47. Memorandum of Conversation1
- U.S. Foreign Policy; Domestic Roots; Allies; Strategic Forces; Arms Control; East-South Asia; Yugoslavia; ME
- The Secretary
- Ambassador Woodcock
- Under Secretary Habib
- Assistant Secretary Holbrooke, EA
- Assistant Secretary Carter, PA
- Peter R. Tarnoff, Executive Secretary
- William H. Gleysteen, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary
- Michel Oksenberg, NSC
- David Dean, Deputy Chief, USLO
- Harry E. T. Thayer, Director, EA/PRCM
- John F. Cannon, Director, EA/P
- Alan D. Romberg, S/P
- (seated behind:
- Jeanette Porpora, notetaker)
- Huang Hua, Foreign Minister
- Huang Chen, Chief, PRC Liaison Office in the U.S.
- Wang Hai-jung, Vice Foreign Minister
- Lin Ping, Director, American and Oceanian Department, MFA
- Chien Chi-chen, Director, Infor-mation Department, MFA
- Liu Hua, Acting Director, Protocol Department, MFA
- Tang Wen-sheng, Deputy Director, American and Oceanian Department, MFA
- Ting Yuan-hung, Chief, American Division, American and Oceanian Department, MFA
- Shih Yen-hua, interpreter
- (seated behind:
- Lien Cheng-pao, Deputy Chief,
- American Division, American and Oceanian Department, and two other notetakers)
The meeting began with a welcome and introductions by both sides.
Foreign Minister Huang invited the Secretary to begin the talks, which he said had been scheduled to last for approximately two and a half hours.[Page 142]
The Secretary: Thank you very much. I appreciate your welcome, and thought that I might start with a discussion of international relations which are of mutual interest between our two nations.
Foreign Minister Huang Hua: You are welcome to speak on anything international and bilateral.
The Secretary: Very good, thank you.
Minister Huang: Tomorrow morning we can continue at 9:30 a.m.
The Secretary: That would be splendid.
I think before we turn to a discussion of bilateral issues, it would be helpful to have a general discussion of our respective foreign policies. Let me say that we are very conscious of the factors that have drawn us together. The President and I have both stated on a number of occasions publicly that we attach central importance to our relations with the People’s Republic of China.
I expect to devote substantial time during our discussions to normalization of relations between our two countries. We believe that the time has come for both sides to take the necessary steps leading to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between our two nations. We believe that the time has come to place our relationship on a new and more permanent basis. Let me underscore the fact that President Carter believes this strongly—he is committed to normalization.
First, however, I believe it would be appropriate to review the broad framework within which our relations exist. I think this is important because many changes have taken place since the last time there were discussions between our two nations here in Peking. These changes have taken place in the United States, in China and in the world.
I think it is appropriate to start first with a few words about the domestic situation in the United States because our foreign policy is in part a reflection of our domestic circumstances.
During the last decade in our country, and particularly during the period of the 70’s, we have weathered a period in which there were racial problems, student upheavals, a divisive war, and a constitutional crisis. We are through that period now and there is a changed mood within the United States. The election of President Carter marked the watershed. It was not only his election but the support that was given to a new view, a new set of principles that is marked by that event in our history. There is no longer talk of escalation or retreat from global [Page 143] responsibilities in the United States. There is a new sense of cohesion, a sense of optimism, and a sense of confidence. Within the country there has been reestablished a balance between the Government and the people and between the Executive and the Legislative branches of our government. For example, the approach to the formulation of policy is much more open and candid than has been the case in the past and there is popular support for that policy.
