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126. Message From the Government of the United States to the Government of the People’s Republic of China 1

In case the People’s Republic of China has not been apprised, the United States Government wishes to inform it of the following statement made by the President of the United States on May 20, 1971:

“The Governments of the United States and the Soviet Union, after reviewing the course of their talks on the limitation of strategic armaments, have agreed to concentrate this year on working out an [Page 320]agreement for the limitation of the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM’s). They have also agreed that, together with concluding an agreement to limit ABM’s, they will agree on certain measures with respect to the limitation of offensive strategic weapons.

“The two sides are taking this course in the conviction that it will create more favorable conditions for further negotiations to limit all strategic arms. These negotiations will be actively pursued.”

President Nixon wishes to emphasize that it is his policy to conclude no agreement which would be directed against the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Kissinger is prepared to include this issue and related questions on the agenda of the proposed meeting with the designated representative of the People’s Republic of China.2

  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. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. This message was sent via special channels from Kissinger to Farland on May 20. Kissinger’s instructions read: “Please deliver the attached message to Yahya personally for immediate transmittal by him to PRC Ambassador. Best regards.” (Ibid.) A copy of the message contains the handwritten notation: “Handed to Hilaly 12:00 May 20, 1971 (without classification).” Kissinger and Hilaly met from 12:10 to 12:15 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule)
  2. The first draft of this May 19 message reads in its entirety: “The United States Government wishes to inform the Government of the People’s Republic of China of the President’s May 20, 1971 statement on the strategic arms limitation talks. The United States Government wishes to reaffirm that any agreement that it might conclude will not be directed against the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Kissinger is prepared to discuss this issue and related questions with the designated representative of the People’s Republic of China.” A longer second draft, May 19, contains Kissinger’s revisions. (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)