369. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon 1


  • Chirep—Estimate of Chances for Success of Dual Representation

The purpose of this memorandum is to bring to your attention circumstances which have a bearing on your decision on Chinese Representation policy, as well as our current estimates of the chances of passing a Dual Representation resolution at the next General Assembly.

We have had consultations with a limited number of countries on the Dual Representation formula under consideration. None have stated a final position and none have conducted a thorough canvass, but the following is a brief summary of their immediate reaction:

Australia—Would support Dual Representation; prefers a different formula; believes the Security Council seat should be offered the PRC in the resolution; believes Dual Representation unlikely to pass.

Belgium—Would support Dual Representation but believes the resolution must offer the Security Council seat to Peking; expressed no view on chances for passage.

France—Would not support Dual Representation; believes it has a slight chance of passage.

Japan—Would support the Dual Representation formula we are considering; agrees it is desirable not to mention the Security Council seat, but senior Foreign Ministry officials fear inclusion of such a provision may be necessary for passage.

The Netherlands—The Dutch Foreign Office has said it will be unable to express an opinion before the new Dutch Government, to be formed at the end of July, has had an opportunity to study our proposal; the Dutch believe that the odds are probably against passage, particularly if the Security Council seat is not mentioned.

New Zealand—Would support Dual Representation but prefers another formula; considers giving the Security Council seat to Peking essential to success.

Thailand—Agrees Dual Representation is probably the only alternative to ROC expulsion but fears the resolution might not pass in any case.

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United Kingdom—Would not support Dual Representation; strongly doubts it can pass.

In our earlier estimates, at the time NSSM–107 was submitted in January and later when the National Security Council met in March to discuss it, we gave our judgment that a suitable Dual Representation formula could command strong majority support in the Assembly. At the time, we foresaw a 20–25 vote majority in favor of Dual Representation. These estimates were conditioned on the assumptions that the U.S. would begin lobbying actively for Dual Representation in the spring, would co-sponsor the resolution, and that the resolution would contain language (unopposed by us) to the effect that the Security Council seat would go to Peking. I must caution that given present uncertainty regarding these assumptions, the earlier estimates of a sizeable majority for Dual Representation cannot now be relied upon.

In part due to our delay, the situation has changed over time. Peking has managed to create a bandwagon psychology by establishing or reestablishing diplomatic relations with seven countries in the last six months. Also, the steps we ourselves have taken toward normalization of trade and travel with Peking during this period probably have led many countries to assume that we are emphasizing our bilateral relations with the PRC and deemphasizing Chirep.

It is extremely difficult to offer a reasonably hard estimate of the chances for success now, particularly since we have been unable to consult widely on the basis of a specific proposition and country positions are in process of change in many cases. (“Hand-holding” consultations were necessary in some cases just to gain more time.) However, we have formulated tentative in-house estimates, and have compared notes with Australia and Japan. The latter, in particular, has undertaken a world-wide canvass.

The Japanese contacted 105 countries and received 69 replies, but at least 37—well over half—were the personal observations of middle-level Foreign Ministry officials and therefore cannot be considered hard data. Of these 69 countries, about 25 might favor Dual Representation, about 26 might oppose and 18 were uncertain. The Japanese have formed their own in-house estimate for the Assembly as a whole and believe Dual Representation might pass by about three votes. This estimate assumes we will not make an all-out effort. Oddly, some medium-level GOJ officials feel Dual Representation might have a better chance if the Security Council seat were not mentioned in the resolution because certain friends of the ROC might vote against it under those circumstances. Our own analysis of their data does not support that judgment. Of the countries checked by the Japanese, ten told them a Dual Representation resolution must include language awarding the seat to Peking and only one felt otherwise.

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The Australian estimate is that Dual Representation might pass by about two votes—but only if the Security Council seat were to go to Peking. If the Council seat issue is finessed, the Australians believe the resolution is bound to fail.

Our own estimate is somewhat more optimistic—but only if the U.S. co-sponsors and begins soon to lobby intensively, and only if the resolution (with our acquiescence) states that the Council seat should go to Peking. Under these circumstances, we believe Dual Representation could get a majority of 5–7 votes in its favor. This is still a much smaller margin than we had estimated in March. If the U.S. does not co-sponsor, and if the Council seat is not included, we believe the resolution could lose by up to 20 votes, even if the U.S. lobbies hard in its favor.

I must emphasize the tentative nature of these forecasts. The closeness of the vote in these three estimates—a majority of 2, or 3, or 5—shows that if you give the go signal for Dual Representation, we will have to make a very big effort and even then there can be no firm assurance of success.

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Feldman and cleared by Assistant Secretaries De Palma and Green.