One of the earliest things that was done in the new Administration was to establish a new relationship with the Congress under which there is closer consultation in advance of the taking of major decisions. Both the President and I have said on a number of occasions that we believe that we must be partners with the Congress in both the formulation and the implementation of foreign policy. This closer cooperation has been helped by the fact that we have a Democratic majority in the Senate and House; but this is no guarantee in all cases that the Congress will vote with the Administration. Nevertheless, I think it is very clear that there is good basic support in the Congress and among the people of the United States for policies which are based on our national interests and which provide mutual benefit to ourselves and to other nations. Naturally many of these policies reflect a continuity of interest, but we are adapting them to a changing world, and making them more congruous with traditional American beliefs. In simplest terms, the goals of our foreign policy are based on fundamental values and on using our material strength and power to further our national interests and to achieve humane purposes. As a result of this change of thrust in our foreign policy we are placing greater emphasis on global concerns such as justice, equality, and human rights.
U.S. and Allies
Let me now turn to a discussion of some of the fundamentals of our foreign policy, and first among these I would like to say a few words about our alliance relations. One of the conclusions reached at an early stage in the development of our policy was that our policy depends in a critical way upon the alliance relationships which we have—particularly with our European allies and with Japan. We concluded that it was of fundamental importance to strengthen these alliances and to build upon the framework which already existed. Therefore, the first act of the new government in terms of foreign policy was to send Vice President Mondale to visit both Europe and Japan and to meet with leaders of those countries and to bring to them the message that a central thrust of our foreign policy would be the strengthening of our alliances with these countries. Since that first step, we have taken a number of other steps to strengthen the alliances. One of those is the major effort which is underway to strengthen NATO. To that end, the President made the only trip which he has taken outside of the United [Page 144] States to participate in the London Summit, at which both economic and political matters were discussed among the Seven, and then to participate in a full meeting of the NATO Council.2
I will talk at greater length about the specific steps which have been taken but I would just like to make reference at this point to two facts:
First is the set of decisions which was taken at the so-called London Summit, at which the issue of strengthening the economic base of the Western world and the Eastern world as well was a main facet of consideration. Perhaps the most important economic decisions that were taken there were those related to the stimulation of the economy by actions to be taken by the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany and by Japan. For the first time these three countries set specific goals in terms of economic targets which they would achieve and pledged themselves to take the necessary actions to see that these targets were reached and, if not, to set in motion additional actions to achieve these goals. I can say that, at this point, the United States is going to meet its targets for this year. The Federal Republic of Germany is falling slightly behind but it will take action during the next few weeks in order to increase the likelihood of achieving its goals.
As you know, the economic situation in Japan is strong and the likelihood is that they will achieve their targets, and, I believe, they will take steps in the near future which will have a beneficial impact in East Asia.
The sum of all of this is that coordinated action will be taken among these countries to provide the necessary stimulus to strengthen the economies of the world.
On the military side, a number of steps were taken at the NATO Conference which were of major importance. In terms of long-term actions, the decision was taken to undertake a study of defense improvement programs which will be completed next spring, and reports will be made at the NATO Meeting which will be held in the United States. The aim of these actions and of the study is to achieve a permanent strengthening of NATO. Three prospective areas have been singled out:
1) Strengthening of the anti-armor capability of the NATO forces;
2) Strengthening of the air defense capabilities of the NATO forces; and
3) Strengthening the logistic system of NATO so as to give greater staying capability and more responsiveness in the event of attack.[Page 145]
Two short-range decisions were taken at the same time—one was to increase the readiness of the NATO forces and at the same time to increase the ability of the United States to project its forces from the United States to supplement the forces already in NATO should the need arise. To this end, the United States pledged itself to take concrete action this year, and called upon NATO allies to take similar action. The United States action was to add $600 million to its defense budget for this purpose.
The second short and medium-term decision which was taken at the meeting was to pledge mutual cooperation in the development and production of armaments for NATO forces. In this connection, the United States pledged itself to carry out a meaningful program of working with our European allies in the purchase of equipment from them when possible so as to strengthen their capability in the field of production of necessary armaments. I must be fully frank on this and say this is a difficult effort to carry forward, because in many cases the United States is more advanced in terms of technology than are some of our allies. However, we will make a sincere effort to carry this forward and where possible to share technology with our allies.
