59. Instructions to the Military Attaché at the Embassy in France (Walters), Washington, undated1 2

General Walters should request an appointment with the Chinese Ambassador for Monday afternoon, November 15. At that meeting he should inform the Ambassador that Dr. Kissinger will be in Paris on November 20 and would like to see him at 9:00 a. m. General Walters should then hand over the attached note, saying the U.S. side would appreciate a response, if possible, at the November 20 meeting with Dr. Kissinger.

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1. The arrival in New York of the Delegation of the Peoples Republic of China to the United Nations raises the question of contacts between the US side and that Delegation. Up to now, all of our contacts have been with the Chinese representatives in Paris. The US intends to use Paris as the primary channel for communications on major and longer-range policy issues and sensitive questions unless it receives a contrary view from Peking.

There will be, however, a number of policy issues arising in New York requiring early decision on which a more rapid contact may be necessary than would be possible through our arrangements in Paris. For example, there is the possibility of a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in South Asia.

We do not wish to proceed on such a course without informally having ascertained the Chinese view. The exchange of views on such issues would not need to involve commitments but would assure understanding. For such issues, the US proposes that Dr. Kissinger for the US side meet secretly with whomever the Chinese side would designate in New York. Absolute secrecy would be maintained. They would discuss the basic issues and principles. Then they could decide whether more formal discussions of procedures and specific steps would be necessary between Ambassador Bush and the members of the Chinese Delegation. The US side wishes for the time being that Dr. Kissinger remain the principal channel.

2. Aside from the United Nations question, the United States side would appreciate the Chinese side’s views on the situation in South Asia to be sure [Page 3] that US actions are taken with the Chinese view in mind.

3. If the Chinese side agrees to the joint announcement of the date of the President’s visit on November 23 at 1600 hours Washington time, the US side would like to be free to release some additional information that evening at 1930 hours Washington time. President Nixon is thinking of holding a press conference at that time and may be asked questions to which he would like to respond as follows:

  • — The visit will last seven days.
  • — The President will visit Shanghai and Hangchow in addition to Peking.
  • — Mrs. Nixon will accompany the President.
  • — The two sides are investigating possible arrangements for television and other media coverage.

Does the Chinese side aqree that the President release this information in response to questions.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, Oct 20, 1971-Dec 31, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Published from an unsigned copy. Attached is the note requesting the secret meeting between Chinese officials and Kissinger.
  2. Walters was asked to request an appointment with the Chinese ambassador on November 15 and inform him that President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger would arrive in Paris on November 20 and wished to meet with Huang Chen at 9 a.m. that morning. An accompanying note, which Walters was to hand to the Chinese, inquired as to if the Chinese would be willing to meet secretly with Kissinger in New York after the Chinese delegation was seated at the United Nations.