146. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China 1

129656. For Ambassador McConaughy. Subject: Letter to President Chiang From President Nixon.


You are authorized to deliver following personal message from President Nixon to President Chiang at earliest opportunity:2

Begin text: I deeply regret that I was not able to inform you at an earlier date of the substance of my announcement of July 15.

The steps which I have recommended were taken because I believe that it has become imperative in this age to attempt to break down barriers of hostility and suspicion that have grown over the years and could threaten the peace of the world. The people of free Asian nations should be the first to benefit from efforts to lower tensions in relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

I recognize that these actions are disturbing to the Republic of China. In seeking to reduce tensions in the world, however, I wish to assure you that the United States will maintain its ties of friendship with your country and will continue to honor its defense treaty commitment to the Republic of China. I am proud of my long personal association with you and I know the American people will continue to cherish their friendship with the people of the Republic of China. End text.

We propose to keep contents of this message confidential, but we have no objection if GRC were to acknowledge publicly President Chiang had received a message from President Nixon regarding his desire to maintain continuing friendship with the GRC.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL CHINATUS. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received on July 16 at 9:48 p.m. Drafted by Charles T. Sylvester (EA/ROC), cleared by Colonel Kennedy at the White House, and approved by Green.
  2. McConaughy reported that he personally handed the message to Acting Foreign Minister H. K. Yang at 1 p.m. on July 17. Yang said he would relay the message to Chiang. (Telegram 3495 from Taipei, July 17; ibid., POL 15–1 CHINAT)