14. 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 Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Wang Hai-jung, Assistant to Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • T’ang Wen-sheng, Interpreter
  • Shen Jo-yun, Interpreter
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Winston Lord, NSC Staff
  • Commander Jonathan T. Howe, NSC Staff
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff
  • Mary Stifflemire, Notetaker

PM Chou: First of all, a final question. Would that be all right?

Dr. Kissinger: Please.

[Page 178]

PM Chou: That is the communiqué.2 We have only two points of revision. Are you ready?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: The first point is in the first paragraph, before the word “President,” we have added the word, “U.S.” [See U.S. draft in Tab A.]

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, yes. I might want to leave some ambiguity. To give the President an ecumenical role. [Laughter]

PM Chou: Then paragraph 3, the last sentence. I have changed the sentence, “They hoped that the progress that has been made during this period will be beneficial to the people of their two countries.”

Dr. Kissinger: How about, “they expressed confidence”? “Hope” makes it look as if there is some doubt about it.

PM Chou: “They held.”

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, “they held.” That is fine. Can you give this to us?

Miss Shen: “They held that the progress that has been made during this period will be beneficial to the people of their two countries.” We can give you a copy.

Dr. Kissinger: Then we will take the copy. Oh, you have underlined it.

PM Chou: Yes. And I underlined another sentence which is at paragraph 6. [Hands over Chinese draft at Tab B.]3

Dr. Kissinger: You want to substitute “relaxation of tensions” for “peace”?

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: Fine.

PM Chou: Only three points then.

Dr. Kissinger: I have a change, which I think isn’t important. In the second—oh, are you finished?

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: In the second paragraph, where it says “they held extensive conversations” I like the word “wide-ranging” in your announcement yesterday. “Wide-ranging” has a fuller meaning.

PM Chou: It is the same as “extensive.” So you want “wide-ranging.” The Chinese word is the same.

Dr. Kissinger: Which do you think is better? Then we say “wide-ranging.”

[Page 179]

PM Chou: Fine. We don’t have to change our Chinese version.

Minister Chang: Just like the Vietnamese. [Laughter]

PM Chou: As the Doctor has said this afternoon, our changes are all in your favor. That is, he referred to the communiqué, the Shanghai Communiqué; when they were ambiguous they were all slightly in your favor.

Dr. Kissinger: In Chinese, we found that whenever you had two [possible] words, you always picked the one we would have slightly preferred had we been given the choice. We really were very impressed with that, and I always looked for an opportunity to tell you. They changed no substance but …

PM Chou: No substance. We have already got a Chinese copy of the communiqué. The Chinese version. I will read to you the original text. The draft communiqué sent to us from the U.S. side at 8:00 in the morning on February 18 was revised and adopted by our Political Bureau on the evening of the 18th. And we hadn’t had the last sentence. Just now the Chairman phoned us and said that he agrees to it. So our formalities are finished.

The date is not there. We need a date. The 22nd.

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, the date. The 22nd, Washington time. It will be 23rd for you in the morning.

PM Chou: No, midnight. So it should be at 24 hours.

Dr. Kissinger: We will do it at 11:00 a.m.

PM Chou: It should still be counted as the 22nd.

Dr. Kissinger: The 22nd is fine.

PM Chou: It seems too difficult to put the place here, so we will just leave the place out. Without Peking. Just February 22, 1973. Without the place.

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, fine. [Chou hands over Chinese text, Tab C.]4

PM Chou: So we have finished this piece of our work. So I have completed my work very quick. Now let us discuss the Paris Conference.

Dr. Kissinger: May I go through a few very quick items?

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: I would like to let Mr. Ziegler say tomorrow that I made a courtesy call on Mrs. Bhutto. [Chou nods] Because if we wait three days it sounds very mysterious.

PM Chou: That is good.

Dr. Kissinger: And he will just say I made a courtesy call.

[Page 180]

PM Chou: She told me so and she is satisfied with it.

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, she told you. But I told her we would say it on the 21st, but on reconsideration it is better to do it tomorrow, the 19th, our time.

