778. Telegram unnumbered from Geneva1

[Facsimile Page 1]

Unnumbered. From Johnson.

Wang opened 64th with prepared statement: As talks between us enter third year would not be without purpose if we reviewed at this first session of new year ground talks so far covered. These talks owe origin to Asian African Conference Bandung April 1955, where premier of Wang’s country first made proposal negotiations should be started between China America. Ensuing developments led to elevation on August 1, 1955 of Consular level contact to present talks on Ambassadorial level. Agreed agenda of talks included return civilians and other matters at issue between two sides. Attitude held by each side towards two items throughout entire course negotiations showed who been consistently working devotedly for negotiation and resolution problems and who been lacking in sincere desire for resolution issues and obstructing progress in talks. Sincere desire his side for settlement problems these talks displayed at first meeting, when his side took special measures of leniency, even before entering into discussion of substance, to grant early releases of 11 airmen who been convicted of intrusion into territorial air of China to carry out espionage activity.
Wang continued China had tens thousands its nationals in US including several thousand students. Since proclamation of PRC, when US Government began actively carrying out policy of hostility towards China, these Chinese nationals had lost freedom of returning to homeland. In violation international law and principles of humanity, US Government even issued orders prohibiting Chinese nationals returning motherland, while obstructing and unlawfully persecuting those who desired return. In discussing first item of agenda it was essential that such abnormal state affairs should be corrected. American nationals in China had always been able return their country freely and China had never tried obstruct them doing so. This was entirely in contrast attitude my side towards Chinese nationals. After Agreement September 10 was reached, Wang’s side faithfully carried out, and in addition continuing offer assistance departure of those Americans desiring return, they had also taken further lenient measures in advancing release of greater part American criminals.
Wang continued, US, however, not only failed give China names of all Chinese in US but also resorted to various means continue obstruct return Chinese in defiance agreement. In this respect there still 52 of 55 and 25 out of 103 who thus far not returned. Besides, US also failed take corresponding measures on own initiative settle cases imprisoned Chinese so as enable them return. My side not only refused submit [Facsimile Page 3] complete list imprisoned Chinese but even adopted illegal screening operation. Under such circumstances, my side still sought disregard Chinese law by demanding immediate release ten remaining American criminals!
Wang said on second item, attitude my side even more unsatisfactory. Their side made, under second item, proposals to hold FMC and lift embargo. My side had raised proposal for making declaration on so-called renunciation force. Here it should be pointed out it was only after period unreasonable delay my side entered into second item. Intent this proposal of my side been clear from very start, that is, it designed interfere with internal affairs Wang’s country, and obstruct his country from liberating its rightful territory Taiwan. With view reaching agreement acceptable both sides, Wang’s side had put forward on October 27, 1955 reasonable draft declaration regarding proposal my side. Subsequently, in order meet point view my side, his side successively put forward amended drafts on December 1, 1955 and May 11, 1956, but my side not given up in slightest its attempt interfere internal his country, and obstruct liberation its own territory, and consequently obstructed ever since agreement on this problem.
Wang continued it not fortuitous my side should have adopted in these protracted talks such attitude and performance which had nothing in common with desire settle outstanding problems and improve relations. Ever since Chinese people [Facsimile Page 4] overthrew reactionary rule Chiang Kai-shek which had been renounced and discarded by entire Chinese nation, US been hostile to Peoples’ Republic and been attempting overthrow it by every means at its command. To achieve this end, US Government not hesitated resort to open warfare and covert subversion. US Government still at this moment occupying China’s territory Taiwan by armed force.
Wang continued, on international plane, US Government repeatedly been obstructing restoration lawful rights PRC in UN. This policy of unscrupulous opposition to PRC could not win US prestige. On contrary, could only lead to moral bankruptcy and failure. No matter whether certain people like it or not, Peoples Republic stood in world and was ever making progress.
Wang said since opening these talks, his side already taken many steps. He would hope at this first session of new year, US would make new efforts and I would be in position put forward constructive opinions that would give us good start in new year.
