104. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Amb. Han Hsu, Deputy Chief of Liaison Office
- Mr. Chi Ch’ao-chu, PRC Liaison Office
- Mrs. Shen Jo-yun, First Secretary of Liaison Office
- Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
- Philip Habib, Assistant Secretary of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Winston Lord, Director, Policy Planning Staff
Secretary Kissinger: I wanted to talk to you for a couple of minutes. I understand that Messrs. Habib and Lord have already talked to you about my trip. About the Gromyko visit, I don’t know whether you know American football, but the Soviets act as if they were playing American football and they know only one play and are always [Page 656] running it. Their play is for Gromyko to see me so that they can pretend that they are part of the process. I am seeing him at the end of my discussions so it is clear that they are not part of it. We will have a meaningless conversation on the Middle East with him. They have told us that they want to raise other issues. We will not raise other issues. We will let you know when we return what we discussed.
In addition to visiting the people already announced, I plan to see the Shah in Switzerland on this trip. This is really all I need to add about the trip to what my colleagues told you.
Ambassador Han: As Vice Premier Teng told you in Peking, on the Middle East question we support the Palestinian Arabs at the same time that we support the way you are dealing with the Russians.2
Secretary Kissinger: There will be no results on this trip. We are planning for results in March, not now. We are trying to create the objective conditions on this trip for results in March.
Now I would like to say a word to you about Cambodia. We hear many Chinese views through the French Ambassador [in Peking],3 but we are not always sure that the French Ambassador’s emotions are in tune with his reason. I want to make clear that we are prepared for an outcome of a government which will be headed by Prince Sihanouk, as I already indicated in November, with the idea that some elements of the existing structure in Phnom Penh, but not Lon Nol, might be integrated into the government of Prince Sihanouk. If Prince Sihanouk wanted to hear from us rather than the French Ambassador, we would be glad to authorize a member of our Embassy to explain our position to Prince Sihanouk or to a person designated by Prince Sihanouk.
So this is the message I wanted to send to your Foreign Minister. I am sure you are fully authorized to answer it immediately (laughter).
Ambassador Han: As I have said to Mr. Habib, the Chinese position on this matter is that we wish that the United States not interfere in Cambodian internal affairs and that the Cambodian people should be left to solve their problems by themselves. The Chinese position is to give complete support to the just struggle of the Cambodian people and not to interfere in the internal affairs of Cambodia. Just recently Prince Sihanouk and GRUNK reiterated their determination to continue the struggle and not engage in peaceful negotiations, and we support their position.
Secretary Kissinger: I would appreciate your passing this message to your Foreign Minister, and you can communicate the answer to Habib, or to me after I return.[Page 657]
Ambassador Han: I will report this. I don’t know if there is anything new, though.
Secretary Kissinger: I am not surprised by your answer but I would appreciate your reporting this for the record, and since this is an official communication I am assuming that your government will give us an answer.