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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XVII, China, 1969–1972

China, October 1971–February 1972


Document 161: Editorial Note


Document 162: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , October 21, 1971 , 10:30 a.m.–1:45 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1034, Files for the President—China Material, Polo II, HAK China Trip, Transcripts of Meetings. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People. Kissinger's topical briefing materials are ibid. Kissinger met with Chou En-lai on October 20 (Monday) from 4:40–7:10 p.m.; October 21 from 10:30–1:45 p.m. and again from 4:42–7:17 p.m.; October 22 from 4:15–8:28 p.m.; October 23 from 9:05–10:05 a.m.; October 24 from 10:28–1:55 p.m. and 9:23–11:20 p.m.; October 25 from 10:12–11 a.m. and 9:50–11:40 p.m.; and October 26 from 5:30–8:10 a.m. A short “informal memcon” of Chou En-lai's introduction to the Americans accompanying Kissinger on the afternoon of October 20 is also ibid. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 36–41, 43–44, 48, 51–52, and 54–56. Kissinger's schedule is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President—China Materials, HAK's October 1971 Visit. Memoranda of conversation of meetings held among Holdridge, Jenkins, and Hsiung Hsiang-huai, Secretary to the Prime Minister, are ibid. These meetings focused on preparations for the President's trip, trade, and exchanges. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 39 and 43.


Document 163: Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Washington , October 29, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President—China Material, China, HAK's October 1971 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.


Document 164: Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Washington , November 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President—China Material, China, HAK's October 1971 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information. Dated “11/71.” This text is 45 pages long; a 32-page version is ibid., RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 73 D 443, Personal Papers of William P. Rogers, China. This version is edited much the same way as Kissinger's report on his July 1971 visit to the PRC (see footnote 1, Document 144) and also lacks references to progress toward a Sino-American communiqué.


Document 165: Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Washington , undated .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President—China Material, China, HAK's October 1971 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.


Document 166: Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff

Washington , undated .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1035, Files for the President—China Material, China, HAK's October 1971 Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. The only notation is a handwritten “W Lord.” An updated and more detailed paper, “Checklist of Understandings with PRC,” was prepared by Lord on March 16, 1972. It included commitments made during the February 1972 trip to the PRC and listed the date and persons involved, the nature of the agreement, and status. (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 87, Country Files, Far East, Commitments to the PRC) An updated version of the March report, June 17, 1972, is ibid. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 116.


Document 167: Editorial Note


Document 168: National Intelligence Estimate

Washington , October 28, 1971 .

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79R1012, NIC Files. Top Secret. According to a note on the covering sheet, the Central Intelligence Agency and intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, the NSA, and the AEC participated in the preparation of this estimate. All members of the USIB concurred with the estimate except for the representative from the FBI, who abstained on the grounds that the subject was outside his jurisdiction. For the full text of this NIE, see Tracking the Dragon,p. 678


Document 169: Memorandum of Conversation

Washington , October 29, 1971 , 5:23–6:03 p.m .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. IX. Secret; Sensitive. The time of the meeting is taken from Kissinger's Record of Schedule. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) Chow and Shen also met with Rogers, Pedersen, Green, De Palma, and Moser at the Department of State on October 29. The 4-page memorandum of this conversation is in National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM.


Document 170: Memorandum From John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Washington , November 5, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. IX. Secret; Exdis. Sent for information. A note on the memorandum indicates Kissinger saw it.


Document 171: National Security Study Memorandum 141

Washington , November 12, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–188, NSSM Files, NSSM 141. Secret. Copies were sent to Moorer, Gerald Smith, and Russell E. Train (Chairman, Council of Environmental Quality). The memorandum was initialed by Haig. In a November 16 memorandum to De Palma, Cargo wrote that De Palma was to chair the group. (Ibid., RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, National Security Files, NSSM 141)


Document 172: Memorandum of Conversation

Washington , November 15, 1971 , 12:08–12:49 p.m .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 522, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. IX. Top Secret; Sensitive. Kissinger and Shen met in Kissinger's office. The time of the meeting is taken from Kissinger's Record of Schedule. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) On a November 17 covering memorandum prepared by Holdridge, Kissinger indicated that he did not want further distribution of this document. Henry Chen, Political Counselor at the ROC Embassy, relayed a summary of this meeting to Charles T. Sylvester (EA/ROC) on December 1, to which was attached an unsigned December 10 note, which reads in part: “This one is marked for a very restrictive distribution because we know from earlier conversations with them that the Chinese were told by Kissinger to hold the information very closely and the implication was clear that State should not be informed.” (Memorandum of conversation and covering note; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POLCHINAT–US)


Document 173: Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Washington , November 26, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.


Document 174: Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State

Taipei , November 30, 1971, 1130Z .

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POLCHINAT–US. Secret; Priority; Nodis.


