Marshall Mission Files. Lot 54–D270

General Chou En-lai to Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr.

Dear General Gillem: I am very much impressed by your message relayed to me by Captain Eng33 expressing General Marshall’s and your anxiety for the immediate dispatch of the field teams to Manchuria. I wish to assure you that I am just as eager to have [Page 587]it done as you are, and, I believe, General Chang is of the same feeling. As you may have imagined, during your absence we have had a long talk together. But, on account of the delicacy of the situation, the sore spot has not yet been ironed out, despite the hard effort exerted by both of us.

Please, excuse me, when on your arrival here you will find me away. You are probably aware, that on account of the poor communication, it has been most difficult for me to converse freely with Yenan; consequently for over a week I have been thinking of taking a trip down myself, in order to reach a thorough understanding. I believe, such an arrangement might greatly expedite the progress of our discussion. However, the trip was repeatedly delayed, because of the non-availability of either the plane or pilot. Since by now the plane is ultimately ready to go, I decided not to miss that chance. I have consulted with General Chang, and he agrees to my decision. Now, I expect myself to be back in a day or two, and ready for our meeting by the weekend.

Also, I feel sorry to tell you that I have not been able to submit the lists called for by the reorganization plan34 in due time. In fact, the critical situation in Manchuria generated during the last two weeks, and the complete blockade of our forces in Kwangtung have rather upset my original working schedule. On top of that, there is an interruption of air transportation with Yenan for over a fortnight, which has also contributed much to the delay. This is a second reason for me to take the present trip. Certainly you would fully understand, I trust, that this delay is brought about by unforeseen circumstances, and not out of deliberation or negligence on our part. However, I shall see to it, that while in Yenan I shall get the available data on hand, and arrange a speedy deliverance of data by the others. On coming back here, I shall let you know how much headway I have made, and also about my arrangements.

During the few days that you were replacing General Marshall, I have come to know a great deal more about your brilliant personality. Particularly do I admire your enthusiasm for work and your eagerness to cooperate, which have reinforced my belief that despite our unlucky start we might be just as successful as we have been with General Marshall. In conveying my thanks to you for your efforts, let me also make known the desire that I may further be favored with your cooperation, as General Marshall and you have so generously shown to me in the past.

Faithfully yours,

Chou En-lai
  1. Ernest K. H. Eng, U. S. Army language officer.
  2. February 25, p. 295.