56. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Prime Minister Chou En-lai
- Foreign Minister Chi Peng-fei
- Vice Foreign Minister Chiao Kuan-hua
- Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Hai-jung
- Two Other Chinese Officials
- Tang Wang-shen, Interpreter
- Shen Jo-yen, Interpreter
- Chinese note-taker
- Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
- Ambassador David Bruce, Chief U.S. Liaison Office
- Ambassador Robert Ingersoll, U.S. Embassy Tokyo
- Ambassador Robert McCloskey, State Department Press Spokesman
- Winston Lord, Director of Planning and Coordination, Department of State
- John Holdridge, Deputy Chief U.S. Liaison Office
(After the press took pictures and there was light banter, the journalists and photographers left the room. There was then preliminary conversation in informal plenary session, from 3:15–3:25 p.m., highlights of which follow.)
Prime Minister Chou: Dr. Kissinger suggested that we separate into two groups to speed up the work. I also agree.[Page 332]
Secretary Kissinger: I thought, Mr. Prime Minister, that we might have one group dealing with the essential political-international problems and the other group on some of the technical issues.
Prime Minister Chou: I agree to the two groups. Perhaps we can divide ourselves now. Who will be in the other?
Secretary Kissinger: Hummel will be in charge of the technical side and with me will be Ambassador Bruce, Ingersoll, McCloskey, Holdridge and Lord. We may change later.
Prime Minister Chou: Who will be with the other group?
Secretary Kissinger: Hummel, Armstrong, Jenkins and Solomon.
Prime Minister Chou: Mr. Solomon—is this Solomon the same one as the Indians?
Secretary Kissinger: I thought they had Moynihan.
Prime Minister Chou: It is a different case; and one of them is Solomon. Is he the same Solomon as the bible?
Secretary Kissinger: I have seen no evidence of that. He is very shy so he may not show it.
Prime Minister Chou: I thought he was interested in Confucius. If you are interested, I am also. I also have the interest to discuss it with you because we began our revolutionary activities by struggling to overthrow the school of Confucius during the reform movement.
They will go to the other hall. We will stay here. Shall we separate now? (The groups for the technical meeting left the room.)2
You must be familiar with this hall by now.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. What is the name of this hall?
Prime Minister Chou: Just a reception hall. It does not have the name of any province.
Secretary Kissinger: You met here with the President.
Prime Minister Chou: The first time when we met with the President, it was in this hall, and Mr. Ziegler was making the announcement to the press outside.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes, about the (Mao) meeting. They were speculating about the great difficulties because the meeting started late.
Prime Minister Chou: But, of course, after the news got out, there were other ideas. Perhaps that is why there was a similar practice in Moscow.
Secretary Kissinger: The first meeting?[Page 333]
Prime Minister Chou: But that time your name did not appear, but I could determine that you must have been there.
Secretary Kissinger: You were right. That was the first evening of my arrival. He does everything openly, but it takes me a week to find out all of the implications of what he has said.
Prime Minister Chou: Ambassador Ingersoll, do you smoke?
Ambassador Ingersoll: No, my wife takes care of that. I have never done well with smoking.
Prime Minister Chou: First of all, we would like to express our welcome to our old friend who is now concurrently Secretary of State, and because of this dual capacity, we suppose we should express a dual welcome to you. But if you see Mr. Rogers, please also convey our regards to him.
Secretary Kissinger: I shall do that. Mr. Prime Minister, my colleagues and I always appreciate the opportunity to come here. I think that our two peoples and our two governments have established a very unique relationship which is founded on principle and in which we understand each other’s over-all approach in an unusual and complete manner. We have agreed that we were brought together by mutual necessity but since then we have built on this foundation, on a basis of candor and honesty, and a long range view. There is no leader with whom we speak as comprehensively as with the Prime Minister. It is due to the fact that there are not many leaders in the world who can think in so complicated a fashion.
Prime Minister Chou: You have overestimated me, and I think the credit should go to Chairman Mao. And as his comrade in arms, I have not learned enough. I agree to what you said just now, that we have built on the basis of our initial relations, based on a principled manner and in a candid and honest way taking the long view. And in view of such amelioration of attitudes we can discuss anything.
Secretary Kissinger: I don’t know how the Prime Minister would propose we should proceed in our discussion.
Prime Minister Chou: Yesterday we said that we would like to hear you first, and if you want to begin with an over-all picture or main issues, it is up to you.
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. Prime Minister, why don’t I begin with a general review of the situation as we see it.
(There was then a brief, humorous discussion of the stenotype machine of Mrs. Hill. During this discussion there was reference by the Prime Minister to future visits by Secretary Kissinger to China. He assumed two trips a year.)
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. Prime Minister, I will not go into the bilateral relations. That will be discussed by the other group. If they have [Page 334] any difficulties, I may take the liberty of raising them with you. There is only one issue which is on my list and sometime while I am here we should settle it. We understand your point of view. It has to do with the Marine detachment, but we can reserve that for another occasion. It goes without saying that we will abide by your wishes, and our only concern is the impact in other countries where it has been our custom.
The primary thing I would say about our bilateral relations, leaving aside that one issue, is that we believe they are going well, and secondly, they have both a substantive and a symbolic aspect. The substantive issues will be discussed in the other group. The symbolic aspect is that our relationship continues to grow closer and beyond the technical side. We are prepared on our side to consider all means by which we can emphasize this symbolic aspect which we believe is very important.
Turning now to our political relationships—we recognize that the greatest difficulties we have had in our relationship have concerned the question of Taiwan. I would like to summarize again the understanding which we believe exists. We will conform strictly to the Shanghai Communiqué which affirms there is only one China and this is respected on both sides of the Formosa Straits.
Prime Minister Chou: That was your famous sentence.
Secretary Kissinger: Secondly, we will not …
Prime Minister Chou: But in the communiqué we talked about the Taiwan Straits.
Secretary Kissinger: That is correct. The second point is that we will not support any independence movement on Taiwan.
Prime Minister Chou: And this morning before going to bed I read an intelligence report that we received saying you were supporting the Taiwan independence movement. I did not quite believe it.
Secretary Kissinger: That cannot be correct, but if you should have information that any of our people are doing this I would appreciate it if you would inform us. It would be totally unauthorized. I don’t believe it is correct.
Prime Minister Chou: If the information seems to be reliable, we would pass it on; but if in the first instance it is not to be credited, we then would not notify you. I did not even think of telling the Chairman about that piece of information. It would only be a waste of time.
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. Prime Minister, our firm policy is to oppose a two China policy. We have talked about this on my previous visits and we will strictly carry this out.
Prime Minister Chou: And we also heard some news from the United States that Taiwan wanted to add two consulates—to have two Consulates General in the United States.[Page 335]
Secretary Kissinger: I was going to get into this. I am familiar with one consulate they are planning to set up for the time that we may move in the direction of a full exchange of diplomatic relations between Peking and Washington, and it is intended as a point of contact in the United States for the contingency of the evolution of our policy. It is not intended as an expansion of their representation but as a contingency plan for their position they recognize as coming in the future. I do not know about a second one. I know about a Consulate General in New York. The basic direction which we established in July 1971 is one on which you can count on, and we will not engage in little maneuvers within that context, much less outside it.
