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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume V
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume V, United Nations, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian

332. Telegram From the Embassy in Australia to the Department of State/1/

Canberra, March 2, 1971, 0338Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to London, Taipei, Tokyo, Wellington, Hong Kong, and USUN.

1151. Subj: Discussion of Chirep with Prime Minister.

1. Summary. Prime Minister Gorton describing GOA position said that past Chirep policy no longer promising, new approach needed, but every effort should be made preserve GRC position so far as possible. End summary.

2. Ambassador Rice, Brown and Jenkins met with Prime Minister Gorton March 1 for one hour devoted entirely to Chirep. Prime Minister opened with observation prospects not good for our present position on Chirep. PRC one way or another would be in UN in next year or two. Asked what we planned to do about situation.

3. Brown said US felt our present course would almost certainly lead to defeat probably this year; if not then, certainly in 1972. Even if we should succeed on IQ this fall, margin of victory likely to be small and expenditure of effort and diplomatic capital required to achieve it very large. Gorton indicated preference for change of approach now rather than postponement to 1972.

4. Brown emphasized US had reached no decisions and would not pending completion of discussions with governments most interested in problem. At official level, however, some form of dual representation had appeal as probably most reasonable course. US preliminary estimate was that such an approach might receive substantial support from UN membership. It would have to be seen as genuine effort solve problem, however, and this meant Security Council seat would have to go to Peking. Gorton readily agreed, adding that in his view attitude of GRC was key to success. GRC would have to accept loss of Security Council seat and in effect also accept that it was the government of Taiwan. A seat for it in the GA in that capacity should be assured before allowing PRC into UN with veto power. Then it would take two-thirds vote to oust GRC, which unlikely.

5. Ambassador Rice said British were not being very helpful. They had told us not only would it be very difficult for them to support IQ again this year, but one British working level official had even said UK could not support any form of dual representation formula. Gorton said that surprised him. He inclined believe UK might still find it possible to go along with dual representation. Brown said we might at some point want Australia’s help in enlisting UK support.

6. Prime Minister said Australia very anxious so far as possible preserve status Taiwan, but this could not be done unless GRC recognized situation as it was. He thought Brown’s party in its coming visit to Taiwan had no choice but to state situation forthrightly as USG saw it and ask what GRC felt should be done about it. Brown said high level GRC official told us GRC’s most basic position was avoidance any formula which would negate GRC’s claim to be sole legitimate government of all of China. In addition, GRC would find loss of Security Council seat "very hard to swallow." Jenkins said great difficulty was that GRC claim to be government of all China was closely related to its very raison d’etre as national government and hence legitimacy of mainlander control of Taiwan polity. Prime Minister said if GRC would not bring itself to recognize its actual situation as government controlling Taiwan and Pescadores, it would be very hard for its friends to help it maintain its membership. Said it would raise real problems if GRC insisted on including Quemoy and Matsu in its territory.

7. Prime Minister asked whether we detected any flexibility in GRC position. Brown said that at the official level in GRC there was discussion of alternative courses which would have been unthinkable two or three years ago. We did not know what President Chiang’s actual thinking was, but one small ray of hope was assurance given us by one top GRC official that Chiang was extremely well versed in the whole Chirep problem. Gorton asked whether we would be seeing  Chiang Ching-kuo, implying he thought this would be useful. Brown said he would rely on Ambassador McConaughy’s judgment on that.

8. Gorton said he would be most interested in what we learned in Taipei about GRC attitude. Brown promised keep in close touch, but said we did not expect obtain definitive GRC position on this trip. He rather suspected Chiang might wait until last minute before revealing how far he would be willing to go. He might not be able at any point to favor dual representation, as certainly Peking would not, but Chiang might not work against.

9. Brown asked Prime Minister what he thought we should all do if Chiang refused to acquiesce in dual representation approach and insisted that we all "work hard" for another year on IQ and opposition to Albanian resolution. Gorton said even if we did so and succeeded, we would have only postponed the problem a year, and success in any event doubtful. Gorton thought if GRC refused to cooperate in its friends’ efforts to save it, Australian official level would probably be willing to "scuttle" GRC but he doubted this would be position of Cabinet. In his personal opinion he rather thought we should go ahead with dual representation effort even in face of GRC non-cooperation.

10. Prime Minister thought it important try to keep questions of recognition and Chirep entirely separate, even though in average Australian mind they were rather closely linked. Brown said he had heard that some Australians were interpreting President’s statement on China in his report on foreign policy just issued as opening the door very widely to recognition for PRC. Recognition was not even under discussion. PM assured us he had not so interpreted President’s report.

11. Brown asked whether PM had any views as to who should take lead in mobilizing support for whatever Chirep course we decided on. Perhaps US should not. PM did not answer directly, but thought Japan did not want take lead. Brown said on other hand Japanese were very concerned not to appear to be following in our wake where PRC was concerned. Jenkins said Japanese certainly wanted to be a jump ahead of us on over-all question of rapprochement with Peking, but it was doubtful whether they would want to be out front on Chirep.

12. Brown said another possibility as a new departure was the concept of universality. Gorton said emphatically that this raised too many problems concerning North Korea, North Vietnam, etc. Brown said nevertheless it had a certain philosophical attraction and if stated in very general terms might have utility in connection with dual representation.

13. In conclusion PM said official GOA position was that past Chirep policy no longer promising, that new approach needed, that every effort should be made to preserve GRC position so far as possible, and in any event GOA could not vote against GRC interests. Official position went no further as of now. He repeated his interest in hearing results of our talks in Taipei./2/

/2/ Department officials later expressed satisfaction with the meetings with senior Australian officials, and mentioned that the latest discussions of NSSM 107 within the Department had accepted that the PRC probably could not be denied the Security Council seat, but might decline to be seated in the General Assembly as long as the ROC was there. (Telegram 35421, March 3; ibid.)


333. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, March 3, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 86, Country Files, Far East, Chirep. Secret. Sent for action.

NSSM 107--The UN Membership Question

The Key Issue. The key issue is Chirep. Other UN membership matters (Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Micro-states) can be handled, one way or another, whatever we decide to do about Chirep. For example, we can veto East Germany, North Korean, or North Vietnamese membership, if we wish. But that useful device is not available to us to keep the Chicoms out.

The Chinese issue is urgent for the simple reason that our policy can no longer command international support. A decision to stick with our current policy is, in effect, a decision to accept defeat, the expulsion of the GRC, and the entry of the PRC within two years.

The Basic Question. Therefore, the basic question is: Should we deliberately follow that course, or adopt a new policy supporting UN membership for both Peking and Taiwan?

It seems to me there are only two cogent reasons for following our present course:

1. Chiang Kai-shek wants us to. He is almost certain to resist any change in our policy. This is true even though a dual representation position carries the only prospect for preserving Taipei’s UN seat. Although a considerable amount of realism is now evident at levels of the GRC below Chiang, the GRC is paralyzed by the Gimo’s position.

If we change our policy, therefore, we will almost certainly have an unhappy ally on Taiwan. It is possible that a bitter GRC would refuse to accept a dual representation formula, even if we succeeded in getting it through the UN, and would resign in a huff. That would, of course, defeat our purpose of maintaining the GRC membership.

2. Public, press and Congressional opposition. There are those who think the public reaction would be negative to a change in our policy of opposition to CPR membership in the UN. Frankly, I do not believe it.

The State of Public Opinion. Attached is a study of American opinion on the Chirep issue./2/ The essence of it is that between 1966 and September of 1970 (with no leadership from anybody) general public opinion favoring PRC entry doubled to 35%, and opposition to PRC entry sharply declined from two-thirds to less than 50%. More significantly, college-educated Americans have drastically changed their position on this issue since 1966 and by September, 1970 a majority favored Peking’s entry. Most significantly of all, the contest in the UN General Assembly in the fall of 1970 precipitated widespread U.S. editorial comment on this issue. Of the 33 representative papers whose editorials have been studied, 27 of them (over 80%) came out flatly in favor of seating Peking (but not expelling Taipei). Only 3 papers (the Chicago Trib, the Richmond Times Dispatch, and the St. Louis Globe Democrat) strongly opposed seating Peking. The papers in favor of seating Peking include the Hearst and Scripps-Howard chains, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Christian Science Monitor, the Minneapolis Star, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Chicago Sun Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Salt Lake City Tribune, the Denver Post, the Miami Herald, the New Orleans Times Picayune, and the Houston Post, as well as the New York Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and the Baltimore Sun. Finally, as long ago as 1966 the Gallup Poll posed this question to a sample of those listed in Who’s Who in America. Even then, this elite group was overwhelmingly in favor of Peking’s entry (by a margin of two to one).

/2/ Not attached. Reference apparently is to an undated memorandum from Wright to Kissinger, "U.S. Public and Press Opinion on Chinese Representation at the UN." (Ibid., Agency Files, Box 300, USUN, January–May 1971)

I will add to this my personal, if unscientific, knowledge of the results of the President’s UN Commission Hearings at various cities around the United States in the fall of 1970. Among those testifying before the Commission, there was virtually unanimous agreement that both Peking and Taipei should be members of the UN. The Commission will so recommend to the President in its Report, due in April.

In short, I am convinced that a change in our policy on Chicom UN membership is no longer contrary to politically significant American public opinion. To the contrary, I am convinced that a change in the policy would be of domestic political advantage to the Administration.

Chiang Kai-shek’s Opposition. Back to Chiang Kai-shek’s opposition to a change in policy, I do not think this should be the controlling factor in American policy. Every other government in the world, including those that are most devoted to the GRC’s well-being (Japan, Australia, etc.) recognize fully that we are at the end of the road on the current policy. Many in the GRC, itself, recognize the same thing. It is, simply, no longer a question of whether the PRC will come into the UN. It is coming. It is a question, rather, of whether this will be done over our dead body and with the expulsion of the GRC from the UN. Adherence by us to our current policy will be viewed by no one in the world except Chiang Kai-shek as indicating firmness of purpose. By everyone else, friends and foes, it will be viewed as foolish rigidity and excessive deference to one aged man. It would also be totally inconsistent with the theme and the major thrust of the President’s Report to the Congress which called for realism and flexibility in foreign affairs, and the creative burial of the vestiges of the post-World War II world.

Reasons for a Change. Other salient reasons for a change in our policy are the following:

1. With or without us, Peking is coming into the UN. (This is therefore an excellent example of the kind of situation where one who aspires to leadership finds out where the crowd is going and then positions himself in front of them.)

2. Significant domestic discontent is likely to be aroused by Peking’s entry only if it represents an American defeat at and by the United Nations. Rigidity on our part, therefore, will damage the repute of the UN in the United States, and could make our participation in it a matter of domestic controversy. That is certainly not in the interest of this Administration. On the other hand, if we stick to our current policy, we will certainly be criticized for antediluvian policies by that 80% of the newspapers mentioned earlier.

3. Those abroad who have for so long gone with us on this issue are now looking to us for leadership, and our international reputation will be diminished if we fail to provide it.

4. It is in our interest to see the GRC continue a UN member. That is possible only if we take the leadership in espousing a new approach to this problem at the UN which permits membership for both Peking and Taipei.

5. This issue has been around too long, and the Administration will gain credit both domestically and internationally, from an effort to resolve it equitably.

6. Dual Representation will give us a legal hook at the UN for our defense treaty with Taiwan, which otherwise is subject to plausible interpretation, if the PRC becomes the only Chinese representative, as interference in Chinese domestic affairs.

7. It provides us with a respectable position permitting us to welcome Chicom entry into the UN without abandoning, in the eyes of the world and our own public, our GRC ally.

Other Major Issues. From the above, it is perhaps excessively obvious that I favor going for some form of dual representation. If this view is accepted, it raises several issues: First, will we present our position to our allies as a firm one or as a tentative one subject to modification after consultation with them. In other words, are we informing them or consulting with them.

This question ties in with the tactical one of exactly what kind of dual representation formula we should seek. As a practical matter, our new policy cannot succeed without a very wide measure of international support. It is therefore essential that we consult widely and fully before deciding on precise tactics.

I suggest, therefore, that we should make a firm decision for a dual representation approach, but not attempt to work out the tactics in any detail until after we have consulted widely. This position commends itself for another reason: it permits us to go to the GRC committed firmly to a dual representation policy but with maximum flexibility to negotiate with them on the exact nature of the formula. This will not make our decision palatable to Chiang Kai-shek, but it should moderate at least slightly his distaste for it. It also permits us to get on with the business of serious consultation with our other allies on tactics without putting us in the somewhat ridiculous position of having to say that our commitment to dual representation is contingent upon acceptance by the GRC. Finally, if there is any "give" in our position when we approach Chiang, he will know it and we will never get his acquiescence.

If Chiang is convinced that our decision is firm I believe that he will accept it and try to exact a big quid pro quo for his acceptance. I believe that because Chiang has not survived all his years and troubles by committing suicidal acts. He is likely to argue that significant new gestures of "friendship" from us are necessary to convince his people that we are still with them. We will need to be alert to avoid undertakings which sap the integrity of the commitment to dual representation, or inhibit the possibility of improvement in relations with the PRC. Apart from those two issues, we can afford to be sympathetic, but we need to keep firmly in mind that Chiang has made a lifetime business out of permitting us gratefully to dissuade him from self-immolation.

I should also mention to you the distinct possibility that Chiang will try to mount a major effort in the US to force us to back away from dual representation. My own estimate is that he can make some noise--but not any real trouble. Others feel he could arouse a considerable last gasp effort from the right wing remnants of the China Lobby.

Another basic issue, partly tactical but partly strategic, is whether to go for dual representation only on the Chinese issue, or to wrap it into a general formula of universality. All my instincts are for universality:

1. It gives us the high moral ground, and a simple rationale for our change of policy.

2. It is easy to defend the proposition that all peoples should be represented in the United Nations.

3. It wraps our Chirep policy in a formula that has wide international appeal and will, therefore, enhance our chances of parliamentary success.

4. It provides an intellectually respectable justification for retention by the GRC of UN membership.

5. It finesses the whole unanswerable question of one China, or two Chinas, or one China–two governments, etc. The principle of universality is irrelevant to legal questions of sovereignty. Where factual political divisions exist it is up to the parties to the dispute to resolve them, but not by depriving any significant government or number of people of representation at the United Nations. Universality, therefore, does not preclude eventual unity, or for that matter, permanent division.

Universality, of course, raises problems in the German, Korean, Vietnamese, and Micro-state situations. I do not think any of the problems are sufficiently serious to deter us much. We can take the position that each case, as a practical matter, must be handled individually. In the German problem, we can refer to our prior and public commitment to hold off on any action until the current negotiations are completed. On the Korean problem, we can, if we must, find a similar formula, perhaps related to the fact that North Korea is still in an overt state of hostility with the United Nations forces. Vietnam doesn’t seem to me to be a problem one way or the other. As for the Micro-states, there is so far no international agreement on the minimum size required for UN membership. If we ever get agreement on that question, it automatically becomes part of the definition of universality. Opting for universality now neither helps us nor hurts us on that issue.

Finally, I have a beady-eyed point to make: In cold fact, nobody can do anything about German, Korean, or Vietnamese membership in the UN without our assent. The Chinese question is one of representation, and the veto does not apply. The German, Korean, Vietnamese and Micro-state matters are questions of membership. The veto does apply. Therefore, we can do what we wish about Chicom representation without fear that from that precedent will flow actions seriously damaging to our interests, but unavoidable. (In actual fact, I would not expect a veto to be necessary.)

The Security Council
. There is one other problem I should mention because other people insist on treating it as if it were a more salient issue than it really is. This is the question of which China occupies the Security Council seat. In the first place, this becomes an issue only if we succeed in having the General Assembly adopt a dual representation formula. If we fail in that, the PRC will get the Security Council seat within two years. Even if we succeed, the PRC will still get the Security Council seat if it shows up to claim it, and there is nothing we can do to prevent that. Therefore, the occupancy of the Security Council seat is a real issue only if dual representation is adopted, if the GRC stays in the United Nations, and if the PRC refuses to come in under those circumstances. In that situation, we may be able to hold the Security Council seat for the GRC on the simple grounds that the Charter provides for China in the Security Council, and there is no other claimant for the seat. Our chances of holding the seat would be much enhanced if we make it plain that our position in favor of GRC retention is without prejudice to the merits of the case whenever the PRC presents itself to claim the seat.

It is altogether likely that in our consultations with the GRC, this matter will have great prominence. For instance, the GRC might offer to accept dual representation on the condition that we guarantee their Security Council seat. Should that contingency arise, I urge that we use it to put added pressure on the GRC to accept dual representation. That can be done by telling them that the chances of retaining the Security Council seat are totally dependent, in the first instance, on their continuing to participate fully at the UN. If they do so, and if the PRC refuses to do so, we believe that the tactical situation may be such as to permit the two of us working together to retain their Security Council seat for the indefinite future. We should not, however, commit ourselves to them any more deeply than that, for there will, in fact, be almost literally no international support for the GRC retention of the Security Council seat once the PRC claims it.


I therefore recommend to you the following positions on this issue:

1.We should opt firmly for a dual representation policy.

2.Within that firm commitment, we should remain entirely flexible on tactics until we have consulted fully with our allies, including the GRC.

3.We should attempt to persuade our allies of the advantages of preserving the dual representation position within an overall commitment to universality as the guide to UN membership questions.

The attached Talking Points are intended to reach consensus on those positions./3/ This issue should, however, for cosmetic as well as substantive reasons, be discussed at a full NSC meeting. The SRG, therefore, should only examine and clarify the issues, accept the NSSM 107 study, and refer the matter to the NSC. Incidentally, we should have the NSC meeting at the earliest possible time, for we are beginning to run a real danger of our potential allies on this matter getting themselves committed to contrary courses.

/3/ Attached but not printed.

The IG has prepared two papers on the UN membership question--the formal NSSM 107 study and a shorter issues paper. The shorter version is, in fact, a redraft and improvement of the first. We think you will find it the more useful of the two, and expect it to be the focus of discussion at the SRG. Analytical summaries of both papers are attached./4/

/4/ See Document 326 and footnote 1 thereto.

Herb Levin concurs, as does Hal Sonnenfeldt, in regard to the German problem.

334. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, March 5, 1971, 2121Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Long; cleared by Armitage, James A. Williams, Robert T. Curran, Shoesmith, McNutt, Robert T. Burns, and Winthrop G. Brown; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Repeated to USUN, Geneva for Herz, Taipei for Brown, and Hong Kong.

37377. Subject: Chirep Consultations with UK. Ref: London 1914./2/

/2/ Dated March 4. (Ibid.)

1. Summary--Under Secretary called in British Ambassador (Lord Cromer) March 4 to emphasize once more to British importance USG places on UK not taking a position or getting themselves into a situation requiring them to take position on Chirep until we have concluded policy review and had opportunity consult with UK on results of that review. Lord Cromer assured Under Secretary that UK would not take such steps without first discussing with US, but emphasized time element getting very short for UK since PRC has made "encouraging noises" and will set pace in talking with British on improvement in their relations, including exchange of ambassadors. End summary.

2. At the request of Under Secretary Irwin, British Ambassador Lord Cromer, accompanied by Counselor Moberly, called at the Dept at 3:15 PM March 4 to discuss Chirep. The Under Secretary led off by noting that Dept had already expressed to UK EmbOffs US hope that UK would not take position or get into situation requiring them to take position on Chirep until we have concluded our Chirep policy review and had opportunity consult with UK on results of that review. He had called in Ambassador in order to emphasize once more importance that USG places on this point. In response to Lord Cromer’s query on how study is going, Under Secretary said we unable at this point to give specific time when review would be completed but that we moving as quickly as possible.

3. Cromer said UK predicament is that PRC has made "encouraging noises" on prospects for improvement in relations with UK, that without being certain how promising these overtures might be, UK did not wish to spurn "tiny shoots which might otherwise blossom" and that it would undoubtedly not be very long before UK would have to say something positive to them. Moberly interjected that Chinese had raised for first time in six years, question of exchange of ambassadors and that they were certain in this context to raise question of British position on Chirep. Ambassador then said, "However, we won’t do anything without first discussing it with you."

4. Under Secretary assured Cromer that USG not stalling to keep PRC out of UN and that we are seriously attempting to find a solution to the Chirep problem in a way acceptable to the majority. At same time, he reiterated importance to US of keeping ROC in UN. We believe our efforts to work out an equitable solution would be damaged to considerable degree, if not even more, if UK were to take an early decision damaging to our position. He emphasized that we are not asking UK to support any particular proposal that might emerge from review, but simply that we hope UK would not take a position that might do harm to our position before we have had chance to talk.

5. Cromer noted that 25th UNGA Chirep vote, which for first time gave Albanian resolution simple majority, had created new situation in UK eyes, and that UK did not believe its position of support for Important Question, which had been taken for US benefit, could be continued if it appeared to be thwarting the will of the majority. He said Chinese could now say UK support for IQ would be tantamount to working against their entrance into UN and there would be logic in such a position. He then reiterated assurance with statement: "All we can really say at this time is that we won’t take any action likely to embarrass you without consulting with you." He concluded saying that the fact is that the tide is running "that way", but he would be pleased if US could really come up with "something that would satisfy everyone."

6. Conversation then turned to reported meeting of Chou En-lai with British ChargÚ Denson in Peking. Cromer said Embassy had not yet been informed on this meeting, but he understood that ChargÚ was being given chance, for first time, to talk directly with Chou En-lai. Moberly added that initiative had come from Chinese side and that he was certain Denson would not have put forth any new initiative. Ambassador promised brief us on talks when report received.

7.Returning to US request, Cromer said time element getting shorter and that UK may get to stage where it difficult to defer "an announcement on this." He also reiterated that UK not setting the pace, was reacting to PRC initiatives "in friendly way", but UK fully understood sensitivity of problem from US point of view. Under Secretary said we would try to move along as quickly as possible.


335. Minutes of the Senior Review Group Meeting/1/

Washington, March 9, 1971, 3:48–4:51 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–112, SRG Minutes, Originals. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. Jeanne Davis of the NSC staff forwarded the minutes to Kissinger under cover of a March 11 memorandum. (Ibid.) Green summarized these minutes in a memorandum to Rogers, March 11. (Ibid., RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, National Security Files, NSSM 107) Another record of the meeting, prepared by Armacost is ibid. A note on the minutes indicates that Farley and Petty were not present at the beginning of the meeting.

UN Representation--NSSM 107/2/

/2/ Document 312.

Chairman--Henry A. Kissinger

Under Secretary John N. Irwin
Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
Mr. Marshall Green
Mr. John Armitage
Mr. Michael Armacost

Mr. Armistead I. Selden
Col. Paul Murray
Mr. Dennis Doolin

Mr. Richard Helms
[name not declassified]

Maj. Gen. Richard Shaefer
Col. Kenneth McFadden
Col. Kemper Baker

Mr. Philip J. Farley

Mr. Frank Shakespeare

Mr. John R. Petty

NSC Staff
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Mr. W. Marshall Wright
Mr. John H. Holdridge
Mr. D. Keith Guthrie


The Senior Review Group agreed that:

1. The President should be asked to authorize the Department of State to consult with allied and friendly countries on alternatives to the Important Question-Albanian Resolution formula for dealing with the Chinese representation issue in the UN.

2. In the course of these consultations the United States would seek to determine what formula maintaining the GRC seat would be most likely to gain and hold approval in the General Assembly, and would include dual representation among the alternatives.

3. The Department of State should review again the desirability of relating the Important Question to a dual representation formula. The desirability of applying the principle of universality to the dual representation formula should also be reviewed.

4. Following the consultations and the review by the Department of State of the points in 3, above, recommendations on a Chinese representation strategy to be followed in the UN will be submitted to the President.

5. An NSC meeting to discuss the points mentioned above will be scheduled if desired by the Secretary of State.

Dr. Kissinger: Shall we take the UN issue first? The key issue is what to do about Chinese representation at the next UN General Assembly. The issue has some urgency, partly because of the problem with the British, who are anxious to change their position.

(to Irwin) I assume you have the cable from Ambassador Bush./3/

/3/ Not found.

Mr. Irwin: Yes, he telephoned and asked me to explain that he couldn’t come down to Washington today but that he wanted to keep in close touch on this issue and to be helpful in any way possible.

Mr. Kissinger: Why not automatically invite him whenever State is represented at one of these meetings?

Mr. Irwin: I have told him that we would.

Dr. Kissinger: On the Chinese representation issue one has a choice between sticking with the present policy or adopting a new one. If we opt for a new policy, we have to assume that it will involve some formula that will permit Communist China into the UN. The question is which formula we should choose. Also we need to consider the degree to which we need to push the issue.

Mr. Irwin: From our point of view there is some urgency. There is the possibility that the British will go ahead without us; and the longer we wait to decide, the more we will find that countries have taken positions that preclude cooperation with us.

Dr. Kissinger: Does anyone believe we should stick with our present policy?

Mr. Selden: I presume State knows how the vote is shaping up.

Mr. Irwin: We don’t have any figures except on what the vote was the last time the issue came up.

Mr. Armitage: At that time there was a fourteen-vote majority in favor of considering the Albanian Resolution an important question. A slippage of eight votes would mean defeat.

Mr. Green: Several countries told us that this was the last time they would vote with us.

Mr. Armitage: The voting line-up on the important question applies only to the Albanian Resolution.

Mr. Wright: A headcount was done by IO in State. The results are very iffy, but they indicate that if we stick with the present formula, we would lose by two votes this fall. Of course, the outcome depends to some extent on how much muscle we put into our campaign for support.

Mr. Green: If the important question is married with dual representation, the important question resolution will almost certainly pass, and dual representation will also probably pass.

Mr. Armitage: There will probably only be a majority for dual representation.

Dr. Kissinger: Does that mean that the important question could pass, but that dual representation would fail?

Mr. Armitage: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: What if the important question were coupled with the Albanian Resolution?

Mr. Armitage: It [the important question]/4/ might squeak by, and it might not.

/4/ All brackets from this point are in the source text.

Dr. Kissinger: If you put it that way, we have no choice.

Gen. Shaefer: If the important question squeaks by, the main resolution would lose or lack of a two-thirds vote.

Dr. Kissinger: As I understand it, if the important question does not pass, the Albanian Resolution will pass. If we couple dual representation and the important question, the important question will pass, but dual representation will not get a two-thirds majority. The status quo would continue.

Mr. Armitage: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: That is complicated enough for a Chinese to understand.

Mr. Irwin: Then there is the question of introducing a resolution on universality.

Dr. Kissinger: Let me see if I understand the thinking behind this. People are so annoyed by our sticking to our old policy that they will vote against the important question.

Mr. Doolin: Some of the states that are voting for admission of Communist China say that they do not mean to exclude the Republic of China.

Mr. Armitage: They want a less bald attempt to keep Communist China out of the UN.

Dr. Kissinger: Are they prepared to consider an important question resolution?

Mr. Irwin: What he [Jack Armitage] is referring to is a proposal based on universality rather than dual representation. Dual representation would get a majority but not two-thirds. If that happens, the Albanian Resolution will succeed.

(Mr. Farley and Mr. Petty joined the meeting at this point.)

Dr. Kissinger: I am just trying to understand the thought processes of these countries.

Mr. Armitage: Because the Albanian Resolution now has a majority, coupling it with the important question makes the latter seem like nothing more than a method of keeping Communist China out. If the substantive proposal were for dual representation, this would not be so.

Dr. Kissinger: The UN is not my subject, but isn’t somebody interested in the substance of the dual representation proposal or the Albanian Resolution? Is the big issue only whether it is coupled with an affirmative vote on the important question?

Mr. Irwin: If both [the dual representation and Albanian] resolutions were introduced, whichever was voted on first would in effect decide the fate of the second.

Dr. Kissinger: Then the mere fact that a proposal for dual representation is introduced will make it more probable that the important question issue will be raised.

Mr. Irwin: You could have both a resolution on dual representation and the Albanian Resolution. Whichever was decided first would decide the other. It would help to have the added protection of a vote that Chinese representation constituted an important question, but it really won’t be needed as much as in the past.

Dr. Kissinger: Since one of our important concerns is the GRC, wouldn’t it help to be able to assure them that dual representation is the way for them to stay in the UN, whereas without it they will be expelled?

(Dr. Kissinger left the meeting at this point.)

Mr. Irwin: This argues for universality. I agree that with dual representation alone [i.e., without universality] Communist China would prevail in a relatively short time. They may prevail even with universality, but with the UN on record in favor of universality, it would be harder to move against the GRC. Overall, I think we would be better to go with universality.

Mr. Wright: There is another problem related to the tie-in between dual representation and the important question. If circumstances are such that the important question would pass but dual representation would not get a two-thirds vote, then any proposal coupling dual representation and the important question would be clearly identified as a gimmick to keep Communist China out of the UN. This will sap support for the important question or dual representation or both. I am not sure we will get a majority on the important question if we are clearly after the status quo./5/

/5/ Additional information on the various formulas for dual representation in the United Nations is in memoranda from Marshall Wright of the NSC staff to Kissinger, March 3 and 9. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 304, NSC Files, Senior Review Group, February–March 1971)

Mr. Armitage: It is possible that such a situation might develop over time. But that will not happen next year.

Mr. Johnson: Is it given that we would couple the important question with dual representation?

Mr. Green: Yes, in order to get the GRC aboard. We need to be able to commend the course of action to them on the grounds that it will lead to a stalemate.

Mr. Johnson: Dual representation will result in a stalemate.

Mr. Green: If only a simple majority were required, dual representation would carry the day, but it is offensive to both Chinas.

Mr. Johnson: If dual representation receives a majority and Taiwan stays in, then the Communist Chinese would stay out.

Mr. Green: Dual representation might hold this year but not two years from now. If we maintain the consistency of treating the matter as an important question, it will help us buy time. I think Communist China will ultimately get into the UN. I think that dual representation is likely to command the most support in this country. At least it will let us off the hook.

Mr. Doolin: At the ANZUS meeting, there was concern that however the representation problem is resolved, Taiwan should not be forced formally to withdraw from the organization.

Mr. Green: Yes. Once they are out, they are out.

Mr. Johnson: I agree. Not even under universality would they be able to get back in.

Mr. Green: I agree. Dual representation may be suspect as a gimmick but universality has a broad appeal.

Mr. Johnson: Universality involves questions of timing. There is the problem of the Korean elections.

Mr. Green: The elections are scheduled for May 1.

Mr. Wright: If dual representation is not coupled to the important question, everyone goes out being able to get a majority over a period of time although we might be able to hold a majority together next year.

Mr. Armitage: Erosion will set in.

Mr. Green: Erosion is going to set in right away. A nose count now will not show what the line-up will be in September.

Mr. Wright: If there is no hope of maintaining a simple majority for dual representation, we don’t have a Chinaman’s chance of holding to a position based on the important question. The net effect would be that the GRC would be out.

Mr. Johnson: That is the thought that was going through my mind.

Mr. Holdridge: We may lose a lot of votes on the important question from people who really want a solution to the problem. Coupling the important question to dual representation does suggest a gimmick.

Mr. Wright: The way we are talking about it now, it is a gimmick.

Mr. Green: We want both regimes in. That should be the basis for our actions. That is our policy; it is what we want. There are other countries that feel the same way.

Mr. Johnson: Then why make achievement of dual representation as hard as possible by tying it to the important question?

Mr. Armitage: There is no foreseeable way we can get both regimes into the UN.

Mr. Green: The important question will pass this year but perhaps not next year. We are in a transition period. Once we have gone the important question route, we can hardly drop it.

Mr. Doolin: Our previous support of the important question was in terms of the Albanian Resolution.

Mr. Green: Is there really any distinction?

Mr. Irwin: How is the important question worded now?

Mr. Armitage: It says: "Any proposal to change the representation of China is an important question."

Mr. Irwin: Is there any precedent for a change of position on what constitutes an important question?

(Dr. Kissinger rejoined the meeting.)

Mr. Green: It is hard to fix a position until we finish the consultation process.

Dr. Kissinger: Is there merit in coupling the important question with either formula?

Mr. Johnson: That is what we were just discussing.

Mr. Irwin: One problem is that the important question would be considered just a gimmick to keep Communist China out of the UN.

Mr. Johnson: The intellectual problem that I have is that if we think both should be in, why should we make it hard to do?

Dr. Kissinger: Because the issue of who belongs to the organization is always an important question even if it slows down getting what we want.

Mr. Irwin: China is the only case that has been considered an important question.

Mr. Johnson: I wonder how we rationalize using the important question.

Mr. Green: The GRC feels that the important question is significant and wants to continue using it. To get the GRC aboard, we have to assure them that we will back application of the important question rule. Once we get a favorable vote on the important question, there would be a better chance of having the GRC continue in the UN without the PRC. Next year we may not be able to get a majority to support considering the China representation issue an important question, but we can roll with the punches. This is the first step in a transition.

Dr. Kissinger: Are there any other views? Dick [Helms]?

Mr. Helms: I have no particular views. However, I do have one question. If we continue to fight against the Albanian Resolution but finally lose, what do we calculate the actual loss in prestige for us will be? Would getting overruled and having the GRC tossed out give us such a black eye internationally?

Mr. Irwin: It would give us a black eye, but I don’t know how much damage it would really do. Our stubbornness would be unpopular with the doves and generally. You could argue that we would make points by staunchly standing by our ally. I think it is an arguable question.

Mr. Johnson: If the GRC is expelled, the GRC is in fact being declared a non-state. This would enormously complicate our problem of maintaining the integrity of the GRC. It would become an international outcast.

Dr. Kissinger: Are you sure that dual representation would win the day over the Albanian Resolution if the important question rule were not applied?

Mr. Irwin: A considerable number of people think it would prevail over the Albanian Resolution.

Mr. Armitage: This year.

Mr. Irwin: I have some doubt about this.

Dr. Kissinger: It would be a tremendous change in our position if we were to give up the important question and throw the issue into the General Assembly in such a way that it could result in the expulsion of the GRC.

Mr. Selden: We would lose on both counts.

Mr. Green: It would make our relations with the GRC more complicated.

Mr. Irwin: Perhaps I overemphasize universality, but if we advocate both universality and dual representation, I think we can get our way without using the important question rule.

Dr. Kissinger: Do you mean that if we propose universality, we don’t need the important question?

Mr. Irwin: The universality proposal would be a general resolution. The idea would be to implement it only in the case of the two Chinas. We would try to avoid implementing it now with respect to other countries.

Dr. Kissinger: What do we gain by this?

Mr. Irwin: Endorsement of the concept of universality and its application to China. We would retain the possibility of a Security Council veto on the other membership questions.

Mr. Johnson: All that we gain is that we would be standing on principle.

Mr. Selden: I think Dick Helms made a good point. We ought to consider how much we would lose if we go down fighting.

Mr. Green: One thing we gain is more understanding among the American people for our foreign policy. People will not be able to say that we stood blindly by Chiang Kai-shek. On the other hand, if the GRC is ejected, this will affect attitudes in this country toward the UN.

Mr. Selden: You will have Communist China on the Security Council.

Mr. Johnson: With dual representation the Communist Chinese don’t go on the Security Council.

Mr. Green: Our recommendation would be that the GRC continue to occupy the Security Council seat until such time as the PRC is in.

Mr. Selden: That is a difficult point to argue with the American public. People in my area of the country want to leave the GRC in and keep the PRC out.

Mr. Green: That is not going to happen. Actually, on the basis of conferences we have had around the country, we find that most people favor dual representation.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Irwin) You favor universality as a means of assuring more votes for dual representation and the important question.

Mr. Irwin: Universality would make it appear a matter of principle rather than just a question of deciding between the two Chinas.

Dr. Kissinger: Of course, if we stick with the important question, we won’t need universality.

Mr. Green: It would be advantageous for us to be identified with the majority view.

Dr. Kissinger: I take it that the majority view favors admission of any organized government. Does this apply to Rhodesia?

Mr. Green: Rhodesia is not in my area of responsibility. In any case, a resolution would state universality as a general principle.

Dr. Kissinger: Where else would universality apply?

Mr. Doolin: Germany, Korea, Vietnam.

Dr. Kissinger: There is no problem with Germany. The FRG has already agreed not to oppose East German entry into the UN.

Mr. Irwin: There would be a problem if East Germany came in before the two Germanies had reached an agreement.

Dr. Kissinger: How would you deal with that problem?

Mr. Irwin: We would just say that we are agreeable to having East Germany join but that the two Germanies must first reach agreement.

Dr. Kissinger: What if the President decides on a two-China policy but without universality?

Mr. Irwin: Such a course would be more apt to be considered a gimmick to prevent PRC entry. That is almost exactly what [British Ambassador] Cromer told me last week. He said: "We just can’t support pure dual representation".

Dr. Kissinger: What are the British planning to do?

Mr. Irwin: They would vote against the important question and for the Albanian Resolution.

Mr. Armitage: We could probably pick up some votes with dual representation.

Dr. Kissinger: I think that those countries that want to make points with Communist China will not vote for any resolution that would impede Communist China’s entry. I have the impression that the British are looking primarily to improving their relations with the Communist Chinese.

Mr. Doolin: They would prefer to have the GRC in.

Dr. Kissinger: But they will not do anything to keep the GRC in. The ideal solution for them would be for the important question to pass; then a vote in favor of dual representation would not count.

Mr. Doolin: The appeal of universality is that it is like motherhood. It is hard for anyone to be against it.

Dr. Kissinger: If the British are voting on the basis of their domestic opinion, then universality will serve their purposes. But if they are voting to appease Communist China, they want to support effective action. I think they want to improve relations with Communist China even if it means expelling the GRC.

Mr. Green: That’s right. Also they see Chou En-lai’s talks with Bensen as a serious Chinese initiative for improving relations.

Dr. Kissinger: Then they are not likely to vote for dual representation under the guise of universality.

Mr. Irwin: It will require high level pressure--probably by the President--to get them to go along. It is clear they oppose dual representation alone; there may be some chance they would support universality.

Dr. Kissinger: How about the one-China-two-delegations proposal on the Soviet model?

Mr. Irwin: They would not go along with that.

Mr. Armitage: There are some lukewarm friends of the Communist Chinese who might come on board with universality.

Dr. Kissinger: Who?

Mr. Armitage: Some of the African states.

Dr. Kissinger: They would go along with dual representation coupled with universality but not with dual representation alone? That is hard to understand.

Mr. Armitage: There is great sentiment for universality.

Dr. Kissinger: Whom does it benefit? The Koreans, Vietnamese, and Germans don’t want it.

Mr. Armitage: Almost everybody else does.

Mr. Green: It has a broad, universal appeal. Many see it as a way of facilitating the settlement of world problems by having every political entity recognized in some sort of world forum. As Dennis Doolin says, it is like motherhood.

Dr. Kissinger: Do you know such sentiment exists or only think so?

Mr. Green: We know, based on discussions we have had. We need to advance some philosophy for what we want to do.

Dr. Kissinger: Does it make any difference what dual representation formula is proposed?

Mr. Irwin: We take the fuzzy one.

Dr. Kissinger: Don’t do anything uncharacteristic. Which is the fuzzy one?

Mr. Green: The one that merely says there will be two delegations.

Mr. Irwin: It says that the question of who rules China is one for the two governments to work out. There is a certain logic to this approach.

Dr. Kissinger: But who agrees with us on this?

Mr. Irwin: I don’t know.

Dr. Kissinger: Is such a formula, which would not say that there are one or two Chinas, really an answer to our problem? Would it guarantee that the PRC does not come in?

Mr. Irwin: If we adopt either of those other two formulas [one China or two Chinas], we find that there are definite objections.

Dr. Kissinger: One possibility would be a one-China-one-Taiwan formula. Do you object to that?

Mr. Green: It would make both sides angry.

Dr. Kissinger: What about one-China-two-states?

Mr. Green: The point is that on these different formulas we would like to talk to other governments before making a decision.

Mr. Johnson: A one-China-two-states policy would imply that Taiwan is part of China.

Mr. Green: Yes, both regimes can claim to be the government of China.

Dr. Kissinger: How does that differ from the two-China formula?

Mr. Green: Just in the language. It is important to keep the idea of one China. Sato, for example, lays great stress on that.

Dr. Kissinger: Let me tell you his name is a dirty word around here. We had such an explosion around here this morning [on textiles] that I thought the pictures would be blown off the wall.
As a technical formula, why would one-China-two-states not be like one-Soviet-Union-three states?

Mr. Armitage: The precedent doesn’t apply. The three Soviet "states" were original members.

Dr. Kissinger: How do you want the President to decide this? The first question is whether we stick with the existing policy or go to some modified policy that permits seating the PRC without having the GRC expelled.

Mr. Johnson: You should add that the present policy may well result in the seating of the PRC.

Dr. Kissinger: And also that whatever we decide, the Albanian Resolution might pass.

The second point is that assuming we decide in favor of seating Communist China, what course of action would best achieve our objective of preserving the seat of the Republic of China. Should we link our proposal to the important question? Should we link it to universality? What dual representation formula do we prefer? Your [the State Department] view is that it doesn’t make any difference what formula we choose; we should take the one that has the widest support.

Mr. Johnson: We have to consult with other countries on this.

Dr. Kissinger: My judgment is that the President would react very badly if the end result of this exercise is the passage of the Albanian Resolution, the seating of Communist China, and the expulsion of Taiwan.

Mr. Doolin: That is going to happen if we don’t change our policy.

Dr. Kissinger: You can’t prove that unless we stick with our present policy. Do you believe that dual representation coupled with universality offers the best chance to defeat the Albanian Resolution?

Mr. Green: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: Should our proposal be linked to the important question?

Mr. Green: Yes.

Mr. Wright: No, that would make it appear to be a gimmick.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Armitage) According to you, if the important question is linked to the Albanian Resolution, the Albanian Resolution will pass. Everything depends on the assessment that the Albanian Resolution is less acceptable than universality. As I understand it, there is an incentive to pass the important question if dual representation is on the table. The countries that do not want to antagonize Communist China can avoid doing so by voting against the important question.

Mr. Irwin: Except that as Marshall Green said, bringing in both universality and dual representation would provide a positive philosophic concept to support. To some degree, universality would thus take the place of the important question. Universality provides a better philosophic basis than the important question.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Green) As I understand it, the only way dual representation has a chance of winning acceptance by the GRC is for it to be linked to the important question.

Mr. Green: That is generally right. It would provide a way to sell dual representation to the GRC.

Dr. Kissinger: I am pretty much persuaded that if the President decides to try dual representation, we should pick the formula that has the best chance of getting votes. Otherwise, we will be opening the way for the Albanian Resolution.

Mr. Green: We can’t determine what the best formula would be without consulting. We need time to advance the concept of dual representation. We should not continue saying that we have no position. This connotes irresolution and weakens our hand. We need a green light to take soundings on dual representation.

Dr. Kissinger: Do we need an NSC meeting or should we just send a memorandum to the President?

Mr. Irwin: The Secretary [of State] is thinking in terms of an NSC discussion.

Mr. Green: I thought that he considered it would be difficult to make a final decision without more consultation.

Dr. Kissinger: My view is that whenever a cabinet member wants an NSC meeting, we arrange one if the President’s schedule permits. However, I have seen no division of opinion here.

Mr. Johnson: We ought to say to the President that we are reasonably certain the new position will prevail.

Mr. Armitage: We can’t be sure on that until we talk with some of the other countries.

Mr. Green: We can say to the press that we are not taking a position until we have taken soundings with other UN members.

Dr. Kissinger: What you need is a Presidential decision that we are willing to abandon the position that we have upheld up to now and that we are willing to consult with other countries on the possibility of adopting dual representation as a solution.

Mr. Green: That’s right.

Dr. Kissinger: Do we need a decision on the important question?

Mr. Johnson: That can wait until after our consultations.

Dr. Kissinger: My own feeling is that we do not need an NSC meeting. Why don’t we leave it that we will try to get an answer from the President but that if the Secretary wants an NSC meeting, we will schedule one.

Mr. Johnson: It would be best to have an NSC meeting after we consult other countries.

Mr. Green: We have a problem with the British. The important question resolution is crucial to them. They want to vote against it.

Dr. Kissinger: Alex’s [Johnson’s] argument on how we make the point that universality is an important question is a little odd.

Mr. Johnson: I think that the important question issue is significant.

Dr. Kissinger: It will be easier to get the President’s approval if we show some sensitivity toward Chiang Kai-shek.

Mr. Green: We don’t want to have Chiang leave the UN in a huff. Next summer we will have a better idea of the ins and outs of this whole issue.

Mr. Armitage: Don’t we have to tell the British something about the important question issue the next time we meet with them?

Dr. Kissinger: When do we have to give them an answer?

Mr. Irwin: There is no specific deadline. It depends on their anxiety over Communist China. Things have been moving faster since Chou En-lai talked to Bensen.

Mr. Johnson: I don’t understand it. Chou En-lai has one conversation with Bensen, and the British fall all over themselves.

Mr. Irwin: I don’t know how far up in the British Government the enthusiasm extends.

Dr. Kissinger: I think Heath believes he can proceed by issuing ultimata.

Mr. Doolin: The British have always been impressed by the potential Chinese market.

Mr. Irwin: A timing problem involves the Korean elections. The consultations should not be public before them.

Dr. Kissinger: When are the elections?

Mr. Green: In May.

Dr. Kissinger: You would not raise it before the elections?

Mr. Green: Yes we would. Park would be so anxious that we not mention it publicly before the elections that he might be much more cooperative.

Dr. Kissinger: We will defer the other paper [the NSSM 106 study on China] until later next week./6/

/6/ The minutes of the March 12 Senior Review Group meeting are printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVII, China, 1969–1972.

336. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, March 11, 1971, 2208Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. Repeated to Taipei.

657. Subj: Chirep.

1. Amb Liu (GRC) paid courtesy call on Amb Bush March 11. Amb Liu, noting his concern with Terence Smith article (NY Times, March 10) and Times editorial (March 11)/2/ said he can’t understand why US wants PRC in UN when fundamental policy of Communists has not changed. Amb Bush said our policy review is not based on naiveté, that we hold no brief for Peking vis-à-vis Taiwan, but that we are faced with a new situation in the UN and must decide on most realistic course of action.

/2/ "U.S. Said To Plan a Shift on Peking," The New York Times, March 10, 1971, p. 1; and "China Policy... Negotiation... " ibid., March 11, 1971, p. 38.

2. Amb Liu, acknowledging the above, said he realized it is because of the adverse tide facing us that we are considering alternative strategies to preserve GRC place in the UN but he would like us to keep in mind the following before deciding on any third resolution:

A. Pres Chiang is engaged in a political struggle and anything which damaged the GRC position in the UN would have grave repercussions in Taiwan.

B. US should not co-sponsor any third resolution as this would be damaging to whole political struggle of GRC and "pull rug out from under them."

C. SC seat should not be mentioned in any resolution as retention of seat is of prime importance to GRC.

3. Before leaving, Amb Liu told Amb Bush to please ignore press comments coming from Taipei re President’s report as he (Liu) fully aware of positive points report had made concerning US–GRC relations.


337. Telegram From the Consulate General in Hong Kong to the Department of State/1/

Hong Kong, March 12, 1971, 1000Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Exdis.

1580.Subject: Recommended Phrasings on China Questions. For EA/Green.

1. When I saw you recently in Department, you suggested the preparation of a "say-don’t say" guide for persons making statements about Chirep and Chirec. We both felt that Peking’s U.S.-watchers will be reading between the lines of our statements and that it is important to avoid giving them the wrong signals by inadvertent turns of phrase.

2. We wish to signal Peking that there is flexibility in our position regarding Taiwan, so that Peking will be encouraged to seek better relations with us to enhance the prospects for eventual reunification of Taiwan with the mainland. We wish to avoid signaling Peking that our position regarding Taiwan has hardened along lines that rule out any acceptable mutual understanding between us.

3. Key message we should try to convey is that the United States has not made up its mind to seek to detach Taiwan from China permanently. We realize that Department spokesmen have at various times sought to convey this message, and that you have exercised great prudence in avoiding positions of an explicitly "one-China, one-Taiwan" sort. However, given high degree of ambiguity that is inherent in the actual situation, it is hard to avoid formulations that might be misconstrued to mean that the U.S. has made up its mind to bring about or support the secession of Taiwan from China. As more and more public attention focuses on Chirep and Chirec, the number of pitfalls will multiply.

4. Among seemingly innocuous themes that might convey the wrong signals to Peking are the following:

A."Taiwan is a small, law-abiding national being arbitrarily attacked by the PRC."

B."All we ask is that Peking leave its neighbors alone..."

C."Taiwan is entitled to self-determination."

D."Taiwan is vital to U.S. (or Japan’s, or the Philippines’) security."

E."The U.S. has a commitment to keep Taiwan free from mainland control."

F."The U.S. has a commitment to safeguard the independence of Taiwan."

5. While it is of course impossible to give a complete catalog of all the contexts in which there will be risk of sending Peking the wrong signals, we have attempted below to suggest the principal pitfalls by illustrative questions and answers. We have not attempted to polish the language of these little scenarios, and would welcome comments and criticism.

I. Chinese Representation

Q#1. Does the U.S. oppose seating PRC in the UN?

Say: No, the U.S. favors seating the PRC, as well as the GRC, in the UN. Neither the PRC nor the GRC alone is able to speak for, or undertake obligations on behalf of, the entire Chinese people. Therefore, both ought to be represented.

Don’t say: We believe the PRC should be represented, but we do not think it should be allowed to exact a price--the price of expelling the GRC.

Q#2. If the PRC takes China’s seat, how can the GRC stay in?

Say: The PRC is no more able to speak for the Chinese on Taiwan than the GRC is for the Chinese on the mainland. The UN needs representatives able to speak for both groups of people, and both are entitled to representation.

Don’t say: Taiwan is entitled to membership because it is a country with 14 million people and has been a law-abiding member of the peace-loving community of nations for the past 22 years; and it is recognized as such by a large number of members of the UN.

Q#3. If the GRC were to stay in the UN, would it not have to change its name to "Republic of Taiwan", or "Formosa"?

Say: Both the PRC and the GRC claim that Taiwan is a province of China, not a separate state. How their delegations should be distinguished in the UN is a matter for the two of them to decide, if and when both are seated. (Don’t fail to note: PRC/GRC both claim that Taiwan is province of China.)

II. Recognition of China

Q#4. Why does the U.S. oppose country X’s withdrawing recognition from the GRC as a concomitant of its establishment of relations with Peking?

Say: We would like to see all Chinese, wherever they may reside, free to interact with peoples of all nations. We hope that Peking and Taipei, pending settlement of their differences, and without
prejudice to their respective claims, can be persuaded to abandon their past doctrinaire insistence on exclusive recognition. Country X’s withdrawal of recognition from the GRC would be a step in the wrong direction.

Don’t say: Taiwan is a law-abiding, respected member of the family of nations, with a modest population of 14 million people, larger than that of 2/3 of the UN member states, and entitled to recognition as such. China is seeking to impose its will on Taiwan by force and intimidation, and country X should not accede to Peking’s arbitrary and unreasonable demands.

Q#5. Does the U.S. oppose country X’s "taking note" of Peking’s claim that Taiwan is part of China?

Say: No. Both Peking and Taipei make this claim. No other country claims Taiwan.

Don’t say: Yes, because the status of Taiwan is undetermined and we would hope that country X will explicitly reserve its position in this regard.

III. Future of Taiwan

Q#6. What is the status of Taiwan?

Say: Historically and juridically, complex questions may be raised about the status of Taiwan. In fact, both Peking and Taipei claim that Taiwan is a province of China, and no other country claims it.

Don’t say: The status of Taiwan is undetermined.

Q#7. What is the U.S. position regarding the future status of Taiwan?

Say: The future of Taiwan is likely to depend primarily on the eventual resolution of the differences between the PRC and GRC. We hope this will come about by peaceful means, and that due attention will be paid to the will of all the people affected.

Don’t say: We support the right of self-determination for Taiwan.

Q#8. Does the U.S. favor self-determination for the native-born Taiwanese?

Say: We believe that the future of Taiwan should be decided in accordance with the will of all those involved, including, but not limited to, the native-born Taiwanese.

Don’t say: Yes, we support the right of the Taiwanese to self-determination.

IV. Security

Q#9. Why does the United States have a commitment to the GRC?

Say: We undertook a solemn treaty obligation, reflecting our belief that an attempt to settle the differences between the PRC and the GRC by force would jeopardize the peace and security of Asia.

Don’t say: We believe Taiwan is vital to the security of the U.S. (or Japan, or the free world). Taiwan is a vital link in our chain of bases. In enemy hands, Taiwan would represent a threat to us and our allies.

Q#10. Does the United States have a commitment to keep Taiwan free from mainland control?

Say: That is not a correct statement of our commitment. The United States has declared that it would not try to block a peaceful settlement between the GRC and the PRC. Obviously, such a settlement might result in the extension of mainland control to Taiwan. Our commitment is to help the GRC keep the PRC from imposing a settlement by force.

Don’t say: Yes.

Q#11. Does the United States have a commitment to safeguard the independence of Taiwan?

Say: No. Our commitment is to the GRC, to help it keep the PRC from imposing a settlement of their differences by force. The GRC maintains that Taiwan is a province of China. Any question of Taiwan’s independence, or its secession from China, is hypothetical, and the question of a U.S. commitment to protect its independence is doubly so.

Don’t say: Yes, the U.S. has a commitment to safeguard the independence of Taiwan.


338. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, March 13, 1971, 0021Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret.


1. As requested in Armitage–Newlin telcon,/2/ USUN has attempted to predict vote count on varying Chirep reses. Dept will appreciate that this is inexact science at best, since any change in usual Chirep scenario introduces many uncertainties. Even if ground is prepared for new Chirep res well in advance, there are likely to be alarms and excursions created by submission of last-minute reses or amendments, procedural wrangles and the like. Under such circumstances, unpredictability heightened by fact that some dels will be operating without instructions if there are last minute maneuvers.

/2/ No record of this conversation has been found.

2. With these caveats, fol are our head counts:

A. We share view of practically everybody at UN that IQ will be defeated if strategy of past years is followed. Our head count is 52–55– 20 with situation deteriorating fast as US and others get noses further under dual rep tent. We have assumed UK will oppose IQ but have not taken other potential Anglophone dissenters into account.

B. A dual rep res, such as Belgian, could command a sizeable majority, but not two-thirds, if US works hard for it, GRC acquiesces, and it is understood that SC seat goes to PRC. Our estimate is 71–49–7 provided all above conditions fulfilled. We assume PRC’s supporters would oppose such a move strongly and that PRC would refuse to join if dual rep res passed. This would result in Chirep issue coming up in subsequent Assemblies with attendant erosion of support for dual rep. We would guess that dual rep would be viable for 2–3 years under these circumstances.

C. A dual rep res would not fare nearly so well if GRC opposed it and implied or announced that they would withdraw if it passed. We would guess that pressure from US and others could still carry day for dual rep under these circumstances but by a very narrow margin (55–52–20 is our best estimate). There is a real risk that the AR would obtain about same vote and an uncertain fight over priority could be decisive as to which received larger vote. In any case, we doubt that a dual rep res strongly opposed by both Chinas could carry for a second year.

D. We do not believe that combining dual rep with universality would significantly affect either of above two votes.

E. We believe that submission of IQ and a dual rep res would be perceived by many as a procedural gimmick to block PRC membership. In such a case, both IQ and dual rep res would probably lose votes. IQ might lose only 2–3, but since we see it losing anyhow this would be more than enough. Dual rep res could lose ten or more votes if combined with IQ.

F. Japanese suggestion of a res declaring that expulsion of GRC is an IQ would probably command greater support than traditional IQ since it goes to the heart of a principle many here support„that GRC expulsion should not be the price of PRC admission. If proponents of such a res handled it carefully and GRC kept quiet, we could see a majority as high as 76-45-6 for it. This majority would erode also if it became evident that the PRC would not come in under these conditions, but it would probably last longer than a dual rep res.

G. Another possibility which is gaining popularity here is a simple res admitting PRC and not mentioning GRC. This would command broadest support of all, but in our view would be procedurally dangerous since it would be subject to amendment to conform to AR.


339. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, March 18, 1971, 1907Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. Drafted by Shoesmith and approved in draft by Assistant Secretary Marshall Green. Repeated to Tokyo, Wellington, Canberra, London, and Hong Kong.

45572.Subject: Further Consultations with GRC on Chirep.

1. During call on another matter, March 17, GRC Ambassador Chow Shu-kai remarked to Assistant Secretary Green that he and GRC Ambassador to UN Liu thought it might be useful to have another discussion in Washington as follow-up to Ambassador Brown’s recent meetings in Taipei with Vice Minister Yang Hsi-kun and others. Chow suggested possibility first part of April, by which time, he suggested, USG may have crystallized thinking on Chirep problem.

2. Green agreed that such meeting would be useful around time Chow had suggested. He remarked that Brown and party had had most profitable talks in Taipei. Green said that he had been encouraged by degree of realism and flexibility which both GRC and US had demonstrated in those talks and which offers hope that our governments will be able work together along generally agreed lines, even if GRC is unable formally to endorse our position. These talks, together with Ambassador McConaughy’s subsequent meeting with Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo, indicated that we should be able pursue tactics which could serve our mutual interests.

3. Chow stated that time of essence, and expressed hope that by April US would have come to some conclusion as result of its study. If, he said, we can on that basis come to agreement on common objective or approach, then we can work together to obtain support of other governments.

4. Green expressed hope that if we should conclude that some change in tactics is called for, we will have at least GRC understanding, even though it might not be able say so publicly. He also expressed strong hope that GRC appreciates importance of retaining position in UN. To latter point, Chow stated that GRC will not say that it might withdraw, and he noted that in recent TV interview he had explicitly rejected any such inference from his remarks on GRC view of problem. He added, however, that in order for GRC to remain in UN, its position "has to be tenable both domestically and externally."

5. Green remarked that any resolution of Chirep problem will involve real difficulties: in many ways it is a choice between something that is painful and matters that could be more painful. He emphasized that it is out of a sincere concern for GRC that US and other friendly governments are engaged in such a thorough study of this problem. Chow acknowledged this is case, adding that, "If there is mutual confidence, the pain will be easier to bear."


340. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, March 23, 1971, 1752Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, January–May 1971, Vol. VI. Secret. The telegram bears the following marginal notes by Assistant Secretary Green: "HAK--Here is the vote count Amb. Bush promised to do. Marshall." "You might want to call this to HAK’s attention before tomorrow’s NSC." "A 'general expulsion’ IQ which did not refer to the GRC might not work, because the issue is representation, not membership."

744.Subj: Chirep Voting Estimates. Ref: USUN 681./2/

/2/ Document 338.

1. We have further analyzed the likely voting breakdowns next fall on the various possible votes on Chirep. To estimate such votes, when numerous complex variables will influence the final position of many delegations, is difficult at best. To do so now, eight or nine months before the event, when the situation may be affected by the outcome of policy reviews in a number of countries including the United States, makes it a highly inexact science. With the possible exception of the voting estimate on an exact repetition of last year’s tactics: i.e., vote on a U.S. sponsored Important Question resolution followed by vote on Albanian type resolution, our estimates cannot be considered more than "educated" guesses (see reftel).

2. The credibility, hence the success or failure of any alternative to the old strategy, will depend on its not seeming just a gimmick to keep Peking out for another year or two. There is widespread view that the traditional I.Q. (Important Question) resolution is such a gimmick. Only alternative form of IQ that appears to us to stand much of a chance of passage is in a resolution that clearly differentiates between the specific question of representation of China, and the general question of the expulsion of a member state. Should this general expulsion I.Q. resolution be linked in any way to the member representing the people of China, or the China cited in the Charter, it would lose any chance of passage. A general expulsion resolution would have to be voted on first, and would have to be followed by a dual representation resolution of the Belgian type. It may be assumed that both of these resolutions would obtain the necessary simple majority and would be adopted against the votes of the supporters of the traditional Albanian-type resolution. The Albanian-type resolution would then be voted on last, but would fail of passage by not obtaining the required two-thirds majority. (There might be difficult procedural battles in order to set up above voting sequence.)

3. Our current voting estimate on traditional IQ is 51 for, 57 against, and 19 abstentions. This is the best we could expect, and approximately five votes (Canada, Ecuador, Maldives, Mauritius and Sierra Leone) could slip from support to abstention or abstention to opposition. Several others could do likewise as time to vote approaches if they realized that by continuing to vote for the IQ they were going to be on losing side. These include Jamaica, the only black Caribbean still listed as in favor of IQ. Albanian-type reolution would then be adopted with at least same two vote margin as last year, but almost certainly more.

4. A general "expulsion of a member" IQ would probably command a simple majority but not two-thirds, although much would depend on its exact wording and on the extent to which members saw it as an attempt to keep the PRC out and the GRC in. The hard-core Albanian res supporters (i.e., between 45 and 50) would oppose it. The remaining 75-80 votes would be cast in support of such a generalized IQ resolution or would represent abstentions. Our current rough tally, subject to revision, indicates 62 in favor, 50 against, and 15 abstentions.


341. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

Washington, undated.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–031, NSC Meetings. Secret. Sent for action. The memorandum is stamped "The President has seen" and was initialed by Butterfield.

Chinese Representation at the United Nations and Our Relations with Taiwan

The study you ordered of this issue has been completed, and has been discussed by the Senior Review Group. An NSC meeting has been scheduled for March 25 to review the problem.

This extremely complex and involuted matter involves U.S. international prestige, the attitude of the American public toward the UN, and our future relations with both Taipei and Peking. There are two separate but related categories of issues: (a) those specifically pertaining to representation at the United Nations, and (b) those pertaining more generally to our relations with Taiwan and Peking.

I. The UN Representation Question

The current situation. For many years our strategy has rested on two actions: support for the Important Question Resolution and opposition to the Albanian Resolution. The Important Question Resolution establishes each year the requirement for a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly to effect any change in the representation of China. The Albanian Resolution calls explicitly for the expulsion of Taipei and the seating of Peking.

Time is running out on this strategy. Last year, for the first time, a majority voted for the Albanian Resolution. Taipei’s expulsion was prevented only by the passage of the Important Question Resolution. A change of only eight votes will beat us on the Important Question, and support for it is eroding rapidly. Major supporters (the U.K., Canada) have already indicated an intention to vote against the Important Question this year.

However, the strong international sentiment in favor of Peking’s entry into the United Nations is not yet matched by an equal enthusiasm for expelling Taipei. Therefore, while it is unlikely that any policy can succeed for long in keeping Peking out, we may be able to prevent Taipei’s expulsion.

Therefore, the issue is whether to change our current policy, and, if so, to what.

The Policy Choices:

--Stick with the present policy.
--Dual representation alone.
--Dual representation with universality.

1. Stick with Current Policy. We would continue our major diplomatic effort to maintain majority support for the Important Question Resolution, as a means of neutralizing the majority support for the Albanian Resolution. The purpose would be to keep Peking out and Taipei in.

Advantages. At least initially, this posture would be welcomed by Taipei. As its results become clear, however, Taipei would probably have serious second thoughts as to our real intent in being so "loyal" to our ally. This posture would also be pleasing to Peking, which would correctly assess it as leading to their early victory.

Disadvantages. It will lead to a major U.S. defeat at the UN, will be considered by all our allies and by the U.S. press as rigid and unrealistic, could cause serious difficulties with U.S. public attitudes toward the UN, and would lead to the expulsion of Taipei from the United Nations.

In view of the state of international sentiment, this is a certain loser. Defeat is very possible this year, and virtually certain in the 1972 General Assembly. This gloomy judgment is shared by all, including such pro-Taipei stalwarts as the Japanese and Australians.

State and your UN Mission believe that this policy cannot be successfully maintained much longer. Defense might like to see it continued but recognizes that it is certain to fail soon. I share the view that a decision to stick with the current policy is a decision to accept defeat, if not this year, then next.

2. Dual Representation. This would involve our support for a resolution calling for UN membership for both Peking and Taipei. There are theoretically a number of variations on how a dual representation resolution might be worded ("one China–one Taiwan", "one China–two states", "two China’s", etc. I have summarized these for you (Tab Dual Representation Formulae)./2/ However, as a practical matter, any formula legally distinguishing between mainland China and Taipei is anathema to both Taipei and Peking, and, moreover would simply complicate our problem at the UN.

/2/ Attached but not printed.

Therefore, the only feasible dual representation formula is one which calls for the representation of both Peking and Taipei without any conclusion as to the territorial or sovereignty claims of either. The resolution would simply argue that both are long standing de facto governments and both should be represented in the UN and bound by its Charter. In effect, the issue would be avoided.

Advantages of Dual Representation. It would stand a good chance of commanding majority support and thus blocking passage of the Albanian Resolution. Moreover, if Peking refused to enter on this basis, the onus for its non-participation would be squarely on Peking.

Disadvantages. Peking would consider this policy hostile to its interests, and Taipei might, initially at least, take the position that it would prefer to leave the UN rather than sit with Peking. Even if Dual Representation were passed, it is not certain how long majority support could be retained for it in the face of Peking’s refusal to enter the UN on that basis.

The central issue in a dual representation policy is what its end result will be. If in the end it leads to the expulsion of Taipei and the entry of Peking as the only representative of China, it is not greatly different from sticking with our present policy and going down to defeat. It might postpone defeat for a year or so, and it might make our defeat appear somewhat less stark. But the end effect would be the same.

The likelihood of this development can be somewhat diminished by the treatment of the Important Question Resolution as part of a dual representation strategy.

There are three options on the Important Question:

--to abandon it, and put forward only a dual representation resolution.
--to keep it, putting forward both a dual representation and an important question resolution.
--to modify it, so that it applies only to the expulsion of Taipei, not the entry of Peking.

The Important Question Resolution is now the only thing preventing Taipei’s expulsion and Peking’s entry. Taipei will, therefore, attach the greatest of importance to its retention as part of any new strategy we may propose.

--If we abandon the Important Question Resolution, a simple majority can vote Peking in and Taipei out. In view of the fact that a majority has already voted to do so, it would be imprudent, to say the least, to give up the Important Question Resolution altogether.

--There is, however, a near fatal flaw in going to the UN with both a dual representation resolution and the Important Question Resolution. While we can get a majority for dual representation, we can probably not get two-thirds. Therefore, if we continue to insist on the treatment of dual representation as an Important Question, we are, in fact, simply freezing the status quo. This would be seen by everybody as a transparent gimmick intended merely to keep Peking out and Taipei in. While it might enable us to stave off defeat for another year, or possibly two, its eventual result would, in all probability, be the GRC’s expulsion.

--If we seek an Important Question Resolution applying only to the expulsion of Taipei, this would permit Peking’s entry by a majority vote, but would require a two-thirds vote to expel Taipei. Nothing would then stand in the way of Peking’s entry except Peking’s own insistence that it will not come in until it can set its own terms. This might hold together a coalition of those who like Taipei, those who dislike Peking, and those who are beholden to us, sufficient to resist such a demand from Peking.

State believes this should be treated strictly as a tactical issue and we should take no position until we have consulted with our allies. My own view is that it goes to the heart of our relations with Taiwan and the hope of maintaining its UN seat.

3. Dual Representation with Universality. Universality is the doctrine that all governments should be represented in the UN. This doctrine has wide international and domestic approval. However, since the Chinese issue at the UN is one of representation rather than state membership, it is perfectly possible for UN members to favor universality and, at the same time, favor Taipei’s expulsion. Universality will not, therefore, by itself, resolve the Chirep issue. Nonetheless, coupled with a dual representation resolution, a general statement favoring universality as the guide to UN membership questions is a relevant option.

Advantages. Because of its international appeal, universality might win some additional support for a dual representation solution to the Chinese problem. It would also provide a popular, credible and easily defended explanation for the change in our longstanding opposition to Peking’s entry and it would give a strong additional argument in principle for maintaining Taipei’s seat. Finally, it might make a dual representation policy somewhat more palatable to Taipei.

Disadvantages. It will make problems with our German, Korean, and Vietnamese allies. None of them want us now to come out in favor of UN membership for East Germany, North Korea, or North Vietnam. With the Germans, it is primarily a matter of timing, since Bonn has already agreed to UN membership for both Germanys, once their current negotiations have been satisfactorily concluded. The South Koreans will be passionately opposed to any form of UN participation by North Korea. The South Vietnamese will not like universality, but should be easier to deal with than the Koreans.

Whether or not to couple universality with a dual representation strategy is not affected by the treatment of the Important Question Resolution--the effects would be the same as discussed earlier.

Secretary Rogers is enthusiastic about universality, and does not believe we should permit our allies’ distaste for it to control our policy. He believes it will greatly improve both our international and domestic stance on a dual representation policy. I agree that universality has some advantages as a debating point, but am skeptical that it will actually gain us many, if any, additional votes at the UN for dual representation. Unless it will do so, I do not believe that it is worth the trouble it will cause with Korea and Germany, and possibly with South Vietnam.

The Security Council Seat. The issue of China’s Security Council seat is closely related to our decision regarding UN membership. Although General Assembly resolutions are not binding on the Security Council, the passage of a dual representation resolution would set in motion pressures that would likely make Peking’s invitation to the Security Council an inevitable concomitant. It is, in fact, possible that the Council will act to expel Taipei and invite Peking even before the General Assembly acts. There has been some discussion in the Council of such an action.

Chiang Kai-shek is very likely to seek assurances from us about the Council seat, as part of any discussion of a dual representation policy. While we may be able to hold the seat for Taipei until such time as Peking shows up to claim it, there is nothing we can do to hold it permanently. We are weak on this issue in the Council, with both Britain and France favoring Peking’s seating.

It is probably not possible to avoid this issue in a dual representation strategy. If we do not explicitly provide for the Security Council seat in our resolution, some other nation likely will offer an amendment specifying that the Council seat goes to Peking under dual representation.

State feels that we should accept the inevitable and agree to Peking’s occupancy of the Security Council seat as part of a dual representation strategy. State believes that to do otherwise will make us look insincere in professing to favor dual representation.

Chiang Kai-shek would find it intolerable if the United States openly supported or acquiesced in depriving Taipei of its Security Council seat. Taipei might very well prefer to walk out of the UN rather than accept such a development. That, of course, would totally and permanently defeat our effort to maintain Taipei’s UN membership. We may not be able ultimately to avoid Peking’s winning the Council seat. But, we can let that development be forced upon us rather than voluntarily taking a position which is anathema to our Taiwan ally.

II. Issues in Our Relations with Taiwan and Peking

There are four other issues which relate to our posture toward Chinese representation. These are: (1) the U.S.-Taiwan defense relationship, (2) our position on Taiwan’s claim to sovereignty over all of China and its future status, (3) a possible renunciation of force agreement with Peking, and (4) possible arms control initiatives toward Peking.

1. U.S.–Taiwan Defense Relationship. There are three principal aspects of this relationship: (a) our Mutual Defense Treaty, (b) our force level on Taiwan, and (c) the level of military assistance. Chiang Kai-shek will demand as the price for agreeing to any Chirep formula other than the current one, the following:

--At the minimum, a strong reaffirmation of the U.S.–GRC Mutual Defense Treaty,

--In all probability, assurances on the maintenance of at least our present force levels on Taiwan, and

--A renewed request for a squadron of F–4’s and 3 submarines for the Chinese armed forces.

By these demands, Chiang will hope to improve the defense of Taiwan against a growing PRC capability, and also to slow improvement in U.S.–PRC relations by identifying us as closely as possible with that defense.

A. The Defense Treaty. The treaty dates from 1954 and commits us to assist in the defense of Taiwan and the Pescadores in the event of external attack. You again stated our commitment to the treaty in the recent Annual Report on Foreign Policy./3/ Chiang continually seeks reassurance, but the PRC may be nettled by further statements on our part.

/3/ Second Annual Report to Congress on United States Foreign Policy, February 25, in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 219–345.

--Defense would favor a reaffirmation. State may argue, however, that it would needlessly inhibit improved relations with Peking.

--I see no harm in giving Chiang an additional reaffirmation, if he seeks it. It would entail no greater commitment than we now have, and which Peking is well aware of.

B. Force Level on Taiwan. We now have about 9,000 troops on Taiwan. Of these, about 2,200 are directly related to the defense of Taiwan or support of its defense, 6,800 are there in connection with our strategic posture in East Asia, or are support troops related to our general military activities in Asia.

Chiang will want the level maintained, and perhaps increased. But any real progress in improving U.S.–PRC relations is likely to require some reduction in U.S. force levels. Peking, in an obvious bargaining ploy has said that all U.S. forces must leave Taiwan as a prerequisite to any improvement in our relations.

Defense wants to hold the existing level and does not rule out a future need for some increases as our support activities elsewhere in Asia are displaced. State wants at least some reductions in the interest of furthering relations with Peking. [1 line of source text not declassified]

My view is that we should not commit ourselves at this stage to a reduction. A military cutback on Taiwan, coming simultaneously with a move to permit Peking’s entry into the UN, would be subject to serious misunderstanding by Peking as well as the Taiwanese public. In the final analysis, after we have taken into account Chiang’s demands and Peking’s posture toward us, our own strategic requirements should govern. We should not undertake reductions unilaterally if what we want is some step on Peking’s part to ease our relations.

C. Military Assistance Levels. Chiang will want us to maintain our existing military assistance levels to Taiwan as a counterweight to the PRC’s growing military capability. In addition, he will probably renew a plea, begun in 1969, for a squadron of F–4’s and 3 submarines.

There is no problem about maintaining existing military assistance levels. The supplemental appropriation last fall restored some fairly drastic cuts in Taiwan’s programs made for Cambodia, and State and Defense are agreed we should continue at about the same rate. On the F–4’s and the submarines, they both are opposed on the grounds that to provide these systems would be very expensive, give the GRC an offensive capability against the PRC, and also involve high operation and maintenance costs.

I believe that despite our past opposition to giving F–4’s and submarines to the GRC, we may need to consider this in order to gain

Chiang’s support for any change in our Chinese representation policy. The decision need not be made now however, and can await your decision on Chinese representation and Chiang’s reaction.

2. The U.S. Position on the Status of the GRC. The GRC claims to be the government of all China, and we have so far been able to avoid taking a position on this claim. We have followed a policy of maintaining diplomatic relations only with Taipei, keeping silent about its pretensions regarding its sovereignty over all China, while making clear that we deal with Peking on matters of mutual interest.

The issue is whether or not we can hold to that posture if we adopt a UN representation formula which does not exclude the PRC from the UN.

--The present policy gives us the maximum flexibility as to the future status of Taiwan, and does the least damage to U.S.–Taiwan relations. However, it looks highly unrealistic if we opt for Peking’s membership in the UN, and it brings us very close to an unspoken two China policy.

--A possible alternative is to state publicly that the question of which government is the legitimate government of China is not one which the U.S. can decide and that we regard this issue to be a matter for peaceful resolution by the parties directly concerned. That posture would be more credible, and would be more consistent with a dual representation policy, if you opt for such a policy. Moreover, it keeps open our options on Taiwan’s ultimate status. There would be strains in our relations with Taiwan, however.

State favors holding to our present position, but if forced by pressures resulting from a change in our UN representation policy, would then favor the alternative.

My own view is that if we stick with our present position at the UN no change is needed. If we move to dual representation, however, I think logic forces us to move simultaneously to the alternative position.

I recommend that you conduct the meeting by first calling on Mr. Cushman (in Mr. Helms’ absence) to brief on the situation in Taiwan and then call on me to outline the issues. Following these briefings you will want to ask the participants for their views beginning with Secretary Rogers and Ambassador Bush. I also recommend that you not make a decision at the NSC meeting but inform the participants that you wish time to consider the views they have expressed.

