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271. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State 1

5129. Dept Pass Action AmEmbassy Tokyo for Secretary’s Party. SecState for S/S. Subj: Secretary’s Meeting with Adam Malik and Counterparts July 27.

Present on Indonesian side in addition to Malik, Brig Gen Sudharmono (Secretary to Cabinet), Prof Widjojo (Chairman National Planning Bureau), MajGen Alamsjah (State Secretary), LtGen Sumitro (Chairman Ministry of Defense and Security), Anwar Sani (DirGen PolAff FonDept), Amb Sudjatmoko, Madame Artati Marzuki (SecGen FonDept), BriGen Her Tasning (FonDept), J. Ronodipuro (SecGen InfoDept), BriGen Supardjo (Head Asian Pacific Bureau FonDept), Ismael Thajeb (Dir EconAff FonDept).
In addition to Secretary on US side were Ambassador [sic, Counselor] Pedersen, AsstSec Green, Dr. Kissinger, DepAsstSec Barnett, Mr. Holdridge, and Mr. Lydman.
Following is uncleared running summary of meeting:
After usual amenities, Secretary noted he was pleased there were no bilateral problems between US and Indonesia. At present time, he said, there was a very favorable attitude towards Indonesia in the administration and in Congress and there was less opposition to extending aid to Indonesia than to some other countries. He was particularly grateful therefore for opportunity to learn more about Indonesia and its problems and, if possible, to be better able to understand Indonesia’s needs.
Mr. Malik said it was indeed gratifying there were no problems between two countries; he hoped the US would, however, not be too surprised in years to come if there might have to be some increases in external aid to meet Indonesia’s requirements; such aid, of course, would be in accordance with IGGI estimates of Indonesia’s real needs.
Malik said he would like to address problems outside of bilateral area and among these were Vietnam; the general effects of British withdrawal east of Suez; China and the Soviet Union; and Japan.
Vietnam: If asked if GOI were happy with prospect of US with-drawal from Vietnam, Malik said this would be an extremely difficult question to answer. In principle Indonesia believes Vietnam problem ultimately must be settled by Vietnamese themselves and thus GOI [Page 577]would be pleased if US were to withdraw its presence. There are practical difficulties, however, with this course of action. If a US withdrawal were precipitate there would be great danger of an equally precipitate Communist takeover not only in Vietnam but also in neighboring countries and this would have a direct impact on Indonesia’s security interests. Malik therefore hoped that US in considering staging of withdrawal of forces from Vietnam would bear in mind need to maintain general security of Southeast Asia and would see that Saigon Govt, in first instance, as well as other vulnerable govts on periphery of Vietnam, would be effectively strengthened in order to protect themselves from the expected Communist infiltration and subversion.
Malik said he would like to see a democratic govt established in South Vietnam. In view of realities of the situation, he assumed that such a GOG would have to include Viet Cong elements.
British withdrawal: Malik said that Indonesia has no objection to continuing presence of Australian and New Zealand forces in Malaysia and Singapore. This does not mean, however, that GOI would welcome any other foreign forces there to substitute for the British.
Communist China: Malik said Indonesia’s view towards China is that despite the low state of relations between GOI and Peking (relations are suspended) Communist China as representing the Chinese people should be allowed to enter the community of nations. In this way, said Malik, one could at least hope that over time Communist China might become a responsible member of world community.
Soviet Union: Malik said it was obvious that the Soviet Union was increasing its interest in Southeast Asia. The GOI was intrigued by Brezhnev’s statement about collective security in South and Southeast Asia but has been unable to gain any clarification of what Brezhnev has in mind. Mrs. Gandhi, who was a recent visitor in Djakarta, also has no idea what Brezhnev means.
Japan and regional cooperation: The GOI is a sincere supporter of regional cooperation, active in ADB, ECAFE, SEAMEC and ASEAN. The GOI is proud that it has been able to achieve some progress in this area. It is hoped that Japan will play a more prominent role in regional affairs as time goes on. Southeast Asian countries, however, fear Japanese economic strength and Indonesia particularly would like a clearer idea of Japan’s motives in regional cooperation.
In addition to these main points Malik said that he would also want to comment on:
