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December 20, 1959

Recommendations for Preparing a Large Welcome for International Chinese

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation

Lately there has been a trend of anti-Chinese exclusionism in Indonesia. The appearance of this trend is surely not a coincidence. It is the same as the anti-Chinese trend that emerged this year in India. It is a sign of the development of the reactionary nature of a nationalist state’s moneyed class. It is also the result of imperialistic countries’ alternating tactics of intimidation and bribery to mangle their relations with socialist countries. After Indonesia won its independence, the moneyed class could not possibly fulfill its obligation to resist imperialism. It had even less of a chance of resolving land disputes, development problems for national economies, etc. Their domestic economy declined; people became progressively less pleased; the influence of the Communist Party expanded every day; class struggle sharpened; the stability of the ruling faction became less and less secure. At the same time, our national strength did not stop growing, leaving a greater and greater impression on the Indonesian people, leaving the Indonesian ruling faction restless and terrified. Therefore, Indonesia followed in India’s footsteps, blaming international Chinese as the cause for anti-Chinese exclusionism. They hoped to slight our national influence, fanning the emotions of national chauvinism, diverting their people’s sightlines from the goals of their struggle, puncturing the progressive force of that state’s Communist Party—all in an effort to lay a smooth path for military dictatorship.


In order to break up this conspiracy of the Indonesian government, we dealt a blow to their anti-Chinese exclusionary rhetoric: the rumors spread around by imperialism and foreign reactionaries, which say that we were using our “oversize” population to “expand outward,” that we were taking advantage of international Chinese to “stage an overthrow”—these rumors self-destructed. Representing our government, the comrade Foreign Minister Chen Yi completely resolved the international Chinese issue in Indonesia on 9 December. He expressed three recommendations to Subandrio, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, while also requesting that all exclusionary activity immediately end in Indonesia. He requested that Indonesia quickly produce ratification letters to approve the dual citizenship treaty. Apart from requesting that Indonesians guarantee Chinese internationals’ equal rights and opportunities, he specifically mentioned that our state was preparing to absorb displaced Chinese internationals as well as those who no longer desired to be expatriates. In this way we have taken full reasonableness in our hands and relegated the Indonesian ruling faction to a submissive, passive position. In the Indonesian Foreign Minister’s reply of 11 December, although he did not dare to reject our recommendations outright, he still chose to quibble unreasonably, devising excuses for continuing exclusionary measures and obstructing the fulfillment of our recommendations.


Therefore, from these beginnings it was quite hard to believe that Indonesia’s present anti-Chinese exclusionary demonstrations would stop, and still harder to imagine that international Chinese’s troubles in Indonesia would be brought to a decisive end. Struggle is, after all, a long and complicated process. Our strategy in this struggle is to consolidate our power for the destruction of imperialism and Indonesian reactionaryism. It is necessary to begin a mandatory struggle against the Indonesian government’s deployment of anti-Chinese exclusion. It is also crucial to allow for unforeseen circumstances. For the time being, do not criticize [President] Sukarno [1901 – 1970] by name.


In order to fruitfully complement our international relations struggle, aside from continuing to support Chinese internationals’ self-defense against evictions, we must foster the growing momentum for a generous swath of internationals to immigrate to China. (First and foremost, we have to motivate 50,000 or more of Indonesia’s important skilled factory and mine workers, growers, economists and businessmen to immigrate to China. This will put added pressure on Indonesia.) To this end, domestically we must make warm welcomes and prepare large-scale living accommodations or incoming Chinese internationals. The Central Committee is prepared to withdraw about 600,000 Chinese internationals for the year 1960. In the coming eight years, it has been determined that 3 to 5 million Chinese internationals will be withdrawn from throughout the world. Specific plans will be relayed by the Chinese Expatriate Committee (summary).


In order to compliment this struggle, the relevant cities, autonomous regions and related departments must immediately enact a series of projects. The first is to seriously complete the work of preparing accommodations for and welcoming the returning international students. This is a grave political responsibility. If this is done properly it will not only ignite returning Chinese internationals’ fervor for participating in the fatherland’s construction. It will also have an immensely heartening and educational effect on Chinese internationals in other regions. It is particularly necessary to complete the first directive.