Prime Minister Chou: Perhaps the Chaing Kai-shek side put that forward.
Secretary Kissinger: That may be, but it is a reflection of the reduction of their position in the United States, not an attempt to increase it.
We have also understood that we would not support any attempt by third countries to move into Taiwan.
Prime Minister Chou: And this has something to do with both our sides.
Secretary Kissinger: Fourthly, the United States will support any peaceful resolution of the problem.
And finally, we would discourage any military moves from Taiwan against the Mainland. In the context of the Shanghai Communiqué and our understandings we have kept you informed about the nature of our military establishments on Taiwan. We are in the process of carrying out the military movements which I informed you of in February—the withdrawal of the transportation squadrons from Taiwan.
In the same spirit, I would like to inform you of our plans for next year. During 1974 we shall remove the two squadrons of Phantom planes that are now on Taiwan—one squadron in each half of the year. One-half in the first half and the second squadron in the second half. We will remove the U–2 planes from Taiwan. And we will remove the nuclear weapons which are in Taiwan. This will reduce our presence on Taiwan to communications and logistics. We will keep you informed of the further reductions which will take place after that.
It is also our intention, which we have mentioned to you and which the President reconfirmed to you, to complete the full normalization of the relations between China and the United States during this term of office, before the middle of 1976. We are prepared at any point to intensify the existing relationship or to establish full diplomatic relations, but we have the difficulty of how to handle the relationship with Taiwan in the interim period. But we will be prepared to listen to any proposal that you might have in this connection and make every attempt to meet it. If at any point the Chinese thought the formulation [Page 336] of the Shanghai Communiqué or an adaptation would provide someway to have diplomatic relations we would be prepared to proceed on that basis.
In the meantime, we need to be prepared to expand the status of the Liaison Offices so that they become more and more similar to full diplomatic recognition. I think it is obvious that your Ambassador in Washington today enjoys a more direct access to our top officials than any other Ambassador in Washington, certainly, more than the representative of Taiwan. We would be prepared to establish trade offices and other institutional links that you might consider appropriate. I wanted to emphasize that the course which we have established will be strictly maintained. Now perhaps I should turn to other matters, Mr. Prime Minister, unless you wish to discuss these issues further.
Prime Minister Chou: I will dwell on them later. I will dwell on the other aspects of this issue later. There is only one question I would like to ask. We hear you intend to assist Taiwan in building an airplane assembly factory, and we would like to know what form it would take—rented, leased, a gift, sold on credit or …
Secretary Kissinger: You asked me that …
Prime Minister Chou: Of course, there is no question the material would come from you, the United States.
Secretary Kissinger: You asked me that the last time, and in fact we have the details with us and I will answer you. I will answer you tomorrow. I will do it at the beginning of our discussion tomorrow. I don’t have them here with me. I may say now, Mr. Prime Minister, it is for an airplane of short range. It cannot reach the Mainland. It is a defensive airplane, and a means of avoiding our having to sell longer range airplanes to Taiwan and to separate its military procurement to a greater degree from direct American sales. We have, as you know, Mr. Prime Minister, a rather delicate process of disengagement to conduct—in which the Chinese side has shown great patience and wisdom if I may say—but we understand the outcome that our current policy will have.
Now turning to other international problems. Let me speak first of our relations with the Soviet Union. There are many detailed issues which I am prepared to discuss, having to do with specific negotiations. I think the basic point to understand, Mr. Prime Minister, is that I believe analytically that the Soviet Union and we are pursuing almost identical policies toward each other and it remains to be seen whose judgment is better. The Soviet Union is pursuing a policy of relaxation of tensions with the West for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons undoubtedly is the Soviet conviction that if they can create the appearance of détente, the unity of the West will disintegrate and the defense of the West will weaken.[Page 337]
I have no quarrel with many of the comments that we have received from the Chinese side privately, and many of the analyses from the Chinese side that we have seen publicly, about the problem of the direction of Soviet policy. I stated our position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union in a speech before a conference and in my press conference a few weeks ago.3 I don’t know whether the Prime Minister has seen those. I stated then we would resist any aggressive tendencies directed outward. I said we would not permit détente to be used to undermine or weaken our relationships with our friends. And thirdly, that we would resist any attempts by the Soviet Union to use international trouble spots to expand its positions.
While these are our principles, we have a complex tactical problem about how to apply them. One of the problems is that while many of our commentators in America are very heroic in intervening in domestic affairs of other countries they are very unwilling to face the consequences of what these policies would involve. We believe that it is important for us to demonstrate that we have made a major effort to preserve the peace in order to be in a position to resist when aggressive action occurs. When aggressive action occurs, we will act decisively, and if necessary brutally, but we require the prior demonstration that we have been provoked. And I think we have proved this in our handling of the Middle East crisis.
I have read with great care your Vice Minister’s criticisms of the Treaty for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and, of course, I have had the benefit of direct communications with the Prime Minister.4 I do not quarrel with the specific points made by either the Prime Minister or the Vice Minister in terms of Soviet intentions. And it does not affect …
Prime Minister Chou: Why are there so many differing opinions inside your country concerning your President’s action in the Middle East?
Secretary Kissinger: In the Middle East?
Prime Minister Chou: That is, your alert. We are in favor of it.
Secretary Kissinger: I have always believed, Mr. Prime Minister, that the people who understand our foreign policy best are in Peking.
Prime Minister Chou: Thank you for your just and fair words. Put that in the record.
Secretary Kissinger: This record never leaves my office. There are several reasons for this. Actually we have not had any domestic difficulties about this alert. It was relatively minor. In fact, after I testified [Page 338] before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a group which does not generally support the Administration, Senator Symington, who almost always is critical of the Administration, went on TV and fully supported the alert; and so did Senator Fulbright.
Prime Minister Chou: I read about that.
Secretary Kissinger: This alert happened in the week in which public excitement about the Watergate problem was very high and some of the critics of the Administration merged those two issues. You have in America now in any event, Mr. Prime Minister, a combination of various forces that produce a rather contradictory pattern in the public discussion of foreign policy—not in the conduct of it. You have a combination of the intellectuals, who dislike the President for other reasons, with the old professional anti-communists of the right, so that, for the first time, some of these right wing groups are being given intellectual respectability. Basically, the alert had very wide public support and there was a public poll which showed that by about two to one the American people favored it.
But the reason, Mr. Prime Minister, we can maintain support for our foreign policy is partly because of its record and partly because of our using this strategy of forcing the Soviet Union into a posture of provocation. Sometimes our judgment may be wrong, but our strategy is clear. We have explained that treaty to you. Our judgment was that it was better to deprive it of the significance that the Soviet Union wanted to give it and to remove it as an issue from a public debate and from international quorums, than to have an endless debate in which public opinion would suffer more damage than it did from the treaty as in fact it was written.
I must point out, Mr. Prime Minister, that this session is a culture shock to my colleagues on the right, except for Ambassador Bruce, who have not been acquainted in the past with our method of talking with one another. In traditional diplomacy, we express ourselves more carefully.
