52. Editorial Note

On September 26, 1973, newly appointed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with People’s Republic of China Representative to the United Nations Huang Hua. Kissinger analyzed the U.S.–PRC relationship in the United Nations and declared, “the only issue that I see that could give us some difficulty is Korea. We conveyed our [Page 322] thoughts to you some months ago. We think we should show restraint in having a confrontation because we are moving in the direction which the Prime Minister and I discussed.”

Kissinger also noted, “We have agreed to the dissolution of UNCURK. If we could shelve the issue of the United Nations Command for one year at least. The problem now is that the armistice depends on the existence of the UN Command. That will give us an opportunity to look and work with you on this and to develop alternative legal arrangements.” Huang Hua suggested, “If you could persuade South Korea to give up its position of perpetuating a division of Korea in contradiction of agreements between the two sides, I think this will help with rapprochement and relaxation in that area.” In particular, Huang Hua suggested that South Korean President Park Chung Hee abandon his proposal to have both Koreas admitted into the United Nations. Kissinger, however, refused to commit himself on this question. The memorandum of conversation is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 95, Country Files, Far East, China Exchanges, July 10–Oct. 31, 1973.

On September 29, Kissinger met with Ambassador Huang Zhen, Chief of the People’s Republic of China Liaison Office, to follow up on discussions they had in July at the Western White House in San Clemente, California, on the Soviet threat to China (see Document 41). Kissinger deferred serious discussion on this topic until his visit to China scheduled for late October: “I also wish to go further into that problem which I discussed with you in San Clemente, the one which grew out of the June meetings (with Brezhnev). I want to discuss developments in that respect since June. I propose that any meeting on this particular issue be carried out in a restricted group, as we have done in the past.” The Secretary of State also declared, “If there are any questions regarding developments in Southeast Asia we will be glad to discuss them, but we are not asking you to do anything in this regard now. We will also be prepared to discuss developments in South Asia, the area of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, the problems in this area that we discussed with the Premier before. And of course, there is Taiwan, Japan, as well as any other problems the Premier would like to discuss.” The memorandum of conversation is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 95, Country Files, Far East, China Exchanges, July 10–Oct 31, 1973.

On October 25, the Central Intelligence Agency disseminated National Intelligence Estimate 11/13/6–73, on “Possible Changes in the Sino-Soviet Relationship,” which concluded that improvement in the relationship was unlikely in the next couple of years, but that war was also improbable. In the longer run, it predicted, “movement beyond limited accommodations toward a genuine and durable rapprochement … seems highly unlikely, even through 1980.” (National Intelligence [Page 323] Council, Tracking the Dragon, pages 615–630) One month earlier, National Intelligence Estimate 11–13–73, “The Sino-Soviet Relationship: Military Aspects,” dated September 20, predicted that war between the Soviet Union and China was unlikely. (Ibid., from accompanying compact disk with additional documents)