346. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State1

2993. Eyes only Bundy. Ref: Taipei 2975.2

I had meeting March 29 with FonMin Wei at his request, which turned out to be on subject of Outer Mongolia.
FonMin said that President Chiang, who is very busy, had suggested that requested meeting with him to discuss Outer Mongolia could be handled by FonMin instead of President. FonMin said he could outline GRC position and that President Chiang would not give any different reaction from that he (FonMin) would give.
FonMin said that GRC viewed question of recognition of Outer Mongolia as matter of China’s territorial integrity, and that recognition by US would be an act undermining GRC’s basic position. He said that closeness of US–GRC relations meant that any US recognition would have a more serious impact on GRC than recognition by Australia, for instance. Australia is a “new friend” but US is a close ally who should not undermine GRC basic policy.
I emphasized that USGhad not reached any decision on recognition, and that we wished at this stage only to place before President Chiang, and seek his reaction to, some of the possible advantages we think might accrue to US if we should open an Embassy in Ulan Bator. I said that my instructions were to seek the Gimo’s views, and that I still wished if possible to have opportunity to do so, but that of course it would be up to Gimo whether he wished to receive me on this subject. I noted that in view of known high importance GRC attaches to entire subject of Outer Mongolia, it would seem appropriate for GRC reaction to be conveyed to US at highest level. I said there was no great urgency about appointment, and that USGwas not on the brink of any quick decision, so that I could afford to wait until Gimo might have time to see me.
FonMin spoke at some length about impossibility, in GRC view, of getting any advantage from Embassy in Ulan Bator. He said Sovs would not permit US to set up any installations in Outer Mongolia capable of monitoring ChiCom nuclear or missile tests. I confined myself to saying that FonMin perhaps not aware of technological advances which might in fact enable us to obtain valuable technical information.
[10 lines of source text not declassified]
I reiterated request to discuss matter with Gimo at his conven-ience, and said I would stand by to see if Gimo would find it possible to give appointment. FonMin repeated that Gimo’s views would be no different from what FonMin had already conveyed, but agreed to convey my renewed request to Gimo.
Today (March 30) in course of unrelated meeting with DefMin Chiang Ching-kuo (CCK) to exchange views on mainland situation, CCK brought up Outer Mongolia. He recalled that USGhas expressed an interest in considering recognition, saying that this had been mentioned to him in September 1965 during his Washington visit. He said that while the matter was outside of his sphere of authority he would like to know of US view of relations between Outer Mongolia and ChiComs.
I said we had little independent information, but that Outer Mongolia seemed to be following anti-ChiCom stance similar to Soviets. Soviet influence was apparently strong, but Mongolia should not necessarily be considered merely their puppet. I recalled that Mongolians had recently reviewed alleged 1921 Chinese interference in Outer Mongolia, and I said we had information that Soviet SAMs installed near Ulan Bator. I said USGhad reached no decision on recognition, was keeping an open mind, but that I had instructions see Gimo to get his views directly, as well as to convey to him our thoughts on certain advantages possibly to be derived from having an Embassy there. I said FonMin had conveyed to me that Gimo is very busy, but I had renewed my request for an appointment with Gimo because of USGdesire to give full consideration to GRC views, and because I knew that Gimo’s own views expressed by [Page 752] him would get close high level consideration in Washington. I said I knew Gimo to be very busy, but that I felt it important for our joint interests for me to have appointment.
CCK said “I understand.”
In obviously prepared reminiscences, he spoke of origin of Sino Sov Treaty of 1945, which was result, he said, of agreements at Yalta which GRC had not been party to. He said that during negotiations on that treaty he himself had spoken to Stalin, who said that an Outer Mongolia under influence other than Soviet would be threat to security of USSR. Stalin had also promised that there would be 30 years of peace in the area if Soviet proposals accepted by GRC, and that Soviets would not support ChiComs against ChiNats. (His intention was to say that Soviets not to be trusted.) He then referred to his third trip to Moscow in fall of 1945 to talk about an economic agreement privileges in Manchuria, not to be accorded to any other country. CCK had discussed this provision with Gimo, who had refused to sign, noting that treaty would have excluded US from economic opportunities in Manchuria. (His intention here was to say that GRC had protected US interests at that time.) He recalled that shortly afterwards in November Lin Piao’s troops had begun attacking Mukden and Changchun, in violation of agreements.
Comment: We have recently had indications from middle level MOFA officers and others that GRC opposition to US or Japanese recognition of Outer Mongolia would be on “moral” grounds rather than on legal grounds, since MOFA officers recognize that GRC abrogation of Sino-Soviet Treaty after it was in force for eight years cannot from international law standpoint undo previous recognition of independence of Outer Mongolia. FonMin did place some emphasis on “territorial integrity” of Outer Mongolia, but major emphasis seemed to be on requesting USGnot to undermine position of close ally. CCK has implied that past GRC actions in support of US interests deserve some recompense.
I am not sure whether my rather strong representations for appointment with Gimo will produce results, but believe next step should be to await reply from FonMin. If appointment again rejected, I would take it to mean that Gimo feels he already has received substance of this approach from Ambassador Goldberg on March 1 (Embtel 2623)3 and does not wish to involve his prestige further at this preliminary stage. It would be quite an adverse indication.4
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 MONG. Top Secret; Exdis.
  2. Telegram 2975 from Taipei, March 28, stated that McConaughy had a tentative appointment with President Chiang on March 31 to discuss Outer Mongolia. He planned to follow the instructions in telegram 142238, February 23, which instructed him to “take soundings with the Gimo” concerning the possibility of U.S. representation in Ulan Bator and possible intelligence advantages. (Both ibid.)
  3. See footnote 2, Document 245.
  4. McConaughy reported in telegram 3359, April 28, that he had discussed the possibility of U.S. recognition of Mongolia with Foreign Minister Wei the previous day and that Wei had reiterated GRC opposition. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 MONG)