But the primary thing we have accomplished in the Treaty is to link all its obligations but also third countries and to link conventional war to nuclear war in such a way that it is impossible to resort to conventional war without (sic) negating any obligations with respect to nuclear war and finally to make it impossible to resort to any war without prior consultation. And therefore, we have been given for the first time a legal basis to resist in areas where we have no formal obligation.
Therefore, on the night that we went on alert we received a message, as I told you, from General Secretary Brezhnev in which he demanded that we join a Soviet-American expeditionary force to the Middle East and, failing that they would then move unilaterally. They were demanding an immediate reply. We first of all did not reply but went [Page 339] on alert and replied only after we had been on alert for several hours. And then we told the Soviet Union that a unilateral Soviet move would violate Article 2 of the Treaty for the Prevention of Nuclear War and would be resisted accordingly.
Prime Minister Chou: We were clear about that. But the Soviet Union can evade that and engage in expansionism in other forms.
Secretary Kissinger: There is no question that legal obligations prevent Soviet expansionism. Our problem is how to get into a position to resist, and the strategy we are following is to try to create as many legal obstacles as possible; and, failing that, to use those legal obstacles as American obligations, especially in those areas where we have no formal obligation and therefore would have difficulties domestically.
The Prime Minister might note that I said publicly, in explaining the treaty, that operations such as in Czechoslovakia, or massive movement of arms across the frontier, would be in violation of that treaty and would be so treated by the United States.
Prime Minister Chou: Did you note that your alert also arose dissatisfaction on the part of your Western Alliance? They said you had not told them beforehand.
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. Prime Minister, I was going to talk about our Western Alliance. Our Western allies are distressed when we engage in activities as we did and are dissatisfied when we go on alert and dissatisfied when we conduct a disagreeable policy and dissatisfied when we conduct a half policy. It seems to be our destiny that they are doomed to be dissatisfied. I will give my explanations later.
Prime Minister Chou: Are they also dissatisfied with your journey to the Arab countries? Of course, the Soviet Union would be dissatisfied.
Secretary Kissinger: As a matter of fact, Mr. Prime Minister …
Prime Minister Chou: We appreciate that.
Secretary Kissinger: One has to analyze what is meant by dissatisfaction. If you want to play for high stakes with very little risk, then you are likely to be in a continued state of dissatisfaction. The secret dreams of our Western Allies in the Middle East is to restore their position of 1940 without any risk or effort on their part and therefore, to the extent that we are more active, there is a vague feeling of jealousy and uneasiness.
I think, Mr. Prime Minister, the nature of the European so-called dissatisfaction has to be understood. You have met many of the European leaders and you will have your own judgment as to their vision and ability to see matters comprehensively. But each of them faces the problem that for domestic reasons he has to say one thing while deep down he understands that what we are doing is essentially correct. Therefore, they very often, particularly after the event is already over, [Page 340] take a public position which is at variance of their understanding of the real situation.
On the question of the alert, we received the letter from Brezhnev threatening unilateral action at 10:00 at night, which is 3:00 in Europe. He demanded an immediate reply. The letter was supported by intelligence, which I believe we gave to your Ambassador, that the Soviet Union had alerted seven of eight of its airborne divisions.5 I think I gave your Ambassador that. Under those circumstances we had no time to consult.
Secondly, speaking very frankly with you, Mr. Prime Minister, there is no point in consulting if there is only one thing you can do. If the European countries had not agreed with us, we still would have had to go on alert. Therefore, we had to proceed unilaterally, and I must say that in situations where we believe that the over-all equilibrium will be disturbed we will continue to behave in this manner if there is no time.
With respect also to the occasional criticism of our Soviet policy by our European allies, this has to be weighed against their equally strong criticism in the previous period. I think it is healthier for them to be worried about how far we might go and to have them in a position where they will try to make greater efforts in their own defense, than to have them pursue the policies which occurred while Ambassador Bruce was in London when they were constantly pushing us to be less intransigent to the Soviet Union and were constantly approaching us with ideas on how to bring about détente. If there is to be détente, we had rather manage it than have the Europeans do so.
But, if the Prime Minister wishes, I will be prepared to have a longer session on our relations with the Western Europeans. Despite the surface phenomena, I believe our relations are going along in a good direction. I am also prepared during this visit to go over with the Prime Minister the specific negotiations now going on with the Soviet Union, but I don’t want to take all the time this afternoon.
Let me make a few comments now about the Middle East and about Southeast Asia, and perhaps we can leave all the other topics for later discussion.
Prime Minister Chou: All right.
Secretary Kissinger: You will remember that I saw your Ambassador the night the Middle East war started, and I explained to him what our basic strategy would be. I told him that for this period we were not [Page 341] interested in the merits of the dispute between the Arabs and Israelis, but we were primarily interested in preventing a situation in which the Soviet Union would achieve its predominance in the Middle East. We believed that a Soviet victory in the Middle East, like 1971 in the Indian subcontinent, would have disastrous consequences not only there but elsewhere, and would encourage adventurism on a global scale.
You will see many tactical moves over the next month, and while I am here, I think we should have an opportunity to have a full discussion of the Middle East so you will understand specifically what we will do; but for this purpose, you should understand our basic strategy is to convince the Arabs that they can get weapons from the Soviet Union but a political settlement only from the United States. And therefore, we will always resist proposals that come to us from the Arabs through the Soviet Union. We are not asking for Chinese support on the specifics of the negotiations because the Chinese position is well known. We do think, however, that this basic strategy is in the common interest of both of our countries. We have no interest in a predominant position in the Middle East. That is not achievable, nor is it desirable. We are interested in keeping any other country from having a predominant position.
In this negotiation which we are now beginning, one of the big problems is that the Arab leaders are very active as individuals but are somehow given to excessive romanticism and to great impatience. We have, Mr. Prime Minister, a complex domestic situation with respect to the Arab/Israeli dispute. It cannot be an accident that the United States should become so heavily committed to a nation of two and one-half million at a distance of 6,000 miles which has no strategic or economic importance to the United States. These factors cannot be changed from one day to the next, any more than some of the factors in our relationship can be changed from one day to the next.
Prime Minister Chou: But perhaps Dr. Kissinger being the Secretary of State would be in a better position to change this situation. Perhaps …
Secretary Kissinger: Quite true.
Prime Minister Chou: Perhaps you would have more effect in remedying this situation.
Secretary Kissinger: Quite correct, but it has to be carefully organized. It would be a great mistake to fight the battle prematurely before we are organized and on minor issues. And I can tell the Prime Minister that we are as determined to bring about a just settlement in the Middle East as we were two years ago to improve our relationship with the People’s Republic of China. But we are dealing with it.
Prime Minister Chou: But it will be considerably more difficult to obtain that.[Page 342]
Secretary Kissinger: It will be very difficult.
Prime Minister Chou: Madame Golda Meir styles herself a socialist.
Secretary Kissinger: My secret dream is to involve Madame Meir in negotiations with President Thieu.
Prime Minister Chou: They will have to go to London where they will meet their socialist friends.
Secretary Kissinger: She is in London now.
Prime Minister Chou: That is what I was saying. There are all kinds of socialists now.
