5. Memorandum From Richard L. Sneider of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Rapprochement with the Chinese

In a memorandum to you, the President suggested that we encourage the attitude that his Administration is “exploring possibilities of a rapprochement with the Chinese,” but to do this privately without it getting into print.2 I have several suggestions on ways and means and one concern.

My concern is the danger of a leak in this town, even of messages passed through diplomatic channels. I think the message, which is much worthwhile, can be gotten across in other ways:

By failing to calm down the Soviets and other Eastern Europeans when they express concerns about a U.S.-Chinese rapprochement. The Russians have been particularly active in expressing their concerns about what might happen at Warsaw and would probably get the point if we just refused to reassure them.
By passing the message back to the Polish source3 [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].
By the posture we take at Warsaw where the Russians and the Poles will fully record our statements.


P.S. Hal Sonnenfeldt and I feel, however, that before we start out on this tactical line, the basic policy implications should be studied. This will be done in the context of the NSSM on East-West relations as well as the subsequent NSSM on China policy.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 518, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. I. Secret. Kissinger’s handwritten comment at the top of this memorandum reads: “Where is memo?”
  2. Document 3.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 3.
  4. Reference is to National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 10, East-West Relations, January 28, 1969. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, National Security Files, NSSM 10) NSSM 14, U.S. China Policy, is printed as Document 4.