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54. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Kennedy0


  • The Chinese Representation Issue

Your memorandum of August 21st1 asks for information as to where this stands and emphasizes that we must find a winning position. The attached cable2 gives a pretty good statement of our current view. It has gone to all our missions and responses are being collected and tabulated. So far only about a third of the answers are in, but they suggest that this position is worth holding for the moment.

The nut of this proposal, as you know, is that we will seek a majority for the “important question” position and then expect to have a blocking one-third against any resolution that would admit representation. We have sweetened this proposal with the notion of a commission to study the broader problems of criteria for UN membership and the composition of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. This commission would report a year later.

Until we have more responses to this circular, and until we see what happens on the Outer Mongolian issue, I see no basis for a change in our current stand. The Outer Mongolian question may come up next week, and we are keeping the heat on the Chinese Nationalists. In particular, I am seeing Ambassador Yeh this afternoon to emphasize to him that your letter to the Generalissimo3 was not merely a docile statement of the views of the wicked State Department, but an expression of a policy which you yourself strongly hold. The Chinese Nationalists are trying to hint that you are their friend and cannot really mean what your letter says. They are also suggesting that the Congress may not agree with you, and I shall say a few words to George about that, too.

McG. B.4
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China. No classification marking.
  2. Not found.
  3. Not attached to the source text. The reference is apparently to circular telegram 253, August 12. (Department of State, Central Files, 303/8-1261)
  4. The letter, August 15, urged strongly against a GRC use of the veto to block Outer Mongolian membership in the United Nations and stated that if the GRC agreed not to veto, the United States would abstain. (Ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, Kennedy/Johnson Correspondence with Chinese Officials) See the Supplement. The letter was transmitted in telegram 117 to Taipei, August 15; telegram 167 from Taipei, August 17, reported that Drumright had delivered the letter that day. (Ibid., Central Files, 303/8-1561 and 3-03/81761, respectively)
  5. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.