Washington, August 13, 1961, 6:24 p.m.
221. Eyes only for the Ambassador from the Secretary. Supplemental to other instructions being sent to you on informal meeting with Wang,11. Telegram 220 to Warsaw, August 13, authorized Beam to reciprocate Wang's informal approach at the June 29 meeting (see ). It declared that the unique value of the ambassadorial talks was their potential for reducing tension on a bilateral basis and that “we believe most promising approach lies in realistic, flexible efforts to make progress on practical questions between two sides.” No progress would result from demands for surrender on fundamental issues, but progress in solving problems that might seem minor in themselves could contribute to the step-by-step improvement of relations. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/7-2761) See the Supplement. if you find atmosphere propitious and believe useful purpose might be served I would have no objection to your expanding your remarks to include following line: You could frankly state that you are returning to Washington for Selection Board duty, that while here you will of course be discussing with your superiors future relations with Communist China and that for your background in doing so you would welcome Wang's views in some depth, particularly on the following questions. In asking the following questions you would disclaim having any instructions on these points and couch your remarks in purely personal terms.
You might preface your remarks by stating that Peking of course has its view of the world and the presumed historical imperatives of its “revolution”, while the US also has its views on the subject. Also, we of course each have our own views on the problem of Taiwan. While these cannot now be reconciled, it should be perfectly clear to Wang that regardless of our domestic differences with respect to Taiwan and Communist China he must take it as a fact that no American administration ever could or would consider turning the people of Taiwan against their will over to Communist China. However you do assume that the Peking leaders have some concern for the welfare and fate of the great people of China. You know the USG certainly has a strong concern and sense of responsibility for the future and fate of the American people. Recognizing these facts, you wonder whether there are not some common points of interest between the two governments that can be identified and cooperation undertaken, or is it the view of Peking that the only outcome is an eventual holocaust involving our two peoples. It is the view of the USG that such need not be the case. You would hope that this is also ChiCom view in spite of seeming meaning ChiCom public doctrine and therefore, that there is at least common interest in avoiding war.
If this is case you wonder what implications ChiComs would draw therefrom. It is your view that if ChiComs accept this thesis it is important to look for even smallest opportunities to improve atmosphere between two countries. It is for this reason you have been laboring point of prisoners and newsmen. However, ChiCom response has consistently been pegged to unrealistic demands on Taiwan, etc. This is hardly way to make any progress. You wonder whether ChiComs see any realistic steps that could be taken. If so you would like to explore and discuss while in Washington.
For example, you understand that through ChiCom ConGen, Geneva, ChiComs have invited Dr. Samuel Rosen of New York to demonstrate his unique surgical technique for relief of common form of deafness. Under present conditions USG had no choice but to discourage his travel. However, if ChiComs are still interested you would be willing further explore matter on your return to Washington. Does Wang think issuance of passport to Dr. Rosen would be helpful and if so is there any gesture ChiComs could make now or later? You are not seeking to bargain or enter into agreements but rather to see whether in quiet way there are reciprocal small steps that can be taken by two governments that would offer some hope of relieving present complete impasse in relations. Therefore, prior to your return to Washington you would welcome any thoughts Wang may have in this regard and if he desires would be willing again informally to meet with Wang prior to your departure.
If you think desirable there would be no objection to your inviting Wang to your residence or other secure place for informal meeting if this could be handled in manner that would avoid publicity. In this event, of course, recognize you may have to accept similar return invitation from him.
You should transmit any reply on this portion your conversation “Eyes Only”.
* Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/8-1361. Secret. Drafted by U. Alexis Johnson; approved and signed by Rusk. An attached memorandum of August 13 from the duty officer in the Executive Secretariat states that at Johnson's request, copies had been distributed only to him and Rusk. A memorandum of the same date from Johnson to Rusk states that he had discussed the draft telegram with McConaughy, who was in full agreement, and that “its base is somewhat narrower than what we first discussed” but that Johnson thought it would help to “fill the need” and “somewhat offset the danger inherent in the fireworks that will be taking place at the UN during the period there are no Warsaw meetings.” It also assured Rusk that the message would be sent through a secure channel with no distribution. (Ibid.)
1 Telegram 220 to Warsaw, August 13, authorized Beam to reciprocate Wang's informal approach at the June 29 meeting (see Document 38). It declared that the unique value of the ambassadorial talks was their potential for reducing tension on a bilateral basis and that “we believe most promising approach lies in realistic, flexible efforts to make progress on practical questions between two sides.” No progress would result from demands for surrender on fundamental issues, but progress in solving problems that might seem minor in themselves could contribute to the step-by-step improvement of relations. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/7-2761) See the Supplement.