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101. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee (Irwin)1


  • Travel and Trade with Communist China

National Security Decision Memorandum 17 announced the President’s decision to modify certain trade controls against Communist China.2 The President’s approval of certain additional modifications was conveyed by my memorandum of December 6, 1969, to the Under Secretary of State.3

The President has directed that, using these earlier decisions as a base, the Under Secretaries Committee prepare recommendations for additional steps which can be taken to relax restrictions on travel to and further broaden trade with Communist China. Each recommended step should be accompanied by:

  • —An analysis of the pros and cons and anticipated results.
  • —Preferred timing of the step.
  • —A proposed diplomatic scenario associated with the recommended step.
  • —A scenario for congressional consultation and press guidance.

The recommendations requested by this memorandum should reflect to the extent possible the short term aspects of the study of China [Page 253]policy directed by NSSM 106.4 That study, however, should continue as earlier directed.

The Under Secretaries Committee Report should be submitted by January 20, 1971. The President has directed that the classification of this study and the report of the Under Secretaries Committee be strictly observed and that the study be limited on strict need-to-know basis.5

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 520, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. V. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Document 14.
  3. Apparent reference to Kissinger’s memorandum of December 16, 1969. See footnote 3, Document 49.
  4. Document 97.
  5. On December 29 Hartman sent a memorandum to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Under Secretary of the Treasury, the Under Secretary of Commerce, and the Special Trade Representative explaining Kissinger’s request. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 81 D 309, Under Secretaries’ Memoranda, NSCU/SM 91)