PM Chou: That is the morning of your time?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. He won’t write it. He will just, at his morning press conference, confirm our meetings and he will say, “In addition Mr. Kissinger paid a courtesy call on Mrs. Bhutto.”

According to our records, the type of airplane that was shot down near Hainan with Lt. Dunn was an A–1.

PM Chou: According to our records, it was an A–1H.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, A–1H.

PM Chou: But for our information it was an A–1H. Perhaps we haven’t made it clear.

Dr. Kissinger: That is correct. It is a special type.

PM Chou: It took place on the 14th of February, and we searched for it for three or four days by naval ships but nothing has been found. There were no remains or no bodies found. We think that anyway the plane was shot down and he was also shot down. To make it more specific, it is something like this: “Concerning the U.S. search for the U.S. pilot Lt. Dunn.”

Dr. Kissinger: This is an official report.

PM Chou: “Point one: On the morning of February 14, 1968, at 10:41, fighters under the Air Force of our South Sea Fleet downed and damaged two U.S. aircraft. And the type of the planes were A–1H.” We are not sure whether it is “1” or “I.”

Dr. Kissinger: A–1H.

PM Chou: “After intruding into our air space, one of the planes dropped into the sea about 20 kilometers away from Lohui, Wan-ning County, Hainan Island. Our South Sea fleet sent escort boats for searching which lasted three or four days, but they did not find anything. A U.S. destroyer ship has also carried out search operations on the above-mentioned sea area.” The aforementioned material was provided by our General Office of the Chief of Staff.

There is another material here: “On February 15, 1968, the U.S. Defense Department issued an announcement saying that the U.S. aircraft inadvertently intruded five kilometers over Hainan Island. One of them was downed by a Communist MIG plane. On the 5th of March of the same year, in the Sino-U.S. Ambassadorial talks, we set forth to the U.S. side saying that two–1H type attackers of the Navy of the United States intruded into the air space over our Hainan Island, and one of them was downed and one of which was damaged. And we also served serious warning for this.” That is the records we had during the Warsaw [Page 181] Talks. And later on March 6 and June 15 of the same year the U.S. side had on many occasions inquired about the whereabouts of Lt. Dunn. Then on November 15 we formally replied to the U.S. side, saying that there was no result after searching. This is the material provided by the Foreign Ministry.

These two materials provided similar information as you mentioned, Doctor. Do you want any written information from us?

Dr. Kissinger: Not for our reasons, perhaps for the families concerned. We are satisfied with your oral explanation.

PM Chou: Well, so then we will work out a document to be sent to you, to facilitate your work. It is a kind of memorandum so that you can account for it to the families. [Aide-mémoire later given to U.S. side, Tab D]5

Dr. Kissinger: We will give it to the family and we will confirm to the family that this coincides exactly with our own information and that we consider this a satisfactory explanation. And of course we recognize that our plane had no right to be over Hainan Island to begin with.

PM Chou: And you also mentioned that the plane inadvertently flew into our territory.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: According to your information it was just because of the climate that the machine had broken down.

Dr. Kissinger: We will confirm all of this to the family. So there will be no public discussion.

PM Chou: And another point related to that. There was a fishing boat of ours that was sunk last year. Many were killed and 12 were missing. Some of the fishermen were retrieved and after that an American naval ship signaled to our boats that they had personnel to hand over.

Dr. Kissinger: That we had prisoners?

PM Chou: That you had wounded personnel you wanted to hand over to us. At that time our ships did not dare to reply, so it went with out response. This occurred twice.

Dr. Kissinger: Can you give me the date and the location?

PM Chou: Yes. Would you help us to investigate?

Dr. Kissinger: Of course. We will send you a written report within a week.

[Page 182]

Minister Chang: We will give you a written report and then you can check the question. We will give you a document, a memo; we will give you some material.

Dr. Kissinger: Of course. If you can give us the date and the location and what you know about the type of the American ship, we will take immediate action.

PM Chou: Thank you.

