3. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China1
587. Please deliver soonest following letter to President Chiang from President Johnson:2
“My dear Mr. President:
Your Government has been informed of reliable indications we have that the French Government intends to recognize the Chinese Communist regime in the near future. We have also learned that the Chinese Communists are prepared to accept French recognition without imposing any condition and that France intends to maintain its diplomatic relations with your Government.
I want you to know that the United States has done everything possible to deter the French Government from this ill-advised action. We have told the French at the highest levels that French recognition of the Peiping regime can only damage free world interests. We have asked France to reconsider its intention. We know that other governments are doing the same.
Despite our efforts, there is no indication of change in France's attitude. We understand that Paris and Peiping intend to exchange Ambassadors three months after announcing diplomatic ties. In this situation it is vitally important for our two Governments to work closely together to reduce by all means the ill effects of this event.
It is clear that the Chinese Communists will strongly resent continued French relations with your Government, and hope that your Government [Page 5]will take the initiative in severing relations with France as a result of French recognition of their regime. Mao Tse-tung is undoubtedly gambling on your Government doing just this, thereby relieving him from the burden of appearing to accept a 'two China' situation. Therefore, I believe it would be extremely wise for you to refrain from retaliatory action against France at this time. Your patience will cause Mao Tse-tung the greatest possible embarrassment. It will greatly reduce the advantages which the Chinese Communists expect to gain by the establishment of relations with France.
Finally, I wish to give you my personal assurance that we shall continue to stand by you and your Government and to provide all possible support in our common endeavors.
Warmest personal regards.
Lyndon B. Johnson“
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Green and Officer in Charge of Republic of China Affairs Paul M. Popple, cleared by Harriman and the President, and approved by Rusk.↩
- Telegram 600 from Taipei, January 18, reported that Ambassador Wright had delivered the message that day. Chiang told him that he was awaiting a message from De Gaulle responding to a message Chiang had sent asking whether there was any truth to rumors that France might establish a trade mission in Peking or recognize the Communist government. (Ibid.)↩