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55. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Another Meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador on China

Last week Ambassador Hilaly came in to report an exchange which President Yahya had had with the Chinese Communist Ambassador in Rawalpindi.2 President Yahya had conveyed his impression, based on his talks with you in August, that the US is prepared to normalize relations with Communist China.

After reporting that to Peking, the Chinese Ambassador returned to President Yahya and told him that the Chinese appreciated Pakistan’s role and efforts in conveying that message. It was reported to Ambassador Hilaly that, “as a result,” the Chinese had released two Americans. This apparently referred to the two yachtsmen released recently.

This week,3 the Ambassador said that he had received a more recent personal letter from President Yahya asking the Ambassador to convey to you the two following sentences:

  • 1. “It is our assessment that the Chinese appear willing for the resumption of talks at Warsaw at the Ambassador level without insisting on preconditions.”
  • 2. “Quite apart from the public renunciation of the recent agreement between the US and Japan, the Chinese are greatly concerned over it and see in it the revival of Japanese militarism which will threaten not only China but the whole of Southeast Asia.”

I told the Ambassador that we appreciated these communications and would be in touch with him when the date for Chou En-lai’s visit to Pakistan had been set in order to pass on something more specific for President Yahya to say.

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At the same time, Ambassador Hilaly delivered to me a very brief note from President Yahya to you conveying his government’s “thanks for your prompt response to meet the food situation in East Pakistan.”4 He said that “this timely action will help us in improving the food situation and bringing down food prices in East Pakistan.” He closed saying that he valued “your keen interest in Pakistan’s development effort.” You will recall in mid-October approving shipment of grain to help bring down food prices in East Pakistan.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President—China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK’s Trip to China— December 1969–July 1971. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. Saunders forwarded this memorandum to Kissinger on December 24 for transmittal to the President.
  2. See Document 54.
  3. Kissinger met with Hilaly on December 23. The memorandum of conversation is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President—China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK’s Trip to China—December 1969–July 1971. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 2.
  4. Attached but not printed is Yahya’s December 4 note.