382. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China 1

135646. Subj: Secretary’s meeting with Ambassadors Shen and Liu, July 26, 1971. Ref: A. State 134611;2 B. Taipei 3632.3

Summary: Ambassador Shen, accompanied by UN PermRep Liu, informed Secretary July 26 of GRC formal reply on Chirep approach together with several additional points on confidential basis. In formal reply, GRC agreed to “abandon” old IQAR approach and to introduction revised IQ. In additional points, GRC indicated it would not oppose introduction DR resolution by USG and other friendly governments provided no mention made of SC seat and hoped that USG and GOJ would neither sponsor nor vote for move to amend DR in that way. In lengthy discussion exploring implications of GRC position, Shen and Liu made clear GRC not asking USG to oppose move to award SC seat to PRC or fight to preserve seat for GRC. Both agreed it would be compatible with GRC request if USG let it be known it would acquiesce in UNGA majority decision, provided award of SC seat to PRC was result of separate motion made by other governments either to amend our DR resolution or introduce separate resolution.

On instructions, GRC Ambassadors Shen and Liu Chieh, GRC PermRep to UN, called on Secretary July 26. Also present were Assistant Secretaries DePalma and Green. Discussion lasted approximately one hour.
Shen opened by following paraphrase of instruction which he had received morning of July 26 from Taipei: a) GRC wished express appreciation for what USG has told it of consultations with other countries on Chirep problem. GRC has taken note of USG conclusion that past formula will no longer work and agrees to abandon that formula; b)GRC grateful for concern which USG and number of other governments, including GOJ, have shown for GRC position in UN. It also [Page 749]grateful for repeated expressions of USG readiness to do all possible to retain GRC membership in UN and to use all provisions and procedures of Charter to that end, including application of basic spirit of IQ which might be embodied in new proposal for purpose of reaffirming that any move to expel GRC is important question and therefore requires for adoption two-thirds majority of those present and voting. If USG, GOJ and other friendly governments advance resolution to that effect—i.e., that any move to expel GRC is important question and requires two-thirds vote—and which does not refer to entry of Chinese Communists, GRC is “ready to agree;” c) it is fervent hope and expectation of GRC that USG and GOJ will work with other countries to defeat Albanian Resolution (AR).
Shen stated that foregoing three points constituted GRC formal reply to USG. In addition, he was instructed to make following points which he asked be treated as confidential and not divulged to other governments, adding that he expected GOJ would be informed separately of these points: a) if friendly countries “really believe” there is need to propose something along lines of Dual Representation (DR) resolution in order to detract votes from AR, GRC will “understand” but does insist that nothing be said in such resolution concerning Security Council seat; b) if others try to amend such resolution or advance separate resolution “aiming” to deprive GRC of SC seat, “GRC hopes that USG and GOJ will not sponsor or vote for such resolution;” c) to be consistent with its past position, GRC will have to “speak against” any formula providing for dual representation.
Secretary first commented that, realistically, he did not think it would be possible to keep GRC position confidential for very long since other governments will ask us what we understand it is and we would have to disclose in some manner what we believe GRC position to be. Turning to substance of approach outlined by Shen, Secretary stated that in his judgement, if USG refuses to take position on SC issue, we will be unable to obtain sufficient votes to preserve GRC membership in UN, with result that AR will carry. In our judgment, this would be mistake, since we believe it most desirable that GRC retain its membership.
Shen responded that GRC is only asking that USG not be associated with proposal to award SC seat to PRC. USG could still advance DR resolution, but it should be left to others to raise SC issue. In other words, Shen explained, GRC was requesting that USG separate its DR approach into two resolutions. USG would sponsor part relating to dual representation but leave to others sponsorship of part awarding SC seat to Chinese Communists. Ambassador Liu explained that underlying GRC request is its desire to “soften blow” which announcement of President Nixon’s intention to visit Peking had had on Chinese public opinion. That announcement had created impression that USG had completely reversed its policy, and this impression would [Page 750]be confirmed if USG appeared to be taking initiative to give SC seat to Chinese Communists. This would be difficult for Chinese public to accept. “Whole idea of our approach,” Liu said, “is that US and Japan would not take initiative in co-sponsoring or supporting such a proposal.”
Secretary acknowledged possibility that we might in first instance avoid taking stand on SC question, but he believed that after we announce our position, other governments will press to determine where we stand on that issue. We had originally thought that we might fend off such queries by stating that we should wait to see whether Peking would be willing to enter UN on DR basis. We had concluded, however, that we could not succeed in defeating AR if we proceeded in that manner. Secretary said that if GRC fully understands that the position it is requesting US to take is likely to fail in preserving its UN membership, he can so inform President who may be willing to consider such course if that is what GRC wants. But, Secretary asked, is this best way to proceed if GRC wishes to retain its membership? This had been central question which Secretary had posed in conversation with Shen on July 19. As Secretary understood position which Shen had outlined today, GRC’s answer is that it would like to retain its membership if possible, although it cannot make any concessions or reveal its position. Shen replied that his instructions indicated that GRC has every intention of remaining in UN if that possible. Its only request to US is that we proceed with DR approach but leave question of SC seat to others to raise. Shen added, “We will leave that to vote of majority of UNGA, but we don’t want US and Japan to vote for it.” Shen observed that only difference between position GRC is taking and that previously outlined by Secretary is that instead of one resolution (embodying both dual representation concept and disposition of SC seat), there would be two. This, he said, would “free you of onus of supporting giving SC seat to Chinese Communists as you have refused to do for so many years.” In Shen’s view, such a USG shift would be difficult to explain. Secretary commented that explanation is very simple: without understanding on disposition of SC seat, we cannot obtain sufficient votes to protect GRC membership in UN. In approaching other governments with that purpose in mind, we cannot take position that we have not made up our minds on SC question; GRC, moreover, is asking that we oppose giving SC seat to PRC. Shen interjected that his government is asking that we do not vote for such a proposal and he noted that USG could abstain.
