280. Summary of Conclusions of an Ad Hoc Group on China Meeting1


David Aaron chaired a meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on China to review planning for the Brown trip.

State, DOD, and NSC agreed on the basic objectives of the trip which can now be communicated to the Chinese. Our proposed agenda will cover assessments of the global military balance, regional security issues, bilateral issues such as subsequent contacts and export controls, and arms control.

State, DOD, and NSC concurred that the Chinese should be informed that General Seignious will be a member of the delegation and will seek to have talks with his Chinese counterpart.

State, DOD, and NSC concurred that Brown should seek to visit the industrial and military city of Wuhan in central China, and should indicate a willingness to visit military installations in that area.

State and DOD are to coordinate a paper on the modality and timing for implementing a pro-China differential in COCOM, as Vice President Mondale had indicated to the Chinese we would do. State, DOD, and NSC agreed, however, that this issue should not be taken to COCOM until conclusion of Congressional action on SALT and the Trade Agreement. If State and DOD cannot agree on the issue of modality, a paper will go to the President on this issue.

State, DOD, and NSC agreed that David Aaron should chair a working group to staff out papers on various arms control measures which Brown will convey to the Chinese even prior to his trip. An important paper in this area concerns encouraging the Chinese to test nuclear weapons underground. In no case would we provide assistance that would help them perfect their nuclear capability.

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The NSC will task the Intelligence Community to ascertain whether there is any evidence the Chinese may be involved in Pakistani nuclear development.2

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–82–0205, China (Nats), 19 November 79. Secret. The meeting lasted from 11:44 a.m. until 12:02 p.m. The participants were Sullivan from the Department of State, McGiffert and Armacost from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Oksenberg and Huberman from the NSC Staff, and Aaron.
  2. On December 7, Bruce C. Clarke, Deputy Director of the National Foreign Assessment Center of the CIA, sent a memorandum to the NSC in response to this request to evaluate evidence on whether China was involved in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Box 26, Oksenberg, Subject File, Brown [Harold] 1/80 Trip Briefing Book, 12/79) Oksenberg summarized it in a December 12 memorandum to Brzezinski and Aaron. (Ibid.)