Let me now turn to a discussion of the Soviet Union. The central security concern of our country over the last thirty years has been the Soviet Union and in my judgment this will remain true for the foreseeable future. This competition constitutes for us a fundamental international fact of life. This competition is a military strategic competition but at heart it is also a competition between political and value systems. Our response has been a blend of elements. This blend includes preserving the strategic balance and the strengthening of our forces where necessary in order to achieve and maintain such a balance. It includes also imposing limits on the arms race and I shall talk more of this later. It includes as I have already indicated the strengthening of the Western alliance and work with others outside of that alliance. In addition, there will be peaceful cooperation with the Soviet Union where it is of mutual benefit to the United States. Let me discuss these various elements one by one.
Let me start with the strategic posture. We have taken a very hard look at the strategic posture, and in terms of raw military power there is at the present time a rough overall equivalence. There are some adverse trends reflected in Soviet modernization and in Soviet force projection capability. The military programs of the United States and of the Soviet Union are in different phases at this point. The Soviets are clearly deploying new systems, including a new generation of strategic rockets. [Page 146] The reason for this is that the strategic rockets which they have are inferior in quality in a number of areas and from the standpoint of accuracy. At the same time, one must acknowledge that in terms of size of rockets the Soviets have a greater throw weight, which presents issues for the future which we must watch and deal with with care and precision. Insofar as the United States is concerned, we are improving our existing systems through qualitative improvements and advanced research and development. Let me give you some examples:
1) the cruise missile
2) the so-called neutron bomb
3) greater accuracy in our strategic rockets, and the development of more advanced sea launched ballistic missile systems.
These are but some of the examples of areas in which we are concentrating our efforts in terms of research and development and qualitative improvements. In a broad sense, we are at a critical turning point in which we are evaluating a wide range of new systems which will insure parity in the years ahead.
Cruise Missle and B–1
Let me give you an example of the care which the President is taking in the various decisions which are required in this area. A very good case is the B–1 bomber and cruise missile. After many years of developmental work, we produced prototypes of the B–1 bomber and were at a point where a decision could be taken to put it into production. The question was this: is this the wisest way to proceed if we are to strengthen our air-delivered missile strength or is there another less expensive and perhaps more effective way of achieving the same thing? After carefully weighing all the factors, the President concluded that the cruise missile is less costly and more accurate—further that it is less vulnerable to Soviet air defense and can be deployed by 1980. As a result of this analysis, the conclusion was reached that it would be preferable not to proceed with the B–1 bomber but rather to place our emphasis in the future on cruise missiles and to use them in connection with our current B–52 systems. We still retain the capability to produce the B–1 bomber should it prove necessary, but it does not make sense to produce it at this point when we have a better and cheaper way of producing something to give the same effect.
That is but one example of the way in which we are addressing the problem of developing our weapons systems and making the difficult decisions which are required to develop a strong deterrent force.
Turning to the question of conventional forces, as we all know, the Soviets over the last several years have been putting extremely large [Page 147] amounts of money into improving their conventional forces in the central regions of Europe. This has been a matter of concern to us; and as a consequence, the President decided to strengthen our conventional forces and to do this in conjunction with our allies. I have already indicated some of the steps which have been taken in the first six months of this year to accomplish this purpose. In summary, let me say that the President is committed to strengthening our military forces and enjoys the broad Congressional support necessary to achieve that objective. The American people are in favor of larger defense budgets if the President decides they are required. This is a change from the past. You will recall not many years ago there was great difficulty in getting the necessary funds to have strong forces, but that no longer is the case. Let me say at the same time that the President will not tolerate waste; he will cut whatever is necessary to eliminate fat and get down to a lean hard-fighting force. Finally, the President plans significant real growth increases in military expenditures in the next four years.
I might now turn to the question of arms control which relates to the whole strategic question. It is obvious that our military programs will be affected to some degree by the outcome of the arms control negotiations. In simple terms our general objective is to stabilize the balance at a lower level of expenditure and at the same time slow down the momentum of the Soviet arms buildup. To accomplish this objective this Administration has launched a broad program combining new initiatives and some familiar elements from the past. One of these is to continue the so-called SALT talks. Another is the exploration of the possibility of a comprehensive test ban. A third is a possible negotiation of a treaty banning the use of radiological weapons. Two other initiatives are the possibility of a treaty requiring prior notification of all missile firings including test firings and, in addition, a possible treaty relating to a ban on anti-satellite systems. I will speak at length tomorrow on the status of the SALT talks and bring you up-to-date on where they stand.
