No. 173
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State1

top secret


  • Bilateral Security Pact with China


The Government of the Republic of China has proposed the conclusion of a Chinese-United States security pact, and has submitted [Page 368] a draft2 for our consideration. The Chinese draft is substantially similar to the ANZUS, Philippine and Korean pacts. FE favors the Chinese proposal in principle. Such a pact, however, should contain safeguards against involuntary extension of current United States commitments as to the defense of Formosa and the Pescadores.

Conclusion of a security pact with China might be expected to serve the following purposes: (1) improve morale of the Chinese armed forces and officials on Formosa; (2) accord the Chinese Government a similar status in our system of alliances in the Pacific to Japan, Korea, Philippines and the ANZUS countries; (3) offset Chinese misgivings as to the Geneva Conference; (4) make clear to our allies and to the Communists our determination to stand back of the Chinese Government on Formosa; (5) promote the policy objectives set forth in NSC 146/2.


That FE be authorized, in consultation with Defense, to prepare a draft treaty containing appropriate safeguards which may serve as a basis for negotiations with the Chinese.
That the National Security Council be requested to make a decision as to the advisability of concluding a security pact with China at the present time.
That the foregoing recommendations be implemented promptly so that negotiations with the Chinese Government may commence prior to the convening of the Geneva conference.
  1. Sent through Deputy Under Secretary Robert D. Murphy and initialed by him. A handwritten notation on the source text reads “not seen by the Secretary”; but see the memorandum infra.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 161.