13. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Chou En-lai, Premier, State Council
- Chi P’eng-fei, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Ch’iao Kuan-hua, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Chang Wen-chin, Assistant Foreign Minister, Acting Director of American Pacific Affairs Department
- Wang Hai-jung, Assistant Foreign Minister
- T’ang Wen-sheng, interpreter
- Shen Jo-yun, interpreter
- Two Chinese notetakers
- Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Richard T. Kennedy, NSC Staff
- Alfred Le S. Jenkins, Department of State
- Winston Lord, NSC Staff
- Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff
- Miss Irene G. Derus, Notetaker
The group was greeted by the Prime Minister and proceeded to the room where the meeting was held.
PM Chou: We were just now counting the years, and I find when I was your age we were just liberating Peking. I was saying that you have very high spirits, full of energy, while I am on the decline.
Dr. Kissinger: I understand that means now you only work 18 hours a day.
PM Chou: It might not be entirely 18 hours. When I was your age that was more or less the case. So you now probably want to exceed me and work 20 hours a day.
Mr. Jenkins: He uses his staff for that. [laughter]
Dr. Kissinger: I said, Mr. Prime Minister, you instill a revolutionary spirit in my staff. They are dissatisfied with their condition. Colonel Kennedy and Mr. Rodman have never had so much attention since they joined my staff since they fell ill here.
PM Chou: But you have been very fair in bringing three secretaries this time so they can take it, at least. After you gain experience you are able to improve your work; that is the same with anyone. So would you like to begin first?[Page 140]
Dr. Kissinger: I have a number of items. But first a technical one, and then I want to make a few comments on what the Prime Minister said last evening.
First, the practical question about the Liaison Office: Our intention would be to staff it with people who have worked with us on these trips so that they understand the basic approach that we are following. Like for example Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Holdridge. Now, we don’t know what your intention was as to the kind of person you wanted to send to Washington, but we can adjust the rank of our people by giving them a higher rank for the purpose of their being here if this makes it possible for you to send somebody more experienced, if that is what your desire is.
PM Chou: I agree with your opinion that those who would be working in the Liaison Office should be more or less familiar with the exchanges we have had over the year and a half. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to pick up the thread.
Dr. Kissinger: That is our thinking. So if we don’t send a well-known personality, that is not a reflection on the importance we attach to it, but rather the opposite.
PM Chou: We would fully understand that. It is no question.
Dr. Kissinger: But if for some reason you have a preference in that direction, it would be helpful to hear it so we can take it into account.
PM Chou: No, we are fully in agreement of sending the two colleagues you just now mentioned, Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Holdridge. But we have difficulty on our side because it is very difficult for us to find any “old Washington hands.” We don’t have any. [laughter] We could find the oldest one, that would be Dr. Wellington Koo. Do you know him?2
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know him. I know who he is. We must arrange a secret trip for some Chinese delegation so they can get experience in Washington.
PM Chou: If necessary.
Dr. Kissinger: Well, after I have discussed it with the President, in a very few weeks we will make some suggestion.
PM Chou: I would like to turn to another piece of news. That is, Vice Minister Thach will be arriving in Peking rather late. He won’t be here before 7 o’clock this evening. I will be meeting with him, with the Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister, when you are having dinner with our Foreign Minister, and after that meeting I will contact you.[Page 141]
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, I will be prepared to meet him.
PM Chou: You must be prepared to meet rather late into the morning.
Dr. Kissinger: That is the usual—that has happened to me once be fore when I came here!
PM Chou: That was October.
Dr. Kissinger: October, 1971. No, I will be prepared to do that and I think it would be useful if we could meet. Our basic intention, as I told you, Mr. Prime Minister, towards North Vietnam—though conditions are different—is to move towards normalization with the same sincerity as we did after July 1971 towards the People’s Republic.
PM Chou: Yes, you have mentioned that twice here.
Dr. Kissinger: Now perhaps I could make a few comments about the observations of the Prime Minister last night.
PM Chou: I was preparing originally to elaborate more on the issue last night, but as the Chairman asked to see you, I cut myself short. And anyhow I knew the Chairman would explain it in clearer terms. But anyway I will be prepared to hear you.
Dr. Kissinger: Would the Prime Minister like to say more?
PM Chou: No, I stop myself last night.
Dr. Kissinger: I understand very well what the Prime Minister was saying, and I of course paid great attention to what the Chairman was saying in elaboration. They are the important issues of our period. Because if we understand each other’s purposes with respect to this issue then we can settle the practical questions. But if we doubt each other’s motives, then it will be difficult to settle these issues, and then there will also be the danger that each of us, in order to anticipate the other, takes steps to the disadvantage of everyone. [Chou nods yes.]
So let me first make a comment about the historical facts which the Prime Minister mentioned at the beginning. And I make it not for academic reasons but to draw a different lesson from the Prime Minister. Actually in World War I—it is a problem that had always fascinated me so I have studied it in great detail—in the first months of World War I the vast bulk of the German Army was in the West and not in the East.
PM Chou: For the first months.
Dr. Kissinger: For the first two months. Hindenburg defeated the Russians with 200,000 troops because the Russians were stupid. Which was not the only time in their history!
PM Chou: Yes, but Hindenburg became famous due to that.
Dr. Kissinger: That is true. Later on, the balance changed. In World War II what happened was that Stalin pushed the Germans toward the West.[Page 142]
PM Chou: Originally Western Europe had hoped that Germany would go eastwards.
Dr. Kissinger: Western Europe.
PM Chou: At Munich.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, at Munich. Western Europe had very superficial leaders. They didn’t have the courage to pursue any policy towards a conclusion. Once they had done Munich it made no sense to fight for Poland. But that is a different issue. And I don’t blame Stalin, because from his point of view he gained himself the essential time.
PM Chou: But there was one weak point, that they were not sufficiently prepared.
Dr. Kissinger: That is right.
PM Chou: They did make preparations but they were not entirely sufficient. And in Zhukov’s memoirs he also touched upon this. Have you read this?
Dr. Kissinger: Yes. And they deployed their forces too far forward.
PM Chou: Also scattered in three directions.
Dr. Kissinger: So, but the basic point that I want to make is not to debate history but to say the lessons of both wars are that once a big war starts its consequences are unpredictable, and a country which encourages a big war in the hope that it can calculate its consequences is likely to produce a disaster for itself. The Germans had made very careful plans in World War I, and they had exercised them for 30 years, but when the war…
PM Chou: You mean after the Pact of Berlin?
Dr. Kissinger: World War I—1914—the Schlieffen Plan.
PM Chou: You mean after the Treaty of Berlin.
Dr. Kissinger: Oh, after 1878, yes, that’s right. But they had exercised the Schlieffen Plan every year after 1893, for 21 years, and they had calculated everything except the psychological strain on a commander under battle conditions. So they thought they were starting a 6-months war and they wound up with a 4-year war. Not one European leader in 1914, if he had known what the world would look like in 1918, would have gone to war. And nor would Hitler in 1939.
Let us apply it to the current situation, these observations. If one analyzes the problem of pushing the Soviet Union toward the East, or maybe you trying to push it towards the West…
PM Chou: [laughing] We wouldn’t have the strength to push them to the West! We can only make preparations for their coming into China.
Dr. Kissinger: There are three motives, or three causes, that could produce this. One is that we want the Soviet Union to defeat China. The second, much more subtle one, is the one the Chairman mentioned [Page 143] last night, that we don’t want the Soviet Union to defeat China but we want China to exhaust the Soviet Union and have a stalemate. And the third possibility, which the Prime Minister delicately alluded to, is that we could produce this result through incompetence, not through intention. So that the objective result despite our intentions or policies might so demoralize the West and other countries that the Soviet Union feels free to attack somebody else even though we don’t want this.
Now let me deal with each of these points.
The first possibility, that we want the Soviet Union to defeat China. If this were to happen, I am assuming from history that Japan would end up on the side that looks stronger to Japan. That has always been the case. If China were to be defeated, Japan would join the Soviet Union. Europe would become like Finland, and the United States would be completely isolated. So whether the Soviet Union defeats China first or Europe first, the consequences for us will be the same. So this can never be our policy.
Now let us take the second case, that the Soviet Union attacks China and we do not discourage this because we think China cannot be defeated and then perhaps both communist countries will exhaust each other. I believe, and the President believes, that, first of all, the chance of a war between the Soviet Union and China would have cataclysmic effects in the world regardless of the outcome. With very unpredictable consequences. But if the Soviet Union should succeed in gaining even the kind of control Japan acquired in the ’30s and ’40s, many of the same consequences that I described earlier would also happen. India would certainly not be idle. We do not know what temptations Japan would encounter in this new circumstance. And the U.S. would be forced either into a position of demonstrated impotence and irrelevance to the rest of the world or into a series of delicate and extremely complex decisions.
I am speaking very honestly with you, Mr. Prime Minister.
But if a situation would arise in which the Soviet military move would be exhausted or stalemated, and if the Soviet Union encounters some of the difficulties you mentioned we encountered in Vietnam, then given the nature of the Soviet system, the consequences could be very unpredictable. And they might then break out of their dilemma in some other direction. And we might then have the situation of World War I or World War II, on a greater scale, with the Soviet Union in the position of Germany. So if a war occurs between the Soviet Union and China as a result of our action, it will be the result of misjudgment by us, not the result of a deliberate policy.
Now this is a point that the Prime Minister has made and that I take very seriously because there is a great deal of merit in this. There is a danger that the Soviet Union might succeed in creating such a false [Page 144] atmosphere of relaxation that it feels free to turn all its energies in one direction, and that the West and the U.S. disarm themselves morally and psychologically, and this despite our intention. This is a real danger. [Chou nods.]
