240. Summary of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


Mike Oksenberg chaired a meeting to discuss implementation of our Cultural Agreement with China. The meeting brought together for the first time those agencies involved in cultural exchanges with the People’s Republic of China—ICA, HEW, NEH, NEA, Interior, Library [Page 868] of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute. The group decided to invite Minister of Culture, Huang Chen, to lead an inter-departmental Chinese cultural delegation to visit Washington and tour the U.S. ICA would be Huang’s primary host, and the main purpose of the Huang visit would be to agree upon specific intergovernmental programs in the cultural realm.

Within a month, ICA, through inter-agency consultations, is to develop an inventory of exchange programs to be proposed to the Chinese, a plan for involving the private sector in the exchange program, and proposals for funding the Huang visit.

The meeting decided that our interests in promoting cultural exchanges with China are: (1) to promote mutual understanding for our respective societies; (2) further, to institutionalize our new relationship with the PRC; (3) disseminate American values in China; (4) give visibility to our China relationship, out of recognition that symbol and appearance affects substance; and (5) convey skills to the Chinese which are in our interest. In establishing priorities among the possible cultural exchanges with the Chinese, particular consideration should be given to cost, reciprocity, and genuine congruence of the proposed program with on-going agency missions.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 47, Meetings: 5/79. Confidential. The meeting took place in Room 305 of the Old Executive Office Building. A covering memorandum from Dodson to the Situation Room, May 2, indicates that Oksenberg prepared the summary. (Ibid.)