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159. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China0

446. Embtel 567.1 Dept concurs in your proposal see Vice President at earliest opportunity for purpose forestalling possibility GRC may misconstrue [Page 336]silence for change in our position on military action against mainland. Agree your making that portion of presentation proposed to be made as under instructions per penultimate paragraph reftel,2 and that you should remind GRC that on basis information so far furnished we do not perceive any material alteration in situation on mainland.

You will, of course, wish to avoid creating impression that our assessment conditions there would necessarily provide the key to our agreeing to a GRC effort to return to the mainland. While we think it highly unlikely that the mainland regime’s control will soon deteriorate to a drastic extent, there is possibility such deterioration may eventually occur and that circumstances might then still be such that we could not agree to a GRC counterattack. In such a situation, it would add to our difficulties if we had meanwhile overplayed mainland conditions as decisive factor.

You should also point out that unilateral decision divert MAP materials from agreed purposes for which furnished would constitute violation Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement Feb 9, 1951,3 and that such diversions, [as] well as military expenditures which we learn of after event, can have only adverse impact on economic planning and implementation US military and economic assistance to GRC, and may handicap our gaining Congressional support for it.

Unilateral diversions MAP materials would under above-mentioned agreement justify reduction or cessation future deliveries. This is fact you may allude to in your discretion as personal observation. However, we think it would be undesirable for you also make personal observation that you assume FY 63 MAP was cut partly as reaction to special preparedness budget.4 It was cut because of urgent requirements elsewhere and in view of fact substantial deliveries to GRC remained in pipeline. Having made the observation might constrain us, should GRC fail improve performance, from going ahead with sizable increase FY 64 MAP.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.5/12-2262. Secret. Drafted by Popple and Rice, cleared with the Legal Adviser’s Office and the Agency for International Development Program Coordination Staff, and approved by Harriman. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. Telegram 567, December 22, referred to GRC plans to equip an additional airborne regiment and build 100 LCMs, to be paid for out of the special preparedness budget, and stated that the MAAG had not been informed about the LCMs until procurement had been initiated and it acquired the information independently. The telegram further reported that MAP materials had been diverted without prior consultation, and a promise of replacement was given only after a MAAG inquiry. Lest U.S. silence be misconstrued as a change in the U.S. position on military action against the mainland, Kirk proposed to discuss the matter with Ch’en. (Ibid., 793.5/12-2262)
  3. In it, Kirk proposed stating that the United States continued to “view with uneasiness this excessive military expenditure burden” and that it saw “no reason to assume any imminent military action against mainland justifies such imbalance of national economy.”
  4. Effected by an exchange of notes at Taipei, January 30 and February 9, 1951; for text, see 2 UST (pt. 2) 1499.
  5. Kirk had suggested this in telegram 567 from Taipei; see footnote 2 above.
  6. Kirk reported in telegram 575 from Taipei, January 1, 1963, that he had met with Ch’en the previous day and had stressed the need for full exchange of information. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.5/1-163) Telegram 592 from Taipei, January 9, 1963, reported that further information had made the previously reported diversion of MAP materials seem doubtful, and that this was taken into account in the meeting with Ch’en. (Ibid., 793.5/1-963)