This, Kissinger noted, came as a surprise

Henry Kissinger reported to President Nixon that the Chinese military tried to intercept an American aircraft gathering intelligence 100 miles off the China coast. He wrote, “Had they succeeded, they would have finished off the slight movement toward a Sino-U.S. thaw. In doing so, they would have nullified the ‘U.S. option’ which they have been developing since their confrontation with the U.S.S.R. began.” Kissinger speculated that someone in the Chinese leadership did want to damage the nascent relationship. He wrote that intelligence efforts should continue or the Chinese would learn that “a hard line works best with us.” (State Department, Office of the Historian) On July 31, Kissinger was told there were ongoing struggles within the Chinese leadership and that it was unclear who was rising or falling. (State Department, Office of the Historian)

S. government did not believe it had “long-term clashing interests

This is a memorandum from Henry Kissinger to President Nixon responding to comments President Nixon made on a September 9 memo. Nixon asked Kissinger to try again to reach Chinese officials. Kissinger confirmed that in June 1970 the U.S. had prepared an offer to meet with Chinese officials. He wrote, though, that while General Vernon Walters had told Chinese contacts that he had a message to convey, he had not yet been able to actually convey the message. The document includes the September 9 briefing with Nixon’s handwritten comments. Continue reading “This, Kissinger noted, came as a surprise”