89. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Contact with the Chinese

In response to an item on Communist Chinese activity in the September 9 Daily Brief, you asked whether we should not try again through our channel in Paris to contact the Chinese.2

As suggested in your note, we do have an offer outstanding to the Chinese. Attached is a copy of a message that we gave General Walters on June 16, but which he has not yet delivered.3 (You, of course, approved this message but we left it purposely unsigned. Walters would not hand over the text, but rather would read from it literally.) Several weeks ago he found an opportunity to tell his Chinese contact that he had an important message from our government to their government. The man said that he would inform his government that we had a message, but Walters received no response. This past Monday, September 7. Walters again told his contact, at a Pakistani reception, that he had a message. The man again said that he would tell his government.4

We have also been trying since the beginning of the year to open a channel through the Dutch,5 but I believe if we are to have any success it will be through Paris.

I agree that it would be useful to establish contact with the Chinese at this time. However, we have made clear signals, and I think we have no choice but to wait and see if they are willing to respond.

  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. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information.
  2. In his September 9 daily briefing memorandum, Kissinger mentioned the Hong Kong Consulate’s reports on a “new mobility in Peking’s conduct of foreign relations which may present opportunities for improving relations.” Nixon commented in the margin: “K—should you not try again on your Walters contact with the Chicom in Paris? Or do we have an offer outstanding?” (Ibid., Box 26, President’s Daily Briefs)
  3. Document 84.
  4. Information on this attempt to contact the Chinese was not found.
  5. See footnote 4, Document 66.