163. Memorandum for the Record, New York, October 25, 1972, 4:30-4:55 p.m.1 2




October 26, 1972


Following is a report of a meeting with Mrs. Shih at the Chinese Mission in New York on October 25, 1972.

I entered the Chinese Mission at 4:30 p.m., was met by Mrs. Shih and escorted to the second floor. Tea was served and pleasantries exchanged.

Mrs. Shih presented the note (Tab A) which I read and said I would deliver as soon as possible. I then presented Mrs. Shih with our note (Tab B). Mrs. Shih read it very carefully, said she had no questions and would pass it to the Ambassador.

I then delivered the oral message from HAK inviting the Vice Foreign Minister and the Ambassador to dinner on November 1. I emphasized to Mrs. Shih that the date was for planning purposes only and that details and composition of the party would be passed on by Winston Lord. Mrs. Shih took notes and said she would relay the invitation.

General conversation followed and I departed the Mission at 4:55 p.m., telephoning Winston Lord with the gist of the Chinese note.

V. James Fazio

Deputy Director

Situation Room

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The U.S. side sent the attached message to the DRV side today, October 25, 1972.

The U.S. side has also clarified for the DRV side that paragraph 4(c) means that the final agreement would be arrived at in the Paris meeting proposed in paragraph 4(a) and would not be subject to subsequent change; and that the reference to two weeks in 4(c) applies to the period needed to finalize preparations for the signing and implementation of the agreement.

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The U.S. side has studied the DRV message of October 24 with the greatest attention. It shares the regret of the DRV side that a brief delay in the original schedule has become necessary.
At the same time, the U.S. side is of the view that the constant repetition of unfounded charges can only exacerbate the problem. The DRV must realize the impossibility for the U.S. of signing a document which asserts the concurrence of one of the parties when this concurrence does not exist.
The problem which has now arisen requires statesmanship on both sides. The U.S. sides prepared to work seriously and with good will to give effect to the understandings reached with the DRV certainly before the end of November. To this end some cooperation by the DRV side is essential.
To show its good will, the U.S repeats its undertakings in its note of October 24 and adds some additional ones as follows:
Special Advisor Le Duc Tho should meet Dr. Kissinger in Paris on any day of the DRV’s choosing during the week of October 30 to arrive at a final text. (Dr. Kissinger will be prepared to meet Special [Page 4] Advisor Le Duc Tho at any other location. However, the DRV side should consider that another locale might exacerbate the situation which produced the necessity for the meeting in the first place.)
The U.S. wishes to reiterate its conviction that the necessary changes can all be accomplished within the framework of the existing agreement.
The U.S. side would make itself responsible for the document growing out of this meeting without further change within a reasonable period to be agreed—say, two weeks.
As soon as the document is completed in Paris and while the U.S. consults its allies, the U.S. will stop completely the bombing of the North.
As soon as the necessary concurrence is achieved, Dr. Kissinger will come to Hanoi to discuss the post-war situation and to initial the agreement (around November 20).
Dr. Kissinger will attend another meeting with Special Advisor Le Duc Tho with instructions to bring about a final settlement.
It should be obvious that the U.S. side is showing the most serious and earnest desire to bring about a resolution of the difficulties which have arisen. It is equally obvious that the United [Page 5] States can go no further. It is up to the DRV to decide whether to sacrifice all that has been achieved by a policy of public villification and private intransigence. For the DRV to insist on demands beyond the power of the U.S. to fulfill will permit no other conclusion than that it seeks a pretext for prolonging the conflict.
As for the U.S., the course adopted during the private meetings in October represents settled U.S. policy. The U.S. is determined to end the war in the nearest future, and it will work with the greatest energy to remove the obstacles that have arisen in any event before the end of November.
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For planning purposes, Dr. Kissinger is pleased to invite Vice Foreign Minister Ch’iao Kuanhua and Ambassador Huang-hua to dinner on number from its mission in New York. Assuming the date is agreeable to the Chinese side, Mr. Lord will be in touch with Mrs. Shih on the details concerning timing and location.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 850, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, Oct 24, 1972-Dec 31, 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Fazio on October 26. For the text of the note Shih Yen-hua handed to Fazio, see Document 259, Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XVII. Attached are three U.S. messages, two of which bear the handwritten notation: “Handed to Mrs. Shih by J. Fazio, 10/25/72, NYC.” The last message bears the handwritten notation: “Read to Mrs. Shih by J. Fazio, 10/25/72, NYC.”
  2. Deputy Director of the White House Situation Room Fazio and Shih Yen-hua of the Chinese Mission to the UN exchanged notes concerning the war in Vietnam and a dinner engagement between U.S. and Chinese officials.