72. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Allen) to President Reagan1


  • Secretary Haig’s Memorandum on Second Soviet Demarche Concerning U.S.-Chinese Relations

Al Haig gives you an analysis of a nonpaper (Tab A) handed him by Dobrynin on July 2.2 It is the second Soviet demarche in two weeks concerning U.S.-Chinese relations as affected by Haig’s recent visit to Beijing. Al accurately remarks on the more temperate tone of this new note. It is not certain, however, that he is correct in interpreting the first note as a “quick reaction” and the second as a “more realistic appreciation”. The June 17 note was a measured and somber warning that had nothing spontaneous about it.3 The new one has a certain propagandistic element in it. One may argue that the different tone of the two documents reflects confusion in Moscow on how to react to [Page 219] the U.S. initiatives in the Far East: one time they try threats, the next time they try persuasion. (S)

Al’s decision to approach Gromyko through Matlock is sound. The Soviet leadership should be set straight on the reasons for and implications of our relationship with Beijing: the ball should be tossed into their court. (S)

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Country File: USSR, (04/09/1981–07/13/1981). Secret. Reagan wrote “OK RR” in the top right corner of the memorandum.
  2. Printed as Document 69.
  3. See Document 63.