A few hours after his surprising election as Indonesia’s fourth president on 20 October 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid told the American Ambassador, Robert Gelbard, that the improvement of relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) would be a foreign policy priority for his government. A few days later, during a meeting with national and international business leaders in Bali, President Wahid announced that his government would work towards the establishment of a new ‘Asia Coalition’ involving Indonesia, China, and India, and possibly Japan and Singapore. In early December, President Wahid chose China as the destination for his first overseas visit. While in China, Wahid delivered a speech at Beijing University in which he declared that his ancestors had in fact come from China, implying that he himself had Chinese blood.1