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Henry Kissinger and Mao Zedong "Memorandum of Conversation," October 21, 1975, 6:25-8:05pm

Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, spoke with Chinese leaders at Chairman Mao's residence in Beijing.
October 21, 1975

PARTICIPANTS:         Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Mao Ze-dong)
                                      Teng Hsiao-ping, Vice Premier of the State Council of the PRC (Deng Xiao-ping)
                                      Chiao Kuan-hua, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Qiao Guan-hua)
                                      Ambassador Huang Chen, Chief of PRC Liaison Office, Washington
                                      Wang Hai-jung, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
                                      Tang Wen-sheng, Deputy Director, Department of American and Oceanic Affairs and interpreter
                                      Chang Han-chih, Deputy Director, Department of American and Oceanic Affairs

                                      Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
                                      Ambassador George Bush, Chief of U.S. Liaison Office, Peking
                                      Winston Lord, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Department of State

DATE AND TIME:       Tuesday, October 21, 1975, 6:25-8:05pm

PLACE:                       Chairman Mao's Residence, Peking

At 5:45 p.m. during a meeting with Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-ping (Deng Xiao-ping), Secretary Kissinger was informed that Chairman Mao would like to see him at 6:30. He was asked to name those members of his party, including his wife, whom he would like to have greeted by the Chairman, as well as those two officials who would accompany him to the talks themselves. The meeting with Teng lasted another 15 minutes. Then Dr. Kissinger and his party rested until 6:15, when they went from the Great Hall of the People to the Chairman's residence.

Each of the following were introduced to the Chairman in turn and exchanged brief greetings while photographs and movies were taken: Secretary Kissinger, Mrs. Kissinger, Amb. Bush, Counselor Sonnenfeldt, Assistant Secretary Habib, Director Winston Lord, Mr. William Gleysteen, Mr. Peter Rodman (NSC), and Ms. Anne Boddicker (NSC). The Chairman stood and talked with considerable difficulty. When he saw Mrs. Kissinger, he sat down and asked for a note pad and wrote out the comment that she towered over Secretary Kissinger. He then got up again and greeted the rest of the party. Then the guests were escorted out of the room except for Secretary Kissinger, Ambassador Bush and Mr. Lord.

The participants sat in arm chairs in a semi-circle. Throughout the conversation the Chairman would either speak with great difficulty, with Miss Tang and Miss Wang repeating what he said for confirmation and then translating, or he would write out his remarks on a note pad held by his nurse. Throughout the conversation the Chairman gestured vigorously with his hands and fingers in order to underline his point.

Click here to read the full document.                

Click here to read Winston Lord's analysis of the meeting.