270. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China0

606. Your 957.1 Department for some time had been concerned at tendency apparent in GRC statements and actions to depart from principles of Joint Communiqué of October 23. GRC disposition return to emphasis on force in restoring mainland to freedom especially noticeable in passage Vice President Chen Cheng’s speech of February 20 to Legislative Yuan quoted paragraph 4 reference telegram.2

Assistant Secretary Robertson has brought up subject Chen speech with Ambassador Yeh pointing out how it departs from Joint Communiqué statement that implementation Three People’s Principles, not force, to be principal means accomplishing GRC’s mainland mission and how statements this type negate effect Joint Communiqué and damage GRC’s international position.

You should seek early opportunity discuss matter along same lines personally with Vice President Chen. Point out that reference to “applying political and military methods” to develop revolutionary movements on the mainland, mention of “political and military counterattack from [on?] the mainland,” and statement that political and military aspects “cannot be separated” all appear mean that to GRC military force of equal importance with political means in inducing mainland uprisings. This concept contrary both to Joint Communiqué and to President Chiang’s New Year’s Day message in which Three People’s Principles called “spearhead” and military force “shield.” Similarly when Chen speaks of inseparability “principal battleground” on mainland from “secondary battleground” in Strait and of attaining “local military superiority” to bring about “truly effective coordination and concert of military action Taiwan Strait with mainland revolutionary movement,” impression created that GRC might assume military initiative in offshore island area. This out of harmony with President Chiang’s September 29 statement to press that Kinmen and Matsu are shield for Taiwan Strait, not bases for counterattack, as well as with Joint Communiqué.

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US agrees with GRC that Joint Communiqué not “renunciation of force.” We recognize GRC’s inherent right self-defense and appreciate that in event large-scale mainland uprising use of force by GRC not precluded and might be required. But explain that in neither case would GRC itself initiate use of force. Stress over-riding need preserve world peace, making point that as peace-loving nations and loyal UN members neither GRC nor US can contemplate resort actions which would initiate war and might bring world disaster. Fundamental purpose Joint Communiqué to make our adherence this principle clear to world. In US view attempt provoke mainland uprising by use of force or resumption by GRC of military initiative in Taiwan Strait wholly inconsistent this purpose and would in eyes of world be indistinguishable from irresponsible and dangerous policies of Communists themselves.

Joint Communiqué has been invaluable in preventing further erosion of international support for policies GRC and US in Taiwan Strait area. Actions and statements which can be interpreted as abandonment Joint Communiqué seriously damage its effect and might cause international position of GRC suffer reverses leading to its isolation from other free nations of world. This would seriously impair ability of US give GRC effective diplomatic and political support. US therefore considers it essential that GRC make strongest possible effort present self abroad as faithful to Joint Communiqué, avoiding words and deeds appearing deviate from its principles. In US view steadfast adherence to position adopted in Joint Communiqué indispensable to security of GRC against Communist attempts destroy it and surest route to ultimate emancipation Chinese people from Communist tyranny.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/2–2159. Secret. Drafted by Bennett, cleared by Martin, and approved by Robertson.
  2. Telegram 957 from Taipei, February 21, reported a February 20 speech by Ch’en Ch’eng to the Legislative Yuan. (Ibid.)
  3. It reads in part as follows: “We should make mainland our principal battleground, applying political and military methods in endeavor to develop anti-Communist strength and revolutionary movements on mainland, and launch political and military counterattack from [on?] mainland.”