797. Telegram unnumbered from Geneva1

[Facsimile Page 1]

Unnumbered. From Johnson.

Wang opened 66th with prepared statement. As result my side dragging out talks and persisting in unreasonable demands we have failed make progress. This state affairs could not but cause them doubt that my government had any sincere desire resolve problems. Even in U.S. itself, more and more people getting fed up this attitude my side. More and more people, even including some occupying important positions, were speaking out for change in U.S. ostrich policy toward China. These people take view removal trade barriers, cultural exchange, holding of Foreign Ministers Conference, might be carried out as concrete steps leading to improvement in U.S.-Chinese relations.
Wang continued instead of considering these ideas, however, spokesmen of U.S. Government stepping up slanderous attacks and false charges. Recent statement U.S. Secretary of State at Canberra meeting was particular evidence of this campaign poison atmosphere and try slander China, in order to arrest improvement Sino-American relations. In course these talks, my side trying incessantly through so-called Renunciation Force Doctrine induce China recognize present status American control over Taiwan. U.S. also incessantly intensifying military control over Taiwan, extending military bases and planning install guided missiles. Such maneuvers could hardly be reconciled with purposes we should pursue in [Facsimile Page 2] these negotiations. Aggressive steps adopted by U.S. in Taiwan would only enable all Chinese patriots, including those now on Taiwan, to recognize that steps now being taken by U.S. were attempt enslave Chinese nation.
Wang continued Chinese people desire be kindly terms with American people. Chinese people not to blame for failure bring about improvement Sino-American relations. In discussions here his side already contributed series efforts with aim improve relations between two countries. Proposals made by his side calling for meeting between Chinese and American Foreign Ministers, removal of trade barriers, and peoples contacts and cultural exchange are just such effective steps for improvement in relations between the two countries. If there still any desire on part my government for improvement relations as well as resolution questions between China and America he did not see why there should be further delay our getting down to serious discussions. Only by putting forward constructive opinions and display of good faith, rather than entangling talks by introducing side issues, can improvement in relations be effected. This what he had always tried achieve in these talks.
I replied he had spoken of what he alleged were attempts of U.S. entangle these talks with side issues. Impossible for me understand how he could make such statement in light history steps leading up to these talks and talks themselves. In fact I had been one who had been attempting keep us to resolution problems with which we given to deal. No amount such statements could change fact our governments gave us as first task question of return civilians.
I continued in Terms Reference setting up these talks his government had agreed that was first question. Even before meeting began his authorities stated this question would be easy to settle with respect [Facsimile Page 3] Americans detained in his country, and my authorities, even before these meetings began, settled it with respect to Chinese in my country. When his authorities agreed to those Terms of Reference and made those statements, they well knew from the talks which he and I had had here in 1954, and the subsequent contacts between respective consular officers, that my country not interested theoretical concepts or abstract theories; that it was not then concerned about Americans who appeared to have chosen to remain in his country or other irrelevant questions—what we might term side issues. It interested solely ensuring that a specific group Americans should be able return their country—Americans who being denied their right return either through refusal exit permits or through imprisonment. If there any possibility doubt this regard, it would have been entirely dispelled by statements I had made at very opening our discussions here. Indeed our discussions respect Americans leading up to Agreement September 10, 1955 had to do entirely with that group Americans whose names I had given him. He had given me every reason believe agreement proposed by him would lead to “expeditious” resolution that problem, and on that basis I had entered into Agreed Announcement.
I continued, results however had been precisely contrary not only to our expectations but to clear words of pledge contained that Agreement. For more than year it been apparent policy his government require all remaining imprisoned Americans serve full terns their sentences even down to last day. There seemed be clear intent not resolve first question with which we called upon deal, even at price violating solemn public commitment. There seemed be clear intent perpetuate this acknowledged first obstacle to improvement relations between us. American people, American Government and myself find it entirely impossible reconcile [Facsimile Page 4] statements he and his authorities had made with regard desire improve relations between our two peoples and continued failure carry out first agreement between us. At time we entered into that agreement I pointed out to him as earnestly and clearly as I could that if it were desire his government improve relations between us, the carrying out of that agreement was of utmost importance. I pointed out at time, agreement itself meant nothing. Only its implementation could have meaning. He was well aware at time we entered into that agreement of very favorable effects it had on public opinion my country. I pointed out to him at time that those effects would be dispelled unless it carried out. As had often pointed out here it would have been better never enter into agreement if it not to be carried out. What I had said at that time I believed had been amply borne out. Those effects had been dispelled.
I continued there was increasing sense outrage among American people and American Government not only over failure these Americans return, but over what we could only consider as bad faith which had thus far been demonstrated in carrying out this first agreement between us. Spokesmen for American Government could not, even if they would, conceal or ignore this feeling. They had and would continue express sentiments of American people this regard. If facts unpleasant to Wang’s authorities, it was they who must blame themselves for creating this set of facts. They could not expect extract price political advantage for carrying out their already pledged word. This could not be obscured by introducing proposals on subsidiary matters. Progress could not be achieved by repudiating agreements which had been made, by making false charges or holding hostages for political advantage. It could not be concealed by charges that U.S. using these as pretext to prevent improvement relations.
