Cline reports that the Chinese
Nationalists are more disturbed about their relation to the U.S. than at
any time in the past five years. They live in a queer world in which
only the U.S. stands between them and disaster, and in which therefore
the faintest indication of a change in U.S. attitudes can seem like a
matter of life and death. Moreover, they are used to Republicans and
fearful of Democrats.
The net result, according to Cline
is that the Chinese Nationalist Government now feels deeply uneasy about
the U.S., and is preparing dangerous adventures of its own, up to and
including a suicidal landing on the mainland. Their intransigence on
Outer Mongolia, moreover, threatens to make any manageable solution of
the UN problem unlikely. The
Generalissimo personally cancelled Chiang
Ching-kuo's visit to the U.S., Cline reports, and if present trends
cannot be reversed, he foresees a grievous split.
What makes all this so sad is that in fact we have no intention of
deserting Chiang and every reason to support real
progress in Formosa. Yet we seem headed for the same impasse
Marshall and Acheson got into—and with equally
bad political results at home and abroad.
Cline makes the following
1. The Chinese suspicion is currently directed more at the State
Department than at you, and reassurance directly from you can do more to
encourage the Generalissimo than any other course. At my invitation he
has drafted a possible letter which would move in this direction, and
while it would need to be checked closely with Dean Rusk, it seems to me a highly
promising start. (Tab B)
2. Our own interest in a mission in Outer Mongolia is pretty small, and
Cline thinks we could back
off from this with no great loss of face. He doubts whether in any case
our mission would get any very attractive facilities and he does not see
why we need to put a mission in Outer Mongolia when our real concern is simply not to oppose its
admission to the United Nations. He agrees with me, however, that we
must try to persuade the Chinese Nationalists not to veto Outer Mongolia
3. The Liao visa does not need to be withheld but we can give assurance
that Liao will not be treated to any official notice or support.
4. On the UN issue, we both think that
Dean Rusk's proposal of a move
from the moratorium to a straight debate on the merits has real promise.
Even Cline believes that we could
lose such a debate and not bother our Chinese friends very much, because
it would be an honest defeat on what they would call an issue of
principle. The same thing would hold with respect to domestic
opinion—and in any case we might not lose on the merits if the case is
strongly made. Opposition on this one is likely to come from ADLAI.
5. A great sustaining dream of the Chinese Nationalists is of course a
return to the mainland, and in Cline's view we could at once recapture great support
from Chiang if we would join with him in certain
reconnaissance probes on the mainland. This is, of course, a lot to ask
of us, although no U.S. troops would be involved, but there is at least
a case for a study of this possibility with more sympathy than has yet
been given it. I will have more on this after the weekend.
In sum, Cline gives me the strong
impression of being a tough, flexible, wholly American observer of this
very difficult situation. He will be here until Tuesday3July 11. if you should want to see him.
*Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries
Series, China. Secret. The memorandum bears no indication that it
was seen by Kennedy.
1For Ray Cline's recollections of his
years in Taipei, see Secrets, Spies and Scholars:
Blueprint of the Essential CIA (Washington: 1976), pp. 172-181. See also Cline, Chiang Ching-kuo
Remembered: The Man and His Political Legacy (Washington:
1989), pp. 15-99.
2The tabs are not attached to the
source text. According to a marginal note, Tab A was telegram 715 to
Taipei, June 30, and telegram 5 from Taipei, July 2. The former
instructed Drumright to meet
with Chiang and respond to the views reported
in Document 32; it instructed him to assure
Chiang of U.S. support but to lay out the
U.S. views on Chinese representation, Mongolia, and the Liao visa
issue. Telegram 5 from Taipei reported that Drumright had done so in a July 1
conversation with Chiang, who had replied that
the GRC had not ruled out the
possibility of an alternative to the moratorium but that it would
withdraw from the United Nations rather than accept a “two Chinas”
arrangement. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/6-2961 and
611.93/7-291, respectively) See the Supplement.