185. Telegram From the Department of State to the Liaison Office in China1

328090. Subject: Presidential Cable to Hua.

Today, after a generation of isolation from each other, the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations between our governments. The cause of world peace will be served by this historic act of reconciliation.

The estrangement of our peoples have sometimes produced misunderstanding, confrontation and enmity. That era is behind us. We can now establish normal patterns of commerce, and scholarly and cultural exchange. Through common effort, we can deepen the new ties of [Page 689] friendship between our peoples, and we can jointly contribute to the prosperity and stability of Asia and the Pacific region.

Precisely because our two countries have different traditions, cultures, and political and economic systems, we have much to gain from each other. The United States prizes the great variety of opinions and origins among its own citizens. Similarly, the United States desires a world of diversity in which each nation is free to make a distinctive contribution to express the manifold aspirations, cultures, traditions, and beliefs of mankind.

The American people value the enormous contributions the Chinese people have made to the achievements of humanity. And we welcome the growing involvement of the People’s Republic of China in world affairs. We consider China as a key force for global peace.

We wish to cooperate closely with the creative Chinese people on the problems that confront all people.

Your Excellency, in our country, the first day of the new year is a time of rededication and resolve. In that spirit, we pledge during the coming years:

—To continue as an enlightened Asian and Pacific power, determined to help maintain peace and stability in the region;

—To enrich the lives of our people, both spiritually and materially, through expanded trade, tourism, and student and cultural exchanges, and cooperation in the sciences, all on a basis of equality and mutual benefit; and

—To extend our hands across the Pacific to you in friendship and peace.

Jimmy Carter.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790001–0037. Limited Official Use; Flash. Repeated Immediate to Hong Kong and the White House. Based on a text received from the White House and cleared by Thayer.
  2. Carter’s message was released by the White House on January 1, 1979, along with a similar message to Teng. See Public Papers: Carter, 1979, pp. 1–2. Messages from Hua and Deng to Carter, both dated January 1, are printed in the Department of State Bulletin, February 1979, pp. 16 and 18. Foreign Minister Huang and Vance also exchanged messages; see Department of State Bulletin, February 1979, pp. 19 and 20.