274. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Ambassador Huang Hua, PRC Permanent Representative to the United Nations
    and Ambassador to Canada
    Chʼen Chʼu, PRC Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and
    Director, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Tʼang Wenʼsheng, Interpreter
    Shih Yen-hua, Interpreter
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
    Ambassador George Bush, US Representative to the United Nations
    Brig. General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for
    National Security Affairs
    Winston Lord, Senior NSC Staff Member

Dr. Henry Kissinger: I see you in the newspapers all the time. Youʼre a great publicity expert. And very argumentative.

Ambassador Huang: No, I always argue in self-defense.

Chʼen Chʼu: He counterattacks in self-defense.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Preemptive attack.

Mr. Ambassador, what we have is not strictly UN business, but our contact in Paris is not there.

Miss Tʼang: Mr. Walters?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: He is not in Paris right now. He is going to be with the President in the Azores.

This may turn out to become UN business, but we wanted the Prime Minister urgently to know certain things we are doing. Therefore we have taken the liberty of this slightly irregular procedure. (Ambassador Huang nods.)

The apartment is slightly improved over last time. Next time we meet we will really have a suitable place. (Looking at a Chinese scroll on the wall) There seems to be a wandering Chinese painting that we hang up every time we have an apartment. (Chinese laughter.) I hope those sentences are friendly.

Ambassador Huang: I canʼt see them from such a distance.

[Page 752]

Chʼen Chʼu: (Looking at the scroll) It is an ancient poem.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: I have some great colored pictures of you (Chʼen). I will send them to you. They were taken at the Great Wall.

Let me explain to you what we have done in various categories. Incidentally, just so everyone knows exactly what we do, we tell you about our conversations with the Soviets; we do not tell the Soviets about our conversations with you. In fact, we donʼt tell our own colleagues that I see you. George Bush is the only person outside the White House who knows I come here.

You know we have made a number of public declarations about India. I held what is known as a press backgrounder this week in which I pointed out that India is at fault. I will give you the text of it before you leave so that you can read it. And we will continue to pursue this line publicly.

You know what we have done in the United Nations so there is no point in reviewing this with you.

In addition we have taken other measures. We have canceled $87 million of loans to India and $14 million of military equipment.

Ambassador Huang: $40 million or $14 million?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: $14 million. But in addition, there is $17 million due to be purchased which fell through because we arenʼt issuing new licenses. So the net cancellation amounted to $31 million. In fact, we have canceled the entire military equipment line to India. There is no military equipment going to India. This means specifically we have canceled all radar equipment for defense in the north.

Then we have two other items due to be signed this week that we are not signing, and that we have no intention of signing. One is an agreement for $72 million worth of food, PL 480.

Miss Tʼang: PL 480?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Thatʼs a food program, a specific program. Another is $100 million in loans. And we are working, using our influence, at the World Bank to defer loans of $75 million which are becoming due. Our Ambassador (looking toward Bush) thinks we are never doing anything.

Ambassador Huang: You mean Mr. Bush thought that you are doing nothing?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: He thinks we just sit in the White House and do nothing.

Ambassador Bush: I think I do all the work and that they do nothing.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: What he really thinks is that we are pursuing an evenhanded policy. Thatʼs what our press spokesman says.

[Page 753]

Now I want to tell the Ambassador, for the Prime Minister, about a number of communications we have had with the Soviet Union.

Ambassador Huang: You mean in the sense of the first question just discussed, i.e., the question of the India–Pakistan subcontinent?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Yes, India–Pakistan. We have had the following contacts—the Soviet Ambassador is back in Moscow, so I have to deal with the Chargé. Last Sunday I called the Soviet Counsellor Vorontsov to the White House.

Miss Tʼang: Soviet Counsellor?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Mr. Vorontsov. Heʼs the Chargé. And I told him that the Soviets support of Indian aggression endangers the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. Incidentally, these conversations are known only in the White House and only to you.

On Monday,2 President Nixon sent a letter3 to Secretary General Brezhnev in which he said that Indian aggression with Soviet support is unacceptable to the United States, and that if pursued this would complicate for a long time the international situation and would have an adverse effect—this is a quote—on the whole range of our relationships. (Ambassador Huang checks the translation.)

