Washington, October 2, 1961, 10:12 p.m.
221. Your 286, rptd USUN 38.1Telegram 286, October 2, reported a conversation that day between Drumright and President Chiang. Drumright stressed that U.S. policy with respect to Outer Mongolia was aimed at furthering U.S. and GRC mutual interests. Chiang posed seven questions and also asked whether the United States had a fixed position on Outer Mongolia; Drumright gave preliminary replies to the questions and commented that the conversation showed Chiang's suspicions and resentment but also disclosed anxiety about possible deterioration of GRC-U.S. relations and a new willingness to consider a compromise solution. (Ibid., 611.93/10-261) Telegram 216 to Taipei, September 29, had instructed Drumright to call on Chiang to reaffirm the substance of Rusk's conversation that day with Shen and stress the gravity of the situation. (Ibid., 303/9-2961) I hope I am correct in my impression that my conversation with T.S. Tsiang and Chen at New York last week2See thereto. has resulted in Chiang's being in a mood to change his mind on the vote on the Outer Mongolia issue if he is provided with what he would consider satisfactory answers on the specific points raised by him with you. (Incidentally, you should have no hesitancy in assuring Chiang that what I said to Tsiang and Chen accurately reflects full views of the President.) We have therefore sought to provide you with bona fide assurances which may have desired results. You should avoid any impression that we are in any way backing away from the statements which I made to Tsiang and Chen.
We have added impression that Chiang has never fully appreciated international repercussions both to US and GRC which would result from situation in which Chinese might find themselves out of UN. You should do everything possible emphasize that this is not simply matter of seat in international organization in which Chiang has only peripheral interest but impinges on every phase of GRC relations abroad, including ability of United States to defend them.
You are commended for your generally excellent replies to Chiang's seven numbered questions. However, believe you should make further comment, drawing on following supplementary statements addressed to numbered questions:
1. No additional comment.3Question 1 was: “Is it true that if GRC vetoes Mongolia US will vote for OM's admission?” Drumright replied that Kennedy and Rusk had reserved freedom of action on this, but that if an affirmative vote was cast, it would be done to satisfy the African states and assist the GRC on the representation issue.
2. Question of “White Paper” has not been considered here. However, as already noted we would certainly be obliged inform American public of our reasons for divergence with GRC in event of veto but this would not be for purpose of censuring or criticizing. Also in our minds is near certainty that American inability to follow GRC would lead to seriously critical stories from Taipei which we would be compelled to answer. It is well to emphasize that one basis of our concern is a deterioration in the public opinion attitudes beyond control of governments.4Question 2 was: “Is it true that if GRC vetoes OM, USG will issue ‘white paper’ criticizing or censuring GRC?” Drumright referred to Rusk's discussion with Shen but stated that he saw no possibility of the issuance of a statement directed specifically at criticism of the GRC.
3. Department's announcement that it had suspended exploration of question of establishing relations with Outer Mongolia5See . was made in light of existing world situation. This means we had reached conclusion that further approaches toward Outer Mongolia at this time would be detrimental to United States and free world interests. GRC veto of Outer Mongolia would not in itself change our conclusion. While we could not make long-term commitment affecting other times and circumstances we have no present plan to reopen question direct OM-US relations.6Question 3 was: “Is it true that if GRC vetoes OM, USG will move to recognize and establish relations with OM?” Drumright replied that the exploratory talks could conceivably be resumed at a later date but that such a decision would not be related to a GRC veto.
4. USG will absolutely not sever relations GRC, but loss of GRC international status through defeat in UN would inevitably color US-GRC relations. For example, we must assume that GRC would lose most if not all of its friends in Africa, and as a consequence its seat in UN; hence joint plans such as “Operation Vanguard”7Reference is to a plan to provide GRC technical assistance to African countries with joint U.S.-GRC financing. (Memorandum of conversation between Martin and Kiang Yi-seng, June 20; Department of State, Central Files, 893.0070/6-2061) would be futile. Moreover, we would find it impossible successfully defend GRC's position in international organizations of all types after suffering defeat in major battle of retaining GRC seat in UN. Not only GRC position, but US leadership in world would suffer seriously as result. We are glad to note that Chiang seems to appreciate importance of preservation of US prestige and influence in present world struggle. We would also find it impossible arrest “band wagon” trend toward recognition of Communist China among nations now well disposed toward GRC, many of which have told us they will recognize Peiping if GRC loses UN seat.8Question 4 was: “Is it true that in event GRC vetoes OM, USG will sever relations with GRC?” Drumright replied in the negative but pointed out that the loss of the UN seat would impair the GRC's international status, which the United States was anxious to preserve.
5. In addition to points you made it should be recognized that US ability to prevent such development is directly related to preservation GRC position in UN. You might also add in order to make important distinction between official attitude of USG and inevitable deterioration of public opinion in US and other countries that USG considers Mutual Security Treaty fundamental relationship based upon genuine common interests but that official policy this matter needs full support of US public opinion and general understanding world opinion if it is to be fully effective.9Question 5 was: “If GRC vetoes OM and ChiComs are admitted to UN, is it part of your policy that present status of Taiwan will disappear and will then be regarded as ChiCom territory?” Drumright replied that a leading U.S. concern was to prevent such a development and that the best way to prevent it was to preserve the GRC position in the United Nations.
6. Any news reports to effect that USG has favored consideration Outer Mongolia before Mauritania manifestly incorrect.10Question 6 was: “SC last week agreed Mauritanian application would be considered before that of OM. Is there any credence in news reports that USG now favors OM consideration first?” Drumright pointed out that the United States had voted to give precedence to Mauritania and that he would be surprised if this position were reversed.
7. On whole ChiRep and Outer Mongolia issue, US has consulted GRC in detail and on day-to-day basis both here and in New York more intensively than with any other single ally on vital common interests. Further, USG has spent far more time in highest level consultations with leaders other governments in ChiRep problem than on any other single issue.11Question 7 was: “US started exploratory talks with OM without prior consultation and took some forms of action on ChiRep issue without prior consultation. Does this mean USG is committed to independent course of action on Outer Mongolia and ChiRep issues?” Drumright stated that in general, there had been consultation but divergence of views over Outer Mongolia had occasioned difficulties, and the United States accordingly reserved freedom of action on that issue.
You should find opportunity to explain to Chiang that we have been severely handicapped in recent discussions ChiRep with other governments because they cannot believe that if we ourselves were really serious that GRC could possibly veto Outer Mongolia. This does not mean that they consider GRC our satellite but they cannot understand how GRC could throw such barrier in the way when USG is making maximum effort on basis that ChiRep is a fundamental issue both for USG and GRC.
Security Council adjourned this afternoon without acting on membership application of Outer Mongolia. We therefore have period of few additional days to bring about change in GRC position. Hope you can make best possible use of this time.