Vice President Wallace to President Chiang Kai-shek 47

My Dear President Chiang: Since taking leave of you I have given much serious thought to our conversations in your home and to the situation in China as it has been revealed to me during my visit in [Page 233] Chungking, Kunming, and Kweilin. The situation which confronts us—Americans as well as Chinese—is extremely critical; but it is not hopeless if quick positive action is taken to bring into play new forces and a new spirit. I believe this action should take the form of a radical new approach to the problem of Chinese-American collaboration. I have in mind not only military collaboration but collaboration in determining the methods on a political level of employing the military potential at our disposal, and collaboration in breathing a new spirit into the fight from China against the Japanese. Drastic measures may be needed to meet a drastic situation.

I believe in China and I believe that the Chinese people whom you serve have the courage to fight to the finish if they are shown the way and given the encouragement that comes from a realization of the value of what they are fighting for.

Immediately upon my return to Washington I shall take up with President Roosevelt your suggestion that he should send to Chungking a personal representative who could work with you, plan with you, and effect that dynamic collaboration of which I have spoken.

I believe that it would be easier for President Roosevelt to make his decision, and easier to complete the necessary preliminary arrangements with the speed which the situation requires, if you could send to Washington immediately a man in whom you repose complete confidence and whom you could empower to discuss the problem personally with the President and concur, on your behalf, in all decisions arrived at.

In this connection, you will recall that I suggested to you during one of our conversations in Chungking the advantages that might result if you could spare Dr. T. V. Soong from Chungking long enough for a quick visit to Washington.

I consider the matters discussed in this letter on the eve of my departure from China to be urgent and trust that you will give my suggestions the most serious consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Henry A. Wallace
  1. Copy transmitted by Vice President Wallace to the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs; date of receipt in Department not indicated.