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October 1, 1969

Letter from Aldo Moro to Franco Mario Malfatti

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation




in triplicate

photocopy of copy no. 2


The Minister for Foreign Affairs 061/360


Rome, October 1, 1969


Dear Ambassador,


I am writing in reference to your secret letter no. 410 of September 23rd this year in which you note the more constructive attitude of the Chinese, who appear to be eager to accelerate the current negotiations for recognition.


As regards a possible counterproposal on our part, the first part of the formula you suggested - similar to that obtained at the time by the French - would certainly be acceptable. I am perplexed, however, by the sentence relating to the territory of Taiwan, as we would have to say it. It would be preferable, from a legal point of view, for this statement to be made by the Chinese.


In fact, more serious implications of the breaking off of relations with Taiwan and its possible exclusion from the UN certainly arise from the recognition of Beijing, even though these will not be explicitly set forth.


For our part, however, given the situation, it does not seem appropriate to show any haste in speeding up proceedings.


Negotiations should continue normally, keeping in mind that if a successful outcome is not reached before the vote at the United Nations on the issue of the "Chinese seat", the way will be open for abstention alone. We firmly wish to achieve normalization of our relations with Beijing both in consideration of a desirable clarification of bilateral relations and to assist the United Nations in achieving the universal dimension, which it needs to have. However, an Italian stance - as might be imposed upon us at the outcome of the negotiations - could perhaps cause a series of uncontrolled reactions today at the United Nations, which may be detrimental both to the organization and to the very cause we intend to serve.


In such a case, we must ask whether it is not preferable that the inevitable reactions to our bilateral recognition of Beijing and Beijing's admission to the United Nations do occur in close proximity, but are spread out over a certain period of time.


However, I am waiting to find out the results of your expected personal meeting with the Chinese Ambassador there, and hope these results will provide additional insight, in particular on the best manner and most opportune timing to achieve what we propose.


Believe me, dear Ambassador, Signed MORO





To Ambassador Franco Malfatti

Embassy of Italy



Moro discusses the ongoing negotiations at the UN concerning the recognition of the People's Republic of China.


Document Information


Historical Archive of the Italian Foreign Ministry. Obtained by Enrico Fardella and translated by Joe Caliò.


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