I replied I too had hoped we could have gotten off to better start during this new year. If statements Wang had made here and statements of his government on desire for improving relations had real content his government would long ago have implemented first agreement between us. When he and I first came here in August 1955 I tried in every way I could [Facsimile Page 5] impress upon him importance this question of Americans detained his country. I would not have done that if I had not hoped for quick substantial progress in these talks. His authorities appeared have recognized that fact by accepting this question of return civilians as first item agenda. They appeared indicate, in public statements at time, desire resolve this problem and appeared indicate it was capable of ready solution. I had told him at time we entered into Agreement September 10, 1955 of very favorable effects it would have on our discussions and future course our relations if it were faithfully implemented. I had told him of very favorable reception it received from public my country and their very great satisfaction that this problem apparently resolved. I had been encouraged by release ten these individuals at time we entered into this Agreement. This showed what his authorities could do if they wanted to resolve this issue. I had taken it as token of their intent speedily resolve this issue. I had taken it as token their intent carry out agreement we entered into that day. Wang’s government had it within its power at that time, by carrying out this agreement, bring about I would say very marked improvement in atmosphere surrounding these talks and our relations. His government had it within its power demonstrate it prepared honor fully letter and spirit agreements into which he and I entered.
I continued, here we were at beginning 1957; this agreement we entered into 1955 still not fulfilled. This is source most keen disappointment to me, to my government, to [Facsimile Page 6] my people. As I had often said here it could in all honesty be said we had gone backwards since we made this agreement. It been many months since even single American been released. Whereas prior to our agreement it appeared some Americans released prior to completion their sentences, it now appears his government adopted policy requiring them serve out full terms their sentences before being released. This not only direct violation commitment Wang’s government entered into on September 10, 1955, but even step backward from position existing prior that time. This deeply discouraging; cannot be reconciled with genuine desire on part his government resolve outstanding problems between us.
I continued, Wang’s failure resolve this problem cannot be obscured by repetition these vague unsubstantiated charges concerning Chinese in US. Action—or rather inaction of his authorities in this matter stood in very stark contrast to action which has been taken with regard Chinese in my country. He continued make here very vague unsubstantiated charges concerning US obstruction Chinese desiring [Typeset Page 1305] return his country. Even though his country still maintained exit permit procedure, he attempted characterize action US took prohibit departure some few Chinese students as violation international law and rules humanity. That surely extraordinary charge particularly in view procedure for exit aliens maintained his country. In any event as I had informed him August 2, 1955, all orders [Facsimile Page 7] concerning those few persons had been removed. They withdrawn not because were violation of international law and rules humanity but in order fully resolve to his satisfaction question with regard these students. Any Chinese in US who desired return Wang’s country did not need apply to anyone to do so. He simply did so. Under our Agreement if rightly or wrongly he felt in any way being obstructed he could communicate with Indian Embassy. We entered into this Agreement September 10, 1955; it now January 19, 1957. During that period, Indian Embassy had not brought to our attention single case in which Chinese desiring leave my country had been obstructed from doing so. We had even extended this right of return to common criminals.
I continued, Wang appeared charge my government with giving false information to Indian Embassy and not giving it list all Chinese alien nationals in our prisons. I resented this charge, which utterly false. Fact that his authorities refused agree to Indian Embassy interviewing these prisoners to determine their desires could not obscure fact we had done more than our agreement of September 10, 1955, whereas they failed carry it out. Even though they refused permit Indians carry out offer made them, we nevertheless went ahead and took steps return his country any imprisoned Chinese who desired return. As I had told him, the prisoner desiring return, as determined by impartial survey American Red Cross, was permitted [Facsimile Page 8] do so promptly even though had served only two and half years seven to twenty year sentence. He permitted do so even though he committed common crime and even though under normal parole and commutation procedures under our law he not entitled release.
I continued, with regard second item agenda, my suggestion for first step between us to resolve peacefully our disputes was very simple and fundamental one that we simply say we going resolve them by peaceful means only. No amount misrepresentation proposals I had made here obscures fact his government still refused accept that first and fundamental proposition. No amount proposals on subsidiary items from his side could obscure fact his government still unwilling state unconditionally that our disputes could be settled only by peaceful means. Rather than my side refusing negotiation, question is one of his side refusing first fundamental step toward peaceful resolution disputes. Not question at this time discussing merits those disputes which he seemed continue try mix in with these discussions, but rather saying they will be settled only by peaceful means. No amount words [Typeset Page 1306] or charges could obscure fact his government still unwilling accept this simple proposition. If his government desired we make progress here; if his government willing give substance to, rather than just give appearance of, desire improve relations, way open to it is very clear and simple: resolve first issue between us by carrying out first agreement entered into between us and then agree that differences between us will be resolved only [Facsimile Page 9] by peaceful means, including our differences in Taiwan area. Nothing unilateral in these two simple propositions. Acceptance of both propositions could be of tremendous benefit to his government and to peace of world. I still failed understand why his government delays acceptance these propositions.
Wang replied he had made statement this morning briefly reviewing ground covered our talks. He intended make it as reminder essential we strive go ahead with talks rather than remaining deadlocked without making progress. However, lengthy statement I had made not given him impression US Government now ready contribute progress these talks by putting forward constructive opinion. If any had been discouraged by these talks, as I said, it him who been discouraged and disappointed. If purpose these talks improve relations and solve existing problems, then purpose not achieved by repeating series empty statements but only by taking concrete action. It should be pointed out ever since talks started his side taken concrete steps toward settlement our problems in both first and second items agenda. This action his side had fully shown sincerity on their part in these talks. However he regretted point out success our talks could not be achieved by efforts only one side. During these talks US had not taken concrete constructive steps toward resolution our problems but merely content making unjustified unfounded charges against his country in many respects. Such approach these talks in no way contributed to success our talks. I had also remarked our talks [Facsimile Page 10] going backward. He ready accept this observation, but this does not come from intent his side.
Wang continued my remarks with regard non-existence obstruction to return Chinese in US did not obscure fact US authorities do obstruct their return. In this connection he would here call attention to specific case in which deliberate obstruction on part US has been established. They had received information that a Chinese resident in New York, Mr. Lee Li-chuen (no Chinese characters) had received orders from American Immigration authorities during October last year telling him leave for Taiwan. He wanted point out this represented yet another serious violation of Agreement September 10. This case indicated how US Government consistently in defiance Agreement continually coercing Chinese nationals proceed destination to which they did not desire go. Wang’s side demanded my government immediately stop these and other acts obstruction of return Chinese nationals and requested me [Typeset Page 1307] promptly make investigation and give accounting of this case. For my information he giving me name and address (he did so). From actual cases such as one just mentioned, fact clearly seen who faithfully carrying out agreement and who not. If anyone dissatisfied with state in which Agreement implemented it actually and exactly his side which dissatisfied.
I replied did not know exact circumstances case Mr. Lee Wang mentioned. However could categorically tell him even in case ordinary Chinese citizens who entered US illegally—that is not accordance our immigration laws, such as case seamen who jump ship or something that nature—he not forced go Taiwan or any other destination against his will. While he required leave US, he permitted go any place which would receive him. I knew many cases seamen for example subject deportation for illegal entry who had been deported to Wang’s country in accordance their choice. Wang’s authorities must be perfectly aware these cases. I also know if Mr. Lee wanted go Wang’s country and felt he being obstructed do so, he entirely free communicate with Indian Embassy.
I continued he had spoken of improvement our relations and resolution our existing problems by concrete action rather than empty statements. That exactly point I was trying make here for all these many months. What I trying say was insofar as Americans detained Wang’s country, empty statements would not resolve problem, but only concrete action permitting them return. There another concrete question in which my government was and is still extremely interested. Question which I raised earlier our discussion second item agenda and also still not resolved.
I continued from prepared statement:
On October 27, 1955, and again November 3 that year, raised with you question missing American military personnel. Pointed out this was practical matter unavoidably affecting relations between our two countries, one which clearly came within terms reference our talks.