Dr. Kissinger: One other final thing. I will probably have a press conference when we present this communiqué. I will not add much to the communiqué but I will do it in conciliatory language. Most questions will concern the liaison office. I will say it has no diplomatic status, and it will handle … But we will arrange immunities as a courtesy for both sides. They will ask me about the title of the head of it. We will just say we will call him Chief of the Liaison Office. Or Chief of the Liaison Mission.

PM Chou: Just now you said “Mission.”

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, it will be “Office.” Chief of the Liaison Office.

PM Chou: Chief of the Liaison Office.

Dr. Kissinger: Right.

PM Chou: Chief, and the others will be members who …

Dr. Kissinger: And the others will be “members.”

I will certainly be asked many questions about Chairman Mao. I think it might be helpful if you permitted me to say that I thought he was in very good health. They will ask me. I won’t volunteer it. Otherwise I will make no comment beyond what is in your announcement.

PM Chou: [Nods] We will give you both the television and also the movie film.

Dr. Kissinger: That will be very nice. And we are free to release that?

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: We will release that tomorrow or the day after. If I am asked about Taiwan, about the forces on Taiwan, I will say we will study this problem in terms of the tensions in the area and when we have anything to do we will say it. We have no immediate decision. Because our plan is to start the movement I mentioned to you in July. But that will be done. I just wanted you to know what I would say, and if you have any objections I will modify it. May we tell the groups to which you agreed such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, that in principle it is agreed?

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: And I may mention that at the press conference, as an example? I may mention the two prisoners that you will release. [Page 183] [Chou nods] And I will say that will be within the time period of the other releases. [Chou nods] And if I am asked about Downey I will say we discussed this in terms of an act of compassion by your government and you said you would take it under consideration. Or can I say more?

PM Chou: If you want to say more about it then you can say that in the latter half of this year we will consider this question.

Dr. Kissinger: That you will review it in the second half of this year.

PM Chou: That will be understood.

Dr. Kissinger: Those are the items that I have for the press conference. I will not tell the Japanese about the liaison office or about the specifics of the program. I will say we decided to establish some contacts and we will still exchange some messages. [Chou nods] That way it will not become public.

So now, if the Prime Minister wants to discuss the Paris Conference …

PM Chou: You are finished?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: About the Paris Conference. Vice Minister Thach has come to exchange views with us. Since he has not permission to meet Dr. Kissinger, so he will not meet you.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand.

PM Chou: And the second point is about the Paris Conference. You have already reached some agreements on certain points and this is just the same as we have agreed on.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: This is just the same as we have agreed on. That is, 12 countries will be the official members of the Conference, that is, they will sign. And the Secretary General of the United Nations will not sign the document. Then it is up to you to carry out consultations. How did you put it?

Dr. Kissinger: I was not clear that this had been agreed upon, but there could have been some exchanges during the week. It would be amazing. Did Thach think it was agreed upon in Hanoi?

PM Chou: He said that the Secretary General will not sign the document but he can make speeches, send messages of congratulations, and so on.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, you are right. I don’t think this was agreed upon about the Secretary General not signing. We do not think this was agreed upon. This is Hanoi’s proposal.

PM Chou: So it is not yet decided?

[Page 184]

Dr. Kissinger: No, it depends partly on the status of the Secretary General at the Conference. [Chou laughs] If he is executive secretary or something like that, it would be easy. If he is a participant it would be more difficult. [Chou laughs]

PM Chou: It is a matter that concerns your two sides. Because you have sent out the same invitation letters.

Dr. Kissinger: We avoided the answer to this question.

PM Chou: But in the letter there is the name of the Secretary General. His name is mentioned. Is that right?

Dr. Kissinger: That is right, but that is because he is invited by his position, not because of his personality. [Laughter] Or he would never get there.

PM Chou: That is why we have always asked you to clarify his position. That is why you mentioned that it would be better if he would be given sort of a function.

Dr. Kissinger: I would too think that. What do your Vietnamese friends think now?

PM Chou: I won’t be able to make him appear about this time. I haven’t met him yet.

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, Thach.

