Memorandum by the Secretary of State
The Ambassador of China29 came in to present Dr. Hu-Shih who has just come from China, apparently bearing a message from General Chiang Kai-shek primarily to the President. He proceeded with the conversation by saying that for some weeks during the military activities he had seen and talked with General Chiang Kai-shek very frequently; that the latter is desirous of communicating his thanks and the appreciation of his Government for the moral support, as he termed it, of this country; that China, of course, does not expect this country to employ military force in aid of China; that it is her moral influence which they seek and which they are receiving as fully as they could hope for or expect. He said that his Government is interested in a stable peace in China; that by this he meant that they distrust the Japanese Government in this connection; that, therefore, it is desired that a peace be brought about based on such principles as would not permit Japanese interference and infiltration contrary to existing treaties and in violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of China—a peace based upon such principles as this Government has proclaimed on July 16th30 and later on August 23rd31 with special application to the Pacific area. He said that his Government would not be in a position to abandon any right to its territorial integrity and sovereignty in any peace agreement which might be worked out; that it would be disposed to make any other reasonable adjustments relating to any reasonable complaints. I inquired whether by that he meant a return to the status quo ante as it existed on July 7th, and he replied in the affirmative.
I inquired, very confidentially, as to Russia’s attitude towards Outer Mongolia and with respect to observing the integrity of China generally. He did not undertake to give an opinion, except to minimize the influence and attitude of Russia with respect to Outer Mongolia at this time, adding that Outer Mongolia continues to claim herself as a part of China and to assert Chinese sovereignty.
The Ambassador and Dr. Hu-Shih both said they would like very much to see the Nine Power delegates convene as early as possible. They did state in that connection that of course they were concerned to guard against any proposals of settlement by this Nine Power group which would interfere with the integrity of China, both as to sovereignty and territory. I indicated that this Government stands [Page 611] for the principles I made public on July 16th and August 23rd and their application in every part of the world.
I inquired about the extent and equipment of Chinese forces in Northern China, but with little definite response except that they were not the best equipped nor the best trained and that they are not yet clear as to whether Japan has practically secured control to the Yellow River. They were slow to make predictions about the future, except that they are bent on fighting and defending China and her rights.
- Chengting T. Wang.↩
- Vol. i, p. 699.↩
- Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 355.↩