611. Telegram 1903 from Geneva1

[Facsimile Page 1]

1903. From Johnson.

I opened 47th today with prepared statement: QTE I carefully studied draft you submitted last meeting, in light comments you made that time. In general, must say struck by discrepancy between your comments and draft itself.
First place, you said last meeting draft fully accommodated reasonable portions my draft. Presume you were speaking of my April 19 revision your draft December 1. As I pointed out in presenting that revision, had carefully adhered your draft in preparing it. Fact, it very exactly includes all language your December 1 draft.
Must ask just what portions my amendments been, as you say, “fully” accommodated in new draft? First such portion, so far as been able discover in English text consists solely of three words “without prejudice to”. Not by any stretch imagination could anyone call this accommodation my amendment that paragraph.
Second portion my amendments which apparently included in new draft consists four words “in the Taiwan area”. Shall [return] this point later, for moment let me say context in which phrase included new draft vastly departs from sense my amendment December 1 draft.
That is all of so-called “accommodation” my amendments. Cannot find any other example “accommodation” my revisions or point view anywhere in new draft. Accordingly, I left with [Facsimile Page 2] supposition when you spoke of fully accommodating portions my draft, you really talking [Typeset Page 976] about portions your own draft of Dec 1, claiming credit for accommodation your own point view.
Unfortunately, as I compare Dec 1 draft with your draft May 11, seems you done only slightly less damage to it than to my amendments. Dec 1 draft, on surface at least, seemed genuine step towards renunciation force, and at time I so interpreted it. My primary concern, when you submitted that draft, was with certain ambiguities it contained. By what it failed say, rather than what it said, Dec 1 draft appeared capable meaning one thing one side another to other side. Did not then occur me you trying trick me. I did not jump to conclusion ambiguities deliberate. On contrary, I felt you would welcome suggestions to remove ambiguities; on two successive occasions, made such suggestions. Still seems me if ambiguities Dec 1 draft not deliberate, and if your government were genuinely willing join in declaration renouncing force Taiwan area, can be no valid reasons for your objections my revisions. Still seems me if your government not willing renounce force Taiwan area as well as elsewhere, then all its talk about desiring peaceful negotiations idle and without sincerity of purpose.
It now begins appear, in light May 11 draft, that perhaps ambiguities Dec 1 draft were deliberate. In new draft, and particularly in third paragraph, you deliberately introduced new ambiguities. You have used language which apparently places arbitrary time limit our efforts here. Have used language which apparently means your government threatens resort force unless resolution disputes fully meeting its unilateral position reached within two months. Other hand, paragraph might be interpreted mean even without waiting two months, two of us should immediately drop all other business and start preparing FonMins meeting. Simply not clear. What is clear is it represents no slightest concession from [Facsimile Page 3] basic position this regard you took at very outset talks under second agenda item.
Respect to Taiwan area reference, situation also very ambiguous. In your statements previous meetings and again last meeting, you not attempted deny existence other disputes between our countries, although we both agree dispute in Taiwan area most immediate. Indeed, last March, when you began insist on Dec 1 draft or Oct 27 draft as only choices being given us, you appeared take position your Dec 1 draft covered all our disputes including that in Taiwan area. Last meeting you again took cognizance existence other disputes, said your government hoped our other disputes also be settled without resort force.
If that really desire your government, why fear say so? Why have you, in second para new draft, explicitly excluded any and all disputes other than that Taiwan area?
These are some of reasons, why I feel new draft constitutes retrogression not only from my draft April 19 but even from your own [Typeset Page 977] draft because if we going go forward, then let us do so, beginning with serious consideration April 19 draft. That draft covers all legitimate requirements of situation fully preserves rights both sides. Is unambiguous renunciation use force in settlement our disputes. It makes provision for discussions settle outstanding differences.
End quote.
Wang (from handwritten notes) said he already made some explanation most points covered my statement. Last meeting he made quite clear that he submitted new draft representing another important effort on Chinese part these talks. Since I had asked how new draft accommodated my views he would like amplify. They made quite clear new draft accommodated views US and by this he meant it had accommodated all reasonable views US.
(Turning to one of several short horizontally typed statements) Wang said issue between us very plain. It US which first made proposal two sides make declaration. Their side accepted that proposal and had repeatedly taken initiative offering draft. Recently after consideration US views they submitted declaration making principle peaceful settlement disputes between two countries without resort use force specifically apply Taiwan area.