Mr. Brezhnev sent a reply4—we sent the letter December 6 and we received the reply December 9th in the morning. The letter was phrased in conciliatory language and it proposes a ceasefire and “an immediate”—this is quoting again—“resumption of negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and the East Pakistan leaders concerning a political settlement.” (Miss Tʼang asks and Dr. Kissinger repeats)—this is a quote—“concerning a political settlement in East Pakistan.” The continuation of the—quote—“the negotiations should, naturally, be started from the stage at which they were discontinued.” I said this meant on the basis of a united Pakistan.

Miss Tʼang: You said … ?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: I said orally that on March 25 there was a united Pakistan, and he (Vorontsov) said yes. Incidentally, we inform the Pakistani Ambassador of everything we do. I donʼt know whether he informs you.

Yesterday, December 9, we learned that the Soviet Minister of Agriculture was in Washington and that he was a friend of Brezhnev who wanted to see the President.

Ambassador Huang: His name?

[Page 754]

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Matskevich. These gentlemen (the Chinese) have a file on everybody. Someday I must find out what they know about me; it is more than I do. (Ambassador Huang gestures in mock denial.)

During this discussion, which lasted 15 minutes and was primarily a statement by the President, the President emphasized that Pakistan is a friend of the United States and that if India were to continue its attacks and launch an attack against West Pakistan, it could lead to a US-Soviet confrontation.

Today, on December 10, we sent forward a reply to Brezhnev.5 We pointed out that—this is based on the information we have that the Pakistani commander in East Pakistan has asked for a ceasefire—we said if there is not a ceasefire in West Pakistan as well, “we would have to conclude that there is in progress an act of aggression directed at the whole of Pakistan, a friendly country, toward which we have obligations.”

In order to underline what we have said, we worked with a number of countries to provide aid to Pakistan.

Ambassador Huang: But this is not in the letter that you are quoting.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: No, I am telling you about this. This is terribly complex. We are barred by law from giving equipment to Pakistan in this situation. And we also are barred by law from permitting friendly countries which have American equipment to give their equipment to Pakistan.

So we have worked out the following arrangements with a number of countries. We have told Jordan and Iran and Saudi Arabia, and we will tell Turkey through a channel other than the ones with which Ambassador Bush is familiar. We said that if they decide that their natural security requires shipment of American arms to Pakistan, we are obliged to protest, but we will understand. We will not protest with great intensity. And we will make up to them in next yearʼs budget whatever difficulties they have.

On this basis, four planes are leaving Jordan today and 22 over the weekend. Ammunition and other equipment is going from Iran.

Ambassador Huang: You mean over the weekend?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: We donʼt know the exact time, but immediately we understand. And six planes from Turkey in the near future. This is very confidential obviously, and we are not eager for it to be known. At least not until Congress gets out of town tomorrow.

In addition, we are moving a number of naval ships in the West Pacific toward the Indian Ocean: an aircraft carrier accompanied by [Page 755] four destroyers and a tanker, and a helicopter carrier and two destroyers. I have maps here showing the location of the Soviet fleet in the Indian Ocean if you are interested. These are much smaller ships. They are no match for the US ships. (Showing Ambassador Huang the map) Here is a merchant tanker … a submarine …

Ambassador Huang: (laughing) Iʼm no expert.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Iʼm not either. There is no difficulty.

There is not much in the Soviet fleet. What is the total number, Al? (to Haig) Iʼve read it somewhere.

Ambassador Huang: Thereʼs a cruiser coming in now.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Their ships are not much.

I now come to a matter of some sensitivity. We have received a report that one of your personnel in a European country, in a conversation with another European, expressed uncertainty about the Soviet dispositions on your borders and a desire for information about them. We do not ourselves concentrate on tactical intelligence. We only have information about the general disposition, and we collect it at irregular intervals by satellite. But we would be prepared at your request, and through whatever sources you wish, to give you whatever information we have about the disposition of Soviet forces. I donʼt have it with me, but we can arrange it easily wherever you wish and in an absolutely secure way.

Secondly, the President wants you to know that itʼs, of course, up to the Peopleʼs Republic to decide its own course of action in this situation, but if the Peopleʼs Republic were to consider the situation on the Indian subcontinent a threat to its security, and if it took measures to protect its security, the US would oppose efforts of others to interfere with the Peopleʼs Republic. We are not recommending any particular steps; we are simply informing you about the actions of others.

