861.77/2370: Telegram

The Minister in China ( Schurman ) to the Secretary of State


2. Reference your no. 340 of December 24, 3 p.m. I had a long visit from Chang Tso-lin yesterday afternoon during which time I found suitable occasion to talk about the Chinese Eastern. I pointed out to Chang … the favorable position for China with the integrity of the railway and rights of the interested parties conserved by means [Page 878] of a temporary international guardianship such as might be undertaken by the Inter-Allied Technical Board. This suggestion was not well received by Chang. He observed that it was not for him but for the Government to handle the subject and later said that fear of American predominance in the Chinese Eastern aroused the apprehension of the Japanese.

The general prejudice of the Chinese against any proposal for international control is clearly shared by Chang Tso-lin. I find that various Chinese official circles entertain this sentiment very strongly. This is true of the Prime Minister and of the Minister of Communications.

It is evident, however, that the cultivation of American interest in Manchuria is considered by Chang as desirable.