Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Notes on Conference Between General Marshall and Governor Chang Chun, January 6, 1946, 4:30 p.m.

C[hang]: The Generalissimo, after talking to you and after considering your plan instructed Governor Chang Chun to come to report to you the Generalissimo’s opinion on that memorandum.39 Regarding the order for cessation of hostilities, the Generalissimo has a few points to refer to you. That is the subparagraph b that refers to movements of forces within China proper. In paragraph b, there are three points. The first is all movement of forces within China proper and Manchuria will cease. Second point, with exception of movement of forces of National Government of Republic of China into and in Manchuria for the purpose of reestablishing Chinese sovereignty. Third point, there may be the purely local movement necessary for supply and administration and housekeeping. Regarding the [Page 27] third point, the Generalissimo thinks that is all right. Regarding the second point, that troop movements into and in Manchuria, Generalissimo has that more in mind that Jehol Province should be included in Manchuria. Regarding the first point, that all movements of forces within China proper—regarding that point, Governor Chang would like to describe to you, sir, the past trend of conversation between himself and the Chinese Communists.

In October, Governor Chang had talks with Communist representatives that [and?] the cessation of hostilities was also brought up in October. The Communists made the proposal that after the cessation of hostilities then those railways in Northern China that is Peiping–Suyan [Suiyuan] railway, Tatung–Tolun railway, Peiping–Pinghan [Hankow?] railway, northern section, Mukden railroad, eastern section, Tientsin–Pukow railway, Tsingtao–Chinwangtao [Tsinan?] railway and Mukden–Peiping railway, the western sector, that is, near the Peiping section [sic]. Those above mentioned railways [sic] that is the Communist proposal not to move any troops on these railways, or troops should not move into the railway zones. That is the proposal made by the Communists in October. In other words, the Communist proposal includes all the area in northern China with the exception of the railway in Mukden province and the Jehol province.

That was in October and our contemplation was to move troops in those railways providing they would withdraw all the troops away from the railway zone and at the same time organize police forces to guard the railway. That was what caused General Chou En-lai to go back to Yenan. Based on that conference with the Communists the Generalissimo and Governor Chang Chun would like to make some amendments on that paragraph b and the first point we feel that we should not move any troops on those railways just mentioned. No troop movements north of the Yangtze River and furthermore the troops south of the Yangtze River will not be moved to the north unless there is an agreement in the three man committee. The Generalissimo and the Governor feel that in the reorganization and readjustment planned as recommended by General Wedemeyer that we reorganize and retrain our troops and make a small efficient Army and in that step movement of troops south of the Yangtze River cannot be avoided.

M[arshall]: I see.

C: That is the first one the Governor would like to talk to you.

M: That seems rough to me. I am not so certain about Tientsin, Tsingtao, Chinwangtao. I think that is all right.

C: Furthermore, Governor Chang when talking to the Communists about the Communist proposal and those eight railways, Governor Chang points out that should not be included in the eight railways.

[Page 28]

M: However, if all interpretations [interruption?] of the railways ceases, we are all right there. This would read something like this: All movements of forces within China proper north of the Yangtze River and Manchuria will cease with the exception of the movements of forces of the National Government of the Republic of China into and in Manchuria and including Jehol for the purpose of reestablishing Chinese sovereignty. South of the Yangtze there will be no movements or concentrations to the north without the agreement of the parties to this document. That isn’t the right wording but is that the idea.

C: Yes, exactly. There is another point on movements of troops within China proper and Manchuria, Movement into Manchuria including Jehol will be an exception.

M: Now, having gotten the idea. It seems all right to me, I don’t know what will be the debate on it. You will have quite a discussion—I don’t know the outcome. Chou En-lai accepts the exception regarding Manchuria. He accepts that [—] the exception you make here regarding Manchuria [—] because he says that is [in] conformance with the announced U. S. policy and that is in conformance with the Sino-Soviet treaty. Therefore, the Communists accept that. However, he proposes that it not appear in this, because he thinks if it appears in this it will be taken by people to believe the Communists have opposed this movement into Manchuria and they are not opposing it.