Your talking points proceed in this way./4/

/4/ Attached but not printed.

342. Minutes of Meeting of the National Security Council/1/

Washington, March 25, 1971, 10:12–11:15 a.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–110, NSC Minutes, Originals. Secret. Attached but not printed were the draft minutes for the meeting. A covering memorandum from Wright, April 7, suggests that he prepared these minutes. The time of the meeting is taken from the President’s Daily Diary. In addition to President Nixon, the following attended: Agnew, Rogers, Laird, Connally, Lincoln, Mitchell, Bush, Moorer, Cushman, Farley (Acting Director, ACDA), U. Alexis Johnson, De Palma, Green, Kissinger, Holdridge, Wright, and Kennedy. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)

The President: We have a subject this morning which could take us all day. I propose to get the problem out on the table so that we know what the issues are. We have a sticky problem over the Chinese Communists in the UN. We all know what our position has been, and we all know that each year we have a harder time getting the votes necessary to keep this position viable. Therefore we must consider the question not only of what we ought to do, but what our options would be in case George Bush gets up and finds that he doesn’t have the votes. I don’t think that this year we will have a problem, but my judgment is that we will next year.

This is a very complicated matter and I advise all of you to read the papers./2/ Obviously, this matter is a very delicate one and our discussion here must be held in the strictest of confidence. That is always so of these meetings but it is particularly so of this one.

/2/ Presumably a reference to Documents 312 and 326.

I think it would be advisable for Dr. Kissinger to give a rundown regarding the problems which came out in the Working Group, and then hear from Bill and George, and then go on to any others who have thoughts, and then go into the question of our military relations with Taiwan.

Dr. Kissinger: There are two kinds of issues. First, those which concern the UN representation of China and, second, those which pertain to our relations with Taiwan. They are related. We have first a policy issue of whether we want to stick to our present course. If not, then we have the tactical issue of what course we ought to follow.

The fact is that we will face almost certain defeat this year and if not, next year. We may not get a majority on the Important Question. Last year you recall a majority voted for the Albanian Resolution. Sticking to our present policy then would have the paradoxical result of assuring the entry of Peking over our opposition, and the expulsion of Taiwan. We would go down fighting by sticking to our present policy, but we would go down.

If we are to change our policy the question is in what direction should we change it. There are two formulae and one major issue. We could go for dual representation, which would mean both Peking and Taiwan would be represented, or we could go for dual representation within the concept of universality. That would mean that we would favor membership in the United Nations for all countries, and as a part of that position we would favor the admission of both Peking and Taipei.

A major issue is what to do about the Important Question. If we insist that entry into the UN is an Important Question then dual representation would defeat the Albanian Resolution, but the Important Question would defeat dual representation, for which we wouldn’t get a two-thirds majority. If we want dual representation to pass, we have to give up the position that this is an Important Question. But we should remember that even if we give up the Important Question and dual representation prevails in either of its two forms, the Communist Chinese may not come in. In two or three years a majority in the UN may still go for either a straight or modified version of the Albanian Resolution just to get Peking in.

We have three options regarding the Important Question:

1. We can abandon it.
2. We can keep it with dual representation, the practical consequences of which would be the defeat of the Albanian Resolution but also the failure of dual representation.
3. We could modify the Important Question by making it apply only to the expulsion of Taiwan. This would have the effect that dual representation would win, the Communist Chinese will not come in, but only because they would be trying to impose their own terms on the UN, and we would have a hedge against the expulsion of Taiwan.

We can pursue any one of a number of dual representation formulae or we can put dual representation in the context of universality. Universality might get a few more votes for a dual representation formula, but would make a problem for South Korea which would strenuously object to any arrangement permitting North Korea to enter. It would also create problems with South Vietnam and some tactical problems with Germany, which already has agreed in principle to the two Germanys being represented after their current negotiations are completed. We could probably protect ourselves against these problems. But they would be the cost to us of universality. The choice, then, is whether to go to dual representation, and if so, whether to link it with universality.

There is another issue related to the representation question: who shall hold the Security Council seat? If we go to a dual representation formula this would set in play pressures that would inevitably result in the Chinese Communists taking the seat. However, we may be able to hold the line for several years, although this is not a procedural matter and we can’t use the veto.

Secretary Rogers: But we can hold it off until Peking demands the seat.

Dr. Kissinger: That is true but when Peking does demand the seat it will be a difficult problem for us.

Those are the principal issues relating to representation. But there are other issues which affect our relations with Taipei because Chiang will almost certainly insist on reassurances and our continued military presence. Peking will also figure in because of its reactions to our defense posture. There are three aspects to our defense posture on Taiwan: (1) the Mutual Defense Treaty, (2) our force levels on Taiwan, and (3) our military assistance to Taiwan.

(1) The treaty dates from 1954. We have restated our commitment to that treaty in the Annual Report on Foreign Policy./3/ Chiang will want a further reaffirmation. There is no practical consequence to doing so, except that Peking may not like it.

/3/ See footnote 3, Document 341.

(2) Force Levels. We now have 9,000 men on Taiwan--2,200 associated with the defense of Taiwan and 6,800 associated with our general military activities in Asia. [1 line of source text not declassified] Chiang will want us to maintain, or even increase, our force levels. But if we want to get negotiations with Peking, one thing certain is that it will want a reduction of our military presence. A military cutback on Taiwan in the near future, coming at the same time as a movement to permit Peking’s entry into the UN, could have unfortunate consequences.

We are now making a study in an interdepartmental forum of which of our activities on Taiwan are essential, and which might be relocated some other place. I don’t think that anyone recommends cuts this year. By the time we consider cuts, we will know what we are talking about.

(3) Military Assistance Level. Chiang wants at least the present level of military assistance from us and he may renew his request for F4s and 3 submarines. There are no problems on maintaining our existing military assistance levels. The supplementary appropriation last fall restored some of the cuts. But the judgment always has been that there is no essential military need for submarines and F4s.

Secretary Laird: He has changed his views slightly. He now wants one submarine and two or three destroyers.

Admiral Moorer: In the past we provided submarines to assist them in their ASW training but we no longer have the submarines available to do this for them. They want us to provide some so that they can do their own ASW training.

Secretary Laird: We more or less agree with them about this.

Dr. Kissinger: There is another issue which will be referred to you which relates to the representation issue and that is the status of the government on Taiwan. We have followed a policy of maintaining relations only with Taiwan, but remaining silent about its claims to sovereignty over all China, and we also deal with Peking. This policy gives us the greatest flexibility but we may not be able to hold to it if we go to a new policy on UN representation. The alternative is to state publicly that which government is the legitimate government of China is not for us to decide. The consensus is that we should stick with our present policy.

There are two other issues which do not need decision now and in view of the shortage of time do not need to be discussed in any detail now. They should, however, be presented to you later. These issues are a possible renunciation of force agreement with the PRC and an arms control agreement with the PRC.

So the matters for decision now concern what policy to follow at the UN: whether to change our policy, and if so, to what, and what to do about the Important Question Resolution, and about universality. We also have to consider what to do about the military issues in our relations with Taiwan and the status of Taiwan.

The President: What is the timing? When do you have to know.

Dr. Kissinger: The Department needs to know in about two weeks for purposes of consultation.

Secretary Rogers: The last part of Henry’s presentation, the issues of the renunciation of force and arms control are well in the future and we don’t have to worry about that now. By the time we get to those, we will all be gone, maybe from this Earth.

As to our support for Taiwan, if we change our policy in the UN we will certainly have to keep our support for Taiwan and I believe that any reduction in our force would be very difficult. I don’t anticipate any trouble with the Congress on this.

So the real question is what to do in the UN. The Important Question Resolution always comes first at the UN. Its passage means that a two-thirds vote is required to change the Chinese representation. However, a simple majority can pass the Important Question Resolution. We have always held firm on the Important Question.

The second question is the Albanian Resolution, as Henry said. We have always defeated it by a good margin. But last year, for the first time, the Albanian Resolution got a majority and the vote on the Important Question showed considerable slippage, and it was 66 in favor and 52 against. There has been considerable additional slippage since then.

The assessment is that we will lose on the IQ this year. That means the PRC would be admitted and Taiwan would be expelled. Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Japan and also George Bush and his colleagues all agree with this assessment. We recently sent Ambassador Brown to Taiwan. He talked to Taipei officials, and they too think we will lose this year although they haven’t told Chiang. They think that probably a change of policy would be desirable.

We think that we can get sufficient support for a new policy to prevent GRC expulsion, and if we do, Peking won’t come in. Everybody thinks that dual representation is the policy to follow. It keeps the GRC in for two or three years at least.

The problem is the rationale for a change in our policy. We could say that we have just changed our policy in the face of the fact that otherwise we would face certain defeat. Or we can move to the principle of universality. This of course would have to support the position that all viable nations should be admitted. This includes North Vietnam and East Germany and North Korea. We can exclude the Germanys from this because this is already under active consideration.

The question really is what change in policy should we make, and how can we state our rationalization of it. We must consult soon because other nations are about to take positions. The U.K. is among them and if they change, several countries including Canada will follow their lead. Incidentally, I am going to call Alec Home to try to get them to hold up. We need to talk over our position with them now, or it will be too late. On any decision we make we can wait to announce it, certainly, until after the Korean election in April.

The President: If we start talking with these countries, won’t our position leak?

Secretary Rogers: It probably will, but everyone knows that we are considering a change. We should state our position affirmatively at some point. An announcement by you, for example, might be appropriate and there is a draft which we have given you of a speech. If you don’t want to make it, I could. But before we say anything we should first consult with other countries. And, if we change our policy we should do it openly, rather than let it slip up on us.

The President: Is Brown still in Taiwan?

Secretary Rogers: No he is back.

The President: Even though we have made some feelers on Taiwan and had some indication of a reasonable response, they will clearly be disturbed. All of their chips are on the table. Even small moves that we have made toward the PRC in my report sends Taiwan up the wall. On the military side do we feel that strong military commitments can be justified and supported?

Secretary Laird: Yes, we can get all the support we need.

The President: What I mean is that if we make a change, it is important that we go to Chiang first and that a quid pro quo for him be announced as part of our change. We have to know that we can get all the support we need.

Secretary Rogers: Yes, but Taiwan knows the situation and they know that we are not working behind their backs. We are not trying to do this against their will. Brown found that they know a change is necessary.

The President: Yes, they see what is coming and they may realize they have to relax and enjoy it as best they can. But if they have military reassurances they will feel much better about it. But we can still expect an emotional response and we must be sure to show them that we are sticking by them militarily. Now, the military would give destroyers, a sub and some F4s.

Secretary Laird: No problem with a sub and destroyers. But F4s are expensive. We can get this through Congress though if we need to do so. Young people may see advantages to a change in policy, but Chiang may not. Chiang may prefer to be expelled rather than accept a change. He is a tough guy, and he runs the show. [21/2 lines of source text not declassified]

Admiral Moorer: We have had to reduce our forces in Japan, and Okinawa has reverted. The Philippines also are shaky as a base for our forces, and we have no replacements yet for the trust territories as a location for our forces. Taiwan provides very important facilities in the Western Pacific. Taiwan is providing support therefore for the Nixon Doctrine. I have been there as a Commander many times. The Chinese always cooperate better than anyone else„they cooperate to the fullest. I know they don’t have anywhere else to go, but I think we should remember their cooperation and the fact that they provide us with important facilities in an area where we are losing places to put those facilities.

Secretary Rogers: There is no disagreement in the government on this. In fact, if we change our policy, I think we should strengthen our position on Taiwan. So far as Chiang is concerned, his subordinates that we have talked with indicate that if we do change they will vote against us, but tacitly go along with us. All we are talking about is discussing it with them and reaching an understanding.

Dr. Kissinger: We are doing an interdepartmental study on force structures [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] in Asia including on Taiwan. It will look into the strength we have on Taiwan and why it is there. We will have this study in May or June, and there is no need for a decision now.

Secretary Laird: Those studies consider reductions in our forces.

The President: Brown did not see Chiang?

Secretary Rogers: No, he did not. If we are going to keep Taiwan in the UN we have to make our position known soon because the others are moving to positions. If the UK gets out in front of us we will have a hard time getting them in line.

Under Secretary Johnson: The UK has supported the Important Question but has voted for the Albanian Resolution in the past. Now they say they will not vote for the Important Question.

Ambassador Bush: We should think carefully about how this should be presented. It would be disastrous if we denigrated the excellent past performance of China in the UN. China has supported us on every issue, has paid its dues promptly. Our contacts feel there could be some change in the attitude of China. China recognizes that support is rapidly falling away from the position we have held. We need to begin to consult with others at the UN. Our friends are deserting us on this issue, the Australians, the Belgians, Canadians, Italians. We in New York agree that we have got to get moving on this issue without delay. From our study of the votes, even if we don’t mention Peking or Taiwan, a simple resolution saying the expulsion of a member from the UN is an Important Question will only get a narrow majority. This is silly season up there.

The President: There is another important political problem. A poll was taken two weeks ago by ORC./4/ I was surprised at the results. One of the questions was "Do you favor the admission of Communist China to the UN?" The vote was 3 to 2 against. Let us make no mistake. The majority of the people in this country are against Communist China’s admission and many believe that if they do get in, we should get out. So we have a serious problem in the country. I can face this better than most, for nobody is going to think that I am caving in to the Communists. But make no mistake, there is a majority against Peking in the UN, and universality and the Important Question don’t have much to do with it.

/4/ Opinion Research Corporation.

The old man’s/5/ position is important. I don’t think they will walk out of the UN. I think the Chinese will find a way. They will kick. They will scream. But this will be for domestic consumption, and in the end they will go along.

/5/ Apparent reference to Chiang Kai-shek.

But if the old man can make it a little easier for us here at home, it will make it more possible for us to make a change in terms of our serious domestic problem. Lots of Americans think Communist China in the UN is a bad idea. If we change our policy, we will get glowing editorials from the New York Times, Time Magazine, etc. But we will get a hell of a kick from the people. If the U.S. opens its arms to let Peking in, a lot of people will object. In Texas they are 2 to 1 against. In California it is about 3 to 2 against, like the rest of the country. In New York it is about even. All across the country they are against it.

Secretary Rogers: This points up the real problem. If we continue on our present policy, we will have the worst of both worlds.

The President: I know what we have to do. But we have to get Chiang in a posture from which he can help us and our domestic position on this issue.

We need to get the old man to help us. And secondly we need to position this thing domestically so it will sell. One thing we could do would be to let the UN take the rap.

Secretary Rogers: If we are successful with a dual representation policy, the results will show. Taiwan will still be in the UN, and maybe Peking won’t come in.

The President: I am sure that Peking won’t come in unless Taiwan goes out.

Secretary Rogers: So we have two, three or four years.

The President: We have a problem with Taiwan but I think we can bring them around. I may need to send a personal representative to bring Chiang Kai-shek around but I think it can be done.

But with US opinion, we don’t want to get caught in the crunch of welcoming Communist China into the UN. I am not inclined to think that there are any points for us to make in saying that we have seen the light, and Communist China ought to be in the UN. That would be bad for us. It would be bad for Taiwan. I recognize that we are going to have to take the lead privately--but publicly we should be very careful. I would like for you to give me some thoughts on how to handle American opinion. The same policy [poll?] that I mentioned earlier shows the UN is in very low repute with the American public.

Now I am going to argue the other way. If it is done in such a way that a polyglot bunch of countries in the UN push us into Communist China membership when we didn’t want it, that will hurt the UN. We don’t want to hurt the UN any more. But it will be hurt if it pushes us into something we don’t want. Universality and the I.Q. are OK but to the average guy it is a simple question "Do we want Peking in or not?" That is what we’ve got to work on.

Secretary Rogers: We must know whether the new policy will work. We will have to fight for retention of Taiwan’s seat. If we will lose, we may as well stay where we are. There were 25 abstensions on the Albanian Resolution last time. Many of those would vote for both seats.

Secretary Laird: Can’t we check this out?

Secretary Rogers: Not until we have a position.

Secretary Laird: If we can’t save the seat that way, why make a public issue out of it?

Ambassador Bush: I agree that we should put the issue in terms of trying to save the seat.

Attorney General Mitchell: Our public posture is that we are fighting to retain the seat for Taiwan.

The President: We must do this. The issue is whether we should bite the bullet and go in on the universality question. But there are problems with this. For example, the question of North Korea which is fighting the UN. East Germany is also a problem and I can’t see it, and as for North Vietnam, I can’t see the Soviets ever letting in South Vietnam. So maybe we can handle these.

Attorney General Mitchell: If we go with universality, we are letting more Communists in the UN. But if we stay just with the Chinese issue, we are not.

Secretary Rogers: No, actually they will be equal in number and getting South Vietnam in would be a great coup.

Under Secretary Johnson: We would be letting in South Vietnam, South Korea and East Germany.

The President: We have a lot to gain with universality in theoretical terms but we also stand to lose something.

Secretary Rogers: The Germans have already announced that they want to do it.

Dr. Kissinger: But the Germans want to do it themselves and not have us give it away for them.

Attorney General Mitchell: The political question still will be that we are letting Communists in.

The President: We can handle it. I did not raise the political problem as a block. We have handled worse political problems than this before. But if we can’t get the votes, then there is not much point in changing our policy. We could just get rolled and let the UN take the rap. We should start a check on this right now.

Ambassador Bush: We may not get the votes.

Secretary Rogers: We need to talk with our friends, say that we are thinking about a change in our position and get their thoughts. (turns to Mitchell) John, politically, if the Chinese are not admitted we can say that our policy had been successful in keeping them out.

Attorney General Mitchell: Could you say that? Don’t they have the option of coming in at any time?

Secretary Rogers: Yes, you could say it.

Under Secretary Johnson: No, if we present it to the American public this way, only as a way to keep Peking out, it will be seen internationally as just a gimmick.

The President: No, we can’t say that.

Attorney General Mitchell: But the fight to keep Taiwan in is important with respect to the U.S. public.

The President: The old man (President Chiang Kai-shek) is partly a realistic figure, but he is also very firm on other matters.

Secretary Rogers: To go back to Mel’s point, we can’t keep quiet about it. It will leak. We must have a policy. How to announce it will be an important political judgment. We have a draft speech which you can consider making which will highlight the issues.

Secretary Laird: My point is that this is not a big winner for the President.

The Vice President: Could I make a few radical observations?

The President: Radical?

The Vice President: In view of what has been said here, yes, I suppose it is radical. I did not know of the polls that you referred to, Mr. President, so that is not part of my thoughts. I’m not sure whether we should consider a defeat in the UN as something we should shy away from as a bad thing for the US now. I am not sure that a defeat at the UN is not in our interest. If we are defeated and Taiwan is replaced by Communist China, it does not affect our national security. Looking down the years with Peking in the UN--it will have a tall podium for espousing its interests, which are not compatible with our views of the world. If Peking gets in with our assistance or tacit consent, its statements later will have enhanced dignity before the world community.

I have come to the conclusion that it may well be the UN is not in the US best interests. I can see all of the considerations, but I don’t see how playing the game on Communist China’s admission gains us anything. I think that if we stand with what we believe and take our lumps, that might preserve your options, and the options of other Presidents, better in the future. Looking now to what is expedient may not be in the best interests of the US. We should consider what happens if we do not go along: We would be sustaining our credibility in Asia. We would still have the ability to support security conditions on Taiwan. And we wouldn’t have given in to a country that has given no indication at all that it is out for our interests.

The President: (To Connally) Do you want to say something?

Secretary Connally: I am talking from instinct, because I don’t really know very much about this. But, if I know Chiang Kai-shek at all, he won’t ever agree to it. He’ll try to get a quid pro quo--to extract everything he can from us. Privately he may agree with us. But in public he can’t agree. If I were in his place, I wouldn’t agree either. For the US public, therefore, he has to fight. That is what the American people will see and understand. I have the same basic view as the Vice President. What is so wrong with getting defeated if you were standing for what you believe? One thing we need from a political standpoint is an enemy, and that enemy is Communist China. What have we lost, as a practical matter, if we lose? What has Chiang Kai-shek lost, even if he is kicked out from the UN, if he retains the friendship of the US and our commitment? So the UK, Canada and Ireland leave us. So what?

Secretary Rogers: Most hope that we can keep the Communist Chinese out. I know that Australia and New Zealand feel this way. If our policy succeeds, we will be keeping Communist China out.

Secretary Connally: But this is not salable as an adroit move to keep the Communist Chinese out. Everyone will see that they can come in whenever they want. They have the option of coming in at any time and to try to kick Taiwan out. Why shouldn’t we take a hard line on this one?

The Vice President: Because we Americans are compulsive negotiators.

The President: Let me say I thought that this was a brilliant paper. I read it last night. It helps us to focus on the issues.

For whatever it is worth, I would like to close on one point. I don’t know how we can sell it, but my own view is that the Communist Chinese won’t come in. Everybody seems to be an expert on the Chinese, but nobody knows anything about them. In fact, the Chinese might say, "We need an enemy." I had an interesting talk with the man who owns half of the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, Harold Lee. He is undoubtedly a man who plays all sides and has some contacts with the Communist Chinese. I asked him, "What do you think about our recognizing Communist China?" His reply was, "You are crazy. Do you know what they would say? You recognize us? The question is whether we would recognize you."

If they play it the clever way, they have the option of coming in. Their reaction is: "We need an enemy and we won’t come in until those guys get out". Their reaction will be as the leader of a dynamic movement all around the world. They won’t come in until the others get out.

We need to talk about this some more. I will look it over again over the weekend.

343. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, March 31, 1971, 2330Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Feldman, Armitage, and Shoesmith; cleared by Jenkins, Daniel Goott, William A. Helseth, Peter C. Walker, Whitman, and Winthrop G. Brown; and approved by Herz. Sent to Accra, Abidjan, Ankara, Bangkok, Brussels, Canberra, Copenhagen, Lome, London, Kuwait, Oslo, Rome, Seoul, Tehran, Tokyo, Taipei, Vienna, Wellington, Yaounde, USUN, and Tunis, and repeated to Hong Kong.

54227.Subject: Chirep.

1. Pending further instructions, you should not initiate any consultations on Chinese Representation in the UN. If host government raises question, you should indicate matter still under study within USG and we hope to have full discussions with host government after our position clarified.

2. Foregoing not intended to preclude addressees from discussions with host governments on question of recognition of Communist China (in which case previous instructions continue to apply) should this matter arise. However, paragraph one guidance is controlling in event Chirep issue arises in that context.


344. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

Washington, April 9, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1025, Nixon/HAK Memoranda, The President, Kissinger, and Ambassador Chow, April 12, 1971. Secret. Sent for action. The memorandum is stamped "The President has seen." A covering note in the files suggests that it was drafted by Wright, with the concurrence of Holdridge. (Ibid.) Another copy of the memorandum contains a covering note that reads: "April 12, HAK--Pres. didn’t act on this. Do you want to A. ask him, B. send back?" Kissinger initialed option "A" and wrote "Let me take in to [unreadable] to get signed. HK" (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, 1 January 1971–May 1971, Vol. VI, Part 2)

Chinese Representation at the United Nations

The primary issue is whether to continue with the current policy aimed at keeping Peking out and Taipei in (the Vice President’s preference) at the risk of defeat this year or next, or shift to a new policy aimed at preventing--or at least deferring--Taiwan’s expulsion (State’s preference). The necessity for a joint policy with Taiwan makes it desirable to defer final decisions on this issue until your personal representative--hopefully Bob Murphy--has talked the whole problem out with Chiang Kai-shek.

The need for speed. It is important, however, to complete that process as quickly as possible, for there is a growing momentum working against us in the international community. In recent months, Ethiopia, Canada, Italy, Nigeria, Chile and Equatorial Guinea have recognized Peking as the only legitimate government of China. This week Kuwait joined that list, and five others are now negotiating with Peking. If we are going to try to hold some line at the UN, we need to approach our friends before any more of them get frozen into postures which preclude cooperation with us. Otherwise, we are in danger of losing the ballgame during the seventh inning stretch.

The immediate question for decision is how, and with what, to approach Chiang. Frankly, I do not see much point in sending a representative to Chiang merely to discuss in general terms the problem and the possibility of a new policy. Such talks will surely result in the need for further talks, and we do not have the time for prolonged palaver.

Instead, your representative should present to Chiang the precise alternatives as you see them, and bring back to you Chiang’s precise views on them. This means that we must decide now which specific new strategy we are prepared to consider, provided Chiang will cooperate.

State believes that a change of policy is worthwhile, even if it only staves off expulsion for a year or so. I do not agree. That position does not adequately reflect your concern for the domestic reaction. Moreover, such a "change" is not really very different from sticking with our current policy. Both result, sooner or later, in Taiwan’s expulsion. I do not think Chiang will seriously consider such an "alternative".

It seems to me, therefore, that a new policy is worth considering if--but only if--it has a real chance of preventing Taiwan’s expulsion for the foreseeable future--not just for a year or two. I believe there is one strategy which may--I am not sure it will--serve that purpose. Its elements are as follows:

1. Universality. I would include universality for three reasons: (a) it should make a change of policy slightly more palatable to Chiang, (b) it would provide us with a principle and a good debating point, internationally for retaining Taiwan’s seat, and domestically for our change of policy, and (c) it might win us a few votes at the UN.

2. Dual Representation. Given the UN sentiment, there is no prospect for saving Taiwan’s seat with a policy which continues to bar Peking’s membership. Dual representation is, therefore, an essential part of any strategy to save Taiwan’s seat.

3. A Modified Important Question Resolution Limited to the Expulsion of Taiwan. Limiting the Important Question Resolution in this way will permit the dual representation resolution to pass with a simple majority. Thus Peking will have been voted in. That puts the remaining issue, Taiwan’s expulsion, in the sharpest and best possible form for us. So long as a simple majority supports the Modified Important Question Resolution, the expulsion can be prevented by only one-third of the UN membership. We can certainly hold one-third for the foreseeable future. The crunch question, therefore, is whether we can hold, in the years to come, a majority for a modified Important Question Resolution. If we can, we can save Taipei’s membership. If we cannot, Taipei will be expelled.

Armed with this as the alternative policy, I suggest your representative should make the following points to Chiang:

1. Your concern in this matter is to prevent Taipei’s expulsion from the United Nations. It is to discuss that danger, and how to meet it, that you have sent a personal representative.

2. If we stick to the current policy, we cannot prevent Taipei’s expulsion--probably this year, certainly next.

3. The only new policy we can see which has a real chance of permanently preventing Taipei’s expulsion is the mix of universality, dual representation, and a modified Important Question Resolution. We are not sure if that policy will work and cannot know without consulting widely with other UN members.

4. You are prepared to make a major international effort on behalf of this policy if Chiang wishes you to do so, and will help. A new policy, however, is not practical internationally or in U.S. domestic terms, unless it has Chiang’s support.

5. You recognize that a new policy is difficult for him as well as us. You are prepared to lessen his problem by (a) reaffirmation of our Defense Treaty, (b) assurances on the maintenance of U.S. force levels on Taiwan, and (c) sympathetic consideration of his military assistance needs.

6. Under these circumstances, which course does he prefer: staying with current policy, or trying to line up support for the new policy?

Presented in this stark way, I think there is at least a chance that Chiang will opt for a change of policy. He has not survived all his troubles by giving in to an impulse for suicide. However, his domestic considerations may lead him nonetheless to prefer expulsion to compromise.

Whatever Chiang’s preference, there is a compelling reason to consult very candidly with him on this issue before you make up your mind. Otherwise, a decision to stick with the current policy is singularly subject to misunderstanding. After all, the practical effect of such a policy is Taiwan’s expulsion, and everyone knows that including Chiang’s officials, foreign governments, and the U.S. press. Unless there has been a clear understanding with Chiang on it, many people, both at home and abroad, will seriously question the real motive behind a U.S. policy which can only result in Taiwan’s expulsion.


/2/ The approve option has been marked "done" below recommendations 1, 2, and 4. The approve option below recommendation 3 is marked "yes." During his meeting with Murphy and Kissinger on April 15, Nixon emphasized the need for secrecy, adding that he could not ask McConaughy to carry out this mission because the Ambassador had to report to the Department of State. (Ibid., White House Tapes, April 15, 1971, 5:26–6:20 p.m., Executive Office Building, Conversation No. 249–26) Also see footnote 2, Document 349.

1. That you approve Robert Murphy as your personal representative to Chiang.

2. That he proceed to Taiwan as soon as possible to consult with Chiang along the lines set forth in this memo, with stress on obtaining Chiang’s preferences between sticking to our current policy and shifting to a new policy of dual representation aimed at maintaining Taiwan’s UN seat.

3. That your final decision on our policy and consultations with other governments be deferred until we have Chiang’s reactions.

4. That pending those decisions, State be instructed carefully to avoid any indication of a new U.S. position on the Chirep issue.

345. Memorandum From Melvin H. Levine of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, April 14, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, January–May 1971, Vol. VI. Secret. Sent for information. The memorandum is stamped: "HAK has seen," with the date June 4, 1971.


A number of erosive developments on Chirep are worth bringing to your notice:

--USUN reports that the ping pong visit to China is having a considerable impact at the UN, where it is the main subject of corridor discussions. The general impression is that the visit bolsters Peking’s campaign to enter the UN this year. There is also a growing impression among other Delegates, despite negative noises by USUN, that the visit means the U.S. has completed our policy review on Chirep and has decided to go for dual representation./2/

/2/ Telegram 924 from USUN, April 13. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, CUL 16 US)

--In a round-up cable of opinion on the China question, Embassy Canberra reports that the events of the past week have given a psychological lift to advocates of a new China policy, and put the Australian Government on the defensive./3/

/3/ Telegram 2134 from Canberra, April 14. (Ibid., POL 16 CHICOM)

--In another somber comment, USUN predicts that there will be three (Bhutan, Bahrein, Qatar) and perhaps four (Oman) new UN members at the beginning of this fall’s General Assembly. All of those can be expected to oppose our traditional position on the Important Question and the Albanian Resolution./4/ Hal Saunders agrees with this analysis.

/4/ Telegram 928 from USUN, April 14. (Ibid.)

--State is concerned by a report that the Chicoms are trying to keep the snowball on recognition growing by asking the Mauritanians to work on the Senegalese. There have been other reports along this line. The list of potential candidates for diplomatic recognition of Peking may be widening.

--ROC Ambassador (and Foreign Minister-designate) Chow Shu-kai paid a farewell call on Assistant Secretaries DePalma and Green last Friday./5/ Chow was accompanied by UN Ambassador Liu.

/5/ A memorandum of conversation of this April 5 meeting is ibid., UN 6 CHICOM.

Chow and Liu stressed the importance of maintaining the Important Question resolution in our Chirep strategy. Asked about the possibility of a modified I.Q. (limited to Taipei’s expulsion) they didn’t rule the idea out, but apparently preferred the traditional model.

Green and DePalma made clear that the USG has reached no final decisions on Chirep, although the situation regarding our traditional policy has continued to worsen.

In a brief discussion of a possible "third resolution", Chow said he personally liked the idea of a relatively vague resolution seating both Peking and Taipei without going into legal and political cases. Chow thought he could sell such an idea in Taipei if it would effectively combat the Albanian Resolution and would give the ROC the protections the Charter affords to a member (now of doubtful availability since the issue is representation not membership). However, Chow closed the conversation on a rather hard line by stating that there might be considerations more important to Taipei than UN membership.

Comment: In addition to the foregoing items, our own gestures toward Peking--including today’s announcement--will add to its international respectability. Although we will not be able to assess the full effects with precision for some time, we can expect a further weakening of support for our traditional Chirep position.

John Holdridge concurs in this memo and Hal Saunders.

346. Letter From the Representative to the United Nations (Bush) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

New York, April 17, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN 1, June–30 September 1971, Vol. VII. No classification marking.

Dear Henry,

The Security Council (SC) question is fundamental. It will be impossible to consider Peking’s (PRC) coming into the General Assembly (GA) without considering the SC question.

I have not talked to a single person around the UN who feels that a Dual Representation (DR) would have a chance unless the SC went to PRC. As we ask the official of GRC to consider a policy shift on our part they must face this basic fact.

A DR resolution could in fact include a paragraph recommending that PRC hold the China seat on the SC; but at a minimum there would be an unwritten understanding. Any effort to obscure the SC seat question will be viewed as an effort to keep the PRC out of the UN. Alas, I wish it weren’t so.

Some comments on the parliamentary situation:

1. The election of PRC to the Security Council by the members of the SC is NOT VETOABLE because it is a credentials question.

2. If PRC is voted into the GA under a DR formula it could appear at the first meeting of the SC in 1972, present its credentials as the Government entitled to represent China. A majority (9) would clearly support PRC over GRC./2/

/2/ Bush’s handwritten clarification reads: "(9 required)".

3. If the question was on admitting a "New Member" an SC veto would apply. New Members are admitted to the UN by a 2/3rds vote of the GA following recommendation of the SC with the permanent members all in agreement (none vetoing).

4. If the question was on "Two Chinas" as opposed to Dual Representation it would then be a membership question and would then be vetoable. But Two Chinas is a non-starter, both PRC and GRC vigorously opposing it, plus all the Albanian Resolution types would say--"just a device to keep PRC off the SC".

My recommendations:

1. Any emissary discussing UN representation with GRC must not avoid facing up to the SC question. It is a regrettable fact of life.

2. Pres Nixon would be ill served by any policy that appears to be "selling out" the GRC. It is argued by the elite--"PRC is a reality"... It is but so is GRC and we must not appear to "sell out" a little reality in order to face up to a big reality. It may happen, but we must not be its advocate.

3. Time is important. As soon as things shape up, we should be able to get you a lot more dope as to how viable a DR plan is, but we will have to be able to hustle up some votes, and we will need some insight into the GRC final position./3/

/3/ Bush added a handwritten note at the end of the letter: "If you need more detail--[UN] charter references etc.--call me: I’ll be in N.Y. Sun. night--until then WASH 362–1214. Self-typed—apologies... GB. If you show this to anyone please re-type the damn thing!" Melvin Levine drafted a response for Kissinger to Bush. In his covering memorandum to Kissinger, he did not agree with Bush’s proposal to confront the ROC immediately on the Security Council issue, because "we should not at this juncture add another straw to Chiang’s back." The letter acknowledged that the Security Council seat was essential to any dual representation plan, but suggested that it was in U.S. interest to see the issue "kept blurred a bit longer." Haig commented on the draft response: "HAK: You shouldn’t spell your views in writing. This should say thanks„let’s talk sometime you’re here." Kissinger added "Right, HK." The response actually sent, dated May 7, reads: "I am sorry to be so long in responding to your letter of April 17. I was glad to get your thoughts on the fundamental importance of the Security Council seat for the Chinese representation issue. Let’s talk about it next time you are in Washington." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, 1 June–30 September 1971, Vol. VII)

George Bush

347. National Security Study Memorandum 124/1/

Washington, April 19, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, NSSMs 104–206. Top Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Director of Central Intelligence

Next Steps Toward the People’s Republic of China

The President has directed a study of possible diplomatic initiatives which the United States might take toward the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the objective of furthering the improvement of relations. These initiatives should explore the degree to which it is possible to build on recent progress. They should be put into the context of our relations towards other countries, especially the USSR and Japan.

The analysis of each possible diplomatic initiative should include:

--the objective of the initiative;
--anticipated reaction or response by the PRC;
--the advantages and disadvantages of the initiative;
--an assessment of the possible effects on our relations with and the anticipated reactions of the Government of the Republic of China (GRC), the USSR, Japan and other nations as appropriate;
--an illustrative scenario by which the initiative could be pursued.

The initiatives should be placed into various groups of increasing scope and also include consideration of appropriate arms control measures included in the ongoing studies provided for by NSSMs 69 and 106 on this subject.

The study should assume that there will be no change in our policy of recognition of or support for the Government of the Republic of China.

The President has directed that this study be prepared on a priority basis by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for East Asia and be submitted to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by May 15, 1971, for consideration by the Senior Review Group.

Henry A. Kissinger

348. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, April 22, 1971, 11:40 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Martin and approved by Assistant Secretary Green and in S as amended on May 12. The memorandum of conversation is identified as part three of seven parts.

Chinese Representation at the United Nations

Hon. Leslie H. E. Bury, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Sir James Plimsoll, Australian Ambassador

United States
William P. Rogers, Secretary of State
Marshall Green, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Emil Mosbacher, Chief of Protocol
James V. Martin, Jr., Director for Australia, New Zealand Affairs

Minister Bury said he would like to raise the question of Chinese representation.

Secretary Rogers told him we were going through a careful process of reviewing our policy and the possible alternatives for change. What was the Australian position?

Bury replied that the Australian Government would not like to see Taiwan ejected from the United Nations. On the other hand, to continue with the pretense that Taiwan was China, he said "won’t wash." In Australia the view was becoming strong that China should not be excluded from the U.N. This was especially evident after the Canadian recognition of Peking and the Australian failure to sell wheat this year. China had bought from Canada, not from Australia. However, the Australian Government believed that the motivation in Peking was commercial, not political.

Mr. Green commented that the CPR bought wheat from Canada every year. It sold rice, bought wheat, which was cheaper, and saved money.

The Secretary repeated that our policy had not yet been decided. We had been considering dual representation as an alternative to the present policy and had been considering various rationales for such a policy. We had asked ourselves whether dual representation might be based on universality. A very real consideration was whether such a policy would succeed. If it would not, why try it.

Ambassador Plimsoll noted that the rationale of universality would get us into admitting two Koreas, two Vietnams and two Germanies. Australians could not go that far.

Secretary Rogers thought we could adopt the principle of universality but still exclude, for example, North Korea because there was no peace in Korea yet, only an armistice. As opposed to that the two Germanies had a treaty with each other. We could tie admission to the ratification of a treaty between the two entities concerned. Why, then, would Australia have trouble with universality as the rationale?

