Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Vincent)44

There is attached a very useful memorandum prepared by Mr. Perkins45 with regard to advocated reforms in China. I asked Mr. Perkins to prepare the memorandum with a view to having readily available information to answer inquiries regarding what Chinese consider to be needed reforms. You may also find the memorandum useful in this respect.

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It is worthy of note that the political reforms advocated by non-Communist Chinese organizations and individuals are in a very large measure the same reforms that the Chinese Communist Party advocates.

J[ohn] C[arter] V[incent]

Memorandum by Mr. Troy L. Perkins of the Division of Chinese Affairs

Reforms in China Which Have Been Advocated by Prominent Chinese (Persons and Organizations)

Abbreviations. PPC: People’s Political Council,
FDP: Federation of Democratic Parties,
CPA: Constitution Promotion Association.
(For individuals and newspapers mentioned, see Appendix at end.)

I. Political.

In general, more democracy in China now, the crux of all problems and in particular the immediate war situation. [FDP, CPA, Ta Kung Pao, some Kuomintang members in private conversations, Sun Fo, Feng Yu-hsiang, General Yang Chieh, General Li Chi-shen, General Liu Wen-hui, Huang Yen-pei, K. P. Chen]45a

End of political tutelage and commencement of putting into effect of constitutional government; recognition of civil liberties. [PPC resolution, FDP, Sun Fo, Huang Yen-pei]
Granting of real power to People’s Political Council; reorganization of local assemblies; calling of the National Congress during the war. [PPC members, FDP, Ta Kung Pao, K. P. Chen]
A wider basis for the present government; a coalition for war, with representation of minority groups, including Communists and all anti-Japanese resistance elements. [FDP, CPA, Sun Fo]
Breaking up of the oligarchy, of one-party domination and family rule; dismissal of reactionary fascistic and corrupt leaders in the Government. [Sun Fo, Madame Sun Yat-sen, Quo Tai-chi, K. P. Chen, Yunnan Daily News]
Freedom of speech, press, assembly, and person. [FDP, academic leaders at Kunming, Ta Gung Pao, Yunnan press, Sun Fo]
Liberalizing of censorship. [Sun Fo, Quo Tai-chi, Yunnan Daily News]
Elimination of repressive bureaucratic control of education; relaxation of thought control of students and professors. [FDP, Sun Fo]
Curbing of activities of secret police and Party organizations of fascist type. [Sun Fo, General Yang Chieh, academic leaders at Kunming]
Release of political prisoners. [FDP, CPA]
Abolition of special services and labor camps. [FDP]
Clean-up of official corruption. [PPC members, FDP, Yunnan Daily News, Madame Sun Yat-sen, General Li Chi-shen]
Reduction of bureaucratic agencies and surplus Government personnel. [PPC members]
Improvement in treatment of public functionaries [PPC resolution]
Wider utilization of counsel and leadership of starving intellectual classes and adequate provision for their livelihood. [PPC members, FDP]
Settlement of Kuomintang–Communist differences. [FDP, Quo Tai-chi, K. P. Chen, Madame Sun Yat-sen]
Improved relations with the Soviet Union. [PPC resolution, FDP, Chiang Kai-shek, Sun Fo, General Yang Chieh, National Herald and China Times]

II. Military.

In general, the reorganization of Chinese armed forces and changes in their leadership to enable more effective prosecution of the war. [PPC, FDP, Feng Yu-hsiang, General Yang Chieh]

Reform of conscription methods. [PPC resolution, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Mon-lin, General Li Chi-shen, Huang Yen-pei, National Herald, academic leaders]
Better treatment of troops: provision of adequate food and medicines as a basic minimum; better troop training methods. [PPC resolution, FDP, Ta Kung Pao, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Mon-lin, Feng Yu-hsiang, General Yang Chieh, General Li Chi-shen]
Abler and more honest officers. [FDP, Chiang Mon-lin, Feng Yu-hsiang]
Punishment of incompetent Generals. [FDP, PPC petition with 103 signatures reportedly called for punishment of General Tang En-po]
Disposition of troops for military rather than political reasons. [General Yang Chieh]
Ending of comparative inactivity of Chinese forces. [Yunnan press]
Utilization of armies now blockading the Communists to fight the Japanese. [FDP. Madame Sun Yat-sen]
Closer cooperation with American forces. [Chiang Mon-lin]
End to false communiqués; franker information on the war from official spokesmen. [Ta Kuna Pao]

III. Financial—Economic.

“Economic equality”. [Ta Rung Pao]
Elimination of corruption and inefficiency in tax collection, especially taxes in kind and food collection. [PPC members, FDP, General Li Chi-shen]
Put an end to profiteering, hoarding and speculation. [PPC resolution, FDP, Chiang Kai-shek]
Curb lavish expenditures by wealthy persons and by organizations having no connection with the war. [PPC resolution, FDP]
Stop squandering of Government funds on useless bureaucracy and excess personnel. [PPC members]
Institution of measures to control prices and curb inflation. [FDP, Chiang Kai-shek, Sun Fo, academic leaders]
Enactment and enforcement of higher income and excess profit taxes, including possibly a capital levy. [Sun Fo, academic leaders at Kunming, Yunnan press]
Government borrowing of foreign currencies belonging to wealthy Chinese. [Yunnan press, academic leaders at Kunming]
Officials of Ministry of Finance not to be allowed control of Government banks. [PPC resolution]
Agrarian reform: reduction of extortionate rents and usurious interest rates levied on the farming classes; check the growing concentration of land holding; end military extortions against farmers. [Sun Fo, Madame Sun Yat-sen, Liang Shu-ming]


Sun Fo (son of Sun Yat-sen), President of the Legislative Yuan.

Feng Yu-hsiang—revolutionary military leader; member, State Council and National Military Council.

General Yang Chieh—formerly Deputy Chief of Staff to Generalissimo, President of Central Military Academy, and Ambassador to Soviet Union.

General Li Chi-shen—independent military and political leader in Southwest; former Inspector General of Military Training.

General Liu Wen-hui—Chairman, Sikang Provincial Government.

Dr. Huang Yen-pei—prominent educator; head of Vocational Education Group of FDP.

K. P. Chen—member, Central Planning Board; head of Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank; former chairman of Foreign Trade Commission.

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Quo Tai-Chi—member, Supreme National Defense Council; formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Great Britain.

Yunnan Daily News (Kunming) organ of Yunnan Provincial Government.

Ta Kung Pao (independent) China’s best-edited and most influential newspaper.

Academic leaders at Kunming—Professors at Peking, Tsinghua, and Nankai Universities (Southwest Associated University).

National Herald (Chungking)—organ of Foreign Office.

China Times (Chungking) controlled by H. H. Kung interests.

Chiang Mon-lin—President of Chinese Red Cross; President of Peking University; former Minister of Education.

Liang Shu-ming—head of Rural Rehabilitation Group of FDP.

  1. Addressed to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine) and the Under Secretary of State (Grew).
  2. Troy L. Perkins of the Division of Chinese Affairs.
  3. Brackets in this memorandum appear in the original.