291. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1

123390. Subject: Chirep—Meeting with GRC Ambassadors to US and UN.

1.
GRC Ambassadors to US (Chow) and UN (Liu) met July 29 with Asst Secretary De Palma (IO) and Deputy Asst Secretary Brown (EA) for annual pre-UNGA Chirep review.
2.
Amb. Liu led off with report of July 28 meeting of US, Japanese and GRC Ambassadors to UN which discussed early round up of Important Question cosponsors, and agreed seek about same number and geographic distribution as in 1969.
3.
Brief discussion voting positions on Albanian Res indicated outcome likely to be similar to 1969. Favorable shift (in terms our position) likely in case of Cambodia and, possibly Mauritius; unfavorable shift likely by CAR, and, although there no present indications, cannot [Page 509]rule out small number unpredictable shifts. No shift in Canadian or Italian positions, provided, as is likely, their negotiations with Peking not yet successfully concluded. Amb Liu said recent GRC chiefs of LA missions conference revealed no change in LA positions, including Chile. De Palma suggested and Chinese agreed it desirable compare vote estimates and discuss tactics in greater detail in late August.
4.
Ambassador Chow said continuing GRC concern was that recent US moves to reduce tensions (in relations with Peking and others) might be misconstrued as signaling change in US policy on Chirep. Referring to recent reaffirmation of unchanged US position given to Vice Premier (CCK) by President and Secretary, De Palma informed Chinese that annual circular going to field posts within next two weeks would contain explicit reaffirmation that our position has not changed. Ambassador Liu noted with satisfaction that this action coincided with GRC instructions to its missions to make usual annual démarches.
5.
Most interesting exchange took place on possible new initiatives arising in 25th Anniversary atmosphere. Amb Liu specifically noted reports of possible Zambian initiative to introduce single paragraph res referring to admission of Peking without reference to position of GRC. De Palma said we had no firm indications such proposal would be introduced, but agreed need to be alert and devise tactical handling which would depend upon precise nature and language of proposal. He inquired whether Chinese had any reading on likely Peking reaction to such approach. Ambassador Chow said despite great deal of talk recently about Chicom flexibility, he believed Chicom basic principles and policies remained unchanged. Did not rule out however possible Peking tactical flexibility designed create confusion at UN, “disturb Taipei and Moscow and puzzle Washington.” Chow seemed favor attempt amend such resolution, if introduced, to make explicit that it without prejudice to GRC seat in UN; resolution would then be unacceptable to Peking and its supporters. On other hand, Liu feared it would likely pass, even if amended, because it “difficult to prevent many from voting for it.” To question by Ambassador Brown whether GRC would withdraw if such proposal adopted, Ambassador Chow said he did not know since decision would have to be made at highest levels. Chinese asked what US position would be on such resolution. De Palma reiterated it not feasible to attempt take position on hypothetical basis, i.e., we would need to have better idea of language of res before we could decide best tactical handling. In any case, we believed insistence on need to preserve place for GRC was best general approach to this and similar initiatives. Matter was left that we would consult closely if issue arose.
6.
Meeting went smoothly and we believe was very useful, especially discussion of possible new initiative. In this connection we were [Page 510]impressed with absence of usual rhetoric that all would be well if US holds line firmly and exerts its influence and with apparent realization that such resolution might be adopted despite our and GRC best efforts.
7.
For Taipei: In devising contingency tactics for possible new initiative, would be helpful to know whether you think GRC Ambassador’s realistic appraisal of situation and possible acceptance of need for flexibility is now shared at higher levels outside MOFA. Request your assessment without approaching host government at this time.2
Johnson
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential. Drafted by Long; cleared by Armitage, Winthrop G. Brown, and Linwood R. Starbird; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Also sent to Taipei and repeated to Tokyo.
  2. The Embassy in Taipei replied on August 5: “Whatever increased tactical flexibility on Chirep may exist within MOFA circles, it is highly unlikely that it reflects any shift in thinking at higher levels on the fundamental issue of Chirep.” (Telegram 3344 from Taipei, August 5; ibid.)