Indonesian Election posters in 1955.

Indonesia Between the Power Blocs

INDONESIA, rich in natural resources and having 84,000,000 inhabitants, comes automatically as an important factor onto the chessboard of world politics. It is not surprising, then, that the Western press has been asking questions recently about the direction of Indonesian foreign policy. Will she turn her back on the West and move closer to the Communist countries whose center of attraction is Moscow? None of the politicians, diplomats, journalists or businessmen who have occasion to visit Indonesia can keep from speculating on this subject.

Anyone who remembers my article on Indonesian foreign policy in this review in April 1953 will not lightly jump to any such conclusion. Our policy is independent and active--independent because Indonesia does not wish to align herself with either of the opposition blocs, the Western bloc or the Communist bloc;[i] active because it actively carries out a peaceful policy as a loyal member of the United Nations. In view of her origins and her aims as a member of the United Nations, the Republic of Indonesia will rally to every effort within the framework of the United Nations to do away with the controversy between the two blocs, or at least to grind off its sharpness, and in this manner to help ward off large-scale conflicts that might set off a third world war. This policy of peace took shape in the well-known Resolution passed by the Asian-African Conference at Bandung in 1955.

The Republic of Indonesia has no desire to set up a third bloc in partnership with the states of Asia and Africa. She wishes to see a meeting from time to time among the Asian and African states, like that of 1955, as a "moral union" which can influence, in the interest of peace, those states which are banded into blocs.

By practising her independent and active policy Indonesia endeavors to seek friendship with all nations--whatever their ideology or form of government--upon a basis of mutual respect. She is prepared to accept technical, material and moral help from

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