315. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Mexico 1

196208. Subj: Memorandum of Conversation with GRC Foreign Minister Mexico City for Freeman Matthews from Peter Johnson.2 Please deliver following to Mr. P. H. Huane, Secretary to the Foreign Minister. Understand Foreign Minister will be in Mexico City until December 4.

The Secretary met with Foreign Minister Wei at Ambassador McBride’s residence for twenty minutes at 9:15 a.m. on December 1.3
The Secretary opened the conversation and said that we made strenuous efforts this year on both the Important Question and the Albanian Resolution and that he personally had made numerous approaches both while in New York at the beginning of the General Assembly and then later with Austria, Chad, Iceland, Ireland and [Page 552]Malaysia. The results of these efforts were not as good as we could have wished.
The Secretary said that for the first time since 1961, when the Chinese representation question took its current form, a simple majority voted to expel the GRC in order to seat Peking. It is unlikely that we can reverse this trend. The Secretary pointed out that the Albanian Resolution did not carry because the Important Question resolution imposed the requirement of a two-thirds majority. The Important Question passed by only 14 votes, down 9 from last year.
The Secretary added that we believe there will be further difficulties with the Important Question resolution next year. A number of governments (including Canada, Italy, Austria) which voted for the Important Question have indicated that they have reservations about continuing to support that resolution in future years.
The Secretary said the United States remains firmly opposed to the expulsion of the Republic of China from the United Nations.
Under the present circumstances, however, we believe we both must examine the new situation carefully with a view to determining what courses of action may be open to us in preventing the expulsion of the Republic of China from the United Nations.
The Secretary said he hoped that when the Foreign Minister returned to Taipei he would inform President Chiang in detail of the seriousness of the problem and the Secretary’s personal concern about it, and that the Foreign Minister would emphasize to President Chiang the importance of examining carefully all available courses of action for meeting the problem.
The Secretary asked the Foreign Minister to convey to President Chiang the United States desire to consult fully on this matter as soon as possible.
Minister Wei said in response that in the Security Council in January, Somalia may take some action with regard to GRC credentials and that possibility there would be one more vote against the GRC beyond the present five. His government, he added, has been in touch with ours with regard to tactics. Minister Wei went on to say that the recent General Assembly results were disappointing but there is still some cause for hope. He said he expects the Albanian Resolution will be resubmitted next year and hopefully will be dealt with again as an Important Question.
Secretary Rogers pointed out that the process of erosion that is taking place probably will continue to present a dangerous situation to the GRC. Minister Wei then said his government foresaw problems within Mainland China which, although not as serious as during the Cultural Revolution, still could cause a change favorable to the GRC between now and next year’s General Assembly session. Minister Wei [Page 553]considered this year’s vote was caused by a combination of negative factors including the Lusaka Conference and the Italian recognition. He expressed hope that the situation might be brighter next year.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Taipei. Drafted by Peter Johnson, cleared by Eliot, and approved by Rogers. The telegram was passed to the President by Kissinger in the daily briefing memorandum for December 8. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 14, President’s Daily Briefing)
  2. H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Vietnam Working Group beginning in August 1969; Peter B. Johnson, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
  3. Robert H. McBride, Ambassador to Mexico. Both Rogers and Wei were in Mexico for the inauguration of President Luis Echeverria.