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Transcript of July 9, 1971, Secret Visit by National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai

Transcript of July 9, 1971, Secret Visit by National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai

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Published by Fatal Politics
During his secret trip to China to arrange for President Richard M. Nixon's public visit, National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger outlined to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai the terms under which Nixon would accept a North Vietnamese takeover of South Vietnam. Nixon would agree to total withdrawal of American troops in return for release of American Prisoners of War (POWs) held by Hanoi and a ceasefire-in-place (pp. 19-20) that would leave North Vietnamese troops occupying and governing parts of the South.

The ceasefire, lasting "say 18 months or some period," (p. 36) would provide Nixon with a "decent interval" of a year or two between his final withdrawal of American troops and Hanoi's final takeover of the South.

Kissinger also said, "there should be respect for the Geneva Accords," (p. 20) the 1954 agreement that divided Vietnam into North and South, but made it clear that the North could resume seeking military conquest without fear of US intervention following a "decent interval."

"If the agreement breaks down, then it is quite possible that the people in Vietnam will fight it out," Mr. Kissinger told the premier. "If the government is as unpopular as you seem to think, then the quicker our forces are withdrawn, the quicker it will be overthrown. And if it is overthrown after we withdraw, we will not intervene." (pp. 35-36.)

Historian Jussi Hanhimaki first brought these passages to light:
http://www.shafr.org/passport/2001/dec/smoking.htm

This transcript, prepared by staff of the National Security Council, remained classified Top Secret for decades after the fact, giving Nixon and Kissinger time to burnish the legend of the opening to China.
During his secret trip to China to arrange for President Richard M. Nixon's public visit, National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger outlined to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai the terms under which Nixon would accept a North Vietnamese takeover of South Vietnam. Nixon would agree to total withdrawal of American troops in return for release of American Prisoners of War (POWs) held by Hanoi and a ceasefire-in-place (pp. 19-20) that would leave North Vietnamese troops occupying and governing parts of the South.

The ceasefire, lasting "say 18 months or some period," (p. 36) would provide Nixon with a "decent interval" of a year or two between his final withdrawal of American troops and Hanoi's final takeover of the South.

Kissinger also said, "there should be respect for the Geneva Accords," (p. 20) the 1954 agreement that divided Vietnam into North and South, but made it clear that the North could resume seeking military conquest without fear of US intervention following a "decent interval."

"If the agreement breaks down, then it is quite possible that the people in Vietnam will fight it out," Mr. Kissinger told the premier. "If the government is as unpopular as you seem to think, then the quicker our forces are withdrawn, the quicker it will be overthrown. And if it is overthrown after we withdraw, we will not intervene." (pp. 35-36.)

Historian Jussi Hanhimaki first brought these passages to light:
http://www.shafr.org/passport/2001/dec/smoking.htm

This transcript, prepared by staff of the National Security Council, remained classified Top Secret for decades after the fact, giving Nixon and Kissinger time to burnish the legend of the opening to China.

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Published by: Fatal Politics on Jun 30, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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07/17/2011

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...-----1vIEMORANDUM
THE
WHITE
HOUSE
WASHINGTON
..!
TOPSECRET/SENSITIVE/EXCLUSIVELYEYES
ONLY
JulyZ9,1971
MEMORANDUMFOR
HENRY
A.
KISSINGERSUBJECT:MemconofYourConversationswithChouEn-laiAttachedisthetranscriptoftheJuly
9
afternoon,dinner,andeveningsessionsinPeking.ThiswasputtogetherbyHoldridge,Smyser,andmyself.Unsurprishigly,itmakesfascinatingreading.Followingareafewpreliminaryimpressionsuponreadingoverthisrecord,noneofwhichdivergesfromthefeelingswehadwhenweleftPeking:--Choudoes
corrie
acrossveryimpressively,evenwithoutthepresenceofhispersonality.Sodoeshisoppositenumber,Oueisstruckagainjusthowllsearching,sweeping,andsignificant"thesetalkswere.--ThegeneralcommentswehavemadeonChou'sstyleholdup.
He
isperhapsalittlemorerhetorical,withoutbeingnasty,thanwerememberhim.Hisgreatemphasisonhistorycomesthrough,andhe'iscarefultopointout(forexample,onTaiwanandIndo-china)thatPresidentNixonisnotresponsibleforthernistakesofthepastwhichheinherited.
/
--OnTaiwan,hewastoughbutclearlyunderstoodtheneedfortimeonthepoliticalside.--On
Indo
china,hislanguagewasrelativelyrestrained,buthegavefirmsupport
to
hisfriendsandahands
-off
attitude,evenwhilerecognizingthelinkyouwereestablishingbetweenthis
issue
andTaiwan.
His
pre-;occupationwithJapan.
REPRODUCEDATTHENATIONALARCHIVES
'/SENSITIVE/EXCLUSIVELYEYES
ONLY(continued)
 
TOPSECRET/SENSITIVE/EXCLUSIVELYEYESONLY_
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/
YouwillrecallthatyoupromisedChouthefiguresonourLendLeaseaid(pages
40-41).
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1940-1948
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31,1948)
weprovided
$48,405,414,576.59,
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-----
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REPRODUCEDATTHENATIONALARCHIVES
 
WASHHl'OTON
MEMORANDUM
THEWHITEI-lOUSE
TOPSECRET!SENSITIVEIEXCLUSIVELYEYESONLYMEMORANDUMOFCONVERSATIONPartidpants:PzirneMinisterChouEn-lai,People'sRepublicofChinaYehChien-ying,ViceChairman,MilitaryAffairsCommission,ChineseCommunistParty,PRCHuang
Hua,
PRCAmbassadortoCanadaChangWen-chin,Director,WesternEuropeandAmericanDepartment,PRCMinistryofForeignAffairs
One
OtherChineseOfficial,andDeputyChiefofProtocolTangWen-shengandChiChao-chu,ChineseInterpretersChineseNotetakers
o·
Dr.HenryA.Kissinger,AssistanttothePresidentforNationalSecurityAffairsJohnHoldridge,SeniorStaffMember,NSCWinstonLord,SeniorStaffMember,NSC
W.
RichardSmyser,SeniorStaffMember,NSCPlace:ChineseGovernmentGuestHouse,PekingDateandTime:July
9,1971,
AfternoonandEvening
(4:35
pv
rn,-
11:20
p.m.)PMChou:Thereisspecialnewsthisafternoon--youarelost.
/
(Pxerrri
erChouofferscigarettestotheAmericanparty.)Noonewantsone?Ihavefoundapartythatdoesntsmoke.Firstofall,
I
would
like
towelcomeyou,especiallyasDr.KissingeristhespecialrepresentativeofthePresident.
Dr.
Kissinger:
It
isagreatpleasuretobehere.
I
havelookedforwardalongtimetothisopportunity.PMChou:AsChairmanMaoTse-tunghasalreadyspokenaboutthistoEdgarSnow,thereisnoneedtoelaborate.
I
believeyouhavefirst-handknowledgeofthisarticlebynow.Dr.Kissinger~
I
readitwithgreatattention.
PM
Chou:YoucIonotknow
Mr.
EdgarSnow?
REPRODUCEDATTHENATIONALARCHIVES
/SENSITIVE/EXCLUSIVELYEYES
ONLY
J

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