033.1100 NI/12–1953: Telegram

No. 162
The Ambassador in the Republic of China (Rankin) to the Department of State

confidential

360. Foreign Minister yesterday handed me personal letter dated December 18, 1953 to be forwarded to Vice President Nixon in response to one received.1 Original going by pouch but text follows:

“My dear Mr. Vice President:

“It was very kind of you to take time out to write to me in Rangoon before you took off for Ceylon.

“Regarding the conversation we had in Taipei and to which you referred in your letter, I would like to recapitulate briefly what I had said on the advisability of concluding a mutual security pact between our two countries. Such a pact, if it could be brought about, would not only serve to place our relations on a permanent basis, but would also dispel what apprehension that may arise from time to time that the United States would abandon Free China and recognize the Chinese Communists.

“The views which I stated orally to you are as follows:

  • “(1) The white paper2 made public by Mr. Acheson was intended to justify the abandonment of China. Although the TrumanAcheson China policy has now been repudiated, and although the Republican administration has been giving its support to the Government of the Republic of China with the view to making Formosa a rallying point for all the free Chinese, there still exists nothing of a concrete character that would put our relations on a more permanent basis in the light of the continued Communist threat to Asia as a whole and to East Asia in particular.
  • “(2) Since the signing of the US–Korean pact, the feeling has been gaining ground that if the United States could afford to conclude a pact with Korea, she could equally well, if not better, afford to conclude one with Free China along similar lines.
  • “(3) As you know, the MAAG and the FOA have been operating in Formosa for three years. There are a number of technical [Page 345]agreements between these agencies and the Chinese Government. Furthermore, the Seventh Fleet, we understand, is still under orders to block any invasion attempt directed against Formosa and the Pescadores. You will perhaps agree that your present commitments actually add up to as much as, if not more than, what would be encompassed by a pact based on general principles.
  • “(4) If a pact could be concluded in the immediate future, it would dispel once and for all any further anxiety on the part of the people in Formosa as well as the 12–13 million free Chinese scattered all over the world that the United States may yet be pressured into recognizing the Chinese Communists by some of her allies.
  • “(5) To the many more millions of Chinese behind their iron curtain, the conclusion of such a pact would considerably strengthen their faith in the cause of freedom and in the anti-Communist policy of the United States.
  • “(6) Knowing as little of your internal politics as I do, I am in no position to say whether or not a pact with Free China would have the support of your legislators, but I am inclined to believe that those among your legislators who have consistently favored giving support to my government will not oppose it.

“As your Ambassador, Mr. Rankin, was present during our conversation, I have taken the liberty to inform him that I would write to you to recapitulate my views on this particular question.

“I need hardly say that your visit here was a great success. You have inspired confidence and bolstered up morale among our people and particularly the armed forces. Your personal charm and your democratic ways have won the hearts of many in high places and low, while Mrs. Nixon, if I may say so, has endeared herself to all who had the opportunity to meet her.

“With best wishes of the season to you and Mrs. Nixon, yours sincerely signed G.K.C. Yeh.”

Rankin
  1. No copy of the Vice President’s letter has been found in Department of State files.
  2. United States Relations With China (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949).