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WHEN CYRUS VANCE, WHO HAD BEEN NOMINATED TO BE Secretary of State by President Carter, asked me to be his Legal Adviser, we talked about what he wanted to accomplish as Secretary and he outlined a number of goals, three of which I thought would be appropriate to talk about today. Each of these goals raised a number of interesting legal questions, and I have chosen two questions regarding each goal that I thought would be most useful to discuss.
These three goals were all accomplishments of President Carter and Secretary Vance that I worked on with them. The first was the establishment of official diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the corresponding establishment of unofficial relations with Taiwan. The second was the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The third was resolving the Panama Canal Treaty negotiations.
Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with the People's Republic of China
The establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the simultaneous termination of formal government relations and creation of unofficial relations with Taiwan were accomplished by a series of measures: a joint communiqué of the United States and the People's Republic of China; formal notice of termination of a mutual defense treaty that existed between the United States and the formerly recognized government of China (the Republic of China); several Presidential Executive Orders; and the Taiwan Relations Act to implement the regime of unofficial relations with Taiwan.