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Zhang Ham Zhi, Interpreter, Chinese Foreign Ministry, on:
Mao Tse-tung’s decision to invite President Nixon to China

Zhang Ham Zh 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 wouldn’t 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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