893.00/12–645: Telegram

The Consul General at Vladivostok ( Clubb ) to the Secretary of State

121. In conversation November 27 Chinese Consul General showed disbelief of then current rumor that agreement had been reached for postponement withdrawal Soviet troops from Manchuria and stated that, if only Soviets would withdraw, National Government could handle Communist problem. Last night he compared Manchuria situation to that in Iran and expressed guarded pessimism regarding outcome present mission Chiang Ching-kuo and Chang Chia-hao to Changchun. (ReConstel 97, October 31, 9 a.m. Department please repeat Moscow.90) I offer following comment.

[Page 1049]

Actual agreement reached between Marshal Malinovski and General Hsiung Shih-hui is reputedly considered by Chungking to be beneficial as giving Government more time to make troop dispositions. Chungking political strategy influenced by factors of world opinion and concern for possible post-war UNRRA aid and American credits patently designed to avoid civil war and if possible attain goal of unification through political means with American and Soviet assistance. Policy, however laudable in principle, weakens government action in respect to Manchuria. In particular the Communists need more time for movement of troops and organization forces there than does government which commands better communications facilities. Granting by Soviets of facilities for air transport Chinese regulars [to] Manchuria is only superficially a Soviet move of cooperation. Benefits gained by Chungking are more than counterbalanced by time gained by Soviets for organization and arming, the efforts of Soviet “partisans” if not of more important organizations, of native Communists or “patriots”. If Soviets in Manchuria follow policy used in Iran, they will not permit government’s strength to be increased to point where it can deal effectively with insurgents.

Recent statement of Chu Teh is good indication that previous estimate by Chinese ComGen (Constel 107, November 16, 11 a.m.) of probable function those native Manchurian groups, now reputedly headed by Chang Hsueh-shih91 was correct. It can logically be assumed that current Chinese Communists demand for autonomy for Manchuria will become stronger in time and receive support from Moscow. As Department is undoubtedly aware, plebiscite in Outer Mongolia was performed by what Soviet organ termed “most democratic” procedure, that is, by voter affixing signature or finger print opposite name on ballot in which he voted on question whether he favored or opposed independence Mongolian Republic. It is not to be wondered at that population expressed itself 100 percent in favor. Application of roughly same procedure in Manchuria after Soviet power has solidified there would probably lead to roughly same result. Acceptance finally of that procedure for Sinkiang would probably bring about change of sovereignty there also even if voting were under democratic instead of Soviet auspices. Eastern Soviet cordon, designed to exert influence outward rather than to be unneeded defense bulwark, would then be complete.

Soviets are carrying out program for strengthening their position in Asia. Being already in strong position with respect to Manchuria, they will reach bargains with National Government regarding that area only where USSR is conceived to get the greater benefit. Agreement [Page 1050] by Hsiung was as positive a benefit to USSR as were those of August 14. While present negotiations are in progress Soviet sphere of influence in Manchuria is being given form.

  1. Repeated to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union as Department’s telegram No. 2500, December 11, 8 p.m.
  2. Younger brother of General Chang Hsueh-liang, detained since the end of 1936.