452. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1
New York, July 26, 1972, 0430Z.
2617. Bush–Huang Meeting July 25. Ref: USUN 2551.2
- Summary. Two-hour informal exchange of views on 27th GA between PRC PermRep Huang and Ambassadors Bush and Bennett covered India/Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middle East, UN financing (inc. 25 percent), peacekeeping, Charter review, SC expansion and other items. Huang reserved PRC position or recalled previous statements on bulk of principal issues and on subsidiary aspects but, of above topics, demonstrated particular curiosity about US attitudes toward Middle East, WDC, and Charter review. Said he had no instructions on PRC position regarding UN membership for Bangladesh and pointedly mentioned unresolved issue of Pakistani POW’s. End summary.
- Ambassador Bush met with PRC Ambassador Huang at Waldorf July 25 for two-hour informal exchange of views on 27th GA. Huang accompanied by Second Secretaries Chao Wei and Kuo Chiating. Ambassador Bennett and MISOFF Thayer also participated.
- Bush opened meeting by welcoming the opportunity to meet with Huang informally in fashion he has found useful for exchanging views with other major participants in UN. Bush said he had no intention of attempting to touch on all items on 27th GA agenda but would mention several that he felt might be of interest to Chinese and would welcome Huang commenting on these as he saw fit and perhaps introduce some items of interest to him.
- US and Chinese Dels. Bush began by describing how US composes its delegation, noting the inclusion of Congressional as well as public members. In brief exchange on this topic, Huang said he had received no word yet on who would be coming from Peking to head delegation which so far composed only of himself, Ambassadors Chen Chu and Wang Jun-sheng.
- India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. Bush said that we view Simla conference as a constructive first step by Bhutto. We hope that further progress would be made in bilateral forum and do not anticipate India/Pakistan as important issue on 27th GA. However, he continued, we expect that Bangladesh will apply for membership and we will [Page 907]support such an application this fall. Huang said that the Simla meeting seems to be a beginning but Simla “is a far distance from solution” of the problems. Regarding matters to be resolved, he mentioned in particular the issues of Kashmir and prisoners of war, including the question of trials in East Pakistan”. Huang concluded by stating that while the Simla conference represented progress, there is still much to do to carry out last year’s resolutions on India/Pakistan, including that by the GA. In response to a direct question, Huang said that he had received no instructions on the question of Bangladesh membership.
- Middle East. Bush said that we anticipate that Arab states probably will want a full Middle East debate this year, as last. We do not yet know what form resolution or the debate will take and thus do not have any fixed position. However, he did not anticipate the US taking a leading role in seeking debate and our posture will principally be to wait and see. Picking up Bush’s brief reference to formulation by Jarring of his report to the GA, Huang raised possibility that Jarring’s forthcoming visit to New York would lead to contact with both parties to the dispute, to which Bennett replied that we understood that one reason he is returning is to survey ground to see what might be done. Huang said that it is his impression that Egypt had asked through SYG for reactivation of Jarring Mission. Bush reviewed history of 4-power talks since early last year. Regarding question of reactivating 4/5power talks, Huang said that PRC has general position that it does “not regard Resolution 242 to be fair. That is why we have reservations regarding the previous 4-power talks”. Huang said he does not have instructions yet regarding the future. He added that the PRC attitude toward Jarring was of course identical with that toward Resolution 242.
- Recent ME developments. Huang asked Bush if USG sees any new proposals about to come forward as result of new developments in Middle East (removal of Soviet personnel). Bush said we still analyzing recent events carefully but have come to no fixed conclusions. Bush asked Huang how Chinese assessed significance of these developments. Huang recalled Chou En-lai’s 20th anniversary message to Egypt, noting that this message expressed support for Egypt’s action. He said that Chinese would have to wait and see as to whether or not there are new initiatives as a result. He asked for US views on this. Bush reiterated that we had come to no conclusions yet and suggested that perhaps he and Huang might pursue this at later stage. Bush mentioned to Huang in passing that USG views recent reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Yemen as a contribution to reduction of tensions in Middle East; even though not of major significance, it was also an expression of fact that tensions not as great today as they were previously.
- UN financial questions. Bush provided overview of US concern over UN financing, mentioning our desire to control excesses of [Page 908]bureaucracy, to support efforts to minimize budgetary increases and to reduce UN inefficiency in general. He also briefly reviewed history of US contributions to UN, including changes in our previous assessments, current share of total contributions to UN and Lodge Commission recommendations. Bush told Huang that he would have difficult assignment at 27th GA of implementing policy that no nation should pay more than 25 percent. Bush described Congressional attitude toward this question and noted that we are seeking Congressional agreement to permit us to negotiate appropriate reduction with UN membership. He explained that new UN members and economic growth of others could help us meet target. Bush acknowledged that this would not receive enthusiastic response from UN, but stressed that this is important issue for USG and we obliged to discuss frankly with others. He pointed out that Lodge Commission also recommended increase in voluntary contributions and noted that US had been particularly responsive to needs in this area.