PM Chou: Because he arrived very late and they haven’t worked out their document yet. So only after I have studied the document can I meet him. That is why we had a meeting among ourselves to talk about our own affairs.

Dr. Kissinger: Can you express a view on your own?

PM Chou: If you ask my opinion.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, personally.

PM Chou: That is the opinion of the China side, we especially are not in favor of it.

Dr. Kissinger: Of what?

PM Chou: The participation by the Secretary General in the Conference. [Laughter] If we are asked to vote, since we can’t vote against it we cannot but abstain. If we are asked to vote, since we cannot use the veto, so we cannot but abstain. But the difficult part …

Dr. Kissinger: But what are you thinking of vetoing now? I am not absolutely sure, Mr. Prime Minister, what you would veto if you had the chance. [Laughter]

PM Chou: Since you two host countries have invited him and he is included in the list, so how can we veto it? So you have to put us in a very embarrassing position. [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: He is still travelling around the world planning his participation.

[Page 185]

PM Chou: And he has got a very extensive plan.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, he is in charge of economic rehabilitation and peacekeeping. [Laughter]

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: The concrete issue is, since he has been invited, would you oppose his being given an administrative function in the Conference which would remove him as a participant?

PM Chou: We can make our decision only after you two host countries have consulted among yourselves.

Dr. Kissinger: But your allies have apparently still not clarified their minds.

PM Chou: That is true.

Dr. Kissinger: We are waiting for them. You can tell them that we would like to have some understanding with them before the Conference. We really don’t want a public controversy with them or you.

PM Chou: But there is one point which is definite. That is, he cannot act as the Chairman, the single Chairman of the Conference.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand that. Now I don’t believe it can happen but if the Soviet Union should propose this, which I do not believe, it would put us into a very difficult position. I don’t think they will do it but we have absolutely no information about Soviet intentions.

PM Chou: Well, there is one secretary who has gone to your Ambassador in London.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, but that is incomprehensible. Normally they send their ambassador in Washington, who is on vacation—but after yesterday I think he will be coming back soon. Normally they send him in with their considerations, at least to the White House.

PM Chou: And after you get back if you meet him and you know about their views, then if you find it is necessary to let us know, we can be informed of it.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. We will send a message tonight to their Chargé. Or we will send it tomorrow, after we have left here, because it will be better to send it from Tokyo. So that they can have an answer for me when I get back. And we will let you know in any event what the answer is. But unless the Soviet Union proposes it we will try to come to an understanding this week with the DRV to an alternative. If we come to an understanding this week with the DRV we will maintain it at the Conference no matter what is proposed by the others. I think then you will not accept the chairmanship but you might accept the Secretary General as the executive secretary of the Conference under the chairmanship of some other group. Provided the Democratic Republic of Vietnam agrees?

PM Chou: That means both the U.S. and the DRV agree.

[Page 186]

Dr. Kissinger: Both sides agree.

PM Chou: If both of your two sides agree to it then we will abstain.

Dr. Kissinger: [Laughs] I understand.

PM Chou: Because we are simply opposed to that man taking part in the Conference. When I reported this to the Political Bureau at a meeting, they all laughed. They said, “what is the use of asking him to participate in the Conference?” [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: That is a great mystery.

PM Chou: I said that you were going to cut a hole in the middle of the table and place him there. Finally you were going to find out how it came that he was participating in the Conference.

Dr. Kissinger: I think it is as I said when the Prime Minister and I discussed this: We may well have put him into some document in August when we weren’t paying attention and did not think it was a serious negotiation. Then the other side put him into a document and we had no basis for opposing it. So we had always believed that they made the first proposal but I must check it. It is possible that in August we gave them some document in which we mentioned that.

PM Chou: The second point is you have given us a draft, and after their draft has arrived then we will compare this to our draft and make a study. Then only can we let you know our opinion. They have never given us their draft. I am sure we will get it soon. Only after we have studied it can we raise our view.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand.

