427. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations 1
Washington, October 23, 1971, 1745Z.
195059. Subject: Chirep: October 22 Call by GRC Ambassador Shen on Secretary.
Following is Noforn, FYI only, uncleared and subject to revision on review.
- Memorandum of Conversation: Chinese: Amb. James Shen; Political Counselor Henry Chen. US: The Secretary; Counselor Pedersen, Acting Asst Secy Herz, IO; Mr. Moser, EA.
- Summary: Shen, on instructions, asked Secretary for review of possible fallback positions if IQ should fail, presented no comment upon hearing current US thinking. Shen asked if President Nixon would be making any public statement on Chirep and also took opportunity to express concern that return of Dr. Kissinger might coincide with vote on Chirep. End Summary.
- The Secretary and Ambassador Shen began by reviewing recent efforts to line up votes at New York. It was agreed that further efforts would be made with Togo, Ecuador and Peru. Ambassador Shen asked for a report on how the voting projections stood at present. The Secretary stated that it stood at a tie on the important question, with several of the undecided countries “leaning against” us. We are, however, working very hard at the highest levels to win over the uncommitted. He discussed efforts to assure that countries generally friendly with the US but not voting with it on this issue would not work against our interests, for instance by predicting that we will lose.
- Ambassador Shen asked about contingency plans if the IQ should fail. Mr. Herz said there were a number of possibilities. First, there was the Baroody amendment. The US saw no harm in his advancing his amendment under such circumstances. Its chance of success, however, appears small in its present form. Secondly, there is the possibility of a separate vote on the expulsion language of the AR. The chance of success in that case would be less than even. The Secretary emphasized the unpredictability of the vote of many delegations under new circumstances. Some supporters of the AR might well abstain on the expulsion part of that resolution if offered separately. Hopefully, we would have at least one overnight period during which we could [Page 850]emphasize once again what expulsion would mean to the future of the UN. There followed discussion of the rules of debate and how “explanations of vote” might be used to delay a vote.
- Ambassador Shen asked if there were any other contingency positions that the US had under consideration. Mr. Pedersen replied that in a contingency in which we were successful with the IQ and had defeated the AR, but did not expect majority support for the DR, we might consider removing the second—and perhaps also the third—operative section from our DR.
- Ambassador Shen asked if this would be done in order to improve the chance that the remainder of the resolution would pass. Mr. Pedersen replied affirmatively and added that it could also give us needed time. Mr. Herz emphasized that in this contingency we would have created a legislative history for a position that the General Assembly had rejected expulsion of the ROC but nevertheless had brought in the PRC.
- Ambassador Shen asked if President Nixon likely to say anything publicly on the Chirep issue. The Secretary remarked that he would be seeing the President later in the day and that it might be possible for Mr. Ziegler to issue a White House statement of some type. Ambassador Shen then mentioned that he had heard that Dr. Kissinger would be returning Monday, the very day Chirep would be voted on. He expressed concern about the effect of Dr. Kissinger’s answers to questions about his trip. The Secretary confirmed that Dr. Kissinger would be returning late Monday evening and observed that this might be after the vote. He expressed his understanding of the problem that Ambassador Shen had mentioned, and said that he would follow up on it. Mr. Pedersen remarked that should Dr. Kissinger reaffirm upon returning that the subject of Chirep had not come up in Peking at all, this might in fact help our position on the vote. Ambassador Shen recognized this possibility. The Secretary said he thought it would be better if no statement were made before the vote.
- The Secretary volunteered that if it would help, he would either return to New York or make further press statements on Chirep. At this point he was not sure, however, whether either would be to our real advantage. The meeting ended with Ambassador Shen expressing the gratitude of his country for all the efforts being made by the US to retain ROC membership in the UN.
- Comment: As can be seen from the above, Ambassador Shen received all comments sympathetically but made no substantive comment on any of the contingencies presented. As Mr. Moser accompanied the Ambassador to his car, the conversation made it apparent that neither Ambassador Shen nor his Political Counselor had been closely following the procedural situation in New York. The concept of truncating [Page 851]the DR seemed entirely new to them. They appeared, however, open-minded and not unduly pessimistic.
- We are not yet discussing such contingencies with other Dels.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Leo J. Moser; cleared by Pedersen, Herz, Curran, and Peter B. Johnson; and approved by Pedersen. Repeated to Taipei and Tokyo.↩