In the meantime, let me say a few words about the other initiatives which I have mentioned. Insofar as a comprehensive test ban is concerned we have entered into negotiations with the British and Soviets for the purpose of discussing a possible treaty which would ban for a period of years the testing of nuclear weapons. We have recognized that in entering into these negotiations that there are other countries such as the People’s Republic of China and France who are in a different position from the United States, the Soviets and the British, and therefore we are seeking a treaty which would be negotiated among the [Page 148] three—namely, Britain, ourselves, and the Soviet Union—with the hope that in the future others might join as well but with no requirement at this time that others become parties to such a treaty.
Chemical & Radiological Weapons
In respect to chemical and radiological weapons, we believe that it would be in our interest to negotiate a treaty banning the use of these weapons for two reasons: 1) we believe it would be in the interest of all peoples throughout the world to ban chemical weapons, and 2) this is one area in which the Soviets have a lead over us; and, if we can negotiate a verifiable treaty with them, it is very much in our interest to do so. Insofar as radiological weapons are concerned, no one at this point has radiological weapons and we believe it would be wise to take the necessary steps to preclude the development of radiological weapons by any nation.
On the question of prior notification of test firings, we think this is a sensible thing to do and hope that progress can be made in this area.
Insofar as a ban on anti-satellite systems is concerned, we believe that that is a question which involves the mutual interest of the parties. We believe that to preclude the development of such weapons would be a prudent and progressive step because satellite systems are helpful in monitoring and verifying activities in the strategic missile area and thus provide us with the necessary tools to find out whether violations are being made in such things as the SALT Agreement.
Let me now turn to SALT II. I would note that if we are able to negotiate a SALT II agreement which is a sound agreement, this would complement the anti-ballistic missile treaty which already exists and in which I believe the People’s Republic of China has a strategic stake. The current status of the SALT negotiations is that there are many difficult and complex issues which divide the Soviet Union and ourselves. We have clearly reached a limited understanding that if there is to be a SALT II Treaty it will consist of a three tier document that would consist of a treaty which would run until 1985; attached to the treaty would be a protocol which would run for three years; and there would be a statement of principles which would guide the negotiation of a SALT III agreement.
The treaty would contain stated limitations on the number of strategic delivery vehicles and also a limitation on the number of strategic rockets which could contain multiple independent reentry vehicle war[Page 149]heads. At the current point, there still remains a difference of view between us and the Soviet Union on what the number of strategic delivery vehicles should be as well as the number of so-called MIRV vehicles. As you will recall, at Vladivostok an agreement was reached on a tentative basis, subject to agreement on other elements as well, on the number of 2400 for strategic vehicles and 1320 for MIRV rockets. It is our view that these numbers are too high and at the outside should be reduced during the period of the treaty. Therefore, we have suggested numbers for both of these catagories which are less than 2400 and 1320. As I have said, there is a difference of opinion between ourselves and the Soviet Union on what reductions if any there should be in those two numbers. Secondly, there are a number of difficult and controversial weapons systems on which neither party is willing to put limitations which would run for a period of more than three years. Two examples are: suggested limitations on the range of air-launched cruise missiles and on the range of ground-launched and sea-launched missiles that could be deployed during the three-year period.
On the Soviet side, there is our demand that there be a reduction in the number of modern large ballistic missiles which I would call heavy missiles that could be MIRVed during this period. Another way of getting at that problem would be to put a sub-limit not only on heavy missiles but on all long-range strategic rockets. This is still an issue of sharp dispute between us.
Other items which might be included in the three-year Protocol include mobile missiles and in addition to that a possible freeze on the testing of new ICBMs. Again there is a difference of opinion between us and the Soviet Union on whether these particular items should be included in the Protocol or Treaty, and if so, under what conditions.
