4. National Security Study Memorandum 141


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


  • U.S. China Policy

The President has directed that a study be prepared on U.S. Policy Towards China, on U.S. objectives and interests involved and the broad lines of appropriate U.S. policies. The study should incorporate alternative views and interpretations of the issues involved. It should include summary statements of the conceptions and policy lines of the previous administration.

The Study should include the following:

The current status of U.S. relations with Communist China and the Republic of China;
The nature of the Chinese Communist threat and intentions in Asia;
The interaction between U.S. policy and the policies of other major interested countries toward China;
Alternative U.S. approaches on China and their costs and risks.

The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for East Asia perform this study.2

The paper should be forwarded to the NSC Review Group by March 10.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–134, NSSM Files, NSSM 14. Secret.
  2. Winthrop G. Brown, Acting Chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Interdepartmental Group, oversaw the completion of this study, the first draft of which was submitted to the NSC Senior Review Group on April 29 and discussed in a May 15 meeting. See Document 13. A summary of the CIA response to NSSM 14 is printed as Document 12.