The Consul General at Vladivostok ( Clubb ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8 p.m.]
107. Chinese Consul General in conversation with me yesterday expressed in guarded terms his obvious apprehension that Soviets harbored intent of obstructing reassertion Chinese National Government authority in Manchuria (re Consul’s telegram 97, October 31, 9 a.m.). Voicing his belief that general withdrawal Soviet forces from Manchuria had still not begun, despite fact that movement would normally take some time to accomplish and would logically be effected progressively in coordination with entry Chinese regular forces to take over. Consul General interpreted patent reluctance Soviet military to facilitate entry Chinese regulars into Manchuria as evidence of their desire to have Communist regime come into being there. It was his opinion that such regime would not necessarily be made up of Yenan elements but might instead be constituted by another group formed for purpose, latter group perhaps not even employing Communist label but instead posing as patriotic and nationalistic. He appeared to conceive patriotic Soviet plan as purposing possibly that Yenan group would hold power in North China in close moral relationship to new group in Manchuria but two groups would possess political entities which, if similar, were distinct. It will be noted that this suggested alignment, if it were to materialize, would accord generally with different economic and political interests of USSR in the several areas involved. (Telegram not sent Moscow, Department please repeat.)83
Consul General made mention of publication by local press of Tass reports of American news items criticizing American policy with respect [Page 1043] existing situation China and observed that Soviets were thus using American voices in support Soviet policy. With reference one particular point at public issue he gave opinion that Soviet dislike of transport National Government troops to Manchuria by American air or ocean craft could not be supported by reference letter of W [August?] treaty agreements, which provided for return Chinese authority Manchuria without reference means conveyance.
Local press until recently has been nearly silent on subject Chinese postwar civil strife. Items now being published falling general pattern indicated by Consul General. Next numbered telegram84 will give brief survey those items. Their chief significance lies in circumstance that so far as noted only those and no other items were published (since September 1) and that they very probably come close to what Soviets themselves would like to say. If Soviets intend outstay November in Manchuria, however, there will presumably soon be made public some purely Soviet argument to justify such intent.