311. Editorial Note

On May 18, 1968, the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw invited an officer from the U.S. Embassy to the Chinese Embassy and handed him a letter from Charge Ch’en Tung to Ambassador Gronouski stating that since Ambassador Wang would not be able to return to Warsaw by May 29, the scheduled time of the next meeting, and “as there is nothing to discuss at present,” the Chinese Government suggested that the 135th meeting be postponed until mid or late November. (Telegram 3219 from Warsaw, May 18; Department of State, Central Files, POL CHICOM-US) Telegram 167426 to Warsaw, May 20, transmitted the text of a letter to be conveyed to Ch’en in reply. The letter stated that the U.S. side continued to feel the talks were of value, that it was prepared to meet again with Ch’en on May 29 as an interim measure until Ambassador Wang was able to return, and that there were “several pressing matters we would wish to take up on this occasion.” It urged adhering to the originally scheduled date. Telegram 3241 from Warsaw, May 21, reported that the letter had been delivered that morning. (Ibid.)

On May 24, at another meeting at the Chinese Embassy, Chinese Attaché Lo returned the U.S. letter of May 21. He read a prepared statement declaring that it could not be accepted because it addressed Ch’en Tung as the Charge d’Affaires of the Office of the Chinese Representative [Page 677] to the U.S.-Chinese Ambassadorial Talks rather than as the Charge d’Af-faires of the Chinese People’s Republic in Poland. Gronouski, who had been absent at the time the May 21 letter was sent, suggested to the Department that the letter should be addressed to Ch’en Tung, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Warsaw, the form of address used in a letter of March 6. (Telegram 3293 from Warsaw, May 24; ibid.) Telegram 170093 to Warsaw, May 24, concurred, and telegram 3309 from Warsaw of the same date reported that the letter had been handed to Lo that day, along with another stating that Gronouski would soon be leaving Warsaw, leaving Deputy Chief of Mission Walter E. Jenkins, Jr., as Charge d’Affaires. (Ibid.)

On May 28, at the Chinese Embassy, Lo conveyed a letter from Ch’en Tung to Jenkins stating that U.S. arguments for holding the meeting as scheduled were “untenable.” It stated that the U.S. Government had recently “stepped up its military provocations and war threats against the Chinese people” while making “various gestures of sham relaxation to hoodwink the people of the world” and that under the circumstances, there was no point in holding the meeting. (Telegram 3335 from Warsaw, May 28; ibid.) Telegram 171995 to Warsaw, May 28, 1968, instructed the Embassy to express orally strong regret at the tone of the Chinese letter and to reject as baseless the allegations made in it, emphasizing that the meetings were not a “gesture” nor were they designed to “produce a good effect” but to deal privately with problems between the two countries. In addition, the Embassy was to convey a written response proposing a meeting on June 26 or July 10. (Ibid.) Jenkins reported in telegram 3364 from Warsaw, May 28, that the Embassy had done so. (Ibid.)

On June 27, at the Chinese Embassy, Lo transmitted a letter from Ch’en to Jenkins insisting that the meeting be postponed until mid or late November. (Telegram 3745 from Warsaw, June 28; ibid.)