While this is theoretically correct, let us analyze it by region, and let me explain to you what we think we are doing and why we are doing it.
We do not believe that we are likely to disarm China psychologically, so let me talk about Western Europe, where the principal difficulty occurs. Even before my trip to Peking, and even before the Soviet Union began its present relaxation policy, our West European allies made very little effort in defense. On the contrary. Indeed, under the pressure of their Communist parties, and even worse, of those intellectuals who listened to the communists without having their discipline, they adopted the view that every crisis was the result of America’s policy and the only danger of war was American intransigence, not Soviet. So every European leader was in the happy position that when he needed some cheap popularity he could come to Washington and recommend détente, secure in the knowledge that we would refuse him. [laughter] In the spring of 1971 a European leader came to Washington to lecture us again about our intransigent policy and I said to him, “You had better enjoy this trip, because very soon you will be in a position where you will have to be very careful what you recommend because we might accept it.” [laughter]
So if you compare the defense efforts of the Europeans before 1971 with after 1971, it is actually higher today. Now, how is this paradox to be explained? Until 1971 the Europeans wanted to make sure that if there was a war—they had exactly the opposite view of Brezhnev in his communication to us—they wanted to make sure it would devastate the U.S. but not devastate Europe. So they made just enough of an effort to induce us to keep our forces there but never enough of an effort so that we could actually defend Europe in Europe.
Now why have we acted as we have since 1971? Partly because of Vietnam. I will be very honest with you; we couldn’t have two crises simultaneously. But even if it had not been for Vietnam we would have acted the same way for a while.
PM Chou: I don’t quite understand.
Dr. Kissinger: That is what I want to explain. We wanted to give those forces in Europe that were in favor of defense a greater freedom of maneuver, and for that reason we had to dissociate ourselves somewhat from Europe, strangely enough. Because as long as we were overwhelmingly dominant in Europe, there was no incentive for the Europeans to do anything for themselves. So we have always respected President de Gaulle, for example, and we now respect President Pompidou; [Page 145] they are more difficult than some other governments but they encourage national pride and therefore national willingness to defend themselves.
Now, our policy of relaxation with the Soviet Union has forced the Europeans to examine the requirements of their own situation. Whenever we have asked the Europeans to spend more money for defense, they told us there was no danger. Now that we are discussing the reduction of forces in Europe they are telling us the danger is so great that our forces cannot be moved.
PM Chou: Even Switzerland.
Dr. Kissinger: Even Switzerland, but the Swiss at least defend themselves.
PM Chou: Although they are a neutral country they also admit there is danger.
Dr. Kissinger: That’s right.
PM Chou: Yes, and when I spoke to a Swiss they also admit the fact that the Soviet Union was the danger to Europe, and that if a nuclear war would break out that war would not know any boundaries and it would not distinguish between the front and the rear and it would abolish the difference between a neutral and allied country.
Dr. Kissinger: No question. And the Austrian government, which is also neutral technically, has all its military dispositions facing the east. They are not very much, but still whatever they have is facing the east. I had a long discussion with a member of the Austrian General Staff a few years ago, just before taking this office. They have no plan at all for defense against the West.
So our purpose with the Mutual Force Reduction Conference is twofold: One, pedagogical toward the Europeans, to force them to examine their military problem, in a framework in which they cannot avoid it, rather than in a budgetary framework where they will never face it. And secondly, to prevent our Congress, particularly Senator Mansfield, from cutting our forces unilaterally by claiming first that while negotiations are going on there can be no cuts.
So we have the paradox that our policy, in my view, actually strengthens the West.
Now I agree with you on the European Security Conference. I have nothing good to say about that. That was imposed on us by our allies and the only thing to do with it is to finish it quickly with a minimum of rhetoric.
But let me say we greatly welcome what you have been saying to European leaders. You cannot say it strongly enough for our taste, and we will never contradict you. We think it is a very positive contribution. Now the major…[Page 146]
PM Chou: And perhaps precisely because of that, the West German Foreign Minister Mr. Scheel sent their original Ambassador in your country to our country because he followed the Adenauer line, but that line might not be exactly his.
Dr. Kissinger: I know Pauls very well. He is a good man.
PM Chou: We have agreed.
Dr. Kissinger: He is the best man they could have sent. And he will be emotionally on your side. Scheel is not the strongest foreign minister of which history informs us.
PM Chou: Yes.
Dr. Kissinger: Now I want to tell the Prime Minister that the President and, therefore I, shall now pay very personal attention to European policy.
PM Chou: Yes, it was proclaimed by your President that this year would be the year of Europe.
Dr. Kissinger: We will attempt to develop in the next six months a common economic and military policy and then to have a summit meeting between the President and the major European leaders to develop a kind of Charter for our relationship. And we will ask Japan to participate in the economic aspects of this. So, we hope that we can counteract some of the dangers that you have described. But we will, as I have told you, make some maneuvers with the Soviet Union, in the interest of gaining time. But that will be in the direction of what I have described, and there will not be any secret understandings or discussions. Well, there will be secret discussions but no secret understandings.
Now let me turn to the Southern area. This has two parts, the Middle East and the area described yesterday evening—Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and through Southeast Asia. They are connected but not identical.
In the Middle East the problem is this: that the Soviet Union has attempted to perform mischief but has not been willing to run any risks. So it has tried to maximize its influence but without any constructive outcome. Now you and we have, I believe, a difference on the Middle East because we stand for the preservation of Israel. But let us leave this aside for the time being. Because we want a settlement. Now I want to inform the Prime Minister, I have already tried…
PM Chou: And in your basic policy what do you envisage about Palestine, the Palestinian people?
Dr. Kissinger: The future of the Palestinian people will have to be part of a general settlement.
PM Chou: But now the Jewish people are increasing. The inflow of the Jewish people is increasing into that area.[Page 147]
Dr. Kissinger: Many from the Soviet Union.
PM Chou: That is what I meant. In particular the Soviet Union. It is quite unreasonable, including those from the Soviet Union who have gone to Israel to assist Israel. Among them are some of the Jewish nationality who have been to Egypt to assist in the construction of the Aswan Dam and also especially those who have experience in constructing military installations, they have also gone into Israel.
Dr. Kissinger: I didn’t know that.
PM Chou: Soviet authorities say in regard to that that it is the freedom of the people. And for a Socialist country to say that. And if Egypt agrees, we would like to make this public. It is terrible.
Dr. Kissinger: On the future of the Palestinian people…Incidentally, Mr. Prime Minister, if Mr. Jenkins reports this conversation to his colleagues, Harvard University will soon have a new professor. [Chou laughs.]
Mr. Jenkins: It’s very possible.
Dr. Kissinger: No, I have Mr. Jenkins here because I have confidence in him. I want him to hear what our policy is since we don’t tell him unless he is here with you.
Our view on the Palestinian refugees is that the practical solution is to establish the principle that they can return, but to have an understanding that in fact only a certain small percentage of them will return, but that the Israeli Government will make a contribution to resettling them in other parts including in that part of Palestine which remains Arab.
PM Chou: Do you think you can help me investigate on the information I just now gave you?
Dr. Kissinger: Yes. I have never heard it.
PM Chou: It is very terrible to hear.
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know whether it is true. I have never heard it, but that doesn’t prove anything.
PM Chou: Of course it is also a public matter that they have trade relations with Israel—the Soviet Union.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: They said that is the normal state of affairs.
Dr. Kissinger: I said what I did because I do not want any misapprehension on the part of the Prime Minister. We cannot join you in any policy that would have to do with the dismemberment of Israel, but we can join you on any policy that would reduce Soviet influence and help establish a stable peace. And perhaps if you know what we are doing you can perhaps encourage it.
PM Chou: How can Israel be destroyed? It is impossible. But anyway it must be said that the establishment of such a country in such a [Page 148] manner is a very curious and peculiar phenomenon to be witnessed since the First and Second World War.
Dr. Kissinger: That is a different question.
PM Chou: To which the Soviet Union also gave its full favor. At that time the Soviet Union was against the Arabs.
Dr. Kissinger: Most of the arms came at that time from Czechoslovakia.
PM Chou: And the Soviets just can’t stand any mention of the matter. Even in their movies they gave a very bad…
Dr. Kissinger: In their?
PM Chou: In their movies they gave a very bad display. Even in the Soviet films of the Arab world they show the Arabs very badly. But at the same time the Soviet Union treats very badly the Jews in their country.
Dr. Kissinger: Very badly.
PM Chou: So what they want to do is establish a state and then push the Jews out of their own country. That is what they are continuing to do.
Dr. Kissinger: Whatever the motives, it is conceivable that their purpose is to create a situation of turmoil so they can then create bases, as in Iraq and Syria.
Now, I want to give the Prime Minister some information which we have not given to our own government and also therefore not to any foreign government. I mentioned it briefly the other day. We have been in contact with—that is the White House has been in contact with Egypt for the last five months, of the sort of exchange that you and we had prior to my first trip here. Very careful. And we have now used a pretext to invite the person who has the same position…
PM Chou: But on the very day you told me of that, I think on the 15th, we saw in the Lebanon newspapers approximately the same story saying that the United States had contacts with Ismail.3
Dr. Kissinger: Particularly because the Arabs can’t keep any secrets. But there are so many rumors that no one believes it any more.
PM Chou: We hope it will be that way.
Dr. Kissinger: For this reason, what we have done—we first wanted to bring Ismail secretly to the U.S. We thought this would never work, so we are bringing him for official meetings with Mr. Jenkins’ colleagues for one day. And then we will make him disappear and I will have two days of secret meetings with him. Is that what was in the Lebanon newspaper?[Page 149]
PM Chou: Not so detailed. They only said you had contacts with Ismail.