The movement of our naval forces is still East of the Straits of Malacca and will not become obvious until Sunday6 evening when they cross the Straits.

I would like to give you our assessment of the military situation on the subcontinent. I donʼt know whether you have any assessments. I would like to give this to you and then tell you one other thing.

The Pakistani army in the East has been destroyed. The Pakistani army in the West will run out of what we call POL—gas and oil—in another two to three weeks, two weeks probably, because the oil storage capacity in Karachi has been destroyed. We think that the immediate objective must be to prevent an attack on the West Pakistan army [Page 756] by India. We are afraid that if nothing is done to stop it, East Pakistan will become a Bhutan and West Pakistan will become a Nepal. And India with Soviet help would be free to turn its energies elsewhere.

So it seems to us that through a combination of pressures and political moves it is important to keep India from attacking in the West, to gain time to get more arms into Pakistan and to restore the situation.

We sent yesterday the relevant paragraphs, the non-rhetorical paragraphs, from Brezhnevʼs letter to President Yahya for his opinion. (To Ambassador Huang and Miss Tʼang) Why donʼt you read what we told him? It is an unusual method of proceeding, but we have to understand each other. This is just a quotation, an extract. (To Miss Tʼang) Donʼt write it down word for word, Nancy.

You donʼt need a master spy. We give you everything (handing over his file). We read that you brought a master spy with you. You donʼt need him. He couldnʼt get this by himself. (Chinese laughter) Next time he (Ambassador Huang) will show me one of his dispatches, but it will do me no good at all, since I canʼt read it. (Chinese laughter)

(To Ambassador Bush) Donʼt you discuss diplomacy this way.

Ambassador Bush: Iʼm trying to understand it. Iʼm waiting for the Chinese translation.

(Miss Tʼang continues to read out the cable to Yahya.)7

Dr. Henry Kissinger: This is to our Ambassador, but it goes through a secret channel. No one in the bureaucracy sees it. (Miss Tʼang keeps reading.)

I went over this with the Pakistani Ambassador. I showed it to him to see if he thought it was alright.

Miss Tʼang: And then you sent it.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: So we are being open and we are doing it in friendship.

Miss Tʼang: (Repeating) “disassociation.”

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Let me explain, Mr. Ambassador. If the Russians advocate negotiations as they were in March, that means they cannot accept Bangla Desh. (To the Ambassador) You can read that next page.

Miss Tʼang: It says “exclusively eyes only.”

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Thereʼs a better one that says “burn before reading.”

(Dr. Kissinger confirms the translation.)

[Page 757]

(Miss Tʼang keeps reading) I wanted you to know so that you know exactly what we tell them. Now they have replied to us. Can I read it to you, which is the answer from Yahya?8

Ambassador Huang: Yes.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: He said that subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of my communication—in other words these two provisions concerning negotiations being done in a united way—India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separation of armed forces standing fast; and the UN or another international organization should provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; and India and Pakistan at any effective level should immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith there would be negotiations looking toward the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations, that is, a political settlement. (Miss Tʼang repeats, then interprets)

So now you know everything we know. Our judgment is if East Pakistan is to be preserved from destruction, two things are needed— maximum intimidation of the Indians and, to some extent, the Soviets. Secondly, maximum pressure for the ceasefire.

At this moment we have—I must tell you one other thing—we have an intelligence report according to which Mrs. Gandhi told her cabinet that she wants to destroy the Pakistani army9 and air force and to annex this part of Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, and then to offer a cease-fire. This is what we believe must be prevented and this is why I have taken the liberty to ask for this meeting with the Ambassador.

One other thing. The Acting Secretary of State—the Secretary of State is in Europe—called in last night the Indian Ambassador and demanded assurance that India has no designs, will not annex any territory. We do this to have a legal basis for other actions.

So this is where we are.

Ambassador Huang: We thank Dr. Kissinger very much for informing us of the situation on the subcontinent of India–Pakistan, and we certainly will convey that to Prime Minister Chou En-lai.

