158. Message From the United States Government to the People’s Republic of China Government1

As agreed by the Chinese side the U.S. will release the announcement of Dr. Kissinger’s return visit at the White House on October 5, 1000 Washington time. There will be no press conference but a few technical background questions will have to be answered. It would be very desirable to have the Chinese views about the composition of the American group by then. The transcript of the background press briefing will be transmitted to the Chinese side immediately after the briefing is given.
While detailed arrangements and agenda can be left until Dr. Kissinger’s arrival, it is important for the Chinese side to understand that the effectiveness of the discussions depends on their being conducted along the lines Dr. Kissinger explained to Ambassador Huang on September 13: restricted meetings conducted by Dr. Kissinger and one aide on the U.S. side; broader meetings for more general expositions and subsidiary political issues; and technical discussions. The composition of the Chinese group for each meeting is of course entirely up to the Chinese side.
As for the discussions during President Nixon’s visit to China, the President fully stands behind the announcement of July 15 as well as the conversation between President Chou En-lai and Dr. Kissinger. This was reaffirmed in the U.S. oral note presented July 19; in President Nixon’s press conference of August 4; and in President Nixon’s answer to a question at the Economic Club of Detroit on September 23: “What I am trying to do is open a dialogue and move towards more [Page 488] normal relations.” Dr. Kissinger on September 13 indicated to Ambassador Huang that the agenda of his July meeting with Prime Minister Chou En-lai could serve as the basic agenda for President Nixon’s visit as well. Premier Minister Chou En-lai will remember that Dr. Kissinger was explicit about what was and what was not possible, and in what time frame. The President affirms these understandings once again. At the same time, certain subsidiary measures are desirable, not as a substitute for the main agenda but to contribute to a climate in which the principal objectives can be realized. This is not a diversion, but rather constitutes an attempt to facilitate the progress in Chinese-U.S. relations which many have an interest in preventing. For its part, the U.S. side stresses that the improvement of Chinese-U.S. relations is a cardinal element of President Nixon’s foreign policy which will be carried out energetically and in good faith. Progress requires a degree of mutual confidence.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. On September 28 Kissinger gave the message to Walters who was in Washington, along with instructions to inform the PRC on September 29 that he would have another message on October 1 detailing the results of the KissingerGromyko talks. Walters delivered this message orally on October 2, then passed along the short overview of the talks with Gromyko and made further technical arrangements for Kissinger’s trip to the PRC. (Instructions t. Walters, September 28, and Walters’ memoranda for record, September 30 and October 4; ibid.) See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 2729. Based on instructions that he received on October 9, Walters met with the Chinese on that date and relayed a joint Soviet-American statement slated for public release on October 12. Walters also informed the PRC representatives in Paris that they were the first country to be notified of the Soviet–American summit. (Instructions to Walters, October 9, and Walters’ memorandum for record, October 10; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File—China Trip, China Exchanges) Further meetings were held on October 13, 14, 15, and 16 to prepare for Kissinger’s visit. (Walters’ memoranda for record; ibid.) See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 3035.