Dr. Kissinger: I personally?
PM Chou: They said that you were going to hold secret talks with Mr. Ismail in Paris.
Dr. Kissinger: That is certainly nonsense. They have been saying I will have secret talks with Heykal and with Zayyat. I am now having so many secret talks with Arabs that I can now have secret talks and no one will believe it. But what is important is not whether the talks can be kept secret—but I frankly believe we have to announce it after the event, since they aren’t emotionally capable of keeping a secret. What is more important is the attitude in which they will be conducted. And what we have said to them is that we will talk to Egypt as long as it speaks for itself and not for some other country, and that afterwards it should follow its own national purposes. And they have now given us a very long reply, of which the key point is—I will just read the key paragraph: “If Egypt thinks that there is a good solution that meets at least the minimum requirements of its people and the people of the area, it will go ahead with it and will not allow it to be vetoed by anybody. Only in this way can the problem be settled so that both we and you are helped.” And then they say they look forward to the discussions. These conversations begin next Sunday and Monday. Just as your Foreign Minister gives his opening remarks in Paris. [laughter]
PM Chou: We hope it will also be the final statement! [laughter]
Dr. Kissinger: We will keep you informed. And we are also talking to Jordan. But we think Egypt should settle first because if Jordan settles first I think your Vice Foreign Minister will agree it will create more turmoil in that area.
PM Chou: Indeed and they are those with the least secrecy.
Dr. Kissinger: Jordanians?
PM Chou: Yes.
Dr. Kissinger: It is hard to choose among Arabs. Now the third area—Turkey, Iran and then through Southeast Asia—that is the most difficult part. But I agree with what was said last evening and we will address this problem very seriously. I had a serious talk with Begum Bhutto this morning, and I spoke to her in the sense I have spoken to you.
So all of this long explanation is to make clear: Yes, we will pursue a policy of relaxation, but we will not pay a real price in weakening the possibility of resistance, at least not consciously, and we believe not in reality. I have spoken at such length only so that the Prime Minister genuinely understands how we see the international environment and also so that he sees what our major intentions are.[Page 150]
In fact, I think the greatest danger is that the Soviet Union will become so frustrated that it will do something rash. When I notice how nervous they are about my visit here, it indicates that they do not feel that they are gaining ground. They should not think that moving in any direction, south or east, will leave the United States disinterested. And for that we need some time to prepare the ground.
But this is our genuine strategy.
PM Chou: Your general relations with Turkey are all right.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, they are good. Turkey has a difficult domestic situation but that does not affect us.
PM Chou: The Soviet Union will also try to make use of that.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: But anyway you have military strength there and they are part of NATO.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, we have some air force there. And the Turks are fairly immune to the Soviet Union because they have had historical experience with both Russia and the Soviet Union.
PM Chou: The same with Iran.
Dr. Kissinger: That is right. Turkey and Iran, especially Iran, are in good condition now, and that is why when Mr. Helms gets in Iran we can take a more general view of the situation.
PM Chou: Besides bases in Japan, does your 7th Fleet also have any other bases in the Indian Ocean?
Dr. Kissinger: We have, of course, a base in the Philippines, Subic Bay. And we are developing a small station on Diego Garcia.
PM Chou: In the previous British area.
Dr. Kissinger: And we have a station in Bahrein. And we will review the whole question of deployments in the Indian Ocean. But with nuclear carriers the bases are not that important.
PM Chou: The Soviet Union doesn’t pay attention to that. They just nose in everywhere. They also have developed quite a fishing industry in the Indian Ocean. [laughter]
Dr. Kissinger: And they help their fishermen by equipping their trawlers with the best electronic equipment.
PM Chou: That is also a kind of fishing but a different kind of fish. [laughter]
Dr. Kissinger: But our naval strength, Mr. Prime Minister, is far superior to that of the Soviet Union, even though the Soviet Union is gaining. There is no relation between the two strengths. In every analysis we have made, in the Mediterranean, for example, we have always assumed that the 6th Fleet could wipe out the Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean completely. And in September of 1970 when we moved [Page 151] our aircraft carriers into the Eastern Mediterranean—they are usually in the Western Mediterranean; we moved two carriers into the Eastern Mediterranean during the Syrian-Jordanian crisis and doubled them—the Soviet fleet headed for the ports. But the Soviet navy is effective to threaten other countries that do not have large navies, and in the Indian Ocean and Africa and in the Middle East where we are not present, they can be very effective.
PM Chou: That is where the problem lies.
Dr. Kissinger: Exactly. So I recognize the problem you mentioned. The Shah, for example, has exactly the same feeling that the Prime Minister has. And he is also concerned with the Indian Navy, the Shah.
PM Chou: Navy?
Dr. Kissinger: Navy.
PM Chou: Is the Indian navy equipped with Soviet equipment?
Dr. Kissinger: Largely. They have some…
PM Chou: They have already replaced the British equipment then.
Dr. Kissinger: Well, they have an old British aircraft carrier but all of their new equipment comes from the Soviet Union. They are getting four Soviet submarines and five patrol destroyers this year from the Soviet Union. All their new equipment is either Soviet or built in India.
PM Chou: And about those assembled in India, are they done by Soviet technique or by technique left over from the British?
Dr. Kissinger: No, Soviet models.
PM Chou: So that is one of the reasons why Pakistan is complaining to you—because the Soviet Union is supplying the Indians so quickly and so amply.
Dr. Kissinger: They are right. We have a very difficult Congressional situation.
PM Chou: You well know that the equipment we give to Pakistan is ordinary army equipment and mainly light weapons.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: Secondly, we gave them some air force equipment, for instance a kind of MIG–19 that we have made ourselves, that was slightly improved on the basis of Soviet kind. Those are some of the fighters we have given them, and the total number was slightly better than 130. We don’t have the capability now to provide them with naval equipment. So if you could give them besides army equipment, also naval equipment, and besides giving them some assistance on the ground and in the air, if you could give them some assistance on the seas it would also be of good use. And the fighting ability of the MIG–21s are not so very great. MIG–23s are better.[Page 152]
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, that was the experience in the India/Pakistan War. Actually your MIG–19s are better.
On the military side, Mr. Prime Minister, we face bureaucratic problems and Congressional problems. And the two are related, because every time we give an order to the bureaucracy they leak it to the Congress. There are some things we can do from the White House, but a military supply program cannot be done on a personal scale.
PM Chou: Can the Pentagon also—does the Pentagon also leak secrets?
Dr. Kissinger: Oh yes. When your Liaison Office is established we will give them a little education. This is why we are so concerned with keeping our contacts in the White House. We never leak.
PM Chou: Yes, and that is why Chairman Mao mentioned yesterday that we have too little knowledge about your country. Perhaps with a four-year study we might be able to learn it.
Dr. Kissinger: He also made some other promises of which I will remind him. [laughter]
PM Chou: But we are not planning to put that into effect.
Dr. Kissinger: You don’t have to start with a maximum program. You can have a pilot program.
PM Chou: But it must be on a voluntary basis. No one will respond. Perhaps very few. Madam Shen [Jo-yun] said to you last night there would be none but I think that is not very satisfactory, so I will say only a very few. I believe the intellectual overseas Chinese family in the U.S. would be only now in the tens of thousands, and to my knowledge many children of those families, no matter whether sons or daughters, have married Americans. And therefore they have already become American citizens, which enables them to be more qualified to run for the President than you.
Dr. Kissinger: So is Miss T’ang.
PM Chou: So this is one of the difficulties we are facing, that is that you cannot keep your military assistance entirely secret.
Dr. Kissinger: We cannot keep military assistance secret at all, because it has to have Congressional approval. During the war we did some illegal things by transferring equipment from a few countries to Pakistan.
PM Chou: But too few in number, and very painstakingly.
Dr. Kissinger: I agree, and at enormous personal risk.
PM Chou: And then finally the records of certain meetings that you held were also made public. Those are some of the difficulties you come up with.
Dr. Kissinger: There are some embassies in Africa that are now staffed with new personnel since those leaks. But that is quite true. [Page 153] That was a very difficult period. But we cannot give military assistance secretly; it will inevitably become public.
So what we have to do is reestablish some categories. We will reestablish sending spare parts for existing equipment. We will release equipment that has already been contracted for. We will do that in the next four to six weeks. And we will make a major effort to see what can be done through third countries.
PM Chou: You have a very peculiar Congress, that can at once propose to withdraw your troops from Indochina immediately and unconditionally, but yet on the contrary in the 100 days since October last year they also did their utmost to mobilize all forces to give military assistance to Nguyen Van Thieu from countries that did not need keeping them.
Dr. Kissinger: That was something else. That was not Congress.
PM Chou: Then why was that made possible?
Dr. Kissinger: That was made possible because there existed authorization from Congress already to do this over a two-year period, and we simply delivered two years of equipment in a three months period. That had already been approved by Congress. But it is true Congress did approve this. It is peculiar.
PM Chou: It is also what the Pentagon is in favor of.
Dr. Kissinger: It depends on the area. There is no main policy.
PM Chou: So if you deal with them area by area as you mentioned in the beginning, as you dealt with the discussion today from an area to area basis, then that would be holding up time.
Dr. Kissinger: We will, particularly in the light of my discussion last night, I will review this whole problem with the President and we will see what can be done in this axis which was discussed yesterday.
Mr. Jenkins: May I have one brief word? To borrow a Shakespearean phrase, I would like to make insurance doubly sure on one point. I didn’t hear Miss T’ang translate when Mr. Kissinger said he had confidence in me. I want that in the record. I am looking forward to a possibility which will become a reality.
PM Chou: She translated that. And I can also assure you that Dr. Kissinger’s confidence in you has left a very deep impression on me. Of course the main confidence is from your President too.
Dr. Kissinger: I think the Prime Minister uses an interpreter only to gain time to think out his answers even better. He understands English very well. [laughter]
PM Chou: No, no, no, I don’t understand all of it, but I understand most of the parts that I pay attention to.
[The meeting broke briefly, from 4:18 to 4:40 p.m.][Page 154]
PM Chou: I would first of all like to thank you for what you said just now about strategy, because I believe that this is relevant not just to the present day but also to future developments. I think that the three different kinds of analyses you gave us actually are one. Why is that? Because I think that if in the first case it was thought that China would be easily attacked and would collapse the moment it was attacked, then there would have been no reason in favor of the improvement of relations between China and the United States.
Dr. Kissinger: Exactly.
PM Chou: Because we would be equal to Czechoslovakia, and it would not be worth it for you to spend so much time and energy in this. And the second and third points are two sides of one thing, because you know you stress on the prevention of certain events and therefore you stress the third danger, and therefore you attach importance to the danger I described yesterday; that is, you attach importance to lessening and even finally eliminating that danger. But neither do you exclude that some day the Soviet Union might embark on an adventure because of their unlimited ambition and imprudently launch a nuclear war. That is why we must be prepared for the worst. That was the portent that Chairman Mao mentioned to you; that is, to make—to timely envision that the Soviet Union might one day go mad, and not to consider that inconceivable, and therefore we must be prepared for the worst.
And I mentioned yesterday the proof of that, that we have concretized our principle of being prepared against war, and against natural disasters. The people have a phrase, “to dig tunnels deep, to store grain everywhere, and never seek hegemony.” The interpreter didn’t remember the third phrase correctly, which shows her tendency to big-nation chauvinism. [laughter] We are educating the people along these lines, “to dig tunnels deep, store grain everywhere, and never seek hegemony.” But the interpreter just now made it into a long sentence, which shows big-nation chauvinism, which must be criticized!
The first sentence shows a means of preparedness against war. Of course it is a defensive preparedness, but this prevention must be implemented in all the major and small cities of the country. Because the experience of the Second World War, and also the experience of the Vietnam war, have proved that the underground works have proven that they have been useful in preserving effectives and that they can be linked together and coordinated in battle and that they can withstand bombing. As for storing grain everywhere, that principle—as you just now mentioned, the digging of tunnels is sometimes not quite conceivable to some in Western Europe—that is the same case with to store grain everywhere. Many countries don’t find it conceivable to do that. And the natural disasters in the Soviet Union last year proved that after 50 years of construction their agriculture did not pass the test and as a result the First Vice Premier of the Council of Ministers was [Page 155] sacrificed—Polyansky. He was one whom Khrushchev appreciated and Brezhnev especially praised, and his division with Kosygin was that he was in charge of agriculture. One year of natural disasters had reduced the Soviet Union to such a state, so what would they do if the natural disasters would continue for a few more years? And that also was a great lesson to Japan.
Because if there truly is going to be a big war and any country is going to enter into that great war, then if they have no food then how are they going to fight? Our natural disasters last year also put a test to us, but it proved that our grain reserves were much better than before. But we still have to make efforts. The 1972 harvest was 4% less than the 1971 harvest. That was 10 million tons less of grain; 4% of our harvest was 10 million tons. And the year before, 1971, our grain output was 250 million tons. Last year we imported about 5 million tons of grain but we also exported around 3 million. Our imports include some through your country through third countries. Actually we didn’t mean to cancel the first purchase of grain—I think there was a one-million-ton purchase. The first one we cancelled but because of the propaganda in the press which compared us and put us on the same par as the Soviet Union; we felt we had to cancel that.
Dr. Kissinger: What was that?
PM Chou: The first deal was through the French businesses. The second time they kept quiet but it was still through a third country. I think in the future there will be no need to go through a third country. We can do it directly. So I think…But in importing grain we have two main purposes. One is to adjust the various varieties, and the second is to get more grain reserves. Because many of the countries that need our supply of grain eat rice—Vietnam, Korea, Ceylon, Cuba and African countries. But now, because of Soviet purchases, the price of wheat is going up. It is not like in the old days when we could exchange one ton of rice for two tons of wheat.
No matter what, we have to have such preparations. If not, how could we be prepared against a war?
Dr. Kissinger: The Soviet crop is likely to be very bad again this year. They had very little snow.
PM Chou: So it seems that perhaps Polyansky will perhaps lose his status in the Politburo and as a Minister too.
Dr. Kissinger: They have already dismissed Matskevich and…
PM Chou: And put Polyansky in.4
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.[Page 156]
PM Chou: He will probably have to go, too. But with material preparations alone, if the mental preparations are not sufficient, then one can still not be fully prepared against war. With only material preparations and the wrong mental preparations, then the preparations will be incorrect. Therefore we have to stress “never to seek hegemony”. We not only put that into our joint communiqué, and also the joint statement issued with Japan, but we are also educating our people at home that they should stress the fact that we should never seek hegemony. Because the good point of the aggression likely to come from the north to China is that this can enhance our national self-confidence. And the half century of Japanese aggression in the past also has educated the Chinese people and awakened their confidence.
But another side of the picture is that the objective fact of the largeness of the Chinese nation and Chinese area easily create a tendency to nationalistic sentiments and big-nation chauvinism. Because if there are too strong nationalist feelings, then one will cease to learn from others; one will seal oneself in and believe one is the best or will cease to learn from the strong points of others. For instance, one will cease to speak or to learn the language of others. Because there are so many people who can speak Chinese and speak it among themselves, they find it very easy to live and don’t have to learn foreign languages. For instance, in your country you have Chinatowns.
Dr. Kissinger: Still? Yes.
PM Chou: They are very conservative. They stick together.
Dr. Kissinger: New York and San Francisco.
PM Chou: Other countries don’t seem to have that happen—they stick together.
Dr. Kissinger: They are the most law abiding parts of the cities, too.
PM Chou: Not necessarily.
Dr. Kissinger: Seriously, the crime statistics are less in the Chinese areas than anywhere else. I am serious. It is true. I am not being polite.
PM Chou: We have heard from other people in the United States that since 1965 when you lifted the quota for immigrants from Hong Kong, since then the crime rate has gone up because they have begun street fighting.
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know.
Mr. Jenkins: More recently, but for a long time it was traditional that the Chinese community was the most peaceful.
PM Chou: [To Winston Lord] Is your wife Cantonese?
Mr. Lord: From Shanghai.
Dr. Kissinger: A very strong lady.
PM Chou: Strong lady. With a vast population it is easy to project big-nation chauvinism feeling especially toward smaller bordering [Page 157] countries. So on the one hand we must develop the spirit of resisting the tide, resisting erroneous things, no matter how strong they may be. One must not fear them at all. On the other hand we must be modest and prudent and to treat the people of all countries no matter big or small, equally and the same. Because others always have strong points and one must learn from the strong points of others to correct our own shortcomings. But in what way can one create such a spirit and temper the people in such a matter? That would be through exchanges. Through exchanges the people will temper themselves.
Take, for instance, the relations between our two countries since the ping-pong teams—only less than two years, and still through the increasing exchanges we have learned more of each other and begun to understand each other’s strong points and weak points. And in this way one can give play to one’s good habits and lessen the bad habits. That is the same with Japan. Since Liberation we have never ceased exchanges between the Chinese and Japanese people, and therefore with regard to the aspects that we have had contact with, we have been able to increase understanding. As to those aspects which we do not have contact with, there is still quite a large amount of prejudice.
Therefore, we must, in our preparation against war, we must be prepared against surprise attacks. Although at the beginning—it might not be very probable at the very beginning that there shall be major attacks, but there always is this possibility. A good thing to us, a relatively good phenomenon recently in the recent two years is that there has been an increasing number of foreign friends to visit China. And generally speaking they all understand that China is not a country that wants to commit aggression abroad. China is opposed to aggression. The impression they have got is that China is not a warlike or aggressive nation. But at the same time we must maintain constant preparations against all eventualities, because we must always be prepared against some surprise incident in case something happens. In Chinese, “We must be prepared against one case in ten thousand.” It is, as you have said, that other countries might not be prepared for such sudden incidents, might not have envisaged such a possibility. Of course, with more contacts and exchanges, gradually this matter will become understood.
But what if the attack comes early? That is why Chairman Mao said that we can fight for one year, or two years, and gradually the world will come to understand and the voices of reproach against the Soviet Union will be raised higher. But we must be prepared to withstand that attack; we must be prepared to make it so that they will be able to come in but not go out. One case might be as you envisage, that they will not send their forces in but will just throw bombs; that is, to wage an undeclared war. We must be prepared to withstand that; that is, we must be prepared to resist after the bombing. So that is why the Chairman said we must be able to stand for one year, two years, three [Page 158] years, four years or five years—to withstand the attack until that time so that the people in the world will come to understand the situation. That is why Chairman Mao said that you might make some moves at that time from their back—you might poke them in the back. Of course that is the worst eventuality.
Dr. Kissinger: That is very probable, that we would do that.
PM Chou: And it can be only in this way that we will be able to maintain our self-confidence and also gain the mutual assistance of others. With regard to the world there are bound to be some twists and turns, and some events that we are not prepared for, and there also might be a few countries who would like to fish in troubled waters. I discussed with you the possibility that there might be some come from the east or from the southwest. But we must be prepared—even in that eventuality, we must be able to resist and to wipe them out. Because then if they do not come into our territory and just continue the bombing, then by that time the whole world would be against them and we could not maintain the position of only defending our own land and not attack. Of course Chairman Mao put it in a more subtle way. He asked you to organize a committee to study that problem.
