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January 11, 2017
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December 14, 2010
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November 19, 1973
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No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON T-OP SECRET/SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY.EYES` ONLY November 19, 1973 MEMORANDUM FOR: FROM: SUBJECT: THE PRESIDENT HENRY A. KISSINGER My Visit to China ON-FILE NSC RELEASE INSTRUCTIONS APPLY Overview The four-day visit to the People's Republic of China was a positive success on all planes. The two and three-quarter hour session with Chairman Mao (the fact that it was the longest session with a foreign official in recent years is of itself very significant); fourteen hours of private meetings and several more of informal conversation with Prime Minister Chou; additional talks with Vice Minister Chiao Kuan-hua on sightseeing tours;.and six hours of counterpart meetings on technical bilateral issues added up to the following: -- Confirmation and deepening of the close identity between you and the Chinese leaders' strategic perspectives on the international situation. As I pointed out after my February 1973 trip, we have become tacit allies. We share essentially the same views about the Soviet strategy (though the Chinese are firmly convinced of Soviet hegemonial ambitions while we still hold out the possibility that our combination of firmness and negotiation. can steer Moscow on a constructive course); the necessity of a strong American- world role and defense capability; and the strategic importance of Europe, Japan, the Middle East, and the Near East-South Asia axis. -- A positive. joint communique that expands our existing bilateral relationship and establishes the framework for further forward movement. The key element in the document- -indeed the most significant development of the visit--is the breakthrough proposed by Chou on Taiwan that requires only that the "principle" of one China be respected as we normalize rela- tions. We now have to explore how to give concrete expression to this concept which could provide an opening for maintaining a substantial bilateral tie with Taiwan as and when we establish diplomatic relations with the PRC. TOP SECRET/ SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY -- Clear statements on Mao and Chou of support for your firm cli` lomac and their strong hope that you will surmount domestic difficulties. They were scathing in their criticism both of the neoisola- tionists in the United States and those whom they consider are exaggerating ? and exploiting Watergate to attack you. -- Recognition by the Chinese of your position that a militar flareu in Indochina will have adverse effects on our mutual interests. Chou strongly suggested that they have throttled way down their assistance to North Vietnam and Cambodia. He stated that there would be no major offensive in South Vietnam in the near term. On Cambodia, the Chinese seemed content to let the parties further exhaust themselves on the battle- field to get into a negotiating mood; he did not pick up my offer to listen to their (or Sihanouk's) ideas on a settlement. -- A continuing warm reception for our party, , including trul major coverage of our activities in the Chinese press. Progress with Some Caveats These elements constitute substantial forward progress. The driving force on the Chinese side remains their preoccupation with the Soviet Union which infuses their discussion of every major international issue. heir crucial-calculation is the steadiness and strength of America as a courweight. In this regard your strong handling of the Middle East, particularly the alert, - Chou called you more courageous than President ennedy as a leader - was an ideal prelude to my visit. It served the same purpose that your policy during the 1971 Indian subcontinent did in the period between my first trip and your summit conversations. Your strong policies, the Chinese concerns about encirclement, our developing mutual trust and reliability the past few years, our profound exchanges at the highest levels have all combined to move us forward at a steady pace. In addition, the two major obstacles to improvement in relations have been eased: last January's Vietnam settlement all but removed Indochina as an impediment, though Cambodia is a lingering problem; and the Chinese continue to show patience on Taiwan and may have supplied us with a breakthrough on this trip with their one China principle formula in the communique. We cannot by any means be complacent about our relationship, however. The following caveats are in order: TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE 3 EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY The Sino-Soviet Split. We have been in probably the ideal situa- tion with regard to the two communist giants: they both want and need to deal with us because they cannot deal with one another. We are walking a delicate tightrope of public detente with Moscow and