86. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to Secretary of State Rogers and Secretary of Defense Laird1

3080. Subj: GRC Force Reorganization and Modernization. Ref: A) Taipei 2589;2 B) State 99216;3 C) Taipei 2925;4 D) Taipei 2939.5

We believe Ambassador’s and General Taylor’s conversations with CCK (refs c, d) have provided about as much clarification as we can expect re CCK and GRC thinking on proposed review. We recognize that we and GRC may still have some differences in relative [Page 224] importance assigned to certain objectives. In particular, GRC almost certainly hopes the review will improve its prospects for future US assistance. This is only natural, but we should be able to prevent this from becoming major problem by US input during review as well as constant reminders that study implies no USG commitment on either general level of future assistance or on specific items. Moreover, in some respects this is not basically inconsistent with US belief expressed last spring that more carefully considered ROC procurement proposals reflecting sound rationale and systematic evaluation of requirements and their costs (including O&M) probably would enhance receptivity in Washington. This and other potential problems also eased by CCK’s full acceptance of idea that study itself, and its end products, will be GRC’s and not joint.
We also believe that GRC has genuine interest in developing more rational approach to defense planning, and this review can provide further stimulus. For example, growing MND interest and activity in area of systems analysis should gain momentum from this exercise as will trend toward more careful consideration of O&M costs. Sharper focus on relationship of threat to priority requirements and an integrated look at service priorities also a plus. We realize there are limitations on the pace and extent to which these and other US objectives can be achieved, but we are confident that progress in this direction can be made.
In any event, GRC may move ahead with some form of review even if we back away. (In fact, Chinese have already begun some preparatory work and informally have been requesting MAAG advice.) There is risk that if they proceed unilaterally, objectives we seek to achieve may suffer.
With foregoing in mind, we propose that we develop informal working relationship with MND at two levels—one involving the Chinese service elements, and another higher level arrangement involving representatives of Chinese GCHQ. We would expect the latter group to discuss general approach along lines of ref a and ref c, with some fleshing out of this guidance for the benefit of the Chinese personnel actually doing the work and as guidance for the US officers principally responsible for providing consultation. US personnel will be instructed to: propose basic questions which will stimulate GRC to formulate concepts and plans, as suggested ref b; to respond to requests for advice; and to critique GRC oral presentations and drafts.
Defense assistance “nucleus” within the Country Team will be kept fully apprised of developments and “nucleus” will meet as required to provide whatever guidance appears necessary based on its own deliberations and on instructions from Washington. “Nucleus” will keep Washington advised of progress of study.
Country Team would appreciate indication as to when systems analysts requested ref a might be expected to arrive.6
As noted above, Chinese have already undertaken some preparatory work and have informally requested advice of MAAG officers. It will be awkward to continue holding them off and we would appreciate a reply to foregoing ASAP.
TDC, MAAG and 327th concur.
Re request (ref b) for copy of MemCon covering earlier CHMAAG conversation with CCK and copy of ROC statements to CINCPAC regarding modernization requirements of individual services, we are forwarding material Monday by pouch.7
For EA/ROC: Please bring this message to the attention of Ambassador McConaughy.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 1 CHINATUS. Secret; Priority. Copies were sent to CINCPAC, COMUSTDC, CHMAAG Taiwan, and 327th Air Division, part of the 13th Air Force.
  2. In telegram 2589 from Taipei, June 12, McConaughy reported on a May 21 meeting between General Taylor of MAAG and Chiang Ching-Kuo to discuss force reorganization. The Ambassador emphasized that “We will of course give consideration to objectives outlined in telegram 19013 to Taipei (see footnote 4, Document 1) as modified by subsequent exchanges between Washington and Country Team.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 1 CHINATUS)
  3. Telegram 99216 to Taipei, June 23, contained a series of questions about the force reorganization plan. (Ibid.)
  4. In telegram 2925 from Taipei, July 7, the Embassy reported on McConaughy’s July 3 meeting with Chiang Ching-Kuo to discuss the questions raised by telegram 99216 to Taipei. (Ibid.)
  5. In telegram 2939 from Taipei, July 8, the Embassy reported on a July 7 meeting among General Taylor, McConaughy, and Chiang Ching-Kuo. Chiang discussed the weapons he felt should accompany the reorganization effort: F–4 fighter aircraft, 3 submarines, and M–14 and M–16 rifles. (Ibid.)
  6. In telegram 2589, McConaughy also suggested that the two systems analysts assigned to MAAG participate in the ROC force reorganization effort.
  7. Not found.