October 20, 1954
Talking Points from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Second Meeting with Nehru
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
Talking Points from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Second Meeting with Nehru
I. The conversation today shifts from the Taiwan question to the “fear” issue. At the beginning of the conversation, Nehru first talks about the Taiwan question. He says that he understands China’s position, adding that if the Taiwan question remains unsolved, although no peace can be obtained [illegible], the solution to the Taiwan question is to return Taiwan to China. He also expresses his hope that the Chinese government can find a solution while avoiding a major war. He says that if the issue of China’s admission to the United Nations [UN) is solved, it will undoubtedly facilitate efforts to solve the Taiwan question. However, he says that he does not have any suggestions, that he just wants to find out more about the situation, and that he is willing to help if possible. But he adds that many countries in Asia and some countries in Europe and South Africa do not have fixed opinions, that if an explanation is given to these countries, they will gradually understand, and that India has made them understand through friendly means. Finally, he says that certain countries are willing to ease the tense situation while others are unwilling to do so, and that India’s purpose is to gradually ease the tense situation to resolve the issue and avoid war without sacrificing any rights.
II. Premier Zhou says that China and India understand each other’s positions. China is willing to ease the tense situation and to prevent or delay the outbreak of a word war. America, however, is creating a tense situation and threatening the world; its purpose is not only to maintain the interests it has obtained, but also to grab more interests with threats. America is using threats, intimidation, and groundless assertions to create fear, so much that certain countries have to follow America out of fear. The fact that Pakistan has become a signatory to the Manila Pact is an example.
Nehru admits that American policy contains two methods. One is applying pressure, using threats, and bribing with money, and the other is to instigate fear of international communism. He also says that Pakistan has obtained military aid from America in order to threaten India.
Premier Zhou says that he has repeatedly told the Pakistani Ambassador and the Pakistani Women’s Delegation that if Pakistan relies on American weaponry, it will fall into America’s trap and harm itself. Pakistan should unite with India. The establishment of a military alliance between Pakistan and America has an adverse influence on Asia’s efforts to building a peaceful region and preventing independence, and is not conducive to the relations between Pakistan and India either.
Nehru gives an account of the negotiations between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir issue and condemns Pakistan.
III. Premier Zhou says that “fear” can be classified into two types. One is the so-called fear of the communist parties. If Asian countries are fearful of China, then we should apply our Five Principles to our relations with all Asian countries and acknowledge that cooperation is something mutually beneficial rather than mutually injurious, so as to remove fear. We did this in the past, and we will continue to do so in the future. We must do everything possible to remove the Asian countries’ fear and cooperate with India to expand the peaceful region, as this will be conducive to the eradication of fear. The Asian-African Conference represents an effort in this regard.
The other is the fear of a major war. This fear originated from America as it wants to cause a major war to threaten the world, so people around the world feel the danger of the eruption of a major war. However, here lies a question of possibility and truth. If everyone engages in military buildup and war preparations, the likelihood of a major war will increase. Therefore, we must be dedicated to reducing armaments and prohibiting the use of atomic weapons, hydrogen weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. On the other hand, specific analysis should be carried out to ascertain whether a regional war would escalate into a major war. America is using the Taiwan question to threaten the Far East and the world, creating the impression of an imminent major war. As we have said yesterday, if we tolerate it, it will expand day by day. If we oppose, a major war can be prevented and America will be isolated. If we kept silent and adopted an appeasing attitude, America would have reached out for a yard after taking an inch, expanded its military bases, and taken advantage of the Taiwan question to create more treaties like the Manila Pact. What we have been doing on the Taiwan question is to isolate America to make it fearful of expanding the war. Ambassador Nedyam Raghavan will keep Prime Minister Nehru informed of developments in the future.
IV. Nehru says that the point is how to eliminate the present danger. He says that, just now, Premier Zhou has said that it is not right to adopt an appeasing attitude toward America, while America and certain European countries also say that it is not right to appease the Soviet Union and China.
Nehru says that among the Asian countries, only China and India are stable and powerful. Small countries in West Asia are politically and economically weak and therefore can be easily swayed and led to the wrong direction. Countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia and Burma, are also weak and unstable. These countries do not have much strength but can play a certain role at the UN; therefore, for the sake of the peace in Asia and the world, they should be made to stand on the right side.
Nehru says that the Five Principles are perfect in their own right, but the point is to convince people that they are genuine and not fake.