Document 175: Response to NSSM 141

Washington , December 3, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, National Security Files, NSSM 141. Secret. The response was submitted by De Palma, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group for NSSM 141, on December 3. A December 3 note in the file by Herz stated: “The NSC Staff has agreed that NSSM 141 should be regarded essentially as a briefing paper.” The NSC staff distributed the paper on December 7 with a covering memorandum that stated that it would be discussed at a Senior Review Group meeting on December 8. No meeting was held however. (Both ibid.) NSSM 141 is printed as Document 171.


Document 176: Memorandum of Conversation

New York , December 10, 1971 , 6:05–7:55 p.m .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. According to a December 15 attached covering memorandum from Lord, Kissinger approved this memorandum. No summary of this meeting for the President was found.


Document 177: Memorandum of Conversation

New York , December 12, 1971 , 3:50–4:20 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.


Document 178: Memorandum From John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Washington , December 13, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 524, Country Files, People's Republic of China, Vol. II. Secret. Sent for information. Initialed by Holdridge and Solomon. According to the attached NSC Correspondence Profile, the memorandum was “noted by HAK” on December 17.


Document 179: Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson) to the Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Karamessines)

Washington , December 27, 1971 .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 285, Department of State, 1 Sep–31 Dec 1971, Vol. XIII. Secret; Sensitive. This memorandum and attachments were forwarded by Deputy Executive Secretary Curran t. Haig on December 27. A short handwritten note, attached, reads: “12/28/71, Laura: No distribution. Gen. Haig has copy with him for HAK. Holdridge has seen. Col. Ken.”


Document 180: Memorandum of Conversation

Key Biscayne, Florida , December 30, 1971, 10:30 a.m .

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 523, Country Files, Far East, China, Vol. X. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The meeting was held at Kissinger's villa at the Key Biscayne Hotel. A short attached note reads: “Coleman: This is ready to go to file. JHH doesn't think it's necessary to have HAK read it through. Eileen.”


Document 181: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Republic of China

Washington , January 1, 1972, 1800Z .

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Text received from the White House on December 15.


Document 182: Editorial Note


Document 183: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , January 3, 1972 , midnight.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1037, Files for the President—China Material, Haig Trip—Memcons, January 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Haig was in the PRC January 3–10 with a team of Americans who made technical arrangements for Nixon's February visit. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People.


Document 184: Message From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Beijing , January 8, 1972

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1015. Alexander M. Haig Special File, Haig China Trip File [Haig Advance Party, December 29, 1971 to Jan 10, 1972] Part 1 of 2. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The message is incorrectly dated January 8, 1971.


Document 185: Memorandum From the Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee (Irwin) to President Nixon

Washington , January 13, 1972 .

Source: National Archives, RG 59, General Files on NSC Matters: Lot 73 D 288, NSC–U/SM Memoranda, 1972. Secret.


Document 186: Message From the Government of the United States to the Government of the People's Republic of China

Washington , January 24, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. No classification marking. This message, a 3-page “Republic of Vietnam and United States Proposal for a Negotiated Settlement of the Indochina Conflict,” and information about communication, aircraft, and other preparations for the President's February 1972 trip were sent to Paris on January 24, under a covering letter from Haig to Walters. (Ibid.) The 3-page document was replaced with a later version, which was sent at 2 a.m. on January 25 under a covering memorandum from Haig to Walters. (Ibid.) See also Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 80 and 81.


Document 187: Memorandum From the Defense Attaché in France (Walters) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)

Paris , January 30, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Secret.


Document 188: Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the Defense Attaché in France (Walters)

Washington , January 31, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. By wire. A handwritten notation on the document reads: “WH 20114 [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]


Document 189: Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the Defense Attaché in France (Walters)

Washington , February 5, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A typewritten notation on the document reads: “(Transmitted 2/5/72 for delivery by Gen. Walters on 2/6/72).”


Document 190: Memorandum From the Defense Attaché in France (Walters) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)

Paris , February 15, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive.


Document 191: Message From the Government of the United States to the Government of the People's Republic of China

Washington , February 16, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, President's File—China Trip, China Exchanges. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The date was handwritten. Another handwritten notation at the top of the page reads: “Gen. Walters, Per our conversation the following message should be passed to the Chinese.” According to Walters' undated memorandum for the record, he passed this message to PRC diplomats in Paris at 6 p.m. on February 17. (Ibid.) See also Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 87.


Document 192: Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs

Washington , February 14, 1972 , 4:09–6:19 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation No. 671–1. Secret. This transcript was prepared by the editor specifically for this volume. Nixon and Kissinger spoke shortly after a meeting with author André Malraux, a conversation that takes up the first half of this tape recording. A memorandum of the conversation with Malraux is ibid., White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Memoranda for the President. Alexander Butterfield was also present for part of the discussion between Nixon and Kissinger.


