347. National Security Study Memorandum 1241


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Next Steps Toward the People’s Republic of China

The President has directed a study of possible diplomatic initiatives which the United States might take toward the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the objective of furthering the improvement of relations. These initiatives should explore the degree to which it is possible to build on recent progress. They should be put into the context of our relations towards other countries, especially the USSR and Japan.

The analysis of each possible diplomatic initiative should include:

  • —the objective of the initiative;
  • —anticipated reaction or response by the PRC;
  • —the advantages and disadvantages of the initiative;
  • —an assessment of the possible effects on our relations with and the anticipated reactions of the Government of the Republic of China (GRC), the USSR, Japan and other nations as appropriate;
  • —an illustrative scenario by which the initiative could be pursued.

The initiatives should be placed into various groups of increasing scope and also include consideration of appropriate arms control measures included in the ongoing studies provided for by NSSMs 69 and 106 on this subject.

The study should assume that there will be no change in our policy of recognition of or support for the Government of the Republic of China.

The President has directed that this study be prepared on a priority basis by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for East Asia and be submitted to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by May 15, 1971, for consideration by the Senior Review Group.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, NSSMs 104–206. Top Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.