tacit alliance with Peking. This will continue to require the most careful handling. The meticulous care and feeding of the Chinese on our Soviet policy has paid off, but Peking sees our detente pursuit as .at least objectively threatening its security, whatever our motives. And even if we don't make mistakes, events beyond our control could turn one or the other against us or propel them toward each other. The U. S. Domestic Scene. Our domestic situation clearly troubles the Chinese. For the short term they are worried about the attacks on you and hope you will overcome them. More fundamentally, they are wary of our domestic and Congressional mood which they see potentially leading to American disengagement from the world. Once they become convinced that we cannot or will not act as a major force on a global scale, we will lose our principal value to them. In this case, Taiwan and other bilateral pursuits notwithstanding, they would be likely to explore other alternatives. __ The Chinese Leadership Succession. Mao and Chou both looked well and demonstrated their usual mental prowess (Mao more than ever). But they are old, and there appears in any event to be some domestic challenge to them, though probably mostly on domestic issues. We just don't know much about their politics -- nor does any other outside country. We have no idea who will succeed the present leadership or what their foreign policy tendencies will be. The one element we can be certain of is that they will not be as far-sighted or as sophisticated as Mao and Chou, who may well be the most impressive twosome in history. A worrisorrie aspect is the fact that on all our trips we have dealt with a restricted circle of Chou and his lieutenants. We have had virtually no contact with other elements of the political leadership, such as the Shanghai radicals. Since a reasonable case can be made for accommodation with Moscow or some other option than their present course, we have no assurance that the PRC will continue its policy toward us when Mao and Chou depart. This puts a premium on solidifying our relationship while the current leadership is directing their policy. TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 , No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 W p orl the basis of confa.rming t e pr we might be able to continue a substantial relaltcatlshilr wtiith 1'.6w.411 when Lion of relations between %alixlia -~,~ -- - Thiw raartt~;e$trc that le of one Ghina. h inci -_ We have agreed to expand the scope of the functicnri of the Liaison Offices". This will result in larger missions perfori-ainl; wider tasks. They are becoming embassies in all but name We will work for the further development of tr:ule. "Tits h.19 already reached the level of some $900 million in exhorts to the 1111C. (and less than $100 million Chinese export to us). We made major progress on the principal technical issues which should expand trade farther. _. We have arranged "a number of new exchatw.eti for the coit,ing year." This program is important both substantvt?ly in ltronaoti--t; rri,-tual knowledge and awareness, and symbolically in highlighting the progrt?8s of our relations. In addition, Chou tabled language that provides the framework ftir Harr:-lida- central bilateral problem in the coming period, T;6wv crt; `~. . TT_:,.,"1 csCItI?M can hr rc?.alt>tcrl only TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE" EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY The Joint Communique As I have already reported, the communique we issued is a pcaetitive. document and contains a possible breakthrough on the funclanient ti question of Taiwan. The Shanghai Communique established a framework and principle mm for Our relationship. Since your trip we have given these concrete exprrrarsiuns. This communique further accelerates momentum in these- areas: __ It expands the principle of opposing hegemony from the Asia- Pacific region to "any other part of the world." This reflects our parallel strategic interests and sends some clear, though stufttciently muted signals to Moscow. We have extended the process of consultation "to ni.tint.-in frequent contact at authoritative levels" and "to engage in concrete consultations". In addition to suggesting closer coll,abor.ation in general, it balances off somewhat our consultation procedures with the Ru:etci;"ans under the Agreement to Prevent Nuclear War. TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY we establish diplomatic relations with Peking so long as we maintain the "principle" of one China. They may be willing to settle for considerable autonomy for Taiwan and continuing U. S. ties so long as the nominal juridical framework reflects the one China approach. Our task now is to come up with some formulas that can begin to move toward this goal. --They are clearly ready to hear from us,_I said that we would get back to them within a few weeks. Thus once again the Chinese have demonstrated their patience and shrewdness with respect to this delicate issue. Just as the Shanghai Communique formula allowed us to launch