46. Memorandum From Michel Oksenberg of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Draft Communique with the PRC and the U.S.

Attached at Tab I are the two optional draft communiques2 which would announce establishment of diplomatic relations between the PRC and the U.S.

You will note that we have numbered the sentences. We will communicate with you on that basis. Warren Christopher has a copy, I understand, but there will be no other copies left in Washington.

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At the last minute, Cy is considering dropping the phrase “and Taiwan as part of China” in sentence 12 of Option 1.3 We will be discussing this matter with him intensely on the plane. Gleysteen, Holbrooke, and myself all feel rather strongly that deletion of this phrase is not only unwise from a bargaining point of view but could have very severe repercussions upon our entire relationship. From the very day of Kissinger’s arrival in Peking, the phrase has been a standard one in the private negotiations. We are already backing away in several respects from Nixon’s five points, but I think that this retreat would be considered a decisive one by the Chinese.

As you know, the President on July 30 indicated to Cy that he had discretion on this matter during his negotiations in Peking.4 We will be in close touch with you on the evolution of our thinking.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 56, Policy Process: 8/1–21/77. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Outside the System. Sent for information.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Sentence 12 of the communiqué marked Option 1 reads: “On the basis of the position on this matter expressed by the People’s Republic, the United States recognizes the People’s Republic as the sole legal government of China and acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” The last six words are crossed out in the original.
  4. See Document 41.