58. Memorandum for the Record, Paris, November 16, 19711 2

[Page 1]

16 November 1971


On November 15 I called Tsao at the Chinese Embassy. He seemed a little startled and said he absolutely could not see me on Monday (15). I explained that I merely wanted to leave a piece of paper for transmission and he then agreed to see me at 0900 on November 16.

I went there at that time and was met by another Chinese diplomat. (Wei is in Peking with the Ambassador. It is Wei’s first trip home to see his family in two and a half years.) This man’s name is CHAN YUNG CHIEH. He speaks fluent French but little or no English.

CHIEH met me at the gate (which was locked when I arrived and rang) and ushered me into the house which looked like a wreck. The carpets were up and they were moving furniture around.

Into the living room, jasmine tea and preserved apples and I handed Tsao the message as instructed and told him of Dr. Kissinger’s forthcoming visit and desire to see the Ambassador. Tsao said he had had no word concerning the Ambassador’s return but he would return either on Wednesday, 17 November, in which case he could see Dr. Kisssinger; if not then, he would not return until Sunday, 21 November, in which case it would be too late.

He then emphasized that he could not discuss substantial matters but would transmit the paper I gave him to Peking at once by electrical means. He seemed to think that answers on the third question (the President’s press conference) might be forthcoming by then but dubious about the others.

More tea and preserved apples and the usual ritual for departure.

Major General, USA
Defense Attache
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, Oct 20, 1971-Dec 31, 1971. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Drafted by Walters. The meeting was held at the Chinese Embassy.
  2. Unable to arrange a meeting for November 15, Military Attaché Walters met with Chinese diplomat CHAN YUNG CHIEH the next day. Walters informed him of President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger’s upcoming visit and handed him the note expressing Kissinger’s desire to meet with the Chinese in New York. Chieh indicated that he would transmit the note to Peking via “electrical means.”