DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have received your thoughtful letter of April
1,1See footnote 2,
Document 19. which was brought to Washington by
Ambassador Yeh following his
consultations in Taipei. I am grateful for your kind words of greeting
and wish to reciprocate them fully. I appreciate also your careful
exposition of the views of the Government of the Republic of China with
regard to the problem of Chinese representation in the United Nations
and other problems facing the nations of the free world.
My government is keenly aware of the expansionist aims of world communism
and of the particular threat posed by its sustained efforts to divide
the free world. The Republic of China faces most directly the threat of
communist aggression. Here the Communists do not conceal their aims, but
rather they proclaim their “right” to attack Taiwan. I assure you, Mr.
President, that my Government will faithfully adhere to its commitments
under the Mutual Defense Treaty between our countries.
We are mindful of Communist attempts to manipulate the United Nations so
that it may serve as an instrument in their drive for world domination.
We will continue to use every opportunity to strengthen the United
Nations as the best means of preserving genuine world peace and
protecting the independence of small nations.
One of our major objectives in the United Nations is the maintenance of
the status of the Republic of China as a member of the organization. Our
problem is not one of objectives, on which we agree, but rather on the
choice of tactics to attain those objectives. We have indicated to
Ambassador Yeh, with whom we are
in close consultation, our serious doubt that sufficient support remains
to carry the moratorium procedure successfully in the next General
Assembly, and are giving urgent consideration to other tactical means of
assuring success in attaining our objectives. These exchanges with
Ambassador Yeh have been most
useful. We will continue to consult closely with him in the interest of
both our countries and of the free world.
In the long run, the free world can best meet the challenge of communism
by strengthening its democratic institutions and making them more responsive to the aspirations of
the peoples of the world. In this connection, the American people have
become increasingly aware of the significant social and economic
progress that has been achieved in Taiwan during recent years in spite
of the heavy burden imposed by the requirements of defense against
Communist aggression. The United States Government has supported these
successful endeavors and will continue to do so as free China
demonstrates in its accelerated economic growth program that a nation
can advance the material welfare of its people while maintaining its
Please accept my best wishes for continued success in your high office in
the service of the Chinese people. My wife joins me in extending
greetings to you and Madame Chiang.
*Source: Department of State, Presidential
Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Kennedy/Johnson Correspondence
with Chinese Officials. Confidential. Limit Distribution. The letter
was pouched to Taipei on April 24. It was drafted in the Office of
Chinese Affairs, except the last sentence which was added in the
White House, and was sent to the White House with a covering
memorandum of April 14 from Rusk stating that it had been drafted to take
advantage of the occasion to reassure Chiang of
U.S. support. (Ibid., Central Files, 303/4-1461)