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Zhang Ham Zhi, Interpreter, Chinese Foreign Ministry, on:
Mao Tse-tungs decision to invite President Nixon to China
Chairman Mao Tse-tung made a decision to invite President Nixon to China, but for quite some time before Nixon came, it was really a little doubtful whether both sides could agree on the Shanghai communiqué, particularly on the Taiwan issue. So actually I think it was Chairman Mao Tse-tung who actually said that China welcomed the visit of President Nixon. Of course we would like to have a communiqué, but with a communiqué or without a communiqué, the Chinese were still welcoming the president to visit. But I guess for the U.S. side they had to have the communiqué, if their President really came.|
That was the very beginning of the dialogue between the U.S. and China. Naturally there were quite a few points that both sides couldn't agree on, but I think they paved the way gradually, you know, to a mutual understanding. But finally I think the most difficult obstacle was the Taiwan issue. I think at that time the U.S. side was quite insistent on putting a paragraph in the communiqué reiterating that the United States would not give up their old friend; they would still protect Taiwan. I don't remember the exact wording, but the idea is that Taiwan was their old friend and they would not give up. Remember at that time, Taiwan was still a member of the United Nations. The Chinese side of course wouldnt agree to that. We insisted that there had to be a version for the U.S. to admit that there was only one China. In no way would the communiqué give the impression that there were two Chinas.
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