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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963
Volume XXII, Northeast Asia, Document 154


154. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of StateSourceSource: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/9-2062. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Taipei, Hong Kong, Geneva, Stockholm, and Moscow.

562. Cabot-Wang talks. 113th meeting.11. The meeting was held at Chinese request. Telegram 517 from Warsaw, September 15, reported the request for an emergency meeting on September 17. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1562) Since Cabot was out of the country, the U.S. Embassy suggested September 21. Telegram 525 from Warsaw, September 17, reported that both sides had agreed to announce that day that they would meet on September 20. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1762) Cabot subsequently acceded to a Chinese request that this be considered a special, unnumbered meeting. (Telegram 749 from Warsaw, October 18; ibid., 611.93/10-1862)

Cabot commented and sent recommendations for the next meeting in telegram 564, September 21, and sent a detailed, apparently verbatim report of the meeting in airgram A-240, September 22. (Ibid., 611.93/9-2162 and 611.93/9-2262, respectively)

One hour forty minutes. Deptel 404.22. Telegram 404, September 18, provided guidance for the meeting in the expectation that Wang would charge the United States with responsibility for GRC U-2 overflights of the Chinese mainland. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1762) A Chinese Nationalist-piloted U-2 aircraft was shot down over the mainland on September 9. Circular telegram 414, September 9, states that the Department of State had that day issued a statement that two U-2's had been sold to the GRC by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in July 1960 and that an export license had been issued. (Ibid., 793.5622/9-962) President Kennedy reiterated this at a September 13 press conference. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 675)

1. Wang opened saying meeting called because he was instructed launch strongest protest re intrusion American U-2 September 9 on espionage mission and demand US stop such flagrant aggression. Said reconnaissance solely directed by US which held fully responsible for it. Said whole world knows this and ChiComs possess ample evidence prove it. Referred to June 23 meeting when US indicated no intention attack China and would not support Chiang in such. Said plane intrusion not consistent with pledge not to attack China by armed force and it evident this latest aggressive act was important step by US to incite Chiang attack Mainland. If present administration any different in China policy from previous two, it is that it is more adventurous and irresponsible as evidenced by U-2 incident. Stressed gravity of this “act of war provocation undertaken by USG.”

2. Wang continued saying 214 warnings re encroachments issued since 1958. U-2 plane is fourth US espionage aircraft shot down by ChiComs. Said matters could not go on this way indefinitely. We are playing with fire heading toward war. Demanded US “rein in horse in coming to edge of precipice,” stop provocations and sit down to talk seriously regarding withdrawal US forces from Taiwan and Taiwan Strait. Said September 18 US destroyer again operated in waters off Tsingtao on hostile reconnaissance mission. This is sixth such operation since April. Said Chinese cannot ignore this for long and was instructed protest this state of affairs.

3. I responded along lines paragraphs 3, 4 and 633. Paragraph 3 suggested that Cabot observe that an “air of aggrieved innocence” was ill suited to those who reiterated their intention to overcome the GRC by any means. Paragraph 4 stated that the GRC purchased the U-2's directly from the manufacturer and that what it did with them was its own affair. Paragraph 6 declared that the argument that U.S. manufacture of aircraft made the United States responsible for their use was untenable. reference telegram and in doing so observed that Wang had repeatedly indicated in these talks ChiCom intention to overcome GRC by any means including use of force and asked whether he then expected GRC to take no precautions against ChiCom declared purpose. Continued with substance paragraph 9 reference telegram and last portion paragraph 8.44. Paragraph 9 stated that no U.S. naval vessels had been within 12 miles of any land held by Wang's side. Paragraph 8 stated that in the absence of international agreement, the United States protested all claims of a 12-mile limit as unilateral assertions but that in the interest of avoiding incidents, it did not as a general practice exercise its legal rights with regard to passage and overflight to the full limits.

4. Wang said U-2 espionage could not be denied, was yet another provocation against China which raised extreme indignation of Chinese people. Said attempt portray supply of U-2 to China as commercial transaction did not fool anyone. Said U-2 stationed in many parts of world for espionage purposes and it well known all under direct control of US. Asked how those stationed in Taiwan could be exception. Said Senior official Japanese Defense Board had said U-2s never previously been turned over to foreign country but were under direct control US military. Said in fact all “criminal activity” over Mainland was organized by CIA branch in Taiwan. Quoted New York Times September 10 and September 13 re photo reconnaissance activities of US and Time articles September 14 to effect US has no plans to ground U-2s and has not made pledge refrain from flying over other nations except for USSR.

5. I said it was necessary consider historical development our dispute if it was to be in proper perspective. Reminded Wang our difficulties really began when ChiCom troops in defiance UN resolution fought our troops in Korea who were there in pursuance UN resolution. That made clear problem was international one. Referred again to our treaty with GRC which we intended carry out. Said as long as his side displayed aggressive attitude, it was logical for a state threatened and for friends of that state to take due precautions. Said his side had not only threatened use of force but has used force repeatedly against GRC. Asked how he could consider flight of unarmed plane over Mainland as act of provocation. Said I had no intention giving Wang any information as to any military collaboration we may be furnishing GRC but would say his statements seriously distorted. Referring to Wang's claim his side had never sent aircraft into US airspace, reminded him ChiComs had however sent many divisions their soldiers to fight US in Korea. Said this was vastly more aggressive act than anything Wang had alleged re US activities. Assured him statement in June 23 meeting continued to be policy my government.

6. Wang said could by no means accept “various justifications” for intrusion U-2. Re origin our dispute, said it was US armed occupation Taiwan and US aggression Korea which brought crisis in Far East. Since then US not only has not stopped its aggressive acts against China but stepped them up. Said it was not true US naval vessels had not entered territorial waters China. Tsingtao area was special objective of reconnaissance and US vessels had gone back and forth in this area in prolonged reconnaissance. This was deliberate provocation. Repeated in detail his accusations re U-2. Said to prevent recurrence U-2 incident and relax tension US should order all American high-altitude planes from Taiwan, withdraw CIA branch from Taiwan, withdraw Task Force of 13th Air Force, and all other forces.

7. I said did not recall we had ever complained re supplies sent Wang's side by Soviets. If carried Wang's argument to logical conclusion, he might complain to US because some of weapons they used in capturing Mainland cities were of US manufacture. Repeated we were not occupying Taiwan but were there by agreement and degree our support was question to be decided between US and GRC. I pointed out absurdity Wang's charge of aggression in connection unarmed aircraft over Mainland. Wang replied it was matter of the sovereignty of a given state to lay down breadth its territorial waters which were sacred and inviolable. Intruding aircraft whether combat or reconnaissance is aggression and cannot be tolerated by sovereign state. Said he did not know what US would say if foreign aircraft intruded into its airspace. I said we had both made our positions clear and saw no point in further repetition.

Next meeting October 25.55. The next meeting was postponed at Chinese request until December 13. Telegram 719 from Warsaw, October 15, reported that the Chinese Embassy had requested the postponement, saying that Wang planned to go to China. Telegram 532 to Warsaw of the same date approved the postponement. (Both ibid., 611.93/10-1562)

Cabot

* Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/9-2062. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Taipei, Hong Kong, Geneva, Stockholm, and Moscow.

1 The meeting was held at Chinese request. Telegram 517 from Warsaw, September 15, reported the request for an emergency meeting on September 17. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1562) Since Cabot was out of the country, the U.S. Embassy suggested September 21. Telegram 525 from Warsaw, September 17, reported that both sides had agreed to announce that day that they would meet on September 20. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1762) Cabot subsequently acceded to a Chinese request that this be considered a special, unnumbered meeting. (Telegram 749 from Warsaw, October 18; ibid., 611.93/10-1862)

Cabot commented and sent recommendations for the next meeting in telegram 564, September 21, and sent a detailed, apparently verbatim report of the meeting in airgram A-240, September 22. (Ibid., 611.93/9-2162 and 611.93/9-2262, respectively)

2 Telegram 404, September 18, provided guidance for the meeting in the expectation that Wang would charge the United States with responsibility for GRC U-2 overflights of the Chinese mainland. (Ibid., 611.93/9-1762) A Chinese Nationalist-piloted U-2 aircraft was shot down over the mainland on September 9. Circular telegram 414, September 9, states that the Department of State had that day issued a statement that two U-2's had been sold to the GRC by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in July 1960 and that an export license had been issued. (Ibid., 793.5622/9-962) President Kennedy reiterated this at a September 13 press conference. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 675)

3 Paragraph 3 suggested that Cabot observe that an “air of aggrieved innocence” was ill suited to those who reiterated their intention to overcome the GRC by any means. Paragraph 4 stated that the GRC purchased the U-2's directly from the manufacturer and that what it did with them was its own affair. Paragraph 6 declared that the argument that U.S. manufacture of aircraft made the United States responsible for their use was untenable.

4 Paragraph 9 stated that no U.S. naval vessels had been within 12 miles of any land held by Wang's side. Paragraph 8 stated that in the absence of international agreement, the United States protested all claims of a 12-mile limit as unilateral assertions but that in the interest of avoiding incidents, it did not as a general practice exercise its legal rights with regard to passage and overflight to the full limits.

5 The next meeting was postponed at Chinese request until December 13. Telegram 719 from Warsaw, October 15, reported that the Chinese Embassy had requested the postponement, saying that Wang planned to go to China. Telegram 532 to Warsaw of the same date approved the postponement. (Both ibid., 611.93/10-1562)