Finally, there is the question of the so-called guiding principles which would be contained in the third section of the document. As you will recall, when we went to Moscow in March there were two proposals:3 one proposal was for a comprehensive set of cuts which would be deep cuts on both sides plus a freeze on new deployments. We believe strongly that the proposals we made are sound and in the long run should be put into effect if we are going to have any realistic movement to a reduction or limitations on arms. Accordingly, we believe that these principles which were enunciated in our plan should be included in the guiding principles for SALT III, and we have insisted that they be included in the third section of the three tier agreement which we have been discussing with them. In sum, we are taking a cautious approach. We don’t want an agreement simply to have an agreement. If [Page 150] we have one it must stand on its own two feet in terms of our national interests. Accordingly, we have indicated to the Soviets that we do not feel ourselves under any particular constraint to negotiate a treaty by October 3, which is the expiration date of the current treaty. But, we are looking forward to a sound treaty, and if we cannot do it by October 3, we will continue to negotiate.
Let me tell you in all frankness I do not believe we will negotiate a treaty by October 3, and therefore we will have to face possible extension of an interim agreement. As to exactly what form that may take we do not know at this point.
Let me now turn—and I will be through with this section shortly—but I would like to say a word about the third leg of the so-called Triad, namely our bomber force. We believe that it is essential that we continue the third leg of the Triad, and we therefore must take the necessary steps to modernize our relevant force capabilities and this I believe can best be done through the air-launched missile. This will give our B–52’s the capability to stand off and fire from a position that does not subject the B–52’s to the intense air defense systems which exist within the Soviet Union. Insofar as the sea-launched element of the Triad is concerned, this will be improved with the Trident missile system with which you are familiar. And finally, we will be, if a SALT II Treaty is negotiated, deferring the question of the so-called M–X missile for the three-year period, leaving open the option of proceeding with it after the three-year period should that be necessary. We believe that this combination of actions which we have underway will give us a very strong posture and at the same time will give us leverage with which to determine whether or not the Soviets are prepared to negotiate an arms limitation agreement which could be in the mutual interests of both parties. Let me say finally that any agreements must be based on clear-cut reciprocity. Should you wish to discuss any of these matters on the treaty side tomorrow, I will be happy to go into more detail.
Let me turn to regional policies and review the approaches we are taking to key nations. Perhaps it would be appropriate for me to start with Asia. In East Asia our initial task has been to stabilize our position as a Pacific power. There should be no doubt that we will continue to play a key role in contributing to regional peace and stability. And we see our relations with you in this light. Our policies are designed to fortify the independence of local states, to diminish the dangers of local conflict, to enhance Asian economic development, and to limit outside influence in the area.[Page 151]
Let me be more specific. We intend, as I have indicated, to maintain and strengthen our already strong alliance with Japan. Japan plays a key role in our foreign policy in the Pacific area. As I indicated briefly to you in the car as we were driving in, our relations with the Japanese government are excellent. President Carter has established a very close and good relationship with Prime Minister Fukuda. In addition, many of us who are Cabinet members have established close and warm relationships with our counterparts in the Japanese Cabinet. One of the first visits to the United States was that of Prime Minister Fukuda, and since that time we have kept in close touch with him and his colleagues both at various meetings such as the London Summit and the OECD Conference in Paris4 but also through constant cable and telephone communication.
We are working together to assist each other in many economic areas, although there obviously are some issues which represent differences between us. On those issues where there are differences between us, we have so far been able to work out those differences in an amicable fashion and, I think, in the mutual interests of both countries. Examples include the differences we had in the area of color television, various citrus fruits, issues which will now arise in steels, and in other areas as well. One thing that particularly pleases me is that we have now developed a working relationship whereby we are able to communicate at an early stage, and as a result of this we are able to deal with the problem before it becomes a crisis. Another factor which I think is important is the fact that from a political standpoint the Japanese Government seems to be in a much stronger position than it was when our government first came into office. Some of the problems which beset the government from a domestic standpoint have been overcome. They have weathered the recent elections in good fashion and seem to be solidly established in place. We have kept closely in touch with them about regional issues such as those related to Korea and ASEAN, and we continue to exchange views and seek the other’s advice on how best to deal with these matters.
