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Indonesia, China to Normalize Relations Suspended Since 1967

From Times Wire Services

China and Indonesia agreed Thursday to normalize diplomatic relations suspended 22 years ago after Jakarta accused Beijing of backing an abortive coup against the Indonesian government.

Indonesian President Suharto and Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen reached the agreement after meeting for more than two hours at a Tokyo hotel, said Max Lapod, spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo. Suharto and Qian were here to attend today’s funeral of Emperor Hirohito.

The spokesman said details of the normalization would be worked out by ambassadors from the two countries at the United Nations in New York.

China’s state-run news agency reported that Qian and Suharto “agreed upon future efforts for normalization of bilateral relations,” which they said should be achieved on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence.

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Indonesia, the world’s fifth most populous country with 173 million people, suspended relations with China in 1967, two years after an attempted Communist coup in Jakarta in which Indonesia alleged Chinese backing. It reopened trade links with China in 1985.

China long has been pressing for normalization of relations, but Jakarta has held back largely because of fear that China would use its influence among Indonesia’s 4 million ethnic Chinese to foment unrest.


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