5. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon, Washington, May 5, 19711 2

MEMORANDUM FOR:

  • THE PRESIDENT

FROM:

  • ALEXANDER M. HAIG

SUBJECT:

  • China

Pakistani Ambassador Hilaly visited today, in Henry's absence, and asked that the following information be passed to you:

“The message which Dr. Kissinger gave him on April 28 was transmitted directly to President Yahya that same evening. President Yahya has cabled Hilaly confirming that Yahya personally conveyed the message to the Ambassador of Communist China on Saturday morning, May 1. It most probably reached Chou-En-lai the same day or the following day.”

Hilaly stated he wanted this message conveyed because of the criticism from Peking against your Administration, reported in this morning's press. He stated that in his view, while Peking had received your message of April 28th, they were already reacting to two things:

  • — The State Department spokesman's statement that the two Chinas could negotiate their problems with each other, and
  • — Secretary Rogers' statement in London.

Ambassador Hilaly said that he had sent a telegram to President Yahya Friday morning after the press conference, saying that your statement of Thursday evening appeared to be an effort to correct the damage done by Secretary Rogers. Ambassador Hilaly recommended that Yahya pass on this interpretion to the Chinese Ambassador. Hilaly also confirmed that a message had been conveyed to the Chinese to the effect that your hands would be tied if other American politicians [Page 2]are brought into the matter of U.S.-Peking relations. Therefore, it would be best if the Chinese Government would not discuss the matter with any other American politician until a solid government-to-government channel has been established. This does not mean that there is any objection from here to the continuation of the people-to-people program and we would welcome invitations to other kinds of American visitors - students, reporters, scholars, etc.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, Files for the President-China Material, Exchanges Leading up to HAK Trip to China, December 1969-July 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A notation on the memorandum indicates that Nixon saw it. A handwritten notation reads: “Special File in HAK's Office.”
  2. Haig reported on his meeting with Pakistani Ambassador Hilaly, who relayed PRC criticism of Secretary of State Rogers' public statement about “two Chinas.” Hilaly indicated that the Pakistani Government had transmitted a message to the PRC that Nixon's “hands would be tied,” if other American officials commented on U.S.-PRC relations.