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91. Memorandum for the Record0

The Chinese Ambassador1 came in today, accompanied by the Chinese Minister. The Ambassador seemed to want only to pay a formal call, probably arising from my relations with George Yeh last summer. I took the occasion to raise with him the matter of GRC plans to return to the mainland. I told him that we were most appreciative of the Chinese Government’s willingness to keep us informed, and I indicated that our own intelligence did not give us much hope that the time was ripe for any such operations. I also reiterated our belief that our discussions and relations on this question should be governed by the exchange of notes of December 1954 between Dulles and Yeh. I said that it seemed to me that our interests were so deeply joined together in this issue that we must be sure to agree together before any action is taken. Finally, I indicated that we of course would like nothing better than the end of Communist domination on the mainland, and would always be alert to any real opportunity. But I referred to the Cuban episode, indicating that both our governments must be careful not to mistake hopes for realities.

The Ambassador indicated that his government would be glad to receive our analysis of the matter, and he said he could add that, on the premises of the basic attitude I have described, he thought we could count on serious attention to our views. He nevertheless asked us to understand how deeply the return to the mainland is the purpose of life of his people.

In conclusion, I mentioned to him the letter of Pearl Buck on food for the mainland, and asked him what the position of his government would be if there were such a request. He said his government was caught in a dilemma. If it opposed the sale of food, it would be attacked on humanitarian grounds and might also lose popular support on the mainland. But if it approved of them, it might be encouraging the political and military reinforcement of the mainland regime. In this situation his government had so far refrained from expressing an opinion on Australian and Canadian sales. He obviously was much interested in what we might or might not do, but I confined my own remarks to saying that this question had not yet arisen. The Ambassador did indicate that he believed the conditions laid down by Mrs. Buck would prove unacceptable to Peking.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, China Security, 1962-63. Top Secret. Filed with a covering note to Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, stating that it was for the President. Bundy sent a copy to Battle with a March 13 covering note indicating that it was for limited distribution. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/3-1262)
  2. Ambassador Tsiang had replaced Yeh as Ambassador to the United States while continuing to represent the Republic of China at the United Nations.