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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 03, 1970

LETTER FROM PRESIDENT GIUSEPPE SARAGAT TO ALDO MORO

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    President Saragat discusses the dilemma between recognizing mainland China and respecting the sovereignty of Taiwan.
    "Letter from President Giuseppe Saragat to Aldo Moro," November 03, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Historical Archive of the Italian Foreign Ministry. Obtained by Enrico Fardella and translated by Joe CaliĆ². https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116476
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The President of the Italian Republic

Rome, November 3, 1970

Dear Moro,

if during the negotiations with Italy mainland China had claimed the right to put in black and white that the Amur basin, located to the left of the river, is Chinese, you would of course have responded with a refusal, in order to avoid causing offence to a free nation like the Soviet Union with which we have normal diplomatic relations.

I wonder then why we accept that China put in black and white that Taiwan is Chinese, since China has less historic rights of sovereignty over Taiwan than it does over the left bank of the Amur. The unwarranted offense in this case is caused to the United States, with whom not only do we have diplomatic relations but which, as a result of various treaties, is also our ally.

What right do we have - we who suffer, like all responsible men, to avoid the worst, the gross violations in Europe to the right to independence of peoples who are our friends - to endorse the sovereignty of the People's Republic over eight million human beings who until proven otherwise - that is, with a free plebiscite - do not want to disappear as a nation?

It is obvious that mainland China has every right to be part of the UN as the sole representative of the Chinese people. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I set in motion this logical evolution of relations between Italy and the People's Republic of China and between the UN and mainland China, with the opening of a commercial agency in Beijing. But there is a huge difference between this and expelling Taiwan from the UN and even voting for Albania's Maoist motion. Do you not think so?

Sincerely,

[signed Giuseppe Saragat]

Hon. Prof. Aldo MORO

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

ROME

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