388. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1

139831. Subject: Rationale for IQ and Representation Resolutions.

Following are explanations of draft IQ and representation resolutions, superseding those contained in memorandum Herz to Secretary dated July 28.2

IQ Resolution—
We are probably better off at this point with separate IQ and representation resolutions since we would have a better chance to get priority for an IQ than for a representation resolution. In addition, some of the countries we have consulted have expressed reservations on building the two-thirds requirement directly into the representation resolution.
The phrase “which would result in depriving” could be replaced by the phrase “to deprive.” The former is the broader formulation, including without question both the explicit and the implicit. The latter could be read as being narrower in scope.
We believe it is best that the IQ resolution not explicitly be tied to Article 18(2) (expulsion or suspension of rights of members), since this article necessarily involves Article 5 or 6. On the other hand, it is unnecessary to tie the IQ explicitly to Article 18(3) (Assembly action to create a new category of important questions in addition to those cited in 18(2)). In order to preserve maximum tactical maneuverability, it is best to leave it open to delegations to decide for themselves whether they are supporting the resolution as an affirmation of Article 18(2), or as a decision to add a new category as per Article 18(3).
We should keep in mind that we will be attacked on the grounds that even this revised IQ still is just a clever dodge to force the AR (once again) to secure a two-thirds majority and thus to prevent the Assembly from seating Peking, despite the fact that we are now talking about ousting the ROC. We will aid our cause if we can say forthrightly that we want Peking in the UN and believe they can be voted in by a simple majority—just as long as ROC ouster is not involved or implied.
There should be no great problem in getting ROC sanction for this IQ, though they may press for explicit mention of Article 6 and/or Article 18(2), and it is easy enough to explain its meaning to press and public. Presumably the text would offend the PRC as little as any IQ would.
Representation Resolution—
To have the greatest vote-getting ability in the Assembly, and to do as little damage as possible to US bilateral relations with either Peking or Taipei, the resolution must meet certain criteria: (1) it should be couched in terms of representation to avoid as far as possible legal objections that we are acting contrary to Article 4 (admission of new members) or Article 18(1) (each member of the Assembly shall have one vote) of the Charter; (2) it must avoid any position on the political, legal, or geographic claim of PRC or ROC; (3) it should avoid the question of whether China is one entity of which Taiwan is part or whether there are two entities. This should not be pronounced upon by the GA.
It may be best not to include any explicit legal justification in the body of the resolution since whatever legal arguments we put up will be targets for rebuttal. (For example, but not to be propagated, the UN Legal Adviser does not consider that “successor state theory,” in the Chirep context, means two states can succeed to the UN seat held previously by a single member state, unless one of the two is admitted as a new member through the procedures specified in Article 4.) Our true justification is the argument from de facto reality, and [Page 768]it may be best to leave justification to oral and written statements rather than to insert them into the resolution itself.
The “fundamental changes” para is an argument from reality essentially, but it can be understood as something of a legal justification via dual succession. Note it has a one-China flavor, but not blatantly so. The paragraph can be omitted if it looks as though it would cost us votes.
The “existing situation” para is an argument from reality again.
The only reference to the ROC as a “member” is in the para on its “continued representation.” We would like to retain this for possible future uses, but do not wish to call attention to it. If questioned, you should support it on the basis that it is a factual statement of the reality.
Once again, representation rather than membership is stressed in the “believing that the PRC should be represented” para.
The “Recalling” para is not necessary, but psychologically valid as a means of countering adverse legal arguments via an appeal to reason and duty (don’t worry about messy legal questions; solve the problem).
The “equitable resolution” para combines an appeal to reason with the idea that the GA, if it adopts this resolution, damages neither the claims of the parties nor the prospect for some other settlement which they themselves work out. The last phrase could be deleted if some countries prefer not to make even so tentative a reference to the competing claims. We will have to check whether the reference gains or loses us votes.
In order to avoid a conflict with Article 4, we have avoided any formulation in the operative paragraphs which even appears to admit either Peking or Taipei as a new member. The text is therefore couched in terms of representation.
We have also avoided operative paragraphs phrased in terms of an invitation to the PRC to send representatives. Invitation formulas leave open the question of whether some affirmative act on Peking’s part is required and whether in the absence of an affirmative act the resolution has taken effect. The resolution should resolve the matter without requiring any response from Peking so that we can say (next year, for example) that the issue has been decided and Peking’s right of representation fully confirmed, hence no need to reopen the matter at the GA. The objective is to have the UN put up a nameplate for the PRC upon adoption of the resolution.
Some states may object to referring to an ROC “right” of representation, but the ROC would surely object if the linguistic treatment given them were less than that given Peking.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Feldman; cleared by Pedersen, Aldrich, Herz, and Miller; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Repeated to Taipei, Canberra, and Wellington.
  2. Document 384.