C: Has General Chou mentioned anything about Jehol.

M: No, nor would I. I haven’t finished yet. I said that unless there was some written agreement, then the Central Government could not state that the Communists would not attack its moves as being a breach of faith. I said I did not know what the point of view of the Central Government would be. I suggested this possibility and I mentioned that the same thing might be used in a number of other cases. That [would be] in the formal minute of the meeting. In the formal minute of the meeting would be stated definite understanding. In other words, it is stated, it is understood, it is agreed that then we put this in. Then you would not have to approve in the public order to the troops. That is one way of doing it. That gave me this thought, that there may be many other points which are very difficult to phrase exactly and that we could use the device of the minute to state that it is understood that and agreed that and you make a general statement which avoids accusation of lack of good faith. I don’t know whether that is acceptable to Chou En-lai or whether that will be acceptable to the Governor, but that is one way of meeting a good many little difficulties.

[Page 29]

In paragraph c, Chou wished the words after the word block “and fortifications”. I don’t know exactly the definition of the word block. To us it is a fortification, but maybe to him a fortification is something else. I don’t know.

C: The Governor feels that the word block means something to impede communications but fortification may mean a look-out tower to guard against communications.

M: You will have to discuss that at the time.

C: In the last part of the paragraph, “there may be the purely local movements necessary for supply, administration and housekeeping”, Governor Chang suggests that meaning be added for the term administration so that they may not have any different interpretation.

M: (Aside). What did you mean when you wrote that.

Byroade: I meant for the units. Suppose a unit or a division was spread out for 100 miles, with the headquarters in one place and the supply in another. For administrative purposes of bringing them together.

M: Maybe there is another word that would be better.

C: Both in Manchuria, including Jehol, the Japanese surrenders were accepted by Russians so we have to consider that. Governor Chang wanted to know what the word administration meant.

M: No reference to that. It is all within the divisions.

B: You may have units in one place and units in another, you have to have administrative facilities.

M: That would have no reference whatever to the affair in Jehol. That would be an internal matter within the Army. A movement of troops towards the quarters for convenience.

C: In the original copy it is administration and housekeeping but in the Chinese version it is supply administration and security.

M: That would be the men to go in different buildings to arrange facilities, the comforts of life.

B: We will have to be most careful with our translations.

M: My housekeeping here means to use the good house and not live down by the gate.

C: We thought your term housekeeping meant security.

B: We will have to find another word besides housekeeping.

M: We could say convenience.

C: Governor Chang feels that another consideration in [is?] that where the movements of troops in any spots and they are attacked, by some forces.

M: Security is normal to any military unit, or they are not military units. I think instead of housekeeping we ought to say supply, administration and convenience. That gives the idea, or instead local security. Maybe that would be better.

[Page 30]

C: That is better.

M: Omit housekeeping and say local supply, administration and local security. How much further have the troops to go in order to connect up with the Russians.

C: Our troops reach (points on map).

M: Russians in these two places—Chihfeng and Tolun. What is the agreement?

C: That Central Government troops take over those places by the first of February so we must send troops into Jehol Province to take over from the Russians.

M: You have no idea of the number?

B: About 50,000.

C: Not so many.

M: Would you say at the beginning that if the Governor started by talking about the whole province and we found that was a firm resistance on the part of the Communists.

Now listen to me very carefully. Suppose Chou En-lai requests the omission from this paragraph in [of?] the reference to Manchuria. The Governor accepts. In other words the Communists make the request to the Governor and he says yes. Then he in turn proposes the exception to Jehol. Now maybe, I don’t know, maybe they will accept. Now if they do not accept then they appear very firm, then what I wanted him to consider in that event would the acceptance of those two places where the Russians now are be accepted rather than see the armistice affair abandoned.

C: About the omission of the words on Manchuria we might suggest that you take them out from the order to be published by us in the formal minutes. Governor Chang thinks that is one way it can be handled. When the Japs established control in Jehol, it was included in Manchukuo. Jehol province was one administrative unit. The Russians also had Jehol in their scope of activities and accepted Japanese capitulation.