our bilateral relationship so may this one allow us to proceed eventually to diplomatic relations while continuing close ties (as yet undefined) with Taiwan. More generally, this communique follows the pattern of previous ones by fleshing out the framework already established and shaping a fresh frame- work for the next stage. The Meeting with Mao I have already sent you the highlights of this extraordinary session. The Chairman looked much. healthier and thinner than last February when in turn he looked much better than during your trip. (It is now clear in retrospect that he was quite ill when you saw him.) He moved and walked unaided and used his hands continuously and expressively as he talked in his slow, low, gravelly tones. Mentally he was extremely impressive, improving his previous performances. He led the conversation, covered all major international issues with subtlety and incisiveness and an unerring knack at striking the essential c].ords in a seemingly casual way. By the time he was finished he had sketched their strategic vision comprehensively and laid down the essen- tial elements of their policies region by region. He went from issue to issue in an ostensibly random, but always purposeful, manner. And all of this was done without a single note of his own or prompting by Chou, who once again was clearly deferential in his presence. Throughout he employed his The Chairman obviously enjoyed himself. earthy phrasing and bawdy humor to illustrate a point or color a tone; the females present laughed easily, almost coquettishly and were again at ease in his presence. After the conversation had gone beyond one and TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY ;;;';_ No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 w TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY three quarters hours, several on the Chinese side looked at their watches and made tentative moves to close out the meeting, but Mao prolonged the talk and toward the end engaged in exchanges on philosophy. Indeed one of the striking aspects of the visit was the fact that this time _Mao presented the bulk of the Chinese positions while Chou generally stuck to details and asking questions and making comments on our posi- tions. Before, Chou had taken his cue from Mao but made extensive substantive presentations of his own. The Chairman was virogously supportive of you, as I have reported. He praised your strong policies, singling out the recent alert and Middle East policy generally. He found your actions much firmer and steadier than the Cuban missile crisis scenario. He discussed the Watergate events in bawdy fashion, calling g it no more than a breaking of wind the ' -eter had amusing dif_ficulty e con- sidered the incident meagre, yet much chaos was being made of it and "we are not happy about it." He pointed out that other domestic policies, especially economic, were going well. I assured him you would surmount your current troubles and explained the domestic political tides. Mao was also concerned in general about trends in America toward dis- engagement. He asked me if we would revert to isolationism if the Democrats took office. I said that many (not all) of them would want to move in that direction but objective reality would prevent them at some point; the problem was how much damage would already have taken place before they checked this trend. On the whole I thought that future Admin- istrations would have to pursue the same general course, though perhaps in less complex fashion than your tactics. I emphasized that in any event these concerns pointed up the need to solidify U. S.-Chinese relations now so there would be no alternative for successors. The world wide preoccupation with the Soviet Union once again dominated his conversation. Almost every subject was linked to this theme. He painted the global Soviet threat and recounted how he had contempuously rejected their offers, direct and through emissaries, for improved rela- tions. I rehearsed our own, less direct policy with Moscow. The Chinese still remain somewhat suspicious of our approach, especially of the objective dangers of false detente; the Chairman compared our policy to shadow-boxing in contrast to their more straightforward opposition. I also TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE Y 7 EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONL d that the Soviet threat to China seemed to shave aandcthe d air ,0 acknowledge osition to these pres since my last visit` I repeated our opP dangers we saw in a Soviet attack. He made clear that they didn't want a g war but were prepared if necessarye et Union Mao seemed basically optimistic about containing the Sovi, Indeed, -n, th~~ allie Chin citing his familiar axis of potential East-. Asia axis a, He a~l; United States, Europe and the stressed the importance of our working nl elymilita these ou `t(riin _ maintaining close ties with Japan, keeping our Middle Europe; and countering Soviet influence Pershan Gulf an athc clnClraT1 ocean. now doing), Pakistan, Ixaxl, India, outlined our efforts to support these various countries; offset Soviet I influence; maintain a strong national defense; keep forces in .,urcype: anchor Japan securely, etc. He was very worried ;~boLtt We discussed several specific countries. e .