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January 17, 1955

Summary of the Informal Discussion on Information Material Work during China's Preparation for the Asian-African Conference

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Summary of the Informal Discussion on the Information Material

Work during the Preparation for the Asian-African Conference

(7 pages including appendix)


Time: January 17, 1955

Place: Information Department

Attendants: Wu Lengxi, Liu Zunqi, Chen Zhongjing, Gong Peng, Sun Shaoli and Sun Fang


The following three questions were discussed at the informal discussion:

1. The question of dispatching journalists to cover the Asian-African Conference;

2. The question of how to expand the exchange of culture;

3. The question of preparing propaganda materials for distribution.


Outcome of the discussion


  1. All attendants held that there must be a lot of outside-conference activities, 

especially the exchange of culture and contact between journalists, which would be more frequent than that in the Geneva Conference.[1] According to the experience in the reception of journalists for the period of our National Day celebration, the Asian journalists could easily establish friendly relations with each other and a lot of work could be done in the exchange of information. The tentative proposals are as follows:


  1. 10 diplomatic cadres who are good at socialization and diplomatic knowledge

will be dispatched to work as journalists (All attendants have exchanged ideas about the candidates) .


  1. 2 or 3 competent correspondents will be dispatched to do the actual report work

(All attendants held that the condition of the Asian-African Conference is different from that of the Geneva Conference in which the then Soviet journalists dominated over the news reports concerning the conference and the Chinese and some other journalists only followed them. But in this conference, the Chinese journalists will dominate the news report and the Vietnamese and some other journalists will follow the Chinese journalists reports on the conference. Therefore, the Chinese journalists can’t accomplish their mission unless they have a higher efficiency. In addition, all attendants maintained that all reports had better be written in English this time).


  1. 2 photographers.


  1. 2 or more newsreel journalists.


A name-list of the journalists will be put forward by comrade Wu Lengxi[2] by the

end of this month and the discussion proposes that the leader of the Foreign Ministry will contact Director Lu of the Propaganda Department of the CPC Central Committee for calling a meeting by the latter to approve the name-list.

    Regarding the telecommunication for transmitting the news from China to our delegation during the period of the conference, the Xinhua News Agency[3] requests our embassy in Indonesia to help them decode the plain code telegrams, hoping to get an answer from the Foreign Ministry at an early date, otherwise the Xinhua News Agency needs to take 2 decoders with them.


  1. The discussion proposes to publish the Reference News as that done during the

Geneva Conference, but Comrade Wu Lengxi expresses that there is only one correspondent by the name of Peng Di stationed in Indonesia and he is then unable to assist the delegation to do such work. Therefore, the persons going to Indonesia in the future must include 4 to 5 persons, who are good at reading, translating and writing, to do the work.


3. Regarding the expansion of the exchange of culture, the discussion holds that during the period of the conference, the delegation will take this opportunity to establish connections with those countries without any exchange of culture with us ever before so as to make a breach in this respect in addition to the strengthening of the exchange of culture with those countries which have already had such relations with us.

The discussion maintains that it would be best if one person (not necessarily a

member of the delegation) in the name of the member of the “Association for Cultural Exchange with Foreign Countries” can be included in the name-list of the persons for Indonesia so that this kind of work can be done better.


  1. The discussion believes that the propaganda work should include the following



    Written materials, films, picture albums, pictures, phonographic records, etc.


  1. Written materials: Since most of the participating countries are colonialist or

semi-colonialist countries, and the peoples of these countries are believers of Islamism or Buddhism in terms of religion, our propaganda should emphasize the two questions of nationality and religion and the materials should be written in the main in English, French and Indonesian.

    Regarding the work in this respect, the Foreign Languages Press has made a draft plan (attached herewith), but we found that two questions in the draft plan should be determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  1. On the pamphlet of “Taiwan Must Be Liberated”, we should consider whether

it is a proper occasion to distribute this pamphlet at this conference.

  1. On the pamphlet of the Five Principles, we should consider whether the items

(Details referred to in the attachment of the Foreign Languages Press) included are suitable.


(2) Films: The discussion proposes to prepare several short documentary films about China’s reconstruction and choose some good feature films (it would be best if some of them are dubbed in Cantonese), for which Comrade Gong Peng is entrusted to contact Comrade Gao Ge of Beijing Film Studio.  


    (3) Picture albums:

    a) The album of “China” will be reprinted on the original basis, but some of the old pages will be taken off and some new ones will be added.

    b) Some traditional Chinese paintings will be carefully selected so as to print a Selection of Traditional Chinese Paintings.

    c) Three sets of postcards will be printed: Chinese Scenery, Chinese Arts and Crafts and Chinese Leather-silhouette Show.


  1. Phonographic records: Songs reflecting the happy life of the people in New

China and the traditional Chinese music will be selected, which will be done by the Cultural Liaison Bureau.


The compilation and printing of the pamphlets, picture album and pictures has already started.


    Gong Peng

    January 21






[1] The Geneva Conference was held from April-July 1954 in order to attempt to find a way to unify Korea and discuss the possibility of restoring peace in Indochina.

[2] Wu Lengxi was the head of the New China News Agency.

[3] The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Informal discussion in the Information Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on the preparation for propaganda work at the Asian-African Conference. The discussion concerns the dispatch of journalists, the exchange of culture and the distribution of propaganda materials


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PRC FMA 207-00020-01. Obtained by Amitav Acharya and translated by Yang Shanhou.


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