Middle East: The GOI believes that the UN resolutions on the Middle East problem are not effective and there appears to be a dangerous confrontation of military forces in that region. Malik expressed the hope that the big powers will be able to contain conflict in the Middle East.
Five-year Plan: Malik said that Indonesia’s five-year plan is a modest one in the sense that it is based on a realistic appreciation of prospects for development in Indonesia. The country will require about $600 million a year in external aid for this program. The principal objective is to achieve agricultural development and thus lay a solid base for a second five-year plan in which hopefully Indonesia may approach a takeoff stage. In the three years of the new govt, the GOI has broken the hold of the PKI on the country and the five-year plan is successfully achieved, this will lessen substantially the capability of the PKI to return to power. The aim in this five year period is to demonstrate to the people that the govt is able to supply their basic needs of food, clothing and other essentials. In the second five-year plan the govt must demonstrate that there will be opportunity for gainful employment for all the people and also govt must launch industrial development. Major objective of second plan will be to develop national capacity to resist subversion and aggression.
Malik said he was happy that there was a sympathetic response to Indonesia’s debt problem on part of Western creditors. He wondered what US thinks of Dr. Abs’ recommendations. Malik said he recognized that Dr. Abs’ recommendation for waiving interest payments would probably raise a problem for US Congress. He hoped that this procedural problem would be overcome, however, since a favorable US attitude toward this issue would certainly influence other countries in favor of Abs’ recommendations.
To revert to economic plan, Malik said that Indonesia hopes for considerable help from private sector. Indonesia will need steel production, it will need to develop the Asahan power complex in Sumatra and additional cement and petrochemical facilities in Java. Roughly $200 million will be required for these projects and it is hoped that they can be financed by private investment.
Secretary Rogers responded as follows:
On debts, the Secretary said we are sympathetic to Indonesia’s debt problem, and we have had discussions with Dr. Abs concerning his recommendations. There are two helpful factors in regard to this issue, (1) Indonesia is generally held in high regard for the caliber of its govt and its policies and (2) the important fact that Indonesia has checked a virtually runaway inflation.
On private investment the Secretary noted that we are doing all we can to encourage American investors and will continue in this direction.
On British withdrawal, the Secretary said the US has no intention of supplanting the UK although we would be concerned if any other super power has such an intention.
Commenting on the Brezhnev statement on collective security, the Secretary noted that we had been unable to clarify Brezhnev proposal. The Soviet Ambassador in Washington had been unable to enlighten US and the Indian Foreign Minister was similarly unclear as to Brezhnev’s intention. It would be interesting, said the Secretary, if the Soviets were thinking of some kind of security arrangement of non-Communist countries which would be directed against Communist China. He thought this had a ring of unreality.
Reverting to British withdrawal, President Nixon, said the Secretary, thinks it important that we make clear that we are a Pacific power and we will continue to honor our treaty obligations and to do our part in helping in the economic, educational and cultural development of other countries. We have no intention of withdrawing from Asia. However, we will not get involved with our troops except in connection with treaty obligations. We regard insurgency as a problem for the Asian countries themselves. We will, however, be prepared to help in other ways to strengthen the capabilities of Asian countries to manage their own insurgency problems. Basic to our position is that we will not interfere in the sovereignty of other nations.
Our interest in regional cooperation derives from the conviction that if the Asian countries themselves fail to appreciate the importance and necessity for such cooperation, they will surely be taken over. We therefore intend to encourage regional cooperation to the best of our ability and we wish to congratulate Indonesia on its successful efforts thus far in strengthening regional arrangements.

[Omitted here is discussion of Japan, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China.]

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, ORG 7 S. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Rogers visited a number of East Asian countries, including Indonesia and Japan, for conferrals following President Nixon’s July 25th Guam statement; see Document 269.