So with regard to this problem you have said that you think it is best to prevent the event before it happens. Of course that would be good if it can be done. And that will call for joint efforts, that is, to envisage all aspects. But if we ourselves did not make own preparations ourselves, that would not be right. Of course there is the possibility that if we are prepared they would not dare to come, or anyway they will have to think a bit.
Therefore in the future four years which you mentioned, it is most essential to do more work.
Our views on Western Europe are almost the same. Even the Nordic countries, although they might have said some things about you in the Scandinavian countries, they still are vigilant against the Soviet Union.
Dr. Kissinger: Even Sweden.
PM Chou: Even Finland.
Dr. Kissinger: Even more Finland.
PM Chou: They are the victim.
Dr. Kissinger: Finland is morally the strongest of the Scandinavian countries.
PM Chou: They resist. They wouldn’t agree to submit. Don’t you remember the battle of 1939? Tammersing lost very badly in the battle there. He broke his leg and lost his arm. And the Soviets would find themselves in an even colder place there; they would have dropped into an ice hole. That was the result of being too proud and arrogant. [Page 159] They thought that they could take Finland by moving only a finger. That is one of the greatest lessons of arrogance and pride.
At that time, exactly that time, I was in the Soviet Union treating my elbow. I didn’t get my elbow fixed but I learned quite a lesson about that. At the beginning the Soviet Union was extremely arrogant. Kuusinen had already become an “excellency” [laughter] and he was preparing to go to Finland to become its Chairman. So after its major defeat he came back and became “Comrade Kuusinen.” You could see the change in the newspapers. It seemed to be a joke on him. But finally a part of it was carved out—Karelia—and then he went there to become the “Chairman”. He was a good man but he was incapable.
So it still seems possible to gradually rid the European people of their illusions about peace, but that will take some time. So we think it is all right to hold some security conferences and mutual force reduction meetings in Europe, because it will serve to educate them. Because some truth will be told to them at those conferences. We will not play that role. The Soviet Union is saying that we are now the most warlike because we are even opposed to a security conference. Actually we are saying you can hold it if you want but it won’t be of any consequence.
Take for instance the Geneva Disarmament Conference: It has also been going on endlessly and the more they disarm the more the armaments increase! So we have been outside, but coordinating with those inside. Britain seems to understand that point now. They now said that they understand our not taking part. Before they wanted everyone to enter the Conference and fight inside, but to go inside and quarrel sometimes is not necessary. The British now agree that we can remain outside. But sometimes you have to go inside and fight. For instance, the United Nations.
Dr. Kissinger: Mr. Prime Minister, many delegations of professors from the U.S. might urge you to join these things. But we understand your point of view. They are not being sent by us. [laughter]
PM Chou: It doesn’t matter. As soon as they open that subject we can take the opportunity to make propaganda against them. I have already taken the lead in doing that, and now the Foreign Minister can do the rest of the work. I won’t spend my time doing that. But there are some American friends to whom it is easy to convey the notion; there are some who are more naive.
The second is Japan, because we have already discussed France. We don’t have to say any more about that.
Dr. Kissinger: We are in complete agreement with you.
PM Chou: As for Japan, we have, and still hold, the view that Japan is at a crossroads. From the point of security they cannot leave you now. Although generally speaking in our propaganda we are not, and [Page 160] we truly are not, in favor of a transition from Dulles’ Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. We are not in favor of that. But proceeding from the present situation, out of consideration of the present situation, we have not touched on that matter when we established relations with Japan.
Dr. Kissinger: We are well aware of that.
PM Chou: So when certain correspondents clamor that I am in support of the U.S.-Japanese Security Treaty I just ignore that. Let them go on. The Soviet Vice Foreign Minister approached our Vice Foreign Minister and asked for clarifications on that point, but we paid no attention to him. We said, “You have been cursing us enough.”
But Japan, due to its economic development, will inevitably also bring with it an ideology of military expansion that is objective. And about this point I believe I mentioned at the very beginning of our discussions that it is you who have fattened up the Japanese. Of course in the beginning perhaps you did that in order to prevent what you thought to be the expansion of communism.
Dr. Kissinger: And China.
PM Chou: Not only China but in Dulles’ time he viewed both China and the Soviet Union as a monolith. But if that was truly so, then you should have not let Japan expand economically so unrestrictedly. But that is an objective development that does not heed the will of man. That is, there are sudden expansions of such. The foundation was laid after the Second World War. There was the fact also that you had thrown atom bombs on Japan and therefore you wanted to create a better impression on the Japanese people and did not ask indemnities. And I believe the expenses of your occupation troops in Japan were mainly provided by yourself, and you also encouraged the support of your investments and techniques to Japan.
Dr. Kissinger: And we gave aid. I forget what the amount was but it was very substantial, several billion.
PM Chou: At the same time as the Marshall Plan.
Dr. Kissinger: Japan wasn’t part of the Marshall Plan. Japan received a separate program.
PM Chou: At the same time?
Dr. Kissinger: It started a little later but it overlapped in the ’50s.
PM Chou: In addition they gained a lot, and you should say they made money, out of the wars in the East. They profited out of the Chinese Civil War because of the transportation of your assistance to Chiang Kai-shek, which had to go through them. Then the Korean War, three years, then the Indochina War. You fattened them up. [laughter] How could you have foreseen that? Of course, in our point of view that is a matter of system. But we don’t have to answer about that philosophical problem now. We can concentrate on matters of practical interest to the people.[Page 161]
What Japan now has is only an attempt, an ambition, but they want to gain more independence out of this development. Like when a young man grows up he wants more freedom. But if it has restraint of its spirit, that is different, if it has a spirit of restraint it would be better. But its economic base doesn’t allow it to restrain itself; it will compel it to develop. But it is true indeed that the various countries in Asia and the Pacific Ocean have learned their lesson about the economic development abroad of Japan, and therefore their great fear of it. That is why Suharto said to you he thought the second major threat was Japan. That was due to the lessons of the Pacific. Japan itself cannot be said to be completely ignorant of that. They have enough of the spirit of self-criticism to see that if they do not obey a spirit of restraint in their economic development they will become “economic animals.” I heard those very words from monopoly capitalists. Was that a term that was given to them by the people in Asia or is it their own coin?
Dr. Kissinger: I think it is their own coinage.
PM Chou: It is in this very room that I met them and I heard from their own mouths these words.
Dr. Kissinger: Have you ever seen them put the principle in practice?
PM Chou: No.
Dr. Kissinger: They’re like my colleagues, good in theory but not in practice.
PM Chou: Including your student [Nakasone]?5
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, especially my student.
PM Chou: So where do you think a way out lies? There is a way out but they refuse to take it. So that is why they now are trying to find ways out for the expansion of their investments abroad, and that is why Siberia holds such an attraction for them—natural gas, oil, timber—because in this way they can develop their war supply material in case of danger. Can’t you cooperate with them in that?
Dr. Kissinger: We can cooperate with them. Especially in the gas project.
PM Chou: I believe they also want to develop the oil fields. The Tyumen oil project.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, that is the one where they want us to participate 50 percent.[Page 162]
PM Chou: A good thing that would come out of that would be mutual restraint on each other. They were afraid that we would oppose it. We said we didn’t care. We said that was something for you to decide. Of course the way they have done things is due to ambivalence.
Dr. Kissinger: Everything you tell them they will tell the next party.
PM Chou: It doesn’t matter. You see we are very large-minded. We don’t care. We let them say what they want. Even if they made it public it wouldn’t be of much use to others. But we think you should give consideration to trying to win over Japan. But your student also said something that is in accordance with reality. Before we established diplomatic relations we had relations with him. Our correspondent had a meeting with him and he also mentioned the five powers that your President mentioned. But when we mentioned that your President had mentioned the five powers, Mr. Nakasone said that the strength of Japan was an imaginary strength, because they relied on foreign countries for their raw materials and their markets. We can accept that sentence, but the question was about the conclusion he drew…The facts he mentioned were correct, but we don’t know what way out he imagined. And he came for his visit recently and when we talked to him about it, it seems he still is not quite decided about that. Perhaps it is unfair to blame him for that because they are in such a situation.
Because the Soviet Union is quite attractive to them, especially because of the three things I mentioned just now—oil, gas and timber—and it is perhaps not good to oppose them. It might on the contrary have bad results. Because you are qualified to cooperate in that.
Of course we will also say other things to them too. For instance, the words of Tanaka that the Chairman told you yesterday about the Soviet Union: When someone is about to hang himself, they will bring a chair. Various leaders of Japan have said similar things. For instance, we support their recovery of their northern islands. But the Soviet Union puts up a ferocious front.
It is difficult to blame them because they have to rely on foreign countries for both their raw materials and their markets. And therefore their economic basis is not complete. And their present capability of self-defense is also limited, and if they are going to develop their capability of self-defense, internationally it probably would not be allowed, and domestically they would probably meet with great opposition. And that brings us back to what we discussed one-and-a-half years ago about the danger of the resurgence of Japanese militarism. I think now you would agree to that. But if they insist on embarking on that road, then what could we do about that? We should try to harness the trend and try to administer them into the best channels. The slogan of the Socialist Party is “No armed forces.”[Page 163]
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: I asked the Chairman of the Socialist Party, “Do you think you would be able to gain many votes from people by such a slogan?” It wouldn’t be possible to rule with such a slogan either, but they don’t change it. So Japan’s politics is very complex, but it is due to their environment. But we believe no matter what, work should be done with Japan to prevent Japan’s being won over by the Soviet Union and to be used to threaten the world.
And now to come back to the Middle East. We oppose the situation in the Middle East. We are not simply opposed to Israel, or singly. The existence of Israel is now a fact. But before they give up the territory they have come by by aggression, we cannot establish diplomatic relations with them. That is a principle. But the present situation there is one of no war, no peace.
Dr. Kissinger: That’s Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk! [laughter]
PM Chou: But it is also a situation in turmoil which is more favorable towards the Soviet Union. It is also a turbulent situation. Take for instance the Arabs—they also claim socialism. There are a lot of socialisms. Now especially Mr. Qaddafi claims to be a socialist. You know he doesn’t have relations with us?
Dr. Kissinger: No.
PM Chou: He has relations with Chiang Kai-shek.
Dr. Kissinger: I didn’t know that. He wants to buy Malta. [laughter]
PM Chou: Yes, we know. [laughter] He is another expansionist. He says, “I have money in my pocket,” and the Soviet Union is making use of that money. They are reaching into his pockets through Egypt and Syria and they are raising the price of their arms. The Soviet diplomats openly say to the Egyptians, “You have money, because Qaddafi will give you the money.” You probably also buy Libyan oil, don’t you?
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, it is one of the things we have to change.
PM Chou: So the Middle East issue.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes. He is buying Malta with our money. [laughter] And Iraq is using our money to make revolution.
PM Chou: They are not only buying Malta, they are sending your money to the Soviet Union.
Dr. Kissinger: Indirectly we did.
PM Chou: The issue of the Middle East is complex indeed. I acquired all this knowledge from Mr. Mintoff. He is the one who enlightened us in the beginning, but of course now we are getting it from other sources. You just now mentioned that Iraq was using your money to make revolution. In the final analysis they will use it to revolutionize themselves. You know the Socialist ruling party in Syria. What are they called?[Page 164]
Dr. Kissinger: Ba’ath.
PM Chou: Yes, Ba’ath. You know, the Ba’ath party in Iraq when they came into power they massacred a large number of followers of Kassem.
Dr. Kissinger: Including him.
PM Chou: So their present maneuvers there will not be able to be prolonged. Things will change. Of course there are quite a number of Soviet officers that are going to Iraq and Syria now, but those two countries are not very harmonious either.
And therefore with regard to the Middle East issue, our principle is to settle the issue in a manner that will be in the interests of all the Arab people including the Palestinian people. If you wish to inform us in the future of future developments it is all right with us, but I must say beforehand that we do not have the capability of doing anything here. The only thing we can do is give expressions to our opinion.
Dr. Kissinger: We will just inform you for your own information. We do not expect you to do anything.
PM Chou: And we have also openly told our Arab friends that since the Soviet Union is dominating that area it would do no good for us to go into that area. It would only increase the trouble in that area, and their burden.
The Soviet Union is making use of the Middle East issue to expand into the Subcontinent and the Indian Ocean. How are your relations with Sri Lanka?
Dr. Kissinger: Quiet.
PM Chou: Better now?
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, a little better, and we are prepared to improve them further. Mrs. Bandaranaike has some domestic trouble, and India keeps bringing pressure on her. But in principle we are prepared to improve our relations and go as far as she is willing to go. I will make sure she understands this. But if you talk to her people we have no objection if you say this is your impression.
PM Chou: So there are two—one to the north and another to the south of India—that dare to stand up and resist India. In the north and in the south. Do you have diplomatic relations with Bhutan?
Dr. Kissinger: No.
PM Chou: Is it because India doesn’t allow that?
Dr. Kissinger: India won’t permit anyone to have diplomatic relations with Bhutan. India controls the foreign relations of Bhutan.
PM Chou: Maybe like Ukraine.
Dr. Kissinger: Like Ukraine. They want Bhutan in the UN but they don’t want anyone to have diplomatic relations.[Page 165]
PM Chou: They also have their Byelorussia—Sikkim.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: Since the Soviet Union and India are now allied to each other they copy each other.
Dr. Kissinger: Also, there is an American girl who is Queen of Sikkim.
PM Chou: We saw her.
Dr. Kissinger: Here?
PM Chou: No, when we went to visit Nehru. Is it the original one that married the King in the 50s?
Dr. Kissinger: That is right. She keeps using her prayer beads and sifting her beads all the time. She has become more Buddhist than the population. She makes me so nervous I always avoid seeing her.
PM Chou: In 1956 there was a very interesting incident when I was in India. Mr. Nehru invited me to a kind of fashion show dinner party and he had a lot of ladies there in various costumes, and among the guests he invited was the King of Sikkim and his American queen. The portrait of her was like you just now described. It makes others easily nervous. But in 1957 on my way back to China from the Soviet Union and Poland I also stopped in India. The scene then was different—another story. Nehru invited me to a tea party in his garden and among the guests were people in costume. There were two Tibetan lamas, and there suddenly appeared a female lama. Do you know who she was?
Dr. Kissinger: Madame Binh?
PM Chou: Madame Gandhi. [laughter] She was dressed up entirely in Tibetan costume. That was something that Nehru was capable of doing. I am not among those that go in for memoir-writing.
Dr. Kissinger: It is a pity.
PM Chou: So perhaps we can ask you to write it in your memoirs since you have it now in your minutes. [laughter] I was speechless confronted with such a situation. It was impossible for me to say anything.
But because Nehru insistently wanted to seize hold of Kashmir and Jammu, during the interval of the first Geneva Conference, 1954, I went to visit India. It was my first visit, and in that visit Nehru kept on asking me if I knew where he came from. Then he told me he was from Kashmir, which therefore proved Kashmir was Indian territory!
And he insisted on getting me to visit Kashmir, and I resisted him. But Khrushchev was very obedient and he visited that territory; it was also during his first visit to India, in 1955.
So that is what is called politics. But in our view it is only intrigue, small tricks. It is not open and above-board political activity. India [Page 166] cannot be considered a small country but still stoops to such tricks. A small country could perhaps win at doing such things, though perhaps some small nations would have more backbone than that. You are not so familiar with Nehru?
Dr. Kissinger: I met him once.
PM Chou: Only once.
Dr. Kissinger: But I must say that until well into the 1960’s I had always accepted the view that in the Sino-Indian War you had attacked. It was not until I visit India in 1962 and talked to Khrishna Menon that I suddenly realized they had been bringing pressure on you. I have never been an admirer of Indian policy.
PM Chou: So you hold a minority opinion among the upper strata of the U.S.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes.
PM Chou: Now there are two other matters I would like to discuss with you. One is Cambodia. Because it seems this time during this visit it will be difficult to make further progress. We know your documents in English and French. We gave you already the 5-point statement of March 23, 1970, and also the January 26, 1973,6 but we should further give you the January 23 one of the three Vice Ministers of the Royal Government of National Union in the interior part of Cambodia. And we are in agreement with Vietnam in respecting the position of the Front of National Union of Cambodia and also the Royal Government of National Union of Cambodia. Our tendency would be that you should cease your involvement in that area. Of course you would say in reply that other parties should also stop their involvement.
Dr. Kissinger: That is right.
PM Chou: If it was purely a civil war the matter would be relatively more simple. Of course it wouldn’t be easy to immediately confine it to a civil war. The situation would be like China in the past. Of course it is not possible to hope for Cambodia entirely copying the previous China situation. But one thing can be done, that is, we can talk in various ways to make your intention known to the various responsible sides in the National United Front of Cambodia. Because the National United Front of Cambodia is not composed of only one party; it also is composed of the left, the middle and the right. Of course, Samdech Norodom Sihanouk wishes to be in a central position, as is the King of Laos and Prime Minister Phouma. They actually now have two leading persons; one is the head of state, the other is the Prime [Page 167] Minister, Penn Nouth. Of course in the interior the strength of the left is larger. And we also believe that differences will also occur in the Lon Nol clique.
France is also active, and so is the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is also attempting to fabricate their own Red Khmer but they can’t find many people. But it might in the future appear. So, in the future, if there is some information you would like to give us in this respect, we can also give you some too. But it would only be information. It would not be—we have not yet reached the stage where we could provide any views or suggestions.
Dr. Kissinger: I understand.
PM Chou: And we would like to take very prudent steps, because we wish to see the final goal of Cambodia realized; that is, its peace, independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Dr. Kissinger: We completely agree with these objectives.
PM Chou: But we will still have to wait and see in which way these objectives can be realized. And you know, and Samdech Norodom Sihanouk also knows, that we would never want to turn Samdech Norodom Sihanouk into someone who would heed to our beck and call. If we did that, that would be like hegemony. Many of the views he expresses in our People’s Daily are not necessarily our views, but we give him complete freedom. Although he has written songs about nostalgia about China—in Peking he wrote a very good poem about China being his second motherland—and although he is writing such poems we do not cherish illusions. I was going to try to persuade him not to try and publish the second song. I advised him to use “homeland” because “motherland” was too excessive. “He insisted on motherland.” We must be prepared for the day when he says it doesn’t count! Anyway it was all written by him; it has nothing to do with us. Of course he is now saying I am one of his best friends, that I am one of his best friends, “as Mr. Mansfield is.” It doesn’t matter. That is only personal relations. He is still the Head of State of the Buddhist State of Cambodia. So we still have to wait and see the developments of that issue.
So if we wish to see Southeast Asia develop along the lines of peace and neutrality and not enter a Soviet Asian security system, then Cambodia would be an exemplar country.
Dr. Kissinger: We are in complete agreement with that objective. And we have the same difficulty determining in exactly which direction to put our influence.
PM Chou: We still have to study that problem.
Dr. Kissinger: We are prepared to exchange information. It would be kept in strictest confidence. And we also believe…[Page 168]
PM Chou: Anyway I believe you to a certain degree answered me, when I said about the fact that Lon Nol will not do. I do not mean that the forces that he represents do not count.
