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

1212. 1. Two hour and fifty minute meeting this morning. No progress whatever.

2. Towards end of meeting Wang pressed me very hard with some obvious but unknown purpose in mind to commit myself to discussion his draft at next meeting while flatly and categorically rejecting our draft as any basis for further discussion. Although purpose unknown I was quite clear that he had some specific move in mind if I had given flat negative reply. I of course avoided any commitment, repeatedly replying in response to his demands for flat yes or no that I had been and would continue striving for agreement on a text while expressing disappointment lack his concrete responses to specific questions concerning wording to which they objected in our draft.

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3. I opened meeting with statement on implementation accordance para one Deptel 12812 to which he made brief reply along usual lines.

4. I followed with long prepared statement on renunciation.3 Only somewhat new point I made was that these talks were normal and natural way discussing and settling differences. I said that if his government is as desirous of peaceful settlement disputes as my government, it will enable him make full and honest efforts negotiate and discuss differences here before raising question terminating these talks and substituting another method of negotiation. “When we have succeeded in resolving questions we are called upon to deal with here, then our governments will naturally be in better position consider what further steps might be taken[”].

5. Wang replied with long prepared statement repeating former arguments rejecting our draft, adding nothing new. However he included statement with respect to trade embargo rejecting “US proposal for lifting trade embargo in exchange for PRC agreement US draft announcement on renunciation of force.”4

6. In my reply and during much give and take I attempted keep discussion focussed upon concrete discussion our draft but he avoided all discussion our draft beyond that contained his original prepared statement and insisted on coming back his draft.

7. Next meeting Thursday, December 1.

8. Departing for Prague this evening, returning Tuesday, November 29.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/11–2355. Confidential; Priority; Limited Distribution. Received at 10.12 a.m.
  2. Document 102.
  3. See telegram 1215, infra.
  4. In Johnson’s detailed report of the meeting, transmitted in telegram 1215, infra, he described his reply to this point as follows:

    “I replied Wang had misunderstood our position on question of embargo. In inviting his views, I had pointed out fact that measures he termed embargo taken by US in light of security interests. Measures US takes in regard to trade must take into consideration what we consider to be security interests. If US considers that danger of hostilities is lessened or removed, this naturally influences US point of view on trade. However, I certainly did not mean to imply that US willing trade lifting embargo for statement on renunciation of force.”