PM Chou: We believe it would not be very easy to include in this document the word “restraint,” because it is very difficult to put it in a very appropriate way because the conditions for all the 12 countries are different. The situations are different. And it would be better if we say we “firmly guarantee” that the Paris Agreement will be implemented. If there should be any serious problems arising then we would look into the problems. This is our common commitment. I have just told you our idea. As to how to put it into wording, that is another matter.

Dr. Kissinger: We will definitely let you have our reaction before the end of the week. Maybe by Wednesday American time. I will work with Ambassador Sullivan on the plane home.

PM Chou: Today is Sunday.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: That means the 21st.

Dr. Kissinger: I hope to be able to get a cable off to you by Tuesday night Washington time. Your thought, if I understand it clearly, is that rather than “restraint” it should say all parties will do their utmost to bring about implementation of the Agreement, and will do what if it [Page 187] isn’t being implemented? What was the Prime Minister’s phrase—“make arrangements,” or “discuss,” “look into it”? Can you give me the text? “Look into it if there are any serious problems”? [Chou nods] Let me see whether we can phrase something that expresses that thought.

PM Chou: But there might be various forms to say exchange of views or exchange messages by correspondence. But the biggest problem is to reconvene the Conference. Unless the situation is very serious.

Dr. Kissinger: Can we say “create conditions to further the implementation of the Agreement”?

PM Chou: Too general.

Dr. Kissinger: What is more specific then?

PM Chou: “Make effort.”

Dr. Kissinger: All right. The Prime Minister was speaking of reconvening the Conference.

PM Chou: That is when there is any very serious problem arising. We won’t do it if this is not mentioned at all.

Dr. Kissinger: It should be mentioned that it can be reconvened. But who can reconvene it?

PM Chou: If you ask my view, then I would say that the two chairmen, that is the United States and the DRV. And of course you might ask what would happen if there is no result coming out of it, that is, if you can’t come to an agreement. I just speak in physical terms: on this side there will be six votes, and the other side six. So if 1 to 1 there is no settlement, and 6 to 6 there still will be no settlement.

Dr. Kissinger: No it will be 51/2 to 61/2 because France will be on both sides. [Laughter]

PM Chou: If that is the case it will be easier. Otherwise the Secretary General will appear again and strike the gavel!

Dr. Kissinger: But we of course propose that the Secretary General should have the right to reconvene the Conference.

PM Chou: That will indicate that the UN will be in charge of it then. That would be the problem. And you wouldn’t surely agree to that.

Dr. Kissinger: I think we could be persuaded.

PM Chou: But we would not agree to that.

Dr. Kissinger: It is not to us a question of principle.

PM Chou: Yes. If this is referred to the United Nations, the five big countries would then again be involved.

Dr. Kissinger: But we are there already anyway.

PM Chou: Then the situation will appear that there will be 12 countries plus one person. [Laughter] So we always find that this matter is very curious.

[Page 188]

Dr. Kissinger: The other problem is, to whom the International Commission reports.

PM Chou: They can report to the two chairmen.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, but the two chairmen are parties that are being investigated. The International Commission will report to the culprits. There are two possibilities that have occurred to me. No, three. One is, it could report to the Secretary General. If the U.S. and the DRV are cochairmen it could conceivably report to them. You understand we have not yet agreed to the co-chairmen idea. We are considering it very seriously. The third possibility is that the Commission reports to the permanent members of the Security Council.

PM Chou: That means the five big countries. Then you have returned to this point.

Dr. Kissinger: These would be three theoretical possibilities. It would not be possible to keep Canada part of the Commission if the Commission reports only to itself.

PM Chou: Yes, they have expressed this view. We have read their public statement.

Dr. Kissinger: And it is also possible that the Commission reports to every member of the Conference. That means everyone except itself because four of the members of the Conference are the Commission. It would be the Security Council plus the three Vietnamese parties really. Plus the Secretary General. [Laughter]

PM Chou: And he would appear again.

Dr. Kissinger: That we are doomed to have happen one way or another. Mr. Lord’s mother has been very active in the United Nations. We will hide these discussions from her. He joined my staff as the expert on the UN. He handled the UN. He says he is not an expert but he handled it. [Laughter] Does the Chinese side have any preferences on this subject?

