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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963
Volume XXII, Northeast Asia, Document 99


99. Editorial Note

On April 2, 1962, Policy Planning Council Chairman Walt W. Rostow sent Secretary of State Rusk a paper entitled “U.S. Policy Re the Sino-Soviet Conflict,” with a covering memorandum stating that it represented a “communal effort” of a group of policy and intelligence officers. The paper states that its recommendations were based on the conclusion in NIE 11-5-62, “Political Developments in the USSR and the Communist World,” dated February 21, that “Sino-Soviet relations are in a critical phase just short of an acknowledged and definitive split. There is no longer much chance of a fundamental resolution of differences. In our view, the chances that such a split can be avoided in 1962 are no better than even.” For text of NIE 11-5-62, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume V.

The paper recommended (A) psychological exploitation of the dispute through the dissemination of information concerning its development, (B) a judicious increase in official U.S. attention to the dispute, (C) negotiations with the Soviet Union with the objective of finding and capitalizing on areas of overlapping interest, (C) (sic) declarations and concrete military measures to make it clear to the Chinese Communists that aggressive Communist actions would be countered resolutely and effectively, (D) efforts to open new lines of communication to Communist China and to offer it opportunities, possibly including grain sales, “to secure benefits from better relations with us in exchange for modifications in its behavior,” and (E) consideration of the desirability of seeking Chinese participation in disarmament negotiations. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, USSR)

The paper was discussed at a meeting with Rusk on April 17; no record of the meeting has been found. In an April 30 memorandum to Rostow, Rusk approved portions of recommendations (A) and (B) but made no decisions on the other recommendations. (Kennedy Library, Thomson Papers, Far East, Communist China, Sino-Soviet Conflict and U.S. Policy, 4/30/62)