Learn about the beta

171. Editorial Note

Telegram 616 to Taipei, March 22, 1963, informed the Embassy that President Kennedy was considering a brief trip to the Western Pacific in October, including a 1-day visit to Taiwan. It instructed Chargé d’Affaires Ralph Clough to inquire whether such a visit would be convenient. The fact that the President was considering it was not to be made public, since the trip was necessarily contingent on his other responsibilities. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/Kennedy) Telegram 724 from Taipei, March 26, reported that Clough had informed Foreign Minister Shen Chang-huan, and telegram 727, March 28, reported that [Page 354]President Chiang had asked Shen to extend a warm welcome to President Kennedy on his behalf. (Ibid.) Telegram 867 from Taipei, June 17, transmitted a letter of invitation from Chiang to Kennedy. (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Chinese Officials’ Correspondence with Kennedy/Johnson)

Documentation concerning planning for the contemplated trip to Asia is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Trip Series, President’s Proposed Far East Trip. A memorandum of a November 19 meeting among Kennedy, Assistant Secretary Hilsman, and other officials and a memorandum of the same date by Hilsman indicate that Kennedy was still thinking of going to Asia, including Taiwan, in the spring of 1964, although he thought he might limit the trip to Japan and perhaps Korea in case of unfavorable developments in Indonesia. (Department of State, FE Files: Lot 65 D 6, POL 7, Visits and Mtgs, Oct.-Dec. 1963)