M: The Generalissimo doesn’t accept Jehol as part of Manchuria for the future? It is part of China.

C: The Generalissimo sent Chiang [Ching-] Kuo—Jehol is under his command.

M: I understand that. I don’t think you translated correctly. Does the Generalissimo look at Jehol as part of Manchuria or China in the future. In other words, does he accept for the future Japanese assignment of Jehol.

C: Those three provinces in Manchuria were divided up into 9 provinces.

M: It has already been divided from Manchuria?

[Page 31]

C: Manchuria doesn’t mean anything to us. We just say the northeast provinces.

M: The two towns the Russians are in.

C: The Russians will have withdrawn by first of February so our troops must be there in time to take over from the Russians. So even after cessation of hostilities National troops were also being advanced to those two places to take over from the Russians before the first of February.

[M:] If Chou En-lai proposes the omission of the reference to Manchuria and if Governor Chang states that he will accept that proposal and if Governor Chang then proposes the exception regarding to Jehol—three “Ifs”, and if the Communists very firmly, very flatly refuse to consider the statement of an exception for Jehol, then would the Central Government consider as a compromise the inclusion of those two cities rather than referring to the entire province. Would they consider a compromise referring to those two cities rather than to the entire province. The future moves in Jehol other than those two towns being the subject of future agreements.

C: The Governor states this point that it is only for the Americans and other foreign countries that we use the term Manchuria. If that point is brought up that word of [or?] the words would be that movement of forces in movements of forces into [from?] China proper into and in Jehol between the provinces [of?] the northeast provinces.40 You omit the term Manchuria altogether, that is in the northern provinces based on the agreement made between this Government and the Soviet Government for the Chinese National Government to take over from the Russians as they will withdraw from the points in that area.

M: I haven’t gotten the question across at all. I am not discussing Manchuria, I am discussing procedure. I understood the Governor to say that the suggestion that reference to Manchuria be left out of this and put in the minute was proper agreement after he discussed with the Generalissimo, so I wasn’t talking about that. I only referred to that in procedure as being something where the Governor was accommodating the Communists, the Communists ask for something, the Governor said all right, I will give you that asking for something and that something being accidentally Jehol, now then the Governor turns around and he asks for an exception about Jehol. Now my guess is that by judging what I read in the paper they oppose that. If they don’t say yes does he think it possible that the Generalissimo might consider a compromise.

[Page 32]

Shepley: That the Nationalist forces proceed to two towns in Jehol and stop. Is that an acceptable compromise.

M: Does he think this is something to consider.

C: Well, sir, I am afraid Governor Chang’s answer is again indirect. Instead of making the proposal that Jehol should be included in the northeast provinces he will change the wording to “any area occupied by Russian troops[”], the Central Government [to] send troops to that area to take over from the Russians when cessation of hostilities can be done. Do you think that will be agreeable to the Communists.

M: I think this at the moment. It would be much more agreeable I assume to the Communists in Jehol, but I am uncertain whether it would not embarrass the Generalissimo in Manchuria. I would be afraid to do anything that might weaken that.

C: Governor Chang thinks that it would be more agreeable proposal if the wording were as follows, that is, regarding Manchuria put that in the formal minutes. Regarding Jehol we thought mention the whole province, not mention any particular part, just say in the Jehol province, any place that we have made agreement with the Soviet Government for the Chinese Government to take over, then the National Government would proceed on [to?] taking over those towns after the Russians withdrew.

M: I understand, but I would suggest this approach. In the minute would be [a] statement. With reference to paragraph b, it is understood and agreed that the movements of forces of the National Government of the Republic of China into and in Manchuria for the purpose of reestablishing Chinese sovereignty and to such other specific areas as are now occupied by Soviet troops in North China will continue, all these movements being in accordance with agreements between the Central Government of the Republic of China and the Soviet Government.

That is what the Governor said, but I worded it different.

C: The Governor thinks that is good.

