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

255. Cabot-Wang Talks. 116th Meeting. 3 hours, 35 minutes.1 Deptels 138 and 184.2

(1) Wang opened referring to his Government statement July 31 advocating prohibition nuclear weapons and proposing conference Government Heads all countries3 and to Chou En-lai message delivered me for transmission.4 Expressed aspiration Chinese people prevent nuclear war. Said he must point out August 5 tripartite test ban treaty goes against aspirations people of world because it can be used by nuclear powers consolidate their nuclear monopoly. It legalizes continued manufacture, transportation, underground testing and use of weapons by US while binding hands of peace-loving countries, denying them adequate means protect selves against nuclear threat. Treaty thereby actually increases hazard of nuclear war and is fraud menacing world peace. Asked how a few nuclear powers could take into own hands serious [Page 379]issues affecting human destiny. How can desire of people of whole world be ignored and a few nuclear powers be permitted monopolize everything. Without participation China no major questions in international affairs can be settled in our times. Said President Kennedy had gone out of his way to resume tone and airs of world overlord presuming describe non-nuclear powers as stable or unstable, responsible or irresponsible.5 This was outright imperialistic attitude. Even Kennedy cannot deny that far from prejudicing nuclear strength of USG, treaty makes possible carrying on of nuclear race. If US sincere in wanting take first step, should first remove nuclear threat it now possesses by dismantling all overseas bases and reaching an accord establishing nuclear-free zones. Said Chinese Government hoped every government would give favorable response its proposal (Chou's letter) and that USG also will be favorable. Said if we desired consult with Chinese on this question, he was at my disposal any time to enter on this discussion.

(2) Wang said US should remove its nuclear threat to China and the Far East. This threat much felt in China and entire Far East. Spoke of Guam fortifications, units with nuclear weapons in Korea and Taiwan, important cities and hinterland of his country under direct threat of our nuclear forces, air force in Pacific deployed many nuclear-capable planes, attack aircraft carriers and subs with nuclears in Pacific. In short, eastern and southern flanks of China covered by our nuclear weapons and we held maneuvers in adjacent areas with nuclear weapons. Said Kennedy statement at press conference China determined on war as means bringing about ultimate success6 was calumny and slander. Said it was only US which relied on nuclear blackmail as means bringing about its own ultimate success.

(3) Wang said he was instructed put forth draft agreed announcement at this meeting designed reduce nuclear threat. Hoped USG would give careful study and consideration. (Text pouched.)7

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(4) I handed Wang information six deportee cases paragraph 6 first reference telegram. Wang said would study and respond later. Followed with substance paragraph 8 re President's speech, newsmen, imprisoned Americans, and helicopter personnel.8 Also mentioned general incursions south of Korean truce line which scarcely could be assumed not deliberate.

(5) I spoke at some length on our policy to promote general disarmament, pointing out number of factors on which this complex question must depend.

(6) I continued quoting from ChiCom June 14 letter9 at some length and saying nothing could be better designed renew vigilance of those wishing retain freedom. Said many people believe there are halting and tentative but nonetheless promising evidences of forces at work which could lead to peaceful and prosperous world as a whole. If great and talented Chinese people not permitted make their contribution in such cooperation, this would constitute one of saddest chapters in history of our times.

(7) I expressed regret at ChiCom rejection test ban treaty, pointing out its wide acceptance already indicated. Said we earnestly hoped nuclear power would never again be used and have striven since 1946 reach agreement this end.

(8) Wang said he had nothing new to say re newsmen or American prisoners in absence new developments. Said as for missing servicemen in Korea, all such matters whether previous or latest cases are matters between USG and Korean Peoples Republic, and not appropriate discussion here. Claimed Kennedy speech had been fully covered by Chinese press. Said they regarded it as important because revealed US strategy in staging fake peace. People of world coming to conclusion US actually has policy of war. Said my quotations June 14 letter represented scientific evaluation social development in world. However change within a given country is for the people to decide and also whether it is to be by peaceful or other means. Returning to test ban, said people of world do not want prevention proliferation nuclear power but prevention nuclear war and complete destruction nuclear weapons. July statement his government designed meet this question.

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(9) I said our basic policy was seek general and complete disarmament but this was impossible without verification. We had been negotiating on this point at length. Our President's speech attempted to contribute toward this goal. Said could not reconcile Wang's statements today with clear purport June 14 letter, giving examples inconsistencies. Said I hoped Wang's statements re peaceful intent represented government policy and June 14 letter did not. Spoke further on “first step” aspects test ban treaty.

