40. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Butz’ Meeting with Huang Chen

On June 21 Secretary Butz (memo at Tab A)2 met with PRC Liaison Office Chief Huang Chen. Butz was told by Huang of his deep respect for American agriculture. Huang asked whether the U.S. would welcome a visit by PRC agricultural specialists. Butz responded that we would and would also like to send similar groups to the PRC. Huang said that his country would probably be buying grain and soybeans from us for a number of years, and that in the near future it would be appropriate to have discussions regarding PRC longer-term needs.

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With respect to the present PRC crop outlook, Huang indicated that prospects were generally favorable but the weather was somewhat of a problem. It is too early to make a judgment on the wheat problem. the PRC has bought heavily from the U.S. in the first half of this year, and might need even more in the last half. Butz indicated that it would be helpful in our planning to have PRC estimates of their requirements for the entire 1973–1974 crop. Huang said he would ask Peking for the information.

Huang showed interest in the possibility of export controls. Butz indicated that he hoped we would not have to impose such controls; however, if they became necessary we would do our best to deal with customers on an equitable basis.

Huang took great pleasure in comparing our response and attitude to trade with that of France. the PRC had spent months negotiating an airplane purchase with the French, but had managed to buy the ten U.S. Boeings after only a short negotiation.

My View: This rather open discussion by Huang points up the importance the PRC attaches to agricultural purchases in the U.S. That they are interested in discussions regarding longer-term needs raises the possibility that they may be contemplating an agreement similar to that which we signed last year with the Soviets.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 527, Country Files, Far East, People’s Republic of China, Vol. 7, May 1973–Jul 19, 1973. Official Use Only. Sent for information. The attached correspondence profile indicates that the President noted this memorandum on July 9.
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab A is a June 22 memorandum from Butz to Nixon. During a telephone conversation with Kissinger on June 24, Butz described his meeting with Huang Zhen. (Ibid., Kissinger Telcons, Box 20–3 [June–July 1973])