Secretary Kissinger: It will be very difficult. It will be difficult with Israel and it will be difficult with the Arabs.
Prime Minister Chou: The passing of a United Nations resolution we were reading in your Newsweek magazine.
Secretary Kissinger: That is the international edition. I have not seen it. In the domestic issue there was a different cover.
Prime Minister Chou: You can also see from your expressions that it was extremely difficult.
Secretary Kissinger: If Mrs. Meir only gets ninety-eight percent of what she asks for she considers herself betrayed.
Prime Minister Chou: With regard to the resolution about Israel passed in the United Nations in 1947, the historical roots would go back to the Balfour Declaration. At that time you had heavy domestic pressure. Also there are Soviet intentions. Do you agree with that?
Secretary Kissinger: I agree that in 1947, when Israel was formed, the Soviet supported it because it wanted to create difficulties in the Middle East. No question about that. Nevertheless, while the United States is now supporting a peace settlement which will bring about an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory, we are for the existence of Israel. We will defend the existence of Israel.
Prime Minister Chou: Does Mrs. Meir understand that if she continues in such an absurd manner that that will increase the possibilities of Soviet troops entering into the Middle East?
Secretary Kissinger: The Israelis are going through a traumatic experience at this moment because they had assumed they could remain militarily supreme for a long time. Even though they won the battles in this war, they have lost their supremacy. So they need a little time to adjust to a totally new reality for them. I don’t know whether the Prime Minister agrees the most important aspect of the ceasefire that was achieved last week when I was in Cairo was not the specific terms—they are important—but that it was negotiated between Egypt and the United States without the Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Chou: I had thought of toasting you on that last night, but I was afraid the correspondents would hear us.[Page 343]
Secretary Kissinger: Yes.
Prime Minister Chou: We also talked to the Egyptians.
Secretary Kissinger: I was going to say, to the extent …
Prime Minister Chou: They said you would not do it because you are of Jewish descent. We said you would also look at the problem from the point of view that everything divides into two. There are also good Jewish persons and Karl Marx, whom we believe in, was also Jewish. Perhaps what we said had some effect on him.
Secretary Kissinger: It is very possible. To the extent, Mr. Prime Minister, that you can continue to do this, because there will be difficult periods in which we will not be able to move as fast as they want, but they can be sure we will move in the direction we have discussed here and that we have told them, and to the extent that you feel you could talk to them, it would be very helpful to our common approach.
I think I have already talked too long. On Southeast Asia there are two problems.
Prime Minister Chou: Have you finished with your Middle East issue?
Secretary Kissinger: On the Middle East, I thought we should have another discussion of the detailed tactics in the future. Let me make one point. These negotiations will start soon—we think in December—and there is no possibility of excluding the Soviet Union from the formal discussion. We have discussed with the Egyptians and with the Jordanians that the formal meetings should be conducted as the Paris Peace Conference on Vietnam, which is to say with only a repetition of formal positions as Ambassador Bruce knows only too well. The real negotiations will take place separately between the Egyptian Foreign Minister, who has been especially designated for this task, and myself and the Israelis. But separately.
Prime Minister Chou: We noticed that. Would that have an adverse effect on Syria?
Secretary Kissinger: I was going to say to the Prime Minister that we invited the Deputy Foreign Minister to visit me in Washington. And we have now sent a message to the Syrian Government through the Shah, and also through King Faisal who is paying for their reconstruction, that we would be prepared to talk to them at a higher level, and I am planning to visit Damascus in early December. They have indicated that they wanted to see me.
Prime Minister Chou: What about the knot in Iraq?
Secretary Kissinger: We have to prevent Iraq from dominating Syria.
Prime Minister Chou: But to put it another way, the Soviet Union is trying to dominate Iraq.[Page 344]
Secretary Kissinger: The Soviet Union is trying to dominate Iraq and have one front in the Mediterranean and another in the Persian Gulf. That is why our strategy is—first of all I wanted to say Mr. Prime Minister, we are pursuing in that region from Iran to the Mediterranean, the policy that we discussed with Chairman Mao when I was here last time. Our present policy is to keep as much pressure on the Government of Iraq as we can through Iran and other sources so that it is absorbed as much as possible in its domestic difficulties rather than with others. And as you know, they have a very significant problem with the Kurdish population. They were quiet during the Arab-Israeli war because it was not desirable to have all Arabs concentrate on the problems of the Kurds. But we will now make an attempt to establish the same relationship with Syria that we have established with Egypt, and to negotiate with Syria the Syria-Israeli settlement the same as the Egyptian settlement.
Prime Minister Chou: Anyhow the Soviet Union will not let loose of Iraq.
Secretary Kissinger: No. Unless Iraq throws them out as Egypt did.
Prime Minister Chou: That will take a period of time.
Secretary Kissinger: That is why we have to …
Prime Minister Chou: You perhaps will also know that even the Shah of Iran could not help from sort of dealing with the Soviet Union in that he also had to agree to consider the Soviet proposal of a collective security system. Of course, we knew that it was only a tactic to put the Soviet Union off, but he could not help saying that.
Secretary Kissinger: He misunderstood its significance also.
Prime Minister Chou: But this Shah does not seem very confused.
Secretary Kissinger: No. He is very good. One of the outstanding leaders.
Prime Minister Chou: He is in his middle age.
Secretary Kissinger: He is 54.
Prime Minister Chou: A little older than you.
Secretary Kissinger: A little. He understands the situation very well, and he will not make mistakes in practice. His was the only country that was bordering the Soviet Union that did not permit the overflight of Soviet planes during this crisis, and when one of his ministers permitted eight planes to fly over he fired him. It took great courage.
Until Iraq becomes disinvolved from the Soviet Union, we have to keep them isolated and from gaining success through its actions with the Soviet Union. We will see what can be achieved in the discussions with the Syrians in December. We have talked to Jordan and that is not a problem for us, and we have also established a preliminary contact [Page 345] with the Palestinians. Our basic strategy is to set up a formal conference which will have some UN blessing and some Soviet participation, and a series of bilateral negotiations in which we will attempt to be the intermediary together with whatever help we can get, but without the help of the Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Chou: Have the Palestinians agreed to participate?
Secretary Kissinger: In the conference? Yes. We will do it in two stages, Mr. Prime Minister. The initial phase of the conference will deal with disengagement of military forces and that does not involve the Palestinians. And since the Palestinians present a major problem for the Jordanians and Israel, we thought it best … and since some success should be achieved rapidly, we thought in the first conference there should be only Syria, Egypt, Israel and Jordan dealing with military disengagement. And when the frontiers issue arises, the Palestinians should participate; and they have agreed and so has the King of Jordan. None of this is generally known, Mr. Prime Minister, and I have not discussed this, obviously, with the Soviets at all. But Egypt has agreed to this procedure. And I think it will work.
Prime Minister Chou: Because in the 1947 resolution the issue of Palestine was not solved. For instance, they have their military forces in Syria and other areas. Is it not possible for the Palestinians to participate in the military aspects also?
