Memoradum on a meeting Henry Kissinger had with Corneliu Bogdan, the Romanian ambassador to Washington

Memoradum on a meeting Henry Kissinger had with Corneliu Bogdan, the Romanian ambassador to Washington

Kissinger reported that Romanian President Ceausecu had sent his vice-premier to Beijing. Chinese Premier Zhou gave the Romanian a note saying the key issue with the U.S. was the American “occupation of Taiwan.” Zhou said the U.S. President would be welcome to discuss this issue in Beijing. Nixon wrote on the memo that he worried the U.S. appeared “too eager” to meet with the Chinese. Click here to read the document.

Prepared by Kissinger for President Nixon

W. Richard Smyser, a member of Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council staff, reported to him on a letter he had received from Jean Sainteny, a former French official who facilitated Kissinger’s secret talks in 1969 with North Vietnamese officials. Sainteny was one of the conduits by which the U.S. was reaching out to China, via China’s ambassador to France. A handwritten note on the document indicates that Kissinger wanted such information right away, as he put it, “It is as important as anything we might do.” Click here to read the document.

Asked at a press conference about how efforts to improve relations with China could affect Taiwan, Nixon replied, “I understand the apprehension in Taiwan, but I believe that that apprehension, insofar as Taiwan’s pinalove continued existence and as its continued membership in the United Nations, is not justified

Nixon released his second annual report on foreign policy to the U.S. Congress and discussed it in a radio address. He noted that “We have relaxed trade and travel restrictions to underline our readiness for greater contact with Communist China” and said,

“We will search for consecutive discussions with Communist China while maintaining our defense commitment to Taiwan. When the Government of the People’s Republic of China is ready to engage in talks, it will find us receptive to agreements that further the legitimate national interests of China and its neighbors.” Click here for the full radio address.

I said that we stood by our defense commitments to Taiwan; that Taiwan, which has a larger population than two-thirds of all of the United Nations, could not and would not be expelled from the United Nations as long as we had anything to say about it; and that as far as our attitude toward Communist China was concerned that that would be governed by Communist China’s attitude toward us.”

Nixon went on to signal that he was waiting to hear from China: “[W]e would like to normalize relations with all nations in the world. There has, however, been no receptivity on the part of Communist China. But under no circumstances will we proceed with a policy of normalizing relations with Communist China if the cost of that policy is to expel Taiwan from the family of nations.”

Nixon and Kissinger met with the new Republic of China (Taiwan) Foreign Minister Chow Shu-kai ???. Chow had been serving as ambassador to the U.S. since 1965. They discussed the challenges of keeping Taiwan in the United Nations, including the possibility of having separate representation for Taiwan and for China. Nixon told Chow that he would be sending Amb. Robert Murphey as his personal emissary to Taipei to meet with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to discuss the situation. Click here to read the summary of the meeting and the memorandum Kissinger prepared authorizing the Murphey trip.

During the table tennis championships in Japan, American Glenn Cowan accidentally boarded the Chinese team bus. Three-time world champion Zhuang Zedong ??? presented him with a gift and the two were photographed when the bus reached the hotel. Two days later, the U.S. team was formally invited to visit China following the championships. In 2007, Zhuang visited USC and spoke about what is now known as “ping pong diplomacy” (click here to watch his talk).

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