Jim My Account - Foreign Relations Of The United States, 1977

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Historical Documents Department History Guide to Countries More Resources
ATTENDEES State Cyrus Vance Warren Christopher Richard Holbrooke Defense Harold Brown Charles Duncan JCS David Jones CIA Stansfield Turner Robert Bowie white house Zbigniew Brzezinski Jody Powell NSC David Aaron William Odom Michel Oksenberg SUBJECT Sino-Vietnamese Conflict

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

I. Situation Report

The Chinese have penetrated 10 km on two different fronts & are holding. There is very little information about the tactical situation on the ground. The Chinese are informing their cadre that the struggle may be a protracted one in which the Chinese will sustain losses.

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II. Foreign Response lớn our Various Démarches

Brzezinski read the Brezhnev response, which he linked lớn the official Soviet statement.2 The Soviets, it was concluded, have yet lớn commit themselves to lớn a course of action.

III. U.S. Objectives in the Conflict

The group agreed that the following statement summarizes our objectives: In the context of avoiding any direct U.S. Involvement, we should: (1) minimize the adverse effect of the conflict upon our bilateral relations either with the People’s Republic of đài loan trung quốc or the Soviet Union; (2) deter a Soviet escalation of the conflict; (3) secure the withdrawal of both Vietnam from Kampuchea and trung quốc from Vietnam; (4) seek the emergence of a neutral Kampuchea; and (5) reassure ASEAN and nhật bản in the process.3

IV. U.S.-Chinese Bilateral Relations

The group approved Cy delivering a short démarche lớn Ambassador Chai on Tuesday, February 20, essentially seeking information about Chinese intentions và hinting that without a clear understanding of Chinese intentions the expansion of our bilateral ties could eventually be adversely affected. (A draft of Vance’s statement is at Tab B.)4

The group decided lớn postpone for 36 hours a decision on whether Blumenthal should continue his plans for a Friday departure to lớn Peking, until the limits of China’s penetration of Vietnam become a bit clearer. There are five options with respect khổng lồ the trip: (1) persist with original plans; (2) persist with the trip, but alter the instructions khổng lồ take into trương mục the new situation; (3) postpone the trip for a week; (4) postpone the trip until Chinese have withdrawn forces from Vietnam; (5) keep the trip on schedule but have Carswell substitute for Blumenthal.5

Vance thought the trip should not go forward while Chinese troops are stationed in a foreign country. We might inadvertently be seen to tư vấn Chinese kích hoạt through a Blumenthal trip. He advocated a one-week delay.

Holbrooke thought the trip should go forward. Without Blumenthal in Peking and without Woodcock there, we would have no high-level representation on March 1st when the Liaison Office is upgraded khổng lồ Embassy status. In addition, cancellation of the trip would be interpreted in the United States as Administration admission that we have suffered a setback và that we are steering an erratic course.

The Vice President believed we must avoid any appearance of becoming involved in the conflict. Lớn delay Blumenthal’s trip would be lớn tip in the Soviet-Vietnamese favor; khổng lồ persist as is would be to lớn tip in China’s favor. Blumenthal should go, but make critical remarks.6

Brzezinski argued that the trip should go forth , though with altered instructions. The Blumenthal trip is part of the normalization process, and we seek that lớn go forward in spite of the Vietnam conflict. Frank Press went to Moscow recently, even though the Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea had just occurred. There is bilateral advantage to be secured in Mike’s trip, và we would only be punishing ourselves if we hold back.

Powell thought the press would react negatively no matter what we do, but the reaction would not be too strong if Blumenthal left on Friday. Powell believes that the basic U.S. Public reaction is that Vietnam deserves to lớn be beaten a little bit over the head.

V. United Nations

The group decided lớn authorize our UN Mission to explore, particularly with our Allies, inscribing both Indochina issues for Security Council debate. Neither china nor the Soviet Union wish the entire range of Indochina issues to be debated—China wants Kampuchea debated & the Soviets want Vietnam debated. It was judged that we would secure political advantage by taking the issue khổng lồ the UN and by adopting a stance that would be balanced between Moscow & Peking.

VI. Intelligence Gathering

<1 paragraph (2½ lines) not declassified>

VII. Contingency Planning for Soviet Military Involvement

The group began contingency planning in the event of (1) a direct Soviet military involvement in the Sino-Vietnamese conflict; or (2) a Sino-Soviet conflict. The group will consider at a subsequent meeting whether, if the Soviets appear to be moving toward acquiring Cam Ranh cất cánh for a naval base, we should inform Moscow before they make a final decision that their kích hoạt could lead to lớn our reconsideration of our position that we would not enter into a security relationship with the People’s Republic of China.

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