THE WHITE HOUSE
November 22, 1971
MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
General Haig called me at home at 11:10 A. M. , Sunday, November 21, saying that Dr. Kissinger had instructed me to call Ambassador Huang Hua directly. General Haig said he would inquire of Ambassador Bush whether we knew of a private line for the Ambassador and then call me back.
At 11:55 A. M. General Haig said that we knew of no private line and that I should therefore call the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City directly. I immediately placed the call to the Ambassador and the hotel switchboard put me directly through to the Chinese delegation. An unidentified Chinese man who spoke serviceable English was on the line and I gave him my name and asked to speak to the Ambassador. He said that he would have to check, and after about 30 seconds he came back on the line to say that the Ambassador was not there and would be out for “some time’” that afternoon. I repeated my name and asked the Ambassador to call me back at my office number (202-456-2255).
When the Ambassador had not called by 6:00 P. M. , I once again called the Roosevelt Hotel, this time from the office. I asked for the Ambassador if he had returned, and,in his absence,Miss Tang. There were two false starts: first, the hotel operator gave me the Chinese press relations office which then switched me to another number on the delegation; secondly, when I reached an unidentified member of the delegation, after checking briefly, he tried to switch me to the Ambassador’s number and we were cut off. After reaching the same man again he switched me successfully to the Ambassador’s extension (his room is 1412).
The Ambassador answered the phone himself. I gave my name and mentioned that we had met in July. The Ambassador immediately recognized me. I then explained that “my superior” would have called the Ambassador normally, but that he thought my calling would be “less conspicuous.” Ambassador Huang commented, “Good.” I then said that my superior had a message for the Ambassador which he wished to get to him directly on Monday afternoon. I said that Commander Howe, whom he had not met [Page 2] but whom others on his delegation had met, would carry the message. I asked the best way for Commander Howe to get the message to him directly. The Ambassador inquired what time we wished to deliver the message, and I replied any time that was convenient for him during the afternoon. He then suggested 2:00 P.M. and said that Commander Howe should come directly to the 14th floor. He would be met by Miss Tang and brought to the Ambassador (presumably his room, 1412). I said that Commander Howe would wait as long as necessary to bring back
The Ambassador was cordial, did not seem at all surprised to hear from us, and spoke in rather halting English.
- 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. Drafted by Lord on November 22. Huang Hua was staying at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York.↩
- NSC staff member Winston Lord recounted that President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger had instructed him to telephone Chinese Ambassador Huang Hua in order to communicate a message from Kissinger. Lord also indicated that NSC staff member Commander Jonathan Howe would directly communicate the message on November 22.↩