CA files, lot 57 D 663, “Chinese Representation at UN, 1952”

Memorandum Prepared in the Office of Chinese Affairs


Question of Chinese Representation in United Nations and Specialized Agency Bodies

By an informal exchange of communications between the Secretary and Mr. Morrison in June of last year, we reached an understanding with the United Kingdom on the Chinese representation issue. Under this “moratorium arrangement” it was understood that “our two delegations to the United Nations should consult in advance to concert on procedures which both delegations could support for avoiding a vote on this “issue”. Pursuant to this agreement the UK and US have supported proposals to postpone consideration of the Chinese representation issue, whenever this question has been raised in the various UN and specialized agency bodies. This postponement procedure has been supported by a large majority of states, including certain non-Soviet states which recognize the Chinese Communist regime. The chief reason for the wide support for the postponement action was the Korean aggression.

If a Korean armistice is concluded2 the Chinese representation problem may become acute, particularly in those UN and specialized agency bodies so composed that they contain a large number of states recognizing the Chinese Communist regime. Since a number of the European states which recognize the Chinese Communists tend to follow the lead of the UK on the Chinese representation issue, the key to our holding the line will be the continuance of the “moratorium arrangement” or some other agreement with the UK. There was no indication in the exchange of communications with the UK as to how long the “moratorium arrangement” would apply, but the general assumption was that it was operative at least for the duration of the [Page 621] Korean aggression, and the UK has made it clear in its UN statements that the Korean aggression was the reason for its support of the postponement action. We do not know precisely what the UK position is as to the continuance of the “moratorium arrangement” after an armistice. On February 27 of this year, however, the UK representative in the Trusteeship Council, in supporting the US postponement action, stated that “even if … the armistice negotiations were successful, it would still be inadvisable to discuss the [Chinese representation]3 question during the next few months”. We plan to have our Mission in New York informally ascertain from Mr. Jebb at an appropriate time whether this statement reflects UK intention to continue the “moratorium arrangement” after the conclusion of a Korean armistice.

  1. For documentation on Korea, see volume xv .
  2. Brackets in the source text.