Secretary Kissinger: They will participate in the military aspects of disengagement after the first phase of the disengagement of forces that are now in contact. The immediate problem is to get some movement. If the negotiation immediately gets bogged down in procedural details, we will be back to 1967 in which the new line develops a sanctity of its own and the Israelis on the West Bank … the probabilities for a new outbreak will be overwhelming. We thought we should get a negotiation in the first instance where we are not talking about forces now in contact with each other, that involves only those countries that have forces involved in contact.
Prime Minister Chou: I understand.
Secretary Kissinger: We expect that this first phase will be a matter of a few months. But in the meantime we will continue to talk to the Palestinians. We think it is important that this phase of talks, in which we are involved separately, be kept secret as long as possible because not every country has an interest in having it succeed.
Maybe I should say a word about Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia we have two problems. One is the problem of maintaining the ceasefire in Vietnam. And the second is the problem of Cambodia. We believe that the resumption of large military operations in Vietnam would be extremely undesirable and have the potentiality of major [Page 346] involvement by our two countries. We would like to normalize our relations.
As far as Cambodia is concerned, I leave it up to the Prime Minister whether he wishes to have a more extended discussion. I simply want to say we are not, in principle, opposed to Sihanouk. In many of his private statements and public statements, he seems to be under the misapprehension that the United States Government is, in principle, opposed to him. That is absolutely incorrect. If he could return to Cambodia in a position of real independence for himself, we would be very interested in him as a leader. We are not interested in him if he is a captive of one particular faction that is simply using him for a very brief period of time in order to gain international recognition.
Prime Minister Chou: Have you taken note of the recent actions of the Soviet Union?
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. With respect to Sihanouk?
Prime Minister Chou: Perhaps Ambassador Bruce is more familiar.
Secretary Kissinger: I am familiar with it. I have taken note of it. Our interest in Cambodia, insofar as we have interest, is to keep it out of great power confrontation, and we are interested in a truly independent, neutral Cambodia. We want no position for the United States in Cambodia. And we are not committed to any particular group of individuals in Cambodia. I leave it up to the Prime Minister whether this is a subject that he wants to pursue at a later meeting.
Prime Minister Chou: We will have to consider this for a while before we can raise our opinions. I would like to ask now why it is that the two South Vietnamese sides have shown no progress in their Paris meetings on the political aspects.
Secretary Kissinger: I think the same qualities that make the Vietnamese a heroic people make them politically an extremely uncompromising people; and they sometimes combine, at least the ones I know, the worst aspects of Confucianism and the French Lycée. For example, when I negotiated this additional communiqué in June,6 which will be my last one—I will never again negotiate with them—we had everything settled, when both parties conceived a new theory of international law: the order of obligations in which they appear in paragraphs determines the order in which they have to be performed. Each side attempted to push the obligations of the others into the beginning of the document and its own obligations to the end so its opponent would have to perform first. We spent nearly a week on the problem, [Page 347] although no treaty could ever be written if this became an accepted practice.
Prime Minister Chou: The protocol you mean?
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. The protocol in June. Eventually, the objective situation in Vietnam will change for both sides, and then there will be real negotiating possibilities.
Prime Minister Chou: If we go into Cambodia, we will have to link it to the whole of Indochina, and if we are going to discuss it, we can do that later.
Secretary Kissinger: It is up to you, Mr. Prime Minister, and I will be prepared to do it. I will be prepared to discuss the whole of Indochina.
Prime Minister Chou: Of course, compared to the overall international situation, this is but a very small corner now, although it had troubled you for more than four and one-half years since your President came into office.
Secretary Kissinger: That is correct.
Prime Minister Chou: But from the point of view of the overall international strategy, you have taken too much time on that small issue.
Secretary Kissinger: That is true, too.
Prime Minister Chou: And you also said you no longer wished to continue Vietnam negotiations.
Secretary Kissinger: There was one moment, Mr. Prime Minister—the Vietnamese specialize in creating deadlock on irrelevant issues. There was a dispute over who should sign the document, the protocol. We made a proposal, the South Vietnamese made a proposal, and the North Vietnamese made a proposal. We then offered a compromise which accepted the North Vietnamese position, whereupon the South Vietnamese rejected it and moved to our original position, and the North Vietnamese moved to the original position of the South Vietnamese. At that point we had the North Vietnamese position, and the North Vietnamese had the South Vietnamese position. After three days of negotiations.
Prime Minister Chou: But you cannot blame them for this because it was the precedent established by your esteemed Secretary of State John Dulles. Because we have said that we were taken in and we have said this many times to our Vietnamese friends. You know that President Ho Chi Minh was a very eloquent man and he was a very open man too, and in his discussions with our Chairman, he did not agree to say that we had been taken in at that time. We continue to say we should have made greater efforts at the Geneva Conference. We should say that on the first Geneva Conference we should take some of the moral responsibility. Because, if at that time if we had refused to sign unless Dulles signed, he would have signed. But even though he would have signed, SEATO would have been established.[Page 348]
Secretary Kissinger: The lack of signature was not the determining factor.
Prime Minister Chou: No it was not, but it established a precedent. We have to admit our mistakes on that. It can be said to be a twist of history.
Now with one agreeing and one dissenting how are you going to get the Nobel Prize? I wonder who suggested that it go to two persons together.
Secretary Kissinger: It was domestic politics in Norway. Le Duc Tho has written me a very warm letter. It is like two war veterans exchanging ideas. It reminded me of our conversations at the last session of our peace talks.
Prime Minister Chou: Do you think we could take a rest for a few minutes.
(There was then a break from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m.)
Prime Minister Chou: So the two sides, Israel and Egypt, are going to sign at 9:00, Peking time.
Secretary Kissinger: I don’t know the exact time. I know they will sign today.
Prime Minister Chou: That would be 4:00 their time.
Secretary Kissinger: That seems reasonable. They were supposed to meet at 2:00, and I guess it would take until 4:00.
Prime Minister Chou: First, the Soviet Union issued a news report and then they cancelled it.
Secretary Kissinger: They have never acknowledged the agreement, have they? They have not reported it in the press.
Prime Minister Chou: We heard that earlier that Tass had issued a news report saying that there were two different texts of the agreement issued—one in the United States and the other in Egypt.
Secretary Kissinger: That is not true.
Prime Minister Chou: Later on they cancelled that news item and reissued another one according to the Egyptian text.
Secretary Kissinger: Which is exactly the same as the other text.
Prime Minister Chou: It did not go into that in such detail.
Secretary Kissinger: There is only one text. My letter was approved by both the Egyptian Foreign Minister and the Israeli Cabinet before I sent it.
Prime Minister Chou: It was also the same as that you gave to Kurt Waldheim.
Secretary Kissinger: Exactly.
Prime Minister Chou: Is it five or six points?
Secretary Kissinger: Six.[Page 349]
Prime Minister Chou: At the beginning there were reports there were only five.
Secretary Kissinger: That was wrong too. I think we gave your Ambassador a letter 24 hours before it was published.
Prime Minister Chou: So shall we continue? Is there anything else you would like to say?
Secretary Kissinger: I think there are other topics we have discussed in the past, such as South Asia and Iran, that we can keep for another occasion. I wanted to cover the basic issues today.
