38. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon, Washington, October 21, 19711 2

October 21, 1971




  • B/GEN. A. M. HAIG, JR.


  • Dr. Kissinger’s Meetings in Peking

I have received two reports from Dr. Kissinger covering the flavor of his visit thus far. He stated that the discussions had been most constructive and that the reception of the group could not have been more cordial.

He reported in a later message today that he has raised the issue of your individual meetings with Chou and Mao. Chou, according to Henry, agreed reluctantly with respect to his own meeting with you. On the other hand, he refused to agree to such a private session with Mao despite repeated urgings by Dr. Kissinger. He did so on the ground that he, Chou, was always present at such meetings. Dr. Kissinger was unable apparently to change his view. Dr. Kissinger also recommends that there be at least two meetings with Mao—one at the earlier part of your visit and the other towards the end.

Dr. Kissinger stated that he delicately raised the issue of Mrs. Nixon’s accompanying you. Chou replied that while they did not initially anticipate her participation in the visit, he now would be glad to take it up with Mao. Henry recommends that we not raise the issue again until he returns to Washington and discusses it with you further. His estimate is that it can be arranged, although the development of a crowd situation appears more difficult and at this juncture appears unlikely.

Dr. Kissinger reported that the mood in all contacts thus far has been good and constructive. The agenda is shaping up well and that, unless there is an unforeseen setback, the party should depart Peking with an agreed communique.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President-China Material, China-HAK October 1971 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it. A handwritten note from Nixon reads: “Al-OK with Henry-OK with Chou & Mao together-but RN to be alone-Henry not to be present-otherwise we differ from RN’s style in other trips & raise the Rogers problem.”
  2. Haig informed Nixon that President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger had raised the issue of Nixon’s individual meetings with Chinese Premier Chou En-lai and Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Mao Tse-tung, noting that Chou refused to agree to a private meeting between Nixon and Mao.