761.93/1757: Telegram

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

593. 1. Sun Fo informed Atcheson this morning that he interprets the Tass statement of April 2 (which he says was in terms similar to those of a communication received from Soviet Government) as public announcement that Soviets are bent on getting rid of Sinkiang Chairman (this re our 588, April 3). He said that Chinese Government had not lodged “protests” over the matter; when report of the incident was first received Chinese Foreign Office orally informed Soviet Ambassador thereof and asked him for information; Ambassador said he would telegraph Moscow but made no other comment and only 2 days ago received reply which he conveyed to Foreign Office to effect that Chinese planes had crossed Sirikiang-Mongolian border and machine gunned Kazaks and that [as] Soviet Russia had a mutual assistance pact with Mongolian People’s Republic the Soviet [Page 769]Government was obligated to go to Mongols’ assistance and would continue to do so if necessary. Sun Fo said Soviet Government did not deny that its planes were involved.

Sun Fo said also that War Minister21 had told him that plane attacks on Sinkiang troops had continued for 5 or 6 days and that there were no Chinese military planes in Sinkiang; that he, Sun, had not heard of any Central Government troops moving into Sinkiang but that some time ago some Chungking forces had gone to Hami. He said Chinese Government was endeavoring to minimize matter as much as possible and there is indication of this in circumstance that Tass statement has not been published in vernacular press.

Atcheson informed Sun Fo that our general attitude was always to work for harmony among the United Nations, expressed personal opinion that it would be most unfortunate from point of view of our joint interests if a border incident or border dispute should at this time be permitted to expand into an international dispute, and also expressed hope that situation would not become aggravated.

2. In contrast to Foreign Office endeavors to keep incident from developing into more serious proportions, we have reason to believe that Generalissimo may be seeking American intervention and at the same time putting forth theses, for high American consumption, that situation is forcing him to take measures to safeguard Chinese interests, thereby developing explanation of his failure to give Allied forces in Burma and China fuller active military cooperation. We feel strongly, of course, that American Government should not intervene in any way in matter with Soviet Government.

Sent to Department, repeated to Moscow.

Gauss
  1. Gen. Ho Ying-chin.