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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 07, 1955

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY TO WANG BINGNAN, 'TALKING POINTS FOR THE FOURTH MEETING'

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    Instructions from the PRC Foreign Ministry on how to handle the three Chinese proposals that had not been satisfied in the 3rd meeting: The request for a name list of all Chinese nationals in the US, the demand that the US revoke its restriction on the exit of Chinese nationals and students, the proposal that both sides entrust a third country to look after its nationals in the other country.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to Wang Bingnan, 'Talking Points for the Fourth Meeting'," August 07, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00016-01, 5-9. Translated by Yafeng Xia. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114726
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[To] Ambassador Wang [Bingnan]:

At the Sino-American talks, our four proposals regarding the first agenda, except for the third item (re-supplying a name list of 76 Chinese students), have not been satisfied. We still have to struggle with the US over the three other items in order to achieve success. In view of possible counter-arguments on these three items which the US side might raise, we offer the following rebuttals:

1) On Item I (Ask the US to provide us a name list of all Chinese nationals, including students in the United States):

At the third meeting, the US side proposed that this item is beyond the scope of this talk because it only discusses the issue of those civilians who are willing to return to their respective countries. It looks as if the US side will reiterate this view at the fourth meeting. It may clearly state that this issue involves the legal jurisdiction of the Jiang Jieshi clique and thus they cannot hand us a complete list of Chinese nationals.

In rebuttal, we must first point out that we have given the other side a complete list of US nationals in China. Thus, the other side has the same obligation to account for the condition of Chinese nationals. Because the other side has not yet supplied a complete list of Chinese nationals, we cannot find out who is willing to return. It thus hinders the suitable settlement of the return of nationals to their respective country, which is currently under discussion. If the US side clearly and explicitly raises the issue of the legal jurisdiction of the Jiang Jieshi clique, we must solemnly point out that it no longer has the right to represent the Chinese people. Nor do they have the right to look after the interests of Chinese nationals in the United States. Moreover, the majority of the relatives of the Chinese nationals live in mainland China. If the US is vicious and disgusting in words and attitude while raising the issue, we should further warn that if the US is not interested in making this talk meaningless, then we hope that the US side will not use the legal jurisdiction of Jiang Jieshi clique as a subterfuge and not evade a settlement on the issue of the return of Chinese civilians. Lastly, we should point out that both sides must give identical treatment to the issue of the return of civilians so as to bring the issue to a fair and equitable settlement. We also need to stress that only after taking appropriate measures by both sides to reach a suitable and favorable solution can the issue of the return of civilians be settled. Thus, we raise the claim again that the US side supplies a complete list of Chinese nationals.

2) On Item II (Ask the US government to revoke its restriction on the exit of Chinese nationals and students):

At the second and third meetings, the US side claimed that though there were restrictions in the past, these have been lifted. There is no longer anything obstructing Chinese nationals and students from leaving [the US]. The US side will continue to reiterate this point.

We must use concrete examples to prove that Chinese nationals, including students, are still being prevented from leaving. Meanwhile, due to various pressures, many dare not express their wishes to return [to China]. Thus, there is no guarantee to what the US has claimed. The only fair solution is to have a third country look after the affairs of the Chinese nationals in the US

3) On Item IV (Ask the US to agree that both sides entrust a third country to look after its nationals in the other country)

At the third meeting, the US side suggested that there is no restrictions upon Chinese nationals who wish to return [to China]. Thus, all US nationals in China should be released. It is not necessary to entrust a third country to look after them. At the fourth meeting, the US side might continue to delay in replying to our proposal. But the US cannot completely reject our proposal and delay in responding. Thus, we expect that the US side might propose counter-suggestions, i.e., to form an international committee which constitutes countries agreed upon by both sides. Or the alleged Indian proposal, i.e.: a joint committee formed by the Red Cross Societies of several countries agreed upon by both sides or the Red Cross Society of one particular country visits China and the United States, investigating civilians from both countries who are willing to return and aiding in their return. The disadvantage of this proposal is that after a limited period of investigation, the majority of Chinese nationals [in the US] may not want to return [to China]. This will give the US a handle. After our strong resistance, the US might suggest another counter-proposal, i.e. each side entrusts a third country to look after the issue of the repatriation of civilians. If the US side proposes this, we may agree eventually. But at present we should focus our attention on refuting the US counter-argument and foiling the US counter-proposal which is not favorable to us.

We must first explain the necessity of this proposal. We may use examples of Chinese students being prevented from leaving. We may also point out that many Chinese nationals dare not express their wishes due to various pressures. They may have to change their minds afterwards. Additionally, many Chinese nationals encounter great difficulties in raising money for travel expenses. Thus, it is necessary to entrust a third party to look after the interests of Chinese nationals and assist them in returning. If the US proposes the formation of an international committee, or Joint Committee of Red Cross Societies, or Red Cross Society of one particular country to aid in the return of civilians, we must point out that looking after the affairs of civilians, including the affairs of their return, is constant work which could not be handled by a committee or Red Cross Society of one particular country in a certain period of time. Many Chinese nationals who have been prevented from returning have made arrangements to stay. Even if they are allowed to leave, they need time to take care of and terminate their work in the United States. Many students who have not completed their studies in the US cannot leave for now. But once their studies are over, they will need assistance for making travel arrangements. For various reasons, some Chinese nationals have chosen to live in the US for the time being. But they may change their mind anytime and it is imperative to have a third party ready to offer assistance to them. Thus, to rely on one committee to investigate and offer help for a limited period of time will not do. If the US side suggests that both sides entrust a third party to look after their nationals who are willing to be repatriated, they might suggest that both sides entrust the UK so as to bypass India. We reserve our right to comment on the scope of power of the third party. On the US proposal of entrusting the UK for both China and the US, we should point out on the spot that China and the US have sovereign rights to decide on their own choice. The Chinese government has decided to entrust India.

Foreign Ministry

10:00 a.m., 7 August 1955