The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:15 a.m.]
727. Department’s 494, April 14. The Counselor discussed this matter April 22 with Political Vice Foreign Minister who indicated that Foreign Minister had so far taken no action. When Counselor mentioned current rumor that Chinese Government had suddenly decided to permit no more students to go [to] the United States at this time, Vice Minister, after some hesitation, said that recent American criticism in regard to “thought control” question had made some Government officials feel that such criticism would be increased if further students were sent to America (Embassy’s despatches 2429, April 12, and 2447, April 1835). The Counselor remarked that, in his opinion, the stopping of student visits to the United States would give a far greater emphasis to the criticism but did not press the matter other than to mention the value to international understanding of student exchanges, et cetera.
We have heard in recent weeks that Generalissimo had learned that most American university students are in the armed services or training therefor and he was considering restricting number of Chinese students proceeding to the United States because he feared that if large numbers of Chinese students continue to go abroad during the war the general failure of Chinese students to contribute to the war effort by military service or otherwise would appear too obvious and would result in further criticism of China. We now hear that Generalissimo has decided that no more Chinese students shall be permitted for time being to go to the United States or England for study; among theses advanced for his reported attitude are that he is angry over the “thought control” criticism in the United States and over the recent British restrictions on Chinese diplomatic immunity in London. According to the Ta Kung Pao of April 22, the project of sending 600 students abroad each year has been “temporarily postponed”.