Statements on the U.S. Tilt Toward China from

The Kissinger Transcripts: The Top Secret Talks with Beijing and Moscow

(The New Press, 1999, 515 pp.)

edited by William Burr

A National Security Archive Document Reader

Henry Kissinger's exchange with Amb. Anatoly Dobrynin after the latter asked whether Kissinger had shared intelligence on Soviet force dispositions during his secret trip to China, 8/17/71, p. 45:
"I said, Anatoliy, do you think I would be so amateurish, and do you think that could be of any precise concern to us?' He said he certainly hoped this were true."

Henry Kissinger to Amb. Huang Hua on Soviet force deployments during the India-Pakistan war, 12/10/71, p. 50:
"We have received a report that one of your personnel in Europe, in a conversation with another European, expressed uncertainty about Soviet dispositions on your borders and a desire for information about them. We do not ourselves concentrate on tactical intelligence, and we collect it at irregular intervals by satellite. But we would be prepared at your request, through whatever sources you wish, to give you whatever information we have about the disposition of Soviet forces."

Henry Kissinger discusses U.S.-Soviet negotiations with Huang Hua, 8/4/72, pp. 72-73:
"Our analysis is that there is a deliberate Soviet policy to isolate you, and that the many agreements the Soviet Union has made in the last two years and the patience they have shown in the face of setbacks in the West, can only be explained in terms of aggressive intent in the East. ... We believe the period of greatest danger is likely to come in the period 1974-76."

Henry Kissinger's briefs Amb. Huang Zhen on the U.S.-Soviet summit, 7/6/73, pp. 142-45:
"We talked about China at great length. It was [Brezhnev's] initiative. During the first part of the meeting he violently attacked the Chinese leadership ... He said it would be intolerable to imagine a Chinese nuclear capability in 15 years equal to what the Soviets have today. ... I must say that we considered our discussions with the Soviet quite ominous."

Henry Kissinger to Mao Zedong, 11/12/73, p. 183:
"Things we can keep [secret] in this office, we can keep quite well. But there are no secrets with [you about] the Soviet Union. ... There is nothing we are doing with the Soviet Union that you donít know."

Henry Kissinger offering Zhou Enlai help to counter Soviet hostilities, 11/13/73, pp. 203-04:
"We could be of help in two ways.

--One, if war should be prolonged in the obvious way, we could be helpful by supplying equipment and other services.

--What I want to discuss today is what we can do to shorten the period of vulnerability. ....One problem any country has is early warning ....We would be prepared to establish a hotline between our [military satellites] and Beijing by which we could transmit information to you in a matter of minutes."

During conversation with President Ford and Henry Kissinger, Deng Xioaping requesting high-speed computers, 12/4/75, pp. 403-04 (in September 1976, Ford approved export of computers for oil exploration purposes, with weak safeguards against diversion for military use):
Deng: .. under the present situation, some things we are interested in perhaps you find it impossible to supply. Like for instance computers of a speed of 10 million times. We do not think such issues are of great consequence.

Secretary Kissinger: Our problem is we have refused certain computers to the Soviet Union. [Deng spits into his spittoon]. I think we could approve computers to the People's Republic of China that would be of considerable quality. ....

The President: Mr. Vice Premier, in principle we would be very anxious to be helpful in the computer area.

Return to The Kissinger Transcripts