Please see President Chiang at
earliest practicable moment and impress upon him utmost seriousness
USGov regarding KMT irregulars in Burma and Laos.
1. It is imperative that GRC make
immediate arrangements to evacuate all KMT personnel who are willing to return to Formosa,
especially those who were transported into area with GRC assistance during past three years.
Further, all irregulars unwilling return Formosa should be disarmed and
resettled as civilians to small groups in any neighboring country other
than Laos willing to receive them. Maintenance and identity as a large
organized group must cease.
2. USGov would consider it a major
infraction of expressed and implicit obligations of GRC to USGov if supplies of US origin are henceforth furnished
KMT irregulars by US type
3. Recent activities GRC regarding these
irregulars, contrary to earlier understanding that GRC would accept no further responsibility
for personnel not evacuated in 1953-54, plus failure GRC to inform USGov of such activities imposes a severe strain on
hitherto friendly relations between our two countries.
4. We find it incomprehensible that GRC
should recklessly create situation which imposes upon itself formidable
international political burdens at time when it can least afford them.
Further such action severely limits any effective political help which USGov might be able render to GRC in its difficult situation.
5. USGov will not bargain with respect to
reabsorption KMT personnel in Formosa
but would be willing to ask assistance other necessary governments
regarding arrangements to liquidate problem.
6. USGov must enter reservations to
GRC's denial that arms equipment or
supplies furnished to GRC for other
purposes were improperly used pending results further investigation.
7. GRC must be aware that other nations
will hold US directly responsible for GRC actions in this situation in view of close military and
other relationships between our two countries. GRC must understand that USGov is determined to protect its reputation and good
faith and will, if necessary, do so at cost of GRC. USGov is considering
steps it might take to reduce cooperation with GRC in order make clear its complete disassociation from
these activities but believes that most effective solution would be
steps taken publicly and vigorously by GRC to liquidate situation. This would be better solution
8. USGov hopes that this serious threat
to otherwise good relations will not be permitted to continue; we would
find it difficult to believe that GRC
would underestimate gravity of problem and fail to act with greatest
FYI. Greatly appreciate your previous
strenuous efforts this matter. If position outlined above sounds severe,
it is intended to be. GRC would make
serious miscalculation if it supposes we would not back it up. End
* Source: Department of State, Central Files
793.551/2-2261. Top Secret; Niact; Eyes Only. Drafted by Rusk and approved by Parsons. According to a memorandum
of February 21 from Director of the Department of State Executive
Secretariat Walter J. Stoessel, Jr., to Ralph A. Dungan of the White
House staff, this telegram was sent as a result of a discussion that
morning between Rusk and
Kennedy. At Rusk's suggestion, Stoessel attached
a February 20 memorandum from Rusk to Kennedy, enclosing a paper entitled “United States
Efforts To Effect Cessation of Government of Republic of China's
Support of Chinese Irregulars in Burma-Laos Border Area.” (Kennedy Library, National Security
Files, Countries Series, China)
1 The February 19
message, not found, is summarized in the paper cited in the source
note. It reported that in response to earlier representations by the
Ambassador on the subject, President Chiang had offered to withdraw all Chinese military
forces from Burma but wanted the irregulars in Laos to remain there.
The February 20 message from [text not
declassified] in Taipei [text not
declassified] reported that he had told General Chiang Ching-kuo that day that this
would not be acceptable and had urged repatriation of the irregulars
from both Burma and Laos; Chiang
Ching-kuo argued against this in the “angriest” and
“most heated” exchange [text not
declassified] had ever had with him. The message is filed
with a covering note of February 21 [text not
declassified] to Military Aide to the President Brigadier
General Chester V. Clifton. (Ibid.)