Ambassador Plimsoll felt it would be too difficult at this stage.

Mr. Green suggested that the obvious other course would be to hold to the old policy of the Important Question. We knew, however, that this would fail. There might be a good deal of support this year for the Albanian Resolution if there were no good alternative that would keep the GRC in the United Nations.

The Secretary observed that under the present difficult circumstances people were becoming more realistic.

When Mr. Green referred to Korean attitudes in this connection, Ambassador Plimsoll said he did not think that the Koreans would be able to do anything before their elections took place. Green noted that the elections were just a few days away.

349. Record of Conversation/1/

Taipei, April 23, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 828, Name Files, Murphy, Robert. Top Secret. Forwarded to Kissinger by Melvin H. Levine on May 3, along with a draft covering memorandum for the President and Murphy’s covering letter to Kissinger. (Ibid., Box 1031, Files for the President, China Materials, Exchanges Leading up to HAK’s Trip to China, December 1969–July 1971) The package was not forwarded to Nixon.


President Chiang Kai-shek received Ambassador Robert D. Murphy, Personal Representative of President Richard M. Nixon, on April 23, 1971, at 4:00 p.m., at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei. Also present were Foreign Minister Chow Shu-kai and James C. H. Shen,

Ambassador-designate to the United States, who did the interpretation. Following is a summary of the conversation.

After the exchange of pleasantries, Mr. Murphy said in effect as follows: Certain problems have now arisen for the United States and the Republic of China concerning the United Nations. He said parenthetically that there are those who may have reservations regarding the effectiveness of that organization, and no doubt President Chiang is aware of that sentiment. The United States and the Republic of China, however, are now confronted with certain practical problems. The most important thing at the moment is to seek a common understanding between the two governments. President Nixon has chosen Mr. Murphy to make this trip in order to have a personal, face-to-face exchange of views with the President without arousing too much attention. The problems today are not created by the United States but by the changing world situation and a developing international trend. It is President Nixon’s sincere hope that the traditional friendship between the two governments long based on mutual trust will not be adversely affected by these problems. On the contrary, it behooves both governments to study together whether we should pursue the old strategy to cope with them or to find a new way out. Mr. Nixon seriously doubts the feasibility of maintaining the old formula. As a result of a very careful study, it is believed that should we persist in using the old formula, we would encounter defeat in the UN this year or, at the latest, next year. President Nixon, therefore, has entrusted him to ascertain from President Chiang his opinion whether we should maintain the original tactics or adopt a new approach so as to protect the common interests of the United States and the Republic of China.

President Chiang asked whether President Nixon has already found a new formula?

Mr. Murphy replied that President Nixon has given him to understand that no final decision would be made before Mr. Murphy could visit President Chiang and report back the results of this conversation.

President Chiang inquired whether the U.S. Government now has any new proposal to make?

Mr. Murphy replied that in the past there were the Albanian Resolution and the Important Question Resolution. The U.S. Government feels that due to changing circumstances, if no new approach is devised, there is a serious danger of the Albanian Resolution being adopted and the Important Question Resolution being defeated.

President Chiang wanted to know what sort of a new approach one should make?

Mr. Murphy said that so far no drafting work has been undertaken because this would require a joint study by both governments. The general idea is to replace the Important Question Resolution with a "dual representation" formula. The new resolution might be prefaced by a statement in favor of the principle of universality and then go on to propose a dual representation for China without defining which of the two contending parties is the sole representative of China, since this is an issue which will have to be solved by the two parties themselves. While supporting this new approach, the United States will continue to honor its treaty commitments and to provide military assistance to the Republic of China. It must be pointed out, however, this new proposal, when formally presented to the members of the U.N., must be a sincere effort to solve the Chinese representation question and not merely a gimmick. On the other hand, it could be that the Chinese Communist regime would not accept this new formula and would refuse to enter the United Nations.

President Chiang then asked what would happen to the Republic of China’s seat in the Security Council./2/

/2/ During their April 15 meeting, Nixon, Kissinger, and Murphy spoke little of the Security Council seat, but Kissinger seemed to suggest that the PRC would get the seat. Murphy and Nixon emphasized that the United States would try to delay this as long as possible. (Ibid., White House Tapes, April 15, 1971, 5:26–6:20 p.m., Executive Office Building, Conversation No. 249–26) The talking points prepared for Nixon, April 14, contain only one reference to the Security Council: "He [Murphy] should also explore Chiang’s thinking on Chinese representation in the UN. He should point out: We believe that, with the best will in the world, our present strategy is doomed to failure, either this year or next. The issue will almost certainly not be presented in a form which will allow for a Security Council veto." The memorandum bears the handwritten note, "The President did not wish to see." (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 828, Name Files, Murphy, Robert)

Mr. Murphy said the new proposal will avoid this point so as to enable the ROC to retain its seat in the Security Council.

President Chiang said he understands what Mr. Murphy has just stated, but pointed out that one must realize that while the Chinese representation question seems to be primarily a political issue, there are also certain legal principles involved.

Mr. Murphy said that if President Nixon could have his way he would have preferred to make no change whatsoever in the present setup.

President Chiang said he could understand the pressure on President Nixon to do something different this year. Nevertheless, the U.N. is located on American soil and the United States is a leading member of the organization. If the U.N. Charter were to be tampered with, it would damage the world’s respect for and confidence in the United States.

Mr. Murphy jokingly mentioned that certain members are in favor of moving the U.N. away from the United States.

President Chiang went on to say that though he has not seen Mr. Murphy for a number of years, he knows Mr. Murphy is the Republic of China’s friend, and he, therefore, proposed to discuss this matter with him frankly and cordially.

Mr. Murphy assured President Chiang of President Nixon’s very warm friendship towards him. He was of the firm belief that Mr. Nixon will not abandon a good friend of such a long standing.

President Chiang pointed out that from the legal point of view, the Important Question Resolution should remain the principal instrument to bar the admission of the Chinese Communists. Since the Peiping regime stands condemned as an enemy of the U.N., any attempt to admit it into the organization must be considered as an important question. Out of respect for the U.N. Charter, which requires countries to be peace-loving before they can be admitted as members, the United States can justly maintain this stand. There is, of course, strong opposition from other quarters, but we must not forsake the sanctity of legal principles in order to appease Peiping.

Mr. Murphy lamented that if this principle should be carried to its logical conclusion, certain existing members would also have to be disqualified.

President Chiang affirmed that while other countries have violated the principles embodied in the U.N. Charter, the United States, as the leader of the free world, must not ever lose sight of them.

Mr. Murphy expressed regret that the United States for instance has to tolerate a hostile member such as Cuba.

President Chiang said that though he still considers the Important Question Resolution to be major instrument against the admission of the Chinese Communists, he would be willing to hear what views the United States may have on the subject since the United States, an ally, now anticipates difficulties in pursuing the same strategy as before.

Mr. Murphy said that the United States would prefer to maintain the status quo, but it must face certain realities including the establishment of diplomatic relations by eight more countries with the Pei-ping regime in recent months. (Indeed the first Chinese Communist ambassador has just arrived in Rome.) If the United States should choose to disregard this general trend, there is great danger of her going down in defeat together with the Republic of China on this issue. Mr. Nixon’s position is that should the Republic of China insist upon using the old formula in the United Nations this fall, he would be prepared to go along. But Mr. Nixon is very anxious to know President Chiang’s own views and to get his advice.

President Chiang said he felt that no matter whether the Important Question Resolution could be adopted or not, it must be introduced again. If the United States deems it necessary to propose a new approach, it must be so designed as to preserve both the Republic of China’s membership in the General Assembly and her seat in the Security Council, because the two really are inseparable. If the Republic of China’s seats in the General Assembly and in the Security Council are to be treated as two separate matters, the admission of the Peiping regime into the U.N. would render the Republic of China’s continued presence in the U.N. untenable, because it would deprive the Republic of China’s U.N. membership of any legal basis. In such an eventuality the Republic of China would find it impossible to remain in this world body.

Mr. Murphy said that according to the latest U.S. estimate, if the old tactics should be used again, the Important Question Resolution could be defeated perhaps by 48 (in favor) and 56 (against). Should this turn out to be the case, nothing could be done to forestall disaster for our two countries. If a new formula to protect the Republic of China’s position is used, there is a good chance to defeat the Albanian Resolution again.

President Chiang observed that should the United States find it absolutely necessary to resort to a new approach, such a new approach must reaffirm the substance of the Important Question Resolution and must not touch the ROC’s seat in the Security Council. President Chiang stressed that yielding of the ROC’s seat in the Security Council to the Peiping regime would undermine the legal foundation of the ROC’s very existence. Such a humiliating situation would be against our national honor and tradition and would be, therefore, totally unacceptable.

Mr. Murphy reassured the President that any new formula would not involve ROC’s seat in the Security Council.

At this moment Foreign Minister Chow Shu-kai interposed this question: What would the United States do if some other members should raise the issue of the Security Council seat?

In reply, Mr. Murphy said that the new proposal which the United States is going to back will be so worded as to secure the support of the largest number of member states. The United States certainly has no intention, under the circumstances, of making it possible for Pei-ping to be seated in the Security Council. Furthermore, many member countries, some of them in Europe, would be satisfied once Peiping is granted membership in the General Assembly only, and would not actively advocate a seat in the Security Council for Peiping. In such an event, Mr. Murphy’s guess is that the Peiping regime would reject the invitation and the onus would then be entirely on that regime itself.

President Chiang expressed his belief that it is not part of President Nixon’s policy to damage the position of the ROC. On the condition that the ROC’s seat in the Security Council remains intact, President Chiang would be prepared to discuss with President Nixon such a new formula as the United States now seems to have in mind.

Here Minister Chow Shu-kai interposed another question: Is it envisaged that the substance of the Important Question Resolution will be incorporated into the new formula?

Mr. Murphy explained that this is possible and probable. But the new formula should not be made to appear as only a gimmick. He stated further he knows that any new formula would not be to President Chiang’s liking. But under the circumstances, there is no other way to deal with the question of the Peiping regime and the U.N. His guess is that the Chinese Communists would not accept the new formula.

President Chiang said he also tended to believe that if the Security Council seat is denied to the Peiping regime, it is possible that the latter would refuse to enter the U.N. But if the Security Council seat should be given to Peiping, then it would be difficult to predict what would be Peiping’s response.

Mr. Murphy said it must be realized that this new trial involves certain risks. But time is running short and is not necessarily in our favor.

President Chiang then summed up his views as follows:

(1) From the standpoint of the Republic of China, we hope the Important Question Resolution can still be resorted to this year.
(2) If the United States should see difficulties ahead, the ROC would do nothing to stop her from suggesting a new formula provided that this new formula would not cause any serious damage to the ROC.
(3) Any new formula which endorses the U.N. General Assembly’s acceptance of the Peiping regime is damaging enough to the ROC, even if Peiping does not come in.
(4) The new formula must by all means protect the ROC’s seat in the Security Council in order to preserve the ROC’s basic position and the integrity of the Charter.
(5) Should any other country try to amend the new resolution by including the ROC’s seat in the Security Council, the United States must do its utmost to thwart such an attempt.

Mr. Murphy assured the President that the United States will insist on the adoption of the text in toto as supported by the United States without any amendment.

President Chiang expressed the strong hope that if a new resolution is to be introduced the United States should not be one of the sponsors.

Mr. Murphy said that Mr. Nixon himself does not want the United States to be an official sponsor. But this question of sponsorship may have to be decided by our common assessment with a view to facilitating the passage of the resolution.

President Chiang said that while it is the hope of the ROC not to see the United States as one of the official sponsors, he would leave it to the U.S. Government to weigh all the pros and cons.

Mr. Murphy reiterated that the United States really does not like this kind of new formula, but it must find a way out to solve this question.

President Chiang reemphasized the inseparability of the ROC’s seats both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council. Should the ROC’s seat in the Security Council be taken away, then the ROC would have no choice but to act according to the Chinese proverb, "rather be a jade broken than an earthen tile intact".

Mr. Murphy jokingly commented that if we, under the old formula, should encounter defeat, then the jade would really be broken.

President Chiang said that he is fully aware of the consequences, but our legal stand and moral traditions would not allow us to coexist with the rebel regime in the U.N.

Mr. Murphy advanced the view that in his personal opinion even the United States herself, in such an eventuality, should not care too much about the U.N. membership.

President Chiang expressed his regret that the nature of the U.N. has already changed so much. If the Chinese Communist regime were to be admitted the seriousness of the consequences could not be overstated.

Mr. Murphy recalled what had transpired in the Cairo Conference which President Chiang attended. It is Mr. Murphy’s observation that the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt had pinned excessive hope on the U.N. and this had failed to materialize. In connection with the condemnation of the Chinese Communist regime by the U.N. for its role in the Korean War mentioned earlier by President Chiang, the United States, because of the heavy casualties she suffered in that war, was indeed a direct victim of that crime.

President Chiang made the observation that in the case of Korea the crime committed by the Peiping regime was greater than that of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Murphy said on top of that the Chinese Communists are still attacking the U.N. and the United States.

President Chiang pointed out that even after the visit of the American ping pong team to the Chinese mainland, the Peiping regime has not abated its attack on the United States. It is Peiping’s deliberate attempt to drive a wedge between the American people and their

Mr. Murphy said that Peiping has by now almost exhausted its vocabulary of invectives for use in its propaganda against the United States.

President Chiang recalled how certain quarters in the United States were pleased when Peiping did not attack Secretary of State William Rogers during his stop-over to Hongkong two years ago. President Chiang considered this kind of attitude as merely an illusion.

Mr. Murphy said in jest that perhaps at that time the Chinese Communists did not know who was Mr. William Rogers. Peiping has issued several hundred warnings against the United States since the Vietnam War began. The United States really has no illusion about the Chinese Communists’ intentions. Mr. Murphy wished to know what is President Chiang’s assessment of the sudden change of attitude on the part of the Chinese Communists?

President Chiang said it is his belief that this may have been due to (1) Peiping’s desire to gain entry into the U.N. and (2) its wish to play off the United States against the Soviet Union in order to reduce the Russian pressure on itself.

Mr. Murphy wondered whether by "pressure" the President had meant military pressure, because the Soviet Union is now known to have deployed 41 divisions along the Sino-Soviet border areas.

President Chiang made the observation that while armed clashes may occur between Communist countries it does not follow that force on a really large scale will necessarily be used between the Soviet Union and the Peiping regime.

Mr. Murphy mentioned the 23 divisions which the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries used against Czechoslovakia two years ago. There must be some significance since the Russians now have 41 divisions along the Chinese mainland border.

Finally, President Chiang requested Mr. Murphy to transmit the following message to President Nixon. In President Chiang’s opinion, the various overtures Washington has made to placate Peiping have reached a maximal limit, beyond which any further steps would bring disasters. As a good friend of President Nixon’s, it is his wish to be very candid at all times. Frankly speaking, this time he was quite surprised when Mr. Nixon suggested for his daughter, Tricia, and her future husband to spend their honeymoon on the Chinese mainland and even expressed a desire to visit the mainland himself. If the United States does not put a stop to its concessions to the Peiping regime, eventually Peiping might get into not only the U.N. General Assembly but also the Security Council. Should the ROC one day leave the U.N., the world would know that she has been forced out not by the Communists, but by the United States.

Mr. Murphy said he regretted that the American younger generation nowadays is at times innocent and uninformed. The older generation has had experiences concerning Russia and the Chinese Communist regime. But unfortunately the youngsters do not have such personal knowledge. They are impatient and eager to change everything. They urge more people-to-people contacts with the Chinese Communists. He was not aware what Tricia had commented but others of her age are samples of this younger generation.

President Chiang felt that such thinking and such behaviour will have serious repercussions. But, of course, this is merely a chit-chat between friends.

Mr. Murphy pointed out that the population of the United States is becoming younger every year. Very soon 50% of the voters will be below the age of 25. And they all clamor for change. The same thing is occurring in Europe. He recalled that during his visit to Rumania in November 1970, the President of Rumania spent half an hour criticizing the United States’ opposition to Peiping’s admission into the U.N. This criticism was, of course, occasioned also by Rumanian dislike of the Soviet Union and by Peiping’s assistance to Bucharest.

By now the conversation between the President and Mr. Murphy had lasted well over one and a half hours. Mr. Murphy said that in order to keep the contents of this conversation known to as few people as possible, he would not send any written message from the American Embassy in Taipei but would instead report to President Nixon in person upon his return to Washington.

The question of the drafting of the new proposal came up at this juncture. Mr. Murphy inquired whether the two governments should not appoint a small working group to undertake this task. Both the President and Minister Chow Shu-kai thought that the drafting should be done by the U.S. side alone and that the Chinese side would comment on the text whenever it is ready for discussion. As to the future channels of communication on this matter, President Chiang suggested that the Chinese Permanent Representative to the U.N. and the Chinese Ambassador in Washington could be designated to follow up this question with the United States designee or designees. Mr. Murphy hoped that this contact should be confined to as few persons as possible and suggested that the Chinese Ambassador be the channel in Washington.

Mr. Murphy took his leave from President Chiang, and asked to have his high regards conveyed to Madame Chiang. President Chiang thanked Mr. Murphy for his visit, asked him to convey warm personal regards from both Madame Chiang and himself to President and Mrs. Nixon, and also wished Mr. Murphy a very pleasant sojourn in Taipei.

350. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Tokyo, April 27, 1971, 5:30 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential. Drafted by Francis J. McNeil and James J. Wickel. The meeting was held in former Prime Minister Kishi’s office. An attached transmittal memorandum from Executive Secretary Eliot to Kissinger is dated May 5.

Nobosuke Kishi--Former Prime Minister of Japan
Ambassador Robert Murphy

In response to Kishi’s initiative about China (a subject in which Kishi obviously takes a very deep interest), Ambassador Murphy reviewed the situation at the UN in terms of the probability that the old formula of IQ vs Albanian resolution would fail next year for certain, if not this year. Thus, it is essential to develop strategy which would meet the desire of the majority of UN members that Peking not be excluded, but which would also preserve Taipei’s seat. Mr. Kishi agreed with this estimate of the factual situation, and the requirements it presents.

Mr. Kishi stressed throughout his remarks that neither Japan nor the United States could ignore the Peking problem and that both must work seriously for a resolution which did not abandon Taiwan, particularly in view of its strategic position as a link in the offshore island defense line (Okinawa–Taiwan–Philippines) and in view of the vital interests involved. These factors limited our freedom of action, in contrast to Italy and Canada, which had little interest per se, in Taiwan.

Kishi reviewed conversations he had last year in Taipei with Chiang Kai-shek and his Secretary, Chang Chun, both of whom he urged not to walk out of the UN regardless of changes that are made in representation formula. Any premature walk-out would seriously embarrass those who were making a great effort to retain a seat for Taiwan even if Peking were to be admitted. Both Chiang and Chang found these representations unpleasant, and neither agreed. But Kishi said they did listen.

Comment: (Others here closely associated with Taipei have also made this pilgrimage, and Japanese are clearly trying to persuade Chiang not to walk out.)

Kishi expects to continue to thus encourage Chang Chun when he visits Tokyo in July during the Japan/China Economic Cooperation meetings. Moreover, Kishi was thinking of visiting Taiwan again in late summer to press the point.

Kishi, without committing himself on a specific formula, said that while a majority of UN members wished to admit Peking, a majority also could be persuaded not to expel Taipei, a faithful member since the UN’s organization. Kishi then noted his long-standing belief that the UN should reflect the real world. For example, of the "divided states"--China, Korea, Germany, and Vietnam--only the GRC is represented, but ideally all eight should be represented in the UN.

Kishi did not respond to the question of what to do about China’s Security Council seat, nor did he discuss specifically whether Chiang might be tempted to walk out, although it was clear from his earlier remarks that he considers it essential to forestall this.

Although he had not previously considered it, Kishi agreed that the timing of Peking’s ping-pong diplomacy might well have something to do with Chou En-lai’s visit to Hanoi. However, information available to him indicated that the Chinese and Soviets, despite efforts to paper over their differences, have split even more deeply in recent months. Thus, China would seem to be trying to counter-balance improvements in US-Soviet and Soviet-Japanese relations in order to fend off Soviet pressures.

Most of all, however, Kishi vehemently stated that Chou’s purpose was to divide opinion and split Japan in two, setting people against government, just as he was seeking to do in the United States, by "adding branches and leaves" to the "China mood" tree already present. Further, Chou’s aim is to worsen Japan-US relations. Despite smiling overtures to the American people, Chou and Peking have not relaxed their hostility to the US Government.

China also presents a smiling face to Japanese people and business circles, but continues to treat official Japanese visitors to China with a "high posture" attitude tantamount to interference in Japan’s domestic politics. Kishi commended President Nixon’s recent moves on China. However, the problem, here as in the US, was to avoid being stampeded into precipitate action to improve relations, going as far as recognition, that might sacrifice Taiwan. Progress toward long-term accommodation with mainland China depends on the exercise of cool judgement by leaders of both Japan and the US with respect to timing and extent of such moves.

Domestic pressures of China mood in Japan were similar to those in the US, only much, much worse. He cited, for example, Japan’s leading newspaper, the Asahi, whose nostrums for China policy closely parallel those enunciated by Chou En-lai himself.

Despite Chou’s four principles, big business in Japan maintains an active membership in the Economic Cooperation Committees for both Taiwan and Korea, including New Japan Steel, Mitsubishi and Mitsui, to name a few. Chou applies his four principles rigidly only to those companies which yield to this kind of blackmail, but when necessary, China continues to buy essential products even from companies that reject four principles, as does New Japan Steel. Kishi agreed that these were "four flexible principles". Moreover, literal acceptance of four principles would require the writing-off of the present great investments by Japan in Taiwan (and Korea, too, for that matter). At present, Kishi said, Japanese big business is following the GOJ lead.

Kishi believed that China’s recent change of face could not have been engineered by Chou En-lai alone, without the assent of Mao and the support of the military. Following the cultural revolution, Kishi felt that Chou was supported closely by the military (and presumably Lin Piao) and thus enjoyed a favorable position in terms of exercising the real power after Mao.

In conclusion, Kishi recalled his conversation with DeGaulle in Paris, two years after France recognized Peking. DeGaulle then denied that la Belle France coveted any petty trade advantages, and had recognized China out of its sincere desire to promote true world peace. In response to Kishi, DeGaulle said that Taiwan was not part of the territory of China recognized by France, and that he would leave its disposition to Japan and the United States. However, Kishi said, the problem was not that simple and our efforts to promote long-term relations with China now turned on whether we could persuade the UN not to expel Taipei to make room for Peking, at the same time persuading Chiang not to abandon the field should this development occur.

351. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Rogers in Turkey/1/

Washington, April 30, 1971, 2226Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHINAT. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Executive Secretary Eliot. Secretary Rogers was attending a CENTO Ministerial meeting in Ankara.

Tosec 129/75175.For the Secretary from Ted Eliot.

Following memorandum to you from the President dated April 28 received April 30 afternoon.

"Subject: Chinese Representation at the United Nations. Text: During the SEATO meeting next week Sir Alec Douglas Home may well expect a definitive discussion with you on the question of Chinese Representation at the UN. Since we have not made our own final decisions, we have no alternative but to ask that the British also wait awhile longer. Sir Alec may be unhappy with this request. You may want to tell him of our latest moves with Chiang. And, if it would be helpful, you may also indicate that I rely heavily on British understanding and cooperation in this matter and that, if necessary, I will speak directly with the Prime Minister. Richard Nixon."


352. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/

Washington, undated.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. An attached letter of transmission from Executive Secretary Eliot to Kissinger, dated May 5, notes that Haig had on May 3 requested this information to supplement material contained in the Response to NSSM 107 (Document 326; NSSM 107 is Document 312).


General Considerations

With few exceptions, the General Assembly rather than the Security Council has been the forum for consideration of Chinese Representation. When the subject was raised in the Council, as it was by Somalia in February of this year, the United States took the position that a matter as important as Chinese Representation is better considered in the General Assembly, in which all 127 members of the UN are represented, than in the 15-member Security Council. In support of our view, we cited a 1950 General Assembly resolution which stated: "In virtue of its composition, the General Assembly is the organ of the United Nations in which consideration can best be given to the view of all Member States in matters affecting the functioning of the Organization as a whole."

This tactical position, which has been sustained over the years in the Security Council, has an implicit corollary--that if and when the General Assembly decides to change the representation of China, that decision would be reflected in the Security Council. As a matter of practical politics, we must expect in any case that once the General Assembly seats the PRC, the Security Council is likely to do the same.

Theoretically, the Security Council could decide to take up the Chirep problem, independent of or before action in the General Assembly. For example, should the PRC apply for admission as a new member, or should the ROC withdraw from the UN and apply for admission as a new state of Taiwan, the Security Council would consider these applications under the procedures specified in Article 4 of the Charter. Alternatively, the matter could [arise?] as a challenge to the credentials of the ROC Council representative.

It is most unlikely that the Chirep question would be raised as a membership issue by either the PRC or the ROC. The PRC will not apply for admission as a new member since it takes the position that it is the only lawful representative of the member state, China, and has been illegally prevented from taking its rightful seat. The ROC will not leave and re-apply since it insists that it is the only legitimate representative of China and the rightful holder of China’s seat. This hypothetical membership contingency is mentioned for two reasons: (a) Some have assumed the issue could be settled in this way, by admission of the PRC and/or the ROC as a new member--the Dutch, for example, informally suggested double admission last year; (b) It is precisely in connection with a membership question that the use of the veto would most clearly apply, whereas it is very doubtful that the veto could be used as long as the question is one of

[Omitted here are sections entitled "The Veto, and a Possible Credentials Challenge," "Assurances Given to Chiang Kai-Shek," "The Security Council and the Albanian Resolution," and "The Security Council and Dual Representation."]


It seems inescapable that, one way or another, China’s seat on the Security Council will be offered to the PRC in the wake of an Assembly decision to admit Peking. Passage of the Albanian resolution (a likely result this year if we maintain our present Chirep policy) would bring the PRC into the Council at the earliest date. Passage of a dual representation resolution by the Assembly is unlikely to result in Peking taking the seat in the immediate future, but could lead to a situation in which the ROC representative is expelled from the Council (in order to make possible the offer of the seat to Peking) and the seat remains temporarily vacant. As noted above, there is some chance of persuading the Council to make seating the PRC conditional upon acceptance of the General Assembly resolution.

Likely PRC behavior as a member of the UN, including the Security Council is analyzed in Chapter VII and Annex F of NSSM 107. It will not be discussed here other than to emphasize the probable undesirability of PRC accession to the Council seat this fall when there is some possibility that the Security Council might be dealing with a Middle East peace agreement. We may note, however, that PRC membership on the Council is likely to increase pressures for Charter revision (something which we have generally opposed and to which, according to intelligence reports, Peking is also opposed) to enlarge the Council by the addition of new permanent members (e.g. Japan and/or India, and perhaps the FRG after it becomes a member of the UN), to do away with the permanent member veto, or to add new permanent members without the right of veto. If Charter revision continues to appear inadvisable or unobtainable, one possible but unlikely solution might be agreement in the respective regional caucuses to give states such as Japan, India or Brazil semi-permanent member status through repeated elections to the Council. Finally, should the seat remain empty for any substantial period of time, this might lead to pressures to reassign it to another Asian power (again Japan and India would be the logical contenders), a factor which Peking would also have to take into account.

353. Letter From Australian Prime Minister McMahon to President Nixon/1/

Canberra, May 13, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. An attached memorandum indicates that this letter, which was delivered by the Australian Embassy to the State Department, was forwarded under cover of a memorandum from Executive Secretary Eliot to Kissinger on May 14.

Dear Mr President,

In continuation of the valuable consultations we have had with your Administration about the problems we both face in respect of China, my Ministers and I are anxious to know your feelings about the recent trend of events.

In February, we had very useful discussions with Ambassador Winthrop Brown about the problem as it then presented itself, giving particular attention to the United Nations aspects. Discussion of various possible United Nations moves was followed up in detail by officials. Later, I arranged for our Embassy in Washington to convey to Dr Kissinger a preliminary analysis of the Chinese representation question which had been prepared by our Department of Foreign Affairs.

In more recent weeks, a number of things have occurred, which have led us to wonder whether time is not running against the courses we then discussed.

First, you will no doubt be aware that the China question has become a matter of urgent public debate in this country. This has been in part a reaction to Peking’s recent exercises in person-to-person diplomacy.

Additional popular feeling has been generated by the failure so far of the People’s Republic of China to purchase any Australian wheat this year. The Chinese have let it be known that they have two reasons: they have had a series of good harvests and their need for grain imports has declined, and they have told various people including journalists that their decision was also a political one, in that they prefer to trade with countries with whom their political relations are satisfactory. Most recently, as a result of a telegram sent to Chou En-Lai by the Australian Labour Party, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs has invited the Australian Labour Party to send a delegation to China to discuss problems of diplomatic relations.

At the same time, there has been a rather strong movement against Taiwan’s interests on the United Nations front. Since the Canadian decision to establish diplomatic relations with Peking last October, seven other countries have recognised the PRC. At least two more have opened talks to this end, and others appear to be inclining that way. It seems to us that if an attractive alternative to the Albanian resolution is not soon floated, the question of maintaining a place for Taiwan in the United Nations will go by default.

I can summarise our attitude very simply as follows. First, we accept that the admission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, either this year or next, is a virtual certainty. It seems to us axiomatic that it will succeed to the Security Council seat now held by the Republic of China. Any alternative approach seeking to avoid this will be regarded as an unrealistic device by those whose support will be vital, and will fail. Secondly, we have attached considerable importance to the protection of the rights of Taiwan, including its rights to representation in the United Nations if it so wishes. Thirdly, we acknowledge that a range of questions require the cooperation of the

PRC if settlements are to be achieved, and we have as our long-term goal the normalization of relations with Peking. To this end, we have made some gestures towards Peking and are indicating our readiness to make more. On 11 May, I announced that we had decided to explore the possibilities of establishing a dialogue with the Chinese People’s Government.

I appreciate the difficulties and heavy responsibility you face in reaching a decision on the courses of action to be taken on the China problem. For our part, however, the passage of time is creating increasing problems in reconciling the second and third points above. An indication of your present thinking would be of the greatest value./2/

/2/ President Nixon’s reply, dated July 10, noted that the U.S. Government was currently studying the Chinese representation question and consulting with other countries about it. He expected to announce a decision late in July. (Ibid.)

Yours sincerely,
William McMahon/3/

/3/ Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

354. Memorandum for the President’s File by the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)/1/

Washington, May 21, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President’s Office Files, Box 85, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive.

Meeting Between the President, Ambassador Robert Murphy and General Haig in the Oval Office (5:26 p.m.–5:55 p.m.)

The President began the meeting by asking Ambassador Murphy to give his impressions of Chiang Kai-shek’s views based on the Ambassador’s recent mission to Taipei to discuss options open to the United States and Taiwan with respect to Peking’s entry into the United Nations. In responding, Ambassador Murphy made the following points:

--Chiang is old and seems to believe that if the U.S. would only fight hard enough Taipei could retain its membership in the U.N. and Peking would be excluded.

--Chiang’s convictions are based on rigidity of age and the family quarrel nature of the issue.

--Chiang expressed a willingness to accept a two-China policy if such a policy would not be at the expense of the Republic of China’s Security Council seat.

The President stated that retention of Taiwan’s Security Council seat would, of course, be impossible given the realities of the international attitude toward Peking./2/ The President asked Ambassador Murphy whether or not he had made this clear to Chiang and Ambassador Murphy confirmed that he had indeed done so. Ambassador Murphy noted that the men around Chiang, including his son, appeared to have far more realistic attitudes with respect to the United Nations. However, the Generalissimo was still in firm control. Also, Chiang was apparently still under the strong influence of Madam Chiang who for some reason refused to see Ambassador Murphy and therefore appeared to be greatly irritated by our approaches to Peking.

/2/ In a May 10 memorandum to Kissinger, Haig wrote: "As you can see from the memcon submitted by Ambassador Murphy [Document 349], his meeting with Chiang left much to be desired: Murphy’s memcon is poorly structured and Chiang’s position does not come through coherently; Murphy underestimates our problem with Chiang, especially on the linkage between dual representation and Taiwan’s Security Council seat." Haig presented two options: "Buy Chiang’s position on the Security Council with all its implications; Go back to Chiang in an effort to correct Murphy’s mistake. Getting Chiang to shift his position looks like a sure loser." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 86, Country Files, Far East, Ambassador Murphy) Commenting on a memorandum of conversation between George Yeh and William H. Gleysteen, Jr., in Taipei, January 28, 1972, Moser noted that "George Yeh makes, inter alia, the point that the Murphy mission last year had 'encouraged illusions and hardened the views of President Chiang,’ and consequently magnified the impact of our subsequent shift on Chirep on the Gimo." (Memorandum from Moser to Green, February 8; ibid., RG 59, EA Files: Lot 74 D 471, Memoranda to Mr. Green, February 1972)

Ambassador Murphy stated that he had spoken to Mr. Kishi in Japan and he was very much in favor of the continued viability of Taiwan and strong U.S. ties with the Chinese Nationalists. The Ambassador stated that this was a remarkable attitude, given former Japanese-Taiwanese animosity. The President observed that Japan without question was a pivotal factor in the future of Asia and would watch very carefully our handling of the Peking issue in the United Nations.

The President then asked why Chiang Kai-shek appeared to be so unrealistic about the Nationalist Chinese U.N. seat. Ambassador Murphy replied that the issue was obviously an emotional one for Chiang, involving not only factors of national interest but the competition generated by strong family feelings. The Ambassador reiterated that the Generalissimo appeared to be convinced that if only the U.S. would fight hard enough, the status quo could be preserved.

The President then stated that he had given considerable thought to the U.N. issue and recognized that it would be impractical for us to adopt a two-China policy which would preserve Taiwan’s Security Council seat. He added that a case could be made that our support for a two-China policy could end up irritating not only the Chinese Nationalists but Peking as well, since Peking would most likely not accept an arrangement recognizing the principle of two Chinas./3/ General Haig interjected that the most sophisticated supporters of improved relations with Communist China could interpret a two-China policy as a cynical move on the part of the U.S. which would, in effect, not be consistent with the normalization of relations with Peking.

/3/ According to a tape recording of this meeting, Nixon stated: "There’s only one way to do this, it’s either up or down. In my opinion, it’s got to be one or the other. Both cannot have seats in the UN. I don’t think so." Haig replied: "It won’t work." Nixon continued: "It’s not going to work. Now, under those circumstances, it’s going to be Communist China at some time, [it’s] inevitable, it’s got to be. But let them do it, don’t let’s us do it. That’s the way I feel about it." Nixon wondered whether it would not be better to stick with the Important Question, but not try very hard to win. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, May 21, 1971, 5:26–5:55 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 503–17)

Ambassador Murphy remarked that he was inclined to favor the status quo even though it might mean defeat since our obligations to Chiang Kai-shek were long standing and since our other allies and the uncommitted states would be watching the U.S. decision very carefully. The President indicated that he had not yet decided which way to go but felt that whatever position we ultimately took should give full play to the views of the Generalissimo. At the present moment, a two-China policy might be more cynical than it appeared on the surface. It could ultimately prove counterproductive in achieving our overall objective of a normalization of relations with Peking. Should we determine to pursue a status quo strategy, then it would be the membership of the United Nations which would be responsible for whatever outcome ultimately occurred and we might better be able to limit the damage to our relations with Taiwan. Ambassador Murphy agreed, noting that he was generally in favor of that approach at the present time.

The meeting then adjourned.

355. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan/1/

Washington, May 22, 1971, 0109Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential. Drafted by Winthrop G. Brown; cleared by Charles W. Bray, Jr., William T. Breer, and Robert Emmons; and approved by Brown. Repeated to Saigon for Assistant Secretary Green and to Hong Kong.

90063.Subject: Press Speculation on Chirep.

The Department has been receiving spate of inquiries about reports that US has decided a new Chirep policy. Some of these appear to have Japanese source.

In addition Reuters today reports that US and Japanese policy planners at Lake Kawaguchi meeting agreed China’s entry into UN unavoidable and that their countries should try to keep Formosa in the UN, even if PRC allowed to enter.

Department does not wish to encourage or participate in speculation about future US Chirep policy, and is replying to all inquiries that policy review this subject has not yet been completed and no decisions have been made. Some press have been advised on background that in course of review, US has consulted with other countries including Japan.

With respect to Reuters report mentioned above, Department will simply state its long-established position that we are opposed to admission of PRC at cost of expulsion of GRC and will decline to speculate on voting prospects for Assembly this fall.

You may wish inform GOJ that leaks of this kind make candid consultation very difficult.


356. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

Washington, May 26, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 521, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VII. Top Secret. Sent for action. This memorandum is stamped "The President has seen." According to a May 19 covering memorandum, it was prepared by Kennedy and Levine of the NSC staff.


Chinese Representation in the UN

Ambassador Robert Murphy, at your request, raised with Chiang Kai-shek our concern over the diminishing prospects for success in the General Assembly meeting this fall of our past policy aimed at exclusion of Communist China from the UN and retention of Taipei’s seat. Chiang understood fully the likelihood of failure of this course. He agreed to go along with a dual representation strategy but only on the condition that we protect his Security Council seat. Murphy agreed to this condition and Chiang unquestionably considers it a commitment./2/

/2/ See Documents 349 and 354.

We cannot guarantee Chiang’s Security Council seat. The issue will be decided by the Security Council itself. We cannot use the veto because the issue will be procedural; and we do not have the votes in the Security Council to prevent Taipei’s expulsion in favor of the PRC--eight Security Council members recognize Peking and two others say the PRC should have the seat.

We have two choices:

--Go ahead with a dual representation strategy recognizing that we cannot protect Taipei’s Security Council seat, or

--Continue with our traditional strategy aimed at exclusion of Peking, recognizing that we will be defeated either this year or next.

If we take the first course, and if Chiang acquiesces, we could reasonably expect to retain Taipei’s seat in the General Assembly. Peking would be irritated initially because her maximum goals--the expulsion of Taiwan and recognition of the PRC claim to represent all of China--would have been thwarted. It is likely that Peking would not enter on these terms, at least for a while. Thus, for the present, Taiwan would retain its seat in both the Assembly and the Security Council. However, it is most probable that Chiang will not agree to concede the Security Council seat, and therefore, a dual representation strategy is not viable. Our efforts to maintain the Security Council seat for Taipei would simply convince many UN members that the whole strategy was a mere gimmick to perpetuate Peking’s exclusion. A UN majority will not accept this.

If we pursue our traditional strategy we certainly will be defeated within a year or two. We will take a good deal of heat over this defeat. The fact, however, that we would have stood steadfastly by Chiang will be in our favor. The effect on our relations with Peking will be two-fold. First, she will not be surprised at our continuing to resist her entry and she will in fact gain her objectives. So our present moves toward more normal relations will not be complicated by her resentment of our policy. But secondly, she will feel herself to have inflicted a defeat on us, and our relationship with her will to some extent be adversely affected by this psychological fact.

I believe that, in the likely event Chiang holds to his view on the Security Council seat, our best course will be to stick with our traditional policy of trying to keep Peking out. It would avoid the appearance of a betrayal of an old ally and it would not seriously affect our policy of moving toward more normal relations with Peking.

Before you decide, however, I believe we must go back to Chiang to make clear to him that there is no way we can guarantee his Security Council seat.

--We have told Chiang we are convinced that the present strategy will be defeated this year or next. And Chiang himself may feel that he has taken a monumental step in acquiescing--however unenthusiastically--to dual representation. If we were simply to inform him--without consultations--that we have decided to adhere to our traditional strategy, he might well falsely interpret this decision in the context of steps we have taken to ease tensions with Peking. He might conclude, in short, that we have chosen this route to sell him out.

--A second reason for consulting again with Chiang, is to take account of the possibility, admittedly very slim, that he might drop his condition that we protect his Security Council seat. If he did, the dual representation strategy would be a realistic course.

We should put the issue squarely before Chiang once again. In the unlikely event he would prefer that we go along on the dual representation formula in these circumstances, we can do so. Otherwise he will know clearly the reasons we did not.

I recommend, therefore, that we go back to Chiang and tell him that we cannot guarantee his Security Council seat and that therefore if he maintains his position on this question we are prepared to pursue our present policy seeking to exclude Peking, with the full realization that we probably will be defeated this year or next./3/

/3/ The President did not initial either the approve or disapprove options, but did write "K: Follow up on basis of our meeting today (5/27/71)." See Document 358.

357. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon/1/

Washington, undated.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. An attached memorandum of transmittal from Assistant Secretary De Palma and Deputy Assistant Secretary Brown to Rogers is dated May 26.

Chinese Representation in the United Nations: Recommended U.S. Position

1. Recommendation

The U.S. should begin active consultations now with a view to tabling a Dual Representation Resolution at the next General Assembly. The resolution should call for seating the People’s Republic of China and, in the same text, should provide that any proposal to expel the Republic of China shall require a two-thirds vote. This formula, which is favored by the Japanese and the Australians, gives the Republic of China the protection of the Important Question procedure directly with the document calling for Peking’s seating. I attach a text proposed by the Japanese, and a revised version prepared in the Department./2/

/2/ Both are attached but not printed.

2. Rationale

Unless we begin working for Dual Representation now, it is virtually certain that the Republic of China will be expelled this Fall through passage of the Albanian Resolution and defeat of the Important Question. Similar action probably would be taken by the Security Council shortly thereafter.

3. Forecast

Provided we begin work immediately and exert a maximum effort, a Dual Representation Resolution of the type described should receive majority support in the General Assembly. An accurate forecast is difficult to make since we have not been able to consult on this issue since the end of March, but we believe the probable vote would be on the order of 65 in favor, 50 opposed, with 12 abstentions. Votes for such a resolution could be as low as 42 or as high as 76 votes; the votes against it could be as few as 37 or as many as 55. A country-by-country breakdown is attached.

4. Tactics

If this recommendation is approved, we would immediately inform our Japanese, Australian and New Zealand allies and request their active assistance. At the same time, we would inform President Chiang but would not be deterred if he withholds cooperation. We would undertake the widest possible consultations to enlist supporters and resolution co-sponsors. We should seize the initiative by inscribing an agenda item for the next General Assembly by early August and shortly thereafter table our resolution so that it would be voted on before the Albanian Resolution. If the Albanian Resolution is tabled first, we would have to wage a parliamentary struggle to gain priority.

5. The Security Council Seat

As tabled, our resolution would say nothing about the Security Council seat. We must expect that an amendment will be put forward from the floor stating that the seat should go to Peking, and that the amendment undoubtedly will pass. We would argue that the amendment is unnecessary and irrelevant since the Security Council is not bound by Assembly recommendations, and therefore we would either vote against the amendment or (preferably) abstain, but would not lobby. Outside the Assembly chamber, we would state (to the press as well as to other governments) that we consider it wiser to wait and see what attitude Peking takes: if Peking is willing to take the Council seat on the basis of the Dual Representation principle, well and good; if Peking refuses to come on this basis, we will all have to take that fact into account.

Within the Council itself, our options are severely limited. There is already a Council majority in Peking’s favor and we must expect that whether or not Peking has indicated willingness to accept Dual Representation, this majority will vote to seat Peking in the Council. We can try various parliamentary maneuvers to block the issue until Peking accepts the Dual Representation principle, but none of these have much chance of success. We would not have the votes necessary to sustain the position that a negative vote by ourselves (or by the Nationalists) constitutes a veto.

6. Republic of China Reaction

We believe that President Chiang may be willing not to oppose our tabling a Dual Representation Resolution which was silent on the Security Council issue even though he may still feel that he has to take the ROC out of the U.N. if the Security Council seat is subsequently lost.

7. Aftermath

Even if we are successful with the Dual Representation Resolution, we may not have found the ultimate solution to the Chinese Representation problem. Unless Peking alters the policy which it has maintained for over twenty years, we doubtless will have to fight this battle again, and it may be that in the end the Assembly will bow to Peking’s insistence and adopt some version of the Albanian Resolution.

8. Universality

We continue to believe that chances for success of a Dual Representation Resolution will be maximized by placing it within the philosophic framework of a general doctrine of universality, and that universality is an attractive policy in any case. I have been invited to address the London Bar Association in early July and believe this would afford an excellent opportunity to surface our new Chinese Representation policy against the background of the universality principle.

William P. Rogers/3/

/3/ Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

358. Meeting Among President Nixon, Secretary of State Rogers, and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, May 27, 1971, 2:42–4:26 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation No. 504–13. Secret. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Nixon, Kissinger, and Rogers met from 2:42 to 4:09 p.m., and Kissinger and Nixon spoke alone until 4:26 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation printed here specifically for this volume.

[Omitted here is discussion of dual representation strategy and possible support from other nations for the ROC in the United Nations.]

Nixon: Frankly if we start out fresh, we would put, I mean, Communist China in the UN, right?

Rogers: Um, hmh.

Nixon: And, we wouldn’t dream of letting Communist China take over 15 million Taiwanese any more than we’d let North Korea take over South Korea. That’s another point.

Rogers: That’s another point.

Nixon: And a defense treaty and all the rest.

Rogers: This doesn’t relate to our relations with Taiwan at all, this is just representation in the UN.

Nixon: Could I suggest a line, which you could do? [unclear] How, first what is... we’re talking now on the 27th of May, how long will you be, until you are back? You’ll be over 2 weeks in Europe?

Rogers: No, 10 days.

Nixon: Ten days. Well, of course, the time, and incidentally, I think you should handle it pretty much yourself on a very very close basis, indicating that we have reached a position. You can say that we have talked, you know what I mean? And that we frankly are examining our position. We tend, we are examining our position at this point, and you are trying to determine... now I wonder if you can do that. I’d just, or perhaps [unclear] on the British before they say, "You put them all on that basis."

Rogers: Yeah, I can’t do it.

Nixon: Well [unclear exchange]. What I meant is, could you put it up in this term. I know you’ve got to have something to say to them. Could you say to them, "Look here," because, you see, since you’ve returned, we’ve had [Robert] Murphy come back. And Murphy has said that Chiang says that they’d [accept] two China provided we give them the Security Council seat. We can’t do that, it won’t work. Nobody can guarantee the Security Council seat.

Rogers: [unclear]

Nixon: Well, he didn’t understand. Anyway, that’s done. The point I made, we now know Chiang’s position, which is very clear. And he’s, he says, "Either go down fighting, or I’ll take two China but you’ve got to give me a Security Council seat." Well, we can’t do that. But on the other hand, knowing now what our problem is there, could you give us the time [unclear], because I think time is going to be extremely important in terms of... I’m going to have to, on this one, if we make a move on the two China thing, I’ve got to move on the right wing myself. I’ve got to get Walter Judd in and talk about this issue. I may be able to do something with him. But I want to do it by, I want to be able to move now. I think if you could, if we could confirm [unclear], discuss with the various... I figured you could discuss this matter for this period of time, then come in and, I realize you probably already have. But there’s still, it’s further along and it’s crystallizing all over the bullets. I think that’s, that would then allow me to have the chance to sort of figure out how exactly to do it. I wouldn’t want to have, for example, on your trip, I wouldn’t want to have the whole thing come out. The United States has changed its position and is trying to develop the support for it. I think it’s premature to do that. When we change the position, I think that we ought to try to involve... I’d like to compose a message. I’m not concerned about [unclear]. We’ll take the heat on the international stuff. You can handle that. But I’ve got to handle these domestic people„the hardliners in the House and Senate, some of the columnists, and people, frankly, who are part of the China Lobby, which is still a considerable group. I think that if you can get a verdict in the next couple weeks, if it were to come out that the U.S. has actually changed its position and is consulting with its allies to get support for a new position, that would be very difficult. If, on the other hand, you can discuss it in a way that we, you were trying to explore the position that they would take, in other words, here are the options, where will you end up? Having in mind the fact that in the final analysis we will have to take a position one way or the other. Could you do that? Can you handle it that way?

Rogers: I don’t think that’s [unclear].

Nixon: You see, the things seeping out is what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about having to come out because [unclear] I don’t want them to descend on me like a pack of little jackals and I have to say, then I’ll have to lie to them, and [unclear] lie to the press conference and say, "Oh no, we’re not considering, we haven’t decided anything yet and so forth." See what I mean?

Rogers: I don’t see how there’s any problem with me. I think it’s going to be a problem of, as far as our policy is concerned, because so much has gone on with the delay that no policy is going to succeed. In other words, other nations are making, they’ve been waiting for us to tell them.

Nixon: Yeah. Well now wait a minute. Let me ask you, when we talk about delay, I’m not talking about a delay of 2 months. I’m talking about a delay of [unclear].

Rogers: [unclear] talk to him about it? I know, you know, [unclear]. The present course as agreed to by everybody is disastrous, even Chiang Kai-shek. So what we’re talking about is suicide as far as they’re concerned. I mean, it’s doomed to failure. And they know that and everybody that talks about the subject knows that. Really what we’re asking them is, "Do you want us to go down in defeat in this way or would you rather have us try something else?"

Nixon: Well, what you’re suggesting is that, what you would like to do, or what you would recommend is that you go over and--

Rogers: What I’d like to do is to--

Nixon: See, if you do that, that will get out [unclear exchange]„

Rogers: I don’t have to when we get there, but I, what I think we ought to do is to decide now what we want to do. Then I think all, whoever we want to talk to, the Walter Judds and the others, put it on the line. And say, "Look it, are you prepared, do you want us to go down to defeat this way? We don’t think this is a good thing for Chiang Kai-shek and for us." Now they’ll all have to come to that conclusion.

Nixon: I think the way we ought to handle that is, the best way to handle that, probably it’s the best way anyway, remember you’ve got to have [unclear]. You do not feel, now wait a minute, leaving out the Walter Judds and the rest for a moment. What I’m getting at is what is going to come out between now and the next couple of weeks? What is going to come out is that, this is a, this isn’t, even announcing two Chinas is a monumental decision. And it is a monumental decision, it’s a helluva news story.

Rogers: Oh, sure.

Nixon: Now, if that comes out in a way, that well, that the United States is privately or secretly discussing the, is trying to enlist support for the two China thing, it seems to me that that’s, I’d rather, I think maybe the proposition of doing it through a speech, as you suggested, at a later time, more frontally [unclear] is better than doing it through consultations. See my point? You see what I’m afraid of, you talk to the British and you talk to the French or all these other people, now this is the way to do it. I think when it’s done, it ought to be done in an orderly, [unclear exchange]. I had a feeling myself, I don’t know, it’s just a thing, Bill will do this and it’s the kind of a thing that he ought to handle.

Kissinger: Well, he could, I don’t see, he could do the consultation and still give the speech in July.

Nixon: Yeah.

Kissinger: I mean, he wouldn’t--

Rogers: Well the President’s giving [unclear]. I’m not, see, everybody knows we’re talking about [unclear] all over the world.

Nixon: That’s true.

[Omitted here is more debate, but Nixon’s decision is to wait for any public announcement. Rogers reviews his position on the need for consultations on a possible U.S. policy change. Nixon wants it handled in a way that emphasizes that the decision has not yet been made. "It’s a problem we’re considering and consulting with allies." Rogers wants to say that the United States is leaning in one direction because "we know we’re going to lose."]

Nixon: I said, "Here is the proposition. We examined the situation. It appears that we are certain to lose if we consider the present course. For that reason, we are seriously considering this proposition." What do you think of it?

Rogers: That’s the way I feel.

Nixon: How’s that sound, Henry?

Rogers: That’s what I think.

Nixon: Don’t you think that’s good?

Kissinger: Yes.

Nixon: "We’re seriously considering it."

Kissinger: That’s right.

Nixon: What do you think [unclear]? And as you go down and then, you can--

Rogers: Now, in other words, [unclear] we can sort of get a count now that we find out the number of votes. But in the meantime, I think we should start talking to [unclear].

Nixon: Yes, I know. I know. Well, my inclination with them is to hit them pretty hard and frontally, when it’s due, just before it’s done, and then just say, "All right. The [unclear]." I think if you, the trouble is, you see, you hit them over a period of time though. I know this will hurt extremely well. What happens? They go home and they [unclear], and they talk about it and the rest, and then they gin up a lot of columns, and raise hell, letters and all that sort of thing. I’m inclined to think, once we decide, I like the idea of decisive motion, decisive motion. We get them all in, we hit them and say, "Here we go." Henry, you know some of these people there? [unclear]

Kissinger: Just to be the devil’s advocate and express [unclear], on this one I go back and forth. [unclear]

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: It’s really a very close vote. What would we lose if we delayed another 6 weeks without having a vote?

Rogers: Well, we’d lose a lot of votes. We’d get a lot of people [unclear]. What do we gain by it? Aren’t we just sort of--

Kissinger: Well--

Rogers: [unclear]

Nixon: That’s really--

Kissinger: Well, no. [unclear] We cut 6 weeks off the public discussion.

Rogers: Oh, no. We need the public discussion. The public discussion is [unclear]. Allows us to get nations to support us.

Kissinger: Well now--

Nixon: He’s referring to public discussion on that.

Kissinger: Taking also the fact that [unclear] this new position.

Rogers: [unclear] You think that’s the way to look at it, if you do what you’re doing you’re going to die? Do you think we should state our position? How can they [unclear]? Even Chiang Kai-shek recognizes this. [unclear] Everybody knows that what we’re doing, our present course is doomed to failure. So how can anybody be unhappy if you say, "Well, should we try something else?"

Kissinger: Why would you try something else 6 weeks later? I mean, to whom did he [unclear]?

Nixon: What we’re talking about basically is a moot question in a sense but [unclear] come down to is this. That I think that it would be best just to, [unclear] that we should, after you completed that process [unclear]. But, I think the idea, Henry, of building the thing that the ABA is building--

Kissinger: But that speech offered--

Nixon: I think his idea--

Rogers: By that time we’ll know the vote [unclear] too. [unclear]

Nixon: I think if he makes the announcement there, and he can make it there. But then that also, it also will [unclear] that much of a crack in the door in other words. And I’m considering it from this standpoint. That then we can evaluate the events and so forth.

Rogers: I would like it--

Nixon: But you think [unclear]--

Rogers: Well, I think it will hurt you. I really do think it hurts you. I think it’ll--

Nixon: You mean get rolled?

Rogers: I think you’ll get rolled. I think your conservative friends will think that it’s a terrible defeat and you followed a policy that’s doomed to failure.

[Omitted here is discussion of the view of other nations on UN representation and NATO forces in Europe.]

[Rogers left the meeting at 4:09 p.m.]

Kissinger: I don’t see the sense of urgency that Bill feels, because it’s a purely tactical embarrassment we are suffering from not having a position. But this way is the best we could get out of it.

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: It’s my own, you know, it isn’t worth overruling the Secretary of State on it. I think tactically the best would have been just to keep it hushed up for another 2 months.

Nixon: He doesn’t think he can do that.

Kissinger: Well I think he believes that--

[Omitted here is brief discussion of the President’s schedule.]

Kissinger: I suspect they’re going to sell the living bejeezus out of it.

Nixon: What?

Kissinger: I suspect they’re going to sell the living bejeezus out of it.

Nixon: Oh, sure.

Kissinger: What I find so interesting in the State Department is that they have no strategic sense. All they worry about is their personal embarrassment and not having a position. So now they can [unclear]--

Nixon: That’s the whole point, that is, of his concern was that I’ve already told them that I don’t have any position. Well Christ almighty, so we’ve got no position, just go out and say so. Goddamnit, I do it every day in a press conference. But, or every week.

Kissinger: Well, he follows [Marshall] Green’s advice. It isn’t, he doesn’t, but it’s, it’s really... We can handle it.

Nixon: Let him go. As a matter of fact we can handle it. After all, Henry, there is a lot of discussion about the two-China thing. It’s probably what we’re going to end up with. [unclear] I am greatly tempted to stand on principle and get rolled and get them out. I am concerned about one thing: we’ve got to think very selfishly. But--

Kissinger: But another way of getting rolled, Mr. President, is to delay our position as long as possible. Then, fairly late, go to a two-China position and then lose on that. Then we’ve done everything.

Nixon: Well--

Kissinger: But that’s--

Nixon: But that’s another thing. The main thing--

Kissinger: It’s really not important enough.

Nixon: When you go to two-China, that’s going to appear awfully reasonable to a hell of a lot of people.

Kissinger: Oh, yeah.

Nixon: Awfully reasonable.

Kissinger: Actually, the way he’s formulated it now is better.

Nixon: Yeah.

Kissinger: If he then gets off the universality one which will drive everybody, will drive the German situation. He just says "Communist China in by majority vote; Taiwan expelled only by a two-thirds vote."

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: Then we don’t make a general principle. And that we can, I think--

Nixon: I like that formula, the expulsion by two-thirds vote. And that [unclear], but I’m going to pull this. I want to know what the hell our problem is in the domestic politics before we do it. And I also will have to determine whether or not I am announcing it myself or have him do it. I think there is much to be said for letting him do the announcement.

Kissinger: Yeah.

Nixon: It’s a technical matter. There’s a hell of a lot of people who are going to say we’ll get the credit for it anyway.

[Omitted here is discussion of Mutual Force Reduction in Europe.]

Nixon: Now on the China thing, we’re back exactly around the time he needs.

Kissinger: That’s right. Because--

Nixon: Now if the China doesn’t come back, they should be back--

Kissinger: They’ll be back within 10 days to 2 weeks.

Nixon: You think so? Has Yahya delivered the message?

Kissinger: He delivered the message on May 19. It took 5 days. I’ve now got a good channel, but I told his Ambassador to send it by pouch, didn’t want it on a Pakistan wire. I’ve now set up a wire to Karachi for our Ambassador, which goes only through Morris. Nobody knows it. And it’s got a special code, which only Haig knows, so even Moorer can’t read it. And which only, and so now we can deliver messages in 24 hours. It took 5 days to get there, then it took, then Yahya was in Lahore so he didn’t deliver it until the 19th. So they’ve only had it for 7 days. And my guess is that they’ll reply the first week of June.

Nixon: You think they’ll reply in the positive or negative?

Kissinger: Almost certainly, yes.

Nixon: There’s a lot of things in there about a Presidential visit and all that kind of stuff.

Kissinger: We offered them a Presidential visit. We told them I’d be authorized to arrange the visit of a public emissary if it was thought useful; it’s hedged a little bit. And--

Nixon: In addition to a Presidential visit?

Kissinger: Yeah, in addition to a Presidential visit. And for them, Mr. President, after all, they are revolutionaries. But you think of this peasant, former peasant, Mao, the Great March, and then the President of the United States comes to Peking at the end of his life. That’s--

Nixon: Well that’s why this former [unclear] Brezhnev has goddamn well got to decide whether he wants to come or not. And--

Kissinger: I think that, Dobrynin again this morning talked about that trade deal, that $500 million trade deal.

Nixon: Yeah.

Kissinger: We just don’t have enough information to act on it.

Nixon: Well, but he didn’t raise the summit. He never raises it does he?

Kissinger: No.

Nixon: Well, he must have a reason you know.

Kissinger: Well, no. They are very cute. They figure you’re very eager, so they figure they’re first going to make you pay on Berlin. Then they’re going to make you pay on trade, and after that they give you the summit.

Nixon: What the hell are we going to talk about there?

Kissinger: But I think, well, we can have, we need the summit for a number of reasons. It will discipline them during SALT.

Nixon: Yeah. Well, we’ve got to have, we need the summit for the reason of getting the deal on SALT.

Kissinger: That’s what I mean.

Nixon: So then we’ve got to hammer them.

Kissinger: And, we can--

Nixon: Did Dobrynin say he’d let Semenov know that he’s not going to screw around on that final announcement?

Kissinger: That’s right. That’s right. I can always try a little deal. He said, "Can we talk the first 2 weeks about India only?" I said, "Anatol, let’s not horse around. If we want an agreement, you need some face saving thing, you want to talk about ABM for a week, that’s one thing. But essentially it has to be concurrent." And if you read the letter, it says "to be discussed before," so we know what we have. And I have tapes of conversations.

Nixon: Oh, I know. Yes. But anyway--

Kissinger: So what I think we should do is, it’s playing dangerously, it’s living dangerously, but that’s how you’ve got where you are in foreign policy and in other things too. The thing to do is to tell, in my view, is to tell Dobrynin in early June, "We’ve reviewed our state of relations, things are now moving on a number of fronts, either you can commit yourself now for a summit in September, or we won’t have one this year."

Nixon: Will that appear too eager?

Kissinger: That’s less eager than just sitting there waiting for them.

Nixon: Sure.

Kissinger: And then if they turn us down, Mr. President, then I would drag our feet on trade, on Berlin, for at least, yeah, I’d certainly on trade drag our feet. Otherwise we’ll have given them almost everything they need and they don’t need the summit any more.

Nixon: Well we’re going to drag, trade, hell I’d never sign another goddamn thing for them.

Kissinger: My feeling, Mr. President, has been that I gave them an ultimatum on their exchange of letters.

Nixon: I know.

Kissinger: [Llewellyn] Thompson would have had a heart attack.

Nixon: I know. And incidentally, we’re going to be, but can we still drag on Berlin?

Kissinger: Yeah. I just cabled to Rush for Christ sakes not to settle this too quickly.

Nixon: Does he know this? You’re sure he understands it?

Kissinger: Oh, yeah. For all these reasons, we should not let them control the pace of events if you’re willing to forgo the summit in September.

Nixon: Sure.

Kissinger: But I think we, that wait through the next week would be--

Nixon: Are we going to have a summit at all with the Russians? You got a deal with the Chinese, we’ll go to China earlier. Why not?

Kissinger: It also has the advantage that then we know where we stand.

Nixon: You notice the hard-line the Chinese are taking on Taiwan. Predictable, right?

Kissinger: Yeah.

Nixon: The Nineteenth Province and all that sort of crap?

Kissinger: Yeah.

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: Oh, I know. No, what they have asked from us up to now„

Nixon: Basically, to remove the Sixth Fleet.

Kissinger:„is to remove our military forces from Taiwan. If they would help us make peace in Vietnam--

Nixon: We’ll do it.

Kissinger:--we could do it early in your new term.

Nixon: Just put it in the terms, "Yes, we will do it. We made a private [unclear] to do so."

Kissinger: But Taiwan, except for the sentimental thing, is really the least significant American [unclear].

Nixon: I’m afraid it is. I’m sorry.

Kissinger: It’s a heartbreaking thing. They’re a lovely people.

Nixon: I hate to do it, I hate to do it, I hate to do it, I know. And they’ve been my friends. [unclear] I still think, I can’t believe Bill is right when he says the Koreans don’t care, Kishi doesn’t care, and the rest of them don’t care about Taiwan.

Kissinger: Totally wrong.

Nixon: Somebody is selling him a bunch of shit.

Kissinger: Totally wrong. Totally wrong. Your instinct is absolutely right.

[Omitted here is discussion of the media.]

359. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, May 29, 1971, 2:30 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 521, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VII. Secret; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Brown and cleared by Johnson. Repeated to USUN.

95331.Ambassador McConaughy Eyes Only. Subj: Chirep.

1. Following based on memcon of Secretary’s discussion of Chirep with Chinese Ambassador Shen, May 28, 1971:/2/

/2/ Following the meeting among Rogers, Kissinger, and Nixon on May 27 (see Document 358), Rogers forwarded a memorandum to the President outlining what he would say to Shen, as well as diplomats from Western Europe and Australia. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 521, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VII) Marshall Wright forwarded Rogers’ memorandum to Kissinger, adding in a covering memorandum that he saw a "very serious flaw in it. That is the intention publicly to announce the plan at so early a time." He suggested that the administration do the "diplomatic spadework" before making any public statements. (Ibid.)

2. Secretary said he had asked Ambassador Shen to call in order tell him that US was seriously considering modification in Chirep policy. We trying make best appraisal of how we would come out if we continued present posture as compared to how we would come out if we changed. We would be consulting with number other governments to get their judgment on this question.

3. Secretary stated that our present judgment and, we believe, a generally-held assessment, is that present formula will lose this fall, no matter how hard we work for it. Ambassador Shen asked whether this was change in policy or tactics. ROC’s opposition to admission Communist China unchanged. ROC did not see how question which had been important for 10 years could suddenly cease be important. If we believed that IQ formula would not work, however, his government would not stand in way of its friends trying something else. He asked whether US was serious in wanting Communist China in UN or whether this just window dressing.

4. Secretary said we facing practical situation. We could stick to present formula and fail. Shen interjected that ROC will not insist on this. Secretary continued that we would seriously consider sticking with old formula if our assessment that it would fail was wrong. Ambassador Brown said that ROC officials in Taipei had agreed in March with our assessment that IQ would fail by 4 or 5 votes, and we believed that this margin was increasing. Shen nodded.

5. Shen said that President Chiang had indicated to him that if it felt that IQ would fail, ROC would not stand in way of new proposal which kept essence of IQ; for example, under new formula Communist China might be admitted by majority vote, but two-thirds vote would be required to expel ROC.

6. Secretary said we would like not just ROC acquiescence in new formula but encouragement. We did not want people, either in Taipei or elsewhere, to feel that we letting ROC down. He stated that President Nixon might be willing go down fighting under old formula, if that was what President Chiang wanted. Shen again interjected that this was not ROC position. Shen said that it would be too difficult for ROC to give impression it would accept any kind of "two-China" formula. They would have to vote against any proposal for admitting Communist China. Secretary said he understood.

7. Secretary said we considering formula which, in single resolution, would invite Peking into UN and would state that two-thirds vote would be required to expel ROC. We would not propose such a resolution but would support it. Secretary said there no way to assure that ROC would retain SC seat, but we would try develop plan which would give best chance to doing so. Original resolution which we contemplated would not mention SC. However, amendment from floor alloting seat to Peking would be almost certain and would probably prevail. We would oppose such amendment on ground that this not matter for Assembly and that Assembly action would not be binding on SC. If such dual representation resolution passed, Peking would probably not accept so long as ROC remained in UN. If Peking refused, we would argue that question of SC seat did not arise.

8. Shen said that ROC considered that its seat in Assembly and in Security Council are inseparable. Their present assessment is that Peking would not enter while ROC still in, but there still chance that if Peking felt that SC seat would be available they might surprise us. ROC would like maximum effort by US on their behalf with respect to SC seat.

9. Secretary said we could not give ROC any guarantees but will help as much as can. We hoped for ROC’s understanding, even if we could not have full agreement, and hoped Government of Republic of China would say that US doing best it could. He reminded Shen that easiest thing for US would be simply to stick with its present position and go down with it. Secretary said that proposal which he had described had no relation whatsoever with ping-pong diplomacy. It would have been made whether or not ping-pong team episode had occurred.

10. Secretary summed up US position as follows: US has not reached any final decision but its present thinking is a) we will be defeated this fall if we do not change our policy; b) a dual representation formula of kind he had described would probably succeed in holding Assembly membership for ROC; c) Peking would probably not come in so long as ROC remained; d) we will do our best to help on SC seat but cannot give any assurances of success. We would inform the Republic of China of the results of consultations with other governments and would, of course, work with them on drafts of possible resolutions and so forth.

11. Finally Secretary repeated that US at present would give very serious thought to continuing with present formula, if President Chiang really wanted us to do so. We feel, however, that such course would be disaster.

12. Ambassador Brown said that what Secretary had outlined to Shen is being very closely held and Shen is first person to whom we have communicated it. We hoped that ROC would confine this information to its own senior circle, since we would, of course, want GOJ and other countries to hear about our thinking first from Secretary himself. Shen said he fully understood./3/

/3/ When Rogers discussed this conversation with Nixon on May 28, the President emphasized that Rogers should not announce any policy change regarding Chinese representation in the UN until after July 4. He added that Rogers should make public the dual recognition strategy in a Senate hearing. (Ibid., White House Tapes, May 28, 1971, 2:50–3:07 p.m., White House Telephone, Conversation No. 3–178)


360. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State/1/

Tokyo, June 3, 1971, 0409Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Hong Kong, Paris, Taipei, and USUN.

5221.Subj: Rogers–Aichi talk re Chirep in Paris./2/

/2/ Secretary Rogers attended the OECD Ministerial Council meeting in Paris June 6–9.

Summary: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] PriMin Sato place highest importance on: a) keeping GRC in UN; and b) closest consultations with USG on China issues.

1. During 90-minute session June 2, PriMin Sato attached great hope to FornMin Aichi’s forthcoming discussion re Chirep with Secretary Rogers in Paris. [4 1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

2. Stressing importance of continued close USG–GOJ consultations, Sato observed that once course of action is determined, GOJ can lobby effectively with some countries, e.g. SEA nations, while USG can cultivate other territory, e.g. English speaking world.

3. Sato said he has impression USG is still gathering info. He indicated tempus is fugiting and much spadework will have to be done in anticipation of UNGA this fall. He noted that because of its involvement in Indo-China hostilities, in which PRC has direct interest, situation is in some ways more difficult for USG than for GOJ.

4. According to Sato, of utmost importance is close USG–GOJ consultation. I noted we staying in close touch but final USG decision re course to be followed not yet taken.

5. When asked specifically what message he wished conveyed to Secretary, Sato said it is GOJ’s determination to honor its treaty obligations with Taiwan, and to uphold its "international faith." If GRC could keep its UNSC seat so much the better, but in any case GOJ wishes to take whatever steps may be necessary to assure that GRC stays in UN. He was glad to have reassurance that USG also wants GRC’s continuation in UN.

6. Sato said Japan’s new chief rep at UN Nakagawa has been instructed to sound out U Thant’s views.

7. Earlier in day, Vice FornMin Mori had suggested to me that while it is GOJ’s wish and PriMin Sato’s strong determination to assure GRC’s preservation in UN, impression in GOJ circles is that USG’s primary interest is maintaining bilateral commitment to GRC, with GRC’s status in UN of lesser importance. I assured Mori that we share GOJ’s desire to keep GRC in UN.


361. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, June 3, 1971, 2233Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. Repeated to Moscow and Taipei.

1476.Subj: Chirep--Amb Bush’s Meeting With Amb Liu.

1. Amb Bush met with Amb Liu June 2 primarily for the purpose of personally expressing to Liu his contempt for fact that Amb Malik (USSR) walked out of SC and other UN meetings whenever Liu spoke.

2. Bush said he had told Malik, after Malik refused to brief Liu on the SC proceedings, that he disapproved of this kind of behavior and approach to the problem. Bush told Liu how distasteful he thinks this whole performance is, that gentlemen, especially diplomats and UN representatives, should be above such bad manners, and that Malik’s cold war tactics are insulting, not only to Liu but to the ideals and aspirations of the UN. Liu was very appreciative of Bush’s sincere empathy and fact that Bush took Malik to task for his discourteous behavior.

3. In discussion re Chirep, Bush said US has not reached any final decision but our present reading indicates IQ formula would not work this fall and therefore we are considering alternatives. Amb Liu said he is also concerned that previous IQ formula will no longer work and has stressed to his government the need for a flexible approach on this problem if GRC is to remain in UN.

3A. Liu said USG must realize that GRC could only consider alternative which would not damage GRC’s raison d’etre. Pres Chiang must consider internal politics as well as the international scene and the Pres is very concerned in his moral commitment to whole Chinese people. Liu also repeated as he has on previous occasions, that the GRC earned its seat on the SC by its role in World War II; that at the founding of the UN, the GRC was not in control of the whole Chinese mainland.

4. Liu also expressed grave concern re the six weeks referred to by Pres Nixon in his 1 June news conference./2/ Liu feels that six weeks hence will be too late to decide on a position which will prevent a defeat this fall.

/2/ For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 695–696.

5. Amb Bush told Liu he would make known the latter’s concern to Washington and he stressed to Liu the firm commitment of Pres Nixon to Pres Chiang and the GRC.

6. Comment: Amb Liu made no mention of Amb Shen’s conversation with Secretary Rogers.

7. Liu again extended an invitation to Amb Bush, on behalf of himself and Pres Chiang for Bush to visit Taiwan, emphasizing how honored his President would be by such a visit.


362. Action Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretaries of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) and East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Brown) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)/1/

Washington, June 4, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Brown and Herz; concurred in by Assistant Secretary Green, Shoesmith, and William A. Brown.


Timing of Announcement of Chirep Policy

The President stated at his press conference June 1 that he expected to announce a decision on Chirep in about six weeks; i.e., end of July.

There are clear advantages in putting off publicizing his decision in order to defer an angry reaction from the PRC which would follow a US decision in favor of dual representation and to avoid stimulating early tabling of the Albanian resolution on the provisional agenda for the Assembly Meeting. The President may well have other reasons also.

On the other hand, the agenda is already open for inscription and the date of filing resolutions determines the order in which they will be considered by the Assembly.

It is important that our dual representation resolution be voted on before the Albanian resolution, since we would almost certainly get a larger vote for it if it came up first. Moreover, if our resolution was passed, we could move that the Albanian resolution not be voted on because the issue had already been settled. Prior filing would also mean that we could give the agenda item a more neutral caption than "Restoration of the Lawful Rights of the People’s Republic of China."

Should the Albanian resolution be inscribed first, we would have a difficult parliamentary battle, which we might well lose, to get our proposal dealt with first.

The other side knows this and probably will inscribe earlier than in the past. Any public statement that we will sponsor or even favor a dual representation resolution would undoubtedly precipitate action by them, so we should be prepared for simultaneous announcement and inscription.

The last day for filing items on the provisional agenda is July 24, though supplemental items may be added until August 23 when the agenda is made substantially final.

To be able to inscribe a resolution by July 24, we would have to have a text and co-sponsors, the more the better. This will take several weeks to arrange.

Both ROC Ambassador Shen and Foreign Minister Chow have told us that delay in decision on UN tactics was putting us behind schedule on such necessary pre-Assembly Chirep activities as lining up votes. For example, we have just had word that Liberia is wavering and we can’t do anything about it in the absence of a decision. Sato said substantially the same thing to Meyer June 2, and McMahon made a similar point in his letter of May 13 to the President.

Moreover, we have been asked to testify on June 25 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in open session about the Javits, McGovern and Gravel resolutions, all of which deal specifically with the Chirep question.

Preliminary check with Norvill Jones and Trimble of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff indicated sympathy for our quandary but the feeling that the Committee would, nevertheless, want to have a State witness on the 25th, even if he could not deal directly with these problems.

Not being able to state a position would make our position in testifying rather embarrassing. There would be rumors about a new policy and denials would create a credibility problem. Given the subject matter, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff’s suggestion that we should confine ourselves to comment on the legislative proposals (attached)/2/ simply would not work. Moreover, our search for co-sponsors would be considerably hampered if at the same time we were indicating continued indecision in our testimony before the Committee.

/2/ An attached memorandum for the record, June 3, by Harrison M. Symmes on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s interest in an administration witness on China policy on the morning of June 25 is not printed.

These conflicting considerations could, however, be substantially reconciled by the following scenario:

1) The President would make, but not announce, his decision shortly after the Secretary returns and, if he decides on further pursuit of the dual representation formula, authorize us to conduct further exploration of other countries’ views and particularly to line up co-sponsors. This could be done, even though no public statement of position had been made. Leaks would occur, but we could deal with them.

2) The date of July 24 would fit within the President’s decision not to announce his policy before the end of July. If we could persuade Fulbright to postpone at least State’s appearance to testify on the three resolutions until that date, the Secretary could announce our new policy on that date and we could simultaneously inscribe our resolution on the provisional agenda.

3) We would, however, have to be ready to inscribe and table first if we get any indication that the other side is about to do so, even if it should mean speeding up the timetable. We have always been able to get advance notice of such action.

This program would be consistent with the Secretary’s memorandum to the President of May 28,/3/ in which he reported his understanding that the President would make his decision upon the Secretary’s return from Europe, and that this could be announced either before the Committee on June 25 or before the Bar Association in London in July. The Secretary pointed out the difficulty of keeping our current thinking secret and said that the hearings might be the best forum for making the announcement, particularly since this would help improve our Congressional relations.

/3/ Presumably a reference to Roger’s memorandum mentioned in footnote 2, Document 359.

We would like to discuss this problem with you to get your views on how best to present these additional elements in the situation and our proposed scenario to the President./4/

/4/ Johnson wrote "Done, 6/5/71" and his initials in the time option block.

363. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State/1/

Lisbon, June 5, 1971, 0105Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Secretary Rogers attended a NATO Ministerial Meeting in Lisbon June 1–6.

Secto 35/1868. Subj: Secretary’s Bilateral Conversation With

Douglas-Home: Chirep.

1. The Secretary outlined our view of likely developments and our current thinking about possibility of resolution seating Communist China, by majority vote, retaining seat for GRC, and deciding expulsion of GRC would require two-thirds vote. We would not comment on SC seat, as that would be separate decision by SC which we think should be faced in SC when we knew whether Peking would actually enter UN or not. Sir Alec observed that UK still wished to raise the status of their representation in Peking. They were certain they could do this within about two weeks; whether after three weeks or so they did not know. Requirements were that they no longer support the Important Question resolution and withdraw their Consulate from Taiwan. He thought both could be accomplished by UK without interfering with approach we had in mind.

2. The Secretary said he would appreciate it if the UK waited for about two weeks before conveying this decision to PRC. Sir Alec agreed but asked that the details of the US position not be divulged in the meantime. He said that if the Chinese learned that the Important Question resolution would no longer be a crucial matter his bargaining position would be undercut. The Secretary indicated understanding and observed our intention was not to reveal details of our thinking for about six weeks.

3. Pedersen suggested UK statement on Important Question should be addressed specifically to issue of representation of China in terms used in previous UN resolutions, thus retaining flexibility on future decisions to apply two-thirds vote to an expulsion proposal. Sir Alec indicated UK could do this.

4. Sir Alec raised problem of GRC name, noting it not proper to have two representatives claiming to represent one state. Secretary said we already had Byelorussia and Ukraine in UN and that we should simply use names both Chinese governments used without taking any position on their respective claims. Sir Alec responded that our approach might raise questions about universality elsewhere. The Secretary said membership of North and South Vietnam was no problem, membership of FRG and East Germany might be possible in circumstances envisaged by FRG, and that the Korean matter could be considered an exception in view of United Nations forces in South Korea.

5. Dept rpt as desired.


364. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, June 11, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Feldman and concurred in by Winthrop G. Brown and Pedersen.

Chirep: U.S. Co-Sponsorship of a Dual Representation Resolution

In your May 28 conversation with GRC Ambassador James Shen,/2/ while discussing the Dual Representation strategy you noted that the U.S. would actively support but not propose the Dual Representation resolution. This accords with a GRC position taken earlier this year--that the GRC sees the necessity for a "third resolution" but would prefer that the U.S. not be a co-sponsor--though Shen did not so request at the May 28 meeting.

/2/ See Document 359.

Our soundings to date indicate that it will be difficult for a Dual Representation resolution to be successfully launched if the U.S. does not act as a co-sponsor and make a major diplomatic effort in its behalf. This is also the view of our UN Mission. We believe that Japan, Belgium, New Zealand and other states which strongly incline toward Dual Representation nevertheless would be reluctant themselves to act as co-sponsors if the U.S. were not prepared to do so. For example, Belgium, which can be of great use in promoting Dual Representation, has told us it would not take the lead--but we believe Belgium would co-sponsor a Dual Representation resolution if we take the lead. New Zealand, too, has told us it considers U.S. leadership vital.

There are also a number of neutrals whose support is essential and who would be much more likely to co-sponsor or take an active role if we ourselves are co-sponsors.

Also, without our sponsorship the probability would be very high that a paragraph on the Security Council would be included in a Dual Representation resolution, even before the resolution is tabled.

We therefore believe we should talk about this with the GRC (and also with the Japanese, who must be kept in step with us at every stage).

We recommend that when the President’s decision is conveyed to the GRC (and assuming that it is in favor of dual representation), we also inform them that we have consulted with several of our close allies and have restudied the tactical problems from every angle, and that we have come to the conclusion that it would be useless to go the dual representation route unless we are willing to commit ourselves to it, which means that we would have to act as co-sponsor of such a resolution. We could add that we are aware that the ROC had expressed the hope that we would support a new strategy without formally taking the lead; but we assume that the results are more important to the ROC than the tactical manner in which they are obtained--and if we do not get out in front together with other co-sponsors, the danger is simply too great that the enterprise would fail.

365. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, June 11, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Herz. Sent through Pedersen and Under Secretary Johnson. The memorandum was initialed by Rogers, who added, "Noted by Secretary, 6/15."

Chirep: Getting the "Go" Signal from the President

In accordance with your conversation with the President on May 27 about Chinese Representation,/2/ you will now wish to obtain from him the decision on whether we are to promote a Dual Representation resolution in the next General Assembly. It is understood, of course, that that decision would not be made public until later. It is urgent, however, that it be made soon because potential supporters for the formula that we have in mind would have to be rallied if they are not to be lost. Erosion is continuing as Communist China pursues its diplomatic initiatives.

/2/ See Document 358.

The President’s approval for consultations has so far been limited to our NATO allies most concerned, plus Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the GRC. There are a number of other countries that have been among the GRC’s staunchest supporters in the past who have indicated to us that they are reviewing their policies and that the U.S. position will be an important factor in their decisions. Examples are Thailand, Greece, Togo, Spain and South Africa. Then there are countries like Tunisia, Ghana, Mexico and Ivory Coast, which want the PRC in the UN but might be brought to champion Dual Representation.

In your memorandum to the President of May 28, you explained that when he has made his decision, "we should then... begin to marshal maximum support for this position in the United Nations." You also reminded him "it would be desirable also to touch base in the fairly near future with certain... key countries which have supported us on the Important Question over the years."/3/

/3/ Presumably a reference to Rogers’ memorandum mentioned in footnote 2, Document 359.

Expanding our consultations obviously increases the chances of leaks to the press. Leaks and speculations provide the PRC and its allies with much smaller targets than an officially announced position, and it is thus right to postpone the latter.

The President no doubt appreciates that our new strategy, if he approves it now, will not automatically win acceptance by a majority. A great deal of hard work will be required. We now believe that if the selling job is to be effective, the U.S. will have to act as co-sponsor of the kind of Dual Representation resolution that we have in mind. If we don’t act as co-sponsors, there is also a high probability that a paragraph on the Security Council would be included in the resolution even before it is tabled.


That you talk with the President along the above lines, using talking points as attached.



1.You will wish to inform the President of your discussions with the UK, France and Japan and of Mr. Green’s conversations with Australia and New Zealand.

2.You believe wider consultations would add little to this and you hope the President could now decide to proceed with a Dual Representation policy. A decision now to go the Dual Representation route does not mean a public announcement need be made before the middle of July. But we should go ahead to seek support from more governments as soon as possible.

3.With most of them it will be better to talk on the basis of a policy conclusion on our part and to be seeking their support. Examples: (a) Countries that have been staunch supporters of the GRC but which are reconsidering their position--Thailand, Greece, Spain, Togo; and (b) countries that want the PRC in the UN but could be brought to champion Dual Representation--Tunisia, Ghana, Mexico, Ivory Coast.

4.Once we start consulting more widely, there will inevitably be leaks and speculations, but these will furnish a smaller target to the PRC than would an official announcement at this time.

5.Getting a majority in the General Assembly in favor of the kind of Dual Representation resolution that we have in mind won’t be easy. We shall have to exert leadership, which means that we shall have to act as co-sponsors. If we don’t, there would also be a great likelihood that a paragraph about the Security Council would be included in the resolution even before it is tabled.

6.Another matter which will require early decision if the President chooses the Dual Representation approach is whether and to what extent the concept of "universality" should be utilized. If it is decided to use that concept you would like to consult with Japan, the FRG, the ROK and the GVN.

366. Action Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) and the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, June 11, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Herz. Sent through Pedersen and Johnson.

Chirep: Getting Full Advantage Out of Your Recent Talk With Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home/2/

/2/ See Document 363.

If the President makes his decision on Chirep in the next few days, and assuming that it is in favor of Dual Representation, we would under present arrangements inform the British and they would then make their approach to Peking along the lines discussed with Sir Alec Douglas-Home at Lisbon. However, unless the President’s decision is really imminent, we risk losing some time unnecessarily which could handicap us in the consultations we will need to have with other governments. We have an idea on how that handicap could be avoided.

You agreed to Sir Alec’s request that we not make our position on the Important Question public until they had had time to try to install their Ambassador in Peking. Implicit in this would also be a reasonable delay in our telling other governments what our decision was as well. There are bound to be press leaks and speculations as a result of such wider consultations (largely with former co-sponsors of the IQ, as you explained to the President in your memorandum to him of May 28). We would certainly not want the British initiative for an exchange of ambassadors with the PRC to be unintentionally undercut in this manner. On the other hand, we would want to start such consultations at the earliest possible point after the President’s decision, as the movement toward acceptance of Peking’s position is continuing.

Since you obtained from Sir Alec what we needed most„his willingness to commit the UK only against the IQ "in terms used in previous UN resolutions"„there actually would be advantage now if the British went ahead soon with their approach to the PRC.


That you approve the attached telegram to Sir Alec Douglas-Home./3/

/3/ Attached but not printed. This telegram (107549 to London), in which Rogers informed Douglas-Home that the United States had no objection to Britain’s raising the status of its representative in Peking, was sent on June 16. Ambassador Annenberg delivered the message on June 17, and was informed that Britain intended to announce the name of its Ambassador on June 22 and to close its office on Taiwan. Douglas-Home said that Britain would not support the Important Question or any measure that would prevent the PRC from being seated in the UN, and that he believed dual representation formulae were "non-starters." He did not say whether Britain would support the U.S. position after it was announced. (Telegram 5663 from London, June 18; ibid.)

367. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, June 24, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 521, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VII. Secret. Sent for action.


Decision on Chirep

I am concerned that this matter seems to be languishing. I am told that Secretary Rogers has discussed the matter with the President since his return from NATO and has told his people to do nothing more to precipitate a decision. As you will remember, the previous expectation was that a Presidential decision would be made after Rogers’ return and that we would use the time before a pubic announcement to try to line up diplomatic support to avoid Taiwan’s expulsion.

We have reached the point where we are literally going to lose this by default. We may, in fact, have already reached that point. Attached is a cable reporting on the somber results of a Japanese survey of the views of 57 more or less well disposed countries./2/

/2/ Not printed. The attached cable (5753 from Tokyo, June 15) stated that officials in the Japanese Foreign Ministry were increasingly pessimistic about the likelihood of the Republic of China retaining its seat in the United Nations.

I want to be certain that the hold-up here is not caused by the lack of initiative on my part. Should we be precipitating a final Presidential decision by giving him recommendations? Do you wish John Holdridge and me to provide you with such a memo? Or should we relax and try to enjoy it?

Give me a decision memo
See me

/3/ Kissinger initialed this option. Wright added a handwritten paragraph at the bottom of the memorandum: "P.S. Incidentally, our continuing delay is inexplicable to most outsiders, and I have positive knowledge that several foreign and friendly embassies, part of the press, and the State Department, strongly suspect that the delay is deliberate, and intended to make a successful Dual Representation policy impossible. I would bet money that the Chinese are beginning to share that suspicion. MW."

368. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, July 1, 1971, 3:17–3:35 p.m.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VII. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted on July 21. The time of the meeting is from Kissinger’s Record of Schedule. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 446, Miscellany, 1968–1976)

James Shen, Ambassador of the Republic of China
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
John H. Holdridge, Senior Staff Member NSC

Chinese Representation Issue in the UN

Ambassador Shen expressed appreciation to Dr. Kissinger on being able to see him on the eve of his, Dr. Kissinger’s, departure for a trip to South and Southeast Asia. Dr. Kissinger said that he wanted very much to see Ambassador Shen, apologized for the shortness of time available, and indicated a desire to see Ambassador Shen under less crowded circumstances following his return.

Ambassador Shen brought up the question of the Chinese representation issue in the UN, noting that time was becoming short for organizing a campaign in the UN to retain the position of the GRC. Dr. Kissinger stated that the President would make his decision concerning the U.S. stand in July, and that he anticipated an announcement as to this stand within the next several weeks. Ambassador Shen appeared to accept this as satisfactory.

Ambassador Shen then reminded Dr. Kissinger of what President Chiang Kai-shek had said to Ambassador Murphy on the imperative need for the GRC to retain its Security Council seat./2/ Any formulation which the U.S. wanted to follow in preserving the GRC’s UN position was acceptable so long as the GRC held on to its Security Council seat. Dr. Kissinger observed that the U.S. would do everything it could to preserve the GRC’s Security Council seat; however, frankly speaking, the checks which we had made with other interested parties suggested that it might be very difficult to do this. In a brief exchange with Ambassador Shen on the possible U.S. use of a veto to prevent Communist China from entering the Security Council, Dr. Kissinger explained that it might not be technically possible for the U.S. to exercise its veto power on this issue. If the question were put in terms of which entity represented China, Communist China or the GRC, this might be considered a procedural matter not subject to the veto. In addition, there were evidently quite a few countries in the UN which, while advocating the continued presence of the GRC, would advocate Communist China’s assuming the GRC’s Security Council seat. This attitude might be difficult to counter. Dr. Kissinger reiterated that we would do everything we could to safeguard the GRC’s Security Council seat, but that we could not offer a guarantee of success.

/2/ See Documents 349 and 354.

Ambassador Shen expressed concern over what Dr. Kissinger had said, and noted that if its Security Council seat could not be assured, the GRC might have to reconsider its position on the Chinese representation issue. He said that he would inform his Government of what Dr. Kissinger had said.

The meeting concluded with Dr. Kissinger expressing the President’s and his own best wishes to President Chiang. We intended to maintain our strong ties with the GRC and to honor our mutual defense treaty with it. Ambassador Shen thanked Dr. Kissinger for these sentiments. He spoke again about calling on Dr. Kissinger after the latter’s return to Washington.

369. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon/1/

Washington, July 3, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Feldman and cleared by Assistant Secretaries De Palma and Green.

Chirep--Estimate of Chances for Success of Dual Representation

The purpose of this memorandum is to bring to your attention circumstances which have a bearing on your decision on Chinese Representation policy, as well as our current estimates of the chances of passing a Dual Representation resolution at the next General Assembly.

We have had consultations with a limited number of countries on the Dual Representation formula under consideration. None have stated a final position and none have conducted a thorough canvass, but the following is a brief summary of their immediate reaction:

Australia--Would support Dual Representation; prefers a different formula; believes the Security Council seat should be offered the PRC in the resolution; believes Dual Representation unlikely to pass.

Belgium--Would support Dual Representation but believes the resolution must offer the Security Council seat to Peking; expressed no view on chances for passage.

France--Would not support Dual Representation; believes it has a slight chance of passage.

Japan--Would support the Dual Representation formula we are considering; agrees it is desirable not to mention the Security Council seat, but senior Foreign Ministry officials fear inclusion of such a provision may be necessary for passage.

The Netherlands--The Dutch Foreign Office has said it will be unable to express an opinion before the new Dutch Government, to be formed at the end of July, has had an opportunity to study our proposal; the Dutch believe that the odds are probably against passage, particularly if the Security Council seat is not mentioned.

New Zealand--Would support Dual Representation but prefers another formula; considers giving the Security Council seat to Peking essential to success.

Thailand--Agrees Dual Representation is probably the only alternative to ROC expulsion but fears the resolution might not pass in any case.

United Kingdom--Would not support Dual Representation; strongly doubts it can pass.

In our earlier estimates, at the time NSSM–107 was submitted in January and later when the National Security Council met in March to discuss it, we gave our judgment that a suitable Dual Representation formula could command strong majority support in the Assembly. At the time, we foresaw a 20–25 vote majority in favor of Dual Representation. These estimates were conditioned on the assumptions that the U.S. would begin lobbying actively for Dual Representation in the spring, would co-sponsor the resolution, and that the resolution would contain language (unopposed by us) to the effect that the Security Council seat would go to Peking. I must caution that given present uncertainty regarding these assumptions, the earlier estimates of a sizeable majority for Dual Representation cannot now be relied upon.

In part due to our delay, the situation has changed over time. Peking has managed to create a bandwagon psychology by establishing or reestablishing diplomatic relations with seven countries in the last six months. Also, the steps we ourselves have taken toward normalization of trade and travel with Peking during this period probably have led many countries to assume that we are emphasizing our bilateral relations with the PRC and deemphasizing Chirep.

It is extremely difficult to offer a reasonably hard estimate of the chances for success now, particularly since we have been unable to consult widely on the basis of a specific proposition and country positions are in process of change in many cases. ("Hand-holding" consultations were necessary in some cases just to gain more time.) However, we have formulated tentative in-house estimates, and have compared notes with Australia and Japan. The latter, in particular, has undertaken a world-wide canvass.

The Japanese contacted 105 countries and received 69 replies, but at least 37--well over half--were the personal observations of middle-level Foreign Ministry officials and therefore cannot be considered hard data. Of these 69 countries, about 25 might favor Dual Representation, about 26 might oppose and 18 were uncertain. The Japanese have formed their own in-house estimate for the Assembly as a whole and believe Dual Representation might pass by about three votes. This estimate assumes we will not make an all-out effort. Oddly, some medium-level GOJ officials feel Dual Representation might have a better chance if the Security Council seat were not mentioned in the resolution because certain friends of the ROC might vote against it under those circumstances. Our own analysis of their data does not support that judgment. Of the countries checked by the Japanese, ten told them a Dual Representation resolution must include language awarding the seat to Peking and only one felt otherwise.

The Australian estimate is that Dual Representation might pass by about two votes--but only if the Security Council seat were to go to Peking. If the Council seat issue is finessed, the Australians believe the resolution is bound to fail.

Our own estimate is somewhat more optimistic--but only if the U.S. co-sponsors and begins soon to lobby intensively, and only if the resolution (with our acquiescence) states that the Council seat should go to Peking. Under these circumstances, we believe Dual Representation could get a majority of 5–7 votes in its favor. This is still a much smaller margin than we had estimated in March. If the U.S. does not co-sponsor, and if the Council seat is not included, we believe the resolution could lose by up to 20 votes, even if the U.S. lobbies hard in its favor.

I must emphasize the tentative nature of these forecasts. The closeness of the vote in these three estimates--a majority of 2, or 3, or 5--shows that if you give the go signal for Dual Representation, we will have to make a very big effort and even then there can be no firm assurance of success.

William P. Rogers

370. Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State/1/

Tokyo, July 6, 1971, 1107Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Hong Kong, Taipei, and USUN. Also sent to Secretary Rogers at San Clemente, California, on July 7 as telegram 121378. (Ibid.)

6561.Subj: Chirep.

Summary: FornMin officials dealing with Chirep now virtually unanimous in strongly recommending: a) separate resolution making expulsion of GRC an IQ; and b) subsequent and separate simple dual representation resolution for admitting PRC. They stress urgency in view of fact that Albanian resolution may be tabled in mid-July, which would put our side at great disadvantage tactically.

1. FornMin DirGen UN Affairs Nishibori pulled me aside at lunch for Congressman Danielson July 6 to request that we telegraph Washington of increasing concern here re Chirep situation. He said cable going forward to Japanese Embassy in Washington on same subject.

2. According to Nishibori, every day which passes is probably losing one vote for position which both our governments wish to see prevail on Chirep issue. He said GOJ information is that Algerians or others will inscribe Chirep issue on or before July 15, and will probably at same time propose Albanian resolution. This will put our side in most difficult tactical position.

3. Although new FornMin Fukuda still not had time to focus on Chirep problem, Nishibori said general consensus in Foreign Ministry has now developed strongly favoring: a) separate and special resolution specifying that expulsion of member nation, i.e. GRC, is Important Question and will require two-thirds vote; and b) subsequent and separate simple dual representation resolution passable by simple majority. DR resolution would not include reference to SC seat, but undoubtedly attempts at amendment would be made.

4. Re SC seat, as Nishibori sees it, even though UNGA resolution would only be recommendation, it would be virtually impossible for GRC to hold UNSC seat when issue would be raised, as it undoubtedly would, in UNSC itself. Double veto would not prevail, and most our side could count on would be six votes, including Belgium which Nishibori considers highly doubtful.

5. Because luncheon requirements precluded extensive discussion, Nishibori was able only to convey above essence of GOJ position. He said he had been instructed by Hogen to inform me of above, including fact that all working levels of Foreign Ministry are now of same opinion.

Comment: Hogen two days ago also stressed to me importance of tactics, i.e. that inscription can take place 60 days before UNGA which means circa July 21 and that AR supporters likely to beat us to the draw.


371. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) and International Organization Affairs (De Palma) to Acting Secretary of State Irwin/1/

Washington, July 12, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by John T. McCarthy and Starbird and cleared in draft by Armitage.

Chirep: ROC Acceptance of a Dual Representation Formula

The ROC Foreign Minister has suggested that as soon as the US has made its policy decision Japan should begin working immediately, with tacit ROC and US support, to round up votes for a simple dual representation formula that does not mention the Security Council seat, combined with a separate "reverse Important Question" resolution which would require a two-thirds vote for the expulsion of the ROC. He also expressed to Ambassador McConaughy an earnest hope for the promptest possible US decision. The Foreign Minister also stressed the need for an early tabling of an agreed resolution in order best to forestall priority consideration of the Albanian Resolution.

This information indicates quite clearly that the ROC has now decided, at a minimum, that:

1. The former IQ–AR formula cannot be successfully used again.
2. It can accept--and presumably work tacitly for--a dual representation formula provided it does not state the Security Council seat should go to Peking and provided there is the protection of a two-thirds vote on expulsion.
3. It can go this far for tactical reasons because it judges that the PRC would not enter the UN under this formula.

The ROC has already quietly moved further than many would have predicted a few months ago. Even though it remains unlikely, we should not now exclude the possibility that, while remaining silent or apparently obdurate until the eleventh hour, President Chiang will finally decide to move even further than he or the ROC has thus far indicated./2/

/2/ Attached but not printed are telegram 3300 from Taipei, July 7, and telegram 3314 from Taipei, July 8, which are summarized in this memorandum.

372. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) and International Organization Affairs (De Palma) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, July 12, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Winthrop Brown and Feldman and cleared by Shoesmith, William A. Brown, Armitage, and Pedersen.

Chirep--Scenario for Dealing with GRC on Dual Representation

Here is a suggested scenario for dealing with the GRC in the event the President decides in favor of some form of dual representation. The scenario assumes that our soundings will continue to show that a dual representation strategy has little chance for success unless the resolution contains language to the effect that Peking should have the Security Council seat. If the later soundings do not indicate this, our problems with the GRC would be greatly lessened.



President decides to try out the dual representation approach with US co-sponsorship and initial silence about the Security Council.

Through Ambassador McConaughy, US informs GRC of decision and US plan to seek support. At same time, US frankly tells GRC that although this first effort will be silent on Security Council seat, preliminary information makes it appear that any DR resolution will have to state that Security Council seat should go to PRC if it is to succeed. US adds that building 2/3 requirement explicitly into resolution may also prove a limiting factor.

US actively seeks co-sponsors and agreement on text, as well as support within GA from countries who may not be prepared to co-sponsor. We find that support will be inadequate unless the Security Council seat is explicitly awarded to Peking in resolution as tabled, or unless US signifies it will acquiesce in amendment to that effect.

Option One

Through Ambassador McConaughy, or through a special envoy--in either case employing a letter from President Nixon--US tells GRC that unless GRC is prepared to acquiesce on the Council seat, US will announce publicly it has tried to develop support for what it considers a reasonable solution and has found international support. US will thank these supporters, but will go on to state that since neither PRC nor GRC will accept this solution, US will not engage in exercise in futility by proposing it. US, therefore, will simply support an Important Question resolution and will oppose Albanian resolution. In event other nations propose dual representation formula that US considers reasonable and equitable, US would vote for it. US tells GRC that, in our opinion, inevitable result of this course of action would be GRC expulsion under Albanian resolution, requests early GRC decision.

US informs GOJ, GOA, GNZ of above approach to GRC and asks them to weigh in as well.

If GRC sticks to its opposition, or if GRC temporizes, US will make public announcement described above.

Option Two

Through Ambassador McConaughy, or through special envoy--in either case employing a letter from President Nixon--US tells GRC that despite opposition of both PRC and GRC, US considers dual representation plus Security Council seat to PRC to be a reasonable solution and will press on for its adoption by Assembly in the hope that when the moment for decision comes, either or both parties will accept. US will point out our belief dual representation is in both our interests as the only alternative would be GRC expulsion under the Albanian resolution and will emphasize the eroding effect on US ability to maintain its security commitment and close cooperative relations should GRC either walk out or be ejected from UN.

US informs GOJ, GOA, and GNZ of above approach to GRC and urges them to weigh in as well.

US continues to work for dual representation and tables resolution even if Chiang is opposed or temporizes.

Option Two-A

If, in response to above approach, GRC advises that it will not walk out if dual representation resolution with Security Council seat to PRC is passed, but will only walk out if PRC accepts and enters UN on that basis, US will press for dual representation resolution with Security Council seat included. If it is adopted, probable result would be that PRC refuses to enter and GRC can remain if it wishes. If PRC should accept dual representation plus Security Council seat and enter UN on this basis, it will be up to GRC to make ultimate decision (even though advised by US and other friends) whether it will walk out or remain.

Advantages of Option One

1. Under this option, US will not have to oppose publicly the wishes of the GRC.

2. It would be clear that we had made every reasonable effort to protect GRC place in UN; responsibility for leaving UN would clearly be placed on GRC.

3. Would be consistent with position taken by Secretary with Ambassador Shen.

4. Would be least annoying to Peking since PRC will see this as leading to earlier entry into UN.

5. Would place US in reasonably good position with American public opinion; we would have demonstrated our desire for a reasonable and equitable solution.

6. Would avoid the necessity for the US formally to sponsor PRC entry.

7. Would dispose of the Chirep issue, albeit in a manner which we will not like.

Disadvantages of Option One

1. GRC would be expelled under Albanian resolution.

2. Possibility of last minute change of mind by GRC would be ruled out.

3. Might give the appearance that US has allowed Chiang a veto on significant areas of US foreign policy formulation.

4. Would be tacit admission by US that IQ is just a gimmick to delay Assembly decision and in any case is a "second best" formula.

Advantages of Option Two

1. Would hold open the door to a later GRC change of mind.

2. Would be seen by American and international public opinion as a realistic and equitable policy and would demonstrate that our hands are not tied by Chiang.

3. Even if GRC walks out, this may be preferable to their expulsion (assuming the resolution passes) since the latter would reduce them to the status of a non-state in the eyes of many.

4. It would keep the door open for the very remote possibility that the PRC might be willing to enter the UN on the basis of dual representation.

5. If PRC refused to enter on this basis, onus would be on Peking.

Disadvantages of Option Two

1. Would be considered by PRC as an additional, but not unexpected, unfriendly act and could interfere with further movement toward normalization.

2. Given our very late start (we would be well into August at that point), there would be no assurance of passage of the dual representation resolution.

3. It would open the US to charges by those who are concerned only with getting the PRC in that we were simply trying to find a new way of keeping the PRC out of the UN.

4. It would not resolve the Chirep issue. It would be back next year.

373. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, July 13, 1971, 0001Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Tokyo and Taipei.

1879.Subj: Chirep-Japanese Suggestion for Pro-GRC Initiative.

1. Japanese PermRep Nakagawa on instructions asked to see Bush urgently July 12. Referring to reports co-sponsors of Albanian res planning to submit their draft agenda item prior to July 15, Nakagawa said Japan wished US if possible or a third country to take advantage of imminent submission of traditional Albanian item to submit pro-GRC proposal first. Although initial presentation was somewhat vague, after series of questions Nakagawa said GOJ hoped US or third party would submit pro-GRC draft res to UN Secretariat in immediate future with understanding such draft would be held pending submission of Albanian-type item. When Albanian item submitted, pro-GRC draft res would then have priority.

2. In response to further questions, Nakagawa said pro-GRC draft res could either be simple DR res or modified IQ res (decision to expel GRC subject to two-thirds vote). We explained our understanding that Albanians and co-sponsors were planning to submit not only agenda item but explanatory memo and draft AR res as well. Under these circumstances, it would be impossible to have pro-GRC draft res circulated prior to AR res submitted at same time item given to Secretariat. If, contrary to expectations, Albania did not attach draft res at time item submitted, then Japanese approach might be considered. Best approach to meet GOJ concern would be prior submission of pro-GRC draft agenda item with draft res attached.

3. Bush noted difficulty for US since US policy not yet decided. In event US not able to accede to GOJ request, would Japan be willing to submit pro-GRC item and res? Nakagawa said his instructions spoke only of third countries if US not in position submit pro-GRC draft res (it clear Japanese would have difficulty acting alone or even in concert with us). We asked about possibility of Australia or New Zealand. Nakagawa said difficulty was that both of these countries believe SC seat should go to PRC and if this put in draft res difficulties with GRC would ensue.

4. Bush said would report Japanese request to Dept.

5. Comment: We agree with Japanese that it would be preferable to have priority for pro-GRC draft res since it not at all certain that we could win a fight on priority. Therefore, without prejudice to what position we may subsequently adopt, there is merit in the US (with others if they can be quickly rounded up) submitting item neutrally worded "the problem of the representation of China" and attaching a modified IQ res declaring decision to expel GRC subject to two-thirds vote. We could always modify our draft res prior to actual debate in GA in late Sept or early Oct.


374. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, July 15, 1971, 0141Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Starbird, cleared by Sean Holly, and approved by Assistant Secretary Green. Repeated to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and USUN and to Secretary Rogers at San Clemente as Tosec 118.

127416.Subject: Chirep: ROC Position and Request for Consultations.

Ref: (A) Taipei 3300; (B) Taipei 3314;/2/ (C) Taipei 3387; (D) Taipei 3388./3/

/2/ See footnote 2, Document 371.

/3/ Both dated July 12. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM and POL CHINAT–US, respectively)

1. Acting under instructions ROC Ambassador Shen called on Assistant Secretary Green July 13 to make approach parallel Foreign Minister Chow’s July 10 discussion with Ambassador McConaughy in Taipei (Ref C). Conversation was relaxed and friendly throughout.

2. Inscription and Tabling: Shen said the ROC had reports that the AR co-sponsors had met and decided to inscribe their item and table their resolution for the Provisional Agenda, which closes July 23. The ROC hoped, therefore, that whatever resolution our side may have will be ready sufficiently early to inscribe before then.

3. We reviewed the difference between inscribing an item and tabling a resolution, pointing out that it is the latter which gives a claim to priority. We also noted that agenda is later reviewed by General Committee and finally adopted by General Assembly. Thus not tabling on the Provisional Agenda is not the end of the ballgame.

4. Green said the President is fully aware of all aspects of the Chirep problem, including the considerations relating to inscribing an item and tabling a resolution. He said we are waiting for a decision which should be forthcoming shortly.

5. Prior Consultations: Shen formally requested that the ROC be informed of the US decision before other governments are and certainly prior to any public announcement. Green responded that after the President’s decision is made we would expect to be in touch with the ROC and then with other friendly governments. At the end of the conversation Shen asked that the ROC’s requests regarding prior consultations be made known to the White House, and Green assured him we would.

6. Security Council: Shen said the ROC regards its place in the GA and in the SC as one indivisible question, not as two separable questions. He said that, as the ROC had told us earlier, the ROC would find it intolerable to have its SC seat affected. He realized that there was no preventing others from raising the SC issue in the GA or in the SC itself. He hoped that the US would use its influence to nip any such attempt in the bud. If that were impossible, then he asked that the US treat any move in the SC as a substantive matter not a procedural one.

7. Green replied that the ROC had made its point very clearly and that we realized the importance that the ROC attached to its SC seat. Some countries, ourselves included, would prefer that a GA resolution not mention the SC seat, but others think the success of a dual representation resolution may hinge on it. The SC seat is likely to be a most difficult aspect of the problem, one requiring subtle and flexible handling. The objective is to protect ROC membership in the UN. The problem is obtaining sufficient support from others to do so. We understand the implications of this for the ROC. We can give no guarantees of success but we will do the best we can. We would expect to move to seek support promptly after a Presidential decision.

8. Shen reiterated the point that if anything happened to its SC seat the ROC would be left with no choice. He was sure numerous arguments could be marshaled in support of the ROC position, but he also said he realized that in the final analysis the need was for votes. Green noted that many countries feel strongly about the question of expelling the ROC, a founding member in good standing. This presented a more attractive case than arguing against Peking’s entry, which no longer appealed to a number of governments.

9. Japanese Estimates: Green asked for the ROC’s views about Japan’s position. Shen replied that the Japanese seemed to be strongly opposed to including reference to the SC seat in a dual representation (DR) resolution. Also the Japanese seem to be more optimistic about passage of such a resolution than is the US.

10. There ensued some discussion of the Japanese soundings and our reservations about whether their data were firm enough to support their conclusions. (For details see State 120452/4/ and its reftels.) Shen expressed the hope that the US would not feel it absolutely necessary to include the SC in order to pass a DR res since the Japanese do not think so.

/4/ Dated June 22. (Ibid., UN 6 CHICOM)

11. ROC Activity on DR: Shen noted that the Japanese estimates indicated that the margin in favor of dual rep was small and that a lot of hard work would be needed. He said that the ROC would have to vote against a DR res because of its opposition to any "two Chinas" principle and that, for the same reason, the ROC could not talk in favor of item. In response to a question Shen said that the ROC had not yet decided whether it would work against a DR res; that would depend in part on its content.

12. Green said that the ROC attitude on a DR res could be critical for some countries which are good friends of the ROC and noted that the Japanese estimates so indicated. If the ROC speaks against DR, it could drive away potential supporters. Green raised the question as to whether friendly countries don’t need to know that the ROC considers DR preferable to some of the other alternatives (such as passage of the AR). Shen agreed that this will be one of the problems that the ROC will have to face if DR is decided on.

13. These considerations were reviewed with DeptOff following close of conversation with Green. Shen wryly described ROC quandary in that case as how to convey the idea: "don’t listen to what we’re saying (i.e. just for the record); what we really want you to do is thus and such." How ironic it would be, he said, if the ROC’s own vote (and, by implication, its activities) should lead to its defeat.


375. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, July 16, 1971, 1847Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by William A. Brown, cleared by Starbird and Mansfield, and approved by Brown. Also sent to Ottawa, London, Wellington, Canberra, Tokyo, Brussels, Taipei, Rome, Vienna, and Hong Kong.

128777.Subject: Chirep.

1. Canadian Embassy gave us following text July 16 of latest GOC position on Chirep:

"The Canadian Govt. has decided that if the ïImportant Question’ resolution is introduced in relation to the ïAlbanian Resolution’ in the next session of the UNGA Canada will vote against the Important Question resolution. The Govt. has also decided that Canada will oppose a ïreverse Important Question’ formula, i.e. any move to make the ïexpulsion’ of Taiwan proposed in the Albanian Resolution subject to two-thirds majority vote. In effect this means that the Canadian delegation will oppose proposals that would have the effect of delaying the entry of the PRC into the UN through linking continuing participation of Taiwan representatives in the UN with the seating of representative of the PRC."

2. Canadians have also informed UK, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Austria and PRC of this position.


376. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, July 21, 1971, 2243Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHINAT. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by William A. Brown; cleared by Armitage, Arva C. Floyd, Russell Fessenden, and Robert H. Miller; and approved by Assistant Secretary Green. Sent to Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Brussels, Vienna, Bern, Dublin, Madrid, Lisbon, The Hague, USNATO, USUN, and Luxembourg.

132194.1. At their request, Chiefs of following European missions called on Assistant Secretary Green for briefing on President Nixon’s July 15 announcement:/2/ Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. During twenty minute session Green made following points:

/2/ Reference is to President Nixon’s announcement of his acceptance of an invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1971, pp. 819–820.

2. He appreciated group’s desire for information but speaking frankly there was not much he could say beyond the Presidential announcement. He cited President Nixon’s 1971 Foreign Policy Report statement, "In this decade, therefore, there will be no more important challenge than that of drawing the People’s Republic of China into a constructive relationship with the world community and particularly with the rest of Asia."/3/ Consistent with that view, President had taken a number of unilateral steps designed to open up communication with the PRC, to renew the dialogue, to improve relations with Peking and to facilitate PRC movement into the international mainstream. Internal changes within PRC since end of Cultural Revolution offered hope that now might be a propitious time for such an initiative.

/3/ The full report is ibid., pp. 219–345; the quote is on p. 276.

3. He regretted our inability to hold advance consultation with friendly governments on this latest move but it had to be handled with the greatest secrecy; no country was informed in advance and very few were privy to this information in USG. He hoped that those present would also appreciate the necessity for holding down speculation which could impair or jeopardize the success of the Presidential visit, no date for which had yet been set.

4. The President’s trip was not directed against any country. On the contrary as we moved toward better relations with Peking there was no reason for others to believe that it would be at their expense. We continue to stand by our friends, including the Republic of China, and our commitments to them.

5. Although he could not go into substance of the Chou–Kissinger talks, he could say that there were no agreements beyond that set forth in the communiqué./4/ The talks were exploratory in nature, directed at preparations for Presidential trip including the drafting of the communiqué.

/4/ For text, see ibid., pp. 819–820.

6. World reaction had been almost uniformly favorable and Green thanked those present whose governments had supported our move.

