109. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Summary of Dr. Brzezinski’s Meeting with Foreign Minister Huang Hua

PARTICIPANTS

  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Leonard Woodcock, United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China
  • Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Michel Oksenberg, Staff Member, NSC
  • William Gleysteen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Morton Abramowitz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Samuel Huntington, Staff Member, NSC
  • Michael Armacost, Staff Member, NSC
  • Benjamin Huberman, Staff Member, NSC
  • David Dean, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Liaison Office in Peking
  • Patricia Battenfield, Secretary, NSC (Notetaker)
  • Francine Obermiller, Secretary, NSC (Notetaker)
  • Huang Hua, Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China
  • Chai Tse-min, People’s Republic of China Ambassador to the United States
  • Lin Ping, Director of the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs
  • Ting Yuan-hung, Division Chief of the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs
  • Chao Chi-hua, Deputy Division Chief, Protocol Department
  • Ni Yao-li, Staff Member, Department of American and Oceanian Affairs
  • Wang Hai-jung, Vice Foreign Minister in Charge of American and Oceanian Affairs
  • Kao Chien-chung, Deputy Director of the Protocol Department
  • Lien Hung-pao (Notetaker)

Minister Huang: Having listened to Dr. Brzezinski’s presentation,2 the Chinese side is ready to present their views today on international situations and regional issues.

Dr. Brzezinski: I would like the Minister to know that my remarks yesterday were only a brief introduction.

Minister Huang: I have already read several volumes of your works. It is true that our exchange of views can only succeed. We can [Page 411] touch on major issues. As long as we have explained clearly our principal views on major issues, it is alright and other problems will be very easy.

I believe that Dr. Brzezinski and other American friends know well that the Chinese style is to be frank and straightforward without recourse to rhetoric.

I will begin with the international situation and strategy. In the present day world, the basic contradictions of all kinds are becoming more acute and the world is undergoing great turbulence and chance.

Many factors have a bearing on the developments of the world. One is the revolutionary factor. Countries want independence and the people want liberation. This historic trend is growing vigorously and is irresistible.

On the other hand, the rivalry between the two super powers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, is becoming more intense.

In line with Chairman Mao’s theory of the division of three worlds, there are only two super powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, which are the global hegemonic powers.

The rivalry between the two super powers is the main cause of intranquility in the world. The U.S. has to protect its interests everywhere in the world and the Soviet Union wants to expand. At the same time, due to changes in the balance of forces in the world and to the specific historic conditions, the general strategic stance of the super powers is that the Soviet Union is on the offensive and the U.S. on the defensive. This state of affairs will continue in the future.

Your Excellency has said that if the interests of the U.S. in various parts of the world is in danger then the U.S. will make responses. In our view, the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the U.S. is bound to lead to war some day. This is the objective law of development independent of man’s will. War is inevitable.

In fact, such things as détente, durable peace, or a generation of peace do not exist. But we do not put the U.S. and the Soviet Union on a par. We make a distinction between the two. Soviet imperialism is a latecomer; therefore, it is more aggressive and adventurous. As the Soviet Union does not have sufficient economic strength it relies on its military strength and the threat of war for its expansion. The Soviet Union has a highly concentrated economy of monopolistic capitalism and the regime is a fascist dictatorship. It is, therefore, easier for the Soviet Union to push its national economy and for the military to militarize the state apparatus. In addition, the Soviet Union is flaunting the signboards of socialism, support of national liberation movement, struggle against imperialism, and support of détente, colonialism, and peace. The Soviet Union is deceptive to a certain extent. It takes ener[Page 412]getic efforts to expose the true features of the Soviet Union, so as to help the world’s people to see through the Soviet Union.

Owing to the above-mentioned characteristics of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union is the most dangerous source of war. Your Excellency has mentioned that the Soviet Union is confronted with many difficulties. That is true. To strive for world hegemony is the fixed strategic goal of Soviet socialist imperialism. Although it may suffer a lot of setbacks, it will never give up its ambition.

The U.S. is the main adversary of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union is seeking strategic superiority over the U.S. Although Mr. Brezhnev has declared time and again that the Soviet Union has no intention to overwhelm the U.S., the Soviet Union is still not satisfied with its present status. The Soviet Union will never be satisfied with this position. In our view, a military equilibrium is only transitory, but changes and imbalances are permanent and a common occurrence. This is the law of development.

The Soviet Union is advertising so-called détente, its intention for economic cooperation, arms control, and its position on disarmament. Actually, it is using all of these and it is taking advantage of the fear in the U.S. and in the West of war with the Soviet Union. It is trying to use these abstract things, these slogans to cover up its defective programs and government, and to plan for its expansion. Its purpose is to create a more favorable condition for itself in contention for world hegemony and, while the Soviet Union assumes an offensive posture, it is infringing upon the sovereignty of many countries of the world and at the same time weakening and excluding the influence of the U.S. from various parts of the world. All this serves [omission is in the original.] interest in its contention for world hegemony.

Your Excellency has informed us about SALT talks between the U.S. and the Soviet Union as well as the considerations of the American side. To be candid with you, we think any agreement that is reached in the negotiations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union cannot deter the speed of the arms race. The U.S. intends to continue to develop and commission new types of weapons systems, while the Soviet Union will never tie its own hands and feet. The experience in the past years has shown that the the Soviet Union will not come to agreement unless it has something to gain. Even if there are agreements, when it is necessary, the Soviet Union will tear them up. As for the argument that the Soviet Union would not dare to use conventional arms for fear of nuclear attack by the West, this is only wishful thinking. To base a strategic stance on this thinking is not only dangerous but also unreliable.