The position of the Chinese Government on this matter is not a secret. Everything has been made known to the world. And the basic stand we are taking in the UN is the basic stand of our government. Both in the Security Council and the plenary session of the General Assembly we have supported the draft resolutions that have included both the ceasefire and withdrawal, although we are not actually satisfied with [Page 758] that kind of resolution. But we feel that the draft resolution which had support in the Security Council and especially the one which we voted in favor of in the General Assembly, reflect the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the small and medium countries. And in the plenary session of the General Assembly this draft resolution was put forward by Algeria and Argentina and 38 more and it was adopted by a majority of 104.10 The opposition consisted in effect of only two—the Soviet Union and India. The others were either their followers or their protectorates. We feel that this reflects the aspirations, it shows where the hearts of the people in the world turn to.

Miss Tʼang: (To Dr. Kissinger) Do you understand?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Oh, yes.

Ambassador Huang: It shows what the majority of the people in the world support and what they oppose. Because if India, with the aid of the Soviet Union, would be able to have its own way in the subcontinent then there would be no more security to speak of for a lot of other countries, and no peace to speak of. Because that would mean the dismemberment and the splitting up of a sovereign country and the creation of a new edition of Manchukuo, the Bangla Desh. It would also mean aggression by military force and the annexation of sovereign territory.

Therefore we believe that the draft resolution that was put forth in the General Assembly in the UN put forward two minimum principles, two minimum criteria. One is ceasefire; the other is withdrawal. And in his speech in the General Assembly with regard to this matter; Deputy Minister Chʼiao Kuan-hua has explained this question in a more comprehensive and fuller way. We should persist in this stand, and we hold that any action that may be taken by the UN cannot go below the resolution passed by the General Assembly. It cannot be anything that carries less than that resolution.

And on this point of view, in my personal opinion, we feel the position taken by the United States Government has been a weak one. From what I just heard in the letter to Yahya Khan and your conversation with the Indian Ambassador and also your communications with the Soviet Union, we have found that you have not put forward both the principles of ceasefire and withdrawal.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Thatʼs not correct. We put forward both principles. There are two separate problems, in all due respect. We donʼt want in the principle of withdrawal to have West Pakistan go the way of East Pakistan.

Ambassador Huang: And then thereʼs this question that the British put forward that they wanted the leaders of the Pakistan government [Page 759] to enter into political negotiations. You also mentioned that, picked up their position that negotiations should begin.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Not to Brezhnev.

Ambassador Huang: And you mention negotiations should start from where they were continuing.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Brezhnev said that. What I showed you was a question to Yahya. We have not agreed with Brezhnev.

Ambassador Huang: But Brezhnevʼs proposal is essentially the same one that Mr. Malik has been saying here.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Thatʼs true.

Ambassador Huang: In fact, it means legalizing of the new refurbishment of another Manchukuo, that is, to give it legal status through the UN, or rather through the modalities of the UN.

This goes against the desires of the people in Pakistan, against the desires of the peoples of the world that was expressed in the voting of the General Assembly on this issue. The Soviet Union and India now are progressing along on an extremely dangerous track in the subcontinent. And as we have already pointed out this is a step to encircle China.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: There is no question about that.

Ambassador Huang: And you also are clear about our activity, that is we are prepared to meet attacks coming from the east, west, north, and south.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: When we have an exchange program between our countries, I hope to send a few State Department people to China. Iʼll send you a few of our State Department people for training. I may look weak to you, Mr. Ambassador, but my colleagues in Washington think Iʼm a raving maniac.

Miss Tʼang: We didnʼt finish. Ambassador Huang: We are prepared for attacks on the east, west, north, and south. We are prepared to engage in guerrilla warfare once again with millet and rifle, and we are prepared to begin our construction over again, after that eventuality. And the private attitude adopted by Brezhnev which we see now, in which he talks about so-called political negotiations is in fact direct and obvious intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign country and something we feel is completely unacceptable, is inadmissible.

Of course we have nothing here about the military situation in the India–Pakistan subcontinent except what we read in the newspapers. But from our experience of a longer period we feel that the struggle waged by the people in Pakistan is a just struggle and therefore it is bound to have the support of the Chinese people and the people of the world. Whoever upholds justice and strives to defend their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity …

[Page 760]

We have an old proverb: “If light does not come to the east it will come to the west. If the south darkens, the north must still have light.” And therefore if we meet with some defeats in certain places, we will win elsewhere. So we keep persevering. So long as we persevere in principle and a just struggle, then final victory will still be ours. I donʼt think thereʼs need for any more elaboration on that, because the history of the Chinese peopleʼs revolution itself is a good example.

