Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Penfield)35

Issuance of Statement on U.S. Policy Towards China

I suggest that the immediate publication of the approved statement of policy towards China would be advantageous, for the following reasons:

The Chinese will have sensed the trend of our policy from the Secretary’s statement of December 7.36
The Political Consultative Council, including Communists and other major political elements, was scheduled to meet on December 10, to renew negotiations. Preliminary indications are that both sides intend to take these negotiations more seriously than previous talks. It is possible that in view of the December 7 statement they will try to arrive at some announceable compromise or agreement quickly, endeavoring to make such announcement before our policy statement is released.
Should such an announcement precede release of our statement, the latter as now phrased could be interpreted as flogging a dead horse, and the U. S. could be criticized as having taken no stand in the matter, and then improvising a policy which simply approved a Chinese fait accompli.

The Chinese may not, of course, take any immediate action which might prejudice our release, but I believe that the possibility outweighs any likely advantage in further delay in making our stand public.

  1. Addressed to the Under Secretary of State (Acheson) and the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn).
  2. Department of State Bulletin, December 9, 1945, p. 930.