145. Letter From President Ford to Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng1

Dear Mr. Premier:

I am pleased to introduce to you by way of this letter Ambassador Thomas S. Gates, Jr. the new Chief of our Liaison Office in the People’s Republic. I have the highest confidence in Ambassador Gates, who has been a personal friend and political associate of mine since the period of the Second World War. I know he will effectively represent the views of my Administration, as did Ambassador David Bruce and Ambassador George Bush before him.

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Mr. Gates has rich personal experience in matters that are of concern to both our countries. As a former Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense, he clearly understands the global security concerns we face. Moreover, he has long been an advocate of a policy of security through a strong American defense capability.

As I remarked during Ambassador Gates’ swearing-in ceremony, while China and the United States have differences which neither side attempts to hide, we believe our common interests in resisting hegemony, and in enabling all peoples to follow their own unique paths of national development, provide a strong foundation for a durable and growing relationship. We must maintain an authoritative dialogue between our two leaderships in this turbulent and complex world, and grasp occasions for parallel or cooperative actions which will support our common objectives.

At the same time, we understand that the opportunities for such action will be enhanced as we are able to consolidate our bilateral relationship. I have indicated on a number of occasions since returning from your country last December that I remain determined to complete the normalization of our relations through joint efforts based on the Shanghai Communiqué. This not only will serve the interests of our two peoples, but also will contribute to building a more secure world order.

I hope you will share with Ambassador Gates your perspectives on both international developments and our bilateral relationship. He is prepared to sustain our side of this authoritative dialogue. At the same time, we welcome the return to Washington of Ambassador Huang Chen.

In closing, let me again offer you my good wishes in your new post. I hope you will also convey my personal regards to Chairman Mao.


Gerald R. Ford
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, 1974–77, Box 4, People’s Republic of China, Premier Hua Kuofeng. No classification marking. Solomon drafted this letter and sent it on April 20 to Scowcroft. Scowcroft forwarded it to the President on April 26. (Ibid.) Hua received the letter on June 10, during his first meeting with Ambassador Gates. (Telegram 1054 from Beijing, June 11; ibid., Presidential Country Files for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Box 15, People’s Republic of China, State Department Telegrams)