895.01/96: Telegram

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

381. The Political Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs told me yesterday in strict confidence that at a meeting of the Supreme National Defense Council on April 6 a proposal for immediate recognition of the Korean Provisional Government was submitted by Sun Fo25 and supported by some other party members. After a 3–hour discussion it was decided to refer the matter to General Chiang for decision.

While the attitude of the Chinese Government toward the Koreans here has been sympathetic and they have been urged to compose their factional differences, the major considerations in this matter are: (1) Concern as to possible Soviet reaction to recognition of the Provisional Government. This is described as a matter of great delicacy. It was pointed out that there are two divisions of Koreans in the Soviet forces in Siberia and that in event of a Soviet-Japanese war these divisions would probably be used in any drive into Korea and might be used by the Soviet to set up some sort of government in the country. If meanwhile the Provisional Government at Chungking had been recognized, a difficult situation would arise. While the Koreans in the Soviet armies are said to have been naturalized as Soviet citizens it is pointed out that they nevertheless remain Koreans. (2) Concern as to possible British and other reaction at this time to proposals for independence for colonial peoples, having in mind Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies and other areas.

I will inform the Department of any further developments.

  1. President of the Chinese Legislative Yuan.