- (Finances—continued). Stating that he would be pleased to discuss this further with Huang, Bush asked if Huang had any particular thoughts to convey on question of assessments or contributions. Huang said that he did not follow all financial questions in detail but pointed out that Chinese Delegation had already made known PRC reservations about certain UN financial questions. After mentioning Ambassador Algaard’s efforts, Huang said that one question that had been raised was that regarding the “several million dollars left over from the Chiang Kai-shek clique”. Huang went on to say to Bush: “As you know, we were deprived of our UN seat since 1949, so we cannot assume the responsibility for payment. The Middle East and Congo operations were the result of resolutions passed before the resolution of rights of PRC in UN. As you know, we have differences of views about this in the UN. We have stated our views regarding this. This is our position regarding contributions to the UN. As to future contributions, we have not settled this question”. Bush and Bennett pointed out that the matter of contributions would come up next spring and that assessments were now fixed through 1973. Bush recalled Ambassador Algaard’s proposal on the handling of certain contentious funds. We believe, Bush said, that Algaard was on the right track but we understand that the Soviet Union was not sympathetic. Bush added that we understand that SYG was to raise this question in Moscow. After brief reference to working capital fund and other problems, Bush asked if PRC had submitted economic data to provide basis for assessment. Huang said that PRC had been requested to provide data for general purposes “but not in connection with PRC contributions”. At later point in conversation and responding to Huang’s question as to what Bush saw as most important issues coming before 27th GA, Bush told Huang that [Page 909]he thought broad range of financial questions must be considered by whole membership and these would be among most significant issues.
- Peacekeeping. Bush said we hope for progress in working out guidelines for peacekeeping operations but noted that we had long-standing differences of views with Soviets over role of SYG and the Security Council. US and USSR not totally deadlocked over this question but, nevertheless, we foresaw no early breakthrough. Bush solicited Huang’s comment on the Committee of 33 and on UN peacekeeping role. Huang indicated some surprise that there had not been more result from the Peacekeeping Committee’s work and stated flatly that PRC was not planning to get involved in that committee. Bush confirmed, in response to Huang’s query, that Peacekeeping Committee’s report would be made to 27th GA.
- Law of the Sea. Bush mentioned briefly our belief that LOS was highly important effort and that we were optimistic that current preparatory committee meeting in Geneva would make significant progress. He asked Huang’s views. Huang replied simply that PRC had “made clear our basic position on LOS in conference in New York”. (Huang revealed no interest in this subject.)
- Role of ICJ. Bush described our interest in greater role for ICJ, mentioning possibility of establishment of committee to study ICJ. He asked if Chinese planned to offer candidate for ICJ and if PRC had any views on activation of the court. Huang replied merely that PRC “has not considered putting forward a candidate”, and he would not offer any views, despite mild prodding on Court’s role.
- Participation in UNGA committees. Noting that ICJ question would be considered by Sixth Committee, Bennett asked Huang if PRC, which had not participated in Sixth Comite last year, would be doing so this year. Later in conversation, Bennett also asked about Fourth and Fifth Committees. Huang gave precisely same reply to both questions. “Maybe we will take part in Sixth Comite/Fourth and Fifth Comite at this GA”.
- International Law Commission. Bush briefly raised question of ILC and protection of diplomats, noting that we believe convention would be valuable contribution and that we plan to support it. Huang replied only that PRC “had not taken part in ILC.”
- ECOSOC reform. Bush and Bennett described briefly our interest in ECOSOC reform and solicited Huang’s comments. Huang recalled that the Chinese had supported the expansion of ECOSOC, but said his delegation in New York had “no specific views” on various questions regarding institutional reform.
- World Disarmament Conference. Huang introduced WDC question, noting that PRC’s basic views made clear at 26th GA and asking USG attitude. Bush mentioned US-Soviet communiqué statement [Page 910]that WDC could play role at appropriate time, adding that we do not think however, that that time had come and we would oppose a premature effort to convene WDC. Huang pressed for clarification on timing and on attitude of US allies. Bush and Bennett noted that we would wish to examine prospect closely to see what could be accomplished and made point that we believe progress on disarmament matters best made by taking small steps one at a time. They said that European allies generally share our view. Huang asked if Bush anticipated Soviets would make particular new proposals on WDC, to which Bush said we had no specific estimate. Huang then went on to say that WDC this year may be “an essential problem” for 27th GA. Problem was left over from 26th GA when PRC position was clearly stated. PRC “favors disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament. In carrying out our limited tests, PRC has committed itself not to be first to use nuclear weapons. So, if any real progress is to be made then serious attention has to be paid to nuclear disarmament. Thus, to insure success of WDC, prerequisite must be met and only then can WDC be correctly oriented, so it would not be a club for endless debates. In this connection (Huang concluded) we do not agree with the Soviet approach.”
- Charter Review. Huang noted that several replies had been sent to SYG on Charter review, but not many; however, many other states had “expressed oral views”. He asked US attitude. Bush told Huang that we questioned advisability of engaging in broad review of Charter since such an exercise would be fraught with difficulties, including unproductive and divisive debate. Bush added that US was not obstructionist regarding possible changes, but we believed case by case method was best approach to Charter revision. We told Huang that we would be responding to SYG having these considerations in mind. Huang said he would appreciate Bush’s clarification of significance for Charter reviewing exercise of (a) proposal to revise term “enemy state”; (b) expansion of SC; (c) a permanent, semi-permanent and non-permanent membership; and (d) veto power. In subsequent exchanges, we made clear we did not expect to abandon veto, that we understood some others were interested in questions involving first three points but would await clarification from them. Huang, declining to give any view himself on four points (including veto) said only that PRC would have to study others’ views before taking any position, stressing that PRC “must study whole question of Charter review”.
- Department repeat as desired.