164. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • S&T Relationships with the PRC


  • OSTP
  • Dr. Frank Press—Chairman, Director, OSTP
  • Anne Keatley—Senior Policy Analyst
  • DOT
  • Harold Handerson—Chief of International Transportation Division
  • State
  • Lucy Benson—Under Secretary for Security, Science and Technology
  • Tom Pickering—Asst Sec—Bureau of Oceans & Int’l Environmental Scientific Affairs
  • OSD
  • Gerald Dinneen—Principal Dep Under Secretary for Research & Engineering
  • Ellen Frost—Dep Asst Sec for Int’l Economic Affairs, OASD/ISA
  • Interior
  • Gordon Law—Asst to the Secretary for Science and Technology
  • Agriculture
  • Anson Bertrand—Director, Science and Education Division
  • Commerce
  • Jordan Baruch—Asst Sec—Science & Technology
  • Energy
  • John Deutch—Director of Energy Research
  • JCS
  • William Smith
  • HEW
  • Peter Bell—Special Asst to the Secretary
  • NASA
  • Robert Frosch—Administrator
  • David Williamson—Asst for Special Projects
  • ICA
  • John Reinhardt
  • Mort Smith—Director, East Asia and Pacific Area
  • EPA
  • Barbara Blum
  • NSF
  • George Pimentel—Acting Director
  • Harvey Averech—Asst Dir for Scientific, Technology and Int’l Affairs
  • CIA
  • Robert Bowie
  • John Thomas—Nat’l Intelligence Officer for Special Studies
  • White House
  • David Aaron—Deputy Asst for National Security Affairs
  • OMB
  • Randy Janye—Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs
  • NSC
  • Ben Huberman—Staff Member
  • Mike Oksenberg—Staff Member
  • Office of Trade Negotiations
  • John Renner—Counselor and Special Envoy


The chairman reviewed the policy guidance in PD 432 for developing civilian S&T relationships with the People’s Republic of China based on Presidential review of policy issues submitted by the policy review committee.

The chairman stated the main purposes of the meeting:

—to review recommendations to the President for revising and upgrading our offer to sell a communications satellite to the People’s Republic of China

—to review the results of recent meetings with Chinese representatives on student exchanges, energy, and agriculture, and plans for follow on steps

[Page 628]

Chinese Requests for Space Technology—Discussion and Conclusions

There was a general agreement that the U.S. would offer reimbursable manufacture and launch of at least one operational satellite combining two-way telephony (C-band), one-way voice broadcast (Ku-band), and one-way TV broadcast (Ku-band). Regarding the Chinese request for an “experimental” two-way Ku-band capability (probably for mobile services), there was agreement that this technology would not be provided without Chinese assurance and agreement on verification procedures of its civil operational use.

There was general agreement that the satellite would be provided on a “turnkey in orbit” basis, with only limited Chinese access to satellite manufacture. In addition, there was general agreement that a degree of flexibility should be maintained on the issue of access to manufacture. A small working group is to be established to consider this point.

Regarding the U.S. position on provision of ground stations there was agreement that U.S. provision of ground stations should be tied to the satellite sale. A point would be made to the Chinese that the U.S. cannot fully guarantee satellite performance without also providing the accompanying ground stations. It was agreed that the provision of the satellite would not be absolutely conditional on provision of ground stations, but that coupling of the two purchases would be a strong U.S. position.

It was agreed that a generally negative position on other aspects of advanced technology transfer would be maintained, recognizing that the Chinese probably will continue to probe on specific items such as purchase of satellite components and for assistance on upper stage technology. We would consider such cases on their merits as required.

It was agreed that the Chinese space delegation currently touring in the United States would be informed of these decisions.

Reports of Other Recent Meetings With Chinese Representatives

Reports were presented by Departments of Energy and Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation and the International Communications Agency regarding their respective programs in energy, agriculture, and student exchanges. Several issues were raised:

DOE expressed concern that the Chinese would approach agencies on a piece meal basis creating coordination problems as well as limiting the effectiveness of U.S. technology and assistance

—Regarding possible overlap between departments and agencies, it was agreed that problems be worked out between agencies

ICA alerted the Policy Review Committee to the problem of funding for American students to China for the academic year 79–80

—It was agreed that the speed with which China is pursuing foreign technology acquisition could result in serious problems. The [Page 629] chairman directed that a working group on management and education issues be established to consider this issue.

Next Steps

The PRC working group on scientific and technological relationships with the PRC will consider special issues, as well as new programs with U.S. government agencies not yet involved in these relationships.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–81–0202, China (Reds), 400.112. Confidential. Sent to Secretary Brown under a December 19 covering memorandum from Dodson. (Ibid.) The meeting took place in Room 305 of the Old Executive Office Building. A December 11 memorandum from Huberman and Oksenberg to Brzezinski informed him of the date and time of the meeting. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 45, Meetings: 12/6–12/78)
  2. See Document 150. Press was the Chairman of this PRC meeting.