Memorandum of Conversation, by the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck)7

Participants: Chinese Ambassador Wei Tao-ming
Mr. Ballantine8
Mr. Hornbeck

The Chinese Ambassador called at our request. We had been informed that he is leaving Washington shortly to proceed on a visit to Chungking. We made mention of this fact and said that we had asked the Ambassador to come in for the purpose of having a general chat and to afford us an opportunity to wish him bon voyage.

In the course of nearly an hour’s conversation, three subjects of importance were discussed. Mr. Hornbeck and Mr. Ballantine talked regarding the situation in China in connection with the presence there of an increasing number of American nationals, especially personnel of the American armed forces, and emphasized the desire and hope of this Government that officials of each of the two countries will give every possible encouragement to strengthening of the spirit and practice of cooperation—toward the winning of the war and toward safeguarding and promoting cordial and reciprocally helpful relationships between our two countries in years to come. We mentioned the constantly increasing scope and quality of China’s responsibilities and the traditional and continuing desire of the United States that [Page 3] China be a strong, prosperous and dependable country. The Ambassador said that he would talk over with President Chiang and Dr. Soong9 and Dr. Kung10 points which we had made, both in general and in particular.

The Ambassador brought up the question of postwar cooperation and collaboration.11 He stressed the point that making of plans should be currently engaged in on both sides.

The Ambassador also brought up the subject of reports which are published and apprehensions which are entertained in various quarters in this country regarding relations between the Chinese Government and the Chinese “communists.”12 He gave an account of facts in the situation and of reasons why there should not be great apprehension on this score along lines closely resembling accounts and estimates which have been given by Mr. Ballantine and the undersigned to the Secretary of State during many months past.

S[tanley] K. H[ornbeck]
  1. Summary of this conversation was transmitted to the Ambassador in China by the Secretary of State in telegram No. 61, January 12, midnight.
  2. Joseph W. Ballantine, Chief, Division of Far Eastern Affairs.
  3. T. V. Soong, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. H. H. Kung, Chinese Minister of Finance.
  5. For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 1040 ff.
  6. For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 299 ff.