Memorandum by the Soviet Delegation at the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers
Up to the present time on the territory of China, according to information at the disposal of the Soviet Government, there are up to 500,000 non-disarmed Japanese troops with officer corps and staffs. This appears to be a violation of the terms of surrender approved by the Allied Powers.
In President Truman’s Declaration of December 15, 1945 on American policy with respect to China and in the memorandum of the Secretary of State, Mr. Byrnes, of December 16, 1945, it is stated that American troops and marines are in China. Along with this it is stated that American armed forces, brought to China for the purpose of disarming the Japanese troops, will remain there in order fully to eliminate Japanese influence and to bring about the stabilization of the internal situation in China. But the dates of disarmament of the Japanese troops and the evacuation from China of the armed forces of the USA are not indicated. At the same time, it is known that Japanese troops are being drawn into north China to participate in military operations on the side of the troops of the Chinese Government against non-government Chinese troops, and thus Japanese forces are being drawn into the struggle between different portions of the Chinese people.
The Soviet Government adheres to a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of China. It believes that the interference of foreign troops in the internal affairs of China is leading to an aggravation [Page 845] of the internal-political struggle and complicates the situation in China. Since this is a question of Japanese troops in a zone where the disarming of these troops, according to General MacArthur’s order no. 1, approved by the four powers, should be carried out by the troops of the Chinese Government, it is necessary that the Chinese Government urgently take appropriate measures. The task of disarming the Japanese troops in this zone should not be assigned to any other foreign troops.
Supporting the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of China, the Soviet Government rigidly limits the tasks and time of the presence of Soviet forces in Manchuria to the framework of the agreement which it has with China in regard to Manchuria. In accordance with this agreement Soviet troops in due time disarmed all the Japanese troops in Manchuria and evacuated them as war prisoners to Soviet territory, and in the month of November the evacuation of Soviet troops from Manchuria in accordance with the plan communicated to the Chinese Government was begun. Soviet troops had already been evacuated from southern Manchuria when the Chinese Government requested the Soviet Government to postpone for one month the evacuation of Soviet troops from Manchuria. The Soviet Government agreed to this, and halted the evacuation of the Soviet troops which had begun.
Since the United States of America also has its troops in China, the Soviet Government believes that it would be right for the Governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America to arrive at an understanding between themselves on the simultaneous evacuation of their troops from China, this to be completed in any event no later than the middle of January 1946. As regards the internal problems of China, the Soviet Government believes that these tasks should be decided by the Chinese people itself and its Government without interference from other states.