84. Memorandum for Record, Paris, February 1, 19721 2

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Subject: 39th Meeting with the Chinese in Paris. Feb 1, 1972

Having been notified late at night on January 31st, that a message was on its way to Paris for delivery to the Chinese, I flew on the morning of February 1st from Wiesbaden to Paris by military aircraft. I stopped at the Embassy and picked up the message which had been decoded by Miss Ouellette. I went to the Chinese Embassy in Neuilly. I was received as usual and the Ambassador said that he had not expected to see me so soon, that I was an almost daily traveler from Germany. He was very cordial, after the appropriate amount of small talk and chit chat I produced my message and read it first in French and then in English. (They like it this way, then Tsao can check on Wei and Wei can check on Tsao.). The Ambassador nodded vigorously when I had finished and said “that makes things much more clear”.

We then engaged in an appropriate amount of further small talk that was characterized by much tea, unsalted peanuts and preserved apples and apologies that they did not have something more suitable to offer me. We talked of the super sonic Concorde and I gathered that the Chinese enthusiasm for it had cooled somewhat. The Ambassador joked about James Reston who had made a book out of his operation. We talked also about Sun Tzu and his theories. He indicated that they were required reading in the Peoples Army. Again all three Chinese could not have been more cordial and friendly and this time the note of embarrassment which had marked our previous meeting seemed to be absent. After an appropriate interval of nonsense and persiflage, I left.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President’s File-China Trip, China Exchanges, January 1-February 29, 1972. No classification marking. The meeting was held at Chen’s residence in Neuilly. The meeting time is not indicated. A handwritten notation on the memorandum reads: “Win.”
  2. Military Attaché Walters reported that his meeting with the Chinese had been cordial, which was a marked change from his previous meeting.