The British Embassy to the Department of State 16


The conference of United Kingdom representatives which was held at Singapore from 2nd to 4th November reached the following conclusions regarding the question of recognition of the communist government in China:—

The Bukit Serene Conference considers that British interests in China and in Hong Kong demand earliest possible de jure recognition of the communist government in China.

The conference is of the opinion that from the point of view of the situation in South East Asia and the Far East generally such recognition is desirable as early as possible and in any case by the end of the year.

It considers that no formal conditions can be attached to such recognition but that His Majesty’s Government in according it should make a unilateral statement of their assumption that the new government accepts China’s existing international obligations.

The conference also considers that:—

recognition should not involve any weakening but should indeed be accompanied by a strengthening of our resistance to the spread of communism in the area, and
an extensive propaganda campaign should be launched to explain that the recognition does not involve any inconsistency with our [Page 187]policy of opposition to communism in South East Asia. Hong Kong should not take any direct part in this.

  1. Handed by the Counselor of the British Embassy (Graves) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth) on November 8; repeated in telegram No. 4327, November 9, 7 p. m., for the Secretary of State in Paris.