21. Letter From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the Military Attaché at the Embassy in France (Walters), Washington, August 31, 19711 2

August 31, 1971

Dear Dick:

Pursuant to our phone conversation, attached at Tab A you will find the oral note which you will wish to read to the Chinese Ambassador in Paris. At Tab B is an additive statement for you to also give orally to the Chinese Ambassador when you complete reading the oral note. This is designed to give him unofficially and not for our files the flavor of our reasoning for the dates mentioned in the oral note.

At Tab C is our preferred version of the announcement which you are to hand to the Chinese Ambassador. You will note that the dates are left open both with respect to the President’s visit and Kissinger’s preliminary visit, pending receipt of the Chinese reply to our earlier inquiry. If this reply is not received prior to your meeting with the Chinese Ambassador you should make it clear to him why the dates are blank.

Best regards,

Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

Brigadier General, U.S. Army Deputy

Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Major General Vernon A. Walters

Senior Military Attache

American Embassy


[Page 2]

[Tab A]


The Accidental War Agreement between the United States and the U.S.S.R. will be signed in Washington on September 30, 1971. This fact is still secret. Provisions will be those outlined by Dr. Kissinger to Ambassador Huang Chen on August 16, 1971.

We propose a joint announcement of the President’s and Dr. Kissinger s visits to China. The announcement should be made at 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM, September 20, 21 or 22, Washington time, with preference for September 20.

Dr. Kissinger will pass through Paris on September 11 and can settle these matters then with Ambassador Huang Chen.

[Page 3]

[Tab B]

In passing this oral note, Walters should add orally:

That the dates for the announcement were selected because of State visits the following week. The President will be in Anchorage on September 26, following which there will be State visits the 28th and 29th in Washington. The Accidental War Agreement will be signed on September 30th. We want to get this announcement made before the Accidental War Agreement.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, July 1971-Oct 20, 1971. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Published from a copy that indicates Haig signed the original. At Tab A is an oral note for Huang. At Tab B is a statement Walters was to deliver orally after he read Huang the first message. Attached but not published at Tab C is an announcement concerning proposed dates for Kissinger’s and Nixon’s upcoming visits to China.
  2. Haig instructed Walters how to deliver three messages to Chinese Ambassador to France Huang Chen.