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

1465. Guidance for January 12 meeting.

We believe at next meeting you should review at length course of discussions on renunciation of force issue. Such review will serve to summarize our position for record and refute Wang’s accusations past several meetings that US has been stalling.
In opening, you should state that you are dealing with this subject now, only because at last meeting you agreed to comment on Communist counterproposal. Otherwise because of Communist [Page 257] public statements since last meeting,2 you would have devoted this meeting solely to presenting protest to Communist misrepresentation of Agreed Announcement and its failure to implement it. This you will deal with later.
You should emphasize that US first introduced subject of renunciation of force, and repeat your introductory statement October 8.3 Point out that Communists waited three weeks, then on October 27 introduced draft4 which not only fell far short of meeting US proposal, but introduced extraneous elements. Point out that on November 10, two weeks later, US presented draft5 which incorporated all points made when you introduced subject and also legitimate portions of Communist draft and should have been acceptable. Read draft. However, this not accepted by Communists, who after another three-week interval, on December 1 presented counterdraft6 which represented some improvement over their first proposal, but failed to meet essential requirements including that announcement apply to Taiwan area and provide for legitimate self-defense.
You should avoid linking your presentation directly to Wang’s accusations that US stalling. You should not be on the defensive, but rather take the offensive, taxing Communists with undeniable fact that for three months they have refused to agree to reasonable proposal made by US and intended to prevent hostilities in Taiwan area.
Conclude your presentation with statement that US willing to make further effort to reach agreement on this issue and to this end introduces revision of Communist counterproposal repeat counterproposal of December 1. Then present draft Deptel 1466.7 This [Page 258] identical with that previously approved for your use,8 except word “means” substituted for word “negotiations” in paragraph D [B] in order to broaden meaning and give more flexibility. This phrasing in line with language in Communist December 1 draft paragraph C.
You should then proceed to statement on implementation, stressing that you protest in strongest terms Communists attempt to claim that Agreed Announcement does not apply to imprisoned Americans, pointing out that their names were actually before parties and were being discussed when unequivocal statement regarding their expeditious repatriation was drafted and made public. These imprisoned Americans were ones about whom we had for previous weeks been actually making representations. Also protest failure of Communists to live up to their announcement and point out that this cannot but have serious effect on success of discussions. Obvious that progress depends upon good faith performance of agreements already reached.
FYI Deptel 14559 contains substance O’Neill’s report on receipt of communications from five imprisoned Americans since last meeting.
Material for use in replying Communist charges Liu Yungming case and others telegraphed separately.10
Do not agree on earlier date for next meeting than January 19.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/1–956. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Clough and Phleger (the latter did not initial), cleared in draft by Secretary Dulles and Sebald, and approved by McConaughy. McConaughy’s letter No. 29 to Johnson, January 16, states:

    “We met with the Secretary last Monday, the 9th for about 45 minutes. He personally approved your instructions after making slight changes. I believe you will be interested in knowing that he continues to follow the talks closely notwithstanding the ever-mounting pressures on him. He gave no indication at the last meeting that he felt any change of tack on our part was needed. So there is no reason to expect any new departure in your guidance in the absence of agreement on the renunciation of force item and satisfactory implementation of the agreed announcement, or some other major move by the Chinese Communists.” (Ibid., Geneva Talks Files: Lot 72 D 415, Geneva—Correspondence Re US–PRC, 1955–1956)

  2. On January 6 the New China News Agency released a series of answers by a Foreign Ministry spokesman to questions by a correspondent, declaring that there was a fundamental difference between those Americans in China who had committed offenses against the law and those who had not, that the agreed announcement stipulated that Americans who had offended against the law could expeditiously exercise their right to return only after measures had been adopted by the Chinese Government, and that the nature and timing of those measures was a matter of Chinese sovereignty. It declared that the Chinese would continue to work for an agreement on the second agenda item but would not consent to the “endless dragging out” of the talks. The text is printed in Survey of the China Mainland Press, No. 1205, January 11, 1956.
  3. See Document 65 and footnote 3 thereto. Regarding the meeting of October 8, see Document 71.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 85.
  5. See Document 94.
  6. See footnote 4, Document 110.
  7. Telegram 1466, January 9, transmitted to Johnson a U.S. revision of the Chinese counterproposal of December 1; it reads as follows:

    “Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson on behalf of the Government of the United States of America, and Ambassador Wang Ping-nan, on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, agree to announce:

    “The United States of America and the People’s Republic of China are determined that they will settle disputes between them through peaceful means and that, without prejudice to the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, they will not resort to the threat or use of force in the Taiwan area or elsewhere.

    “The two Ambassadors should continue their talks to seek practical and feasible means for the realization of this common desire.” (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/1–956)

  8. Reference is to the draft sent to Johnson in telegram 1354 (see footnote 3, Document 114), and revised as proposed by Johnson in telegram 1271 (see footnote 2, Document 119), and approved by the Department in telegram 1377 (Document 121).
  9. Dated January 6. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/1–656)
  10. Letters of December 28 and January 5 from Wang to Johnson charged that Liu Yung-Ming and seven other Chinese students were being prevented from returning to China. (Telegrams 1320 and 1338 from Geneva, December 28, 1955, and January 5, 1956; ibid., 611.93/12–2855 and 611.93/1–556, respectively) Liu Yung-Ming came to the United States as a student in 1947 and had been in a mental institution since May 1949; see the press release of December 30 in Department of State Bulletin, January 9, 1956, p. 52. Telegrams 1467 and 1476 to Geneva, January 9 and 11, informed Johnson that Liu’s case had been investigated, his return to China had been arranged, and he had sailed for Hong Kong on January 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/12–2855 and 611.93/1–1156, respectively) Telegram 1468 to Geneva, January 9, instructed Johnson to tell Wang that none of the seven persons mentioned in his January 5 letter was being prevented from leaving the United States. (Ibid., 611.93/1–556)