Declassified state dept memos on Taiwan

As I was digging around the US National Security Archives the other night…. ( ~I found the link by accident) I came across some interesting declassified state dept. documents relating to Taiwan and US relations. I know this will bore most people, but I’ll post some links here for future reference anyway. Maybe good for a rainy evening read. Its interesting because I think at the time, one of the things the US was most worried about was improved Soviet/Sino relations. Now in 2006, Russia/China have become partners on many issues (Iran~Syria~oil pipelines~military hardware~space~euro/oil~BRIC~SC~china business in Russian far east), so what happened back then is still playing out today, especially with Taiwan. I found the articles on US nukes on Taiwan and also how the Shanghai Communique came about most interesting. (somewhat related to each other because removing them was a condition Kissinger/Nixon discussed for improved sino relations ~ along with selling out Taiwan).

Do a search on “Taiwan” in either of these search pages: or read some of the links below if interested:

Top secret telegram: Conversation with CKK regarding Redeployment of nukes in Taiwan Also a follow-up authorization letter from CINPAC to withdraw missiles by end of ’74 and Top secret doc from ’69 about basing fighter jets at Tainan airfield

When told that there were once two types of U.S. nuclear weapons deployed on Taiwan, most Americans are surprised. Matador cruise missiles were first deployed on Taiwan in January 1958; they were removed in mid-1962. The second type were nuclear bombs, which were stockpiled at Tainan air base. The U.S. Air Force had been rotating nuclear-capable F-100 fighter-bombers through Taiwan since 1958, so the bombs were undoubtedly deployed to facilitate access in a crisis. During the 1960s, the air force deployed F-4 fighter-bombers on Taiwan, later putting two to four of them on 24-hour quick-reaction alert. Read here and here.

*I think few people realize the Kimen shelling in ’58 had Eisenhower seriously considering nuking some cities in China. I had a pic of Eisenhower in Taipei, but couldn’t find, so here is a Eisenhower hellnote from way back when. Also, slightly related: Taiwan’s nuclear intentions and The US, China and the bomb

There is also lots of info on Nixon’s and Kissingers trip to China

For example, the Peng Meng-min issue was discussed by Kissinger and Premier Zhou: [i]The largest excised section, focusing on the Peng Meng-min affair, reflects Beijing’s concern about the Taiwanese independence movement. Bitterly opposed to the Nationalist regime imposed by mainlanders led by Chiang Kai-shek, native-born Taiwanese had created an underground pro-independence movement, which elicited sympathetic reactions in the United States. Peng, an international relations professor at National Taiwan University and a former diplomat, had turned into an opponent of Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship and a supporter of independence. During the mid-1960s, Peng was arrested on sedition charges and sentenced to eight years in prison, but international protest led to the commutation of his sentence after he had served seven months. Peng remained under close surveillance but secretly fled to Sweden in early 1970, with the help of local supporters and the Swedish chapter of Amnesty International. While in Sweden, Peng applied for a U.S. visa so he could hold a research position at the University of Michigan’s Chinese Studies program.

The Nixon White House had been none too happy about Peng’s visa application – and Vice President Agnew opposed it altogether – but Kissinger and the State Department decided that it was better to approve the visa than face “congressional and public criticism which would prove harmful to U.S. policy” toward Taiwan. Peng’s status as a former participant in Kissinger’s international seminar at Harvard may have softened Kissinger’s attitude in this instance. The State Department granted the visa in September 1970. Plainly, Peng’s status grated on Zhou: he had already brought it up with Kissinger during the secret trip suggesting that the CIA was behind the escape. Zhou brought up the issue of possible U.S. complicity again during the talks with Nixon, but Kissinger denied it and observed that left-wing groups had helped Peng escape. In any event, both Nixon and Kissinger assured Zhou that they would not support Taiwanese independence, although they were careful to note that that they could not use force to halt it if it came to pass. As Zhou suggested, Chiang kai-shek could repress pro-independence forces because the idea of an independent Taiwan was as anathema to him as it was to Zhou. Peng remained a thorn in Beijing’s side; after political conditions on Taiwan had improved, he returned and ran as the presidential candidate of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. While Peng had little chance of winning, the campaign elicited a large Chinese naval demonstration and missile shots over Taiwan, one of the major episodes in the 1995-96 crisis over Taiwan. [/i]