7. In the ensuing question and answer period, Green said: (A) USG is close to a decision on the Chirep issue but must consult further, especially with Taipei; (B) we could not comment on the modalities of future contacts with Peking; and (C) the term "normalization of relations" in the joint communiqué was carefully chosen because it is not specific with regard to the question of diplomatic recognition.


377. Editorial Note

In a meeting with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger on July 22, 1971, Secretary of State Rogers reviewed the Chinese representation issue in both the General Assembly and Security Council:

"Rogers: Now, Mr. President, if you should decide, just in this room that it’s better from our standpoint to just lose to begin with, then we can sort of indicate to the Republic of China, go ahead with the statements, and we’ll just vote on the Albanian Resolution.

"Kissinger: Yes, that’s what we talked about at the beginning.

"Nixon: I don’t think it’s a good policy.

"Kissinger: I don’t either.

"Nixon: I think it looks too damn--

"Rogers: It’s too cynical.

"Nixon: Cynical, well another thing is this: Let’s look at it from the standpoint now of domestic relations, American relations, there’s still a helluva lot of people who oppose the initiative to Red China and the UN [unintelligible]. It’s still a very substantial number, I understand that. But in terms of this new initiative from China, it looks like we’re being tricky as hell, if we on one hand say we’re going to Communist China, and on the other hand we’re voting against Communist China coming into the UN. I wonder if that doesn’t just make us look like a bunch of hypocrites. Does it or doesn’t it?

"Rogers: I think it does.

"Kissinger: I agree with Bill. If you remember in April I was sort of attracted by the idea„

"Nixon: Just get rolled.

"Kissinger: Then if we were going to lose anyway, but it was an opposite situation. I felt that as long as we were going to lose, we might as well lose maintaining our principles, but right now maintaining our principles makes us look tricky. We’re not going to get credit for maintaining the principle while going to Peking, because we had had the principle that China ought to be excluded from the UN. So my original reason for it is no longer valid. Secondly, I did remember mentioning to Chou En-lai just in passing, there’s always voting on the Albanian Resolution, which [unintelligible] and he certainly did not pick that up. I mean he didn’t say [unintelligible], so I think the game with that is just too cynical. So I think if Taiwan wants to stay in, we owe them a fight for it.

"Rogers: Suppose they decide they don’t want to? And I think--

"Kissinger: We’d be better off making a fight [unintelligible], except we might fight less intensely.

"Rogers: Well, do we all agree? I think I certainly feel that we have to vote for the PRC’s admission.

"Nixon: You think so?

"Kissinger: Yes.

"Nixon: I guess we have to. I wish we didn’t have to, but I don’t see how we can avoid it--"

After further discussion, President Nixon commented: "I think that, it seems to me that the way it sorts out, we’ve got to indicate that we would support the admission of Red China into the United Nations. We will oppose the expulsion of any nation which has been a good member of the United Nations, period. Well, and we oppose the expulsion of Taiwan because Taiwan has been a good member, period. Right?"

The discussion continued, and Kissinger concluded: "What we should do in my judgment, is we should make a real fight, but we should do it in a way that we don’t elaborate too much on the legal basis for a two China solution. If we can win just by arm-twisting and--

"Nixon: In other words, what we really need here, Bill, is to have George [Bush] or whatever, not to make a great big damn legal case for it, just say the nation shouldn’t be expelled, and we’re going to fight for them. Is that a good point?

"Kissinger: That’s actually my point.

"Nixon: Because basically you don’t want to get into a position where the two China thing is so strongly--

"Kissinger: I’d like to be in a position where we have made a genuine fight, but at the same time, Peking could figure that anytime they could get two-thirds, they could get rid of Taiwan and that seems to be something they could look forward to in two or three years, maybe even one year. But I think for us to roll over and play dead on the basis of just one visit, no matter how well you’ve talked to them or how well they’ve talked to you, is just too unprincipled." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, July 22, 1971, 3:49–5:05 p.m. Oval Office, Conversation No. 543–1) The editor transcribed the portions of the conversation printed specifically for this volume.

378. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, July 22, 1971, 2345Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret; Nodis.

1993.Subj: Chirep--Bush–SYG Meeting July 22.

1. Summary. Bush, during call on SYG on another subject July 22, took occasion to brief U Thant along lines para 4, State 131353./2/ SYG expressed appreciation. End summary.

/2/ Dated July 20. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)

2. Bush explained restrictions placed on members of administration on this subject. Although US tactics in GA not yet decided and he under firm instructions not to speculate, Bush said he believed he owed SYG as much information as was currently available.

3. Basic purpose of President’s July 15 announcement was to improve relations with PRC. At same time, US was going to continue to have good relations with GRC. Our basic defense treaty will remain in force and we will work for retention of GRC in the UN. Our assessment is that if we continued with same policy as in past we would not be successful in blocking Albanian Resolution or getting majority for IQ. Reiterating US support for GRC, Bush said US will support GRC membership in UN and noted our tactical position still being worked out. Only thing yet decided is that we will vote against expulsion of GRC.

4. U Thant said he understood situation and expressed appreciation for briefing. In reply to question, Bush said we had been in touch with WE allies and others on this issue.

5. In reply to Bush’s question, SYG said it possible Albanian res cosponsors would seek and obtain priority consideration in plenary immediately after general debate. This could lead to question being decided about middle of October. SYG volunteered, "I will then have to get in touch with Peking."

6. Comment. This is first hint we have had SYG may have changed his long-standing prediction PRC will not enter UN until Nov 1972.


379. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, July 23, 1971, 0042Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Starbird and Shoesmith; cleared by Winthrop Brown, Armitage, Assistant Secretaries Green and De Palma, and Samuel E. Fry; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Canberra, Tokyo, and USUN.

133369.For Ambassador from Secretary. Subject: Chirep: Approach to GRC. Refs: A. Taipei 3540;/2/ B. State 130330;/3/ C. Taipei 3595./4/

/2/ In telegram 3540, July 20, McConaughy reported that Chow cancelled his meeting with him in order to discuss the issue with members of the Legislative Yuan. McConaughy stated: "I find it impossible to make a reasonable assessment of how the GRC will respond to the Secretary’s statement that the GRC will have to agree to relinquishment of its SC seat if we are to make any serious effort at a dual representation formula in the UNGA." (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 521, Country Files, China, Vol. VII) Secretary Rogers had met with Ambassador Shen on July 19. A record of the meeting is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVII, China, 1969–1972.

/3/ Dated July 19. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 17 CHINAT–US)

/4/ Dated July 22. (Ibid., UN 6 CHICOM)

Summary. We are concerned, particularly because of Chiang’s extended seclusion, that GRC’s response to Secretary on Chirep may be inordinately delayed and that decision may be made on narrow grounds of effects on GRC image and claim to be sole government of all China. You should approach GRC to underscore our views of importance of continued UN membership even without SC seat for continued viability of GRC’s international position. You also should stress need for early decision in order to have best possible chance of success. You should point out that it will be an up-hill fight but that if GRC agrees we are prepared to undertake it.

1. We are concerned--particularly because of President Chiang’s unusually extended seclusion and possibility that he may not be accessible to full range of policy advisers (Ref A)--that GRC response to Secretary’s presentation of Chirep problem to Ambassador Shen (Ref B) may be not only inordinately delayed but also temporizing and not sufficiently clear-cut to provide a basis for action. We are also concerned that as result of his remoteness from current scene, bruised feelings, and shock at President Nixon’s announcement, Chiang may tend to reach decision on Chirep issue within narrow context of its presumed effects on GRC image and its claim to be sole government of all China. In attempt to insure that GRC decision takes adequate account of all major factors at stake you are requested to make approach along following lines to Foreign Minister Chow Shu-kai or Vice Premier

Chiang Ching-kuo or both if you deem that desirable. In making your representations you should state that Secretary has instructed you to make this further amplification of his remarks to Ambassador Shen. In light Ref C, which received after this message drafted, you may subsequently make our views discreetly known to other sympathetic high-level GRC officials.

2. Throughout our deliberations on Chirep we have been keenly aware of GRC concerns and interests, as conveyed both in Taipei and Washington, and they have been given full weight in our efforts to devise an approach to this problem. We recognize gravity of choice which now confronts GRC and realize that it will require an act of high statesmanship to weigh all various factors involved. Decision is clearly one which GRC as sovereign government must make for itself and we will, of course, respect whatever decision it reaches. This is, however, a matter of real mutual concern, and it is in this context that we wish share with GRC certain considerations which we believe highly relevant to that weighty decision.

3. We believe that retention of UN membership, even at cost of relinquishing Security Council seat, is of great importance to maintenance of broad support for GRC. We hope, therefore, that the GRC will consider most carefully the difficulties that would be posed for its friends (particularly the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) in maintaining political support for it internationally if it withdraws or is expelled from the UN. So long as GRC is UN member, it has firm and acknowledged international status both in UNGA and in international organizations which strengthens its hand in its dealings with other countries and in maintaining relations. If GRC left and PRC entered UN, a number of governments which had hitherto recognized GRC, might feel faced again by either/or choice and might well decide to follow UN precedent. Some might make rather cynical decision that it more important have relations with 700 million people on mainland than with 14 million on Taiwan. Thus there real danger that if GRC leaves UN its international position may erode and it may find itself relatively isolated.

4. Even among GRC’s close friends there is likely to be a public opinion trend along this line, particularly if GRC had rejected opportunity for continued UN membership under dual representation, and frankly we fear this could occur in US.

5. Over time the GRC has moved from a position of (A) wanting to use the old strategy of combatting the AR with the traditional IQ to (B) acceptance of a modified IQ or non-expulsion resolution plus a DR that did not call for the SC seat to go to Peking. We have sought to support successive positions that GRC has adopted on Chirep but have also informed GRC of our estimate of their chances. It is our current estimate that in order to have a chance to retain UN membership the GRC must be willing to relinquish the Security Council seat. To succeed even on this basis will be an up-hill fight. If GRC willing to proceed on this basis, even though it might not so indicate publicly, then we would be prepared to work hard to achieve that result.

6. We share with GRC sense of urgency in deciding on what course we should follow. As Secretary explained to Ambassador Shen, given importance GRC had attached to SC seat, when it became apparent that GRC membership in UN could not be preserved on that basis, we felt we could not proceed further without ascertaining GRC views. If approach which Secretary has outlined to Ambassador Shen is to have fighting chance, we must consult soonest with other governments to develop best possible texts of resolutions and tactics for use in UNGA. For that reason, we earnestly hope for early decision and prompt response to Secretary.


380. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State/1/

Taipei, July 23, 1971, 1304Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, China, Vol. VIII. Secret; Nodis.

3627.For Secretary From Ambassador. Subj: Chirep: Ambassador’s Meeting With Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo. Ref: State 133369./2/

/2/ Document 379.

Summary: Ambassador made representation to Vice Premier

Chiang Ching-kuo in accordance instructions reftel. CCK made clear that GRC takes dim view of proposal put to Ambassador Shen by Secretary. During conversation he referred repeatedly to Murphy conversation in April and said that GRC considered SC seat and UNGA membership as separate matters. If PRC were to come into the SC in disregard of the Charter, ChiCom presence would "negate the legal existence of the ROC." Chiang asked if US had definitely discarded IQ tactic. He said he wished to have further discussions as soon as possible. Atmosphere of talk was good and it was psychologically helpful, but GRC’s inclination at present is negative.

1. I decided to make approach authorized reftel to Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo rather than to FonMin Chou Shu-kai. I met with CCK for an hour and twenty minutes this afternoon. His aides Gen. Wen and Capt. Yeh only other persons present. Both of them took full notes and Chiang Ching-kuo himself occasionally made notations in a small notebook. Chiang Ching-kuo greeted me warmly and with very amiable personal inquiries. Atmosphere friendly and natural throughout although seriousness of occasion was evident. Chiang Ching-kuo seemed well but somewhat care-worn. He said he felt that both Pres. Nixon and I as friends of the Republic of China of long standing would understand the difficulties he and his associates in the government were going through. I assured him of my sympathetic understanding and added that I knew that he and his colleagues had found reassurances in the last paragraph of Pres. Nixon’s announcement and in the President’s letter of July 16./3/

/3/ For text, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVII, China, 1969–1972.

2. I then set forth systematically and in detail presentation contained reftel. At the end I added on informal individual basis several related points of my own devising which I felt might exert some additional influence on GRC thinking on the issue. These related to: (a) problems created for Peking by continued GRC presence in the UN whether or not Peking accepted the invitation; (b) sufficiency of membership in the GA (without SC membership) for purpose of achieving the needed benefits of GRC identification with the UN; (c) the better capability of influential Japanese leaders in the LDP to assist the GRC cause in Japan if the latter remained in the UN; and (d) importance from the foreign trade, investment, and international credit standpoints of avoiding the economic isolation and possible discrimination that could accompany withdrawal from the UN.

3. Chiang Ching-kuo listened closely to the entire presentation without interruption. He then said that he attached great importance to frank US–GRC exchanges of views on matters of critical importance, and he was glad that we were having this meeting. He was deeply aware of the magnitude of the problem confronting us, and he could see that USG was also fully aware. He said that the attitude of his government on the Chinese representation question was amply stated in the conversations held here last April with Amb. Robert Murphy. He noted rather pointedly that there had been no reply since Amb. Murphy returned to the US. He said if there is a need for further discussion of the UN problem, "The gist of the Murphy conversations can be used as a basis." He added that the foregoing was his "personal observation as a friend" and was not made in his capacity as a government official.

4. Then (apparently speaking in his official capacity) he recalled that he had indicated to me fully in an earlier conversation the paramount importance which his government attached to the Security Council issue. He noted that the Security Council question is concerned with the Charter itself. He mentioned the specific provision of the Charter that the "Republic of China" is to occupy the permanent seat of China on the SC. Hence the Republic of China is by Charter provision a permanent member. He termed this as a "political consideration of tremendous importance." "If Communist China comes into the Security Council in disregard of the Charter, the ChiCom presence would negate the legal existence of the Republic of China". He reiterated that President Chiang had discussed the SC issue fully with Amb. Murphy and he thought they had agreed that "The SC was one thing and general UN membership another, to be treated separately." He noted that the Charter specifies the "ROC, not the PRC." Any change or violation of this provision is certainly a matter of substance, not merely procedural.

5. The Vice Premier said that the issue before us is of such moment that close consultations are called for and he hopes to continue a close interchange on this subject, as we have done on all important matters in the two decades past. He said speaking as a friend and off-the-record, he wanted to ask a question to clarify one part of

Ambassador Shen’s report of the July 19 meeting with Secretary Rogers,/4/ as follows: "Did the Secretary tell Ambassador Shen that the USG would only discuss the Chirep issue further if the GRC tacitly agreed that it would acquiesce in the abandonment of the Security Council seat?" He said Ambassador Shen’s report seemed to indicate that only under this condition would the US agree to any further discussion. He would like to know if there was any other basis for continuing the discussion.

/4/ See footnote 2, Document 379.

6. I replied that while the Secretary had been very definite in stating the only basis on which we could support a new approach in the GA it was certainly not the Secretary’s practice or intention to shut off discussion with representatives of friendly governments. The door was always open for further discussions with the GRC without conditions. The only pressure imposed on our discussions was that of time. At best the remaining time available for the necessary preparatory work on texts of resolutions and consultations with member governments was quite short. If we lost much more time it might be impossible to prepare our position as thoroughly as we should like. I said if our estimates of the voting alignment for the various propositions was not challenged, it would seem that we should be about ready to take the needed decisions. However we would certainly extend discussions if this was the desire of the GRC. But we would both be paying a price in terms of lost time.

7. CCK again reverted to the SC issue and said that both in the Murphy conversations and in the conversation of Ambassador Shen with Secretary Rogers on May 28/5/ the GRC had thought that the American representatives had agreed that the Security Council issue should be treated separately from the GA dual representation resolution. CCK reaffirmed that he felt strongly the two matters can and should be treated separately and that the SC issue is a matter of substance.

/5/ See Document 359.

8. CCK inquired if we had definitely discarded the IQ tactic, and if so how did we expect to handle the problem of stopping the Albanian resolution? I replied that we were skeptical about use of the IQ approach because our voting estimate indicated it could not win a majority. We could not rely on it if it was a losing tactic. If a DR resolution could command a majority, that would ensure the defeat of the Albanian resolution and make IQ procedure unnecessary. (Comment: I did not feel I had enough basis to encourage CCK to think that we might still be able to utilize some form of modified IQ procedure. However if the Dept contemplates accompanying the DR resolution with a modified IQ resolution or incorporating some IQ procedure in the DR resolution itself it would be extremely helpful to be able to pass this information urgently to CCK and FonMin Chou.)

9. CCK volunteered that he "took a dim view" of the DR approach, and he did not think his government could agree to it. I said I supposed he was referring to a DR with the SC rider attached, and not to a straight or simple DR with no reference to the Security Council seat. I said I thought we had had discreet confirmation several times from the GRC that it could reluctantly live with the simple DR concept, if this was the only solution. CCK only nodded in assent.

10. CCK said that he would like to sum up by saying that the GRC position was that "the gist of the conversation with Ambassador Murphy should be treated as the basis of the current position." He said that Ambassador Murphy had "taken a copy of the minutes with him."

11. CCK said that today’s conversation had been helpful. He and his associates would consider the points I had made and he would like to have clarification of several obscure matters. He said he wanted to have further discussions with me "as soon as possible."

12. I expressed my satisfaction that we had had an extended exchange and expressed my readiness to meet with him again as soon as he was ready. I had thought it best to ask for this meeting with him rather than with the FonMin, but I did not want FonMin Chow to feel that I had improperly bypassed him. CCK readily agreed to inform the FonMin of the substance of our conversation.

13. Comment: While atmosphere of talk was good with some clarifications made and it was psychologically helpful, it is clear that basic inclination at or near the top is still rather on the negative side. CCK may be reflecting more of the Gimo’s posture than his own, although I think he too is relying rather heavily on GRC interpretation of Murphy talks. Since I am not fully posted on Murphy talks, I do not feel able to make an informed recommendation as to how we handle that aspect of the problem. In a sense the ball is in GRC court and I expect CCK to ask for another meeting soon, but I cannot envisage much progress until I can give him something definite in response to the questions raised about the April conversations./6/

/6/ In a follow-up telegram, Ambassador McConaughy wrote that he had also mentioned that "regardless of the legal and logical strength of the constitutional case that could be made in the GRC’s behalf... the hard fact of the matter was that a great number of UN members in these times make their decisions and cast their votes without particular regard for Charter restraints or legal niceties. Their voting decisions are often based on their conception of immediate national interest, judged from a standpoint of pragmatism or expediency." He doubted that there was any way of appealing an adverse vote in the General Assembly, or a Security Council vote that Chinese representation was a procedural rather than a substantive issue. (Telegram 3630, July 24; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)


381. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, July 24, 1971, 1702Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Shoesmith, cleared by Assistant Secretary De Palma and Executive Secretary Eliot, and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Tokyo and USUN.

134611.Subject: Chirep: Secretary Conversation with Shen, July 23, 1971. Ref: A. State 130330,/2/ B. Taipei 3627./3/

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 379.

/3/ Document 380.

1. GRC Ambassador Shen, on instructions, called on Secretary July 23. Assistant Secretary DePalma also present. Discussion lasted approximately one hour.

2. Shen opened by stating that he was "not exactly bringing answer you have been waiting for." Instead, he instructed to convey certain GRC views and to remind us of "certain things." He also remarked that this matter being given closest attention by President Chiang, Premier Yen and FonMin Chou.

3. Shen stated that he first wished to remind Secretary that it was USG which first raised DR approach through discussion which President Nixon’s personal envoy, Mr. Murphy, had with President Chiang on April 23. At that time, Murphy had assured Chiang that USG had no intention to permit Communist China have Security Council seat under DR formula. When Secretary had discussed this problem with Shen on May 28, Secretary reiterated that USG would do its utmost to keep SC seat for GRC and that neither President nor Secretary would do anything at expense of an ally. Shen recalled that on July 1, he also had met with Mr. Kissinger who had indicated belief that we could get by this year by acting along lines Murphy had indicated to President Chiang./4/ Shen indicated that it was his impression that, as of that time, it remained our intention to block attempt to amend DR to award SC to Chinese Communists by relying on parliamentary procedures and on argument that this is matter for SC decision. All these discussions, Shen pointed out, transpired before announcement of President’s intention to visit Peking.

/4/ See Document 368.

4. Shen stated that President Chiang and Premier Yen had noted assurance of President Nixon that whatever is done to improve relations with mainland China, it would not be at expense of old friends. GRC position has been made quite clear; and it continues to feel strongly that membership in UN and position on SC are inseparable. If anything happens to GRC seat on SC, it will be placed in most difficult position, externally and internally, "as much as GRC would like to cooperate in retaining UN membership." GRC therefore wishes to determine whether USG sees any possibility of avoiding mention of SC in DR formula which it has been working on. Is there any way in which USG could proceed along lines of earlier decision indicated to President Chiang by Murphy? Shen stated that, "In a way, this will be looked on as test case of your repeated assurance that you will not do anything at expense of old friend." His government wished to know, therefore, whether USG would seriously consider assisting GRC by leaving reference to SC question out of DR formula.

5. Secretary stated that he had just received report of Ambassador McConaughy’s conversation with Vice Premier Chiang (Ref B) and wished to clear up apparent misunderstanding. He, of course, had not stated to Shen during their July 19 conversation that USG would only discuss Chirep issue further if GRC tacitly agreed that it would acquiesce in loss of SC seat (Ref B, para 5). On contrary, he quite willing to discuss this question as much as GRC believes necessary. Shen, who had not yet been informed by Taipei of CCK meeting with McConaughy, stated that he had certainly not reported any such statement by Secretary.

6. Secretary then stated he appreciates that this is difficult period for GRC and fully understands reasons GRC attaches such importance to SC. It is true that we first proposed DR approach, and we had done so because we felt sure that past policy would no longer succeed. Given that fact, we had been searching for some other way to protect GRC membership as a practical, not theoretical, matter. In this search, it has been necessary to determine views of other countries since, even if we make strong effort--and last year we had made our strongest drive on Chirep--we can affect only a few votes in UNGA. It also true that Murphy had assured President Chiang that we would do our utmost to block amendment of DR to include reference to SC. However, it has become clear that cold, hard facts are that we do not have fighting chance to protect UN membership of GRC unless PRC is offered SC seat.

7. Secretary emphasized that this not matter of discretion or of USG willingness to follow through on previous decisions. Secretary reminded Shen that Murphy had told Chiang we prepared to follow through as we had done in previous years, making effort to hold line on traditional IQ and opposition to AR. He said we still prepared follow that course if GRC wishes, although we certain it would fail. Shen interjected forcefully, "That not what we want. We respect your judgment and have an interest in following DR approach."

8. Secretary stated it had been our hope that we could persuade our friends to go along with resolution which would have admitted PRC by majority vote but require two-thirds to expel GRC, leaving SC question in abeyance on grounds that this matter for SC to decide. He had discussed this approach with number of European governments during NATO meeting. It clear, however, that we cannot obtain sufficient votes to carry such resolution. Number of NATO members told him they could not support such resolution since it device to keep PRC out of UN. These governments stated that since there no doubt PRC would refuse membership on that basis, a vote for such resolution would be vote to exclude PRC, contrary to their view and that of number of other governments.

9. Secretary stated that when he had asked what would be position if PRC was given SC seat and USG made strong effort to retain UN membership for GRC, some governments, such as UK and Canada, indicated that they could not support even such resolution, but others had indicated they would support it. We not sure what actual vote would be, but our latest educated guess is that such resolution might carry by at least few votes. Secretary cautioned that this only an estimate and he would not wish to be held to it.

10. As practical matter, therefore, we face situation where we see no chance to preserve GRC membership in UN unless there is understanding that PRC will get SC seat. As he had stated to Shen during their previous conversation, we do not expect GRC could say publicly that it willing to accept such approach, but if we going to be able to put up successful fight, there has to be an understanding on this point. Secretary pointed out that other governments have reached same conclusion, including Australia. He stated that if GRC assessment of voting prospects differs we would wish know it, but if GRC agrees with our assessment and is willing to remain in UN on basis he had outlined, then we prepared put up strongest possible fight to preserve its membership. Secretary asked whether Shen had discussed Chirep problem with any of his diplomatic colleagues. Shen stated he had discussed with Australian Ambassador Plimsoll whose assessment was same as USG.

11. Secretary reiterated that this is question of hard reality and not one in which we have a free choice. On that point, we have made clear we will continue our security treaty commitment and maintain warm relations we have had in past.

12. Shen asked whether it would not be possible to leave to some other government question of amending DR to provide for SC question. He also asked whether it would not be possible to have IQ "variation" voted on first, thus providing protection against passage of Albanian Resolution. Secretary and DePalma reviewed parliamentary situation, emphasizing importance of obtaining at early date majority support for our position in order to insure precedence for DR over AR. For that purpose, other governments will want to know our position on SC question. Secretary pointed out that if we attempt duck that question, we will be unable obtain majority required both to obtain precedence for DR and its passage. Result would be adoption of AR.

13. Shen pressed for some alternative, asking whether we would consider introduction of IQ "variation" and then proceed with DR which did not mention SC, leaving it to others to amend resolution on that point. At later point, Shen stated that GRC had hoped that in this way, even if DR did not obtain a majority AR also could not pass and situation would remain as is. Secretary replied that we would be prepared to give such approach serious consideration if GRC concludes that what it wants, but he emphasized that in his judgment it would fail. He stressed that our ability to defend GRC membership depends on obtaining majority support for our position and, without making clear that we foresee SC seat going to PRC, we do not believe we can obtain such support. Under any circumstances, we face difficult task, but if we delay much longer in making our position clear on this point, our problem will be made even more difficult by speculation that we uncertain what to do.

14. Shen again asked whether enough votes could be obtained to keep GRC in UN without reference to SC seat and whether we could not leave that question in abeyance until next year. Secretary replied by distinguishing between whether we would be willing to consider such an approach, to which answer is yes, and whether such an approach would succeed, and we convinced that it would not, particularly given shift which has taken place in position of many European governments. He stated that he had discussed this matter at some length with President on July 22/5/ who wants to help GRC retain its membership and that they had gone over practical situation in detail. As had been explained to Congressional leaders, it was basic problem of how to obtain sufficient votes.

/5/ See Document 377.

15. Secretary expressed hope that Shen would convey to his government spirit which prevails in Washington on this problem, and conviction that we confront hard, practical situation. Many other governments simply will not engage in any procedure designed to keep PRC out of UN, and they believe that failure to offer SC seat to Peking would be just such procedure. On other hand, if they understand that PRC would get SC, then we can make argument that it would be most unfair to expel GRC, which is larger than most UN members, has been member of UN in good standing since its birth and has lived up to Charter; we could also argue that it would be harmful to UN itself if such member were expelled. Such arguments would have advantage of not becoming confused with other issues. If counter-argument is made that PRC would not enter on that basis, we could take position that that up to Peking to decide. In response to Shen’s question, Secretary stated that we did not know what PRC would do, even after the Kissinger visit but if it chose to stay out, then its case would be weaker than it is in present situation when its sheer size gives it advantage in either/or contest with GRC. In new situation, PRC would have to stand on position that it would not enter unless GRC expelled. Our position would be that, without prejudice to relative claims of either of two entities, both should be represented in UN. In response to Shen’s question as to how long such an arrangement would last if PRC refused to enter UN and what would US do if PRC held out for GRC expulsion, Secretary replied that he believed GRC position would be much stronger than it is at present.

16. Shen commented that GRC being asked to agree to give up SC seat without any assurance that it would be able to retain UN membership. Secretary stated that we not asking GRC to make any particular decision. What we have done is to provide GRC with our best assessment of prospects and sought its views as to how it thought we should proceed. We not attempting to persuade GRC to do something which it believes would be wrong. Question facing us is not one of right or wrong or of what we might hope could be done, but of choice which hard facts present to us. We have come to conclusion that approach which Secretary had outlined to Shen offered best chance to protect UN membership of GRC. If GRC believed that some other course would be more effective, Secretary would be prepared to recommend that President give it serious consideration.

17. Shen asked whether we believe it legally possible to transfer SC seat to PRC, since Republic of China specifically named in Charter. Secretary noted that he had discussed this with Canadian Government which had concluded that Charter revision not required; our own legal experts had reached same conclusion. DePalma explained that use of certain names in Charter is not legal fact but matter of convenience, pointing out that Charter refers to "France" and not "Republic of France." Entire UN practice makes clear that question of name cannot be used as substantive factor concerning this issue. Secretary commented that those who oppose us would take position that with passage of time, it cannot be ignored that PRC in fact represents China.

18. At Secretary’s suggestion, DePalma reviewed situation in SC concerning use of veto. He pointed out that question is certain to rise in form of challenge to GRC credentials. At present, there are eight members who have recognized PRC and would vote to seat it on SC; in addition, there are one or two other countries who probably would cast similar vote. If USG votes no, question will arise as to whether such vote constitutes veto. On basis past SC practice, credentials issue has been consistently viewed as procedural matter and if, in conformity with that practice, SC President rules our vote not a veto, we would have to obtain nine votes to overturn that ruling. Again it is practical problem of votes, and we could not obtain necessary nine votes. DePalma explained that Peking’s supporters are not likely to make this challenge unless President friendly to their cause is in chair. Although it unlikely, President could alternatively put his own ruling to vote in which case he would need to find nine votes to sustain his ruling. Unfriendly President would not choose that alternative. In any event, it should be remembered that for past 23 years there has been no successful attempt to exercise double veto. For number of years we have been able to avoid such challenge in SC by persuading members not to raise issue. Now, however, just as with past policy in UNGA, we cannot command sufficient support to insure outcome which would protect GRC on SC seat.

19. Secretary expressed hope there no misunderstanding about USG position. Shen assured Secretary that there was not and that USG position "quite clear to me." He asked whether there any timetable for USG announcement of its decision. Secretary said that there is not, although he felt that both our interests would be served by making USG position clear as soon as possible. Shen stated that he would immediately report his discussion with the Secretary.

20. As on July 19,/6/ discussion was friendly and matter-of-fact throughout. Shen obviously probed hard to determine firmness of our assessments and conclusions, but at no point did he indulge in recriminations. He appeared relaxed but carefully attentive to Secretary and DePalma’s comments and explanations.

/6/ See footnote 2, Document 379.


382. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, July 27, 1971, 1643Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Shoesmith, cleared by Assistant Secretaries Green and De Palma and Robert H. Miller, and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Tokyo and USUN.

135646.Subj: Secretary’s meeting with Ambassadors Shen and Liu, July 26, 1971. Ref: A. State 134611;/2/ B. Taipei 3632./3/

/2/ Document 381.

/3/ In telegram 3632, July 26, McConaughy reported on a meeting with Chow, who promised a decision "within next few days. He implied this might be along lines of his own recommendation that GRC gamble at least in the first instance, on chance PRC would not take SC seat if GRC retained membership in GA." Chow asked that the ROC’s views remain private, and that the United States "not publicly advertise in advance its view regarding SC seat." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, China, Vol. VIII)

Summary: Ambassador Shen, accompanied by UN PermRep Liu, informed Secretary July 26 of GRC formal reply on Chirep approach together with several additional points on confidential basis. In formal reply, GRC agreed to "abandon" old IQ–AR approach and to introduction revised IQ. In additional points, GRC indicated it would not oppose introduction DR resolution by USG and other friendly governments provided no mention made of SC seat and hoped that USG and GOJ would neither sponsor nor vote for move to amend DR in that way. In lengthy discussion exploring implications of GRC position, Shen and Liu made clear GRC not asking USG to oppose move to award SC seat to PRC or fight to preserve seat for GRC. Both agreed it would be compatible with GRC request if USG let it be known it would acquiesce in UNGA majority decision, provided award of SC seat to PRC was result of separate motion made by other governments either to amend our DR resolution or introduce separate resolution.

1. On instructions, GRC Ambassadors Shen and Liu Chieh, GRC PermRep to UN, called on Secretary July 26. Also present were Assistant Secretaries DePalma and Green. Discussion lasted approximately one hour.

2. Shen opened by following paraphrase of instruction which he had received morning of July 26 from Taipei: a) GRC wished express appreciation for what USG has told it of consultations with other countries on Chirep problem. GRC has taken note of USG conclusion that past formula will no longer work and agrees to abandon that formula; b) GRC grateful for concern which USG and number of other governments, including GOJ, have shown for GRC position in UN. It also grateful for repeated expressions of USG readiness to do all possible to retain GRC membership in UN and to use all provisions and procedures of Charter to that end, including application of basic spirit of IQ which might be embodied in new proposal for purpose of reaffirming that any move to expel GRC is important question and therefore requires for adoption two-thirds majority of those present and voting. If USG, GOJ and other friendly governments advance resolution to that effect--i.e., that any move to expel GRC is important question and requires two-thirds vote--and which does not refer to entry of Chinese Communists, GRC is "ready to agree;" c) it is fervent hope and expectation of GRC that USG and GOJ will work with other countries to defeat Albanian Resolution (AR).

3. Shen stated that foregoing three points constituted GRC formal reply to USG. In addition, he was instructed to make following points which he asked be treated as confidential and not divulged to other governments, adding that he expected GOJ would be informed separately of these points: a) if friendly countries "really believe" there is need to propose something along lines of Dual Representation (DR) resolution in order to detract votes from AR, GRC will "understand" but does insist that nothing be said in such resolution concerning Security Council seat; b) if others try to amend such resolution or advance separate resolution "aiming" to deprive GRC of SC seat, "GRC hopes that USG and GOJ will not sponsor or vote for such resolution;" c) to be consistent with its past position, GRC will have to "speak against" any formula providing for dual representation.

4. Secretary first commented that, realistically, he did not think it would be possible to keep GRC position confidential for very long since other governments will ask us what we understand it is and we would have to disclose in some manner what we believe GRC position to be. Turning to substance of approach outlined by Shen, Secretary stated that in his judgement, if USG refuses to take position on SC issue, we will be unable to obtain sufficient votes to preserve GRC membership in UN, with result that AR will carry. In our judgment, this would be mistake, since we believe it most desirable that GRC retain its membership.

5. Shen responded that GRC is only asking that USG not be associated with proposal to award SC seat to PRC. USG could still advance DR resolution, but it should be left to others to raise SC issue. In other words, Shen explained, GRC was requesting that USG separate its DR approach into two resolutions. USG would sponsor part relating to dual representation but leave to others sponsorship of part awarding SC seat to Chinese Communists. Ambassador Liu explained that underlying GRC request is its desire to "soften blow" which announcement of President Nixon’s intention to visit Peking had had on Chinese public opinion. That announcement had created impression that USG had completely reversed its policy, and this impression would be confirmed if USG appeared to be taking initiative to give SC seat to Chinese Communists. This would be difficult for Chinese public to accept. "Whole idea of our approach," Liu said, "is that US and Japan would not take initiative in co-sponsoring or supporting such a proposal."

6. Secretary acknowledged possibility that we might in first instance avoid taking stand on SC question, but he believed that after we announce our position, other governments will press to determine where we stand on that issue. We had originally thought that we might fend off such queries by stating that we should wait to see whether Peking would be willing to enter UN on DR basis. We had concluded, however, that we could not succeed in defeating AR if we proceeded in that manner. Secretary said that if GRC fully understands that the position it is requesting US to take is likely to fail in preserving its UN membership, he can so inform President who may be willing to consider such course if that is what GRC wants. But, Secretary asked, is this best way to proceed if GRC wishes to retain its membership? This had been central question which Secretary had posed in conversation with Shen on July 19. As Secretary understood position which Shen had outlined today, GRC’s answer is that it would like to retain its membership if possible, although it cannot make any concessions or reveal its position. Shen replied that his instructions indicated that GRC has every intention of remaining in UN if that possible. Its only request to US is that we proceed with DR approach but leave question of SC seat to others to raise. Shen added, "We will leave that to vote of majority of UNGA, but we don’t want US and Japan to vote for it." Shen observed that only difference between position GRC is taking and that previously outlined by Secretary is that instead of one resolution (embodying both dual representation concept and disposition of SC seat), there would be two. This, he said, would "free you of onus of supporting giving SC seat to Chinese Communists as you have refused to do for so many years." In Shen’s view, such a USG shift would be difficult to explain. Secretary commented that explanation is very simple: without understanding on disposition of SC seat, we cannot obtain sufficient votes to protect GRC membership in UN. In approaching other governments with that purpose in mind, we cannot take position that we have not made up our minds on SC question; GRC, moreover, is asking that we oppose giving SC seat to PRC. Shen interjected that his government is asking that we do not vote for such a proposal and he noted that USG could abstain.

7. DePalma commented that GRC approach would rely entirely on passage of revised IQ. However, to secure sufficient votes for such resolution, both to obtain precedence in voting and insure its passage, we must deal with SC issue since other governments will want to know what we foresee as end result of our approach before they will support us. Secretary emphasized that in our judgment, only way in which we can get majority support for revised IQ is to make clear that SC is going to PRC. If we say to other governments that our purpose is to protect GRC membership in UN and its place on SC, we cannot get such support. Shen suggested that on latter point we could say that we will leave that issue up to UNGA. Liu observed that GRC position as outlined by Shen already indicates "quite a degree of flexibility as compared to its previous position." He stated that, "We are not asking you to oppose (giving SC seat to PRC) or take steps to safeguard our place on SC. But we have to consider feelings of people if our best friend not only no longer opposes admission of Chinese Communists but is taking the lead in co-sponsoring giving SC seat to them."

8. At Secretary’s suggestion, to insure complete understanding, Shen reviewed six points of GRC position. His summary followed closely his original presentation but he rephrased second of points given in confidence (Para 3b above) as follows: "Make sure that there nothing in DR resolution about SC seat; if others wish to amend that resolution, let them, provided US and Japan do not co-sponsor such amendment and we hope US and Japan will refrain from voting for such amendment." Secretary observed that if we say that we are going to fight to keep SC seat for GRC, we will be unable to defeat AR. Shen replied that his instructions were not to ask US to "fight" but merely not to co-sponsor or vote for resolution affecting GRC’s SC seat.

