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William Buckley, Editor, The National Review, on:
the negotiations

William Buckley Q: What was coming out as the negotiations went on?

William Buckley: There was such a massive, almost mutinous, resentment at how little was coming out that on day five in Hangzhou, Mr Nixon felt the need to do something about it. So he summoned all of us, it was cold, cold day and he was ensconced in one of these Chinese palazzos. And so we all lined up and he had a photographer take a picture of us. And then he said with that sort of that sinister seductive wink that anybody who wanted his picture taken with the president, he would be delighted to oblige, so that we could prove to our wives that we were in fact in China that kind of thing. Anyway, he ended up by saying nothing other than that they were working night and day. Later on we found out what they were up to.


Q: When did you find out?

William Buckley: We got to Shanghai and were told that we would be told what had happened. And the press conference was called at like noon or one o'clock. I arrived with everybody else. It happened that the only chair that was unoccupied at the moment was directly opposite Henry Kissinger. I interrupt myself by saying that Henry Kissinger's one of my oldest personal friends. So I sat there and I didn't even have a, I had forgotten to bring a pen or a pencil so I had to borrow one. So then he began reading from the Shanghai declaration and I kept longing to hear in it some explicit reference to our commitments to Taiwan independence. It didn't come and this caused enormous apprehension. It looked very much as though in pursuit of our China policy we were going to, in effect, abandon to China policy.


Q: It looked like we were abandoning our friend Taiwan.

William Buckley: It looked very much as though we were abandoning our friend Taiwan now. It seemed to me as his declaration went on without any explicit reaffirmation of our commitment to the independence of Taiwan, that we were gently pushing that consideration to one side in pursuit of a plenary understanding with the mainland. So that fear crystallized and deeply influenced me and others until there was an opportunity to see that Taiwan was in fact going to survive and that the United States would help make that possible.

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