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

1050. Additional messages received on June 22 from Ward in Tihwa (ReEmbstel No. 1041, June 23, 6 p.m.) are summarized as follows:

“Tihwa special delegate, in conversation with Ward on June 19, offered opinion that basic Chinese problem is Kuomintang anti-Communist relationship. He said that Communist popularity among average Chinese, including small businessmen, is not understood abroad. He stated that Kuomintang must either (1) carry out such thorough and honest reforms as to offer Chinese more than Communists do or (2) come to terms with Communists. He expressed deepest concern lest Communists [Kuomintang?] will do either [neither?] and that the resultant impasse might lead to civil war and international confusion which would bring on a third world conflict. He asserted that the Sinkiang situation was closely related to the Communist problem. He said that former provincial chairman Sheng during earlier period of his administration when he was professedly pro-Communist had invited large numbers of Chinese Communists to Sinkiang, but that, as Soviets are aware, he arrested them when he turned on the USSR and they are still imprisoned. He stated that when Soviet Consulate General [Page 1004] was approached in regard to [the?] Ining revolt, it replied that it regarded problem as purely internal affair.

(Ward now believes that statement attributed to Consulate General (Embassy’s NR 1000, June 16, 4 p.m.) was a distortion of fact.)

Special Delegate feels that in Sinkiang (as in China proper) taking strong anti-Soviet stand rather than accepting fact of bad internal administration will inevitably lead to disaster; that attitude that fault lies with Communists paralyzes any effort to effect internal cleanup. He urged Ward to recommend to U. S. Government that it suggest to a ranking Chinese official that it would be desirable to appoint Chiang Ching-kuo (son of the G[eneralissi]mo) as chairman of Sinkiang to replace Wu Chung-hsin. Were this appointment made, Ward feels, the present politically dangerous situation in Sinkiang would be susceptible to settlement.”

It is difficult at this distance to assess the importance of the Sinkiang situation, the difficulties of which are however apparent. Ward sometimes fails to make clear whether he is talking about alleged implication of the Chinese Communists or the Soviet Government or both (sent to Department, repeated to Moscow) when reporting views of Chinese officials with whom he has talked. Furthermore he is perhaps not aware of the development described in my telegram No. 1038, June 23, 7 [3] p.m.53 and he may not be informed of Soong’s impending visit to Moscow. (For security of communications reasons we have not apprised him of these developments.)

  1. Ante, p. 416.