~' utltrcled Ira Soviet influence in the radical Arab in theeregion 11yfle cqr ticiz d ltbvir fluence Cur efforts to increase our in Chief of their Liaison Office in Washington their standard pro Arab tline.t()7'lYe for his recent sed h ear on the Middle East which re made clear that Ambassador Huang o of the t conflict. Chairman o the more important U. S. -Soviet strategic aspect Mao was both patient and somewhat ~ an irnportan relations. He said that the Taiwan issue "is not the Soviet Union) is an issue of the overall international situation (i.e. ' Ltcstion or tbat of The PRC would not rush us on this q important one a he stated. After all, their relations with -ls were tic relations, with .~? 10111 they R nci India, diploma httu also ni icle better than those with countries like the USS a diplomatic ties; the Liaison offices "could rdo." the S llowuT us to ties 111,1t move with l-rthr'1pid age have (.rvi(*t (includin some elusive references d flex bility to a Baltic states) that sugges and we emerged with followed up for clarification with Chou, in the Communique. suggested that they would not use force It,. (li,lrr't bc li(ve in he ng. aint ong pointing to their reSwith the counter-revol tionaries, Vitt 1'('kirt~; Ou peaceful transition wait 600 years should be island. In Iny event ' b%i the yu.>nt of the small from this issue and., 11milLi" take relations with us s shoo so long. TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY I will shortly send you the full transcript of this remarkable conversation. Meetings with .Ch.ou I have already given you the highlights of my conversation with Chou. They were stimulating, and he was impressive as always, but his role was considerably more subordinate to Mao's this trip. As I have indicated in earlier reports, our first meeting was taken up largely by my presen- tation of our position on major international issues, with Chou commenting and probing. The second session was largely a holding action of ques- tions from him while they prepared for my meeting with the Chairman. And the meetings on the final day largely consisted of his elaborations of Mao's basic lines; sensitive exchanges about the strategic international scene; discussion of bilateral matters, including trade; and negotiation of the communique. Following are the major points that emerged from these sessions: _.> He strongly praised your Middle East policy and our growing dialogue with the Arabs. He indicated he had been helpful with Egypt. He suggested we talk directly to Syria; was suspicious of Iraq; urged inclusion of the Palestinians in the negotiations; and shared our positive view of the Shah. On the alert he compared you favorably with President Kennedy and suggested the incident gave us a chance to increase our defense budget. On Vietnam, Chou said that the North Vietnamese leaders have assured him they have no desire of launching a major offensive. lie claimed the material moving south was for rebuilding roads and building tip produc- tion. From what the Chinese know, Hanoi has no intention of launching a major attack. He alluded to the gradual political evolu the d' t eI had told th I underlined i d l . ive w him on previous visits we coul North Vietnamese offensive. _ Chou declared that their friends in Cam a were complaining about lack of military support from Hanoi which according to hin, is "extremely meagre." He didn't foresee major fighting in Cambodia; favored a political settlement; and thought the area should be peaceful and neutral. He also indicated opposition to Sihanouk's return and it Soviet desire to have their "hand in the pile." TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP s -J- r0r`-4 J`x~ 9 EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY Chou pointed to vigorous efforts by Moscow to the sou of China. He urged support of Pakistan and approved our building a port there. I reaffirmed our policies and said that we were also trying gradually to improve relations with New Delhi to counter Soviet influence ther e. Discussion on Korea was restricted to the ongoing discussions in the United Nations. The Chinese had just given us a satisfactory as they allies. compromise solution in New York needed time to line them on timing uplontheir I agreed that we would work closely stuck by their substantive position. He thought we should come closer to 12 pan on defense matters hat_,'t 1- ?mbrella) and indicated he agreed L alone. I emphasized the importance oi and not subjected to too many pressures. -- Chou criticized Allende's rashness in Chile and Che Quevara's he in effect said that the adventurism. In response to my comments, PRC would not cause trouble in Latin America. I went over our Soviet strategy in some detail, including our rationale for the agreement which you had used during the Middle East alert. He continually sounded their by now familiar