893.00/12–2045: Telegram

The Consul at Peiping (Stevens) to the Secretary of State

36. Chiang Kai-shek expressed gratification at President Truman’s statement [on] American policy in China49 in interview granted Chinese and American pressmen December 18. Chiang expressed admiration for Truman whose statement Chiang said showed clearly the President’s understanding of China situation.

Chiang said he hoped Truman’s statement would hasten settlement differences between National Government and Communists but that this will depend on Communists and whether they will accept Truman’s views (sent to Chungking, repeated to Department).

According to semi-official despatch from Kweisui, siege of Paotow by Communists has been almost lifted and Central troops are engaged in cleaning up Communists from country around Suiyuan city.

Steps have been taken by government authorities to transport foodstuffs from western Suiyuan to Paotow to relieve food shortage.

Officials Peiping–Suiyuan Railway began emergency repair work on section running east from Paotow which suffered in every possible way damage from Communists.

Reports from southern Suiyuan and Central Hopei tell of Communist activities in wrecking railways, requisitioning food stuffs and enforcing compulsory conscription.

  1. December 15, p. 770.