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

136991. Subject: Briefing Ambassador Shen on Brzezinski Visit. Reference: (A) State 135913, (B) Taipei 3352.2

1. Asst Sec Holbrooke briefed ROC Ambassador Shen May 30 on Brzezinski trip along lines set forth Ref A. Unfortunately meeting was curtailed by Holbrooke’s having to attend meeting in Deputy Secretary’s office. This plus fact that Shen’s car had been diverted to 21st Street entrance by NATO Summit, leading to confusion in escort arrangements, put Shen in even feistier mood than usual and could well color report he sends home.

2. Holbrooke emphasized that discussion of global issues, constituting 90 percent of Peking conversations, had enhanced US–PRC relations by demonstrating the two sides had common interests in many areas of the world; nevertheless there were no negotiations on subject of normalization and nothing said or done in Peking in any way jeopardized peace or prosperity of Taiwan or its ability to maintain necessary contacts with US. Shen said it sounded to him as though US had simply agreed to PRC three conditions and all that remained to be worked out was normalization date; was this true? Holbrooke reiterated there had been no negotiations on normalization, nor was any timetable for negotiation discussed. He underscored that US, as it had [Page 477] done in past, would keep ROC informed. Certainly the atmosphere in US–PRC relations had been improved by the trip but this was because of congruent views on many global issues, especially Africa.

3. Shen inquired about Japanese press reports of US agreement to sell military items to PRC and Holbrooke denied any truth to these reports. In conclusion, Shen asked if he would be correct in reporting that full normalization was now well on the way. Holbrooke replied that normalization has been and remains the goal of the administration, but it would be quite incorrect to say that the process had taken any dramatic turn as a result of the discussions in Peking; in any case, US will continue to act deliberately and responsibly.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780226–0746. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Feldman, cleared by Thayer (EA/PRCM) and Gleysteen (EA), and approved by Holbrooke. Repeated to Beijing.
  2. Telegram 3352 to Taipei is Document 114. For telegram 135913, see footnote 2 thereto.