310. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon1


  • Contingency Backgrounding Material for Adverse Vote on Chinese Representation in the UN

An adverse vote (by a simple majority) on the Albanian Resolution at the present UNGA, which is possible, would of course not result in passage of the resolution because we would still have a majority on the Important Question resolution—but it would probably soon spell the end of the success of our present policy on the Chinese Representation issue. Once the Albanian Resolution obtains a simple majority there is a strong likelihood that our majority on the Important Question will be seriously eroded. It may, in fact, be eroded during the coming year to the point where that majority would be lost at the 26th UNGA, thus opening the way to passage of the Albanian Resolution by a simple majority.

I have approved the use of the following points in backgrounding in the Department and in conversations with key allies in the event the Albanian Resolution obtains a simple majority at this UNGA (the vote is expected the week of November 16):

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We intend to have a thorough examination of the policy implications of the new situation, in full consultation with our friends and allies.
We recognize there is much sentiment in the UN in favor of the admission of Communist China. We do not believe, however, that a majority favors expulsion of the Republic of China. Certainly, the United States does not.
We note a glaring inconsistency in the position of some countries which favor United Nations “universality” in their speeches, yet vote for the Albanian Resolution which would expel the Republic of China from the organization.
We have long felt that a major problem is the fact that the Chinese Representation issue at the United Nations is posed in terms of expelling the Republic of China and seating the People’s Republic of China in its place. While the United States is prepared to examine all the implications of the situation, it is not prepared to drop its firm opposition to attempts to deprive the Republic of China of its membership in the United Nations.

A copy of contingency guidance we plan to use for public statements is enclosed.2

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret.
  2. Attached but not printed. The guidance was transmitted to all posts in telegram 190133, November 20.