711.942/196: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

478. I visited the Generalissimo62 yesterday afternoon at his request. Following the usual amenities he launched into a discussion of the abrogation of the American Treaty with Japan, terming it a “great and illustrious” action on the part of the President and the Secretary of State. Continuing on this theme he stated that the American action had come at a most opportune time, following as it did the adoption of the Anglo-Japanese formula at Tokyo63 and that it had relieved an exceedingly critical and dangerous situation insofar as China was concerned. He said that the Chinese people were not unmindful of this most important and decisive step on the part of the United States and expressed the wish that I convey to the President and the Secretary of State the deep appreciation of himself and the people of China. I said I would do so. He then urged that the United States should be prepared to cope with future developments the nature of which he did not specify but which he declared might be forthcoming at any time.

General Chiang then reverted to the Anglo-Japanese negotiation at Tokyo, saying that he is apprehensive as to the outcome of these conversations and observing that China could place little or no dependence on British policy which he said needed stimulus and support from the United States. In this connection he inquired concerning my views of the future course of the Tokyo conversations. I replied that I could not venture a prediction on so difficult a problem.

The Generalissimo then referred to the Anglo-Soviet negotiations for a mutual defense understanding in Europe,64 stressed the importance of their successful conclusion as a stabilizing influence in the direction of world peace, and requested that I transmit as from him to the President and the Secretary of State an expression of his hope that they urge upon the British Government the importance and desirability of speedily concluding such agreement. I replied that I would comply with his request.

It is obvious from the Generalissimo’s conversation that the American action in denouncing the Japanese treaty had relieved an exceedingly serious situation brought about by the Anglo-Japanese conversations, that he is extremely skeptical as to British plan, and that he relies much on the hope that the United States will stiffen British [Page 563] policy. The Generalissimo appeared to be in good health and spirits, and, in reply to a question, stated that the military situation is satisfactory.

Repeated to Peiping. Peiping please air mail code text to Tokyo.

  1. Chiang Kai-shek.
  2. For the Arita-Craigie formula, see telegram No. 348, July 21, 6 p.m., from the Chargé in Japan, vol. iv, p. 224.
  3. See vol. i , section entitled “Anglo-French-Soviet Negotiations…”