It is even more unrealistic to try to use economic interests and technological expertise as the bait to contain the Soviet Union.

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As for the future world war, there may be a nuclear world war, there may also be a conventional one. But it is more likely that a conventional world war may break out. At a time when there is parity between the strategic forces of the U.S. and Soviet Union, it is difficult for the U.S. to make up its mind to fight a nuclear war against the Soviet Union at crucial moments.

Recently, the Soviet Union is making a hue and cry about the so-called danger of limited nuclear warfare. Actually, it is capitalizing on the West’s fear for war, particularly for nuclear war, in an attempt to try to influence the military relations of the West and weaken the strategic steps of the West. For instance, the recent proposal for the non-nuclear zone in Northern Europe proposed by President Kekkonen of Finland had the influence of the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union was the first to make such a proposal.

Between the Soviet Union and the U.S., who is more afraid of whom?

The U.S. is more afraid of the Soviet Union. In Africa the Soviet Union is making infiltration and expansion and making an open challenge to the U.S. This, I think, has something to do with the weak response on the part of the U.S. And I think the policy of appeasement can only inflate the ambitions of the Soviet Union for hegemony. To use an old Chinese saying, it is really like a tiger, like giving wings to a tiger to strengthen it. The allies of the U.S. and some of the regional countries—in your terms, regional influentials—such as Iran, Brazil, and Egypt are unhappy with the appeasement policy of the U.S. They have the fear that at the crucial moment the U.S. may even retreat.

We have a long experience in dealing with the Soviet Union. They are only outwardly strong but inwardly weak. It bullies the weak and fears the strong.

The countries that are subjected to the Soviet threat must make serious efforts to resist the expansion of the Soviet Union and make effective preparations against war. They must work hard for the unity among themselves and wage a struggle with the Soviet Union. They must work constantly to upset the strategic deployment of the Soviet Union. They also must oppose appeasement. They should tell the truth to the people so as to arouse the ability of the world’s people. If we can accomplish all this, it is not unlikely that we will be able to postpone the outbreak of the war. I think that there are favorable conditions at the present time to postpone the outbreak of the war. In that case, even if the war really breaks out, people will not be caught unprepared and thrown into panic. The crucial thing for the postponement of the outbreak of the war is whether we have a correct strategic policy.

Your Excellency has mentioned that one of the strategic goals of the Soviet Union is to encircle China. As a matter of fact, China has [Page 414] never feared encirclement. The Communist Party of China developed and grew strong while encircled. It is impossible to encircle such a big country as China. We also have long and rich experience in this field. Both in the ten years of revolutionary civil war between 1927 and 1937, and in the eight years of war of resistance against Japanese aggression, we were encircled by the enemies. The revolutionary base areas were encircled in the first case by the Chiang Kai-shek forces, in the second case by Japanese and Chiang Kai-shek troops. What were the results of the enemy encirclement? Our revolutionary base areas expanded and reached out. The population in our revolutionary base areas grew from several million to more than 100 million in 1946. After three years of revolutionary war, we overthrew the Chiang Kai-shek revolutionary regime and liberated the whole of China.

What I have mentioned is our experience at home. We also have had experience of encirclement from countries abroad. Following nation-wide liberation in 1949, ports like Shanghai and Tientsin were blockaded. When Khrushchev came to power in the Soviet Union, he undermined Soviet relations, tore up all the contracts and agreements with China and stopped the supply of machines, equipment, and oil that it had promised to China. This was another form of encirclement and blockade.

There is an advantage in having been encircled. That is, it has compelled us to rely on our own efforts to develop our economy.

China and the U.S. have different social systems and ideologies. It is only natural that we have fundamental differences. But in the present day world we also share much common ground. The principal one is to work together to cope with the Polar Bear. This conforms with the strategic interests of both sides. There are differences between our countries in social systems and foreign policies, points of departure and objectives. Each acts in its own way. We have different ways in our actions and each communicates in its own way. But what you have said makes a difference in coping with the Polar Bear. Chairman Mao said to Dr. Kissinger “As long as we have the same objective, as long as we do not try to harm you, nor you try to harm us, we therefore can work together to cope with the SOB.” As long as we abide by the principles of the Shanghai Communique, relations between our two countries can develop, and we can deal with the Polar Bear in a more effective way.

On the contrary, if you carry out appeasement of the Soviet Union and make China a pawn in your dealings with the Soviet Union, to divert the peril of the Soviet Union eastward, this is only a one-sided wish. And things will develop contrary to one’s wish. That will make one more isolated in the world and leave oneself in an irretrievably passive position, with the possibility of being defeated by the Soviet [Page 415] Union. In this case it will also harm the foundations of the Sino-U.S. relations.

I have given my views on the international situation. Now I would like to discuss regional issues. First about Europe, Europe is the focal point of Soviet strategy in its contention for world hegemony. It will not be successful in contending for world hegemony if it is not able to control Europe. The Soviet Union is constantly building up its military strength in Europe. It is relying on its military strength and using détente as the camouflage in making use of the contradictions between the U.S. and Western Europe and the weakness and division among Western European countries. The Soviet Union is trying to disintegrate the alliance between the U.S. and Western Europe. Its key purpose is to undermine the unity of Western Europe so as to defeat the Western European countries one by one. The U.S. is asking Western Europe to strengthen its defense and increase its military spending. But at the same time it is taking the lead to appease the Soviet Union. This will only destroy European unity, lull the fighting will of the people of Western Europe, and increase the misgivings of Western Europe. This will also make it difficult for certain East European countries to try to shake themselves off from the control of the Soviet Union. All this will play into the hands of the Soviet Union. You say there is wide misunderstanding of PRM 10 in China. There is no such question of misunderstanding. We respect the facts. Look at the strong response and reaction of Western European countries toward this government. One can see that China’s argument is well founded.

Take the introduction of the neutron bomb, for instance. The U.S. side has declared postponement of the production of the neutron bomb.3 It fails to get a corresponding concession from the Soviet side. On the other hand, it has given rise to an open debate between the U.S. and its allies. We hope that the U.S. side will give serious consideration to the views of the Chinese side in this regard. I believe that our American friends know well China’s policy toward Europe. We support the integration of Europe. We support the unity of Western Europe to deal with the Soviet threat. We are of the view that there may be small progress and great unity in the relations between the U.S. and Western Europe. We have also taken note of the statement of Your Excellency yesterday that the U.S. will not place any obstacles in any way or any sphere to the relations between China and Western Europe. We welcome Your Excellency’s statement.

Now on the question of the Middle East. It is the flank of Europe. It has a bearing on the source of energy in a future war. In order to get Eu[Page 416]rope, the Soviet Union must first try to get control of the Middle East. It is now trying in every way to infiltrate and expand in the Middle East. There have been drastic changes in the situation in the Middle East and in the Horn of Africa. The developments are becoming of more and more concern to the U.S. and Western Europe. You have said that the central objective of the U.S. in the Middle East and the Horn is to form a strong anti-Soviet group composed mainly by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel. The U.S. is working hard to achieve this objective. What we have seen is that last October the U.S. and the Soviet Union issued a joint statement on the Middle East issue, thus opening the door wide for the Soviet Union to further infiltrate into the Middle East.4 President Sadat took a bold action to have direct talks with the Israelis. This for a time created a situation unfavorable to the Soviet Union. But after the U.S. did not respond and did not take effective measures to restrain and even force the Israelis to give up their unreasonable demands, the Soviet Union seized the chance to raise serious division among the Arab countries. As a result, Egypt and other Arab countries opposed to Arab infiltration found themselves in great difficulties.

I remember last year Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-p’ing told Secretary Vance that if the U.S. does not do anything to restrain Israel, there will be changes in the situation in the Middle East.5 Now facts have borne out the prediction of Vice Premier Teng. If anything happens in Egypt to Sadat, there will be a drastic change in the Middle East situation. We think that the U.S. must make an assessment of such a possibility strategically and the U.S. should waste no time to extricate itself from a passive position and force Israel to meet the just demands of the Arab countries. Only in this way can the U.S. reverse the present unfavorable situation.

We have always firmly supported the just cause of the Arab countries and the Palestinian people, to recover the territories that had been occupied, and to re-establish the homeland of the Palestinians and regain the national rights of the Palestinians. We have never had any contacts with Israeli Zionists nor do we intend to do so in the future. We are firmly opposed to the acts of aggression and expansionism on the part of the Israelis.

Your Excellency has suggested that China may have relations with Saudi Arabia. As far as the Chinese side is concerned, we have openly stated our desire but this does not depend on us alone. If the U.S. side can exert some favorable influence on Saudi Arabia, I believe this will [Page 417] be in our common interest of resisting the aggression and expansion of Soviet hegemony in the Middle East.

On Africa problems. The Soviet Union is stepping up its efforts for expansion in Africa. This is an important part of the Soviet world war strategy. Its purpose is to gain the route between the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and to obtain a strategic encirclement of Europe. The Soviet Union first exercised military control of Angola and then masterminded the invasion of Zaire. Afterwards, it added a massive involvement in the Horn of Africa, making use of problems between Ethiopia and Somalia to incite conflict between the two and force them to fight each other so as to pull the chestnuts of the Soviet Union from the fire. Recently there was the second invasion into Shaba of Zaire. We now believe that this is the continuation of the invasion of the Soviet-Cuban forces into Zaire.

In southern Africa the Soviet Union is energetically pushing forward its policy of expansion and infiltration. In the face of the expansion of the Soviet-Cuban forces in Africa, the U.S. response is too weak. At one time or another we have heard the statements of the U.S. side to justify the invasion of the Soviet-Cuban forces in Africa. Some African friends have expressed their dissatisfaction of this to us. This can only inflate the Soviet ambitions in Africa, and cause dissatisfaction in other African countries. The Soviet Union is making use of Cuban mercenaries to infiltrate into Africa. Cuba is right under the nose of the U.S., but the U.S. has done nothing. This is difficult to understand.

Now that Somalia has withdrawn from the Ogaden region, it has gained a certain political initiative. Cuba is acting as a proxy and a shock force of the Soviet Union, and it is most unpopular. It is essential to give all our support to Africa and Arab in opposition to Soviet and Cuban forces so as to force them to withdraw from Africa. Cuba is not a non-aligned country. Cuba is only flaunting non-alignment but actually undermining the non-aligned movement. Therefore, it is important to expose the true features, strongly condemning the Cuban forces in Africa.

The Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, and a few other countries are working hard to divert the non-aligned movement into the orbit of the Soviet Union. But their attempt is of no avail as shown in the session of the recent coordinating body of the non-aligned movement. This shows that there is a possibility to further expose the Soviet Union and Cuba, especially the true features of Cuba as a proxy and a shock force of the Soviet Union, so as to isolate Cuba.

It is possible for us to launch a strong campaign in support of the African countries to drive away Soviet-Cuban forces from Africa.

China has good relations with the African states. We support the African countries in their struggle to safeguard their national inde[Page 418]pendence and sovereignty and oppose outside interference. China is doing whatever is in its capability to assist the African countries. As for the differences among African countries, we stand for settlement of such differences through peaceful negotiations among the countries concerned.

Now the situation in South Asia. The maintenance of stability in South Asia is in the interests of deterring Soviet infiltration and expansion in the region. The recent coup in Afghanistan has indicated the Soviet Union does not want to see a stable South Asia. It inevitably wants to create trouble. New turbulence and conflicts are now in the making, which one should not neglect.

As a result of the pro-Soviet coup in Afghanistan, the Soviet influence in the region has pushed forward several hundred kilometers farther, and the countries concerned in the region, particularly Pakistan, are faced with great threat. Pakistan is anxious about the present situation in the region. Pakistan is particularly concerned about Soviet influence in the region.

If the Soviet Union succeeds in Afghanistan, it will push farther forward so as to realize its ambition to break through into the Indian Ocean in the South and it is also likely the Soviet Union will take advantage of the contradictions among nationalities within Pakistan, i.e., the national problems—such as Baluchistan—so as to further dismember Pakistan.

Pakistan plays an important role in deterring the further expansion of the Soviet Union in the region and Pakistan is also an old ally of the U.S. We think that the U.S. should pay sufficient attention to Pakistan and give more support and assistance to Pakistan.

We are under the impression that traditionally the U.S. has paid greater attention to India than to Pakistan. We do not think that an appropriate policy formed in the light of comprehensive assessments of the situation in South Asia. We agree with Your Excellency’s view of Indian political attitudes and relations today. India in many ways is still quite dependent on the Soviet Union. It is a relationship of dependency on the Soviet Union both militarily and economically. So far we have not seen any sign that India may quickly change this situation.

In these circumstances, Pakistan finds itself in the position of having to face enemies from both sides. We think the U.S. should adopt an appropriate policy that will enable Pakistan to withstand pressure both from inside and from outside.

We support the improvement of relations among South Asian countries so as to bring about stability in the region. We have made our efforts toward this end.

As for the Sino-Indian relations, we have always stood for the improvement of relations between China and India on the basis of the five [Page 419] principles of peaceful coexistence. Since Prime Minister Desai took power, there has been a turn for the better in relations between the two countries. As for the outstanding border dispute between China and India, we have always stood for a reasonable settlement of this question through peaceful negotiations between the two sides. We would think this should not be an obstacle to the improvement of relations between the two countries. But in this regard we can also see the hands of the Soviet Union.

In short, China takes a positive attitude for the improvement of relations between China and India. Actually, we are making efforts to gradually develop and increase the contacts between the two sides. We sent a friendship delegation. We sent a special invitation to India. We have invited certain public figures to visit China. As an indication of the desire, not long ago we issued an invitation to the Indian Foreign Minister to visit China. He accepted. But a specific time is not yet set. As for what direction the Sino-Indian relationship will develop in the future, one still has to observe.

Now on the history of Indochina and Southeast Asia. In this region there is the problem of regional hegemony. The root of the conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam is the ambition of Vietnam to establish an Indochina federation as well as ambition to seek hegemony in the region. And behind that there lies the Soviet Union.

Vietnam has actually already controlled Laos. It has enemy troops in Laos and advisors in every department and in every level in Laos. Vietnam tries to force Cambodia to submit to its policy of establishment of Indochina federation. Cambodia firmly opposes this policy. Hence, the military conflict between the two sides.

The conflict between Vietnam and Cambodia is not merely some sporadic skirmishes along the borders. Actually, the Vietnamese have mobilized several divisions and at one time about five to six divisions launched an attack from various directions. The Vietnamese attack has led to the firm resistance of Cambodia. The Vietnamese have failed to achieve their objective. It is clear to all the people in the world who is the aggressor, who is the victim of aggression in the conflict between Vietnam and Cambodia.

We are of the opinion that both sides should stop the conflict and withdraw their troops to their own countries and seek to solve the problems through peaceful negotiation in strict conformity to the five principles of the peaceful coexistence, and on the basis of equality of all countries big and small.

So long as Vietnam does not give up its desire for the establishment of a greater Indochina federation, it is difficult to solve this problem.

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The present state of affairs may last for a long time. And the problem will not be solved in a short period.

At the time of the conflict between Vietnam and Cambodia in which the Soviets supported the Vietnamese in its invasion against Cambodia, we were surprised to see that the U.S. was creating out of thin air and making a big issue of human rights in Cambodia. Vice President Mondale made a statement concerning the human rights issue in Cambodia during his visit to Southeast Asia.6 We would like to tell the U.S. side frankly that the U.S. invaded Cambodia in the past and infringed on the human rights of the Cambodian people to a great extent so the U.S. is not qualified to talk about the human rights issues in Cambodia. The U.S. side should understand the importance of the existence of an independent Cambodia in the region. When the Vietnamese sent several divisions with the support of the Soviets to invade Cambodia, the U.S. side kept silent and on the other hand the U.S. side has time and again attacked Cambodia on this issue.

This in fact constitutes the U.S. coordination of actions with the Soviet Union.

The U.S. side should understand that if the Soviet Union and Vietnam should achieve their goals in the region it will pose a great threat to ASEAN countries as well as other Southeast Asian countries. There is great anxiety among the ASEAN countries about the situation in Indochina. Those countries see more clearly the threat posed by the present situation than the U.S.

Now a few words on Japan. We have stated on many occasions that in its foreign relations Japan should place first priority to the Japanese-American relations and then second to the Sino-Japanese relations.

The threat to Japan comes from the Soviet Union. The Soviets have adopted a policy of pressure toward the Japanese by relying on its military threats and economic cajolery toward the Japanese. The Soviet Union is trying hard to sow dissension between the relations of the U.S. and Japan so as to serve its interests of expansion in the Pacific. The Soviet Union is likewise working hard to undermine Sino-Japanese relations. Within Japan, there is the pro-Soviet faction and the Fukuda Government is fearful of the Soviet Union. It has made concessions and retreats in the face of the Soviet threat. Regarding the negotiations for conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, there is no progress so far because of the anti-hegemonic clause. The root cause is that the Japanese authorities fear the Soviets.

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We think it is in the interest of the Japanese to conclude the Treaty of Peace and Friendship with China, to incorporate the anti-hegemony clause in toto into the operative phrases of the Treaty. Because first it will be a restraint on China. Under the Treaty, China will be committed never to seek hegemony and actually it is our consistent policy not to seek hegemony. Through the conclusion of the Treaty, China will undertake the legal commitment. Secondly, it is also beneficial to the improvement of the image of Japan because during the Second World War Japan invaded many Asian countries which still have vivid memories of the Japanese atrocities during that time. The conclusion of the Treaty will change their views of Japan and improve the image of Japan among those countries. Thirdly, it is also beneficial to Japanese resistance against Soviet pressure. So we think the conclusion of the Treaty is in the interest of the Japanese side.

Your Excellency has stated that the U.S. side endorses the conclusion of the Treaty of Friendship between China and Japan as well as the inclusion of the anti-hegemony clause. We appreciate your attitude. Prime Minister Fukuda does not seem to have made up his mind on this issue. So it depends on the Japanese side as to whether and when we can conclude this Treaty.

Recently, some Japanese are making use of the incident in which Chinese fishing boats went fishing off the coast of the Tiao-yu-tai, the Senkaku Islands.7 They are making a big cry to the effect that the Chinese have infringed on the territorial sovereignty of Japan and raised the issue that the two sides should first settle the territorial disputes. Their purpose is to obstruct the conclusion of the Treaty of Friendship and Peace between the two countries. Behind them we can also see the maneuvers of the Soviet Union.

I would like to brief you on the background of the issue of the Tiao-yu-tai. In 1972 Prime Minister Tanaka and Foreign Minister Ohira visited China and normalized relations between the two sides and issued a joint statement. During the negotiations Prime Minister Tanaka raised the issue of the Islands. Chou En-lai told them that the two sides had a dispute and on this issue we may as well refrain from discussion and leave it for settlement in the future. This does not mean that the issue is not important. It means that discussion of this issue would not be of any good to the negotiations on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. At that time the two sides agreed to put this issue aside. They also agreed that they would try to seek a settlement of this through negotiations in the future.

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As for Chinese fishing boats in the neighborhood of the Senkaku Islands, they have been doing so for many years. It is not just this year that they have begun to do so.

It appears that certain people within Japan harbor hegemonistic desires, but the Chinese side sets store by the friendship between the Chinese and Japanese peoples while upholding its principles at the same time. So the Chinese side took appropriate measures to handle this problem.

The friendship between China and Japan is strong and conforms to the trend of the time, and the troublemaking of a few pro-Soviet people and militarists in Japan would be of no avail.

Now I would like to discuss the Korean question. We think in order to stabilize the situation in Korea and not allow the Soviet Union a chance to meddle, the U.S. should immediately withdraw all its forces from the Korean Peninsula and stop its support to the Park clique.

The reunification of Korea is the common aspiration of the entire Korean people. Any attempt at perpetuating the division of Korea is bound to be defeated and any pretext to stall the withdrawal of forces from Korea will be frustrated. The intensified efforts of the U.S. to strengthen the Park clique will only increase the tensions in the Peninsula.

We are opposed to the admission of two Koreas into the United Nations. We are also opposed to the so-called cross recognition of North and South Korea because that would consitute a continuation of perpetuation of the division of Korea which is detrimental to the reunification and stability of Korea.

Chairman Hua Kuo-feng recently visited Korea. During the visit the Korean side stated explicitly that it had no intention to move southward. It is not the DPRK but the Park clique that is endangering the situation in Korea. In South Korea the Park clique is most unpopular. It is deliberately creating tension so as to win the support of the U.S. by deceptive means in its efforts to oppress the Korean people. All of this has met with strong resistance of the Korean people. If things come to such a point that the South Korean people rise to oppose the ruthless ruler Park, it is likely that he may try to provoke conflicts with the North so as to divert people’s attention.

We firmly support the just proposal made by the DPRK for independent and peaceful reunification of Korea. China recognizes only the DPRK as the sole legal representative of the Korean people. Let no one have any doubt about China’s position of opposing perpetuation of the division of Korea. The DPRK is the principal immediate party concerned on the issue of Korea. The U.S. side is obliged to have direct negotiations with the Korean side for the settlement of the Korean issue.

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Now I would like to spend the next few minutes on the question of normalization of relations between our two countries. We have consistently felt that with respect to the relations between China and the U.S. the major aspect is the international issues and the minor one is the Taiwan issue, but they are inter-connected. If the question of normalization is not solved, it is bound to affect the coordination of actions between our two countries in the international area to deal with the Polar Bear.

On the Chinese side, we have raised three conditions on normalization of relations between our two countries: namely the severance of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Taiwan, the withdrawal of all the U.S. forces and military installations from Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait; and the abrogation of the so-called Mutual Defense Treaty between the U.S. and Taiwan. We have also proposed that you can follow the Japanese formula in this regard. This has shown that China has done its utmost to accommodate the views of the U.S. on this question. So the Chinese position cannot be changed. Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. The liberation of Taiwan is an internal affair with China. As to when and how we should liberate Taiwan, it is not a matter to be discussed between China and any other country. This is a matter of principle and on matters of principle there is no relaxation of China’s position or flexibility in China’s position. Let no one harbor any hope that the Chinese side will make any concessions in this respect. If the U.S. side gives consideration to this point from a strategic point of view and really makes up its mind, it is not difficult to solve this issue and no trouble will be caused whatsoever. The case of relations between Japan and China is a case in point.

If the U.S. side should vacillate and have a lot of apprehensions on this issue and make a lot of hollow statements without taking real actions, it will only find itself in the continued passive position and it will lose credibility among the world’s people. The U.S. side has indicated its readiness to study this problem, and the Chinese side has always awaited a reply from the U.S. side. Of course, our two sides can continue to develop our contacts and exchanges between us, but in the absence of normalization, relations between our two countries will remain limited.

Thank you for your patience. Though I know I spent a shorter time than you did yesterday. I have already spent two and half hours. I do not intend to compete with you in this respect. You are a professor.

Dr. Brzezinski: Is there time for us to continue discussion? What is your pleasure as far as the rest of this session is concerned?

Minister Huang: Now I would like to listen to your views.

Dr. Brzezinski: I want to thank the Minister not only for the comprehensive character of his remarks but for the frankness with which [Page 424] they were stated. It seems to me that the essence of a genuinely consultative relationship such as that put forth in the Shanghai Communique is that we speak to each other fully and frankly. On some issues we have disagreed, but I was particularly struck in listening to the Minister’s exposition that on what I would consider to be the fundamentals of our relationship and the fundamentals of our world view that we were, in large measure, of agreement.

At the present state in our historic relationship, I see essentially three aspects. The first involves a consultative aspect, the second involves the expansion of contacts where these are mutually beneficial and desirable and third is the normalization of our relations.

This sequence does not convey relative importance. Indeed, there is an inter-relationship between all three, though it is possible that at one or another stage one of these three aspects may move forward somewhat more rapidly than the others.

Let me comment on these three in reverse sequence and thus say a few words about the normalization process, then comment on the expansion of contacts and then respond to the very important points that you made in your global analysis of China’s policy, and of your assessment of power and Soviet positions.

With respect to normalization, you and I have already had some opportunity to discuss it last night at dinner,8 and I intend to discuss it further with Vice Premier Teng when I have the opportunity of seeing him this afternoon.

In your comments this morning you said that if the U.S. makes up its mind, there should be no trouble in solving the problem. I can assure you that the U.S. has made up its mind, that we are prepared to search for practical solutions to the remaining obstacles on the basis of the three Chinese key points.

We recognize that there is only one China. We recognize that this is a matter of principle for you. We recognize that you feel you can make no concessions. But within that framework there remain a number of practical concrete issues which are complex, which are the product of historical conditions, which are intertwined with political complexities, and I am confident that with good will and mutual understanding these complexities can be overcome.

We recognize the resolution of the Taiwan issue is your domestic affair and we hope that it will take place in the spirit of the Shanghai Communique, and it is a fact that the American people and gov[Page 425]ernment entertain and have expressed strong hopes relating to the future resolution of the problem. I think it is important in this connection to bear in mind that it is important both to the U.S. and to China to recognize that the peace of the Far East, indeed of the world, depends on the continued U.S. credibility. It is important for both the U.S. and China that the U.S. not be perceived as fickle and untrustworthy.

We are continuing and will continue our military withdrawal from Taiwan. I think all of this has to be borne in mind when resolving, within the framework of the principles that you have enunciated, the issues of normalization and when defining our future historically transitional relationship to the people of Taiwan. We will talk later today, and we can perhaps talk a little more fully about timing and also in a spirit of friendship and candor we can ask ourselves how well the Japanese formula fits the historical needs and the complexities of a country which is not Japan.

We must, therefore, discuss in the spirit of friendship and accommodation how the Japanese formula can fit into specific circumstances that we confront and which we have inherited. I am confident that within the framework of the basic principles that you have defined, solutions can be found which will accelerate the process of normalization, and which will bring to fruition that which we and you desire and that which I have repeatedly stated the U.S. had made up its mind to do.

We certainly do not wish to create any ambiguity regarding the status of Taiwan, particularly through any pattern of relationship that would continue between our society and the peoples of Taiwan.

This is why the Shanghai Communique and the three Chinese key points are a point of departure for you and for us.

As we move forward, we would hope to the extent that it was mutually advantageous to expand contacts between us in areas that would be mutually beneficial.

Most immediately several of my colleagues are prepared to engage in such discussions today and tomorrow.

Mr. Huberman has specific, concrete and I believe mutually advantageous proposals to discuss in the areas of science and technology.

Mr. Huntington is prepared to review our global strategy and to engage in discussion of our strategic assessment.

Mr. Abramowitz is prepared to engage in an exchange of views and information in depth in matters of critical concern to our security.

Mr. Holbrooke, given his responsibility in the State Department, is ready to discuss any bilateral issue of interest pending between our two governments.

[Page 426]

Before leaving, I took some personal initiative to reduce some impediments to cooperation between the U.S. and China in some very sensitive areas of science and technology.9

If it is agreeable to you, several members of President Carter’s Administration on the Cabinet level would be prepared to engage in serious discussions of matters of mutual concern, notably Secretary Schlesinger would be prepared to lead an energy team on a visit to the PRC engaged in consultations pertaining to cooperation in various areas of energy; Secretary Kreps is prepared to come and discuss expansion of commercial relations; Secretary Califano would be prepared to come here and discuss areas of health, education, and welfare.

Mr. Huberman is paving the way, we hope, for a top-level visit here by our most important leaders of science and technology under the personal direction of the President’s key science advisor, Frank Press.

In addition to that, I am authorized to state on behalf of Secretary Brown that we would welcome to the U.S. a visit by a Chinese military delegation.

All of that, we hope, can enhance the establishment of normalization of which we spoke.

Finally, we would be prepared to consider favorably, if your side wishes it, holding consultations of the kind you and I have had yesterday and today on a more regular, scheduled basis.

Let me turn to our consultations of yesterday and today. I would like again to register certain points of agreements and then in a spirit of frankness to indicate to you where we disagree with your analysis.

I agree with you that the pursuit of a correct strategic policy is crucial to what you call the postponement of war and to what we would say would be the avoidance of war. We agree that we share much common ground and that we should work together to contain the Polar Bear.

We agree with you that each of us can act in his own way while pursuing parallel actions. We agree with you that one must not use China as a pawn to divert the Soviet Union against China. That is not our intention. Our relationship is a central part of our global policy. It reflects our basic interests and it also corresponds to the deeply felt sentiments of the American people who traditionally and genuinely have deep affection for China which continues even in those times when we were in disagreement and briefly in conflict. We also agree with you about the importance of good relations between China and Japan, and [Page 427] we are using our influence with the Japanese to further such a relationship in all its aspects, including the Treaty.

We agree with you Cuba is not a genuinely non-aligned country, and we are in complete accord with your view that there must be a plan to expose Cuba as an agent of Soviet hegemony. Again, here is an area where your efforts and ours can parallel one another and where your influence can be particularly important insofar as the attitudes of the non-aligned countries are concerned.

We welcome your comments about Saudi Arabia. And we shall use our good offices to see whether some relations between Saudi Arabia and your own country may not prove to be in theirs and your interest. In this case your own influence with South Yemen could be constructive because we are concerned about the growing Soviet-Cuban presence there which could prove dangerous to the stability of Saudi Arabia.

Let me get to the more interesting part of my comments, namely, where we disagree. We do not agree that the main characteristic of the present era is a rivalry for world hegemony. We do not agree because while we are contesting the Soviet Union we are not contesting it to establish hegemony. We believe in a world of diversity composed of different systems and of different ideologies. Our own relationship with you is proof of this. We are opposing an effort to establish world hegemony. We are a world power. But the essence of our effort is not the promotion of hegemony but the opposition of hegemony.

You also stated that the rivalry between the two super powers is the main cause of lack of tranquility in the world today. I can only ask that if the U.S. ceases to oppose Soviet hegemony, would the world be more tranquil? The reasons for the lack of tranquility is not our opposition to Soviet hegemony, but the hegemonic aspirations of the Soviet Union.

We also do not agree with the view that war is inevitable. We believe war is avoidable provided we are strong, determined, and build up sufficient forces on the strategic and conventional level to make certain that anyone who starts a war will perish in such a war. We have the means to accomplish this objective, and I believe that this Administration has the will.

You stated that the U.S. is afraid of the Soviet Union and that it is pursuing a policy of appeasement. I respect the subjective sincerity and motives of such a statement. But I submit to you that its objective consequences are helpful to the Soviet Union. It is in their interests to portray the U.S. as weak and unreliable. The fact of the matter is that for the last 30 years we have opposed the Soviets and will continue to oppose it.

You have stated that the U.S. is appeasing the Soviet Union, and this makes Eastern Europe less likely to achieve independence and that [Page 428] PRM 10 proves the Chinese views are well founded. I disagree with both propositions. It is the U.S. that has helped the independence of Romania and Yugoslavia and it is the U.S. that has actively encouraged the internal independence of Hungary and Poland. PRM 10 is a comprehensive document which cannot be understood on the basis of a short newspaper article; it provides the basis for sustained world-wide competition between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

You stated that our recent decision on the neutron bomb was a concession to the Soviet side, that you hoped we would give serious consideration to Chinese views. I can assure you the Chinese views are given the most serious consideration on any subject because of the importance we attach to our relationship. I also must tell you that the production of the Lance missile and eight inch shell is proceeding. Incidentally, there is no such thing as a neutron bomb. It is a newspaper invention. There is a Lance missile, which is of intermediate range, and an eight inch Howitzer shell. Production is proceeding for all the necessary components for the production of a separate, enhanced radiation unit and it is proceeding separately. The linkage of the two is a matter of a very short period of time once the decision has been made to combine both elements.

In the Middle East the American-Soviet statement was not the opening of doors but was a necessary precautionary step in the event a Geneva Conference would actually be held. That declaration involved a significant change in the Soviet position on most of the important issues in the Middle East and it was a way of making the Soviets pay a price for participation in the Geneva Conference. For the time being, that conference is not likely. We are strongly supporting Sadat. We welcome your support for Sadat. We feel you would also be in a useful position, given your high prestige and importance, in influencing Israeli attitudes if you have some way of communicating your views to the Israelis.

I completely agree with your assessment on the African situation and on the Soviet designs regarding that continent. This is why we have responded so energetically in the last few days to the new invasion of Shaba. On the eve of my departure for China, upon consulting the President, I personally ordered the use of American military aircraft in support of the French-Belgian military activity. We are in the process of doing so.

Insofar as other acts of aggression are concerned, we agree that there has to be more African opposition, particularly to the OAU. We have influence in some African countries and so do you. Together we could generate much stronger political confrontation of the Soviet-Cuban hegemonic intrusion. Yesterday I posed some questions to you [Page 429] regarding Somalia and Ethiopia. I hope in the future we can consult more fully so that our actions are parallel and mutually reinforcing.

I agree with your general analysis of the South Asian situation. But I would like to emphasize that it is important for India to become less dependent on ties to the Soviet Union and improvements in Indian-American relations and Indian-Chinese relations serve that objective.

Regarding Vietnam, we are opposed to the creation of an Indochinese federation dominated by Vietnam. We realize what is behind it. At the same time, we feel that we cannot entirely ignore the internal circumstances in Camboida. These circumstances offend our moral concerns, and they also make us feel that internally and externally the political case of Cambodia as it struggles to protect its political independence is in fact weakened. The statement by Vice President Mondale was addressed purely to the internal aspects. It had no implications whatsoever for our desire to see effective resistance by Cambodia against foreign dominance, a domination which we suspect is inspired not only in the area immediately contiguous to Cambodia but from farther north.

Finally, regarding Korea. I must state frankly that the U.S. has no intention of withdrawing militarily or politically from its association with the ROK. That Republic is recognized by very many countries in the world. It has made remarkable economic, social, and political progress. American withdrawal would be destabilizing and would create openings for the expansion of influence of a country whose influence neither you nor we wish to expand. It would prove frightening to the Japanese and would alter the military and political balance in the Far East. We are prepared to participate in tri-partite talks between two existing Korean governments if both of them desire such talks. We will not engage in separate talks with the North Korean government, and we will not participate in any efforts direct or indirect to weaken the political stability and the security of the ROK.

Let me conclude with a frank, summary assessment of our talks thus far. First, our discussions show that there is not an identity of views between us on all issues.

Secondly, our discussions show that there is a fundamental congruity in our perspective on basic trends.

Thirdly, our discussions show mutual or shared understanding of the central issues of this historical time, that the challenge confronting mankind is either that of hegemony or diversity.

Fourth, and last, I believe our discussions show that there is a mutual and an equal interest in parallel actions and closer relations between the PRC and the U.S.

[Page 430]

I intend to report to President Carter that our talks were useful and important.

Minister Huang: I have listened to Your Excellency’s review of our discussions. As we have made comprehensive presentations of our views on many issues, there is no need for me to add anything.

As I said at the banquet with respect to the normalization, the real steps taken by the U.S. side to promote the process of normalization will help to improve the image of the U.S.

Here I am referring to the position of the U.S. and the Chinese experience in the relations between our two countries in the past.

Any attempt to continue the division of China or to create two Chinas will be discredited in the world, and it will certainly not succeed. China has many friends in the world, among the governments as well as among the peoples. Therefore, normalization between our two countries will help to improve the image of the U.S. among all the Chinese friends.

It is truly the best proof to the world’s people that the U.S. is not weak.

On the question of appeasement, the question as to who is more afraid between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, I based my argument on objective facts.

On the question of the Middle East, it is impossible for China to have any claims to influence on Israel, and China has no such intention.

China supports the legitimate rights of all Arab peoples, to recover their occupied territories and regain their national rights. China is opposed to Israel’s expansion and aggression and its persistence in its intransigence and reactionary position. We have always felt that it is not the Israeli military strength but the unity and struggle of over 100 million Arab people that will determine the future of the Middle East. The Arab countries and people have become increasingly awakened in their struggle to safeguard independence and to oppose hegemony, especially Soviet expansion and aggression. We think that the U.S. has not paid serious attention and support for the just demands of the Arab countries and people.

You have paid too much attention to the military strength of Israel and thus have alienated yourself from the Arab world. This plays into the hands of the Soviet Union.

After Sadat’s visit to Israel, the situation has failed to develop in the direction more favorable to the Arab people and Sadat has suffered certain setbacks. This has further widened the division among the Arab countries. I think this state of affairs has something to do with U.S. policy toward Israel.

[Page 431]

On the question of human rights. I think the greatest issue involved in this respect is the unity of a country and the independence of a nation. We support your efforts in making use of the human rights issue to make trouble for the Soviet Union. For those people who are engaged in a struggle to win national independence and unity for their nation, the principal issue is not the kind of human rights that you are talking about. The major issue involved here is the struggle against imperialism, colonialism, and hegemonism, to win independence and unity. At a time when there was no industry, no agriculture, no food production in Phnom Penh, if the Cambodian government did not take measures to move the two million population out of Phnom Penh and engage them in production, then Cambodia would not be able to resist the outside aggression. There would not have been unity, stability, and confidence in Cambodia.

Finally, I agree with your assessment of our discussion. You have said that our discussions have been useful. I think that these discussions will help each side to understand the views of the other. We will welcome opportunities to continue our exchange of views. Thank you.

Shall we call it a morning?

Dr. Brzezinski: Yes.

Minister Huang: At 4:00 this afternoon Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-p’ing is waiting to see you in this same building.

Dr. Brzezinski: My schedule indicates I might be touring the Palace Museum. I do not know if I have time for it.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 56, Policy Process: 5/16–31/78. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People. On May 21, Brzezinski cabled accounts of his initial two meetings with Huang to Carter. (Backchannel message 8 from Beijing to the White House Situation Room, May 21; Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 56, Policy Process: 5/16–31/78.)
  2. See Document 108.
  3. The President announced his decision to defer production of the neutron bomb on April 7.
  4. The joint U.S.–USSR statement on the Middle East issued on October 1, 1977, is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, November 7, 1977, pp. 639–640.
  5. See Document 50.
  6. Reference is probably to Mondale’s remarks after a visit to a shelter for Indochinese refugees in Thailand. (David Lawton, “Mondale Pledges More Aid for Indochinese Refugees,” The Washington Post, May 6, 1978, p. A14)
  7. See footnote 4, Document 106.
  8. See footnote 11, Document 108.
  9. See Document 99.