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July 18, 1955

Plan for the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks in Geneva

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I. On 13 July, the US government, through the British government, suggested to our government that China and the US each send an ambassadorial level representative to Geneva for talks, which would aid “the repatriation of civilians to their own countries” and for “settling other practical matters at issue between the two sides.” On the 15th, we replied to the US through the British government, agreeing to the US proposal. We also proposed July 21 as the date for the first meeting.


II. It looks as if the US proposal is a result of various outside pressures. The US hopes to settle some concrete issues under conditions favorable to it. Should these issues not be settled satisfactorily, the US would use this to accuse us of dilatoriness so as to shun them from strong outside pressure. The US also expects to avoid the discussion of the situation in the Taiwan area, excluding Menon’s mediation, boycotting the proposal we discussed with Menon that the Chinese and US envoys hold talks in the Soviet, British and Indian capitals. Should some of the issues on the US agenda be settled, the US might decide its next move. In sum, the US is adopting a wavering and step-by-step strategy.


Our policy for this meeting: Intensify pressure on the US; strive to resolve some issues so as to make preparations for higher-level Sino-American talks about relaxing and eliminating tension in the Taiwan area. This meeting should not impede but rather will aid the discussion of the Taiwan issue at the four-power Geneva summit, as well as through the mediation efforts of the Soviet Union, Britain and India.


III. Our tactics at the meeting: In order to carry out the aforementioned policy and to foil US sabotage, we should probe and find out if the US is willing to use the meeting as a step for even higher-level talks between China and the US about relaxing and eliminating tension in the Taiwan area. This would play a supporting role in the four-power summit and might create more pressure on the United States.


Should the US agree to a meeting on 21 July, we should propose two agendas for discussion at the first meeting: 1) The return of civilians from both sides to their respective countries; 2) To begin the preparatory stage for China’s proposal at Bandung that China and the US should sit down and talk about relaxing and eliminating tensions in the Taiwan area. If the US agrees to Agenda II, then the Sino-American talks would be held simultaneously and in coordination with the four-power summit. The latter scenario is very unlikely.


Should the US reject 21 July for the beginning of the Sino-American talks and delay it to a time after the four-power summit, or delay in replying [making a meeting on 21 July impossible] to our proposal, the Soviet Union would be justified to demand the discussion of the situation in the Taiwan area at the four-power summit. Under such circumstances, whether we should propose the two aforementioned agendas at the Sino-American meeting depends on the result of the four-power summit.


IV. Should the Sino-American talks be limited to the return of nationals, then it is about civilian repatriation. Don’t touch on convicted US military personnel! The US used the word “civilian repatriation” in its documents to us. You may add, although we have no right to discuss the issue of convicted US military personnel, we are willing to notify the US side of the situation on all US nationals in China. 1) US nationals: Some have applied to return to the US, others have not; 2) Convicted US civilians; 3) Convicted US military personnel; 4) US POWs who refuse repatriation. You may reiterate our lenient policy toward the convicted US personnel. You may also point out that all US nationals who have no unresolved cases and apply to return to the US will get an exit permit. As for Chinese nationals in the U.S., we should first point out tat, after the Geneva Conference, the US side notified us of exit permits for twenty-seven Chinese students in 1954, but as of today, six of them have not returned to China. In 1955, the US side notified us of exit permits for eighty-two Chinese students. Because no name list was provided, we have no way of verifying their whereabouts. When China approved the departure of twenty-seven US nationals, we notified the US of all details in a timely fashion. All of them left China. Secondly, we should raise the following requests: 1) The US side should provide us the number and a name list of all Chinese nationals in the US; 2) The US should agree that China and the US entrust a third party to represent its nationals in the other country, primarily to advocate for their return. We propose that we entrust India. If the US representative shows willingness to discuss this matter, we plan to voluntarily notify the US that the Chinese government has approved exit visas for nine US nationals and released three convicted US civilians who behaved well before their sentence expired.


V. Should the US agree to discuss the preparatory work for the Sino-American negotiations on 21 July and ask about the details, we may indicate that it includes members of the negotiation team, time, location and topics.


VI. Wang Bingnan, Chinese Ambassador to Poland, is to be appointed the representative of the Sino-American talks; Li Huichuan, counselor at the Chinese embassy in the Soviet Union and Lin Ping, a commissioner at the Department of American and Oceanic Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, would assist [Wang]. Qiu Yingjue, [a diplomat] at the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, would serve as interpreter and stenographer. Feng Xuan, Chinese minister to Switzerland, and staff members at the Chinese delegation in Switzerland and Consulate General in Geneva should all assist in this endeavor.


The Chinese Foreign Ministry outlines objectives and strategies for negotiating with the United States.

Document Information


PRC FMA 111-00014-01, 2-5. Obtained by and translated by Yafeng Xia.


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