PM Chou: Our preference is that this matter should not be referred to the UN, because from the very beginning the UN has never been in charge of this matter. Since you have signed a peace agreement, why should it be referred to the UN again? And besides, you ought to hope that the ceasefire agreement will be genuinely implemented. If it can be genuinely implemented, then the United States will not be involved again in the armed conflict in Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese people will be left to settle their own problems themselves. Of course, the time may not be as short as was laid down in the Agreement. It might be longer. That is to say, the ICC has another responsibility, that is to supervise the election. This is a very important point and this has been laid down. And this is confined to South Vietnam; it does not mean the unification of Vietnam. Because unification of Vietnam will take an [Page 189] even longer time. So there is going to be three steps: For the first stage, the troops will be withdrawn and the war will be ended and the prisoners will be returned. And at the second stage both sides will work out a plan for general elections. And for the final stage reunification will be realized. So since the Agreement has been signed it is hoped that it will be implemented, and it would not be good for the UN to intervene.

Take for instance the Middle East question. Although there was a resolution adopted in the UN, it could never be implemented, and among the five permanent members of the Security Council there would always be one that would express their disagreement. If you two countries, that is the U.S. and Vietnam, that is the DRV, would be able to create a situation in which you maintain a normal relationship, that is something that is most worthwhile to support.

Dr. Kissinger: That will be our effort. But it means also they have to cooperate.

PM Chou: Yes. If things are moving towards this direction, that is more hopeful. It would be not beneficial if the quarrel will be going on endlessly. Any more points?

Dr. Kissinger: I think the next step should be that we consider the remarks the Prime Minister has made and we will send him a reply by Wednesday. Some methods of dealing with them, some suggestions. We will also ask the Soviet side what their ideas are, and as soon as we have received an answer—if we receive an answer—we will let you know.

PM Chou: Good.

Dr. Kissinger: One other thing. At the Conference—it is difficult for us to run all the details of the Conference from Washington. If at the Conference something happens that raises concern, if you communicate with me directly I will do my best to attend to it. Because our discussions will not be known in detail to the participants. [Chou nods yes] So that will not mean we are going back on any word we have given. I can’t foresee any concrete case now, but it could happen.

PM Chou: Yes. Since our Foreign Minister is going, perhaps he will meet with some new problems. And if there is any we will let you know.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, if they develop. It is hard for me to control the relationship with the Soviet Union and all the other nations at the Conference. But if you get in touch with us, we will give the necessary instructions if it should arise. But I will speak to Ambassador Sullivan before, and we will probably be able to avoid it.

PM Chou: [Laughs] There are complexities in it. Because the four parties directly concerned are already very complicated, and on top of [Page 190] that there will be another four and then another four. And then you have found another one. [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: I took forward to the meetings between the Foreign Minister and the Secretary General.

PM Chou: Their meetings will be very easy for them to discuss because we have already built foundations for them. The problem doesn’t lie between the U.S. and China but at the Conference.

Dr. Kissinger: No, you mean between the Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister. Yes, that will be easy. I meant the Secretary General.

Minister Chi P’eng-fei: Oh, yes. I have met him before.

Dr. Kissinger: No one has yet broken the news to the Secretary General.

PM Chou: He is quite different from Hammarskjold.6 You knew him?

Dr. Kissinger: I did not know him.

PM Chou: He died quite early. He was quite capable.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. I know Waldheim.

PM Chou: He was picked quite accidentally because it was difficult to find anyone.

Dr. Kissinger: And not because he was thought to be a very farsighted personality.

PM Chou: He was elected just because people were in a helpless state.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: But anyway at a certain time the forum in the UN is still necessary. But it would be very dangerous if you would use it constantly.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: Are there are other points? You said that you would like to talk about your problems in your own country. Your domestic problems.

Dr. Kissinger: I have substantially explained the situation to the Prime Minister indirectly. We have reorganized the State Department by putting our own men into the number 2, 3 and 4 positions. Deputy Secretary Rush, and Porter the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and Casey the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs. So some of the [Page 191] difficulties we encountered in previous years can now be avoided. And we will give them some greater responsibility for our affairs. We still envision a transition later on.