Wang said however as their side often pointed out in circumstances where US occupying Taiwan trying interfere liberation offshore islands it absolutely impossible make China recognize US-Chiang Kai Shek treaty or recognize US claim self-defense Taiwan area or acquiesce in continued carrying out by US such policy. That why he repeatedly stated China could and could only accommodate reasonable portions my views and could not accommodate unreasonable views US. If US intended include in draft or conceal in declaration unreasonable views, that impossible. This point should be quite clear between us.
Wang said second place regarding specific implication Taiwan area principle peaceful settlement disputes between two countries without resort threat use force this so stated because there exists international dispute between China-US over Taiwan Penghu islands.
Wang said elsewhere do not exist any international disputes in practical sense term where China as one party confronts US as other party so he did not see any reason mention “elsewhere”.
Wang said next I had referred to time limit in draft and had said their side trying hike up this time limit to threaten use force. However fact quite contrary. It their view that given equal sincerity both sides it entirely possible in two months ascertain practical feasible means and make specific arrangements settle disputes two sides Taiwan area.
Wang said fact confronting us today is that US already applied force and threat against China seizing Taiwan. China nevertheless still [Typeset Page 978] willing settle this dispute by peaceful negotiations fully demonstrating peaceful aspirations on part China. However they could not tolerate present state of employing threat and force against China to continue long without solution. That why they believe essential set time limit for seeking ascertaining practical feasible means. If we sincere in desiring peaceful settlement disputes two countries did we want go on talking forever?
Wang said therefore May 11 draft their side demonstrated sincere desire part China arrive at resolution dispute between us. This draft as he said included all reasonable portions drafts both sides.
Wang said as to April 19 draft he had already stated it maintained our old unreasonable position and as he stated very categorically it not acceptable them.
I replied he had again said US made proposal for declaration. Seemed necessary reiterate what I often previously said, US proposal not for declaration for declaration’s sake. US proposal was for clear definite renunciation use force to settle disputes including dispute Taiwan area.
I said this would as US pointed out in its proposal open way for peaceful discussion settlement differences. Fundamental issue still seemed be that first fundamental step renouncing use force as instrument national polpcy.
I said question was whether any declaration we issued would in fact constitute such renunciation force. Or whether it would give surface appearance doing so while reserving Wang’s govt option initiating use force especially Taiwan area any time it desired. Such declaration would be fraud and could only in future aggravate differences between us. Other hand declaration clearly unambiguously renouncing use force could open way genuinely peaceful discussions.
I said he had again this morning spoken of requiring them acquiesce or agree policies US particularly Taiwan area. He long maintained my Jan 12 draft required them acquiesce those policies. Order meet fully his point view this regard, I had submitted April 19 draft which very specifically by exact terms stated it without prejudice pursuit by his side its policies by peaceful means and said same thing so far US concerned.
I said that draft most clearly did not require him acquiesce or agree policies US. It made very clear they not renouncing anything except pursuit policies by use force. Did not require them acquiesce US policies any more than required US acquiesce their policies views. Fully preserved positions both us that regard.
I said had some difficulty following his reasoning on inclusion all disputes as well as specifically dispute Taiwan area. In past we both [Typeset Page 979] agreed we had other disputes. There other areas where we confronted each other with conflicting policies. If principle renunciation force peaceful settlement disputes had validity one area certainly had validity other areas.
I said thus April 19 draft certainly met positions both sides if there willingness part his government really renounce force.
I said that draft also specifically provided in language suggested by him we continue our efforts discuss settle outstanding differences. Way get ahead in discussion settlement differences is no longer delay unambiguously renouncing force then proceed discuss those differences. That exactly what provided by April 19 draft. He had spoken of sincerity and desire get ahead with talks. If there real sincere desire part his government get ahead it could certainly do so by agreeing draft April 19 then two us immediately proceeding accordance last paragraph that draft. I most earnestly continued hope we would do this.
Wang said he had already stated they could not give consideration April 19 draft which I mentioned in statement. They had dealt this question many times and had stated why they considered it unacceptable because it unreasonable.
Wang said first we must make it clear between us as to purpose issuing declaration. Purpose was respect rights and internal affairs each other. Purpose such declaration should be settle disputes two countries peaceful means without use force threat. This purpose in accordance accepted general principles international relations between countries.
Wang said I just stated primary issue between two countries renunciation use force as instrument national policy. However in point fact situation we faced today not rpt not one where China seizing territory any other country. Actual fact was US already used force pursuit its policy and had seized territory China. If proposed declaration should contain implication freezing present situation Taiwan area, such declaration could not be described as renunciation force but on contrary it declaration recogniation and acceptance established facts aggression.
Wang said China always pursued peaceful foreign policy.
