited a lot from these talks. I earnestly look forward to more talks with you because such talks are beneficial for mutual understanding, but maybe such talks have to be postponed until the next stage.
Zhou: I hope the formalities will be stressed less in our future contacts because our mutual visits have [only] begun. Increasing the contacts between individuals is beneficial for the peace of Asia and the world at large. I hope formalities will be stressed less when I visit India next time because in this way, the contacts will be more comfortable and efficient.
Nehru: You might complain, but you used so much etiquette in receiving me this time.
Zhou: I am not complaining. I mean future contacts may be made more casual.
Nehru: Absolutely agreed.
(Premier Zhou handed over three materials to Prime Minister Nehru: maps of China’s islands which are illegally occupied by the United States and Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek]; statistics on the invasions of the United States military airplanes into China’s territorial air space and aerial delivery of spies; and statistics on Jiang Jieshi’s marine forces invading and harassing foreign vessels.)
Zhou Enlai and Nehru touch on issues related to Yugoslavia, Pakistan, the Geneva Conference, and Indonesia.
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