Let me now turn to the question of the Korean peninsula. As you know, we have announced that we are initiating a phased withdrawal of our ground forces over a period of five years from Korea. In doing this we have proceeded in full consultation with the South Koreans. Mr. Philip Habib and General George Brown have been to South Korea to discuss the plans in advance of the ultimate decision. In addition to [Page 152] that, we have had close consultations with the Japanese about this action and have made it very clear that this gradual and phased withdrawal in no way changes or diminishes our firm commitment to our Mutual Security Treaty with the Republic of Korea. In addition, we have indicated to the Koreans that as we withdraw these ground forces, which incidentally constitute approximately five percent of the total ground forces in the Republic of Korea, that as we withdraw them we will provide the necessary equipment and additional training which will be required to replace our forces. So, by the time the full withdrawal is made, the Republic of Korea will be self-reliant and sufficiently strong so as not to miss the United States Forces.
In addition, we have made it clear that the ultimate withdrawal of the last elements of the U.S. ground forces will only be made in light of the circumstances that exist at that time, including the political circumstances, and thus in terms of the potential danger to the Republic of Korea. In addition, we have indicated to the South Koreans that we will maintain our air and naval forces for the foreseeable future so that they will have no question about our commitment to their security.
Insofar as North Korea is concerned, we have indicated to North Korea that we are willing to talk to them as long as the South Koreans are present. We have indicated also to the North Koreans that if allies of North Korea will talk to the South Koreans, we would be willing to talk to the North Koreans. Further, we have indicated that we would welcome discussions which would look to realistic replacement arrangements for the current United Nations Command, but this must be approached in a constructive way. Our position remains that we would support the admission of both North and South Korea to the United Nations without prejudice to unification, and we would welcome discussions on the four-party basis to discuss ways of improving the dialogue between North and South Korea and the peaceful resolution of problems in the area should the other parties be willing to consider such discussions.
Moving to the Philippines, let me make clear that we intend to preserve our base arrangements in the Philippines. I anticipate that we will be reopening our discussion on this subject with President Marcos in the near future. Last, we intend to encourage stronger links among the ASEAN countries. We will be meeting with them in September to discuss economic issues of interest to them. We are pleased with the results of the recent meeting of the ASEAN countries and are pleased with the fact that Japan intends to double its assistance to the countries of that area in the future.[Page 153]
Moving to the question of Vietnam. As you know, we have indicated a willingness to normalize relations with them. We have opened a dialogue to that end; the discussions are proceeding. We, however, do not intend to commit ourselves to give them aid as they indicate they believe they should have. As you know, our Congress has passed laws which would make this illegal at the present time. However, if the Vietnamese are prepared to establish diplomatic relations with the United States, we are ready and willing to take that action. Ambassador Woodcock is fully familiar with the issues relating to Vietnam having been Chairman of the President’s Mission to open up discussions with them on the question of those missing in action who were not accounted for. As a result of his mission we were able to start the process of obtaining that information—a process which we are following closely and which we are still engaged in.
Moving to South Asia, we are seeking to strengthen our ties with both India and Pakistan. We are pleased at the results of the recent elections in India in which the Desai Government came into power. We are encouraged that democratic elections were held, and in the process there has come to power a government which is willing to be truly non-aligned and which has an attitude toward the United States which is much more favorable than the past government. Both through our Ambassador and my Deputy, who recently made a trip to India, we have received word from them that they are anxious to strengthen their ties with us in a number of areas. They have indicated that they wish to reduce their excessive reliance on the Soviet Union.
