Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The Chinese Foreign Minister, Dr. T. V. Soong, called to see me today at his request.

Dr. Soong said that he had had a conversation with Mr. Eden12 at the British Embassy, which had not covered more than a very limited field, and he would be most grateful if I could give him any general impressions with regard to Mr. Eden’s conversations in Washington which I thought would be helpful to his Government.

I said that I was glad to inform Dr. Soong that the position of this Government, as stated by the President, was that China was an indispensable part of the machinery required in the major war effort, and that, in the judgment of this Government, China must equally be an indispensable part of the world organization to be set up in the future. I said I believed that the views of the British Government and ours were very much in accord on this basic premise.

I said, furthermore, that, with regard to the steps to be taken in the Far East and in the Pacific after the war was won, I again felt that the views of the Chinese, the British and the United States Governments were very much in accord. I said we were all in agreement that Korea must be set up as an independent country under a temporary international trusteeship, that the Japanese people must be restricted to their own main islands, that Formosa must be returned to China, and that the former mandated islands in the Pacific should be placed under some form of international trusteeship for the purpose of insuring international security.

Dr. Soong inquired what the views of the British Government might be with regard to Hong Kong after the war. I said I felt that this was a matter which could only be discussed between the Chinese and British Governments and that I was not in a position to express any opinion with regard thereto.

Dr. Soong then inquired what the views of the British and United States Governments might be with regard to the future status of Manchuria. I replied that both Governments believed that Chinese sovereignty should once more be reestablished over Manchuria, although with the understanding that the legitimate commercial interests of the Soviet Union would be given full recognition by the Chinese Government of the future. Dr. Soong inquired what my opinion might be with regard to the nature of these legitimate commercial interests. I said that here again I was not in a position to [Page 846] reply since that would obviously seem, at least in the first instance, to be a matter to be discussed between the Soviet and Chinese interests and that this Government had no indication from the Soviet Government with regard to its views in this matter. I added that I had no information that the British Government had any views on this subject either.

Dr. Soong did not mention the subject of India, nor did he mention the status of the present European colonies in the southwest Pacific.

Dr. Soong stated with much emphasis and with much satisfaction that both his Government and he were greatly encouraged by the steps recently taken by the Government of the United States to speed up the furnishing of military supplies to China. He said that the recent sending of air transports to China had been most gratifying and that the appointment of General Chennault13 had been most gratefully received by the Chinese Government. He also stated that he had just received a telegram from General Stilwell14 expressing great satisfaction with the way things were going in Yunnan Province.

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Appointment of Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault as Commanding General, U. S. 14th Air Force in China.
  3. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General, United States Army Forces in China, Burma, and India.