18. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State 1

852. Deptel 812 and 820.2 I delivered Pres Johnson’s letter of Mar 2 to Pres Chiang on Mar 10. Others present were FonMin Shen, Chiang Ching-kuo, James Shen (interpreter) and DCM. He had already seen translation made from advance copy we delivered to Foreign Ministry. He asked whether I had any comments to make on the letter.

I said I had no comments to make on President Johnson’s letter, but I had received instructions from the Department concerning proposals he had made in conversation with Ray Cline and me on January 29 and certain other proposals subsequently made by Foreign Minister.

I then gave him US reaction to his three alternative proposals as instructed paras A, B, and C, Deptel 812.3 I wanted to avoid implying that, by suggesting he explore feasibility bilateral arrangement with Seoul, US was prepared to support such arrangement in terms his original suggestion. Consequently, I added that I was not authorized to state [Page 30]that US would be prepared to provide air, naval, or logistic support to any bilateral arrangement that might be reached.

I then outlined support US giving to GRC international position citing EEC, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Senegal, Congo, (Brazzaville) and FRG.

President then asked what was meant by statement in President Johnson’s letter that “there may be additional areas for cooperation" between GRC and GVN.

I responded with substance of para G, Deptel 812 on subject of financial assistance and land reform, saying I believed this probably represented part of what President Johnson had in mind, although I had been given no interpretation.

The President asked whether he was correct in inferring US was not in favor GRC sending a representative to Viet-Nam at present to discuss possibility of alliance as we had suggested he do with respect Seoul.

I repeated our view that situation in Viet-Nam is too sensitive at present for such action and we hoped he would defer undertaking any such initiative.

I told President that I had reported to Washington what Foreign Minister Shen had told me March 8 concerning difficult situation faced by GRC in Brazzaville. We hoped GRC would find it possible to keep mission there until situation clarified. If withdrawal should be considered advisable, we hoped onus could be placed on Brazzaville and that GRC would closely consult with us on steps considered necessary. I then read to him Dept’s 833.4

President said he had nothing particular to say at this time. He believed he understood the meaning of what I had told him and asked whether the Secretary was definitely coming on April 16.

I replied that I had reported that the President would be glad to see him on April 16 and I believed that he was now definitely planning to come.

President said that matter we had discussed could be gone into fully with the Secretary.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 CHINAT-US. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to Saigon, Seoul, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 812 to Taipei, March 4, transmitted guidance for Wright’s discussions with Chiang Kai-shek and other GRC officials on the U.S. reaction to recent GRC proposals. (Ibid., POL 16 CHICOM) For telegram 820, see Document 17.
  3. The reference paragraphs provided responses to Chiang’s plans one, two, and three, which he proposed during his meeting with Cline and Wright on January 29; see Document 11. The responses were negative, except for the suggestion that Chiang might consider exploring the feasibility of a bilateral arrangement with South Korea.
  4. Dated March 9. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 17 CHINAT-CONGO)