Insofar as Pakistan is concerned, we have been through a difficult period. For a number of months, as you undoubtedly know, we were subjected to totally unwarranted attacks and false allegations to the effect that we were interfering in their domestic affairs. Despite these provocations, we continued to supply them with arms and economic assistance. We kept our contacts open with them and were patient with the difficulties that faced us. All of this led to a meeting which I had with their Foreign Minister, at which we agreed to try and put these difficulties of the past behind us. Since the recent events, General Zia has been in touch with us and has indicated he wants to strengthen and renew the long cordial relationship which has existed between our two countries, and we have indicated to him that that is most welcome to us and we reciprocate his desire. We have indicated to General Zia that we expect to open doors in October along with other members of a consortium to supply economic assistance for the forthcoming year to Pak[Page 154]istan. I think, as you know, we have over the years been one of the substantial suppliers of economic assistance to Pakistan and welcome this opportunity to continue this relationship in the months ahead.
Insofar as military assistance is concerned, although we have said that we will not sell them the A–7 aircraft, we will be willing to discuss other aircraft for the future. The one area of difficulty that remains between us is the question of their purchase of a reprocessing plant for nuclear fuels. We have indicated our concern with that decision and have indicated our willingness to discuss with them the provision of an assured supply of fuel, provided they would forego the building of a reprocessing plant. One of my colleagues has just recently been to Pakistan to discuss this issue with the Government and was informed that the current interim Government really does not consider itself in a position to take any decision contrary to that decision taken by the prior government. However, when a new government is elected we would hope to continue our discussions with them to see whether or not we can work out satisfactory arrangements to provide them with what they need in this area without the construction of a reprocessing plant. In short, I think our relationships with Pakistan have now been restored to a sound footing, and I look forward to a good and close relationship in the future. I might say, in connection with the nuclear issues, we have been having discussions with the Indians as well about the need for full safeguards on their nuclear installations.
If I might then move further west and comment briefly on Diego Garcia. We intend to complete the facilities which are under construction at Diego Garcia including the extension of the air field. We have been having preliminary discussions, as you know, with the Soviet Union about the possibility of some form of arms limitation in the Indian Ocean. If there is to be such an agreement it would merely be a pact based on the situation as it now exists rather than cutting back on the situation as it will stand at the completion of the installation at Diego Garcia.
Now let me move on to Europe. I have already talked about it before, but perhaps it merits a few more words. Our relations are immense and varied, as befits an area with such close ties to the United States. Our policies are aimed at preserving a satisfactory East-West balance of forces and at keeping the Western alliance strong and vital. Our policies are further directed at preventing a recession and controlling inflation. Some of the steps which we have taken at the London Summit are directed to these ends.[Page 155]
NATO’s Southern Flank
We are also concerned about repairing the erosion on NATO’s Southern Flank. As you are well familiar, the differences between Greece and Turkey have not been helpful in this regard, and we have been trying to play a useful mediating role in bringing the parties together and keeping them within NATO. As you well know, the two main issues which are the source of friction between these two nations are the Cyprus question and the so-called Aegean question involving both the issues of air and seabed rights. We have approached this in several ways. Early in the year we sent Mr. Clark Clifford on a mission to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to work with the parties to try and give impetus to the Cyprus question and to breathe new life into past discussions which we have been having in a rather desultory fashion with the Greeks.
The Greek base rights agreement has been successfully negotiated and has been initialed and submitted ad referendum to the two countries, and it probably will be ready for signature in the near future. The problem remains of getting Congressional ratification of these two base rights agreements, and this ties in with the Cyprus question. If progress can be made on Cyprus, then it will be possible to move both of the base rights agreements through the Senate and obtain ratification of both documents. In the absence of the necessary progress on Cyprus, it will be difficult to get ratification in the near future of those two agreements.
Because of the importance which we attach to clearing up these problems and repairing the erosion of this NATO flank, we are considering what we might be able to do together with the members of the European community and with the Secretary General of the United Nations to facilitate negotiations by the communal groups on Cyprus. Obviously, the situation has been complicated by the death of President Makarios and the interregnum prior to the election of a new President. In any event, we intend to pursue this question and discuss it intensively at the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly in private discussions with the various parties concerned.