Dr. Kissinger: I understand that. But before one can act on that, one has to have some idea of the alternative. I also agree that if it can become a Cambodian civil war rather than a foreign war, that would be the first step toward realizing these objectives.
PM Chou: We understand the directions. We understand our respective orientations. Because it is impossible for Cambodia to become completely red now. If that were attempted, it would result in even greater problems. It should be settled by the United Front, on the basis of the policy I just now mentioned; that is, independence, peace, neutrality, unity and territorial integrity.
Dr. Kissinger: Those principles we agree with, and we now have to find some framework for achieving them in a way that takes account of all the real forces.
PM Chou: So, one we agree.
Dr. Kissinger: The Prime Minister had a second issue.
PM Chou: So I would like to stop here about this issue and go on. That is the Korean issue.
Dr. Kissinger: I was hoping the Prime Minister might forget about it. I nearly got out of here all right. [laughter] I have already crossed it out of my book. [laughter]
PM Chou: No, it won’t be crossed out. You know it hasn’t been easy for that area to have remained without any major incident during these 20 years. You know there is only an armistice there. Dulles broke up the 1954 Geneva Conference discussion about Korea. It seems in retrospect that was very good. That was the only time that we looked into each other’s eyes. We were seated opposite each other at a round table in a room that was about one-quarter of this one. That was the only time he stared at me and I stared at him. That was when he made the decision that the Korean question was not to be discussed, and that was the final time, and after that he left Geneva and left it to his assistant Mr. Smith to deal with us. It seems in retrospect there were good points in that. That means we are not fettered, and the result has been that the two sides have maintained the desire to maintain a status of peace there.
It has been 15 years since our volunteers withdrew from Korea; your troops have remained there until the present day. Now there are these few issues that need to be solved. Because in principle there will be a day when your troops will be totally withdrawn and therefore it is not incorrect for the DPRK to put forward that principle. Because we have indeed left Korea 15 years ago, and the Korean army has neither [Page 169] Chinese nor Soviet military advisers. The Soviet Union is now trying to exert pressure on them but the Koreans resist them. Of course, it has to have some relations and exchanges with the Soviet Union. It was, I believe, precisely yesterday that they were celebrating the 70th birthday of Brezhnev and sent him telegrams of congratulations. Both our Vietnamese friends and Kim Il-sung sent a greeting to Brezhnev yesterday. But that was the very day that Chairman Mao Tse-tung sent his regards to President Nixon. So the Soviet Union probably will be making great fuss about that. [laughter] It is entirely coincidental.
Dr. Kissinger: A coincidence.
PM Chou: And it was only this morning when I read the news that I saw this happened. We hadn’t calculated it before. We gave the news at 4 o’clock in the morning then it was released. How could I know he turned 70 yesterday? And Chairman Mao has still less regard for such matters; he is highly opposed to birthday celebrating. You probably didn’t premeditate that.
Dr. Kissinger: No, I didn’t know I was meeting Chairman Mao.
PM Chou: Perhaps your President will have to telegram something.
Dr. Kissinger: Actually Brezhnev sent birthday greetings to President Nixon. I have just made a note to see if we sent any. Normally I am told.
PM Chou: We couldn’t care less if you sent him a telegram out of courtesy.
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t know whether we did or not. I doubt that we did.
PM Chou: It doesn’t matter.
Dr. Kissinger: But I am not sure. I will have to check.
PM Chou: Because we couldn’t care less about such matters.
As for the Korean issue, you said the year before last and last year that probably this year you would abolish UNCURK. How do you envisage this?
Dr. Kissinger: We envisage that we can get UNCURK abolished probably in the second half of this year. We will talk first to the South Koreans to see whether they are willing to propose it. If not, we will talk to some of the other members.
PM Chou: Yes, it would be best if they did it.
Dr. Kissinger: That is what we will try to bring about.
PM Chou: So if you can give us that promise then, we will do our best to avoid the issue becoming acute.
Dr. Kissinger: I am almost certain. Let me confirm it within the next few weeks. It has that much time.
Miss T’ang: What has that much time?[Page 170]
Dr. Kissinger: I mean it has that much time to let you know definitely. I am almost certain we can do it. I want to check to see if there are any complications I cannot predict, but I am almost certain. Say, by the middle of March we will confirm it. I know the President agrees with it. I have to study the mechanics of how to do it.
PM Chou: Yes.
Dr. Kissinger: I am almost certain we can do it.
PM Chou: That is one thing. The second point is the gradual troop withdrawal. We believe that is a reasonable request on the part of Korea. We know that you are anyway going to gradually withdraw your troops from Korea, and during that period you want to increase the self-confidence of the South Koreans to make sure they are going to be able to defend themselves.
Dr. Kissinger: That is correct.
PM Chou: Anyway, there is no one who is going to commit aggression against them. But one thing that must be guarded against is that the Japanese should not be able to force themselves on them.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, we have an understanding on that. And that understanding is maintained. That makes it important that the withdrawal be gradual and not sudden.
PM Chou: The principle that you should withdraw your troops is a principle that neither the Korean people nor the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea can change. But the fact that the troop withdrawal will be gradual and Japan should not be allowed to enter into that area is something that we have also told our Korean friends and that is something that they must understand.
Dr. Kissinger: On the principle of withdrawal we have an understanding, and the principle that Japanese forces will not enter the territory of South Korea we maintain. On withdrawal we will be able to give better understanding of the direction in which we are moving within the next year.
Miss T’ang: You mean in 1973, 12 months?
Dr. Kissinger: By this time next year.
PM Chou: Next year? When I talked with Nakasone I asked him whether it was true or not that when he was in charge of defense he had sent military men in civilian costume into South Korea, and he denied it. I didn’t tell him you had admitted it was true.
Dr. Kissinger: We gave you that information.
PM Chou: You proved it. I said the Koreans don’t have a good impression of the Japanese. He said, that’s true. Many Koreans are pro-Japanese, and were trained by the Japanese.
Dr. Kissinger: Their President was trained by the Japanese.[Page 171]
PM Chou: And the third point is that you are giving the South Koreans some military equipment and changing some of it too. As for the 40,000 American troops which will be withdrawn, will they also go back into Korea with modern weapons—the troops from South Vietnam?
Dr. Kissinger: Oh, the troops from South Vietnam. The Prime Minister has too much experience with ceasefires. And I don’t want to be in the position of Nakasone. About half will go back to the U.S. and about half will leave their weapons there and receive new weapons in Korea. The Prime Minister knows it already. [laughter] But the equipment was transferred legally before January 27. [laughter]
PM Chou: I don’t care much for that deadline, January 27th.
Dr. Kissinger: This is why I do not express as much moral outrage now as I will in two months about their tanks moving South.
PM Chou: It would be impossible two months hence. The important thing now is for the Commission of Control and Supervision to go as quickly as possible to their posts.
Dr. Kissinger: I agree.
PM Chou: It is also ridiculous that the Two-Party Commission should continue to hold its meetings in Paris and not be able to go to their own country, to Saigon.
Dr. Kissinger: What is the matter is that Chapter VI is so complicated that it can be understood only by the one or two people who have drafted it. I am sure Minister Thach probably understands it. The people who met in Paris is not the Two-Party Commission, but the political discussions. The Two-Party Commission has not yet been formed, but that is no great tragedy because it will automatically appear when the Four-Party Commission is disbanded, then the Two-Party Commission will remain.
PM Chou: There are also protocols to the Agreement.
Dr. Kissinger: Oh, for the Two-Party Commission, yes, that is true. The Four-Party Commission protocol exists.
PM Chou: Both exist?
Dr. Kissinger: No, the Four-Party one. After it ceases then the two parties will agree on their own protocol. But we will strongly support the Two-Party Commission. On the other hand, the PRG has refused to name points of entry, and as I told the Prime Minister they take the astounding view that in the absence of points of entry the frontiers are open. I would have thought they are closed. That we cannot accept for a long time.
PM Chou: The complexities, it is really something to have to go through all your documents. [laughter] But this time it is somewhat better. As Chairman Mao said after, it is not bad to have reached a basic settlement, because it doesn’t seem that Nguyen Van Thieu is [Page 172] likely to act like Chiang Kai-shek in disrupting the Agreement entirely in half a year.
Dr. Kissinger: We would strongly oppose it.
PM Chou: Because then, with Chiang Kai-shek, the U.S. was in a position of a mediator; it was the chairman of the three-man committee, but also had a veto. I heard that the veto was an invention of Marshall when the allies got together in the Second World War. On military actions between the Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S. That was when Marshall invented it. Is that so?
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t think so.
PM Chou: Of course, later on it was used in negotiation.
Dr. Kissinger: I don’t think we ever tried to veto military action. I will look it up.
PM Chou: Have you studied to do some research on it? Then it showed up in the UN. That is what Marshall told me, and he prided himself very much in that. That was when Mr. Chang Wen-chin was the interpreter when I met Marshall in Chungking.7
Dr. Kissinger: That might have been the problem, the interpretation. [laughter]
PM Chou: That was what he said during the first encounter with me. Of course, that might not have been merely the allied armed forces but the allied powers in Tehran. Maybe it came from Tehran.
Dr. Kissinger: That is possible. But we never knew about Soviet actions until they started them. The Soviet Union never told us ahead of time what they planned to do.
PM Chou: You mean military action.
Dr. Kissinger: Military action.
PM Chou: But the military orders issued on the Western front were indeed very long.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes, very bureaucratic.
PM Chou: The ones about the landing, Marshall told me, were hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of words long. And I asked him, “How did you read it, Mr. Chief of Staff?” He said, “I read only the outline.” So sometimes one must be practical and use the bureaucracy.
Dr. Kissinger: One must shortcut the bureaucracy.
