319. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

87. Subj: ChirepPhillips/Liu Meeting Jan 12.

Amb Phillips met with Liu at latter’s request Jan 12 to compare notes in light of US policy review and Liu’s recent consultations in Taipei. Phillips said US review in full swing and that we intended to consult GRC just as soon as it is completed. Liu said Taipei “very disappointed” that he, Liu, was not able to indicate preliminary US thinking about future strategy and tactics. In response to Phillips’ probing, Liu admitted that various alternatives had been discussed (e.g., Belgian resolution—USUN 3750 with generally negative reactions).2
In course of long, rambling and disjointed discussion, Liu revealed that important preoccupation was SC seat. Liu said substitution of PRC for GRC in SC would destroy GRC’s raison d’etre (i.e., claim to be legitimate representative of Chinese people) and therefore was no better than “the worst” (adoption of AR resolution). Under these circumstances, best course might be to maintain present tactics and seek to shore up support for IQ. Liu several times stressed that this was not question of “ideological purity” but involved GRC’s raison d’etre.
Phillips asked if Liu thought IQ could be adopted again. Liu said GRC believed IQ would carry in 1971 provided US and Japan work for its adoption. Liu said Chiang Ching had met with former Japanese PM Kishi in Taiwan and GRC was pleased GOJ would follow its present course on Chirep. (Comment: This is not our impression from Tokyo 265 and informal discussions with Japanese Mission here.)3
Liu said GOJ had instructed its Embassies to submit appraisals on Chirep and he understood Japanese had requested early consultations with USG on this subject. Liu gave impression of alarm that US might have bilaterals with Japan on Chirep before consulting GRC. He mentioned DFM Hogen scheduled to have talks in Washington on Chirep next month. Phillips assured Liu that we had no intention of [Page 559]initiating talks with other governments on this subject prior to consultations with GRC. Liu expressed appreciation.4
Liu next raised SC “should this be necessary and effective”. Liu recalled this commitment given by President Kennedy and later former Secretary Rusk confirmed Johnson administration maintained commitment. He wished to know if commitment still valid. Phillips said he unable to reply because this was first time he had heard of such commitment. Speaking personally, Phillips said we would not wish to take position credentials were substantive matter thereby having our own subject to Soviet veto. However, should challenge to GRC in SC be presented as expulsion this would be vetoable. Phillips promised to look into question.
In further inconclusive discussion of what Liu called “third resolution” (i.e. dual representation formulas) he admitted such alternatives had been discussed in Taipei and expressed some interest in the possibility that such a resolution would reduce support for the AR and, if adopted, the PRC would refuse to come to the UN. GRC could not support such a res but it would buy time. Liu repeated his earlier comments to the effect that it would be desirable to maintain IQ since this resolution has been standard for a number of years.
Liu asked if US would be consulting Soviets on Chirep. He recalled comment that Chirep would not be settled until US, USSR and PRC reached agreement. Phillips said US review still in progress and no decisions taken. We did intend to discuss results of our review with our friends, beginning with GRC, and he had no idea if US would eventually discuss matter with Soviets. Triparite agreement, Phillips indicated, was farfetched.
In summing up, Liu said GRC’s chief concern was not to become isolated or absorbed into Communist domination. He asked if US position on Chirep remained the same. Phillips said we shared similar goal and we were opposed to expulsion of GRC from UN.
Comment: Liu’s trip to Taipei has only served to aggravate his case of jitters. Main reason for his call was to continue his fishing expeditions. Principal substantive clue was implication that, if GRC could be assured seat on SC (presumably along with PRC), GRC might decide to live with dual representation decision rather than continue to fight rear guard action against “worst case”.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 300, USUN, January–May 1971, Vol. VI. Secret; Exdis.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram 265 from Tokyo, January 11, reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry officials had said that their government was under increasing pressure to find an alternative to continuing the “Important Question” versus the “Albanian resolution” strategy. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)
  4. Telegram 166 from USUN, January 20, stated that Ambassador Phillips wanted to change the next-to-last sentence of paragraph 4 to read: “Phillips assured Liu that just as soon as US Chirep review concluded, we planned to consult GRC and other friendly countries intimately concerned.” (Ibid.)