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74. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China 0

259. Eyes only for Ambassador Drumright. Following instruction is from the President:

At earliest opportunity you should seek meeting with President Chiang and inform him orally of this private assurance from me. “I wish to assure you that if at any time a US veto is necessary and will be effective in preventing Chinese Communist entry into the UN, the US will use that veto.” You should tell him that this assurance is given privately because of the unfavorable impact that public disclosure would have on our common position at the UN. This is my policy, and President Chiang is entitled to know it, but any public use of this assurance would force a diplomatic denial here.

You should also inform President Chiang that I now plan to make a strong public statement of support for GRC in UN in following terms Wednesday, Oct. 18. “The US has always considered the Government of the Republic of China the only rightful government representing China and has always given full support to the position and to all the rights of that government in the UN. Therefore, the US firmly opposes the entry of the Chinese Communists into the UN or into any of the components of the UN.”1

Finally you should convey my warmest personal regards to President Chiang and indicate to him my understanding of the difficult political problems he is dealing with and my thanks for his trust in me. End Instruction.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 303/10-1661. Top Secret; Niact; Eyes Only. Drafted by Bundy, cleared in substance by Rusk and U. Alexis Johnson, and approved by McConaughy.
  2. Telegram 276 to Taipei, October 19, transmitted the text of a statement identical to this one that had been released that day by Kennedy’s Press Secretary Pierre E.G. Salinger in response to a press inquiry. (Ibid., 793.02/10-1961)
  3. Telegram 339 from Taipei, October 17, reported that Drumright had met with Chiang and conveyed to him Kennedy’s private assurance, the public statement he planned to make, and the other points in telegram 259. It reported that Chiang said he would have to reveal the assurance in confidence to a few officials in order to obtain support for the policy change and that he would be able to take steps to reverse position only after Kennedy made his public statement. After Drumright pointed out that speed was necessary because of pressure for an early meeting of the Security Council, Chiang stated that he would accept responsibility that the GRC would abstain on the question of Outer Mongolian membership, and he urged U.S. abstention. (Ibid., 303/10-1761)