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129. Editorial Note

During the first few months of 1962, a series of draft statements entitled “Basic National Security Policy” was prepared in the Policy Planning Council under the supervision of its Director, Walt W. Rostow. None of the drafts was approved. The final papers were a 185-page draft dated June 22, which was sent to the President, and a shorter version dated August 2. The June 22 paper called for a “carrot” and “stick” approach to Communist China. It stated in part:

“We will use force to deter or deal with the Chinese Communists’ military or indirect aggression wherever it occurs; we will not otherwise ourselves initiate aggression against Communist China; but we may not be content to meet Chinese Communist harassments of the free community, if these harassments expand, wholly within the borders of that community.”

It also stated:

“Concurrently, we should leave ajar possibilities for expanding commercial, cultural and other contacts with Communist China, by making clear that the bar to the entrance of Communist China into more normal relations with the U.S. is its basic unwillingness to modify its present aggressive policies.”

Concerning Taiwan, it stated in part:

  • “a. We should use our influence and aid to promote the emergence on Taiwan of a political process increasingly based on popular consent, and to support economic development on an effective long-term basis.
  • “b. We should work, within the limits which a useful relationship with the GRC will allow, for a dampening-down of the GRC-Chinese Communist civil war. It remains an objective of U.S. policy: (i) to disengage U.S. and GRC prestige from the defense of the offshore islands, if and when this can be done without damage to our position in the Far East; (ii) to persuade the GRC through means which include aid and support for its position on Taiwan either to withdraw its forces from the islands or to regard the islands as outposts to be garrisoned in accordance with the requirements of outpost positions, again if and when this can be done without damage to our position in the Far East.”

Concerning the Sino-Soviet split, it stated that while there was little the United States could do to promote it, the United States should “at least avoid measures which might have the effect of healing it.” It further stated that the United States should not lose sight of the fact that both states, whether closely knit or not, would continue to be “basically hostile to us though perhaps in different degrees and in different ways.” (Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, BNSP Draft 6/22/62)

Documentation concerning various draft statements of Basic National Security Policy are in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume VIII. The complete text of the June 22 draft is in the Microfiche Supplement to that volume.