64. National Security Study Memorandum 631


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • U.S. Policy on Current Sino-Soviet Differences

The President has directed a study of the policy choices confronting the United States as a result of the intensifying Sino-Soviet rivalry and the current Soviet efforts to isolate Communist China.

The study should consider the broad implications of the Sino-Soviet rivalry on the U.S., Soviet, Communist Chinese triangle and focus specifically on alternate U.S. policy options in the event of military clashes between the Soviet Union and Communist China.2

The study should also examine alternative policy approaches in the event of continued intensification of the Sino-Soviet conflict short of a military clash.

The President has directed that the paper be prepared by an ad hoc group chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State and including representatives of the addressees of this memorandum and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

The study should be submitted to the NSC Review Group by August 15.3

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–155, NSSM Files, NSSM 63. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. Since the outbreak of Sino-Soviet military clashes along the Ussuri River, the CIA and DIA provided periodic intelligence updates of continued hostilities. (Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Subject Files, Job 93–T01468R, Box 2–4)
  3. A draft study was submitted on September 3 and discussed at a meeting of the WSAG on September 4. The final version was completed on November 10; see Document 101.