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

139288. Strictly eyes only for the Ambassador. Subject: Chirep Consultations: GRC.

At Secretary’s request, GRC Ambassador Shen, accompanied by UN PermRep Liu, met with him on July 30. Also present were Asst. Sec. Green and Acting Asst. Sec. Herz.
Secretary stated he wished to read statement of US position on Chirep problem which he requested be considered an oral presentation of our views to be conveyed to FonMin Chou. He also said this position would be reflected in public announcement which we plan tentatively to make on August 2. Secretary noted we have been under considerable pressure from Congress and press to make our position known. He added he believed our position is not far from that which GRC preferred we take. Secretary’s statement to Shen and Liu today follows:
Begin Statement: In our consideration of this problem, we have been guided by constant desire to be of every assistance to ROC in maintaining honorable position in family of nations which it has earned by its long record of peaceful and constructive participation. To that end, we believe it to be of utmost importance that ROC continue to be represented in UN.
Objective situation which confronts us, however, is that overwhelming majority of UN members have come to believe that PRC should be represented in UN. Many nations which hold this view also are reluctant to see ROC expelled, as would be case if so-called Albanian Resolution were adopted. The exhaustive consultations we have held over past nine months, however, have made clear that in coming session of UNGA the IQ resolution which we have supported for so many years probably will not obtain a majority and, as a result, Albanian Resolution will be adopted. We understand that ROC shares this assessment.
In consultations with Japan, Australia and other governments having strong ties of friendship with ROC, we have considered how best this problem could be surmounted. This has been time-consuming effort as we have tried to protect special interests of ROC of which we [Page 762]have been constantly aware. If, however, we are to have reasonable hope of preventing expulsion of ROC, we must act now and, to that end, we must make our position clear.
We have come to conclusion that only chance of preserving membership of ROC in UN is for US to support a resolution which would provide representation both for your government and government in Peking and at least to acquiesce in majority view that government in Peking should hold permanent seat on SC. Such resolution might be combined with a priori resolution which would provide that any proposal to deprive ROC of representation in UN is an Important Question under Article 18 of Charter which, if adopted, would insure that Albanian Resolution cannot be adopted by simple majority vote.
We have been under strong and persistent pressure from American press and public to make a public statement of our position on this problem. This we shall do in announcement we intend to make on Monday.
You have forcefully and faithfully conveyed to us the problems which such a course of action would create for your government. We realize that your government would not be able to associate itself with this formula and may have to oppose it publicly. We have considered most carefully the alternatives that your government has proposed. Facts, however, compel us to conclude that sufficient support for continued representation of ROC in UN can only be obtained on basis we have outlined above and with full and active support of US. We are prepared to provide that support. We will, of course, want to continue our close cooperation with you.
US, of course, intends to honor our Mutual Defense Treaty commitment and wishes to maintain the long and close relationship which has existed between our two governments. End Statement.2
Shen’s first question was whether by acquiescing in provision for SC seat to go to Peking is meant that such provision would be included as part of DR resolution which US has in mind. Secretary summarized our position as follows: we will state that we oppose expulsion of ROC; we will attempt to obtain majority support to insure precedence for resolution providing that any proposal to deprive ROC of representation is Important Question requiring two-thirds vote; we also will have to say that our consultations have shown that majority of UN members favor SC seat being awarded to PRC and, although [Page 763]we consider this matter to be decided by SC, we will accept decision of majority. With respect to last point, Secretary stressed our conviction that we cannot win fight to preserve ROC membership unless we make our position on Security Council issue clear. Green noted that Australian PriMin recently has made explicit statement that it believes SC seat should go to PRC, a position already taken by New Zealand Government. We have, therefore, two close friends of ROC which have taken such position publicly. Shen returned to this point in later part of conversation to ask whether “acquiesce” also means that US will vote for such provision. Secretary stated that position he had indicated did not necessarily mean that US would advance such a proposal but only that we would accept will of majority on this issue. As to how we would vote, that would depend on what would be required to obtain majority support for our revised IQ and DR resolutions. He emphasized again, however, our belief that unless we make clear from outset that we will acquiesce in will of majority on this issue, we cannot carry the day. For that reason, a statement to that effect will be included in announcement we intend to make.
