154. Telegram From the Embassy in Malaysia to the Department of State 1

836. Eyes Only For The Secretary and Dr. Kissinger From Asst. Secy Green.

Following NEC Chairman Thanom’s dinner for our party March 8, I drew Chairman Thanom aside (with Pote Sarasin interpreting and Ambassador Unger also present) to mention a particularly sensitive point which I wished he would not share with anyone else in his government. I referred to his conversation of January 14 with Ambassador Unger 2 in which Thanom had asked that we take up in our Peking talks Thailand’s concern over PRC support of insurgents and terrorists against lawful government and innocent people of Thailand, and to point out that RTG had stopped its anti-Peking broadcasts and wanted to have better relationships with PRC on basis of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

I said Secretary Rogers specifically mentioned this point in one of his meetings with FonMin Chi Peng Fei. Chi’s response had been along the lines that (a) China had historically maintained good relations with the Thai people but, after Chiang’s troops had fled to Thailand the latter had made use of these troops, relations had deteriorated; (b) Thailand had opposed China and the Communists including interference in Indo-China and hence there were no diplomatic relations now; (c) new Thai Government pursues the same old policies but we (PRC) do not interfere in internal affairs of Thailand; (d) people of Thailand want revolution and PRC hopes that it will come to have normal state relations on basis of five principles. Chi had added: “We hope you will convey this to your good friends in Thailand.” Chi then said, I continued, that as for Thai charges about Peking supported guerrillas in Thailand, PRC admits some Thai guerrilla leaders are in Peking but how the guerrillas carry on in Thailand is their affair; we don’t interfere.

Chi had ended by saying that U.S. and Thailand have their principles, and PRC has its own; nevertheless we can work for an improvement of state relations.

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Thanom and Pote Sarasin expressed great appreciation for Secretary having taken this up and commented that Peking’s response was pretty much as expected. Thanom felt that, to the extent the U.S.–PRC relationship improved and China moderated its course, this could prove in time to be of real benefit to Thailand. I agreed.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret;Nodis.
  2. A report of that conversation was transmitted in telegram 597 from Bangkok, January 14. (Ibid.)