309. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • Chinese Representation at the United Nations General Assembly

The annual vote on Chinese Representation at the United Nations General Assembly will come up this week, with last minute changes in delegation positions expected right up to the moment of balloting. Recent recognition of Peking by Canada, Italy and Equatorial Guinea are indicative of declining support for Taipei, and the possibility of a close vote in the United Nations. The procedure of the voting will remain as in previous years, i.e., a vote first on the “Important Question,” followed by a vote on the Albanian Resolution (see below). State believes its strenuous efforts of the last ten days on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China have borne fruit and that the close vote may not go against the Government of the Republic of China. A summary of the situation and amplification of the issues follows:

Important Question Resolution:

  • —The United Nations General Assembly may decide by a majority vote that a matter is “substantive” rather than “procedural” and is therefore an “Important Question” requiring for passage affirmative votes of two-thirds of those present and voting.
  • —As in past years, the United States and other supporters of Taipei have introduced the Important Question Resolution on Chinese Representation, which provides a blocking third against Taipei’s expulsion.
  • —State’s estimate of the probable vote this year for the Important Question is 65 in favor, 53 opposed, with 8 abstentions.

The Albanian Resolution

  • —The Albanian Resolution is introduced by Peking’s supporters. It specifically provides for expelling the “Chiang Kai-shek clique” and “restoring the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China” by a simple majority vote.
  • —State’s estimate, subject to revision, of the most likely vote on the Albanian Resolution is 50 in favor, 52 opposed and 24 abstentions.
  • —Even if the Albanian Resolution should gain majority support, Taipei’s representatives would not be expelled this year because of the two-thirds vote requirement imposed by the Important Question.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 299, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. V. Secret; Exdis. Sent for information. An undated draft of this memorandum, prepared earlier in November, is ibid.