98. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1


  • Nixon’s Five Points and the Chinese Three Conditions

Below are Nixon’s five points which he, Kissinger, and Ford reiterated to the Chinese on several occasions but which we decided Vance would not repeat last August:

1. We accept the principle of one China and that Taiwan is part of it. There will be no more statements from the U.S. to the effect that the status of Taiwan is undetermined (a position we had taken since the Korean War).

2. The U.S. will not support any Taiwan independence movement.

3. The United States will use its influence to discourage Japan or other Third Countries from moving into Taiwan as the U.S. presence diminished.

4. The United States would support any peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue that might be worked out directly between the two Chi [Page 357] nese parties; and we would not support any military actions by the government on Taiwan against the PRC. Moreover, the United States would progressively reduce its military presence on the island as progress was made toward a peaceful resolution of the differences between Taiwan and the PRC—and as a negotiated solution of the Indochina conflicts reduced tensions in the Asian area.

5. The Administration would actively work toward the full normalization of U.S.–PRC relations.

The Chinese three conditions are that in order to establish diplomatic relations with Peking, we must: (1) sever our diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan; (2) abrogate our Defense Treaty; and (3) remove all U.S. military forces and installations from Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait.

We have indicated that we are prepared to accept these three conditions conditionally upon the PRC’s meeting some of our concerns about the nature of our post-normalization relationship with Taiwan.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Far East, Oksenberg Subject File, Box 28, Brzezinski 5/78 Trip to China: 5/10–12/78. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information. A May 9 covering memorandum from Oksenberg to Brzezinski reads, “Rick Inderfurth requested that I summarize in memorandum form from you to the President China’s three conditions and Nixon’s five points.” Brzezinski did not initial the memorandum, and it is not clear that he or Carter saw it.