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The President said that the United States had supported U.N. actions directed
against Belgian interests in the Congo, particularly in the Katanga
area, where the Belgians relied on Tshombe./8/
The United States supported U.N. actions which sharply curtailed Belgian
influence in that area. Belgium was of course disturbed by this.
/8/Moise Tshombe, President of the Katanga Government.
Mr. Khrushchev said that this was true but the US voice in these matters
was very timid. The Belgians may be displeased but the people are even more
displeased. US policy is very uneven and even when the United States supports
anti-colonialism for tactical reasons, its voice is very quiet. Basically,
US policy is that of support for colonialist powers.
The President stated that in NATO the US is allied to a number of countries
which are colonial powers. Yet in view of the great changes that have occurred
in Africa, where some 25 countries have obtained their independence in a very
short time, it is quite clear what the trend is.
Mr. Khrushchev said that this was true but wondered what the reason for this
trend was and whose effort had brought about the change. He said that if the
two countries could unite their efforts they could do away with the vestiges
of colonialism. The liberated peoples should be left alone to take any path
they want. Naturally, the USSR would be pleased if they took the Socialist
The President then stated that what was of concern to the United States was
the speech Mr. Khrushchev had made last January and in which he had advanced
the thesis of three types of war. The problem is how this thesis should be
interpreted, particularly the point on the so-called national wars of liberation.
The fact is that certain groups seize power, frequently by military means.
Some of such groups are friendly to the USSR and some to the United States,
and the two countries lend support to them. If one takes the situation in
Viet Nam, there are some seven to fifteen thousand guerillas there. We do
not believe that they reflect the will of the people, while the USSR may
believe so. The problem is to avoid getting involved in direct contact as
we support the respective groups. In Laos, where the two countries are openly
supporting the respective local groupings, the question is how to draw fire
out of the situation in a way that would be mutually satisfactory to both
Mr. Khrushchev said that the President and himself had a different understanding
of liberation wars. As far as Laos is concerned, the Soviet Union is for an
independent and neutral Laos and the Foreign Ministers of the two countries
are probably talking about this problem right now. Referring to his January
speech,/9/ in which he had mentioned three types
of war, Mr. Khrushchev said that the U.N. had passed a resolution advocating
independence for all colonial peoples. Portugal has been flouting that resolution
and the question arises as to how long the people should wait. In these circumstances,
the people's only recourse is to rise in arms. The Soviet Union believes
that this is a sacred war. A similar situation prevails in Algeria. De
Gaulle, who is an ally of the United States, is an intelligent man and
perhaps he would be doing more if he had no problem with his generals. Of
course, this is an internal matter of France, but what should the Algerian
people do--wait for France? The fact is that Algeria should belong to Algerians
and Algerians are Arabs. The only thing they can do is rise. Such a war is
sacred and the Soviet Union supports it. Such wars will go on. The United
States itself rose against the British. The Soviet Union has been proud of
the United States in this respect. But now the US has changed its position
and it is against other peoples following its suit. The Soviet Union is against
all wars, both general and local. In this respect it is ahead of the United
States, because the United States recognizes local wars. However, the Soviet
Union recognizes the freedom of struggle for liberty. Although the Soviet
Union does not participate directly, it sympathizes with and supports such
wars. Mr. Khrushchev then said that he wanted to say a few words about China.
At the same time, he wanted to emphasize that he had not been authorized or
requested to speak on China's behalf. He said he simply wanted to set forth
his thinking on the problem. He said that US relations with China were very
aggravated. Obviously they could not be improved until the United States
ended the occupation of Taiwan. The most realistic policy would be that
of recognizing China and having China admitted as a member of the United Nations.
What kind of United Nations is it when it does not have among its members
a nation numbering 600 million people? On the other hand, it should be clear
that China would never join the United Nations if Chiang Kai-shek were to
be still there. This would be a discrimination against China's rights. There
is no question that at some point China will gather its strength and liberate
Taiwan. If the Soviet Union were in China's place, it would probably have
attacked Taiwan long time ago. The Soviet Union supports the policy of reunification
of China's territory. As a matter of fact, the United States itself signed
a document recognizing Taiwan as part of China. Mr. Khrushchev said that he
did not know whether the United States was ready for a change in its policy
toward China. The relations between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung are
an internal affair of China, and neither the US nor the USSR should interfere.
This would be a reasonable course and it would promote a peaceful development
of the situation. Mr. Khrushchev said that he was glad that there were voices
in the United States asking for a change in US policy toward China, but
said that he did not know how that policy would develop. He reiterated that
he had not been requested by the Chinese to speak on their behalf.
/9/See Document 15.
FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P44