Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Deceit ruled in Kissinger meetings with Shen

By Shen Chieh 沈潔

When James Shen (沈劍虹) left Taiwan in 1971 to assume his post as the nation's ambassador to the US, he had hardly set foot in the country when US president Richard Nixon changed his China policy, putting Shen on the receiving end of US secretary of state Henry Kissinger's rudeness, hypocrisy and lies.

Rereading a few sections of the meeting records between Shen and Kissinger, it becomes even clearer how naive it was to think that the US supported the idea of the Republic of China as representative of all of China.

Kissinger was a master of deceit. When Shen asked that Nixon reaffirm the US' guarantee to protect Taiwan, Kissinger said that a guarantee was cheap, but his sincerity was more valuable than a normal promise. Although Nixon had never been to Taiwan, the US president maintained close friendships with high-level Taiwanese officials.

In a meeting on Aug. 24, 1972, Shen told Kissinger that some of Taiwan's friends had said it should become an independent state. Kissinger immediately tried to dissuade him, saying: "I don't think you should to that. After the [US] election, things will change. That would cause a massive problem here. I would wait. The PRC [People's Republic of China] may change their position. There may be a Sino-Soviet war."

Kissinger treated Shen and Chinese Ambassador to the US Huang Hua (黃華) very differently.

When Shen met with Kissinger, it was only on the former's request, and Kissinger's answers to Shen's questions were only empty phrases.

Huang, however, was briefed on important matters on Kissinger's own initiative. The secretary of state was also so considerate as to ask Huang at the end of every meeting if he had any more questions, to which the answer was always no.

Shen asked Nixon to urge Japan not to move too fast in its plan to recognize the government in Beijing.

After the talks between Nixon and Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka in the fall of 1972, Kissinger briefed Shen on the meetings.

As before, Shen had to request the meeting, and Kissinger did not tell the truth. He said that the US had tried very hard to slow down Japan's move to normalize relations with the PRC, "but they (the Japanese) were going all out."

The records of this meeting showed that he also scolded the Japanese, saying they "never had anything long-range in mind -- they would tell you what they wanted to do now, but didn't know what they would want to do next year."

The meeting was rushed through, and according to the record: "The conversation closed when Kissinger was obliged to leave for another appointment."

Kissinger's next appointment was to go to New York to brief Hua about his upcoming negotiations with the Soviet Union in Moscow, the talks between Nixon and Tanaka and the Vietnam issue. After discussing each item, Kissinger asked if Huang had any more questions. The two talked for 65 minutes.

Right after telling Shen what happened, Kissinger told Huang a something else, saying that the US "will place no obstacle in the way of normalization of relations between Japan and the People's Republic."

The US had in fact not demanded Tanaka postpone a visit to China, or the results they hope to get from such a visit.

On his own initiative, Kissinger told Huang that neither the US nor Japan had brought up practical questions in relation to Taiwan in their Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

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