DePalma commented that GRC approach would rely entirely on passage of revised IQ. However, to secure sufficient votes for such resolution, both to obtain precedence in voting and insure its passage, we must deal with SC issue since other governments will want to know what we foresee as end result of our approach before they will support us. Secretary emphasized that in our judgment, only way in which [Page 751]we can get majority support for revised IQ is to make clear that SC is going to PRC. If we say to other governments that our purpose is to protect GRC membership in UN and its place on SC, we cannot get such support. Shen suggested that on latter point we could say that we will leave that issue up to UNGA. Liu observed that GRC position as outlined by Shen already indicates “quite a degree of flexibility as compared to its previous position.” He stated that, “We are not asking you to oppose (giving SC seat to PRC) or take steps to safeguard our place on SC. But we have to consider feelings of people if our best friend not only no longer opposes admission of Chinese Communists but is taking the lead in co-sponsoring giving SC seat to them.”
At Secretary’s suggestion, to insure complete understanding, Shen reviewed six points of GRC position. His summary followed closely his original presentation but he rephrased second of points given in confidence (Para 3b above) as follows: “Make sure that there nothing in DR resolution about SC seat; if others wish to amend that resolution, let them, provided US and Japan do not co-sponsor such amendment and we hope US and Japan will refrain from voting for such amendment.” Secretary observed that if we say that we are going to fight to keep SC seat for GRC, we will be unable to defeat AR. Shen replied that his instructions were not to ask US to “fight” but merely not to co-sponsor or vote for resolution affecting GRC’s SC seat.
Green commented that we will need every vote we can muster to obtain precedence for revised IQ and defeat AR. DePalma added that it essential we be able persuade other governments that it worth their while to make procedural fight on precedence for revised IQ, but approach GRC proposed would not provide rationale which many governments believe they require to cooperate with us in such effort. Secretary suggested that GRC may not have fully faced up to fact that in order to succeed on revised IQ, we have to be able to indicate what we see as resolution of SC issue. If we duck this question, we probably will lose quite a few votes on revised IQ. If, however, we take position with other governments that we recognize that if PRC enters UN it will have to get SC seat but that we might not be able to vote for such proposition, then we might be able pick up enough votes to preserve GRC membership. Liu observed that Shen had suggested US make clear it not opposing effort by others to amend DR resolution. Shen was asked whether it would be compatible with approach GRC is proposing if US stated that we leave question of SC seat to majority UNGA but could not support move to award seat to PRC. Shen replied he could see no problem in US taking such position unless it wishes get credit for giving SC seat to Chinese Communists. Secretary stated that it would not be a matter of credit but of the reality of the situation, i.e., how do we get enough votes to save GRC’s membership. He said that the only credit we seek is that for preserving GRC’s membership in UN. He [Page 752]observed that if we say in response to queries from other governments that we leave question of SC seat to others and if majority wishes to award it to Peking, that up to them, such position would be interpreted as USG willingness to see SC seat go to PRC. Liu stated that it his impression from contacts in UN that most governments already believe that USG is willing to acquiesce in such result and take it for granted that USG would be willing to go along.
Green observed that in order to obtain passage of revised IQ we would have [to] be prepared vote for resolution giving SC seat to PRC, even though we might not have supported it. Shen’s only comment was that it would still be a separate motion, apart from DR which we would have introduced. Secretary added that whether we take lead in advancing proposal to award SC seat to PRC might be finessed, but he felt that we would have to tell other governments how we thought this issue likely come out.
Green stated that USG and GRC positions now appear much closer, with which Shen and Liu agreed. Liu suggested that it would be most helpful to further consultations if US would prepare draft resolutions for GRC consideration. Secretary indicated that this might be possible within few days. Liu noted that we might wish consider Japanese draft on revised IQ and simple DR resolution. Secretary also agreed that our positions now closer than previously, and he suggested that discussion be resumed in several days. Secretary also suggested that in response to press queries both sides say only that meeting was for purpose of continuing consultations. Shen and Liu agreed.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Shoesmith, cleared by Assistant Secretaries Green and De Palma and Robert H. Miller, and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Tokyo and USUN.
  2. Document 381.
  3. In telegram 3632, July 26, McConaughy reported on a meeting with Chow, who promised a decision “within next few days. He implied this might be along lines of his own recommendation that GRC gamble at least in the first instance, on chance PRC would not take SC seat if GRC retained membership in GA.” Chow asked that the ROC’s views remain private, and that the United States “not publicly advertise in advance its view regarding SC seat.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, China, Vol. VIII)