374. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China 1
Washington, July 15, 1971, 0141Z.
127416. Subject: Chirep: ROC Position and Request for Consultations.[Page 728]
- Acting under instructions ROC Ambassador Shen called on Assistant Secretary Green July 13 to make approach parallel Foreign Minister Chow’s July 10 discussion with Ambassador McConaughy in Taipei (Ref C). Conversation was relaxed and friendly throughout.
- Inscription and Tabling: Shen said the ROC had reports that the AR co-sponsors had met and decided to inscribe their item and table their resolution for the Provisional Agenda, which closes July 23. The ROC hoped, therefore, that whatever resolution our side may have will be ready sufficiently early to inscribe before then.
- We reviewed the difference between inscribing an item and tabling a resolution, pointing out that it is the latter which gives a claim to priority. We also noted that agenda is later reviewed by General Committee and finally adopted by General Assembly. Thus not tabling on the Provisional Agenda is not the end of the ballgame.
- Green said the President is fully aware of all aspects of the Chirep problem, including the considerations relating to inscribing an item and tabling a resolution. He said we are waiting for a decision which should be forthcoming shortly.
- Prior Consultations: Shen formally requested that the ROC be informed of the US decision before other governments are and certainly prior to any public announcement. Green responded that after the President’s decision is made we would expect to be in touch with the ROC and then with other friendly governments. At the end of the conversation Shen asked that the ROC’s requests regarding prior consultations be made known to the White House, and Green assured him we would.
- Security Council: Shen said the ROC regards its place in the GA and in the SC as one indivisible question, not as two separable questions. He said that, as the ROC had told us earlier, the ROC would find it intolerable to have its SC seat affected. He realized that there was no preventing others from raising the SC issue in the GA or in the SC itself. He hoped that the US would use its influence to nip any such attempt in the bud. If that were impossible, then he asked that the US treat any move in the SC as a substantive matter not a procedural one.
- Green replied that the ROC had made its point very clearly and that we realized the importance that the ROC attached to its SC seat. Some countries, ourselves included, would prefer that a GA resolution not mention the SC seat, but others think the success of a dual representation [Page 729]resolution may hinge on it. The SC seat is likely to be a most difficult aspect of the problem, one requiring subtle and flexible handling. The objective is to protect ROC membership in the UN. The problem is obtaining sufficient support from others to do so. We understand the implications of this for the ROC. We can give no guarantees of success but we will do the best we can. We would expect to move to seek support promptly after a Presidential decision.
- Shen reiterated the point that if anything happened to its SC seat the ROC would be left with no choice. He was sure numerous arguments could be marshaled in support of the ROC position, but he also said he realized that in the final analysis the need was for votes. Green noted that many countries feel strongly about the question of expelling the ROC, a founding member in good standing. This presented a more attractive case than arguing against Peking’s entry, which no longer appealed to a number of governments.
- Japanese Estimates: Green asked for the ROC’s views about Japan’s position. Shen replied that the Japanese seemed to be strongly opposed to including reference to the SC seat in a dual representation (DR) resolution. Also the Japanese seem to be more optimistic about passage of such a resolution than is the US.
- There ensued some discussion of the Japanese soundings and our reservations about whether their data were firm enough to support their conclusions. (For details see State 1204521 and its reftels.) Shen expressed the hope that the US would not feel it absolutely necessary to include the SC in order to pass a DR res since the Japanese do not think so.
- ROC Activity on DR: Shen noted that the Japanese estimates indicated that the margin in favor of dual rep was small and that a lot of hard work would be needed. He said that the ROC would have to vote against a DR res because of its opposition to any “two Chinas” principle and that, for the same reason, the ROC could not talk in favor of item. In response to a question Shen said that the ROC had not yet decided whether it would work against a DR res; that would depend in part on its content.
- Green said that the ROC attitude on a DR res could be critical for some countries which are good friends of the ROC and noted that the Japanese estimates so indicated. If the ROC speaks against DR, it could drive away potential supporters. Green raised the question as to whether friendly countries don’t need to know that the ROC considers DR preferable to some of the other alternatives (such as passage of the AR). Shen agreed that this will be one of the problems that the ROC will have to face if DR is decided on.
- These considerations were reviewed with Deptoff following close of conversation with Green. Shen wryly described ROC quandary in that case as how to convey the idea: “don’t listen to what we’re saying (i.e. just for the record); what we really want you to do is thus and such.” How ironic it would be, he said, if the ROC’s own vote (and, by implication, its activities) should lead to its defeat.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Starbird, cleared by Sean Holly, and approved by Assistant Secretary Green. Repeated to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and USUN and to Secretary Rogers at San Clemente as Tosec 118.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 371.↩
- Both dated July 12. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM and POL CHINAT–US, respectively)↩
- Dated June 22. (Ibid., UN 6 CHICOM)↩