405. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State 1
4498. For Secretary from Ambassador. Subject: Chirep: Delivery of Secretary’s Message to ROC FonMin. Ref: State 164355.2
Summary: Ambassador on September 8 delivered Secretary’s message to FonMin Chow Shu-kai, notifying ROC that US has decided it is necessary to amend its draft DR resolution to recommend seating [Page 806] PRC in Security Council. FonMin, who was deeply unhappy to learn of this decision, minimized his comment, saying he would be back in touch after consultation with President Chiang and other senior officials. Although we expect prompt sharp rejoinder, we cannot estimate how severe it will be.
- Very shortly after receipt of reftel I met with FonMin Chow Shukai at 3:00 p.m. today and read him your message, making sure that he understood all the key points and leaving him a copy.
- Chow asked briefly whether other governments had already been informed, and if we had set date for tabling resolution. I said the other messages seemed to have gone out simultaneously and that even though we did not have a date for tabling, I knew it was a matter of great urgency.
- Chow refrained from extensive or systematic comment. Instead he reminded me of the very strong views of President Chiang and said he would report immediately to his seniors, specifically mentioning the Vice President and the Vice Premier in addition to the President. Chow did not know how they would react “initially” but left little doubt that it would be very negative and that he, personally, would be in a most uncomfortable position.
- During our relatively brief conversation the Foreign Minister said he had hoped the US and Japan could desist from taking the lead in introducing the SC seat issue, thus “making our task less painful.” He asked rather rhetorically why the US could not have tabled a simple DR while hinting broadly to others that we would acquiesce in an almost immediate amendment. The direct approach would not only create problems with conservative elements in the ROC but would also reopen suspicions that the US may have struck some bargain with the PRC during Dr. Kissinger’s Peking visit.
- After noting that I was available at any time the government wished to convey any further views to us, I explained that your message was very clear as to why we felt it mandatory to move without any further delay to save the situation. It was simply too late to contemplate any other successful approach; we had to move now on the SC issue in order to attract the maximum possible number of significant co-sponsors and achieve the requisite majority in the Assembly. If we failed to do so, some key governments, which were in the process of making up their minds during this stage of the pre-GA deliberations, would refrain from co-sponsoring and might commit themselves to support the Albanian Resolution.
- I also emphatically countered Chow’s comments about a possible US–PRC “bargain” on the SC seat. I said we had made it clear— and had done so publicly—that there had been no substantive agreement reached in Peking. Moreover, I thought it should be fully apparent [Page 807]that we had not pulled any punches in our massive campaign to protect continuing representation for the ROC in the UN. The decision to include a reference to the SC seat was a most uncomfortable one for us and one that had been forced on us by the hard facts of the parliamentary situation we faced in New York and capitals around the world. Finally, as authorized, I explained that we too were faced with internal difficulties and were taking this step only because we did not think the situation would brook any further delay. I pointed out the difficulties caused by Japan’s indecision, but I did not mention Fukuda’s comments to Marshall Green.
- Comment: I think it is virtually certain that we will receive a strong reaction either through the Foreign Minister or possibly at a higher level, with some criticism of both the substance and the manner of the move we have been forced to take.3
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Brussels, Canberra, Tokyo, USUN, and Wellington.↩
- Document 404.↩
- Further details of the meeting are in telegrams 4552 and 4553 from Taipei, both September 10. (Both in National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM)↩