• Short Summary

    Singapore has agreed not to set up diplomatic relations with China until after Indonesia normalised its ties with Peking.

  • Description

    Singapore has agreed not to set up diplomatic relations with China until after Indonesia normalised its ties with Peking. This was disclosed by the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew on Tuesday (27 June) at the end of two days of talks with President Suharto of Indonesia.

    SYNOPSIS: The two leaders met on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The talks were aimed at boosting the spirit of cooperation within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Both sides said they reached a common understanding on a number of international and regional issues.

    Prime Minister Lee said the question of relations with China was touched upon in discussions over big power influence in the region and not as a specific issue.

    Singapore, with a predominantly Chinese population of 2.3 million and Indonesia which has about four million Chinese including a million who still hold Chinese passports, are the only two ASEAN countries which still have no formal ties with Peking.

    Indonesia has said it would have to solve its domestic Chinese problem before normalising ties with China which were suspended in the wake of the abortive communist coup in 1965.

    A common understanding between Indonesia and Singapore was also reached on ASEAN's stand in facing the North-South Dialogue, the non-aligned bloc, the super-powers and the latest developments in Indochina (SEQ 1-5).

    The Bali summit overshadowed by the death of nine Indonesian officials who were killed on Sunday (25 June) in a helicopter crash during last minute preparations for the meeting.

    Before beginning their talks President Suharto and Mr. Lee paid their last respects to the nine victims at Bali airport where the coffins, covered with the Indonesian flag, laid in state before being flown to Jakarta.

    Among the victims was Indonesia's Ambassador to Singapore, Major General Her Tasnig and Foreign Ministry Protocol Chief Alex Mareniek. (SEQ 6-7)

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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