V. Premier Zhou says that our statement of non-appeasement and America’s statement of non-appeasement are fundamentally different and cannot be talked about in the same breath. By non-appeasement, we mean not allowing America to bully us, while America’s non-appeasement means not allowing us to exist.
Nehru says that he did not talk about the two statements in the same breath and that he was just describing both sides’ viewpoints. America says that it does not need to start a war with the Soviet Union and China; it can simply use infiltration to achieve its end.
Nehru turns to talk about the situation in Africa. He says that European countries are suffering setbacks in Asia and are therefore tightening their colonial rule in Africa. He then said that the Colombo Conference will be held in Jakarta at the end of December to discuss matters relating to the [Asian-African Conference], and two months after that, the Asian-African Conference will be held.
Nehru says that certain Asian countries are often subject to the propaganda of America and other countries and therefore have heightened fear. He said that he has recently met U Nu and his cabinet members, finding that they are still full of fear. He said the Burmese side has brought up two issues. The first is about the status of ethnic Chinese, and the second is that maps published in China show certain areas of Burma and even India to be parts of China. He also says that a Burmese man by the name of Singh who had fled to China after taking part in the disturbance in Nepal has been welcomed and given encouragement in China. He says that these incidents have aroused misgivings.
VI. Premier Zhou says that first he needs to say something more about the Taiwan question. If America agrees to withdraw its troops, the tense situation will no longer exist, and therefore it’s up to America. Certainly, America will not immediately agree to the demand to withdraw its troops, and a long-term struggle is therefore needed. Struggle is necessary, but our friends do not have to worry. We know how to deal with it. At the same time, we also hope that our friends can explain for us, as the responsibility does not lie with us.
Regarding the Asian-African Conference, Premier Zhou inquires about its scope. Nehru replies that he cannot give a definite reply and that normally all Asian and African countries will be invited. As for the agenda, topics that may cause controversy will be avoided, and only general topics such as colonialism, peace, and international relations will be discussed.
Premier Zhou states that we welcome the Asian-African Conference proposed by Prime Minister Nehru, support the Prime Minister’s sponsorship of the Asian-African Conference, and are willing to take part in the conference. Although participating countries have different circumstances, common ground will be found.
Regarding the claim to infiltrate the Soviet Union and China, Premier Zhou says that he has already heard about it in Delhi. China will not permit foreign intervention and the exportation of revolution; it should be decided by the people in each nation. China and India can build mutual trust under the Five Principles to set a good example for the world.
Premier Zhou says that the issues brought up by the neighboring countries are rather easy to explain.
First, with regard to the dual citizenship of ethnic Chinese, the statements made in Delhi and Rangoon in the past remain valid and will be honored. China will first work with Indonesia to resolve this issue to set a good example.
Second, the boundary issue is a historical issue. All maps published in China are old ones. We have yet to conduct surveys or consult related countries; we won’t unilaterally change the boundary lines. Prime Minister U Nu has suggested discussing this issue, and we have agreed. But we need time to make preparations.
Third, after Singh and the 36 armed personnel under his command fled to China, they were immediately disarmed by us and have been granted political asylum. This is in line with international principles, but they will not be allowed to engage in activities in China aimed at toppling the Nepalese government. Years ago, when the Dalai Lama wanted to take refuge in India, Ambassador [Kavalam Madhava] Panikkar informed us that it was very hard for India to reject him, but he would not be allowed to engage in anti-Chinese activities in India. We welcome such a practice. Later, the Dalai Lama returned to Tibet, but his elder brother and sister-in-law fled to India and were warmly received in India; they might still have links to Tibet, but we do not mind because we trust the Indian government.
The Nepalese government has agreed to establish diplomatic relations with us. Hopefully, Nepal will soon establish friendly, normal diplomatic relations with us like the relations between China and India.
VII. Nehru says that Nepal will consult with India regarding its plan to establish diplomatic relations with China, in accordance with its treaty with India. India welcomes this move. The King of Nepal is currently receiving medical treatment in Switzerland.
Nehru states that India’s boundary line is clear-cut and that the Indian government has performed administration according to the boundary line; however, if maps published in India show Tibet to be a part of India, China will surely oppose.
Zhou and Nehru cover a large range of topics relating to China and India's international relations. The conversation begins by discussing the issue of Taiwan, in relation to China, then moves to the "adverse effects" of American involvement in the Afro-Asian region. The two then discuss the upcoming Afro-Asian conference.
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