Prime Minister Chou: In my view, South Asia is always an important aspect. What do you think of the developments there?
Secretary Kissinger: India is making a major effort to improve its relations with us, and we assume also with you.
Prime Minister Chou: Why do they have to insist on detaining those 195 prisoners of war?
Secretary Kissinger: That is the problem—the problem is that I think they want to keep them until Pakistan recognizes Bangladesh and until Bangladesh gives up the claim to try them. Now as part of this negotiation which brought about the settlement, we obtained from India an assurance that those 195 would not be turned over to Bangladesh. We would make it a matter of American Government policy if they broke this agreement.
Prime Minister Chou: There is the need to exert a certain pressure on them in this aspect because it is too unreasonable. Because in Pakistan they have already passed a resolution in their national assembly agreeing to the recognition of Bangladesh, giving the Prime Minister the authority to recognize Bangladesh at the proper time.
Secretary Kissinger: We are supporting Pakistan on the return of the 195. We have made this clear to India.
Prime Minister Chou: We also discussed this issue with Mr. Whitlam when he came this time.
Secretary Kissinger: That is an issue in which he may be willing to support you. Whitlam, I would suspect, would support you on this.
Prime Minister Chou: At the beginning, he expressed his opinion, being more favorable to Bangladesh, and that he did not understand our position. But later, after we explained our position, he did not say anything more. He said he had not read Maxwell’s book, and I gave him a copy.7
Secretary Kissinger: I think the Prime Minister has increased the sales of that book.[Page 350]
Prime Minister Chou: Indeed. And we believe that that book was written in a very fair manner because we had never known him before, and we did not provide him any documents. He reached those conclusions entirely on Indian documents. Perhaps it did draw on my letter. I think he did quote my letter to Nehru, but I don’t think he quoted the letter that I wrote—after we had returned the prisoners of war and ammunition—to India and to all other heads of State and heads of government concerned. We sent a letter to the five intermediary states and to all the heads of government. Of course, you would now have a copy of that. He is now commencing to write a book on the Sino-Soviet dispute.
Secretary Kissinger: We have seen articles on that in the London Times.
Prime Minister Chou: He said he is coming again.
Secretary Kissinger: With respect to India, our policy is to see what we can do that they will have greater freedom of action from the Soviet Union but basically we are moving very slowly. We are settling some economic issues with them now—the rupee debt and matters of this kind.
Prime Minister Chou: We believe the rupee debt should be settled rather generously. How many rupees do you have on your hands for food purchases?
Secretary Kissinger: I don’t have the exact figure, but it was settled at I think about 15 percent. It depends on how you calculate it. You can calculate it without interest—it would be about 60 percent—without interest it would be less. The rupees were blocked in India; we could not get them out of India; we have nothing to spend them on in India; and, therefore, what we adopted was what we thought a rather realistic program.
Prime Minister Chou: In your settlement, would you have the portion that was to be returned converted into hard currency?
Secretary Kissinger: No. But we have established fixed categories on which it can be spent in India which was not the case before.
Prime Minister Chou: Can you invest with those rupees in India?
Secretary Kissinger: No. It is mostly for American governmental expenditures in India; for our Embassy and matters like this, and buildings.
Prime Minister Chou: But that should be a very small sum.
Secretary Kissinger: And buildings and things of this kind.
Prime Minister Chou: Would you buy commodities out of India with that sum?
Secretary Kissinger: I don’t think so. I will get the details and let you know tomorrow.[Page 351]
Prime Minister Chou: I believe I have already told you of how they broke the Sino-Indian border negotiations in order to obtain that rupee settlement for buying grains from the United States. Do you remember my telling you that?
Secretary Kissinger: You told me that after these negotiations broke down, that they received a great deal of help. You think they broke them in order to get the help?
Prime Minister Chou: Exactly. Because when I met with the foreign press in India, I told them no issue had been solved, and therefore I had nothing to say to them, the correspondents. But, of course, other correspondents also put questions to me. But a correspondent from your country asked me whether I knew or not that the Indian Minister of Food was in your country waiting to sign. I thanked him for telling me this news, and I understood. And the day after the talks broke down and I went to Kathmandu, Nepal for a visit, I read in the papers that the deal had been signed. And it was decided that by that agreement that India would be buying American food grains with rupees—I think the sum of about 15 million tons; of course, not in one year, that was not the manner of buying grains, but it was going to be done over a period of five years or six years. But the actual deal perhaps exceeded that amount. I think there was something to do with that. They would not break it. Otherwise, they could have signed something (with us) that was very abstract, and in principle, and not go into details. Nehru could have done that but at that time he refused to make any concessions. Because at the end of those talks, I summarized a few points in his words to be taken as the basis for an agreement in principle to be later further discussed in detail, and he still refused to sign. But today you find that the rupees finally can be used in India and only a restricted number.
Secretary Kissinger: It was always the case that the rupee could only be used in India. I think the basic problem was what we called the counterpart fund; these accumulated funds which theoretically give one enormous power in a country where one has them. It is really not the purpose for which they were set up. They were set up so they could be spent there for development projects for the government concerned.
The second problem is that as foreign aid develops more and more countries owe us money; then if, for any reason, we shut off aid we shut off repayment of their debts, so that we are in the position of giving them aid so they can repay debts to us. This whole problem we are now examining, since it has consequences that were never intended.
Prime Minister Chou: I think your President said at one time that all the debts together accounted for nearly $10 billion.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes.[Page 352]
Prime Minister Chou: So perhaps you are preparing for the day when finding it difficult to pursue them, you will just wipe them off as with the stroke of one’s beard.
Secretary Kissinger: No, but we have to do something creative with them because whether they are wiped off or not does not depend on us so completely anymore.
Prime Minister Chou: Correct. Of course, you would know that the Soviet Union whenever it leases something determines what it must be paid back in—for instance, in jute. You would know that, of course.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes, and also in the Middle East.
Prime Minister Chou: You will know that recently that Egypt has had to pay in hard currencies for the ammunition that it obtained from the Soviet Union. Because the Soviet Union told Egypt since you have so many friends who are rich in oil resources, you should pay us in money and not in goods.
And then we saw that you suddenly put a bill to your Congress concerning aid to Israel amounting to $2 billion. Of course, we understand that if you had not done that public opinion in the United States would not have been able to understand.
Secretary Kissinger: We did this as a pressure on the Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Chou: But they wanted money. They did not care for anything else. They, of course, would not pass a bill saying they would provide military arms immediately to Egypt.
Secretary Kissinger: But they were providing a great deal of arms during the war.
Prime Minister Chou: Of course, but for a price. Boumedienne went to the Soviet Union and held sixteen hours of discussion with the Soviets for the same purpose. They wanted to be paid. They gave him some things, but there were also other things they did not give him. One cannot fight well if one relies on such—if that is on what one must rely to fight with.
Have you paid attention to the prospects of the developments in Afghanistan?
