32. Editorial Note

On June 17, 1977, Christine Dodson, National Security Council Staff Secretary, circulated to the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the U.S. Representative to the United Nations two papers responding to Presidential Review Memorandum (PRM) 24 (see Document 24). Dodson’s memorandum is in the Carter Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 43, PRM/NSC–24 [3].

The first paper, which addressed Part I of PRM 24, examined four policy approaches that the United States could take in its relations with the People’s Republic of China. The first option was full normalization; the second, a significant improvement in relations short of full normalization; the third, maintenance of U.S.–PRC relations at the Liaison Office level and, in an effort to advance the relationship with China through unilateral steps, downgrading relations between the United States and Taiwan; and the fourth, maintenance of official relations with Taiwan at current levels, combined with efforts to improve other aspects of the U.S.–PRC relationship. (Carter Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 43, PRM/NSC–24 [1])

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The second paper, in response to Part II of PRM 24, considered three options for reducing the number of U.S. troops on Taiwan. The first option was to withdraw all U.S. troops on Taiwan by December 31, 1977; the second, to reduce U.S. troops 50 percent by December 31, 1977; the third, to reduce U.S. troops 50 percent by December 31, 1978. Among its conclusions, the paper noted, “It would be extremely difficult to physically withdraw all U.S. forces from Taiwan by 31 December 1977.” In addition, it stated, “A minimum of 6 months lead time is desirable to implement the withdrawals considered under option two.” (Carter Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 62, PRC 019, 6/27/77, (PRC China)–PRM 24 [2])