246. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Foreign Minister Huang’s Letter to Secretary Regarding Reaction to Joint Communiqué


  • Dr. George K.C. Yeh, Chinese Ambassador
  • Mr. Hsu, Chinese Minister
  • Mr. Robertson, Assistant Secretary, FE
  • Mr. Martin, Director, CA

Ambassador Yeh called at Mr. Robertson’s request. Mr. Robertson said that because the Secretary was in the hospital he had not yet been able to reply to the letter which he had received from Foreign Minister Huang just before he made his San Francisco speech.1 However, he wanted to read to Ambassador Yeh the reply to Foreign Minister Huang’s letter which was being recommended to the Secretary.2 Ambassador Yeh indicated that Huang’s letter had been intended to keep the Secretary informed about overseas Chinese opinion.

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Mr. Robertson pointed out that if the GRC were to get involved in a war, it would be dependent upon United States forces for support. The United States wanted to strengthen and support the GRC to meet developments on the mainland, but the United States was against the use of force to reunite China and the other divided countries. The GRC should adopt tactics to meet this situation. Mr. Robertson stressed that the Joint Communiqué of October 23 had been a tremendous help in giving our allies a true picture of the GRC’s role and of destroying the false picture which many of them had of a government planning to drag the world into war in its attempt to recover China. Any denigration of the Joint Communiqué by Taipei might destroy support for the GRC in the United States, let alone in the rest of the world. Mr. Robertson then read the text of the proposed letter to Foreign Minister Huang.

Ambassador Yeh said he thought the proposed letter was a good one, and again expressed the opinion that the purpose of Huang’s letter was to keep the Secretary informed. He said that during his visits to the overseas Chinese communities in New York and San Francisco, which he had thought were reasonably successful, he had encountered two lines of criticism. First, since the Chinese Communist regime was now getting an even tighter grip on the people through the communes, it was necessary to offset this with increased pressure from the outside. Such external pressure was necessary to bring about conditions for an uprising. Secondly, since the bases for the return to the mainland were in the hearts and minds of the people, it was essential to keep their hopes for freedom alive. According to the critics, the Joint Communiqué failed on both these points.

Mr. Robertson replied that all the opposition which could be generated on the mainland among the people would not be capable of bringing about a successful revolution until the Red Army, or a significant part of it, went over to the side of the people. The peoples’ support could be obtained now but, considering that the Red Army comprised 2–1/2 million men and that the GRC forces were comparatively small in size, the peoples’ support alone was not enough. Moreover, the GRC alone could not succeed without United States support. Ambassador Yeh agreed.

Ambassador Yeh pointed out that attacks on the GRC were coming from Shih Chieh Jih Pao (Chinese World) and Lien Ho Jih Pao (United Journal), both published in New York City. He said these papers had been supported by United States agencies in the past. While they were anti-Communist they were also critical of the GRC. In addition, there was a Communist paper in New York called the Hua Chiao Jih Pao. Ambassador Yeh said the editor of the Lien Ho Jih Pao, Mr. Wu Ching-fu, had editorially called for the resignation of Chiang Kai-shek and his chief advisors. His paper had also criticized Secretary Dulles for having “a two Chinas” policy.

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Ambassador Yeh said that Foreign Minister Huang was very reasonable and would be the last person to retract any statement such as the Joint Communiqué, to which the GRC had agreed. Minister Huang would be very surprised and sorry to hear that Mr. Dulles was upset by his letter.

Mr. Robertson said that the GRC should not regard the Joint Communiqué as a negative thing to which it was tied by agreement, but should make it the basis for a positive policy. Unfortunately, Vice President Chen Cheng’s statement about counterattacking the mainland3 was contrary to the concept of the Joint Communiqué. Ambassador Yeh stressed that he had telegraphed his government some time ago to avoid using the word “counterattack.” However, he had had no reply to this message.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/12–958. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text.
  2. The letter, dated December 3, is filed with a covering note of December 4 from Patrick Pichi Sun, Republic of China Consul General in San Francisco, to Dulles. (Ibid., 793.00/12–458; see Supplement) Dulles addressed the California Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco on December 4 on the subject of U.S. policy in the Far East. For text of his address, see Department of State Bulletin, December 22, 1958, pp. 989–994.
  3. Dulles’ reply to Huang, December 12, was drafted on December 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/12–1258; see Supplement)
  4. Reference is apparently to a speech by Ch’en on November 12, reported in telegram 743 to Taipei, November 14. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/11–1458)