Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Document Prepared by the Staff of General Marshall

Cessation of Hostilities Plan13

the problem

To arrange for the immediate cessation of hostility between the Central Government and Communist Armies in China and the establishment [Page 4] of the necessary executive headquarters to properly implement agreed terms of the armistice.


Representatives of the Central Government and the Communist Parties have agreed to effect immediate cessation of hostilities. A selected representative from each of the Central Government and the Communist Party have called on General Marshall to discuss the terms and execution of such agreement.
The problem at hand covers only the immediate aspects of the terms and implementation of the armistice and is a military problem. It must not be confused with the broader aspects such as integration of the Central Government and Communist Armies, civil rule in occupied areas, etc. which are matters for discussion in the Political Consultative Council.
The necessary steps to effect and secure a cessation of hostilities appear to be as follows:

a. Cease Fire Orders

Field orders containing cease fire instructions to the two armies in question should be dispatched simultaneously. The field orders to the Central Government troops should be signed by the Generalissimo and that to the Communist troops by Mao Tse-tung. Such orders should include the necessary instructions to insure proper action until establishment of the executive headquarters hereinafter mentioned. They should definitely include the order to cease destruction of communication lines, the cessation of troop movements within China except those Nationalist Forces destined for Manchuria, and such other instructions as may be necessary to establish the desired state of tranquility in the battle areas until further orders can be issued. Preparation of actual field orders is of course a function of the respective Chinese organizations. The important aspects of such field orders will probably be drafted by the committee of three (General Marshall, the representative of the Nationalist Government and the representative of the Communist Government) for submission to the Generalissimo and Mao Tse-tung for their approval. The pertinent portion of these directives should therefore be prepared immediately for use by General Marshall in his discussions.

b. Formation of Executive Headquarters

An executive headquarters will be required to carry out on the ground, the implementation of the terms of the armistice and perform such other functions as described herein. The headquarters should [Page 5] be composed of one member designated by the Central Government, one member designated by the Communist party and one American designated by General Marshall with the American to act as the chairman. In addition to the above, an executive section must be organized preferably under the supervision of an American officer, to carry out and implement the decisions of the executive headquarters.

The executive headquarters must be organized and located in a central position within the present lines of conflict at the earliest possible date. Its location must be determined by its proximity to the headquarters of both armies as well as near the center of gravity of important lines of communication within North China. It must have sufficient American representation to permit the dispatch of combined Chinese and American delegates to the numerous army and communication points of conflict. It must have the required transportation, ground and air, to allow rapid means of transit of all of its members. It must have a signal organization to carry out efficiently and with security, radio communications with its outlying command posts, General Marshall in Chungking, and theater headquarters in Shanghai. It must be provided with its own immediate security and be furnished necessary housing and office space as required.

In establishing the above organization, plans must be prepared not only to cover the American participation, but the entire organization, and should include organization, location, strength, and operating procedure. The executive headquarters will function under the executive order of the Generalissimo. It shall make recommendations to the Generalissimo on such immediate problems as restoration of communications, to include formation of the required military police, acceptance of Japanese surrenders, initiation of repatriation of the Japanese from North China, etc. While this committee must function under the order of the Generalissimo, it is understood that agreements reached by the executive headquarters will be confirmed and approved by the Generalissimo so that the executive headquarters will be in effect a military agency with plenipotentiary powers.

c. Governmental Directive to the Executive Headquarters

There must be prepared immediately an executive order which will be issued by the Generalissimo establishing the executive headquarters in b above. It should define in general terms its functions and responsibilities. Simultaneously with this executive order, a public statement should be made by the Generalissimo announcing the establishment of such an executive headquarters, the members thereof, and the general powers conferred thereon.

[Page 6]
[Annex 1]

Draft Memorandum Prepared by the Staff of General Marshall

To His Excellency, The Generalissimo:

Subject: Cessation of Hostilities.

In conformance with the agreements entered into by the National Government of China and the Chinese Communist Party, it is desirable that cease firing orders be issued at once and simultaneously by yourself and by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. If this suggestion meets with your approval it is recommended that identical orders along the lines of the draft which follows be issued by you and by Chairman Mao Tse-tung at an agreed time on an agreed date.

The text of the proposed draft order follows:

“All units, regular, militia, irregular and guerrilla of the National Armies of the Republic of China are ordered to carry out the following directive, as of ___(hour) hours, on ___(day) ______(month) of the ___(year) year of the Republic:

All hostilities will cease immediately.
All movements of forces within China proper and Manchuria will cease with the exception of movements of forces of the National Government of the Republic of China into and in Manchuria for the purpose of re-establishing Chinese sovereignty. There also may be the purely local movements necessary for supply, administration and housekeeping.
Destruction and interference with lines of communications will cease and you will clear at once blocks placed against movement along land lines of communications.
For the time being all units will maintain their present positions.
Additional instructions and orders will be issued to you later.

Signed Chiang Kai-shek”

A similar memorandum14 is being submitted to Mr. Chou En-lai for transmittal to Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

[Annex 2]

Draft Plan Prepared by the Staff of General Marshall15

The Executive Headquarters


By joint agreement, we, Chiang Kai-shek, President of the Republic of China, and Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of Central Committee, Chinese [Page 7] Communist Party, do establish as of _______(date) an Executive Headquarters empowered to implement the agreements for cessation of hostilities.


