740.00119 P. W./8–1145: Telegram

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

1330. After the Generalissimo replied to your message in regard to surrender terms for Japan this morning,5 together with General Wedemeyer, we discussed with him many other problems involved in the present situation.

What I am about to recite to you is not the result of this morning’s conference as that pertained largely to military strategy and will be reported by Wedemeyer to the staff.

During my visit in Washington last April I outlined for President Roosevelt and suggested to Secretary Stettinius what in my opinion would be the major political problem facing the National Government of the Republic of China after V–J Day.

It seems certain that there can be no political unification in China as long as war lords or armed factions are strong enough to defy the National Government.

To meet this situation the terms of surrender with Japan should include a requirement that Japan will be responsible for the surrender of all Japanese arms in China, including Japanese arms that are in the hands of Japanese soldiers, Chinese puppet troops supporting Japan and Chinese partisan armed bands. The terms should penalize Japan for any attempt to arm any belligerent forces within China against the National Government of the Republic of China. We have already had rumors, unconfirmed, of course, that Japan is arming factions that will assure internal strife, if not civil war, in China after V–J Day.

The Generalissimo has mentioned to me frequently President Roosevelt’s statement at Cairo6 to the effect that the United States would equip 90 Chinese divisions. Thirty divisions (X force) to be equipped immediately. Thirty divisions (Y force) as soon as first 30 divisions were completed and finally the arming of 30 additional divisions (Z force) making a total of 90 American armed divisions which would constitute the Chinese peacetime army.

Chiang Kai-shek said Harry Hopkins7 was present when commitment was made.

This, it is claimed, would enable the National Government of the Republic of China to sustain itself against armed factions in China.

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I have told the Generalissimo in positive terms that, so far as I know, all Lend-Lease ends on V–J Day.

I suggest that when Japan surrenders all of her arms in China and, if necessary, some of her arms from the Archipelago be used to equip the Chinese National Army. If the United States decides to continue to furnish Lend-Lease arms to the Chinese Government after V–J Day, same might come from American-owned Lend-Lease equipment now in other foreign theaters.

Please consider the foregoing as suggestions, not as recommendations. I have not made these suggestions to the Generalissimo nor to other officials of the Chinese Government.

  1. See telegram No. 1325, August 11, 8 a.m., from the Ambassador in China, p. 493.
  2. For the Cairo Conference, November 22–26, 1943, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943.
  3. Special Assistant to President Roosevelt.