(10) Wang spoke at some length on alleged subversive activities against China on part US. Referred again to test ban treaty as “dirty fraud.” Accused US of backing GRC acts on mainland, saying recently Chiang had tried so-called “climax” in activities but plot was thoroughly exposed. Said results had proven his oft-stated warnings in these meetings that our support of Chiang would do no good. In June alone, ChiCom wiped out six commando groups and shot down P2V. Said we were held answerable for all Chiang's acts. Said precisely because we ourselves aware of this responsibility that I felt it necessary give him assurance we were not supporting Chiang but said our performance hardly supports the assurances given.

(11) Wang referred to two cases alleged ramming and sinking Chinese fishing vessels by American ships. First boat belonged to Ningpo Marine Fisheries Co. of Chekiang province. On 15 May 1961 rammed and sunk by SS Letitia Lykes of Lykes Bros. SS Co., at position 29 degrees 12 minutes north and 123 degrees 15 minutes east. Second boat on 19 September 1962, fishing vessel of Chia Tsu Commune, in Luk Fung county, Kwangtung province, fishing northeast of Chia Tsu port, sunk by SS President Hoover of American President Line. On 24 September 1962 Chinese gave us message on this matter.10Wang said these cases were result of faulty navigation and US companies therefore should compensate. Hoped we would intervene and hasten results.

(12) Refuted charges of intervention and occupation of Taiwan. Said re ship sinkings I was without instructions as far as compensation concerned but wondered whether his side would be interested in general discussion of material claims which each side has against the other. (Wang did not bite at this.)

(13) Had expected propose October 2 for next meeting but Wang said his side very anxious for earlier meeting in order receive response from USG on proposal joint statement handed me today. After some discussion [Page 382]settled on September 11 with my promise if I received word earlier I would get in touch with him.

(14) After meeting had adjourned, Wang stopped me to ask whether I had had vacation. I said understood he had also. He said he had just come from China where his people were working hard in constructing their country. They had much to do and would never attempt to break out of their own borders into other areas. Said I should not believe newspaper accounts in the US which claimed China was a peril in the Far East.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POLCHICOM-US. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Taipei, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Moscow, and Geneva and passed to the White House on August 8.
  2. Cabot commented and sent recommendations for the next meeting in telegram 258, August 8. Noting that the meeting was the longest in over 4 years, he stated that Wang spoke “at times more emotionally than he has for some time.” (Ibid.) He sent a detailed, apparently verbatim report of the meeting in airgram A-124, August 10. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 138 to Warsaw, July 26, provided guidance for the meeting on various subjects. Telegram 184, August 3, instructed Cabot to urge that Wang's side reconsider its public rejection of the test ban treaty. (Both ibid.)
  4. For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1963, pp. 268-272.
  5. Reference is to an August 2 letter from Chou to Kennedy, identical to letters sent to other heads of government, which reiterated the proposal set forth in the Chinese statement of July 31. It was delivered to the Embassy in Warsaw with an August 2 covering letter from Wang to Cabot. The text was transmitted in telegram 221 from Warsaw, August 2. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 18-3)
  6. Reference is to a statement by Kennedy in a July 26 radio and television address referring to the danger of nuclear weapons “in so many hands, in the hands of countries large and small, stable and unstable, responsible and irresponsible, scattered throughout the world.” (Public Papers of the President of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 604)
  7. Reference is to a statement by Kennedy at an August 1 press conference that if in 10 years China still had 700 million people with a Stalinist regime, was still surrounded by weak countries, still had “a government determined on war as a means of bringing about its ultimate success,” and was also a nuclear power, the situation would be potentially more dangerous than any since the end of World War II. (Ibid., p. 616)
  8. It would have declared that (1) the PRC and U.S. Governments would jointly propose the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Asia and Pacific region, including China, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan, and (2) the U.S. Government would “withdraw all its military bases, including nuclear bases, from the areas surrounding the People's Republic of China, and withdraw all its nuclear weapons and their means of delivery from these areas.” The text was transmitted in telegram 259 from Warsaw, August 8. (Department of State, Central Files, POLCHICOM-US)
  9. Paragraph 8 of telegram 138 to Warsaw instructed Cabot to draw attention to “misquotes and misinterpretations” in the Chinese press of President Kennedy's June 10 speech calling for “a strategy of peace.” It also instructed Cabot to propose new efforts to relax tensions: an agreement on exchange of newsmen, release of U.S. nationals in Chinese prisons, and release of two U.S. Army helicopter personnel whose aircraft strayed on May 17 into Korean territory under KPA/CPV control.
  10. Reference is to a June 14 letter from the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party; for text, see Peking Review, vol. VI, No. 25, pp. 6-22.
  11. Telegram 582 from Warsaw, September 24, 1962, reported that Cabot had received a letter from Wang concerning the latter incident. Telegram 451 to Warsaw, September 26, 1962, informed Cabot that the surviving crew members were being returned to mainland China via Hong Kong. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/9-2462)