The Executive Headquarters established by this order will implement the agreed policies. The Headquarters will submit recommendations covering necessary additional subsidiary agreements to insure more effective implementation of the cessation of hostilities orders; to include disarmament of the Japanese forces, restoration of lines of communication and coordination of the movement of Japanese to the coast for repatriation. The formal instructions unanimously agreed upon by the three representatives will be issued in the name of the President of the Republic of China.


The Executive Headquarters will exercise control for the above stated purposes only of operations and movement over all regular, militia and irregular forces, Central Government and Chinese Communist, within the borders of China proper, French Indo-China north of 16 degrees, Hainan, Formosa, and Manchuria.


The Executive Headquarters will consist of three representatives with authority to vote, and to negotiate among themselves; one to represent the Chinese National Government; one to represent the Chinese Communist Party Government and one to represent the United States of America. The United States Representative will be the chairman of the group.

The Headquarters will have within itself as its implementing agency an operating group to be called the Executive Section composed of the number of officers and men required to supervise in the field the various agreements, and to render the required reports. Chinese Representatives shall be equally divided between the National Government and the Chinese Communist Party.

There will be included within the Executive Headquarters the necessary secretarial staff, and housekeeping sub-sections to support the Headquarters.

Housing and Supply

The National Government will furnish adequate living and office accommodations for the Executive Headquarters. The National Government will also furnish the subsistence for this Headquarters.16 [Page 8] Local security of the Representatives will be furnished by small units from forces of each party as circumstances render convenient.


The Executive Headquarters will be located at Peiping.


The Executive Headquarters will operate as the executives of the National Government, the Chinese Communist Party, and the United States respectively.

The three Representatives shall each have one vote. All action must be by unanimous agreement. Either the National Government or the Chinese Communist Party may, through its head or through its accredited representatives with the Executive Headquarters veto any proposed action, order or recommendation.

The Executive Headquarters will issue the necessary formal orders, directives, and instructions in the name of the President of the Republic of China.

Daily reports will be rendered to the President of the Republic of China and to the Chairman of the Central Committee, Chinese Communist Party.

The Executive Headquarters will operate through its Executive Section.

The Director of the Executive Section will be an United States Army Officer.

The Executive Section will supervise the publication and dissemination of all orders, directives, and instructions to all forces concerned.

The Executive Section will dispatch supervisory and reporting teams as required to insure proper implementation of the policies and agreements.

The National Government, the Chinese Communist Party, and the United States may each maintain independent signal communications.

Duration of Authority

The Executive Headquarters shall remain in existence and operate under the authority contained in this order until there is a change by amendment or until the joint order is rescinded by the President of the Republic of China or the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Chinese Communist Party, or their authorized representatives after due notification to the other party.

[Page 9]
[Annex 3]

Draft Memorandum Prepared by the Staff of General Marshall

To His Excellency, The Generalissimo:

Subject: Organization of Executive Headquarters.

The approval by Your Excellency and Chairman Mao Tse-tung of the directive to cease hostilities makes it mandatory that the Executive Headquarters become operational at once.

The Executive Headquarters should be kept as small as possible in order that it can commence functioning quickly, and handle without delay matters referred to it for action.

Mr. Walter S. Robertson, the American commissioner of the Executive Headquarters, will have initially a small staff of not to exceed four persons: a political advisor, an aide, a stenographer, and a translator.

The Operations Section, under Colonel Henry A. Byroade, must contain the necessary personnel to operate various sub-headquarters in critical areas, maintain communications, furnish the required office and housekeeping overhead, etc. The American portion of this Section is initially planned to consist of approximately ninety American officers and enlisted men and thirty civilian employees.

Attached is the type of organization Colonel Byroade has planned for the American portion of the Operations Section.17 I suggest that you organize, as a matter of urgency, a similar group for the National Government’s staff of the Operations Section.

Colonel Byroade will go to Peiping on ____(day) ________(month) 1946 to establish the Executive Headquarters and to assemble the American personnel.

Mr. Robertson will be ready to depart on _____(day) _______(month) 1946. It would be most advantageous if the Commissioner of the National Government, as well as the Communist Commissioner, could be prepared for departure together. I propose providing my personal C–54 aircraft for this purpose.

I wish to stress that the National Government and the Communist Party staffs for the Executive Headquarters and Operations Section must be organized immediately and sent to Peiping to join the three Commissioners, Colonel Byroade, and their staffs. It appears to me that the National Government and the Communist Party staffs should [Page 10] consist of not more than forty officers and ninety enlisted men. At least half of this personnel should report to Peiping by ____(day) ______(month) 1946 and the remainder not later than one week following.

A similar memorandum18 is being forwarded to Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

  1. This is the first of a series of draft plans which General Marshall ordered prepared by his staff, in order to “thresh out the practical procedure so far as they could guess and so far as I could foresee, so that if a meeting [of a committee of three] was agreed to I would be prepared mentally to put forward what seemed to me a practical procedure.” The annexed drafts are undated, but since they are so closely related both in the original documentation and in subject-content, and since they were already in use by January 4, they are inserted at this point.
  2. Not printed: it is the same except for appropriate changes in names.
  3. This draft was the one that was used for discussion of the organization of the Executive Headquarters at the third meeting of the Committee of Three on January 8, p. 76; it was based on an earlier draft, not found in Department files, discussed on January 6 at a meeting between General Marshall and General Chang Chun.
  4. In an earlier draft, not found in Department files, there was inserted at this point a sentence which read: “Over-all security will be furnished principally by the National Government and Chinese Communist Party forces”; see Notes on the Conference of Three (Meeting No. 3), January 8, pp. 76, 90.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed; it is the same except for appropriate changes in names.