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. We have looked at that situation since the coup, and, of course, Prince Daud is well known as having some pro-Soviet orientation; and many of the younger officers with him have no political experience and were trained in the Soviet Union. You are familiar with the fact there was a Soviet military mission there in the last few weeks that inspected the border with Pakistan. We talked to the Shah of Iran, and we also told the Soviet Union that if the Afghans spilled across their border that this would be considered an international development which we would take very seriously. We are concerned with the Pushtunistan agitation.[Page 353]
Prime Minister Chou: They also engage themselves in Baluchistan agitation. The final intention of the Soviet Union is to get it all in the Soviet hand. They have a map. We don’t know whether President Bhutto showed it to you.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. He showed me the map. It allegedly is an Afghanistan map because it has a very small slice of Soviet territory.
Prime Minister Chou: A piece of Pakistan, a piece of Iran, and a small piece of the Soviet Union.
Secretary Kissinger: The Shah of Iran is very concerned. He is building up his defenses at a considerable rate, and we are giving him more modern equipment. We have talked to Bhutto and so far our help has been primarily in the economic field, and we are now thinking of helping him build a port which is a project which he is extremely interested in. We have not yet fully solved the problems of weapons for Pakistan. We are trying to do it through Iran. And we are also …
Prime Minister Chou: I believe Prime Minister Bhutto wants to obtain weapons directly from you.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. It is a very difficult problem for us because of Congress. We have given him a little, but it is really not very meaningful.
Prime Minister Chou: Can Iran give them some?
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. That is what we are working on now. We had our Ambassador from Iran visit Pakistan to see what arrangements could be worked out.
Prime Minister Chou: So India has such a great influence on your domestic public opinion.
Secretary Kissinger: India has a considerable influence on our domestic public opinion, not so much on the public at large which does not like it, but on the intellectuals which have had a romantic idea about India as a nonviolent country. We are also working with the Shah, as I told you earlier, on the problem of Iraq and the Gulf States. And we have this week, as you may have noted, sent one of our aircraft carriers and an escort into the Persian Gulf in order to demonstrate our presence. There have been Soviet ships there, but we have not had American ships there.
Prime Minister Chou: Anyway, those places are getting tense. You are spending such a huge amount in military expenditures in assisting other countries, could you not appropriate a portion of that—a portion of your expenditures to military assistance to other countries—could you not give a portion of that to Pakistan?
Secretary Kissinger: We are not spending that much, unfortunately. The budget is being decreased by Congress every year. Secondly, a specific prohibition was passed against direct military aid to either India. [Page 354] or Pakistan. India does not need it because they are getting it from the Soviets. We have to look for indirect ways of doing it. I have talked to Prime Minister Bhutto about it, and I will look into it again when I get back to the United States. We agree with the necessity. Our problem is to find the legal means of doing it.
Prime Minister Chou: Another question is that of Korea. We have reached a compromise, but we believe the speed has to be slowed down—that is, the time when the draft resolution should be put to the First Committee, and the Chairman of the General Assembly, will be postponed. Because it was originally scheduled to have the discussion in the First Committee on the Korean issue on the 14th or 15th and you had already left Washington when you presented it with our Korean friends, and then we had to tell our delegation at the United Nations. Our delegation was very enthusiastic about this, as was your Ambassador.
Secretary Kissinger: He is by nature enthusiastic.
Prime Minister Chou: Perhaps something like Ambassador Huang Hua.
Secretary Kissinger: I did not have that impression from Ambas sador Huang Hua.
Prime Minister Chou: But they very quickly agreed.
Secretary Kissinger: We were under the impression you were in a hurry. We are in no particular hurry.
Prime Minister Chou: Because you had not returned and we had not met you, and they even went into the details of drawing up the wording. Perhaps even before you authorized your Ambassador.
Secretary Kissinger: No. I approved the wording. It was sent to me as a cable, and I approved it.
Prime Minister Chou: Because we knew that you were very busy and preoccupied with the Middle East at that time, and we did not think there was the need to be so hasty because we also have to consult with other sponsor countries which Korea had mobilized, and we thought also that you would have to discuss with your sponsor countries. In the course of such consultation, it would be bound to leak. For instance, you will discuss it with Japan. You told Japan.
Secretary Kissinger: “Might possibly leak” is one of the kindest sentences I have heard. I was told that you were in a hurry. We had no particular reason to hurry. We were for it, and I approved the schedule, and I would have accepted any schedule you gave us. I am still prepared to accept it.
Prime Minister Chou: Yes, I think the main thing is we should give them some time because our Korean friends need to discuss and persuade some other sponsor countries. We think it would be very bad if we two decided after discussing it and tried to impose it on others.[Page 355]
Secretary Kissinger: I agree.
Prime Minister Chou: So I would kindly ask you to convey this to Ambassador Scali, and he could go into further consultations with Ambassador Huang Hua, that is to say that originally the issue was to be put to the First Committee on the 14th and what we mean is we don’t think it need be done in such a hurry—that the date …
Secretary Kissinger: The compromise was to be on the 14th on the Korean issue?
Prime Minister Chou: No, it was originally scheduled that the issue would be put to the Committee on the 14th and then all sides would have their say and then go on to the resolutions. But we would propose that it would be better to postpone the discussion of the issue to a later date—later than the 14th. We think it would be beneficial if you could notify your Ambassador at the United Nations, and he and our Ambassador could discuss it and see if they approved. If they thought it was suitable to postpone it then it could be done.
Secretary Kissinger: I don’t know about your Ambassador, but if you and I agreed that it should be postponed, ours will postpone it.
Prime Minister Chou: But you know there is also the question of Korea. We agree with your assessment that our Ambassador seems to be in a hurry and I don’t know why he became all of a sudden so enthusiastic over this. Because originally when our Vice Minister was at the United Nations we agreed he should first consult the nonaligned countries and Korea, and we should not enter this consideration in such haste.
There now has appeared another issue—another aspect—of the issue and that is you are now in China. Because you know that on our side the Soviet Union and its followers are included in the sponsor countries and they would have something to say about this, and would try to create trouble on the basis of the fact that you were visiting China now and might create some confusion in other countries.
Secretary Kissinger: We have no reason to bring it to a decision this week. I don’t know what the parliamentary situation is—how much trouble it would be to postpone it. The Vice Minister knows about the technical details. If it is possible to postpone it, I have no objection. I am assuming the same compromise is still agreed to, and you are just talking about a delay, not about changing the agreement.
Prime Minister Chou: No change of the compromise.
Secretary Kissinger: How much of a delay—two weeks?
Prime Minister Chou: We can ask them to discuss that.
Secretary Kissinger: All right.
Prime Minister Chou: Because in that interim period we can alsodiscuss it more thoroughly with the nonaligned countries. The Soviet [Page 356] group will definitely try to create trouble on this issue and they will stand on the so-called left. They constantly forget that the United Nations troops were sent into Korea when they were absent from the United Nations Security Council. And Ambassador Bruce …
Secretary Kissinger: We will instruct Ambassador Scali as soon as we return to our Guest House to get in immediate touch with your Ambassador that they should both work out a delay for a period.
Prime Minister Chou: If necessary.
Secretary Kissinger: How do they determine what is necessary?
Prime Minister Chou: They can discuss it among themselves.
