793.00/4–952: Telegram

No. 16
The Ambassador in India (Bowles) to the Department of State


3690. Re Deptel 1989, March 24.1 Have already had good talk with Mme Pandit re her mission to China and expect have one or [Page 30]two more before she leaves. I will certainly suggest she secure private interview with Mme Sun Yat-sen. Have also cabled Jerry Cohen for background information which may be helpful to Mme Pandit and other members Indian Cultural Delegation in their efforts modify Chinese strategy in Asia and point out to Chinese Communists dangers in their becoming spearhead for Soviet ambitions in Asia.

Will appreciate any further background information anyone can get on this because I have clear invitation provide whatever material may be helpful.

Discussed April 7 with Bajpai2 on most informal basis possibility our offering reassurances to Chinese Communist Government through their representative in Peking as to our deepseated desire for peace and broader understanding in Asia. I am convinced this approach officially or unofficially pays excellent dividends first because of bare possibility ideas may fall on more fertile ground than we suspect and second, because it helps convince Indian Government of our earnest desire do right thing and to place onus on Chinese Communists for whatever difficulties may develop in future.

Bajpai in strict confidence said … but that if it seemed advisable approach Chinese Communist Government confidentially on unofficial or semi-official basis best way do it would be through Mme. Pandit who leaves April 26.

I can, of course, continue talk along lines I have been following last several months, that is, our desire for peace, fact that although we do not agree with internal policies of Chinese Communist Government our basic quarrel with them is on subject of aggression in Korea and potentially Indochina, Burma and Nepal, our conviction Chinese Communists would be making disastrous mistake to play Russian game, our long-term friendliness for Chinese people, our conviction China as well as India has everything to gain from long period stability in Asia, and with repeated emphasis fact we have no desire attack China or fight with China anyway.

However, earnestly hope Department will consider advisibility more official although confidential message perhaps along these same lines which could be transmitted Mao Tse-tung through Mme. Pandit as part of US peace offensive this part of world. Particularly important emphasize traditionally it has always been our policy not quarrel with internal policies other nations much as we disagree with them, and that our differences with Chinese Communists would be greatly reduced if they would agree forego aggression [Page 31]either direct or indirect. If as seems likely this effort should fail it will at least be enormously helpful to us in convincing GOI our earnest desire and present atmosphere of conflict. I believe we should attempt associate GOI with US confidentially and emotionally in our efforts secure peace and stability in Asia.…

  1. Telegram 1989 asked whether it would be feasible to suggest to Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, former Indian Ambassador to the United States, who was to visit the People’s Republic of China as head of an Indian cultural mission, that she might attempt to obtain a private interview with Madame Sun Yat-sen, who was, according to reports received by the Department of State, disillusioned with the Communist regime. (793.00/3–2452)
  2. G.S. Bajpai, Secretary General of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.