105. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Ford 1

SUBJECT

  • Chou En-lai’s Message of Appreciation to You

On February 21, I called in Ambassador Huang Chen, Chief of the Liaison Office of the People’s Republic of China, for a brief review of the results of my recent trip to the Middle East and the discussion with Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko in Geneva.2

During the meeting Ambassador Huang asked me to transmit to you a letter of appreciation from Premier Chou En-lai in response to your letter to Chou of January 23 congratulating him on his reappointment as Premier of the State Council by the Fourth National People’s Congress.3

Chou’s letter, at Tab A, conveys a friendly if somewhat reserved air.4 It expresses welcome in anticipation of your visit to Peking later this year, and expresses the hope that there will be continuous improvement in U.S.–PRC relations on the basis of earnest implementation of the principles of the Shanghai Communiqué.

[Page 658]

I received a similarly worded note of appreciation from Foreign Minister Ch’iao Kuan-hua, who also expressed interest in the discussions which will be held later in the year.

We will, of course, be taking a hard look at the various political issues which might be put on the agenda of your discussions in Peking some months in advance of the China summit meeting, perhaps in a trip which I might make to the PRC shortly after the anticipated Brezhnev visit.

  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. Confidential. Sent for information. Ford initialed this memorandum. On February 24, Solomon sent a draft of the memorandum to Kissinger with a recommendation that he sign and pass it on to the President. (Ibid.)
  2. A memorandum of conversation of this meeting, which lasted from 6:45 until 7:05 p.m., is ibid., Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1969–1977, Box 5, China, unnumbered items, 2/5/75–2/28/75.
  3. Document 102.
  4. Tab A, dated February 19, is attached but not printed.