Volume #21 - 95.|
NATIONS UNIES ET AUTRES ORGANISATIONS INTERNATIONALES
QUESTIONS PRÉSENTÉES À LA DIXIÈME SESSION DE L`ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE
REPRÉSENTATION DE LA CHINE
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 15 août 1955|
CHINESE REPRESENTATION IN THE UNITED NATIONS|
The attached telegram from the Permanent Delegation to the United Nations? outlines a United Kingdom proposal to change the wording of the moratorium resolution, which was adopted at the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Sessions, postponing consideration of the question of Chinese representation at the General Assembly for the current year. The United Kingdom is concerned lest a resolution along the lines of the one adopted at the Ninth Session ("The General Assembly decides not to consider at its Ninth Session during the current year any proposals to exclude representatives of the Republic of China or to seat representatives of the Central People's Government") might be adopted only with a reduced majority, the psychological effects of which might be harmful to the Western position. The United Kingdom, therefore, offered "as a very tentative suggestion" that the resolution be re-worded to read that ("The General Assembly decides that the time has not yet come to consider, etc."). While Wadsworth of the United States delegation is apparently also concerned about the possibility of a reduced majority in support of the moratorium, he said that he did not think that the State Department would like the United Kingdom proposal. However, Crosthwaite of the United Kingdom delegation told a meeting of old Commonwealth representatives that the United Kingdom did not intend making an issue out of the wording of the moratorium resolution. The United Kingdom was not formally committed to supporting the moratorium resolution, whatever its wording, but he was sure that it had every intention of doing so. Finally, the United Kingdom would like our views on the wording of the resolution, and on the substantive question whether there should be such a resolution to dispose of the question of Chinese representation.
2. There are many disadvantages to a moratorium resolution, whatever its wording. It is a delaying tactic which does nothing to solve the problem at issue at a time when many countries believe that the time is becoming ripe to attempt its solution, or at least to explore avenues which may lead to some satisfactory result. Since the moratorium resolution has been used as a tactical device since the Sixth Session, its reintroduction this year may give the appearance that on this particular issue the West is being intransigent. We should try to avoid a split on the issue that takes the form of the Soviet bloc plus the non-involved Asian nations against the West. The nations of Asia may consider with some justice that since the Bandung Conference and the other signs of an improved atmosphere for negotiation, the West should make an effort to modify its position. In such circumstances, the maintenance of our previous stand on the question of Chinese representation may give a semblance of validity to the Chinese claim that the Western countries are trying to avoid the discussion of Far Eastern problems, especially since Mr. Dulles has in fact been cool to the idea of a Far Eastern Conference at this time in spite of the fact that the Indians (as well as the Chinese) have supported the idea.
3. From our own point of view, a modification of our stand may be desirable. If the Chinese can be convinced that our desire to move forward, and eventually to evolve a satisfactory pattern of relations with them, is sincere, then they may themselves be encouraged to make some concessions on fundamental problems. It is admittedly arguable whether we should make any concessions, and the State Department believes that the recent Chinese moves do not call for any counter-moves by the United States. When the matter is looked at objectively, this is undoubtedly so. The Chinese treatment of Colonel [John K.] Arnold [Jr.] and of the others in his group betrays a complete disregard for the individual, and the mildness of the United States reaction to the account of the tortures they underwent is remarkable.128
4. Nevertheless, if, as President Eisenhower said at San Francisco, we should not overlook any opportunity to promote the chances of peace,129 then we should also be prepared to make concessions if only to avoid the re-occurrence of such an atmosphere of crisis as that which prevailed last winter and spring. We should take into account that the Chinese may themselves be pushed back into intransigence by what they consider to be intransigence on our part, an eventuality which is not unlikely in view of the gulf which still separates them from us. In these circumstances the United Nations may be the most appropriate forum for us to make known new proposals, since it is almost unanimously admitted that the admission of Communist China to the United Nations is inevitable, given the continued avoidance of a general war. Concessions made at this time would, therefore, not change the long term result, while their political value on our relations with the Asian countries (not to speak of the Chinese) would be much greater if made now than if postponed. In any case, we might at least consider other alternatives which would avoid the question of a vote on a moratorium resolution.
5. At the Fifth Session, our Delegation proposed the appointment of a committee to consider the question of Chinese representation in the United Nations and make recommendations on the issue.130 This proposal was adopted, but the committee was not able to agree, and the Assembly took no further action. However, since the conditions leading to successful negotiation seem to be more hopeful now than they were in 1949-50, it is not certain that the result of a similar committee's work would be failure as it was on the previous occasion, and it would seem to be more desirable to have the question discussed in a United Nations context than outside it as at present. The resolution setting up such a committee might take the following form: "The General Assembly decides to set up a Committee empowered to hold hearings on the question of Chinese representation within the United Nations, and to receive the views of the delegate of the Republic of China and of representatives of the Central People's Government as well as those of any interested member of the United Nations". The committee might be instructed to circulate a written report by a certain date (say May 30) embodying the result of its discussions, but it need not be instructed to make firm recommendations. It is difficult to say what would be the chances of acceptance of such a plan, and in any case our immediate object should be to try to gain the adherence of our friends to the proposal, whose main advantage would be to overcome the defects of the moratorium.
6. On the attitude to be taken by the Western nations and ourselves in the work of such a committee, we might propose as a partial solution of the problem that the General Assembly take preliminary action by de-recognizing, in effect, the delegation of the Republic of China and making clear that it only considers the Republic of China as qualified to speak for Formosa pending a solution of the problem regarding the island's final disposition. While such a proposal would not solve the problem entirely, it would have the effect of demonstrating our willingness to work towards a solution and would be an effective first step in that direction. It would at the same time clear up the illogicality of the present position of the delegation of the Republic of China.
7. The advantages of action of this kind in the General Assembly would be the following:
(1) It would prepare the way for further progress on the issue.
(2) It would make more logical the position of the Nationalists in the United Nations.
(3) It would gain time in the hope that the recent favourable developments in the Far East would continue, and so prepare Canadian and American public opinion for eventual recognition of Communist China.
(4) It would demonstrate our willingness to seek solutions to the problems at issue and to abandon the status quo.
(5) It would not be a concession on a matter of principle, since it is generally admitted that the Chinese will eventually be admitted to the United Nations. On the other hand, the effect on the non-involved countries of such preliminary action at this time would be greater than if we postponed it.
(6) It would mark progress towards a de facto solution of the China problem along "two Chinas" lines.
(7) Although it might be objected that the time is not yet ripe for re-opening the question, it was not in fact ever closed. Our proposal would simply return it to its United Nations context.
8. The disadvantages are the following:
(1) The proposal might be too far-reaching to be accepted by the United States at this time.
(2) The Russians themselves might prefer a straight vote on a moratorium in order to emphasize the split between Asia and the West on the issue. However, if we managed to convince India of the soundness of our approach, the Russians might be forced to accept a compromise.
(3) Discussion of the question now in the United Nations, by exacerbating the problem, might retard its solution.
9. Although these suggestions may on further examination appear to be quite impracticable, they may have the merit of interesting some of the other Western delegations (especially the French) and so start a current of opinion in favour of going beyond the present unsatisfactory situation. Discussion with other delegations could also turn up alternative proposals. In any case such discussion would be salutary, and especially if it could be made clear to the United States that some of their allies are unhappy about the device of the moratorium resolution.
10. If you agree with this approach, we might then engage in discussions with the United States and other delegations in order to see how far we can proceed with our proposal.131