So as I pointed out to the Prime Minister when we discussed the operation of the liaison office, it would be best if they would check with us to determine in which channel they should go. I will set up, when your chief arrives, a relationship between him and Deputy Secretary of State Rush. And then we can tell you in which channel to put it. And once your liaison office exists then this will operate very smoothly. Either Rush or Porter, I haven’t decided yet. But either one you can then count on, once I have talked to the chief of your office. And if you can instruct him in that sense, that would be helpful.

PM Chou: After we have picked the chief of our office we will let you know in advance.

Dr. Kissinger: That was the major thing, and since it is the beginning of an Administration other political considerations are just newspaper speculations at this point.

PM Chou: There are too many comments and discussions in the U.S. press.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: Of course Japan ranks first, and the second place should be given to the United States.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, it is terrible, and then they report each other’s stories. You remember when we were here with the President last year, they all reported that at the second banquet there was great tension between you and the President and a terrible deadlock in the drafting of the communiqué. [Laughter] It was all total nonsense. And then they interpreted the communiqué in terms of their previous reporting. [Laughter]

PM Chou: It is hard to blame them, since there are so many people who have to work and there are so many papers that have to be published.

Dr. Kissinger: But they don’t make any analysis; they only look for some immediately sensational news.

PM Chou: Perhaps this phenomenon can also be found in Europe, but we haven’t paid attention to that area. In France there is also similar phenomena.

Dr. Kissinger: In France, somewhat, but not as intense as in the U.S. You see, in Washington there is only one industry, that is government, and indeed social life consists of government officials and journalists. And the journalists go to the dinner parties to watch what is happening among the officials. [Chou laughs] It is not like London [Page 192] or Paris where there are other occupations. So it has a very curious atmosphere, as the chief of your mission will discover. As I told the Chairman yesterday, during the transition from after the election there was much speculation that friends of mine were being removed from the government. It was all nonsense. I have explained to you why Helms was moved, and that was done by us, and the other case that was mentioned had a personality problem with the President; he just did not get along with him. No change was made that did not go through normal procedures, but the press kept speculating about a purge and we could not stop them.

PM Chou: Yes. Even when you did not meet the President but phoned him, there would be some kind of speculation about that. [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: Since we have a confidential relationship, I want to tell the Prime Minister what really happened on that day. The President was in Camp David.

PM Chou: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: And I had gone to see him and we had completed our discussion on Friday. That is very confidential. So on Saturday he was all alone in Camp David and he got bored and a little lonely. So he came back to Washington. So Ziegler, in order to have some explanation for his returning to Washington which was on a weekend, said he came back to consult with me—which was total nonsense. [Chou laughs] And actually he and I did talk on the telephone several times that day on social things, but personal matters, not about business. So Ziegler stupidly said the President and Dr. Kissinger spoke on the phone to each other. [Laughter] But that was the true story of why the President came back and why there was no formal meeting. There was nothing to talk about! I had been in Camp David the day before and it was all settled and he came back on the spur of the moment. [Chou laughs] So these speculations were totally ridiculous at the time.

PM Chou: They have nothing to do.

Dr. Kissinger: They have nothing to do.

PM Chou: And since they have nothing to do they want to write a news report for the issue.

Dr. Kissinger: And sometimes quite frankly it is our fault, because the President is very reluctant ever to give the impression that he is doing nothing. So if he is in Florida or resting, they will say he has talked to me. [Chou laughs] Then if there is somebody who is not very quick they will say he talked to me on the telephone. So then the press says, “Aha, he talked on the telephone. There must be some trouble!” So this is really—it was total nonsense at that time.

[Page 193]

PM Chou: I would like to put a new question to you. Did you mention that the Governor of your New York State is coming for a visit— wishes to go?

