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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1955-1957. China

United States policy with regard to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, January-July 1955,   pp. 1-689 ff. PDF (242.1 MB)

Page 619

                                             The China Area      619
282.    Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State,
        Washington, July 1, 1955, 2:27 p.m.1
    1. MDAP Agreement with Cambodia.
    2. Lessening of Tension in the Taiwan Area.
    U Nu, Prime Minister of Burma  The Secretary
    U Thant, Secretary to U Nu     FE-Walter S. Robertson
    James Barrington, Ambassador of FE-William J. Sebald
      [Here follows discussion of item  1, "MDAP Agreement with
    U Nu raised a question about our attitude towards Chou En-lai's
proposal for direct talks. The Secretary said that he had publicly re-
plied to Chou's suggestions and he wished to make clear that we
would be willing to have direct talks on limited matters of concern to
our two countries, with the understanding that no recognition is in-
volved. Some five intermediaries, however, have been attempting to
explore these problems further. We have therefore postponed action
until such time as all possible information has become available.
Some difficulties will be presented by discussions on when, how and
where to meet, and the agenda. On the other hand, we are not will-
ing in such talks to deal with the interests of third parties. Reference
was made to the direct talks already taking place at Geneva between
our Consul General and the Communist Chinese representative there,
these talks being limited to the civilian prisoners in China. U Nu said
that Chou En-lai referred to talks at a higher level. There is a differ-
ence of opinion on one point: the United States desires to discuss a
cease-fire when no firing is taking place between the United States
and China.
     The Secretary said that we had in mind talking about the possi-
bility of avoiding armed clashes. We certainly would not talk about
the disposal of Taiwan. What we want is to assure that the problems
can be worked out peacefully. As for the substantive aspects of the
problems we must await the evolution of time, for if substantive
matters are forced, no decision can be reached under present condi-
tions and an armed clash would surely result. The CPR wants to get
Taiwan which they haven't had for 60 years. Even the juridical posi-
tion of Taiwan is in doubt. The United States also has an interest in
    1Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751H.5--MSP/7-155. Secret.
by Sebald. The time of the meeting is from Dulles' appointment diary. (Princeton
versity Library, Dulles Papers) For the one revision made on the source text
by the
Secretary, see footnote 3 below.

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