I continued I had reiterated that his authorities had agreed that this question return civilians would be first question we should handle here. They could not conceal fact that their failure make progress this first question was what had prevented progress these talks. Attitude my government regarding this question had throughout these long months been one of greatest forbearance. Only his authorities could remove this continuing block to progress which they themselves [Typeset Page 1348] had established. Only his authorities could make decision that they willing renounce use armed force in achievement their objectives and accept simple and straightforward proposals we had made for renunciation force and settlement these issues only by peaceful means. If, as Wang said, atmosphere being poisoned, it not been by any action U.S. It been by failure his authorities carry out already pledged word and by failure his authorities renounce their threat use armed force achieve their ambitions. They and only they could correct this situation.
Wang replied every time he came here he had had determined hope my authorities would change present policy dragging out talks and preventing progress these deliberations. However, each time after he had finished listening to my words he had felt that attitude I maintained could not contribute to progress these talks. Their side had made clear in past that number American nationals in China small and resolution their problems could be made easy. If we examined course these talks from opening meeting to present with sober mind, we able readily see Chinese Government had always faithfully carried out agreement entered into with respect question civilians. All charges being poured upon his government in connection question civilians false and not true. Government which failed carry out concluded agreement on civilians none other than American Government itself.
Wang continued he had in past repeatedly called attention of my government to fact steps being adopted by my authorities in connection requirement Taiwan entry permit and permanent residence requirement entirely violated agreement between us. Action taken by my authorities in restricting and interfering with freedom of communication between Chinese residents in U.S. and families in China as well as action taken by my authorities in coercing Chinese residents in proceeding to Taiwan were all violations of agreement. U.S. failed up to now account for failure of return 53 Chinese in U.S. whose names he had given me and failed account for failure another group 22 persons return. Could this attitude taken by American authorities be reconciled with provisions our agreement. Although he had made repeated representations in these meetings, this failure carry out Agreed Announcement with respect Chinese in U.S. had not been corrected or improved.
Wang continued charges made by American Government in connection with question civilians could only be considered as tactic to cover American Government’s own failure carry out agreement with regard Chinese in U.S. So far as improvement in relations between our two peoples concerned, of which I had spoken this morning, Wang’s side aware there was such a desire among American people, in same way as Chinese people had desire improve relations between two countries. Statements made by American spokesmen entirely contrary to this desire of American people. I had spoken about what I called feeling of outrage against his country among American people; his side [Typeset Page 1349] could not discover any such feeling among American people. Rising sense of outrage seen my side was not outrage against China but rather outrage against American Government’s repeated efforts try continue prevent reestablishment contact between Chinese and [Facsimile Page 7] American peoples. If one was going to talk about improvement relations, lip service not sufficient, but rather adoption of concrete steps toward real improvement in relations between two countries. These concrete steps include putting forward concrete opinion and steps with view to really improving relations. A single action of advantage to both sides was a greater contribution to improving relations than much empty talk. The taking of such action would not only help progress our talks, but action itself in interest both peoples.
I replied I believed I probably in better position speak for and represent feelings American people. However, he entirely right when said American people desired better relations with people his country. They did this in spite hostility his government demonstrated toward U.S. and its allies. He made serious error if he interpreted these expressions of desire for better relations with his country as lack concern for, or absence resentment of, fact that his country had thus far failed either to release our fellow citizens whom Wang’s country holds, or to carry out first agreement between us. American people did not enjoy living in attitude of hostility with anyone or toward anyone. No one would be quicker to respond to action by others indicating desire for such friendship. He had well said that lip service not sufficient, concrete steps are what counted. This precisely what I, my Government, and American people been seeking with regard to first item agenda. This precisely what his government had not done. As I had previously said, the question resolving first item agenda by action rather than words was something which transcended even importance of individual Americans concerned. It was test whether agreements between us were to have substance and whether they to be carried out. He had talked about necessity of agreements being advantageous [Facsimile Page 8] to both sides. I would certainly not argue with that. What had happened with respect this first agreement between us was that it appeared be entirely to advantage his side, with no advantage my side. In fact as I had again pointed out this morning, it seemed to have worked to positive disadvantage our side. Whereas even prior our agreement, his authorities had on occasion released Americans prior expiration full term sentences imposed, now his side not only not permitted all return expeditiously in accordance agreement between us, but even required them serve full term sentences.
I continued, on other hand I had from beginning fully met all pertinent points his views regarding Chinese in U.S. In 1954 we had talked of Chinese students in U.S. who being prevented returning his country. By time we met here August 1955, all orders preventing return [Typeset Page 1350] such students had been withdrawn. Thus in that matter I had entirely met his point view. That I had done so and that any Chinese in U.S. desiring return his country could do so, was proven by official statements of very agency he himself had suggested for establishing facts.