Document 193: Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Washington , February 19, 1972.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 847, President's File—China Trip, China Visit—Readings on Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai, Book IV, The President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent for information. Much of this document was underlined by Nixon. On February 15 Kissinger forwarded to the President a 21-page paper “prepared by my staff” that “distills some of Mao's major philosophic and political themes drawn from his writings, statements, and actions throughout his life.” Kissinger's covering memorandum and the report are in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical Files, China, Trips, February 1972, Briefing Book. See also Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 86. Other briefing materials or reports on the trip include: 1) Detailed Schedule (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON); 2) Record of Previous Visits Arranged by Subject Matter (ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 846, President's File—China Trip, Book I—HAK's 1971 Visits by Subject Matter and Book II [part I]); 3) Record of Previous Visits (ibid., Box 847, China Trip—Record of previous visits, Book III); 4) Readings on Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai (ibid., China Visit— Readings on Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai, Book IV); 5) Briefing Books (ibid., Briefing papers for the China trip, The President, Books V and V–a); 6) Reading Materials (ibid., China Trip—Reading materials, Book IV); and Department of State reading materials (ibid., Box 848, General reading material, State Department Briefing Book, Book I [Parts I–III]). The President's Daily Diary also contains detailed information on the trip. (ibid., White House Central Files) as does the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, February 28, 1972, pp. 461–499; Public Papers: Nixon, 1972, pp. 367–384; Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report, People's Republic of China, Special Report: President Nixon's Visit to China, March 9, 1972, no. 48, supp. 7; and Department of State Bulletin, March 20, 1972, pp. 419–440. The CIA also prepared Special National Intelligence Estimate 13–72, “Security Conditions in the PRC,” for the President's visit. (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–R1012, NIC Files)


Document 194: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 21, 1972 , 2:50–3:55 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held at Mao's residence. A March 8 covering memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon reads: “Attached at Tab A is the transcript of your meeting with Chairman Mao. I thought you might be interested in looking it over before we put it in the files.” A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. According to a March 28 memorandum from Holdridge and Lord to Kissinger, the NSC staff oversaw the “massive typing workload” needed to prepare these memoranda. (Ibid., NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 88, Country Files, Far East, Sensitive, China—President's Trip, 15–29 Feb 72) The memoranda arranged by subject are ibid., NSC Files, President's File—China Trip, Presidential Conversations in the PRC Arranged by Subject) Copies of short, handwritten notes made by Kissinger and the President during their talks with Chou are in Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical Files, Box CL115, China, Trips, February 1972, Richard Nixon. A complete collection of records of Kissinger's talks in the PRC is in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 92, President's Trip, February 1972, HAK Conversations; and ibid., Box 92, Dr. Kissinger in the PRC During the President's Visit, February 1972.


Document 195: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 21, 1972 , 5:58–6:55 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People.


Document 196: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 22, 1972 , 2:10–6 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People.


Document 197: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 23, 1972 , 2–6 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the President's Guest House.


Document 198: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 23, 1972, 3 p.m.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/NIXON. Secret; Nodis; Homer. The meeting was held in Villa 5 of the Guest House Complex. Drafted by Platt and approved by Rogers on February 28. A complete set of the Rogers–Chi P'eng-fei memoranda of conversation is also ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 91, Country Files–Near East, Memoranda of Conversation between Secretary Rogers and PRC Officials, February 1972. Rogers met with Chi February 22–25 and 28. He had a brief meeting with Chou on February 27. He also attended the February 26 meeting with Nixon and Chou; see Document 201. See also Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Documents 91, 94, 101, 105, 107.


Document 199: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 24, 1972 , 5:15–8:05 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People.


Document 200: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 25, 1972 , 5:45–6:45 p.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held at the President's Guest House.


Document 201: Memorandum of Conversation

Beijing , February 26, 1972 , 9:20–10:05 a.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. This meeting was held at the Beijing Airport. A memorandum of this conversation prepared by the Department of State is ibid., NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Country Files–Far East, Box 91, Memoranda of Conversation between Secretary Rogers and PRC Officials, February 1972.


Document 202: Memorandum of Conversation

Shanghai , February 27–28, 1972, 11:05 p.m.–12:30 a.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Country Files–Near East, Box 92, China, President's Trip, February 1972, HAK Conversations, Dr. Kissinger's Meetings in the People's Republic of China during the Presidential Visit. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held at Kissinger's guest house in Shanghai.


Document 203: Joint Statement Following Discussions With Leaders of the People's Republic of China

Shanghai , February 27, 1972 .

Source: Public Papers: Nixon, 1972, pp. 376–379. Commonly known as the Shanghai Communiqué.


Document 204: Memorandum of Conversation

Shanghai , February 28, 1972 , 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Box 87, Memoranda for the President. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the President's sitting room at Ching Kiang Guest House.