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Office of the Historian

China, March-December 1972

205. Memorandum of Conversation

208. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

P: We would have to if we are going to be there in June. Is SALT going to turn them off?7

209. National Security Study Memorandum 148

211. National Security Study Memorandum 149

218. Memorandum for the Record

220. Memorandum of Conversation

222. Memorandum of Conversation

225. Memorandum of Conversation

227. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

“I think it is significant that Chou En-lai did not accept or reject the proposal as soon as it was made and that he consulted Mao an. Lin Piao before giving the answer. This in itself reflects a trend which holds out some possibility. Further, at no stage during the discussion with the Chinese leaders did they indulge in vehement criticism of the United States. The banquet speech of Vice Chairman Tung Pi-wu also made no reference to the United States by name. These are additional indications of modification of the Chinese approach in their relations with the United States.”

228. National Security Decision Memorandum 170


230. Memorandum From Richard H. Solomon of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

The President opened the conversation by saying that the Canadian recognition of Communist China had disturbed some people, and was interpreted by some as a harbinger of what the United States would do.2 The President said that the U.S. position remained the same and we would continue to oppose the Red Chinese admission. He thought that the Canadian move was strictly political. In response to the President's question, Dr. Kissinger commented that he thought the wheat deal played a significant role in the Canadian decision.

231. Memorandum of Conversation


232. Memorandum of Conversation

233. Memorandum of Conversation

“The initiatives taken by the U.S. have encouraged the Chinese. It also seems to be their assessment now that there is no U.S.-Soviet collusion on matters of concern to China. They would, however, be very sensitive if the U.S. were to show its belief that their willingness to conduct a meaningful dialogue with the U.S. is a sign of Chinese weakness or of fear of U.S.-Soviet collaboration against China. For the U.S. to proceed from such a basis might jeopardize future negotiations.3

  1. During the April 28 discussion, Kissinger observed: “They're [the Chinese] so scared of the Russians that they're better off having your visit next May or April and keeping it hanging and keep daring the Russians to attack them with the Presidential visit. That's what I think they want. I do not believe they want you now. That would be too quick a turn-around time for them.” (Ibid.)
  2. After over a year of negotiations, the Canadian Government and the People's Republic of China announced the establishment of formal diplomatic relations on October 13, 1970. The U.S. response was detailed in telegram 171377 to all diplomatic posts, October 16; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 16 CHICOM.
  3. Nixon wrote in the margin next to this paragraph: “Very important to have in mind.”