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366. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Parsons) to Secretary of State-Designate Rusk0


  • A New Approach to Our China Policy Objectives

The continued effectiveness of the moratorium formula on the representation of China in the United Nations is now in question as a result of the recent close vote in the Fifteenth General Assembly of the United Nations.1 We are thus faced with an urgent problem on an important aspect of our China policy. We consider that our policy toward and in relation to China is central to the achievement of our national objectives in the Far East. These may be defined as the development in freedom of countries peripheral to Communist China and the frustration of the Communist purpose to dominate the entire area as a key step toward world domination.

Attached are three papers2 which it is hoped may be useful in a current consideration of our policy toward China, with particular emphasis on the United Nations aspect of it.

[Page 750]

The first of these papers3 deals with our China policy in general, and offers some suggestions as to possible courses of action within the somewhat limited scope chiefly circumscribed by the Chinese Communists themselves.

The second paper4 outlines a new approach to the problem of Chinese representation in the United Nations, which would be difficult to implement but which would seem to serve United States interests if it could be implemented. The attempt to do so, even if it falls short, might prove salutary.

The third paper5 describes the probable strong adverse reaction of the GRC to the plan in the second paper, and suggests what is believed to be the best approach in negotiating with the GRC on the representation question.

In developing these papers within FE, we have assumed that the advent of the new administration offers a unique opportunity for us to attempt some such change in approach. We do not advocate any change in broad objective but rather tactical changes to promote that objective under the new circumstances which obtain.

(Because of the sensitivity of this subject, knowledge of the content of these papers has been limited to key officers of FE and the papers have no official standing in the Department or within the Government.)

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/12–2860. Top Secret. Drafted by Parsons.
  2. In Resolution 1493 (XV), adopted October 8, 1960, the General Assembly decided not to consider at its 15th session any proposals on the question of Chinese representation; the resolution was adopted by a vote of 42 to 34, with 22 abstentions.
  3. The attachments are not printed but see Supplement. All are unsigned and undated and each indicates that the drafting date was December 28.
  4. Headed “China Policy;” drafted by Parsons and Jenkins. The penultimate paragraph reads as follows:

    “In summary, it would appear that 1) an attempted basic shift in the near future in the objectives of United States China policy would be at too great cost both regionally and globally, and that the Chinese Communists would not be likely to cooperate in such a shift in any event; 2) we might, however, make significant gains propaganda-wise and conceivably otherwise by changing our approach to the representation issue; 3) there are a few other specific areas in which a shift would seem to hold some promise; and 4) most importantly, our interests in the Far East will be a major beneficiary of a globally exhibited full awareness that we are in a war to the finish and that we have the human and material resources to prevail and the will and imagination to apply them successfully.”

  5. Headed “Chinese Representation in the United Nations.” Annex I, “Alternative Courses to the Moratorium Procedure,” with Tabs A and B, and Annex II, “Conclusions from an Examination of the Alternatives to the Moratorium Procedure,” were attached. All were drafted by William H. Sullivan, U.N. Adviser in the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, except Tab B, “Some Possible Alternatives for Dealing with the Question of Chinese Representation in the United Nations,” drafted by Acting Deputy Legal Adviser Leonard C. Meeker. The memorandum proposed a sequence of steps including: a General Assembly resolution declaring that the Republic of China was an original and continuing U.N. member but had lost control of much of its territory and that the People’s Republic of China was eligible for membership; the introduction of another resolution providing for the enlargement of the Security Council and changing the “Republic of China” seat to the “China” seat; and a GRC declaration that it would not seek to occupy the seat unless and until it could once again act for all of China. It was anticipated that the PRC would refuse to apply for membership under these circumstances, with the result of continuing GRC membership in the General Assembly.
  6. Headed “Negotiating with the GRC Regarding Its Future in the United Nations;” drafted by Martin.