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

1215. 1. I opened 27th meeting today with prepared statement on implementation as follows:

[Here follows the text of the statement.]

2. I continued with prepared statement on renunciation of force as follows:

I have since our last meeting carefully reviewed our discussion thus far with respect renunciation of force. I have particularly reviewed statements which you have made in this regard including your statement at our last meeting.
In doing this I have been seeking to find basis upon which it would be possible make progress in our search for agreement on text for public statement. I am encouraged by progress we have thus far made with respect to principles, but our difficulties now seem revolve in large part around words with which express those principles. I have tried, and will continue try, make my best constructive efforts toward this end and I hope you will also do so. I am satisfied that, if we both do this, our agreement in principle is wide enough permit us reach agreement on words.
Mr. Ambassador, I am sorry have to say that I do not feel that your statement at our last meeting constituted such constructive effort. As I said at time, it was confined to generalizations, most of which were of very controversial character and of little pertinence our immediate task. I have tried at previous meetings explain why I felt your draft of October 27 did not best meet situation. I also made effort in my draft of November 10 meet both points of view. In spite of these efforts you simply rejected my draft and demanded that I accept your draft. It is hard for me to reconcile this with genuine desire make progress.
In your statement at our last meeting you entirely ignored statement made in my November 10 draft clearly setting forth that announcement was without prejudice to pursuit by each side of its policies by peaceful means. You entirely ignored clear wording of draft and alleged that it constituted requirement on your government renounce its views and policies. I want make it absolutely clear that draft constitutes no such requirement with respect to views and peaceful policies of your government. Draft provides that your government will simply state it will not initiate use of armed force to implement those policies. US Government at same time will renew its often repeated statements in this regard. I cannot see how any reasonable person can possibly misinterpret this proposal on part of my government and say that it calls into question desire of my government seek just and peaceful settlements of disputes between US, including those in Taiwan area and therefore I do not believe arguments [Page 184] which you gave as alleged basis for rejecting my November 10 draft have a basis in fact.
At our last meeting you also again spoke of meeting of our foreign ministers, as if that was only means of peacefully settling disputes. You appear continue confuse basic difference between fundamental principle of unconditionally agreeing peacefully settle disputes and procedural question of what form of negotiation shall be used implement that principle. My government proposed these talks as normal and natural way of discussing and settling our differences. We are both ambassadors fully authorized speak for our respective governments to extent that our governments are willing enable us do so. That is why my government proposed that these talks be at Ambassadorial level. If your government is as desirous of peaceful settlement of disputes between us as is my government, it will enable you to make full and honest efforts negotiate and discuss our differences here before raising question of terminating these talks and substituting another method of negotiation. When we have succeeded in resolving questions which we are called upon deal with here, then our governments will naturally be in better position consider what further steps might be taken.
At our last meeting you also particularly spoke of inclusion in my draft of phrase concerning right of individual and collective self-defense. I am very surprised at your apparent rejection of inclusion of such phrase as I would have thought that you would have considered it very important. Your interpretation of phrase was very distorted and, read in context of my draft declaration as whole, I do not consider that your interpretation is correct. What phrase simply says is, while we will not initiate hostilities, each of us wish to make clear that, if there is an attack in Taiwan area or elsewhere, we will defend ourselves individually or in concert with others. You have spoken much of principles of United Nations Charter. This principle of right of self-defense is certainly age old, natural principle which is again restated in United Nations Charter, and it is difficult for me see on what basis there can be objection thereto.
We have both agreed that our differences of view and disputes between us should not lend [lead?] to war, and that it is intent of both of us that we will not permit this happen. Thus draft I have proposed simply says this in as straightforward and simple language as I am able contrive.
We both agree that region in which our differing policies and views confront each other most seriously is in area of Taiwan. This is also obvious to world. Therefore, in making such general statement it is important to make clear to world that neither of us has any hidden reservations or qualifications concerning applicability of that general principle to area of Taiwan. My draft thus proposes that we specifically and clearly state this as fact.
We also are agreed that in whatever we say neither of us wants sacrifice or prejudice our position with respect to matters at issue between ourselves or others, that is, we do not desire to say something that would prevent us from maintaining our views and pursuing our policies by means other than use of military force. We want to be free pursue our policies by peaceful means. My draft also says this in just as clear and simple terms as I can.
We are also agreed on principle that peaceful means should be used for just settlement of disputes between us. It was in accordance with this principle United States proposed these talks and it was hoped that reason your government accepted this proposal was that it also agrees with this principle. United States has done everything possible and will continue do all it can make these talks succeed. My government’s purpose in suggesting declaration renouncing use of force as a fundamental first principle was intended contribute this objective, and it will continue be our policy, based on principles of United Nations Charter, strive for just settlement of disputes by peaceful means.
I have taken this time carefully explain and amplify my draft of November 10, since from your remarks at our last meeting, it appeared that your government apparently did not have a full understanding of it. I hope that these remarks will serve clarify any misunderstanding that may have existed and enable us make progress in agreeing upon text.

[Here follow paragraphs 3 through 67, which set forth Ambassador Wang’s replies and subsequent discussion between the two Ambassadors.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/11–2355. Confidential; Limited Distribution.