I continued no amount of distorted efforts to attempt misrepresent various aspects U.S. immigration legislation could change fact, established by evidence of third power agency established for purpose, that no Chinese in U.S. desiring return to Wang’s country had been or was being obstructed from doing so. Chinese steadily returning to his country whenever they desired do so. My latest information was that 277 had returned by direct route to Hong Kong since beginning our talks here. I had no way knowing how many returned other routes. He continued speak of 53 and 22 and demanded what he termed accounting for them. U.S. was under no obligation provide accounting for Chinese in U.S. What it was under obligation to do [Facsimile Page 9] and would do was not obstruct departure of any Chinese in U.S. who desired depart. As far as 53 and 22 concerned I had told him in past and reiterated categorically that their return not being obstructed and if they had not returned it was because they did not desire do so. If they felt being obstructed, they, along with any other Chinese in U.S., entirely free communicate with Indian Embassy. They had not done so as far as I knew. Certainly no case alleged obstruction brought to attention my government by Indian Embassy. I certainly did not propose have them cross-examined as to reasons for whatever decisions they may have made.
I continued there was another example of continued freedom of Chinese in U.S. to proceed to Wang’s country if they desired do so. I referred to case Lee Li-chuen, whom he mentioned 64th meeting here. This man at no time prevented from returning Wang’s country if he desired do so. This true even though he was seaman on ship registered by Government Republic China and had overstayed period temporary admission to U.S. and was therefore subject to deportation. According my information he had departed from U.S. on February 23 en route to Hong Kong. It my understanding he expressed intention proceeding Wang’s country at time he left. However, whether he did so was of course matter his own choice.
I continued again as matter meeting Wang’s point of view and advantageous his side, after he had raised with me question imprisonment Chinese common criminals U.S. we took measures assure any Chinese desiring proceed Wang’s country able do so. The one who desired do so was enabled do so—even though he far from having served term sentence or even eligible for parole.
I continued, thus situation regard Chinese in U.S. contrasted sharply with that of Americans imprisoned in Wang’s country. Thus there [Facsimile Page 10] appeared to have been what he would term no advantage to American side in this agreement. However what is even more serious [Typeset Page 1351] is that it calls into question whether agreements between us are to be mere forms and words or whether they to have concrete substance. It calls into question whether we to give appearance by form of words of having resolved questions between us—or whether we to resolve them. Thus first question we called on to deal with been resolved with respect Chinese in my country. It had not been resolved with respect Americans imprisoned in Wang’s country; and it would not be resolved until they permitted to return in accordance agreement entered into 1955.
Wang replied I had quoted him as having said in past that whatever agreement we entered into should be advantageous to both sides. I had indicated having accepted this opinion. However when it came to concrete facts, I had always demonstrated attitude entirely ignoring interests his side, while simply seeking advantage my own side. This particularly conspicuous respect Chinese now in U.S. prisons for offenses. This group Chinese in prison in U.S. very big yet my side so far failed give his side complete full list their names. In dealing with question Chinese in U.S., my side only thus far released one of these people and allowed him return China. My side not taken steps with respect remaining prisoners. My authorities even conducted illegal screening process on them against their will. Wang’s side could not believe anyone in prison could freely express his choice as to where he wished to go.
Wang continued he glad be informed by me concerning desire among American people improve relations between two countries. However American officials not only dared not openly make remarks expressing such desire but had deliberately insulted and made false charges against China. [Facsimile Page 11] Wang’s side agreed that improvement relations between two countries urgent task we called upon to serve. They acknowledged question civilians had been one part of differences between us. Insofar as question civilians concerned his side already entered into Agreed Announcement and up to two sides to carry out this agreement faithfully. Frankly he had to make it clear that while his government, his side, willing continue strive for improvement relations between two countries, his government could not be made to renounce its sovereignty. What was more, question civilians was far from being sole issue between us. In addition to this question there were other questions such as Foreign Ministers Conference, removal of embargo against his country and reestablishment of peoples contacts and cultural exchange between two countries. All these questions and maybe others urgently call for solution between us. If I were going to entangle these talks by sticking to question civilians while refusing take steps resolve other important questions, he could only interpret this as deliberate attempt prevent progress our talks by using question civilians as pretext. This certainly cannot result in any benefit to our talks.
I replied tangling had been done by his side. If his side wanted to resolve first question civilians, could have done so August 2, 1955 by [Typeset Page 1352] simply matching action my government already taken, that is permit civilians both sides who desire do so to return. Evidence of third parties designated under our agreement of September 10, 1955 showed who had permitted that take place and who had not. Difficult foresee value further agreements between us when first agreement not carried out and when his side refused unconditionally to say our disputes would be settled only by peaceful means.
After Wang indicated he had nothing more to say I proposed next meeting Thursday, April 11. Wang agreed.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/3–1457. Confidential; Limit Distribution. Sent via pounch. Received on March 19.