Marshall Mission Files. Lot 54–D270

Memorandum by General Chou En-lai to General Marshall and Brigadier General Henry A. Byroade

No. 101.2–11

Subject: The Canton Team and the Truce in Kwangtung.

According to General Yeh Chien-ying’s report, General Chang Fa-kwei, Commander-in-Chief of the Nationalist Forces in Kwangtung denies even now the existence of Communist-led troops in the various places of Kwangtung, such as along the East River, in Hainan Island, Luichow Peninsula, at Nanhsiung and other places, by merely branding them as bandits;23 and suppression campaigns against them have not yet ceased on February 4th. Such deliberate actions on part of the Nationalist military authority in Kwangtung, aimed at annihilating the Communist-led troops, is a direct violation of the Truce Agreement. Apart from sending a written protest to the National Government representative, I beg herewith to notify you on this matter.
According to a radio despatch from General Tseng Sheng, commander of the Communist-led Kwangtung East River Detachment, dated February 4th, the 53rd Division of the Nationalist Army was still attacking the base of the East River Detachment at Tapeng Peninsula (situated between the Bias and Mirs Bays) on the same day, while the 186th Division drove from Huiyang (114°25′, 23°05′) and Tzuchin (115°13′, 23°40′) toward the northeast of the Tapeng Peninsula, the objective of both being to push the Communist-led troops to the sea and to wipe them out.
In view of this situation, I beg to suggest the following for your actions:
To wire the Peiping Executive Headquarters that it should immediately discuss the serious situation existing in Kwangtung and to take accordingly effective and prompt actions.
To wire the Peiping Executive Headquarters that it should immediately send by airplane Communist signal officers to the Canton team so that they may operate on the radio station brought along by the Communist team member.
To instruct by radio the American member of the Canton team that he should immediately drive out in motor-cars with the Nationalist and Communist members to the critical spot at Tapeng Peninsula, in order to stop the advance of the Nationalist Armies, contact General Tseng Sheng, commander of the Communist-led forces, and try to reach a settlement on the spot. Should General Chang Fa-kwei raise objection to this action, it would leave no doubt of his aforementioned scheme. In such case, it is desired that the American team [Page 397] member would strictly carry out the Cease Fire Order, with a view to prevent further aggravation of the situation.
Should, on account of sabotage and violation of the Cease Fire Order on part of General Chang Fa-kwei, the Communist-led East River Detachment and other forces suffer heavy losses or even annihilation, then the government side should be wholly responsible for these losses, and the Chinese Communist Party reserves her full claim over this accident.

Faithfully yours,

[Signature in Chinese]
Chou En-lai
  1. See press release by Central News Agency on February 12, p. 431.