8. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State1
658. Deptel 648.2 Department pass CIA. Following from Ray Cline:
Following my early morning talk with Chiang Ching-Kuo [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]3 Ambassador, DCM, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and I went over file and Deptel 648 instructions. At 1130 Chiang requested another meeting with me where he said he had briefed Gimo on basic points of earlier talk and also discussed subject with Premier and FonMin.
He said Gimo understood US view that GRC should lodge protest when French recognize Peiping and should issue strong statement [Page 14]against “two China” policy but should await further developments before breaking off relations. Gimo felt that GRC action and its timing would depend on content and timing of French announcement. If De Gaulle announced he breaking with GRC nothing could be done. If French statement equivocal GRC would consider possible responses aiming at US objectives.
Chiang said in any event GRC and US mutually affected by French action and grave consequences likely to follow made it essential GRC and US work together on Asian problems. GRC plans to recover mainland would have helped prevent this situation if they had been carried out. Now necessary to talk about how to save GRC and US position in Asia, not just in Paris. He felt serious political troubles would arise in Taiwan if prospects for return to mainland become remote.
Chiang said Gimo wanted to know what US would do if GRC maneuvers in Paris won some time before GRC ouster. Replied that time would permit moral and political pressure on France not to consummate full diplomatic relation, would assist in urging other nations not to follow French lead, and would permit strong US effort to rally support for defense Southeast Asia and free China against Chicom thrusts to dominate area.
Chiang said he hoped all points made in our talks would be got across to Gimo. At this point upon request of Ambassador I said Ambassador would want to accompany me for talk with Gimo and we would be ready anytime. Chiang said he would report to his father and get in touch with me later.
In third meeting with me on January 27, Chiang said he had reported second meeting to Gimo. Gimo wished me to know that GRC reaction to French recognition had been thoroughly discussed between two countries and given deep consideration by Gimo. The Gimo’s decision had been passed to Ambassador Wright. Up to this point the GRC still held to this position in principle but the government was willing to study French recognition statement and reconsider their decision if nature of statement allowed it. Gimo did not deem French recognition as most important point but rather effects it would have on world situation, in Asia and particularly Southeast Asia. He hoped that while I was here I would discuss fully implications of French recognition especially on US and GRC interests in Asia. The Gimo felt that two matters of principle should be discussed after the French announcement:
- The future of the GRC and
- This future as related to the recovery of the mainland.
The President had therefore instructed FonMin Shen to discuss these problems with Amb Wright and me. After these discussions the President would be happy to meet with me.[Page 15]
In ensuing discussion Chiang Ching-Kuo expressing his own views hoped US would consider GRC problems. He catalogued restraints placed by US on GRC action against the mainland. He said GRC would never “sell the soul of its people” on the mainland. Later in emotional voice he said “We may smile on the surface but our hearts are heavy.” The GRC would not go against US interests but they were afraid that Taiwan might fall to Chicoms without a fight.
He said news stories from Washington that the US pressuring GRC on French recognition issue were giving government bad time in party.
I said GRC can count on support from US but that support would be stronger if it clear that De Gaulle to blame for breaking relations, not GRC. I emphasized that US not asking GRC to accept “two-China” policy but to stay and fight at same time forcing De Gaulle’s hand to take responsibility if he made it impossible for GRC to continue in Paris.
Chiang said he would get in touch with me after French statement available.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 17 CHICOM-FR. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Tokyo for the Secretary.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 7.↩
- The message under reference, January 27, along with two January 28 messages from Cline concerning the other two meetings reported in this telegram, are filed with a memorandum of McCone’s January 24 telephone conversation with Harriman; see footnote 4, Document 7. A copy of the first message is in Department of State, Central Files, POL CHINAT-FR.↩
- Telegram 660 from Taipei, January 27, reported that after the French announcement that evening, Chiang Ching-kuo gave Cline a draft statement protesting the French action but with no indication that the GRC would break diplomatic relations. Telegram 662, January 28, reported that Chiang Kai-shek had approved the draft statement with only minor changes. (Ibid., POL 17 CHICOM-FR)↩