102. Letter From President Ford to People’s Republic of China Premier Zhou Enlai1

Dear Mr. Premier:

Please accept my congratulations on your appointment by the Fourth Session of the National People’s Congress as Premier of the People’s Republic of China.

I look forward to meeting with you later this year to discuss matters of common concern and interest. While, as you noted in your report to the Congress, fundamental differences remain between our two [Page 650] countries, I remain hopeful that through common efforts we can overcome these differences and advance the cause of normalizing Sino-American relations and thus fulfill the joint commitment expressed in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972.2


Gerald R. Ford
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, 1974–77, Box 4, People’s Republic of China, Premier Chou En-lai. No classification marking. Solomon hand-delivered the letter to the PRC LO on January 23. On January 20, Solomon sent a draft to Kissinger with a recommendation that he send it to the President. (Ibid.) Kissinger sent it to the President on January 23 under an undated covering memorandum with the recommendation that Ford sign it.
  2. Kissinger, in his undated covering memorandum, wrote, “Your reply is intended to convey the implication that it will take joint efforts to overcome these differences if we are to make further progress in normalizing Sino-American relations. I believe this is the most effective posture for you to adopt in advance of your trip to Peking later this year.”