269. Editorial Note

In late July 1969 President Nixon made a globe-circling diplomatic trip visiting Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Asia, and Romania. The President was accompanied by Secretary of State Rogers, his Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, and a number of other foreign affairs specialists. Guam was the site of Nixon’s press backgrounder on July 25 in which he stated that the United States would encourage Asian countries to solve their own internal problems, and at the same time the United States would keep its treaty commitments to them. This policy became known as the Nixon Doctrine. After meeting with President Marcos in the Philippines on July 26, Nixon had private talks with Indonesian President Suharto at Merdeka Palace on July 27 and 28. No record of these meetings has been found, but a few briefing documents hint at some of the points Nixon and Suharto discussed. For Suharto’s account, see Document 273.

Talking points prepared for the meetings indicate the policy highlights that Nixon was to stress to Suharto. Nixon underlined what he felt were the key points in the talking points for July 27; the talking points for July 28 indicate the President saw them. On the former, Nixon underlined “regional cooperative” efforts as being important to political and economic stability in Southeast Asia. He also underscored the idea that, while the United States would provide its share, economic assistance to Indonesia was best “handled on a multi-lateral basis.” Nixon also underlined the fact that “Indonesia’s special circumstance” deserved sympathetic consideration, but that military “requirements should be weighed carefully with economic ones.” (Both in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 452, President’s Trip Files, President’s July 69 Trip to Far East)