75. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1
New York, December 21, 1971, 1855Z.
5170. Subj: New Composition of Comite of 24.
- At end of long meeting in plenary on Comite Four items, GA Pres announced appointment of two new members to Comite-24 and change of membership for one delegation.
- New members of Comite-24 will be China and Indonesia, who presumably replace two of the WE countries which have left Comite. Poland has withdrawn from Comite and is to be replaced by Czechoslovakia.
- Addition of China to Comite-24, as well as Indonesia, makes Comite become predominantly ASAF Comite with only Sweden representing West, although not terribly effectively, and EE’s and LA’s maintaining same number of seats in Comite. Comite can now be more likened to Apartheid Comite in terms of its composition.
- Presence of China on Comite may not augur well for its future work. While Chinese have not participated in any of the colonial discussions in the GA, either in plenary or in Comite Four, their participation in Comite-24 will certainly serve as development ground for them for next year’s GA discussion on colonial questions. In addition, it can be anticipated that Chinese will follow very militant line with respect to Southern African issues. Re issues dealing with territories in Pacific, Caribbean, and Atlantic, it can be expected the Chinese may seek to capitalize on US absence from Comite-24 by attempting get stronger reses on Guam and American Samoa in particular, as well as on TTPI. In this connection, they may try play up presence of military base in Guam at a time when interest in this has been relatively pro forma with not much discussion. Department should expect to provide essential rebuttal material to Chinese particularly on US territories, inasmuch as US does participate in discussion of American Samoa, Guam and Virgin Islands.
- It entirely possible that presence of Chinese may further bring into focus Sino-Soviet differences with Chinese attempting introduce questions relating to “Soviet colonialism” and it possible that two powers will be vying against each other for leadership on colonial questions among third world dels. All in all, Comite-24 may suddenly be [Page 117]of interest with addition of China. Understand that Ethiopian and Iraqi reps of Comite-24 are ones who urged China serve on Comite.
- Addition of Czechoslovakia to Comite is no surprise since over years they have demonstrated unusual interest in activities of Comite-24 to point of even serving as observers to Comite’s trips around Africa.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Confidential. Repeated to Taipei and Hong Kong.↩