313. Telegram From the Consulate General in Hong Kong to the Department of State1

4725. Summary.

Strategy on Chirep in wake of last week’s UN vote2 must presumably be based on particularly close consultation with the GRC, but ought also to be consistent with by-now well-established U.S. posture of not opposing PRC participation per se. Necessity of concerting with GRC (together with other factors) appears to exclude U.S.GRC common support of any formula which explicitly or implicitly suggests permanent political separation of Taiwan from the mainland, such as “one-China, one-Taiwan” approach. However, GRC might at least tacitly acquiesce in strategy aimed at marshalling support for “one-China, two delegations” formula, i.e., providing dual representation for China without prejudice to the claims of either Peking or Taipei with respect to sovereignty or territorial integrity.
We are not overly sanguine about prospects for adoption by UN of such dual representation formula even with GRC acquiescence, and we realize that complex Charter problems might block immediate [Page 547] implementation of formula even if adopted. Also, as a matter of tactics, we might find it desirable to continue join with GRC in opposing Albanian resolution (or its successor) and supporting Important Question, while encouraging initiatives by others along “one-China, two-delegations” lines. Nevertheless, U.S. identification with “one-China, two-delegations” position would have implications for our long-run relations with Peking, for rationale of our relationship with GRC, and for peace of Pacific, whose benefits would out-weigh short-term tactical considerations, and which would in any case be better than implications of alternative strategies. End summary.
Just-concluded Chirep season appears to us to have publicly committed U.S. to position of not opposing seating of PRC in UN per se. In wake of favorable vote on AR, pressures for definition of rationale of this position seem to us likely to become irresistible before next year’s Chirep vote. That is, U.S. may be forced to declare whether it favors seating both Peking and Taipei in UN as two separate countries (“one-China, one-Taiwan”) or as two separate groups representing a single country (“one-China, two delegations”).
At same time, as practical matter, historical role of U.S. as ally and supporter of GRC has also just been reaffirmed, with result that it would be difficult, and perhaps harmful to U.S. honor and prestige, for us to take formal position on Chirep in sharp divergence from that of GRC. Also, if our aim is ultimately to have both Peking and Taipei in UN, Peking’s reactions must be taken into account. Peking would certainly strongly prefer to see Chirep continue to be fought out on allor-nothing, “one-China, one delegation” basis. Peking, which more intent on winning seat than in past, wants her entry to come if possible as humiliating defeat for U.S., not as result of compromise. Despite majority vote for AR, Taipei may prefer defeat to compromise and also may want to gamble that IQ will pass at least once more. Nevertheless, based more on subjective estimate than on evidence, we believe that Taipei, and perhaps Peking too, if they had to choose between “one-China, one-Taiwan” formula and “one-China, two-delegations” formula, would choose latter. We believe in particular that KMT/GRC sensitivity to Taiwanese Independence Movement and suspicions re TIM’s U.S. connections virtually rule out possibility of developing a Chirep strategy for next year based on “one-China, one-Taiwan” formula. In any case, “one-China, one-Taiwan” formula would have implications for territorial integrity of China that would be vehemently denounced by both Peking and Taipei.
We accordingly recommend that U.S. seek to develop with GRC common strategy which would, with minimal revision of our past position, nevertheless move toward support of a dual representation formula without prejudice to integrity of China—a “one-China, two-delegations” position. U.S. and GRC would not rule out tactics of continuing [Page 548] to oppose Albanian resolution and support Important Question rule, but would, as matter of longer term strategy, (a) encourage and support introduction of resolution calling on UN (in words of Lusaka) “to examine modalities of enabling all countries which are divided to participate in the activities of organization and its agencies”, and, (b) support introduction of “improved Belgian resolution” which would retain seat in UN for GRC “without prejudice to integrity of China or to competing claims of two governments”.
In keeping with this strategy, U.S. should endeavor, in direct contacts with Chinese Communists at Warsaw and in public statements, to demonstrate active interest in PRC participation in UN and even in its seating in Security Council. This, we believe, is essential if strategy is not to appear to Peking and majority of membership as simply another device to delay or prevent PRC seating. In addition, it would be desirable for U.S. to seek at Warsaw understanding with Peking on status and future of Taiwan consistent both with renunciation of force concept and with above Chirep position.
GRC would probably regard above strategy as much less than ideal; PRC would certainly denounce strategy as “two-Chinas” plot, and vigorously oppose it. However, if strategy gains support and if we present it properly at Warsaw, in broader context of Taiwan problem, it seems at least conceivable that Peking as well as GRC might come to see strategy as part of sequence of events most realistically calculated to prevent permanent political separation of Taiwan from Mainland. (Same, incidentally, cannot be said of any strategy of “one-China, one-Taiwan” variety. Adoption by U.S. of “one-China, one-Taiwan” strategy would in our view materially reduce prospect for improvement in Sino-U.S. relations.)
If, despite our persuasion, Taipei insists on sticking to all or nothing, “one-China, one-delegation” position, and refuses to join us in promotion of “one-China, two-delegations” solution, we recommend that U.S. agree to support GRC in defense its seat on terms acceptable to it. However, in such case we should in our talks with GRC let them know that we intend to lend informal encouragement to initiatives by third parties designed to enable both the GRC and the PRC to participate in the UN as dual representatives of one China. We are not sanguine about prospects for adoption by the UN of a dual representation formula, but U.S. identification with this position would have implications for our long-run relations with China whose benefits would outweigh immediate tactical considerations.
Department please pass Taipei.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Exdis. This telegram was forwarded to USUN on November 23 as telegram 191736 and to Taipei on December 1 as telegram 195256. (Ibid.)
  2. Telegram 3295 from USUN, November 20, reported on the results of the vote on November 20 in the General Assembly. The Important Question resolution was adopted by a vote of 66 to 52 with 7 abstentions, with Maldives absent and Indonesia not participating. The vote on the Albanian resolution was 51 to 49 with 25 abstentions, again with Maldives and Indonesia not participating. Since two-thirds majority of those present and voting was required because of passage of the Important Question resolution, the Albanian resolution failed to receive enough votes for passage. (Ibid.)