9. Green commented that we will need every vote we can muster to obtain precedence for revised IQ and defeat AR. DePalma added that it essential we be able persuade other governments that it worth their while to make procedural fight on precedence for revised IQ, but approach GRC proposed would not provide rationale which many governments believe they require to cooperate with us in such effort. Secretary suggested that GRC may not have fully faced up to fact that in order to succeed on revised IQ, we have to be able to indicate what we see as resolution of SC issue. If we duck this question, we probably will lose quite a few votes on revised IQ. If, however, we take position with other governments that we recognize that if PRC enters UN it will have to get SC seat but that we might not be able to vote for such proposition, then we might be able pick up enough votes to preserve GRC membership. Liu observed that Shen had suggested US make clear it not opposing effort by others to amend DR resolution. Shen was asked whether it would be compatible with approach GRC is proposing if US stated that we leave question of SC seat to majority UNGA but could not support move to award seat to PRC. Shen replied he could see no problem in US taking such position unless it wishes get credit for giving SC seat to Chinese Communists. Secretary stated that it would not be a matter of credit but of the reality of the situation, i.e., how do we get enough votes to save GRC’s membership. He said that the only credit we seek is that for preserving GRC’s membership in UN. He observed that if we say in response to queries from other governments that we leave question of SC seat to others and if majority wishes to award it to Peking, that up to them, such position would be interpreted as USG willingness to see SC seat go to PRC. Liu stated that it his impression from contacts in UN that most governments already believe that USG is willing to acquiesce in such result and take it for granted that USG would be willing to go along.

10. Green observed that in order to obtain passage of revised IQ we would have [to] be prepared vote for resolution giving SC seat to PRC, even though we might not have supported it. Shen’s only comment was that it would still be a separate motion, apart from DR which we would have introduced. Secretary added that whether we take lead in advancing proposal to award SC seat to PRC might be finessed, but he felt that we would have to tell other governments how we thought this issue likely come out.

11. Green stated that USG and GRC positions now appear much closer, with which Shen and Liu agreed. Liu suggested that it would be most helpful to further consultations if US would prepare draft resolutions for GRC consideration. Secretary indicated that this might be possible within few days. Liu noted that we might wish consider Japanese draft on revised IQ and simple DR resolution. Secretary also agreed that our positions now closer than previously, and he suggested that discussion be resumed in several days. Secretary also suggested that in response to press queries both sides say only that meeting was for purpose of continuing consultations. Shen and Liu agreed.


383. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State/1/

Taipei, July 27, 1971, 1037Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Nodis.

3665.Subj: Chirep: GRC Partial Decision. Ref: Taipei 3632./2/

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 382.

1. FonMin Chow Shu-kai saw me at his request at 8:45 this morning to inform me of GRC decision on Chirep which was taken yesterday afternoon. He said the decision was taken "at the highest levels" of the govt and was influenced by Secretary’s July 23 conversation with Amb. Shen, as well as my conversations with Vice Premier Chiang Ching-kuo July 23 and FonMin July 26. He said Shen had been instructed to convey this decision to Sec. Rogers soonest and had in fact already done so, at 2:30 P.M. yesterday.

2. He then read me the GRC decision (translating ad lib from the Chinese text) as follows:

A. In view of the advice given the GRC by the US Government after consultation with various governments that it would not be feasible or effective to resort to the old strategy, the GRC has now decided to accept this advice and will consider the use of some other formula than that used (IQ) in previous years.

B. Since the US and other countries, especially Japan, have repeatedly expressed the earnest desire to make it possible for the GRC to remain in the UN and since they are prepared to use all devices within the framework of the Charter, including the principle of the IQ as embodied in Article 18, to propose a formula whereby any attempt to deprive the GRC of its seat in the UN is subject to a two-thirds majority vote, the GRC has therefore decided to accede to this suggestion„namely, the US, Japan and others will propose a resolution to protect the position of the ROC in the UN.

C. The Chinese Government earnestly hopes and requests that the [US] Government, in conjunction with other friendly powers, will do everything possible to defeat the Albanian type of proposal for the expulsion of the GRC and admission of the Chinese Communists.

3. FonMin said that he would add certain supplementary points in the strictest confidence. He asked that these supplementary points not be disclosed under any circumstances. He preferred that they not be included in any minutes of conversations:

A. If the US and other friendly governments deem it really necessary to propose a so-called "DR" resolution in order to get approval of the "IQ variation" to defeat the Albanian resolution, the GRC will understand. What we earnestly request is that this DR resolution should not include the Security Council seat held by the ROC.

B. If any other country or countries should inject the issue of the SC seat, either by amendment or by separate resolution, aimed at depriving the ROC of its status in the SC, we strongly urge the US not to co-sponsor any such resolution or be a party to such an amendment. We also hope the USG would not vote for such resolution or amendment. (The GRC will of course have to speak against any form of DR resolution because of the inclusion of provision for invitation to Communist China.)

4. I told Chow that this GRC decision as read did not appear to cover the fundamental question, which was, "Would the GRC consent to remain in the UNGA in the event of the passage of an Assembly resolution which included a recommendation for the transfer of the Security Council seat to the Chicoms?" I reminded him that we urgently needed an authoritative answer to this 64 dollar question for our own confidential background use in determining our own Chirep tactics. The PriMin conceded that this question had not been answered, merely adding that this aspect of the problem would have to be considered further.

5. I also noted that we could not be sure that the "modified IQ approach" would be saleable to all the UN members whose votes would be needed to assure a majority for a DR resolution.

6. Comment on this rather evasive reply will follow in septel.


384. Information Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, July 28, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Feldman and cleared by Assistant Secretary Green, Winthrop Brown, Aldrich, Ernest L. Kerley, Shoesmith, Jenkins, and Armitage.

Chirep Scenario and Draft Resolution

I. Scenario

We think the following scenario is the best way to handle Dual Representation (DR) at this point:

A. Table a revised IQ and a separate DR Resolution.

B. Try to get priority in voting for the IQ and have it voted on ahead of the Albanian Resolution (AR).

C. Beyond this point, we must remain flexible in our tactics since everything will depend upon the voting situation we face.

D. Our present thinking is that if the IQ passes, we should still try to get priority for the DR resolution. If DR is adopted, we would argue that the matter is decided and that the AR should not be put to the vote.

E. If the IQ fails, or if we do not get priority for DR, make a strong effort to amend the AR to knock out the language that would result in ROC ouster. If we are unsuccessful, and if the AR passes in unamended form, the issue will probably have been decided then and there and our DR resolution probably will not even come up for a vote.

II. Resolutions

There are four considerations that seem particularly important in framing Chirep resolutions:

(1) The impact of the language used on domestic and international public opinion;

(2) The impact on our relations with Peking and Taipei;

(3) Vote getting appeal in the General Assembly;

(4) Legal problems that particular turns of phrase might involve--not just for the present but for the future as well.

A. The IQ

We are probably better off at this point with separate IQ and DR resolutions since we would have a better chance to get priority for an IQ than for a DR resolution. In addition, some of the countries we have consulted have expressed reservations on building the two-thirds requirement directly into the DR resolution.

We suggest a simply worded IQ along the following lines:

The General Assembly,
Decides that any proposal in the General Assembly which would result in depriving the Republic of China of representation in the UN is an Important Question under Article 18 of the Charter./2/

/2/ The phrase "which would result in depriving" could be replaced by the phrase "to deprive." The former is the broader formulation, including without question both the explicit and the implicit. The latter could be read as being narrower in scope. It is important that this paragraph be phrased in terms of representation and not of membership. [Footnote in the source text.]

It is best that the resolution not make any explicit mention of Article 6, which deals with the expulsion of members from the UN. Reference to Article 6 would probably scare off potential supporters who would not want to associate themselves with the view that this is now (after 21 years) a membership issue rather than a representation issue. The argument that the ROC is a member (rather than that China is a member) is dubious on legal grounds and in any case poses dangers to a DR resolution: if the ROC is a member in its own right, then the PRC must be admitted through Security Council procedures as a new member and this cannot be done through a DR resolution. In addition, the Article 6 reference would presumably mean that the ROC could not be expelled unless the Security Council recommends its expulsion, a view to which few countries would wish to commit themselves at this time. We ourselves might not want to be in the position of having to decide whether or not to exercise a veto on this issue at some time in the

Similarly, it is best that the IQ resolution not explicitly be tied to Article 18(2) (expulsion of members), since this article necessarily involves Article 6. The UN Legal Adviser strongly believes the question is one of representation and not expulsion of a member, and doubtless would so state if asked from the floor. On the other hand, it is unnecessary to tie the IQ explicitly to Article 18(3) (Assembly action to create a new category of important questions in addition to those cited in 18(2)). In order to preserve maximum tactical maneuverability, it is best to leave it open to delegations to decide for themselves whether they are supporting the resolution as an affirmation of Article 18(2), or as a decision to add a new category as per Article 18(3).

We should keep in mind that we will be attacked on the grounds that even this revised IQ still is just a clever dodge to force the AR (once again) to secure a two-thirds majority and thus to prevent the Assembly from seating Peking, despite the fact that we are now talking about ousting the ROC. We will aid our cause if we can say forthrightly that we want Peking in the UN and believe they can be voted in by a simple majority--just as long as ROC ouster is not involved.

There should be no great problem in getting ROC sanction for this IQ, though they may press for explicit mention of Article 6 and/or Article 18(2), and it is easy enough to explain its meaning to press and public. Presumably the text would offend the PRC as little as any IQ would.

B. Dual Representation

To have the greatest vote-getting ability in the Assembly, and to do as little damage as possible to US bilateral relations with either Peking or Taipei, the Dual Representation resolution must meet certain criteria:

--it must be couched in terms of representation and not membership to avoid as far as possible the legal objection that we are acting contrary to Article 4 (admission of new members) or Article 18(1) (each member of the Assembly shall have one vote) of the Charter;

--it must avoid any position on the political, legal, or geographic claims of PRC or ROC;

--unless our policy is changed, it should avoid the question of whether China is one entity of which Taiwan is a part--though if we wished it would be easy enough to add in a "one China" phrase, possibly by taking note of the contention of both PRC and ROC that China is one.

It may be best not to include any explicit legal justification for dual representation in the body of the resolution since whatever legal arguments we put up will be targets for rebuttal. For example, the UN Legal Adviser does not consider that "successor state theory," in the Chirep context, means two states can succeed to the UN seat held previously by a single member state, unless one of the two is admitted as a new member through the procedures specified in Article 4. Our true justification is the argument from de facto reality, and it may be best to leave legal justification to oral and written statements rather than to insert them into the resolution itself.

Having examined the texts which the Japanese, Australians, and others have suggested, we have produced the following draft preamble to a dual representation resolution. The footnotes are intended to explain the function of each paragraph:

The General Assembly,
Having considered the item entitled "The Representation of China in the United Nations,"/3/

/3/ If the General Committee declines to assign this more neutral sounding title, we would have to use "The Restoration of the Lawful Rights of the People’s Republic of China." [Footnote in the source text.]

Noting that since the founding of the United Nations, fundamental changes have occurred in China,/4/

/4/ This is the argument from reality essentially, but it can be understood as something of a legal justification via dual succession. Note it has a one-China flavor, but not blatantly so. The paragraph can be omitted if it looks as though it would cost us votes. [Footnote in the source text.]

Having regard for the existing factual situation,/5/

/5/ The argument from reality again. [Footnote in the source text.]

Noting that the Republic of China has had continuous representation in the United Nations since 1945,/6/

/6/ Best to avoid phrasing it as "has been a member" since that would open the Article 4 Pandora’s box. [Footnote in the source text.]

[Believing that the People’s Republic of China should be represented in the United Nations and as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council]/7/

/7/ Once again, representation rather than membership. The thought re the Security Council can be expressed either in a preambular or operative para, but in view of the fact that the resolution probably had best not purport to decide the issue, then it is better as a preambular paragraph. If an operative paragraph, it should recommend rather than declare. Note: We would not show this paragraph to the ROC at this point. It should be omitted from any draft resolution passed to them now. [Footnote and brackets in the source text.]

Recalling that Article 1, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations establishes the United Nations as a center for harmonizing the actions of nations,/8/

/8/ Not necessary, but psychologically valid as a means of countering adverse legal arguments via an appeal to reason and duty (don’t worry about messy legal questions; solve the problem). [Footnote in the source text.]

Taking into account the general sentiment of Member States, which found expression in the Final Declaration of the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations, that universality in the United Nations should be realized,/9/

/9/ The universality argument is no longer that universality means bringing the PRC in; now it means keeping the ROC in. A useful tool. [Footnote in the source text.]

Believing that an equitable resolution of this problem should be sought in the light of the above mentioned considerations [and without prejudice to the eventual settlement of the conflicting claims involved,]/10/

/10/ Combines an appeal to reason with the idea that the GA, if it buys this resolution, damages neither the claims of the parties nor the prospect for some other settlement which they themselves work out. We include the last phrase in brackets because it may be that some countries would prefer not to make even so tentative a reference to the competing claims. We will have to check whether the reference gains or loses us votes. [Footnote and brackets in the source text.]

Drafting the operative paragraphs, particularly as they relate to Peking and Taipei, is a far more difficult task than drafting the preamble. In order to avoid a conflict with Article 4, we must not use any formulation which appears to admit either Peking or Taipei as a new member, and must carefully couch the resolution in terms of representation. If we talk of either the PRC or the ROC as a member, we plunge into a heavily overgrown legal thicket.

At the same time, it is probably best to avoid operative paragraphs phrased in terms of an invitation to the PRC to send representatives. Invitation formulas leave open the question of whether some affirmative act on Peking’s part is required and whether in the absence of an affirmative act the resolution has taken effect. Ideally, a DR resolution should resolve the matter without requiring any response from Peking so that we can say (next year, for example) that the issue has been decided and Peking’s right of representation fully confirmed, hence no need to reopen the matter at the 27th GA.

As far as vote-getting ability is concerned, we maximize our chances if we come in with a resolution that looks as much like a "cleaned-up" version of the Albanian Resolution as possible. We can present this as a clear-cut choice between an equitable solution fully in keeping with contemporary realities, and a bad either/or choice. We recommend that the operative paragraphs read:

"Hereby affirms the right of representation of the People’s Republic of China;

"Affirms that the Republic of China continues to be entitled to the right of representation;/11/

/11/ Some states may object to referring to an ROC "right" of representation, but the ROC would surely object if the linguistic treatment given them were less than that given Peking. [Footnote in the source text.]

"Recommends, in accordance with Article 10 and General Assembly Resolution 396(V) (14 December 1950), that the Security Council and other organs of the United Nations and the specialized agencies take into account the provisions of this resolution in deciding the question of Chinese Representation in those organs and agencies."

For ease in reading, the recommended IQ and DR texts are attached./12/

/12/ Attached but not printed.

385. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the Department of State/1/

Brussels, July 29, 1971, 1905Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis.

3170. Subject: Italian, Netherlands and Belgian Views on Chirep.

1. Summary: Italian UN expert strongly implied his govt has all but decided it will oppose any form of dual representation. Netherlands expert said matter still open, but we cannot assume new govt will see its interest served by supporting continued representation GRC. Belgian expert said Harmel will work to convince his govt Belgium should continue support representation GRC, but there is considerable resistance in light growing conviction US and Belgium likely be virtually isolated among NATO members. End summary.

2. Following NAC meeting reported septel,/2/ De Palma talked privately with UN experts from Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. Reiterating that President has made no decision, he asked each whether he thought that, given otherwise satisfactory Chirep resolution (i.e., one dealing with Peking as his govt might wish), his govt would find it possible support continued representation GRC in UN.

/2/ The North Atlantic Council met on July 29 to review expected agenda items of the 26th UN General Assembly. (Telegram 3174 from USNATO, July 30; ibid., UN 3 GA)

3. Alessi (Italy) said there was definite tendency his govt to adopt Canadian view that it could not support any form of dual representation since this will prevent Peking’s entry. When asked if matter could be kept open for further discussion, Alessi said only that he was reasonably sure his govt would not announce its decision before discussing it with us.

4. Vixseboxse (Neth) said matter will be considered Aug. 12 by Foreign Ministry with view to recommending position to new govt. He felt there is definite trend away from former Dutch support for continuing GRC representation as consequence of renewed interest in regularizing Dutch relations with Peking. Matter thus still open but one cannot assume new govt will maintain view of past govts. He felt firm Canadian and UK opposition to any form of dual representation will also influence new govt. He implied Foreign Ministry recommendation will not foreclose possible support for continued GRC representation but also said it might be put in terms which are not likely be acceptable to GRC. He felt his govt would appreciate knowing final US decision before adopting firm position of its own.

5. Belgian expert (Fourdin) reiterated Harmel’s intention seek support his govt for continued representation GRC. He felt there was still considerable popular support for this position in Belgium, but added there is growing sentiment in govt to avoid going down with lost cause. Harmel will be eager to know US decision soonest.

6. Fourdin also said he was virtually convinced Italy has for all practical purposes already decided adopt Canadian-UK position, and probably Austria as well. He guessed that Turkey would also move in that direction. He was concerned Belgian Govt decision will be complicated by fear that Belgium and US would be virtually isolated among NATO members. While regularizing relations with Peking has not been priority Belgian objective, it might become so in such circumstances. However, he concluded by saying Harmel is man of principle and "still has some influence".

7. Each expert understood discussion was off the record and their views should be protected.


386. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China/1/

Washington, July 31, 1971, 0036Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Shoesmith; cleared by Assistant Secretary Green, Herz, and Curran; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Tokyo and USUN.

139288. Strictly eyes only for the Ambassador. Subject: Chirep Consultations: GRC.

1. At Secretary’s request, GRC Ambassador Shen, accompanied by UN PermRep Liu, met with him on July 30. Also present were Asst. Sec. Green and Acting Asst. Sec. Herz.

2. Secretary stated he wished to read statement of US position on Chirep problem which he requested be considered an oral presentation of our views to be conveyed to FonMin Chou. He also said this position would be reflected in public announcement which we plan tentatively to make on August 2. Secretary noted we have been under considerable pressure from Congress and press to make our position known. He added he believed our position is not far from that which GRC preferred we take. Secretary’s statement to Shen and Liu today follows:

3. Begin Statement: In our consideration of this problem, we have been guided by constant desire to be of every assistance to ROC in maintaining honorable position in family of nations which it has earned by its long record of peaceful and constructive participation. To that end, we believe it to be of utmost importance that ROC continue to be represented in UN.

4. Objective situation which confronts us, however, is that overwhelming majority of UN members have come to believe that PRC should be represented in UN. Many nations which hold this view also are reluctant to see ROC expelled, as would be case if so-called Albanian Resolution were adopted. The exhaustive consultations we have held over past nine months, however, have made clear that in coming session of UNGA the IQ resolution which we have supported for so many years probably will not obtain a majority and, as a result, Albanian Resolution will be adopted. We understand that ROC shares this assessment.

5. In consultations with Japan, Australia and other governments having strong ties of friendship with ROC, we have considered how best this problem could be surmounted. This has been time-consuming effort as we have tried to protect special interests of ROC of which we have been constantly aware. If, however, we are to have reasonable hope of preventing expulsion of ROC, we must act now and, to that end, we must make our position clear.

6. We have come to conclusion that only chance of preserving membership of ROC in UN is for US to support a resolution which would provide representation both for your government and government in Peking and at least to acquiesce in majority view that government in Peking should hold permanent seat on SC. Such resolution might be combined with a priori resolution which would provide that any proposal to deprive ROC of representation in UN is an Important Question under Article 18 of Charter which, if adopted, would insure that Albanian Resolution cannot be adopted by simple majority vote.

7. We have been under strong and persistent pressure from American press and public to make a public statement of our position on this problem. This we shall do in announcement we intend to make on Monday.

8. You have forcefully and faithfully conveyed to us the problems which such a course of action would create for your government. We realize that your government would not be able to associate itself with this formula and may have to oppose it publicly. We have considered most carefully the alternatives that your government has proposed. Facts, however, compel us to conclude that sufficient support for continued representation of ROC in UN can only be obtained on basis we have outlined above and with full and active support of US. We are prepared to provide that support. We will, of course, want to continue our close cooperation with you.

9. US, of course, intends to honor our Mutual Defense Treaty commitment and wishes to maintain the long and close relationship which has existed between our two governments. End Statement./2/

/2/ Haig and Kissinger slightly modified the statement (drafted by Green and approved by Rogers on July 31) to remove any mention of "dual representation." Haig’s letter to Eliot explaining these changes is ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VIII.

10. Shen’s first question was whether by acquiescing in provision for SC seat to go to Peking is meant that such provision would be included as part of DR resolution which US has in mind. Secretary summarized our position as follows: we will state that we oppose expulsion of ROC; we will attempt to obtain majority support to insure precedence for resolution providing that any proposal to deprive ROC of representation is Important Question requiring two-thirds vote; we also will have to say that our consultations have shown that majority of UN members favor SC seat being awarded to PRC and, although we consider this matter to be decided by SC, we will accept decision of majority. With respect to last point, Secretary stressed our conviction that we cannot win fight to preserve ROC membership unless we make our position on Security Council issue clear. Green noted that Australian PriMin recently has made explicit statement that it believes SC seat should go to PRC, a position already taken by New Zealand Government. We have, therefore, two close friends of ROC which have taken such position publicly. Shen returned to this point in later part of conversation to ask whether "acquiesce" also means that US will vote for such provision. Secretary stated that position he had indicated did not necessarily mean that US would advance such a proposal but only that we would accept will of majority on this issue. As to how we would vote, that would depend on what would be required to obtain majority support for our revised IQ and DR resolutions. He emphasized again, however, our belief that unless we make clear from outset that we will acquiesce in will of majority on this issue, we cannot carry the day. For that reason, a statement to that effect will be included in announcement we intend to make.

11. Ambassador Liu raised question of tactics, stressing importance of lining up firm majority support for DR resolution and not relying on revised IQ as absolute safeguard against passage of Albanian Resolution. He thought it would not be particularly difficult to obtain majority for revised IQ, but cautioned against assuming that all who support us on that resolution will oppose AR. On contrary, he thought it possible that number of members outside solid pro-PRC bloc might abstain on AR. Since Liu thought it possible that votes in favor of AR might increase, he particularly concerned for possibility that increase in abstentions might result in AR obtaining two-thirds vote. He emphasized importance, therefore, of lining up solid support for DR resolution.

12. Herz agreed and said this shows we must work hard to obtain solid majority for DR. It for this reason that it of especial importance that our efforts to obtain such majority be not disturbed by impression that ROC strongly opposes what we are trying to accomplish.

13. Secretary and Herz then discussed with Liu number of tactical approaches to question of insuring defeat of AR. Secretary emphasized possibility that once US indicates its willingness to see PRC enter UN we may have entirely new tactical situation. In past, vote for IQ was in effect vote to keep PRC out, placing in ambivalent position many governments favoring PRC entry but opposing ROC expulsion. In new situation, however, entry of PRC will be accepted and issue will thus focus on protection of ROC membership. Secretary suggested that if we can win on revised IQ, we could take position that AR resolution out of order since, although question PRC entry could be decided by simple majority vote, second part of AR calling for expulsion of ROC would require two-thirds majority. This would force separate votes on two parts of AR. Herz noted that such vote could also present danger to us in that first part of AR would admit PRC as "sole legal government of China". It was agreed that there would have to be further discussions on these tactical questions.

14. At conclusion of discussion, Shen asked whether it would be possible for us to delay our announcement until August 3 since he required be away from Washington on August 2 and delay would give his government better chance to make any further comments it may have. Secretary replied that date tentative, but he would prefer to have announcement made on August 2. Green pointed out that waiting until August 3 runs serious risk of leakage and that it is most important for USG and GRC that news first appear in context of Secretary’s carefully prepared statement.

15. Neither Shen, who had been in telephonic contact with Taipei just prior to his meeting with Secretary, nor Liu took any exception to substance of Secretary’s statement or to fact that we intended make public announcement of our position. They were completely attentive to Secretary’s statement but did not give any impression of consternation with its content. They evidently had received no word from Taipei whether ROC would be willing remain in UN if DR resolution adopted providing for SC seat going to PRC. They did not allude to that question. Atmosphere of meeting was entirely friendly.

16. For Ambassador: You should repeat orally and soonest for FonMin Chou substance of Secretary’s statement, paras 3 through 9 above. You should emphasize utmost importance that this information and our intention issue announcement be closely safeguarded./3/

/3/ The statement was sent as telegram 139510 to Taipei, July 31. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM) McConaughy met that day with Chow, who asked that the United States "adopt most passive possible public position on SC issue." McConaughy agreed with Chow that the United States should supply the draft public statement on this issue to the ROC as soon as possible. (Telegram 3745 from Taipei, July 31; ibid.) McConaughy also asked Chow whether the ROC would vote against the dual representation resolution, even if that threatened to defeat the measure. Chow replied that he could not predict his government’s decision. (Telegram 3765 from Taipei, August 2; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VIII)


87. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, August 1, 1971, 1635Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Sensitive; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Feldman; cleared by Assistant Secretary Green, Herz, and Curran; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Sent to London, Brussels, Manila, Seoul, The Hague, and Bangkok and repeated to USUN, Taipei, Hong Kong, Wellington, Canberra, Tokyo, and Djakarta.

139511. Eyes Only Chief of Mission from the Secretary. Subject: Chirep: US Announcement of Policy.

1. Please personally convey following message from me to Foreign Minister.

A. As you know, since the President’s announcement on July 15 we have been in particularly active and urgent consultations with GRC on Chirep policy. The GRC now understands and accepts the need for a new strategy that would involve representation for both ROC and PRC in the United Nations.

B. The President has decided that in view of this situation and because our continued public silence on this issue may jeopardize any chance of maintaining ROC membership in the United Nations, it is important that we should now publicly disclose our above position in favor of a resolution which would make a proposal to deprive the ROC of UN representation an important question.

C. Accordingly, at a press conference to be held in Washington probably on August 2 or 3,/2/ I plan to announce that the United States will support action at the General Assembly to seat the People’s Republic of China and at the same time will oppose any action to expel the Republic of China or to otherwise deprive it of representation at the UN. I will go on to say that our consultations have indicated that the question of China’s seat on the SC is a matter which many nations may wish to address and that we are prepared to have this question resolved on the basis of a decision of the members of the UN.

/2/ Secretary Rogers’ August 2 announcement is printed in Department of State Bulletin, August 23, 1971, pp. 193–194. The text was transmitted in telegram 139614 to all posts. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)

D. I would like to express our great appreciation for the advice and assistance which you and your government have given during our past consultations on this exceedingly difficult problem. I strongly hope we will continue to work very closely on this issue in the days ahead.

2. For London: End Secretary’s message at this point.

3. Other Action Addressees: Continue with following paragraph:

E. We would appreciate your views on the next steps now to be taken. We have in mind convening as early as possible a meeting of like-minded nations at our UN Mission in New York to seek agreement upon common texts for Important Question resolution and resolution to provide representation for both ROC and PRC as well as upon tactics to be followed.

4. In conveying above message from Secretary, all addressees should stress fact we are giving advance notice to only few governments and should emphasize utmost importance of safeguarding above information until announcement made./3/

/3/ Telegram 139829 to all posts, August 2, transmitted talking points for use in presenting the U.S. position and answering questions. (Ibid.) Telegram 150259 to all posts, August 17, circulated additional guidance. (Ibid.)

5. For Seoul and Manila: View possibility of Fonoff leaks, Ambassadors at their discretion may convey message to President.


388. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, August 2, 1971, 2128Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Feldman; cleared by Pedersen, Aldrich, Herz, and Miller; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Repeated to Taipei, Canberra, and Wellington.

139831.Subject: Rationale for IQ and Representation Resolutions.

Following are explanations of draft IQ and representation resolutions, superseding those contained in memorandum Herz to Secretary dated July 28./2/

/2/ Document 384.

1. IQ Resolution--

A. We are probably better off at this point with separate IQ and representation resolutions since we would have a better chance to get priority for an IQ than for a representation resolution. In addition, some of the countries we have consulted have expressed reservations on building the two-thirds requirement directly into the representation resolution.

B. The phrase "which would result in depriving" could be replaced by the phrase "to deprive." The former is the broader formulation, including without question both the explicit and the implicit. The latter could be read as being narrower in scope.

C. We believe it is best that the IQ resolution not explicitly be tied to Article 18(2) (expulsion or suspension of rights of members), since this article necessarily involves Article 5 or 6. On the other hand, it is unnecessary to tie the IQ explicitly to Article 18(3) (Assembly action to create a new category of important questions in addition to those cited in 18(2)). In order to preserve maximum tactical maneuverability, it is best to leave it open to delegations to decide for themselves whether they are supporting the resolution as an affirmation of Article 18(2), or as a decision to add a new category as per Article 18(3).

D. We should keep in mind that we will be attacked on the grounds that even this revised IQ still is just a clever dodge to force the AR (once again) to secure a two-thirds majority and thus to prevent the Assembly from seating Peking, despite the fact that we are now talking about ousting the ROC. We will aid our cause if we can say forthrightly that we want Peking in the UN and believe they can be voted in by a simple majority--just as long as ROC ouster is not involved or implied.

E. There should be no great problem in getting ROC sanction for this IQ, though they may press for explicit mention of Article 6 and/or Article 18(2), and it is easy enough to explain its meaning to press and public. Presumably the text would offend the PRC as little as any IQ would.

2. Representation Resolution--

A. To have the greatest vote-getting ability in the Assembly, and to do as little damage as possible to US bilateral relations with either Peking or Taipei, the resolution must meet certain criteria: (1) it should be couched in terms of representation to avoid as far as possible legal objections that we are acting contrary to Article 4 (admission of new members) or Article 18(1) (each member of the Assembly shall have one vote) of the Charter; (2) it must avoid any position on the political, legal, or geographic claim of PRC or ROC; (3) it should avoid the question of whether China is one entity of which Taiwan is part or whether there are two entities. This should not be pronounced upon by the GA.

B. It may be best not to include any explicit legal justification in the body of the resolution since whatever legal arguments we put up will be targets for rebuttal. (For example, but not to be propagated, the UN Legal Adviser does not consider that "successor state theory," in the Chirep context, means two states can succeed to the UN seat held previously by a single member state, unless one of the two is admitted as a new member through the procedures specified in Article 4.) Our true justification is the argument from de facto reality, and it may be best to leave justification to oral and written statements rather than to insert them into the resolution itself.

C. The "fundamental changes" para is an argument from reality essentially, but it can be understood as something of a legal justifi-cation via dual succession. Note it has a one-China flavor, but not blatantly so. The paragraph can be omitted if it looks as though it would cost us votes.

D. The "existing situation" para is an argument from reality again.

E. The only reference to the ROC as a "member" is in the para on its "continued representation." We would like to retain this for possible future uses, but do not wish to call attention to it. If questioned, you should support it on the basis that it is a factual statement of the reality.

F. Once again, representation rather than membership is stressed in the "believing that the PRC should be represented" para.

G. The "Recalling" para is not necessary, but psychologically valid as a means of countering adverse legal arguments via an appeal to reason and duty (don’t worry about messy legal questions; solve the problem).

H. The "equitable resolution" para combines an appeal to reason with the idea that the GA, if it adopts this resolution, damages neither the claims of the parties nor the prospect for some other settlement which they themselves work out. The last phrase could be deleted if some countries prefer not to make even so tentative a reference to the competing claims. We will have to check whether the reference gains or loses us votes.

I. In order to avoid a conflict with Article 4, we have avoided any formulation in the operative paragraphs which even appears to admit either Peking or Taipei as a new member. The text is therefore couched in terms of representation.

J. We have also avoided operative paragraphs phrased in terms of an invitation to the PRC to send representatives. Invitation formulas leave open the question of whether some affirmative act on Peking’s part is required and whether in the absence of an affirmative act the resolution has taken effect. The resolution should resolve the matter without requiring any response from Peking so that we can say (next year, for example) that the issue has been decided and Peking’s right of representation fully confirmed, hence no need to reopen the matter at the GA. The objective is to have the UN put up a nameplate for the PRC upon adoption of the resolution.

K. Some states may object to referring to an ROC "right" of representation, but the ROC would surely object if the linguistic treatment given them were less than that given Peking.


389. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, August 4, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. An attached transmittal memorandum, also dated August 4, from Assistant Secretary De Palma indicated that the memorandum was drafted on August 3 by Feldman, and cleared by Shoesmith, Armitage, Herz, and Winthrop G. Brown.

Chirep--Initial Reaction of Key Governments to US Policy Announcement

The initial reaction of the countries with whom we have closely consulted on Chirep over the past several months--Japan, Australia and New Zealand--has been extremely favorable. The Japanese are particularly pleased that we gave them three days’ notice and accommodated Prime Minister Sato on the language of the announcement. Australia and New Zealand welcomed the announcement, but said that to have a chance of success the resolution must state that Peking should hold the Security Council seat.

Reaction from the other countries to which we gave advance notice was also good, except for the UK. The Indonesian, Korean, Philippine and Thai Foreign Ministers all reacted very favorably, the Dutch slightly less so. Douglas-Home, however, took a rather jaundiced view of our position and feared it might adversely affect the President’s planned trip to Peking./2/

/2/ Douglas-Home’s message was passed to the Department of State in an August 4 note from the British Embassy. (Ibid.)

Just prior to our announcement, the Taipei Foreign Ministry issued a statement which reasserted its claim to be the only legally constituted government of China, called upon all peace-loving nations to defeat the Albanian resolution, and stated that it would continue to struggle "for the preservation of the Charter." The words "struggle to the end", which appeared in an advance text given us earlier by our Embassy in Taipei, do not appear in the official English version. Public reaction thus far has been relatively moderate./3/

/3/ The August 2 statement was transmitted to the Department in telegram 3787 from Taipei, August 3. (Ibid.)

Our UN Mission held a meeting with 22 potential co-sponsors on August 3. Most supported our new policy, but several emphasized that the representation resolution must address the Security Council seat problem. The Ivory Coast and the Netherlands were especially clear on this point. The Japanese UN Representative (before the meeting) tried to caution Ambassador Bush that if the Security Council seat came up, "it would not be sufficient for Bush merely to say (he) would report back to Washington" and he felt the US should indicate then and there that we would support including the Security Council aspect in the resolution. He said he thought Japan would go along.

New Zealand today officially informed the Department it would not co-sponsor unless the resolution explicitly dealt with the Security Council seat.

R.H. Miller/4/

/4/ Miller signed for Eliot above Eliot’s typed signature.

390. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, August 4, 1971, 0203Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Taipei and Tokyo.

2097. Subject: Chirep--Bush Meeting With ROC Perm Rep Liu.

1. Summary. Bush on Aug 3 presented texts draft IQ and representation reses to ROC Perm Rep Liu and explained rationale behind drafts. Liu expressed satisfaction with draft res, fully aware of possible pressure for inclusion of SC clause in DR. Emphasized importance of tactics and highlighted advisability of obtaining priority for both modified IQ and DR. Liu agreed it best he not attend afternoon meeting of potential cosponsors. End Summary.

2. Amb Bush met with GRC Amb Liu Aug 3, gave him texts of draft IQ and DR reses and informed him of potential cosponsors’ meeting USUN that afternoon. Liu studied resolutions carefully while Bush and PolCouns explained rationale behind drafts. Liu, commenting first on IQ, felt that legality of modified res could be successfully argued and therefore thought it would be possible to obtain majority for IQ.

3. With regard DR res, Liu noted absence of ref to SC seat. He asked what happens when others raise this question, and if US thinks final DR will include SC clause. Bush replied that US not so naive as to think SC seat question won’t come up at afternoon meeting and afterwards. However, Bush said, we only intend to present DR res in present form, obtain reactions and report back to Washington. Liu, who referred several times to psychological problems in Taiwan, said blow of DR would be softened if US does not cosponsor and does not support DR with SC clause, but he clearly sensitive to probability of others’ pressure to include SC reference. Bush confirmed that we would have to realistically take this into account.

4. Liu said he appreciated omission of SC seat in initial draft and that we would face SC questions when they arise. Major question, Liu said, is how we get the votes.

5. Liu stressed his judgment that tactics very important and that we must obtain priority for both IQ res and DR, rationale being that support for IQ does not guarantee support for DR. If AR is voted on immediately after IQ, Liu argued, many members will think IQ preserves seat for GRC and will abstain on AR. Increase in abstentions might result in AR obtaining two-thirds majority. Newlin said another possibility would be to seek priority for IQ and obtain blocking third against AR. We should seek maximum negative votes on AR. Liu reiterated his feeling that it would be advisable to obtain priority for both IQ and DR. Bush said no tactical decisions, of course, have been made and that we would want to continue to address questions raised by Liu in light consultation with ROC and others. We have no defined script, Bush emphasized.

6. Returning again to question of SC seat, Liu said Reyes (Philippines) rather perplexed at Rogers’ statements on SC seat. Liu said suppose DR, including ref to SC seat, carries and PRC doesn’t come in. What then is the position of GRC in SC? Newlin said we could argue that this should mean no change in seating, particularly if PRC sent no rep to SC to claim seat. However this matter for future and SC members to decide. GA action would have political impact on SC members. Liu said he recognized majority of UN members believed if PRC comes in, SC seat should go to Peking.

7. Bush said US prepared make major effort obtain passage of DR res. Bush said arguments have been voiced in such a way as to secure maximum support for our resolutions, whose principal purpose was to secure ROC seat. If, in our consultations, others thought it essential to cover SC seat, we would consult closely with GRC.

8. After discussion of possible embarrassment Liu’s presence at afternoon meeting might cause him and others, Liu concluded that he should not attend.


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