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150. Message From the United States Government to the Premier of the People’s Republic of China Chou En-lai 1

In line with their understanding of keeping him informed of contacts affecting the People’s Republic of China, Dr. Kissinger wants to call Premier Chou En-lai’s attention to the following: (1) On July 19 the Soviet Ambassador called on Dr. Kissinger to inquire about the Peking talks. Dr. Kissinger told him that no matter concerning the Soviet Union was discussed. In reply to a question, Dr. Kissinger stated that the Chinese side expressed no concern over or interest in the possibility of Soviet military pressures against them. The Soviet Ambassador inquired whether the President would be prepared to visit Moscow before Peking. He was told that while the U.S. maintained its acceptance of a meeting with Soviet leaders, Presidential visits would take place in the [Page 465]order in which they were announced. (2) [1 line of source text not declassified] (3) With respect to the message transmitted by General Walters, the Premier must understand the need to insulate Sino-U.S. relations from U.S. domestic politics. To the degree that these relations or related subjects become subject to partisan statements, the President’s freedom of action is inhibited. (4) Dr. Kissinger will be in Paris secretly on July 25/26 and will be prepared to meet the Chinese Ambassador on that occasion to receive Premier Chou En-lai’s reaction to these messages or any other matter of mutual concern.2

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Haig forwarded the message under a separate covering letter to Walters on July 20. (Ibid.) Walters delivered this message to the PRC Ambassador to France on July 21. (Walters’ letter to Haig, July 22; ibid.) See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 10 and 11. In many of his reports. Walters uses the name “Kirschman” to refer to Kissinger.
  2. Another message, also attached to Haig’s July 20 letter, “to be put orally by Walters” reads: “It may be useful to begin discussing the technical side of the public visit Dr. Kissinger is planning for Peking in late September/early October; for example, the Chinese ideas on where the plane might originate—is Okinawa acceptable, direct flight from Alaska, Chinese navigators, length of stay, participants at meeting, etc. The Ambassador might give answer when he sees Dr. Kissinger.” Walters’ July 22 letter to Haig indicated that he relayed this message. (Ibid.)