107. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Habib) to Secretary of State Kissinger 1

Vice President Rockefeller’s Attendance at Chiang’s Funeral

The attendance of the Vice President at Chiang’s funeral served our China interests well. His presence reassured Taiwan that America continues to act responsibly and with dignity in dealings with it. Instead of a brooding and distrustful ROC complicating the already difficult Taiwan problem, by sending the VP we gained credit which can be useful in moving the ROC in desired directions. This has been achieved without a public sound from Peking on the subject.

The VP carried out your suggestions without deviation. He did not discuss China issues with the press and his public remarks while on Taiwan were confined to arrival and departure statements which you earlier reviewed. The VP resisted suggestions by Senator Fong to incorporate greater warmth and a personal note in his arrival statement references to President Chiang. In his substantive meeting with the Premier, he read from his talking points and avoided mention of commitments. A report of this meeting is attached.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, E5412 Lot Files 77 D 255, Subject Files of the Office of ROC Affairs, 1951–75, Box 16, Letters, Memos, Etc., Pres. Chiang. Secret. Burton Levin, Director of the Office of ROC Affairs, drafted this memorandum on April 18.
  2. This report, White House telegram 50708, April 17, is not attached, but a copy is in Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Box 4, People’s Republic of China.