On October 7, 1967, Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Adam Malik, told anti-communist student demonstrators in Jakarta that Indonesia was moving in the direction of a complete break in diplomatic relations with China. On October 9, after a special cabinet meeting, the Indonesian government announced that it was “suspending” relations with the Peking government, thus effecting a kind of de facto diplomatic break. On October 29, Peking followed suit ordering the “temporary closing” of its embassy in Jakarta. On October 31, a Chinese plane flew the eight remaining Indonesian diplomats in Peking home to Jakarta and picked up the 20 or so remaining Chinese diplomatic staff in the Indonesian capital. These developments climaxed a two-year period of declining Sino-Indonesian relations which began with the abortive communist coup of September 30, 1965. During this time, the erstwhile Sino-Indonesian partnership, once conceived by its creators as the nucleus of a world movement against “neo-colonialism, colonialism and imperialism” deteriorated into bitterness. Three factors in this rapid deterioration deserve particular attention:
Peking's alleged involvement in the September 30 coup (usually called Gestapu—from Gerakan tigah puluh September—by acronymminded Indonesians) and her reportedly subsequent subversive burrowing in Indonesia, the anti-communist momentum of Indonesian politics since the coup and its impact on the three million Chinese minority in Indonesia, and the pattern of steadily escalating tensions between the two countries following their respective diplomatic ploys and counterploys.