Your position that time was this question should be dealt with through MAC in Korea. You will recall I replied it was immaterial whether accounting furnished here or in MAC. What was—and still is—important is this practical matter at issue between us be settled.
Over year has now gone by, matter still not been settled, either here or in MAC. It not my intention this morning enter controversy over question proper place for accounting requested by my government. What simply wanted do is underscore this question is real, vital, practical matter at issue between our two countries; this question arises not because I, or my Government, have chosen raise it but because your side not even after this long lapse years carried out its clearly expressed obligation this matter vital interest to American people
My government responsible to American people not just in abstract, but to them as individuals. It is responsible to Mrs. Vergie Walker. Mrs Walker’s son, Army Private Archie Walker, [Facsimile Page 13] reported missing in action in Korea August, 1950. On March 28, 1951, New China News Agency broadcast report by one its correspondents listing names addresses persons in US to whom American prisoners war in certain camp in Korea wished send greetings. One of persons named was Mrs. Vergie Walker. Since then she had no word whatever of her son. He not repatriated. His body not returned. No report his death received. Most careful questioning repatriated prisoners not resulted in any firm information concerning his fate. Mrs. Walker does not know whether he alive or dead. She naturally incredulous when your official news agency and radio at one time serves as channel for sending her greetings from her son and then subsequently your side says it knows nothing about her son. She cannot but have hope her son may still be alive. However, if he is dead she would naturally like know even that. She clearly entitled some definite information this regard and clearly entitled feel your side must have such information. She and my government find it impossible understand why it not made available.
My Government responsible to family and friends Army Captain Harry D. Moreland. Captain Moreland was captured in Korea October 27, 1952, following crash his plane. He reportedly lost left leg in that crash. According other Americans imprisoned with him, his right leg also amputated in November 1952. Some time during November, Captain Moreland taken from his room, not seen subsequently.
My Government responsible to relatives and friends Ensign Thomas Biesterveld. There no doubt about fact Ensign Biesterveld’s capture April 29, 1951, following crash his plane. There uncertainty about what happened Ensign Biesterveld subsequently. When last seen by fellow prisoners, June 1951, he suffering from severe burns received in crash his plane. He also contracted pneumonia dysentery. On June 25, 1951, Ensign Biesterveld removed from prison camp. According later statement Chinese interpreter to one Biesterveld’s fellow-prisoners, he died in prison hospital June 26, 1951. There never been any official confirmation this, however, nor has his body been returned.
Could mention many other similar cases, cases where man’s family knows beyond any doubt he held prisoner by forces your side, but has no other information any kind. For these people, this issue overshadows all others between our two countries. Towards many hundreds persons thus directly and deeply concerned by your Government’s refusal thus supply information it must have, my Government has responsibility it cannot shirk. This matter at issue between us cannot be resolved by simply ignoring it, or by arguments over proper forum, but only by action your authorities providing information which I have requested, and which I again formally request this morning.
Even apart from such solemn international commitments as Korean Armistice Agreement, it common international practice for country rescue survivors, recover remains, and inform country of origin in any case where aircraft or vessel of another country is lost in or near its territory.
Accordingly, in addition this accounting for US military personnel still missing from Korean hostilities, request any additional information which your authorities now have or may in future acquire concerning Americans surviving or killed in such accidents or incidents. This is another matter on which only concrete action by your authorities either here or in MAC in Korea, can resolve outstanding issues between us.
Wang replied, matter I had just brought up an old matter I had already raised in early part our talks. I would recall at that time his side had firmly rejected attempt bring up such matter in our discussion, because it not within terms reference our talks. This still held to present moment. His side not prepared enter into discussion any such matter.
I replied whether Wang rejected it or not, it still matter at issue between us. As I had said it immaterial to me where this matter resolved. When we raise matter in MAC, Wang’s side there states that individuals held outside Korea do not come under authority MAC, and it therefore irrelevant discuss in MAC. His representative in MAC states MAC no connection with prisoners of war disposed of by Wang’s government. [Facsimile Page 16] Wang could not have it both ways. Either matter for discussion and resolution here or matter for discussion resolution in MAC. I had waited over year for this be resolved in MAC. It had not been resolved there. It was matter at issue between us.
