793.5/5–952: Telegram

No. 24
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China

top secret

813. Urtel 1307.1 While US cannot under Presidential Directive of June 27, 19502 commit its forces def any islands now under control of Chi Govt other than Taiwan and Pescadores, it is US hope that Chi Govt will defend such islands. US does not consider current Directive to CINCPAC with respect to Formosa as preventing such action. US policy concerning these islands explained to Chi Govt thru Chargé Taipei (Deptel 61 Jul 22, 1950)3 and to Amb Koo by AsstSec Rusk Jul 25, 1950.4 Unless you believe Chi auths now uncertain US position it wld seem unnec reiterate this policy since to do so wld involve risk that info wld leak to Commies and encourage them attack islands. It wld not be useful either to Natl Govt or US to accommodate Chi Commie with indication US intentions re such important matters, consequently in event considered nec [Page 50]again discuss matter with Natl Govt you shld convey US position to highest auth only.

Under these circumstances, while being careful avoid making any commitment to Chi Govt inconsistent with Presidential Directive Jun 27, 1950, and bearing in mind final decisions on def of islands sole responsibility Chi Govt, US mil reps shld give Chi Govt whatever encouragement and advice they can in connection def Kinmen, Matsu and Tachen islands, consenting to the commitment by the Chi Natl forces of limited quantities of mil aid material as appropriate to assist in the def of the threatened islands, provided the def of Formosa and the Pescadores is not jeopardized.

Re aid to Chi Natls connection def islands: while direct support involving US personnel cannot be given shld be pointed out US is rendering vital indirect support in form training and equipping Chi Natl forces which available to defend islands.

Dept of Def concurs with this msg.

  1. Document 18.
  2. Reference is to Truman’s statement of that date concerning the mission of the Seventh Fleet; see footnote 3, Document 20.
  3. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 387.
  4. A memorandum of this conversation dealt with this and other questions arising out of the President’s June 27 statement. (711.5/7–2550)