Mr. Kissinger: Mr. Ambassador, we agree with your analysis of the situation. What is happening in the Indian subcontinent is a threat to all people. Itʼs a more immediate threat to China, but itʼs a threat to all people. We have no agreement with the British to do anything. In fact we are talking with you to come to a common position. We know that Pakistan is being punished because it is a friend of China and because it is a friend of the United States.

But while we agree with your theory, we now have an immediate problem. I donʼt know the history of the peopleʼs revolution in China nearly as well as you do. I seem to remember that one of the great lessons is that under all circumstances the Chinese movement maintained its essence. And as an article on the Chungking negotiations makes clear, it is right to negotiate when negotiations are necessary and to fight when fighting is necessary.

We want to preserve the army in West Pakistan so that it is better able to fight if the situation rises again. We are also prepared to attempt to assemble a maximum amount of pressure in order to deter India. You read the New York Times every day, and you will see that the movement of supplies and the movement of our fleet will not have the universal admiration of the media, to put it mildly. And it will have the total opposition of our political opponents.

We want to keep the pressure on India, both militarily and politically. We have no interest in political negotiations between Pakistani leaders and East Pakistani leaders as such. The only interest that we possibly have is to get Soviet agreement to a united Pakistan. We have no interest in an agreement between Bangla Desh and Pakistan.

We are prepared also to consider simply a ceasefire. We are prepared also to follow your course in the UN which most of my colleagues would be delighted to do and then Pakistan would be destroyed. If we followed your course of insisting on ceasefire and withdrawal and do nothing then Pakistan will be destroyed, and many people in America will be delighted. If you and Pakistan want this then we will do it. That is no problem for us. That is the easiest course for us.

So we will … we agree with your analysis completely. We are looking for practical steps in this issue which happens to be a common fight for different reasons. We will not cooperate with anyone to impose anything on Pakistan. We have taken a stand against India and we will maintain [Page 761] this stand. But we have this problem. It is our judgment, with great sorrow, that the Pakistan army in two weeks will disintegrate in the West as it has disintegrated in the East. If we are wrong about this, we are wrong about everything.

What do you think of ceasefire without political negotiations? The only reason we want political negotiations at all is to preserve East Pakistan, not to weaken it.

Ambassador Huang: Are you prepared to take the step in the UN of putting forward a proposal simply for ceasefire, along this course?

Dr. Henry Kissinger: No, thatʼs why Iʼm talking to you. Letʼs be practical—by tomorrow the Pakistan Army in the East will have surrendered. Therefore should one have a resolution for a ceasefire in the West?

Ambassador Huang: Why should we not condemn India for its aggression against East Pakistan? Why should there not be a demand for the resolution already passed in the General Assembly which calls for withdrawal? And if it is … if you find it impossible to condemn India …

Dr. Henry Kissinger: We do. We donʼt mind condemning India.

Ambassador Huang: … A step should not be taken backward from the resolution already passed in the General Assembly.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: There are two separate problems. The resolution in the General Assembly is one for the whole problem—that can be maintained. We are not saying we accept the occupation of East Pakistan; we donʼt have to accept that. But this would be a resolution for a cease-fire only. And the Arabs would not accept the occupation of their territory even though there is a ceasefire. So … but we are not here to tell you … When I asked for this meeting, I did so to suggest Chinese military help, to be quite honest. Thatʼs what I had in mind, not to discuss with you how to defeat Pakistan. I didnʼt want to find a way out of it, but I did it in an indirect way.

But this is for you to decide. You have many other problems on many other borders. What is going to happen is that the Pakistani commander in East Pakistan, independent of anything we did, has asked the UN to arrange a ceasefire in East Pakistan. We will not take a stand in opposition to you on this issue. We think we are on the same side. So …

Ambassador Huang: We feel that the situation on the subcontinent is very tense and is in the process of rapid development and change. And therefore, as I expressed earlier, we will immediately report what you tell me.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: I donʼt want the Prime Minister to misunderstand. We are not looking for a way to get out of the situation. We are looking for a way to protect what is left of Pakistan. We will not recognize Bangla Desh. We will not negotiate with Bangla Desh. We will not encourage talks between Pakistan and Bangla Desh.

