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149. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State0

354. Cabot-Wang Talks. 112th Meeting.1 One hour 48 minutes. Department telegram 257.2

I opened, observing not only is first item our original agenda still at issue since implementation by Wang’s side of agreed announcement incomplete but we having great difficulty making any progress re “other practical matters now at issue”. Followed with substance paragraphs one, three, two, five and six reftel.
Wang said lack of progress in talks due US hostility toward China. Referred to my mentioning last meeting that GRC had stated it would rely principally on measures other than force to achieve objectives whereas Wang’s side unwilling so state. Wang said China could not “sign such an agreement”. Said my comment that if ChiComs could not pledge themselves to such renunciation, we would remain ready carry out our obligations to GRC contained implied threat. No one would be cowed by threats. Taiwan being Chinese territory this was strictly internal matter. Means Chinese would use re Taiwan was no business of US. This was absolutely not a subject for discussion at Ambassadorial level talks between two countries. Said while Taiwan was internal matter, the international dispute which exists between China and US, like other international disputes, should be settled without use of threat of force. Fact is US has already used force in occupying Taiwan. Therefore in dispute between China and US, US alone should denounce use of force and withdraw Seventh Fleet. US refused consider Chinese draft agreement September 22, 1958.3 US is aggressor since its forces are in area. Since US has already used force, how can Chinese agree to anything which would [Page 304]make US armed occupation Taiwan perpetual and legalized? Said our treaty with Chiang was worthless and US would be held responsible for consequences its activities. Sooner or later we would be thrown out of Taiwan if we refused quit now. Hoped US would not make mistake of failing recognize determination Chinese people liberate Taiwan.
Wang continued saying wished speak of important matters. All evidence pointed to continuation military activities of US in vicinity North China territorial waters. From 0235 on 14 April to 0031 on 21 April destroyer De Haven intruded into territorial waters from Chien-Li-Yen to Ping Island. From 0310 to 2008 on 22 May US destroyers encroached Northeast Tsingtao. From 0500 to 2335 on 12 June another US destroyer was in vicinity territorial sea between Ping Island and Chao-Lien Island. On morning 9 July US destroyer came close to Cheng-Shan-Tou and Tung-Lien Island in territorial waters. On 17 August US destroyer operated in vicinity East of Jung-Cheng Bay, east of Tsingtao. Wang said this matter had gone too far to be tolerated. Under instructions was making serious protest once more and US would be held responsible for all consequences.
Wang expressed surprise that after June 23 private meeting State Department had made disclosures of subjects discussed after which there followed heavy press coverage. Said he had never divulged anything to press.
I gave historical refutation Wang’s claim American Government hostile to China, adding US not threatening anyone and desired peace in all parts of the world. Again denied we occupying Taiwan. US is judge of its treaty commitments and considers treaty with GRC valid. Referred to Wang’s repeated mention our ships being “vicinity of” or “near” territorial waters. Pointed out this not illegal and said I had in past been informed no incursion into territorial waters had occurred. Re press leaks made conciliatory statement and expressed conviction Wang had not given information anymore than I had.
Wang said determination whether rapprochement can be brought about between our countries depended on a lot of concrete actions. Long as US occupies Taiwan, continues to deprive Chinese of rights in UN, and tries isolate China, he can hardly talk about US friendship for Chinese people. His Government had formally issued statement re territorial limits September 4, 19584 but US ships and aircraft had continued encroachment despite repeated protests. He then launched into long dissertation re territorial waters. Said US in 1793 had proclaimed three-mile limit and if “unilateral” claims were involved, US had taken [Page 305]lead in such. Said neither of our proposals at 1958 Law of Sea Conference5 had obtained sufficient backing and asked on what grounds we should try to impose three-mile limit on others. I suggested question of territorial limits throughout world was vast one beyond scope these talks. Wang said in absence standard limit universally recognized, each sovereign country had right adopt limit whether three, six or twelve miles.

Next meeting October 11, Wang said Adviser Yao Kuang being transferred and would inform us later as to successor.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/8-2362. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Stockholm, Moscow, Taipei, and Hong Kong.
  2. Cabot commented and made recommendations for the next meeting in telegram 365, August 14, and sent a detailed, apparently verbatim report of the meeting in airgram A-165, August 25. (Ibid., 611.93/8-1462 and 611.93/8-2562, respectively)
  3. Telegram 257, August 17, instructed Cabot to argue that recent statements by Wang’s side were contradictory, that Wang’s statement at the last meeting that if the United States would withdraw its forces from Taiwan “the knot in Sino-American relations would be undone” showed that the hostility of Wang’s side toward the United States was based on national territorial interests rather than on ideological grounds, that only persons “dangerously isolated from and unaware of realities of present-day world” could seriously argue, as Wang’s side did, that if his side attacked Taiwan by force it would be an internal affair, and that release of American civilians would give the American people some cause to believe Wang’s side was interested in reducing tensions with the United States. (Ibid., 611.93/8-1762)
  4. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1958-1960, vol. XIX, p. 257.
  5. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1958, p. 1199; also printed in Peking Review, September 9, 1958, p. 21.
  6. Reference is to the U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea, which met at Geneva, February 24-April 27, 1958. For documentation on U.S. policy with respect to the conference, see Foreign Relations, 1958-1960, vol. II, pp. 641-708.