140. Backchannel Message HAKTO 7 From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig), Beijing, June 19, 1972, 1801Z1 2[Page 1]
- GENERAL HAIG
- HWENMJIJ Kissinger
VFE DE WTE10
191810Z JUN 72
- OUR INITIAL RECEPTION HAS BEEN THE WARMEST OF ANY VISIT YET IN PERSONAL TERMS. ALL OUR OLD ACQUAINTANCES HAVE GONE OUT OF THEIR WAY TO BE FRIENDLY.
- CHOU CAME TO GUEST HOUSE AFTER DINNER FOR A GENERAL WELCOMING SESSION FOLLOWED BY A PRIVATE MEETING WITH ONLY CHOU AND CHIAO KUAN-HUA ON THEIR SIDE. WE DISCUSSED AGENDA DURING WHICH I SUGGESTED THAT EXPANDED BILATERAL EXCHANGES WERE IN OUR MUTUAL INTEREST. CHOU QUERIED ME ON JAPAN TRIP, AND I REVIEWED MAJOR THEMES I SOUNDED THERE WHICH WERE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT PRESIDENT TOLD CHOU WE WOULD TELL JAPANESE.
- MOST INTERESTING ASPECT OF MEETING WAS CHOU'S OBVIOUS EAGERNESS TO TALK ABOUT VIETNAM. HE NOTED PODGORNY VISIT AND STATEMENT WONDERED WHAT TRANSPIRED AT MOSCOW SUMMIT AND NOTED Le Duc Tho HAD JUST BEEN IN PEKING. CHOU RAN BY US THE IDEA OF A CEASEFIRE-IN-PLACE WHICH I EVADED PENDING HIS RUNDOWN OF HIS DISCUSSIONS WITH Le Duc Tho WHICH HE PROMISED TO GIVE ME TOMORROW.
- THE SESSION WAS INCONCLUSIVE, LASTING LESS THAN AN HOUR DUE TO FATIGUE. TONIGHTS INITIAL IMPRESSION, HOWEVER, WAS ONE OF CHINESE READINESS TO TALK FRANKLY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY.
- PLEASE WIRE IMMEDIATELY TEXT OF ELIOT RICHARDSON'S SPEECH IN JAPAN WHICH I PROMISED TO GIVE TO CHOU.
June 19, 1972[Page 2]
MEMORANDUM FOR: THE PRESIDENT
FROM: GENERAL A.M. HAIG
SUBJECT: Initial Report from Mr. Kissinger's Peking Trip
Henry has flashed the following initial impressions from Peking:
- — Initial reception has been the warmest of any visit yet in personal terms.
- — Immediately after arrival, Chou En-lai visited Mr. Kissinger at the Guest House. During the meeting, agenda was discussed with Kissinger suggesting expanded bilateral exchanges. Chou queried Kissinger on the Japan trip and Kissinger emphasized that he had remained totally consistent with what you told Chou would be given to the Japanese.
- — Kissinger describes the most interesting aspect of the meeting as Chou's obvious eagerness to talk about Vietnam. He speculated with Kissinger about the Podgorny visit and expressed interest in what had happened at the Moscow Summit, referring also to Le Duc Tho's recently completed visit in Peking. Chou mentioned the idea of a cease-fire in place which Kissinger evaded, pending Chou's rundown of the Chinese discussions with Le Duc Tho which were promised for the meeting the following day.
- — Kissinger described the initial session as inconclusive, lasting less than an hour due to fatigue. However, first impressions suggest that the Chinese are ready to talk frankly and conclusively.
I will keep you apprised of all Henry's reports as they arrive here.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 97, Country Files, Far East, China-Dr. Kissinger's June 1972 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A copy was also sent to Rodman. Haig transmitted the message to Nixon under an attached June 19 covering memorandum summarizing Kissinger's points. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. An additional notation reads: Haig, Rodman.”↩
- Kissinger described his reception as the “warmest” yet and reported Chinese Premier Chou En-lai's interest in settling the Vietnam war.↩