Let me say also that we have had a number of meetings with the Yugoslavs. Vice President Mondale had a very successful trip to Yugoslavia. I have met with the Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, and we expect a high level visit to the United States in the late fall or early in 1978. We attach great importance to Yugoslavia and to its future, and we would regard any threats or attack upon it as a very, very grave matter.
Now if I might turn to the Middle East. Our broad objectives are several-fold and have centered on insuring reliable oil supplies for our [Page 156] allies and more recently for ourselves, and on improving relations with the Arabs and supporting Israeli security. In addition, we have sought to limit Soviet influence in the area. On the whole, I think we are making some progress. As you know, the problem is immensely complex and the roots of the conflict are very deep. In recent years our influence and relationships with the Arabs have greatly increased and vastly improved, but this has not been at the expense of the security and survival of Israel.
We are in a position to play a unique mediation role aimed at a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East question. We have established a good working relationship with all of the parties. I believe that we have the confidence and trust of the Arabs and the Israelis. We have not yet had discussions with the PLO for the reason that we made an agreement at the time of Sinai II which precluded such discussions until the PLO recognizes the right of Israel to exist as a nation. Once that obstacle is removed, we are prepared to meet with the PLO and talk with them on any issues which they choose to raise. This has been communicated to them through each of the Arab nations with whom we have been meeting, including not only the confrontation states but also Saudi Arabia. I will be happy to go into detail on the recent trip which we made through the Middle East.5 I am afraid probably today is not the appropriate time because we are rapidly running out of time, but tomorrow I should be happy to do that should you wish me to.
Let me say simply at this point that the current phase of our diplomacy is aimed at intensifying consultations between the parties and in pressing for greater concreteness in the positions of the various parties. I believe that we will gather any such concrete suggestions from the parties when they come to the United Nations for the General Assembly meeting, and that there is hope, as a result of that, that we may be able to accelerate the process of real substantive negotiations. We have developed several key principles to provide a framework for negotiations which we have discussed with the parties, and I will be glad to elaborate on these tomorrow.
In sum, let me say that peace would bring significant gains in terms of regional stability, in terms of the positive influence which we could bring to bear in the area, and in terms of improved regional economic development. We are counting heavily on the relationships we have in the area, including not only the ones I have referred to but also that with Iran, as we seek to develop the basis for regional stability.
I am prepared to go on to say a few words about Africa but I believe we have run out of time.[Page 157]
Minister Huang: It is now 6:30 p.m. and we will be meeting again at 7:30 p.m.6 Therefore I will be looking forward to hearing tomorrow your views on Africa, including the Horn of Africa.
The Secretary: Yes, we have great interest in that area and in the country’s economic and military side. I may have talked too long but I thought I should lay out in considerable detail our views in order to give you a clearer idea.
Minister Huang: Thank you for your briefing today, and we shall continue tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Tomorrow afternoon we may not be able to have a discussion, but we will talk further when we meet tomorrow morning. I therefore shall be looking forward to making full use of tomorrow morning and hearing about Africa and, if there is time, your views on bilateral relations.
The Secretary: Thank you very much.
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 56, Policy Process: 8/22–31/77. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People. Vance left Washington for Beijing on August 20. Vance and Oksenberg reported in the accounts they telegraphed to Washington that the first day of the visit, August 21, had gone well. Vance’s account is in telegram Secto 9013 to the Department of State and the White House, August 22. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770302–1245) Oksenberg’s is in telegram Secto 9012 to the NSC, August 22. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770302–1245)↩
- The London Economic Summit took place May 7–8. The NATO Ministerial meeting also took place in London May 10–11.↩
- Vance visited the Soviet Union March 27–30 to present U.S. arms control proposals.↩
- Vance attended the OECD Ministerial meeting in Paris June 22–24.↩
- Vance had most recently visited the Middle East August 1–11.↩
- The two met at a banquet held the evening of August 22. For the text of the toasts they exchanged, see Department of State Bulletin, September 19, 1977, pp. 365–367.↩