304. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

SUBJECT

  • Chinese Representation at the 25th General Assembly

The following is in response to Mrs. Davis’ memorandum of October 26 on the above subject (NSC 22741).2

The situation in the General Assembly on Chinese representation remains essentially unchanged from that reported in the Secretary’s memorandum of October 13.3 The vote on the Albanian Resolution, [Page 532]which seeks to seat Peking and to expel the Republic of China, will likely fail to obtain a simple majority by a narrow margin, though a majority in its favor or a tie vote are still possible. Our best estimates continue to range between a vote of 51 yes–49 no–24 abstain (possible but not likely) and a vote of 50–52–23 (probable).

There does not appear to be any real threat developing to the adoption of the Important Question Resolution, although as we noted in the previous memorandum, the margin will likely be smaller than last year. However, should the Albanian Resolution obtain a plurality at this session, there may be serious erosion in support for the Important Question in the period before the 1971 session. Moreover, a plurality on the Albanian Resolution at this session would spell serious trouble for us, not only because of its effect on the Important Question Resolution next year, but also because it might encourage other types of initiatives, such as a challenge of Chinese credentials in the Assembly or the Security Council, additional bilateral recognitions, and possible consideration of other Chinese representation formulae.

Statements in general debate and in the commemorative session for the most part followed already-known national positions on the issue of Chinese communist membership, but there was increased attention given to the concept of “universality” of membership. Now that the general statements have concluded, attention is focused on the issues with which the Assembly is immediately concerned, especially the Middle East. We do not expect much change in this atmosphere between now and the opening of debate on Chinese representation, still tentatively scheduled for November 2–6 but likely to be delayed by a week or so as a result of the Middle East debate.

Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential. Drafted October 27 by Robert B. Boettcher (IO) and revised October 28 in S/S-S by Thomas M. Harrington.
  2. In this memorandum to Eliot, NSC Staff Secretary Jeanne W. Davis requested that a brief memorandum be prepared for the President by October 27 as “an up-to-date report on the status of the Chinese representation question.” (Ibid.)
  3. Document 299.