157. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State 0
Taipei, October 6, 1958, noon.
545. CINCPAC for Admiral Felt. For Secretary or Acting Secretary. Department telegram 300.1[Page 331]
- Admiral Smoot and I agreed this morning we should not recommend any change in our convoying pending discussions with GRC to ascertain its attitude toward Peng letter. It so happens we have four destroyers and one LSD near Kinmen on escort and cargo unloading duty today in conjunction with specially large resupply effort which started at one o’clock this morning. We hope to get about 2,000 tons ashore. Cessation of Communist bombardment at midnight is facilitating unloading operation.
- Shortly after our discussion Smoot was summoned by President. He told Smoot Peng’s action is another example of calculated Communist treachery designed to split US and GRC. He would ignore Communist proffer and he requested Smoot to continue convoying as usual. Smoot described President’s attitude as most grim and determined. Any attempt on our part now to withdraw from normal convoying in response to Peng offer would meet with violent reaction from President and might provide wedge which Communists are attempting to insert between US and GRC. Viewing situation from here as of now I would recommend against deviation from established pattern.
- Communist offer was foreshadowed by letters received by Foreign Minister and Chiang Ching-kuo in past few days from one Tsao Chu-jen in Hong Kong. Knowledge of these letters has been closely held here to few high Chinese officials and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Tsao is unquestionably a Communist emissary; he served as emissary in a similar capacity in 1956 when he sent several letters to Chiang Ching-kuo proposing a settlement. At that time, after Tsao’s proposals were leaked in Hong Kong, Chiang Ching-kuo issued a public statement denying negotiations, etc.
- A cursory study of Tsao’s proposals reveals conditions which, while some appear tempting on surface, would relegate Taiwan to status as appendage of Communist China. Apart from fact President is determined to hold no direct negotiations or discussions with Communist Chinese, these terms would be wholly unacceptable to him. I find it hard to believe Communists seriously think GRC would accept such terms as Tsao’s letters envisage. I therefore conclude this is an exercise on part of Communists to present posture of compromise and willingness to negotiate peaceful settlement of Strait crisis and Taiwan problem. It also represents an effort to shunt US aside.