5. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China1

607. Following is FYI Noforn subject to amendment upon review based upon uncleared memcon:

Secretary called in Amb. Tsiang January 18 to discuss French intention recognize Chinese Communists. Secretary told Tsiang:
That it our impression De Gaulle has made personal decision which not likely be changed, although we have not completely abandoned hope.
That USG regards de Gaulle’s action this matter almost intolerable for many reasons, but particularly in light Chicom involvement South Vietnam where US troops incurring almost daily casualties.
That USG had lodged strong protest with France requesting reconsideration and had asked allies do same. In this connection, Secretary cited support from Germany and Italy, but particularly emphasized vigorous efforts Japanese had made on behalf GRC and in attempt to forestall French recognition Chicoms. Secretary told Tsiang it was most important that GRC aware these Japanese efforts and that it would be helpful if GRC could find some way express its appreciation, particularly in light recent acrimony over Chou Hung-Ching case which has led to deterioration GRC-GOJ relations.
That there was absolutely no two-China sentiment in USG. That to cast doubt on USG firm opposition two-China concept could have most serious repercussions at this stage, particularly in Africa.
That USG understood GRC concern over two-China connotations, but felt best course for GRC to follow at present juncture was to stand fast and to take no immediate retaliatory action against France.
That if GRC sits tight, Peiping may find situation intolerable, since there good chance both French and Chicoms gambling on provoking GRC into breaking off relations with France.
That USG not suggesting GRC make definitive decision at this time but merely put Chicoms to maximum test.
That should Chicoms go ahead with exchange of Ambassadors without GRC-French break, then GRC would have to make own decision in light prevailing circumstances.
That GRC should avoid giving France any normal pretext, e.g. anti-French demonstrations in Taipei, for severing relations with GRC.
Ambassador Tsiang said he agreed that GRC should stay its hand for the moment.
In reply to question on level of GRC representation in Paris, Tsiang said GRC for many years had been unsuccessful in effort get French to accept GRC Ambassador. Most recent request made last fall during ForMin Shen’s visit France. Secretary suggested GRC give thought to renewing such request now as means testing French. If France refused we would then be in a position puncture bubble of French willingness give GRC and Chicoms equal treatment. Secretary pointed out that it may be two or three months before exchange of Ambassadors between France and Chicoms took place, and that in meantime France may have to put certain conditions on Peiping in connection with French plans for South Vietnam. In any event, Secretary stressed it was important to make the recognition matter as difficult as possible for both Paris and Peiping.
In reply to Amb. Tsiang’s question re French motives, Secretary said very difficult to answer but felt motives could be found more in peculiar psychological make-up of De Gaulle rather than in serious analysis French interests.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 17 CHICOM-FR. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Popple, cleared by Bacon and Tyler, and cleared and approved by Don T. Christensen of S/S. Repeated to Paris and Tokyo.