307. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan 1
Washington, November 7, 1970, 2044Z.
183821. Subject: Renewed Japanese Concern over China Problem.
- At meeting with Assistant Secretary Green following US/Japanese planning talks, Takeshi Suzuki, head of FonOff Policy Planning Bureau, raised China question in terms of urgent need for US/Japanese cooperation in devising means to preserve independence of Taiwan.
- Suzuki used impending reversion to Japan of Ryukyus as basis for underlining critical importance to Japan of preventing hostile Communist China from occupying Taiwan which is strategic position astride vital shipping lanes on Japan’s southern flank. Suzuki also said consensus free Asian nations is that PRC should be admitted to UN but Taiwan should also be recognized as independent political entity. Moreover, at least ten of Taiwan’s 13 million population favor independence, even from Chiang.
- Suzuki then led into proposal he had also raised at policy planning talks. This involved progression of events in which U.S. would first confirm its security commitment to Taiwan; Japan, and U.S. would persuade Chiang Kai-shek to remove GRC forces from Quemoy and Matsu to symbolize abandonment of intention to return to mainland; and UNGA would pass resolution recognizing existence of one Taiwan and one China. This scheme would preserve UNGA seat for Taiwan while Security Council seat would go to PRC. Suzuki admitted Peking and Taipei would both react negatively to idea that both could be seated in UN, but felt that eventually one or both would decide it in their interest to assume seat. In any event, arrangement would preserve independence of Taiwan.
- Green assured Suzuki that in determining its position, U.S. would consult closely with Japan. Green then said he would give entirely personal, non-official reaction to Suzuki’s comments. After agreeing that both Peking and Taipei now show some signs of less diplomatic inflexibility, Green stressed that in past Chinat pride and pretensions have been major obstacles to achievement any tactical goal. Case in point was Gimo’s failure to stand fast in Paris in 1964 when French recognized PRC. Danger now is that Chiang will decide to pull out of UN if many more countries recognize Peking or if there is majority [Page 539]for Albanian Resolution. PRC would then be in unchallenged position for a resolution recognizing existence of only one China (including Taiwan) and we would face all the difficulties and embarrassments of trying to support what was regarded as disputed part of a UN member.
- Suzuki again mentioned advisability of withdrawal from Quemoy and Matsu as means by which Chiang might solidify Taiwanese people behind his leadership. Green responded that in its own peculiar way continued Chinat occupation of Quemoy and Matsu actually seems to have had stabilizing influence on situation. Troop presence symbolizes and confirms view of both governments on identity of China. To remove troops from islands would destroy this symbolism; new situation with clearcut division between two Chinas could precipitate crisis. It would for one thing remove only means by which Chicoms now feel they can reach GRC forces to further their objective of destroying morale and creating opportunities to take over Taiwan from within. Thus, while Suzuki’s suggestion makes good sense in U.S. and Japanese eyes, it would not likely pave way for settlement of Taiwan issue. Suzuki accepted role of Quemoy and Matsu as described by Green (who had also described Doane–Wang agreement and its aftermath), indicating he had not previously considered that factor.
- Subsequent conversation involved need for close consultation between U.S. and Japan on means of ensuring continued independence for Taiwan as soon as this year’s results in UN could be assessed. As he did throughout conversation, Green stressed necessity to avoid using two-China or China/Taiwan labels in considering this problem, as PriMin Sato already has recommended. This would preserve maximum flexibility, perhaps even allowing possible future solution based on presence of Taiwan in UN as part of China—a province perhaps—but separate from the whole.
- When discussion turned to combatting effect of Albanian Resolution, Green and Suzuki agreed that there could be widespread appeal for outcome based on principles of universality and self-determination.
- Suzuki concluded by mentioning that when he visited Ottawa later in week he would urge Canadians in coming UN debate to make clear, as British had done in past, that their vote for Albanian Resolution did not alter status of Taiwan, which remained unsettled.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Exdis. Drafted by Richard A. Ericson, cleared by Robert Emmons, and approved by Assistant Secretary Green. Repeated to Ottawa, Rome, Taipei, Hong Kong, and USUN.↩