893.154/1–2945: Telegram

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

128. Following is actual text of my radio address to the United States on evening 28th celebrating opening of “Stilwell Road”:

“We are grateful to the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek for the honor he has just conferred on America by naming the land route into China in honor of General Joseph W. Stilwell. We join the Generalissimo in paying homage to all our Allies and especially to the Chinese civilians, Chinese soldiers and Chinese officers who, together with American soldiers, led by Joe Stilwell and Dan Sultan, with the ever present support of carrier and fighting air forces led by Howard Davidson53 and Claire Chennault, have fought and worked long and hard and successfully to reestablish land communications with China. Japan had succeeded in blockading China both on land and on sea. China was accessible to the rest of the world only by a hazardous air route flown by American airships, carrying American war supplies to China. The opening of the Stilwell Road reestablishes ground transportation to China. It is not, of course, comparable to the American achievement in building a “bridge of ships” across the Atlantic, through the German blockade, to carry food and clothing for civilians and war equipment and war supplies and millions of American soldiers to defend Britain. The opening of the Stilwell Road is not comparable to American achievement in building battlecraft which have enabled the United Nations to reestablish the freedom of the seas. The Stilwell Road is a symbol of America’s unselfish purpose and of their loyalty to her Allies. Less than 3 percent of American lend-lease has come to China. However, I wish to say to my fellow Americans that for the road, for the air route, for the supplies and for the efforts of American soldiers, Chinese everywhere are expressing their everlasting gratitude.

The Generalissimo and General Wedemeyer are now collaborating to destroy the Japanese forces in China. The forces of MacArthur54 and Nimitz55 have defeated the Japanese in battle after battle in the Pacific. The imperialistic designs of Japan to dominate other peoples and other nations has failed. There is growing opinion that the last [Page 40] battle and final victory of the United Nations will be the defeat of Japan on the soil of China.

There will be hard battles and anxious days before the final victory but China will fight on. The people of China are inspired by the ideal of a ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people’. They are inspired by the principles of the Atlantic Charter;56 ‘they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live’. China fights for freedom and justice. With the unconquerable spirit and the idealism of 450 million Chinese, under the heroic and brilliant leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, America sees emerging from this war a free, united, democratic and happy China.”

  1. Commanding General, 10th U. S. Air Force, India.
  2. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific.
  3. Fleet Admiral of the Navy Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.
  4. Joint Declaration on August 14, 1941, by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, Department of State Bulletin, August 16, 1941, p. 125, or 55 Stat. (pt. 2) 1603.