The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 11.]
Sir: Referring to the Embassy’s telegram No. 653, April 14, 4 p.m.30 and related correspondence in regard to the alleged bombing of Sinkiang Provincial troops by Soviet planes, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a memorandum of April 7, 1944, prepared by Second Secretary John S. Service, on detail to General Stilwell’s31 staff, regarding the situation in Sinkiang Province and its relation to American policy vis-à-vis China and the Soviet Union.
Summary. Chinese motives connected with the Sinkiang incident may be as follows: (1) The Central Government desires to gain undisputed control over all of Sinkiang, which would include control over areas under dispute between Sinkiang and Outer Mongolia and the breaking down of the opposition from racial and other minority elements to Central Government control; (2) the incident may be viewed as a test of Soviet policy with regard to Outer Mongolia, possible Soviet aims vis-à-vis the Chinese Communists and the position of Soviet Russia in the Far East; (3) the Kuomintang desires to stimulate anti-Soviet feeling, both in China and abroad; and (4) the Central Government desires to rally Chinese nationalism and divert attention from its own failings. The results of the incident have been (1) to give to the Central Government a pretext for sending Central Government troops into Sinkiang with the aim of possible eventual removal of Sheng Shih-tsai and (2) to indicate clearly that Soviet Russia is prepared to stand by Outer Mongolia as one of the Soviet Socialist Republics.
This incident and the possibility of its repetition in other forms if the Chinese leaders continue in their present course bring into prominence the question of Sino-Soviet relations and the position of the United States in relation to that problem. The United States in its dealings with China should: (1) avoid becoming involved in Sino-Soviet relations; (2) limit American aid to China to direct prosecution of the war against Japan; (3) show a sympathetic interest in liberal groups in China and try to fit the Chinese Communists into the war against Japan; and (4) use our tremendous influence with the Kuomintang to promote internal unity on a foundation of progressive reform. To give, either in fact or in appearance, support to the present reactionary government in China beyond carefully regulated and controlled aid solely for the prosecution of the war against Japan would encourage the Kuomintang in its present anti-Soviet policy. The result would be that the Chinese Communists, who probably hold the key to control of north China and possibly Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, would feel that their only hope for survival lay with Russia and the Soviet Union would be convinced that American aims [Page 777]are opposed to hers and that she must protect herself by any means available, i. e. the extension of her direct power and influence. End of Summary.