610. Telegram 1902 from Geneva1

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1902. From Johnson.

Comments on today’s meeting:

At today’s meeting I deliberately avoided specific comment on details his draft and did not as such mention either self-defense or mutual respect clauses in effort avoid traps May 11 draft and keep issue focused on major point their unwillingness renounce force in Taiwan area as set forth our April 19 draft. This served well today and probably can profitably be continued for another meeting or two. However, by thus sharpening basic issue between us I may be correspondingly reducing our freedom of manuever to keep talks going.

However this is also issue upon which public position CHICOMS is weakest and upon which they will be more reluctant go to public or break talks. Suggest this aspect would be much clearer if Communists were not able publicly confuse basic issue with either self-defense or mutual respect clauses. Therefore suggest Dept may desire give consideration to method whereby this might be accomplished.

While at today’s meeting Wang permitted himself some extent be led back to discussion April 19 draft at subsequent meetings he will probably limit himself to flat rejection that draft.

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As additional points Dept will note from full record that today he went further than in past, sharpening distinction between offshore islands and Taiwan by specifically mentioning Penghus with Taiwan and stating we had no international disputes “elsewhere”. Just possible additional motive for their deletion “elsewhere” might be hope I would, in arguing for its retention, and other disputes such as Korea, thus appearing support their proposal for Korea conference.

Wang’s statement para 244 Longtel, that “situation where country already used force”, carried implication comite preparing use force. Relevance this statement to context of FMC in which Wang made it not entirely clear, but in any case carries connotation of threat and as such may provide useful point to attack next meeting.

Dept will also note he avoided any take it or leave it attitude with respect May 11 draft and seemed to be inviting amendments. Seemed particularly desirous getting me into detailed discussion first para, [Typeset Page 975] repeatedly challenging me to oppose mutual respect clause (10–4–37 Longtel).

Believe I was successful today in getting him to go about as far as he is going to go in linking prisoners and paving way for our deportation Chinese alien prisoners as pressure on them release remaining Americans.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/5–1756. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution.