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120. Memorandum for the Record0


  • Meeting with the President, 1800 hrs, 19 June 19621
In attendance were the following: The President, General Taylor, and Messrs. McGeorge Bundy, Forrestal, McCone and Knoche.
Knoche described in considerable detail the nature of the evidence of Chinese Communist military buildup in the Taiwan Strait area. [5 lines of source text not declassified]
The extent of buildup was described. In response to his questions the President was told that so far only 15 jet fighters, no bombers, have moved in, but that we expect more.
There was a discussion of the status and capability of the ChiCom navy in the Taiwan Strait area. The distinction was made between Matsu, the taking of which would require modern amphibious equipment, and Quemoy, which is in effect a river-crossing and could be assaulted with the myriad of junks and other assorted craft in the area. Mr. McCone described the topography and fortification of Quemoy.
General Taylor cited the security surrounding Chinese Communist military movements in the Korean War and asked if we didn’t think that the Chinese were being more “open” in this case. Knoche’s reply was that the information is reliable deduction [2 lines of source text not declassified].
A brief discussion of past Taiwan Strait crises ensued, with various comments concerning events in August-September 1958. The President asked Forrestal to check to see what decisions were made by the NSC at that time.
General Taylor suggested, and it was later agreed, to hold a meeting with the President at 6:00 p.m., 20 June, with representation from State, Defense and CIA.2
Mr. McCone showed the President and General Taylor a copy of the message sent from the DCI to Chiang Kai-shek outlining the danger and requesting the Generalissimo’s evaluation of Communist intentions.3

Assistant to the Director
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80-B01285A, DCI Meetings With the President. Top Secret; [classification indicator not declassified]; Eyes Only. Prepared by E.H. Knoche.
  2. According to Kennedy’s Appointment Book, the meeting began at 6:01 p.m. and ended at 6:17 p.m. (Kennedy Library)
  3. See Document 122.
  4. Not further identified