M: That is one way of doing it. I thought this was one way of putting it and I didn’t want to stop it. Tell the Governor I have not discussed this Jehol at all with Chou En-lai and I will not. I recognized this as a very delicate thing that I could only talk about when we came to the general meeting. I still go back to procedure that if the Governor, if Chou En-lai requests a change, will the Governor be authorized to accept the change, then he follows immediately with his change and we probably put it all over.

C: Yes, the Governor sees that.

[Page 33]

M: I am very hopeful that we can tomorrow get an agreement on this order.

C: Governor Chang asked whether it is feasible to add another paragraph making it f. The Generalissimo mentioned to you yesterday that after the cessation of hostilities how about a disposition and reorganization of the Chinese troops. You mentioned that it is beyond your scope of talking at the time being and Governor Chang likes to report to you that in the past, during the discussions between Government representatives and the Communist representative we agreed that we would set up a three man committee, a military committee, to go about the details of the reorganization. The Governor asked whether it is feasible to add one paragraph that the, after the cessation of hostilities, the three man committee should proceed to talk about the disposition and reorganization and start [reorganizing?] armies of Chinese troops within two months.

M: I have no objection to that, but I should think that it would be better to propose that as soon as we see this other beginning to work out.

C: This three man committee is another three man committee—it is a military committee.

M: I don’t think I would put that in there. If they both agree, all well and good. If General Chou En-lai accepts, that is all right. The cessation of hostilities is the thing we want, the best start is the thing we want. Now all these other things are of vast importance, but they may complicate this matter. I interpose no objection except that I would hope we would not endanger what we have on hand right now by adding it there.

C: Governor Chang has this in mind, that it seems that the agreement is more or less incomplete without mentioning something about that military three man committee. By adding another paragraph that is putting it so as something will be done on the disposal and reorganization of the Chinese Armies.

M: Did the Communists agree to that three man committee.

Shepley: They agreed, but never sent a man to it.

C: They agreed, but it has never been convened for they delayed the sending of their representative. Their representative is now in Chungking.

M: I would interpose no objection. I just don’t think it is a good move at the moment, because you see this order is very brief. This is only a very small part of the story. The large part of the story is this next order where the field headquarters goes up. That is the real thing, that is the thing that will be most impressive. This is just a general order that doesn’t say a word about Manchuria. If it is agreed [Page 34] that will make a great impression. I interpose no objection to this. Shepley is afraid that the Communists would come in and want to add more paragraphs. I interpose no objection. I don’t attempt to tell the Governor about Chinese judgment. I don’t know about that.

C: The Governor understands all that part, but he hopes that some form of understanding will exist that [will settle?] once and for all the most important point of all, [what] we should do after cessation of hostilities. There is general understanding on that.

M: I am going to be very frank. I was struggling to see this work. The Generalissimo doesn’t think it will work, I think it will work. Colonel Byroade goes [gives?] the best argument against this in this way. This is not an announcement to the public. This is an order to the troops. So you will be putting in an order to the troops something that was rather out of place in that connection. Might get the agreement here to make the announcement of that. That would be an announcement in an order to the armies. The armies don’t have anything to do about that. This is something up here—not down there.

C: Governor Chang Chun expresses concurrence with you on that point. He doesn’t insist on putting in this paragraph, but he desires to reach some sort of understanding.

M: We can do that at a meeting and write it into the minute.

C: Governor Chang is afraid that he has to take some more time from you in discussion of other points.

C. About the executive headquarters,41 the present first paragraph, Governor Chang suggests to make it read as follows: “By joint agreement, we, Governor Chang Chun, representative of the Central Government and General Chou En-lai representative of the Chinese Communist party do establish as of . . . . . . . . . date an executive headquarters empowered to implement the cessation of hostilities issued by order of the Central Government. [”]

M: Down in the second paragraph we have that, form of instructions will be issued in the name of the Republic of China.

C: Bring about a point that after an agreement has been made we must submit to the Central Government to issue an order to implement it.

B: That is right down here in the last sentence of the letter.

M: That refers to the work of the committee.

C: That is the two representatives agree to establish an executive headquarters. That headquarters, the bigger centers of that headquarters should be approved by the National Government so that the [Page 35] National Government, would submit to the approval of the National Government and the National Government issue orders.

M: I don’t think that paragraph is written right because this is written by the people who are agreeing to do this. That he, the Governor and representatives of the Chinese Communist party are submitting this plan for approval that is one thing, but this is written, this paragraph was written as the confirmation of the plan. Now if it is being changed to be submitted for approval the thing isn’t written right. What we had in mind was the Governor and Chou En-lai and myself would write a note submitting this whole thing to the Generalissimo and to Mao Tse-tung. If they accepted this is in the form for their acceptance. Is his purpose to secure the approval of the Generalissimo.

C: To send to the National Government to put into the file of the National Government so the National Government is aware of the existence of such a body.

M: Now wait let me try. “By joint agreement we, Governor Chang Chun, authorized representative of the Central Government and Chou En-lai, authorized representative of the Chinese Communist Party do establish as of . . . . . . . . . date an executive headquarters empowered to implement the agreements for cessation of hostilities under formal orders to be issued by the President of the Republic of China.” Would that do it.

C: Yes.

M: In other words you are authorized to take this action. I am assuming that you and Chou En-lai can complete an agreement. Does that do what you are talking about.

C: Yes. That does it.

M: Now down here in this paragraph, the last sentence, which refers to the executive headquarters only, the formal instructions agreed upon by the three representatives will be issued in the name of the Republic of China. The formal orders of the executive headquarters will be issued in the name of the President of the Republic of China. It appears twice, once for the principals and once for the subordinates.

That is the local headquarters down there. What we are talking about here is the cessation of hostilities.

C: The first paragraph refers to the executive headquarters. To make it legal we must submit it to the President of the Republic of China to inform him of the establishment of such a headquarters.

M: We haven’t gotten anywhere. I understand that we will have to change it.

C: I have explained to Governor Chang that you would rewrite that [Page 36] based on what he has suggested and at the same time he will try to put it in writing and give it to you.

M: This first part the cessation of hostilities, the three representatives, that is the three of us would have to sign this. We sign the one to Mao Tse-tung. Chou En-lai would have to tell us what Mao Tse-tung wanted for a date and the Governor would have to tell us what the Generalissimo will want and we would have to agree upon it. Signed by the three of us. Now that puts it into the record doesn’t it. Does that not go into the records of the Chinese Government. So this is really rewritten to go from this committee for the establishment of this headquarters and we would all sign that.

I will try something and the Governor will have something. The Governor can make a draft on it. How would this go, Governor. Take the last few words, empowered to implement the agreements of the cessation of hostilities. The agreements for the cessation of hostilities in the name of the President of the Republic of China.

Something like that. We will think it over.

C: On the third paragraph. That will have to be changed.

M: Yes. That paragraph will have to be changed.

C: Then in the organization paragraph, the second sentence, the U. S. representative will be invited to be the chairman of the group.

M: That is all right.

C: Governor Chang has a real doubt about the Chinese translation. We say the headquarters would have within itself an executive section composed of a number of officers and men. Chinese representatives being equally divided between the National Government and the Communists. The same number?

M: Going on the basis of an equal number. One Communist, one American, one Central Government.

B: Each one will have the same responsibility.

M: I think this section from the headquarters will have within itself a group to be called an “Operations” section rather than Executive Section. Operations with us means to direct this, direct that and to plan. Strike out adequately. Make it to supervise in the field.

C: Shall be equally divided between the two, that phrase be changed into Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party representatives to participate in it. Chinese representatives.

From both sides, representatives will be passed between National Government and the Communist Party.

M: Higher officers.

C: How many.

B: I would say it will run about 100 officers and men for one side—probably about 25 officers and 75 men for each side.

[Page 37]

C: Governor Chang likes to know what [is] the exact meaning of the National Government will also furnish assistants, over-all security will be furnished jointly by the National Government and Communist forces will be sent to maintain order and security.

