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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 24, 1955

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'ANALYSIS OF THE PRIVATE DINNER AND THE 10TH MEETING AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 11TH MEETING OF THE SINO-US AMBASSADORIAL TALKS'

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    The Foreign Ministry instructed Wang that China would not have a determined time to release all the American citizens, as the US requested. However, China could agree to deal with the issue “as soon as possible” in the amendment.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Analysis of the Private Dinner and the 10th Meeting and Instructions for the 11th Meeting of the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks'," August 24, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00068-03, 8-13. Translated by Yafeng Xia. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110218
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Secret

[To] Ambassador Wang Bingnan:

We have received the two telegrams on the private meeting and the tenth talk on 23 August.

Regarding the other side’s attempt to force us to set a time limit for releasing US nationals, we cannot make any concessions. But in the agreed announcement, we can consent to declare that we have adopted and will further adopt appropriate measures so that American nationals in China can exercise their right to return as soon as possible. We must reiterate that we have tried our best.

At the eleventh meeting, we should first propose our modified agreed announcement and offer the following explanations:

1) Regarding the first sentence in the agreed announcement, we should indicate that we have adopted the formulation in the first US suggestion. So the US should be able to accept it.

2) Regarding the first item in what we have informed the US side, we should indicate that we have taken into consideration US opinion and made the utmost effort and agreed to add the wording of “jinsu [as soon as possible].” If the US side insists on the wording of “xunsu [expeditiously],” claiming that it is from our side, we should point out that when we utilize the word “xunsu,” we indicate that the actual time depends on the conduct of the individual convict and the improvement of Sino-American relations. In this revised agreement, we have not raised these conditions, so it is suitable to use the wording “xunsu.” If the US side once again raises the issue of setting a time limit, we should again firmly state that it is impossible. The Chinese government will review cases of American nationals as soon as possible. Our word counts, but we cannot set a time limit in advance.

3) As for the first item in the US notification to us, in view of the different situation of the nationals from both sides, we may agree to use different formulations in notification to the other side. But in the US formulation, the wording “will further adopt appropriate measures” must be added. Otherwise, it seems that we are already satisfied with what the US has done. In addition, our explanation should indicate that we have already pointed out that Chinese nationals are still being prevented from leaving the United States. We believe that the US government should continue to adopt measures so that they can actually return expeditiously.

4) Regarding third country representation, we must indicate that both China and the US could not authorize but only entrust a third country. In addition, the Indian government should be entrusted by the Chinese government, not authorized by the US government, to assist in the return of Chinese nationals. Similarly, the United Kingdom should be entrusted by the US government, not authorized by the Chinese government, to assist in the return of American nationals. So, in the document, it is not appropriate to use the wording “authorizing a third party;” rather the wording is “a third country being entrusted.”

Foreign Ministry

9:00 p.m., 24 August 1955

Attachment: Agreed Announcement

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