The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Monday night to seat Communist China and expel the Nationalists, a move that dealt the United States its worst diplomatic defeat in the 26-year history of the U.N.
There was no immediate comment from Peking, and the impact was first felt today in Geneva where Communist Chinese officials repeated their demands for a world summit conference to discuss disarmament.
There was anger and dismay in Washington where Sens. Peter Dominick, R-Colo., and James Buckley, R-C-N.Y., began mapping an attempt to cut American financial support for the United Nations. Currently the United States pays about 35 per cent of U.N. expenses far greater than any other nation.
The decision stunned Teipei. The government had expected the move but the people were surprised and their first thoughts were of survival of the Island nation coveted by the mainland Chinese as a province of China. Some expressed fear of an eventual communist takever.
There were no Nationalist government statements. Tapei was content to rest on the farewell statement of Foreign Minister Chow Shu-kai who dramatically led the Nationalists out of the assembly before the crushing 76 to 35 vote, with 17 abstentions.
He said the world body which Nationalist China helped found in 1945 had become "a circus." Then he staged a walkout of such dignity that the assembly gave him a spontaneous ovation.
While the United Nations was voting, Communists in Peking were celebrating the 21st, anniversary of the entry of more than one million Chinese "volunteers" into North Korea to battle troops of the United Nations command. There was no mention of the United Nations at the banquet given by the North Koreans but only denunciations of "U.S. aggression."
Throughout Europe the reaction was about the same that Peking had at last gained its "rightful place" in the United Nations, the same reaction that came from the Soviet news agency Tass. And there was a general belief that world power politics would change and change drastically with China representing 700 million persons. But how, only the future could tell.
Inside the great assembly hall of the United Nations the normally staid body erupted into the closest thing to pandemonium since Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev pounded a table with his shoe during a boisterous 1960 session.
Tanzanian Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim, wearing a black tunic buttoned to the throat, leaped to his feet and did a victory dance. Across the hall, U.S. Ambassador George Bush sat glumly, the United States' 21-year-fight to prevent the seating of Red China at an end.
A "moment of infamy", Bush called it.
In the end, it was a group of undecided nations which brought the American diplomatic defeat. Fifteen of them abstained on the vote by which the United States sought to have the expulsion of Nationalist China declared an "important question" which would require a two-thirds vote. That vote lost 55 to 59 and the seating of mainland China became a certainty. Among those abstaining were such allies as Italy, the Netherlands, Laos, Turkey ...
U.N. Secretary General Thant immediately sent a cablegram to Peking informing the Chinese government it officially was a member of the world body. There was no immediate reaction from China, whose peculation is estimated at 730 million, but speculation in the United Nations was that Huang Hua, a topflight diplomat assigned to Ottawa by the Peking government earlier this year, might come from Canada to take over the China seat.
The decision was foreshadowed an hour earlier when the General Assembly defeated, 59 to 55 with 15 abstentions, the U.S. resolution requiring a two-thirds vote to expel the Nationalists. It was a last-ditch American effort to save a seat for 14 million Nationalist Chinese governed by Chiang Kai-shek, while admitting there would be no stopping the Communist Chinese from becoming a U.N. member.
When that failed, there was a stampede to the Communist side and the final 76-35 vote.
UPI Foreign News Analyst Phil Newsom writes "it vas the worst defeat ever suffered by the United States in the world organization it once dominated.
"It will upset the power pattern of the United Nations. "It will set in motion events among nations, especially among China's neighbors, which will be difficult if not impossible to stop.
"It was a low point for U.S. influence in the United Nations where its dominance had been waning for more than 10 years as the balance of voting power swung to the newly-independent and underdeveloped nations."
Bush told a news conference "I hope the U.N. will not relive this moment of infamy. It's not a good thing to kick somebody out. My heavens, anybody with a heart in his chest who saw those decent people thrown out of the U.N. couldn't help but be affected."
He said he did not believe the outcome would affect President Nixon's planned visit to Peking or that presidential adviser Henry Kissinger's visit to the Chinese capital had any effect in the outcome.
In Washington, administration officials had no immediate comment on the U.N. vote. Privately, however, American officials have said that Nationalist China's membership in the United Nations, while important, was less vital to the Taiwan government than its security agreement with the United States signed in 1955.
This carries the U.S. pledge that if Taiwan is subject to an prime unprovoked attack, the United i States will assist.