Ambassador Liu raised question of tactics, stressing importance of lining up firm majority support for DR resolution and not relying on revised IQ as absolute safeguard against passage of Albanian Resolution. He thought it would not be particularly difficult to obtain majority for revised IQ, but cautioned against assuming that all who support us on that resolution will oppose AR. On contrary, he thought it possible that number of members outside solid pro-PRC bloc might abstain on AR. Since Liu thought it possible that votes in favor of AR might increase, he particularly concerned for possibility that increase in abstentions might result in AR obtaining two-thirds vote. He emphasized importance, therefore, of lining up solid support for DR resolution.
Herz agreed and said this shows we must work hard to obtain solid majority for DR. It for this reason that it of especial importance that our efforts to obtain such majority be not disturbed by impression that ROC strongly opposes what we are trying to accomplish.
Secretary and Herz then discussed with Liu number of tactical approaches to question of insuring defeat of AR. Secretary emphasized possibility that once US indicates its willingness to see PRC enter UN we may have entirely new tactical situation. In past, vote for IQ was in effect vote to keep PRC out, placing in ambivalent position many governments favoring PRC entry but opposing ROC expulsion. In new situation, however, entry of PRC will be accepted and issue will thus focus on protection of ROC membership. Secretary suggested that if we can win on revised IQ, we could take position that AR resolution out of order since, although question PRC entry could be decided by [Page 764]simple majority vote, second part of AR calling for expulsion of ROC would require two-thirds majority. This would force separate votes on two parts of AR. Herz noted that such vote could also present danger to us in that first part of AR would admit PRC as “sole legal government of China”. It was agreed that there would have to be further discussions on these tactical questions.
At conclusion of discussion, Shen asked whether it would be possible for us to delay our announcement until August 3 since he required be away from Washington on August 2 and delay would give his government better chance to make any further comments it may have. Secretary replied that date tentative, but he would prefer to have announcement made on August 2. Green pointed out that waiting until August 3 runs serious risk of leakage and that it is most important for USG and GRC that news first appear in context of Secretary’s carefully prepared statement.
Neither Shen, who had been in telephonic contact with Taipei just prior to his meeting with Secretary, nor Liu took any exception to substance of Secretary’s statement or to fact that we intended make public announcement of our position. They were completely attentive to Secretary’s statement but did not give any impression of consternation with its content. They evidently had received no word from Taipei whether ROC would be willing remain in UN if DR resolution adopted providing for SC seat going to PRC. They did not allude to that question. Atmosphere of meeting was entirely friendly.
For Ambassador: You should repeat orally and soonest for Fon-Min Chou substance of Secretary’s statement, paras 3 through 9 above. You should emphasize utmost importance that this information and our intention issue announcement be closely safeguarded.3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Shoesmith; cleared by Assistant Secretary Green, Herz, and Curran; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Tokyo and USUN.
  2. Haig and Kissinger slightly modified the statement (drafted by Green and approved by Rogers on July 31) to remove any mention of “dual representation.” Haig’s letter to Eliot explaining these changes is ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VIII.
  3. The statement was sent as telegram 139510 to Taipei, July 31. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM) McConaughy met that day with Chow, who asked that the United States “adopt most passive possible public position on SC issue.” McConaughy agreed with Chow that the United States should supply the draft public statement on this issue to the ROC as soon as possible. (Telegram 3745 from Taipei, July 31; ibid.) McConaughy also asked Chow whether the ROC would vote against the dual representation resolution, even if that threatened to defeat the measure. Chow replied that he could not predict his government’s decision. (Telegram 3765 from Taipei, August 2; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. VIII)