John Paton

Wu Ningkun




INT: When the Shanghai communiqué was written, you in the State Department really hadn't had much to do with it, and you, as I recall, were very angry about that.

MG: The Shanghai communiqué, I must say, I admired: I think it was a great job, especially the format. Here were two sides that had an awful lot of things on which they disagreed; they had a few things on which they agreed. And the Shanghai communiqué was unique in documents of this nature, because it said what the United States thought and what the Chinese thought, and then it said where there were areas of agreement, and thus each swas able to advertise its wares. The Chinese were very anxious to, and we were too. The real problem with the Shanghai communiqué was the question of Taiwan. (Coughs) And once we made it clear - and Henry Kissinger did that on his advance trip - that we didn't look for any two-China solution, or one-China, one-Taiwan solution: we saw China as a single nation that involved Taiwan, (Coughs) and we were not supporting any Taiwanese independence movements, which was a danger to China, and still is, that we were opposed to that... now once Henry Kissinger made that clear, which incidentally he did at the suggestion of John Haldridge of the State Department who was accompanying him on that initial trip... that ... Zhou Enlai's reaction is "We have no problems." All of a sudden the way was open. Now obviously there were lots and lots of refinements and issues that we had to discuss, but basically that was the breakthrough, when they realized that we were not trying to draw Taiwan away from China, that Taiwan was an integral part of China; we weren't looking for an independent Taiwan. (Clears throat) That was their principal concern. Now, of course, they wanted our forces out of Taiwan too, and in the Shanghai communiqué it was agreed that we would draw down our forces in measure, as peace in the area was... continued. And this was an invitation to China to behave itself. And we would, too. It was a very good document. However, there was one serious flaw. And I might say that Secretary Rodgers and I were with Nixon on this trip, to represent the State Department, and we had some people on our staff who were real specialists, who were Chinese language people, and they had a lot of expertise too. But we were cut out of almost all of the specifics of the negotiation. Periodically, Henry Kissinger would meet with Rodgers and with me. He did it at Honolulu on the way out there, where I thought he put on a splendid performance. If you want to know about it, I'll tell you about it, because it showed he learnt a lot about China on that first trip. (Coughs) But he would show us excerpts from the communiqué and we'd comment on it, and that was it; we didn't see the total document. Rodgers was shown the total document on the plane coming down from Peking to Hangchow, which was a kind of rest stop before we went to Shanghai, where the communiqué was issued, and the next day Nixon went back to the United States. Rodgers was shown it on the plane, and he brought me a copy of it, and he thought it was pretty good. And he showed to me, and I read it, and I saw a very serious flaw that I couldn't believe had not been seen by people up the line, and that is that in this document, when we talk about our position, we said that we will continue to give our support through our mutual security treaties with Japan, Korea, with (Sito Panzers). It said nothing about our treaty obligations to the Republic of China on Taiwan. And when I showed this to Rodgers, he could immediately see what a terrible blunder this was, because people still remembered that Dean Acheson, by leaving out Korea from the area of defense of the United States, had invited a North Korean attack, or so it was said. The same charge we made against Nixon: that he was opening the way for China to go after Taiwan, by not supporting the security treaty. So I told this to Rodgers. He tried to get Nixon, who was staying at the guest house - we were staying in the hotel - and he got Haldeman on the line, and Haldeman said, "Oh, the President

(Glass of water offered)

INT: I just want to finally ask you some of your personal recollections of meeting some of the people you did in China. ... Do you have any sort of anecdotes or recollections of, say, Zhou Enlai, or...?

MG: Well, let me talk about Zhou Enlai, because I can't say much about others. For one thing, I don't speak Chinese, and they keep changing their (Laughs) way of pronouncing their names and so forth, like Peking and Peibing and Beijing. But the one I would talk about is Zhou Enlai, that... I found him to be an extraordinarily effective representative, or should I say statesman. His attention to detail was exhaustive. When there were some young girls and boys when we went to the Great Wall of China and came back by the main tombs, they were out there all sort of dressed up and putting on little games and shows to impress the American press visitors. There were some sour reactions from the American press, that this was all staged for their , and they didn't like it. And Zhou Enlai raised this with Nixon - I was with him at the time - and he said that he apologized for this, and this is a mistake for which he bears responsibility, that clearly that's the kind of thing that shouldn't be done. In other words, coming clean like that - very different from Watergate, which Nixon was already suffering from, by the way, at that time and we didn't know it. (Clears throat) You had a feeling of enormous intensity. There's a wonderful picture in my book of Zhou Enlai looking at me - these piercing eyes. By the way, I've been compared by the Los Angeles Times, in a lengthy article in 1971, as being Zhou's counterpart in the search for a better relationship with the United States, and therefore I think he was rather interested inmeeting me, as indeed I was in meeting him. What I haven't said in my book is a rather interesting encounter that occurred when we were in Shanghai, and this is shortly before the Shanghai communiqué was announced, and I was with Rodgers in his suite in the hotel. And by the way, we were in the Cathay Mansions, and we were on the 13th floor - this is symbolic - and Kissinger's on the 14th, and the President and Mrs. Nixon were on the 15th floor. Anyway, he came up to our floor to visit us, not the President, and (Clears throat) we had a very interesting discussion with him. Now the reason for his call was not clear, but I think it was because he realized that the President had played (Clears throat) very fast and loose with the State Department and that we'd lost face, and that was very important from the point of view of the Chinese. And he also realized, in the future he was going to have to deal with a lot of people from the State Department. But anyway, by calling on Rodgers, it made a great hit with me. Secondly, in that conversation, Rodgers said (Clears throat), "Oh, Mr. Premier, you know, tomorrow Ambassador Green is supposed to go on a flight to Japan on the President's back-up plane with John Haldridge, and to visit Japan and 14 other countries to explain the changes in our China policy and what went on in Peking. And (Clears throat) we've asked for permission for this flight to [go] directly from China to Japan, and we realize it will be the first flight either way in the last 20 years, but there's no other way in which to get to Japan, and it's very urgent that we get to Japan and he talks to the Prime Minister Sato and Foreign Minister Fukado, whom he knows personally" - which I do - "to explain changes in our policy," what I call the U-turn in our foreign policy. And Zhou Enlai's response to this was very interesting. He said, "Mr. Secretary, you do what you think is right, just go ahead and you do what you think is right." And that's all he said. Now of course, we took that as being permission, but he could always say later on, "Well, the Americans did it - I didn't give permission." But it was that kind of astute diplomatic response to a situation and a question, and I thought that it was very impressive. The following day, the President left with his whole entourage and the press and everybody else, leaving John Haldridge and me behind. And we, an hour or two later, b