100. Telegram From Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson to the Department of State1

1192. 1. Two hour meeting this morning devoted entirely to draft Agreed Announcement on renunciation of force except for statement by me on implementation to which he did not reply. Discussion centered almost entirely around our draft.

2. Wang opened meeting with long and uncompromising prepared statement rejecting our draft as “totally unjustifiable and absolutely unacceptable” and demanding acceptance his draft. Statement reiterated previous positions on Taiwan, GRC, US occupation, etc Much emphasis upon our draft requiring them to acquiesce maintenance of status quo, US armed interference liberation Taiwan and US encroachment on Chinese territory Taiwan.2

[Page 175]

3. I replied with long extemporaneous statement rejecting his implication US not seeking peaceful settlement by referring US proposal these talks, statement on renunciation of force, and willingness discuss other matters. I restated our position with respect GRC, defense treaty, etc. Principal point was not now attempt reconcile these differences but assure will not lead to war. I then went through our draft paragraph by paragraph, asking him specifically tell me with what they did not agree.

4. His reply and subsequent give and take was very noticeably milder than prepared statement but did not add anything substantive.

5. I persisted in attempt obtain more concrete expression specific objections our draft which he avoided by referring his opening statement which I characterized as generalized and not helpful in arriving at agreement on text. I pointed out our draft seemed to meet his three principal requirements: a) no violation sovereignty, territorial integrity, b) based on UN principles, and c) concrete arrangements for peaceful settlement already provided for by these talks. In reply he continued refer back to his prepared statement.

6. Meeting closed on this inconclusive note. Next meeting Wednesday, November 23.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/11–1755. Confidential; Priority; Limited Distribution. Received at 9:11 a.m.
  2. Johnson elaborated on this point and commented in telegram 1203 from Geneva, November 18, as follows:

    “While they have dropped immediate demand for withdrawal US forces from Taiwan they are of course trying to maneuver US into position of issuing statement which would provide strong basis for demanding our withdrawal. At same time they have interpreted reference to ‘individual and collective self-defense’ in juxtaposition to Taiwan area in operative para our draft as requiring recognition by them, on one hand, of US right unilaterally to defend Taiwan, and, on other hand, validity of US defense treaty with GRC. From this it would follow that they are precluded from even raising question ‘withdrawal US forces from Taiwan’ as well as abandoning their over-all position of GRC and Taiwan. Therefore, it is empty to speak of not prejudicing their policies. Stripped of polemics believe this is genuine position they were setting forth in paras 8 and 11 Wang’s statement (mytel 1200) and that from their standpoint it has considerable point.” (Ibid., 611.93/11–1855)

    Johnson’s telegram 1200 from Geneva, November 17, reported in detail on the meeting that day. (Ibid., 611.93/11–1755)