Learn about the beta

105. Message From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency Station in Taipei (Cline)0

In response to your priority telegram which has been discussed with President1 the difficulty of your task is well understood here and your efforts to convey our position to the GRC are greatly appreciated.

The USG position must be that it stands on what is outlined in the President’s seven-point statement. We cannot safely get ourselves in the position of negotiating on this.

In the light of the above our comments on the GRC ABC formulation are as follows:

Point A goes further than the seven-point statement in that it commits the United States to a drop of a 200 man unit with only the date subject to discussion and joint agreement. The statement only contemplated studying the feasibility of such a drop, preparing two aircraft for possible GRC use and making them available only if hard evidence is obtained to support the conclusion that such an operation would succeed.

In connection with the lack of hard evidence no mention is made of point four of the seven-point statement.

The statements in Points B and C that the United States Government and the GRC will “study” subsequent clandestine and open military actions and “jointly decide” their “execution and timing” could be interpreted to commit the United States to approve such actions in advance and by implication to support them. The seven-point statement made no mention of subsequent actions.

We recognize your problem is conveying this position effectively and we suggest that you hang your report on the difficulty which we have in the United States Government in asking the President in matters of this kind to approve two different formulations of policy. After all, in [Page 219]logic, if in fact the three-point formulation is the same as the seven-point formulation, it is not necessary, and if there is a difference, there would be danger of misunderstanding not only with our good friends in Taiwan but within the Administration itself.2

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China, CIA Cables, 3/62-4/62. Top Secret. No time of transmission is indicated on the source text.
  2. An April 14 message from Cline to Bundy reported that Chiang Kai-shek had agreed to postpone the target date for possible action against the mainland from June until October and to work with U.S. officials to achieve a common understanding of the requirements of the mainland situation but that he wanted reassurance of the following: agreement on October 1 as the beginning date of the initial airdrop, agreement to begin joint study of plans for secret or open military operations to follow up a successful airdrop, and agreement that the execution and timing of an initial airdrop and subsequent action would be decided jointly by the two governments in the light of circumstances at that time. (Ibid.) See the Supplement.
  3. An April 19 message from Cline to Bundy stated that although Bundy’s message had “plunged Chiang Ching-kuo and Gimo into another trough of despair and made me sweat blood trying to resell seven points,” Chiang Ching-kuo had told him that day that “Gimo willing accept seven points as basis close study and cooperation during next few months” and had authorized senior staff discussions of GRC clandestine and military plans. He added, “For moment situation under control but believe me it was close thing. Cooperative relationship liable come unstuck if not given sympathetic attention this end and tangible signs of active interest from Washington.” (Filed with an April 23 memorandum from Forrestal to Harriman; Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Kennedy-Johnson Administrations, Subject Files, China) See the Supplement.