301. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State 1

Secto 26/2577. Subject: Sec Visit UNGA: Secretary’s Conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wei.

Following is uncleared memcon for your info only and subject to revision upon review.2

Summary: FonMin Wei expressed concern Canadian recognition of PRC (perhaps followed by Italy) and prospective vote shifts by Chile, Bolivia and Colombia, plus certain others, would result in extremely close vote on Albanian resolution (AR). While GRC doing its utmost, US assistance would also be required, particularly in case of Cambodia where GRC considered it vital Cambodia vote No on AR. Help would also be needed with selected other countries.

Secretary said US would continue to do all we could to obtain adoption of Important Question (IQ) resolution and defeat AR. However, after this GA, we would need to discuss with GRC where we go from here. Many UN members were in favor of universality and we faced prospect FRG and GDR and perhaps other divided states would come into UN. In response to question by Amb Chow, Secretary said he did not think President’s Oct 23 UNGA speech could be misconstrued re our position on China. End summary.

Conversation took place in Room 35A of Waldorf at 3:00 p.m. October 16. US participants were Secretary, Counselor Pedersen and Michael Newlin. Chinese participants were Foreign Minister Wei, Perm Rep Ambassador Liu and Ambassador Chow.
Wei thanked Secretary warmly for US support on Chirep and expressed gratification close cooperation between two UN Missions. Secretary said US doing all it could on this problem.
Wei said he was concerned over adverse impact Canadian recognition of PRC as well as changes of government in Chile and Bolivia would have on Chirep. Greater US and GRC efforts would be required.
In reply to Secretary’s question on Cambodia’s vote, Wei said matter had been taken up with Lon Nol and Deputy Prime Minister. [Page 526] Wei said vote against AR would be consistent with neutral posture. (In response to repeated urgings, Secretary said we would consider speaking to Cambodians about possibility of a No vote.)
Secretary noted increasing difficulties as time goes on. He had urged FonMin Moro AM Oct 16 to delay any GOI move to recognize Peking until after Chirep vote. Moro had cited internal difficulties especially with Senate. Even Conservatives favored Italian recognition of Peking. While we would continue to be in close touch with Italians and we hoped GOI recognition would not take place until after Chirep vote in GA, there was a possibility of a shift in Italian vote in any case.
Counselor Pedersen agreed with Amb Liu that vote on AR would be extremely close this year. In his view, we would not know result until vote actually cast. In reply to question as to effect simple majority in favor of AR would have, Pedersen noted this could lead to difficulties when Credentials Committee’s report came to plenary. However, if AR received only one or two vote margin, there was still a possibility report of Credentials Committee could be adopted approving GRC credentials.
Secretary said he thought we would probably come out all right this year. However, situation concerning Chirep had become more serious and we must look down the road. Many UN members favored universality and we could look for recognition of Peking by Italy, Belgium, certain Latin American countries as well as others. Although we could probably hold the line this year, we needed to engage in active discussions with GRC as to where we go from here.
Amb Chow said “universality” was for some a synonym for admission of Peking to UN. He expressed strong hope that President’s statement before GA on Oct 23 could not be misconstrued as to US position on China. Secretary replied President would be addressing broader issues and he was confident there would be nothing on China which could be misconstrued.
Secretary observed that eventually FRG and GDR would become UN members. Same would probably occur re North and South Korea. As far as Vietnam was concerned, even on US side there was interest in having both North Vietnam and South Vietnam in UN since this would tend to undercut North Vietnam position on Saigon govt. Canada had recognized Peking and Italy would probably soon follow suit. We had to look at facts as they exist and study their implications together. Secretary said he was not saying US position would change next year but that situation needed to be analyzed.
Throughout conversation Chinese made numerous requests for US assistance with individual countries. Upshot was as follows: probably nothing could be done re Chile; US undertook to approach Bolivia, Colombia, Cambodia, Iceland, Fiji and Luxembourg with view [Page 527]to obtaining No vote on AR. US also to approach Belgium to maintain abstention. GRC making effort have Mauritius switch from Yes to No vote and might need supplementary approach from US. GRC to make effort, in first instance, with Kuwait, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Conference Files: Lot 71 D 227, 1970 UNGA, Volume II of VI. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Michael H. Newlin (POL), cleared by Richard F. Pedersen, and approved by Alden H. Irons (S/S). Repeated to Taipei, Hong Kong, and Phnom Penh.
  2. Clearance was sent on October 21 in telegram 2609 to USUN. (Ibid.)