[Page 762]

We have the immediate practical problem—is it better to have a ceasefire or is it better to let the military events continue? In either event both of us must continue to bring pressure on India and the Soviet Union.

(There is an exchange in which Dr. Kissinger confirms to Bush that he talked to Bhutto, that he was meeting him the next morning and that Bushʼs appointment with him was confirmed for later this night.)

I shall tell him (Bhutto) he should take his direction from you on whatever resolution he wants and that we will support him. I shall tell him to disregard any American official except me and General Haig. He doesnʼt have to take his direction from you, but I will tell him to check with you. Usually you criticize us for sticking too much to our friends, so we will not in this case create the wrong impression.

Ambassador Huang: As for Bangla Desh, has Ambassador Bush recently met with anybody from Bangla Desh?

Ambassador Bush: The Ambassador is referring to a squib in the New York Times.

(Ambassador Bush then explains the incident that led to Ambassador Huangʼs query. Mr. Choudury, who used to be in the Third Committee of the UN, three weeks ago asked Ambassador Bush for an appointment in his capacity as a judge in Pakistan. Ambassador Bush had his staff check the man out. Choudury then made a personal call but brought along three men with him. When they started mentioning Bangla Desh, Ambassador Bush told them to wait a minute, pointing out that Choudury was seeing him as a judge. It was a humiliating experience for Ambassador Bush. He had not seen the men since. Ambassador Bush had told them that they should wait a minute, that he was inhibited from discussing such matters. Mr. Choudury left two to three weeks ago. Ambassador Bush repeated that Ambassador Huang was referring to a story in the New York Times. He pointed out that Mr. Choudury is around a great deal of the time including in the delegatesʼ lounge. He added that it was very embarrassing to him.)

Ambassador Huang: I am clear now.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: In any event, no matter what you read, no one is authorized to talk to the Bangla Desh. We donʼt recognize Bangla Desh and will not recognize it.

Ambassador Huang: I thank Ambassador Bush very much for his explanation.

Ambassador Bush: One of the men had defected from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and came here. Ambassador Shahi would kill me.

[Page 763]

Dr. Henry Kissinger: My former personal assistant is now working for Senator Muskie. There are many defectors around these days.

Mr. Ambassador, I am going to the Azores on Sunday afternoon with the President for 48 hours. General Haig has my complete confidence, and we have very rapid communication. So if you have some communication for us …

But I want Peking to be clear that my seeing you was for the purpose of coordinating positive steps, not to prepare you for negative steps.

Ambassador Huang: I donʼt have anything else.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Good. I wish happier occasions would bring us together. We have particular affection for Pakistan because we feel they helped to reestablish contact between the Peopleʼs Republic and the United States.

So we are prepared to listen to any practical proposals for parallel action. We will do our best to prevent pressure against any country that takes unilateral action. I shall speak to Mr. Bhutto tomorrow in the sense that I have indicated to you.

Ambassador Huang: Of course, we will also contact Mr. Bhutto and, of course, as you later clarified yourself, we of course will give no directions. Yahya Khan is the President, and we only have friendly exchanges.

Dr. Henry Kissinger: Of course. The word “direction” was not well-chosen.

Ambassador Huang: We think that is all there is today. What we need to do is to relay this to Prime Minister Chou En-lai.

[Omitted here are closing pleasantries.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, For the Presidentʼs File, China Trip, China Exchanges, October 20, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. According to an attached memorandum from Lord to Kissinger, December 15, Lord drafted the memorandum and Kissinger approved it as accurate. Kissingerʼs account of this conversation with Huang Hua is in The White House Years, p. 906.
  2. December 6.
  3. Document 236.
  4. Document 253.
  5. Document 269.
  6. December 12.
  7. See Document 259.
  8. See Document 271.
  9. According to the intelligence report, Gandhi referred to the destruction of Pakistani “armored and air force strength”; See Document 246.
  10. See footnote 11, Document 248.