The second project for returning Chinese internationals, in order to tug still more Chinese back from Indonesia, will be to make large scale living arrangements for the accumulation of experiences for the incoming Chinese internationals and international students. In making arrangements for incoming Chinese internationals and international students, the strategy of “concentration first and support from dispersion” should be implemented. In order to monitor their lifestyles and cultivate their strengths, thus facilitating management, large scale living arrangements should be made for Chinese in Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Yunnan and other province’s new and expanded state-owned expatriate farms and nongonvernmental farms. They will plant rubber trees and other Asian tropical cash crops. A portion of the economically skilled personnel and laborers can be resettled in the factories and mines of various cities and provinces. A portion that wishes to resettle in their hometown and reunite with relatives can be transported to their hometown. Capital brought back by returning Chinese must be subject to a lenient check. It will be tax-exempt as a rule. Announce that it is forbidden to extract donations, investment, or savings deposits from personal property under any circumstances. Goods and materials that have been brought back, such as market goods to be sold in China, are subject to sales tax. Goods the government demands such as rubber, oil, machinery, precision instruments may be purchased from them at a price reasonably above their maximum value. They are to be permitted to retain their gold, diamonds, etc. for themselves or sell these to the state.


As for the intellectual education of new returning internationals (including students), it should not be carried out in too much haste. During a period of significant length, emphasis should be laid on commencing their patriotism education. After that, flexibly and naturally bring them together to impart rudimentary socialist education. There is no need to rush into the study of “fostering what is proletarian, eliminating what is bourgeois.” Only when they have truly stabilized and felt it as their own needs can they contemplate adopting the appropriate method for beginning their socialist education.


Since they have lived for many years in capitalist countries and lack understanding of the fatherland’s revolution and construction, regardless of whether it is their intellect or their lifestyle, there are considerable gaps between them and domestic Chinese. Therefore, it is necessary for a considerable period to allow them a degree of small freedom in the collective setting. Allow them to eat a little more, dress a little nicer. Allow them to retain, within the crowd, a substantially unimpeded backwardness toward the state’s laws and social order. This is a necessary step, because it is the only way for returning Chinese internationals to feel immediately settled as they gradually accept the fatherland’s situation and expectations. This is the only way to create advantages for their subsequent intellectual reform, the only way to attract Chinese internationals to return from abroad and feel confident about sending their cash and goods back to China.


Of course, it is entirely possible that a few anti-party constituents will be mixed in with the returning Chinese internationals. It is necessary to stay alert to this possibility. Lowering one’s guard against right wing deviationism is not acceptable. But on the other hand, if returning expatriate students’ backwardness were exaggerated as “reactionaryism,” to conflate reactionaryism and backwardness would also be a mistake.


In order to assure success in this project, the Central Committee has determined to make the China Expatriate Committee of Guangdong the leader, assimilating other Central Committee related departments to participate in the “Congress for Welcoming Returning Chinese” that is to be held in Gunagdong. This congress will take responsibility for the welcoming and resettlement of returning Chinese internationals, including students. Every related location should follow their working needs to erect a welcoming system. Every area that is welcoming and resettling a significant number of Chinese internationals must ramp up their resettlement system for returning internationals. The committees from Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Guangxi, etc. should immediately research and enact a resettlement strategy for mass numbers of returning internationals. This includes determining an appropriate location for expatriate resettlement. Secretaries from the manufacturing department and from elementary, middle and high schools in the international Chinese resettlement area, must personally direct, welcome and prepare accommodations for returning internationals. Interests and finances will both be reported by the China Expatriate Committee to the State Council. The new state-owned expatriate farms will be doubly overseen by the China Expatriate Committee and relevant regional committees, with the China Expatriate Committee in command.

The Chinese government strategizes how it can best bring Overseas Chinese back to the Chinese mainland following the anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia.


Document Information


Guangdong Provincial Archives 215-1-118-054-056. Obtained for CWIHP by Hongwei Fan and translated by Max Maller.


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