HC Deb 03 February 1964 vol 688 cc813-4
23. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now initiate discussions with Mr. Chen-Yi with a view to raising diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Chinese People's Republic to the Ambassadorial level.

Mr. P. Thomas

No, Sir. We made this very proposal to the Chinese in 1962, but they rejected it.

Mr. Warbey

Would not this be a very good time to make the proposal again? Would not the establishment of normal diplomatic relations with the Chinese People's Republic enable this country to get back to the peacekeeping rôle in South-East Asia exercised so brilliantly by Lord Avon in 1954, or are the Government content to allow this function now to be transferred to France?

Mr. Thomas

We think that it is for the Chinese rather than for ourselves to make any new initiative.

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