121. Telegram From the Secretary of State to Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson, at Geneva1

1377. Guidance for December 15 meeting.

In view failure Communists to take any further action implement Agreed Announcement since last meeting, you should again limit your presentation to this subject, emphasizing that progress made on renunciation force declaration is encouraging, but further progress being hamstrung by Communist failure carry out earlier commitment. US Government and people do not understand why Communists should require more than three months to take “further appropriate measures” permit Americans “expeditiously” return. Your presentation last meeting was excellent and can serve as basis further representations.
Department concurs in your proposed replies Wang’s three questions (Your 1270).2 Will consult with British on Miner case3 and advise.
Propose recess until Thursday, January 5 (or 12, if possible,) because of Christmas and New Year’s holidays which fall on Sundays with following Mondays also holidays.
FYI Decision use above tactics based upon following considerations: a) as time passes and Communists evasion of commitments under Agreed Announcement becomes more flagrant, we should increase pressure on this issue in order obtain release US citizens and avoid giving impression weakness; b) we consider Communists probably will not break on this issue for their position on it is weak. They have neither made good on their first commitment nor have they been willing agree specifically renounce force in Taiwan area. Furthermore, UN situation developing so they would probably hesitate rock boat by breaking now; c) renunciation force issue has been dramatized sufficiently through these talks so as to make resort to force more difficult for them than it was. End FYI.
Agree with your suggestion for text amendment Wang’s draft transmitted your 1271.4 You should not submit it at next meeting unless you believe this absolutely necessary to prevent break.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/12–955. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted in CA; cleared in draft by Dulles, Phleger, and Sebald; cleared by McConaughy; and approved for transmission by Robertson.
  2. Johnson conveyed his proposals for discussion of implementation at the next meeting in telegram 1270 from Geneva, December 9. He proposed to reply to the three questions Wang asked at the December 8 meeting as follows: (a) the agreed announcement had no provision concerning a list of Chinese in the United States and related only to those desiring to return to China, (b) there was nothing in the agreed announcement concerning investigation of the “status” of all Chinese in the United States, and (c) the United States had taken all necessary measures before the Geneva talks began to remove all obstructions to the departure of Chinese desiring to return to the PRC, and, with regard to measures violating the “spirit” of the agreed announcement, the PRC should not only release the imprisoned Americans but also repeal its exit permit requirement.
  3. Johnson suggested in telegram 1270 that he might raise the case of Charles Sydney Miner. Wang had said on September 6 that Miner was being given every assistance by local authorities to complete the settlement of his business affairs and that he should be able to leave within 2 or 3 months.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 119.