65. Checklist of Undertakings With the Government of the People’s Republic of China, Washington, June 17, 19721 2





March 17, 1972






  • Undertakings with the PRC

Attached is a check list of commitments, understandings and undertakings with the Chinese, including when we made them and their present status. All are presently under control and no immediate action is needed.

You will see that the list boils down essentially to the following:

  • — A series of assurances on our Soviet policy, including equality of treatment, meticulous debriefing, and deflection of pressures.
  • — Our various assurances on Taiwan policy, as reaffirmed by the President.
  • — Other miscellaneous understandings, including coordination on South Asian policy, restraint on Japan, confidentiality of our talks with the PRC, and various travel/exchange matters in the Watson channel.

If the President stated our intentions more than once, e.g., on certain aspects of Taiwan policy, I have listed it in each case with a close rendition of his actual wording.


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Checklist of Undertakings with the PRC Soviet Union
Circumstance Nature of Undertaking Status
Haig to Chou 1/3/72 US prepared to use resources, as during Indo-Pak crisis,to attempt to neutralize Soviet threats and deter threats against PRC. White House to monitor
Haig to Chou 1/3/72; RN to Chou, 2/22/72 Prepared unilaterally to provide certain information. HK gave to Yeh/Chiao on 2/23/72
HK to Yeh/Chiao 2/23/72 Will provide additional information if requested. Will inform them if any drastic changes in information. They are to name channel. White House to monitor. No action necessary unless/until PRC names channel, HK read to give more. requests info, or drastic change occurs.
HK to Yeh 2/24/72 HK will check Mongolian information. CIA memo 3/7/72 confirms accuracy
RN to Chou 2/22/72 After Moscow summit, Dr. Kissinger will report personally to Chou on what was discussed and agreed to. June trip agreed upon. Date to be set.
RN to Chou 2/23/72 US will oppose any attempt by the Soviet Union to engage in any aggressive action against China. White House to monitor.
RN/HK to Chou 2/23/72 US will continue to keep PRC current on SALT developments. Being done in HK channel.
HK to Chiao 2/23/72 US will keep PRC meticulously informed of all significant negotiations and agreements with the Soviet Union. We will inform PRC wewll in advance on significant negotiations so that if the PRC wishes to comment the US would be prepared to hear its views and take them very seriously. Being done through HK channel.
Circumstances Nature of Undertaking Status
HK to Chiao 2/23/72 US will avoid SALTpositions which might creature pressure against the PRC. US discouraging French move on accidental war. Being done through HK channel.
HK to Chiao 2/23/72 There will be no US pressure for the PRC to join the Geneva Disarmament Conference. White House to monitor.
HK to Chiao 2/23/72 General US policy on trade is to place the PRC in the same legal status as the Soviet Union. Actions taken in Feb. ’72 and previously. White House to monitor.
HK to Chiao 2/23/72 HK to provide PRC with complete account of Middle East discussions at Moscow summit as one of the topics to be convered. White House to monitor.
RN/HK to Chou 2/24/72 HK to check annual figures of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. WL checking.
We think Soviet figures are on the low side. In any event, hundres of thousands of Jews wish to leave USSR. Official Soviet figures: 10,000 to Israel last year and 21,000 total
RN to Chou 2/25/72 Under no circumstances will the US at the Moscow summit negotiate about or discuss its relations with the PRC without the PRC’s knowledge and approval.We did not discuss the PRC in Moscow. If the Russians raise the question of PRC intentions, the US will relay Chou’s position that the PRC seeksimproved relations with the Soviet Union, opposes hegemony, and does not seek collusion. White House to monitor.
RN to Chou 2/25/72 US policy is not to have the PRC and Soviet Union at odds; US wants good reltions with both countries; US welcomes better relations between Moscow and Peking White House to monitor.
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 Third city for Soviet Union trip will not be east of Urals. " done
US is prepared to make any agreement with the PRC that it makes with the Soviet Union
RN to Chou 2/22/72 There will be no US statements that the status of Taiwan is undetermined.
US will not support any Taiwan independence movement.
US, to the extent we are able, will use our influence to discourage Japan from moving into Taiwan as our presence diminishes.
US will support any peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue that can be worked out and will not support any military attempt by the ROC to return to the mainland.
US seeks normalization of relations with the PRC and will work toward that goal.
The two-thirds of our forces on Taiwan which are related to Southeast Asia will be removed as the problem of Southeast Asia is resolved
The reducation of he remaining one-third of our forces will go forward as progress is made on the peaceful resolution of the problem.