PM Chou: And another thing in South Korea, what they are doing now—they are doing their utmost to establish a dictatorship and suppress the people and leave them with no freedom at all. They originally [Page 173] had a constitution, now they suppress it. Actually the present dialogue is only an initial contact between the two sides, and how is it possible to fundamentally change a system by initial contact? And even if a confederation was established between two states of different social systems it would only be outward appearance, and it would not be possible to immediately obliterate the differences. The only thing that could be done is to give the people the kind of hope that in the future unity would be achieved, and it would add to the atmosphere of national harmony. But they are greatly afraid of that.
Dr. Kissinger: The South Koreans?
PM Chou: Pak Chung Hee. Because they lack self-confidence. We don’t know how strong your influence is there.
Dr. Kissinger: We support these negotiations and at every opportunity exert our influence. But is it your impression that South Korea is the principal obstacle now?
PM Chou: Yes, they do in several instances create a bit of trouble. For instance, they might suddenly arrest a group of people. And they are deeply afraid there might be some inner turmoil, because in the lower strata of their country, in the lower ranks of the political parties, there is a desire to achieve more democracy, which they have done away with. They have abolished the Parliament and they proclaim a new constitution in which the President would be for life. It shows a lack of self-confidence. In our view it will be impossible to completely change a system in one stroke.
I might tell you an interesting matter. That is, the written language of North and South Korea are different.
Dr. Kissinger: I think you are thinking of Vietnam.
PM Chou: It is a very curious situation.
Dr. Kissinger: The written language is different?
PM Chou: In North Korea they implemented a reform of the written language. Because before, the Korean written language used square characters, like Chinese. But now North Korea has made a reform of their written language. They are now using symbols. It has not been completely Latinized, but they are using different symbols for the sounds.
Each symbol is the sound for a square and then the various squares are put together to produce the sound. In North Korea there is not a single Chinese character in their language. But South Korea uses Chinese characters the same as we do, but it is classical Chinese. It is likely your highly refined gentleman from your State Department.
Dr. Kissinger: Mr. Freeman.
PM Chou: Who is quite literary in his spoken Chinese. So you see in that same land even the written language is different. And therefore the present matter of conducting affairs in South Korea is to rely on [Page 174] foreign forces. So if you don’t pay too much attention they will allow the Japanese economic forces to enter that area. Although indeed the relations between Japan and Korea are deeper than ours, because they have been for 50 years a colony of Japan.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes. When the Prime Minister said that if UNCURK was abolished this year we could avoid difficulties, did he mean we could avoid a debate in the UN?
PM Chou: Yes.
Dr. Kissinger: On that basis I think we can do it.
PM Chou: And South Korea should be made to understand that the abolishment of UNCURK should not impair their self-confidence, that is, if they are able to manage their part of the country well. There is only one aspect in which the two Koreas are united, and that is in sports. They are quite strong in sports. In the Olympics they sent a joint team. They are very strong in some matters. So that shows that the people desire unity.
Dr. Kissinger: Football. On the political talks, Mr. Prime Minister, we strongly encourage them. We are told by the South Koreans that the North Koreans are the obstacle; you tell us the South Koreans are the obstacle. Perhaps we should exchange some information. If you tell us the concrete issues that are creating difficulty we will know where to use our influence.
PM Chou: There is another area, that is the Military Armistice Commission that is standing in between them.
Dr. Kissinger: In Panmunjom.
PM Chou: I think they call it now the Ceasefire Committee. On the South Korean side you are the main participant and they are the deputy.
Dr. Kissinger: The Prime Minister taught me that in October, 1971. I hadn’t done my homework. [laughter]
PM Chou: On our side the main representative is that of the armed forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the representative of the Chinese People’s Volunteers is only the deputy. And the supervisors on behalf of your side are Switzerland and Sweden, and on our side Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Dr. Kissinger: Do you want to trade Sweden for Czechoslovakia? [laughter]
PM Chou: We have no interest at all in that committee, but we often play host to them because the four members of the committee often like to pay a tourist visit to Peking.
Dr. Kissinger: That I can understand.
PM Chou: Because they have nothing to do there and they are stationed on either side, and every two years they have to change their personnel. It has been going on for 20 years now.[Page 175]
Dr. Kissinger: Oh, and then each group comes to Peking.
Chi P’eng-fei: I don’t know the details, but the Premier was saying they all come to Peking and spend their vacation here.
Dr. Kissinger: They work too hard.
PM Chou: Not hard at all. They didn’t work hard. They are overtired.
So there are two more points. One is the communiqué. You have given us a draft. We have just glanced over it and we believe it generally acceptable. Of course we have to report to our Political Bureau and to the Chairman, so I will contact you later in the night. And the second point is that after I meet Minister Thach about the Paris Conference I will contact you.
Dr. Kissinger: Yes. I will be available and it makes no difference how late it is.
PM Chou: So it is easy for you. Now you can have your supper. I still have a lot of work. I have to meet Madame Bhutto, Mr. Thach, and then you.
Dr. Kissinger: May I ask what time should we release the communiqué?
PM Chou: You said the morning of the 22nd.
Dr. Kissinger: What time? 10:00 or 11:00—do you have a preference?
PM Chou: It makes no difference.
Dr. Kissinger: I think we prefer 11:00.
PM Chou: That would be our midnight. It doesn’t mater. It is the same to us. It will be in the next day’s newspaper.
Dr. Kissinger: May I ask the Prime Minister what I can tell the Japanese? [laughter]
PM Chou: You can tell them what is in the communiqué.
Dr. Kissinger: That is the absolute maximum I would tell them. [laughter] There is no possibility that I will tell them more. I am trying to figure out a way to tell them less.
PM Chou: You can say for instance that both our sides expressed appreciation about the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Japan and that we believed this was in the interests of peoples of the three countries and the other people in Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
Dr. Kissinger: I will certainly say that. Let me suggest this about the Liaison Office. I will say only that we agreed to establish some form of contact and we will still exchange messages about what it is. But then you should not tell them any more.
PM Chou: We won’t say anything.
Dr. Kissinger: Our view about Japan is—I didn’t tell the Prime Minister—we agree with his analysis, and the dangers. Why we didn’t [Page 176] foresee the consequence of its industrial growth is an interesting historical question, which we should discuss sometime. But I believe the biggest danger is that if the Japanese are torn between too many conflicting pressures from too many sides they will become more and more nationalistic. Therefore on our side we will not encourage them into an anti-Chinese direction. We are trying to influence them to develop relations, and if you on your side encourage them in the direction you expressed, I think this is the best thing we can jointly do at this point.
PM Chou: Yes.
Dr. Kissinger: One other general point, and then I would like to make one very minor suggestion about the communiqué. I agreed with the Prime Minister’s initial statement about the necessity of being prepared for the worst, and I wanted to say that if despite our intentions the situation which Chairman Mao described yesterday should come to pass, it would be the aim of this Administration to develop our policy in such a way that we can take the measures which Chairman Mao foresaw.8 [Chou nods.]
Thirdly, in the communiqué, I have noticed we said we “agreed on a program for expanded scientific, educational and cultural exchanges.” We don’t mention trade. I think we should mention trade. We should say “of expanding trade as well as scientific, cultural and other exchanges.”
PM Chou: “They agreed on a concrete program for expanding scientific, cultural, trade or other exchanges.”
Dr. Kissinger: Right, and “details will be announced as they are settled,” or we can just leave that sentence out. Let us just drop the whole sentence. [Chou nods yes.]
Ch’iao Kuan-hua: I thought you had made a decision not to mention trade!
Dr. Kissinger: When foreigners try to analyze another’s foreign policy they never leave room for incompetence. They always think it is by design.
I don’t know whether I told the Prime Minister: we analyzed after the Shanghai Communiqué was published your Chinese version, and we found that in every ambiguous case you resolved the issue slightly in our favor. It was a very gentlemanly procedure.
If you can let us have the Chinese text when we have agreed on it, to take back with us. You will let us know tonight?[Page 177]
PM Chou: We don’t want you to have to leave too late tomorrow. That will make your arrival in Tokyo even later, which will not be in accordance with the suggestions of the Chairman.
Dr. Kissinger: I have extended my stay in Tokyo even longer after the suggestions of the Chairman. I am staying until after lunch.
PM Chou: Are you going to the teahouses?
Dr. Kissinger: They are giving a dinner for me tomorrow night, and then the next day where I have lunch I don’t know yet.
PM Chou: You probably appreciate the Japanese teahouses.
Dr. Kissinger: I prefer Chinese food. I like Japanese food. My difficulty is sitting on the floor. I suffer so much sitting on the floor that I forget what I am being fed. I once stayed in a Japanese hotel where I was the only Western guest, and no matter what I said they took my pants and pressed them. They pressed my pants 10 times a day. [laughter]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 98, Country Files, Far East, HAK China Trip, Memcons & Reports (originals), February 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People. All brackets are in the original.↩
- Wellington Koo (1887–1985) was a diplomat for the Republic of China who served as a delegate to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and to the 1946 conference that founded the United Nations, and as an Ambassador to France, Great Britain, and the United States.↩
- Hafiz Ismail was Adviser to President Sadat for National Security Affairs.↩
- Dmitry Stepanovich Polyansky replaced Vladimir Matskevich as Soviet Minister of Agriculture in 1973.↩
- Kissinger taught Japanese Minister of International Trade and Industry Yasuhiro Nakasone during a summer school program at Harvard.↩
- The Chinese Government gave these documents to the United States at a meeting two days earlier. see footnote 6, Document 9.↩
- President Truman sent General George C. Marshall to China in 1945 to negotiate a coalition government between the Communists and the Nationalists. Marshall returned to the United States in 1947.↩
- Mao raised the possibility of a Soviet attack on China. see Document 12.↩