100. Record of Discussion Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States (Hilaly)1

I was summoned to the White House by Mr. Kissinger this morning at 11 a.m. He told me that in reply to the message sent by Premier Chou En-lai through our President which I conveyed to him on the 9th December, President Nixon would like to send a fresh message to President Yahya for passing it on to the Chinese Prime Minister (he presumed this would be through the Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan). He then gave me an unsigned note in an envelope.2 When I asked him what it contained he said that in response to Chou En-lai’s suggestion that a special representative of President Nixon would be welcome in Peking to discuss the question of Taiwan, President Nixon wished to inform Premier Chou En-lai that the U.S. Government was prepared to attend a preliminary meeting at an early date in a location convenient to both sides to discuss what arrangements could or should be made for sending a U.S. delegation to Peking for high level discussions. In reply to questions from me, Mr. Kissinger said that the preliminary meeting could take place in Rawalpindi if General Yahya’s government would not be embarrassed in any way by it. From the U.S. side the representatives could be, Ambassador Murphy or Mr. Dewey or Ambassador David Bruce. Or it could also be himself. (He could arrange to pay a visit to Vietnam and under that cover, arrange a halt in Pakistan for the purpose of meeting the Chinese representative. It would depend on what kind of official the Chinese would send to Pakistan for this purpose).

Mr. Kissinger added that if a U.S. delegation ultimately went to Peking, the discussions would not be confined to the question of Taiwan but all matters connected with improving relations with the [Page 252] Chinese and reducing tensions would be discussed. Also that it would not be difficult to comply with the Chinese request for withdrawing American forces from Taiwan. There were no American military forces there except advisory and training missions.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President—China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK’s Trip to China, December 1969–July 1971. No classification marking. Hilaly and Kissinger met from 11:30 to 11:45 a.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) Hilaly drafted the record of conversation. A handwritten notation indicates that Hilaly delivered it to Kissinger at 6:15 on April 27; see footnote 1, Document 118.
  2. The note to Chou En-lai is attached. See Document 99. A memorandum of record by Kennedy confirms that Kissinger gave a copy of this message to Hilaly on December 16. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President—China Material, Materials Concerning Preparations for the First China Trip by HAK, July 1971)