63. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Haig1

TOSEC 040284. For the Secretary from the Acting Secretary. Subject: Soviet Demarche on US Policy on Arms Transfers to PRC. For Clark Todep 1164.

1. (S—Entire text)

2. Dobrynin called on me morning of June 17 to present an oral statement concerning possible US transfers of arms and arms technology to China. Referring to the explanation of our policy which Eagleburger had given Soviet DCM Bessmertnykh on June 10, the Soviet statement recalled earlier assurances given the Soviets by the US side, including at the highest level, and said that the USG should be aware that to proceed to arm the Chinese despite such assurances would be regarded as “outright hostile” toward the USSR.

3. I told Dobrynin I would inform you of the Soviet statement and that, if after careful study we had any further comment, we would be in touch with him.

4. Text of the Soviet “oral statement,” which Dobrynin left as a non paper, follows:

Begin text:

—Careful study has been given in Moscow to the explanation furnished by the US side concerning its position on the sales of military equipment to China. Although the formulations used is (sic) of a deliberately vague nature, the sense of the explanation amounts to the fact that the USA allows for the possibility of transferring arms and arms technology to China.

—We assume that the current American leadership is familiar with the exchanges that took place between our countries on the subject of China and of the assurances in this regard given to us by the US side at various levels including the highest one.

—Therefore, the US Government should be aware of the kind of responsibility the United States of America would incur by taking, in spite of the said assurances, the path of arming China—a path which [Page 181] is fraught with the most serious consequences for the peace and international stability.

—Such behavior of the US side would be regarded in no other way but as being outright hostile toward the USSR. It should be clear to the US Government that its practical steps in providing China with arms, military equipment and technology will be properly taken into account by us in the overall context of Soviet-American relations, and that in this case the Soviet Union would be free to take such measures as would be dictated by the emerging situation. End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, N810005–0531. Secret; Niact; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by German; cleared by Scanlan, Bremer; approved by Stoessel. Also sent Immediate to the Mission to NATO. Sent Immediate for information to Moscow and Brussels. From June 17 to 20, Haig led the U.S. Delegation at a meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Manila.