RN to Chou 2/24/72 As Vietnam is concluded one way or another, the two-thirds of US forces related to the war will be withdrawn. US will also move to reduce the remaining one-third as the US-PRC relationship develops.
Two-thirds of US forces will go hopefully as soon as we can finish Vietnam involvement and RN plan is also to reduce and withdraw other one-third during the period he has the power to act, i.e., over the four additional years.
Circumstances Nature of Undertaking Status
RN to Chou 2/24/72 US to move toward normalization of relations. No secret timetable can be fixed. If RN reelected he has five years to achieve his goal and will move toward it. White House to monitor.
US will discourage Japanese forces from going into Taiwan after US forces leave.
No American personnel or agencies, directly or indirectly, will give any encouragement or support to the Taiwan Independence Movement, in the US or elsewhere. If the PRC gives us any information on this the US will act to stop US-related activity.
South Asia
RN to Chou 2/23/72 US will inform PRC in advance of recognizing Bangladesh. HK told Huang Hua 3/14/72 that recognition & 2/24/72 is planned for first week in April.done
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 White House has not informed bureaucracy about Bangladesh recognition and will entertain any PRC views on timing. White House to keep plans secret for time being.
RN to Chou 2/23/72 US will provide some economic assistance to West Pakistan White House to monitor.done
Korea Circumstances Circumstances Status
RN to Chou 2/23/72 To the extent possible, the US will discourage Japan from any military intervention in Korea. White House to monitor
RN to Chou 2/24/72 The US will use its influence to discourage Japanese intervention in Korea. HK did this on Japan visit.
RN to Chou 2/23/72 US will restrain to the extent we can the Japanese from going from economic expansion to military expansion, but can only do so if we have close relations with them. White House to monitor.
RN/HK to Chou 2/24/72 The US and the PRC should confidentially inform each other ofvtalks with Japan. “HK did this on Japan visit.
RN to Chou 2/22/72 Transcripts of White House conversations with the Chinese will be seen only by RN, HK, General Haig , Holdridge and Lord . Bureaucracy will get an account of those matters which can be generally discussed and require bureaucratic implementation. Transcripts kept in White House files.
RN to Chou 2/23/72 US will use influence to prevent Japanese or Indian attacks against China. White House to monitor
RN to Chou 2/23/72 If RN reelected, he will keep HK. To be decided in November.
US ready to cooperate on cancer research and will make available all the resources of NIH to other countries. White House to monitor
Circumstances Nature of Undertaking Status
RN/HK to Chou 2/28/72 US will do nothing to embarrass the PRC by implication or otherwise about sensitive subjects discussed, such as the Soviet Union, India and Japan. The US will take every precaution to knock down stories that are inaccurate or in violation of understandings on privacy. The US will maintain discipline in the bureaucracy. The US will keep references to such subjects as Japan and India within the bounds of the Communique. White House to monitor.
The US will check allegations that the US bombed North Vietnam during China trip. US conducted protective reaction only. (Lavelle?)
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 The White House will spport and monitor complete investigation of poisoning incident in New York and will involve the FBI. Bush , Rockefeller , and Hooever contacted. White House to monitor.
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 HK will include Ambassador Bush in meetings only when UN matters are being discussed. White House to control.
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 Original Scott/Mansfield letter to be delivered through Watson, and trip details discussed in Paris. Letter pouched to Paris and Watson instructed to handle matter.
US will submit Albert letter for Boggs/Ford about one week later—letter will be pouched to Watson week of 3/20/72. White House handling.done
Most visa problems to be handled at nearest PRC embassy, i.e. usually Ottawa, with HK weighing in occasionally through Watson or HK channel. State/Watson will be informed by the Chinese, and White House to monitor. done
Circumstances Nature of Undertaking Status
HK to Huang Hua 3/14/72 US to raise PRC table tennis visit in Paris. Instructions sent to Watson. done
US will not increase military operations over North Vietnam unless there is a North Vietnamese offensive. White House to monitor.done
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 87, Country Files, Far East, China, Commitments to the PRC [10/71-7/73]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information. Lord transmitted the checklist to Kissinger and Haig under a March 17 covering memorandum. Lord updated the checklist by hand on June 17. The copy published here is the June 17 version of the checklist.
  2. The checklist contained the circumstance, nature, and status of each undertaking between the two nations.