Kissinger’s Second Trip in 71 to prep for Nixon’s Feb ‘72 visit. (covers how the Shanghai Communique came about). This is trival, but interesting:

Before landing in China, Kissinger and his party remembered that the Lin Biao Affair had occurred just a month earlier and began to worry whether the event would bring an “unpleasant political climate” to their visit…….From the Beijing airport to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the traffic was cut off and the streets were full of police as the American delegation drove through. The Americans also saw several slogans against American imperialism in the streets. After the delegation members entered their hotel rooms, they found that there was a sign in English with the slogan of “People of the World, Unite! Overthrow the American Imperialists and their Running Dogs!” in each room. Kissinger was very displeased and worried that the new and fragile process of the Sino-American reconciliation would be suspended again. He ordered all the signs gathered and handed them to a Chinese protocol officer, telling him that “the dispatches must have been left behind by the delegation who stayed at the hotel before.” The Americans did not react more than this. Premier Zhou was very angry when what had occurred was reported to him. He asked the head of the Protocol Department for the reasoning behind the signs in the hotel rooms. He was told that it was an old custom of the Xinhua News Agency. Afterwards this incident was reported to Chairman Mao. Mao said: “Tell the Americans, these are nothing but empty words.” Subsequently, Premier Zhou would mention the “empty words” Afterwards, Premier Zhou also emphasized that during the meetings that Americans should pay attention to how China acted and not…

This is a complete collection, lots of declassified docs: New Documentary Reveals Secret U.S., Chinese Diplomacy Behind Nixon’s Trip which includes this link: Kissinger’s Secret Trip

The documents show that general agreement on the Taiwan problem was the sine qua non for Nixon’s trip and diplomatic normalization generally, although Kissinger elided that issue altogether in his memoirs. Nixon was reluctant to give up too much on Taiwan, but he knew that the success of the trip depended on U.S. admission that it did not seek "two Chinas or a “one China, one Taiwan solution.”

This includes an almost complete transcription of the talks. Its easy/interesting read. “Why did we send the Chinese peoples volunteers during the Korea War? Because Truman compelled us. He sent the Seventh fleet in to the Taiwan Straits so that it wasn’t possible for us to recover Taiwan.”

add photo link

Thanks for the links and quotations. Everyone should check out these archives.

4nr -
Agree with Atribilious - great info to read thru.

An earlier post on the Nixon/Kissinger files: previously secret material on Nixon’s 1972 China trip.

I was there :sunglasses:

Interesting follow up on Kissinger’s Treachery towards Taiwan (warning - end part slants globlist CT ~ but hey, thats who kissinger and gang really are)

“In the transcripts, both Kissinger and Zhou agreed that the relations with the Kuomintang regime on Taiwan were linked to the war in Vietnam. The US was seeking China’s help in ending the war in exchange for Washington’s switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. These transcripts show that in his eagerness to get China’s help in ending the Vietnam War - which didn’t materialize - Mr. Kissinger tried to trade away something that wasn’t his to give away: Taiwan’s future as a free, democratic and independent country.”

The KMT should put together their bamboo union hitsquad again and do an Eichmann on Kissinger for burning them so badly. (ok, just joking). Interestingly, it was George Bush who was the UN ambassabor at the time and had to deal with the changing of relationships.

Great find 4nr!

4nr, as usual you impress me with your fantastic knowledge about Taiwan. Do you have a website of some sort? I’ve been going through the list of books you recommended and wondered if you had more. I’d gladly purchase a few copies and spread them amongst the Taiwanese American youth here in America. Thanks.

Read up some on KGB officer Victor Louis (aka Viktor E. Lui and Vitali Yevgen’yevich) and his meetings with Chiang Ching-Kuo in the early 1970s…Chiang was offering Peng-Hu for rent to the Soviet Navy in order to squeeze the US.

His plan backfired.

Great stuff.

I’m surprised the Soviets didn’t take him up on Penghu. Would have been a nice spot to be based.

[quote=“Lord Lucan”]Great stuff.

I’m surprised the Soviets didn’t take him up on Penghu. Would have been a nice spot to be based.[/quote]

The USSR was willing but the US told CCK that if he tried it Taiwan would be reunited with the Motherland toot sweet. :laughing: