127 Hill to Tange

Minute, CANBERRA, 16 November 1949

RESOLUTION ON CHINA The United States has suggested that we should become joint sponsors along with India, Pakistan, Philippines, United States, Belgium and Mexico, of a resolution dealing with the Chinese complaint against the Soviet Union.

The draft resolution is general in character. Under it the General Assembly would call on the States:

(i) to respect the sovereignty of China, and to refrain from threats or use of force against its territorial integrity or political independence;

(ii) to respect the right of the Chinese people to choose their own form of Government and to maintain it free of foreign control;

(iii) to refrain from (a) seeking spheres of influence, or (b) seeking special rights or privileges.

As can be seen, the resolution makes no assessment whatsoever of the Chinese charges against the Soviet Union, neither defends the Chinese Nationalists nor criticises the Chinese Communists, and contains no condemnation or criticism of the Soviet Union itself. Furthermore, it is directly in keeping with the principles enunciated in the United Nations Charter.

On the other hand, a resolution of this kind will serve no useful purpose except merely to terminate the debate on the Chinese complaint. It is clear from the fact that the resolution is being supported by so many different countries, that any resolutions submitted by China condemning the soviet Union or the Chinese Communists would be doomed to be defeated. The matter at this stage could well be allowed to drop.

In view of the above considerations, it is suggested that we not co-sponsor the resolution and that we take no part in the debate. However, in the event of the joint resolution being voted upon, it is suggested that Australia might vote in favour.[1]

[1] A file note records that D. Dexter and L.R. McIntyre, both of Pacific Division, agreed that Australia should not co-sponsor the proposed resolution.

[AA : A1838, 3107/40/52/1, I]