419. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State1
Secto 192/3549. Following is Noforn, FYI only, uncleared and subject to revision on review.
Memorandum of conversation: FM Chow (Republic of China) October 14, 1971; 12:30 PM 35A Waldorf. Chirep.
- Participants: Republic of China—FM Chow, Ambassador Liu, Dr. Chien; US—The Secretary, Mr. Pedersen, Mr. DePalma, Mr. Murphy (reporting officer).
- Summary: FonMin Chow requested public statement by President Nixon on Chirep and suggested that if IQ fails and AR is adopted we should consider taking expulsion case to Security Council where veto applies. The Secretary observed that US veto on this might be overturned, and Chow agreed but said at least it would look like we tried. Chow also requested Presidential letter to Botswana. The Secretary said we still expect to win on the IQ. End Summary.
- FonMin Chow expressed appreciation for the Secretary’s hard work on behalf of the ROC, but said our enemies are spreading rumors that the White House is working at cross purposes, and this greatly disturbs those who are still undecided. He requested that the Secretary discuss with President Nixon a statement of Presidential support for our efforts on Chirep. The Secretary said the President had already made a strong statement to Moro and asked which countries were most affected. Chow said some Latin American and African countries, particularly Panama and Mexico, who say the lack of a White House statement on Chirep shows the US is not sincere. The Secretary said something will be done about this, and Chow pointed out that he felt a public statement from the President was required.
- Chow said our two Missions have been working closely together, and we should maintain confident attitude. At same time he asked if the US had a fall-back position in case our present program fails. The Secretary said he did not think there was one, and asked if Chow had one. Chow stated that of course the ROC cannot even mention such a thing for the other side would spread damaging rumors, and that they could not show any sign of weakness, but that they were thinking, if they lose on the IQ and the AR is adopted then the US is [Page 833]released from its commitment to get the PRC in the SC and keep the ROC in, he felt the matter would then revert to the issue of expulsion. He wondered if we would cite Article 6 of the UN Charter on expulsion of a member and fight the battle in the SC, where the US could veto. The Secretary asked if this was based on grounds that the AR refers to expulsion and the Charter requires a 2/3 vote, and Chow agreed, saying that Article 6 also applies. Mr. DePalma pointed out that the AR refers to expulsion of a representative rather than a member and that, in any event, the question was where we could find the votes.
- The Secretary asked about the procedure on credentials, and wondered why this procedure was not being used by the other side. He observed that they had by-passed the traditional method of testing credentials. Mr. Pedersen remarked that we had never wanted to argue on those grounds because the Credentials Committee goes by majority vote. He commented that the Soviets take the position that representation matters should not go to the Credentials Committee, which can only check the signatures of FonMin’s on credentials, and added that we have essentially gone along with that position. Mr. Pedersen remarked that the PRC has never attempted to present any credentials and FonMin Chow observed that this time they would do so.
- The Secretary commented that the difficulty with the fall-back position dealing with credentials in the GA is that the final vote on representation would be settled by a majority rather than 2/3. Mr. Pedersen observed that FonMin Chow was considering this a case of expulsion requiring action by the SC, rather than one of representation. Chow said this year the AR resolution is vaguely worded, and is in violation of Article 18 of the Charter. Mr. Pedersen remarked that if we cannot get enough votes to win on the IQ, we cannot sustain that this is a representation issue either, as some of our votes will desert us in a credentials fight. Chow said if there were not enough votes, then we should consider a veto in the SC. The Secretary said we had talked about this, before. A US veto could be appealed as being on a procedural item, and would probably be overturned. FonMin Chow said it would be important for ROC public opinion that the US will do all it can, even to a veto, and at least if we then lose they will know the US really tried its best. The Secretary said he would think about this, but observed that it could be very difficult for the US to use a veto under the circumstances, and added that we still expected to win on the IQ.
- Asked about Botswana, Chow said he received their FonMin in Taipei and everything was fine, but he has now changed his position. The Secretary said the Botswana Ambassador at the UN probably changed the mind of the FonMin, and observed that this pattern occurs often at the UN. Ambassador Liu said some African states are under the influence of the more truculent Africans like Zambia and are [Page 834]influenced by rumors creating doubt that the White House fully supports present US efforts on Chirep. FonMin Chow suggested that a letter to the President of Botswana from President Nixon would help. The Secretary commented that the FonMin now said Botswana would abstain on the IQ, but the Ambassador was not in sympathy with this. Asked about Bhutan, Chow said it was influenced by India, and the Secretary remarked that it might abstain on the IQ. Ambassador Liu said the UK and others are saying the IQ is an attempt to delay PRC entry into the UN, and this convinces many other nations to vote against it. Chow also asked if the AR could be amended, if we fail on the IQ and the Secretary replied that that was a possibility. Mr. Pedersen said we still think we will win on the IQ, and the Secretary pointed out that Indonesia will be for us. Mr. Pedersen added that two individuals on the other side have said they now believe their side will lose on the IQ. It was agreed that we would give future consideration to possible fall-back positions if our present program fails and that this would be done in strict confidence so as not to cast any doubt on our expectation of winning.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 302, USUN, Vol. VIII. Secret; Nodis. A notation on the telegram indicates it was sent to Kissinger.↩