761.93/1764: Telegram

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

466. 1. Last week the President received a message from Chiang Kai-shek in regard to the Outer Mongolia–Sinkiang border situation. Chiang reviewed developments; quoted a Soviet Union note of April 1 to the Chinese Government which stated the Russian position in substantially the same terms as the Tass agency report; and quoted the Chinese Government’s reply which reviewed the Chinese interpretation of the incident and emphasized Russian previous recognition of Chinese sovereignty over Outer Mongolia. In conclusion Chiang indicated that he considered the situation extremely serious calling for “necessary measures”, and asked for advice.

2. The President has made substantially the following reply:25

At a time when it is so essential that the United Nations effectively prosecute the war it is extremely unfortunate that difficulties among them should occur. Since the middle of March it is my understanding that no further incidents have occurred. It is my earnest hope that every precaution will be taken to avoid measures which might give rise to a revival of the difficult situation. You will agree, I am sure, that any action or attitude which might prove harmful to our united war effort would not be warranted. I have confidence that, by an exercise of self-restraint and good-will, misunderstandings which may occur among members of the United Nations can be dispelled.

The world would feel that proportion and perspective are entirely out of line if the incidents on the Outer Mongolian–Sinkiang border were to become detrimental to the great objective of achieving victory and destroying for all time Japanese aggression.

I suggest, as a matter of practical statesmanship, that the recent incidents be placed on ice until the conclusion of the war without prejudice to rights or sovereignty.

  1. Sent on April 8, 1944.