CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents 1–40

Paper Prepared by the Tripartite Drafting Group of the Preliminary Conversations of the United States, United Kingdom, and France1

top secret

Document 11 [D–6/2a]


a. areas of agreement

The Cairo Declaration must be taken into consideration in any study of the ultimate status of Formosa.
The problems of temporary “military neutralization” and of ultimate disposition of Formosa are distinct.
The charge of aggression laid by the Peiping regime, is now properly in the United Nations Security Council. The U.K. and French support the present American action in the Security Council. The long-term disposition of the question would best be handled through the United Nations General Assembly.

b. questions requiring ministerial consideration

Agreement was lacking respecting the relative importance that the Cairo Declaration bore for determination of the ultimate status of Formosa. In the U.K. view the Cairo Declaration is fundamental.
There remained open the question of the most desirable long-term political solution for Formosa. Mention was made of various alternatives, including consolidation with the mainland, independence, and UN Trusteeship. The feasibility of a plebiscite was questioned by the U.K. and French delegations. In the U.K. view independence was irreconcilable with the Cairo Declaration and unacceptable to both Chinese parties.2
Discussion was inconclusive regarding the subject of making the “military neutralization” equally effective in its application to both Chinese parties. In the U.K. view certain actions of the National Government since June 27 were inconsistent with the President’s declaration.
The question of whether, and how, action in the UNSC and UNGA could get sufficient support from other governments to bring about a solution led to no conclusion. In the U.K. and French views chances of success would be increased by (a) the issuance of a unilateral and/or multilateral statement reiterating the Cairo Declaration respecting the future of Formosa and (b) the implementation of the President’s statement of June 27 in a manner to bring about an effective bilateral “military neutralization”.
There remained open the question of the procedure and action to be adopted in the event of a Chinese Communist attack against Formosa prior to some settlement through UN action. It was suggested that the present process in the Security Council could be continued, with a new orientation.
The precise manner in which the matter should still be pursued in its immediate phase in the Security Council, and in its later stages in the General Assembly, remained an open problem, but with general [Page 1179] agreement that the matter was at present in the proper channels and that future action could be determined in the light of events.3

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which indicated that this paper had been prepared in the preliminary talks for submission to the Foreign Ministers. It is a revision of Document 7 [D–6/2], not printed, the text of which is indicated in the following footnote. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents 1–40)
  2. In Document 7 [D–6/2] the phrase “and to the inhabitants of the island who are predominantly Chinese” was added to this sentence.
  3. A copy of SFM D–7/2c, dated August 28, not printed, on Formosa was sent to the Department of Defense for the comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Secretary Johnson forwarded their views to Secretary Acheson as an attachment to a letter of September 11, not printed, in which the Joint Chiefs generally concurred with the Department of State’s position put forth in the preliminary talks, but recommended the incorporation of the following from the military point of view:

    • a. Any attack by Communist China upon any of its southern neighbors or upon the Republic of Korea would require the United States to reassess its objectives in Formosa and to reconsider its present prohibitions upon military activities of the Chinese Nationalists;
    • b. Any political action taken in the United Nations with respect to Formosa should neither directly nor indirectly set up a requirement for the employment of United States military forces without preserving the right of United States decision in the light of the situation existing at the time;
    • c. If the United Nations should call on the Chinese Communist Government and the Chinese Nationalist Government to desist from hostilities pending study of the problem of the disposition of Formosa and should request the United States to enforce the truce, the theater of the Unified Command under the Commander in Chief, Far East (CINCFB) should be extended to include the Formosan area. The Unified Command must not be restricted as to its actions in enforcing this truce; and
    • d. The United States should not agree to any United Nations solution for Formosa which might enhance the military position of the USSR in the Far East. United States agreement to the appointment of a United Nations commission on Formosa might well be the initial step in such enhancement, since the commission must consider as one of its possible solutions the annexation of Formosa by the Chinese Communist Government. The strategic consequences of a communist-dominated Formosa would be so seriously detrimental to United States security that, in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States should not permit the disposition of Formosa to be recommended in the first instance or decided by any commission or agency of the United Nations in which the United States has no voice.”

    These views were generally concurred in by Johnson. (396.1–NE/9–1150 and CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents)