Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

General Chou En-lai to General Marshall10

My Dear General Marshall: I appreciate your kindness of showing me Madame Chiang’s letter to you dated May 24, 1946.11

After the entry of Government troops into Changchun, it seems, if the Government is willing to resume negotiation on the basis of its month-old statement that once Changchun is settled, immediate truce can be effected, then this is the right moment to do so. As a matter of course, we fully welcome Generalissimo’s expression of his hope for a speedy cessation of hostilities so that peace may forthwith be [Page 904]restored. To comply with this hope, I feel sure that my suggestion to instruct Peiping Executive Headquarters to despatch immediately a detachment to Changchun, charged with the task of terminating hostilities would certainly meet your as well as Government’s approval.

With reference to the three agreements (which are referred to in the first three paragraphs of Madame Chiang’s letter) (the Cease Fire Agreement, the Restoration of Communication Agreement, and the Army Demobilization and Reorganization Plan), in principle we fully agree that they should be implemented without delay. At the same time, it is my view that a fourth agreement should also be drawn in, i. e., the agreement of March 27 by the Committee of Three (Directive to the Field Teams for their Entry into Manchuria) should likewise be entered into.

As to the fourth paragraph of Madame Chiang’s letter (Method of Procedure), since it deals with detail questions and is very wide in nature, and again I have no way of obtaining instruction from Yenan right away, I wish only [to] make comments of my own, as far as I am in a position to make a reply:

When talking about the taking over of sovereignty of Manchuria, it is not explicit to me what is implied at this moment. If it implies the taking-over of sovereignty of places garrisoned by Soviet troops, then as a matter of fact, Soviet troops have evacuated Manchuria, and the Government has completed the procedure of taking-over for some time. If it implies the disposition of troops, then it should be decided by the Committee of Three, when they come to discuss the demobilization and army reorganization in Manchuria. If it implies the civil administration of Manchuria, then I wish to suggest that it can be resolved by reorganizing the Northeastern Political and Economical Councils into a democratic Northeastern Provisional Administrative Council.
Regarding the repair of railroads and resumption of traffic, I agree, that in accordance with the Restoration of Communication Agreement, the railroad repair work be immediately expedited; meanwhile I am willing to commence my talks with General Yu Ta-wei, Minister of Communication, on the detail measures relating to resumption of traffic, railroad administration, and restoration of all communications, which will subsequently be submitted to the Committee of Three for approval.
Regarding the determining voice and authority of the American officers I will further exert my efforts on the basis of your previous proposition, that American representatives in the field teams be authorized with the determining power over the procedure of conducting investigations.

In furnishing the foregoing points as a reply, I have practically exhausted my present available resources. Any comment you may have thereon shall be highly appreciated.

Faithfully yours,

[Signature in Chinese]
Chou En-lai
  1. Copy transmitted to Dr. T. V. Soong and forwarded by him with General Marshall’s letter of May 26 to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
  2. Letter No. 1, p. 891.