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

2499. For The Secretary. Canberra For Assistant Secretary Green. Green’s Call on President Suharto.

Evening March 11, Assistant Secretary Green, accompanied by John Holdridge and myself, gave President Suharto detailed description of talks, atmospherics and flavor President Nixon’s Peking visit. Also present were Foreign Minister Malik, Chiefs Palace Secretariat General Sudharmono, Chief of Protocol Subagio and Presidential Interpreter Widodo. Suharto listened closely with evident intense interest. [Page 712] Green started by extending to President Suharto President Nixon’s warmest regards and highest esteem. Green slanted his presentation toward Indonesian concerns, underlining fact President Nixon had made no deals concerning other countries, that U.S. planned keep its commitments and maintain its position in East Asia and that U.S. under no illusions in U.S. approach to China. Green told Suharto that he and I were authorized to inform him that U.S. would maintain its present force levels less those related to Vietnamization, in Western Pacific in FY 1973. Green offered to go into more detail on these force levels with Deputy Chief Commander of Armed Forces Panggabean whom we would be meeting later.
In outlining main points and impressions emerging from the talks, Green included the following:
Peking seeks to avoid involvement in war and seems genuinely to desire a better relationship with U.S. Peking supported North Korea’s 8-point plans for unification, but also interested in avoiding war to achieve it. Peking supports 7-point PRG peace plan but seemed less disposed than previously to have that conflict continue indefinitely since in its eyes this might serve to strengthen Soviet position in Hanoi.
Both sides subscribed to the Bandung principles even though PRC does not in fact live up to them, but it can now be better called to account for them.
Peking Government say they are concerned about Japanese militarism, although U.S. does not believe this would be problem so long as U.S.–Japan security treaty exists. ChiComs can be extension, therefore, come to see that maintenance U.S. security treaty with Japan could serve PRC interests though it would never say so publicly.
Taiwan was a most difficult issue but we now have a situation where, despite continuing U.S. commitments and ties to the ROC, we have in prospect an expanding dialogue and contact with with the PRC.
U.S. now reaffirmed that it will keep its commitments and continue its assistance to its friends and allies.
U.S. will continue to be power in Western Pacific.
China’s announced position is the removal of all U.S. forces from sea, but it evidently does not want this done in way that enhances Soviet influence in sea. (Green summed up true ChiCom attitude as perhaps being “Yankee go home, but gradually.”)
Overshadowing all this and emerging as basic reason for ChiCom interest in talks is their fundamental fear of Soviets and concern of Soviets extending influence in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. [Page 713] ChiComs also fearful of revived Japanese militarism (and an unexpressed fear of Japanese economic hegomony in EA). Peking seeking to split Tokyo and Washington especially on Taiwan issue so as to isolate GRC all the more and bring Taiwan under PRC control. There were of course other PRC motives as well, both internal and external.
Suharto expressed deep appreciation. He expressed his understanding and support for President Nixon’s effort to reduce world tensions and strengthen peace. He thought it salutary that PRC had in communiqué reiterated its support for Bandung principles, including non-interference in internal affairs other countries, non-agression, coexistence and peaceful settlement of disputes. He noted that ChiComs took public stand they supported suppressed peoples. This meant they will not only support those who seek independence but those who sought as national liberation movements to become Communist nations. ChiCom would continue their support for Communist subversion, Suharto said.
Green said he agreed with this and that U.S. was not letting its guard down even while extending hand of conciliation. Green stressed importance of seizing opportunity of present situation to do what could be done to enhance peace.
Suharto continued by stressing importance of U.S. making clear it stands behind its friends, and allies. He said neighboring countries in Southeast Asia need moral support as well as other kinds of assistance. Suharto stressed importance of building national capacity for resistance in Indonesia and neighboring countries. This would be required to cope with what he was sure would be continued ChiCom support for supervision. Indonesia had had its bitter experience with Peking.
Suharto expressed his special appreciation for Green’s stated intention to talk further with Foreign Minister Adam Malik 2 and, in case of U.S. planned force levels, in more detail with Suharto’s top military staff.3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Priority; Exdis.
  2. Telegram 561 from Wellington, March 15, reported Green’s conversation with Malik. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 554, Country Files, Far East, New Zealand, Vol. I)
  3. Telegram 2498 from Djakarta, March 13, reported Green’s conversation with some of Suharto’s top military staff. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON)