220. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • SCC Meeting on the Sino/Vietnamese Conflict, February 19, 1979

The President has reviewed the Summary of Conclusions of the February 19 SCC Meeting on the Sino/Vietnamese conflict.2

The President approved the following set of U.S. objectives which the SCC had recommended:

In the context of avoiding any direct U.S. involvement, we should: (1) minimize the adverse effect of the conflict upon our bilateral relations either with the People’s Republic of China or the Soviet Union; (2) deter a Soviet escalation of the conflict; (3) secure the withdrawal of both Vietnam from Kampuchea and China from Vietnam; (4) seek the emergence of a neutral Kampuchea; and (5) reassure ASEAN and Japan in the process.

In addition, the President was informed that the group decided to postpone for 36 hours a recommendation on whether Secretary Blumenthal should continue his plans for a Friday departure for Peking. In response to this, the President stated: “He should go as scheduled.” This Presidential directive has been communicated to Secretary Blumenthal.

Finally, based on the President’s review of the summary of the meeting, we should proceed with the actions discussed relating to the United Nations and intelligence gathering, namely:

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(1) The UN Mission is authorized to explore, particularly with our allies, inscribing both Indochina issues for Security Council debate.

(2) [2½ lines not declassified]

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 102, SCC 141, 2/19/79, Sino-Vietnamese Conflict. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 219.