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138. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China 0

793. Eyes only Clough. In connection with the statements made at his press conference yesterday the President wishes you to convey to Chiang Kai-shek his strong feeling that is of utmost importance that both the United States and the GRC avoid giving the appearance of contemplating any aggressive action against the mainland at this time. Unless we both agree that conditions justify it we are not prepared to take action and therefore we must not appear aggressive. Invasion at this time obviously would not be successful and it is important that the Communists be regarded as the aggressors. Any departure from this principle can only play into the hands of the Communists by weakening our international position in the defense of Quemoy and Matsu and make us appear to be the instigators of military action. This can only complicate our position no matter which way the situation develops in the future.

Use your discretion whether to delay delivery of this message until the arrival of Ambassador Kirk.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/6-2862. Top Secret; Roger Channel. Drafted by Forrestal; cleared by Bundy and in draft by Rice; and approved by Joseph W. Scott, Deputy Director for Coordination in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Repeated to CINCPAC eyes only for Kirk, who was en route to Taipei.
  2. Clough replied in telegram 1 from Taipei, July 2, that he was unable to see Chiang, who was recovering from surgery, and was therefore waiting for Kirk to deliver the message directly. (Ibid., 611.93/7-262)