12. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, undated1 2
- THE PRESIDENT
- HENRY A. KISSINGER
- July 26 Meeting with Chinese Ambassador in Paris
I established contact with the Chinese Ambassador in Paris, Huang Chen, on the afternoon of Monday, July 26, after my other session. (You will recall that Chou designated him as our secret point of contact.) Although he was hospitable and friendly, it was clear that he has little latitude, operates narrowly within instructions, and will serve chiefly as a transmittal belt for messages between us and the PRC. He had just returned from Peking where he was called back after my trip there.
In our discussion the Ambassador relayed the following verbal points from the PRC.
- — The Chinese government agrees to an interim visit by me in the latter part of October. (We had suggested late September or early October.)
- — “Owing to understandable reasons, it would not be appropriate for Mr. Bruce to come to China.”
- — Our aircraft should go directly to Shanghai from Alaska. (Presumably they don’t want an American plane crossing the bulk of their country.)
I pointed out that Chou had suggested an interim visit; that Bruce would be leaving the Paris talks next week; that you had total confidence in him; and I thus hoped Chou would review our conversations and make it possible for Bruce to maintain contact with the PRC in the future when I am unable to do so. (Comment: Chou expressly agreed to an interim visit by Bruce or me. The Chinese have now apparently decided that it would be too awkward for them to receive Bruce and me, given their troubles with Hanoi and the speculation about a U.S.-PRC deal on Indochina. Thus I did not press Bruce’s acceptability for an interim visit but hope to get Peking to reconsider him for future assignments.)[Page 2]
I made a few other points to Ambassador Huang:
- — The Nationalist Chinese are stirring a campaign against my trip to Peking and your forthcoming visit. There is press speculation about my conversations with Chou which is designed to embarrass both the U.S. and the PRC. My backgrounder which I sent to the Chinese will remain the only U.S. Government commentary on these subjects and any speculation doesn’t come from government sources.
- — We will continue to inform the PRC of any talks we have with other socialist countries which concern it.
- — We will show restraint with the press in our comments about the PRC in any event, but we would appreciate it if they would do the same. The best way for us to keep our right-wing opposition under control is to demonstrate that we are pursuing an independent policy; this is made easier if the PRC does not encourage left-wing spokesmen.
At the end of the meeting I told him that we would alert him whenever I was coming to Paris in case he had messages for me or it seemed worthwhile for us to meet. As for the technical details of my October visit, I said these could be passed through Walters and there was no particular urgency.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, July 1971-Oct 20, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent under a July 30 covering memorandum from Winston Lord to Kissinger for inclusion in Kissinger’s files. Kissinger’s memorandum to Nixon was not sent.↩
- Description of Kissinger’s July 26 meeting with Chinese Ambassador to France Huang Chen focusing on Kissinger’s possible October visit.↩