CA files, lot 58 D 395, “Chinese Representation at UN, 1953”

Memorandum by the United Nations Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (Bacon), to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Johnson)

  • Subject:
  • President’s Comments on Chinese Representation

According to press reports, the President was questioned at his press conference yesterday about British suggestions that Communist China be admitted to the United Nations. After discussing the recognition question, the President is reported by the press to have said that [Page 638] certainly he would not say at the moment that admittance of Red China should follow an armistice. (Note: In the report of the interview in the Department’s “Wireless File”, the question to the President is cast in terms of our policy toward recognition, not toward seating in the UN, and the President is reported to have said that he would not personally say that recognition of Communist China should follow an armistice in Korea. The two versions are probably the result of the mingling in one question-and-answer sequence of the two questions of recognition and admittance to the UN.)

Inasmuch as the press is in agreement that the President was discussing admission to the UN and that his statement was less than categorical, we should undoubtedly anticipate further questions on the Administration’s position on the representation issue.

The President’s avoidance of the easy and obvious answer that we are opposed to the seating of the Chinese Communists in the UN and his background discussion of the recognition issue as it relates to the representation question suggest that he was intentionally avoiding a closed door position at this time on our policy toward seating the Chinese Communists in the event of a truce.

The President’s attitude does not necessarily imply a change of position on the basic issue of opposition to the seating of the Chinese Communists. It does, however, suggest a change in present strategy for handling the question and may be expected to present problems for the Department vis-à-vis the press and UN delegations as well as the Congress. FE/P and CA will undoubtedly wish to review with UNA the replies which we have heretofore been giving to inquiries on this question.

I am preparing a general analysis of the UN aspects of the Chinese representation issue for possible background use by FE and CA in advance planning in the event of an armistice.