811.42793/1403: Airgram

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

A–69. Reference Embassy’s A–19, July 22, 12 noon. Plans for sending a large number of students to the United States and England have reportedly now been almost completed, although not yet officially announced, and provide for twelve hundred students of technological or managerial subjects. (Original plan called for approximately ten percent to study social sciences or humanities.) Eight hundred are to be sent to the United States and 400 to Great Britain, the majority to remain for two years. Selections are to be made by the Ministries of Education, Communications and Economic Affairs in numbers of 700, 300 and 200 students, respectively, approximately ten percent to be appointed by concerned ministries and the remainder selected by competitive examination. All are to receive a period of political indoctrination (presumably in the Central Training Corps) before [Page 751] going abroad and those concerned with industries will spend some time in industrial plants.

A qualified foreign observer comments that the complete exclusion of students in fields other than technical and managerial and the insistence upon placing Chinese students in the West almost entirely on a technological level fit into two patterns: (1) the century-old doctrine of “Western studies for use, Chinese studies as the base”, which is reflected in China’s Destiny,32 and (2) the practice of totalitarian powers to use education for technology and technology for the service of the state. This observer raised the question with an official of the Executive Yuan of a more balanced program which would train a few Chinese students in the ideas, arts, letters and social studies of the West, and he received the answer that the direct offer by American universities of their own scholarships for study in the United States to the Chinese academic public by competitive examination (written and oral), without reference to the Ministry of Education, would be entirely feasible.

It is suggested that the Department may wish to consider the advisability of having the Cultural Relations Division take up informally with leading American universities the question of scholarships of this type.

  1. The title of a book written by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.