94. Editorial Note

Pakistan and Romania continued to serve as important avenues for Sino-American rapprochement (see Document 20). President Richard Nixon met with Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu in Washington on October 26 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. At this meeting. Nixon reiterated his interested in moving the Sino-American talks out of Warsaw. He acknowledged that U.S. ties to the Nationalist government on Taiwan “was a problem of great difficulty” and observed that the United States sought “independent relations with each [the Soviet Union and China], not directed against the other. The President added that this seems to be President Ceausescu’s viewpoint as well.” Nixon concluded that he hoped Romania could serve as a “peacemaker” by talking to both parties. The memorandum of conversation is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 703, Country Files, Europe, Romania, Vol. III and scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIX.

Kissinger reiterated these points in his October 27 meeting wit. Ceausescu, emphasizing that “We are prepared to set up channels to the People’s Republic of China which are free from any outside pressures and free from any questions of prestige. If the leaders of the People’s Republic of China want to tell us something through you and your Ambassador brings the communication to me, I can assure you that such communication will be confined to the White House.” (Memorandum of conversation, October 27; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1024, Presidential/HAK Memcons, HAK/President Ceausescu [Oct. 27, 1970])

Kissinger, he stated that the Chinese were interested in expanding their involvement in international affairs. Macovescu offered few specifics, stating only that the Chinese were willing to have relations and “make efforts.” His information was based on a meeting between Chinese Premier Chou En-lai and Romanian Prime Minister Ion Gheorghe Maurer, who stopped in Peking while returning to Romania after Ho Chi Minh’s [Page 240] funeral. (Ibid., Box 704, Country Files, Europe, Romania, Macovescu) In a telephone conversation with Nixon at 6:40 p.m. on December 17, Kissinger related that the Chinese were “interested in normal relations with the West and us but nothing specific.” They also discussed the need for secrecy in these efforts: “P [The President] said my view is that I wouldn’t tell them [the Soviets] anything. P said if I were the State Department I would just let them guess. P said we have to have our own private contacts on these—we can’t count on State. P said anything we do important has to be done privately. K [Kissinger] agreed.” (Extracts of a telephone conversation between Kissinger an. Nixon, December 17; ibid.) These extracts were prepared by Kissinger’s staff.

Even more promising was contact through Pakistan. In an October 25 meeting among Nixon, Kissinger, and Pakistani President Yahya Khan at the White House, Nixon declared that “It is essential that we open negotiations with China. Whatever our relations with the USSR or what announcements are made I want you to know the following: 1) we will make no condominium against China and we want them to know it whatever may be put out; 2) we will be glad to send Murphy or Dewey to Peking and to establish links secretly.” (Memorandum of conversation, October 25; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Kissinger Papers, Memcons, 1970 Presidential File) See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–7, Document 90 for the full text. Two versions of this document exist. The slightly shorter version does not contain any of the specific proposals for sending envoys to China. This edited record of the NixonYahya meeting was forwarded to the Department of State and Ambassador Farland. (National Archives, RG 59, S/P Files: Lot 77 D 112, Policy Planning Staff, Director’s Files, Winston Lord Chronology, November 1970) See Documents 98, 99, and 100 for further information on Sino-American contact through Pakistan.