preoccupations. __ Chou strongly supported NATO and our troop presence in Eura e. He said he would continue to educate European leaders, beginning with Heath who will visit Peking soon. - I reaffirmed our intentions on Taiwan in' political terms and out- fined our plans concerning our military presence. At his own initiative, Chou said he would not attend the United Nations session next fall. I described to Chou, as I did later to Mao, our domestic mood and its impact on foreign policy. Bilateral Technical Issues Counterpart negotiations conducted on our side by Acting Assistant TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY 10 Secretary Hummel focused on trade and exchange matters. We presented to the Chinese our view of the importance to the evolution of normal economic relations of concluding the private claims /blocked assets problem -- agreed to in principle during my visit last February. In the only harsh aspect of all our discussions (apparently reflecting the acerbic personality of negotiator Lin Ping, formerly Ambassador to Chile during the Allende period and now Director of the Foreign Ministry's Bureau of American and Oceanic Affairs) the Chinese side attacked our proposed technical language defining the source of their blocked assets as being an unwarranted reference to the former "hostile" attitude of the U. S. toward the PRC. More substantively, they demanded that we exclude from the settlement $17 million blocked in third-country banks, some of which has been repaid indirectly to the PRC despite our warnings to the banks of the illegality of such action. Our side indicated that these positions were unacceptable, primarily because exclusion of the third- country blocked assets from a settlement would reduce the suns of the total available for repaying our domestic claimants to a level unacceptable to the Congress, but as well because of the disastrous precedent for our international banking relations of such actions. In my final session with the Premier, we made some progress on this matter. I reiterated the desirability of resolving the claims/assets problem, but the unacceptability of the Chinese position on the third- country bank question. We concluded by agreeing to further exchanges on the technical issues in the coming weeks in an effort to reach a final resolution of this matter in about a month. The Chinese were relaxed about the most favored nation issue. Chou probed about the relationship between the present Congressional obstruc- tion of this aspect of the trade bill because of the Soviet internal scene and extension of MFN to Peking. They do not mind delay. Their only concern is to keep the Soviet and Chinese aspects separate in congressional and public discussion. Scientific, cultural, and public affairs exchanges were discussed. with agreement reached on twenty specific programs which will be implemented in 1974. Included in this total is a visit to the U. S. by a delegation of Chinese mayors, and acceptance by the PRC of our proposal that a group of American state governors tour China. As well, the 1'RC proposed another Congressional delegation visit in the summer of next year by a TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 No Objection to Declassification in Full 2010/12/14: LOC-HAK-462-9-16-2 a bipartisan group of fifteen. We will be presenting suggestions to you shortly on which Representatives and Senators night most uisr.. fully be included in this group. (We suggest this trip not be mentioned to members of Congress at this time, as it will generate a flood of requests, making it difficult to organize purposefully a group which will most effectively support your programs). We also proposed longer-term cooperative programs with the 1'1tC in the areas of agricultural research, earth resource surveying, and lange-,ege study. They indicated only that they would consider theie,. iuras. We also requested agreement from the Chinese side to our making a public statement regarding American servicemen missing in action in the vicinity of the PRC as a result of the Indochina' hostilities or our pa st military activities in the Taiwan area. Premier Chou indicated to we that hi:a officials were making a detailed search for information regarding a number of MIAs. He also agreed to our publicly stating that we have di?Icu;svd the problem of MIAs, that the PRC has been conducting searchers. that no new information has been turned up, that they are continuing to 'nve:etig:ate, a d that they will provide us any new information which conies up. We can release this statement at an early press conference. This taliouuld clear the air on a lingering problem of concern to MIA families and their Congressmen. TT C W TOP SECRET /SENSITIVE EXCLUSIVELY EYES ONLY t ./ 1 raisea wiuti r 1 --A ?,???? - - - ` be*-,,4 tion in Peking. He replied that they saw no problem with our ne?wN romef in 'r capital; but there is concern with possible awkward confrontations in orters of Taiw:en'r; offie'i:t1 ., re n p ' W a.sningw" sic -wc.-- . --~ - ?q Central News Agency. We will look into ways that this latter iar