Dr. Kissinger: No, but I think he would like to come, yes. The Vice Foreign Minister has met him. If I can speak candidly to the Prime Minister, David Rockefeller is of course the man who is most active in the economic field, but the Rockefeller family usually does things as a unit, and of the Rockefellers Nelson is the one with the greatest imagination.

PM Chou: That is the Governor of the State.

Dr. Kissinger: But they are both very worthwhile people. And I think they would both like to come.

PM Chou: In that case it is not necessary for them to come on a bipartisan basis because as a Governor of the State he is independent. It is different from the Senators or Congressmen. If there are people from the Congress of course this is different, but the Governor is different from Congress.

Dr. Kissinger: Jackson would like to come with Buckley. Buckley’s brother was here and he wrote very unfavorable articles. But I think you will find that Senator Buckley’s interpretation of the nature of the international danger is almost identical to yours.

PM Chou: So he is different from his brother?

Dr. Kissinger: He is less artistic. His brother is a bit more emotional.

PM Chou: Is it because that during his stay here we did not give him a very good reception? That is why he did not have a very good impression of us?

Dr. Kissinger: No. He did not understand the nature of what we were doing, both of us. His mind was still in the Dulles era.

PM Chou: So he is very fond of art?

Dr. Kissinger: No, he is a mind that operates more emotionally. As a psychological type.

PM Chou: Is he a columnist?

Dr. Kissinger: William Buckley is a columnist, yes.

PM Chou: He wrote a lot after he got back?

Dr. Kissinger: What he wrote was more critical of President Nixon than of China. We have since calmed him down. He hasn’t said anything in the last year. He objected to the President quoting from Chairman Mao on American television. He was not so critical of China.

PM Chou: [Laughs] So he joined us while we visited at some cities.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. He was in Hangchow I think.

[Page 194]

PM Chou: But that time when we were in Shanghai and Hangchow you were kept busy with the documents. Perhaps you did not meet him then.

Dr. Kissinger: I did not meet any of the press while I was here.

PM Chou: At the press conference in China you did meet them.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, but I am at my most effective when I can supplement my press conference with individual tutorials.

PM Chou: Tutorials?

Dr. Kissinger: Tutorials means seminars.

PM Chou: [Laughs] Oh.

Dr. Kissinger: When I say nothing to them individually they think they are getting exclusive information.

PM Chou: [Laughs] So your secret is no longer a secret. [Laughter]

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, but the Assistant Minister pointed out today your secret wasn’t secret either, but your opponents never could do anything about it.

PM Chou: He just said it off-handedly. You can’t say it that way. Anything else?

Dr. Kissinger: May we thank your interpreters for their excellent and devoted performance? We would like to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and your colleagues for the reception we received and for what we believe was very important work.

PM Chou: This time we have very extensive and deep-going talks. And we look forward—we will have to assess all possibilities—but we consider the orientation clear.

Dr. Kissinger: We considered the orientation settled.

PM Chou: That is true. We will have to anticipate all kinds of possibilities. In that way we won’t be blinded. Otherwise we will be caught unaware if there should be anything arising unexpectedly.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes. And this is why we should regularly exchange information and ideas. We will certainly do it on our side.

PM Chou: That is why the Chairman asked you whether you will be coming again this year, and you said it is probable you will come by the end of this year.

Dr. Kissinger: I think it might be appropriate if we do it.

PM Chou: According to need.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, I agree. The latter part.

PM Chou: Your colleagues also kept us company. We thank them for that. These two are new friends?

Dr. Kissinger: Mr. Rodman is a new friend.

PM Chou: I am told he is your student.

[Page 195]

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, I made him rewrite his thesis 15 times.

PM Chou: He is the youngest in your group?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

PM Chou: How old are you?

Mr. Rodman: 29.

[The meeting then ended. The Premier and his colleagues joined Dr. Kissinger’s party in walking most of the way back to the Guest House at which the American delegation resided.]

  1. 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 Guest House #3. All brackets are in the original.
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab A is the draft communiqué. For the published communiqué, see Department of State Bulletin, March 19, 1973, p. 313.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. Attached but not printed.
  5. Attached but not printed.
  6. Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961.