14. Memorandum for the Record, Paris, August 6, 1971, 1530Z1 2

After meeting Sgt Sigler this morning at 0800 I immediately called Tsao at PRC Embassy. Actually, Wei answered. I told him I had a message and asked when I could deliver it. He said that 1530 would be convenient for them at PRC Residence.

After completing my meeting with the NVN, I went to the CPR Embassy and arrived exactly on time. Was let in by Wei and Tsao. Led to same room where Henry saw them. More jasmine tea and lichee nuts. I gave the written message to Tsao who read it to the Ambassador in Chinese.

Ambassador said he presumed this was in line with our informing them on such matters. I said that was my understanding. He asked how it came. I said by courier and he seemed pleased and said he would pass it on.

He said he was pleased to see me as we were both Generals. I replied that I knew he had had two very distinguished careers as a soldier and as a diplomat. Again he seemed pleased.

He discussed the time it takes to get from Paris to Peking (21 hours) and Paris to Washington. He had no idea how long it took. I told him 7 or 8 hours.

The Ambassador then asked where Henry’s plane would come from in Alaska. I said I did not know. It could be Anchorage or perhaps from further West such as Adak or Attu. He noted that some of those islands had been taken by the Japanese early in the war but that they had been taken back by us. All had gone well for the Japanese at the beginning but after that they had been defeated. At this point Tsao said Japanese militarism had been reborn. I said I hoped not as the world was too small for wars. The Ambassador nodded vigorously and said that it was “just a small ball”.

He then asked if I would accompany President Nixon or Doctor Kissinger on their trips to China. I said that this was a matter beyond my competence and I had no idea of the composition of the parties, but I would be happy if asked to go. (I give you my word of honor he brought it up and foregoing is exact report.)

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We then (with Tsao and Wei) discussed languages, the study thereof, that I should learn Chinese (I interjected, “The language of nearly a quarter of mankind.” They liked that.) etc., two more cups of tea, preserved apple. They seemed genuinely anxious to have me stay. I suspect they may not have too much contact with foreigners and enjoy it. I was escorted to the door and patted on the back, etc.

  1. 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. The meeting was held at the Chinese Embassy.
  2. Military Attaché Walters and Chinese Ambassador to France Huang Chen discussed details of President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger’s upcoming August 16 trip to Paris.