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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963
Volume XXII, Northeast Asia, Document 73


73. Message From the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency Station in Taipei (Cline) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)SourceSource: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China General, CIA Cables 7/61-10/16/61. Top Secret. The source text was transmitted from the Central Intelligence Agency to the White house, where it was received at 1:25 a.m. on October 16. No time of transmission is on the source text.

Eyes only for Bundy from Cline. This is my In Smilax 5.

1. Presented statement of policy outlined my Smilax 311. Document 72. as amended my Smilax 422. Received at the White House on the evening of October 14. It stated that Cline would change the verbs in each of the four points in his draft proposal from “will” to “should,” would preface them with a statement that Kennedy had instructed him to convey to Chiang as a friend the following statement of policy on some key issues confronting the two countries at the United Nations, and would omit the phrase “at this time” from point two. The changes were in accordance with suggestions sent by Bundy in an October 14 message to Cline, which stated in part that it would be preferable “not to think of this as a confidential understanding, but rather as a private exchange of statements of policy”. Bundy's Out Smilax 5, dated October 15, conveyed Kennedy's approval and authorized Cline to proceed. (All in Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China, General, CIA Cables, 7/61-10/16/61) to President Chiang 0900-1000 16 Oct. Sending by separate message Smilax 633. Received on October 16. (Ibid.) See the Supplement. for the record verbatim text my presentation.

2. President Chiang responded as anticipated that his policy views on the points covered are identical with those of President Kennedy. Said he appreciated Kennedy's personal intervention in matter and had full confidence these policy undertakings are in common interest. Noted he expects gravest political difficulties in carrying out this policy reversal but will personally see that it is done properly.

3. My presentation included as footnote the following: “President Kennedy observes that the U.S. will not vote for admission unless circumstances make it clear that it somehow would be essential to the success of this whole maneuver in support of the GRC.” Gimo said he hoped U.S. would not find it necessary to vote for admission Outer Mongolia and in any case trusts President Kennedy would give him prior warning if this is proposed.

4. The Gimo asked me to tell President Kennedy that he desperately needed one week to ten days to reverse GRC political stand on Outer Mongolia after President Kennedy's public statement and before vote in UN Security Council. Suggested delegations at UN work out this timing.

5. Gimo requested advance notice exact time of President Kennedy's public statement

6. Following background gives insight into GRC policy process. In my marathon talks with George Yeh and Chiang Ching-kuo on 15 October it emerged that Gimo had committed himself to me through his son but still had not disclosed this fact to George Yeh who still late on 15 Oct was discussing with me how to persuade Gimo of points we had worked up and which already had been sent to Washington. Chiang Ching-kuo asked me not to give game away before final approval from Washington. Obviously Gimo was hoping George Yeh's protracted arguments would serve to persuade other top officials that what Gimo had already decided was right. Interestingly George Yeh said by late 15 October he was convinced big majority responsible leaders already persuaded Gimo should not use veto on Outer Mongolia.

7. Gimo requested me not to tell any Chinese that this understanding was worked out through me and Chiang Ching-kuo. Evidently he felt this politically undesirable for variety reasons but his stated reason was he highly valued this private channel for frank exchange of views with President Kennedy and wished to preserve its privacy.

8. At Gimo's request through young Chiang did not brief Ambassador Drumright prior receipt your final approval for fear he inadvertently tip off Foreign Ministry which was then being kept in dark. Consequently briefing Drumright immediately 16 October.

9. Thanks for opportunity “to Smilax” the Gimo and for your excellent guidance and support. Yours by the midnight oil of the lamps of China.44. Cline's final Smilax message, Smilax 7, received at the White House on October 25, reported a conversation with Chiang Ching-kuo on the political procedures involved in reversing the GRC position on the veto of Outer Mongolia. Cline reported that Chiang Kai-shek had specifically asked him to thank Bundy for his help in finding a solution to the problem. He concluded, “Obviously this channel should not be overworked but in view of Gimo's attitude it can be used whenever you feel it is needed.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China, General, CIA Cables, 10/17/61-11/5/6note)

* Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China General, CIA Cables 7/61-10/16/61. Top Secret. The source text was transmitted from the Central Intelligence Agency to the White house, where it was received at 1:25 a.m. on October 16. No time of transmission is on the source text.

1 Document 72.

2 Received at the White House on the evening of October 14. It stated that Cline would change the verbs in each of the four points in his draft proposal from “will” to “should,” would preface them with a statement that Kennedy had instructed him to convey to Chiang as a friend the following statement of policy on some key issues confronting the two countries at the United Nations, and would omit the phrase “at this time” from point two. The changes were in accordance with suggestions sent by Bundy in an October 14 message to Cline, which stated in part that it would be preferable “not to think of this as a confidential understanding, but rather as a private exchange of statements of policy”. Bundy's Out Smilax 5, dated October 15, conveyed Kennedy's approval and authorized Cline to proceed. (All in Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China, General, CIA Cables, 7/61-10/16/61)

3 Received on October 16. (Ibid.) See the Supplement.

4 Cline's final Smilax message, Smilax 7, received at the White House on October 25, reported a conversation with Chiang Ching-kuo on the political procedures involved in reversing the GRC position on the veto of Outer Mongolia. Cline reported that Chiang Kai-shek had specifically asked him to thank Bundy for his help in finding a solution to the problem. He concluded, “Obviously this channel should not be overworked but in view of Gimo's attitude it can be used whenever you feel it is needed.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China, General, CIA Cables, 10/17/61-11/5/6note)