Secretary Kissinger: Our Ambassador is a little excitable. And unless I tell him the definition of necessity. Let me put it this way—to make it easier I am prepared to go ahead, then he should go ahead. We will leave it up to your Ambassador and hope that my judgment of him is correct—that he is not excitable.
Prime Minister Chou: Well, he is usually not so very easily excited but this time he has been over-enthusiastic.
Secretary Kissinger: That is more than I ever manage to achieve with him. Maybe I should have Scali work on Chinese problems.
Prime Minister Chou: I don’t think this has anything to do with Ambassador Scali this time; perhaps because our two sides have reached agreement, he thought he would express his zeal in carrying out the order. He forgot the other sponsor countries, especially since he neglected the fact that there was the Soviet group among those sponsor countries.
Secretary Kissinger: Ambassador Scali will be instructed so there is no misunderstanding as of Monday morning New York time.8 Should they get together? I will instruct him to meet whenever Huang Hua wants. I don’t know where Scali is this weekend. We will send a message when we reach the Guest House and that will take three to four hours. If Scali is in New York, he should have it by the end of the day Sunday New York time.
Prime Minister Chou: I think it can wait until Monday morning.
Secretary Kissinger: You can assume that at the opening of business Monday, New York time, Ambassador Scali will be instructed. Who gets in touch with whom? We leave it to him. I will tell Scali if he has not heard from Ambassador Huang Hua in the morning he should call him. I shall instruct him first that the compromise remains in effect, but if Ambassador Huang Hua would like a delay, then Scali should cooperate with him to get a delay for the time period that Ambassador Huang Hua recommends. And that Scali should work with [Page 357] the sponsors on our side to bring the delay about if it is desired. You can count on that being done.
Prime Minister Chou: Thank you. We don’t want to give the Soviet Union an opportunity.
Secretary Kissinger: I agree, and if there is no necessity, there is no hurry.
Prime Minister Chou: Correct. You are going to Japan. What are your views on Japan?
Secretary Kissinger: My views on Japan are that what we discussed last February are still true—that Japan is at a crucial point and necessity will drive it to decide between a more traditional nationalism and maintaining its present orientation. And it has many temptations. It is very much affected by the Middle East oil situation.
Prime Minister Chou: I believe about 80 percent of its oil comes from the Middle East.
Ambassador Ingersoll: Eighty-five percent I would say; that is only about 40 percent from the Arab countries and 45 percent from Iran.
Prime Minister Chou: Yes.
Secretary Kissinger: It has temptations from the Soviet Union. It has temptations by its own economic strengths. And it is concerned that it will be left alone in any arrangement that we make with the Europeans. This is one reason why we may try to find a formula to associate Japan with our efforts in Europe. The intention is not to link it militarily with Europe but primarily psychologically, to prevent a total sense of isolation.
Prime Minister Chou: And have you expressed support or are you waiting to see the outcome of events with regard to your joint exploration of Siberia?
Secretary Kissinger: One problem is that no one knows exactly how much natural gas there is. There is some dispute between what the Soviets have told us and what some experts have said.
We have just authorized a loan which will be a joint American/Japanese exploration in Siberia to get a precise determination of what is involved. We have agreed in principle to make it a joint project with the Japanese. And we believe, for political reasons, it would be undesirable to have the Japanese so completely dependent on Soviet political decisions. And the Soviet Union will probably be more reluctant to tackle both the United States and Japan simultaneously than Japan alone. We have a problem in our Congress whether we can get any support for these long-term investments in the Soviet Union. And that will not be decided until the early part of next year.
Prime Minister Chou: Their salesmen don’t seem to be very effective.[Page 358]
Secretary Kissinger: Soviet salesmen?
Prime Minister Chou: That is the impression we received both from West Germany, Japan and from you. Is the data and the material of the salesmen credible?
Secretary Kissinger: There are some questions in our mind about the reliability of these figures. The second question we have is to what degree we want to commit massive American investments in the Soviet Union. Our strategy up to now, quite candidly, has been to do enough to give the promise of future investments but not so much as to make a strategic difference in their situation.
Prime Minister Chou: That is a very complicated strategy.
Secretary Kissinger: That is true.
Prime Minister Chou: Ambassador Ingersoll will be, of course, very familiar with the lesson that General Secretary Brezhnev taught Prime Minister Tanaka. He brought out his map and began his lectures.
Secretary Kissinger: He has only one lecture. And I have heard it ten times.
Prime Minister Chou: He came at the same time when Brezhnev went to visit Bonn.
Secretary Kissinger: It is dangerous to underestimate German shortsightedness. My apologies to the Vice Minister.
Prime Minister Chou: Perhaps you say that out of your unhappiness with the present Brandt Government.
Secretary Kissinger: That too, but it is a historical phenomenon. The Germans have had only one leader of stature—that was Adenauer.
Prime Minister Chou: Yes, because he had been active.
Secretary Kissinger: Who, Adenauer?
Prime Minister Chou: Adenauer.
Secretary Kissinger: He knew the importance of it, but he never let himself be deflected. While Brandt, if he persists in his present policy, will have given the Soviet Union veto over German policy.
Prime Minister Chou: There is such a danger. And the opposition party did not carry out the elections very well either.
Secretary Kissinger: No. They had very incompetent leadership. You met their best man but he is not very energetic, Schroeder. He is their best man.
Prime Minister Chou: He is not so very active. Why not? Because of temperament or because of his position in the party?
Secretary Kissinger: Schroeder, he is not the new leader. I have not met the new leader. Schroeder was ill for a while, and he also does not have and is not good in appealing to public opinion. And he was not very strong nor able to take over the party himself.[Page 359]
Strauss was with Ambassador Bruce in Germany for many years. Strauss is extremely intelligent and a very forceful personality, but he is a South German phenomenon so he has not much support in the north. His self-discipline leaves something to be desired. I think I told the Prime Minister once about what Adenauer said to me about Strauss.
Prime Minister Chou: At that time you did not mention a specific name. I thought it might be him.
Secretary Kissinger: It was Strauss.
Prime Minister Chou: Yes, you can see the clarity of Adenauer’s mind because he must have spoken to you when he was over 80.
Secretary Kissinger: Yes. A month before his death, 88. He was a man of very clear views. He understood the danger for Germany if it maneuvered too much.
Prime Minister Chou: It is time for a short break, and you are going to the ballet. We will have more time tomorrow. Perhaps this evening, if we have something more to discuss, I might pay a call on you.
Secretary Kissinger: It would be very nice.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 100, Country Files, Far East, Secretary Kissinger’s Conversations in Peking, November 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People.↩
- Memoranda of conversation of the counterpart technical discussions are in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 87, Country Files, Far East, PRC Counterpart Talks, 1971–1973.↩
- See footnote 4, Document 42.↩
- See Documents 36, 38, and 42.↩
- On October 25, Kissinger informed Huang Chen of the Soviet alert. (Memorandum of conversation, October 25, 4:45–5:25 p.m.; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 ARAB–ISR)↩
- Two joint communiqués of June 13 issued by the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam are printed in Department of State Bulletin, July 9, 1973, pp. 50–53.↩
- Neville Maxwell, India’s China War; see footnote 11, Document 8.↩
- November 12.↩