171. National Security Study Memorandum 1411


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Implications for U.S. Policy of the Participation of the People’s Republic of China in Multilateral Diplomacy

The President has directed that a study be made of the implications for U.S. policy and strategy of participation by the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, related agencies, and in multilateral negotiations. The study should provide a comprehensive survey of both the problems and the opportunities which the United States may face as a result of the entry of the People’s Republic of China into multilateral diplomacy.

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The study should, inter alia:

Identify those conferences and negotiations (e.g., disarmament, trade, environment, law of the sea) in which the question of PRC participation is likely to create problems or opportunities;
Identify major specific problems before, or likely to come before, the UN or its related agencies in which Chinese participation could significantly affect the U.S. position; and
Identify and discuss the alternative courses of action available to the United States, including initiatives which the United States might take toward the People’s Republic of China in connection with the specific international problems or activities identified in the paper. The discussion should include the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The study should be prepared by an Ad Hoc Group comprising representatives of the addressees and the NSC staff chaired by the representative of the Secretary of State. The views of the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency should be obtained where appropriate. The study should be submitted not later than December 1, 1971 for consideration by the NSC Senior Review Group.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–188, NSSM Files, NSSM 141. Secret. Copies were sent to Moorer, Gerald Smith, and Russell E. Train (Chairman, Council of Environmental Quality). The memorandum was initialed by Haig. In a November 16 memorandum to De Palma, Cargo wrote that De Palma was to chair the group. (Ibid., RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, National Security Files, NSSM 141)