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

16. At one hour interview with President Chiang July 41 at which Madame Chiang, Foreign Minister, Director GIO and Charge were present, [Page 286]I said President Kennedy had asked me to convey to President Chiang how very concerned President Kennedy was that no action be taken by GRC which could be used as pretext by Communists to accuse us around the world of being aggressors. I emphasized how important it was for aggressive action to be clearly defined as coming from other side. I said this would have important bearing on whatever we decided to do in future. I added we were particularly concerned about Quemoy and Matsu and wanted to make it clear to the world that we are not being aggressive in that area. Chiang replied he fully appreciated US position and assured me GRC would not initiate anything against Communists in Quemoy and Matsu area. However, he thought Communists might take action against one of the smaller offshore islands. ChiComs would wait and see how US reacted before attacking anywhere beyond Quemoy and Matsu areas.

Chiang then inquired whether I had any message for him concerning the discussions of military material which had taken place between our intelligence people. I replied President felt unable to go very far in planning because of lack of hard intelligence on real situation inside Communist China. However, I was authorized to assure President Chiang two C-123s would be ready in October and three more between January and February. The other material requested was still under consideration.

Chiang said he had read in press that US had assured ChiComs at Warsaw that US would not assist GRC return to Mainland. Was this correct and if so, what was nature of assurances given? I replied that this was not correct, that what the US had proposed to ChiComs as in the past was a mutual renunciation of force.

Chiang asked if I had seen Khrushchev’s statement that USSR would support ChiComs in Taiwan area.2 I replied I doubted very much USSR would intervene in any operation in Taiwan Straits. Chiang replied he also believed USSR would not intervene. Unfortunately, report of Warsaw talks together with Khrushchev’s statement couldn’t help having adverse effect on morale here. I said most westerners discounted Khrushchev’s threats. Chiang replied this was appreciated by people at high level in government but not by people in general.

Chiang emphasized need for US and GRC to be prepared for ChiCom offensive action against offshore islands, which he expected within the next six months. He then went on to express pleasure at my assignment [Page 287]here and said that as soon as he had recuperated from further medical treatment beginning July 5, he hoped to consult closely with me. I said I was always at his disposition and added that he could count on the US fully complying with its commitments to GRC provided GRC did not undertake any unilateral action. Chiang assured me GRC would not undertake any unilateral action, but would continue to consult very closely with US.

I concluded interview by explaining reasons why 1,000 Marines withdrawn from Thailand. Chiang commented he thought this would have adverse effect on morale of people in area, as Laos problem was far from solved, but admitted that he was not fully abreast of situation.

Interview was very friendly throughout. Points on which Chiang particularly concerned were reported assurances given by US at Warsaw and US response to his request for materiel. Full memcon by pouch.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/7-462. Top Secret; Roger Channel. Repeated to CINCPAC. Received at 6:47 a.m.
  2. Kirk reported in telegram 8 from Taipei, July 3, that when he presented his letter of credence to Foreign Minister Shen on July 3, Shen told him that Chiang wanted to meet with him privately on July 4 prior to Kirk’s formal presentation of credentials the following day. (Ibid., 611.93/7-362)
  3. Reference is to a July 2 speech by Khrushchev. Telegram 12 from Moscow, July 2, reported that it had included “sharp denunciation provocations directed against CPR by Chiang Kai-shek with Pentagon support. Khrushchev in apparent riposte President’s press conference warned anyone attempting attack CPR will be dealt crushing blow by CPR with solid support mighty socialist camp. Recalled alleged similar provocations 4 years ago and stern Soviet warning at that time.” (Ibid., 761.13/7-262)
  4. A memorandum of the conversation was enclosed with airgram A-18, July 11. (Ibid., 611.93/7-162)