B: I wrote that when I didn’t know where we were going to put our headquarters.

M: When we wrote that we thought we were going right in the middle of Communist territory where there were no Nationalists troops at all.

B: Perhaps we could cross out that sentence. Cross out the sentence on over-all security.

M: How about scratching out the second sentence on over-all security.

C: Yes that is good.

Local security will be retained. Then about the location. The Generalissimo suggests Tientsin instead of Peking for the U. S. marine headquarters is there and there would be security, communications, signal communications and other trucks and everything more convenient to the American members of the headquarters.

M: That is true, but I would imagine, it would be my guess, that it would be very questionable to put this headquarters where there are so many American troops. To put the headquarters clown in the middle of American troops that everybody is fighting about back in the U. S. and they are fighting about back here. As a matter of fact, I expected Chou En-lai to [have] objection to Peking because there are Marines at Peking and I thought it would be very dangerous for us to locate our headquarters or any part of our headquarters in or near the Marine concentrations and I thought if they would object to the Marines, that we might meet that by reducing the number still keeping enough to make certain of the security of the airfields, but they have not said anything about objecting. I think I can say that if we were to go into Tientsin from here you would get a very bad reaction on the part of the big Marine garrison which they are all fighting about. Now they have never mentioned the word Marine to me, but I have almost been expecting it to come and I don’t want to upset the arrangements after now. We have a good airfield at Peking under Marine operation and we can have good radio communication from there with American equipment and we can get trucks and things we need there and the planes.

C: Compared with Tientsin, Peking is more useful town as it is better located.

B: It is more to the center of the group.

C: Generalissimo thinks that it would make it more convenient for [Page 38] your officers in Tientsin. As far as security is concerned, transportation is concerned, he has no other considerations.

M: They will get along all right.

C: Governor Chang will transmit that to the Generalissimo.

M: Thank him for the consideration.

C: Of course about the minor points on the wording of those document we will have to talk over.

M: I doubt very much whether at our first meeting we get into the second part—the executive headquarters. I think we can take all of our time on this. We can be working out these other changes in this.

C: 10 o’clock tomorrow.

M: If that is agreeable to you. I will [make?] facilities available here.

C: Do you think the governor should take some experts, assistants?

M: I think he ought to bring one man to keep all of his notes.

B: I will have maps on a board.

C: Governor remarks that all of these talks will be very very important and for the interest of this country and he hopes that while you have spent so much time on these affairs that you will have speedy returns and he hopes that everything will work out speedily.

M: Thank you, very much, and I hope the same for him.

C: Governor Chang has three positions and he hopes something can be worked out.

M: If agreeable to the Governor, I will arrange to have very careful notes taken of everything that transpires so that minutes of the talks will be in English and Chinese for all of us to approve. That this is a correct record of the conference. I will have Mr. Hickey42 take it down in English, then we will have it translated into Chinese and see if you approve it and if General Chou approves it, what actually happens. It is my hope that we will get through so quickly and that the work in the field will be on such a businesslike basis that it will make for confidence towards all things we are talking about. The Generalissimo expressed fear about the working of the set up. I do not share the same fear because with the careful headquarters that Colonel Byroade is organizing we will have a framework of Americans. A skeleton of Americans. We cannot expect the Central Government to run it or we cannot expect the Communist to run it, or we cannot expect the two together to make a very good team, so we depend upon the skeleton, the frame, of Americans to keep pushing the work straight ahead, but they must be as inconspicuous as possible, they will have to carry the burden of the work [Page 39] within the headquarters, but out in the field, it will be the Communist officer and the Central Government officer. I suggest that we call this special main group of the executive headquarters, commissioners.

C: Yes.

M: That is all.

  1. Draft memorandum prepared by the staff of General Marshall, p. 6.
  2. Sentence apparently garbled.
  3. The draft used at this meeting has not been found in Department files, but see draft plan prepared by the staff of General Marshall, p. 6.
  4. Chief Warrant Officer R. C. Hickey, secretary to General Marshall.