393. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

144386. Subject: Chirep.

UK Chargé Millard called at his own request on Deputy Asst. Secretary Herz today to ask about results of US consultations with other countries on Chirep. Herz said it is still too early to make judgments on basis of NY meetings, but first reactions from capitals are quite encouraging. Several countries which either now have relations with Peking or are in process of establishing them have told us they see no obstacle to voting for our formula and against Albanian Resolution. Herz named Turkey as example. Even one co-sponsor of Albanian Res, which Herz declined to name, apparently was prepared to go along with US formula. Herz said we recognize that we still have uphill battle, but from our consultations so far it appeared that UKs’ bearishness about US formula was exception rather than rule. Many countries which had supported Albanian Res in past had done so because it was only way they could register their desire to see PRC in UN. Now they have an alternative.
Millard noted that UK has consistently said it would not support a two-China solution because (a) it has reason to believe that PRC will not enter UN on that basis; (b) UK has supported Albanian Res for ten years and for sake of consistency proposes to adhere to that [Page 776]position; and (c) UK has legal problems with our formula due to apparent conflict with Articles 4 and 18(1) of Charter.
In reply, Herz said with respect to legal problems that we had studied them very carefully, and did not consider them insurmountable. This was really a political issue.UN Charter does not make distinction between UN members and states. Byelorussia and Ukraine are not states but are nonetheless members of UN. Millard observed that their membership had been settled by special arrangement. Herz said that that was exactly his point; for political reasons special arrangements could be made which were in no way in violation of UN Charter.
In response to Millard’s reiterated question of whether our proposal was not clearly in conflict with Articles 4 and 18(1), Feldman replied we believed there was no conflict. Article 4 (admission of new members) did not apply since we were not proposing admission of new member. China is already member of UN and question is, “How shall China be represented?” We saw no legal obstacle to the General Assembly deciding that, for the present at least, China shall be represented by a delegation from PRC and a delegation from ROC. If “legal rationale” were necessary, this could be found in successor state theory. More specifically, in connection with Article 18(1) (each member of General Assembly shall have one vote), Feldman pointed out Charter nowhere defines either “state” or “member” and two terms cannot be considered synonymous. India, for example, became member of UN when still a part of British Empire and before it had attributes of sovereignty which would permit it to be described as “state” in international law. Other original members of UN (e.g., Philippines, Syria, Lebanon) were in similar situation. Best examples of members which were not states remain Ukraine and Byelorussia. Despite their presence in UN, no one speaks of UN having imposed a “three Russias” solution. UN Charter in 1945 was sufficiently flexible to take fully into account the de facto realities of that time and, in our view, retains same flexibility today. Moreover, though all these legal points are interesting, it is important not to lose sight of fact Chirep has been and remains a political problem, requiring a political and statesmanlike solution.

Millard asked what prospects were for Taipei’s acceptance of dual representation formula. Herz noted that ROC had publicly stated that it would struggle to the end in UN. He thought we had reasons to hope that Taipei would see that its own interests would be served by our proposals.

In closing, Herz said we hoped UK would stay in close touch with us.NY was best place to consult, particularly on tactics. Even if UK could not support our effort, we hoped they would be able to avoid actions that could damage our prospects.

We note that British Embassy notetaker was rather sporadic in making notes on above conversation. In particular, he took no notes at all on points made by Feldman (paras 4 and 5 above), and we are unsure whether these points will be made to FCO. Believe it would be useful if Embassy could make similar points to FCO, drawing on this message and State 139829.2
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential. Drafted by Robert T. Burns and approved by Herz. Repeated to USUN, Taipei, Canberra, and Wellington.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 387. Discussions with British officials about the U.S. legal position on the China representation question were reported in telegram 7378 from London, August 10. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)