10. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China1

34897. Subject: Ambassador Shen: Follow-up Meeting With Under Secretary. Ref: State 030229.2

1. Under Secretary Habib February 14 met with Ambassador Shen to provide promised reply to ROC requests for consultations and US reaffirmation of intent to continue existing diplomatic and security ties. At outset, Habib stated that Shanghai Communiqué remains US policy. We have made and shall continue to make this clear in public statements. Habib then addressed the consultation request, noting that we were aware of the need for appropriate discussions with the ROC on matters affecting our relations. He foresaw such discussions as following determination of still outstanding decisions on the pace and modalities of normalization. On the reaffirmation request, Habib said we were conscious of ROC concerns as evidenced by the Secretary’s references to Taiwan in his recent public statements on normalization. We will continue to bear ROC concerns in mind in our China policy statements.

2. Shen asked for and received confirmation of the above as the US response to ROC requests. He then asked whether any forthcoming consultations would be solely confined to US–ROC relations as implied by our reply. Habib advised against a narrow, intensive interpretation [Page 39] of his remarks. For example, it was obviously impossible to separate US–ROC relations from overall China policy.

3. Shen asked about the intensity of our normalization review and was told that while normalization was not currently a front burner issue such as the Middle East, Cyprus, Panama and SALT, we hope to complete the review at an early time. Shen reiterated his February 11 request for a run-down of the President’s talk with Huang Chen,3 noting that the US used to brief ROC on details of the Warsaw and Geneva meetings. Habib rejected the request on grounds of inappropriateness and additionally pointed out that present circumstances differed greatly from those of Warsaw, Geneva days. He said that as far as he was aware, the meeting was general in nature and should not be of great concern to the ROC, although we were aware, of course, that the fact of the meeting itself was disturbing to the ROC.

4. Shen asked about reports that the Secretary would visit the PRC in April and that negotiations with the PRC on frozen assets were in the works. Habib said there were no concrete plans on either of these subjects. Upon departure, Shen stated that his request to see the Secretary still stood.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850106–1830. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Levin (EA/ROC), cleared by Gleysteen (EA) and O’Donohue (P), and approved by Holbrooke. Also sent Priority to Secretary Vance, who was in Israel, as Tosec 20037 and repeated Priority to Beijing.
  2. See Document 7.
  3. Shen actually made his request on February 9 during his meeting with Habib.