The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. Those regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.
Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George H. W. Bush on October 28, 1991, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).
The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series must include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purpose of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.
Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series
This electronic-only volume is part of the Foreign Relations subseries that documents the most important decisions and actions of the foreign policy of the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. This is the sixth Foreign Relations volume to be published in a new format, that of electronic-only publication. Approximately 25 percent of the volumes scheduled for publication for the 1969–1976 subseries, covering the Nixon-Ford administrations, will be in this format. The decision to institute this change was taken in full consultation with the Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, which was established under the Foreign Relations statute. The advantages of this new method of presenting documentation are evident in this volume: the format provides convenient access to important supplemental documentation on key aspects of U.S. foreign policy shift, all or any portion of which can be easily downloaded. Annotation—the value added element of documentary editing—is still present in limited form, but not on the scale of a Foreign Relations print volume. This electronic-only publication results in substantial savings in cost and time of production, thus allowing the series to present a fuller range of documentation, on a wider range of topics, sooner than would have been possible under a print-only format. These advantages compensate for the fact that this Foreign Relations volume is not an actual book bound in traditional ruby buckram. The Department of State, the Historian, the General Editor, and the Historical Advisory Committee are all dedicated to publishing the great majority of the volumes in the Foreign Relations series in print form; these are also posted in electronic format on the Department of State’s website. While the future of research in documentary publications is increasingly tied to the ease of use and availability of the Internet, the Department of State will continue to use both print and electronic-only versions to make the Foreign Relations series available to the widest audience possible. In that sense, this innovation is in keeping with the general principles of the series begun by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward and continued by subsequent presidents and secretaries of state for more than 140 years.
Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume E–13
This volume supplements the recently released print volume XVII, China, 1969–1972, by publishing 175 documents, most of which are cited in the footnotes of print volume XVII, that relate to the high-level contacts between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. Typically, the print volume presents the shorter (and sometimes more subjective) summary memorandum of a conversation or important message that National Security Advisor Henry A. Kissinger and the National Security Council staff prepared for the President, while the supplement contains the verbatim memorandum of conversation or the full text of messages exchanged. In addition, Vol. E–13 contains documentation on the Nixon administration’s historic opening to China, including accounts of meetings at the foreign minister level during President Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972, backchannel messages, and memoranda from other agencies, such as the Department of Defense. This extra coverage of the Nixon administration’s opening to China is the result of a decision to give this historic and important U.S. foreign policy shift maximum coverage in the Foreign Relations series.
The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the date and time of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.
Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations electronic-only volumes follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. The original text is reproduced exactly, including marginalia or other notations, which are both visible on the facsimile copy of the document and described in the source note. There is also a text version of the document. The editors have supplied a heading, a summary, and a source note with additional relevant information, as required, for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected in the text file. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the text, and a list of abbreviations, persons, and sources accompanies the volume.
Bracketed insertions in roman type are used on the facsimile copy and in the text file to indicate text omitted by the editors because it deals with an unrelated subject. Text that remains classified after declassification review is blacked-out on the facsimile copy and a bracketed insertion (in italic type) appears in the text file. Entire documents selected for publication but withheld because they must remain classified are accounted for by a heading, a source note, and a bracketed note indicating the number of pages not declassified. These denied documents are listed in their chronological place in the volume.
Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation
The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Historical Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Historical Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary, to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.
Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review
Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act PRMPA) of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review these materials for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and related implementing public access regulations require NARA to notify formally the Nixon estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARA’s Nixon Presidential Materials Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.
The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of all the documents published in this volume. The review was undertaken in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information, and applicable laws.
The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State and other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 1999 and was completed in 2002, resulted in the decision to deny no documents in full and to make minor excisions in 6 documents. The editors are confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that this volume is an accurate supplemental record of the foreign policy of the Nixon administration towards China from 1969 to 1972.
The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland, Sandra Meagher of the Department of Defense, who facilitated access to Defense records, and historians at the Center for the Study of Intelligence, who assisted in access to relevant records of the Central Intelligence Agency. The editors also wish to express gratitude to the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon Presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace for facilitating that access.
Steven Philips did the research, selection, and annotation of the volume which was reviewed by Edward C. Keefer, then Chief of the Asia and Americas Division and now the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. Susan C. Weetman, Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division, and Chris Tudda coordinated the declassification review. Kristin L. Ahlberg and Carl Ashley performed the copy and technical editing with assistance from Keri Lewis, Aaron W. Marrs, Andrea Peterson, and Edmond Pechaty. Richard Moss scanned the documents and prepared them for on-line publication.
Bureau of Public Affairs