52. Telegram From Secretary of State Vance to the Department of State and the White House1

Secto 9045. White House pass to the President and Dr. Brzezinski only. Department for Warren Christopher Only. Subject: August 25 Meeting With Chinese.

1. Today was our last working day in Peking. I met for an hour with Foreign Minister Huang this morning to complete discussions on bilateral questions.2 We spoke about cultural exchanges and trade. On exchanges it is clear the Chinese wish them to continue at about the present level. On trade, I received the impression that Huang, while linking trade to normalization, was responsive to the suggestion that we look for ways to increase trade between our countries. This is something which I will have followed up on without delay. At the end of our meeting Huang and I agreed that a formal communiqué was not necessary. We were prepared to have a brief one but instead I used the gist of what needs to be said in a brief on-the-record press conference tonight.3

2. The highlight of the day was an hour and quarter with Chairman Hua Kuo-feng.4 This is of great symbolic as well as some substantial interest. The press covered the opening minutes of the meeting, during which Hua commented favorably on camera that he had noted your statement on acceptance of the principles of the Shanghai Communiqué as the basis of our relationship, and the desirability of exploring each other’s views, and on the desirability of enhancing our mutual understanding.

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3. When the press left, Hua spoke at some length covering internal political developments in China from the last year of Mao to the present, spoke of natural disasters which had to be overcome in 1976, and then referred with a touch of pride to the downfall of the “Gang of Four” and the success of the Eleventh Party Congress.

4. He spent a good bit of time castigating the “new czars” of the Soviet Union, for its “social imperialist” expansionist policy and reminded me that Soviet imperialism started with Peter the Great. They continue to feel it necessary to remind us at every turn how bad the Soviets are.

5. On our bilateral relations, he spoke again of the Shanghai Communiqué, noted that the subject had been extensively discussed with Huang Hua and Teng Hsiao-ping and said we should move forward. He agreed that we should consider each other’s views further and continue our discussions. I received no sense of being pressed, but it is clear that the subject is as live as ever.

6. We will now sort out the total of our impressions and the sum of our discussions which I will report to you when I get to Washington. I think we have been listened to seriously, talked to with precision and deliberate patience, and the way has been left open to further discussions. We now know with some accuracy where we are on this issue, and we have time to decide how we wish to proceed.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840076–0844. Secret; Cherokee; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. See Document 51.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 51.
  4. No memorandum of conversation of a meeting with Hua Guofeng was found.