181. Memorandum From William H. Brubeck of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson 1

Chicom Activity in Africa

We are concerned by evidence of growing Chinese Communist effort and influence in Africa, involving possible threat to US interests there, shift of African votes on Chinese representation in the UN, and subversion of moderate regimes in Africa.

Items of interest include—Chou En-lai’s current tour of Africa; the effects in Africa of French recognition of the Chicoms; and possible Chicom involvement in the Zanzibar and East Africa disturbances. There is a variety of evidence that the Chinese are making a major long-term effort in Africa.

Even Haile Selassie has now invited Chou En-lai to visit Ethiopia this week, and we may have an issue of Ethiopian recognition of the Chicoms on our hands soon. Averell Harriman is working on these problems—what the Chicoms are up to in East Africa, the Ethiopian issue, how to block the Chinese drive for a “Bandung”-type Afro-Asian conference (we would rather see a neutralist Afro-Asian meeting, excluding the Chicoms), etc.

I am following this and will keep you informed; if you agree I might tell Harriman you are interested in a comprehensive State review of the Chicom offensive in Africa and what we can do about it.

William H. Brubeck 2
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, East, Vol. I, 1/64–4/64. No classification marking.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.