Wang replied he had kept saying matter which taken place at given place must be resolved that place. The alleged matters concerned persons in Korea and should therefore be referred to organization in Korea itself. During Korean war US Government in gross violation of international agreements forcibly detained immense numbers prisoners war. Specifically, some 14,000 captured Chinese personnel sent to Chiang clique by force. Chinese Government received no accounting for this gross violation international agreements. Families these 14,000 captured Chinese prisoners will always remember kinsmen forcibly sent to Chiang clique by US Government. Such is matter which Chinese Government so far received no accounting—but they had not proposed raise this matter at this conference. Now that US deliberately brought up matters this nature, does US now intend account for 14,000? Who should be held responsible for so-and-so missing on Korean field? Responsibility lies on government which had sent those persons there. Who sent these young men to place thousands miles away from home to engage in war of aggression? It those who sent people there who [Typeset Page 1310] should be responsible. Such matters would not have arisen if governments concerned had not sent men go war in that place.
I replied in first place, as I had pointed out, no parallel between persons for whom we had asked accounting—who still missing—and persons from his side who voluntarily chose go Taiwan. I had not raised question here of those Americans who decided go his country. I raising with him here persons who clearly captured by his side; persons whom his own official channels of communication admitted holding at one time and with regard to whom his side now says there is no information. His representatives in MAC state they have no information regarding these men and at same time state have no connection with prisoners of war who may have been disposed of by Wang’s government. Official information agencies of his government at one time admitted knowledge many these men. Seems incredible his government did not now have information regarding what happened to them. As said previously with regard this question, making no charges, merely asking for information which all evidences showed must be in posession his government. As had also said immaterial to me where furnished. If he felt proper place furnish it was MAC it entirely satisfactory to me. However, not been furnished through MAC and therefore still remained an issue. Also desired point out UN members MAC had told members his side fully prepared give detailed accounting all persons of whom his side has requested an accounting whenever his side prepared give accounting persons still missing. However, simply saying had no information regarding men of whom at one time they clearly [Facsimile Page 18] did have information could not be regarded as satisfactory accounting.
Wang replied he had stated his attitude toward this matter. Did not consider it necessary repeat it all over again. However would be glad if I had any opinion put forward on second item, specifically concerning their proposals on lifting embargo and personal contacts and cultural exchange (Wang’s interpreter also mentioned FMC).
I replied I previously clearly expressed our attitude on this and would not take time repeat this morning. I had hoped this morning he would have been able take more positive attitude regard saying unconditionally our disputes would be settled only by peaceful means, and thus clear way for our discussion subsidiary matters. Other questions between us could only fall into their proper place when his government willing say it willing settle these matters only by peaceful means. Continued overhanging threat his government resort force, if it could not otherwise obtain objectives, remains fundamental issue between us.
Wang replied if I wanted talk about threats, it US which threatens China. If one were to speak about resolution problems unconditionally by peaceful means, it US which should do so. In course talks his side already made many efforts. If talks going make any progress efforts of only one side of two could not achieve this end.
I asked who had proposed we unconditonally refuse to resort threat or use force resolve issues between us? Who is it thus far refused do this?
Wang pointed out American occupation Taiwan was one such condition and American insistence right self defense in Taiwan area another such condition.
I stated unconditionally means we unconditonally say we will not go war about these problems but will seek their peaceful solution.
Wang said there was more to “unconditional” than that. If US ready accept their draft US would thereby prove sincerity.
I answered that his proposals did not constitute unconditional renunciation force. I had been in past and remained willing consider any proposals which did accomplish this. Not willing consider proposals which gave appearance doing so but in fact avoided doing so. Not willing accept proposals which mean one thing one side and another thing to other side. Particularly not willing do so after our experience with agreement on civilians.
Wang insisted had dealt with all these problems in past and did not like my “new” opinion in this regard this morning.
I suggested next meeting Thursday, February 7. Wang preferred February 14. I agreed.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/1–1957. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Johnson. Sent via pouch. Received on January 24.