91. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Summary of Mr. Oksenberg’s Meeting with Ambassador Han Hsu


  • Michel Oksenberg, Staff Member, National Security Council
  • Michael Armacost, Staff Member, National Security Council
  • Ambassador Han Hsu, Acting Chief of the People’s Republic of China Liaison Office
  • Tsao Kuei-sheng, Political Counselor, People’s Republic of China Liaison Office
  • Yang Yu-yang, Interpreter, People’s Republic of China Liaison Office

(Background: Mr. Oksenberg called the People’s Republic of China Liaison Office at 11:00 a.m. to arrange for a meeting, after receiving permission to do so from Dr. Brzezinski and after conversing with Dr. Brzezinski about Mr. Oksenberg’s talking points.)

Mr. Oksenberg: Mr. Brzezinski has asked me to convey these three points to you: First, President Carter wishes you to know that Mr. Brzezinski will be speaking for him. The President would expect Mr. Brzezinski to exchange views on an authoritative level. Second, Mr. Brzezinski wonders whether it would be convenient for him to arrive in Peking on the morning of May 20 for discussions on that day. He would hope to have free a portion of the second day—May 21—for sightseeing. He would like to have talks on the third day and leave on the evening of May 22 for Tokyo. We wish to know whether this is convenient, for it entails a visit over a weekend, but he wishes to arrive at the earliest date you mention.

Third, as to Mr. Brzezinski’s earlier mention of his desire to know about a portion of his schedule, he wishes to know whether you have a message for him.

Ambassador Han Hsu: I have a message to convey to Mr. Brzezinski: “According to Chinese understanding, Mr. Brzezinski’s visit comes under the terms of the Shanghai Communique, which stipulated that the U.S. side would send representatives from time to time for consultations and exchange of views. That is why after the U.S. side indicated to Mr. Brzezinski’s interest in a visit, the Chinese side expressed welcome.

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We do attach importance to Mr. Brzezinski’s visit. Foreign Minister Huang Hua will hold the discussions.”

As another point, if the U.S. side issues an announcement, it should be consistent with previous press announcements.

Mr. Oksenberg: We would make the draft consistent. We will examine previous announcements as a way of shaping our own and inform you beforehand. We would hope to make our announcement fairly soon, once we know the date.

(Mr. Oksenberg and Mr. Armacost then spoke briefly about the return of the Reuss Congressional delegation. They understood that their trip was a good one. They asked the Chinese whether they heard of their conversations with Keng Piao and Hao Te-ching. They had not. They asked whether Oksenberg and Armacost had seen the conversations. Mr. Oksenberg replied that they had only obtained a general sense of the conversations.)2

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 56, Policy Process: 1–4/78. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place at the PRC Liaison Office.
  2. Representative Henry Reuss (D–Wisconsin) and Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D–Texas) co-chaired a Congressional delegation that visited China from March 25 until April 5. Highlights of their talks with Vice Premier Keng Paio and CPIFA President Hao Teh-ching are in telegram 845 from Beijing, March 30. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780138–0023)