This point fully proven over years in statements China made together other countries. Fact China now engaged talks with us to work toward peaceful settlement disputes two countries even more proof this peaceful foreign policy China. China willing settle disputes with US by peaceful negotiations instead by use force or going war. Principle this foreign policy specifically applied Taiwan area. If US shared this peaceful desire of China they saw no valid reason not accepting principle this paragraph.
I said Wang had again made allegation concerning policy my government which without foundation and entered into merits our disputes Taiwan area.
I said in effect Wang impugned good faith my government regard carrying out terms declaration as it appeared in April 19 draft, what had appeared in effect be saying was my government would be entering into declaration without intent carrying out terms last paragraph. I surprised disappointed Wang would make such implication.
I said when we came here last year, situation with respect matters at issue between two countries particularly Taiwan area embodies grave threat peace. Had my government wanted perpetuate that situation certainly would not have made its proposal these talks. Had my government desired perpetuate danger enherent situation Taiwan area I certainly not have made my proposal October 8 last year.
I said if anyone has shown intent perpetuating that situation it certainly not been US. It US which proposed clear unambiguous renunciation force Taiwan area just so that situation would not be perpetuated.
I said question between us still seems be whether his government desires perpetuate situation where it holds self free initiate use force that area with consequent dangers peace and difficulties finding peaceful solutions under such conditions.
Wang said in attending these talks they had always held hope reaching definite results. Since we now discussing declaration we should try find way out in respect declaration itself. He had many times explained terms and clauses May 11 draft acceptable both sides.
Wang said there three paragraphs his draft. First dealt mainly with mutual respect rights both sides. How could there by any opposition this paragraph? This paragraph not spur-of-moment creation it dealt with fundamental principle on which rest international relations of states. These principles now being widely applied between states with different systems. He could not imagine any opposition this paragraph. Nor could they include this paragraph principles which contrary to that of May 11 draft.
Wang said second paragraph dealt with question we had discussed very long time. This paragraph they had endeavored particularly accommodate my requirement by stating we should settle disputes two countries Taiwan area through peaceful negotiations. Was this not precisely request I had made repeatedly? Outside Taiwan area was there other dispute between two countries which even graver than that Taiwan area? Did I say specific reference Taiwan area they made in May 11 draft did not accommodate US request?
Wang said I had alleged May 11 draft constituted retrogression. Does US desire reference Taiwan area draft May 11 be removed from paragraph?
Wang said third paragraph dealt with practical feasible means realization desire expressed previous paragraphs for peaceful resolution disputes two countries. Dealt with question seeking ascertaining within given time practical feasible means in spirit declaration. Was this not very reasonable paragraph? Did we intend deliberately drag on talks without resolving issues?
Wang said it in this sense he again expressed hope I would make further study his draft so we able bring about identity views and said agreement this basis to enable us get ahead these talks.
I said I had explained why I felt this draft was retrogression rather than advance in talks. It appeared be in substance only reiteration Wang’s position from beginning these talks that there be held Foreign Ministers meeting respect Taiwan, while at same time reserving his govt option using force that area. That was position which could not and never would be accepted my govt. My govt would not negotiate under threat force. Once force clearly unambiguously been renounced my govt would negotiate good faith. April 19 draft accomplished that purpose. I hoped at next meeting Wang could reconsider matter from this standpoint. I had nothing further on this.
Wang said I had stated draft May 11 contained ambiguities and that they had ulterior intentions or motives in that draft and that there discrepancy between draft and its meaning. Other hand I also stated their side from beginning talks had maintained position for holding FonMins conference for settlement disputes two countries.
Wang said situation where country already used force against another and situation where country preparing use force—these two quite different matters.
Wang said it quite true they always maintained principle set forth third paragraph May 11. That is we should seek practical feasible means settlement disputes and this included holding FonMin conference. Thus draft May 11 and intent and position their side consistent each other and quite clear. Thus consistent foreign Wang’s country—actions and words identical and consistent each other. There nothing hidden between lines these paragraphs. Respect holding FonMin conference he understood from my previous statements I never refused or rejected this position their side.
Wang said he also hoped would be able reconsider draft and do something at next meeting to get ahead in talks. That all he had on this.
I said I had nothing further on that, however, I did want note it now lacking three days of five months since any Americans released by his country. If there to be improvement relations, 13 Americans remaining prison must be released, as undertaken by his government September 10 announcement.
I said I would move [hope?] he would be able do more than been done in past in impressing his authorities overriding importance this. I would say no more on this this morning.
Wang said he also hoped I would be able give him information about Chinese imprisoned US so as improve relations between us. They hoped US Government would give serious attention this question. This also undertaken by US in our agreement.
I asked if next Thursday, May 4 satisfactory. Wang agreed.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/5–1756. Confidential; Limit Distribution.