Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting Between General Chou En-lai and Colonel Tychsen at General Chou’s Residence, 30 Mei Yuan Village, Nanking, July 2, 1946, 2 p.m.

Also present: Mr. Chang
Capt. Soong

Colonel Tychsen stated that he was greatly honored in being chosen for this mission and that he was to go to Changchun to understudy with a view to becoming the American Senior Representative (General [Page 1279] Timberman). He stated that he personally felt much more optimistic since he came to Nanking and that he was more cheerful and hopeful for the eventual success of the overall mission. He stated he would appreciate General Chou orienting him in regard to Manchuria or telling him anything that would help him to better understand Communist viewpoint so that his future mission would be greatly facilitated.

General Chou said that he was deeply moved by Colonel Tychsen’s spirit and enthusiasm, and his hope of successful negotiation. If all American friends serving under General Marshall could be like him in his fair attitude and earnest enthusiasm then the situation could be very successfully dealt with. He stated that the situation in Manchuria was very complicated. The past few months had been the most difficult period. However, under General Marshall’s incessant effort, the fundamental issue in Manchuria was solved—the Cessation of Hostilities. The problem now is how to implement such a Cessation of Hostilities agreement once it was put into effect. Another problem was the troop disposition in the Army Reorganization Plan, which would have to be settled before the Cessation of Hostilities could be effected. However, General Chou stated this problem would not be too difficult to solve. General Chou then said that General Jao had visited many Senior Communist officials while in Manchuria, and through him, General Lin Piao expressed his appreciation for General Marshall’s effort in effecting the truce in Manchuria and the subsequent extensions. He stated that the present status in Manchuria would be maintained and that the Army Reorganization Plan would be carried out. With this assurance from General Lin, it would facilitate Colonel Tychsen’s mission. He further hoped that Colonel Tychsen would be able to meet General Lin and that the problems regarding implementation of Cessation of Hostilities and troop dispositions in Manchuria would be solved in the near future. General Chou elaborated on the situation in Manchuria by saying that if the Cease Fire Order could be continued for any length of time it would facilitate agreement to a permanent Cessation of Hostilities later. The situation is complicated because Manchuria is very large. However, both forces could withdraw 20 li according to the agreement, thus avoiding some likelihood of contact or friction. Also, the troop disposition areas in Manchuria were rather large. There will not be enough troops to garrison all areas once the reorganization of the army was effected. Thus, many large areas would be vacated and remain empty of troops. Consequently, there would be greater distances separating the two forces resulting in a less chance of conflict. The restoration of Communications in Manchuria could also be accomplished sooner than in North China because a large part of the communications in the [Page 1280] former had already been restored. Also, conditions in Manchuria were materially better. General Chou reiterated that as long as an agreement could be reached here, the Executive Headquarters in Peiping and Changchun could carry it out.

Regarding the location of the 8 field teams agreed to for Manchuria, General Chou stated that the Harbin Field Team was already at Shuang-Chen. Since the mission of a field team was to stop conflict, and since Tsitsihar was so far removed from potential fighting, the location of the Tsitsihar field team was not yet settled. It would have to be decided whether it should be sent to Tsitsihar or to the line of contact in the Tsitsihar area. Two field teams to be sent into the Government area were also undecided as to their locations. However, General Chou stated that this could be easily solved by the Executive Headquarters at Peiping and Changchun. Another point General Chou raised was that after 14 years domination in Manchuria by the Japanese and puppets, there were large number of bandits in both the Communist and Nationalist areas. He expressed the hope that these bandits would not be used by either side to further complicate the situation. General Chou concluded that in general, the situation in Manchuria, though complicated, could be solved easily if treated with a fair procedure. As long as the agreement could be reached here, together with Colonel Tychsen’s fair and enthusiastic attitude and spirit, the problem could be settled successfully. He hoped that Colonel Tychsen would frequently visit the senior representatives on both sides and talk to them. Based on Colonel Tychsen’s spirit, General Chou was confident that he could carry out his task successfully and that he would be long remembered by the Chinese people.

Colonel Tychsen replied that he would try his utmost to carry out his mission, and that he appreciated General Chou’s suggestions and comments.

General Chou then said that he had great confidence in General Marshall’s choice and that through his contact with General Marshall, he came to know him to be a man with great patience and impartiality. Consequently, the persons he chose would necessarily be the same. However, there was one difficult condition for the American friends to understand; that was the Kuomintang represents the Central Government, while the Communist Party represents the local authority. The Kuomintang occupied all large cities while the Communists are scattered in the country. The Kuomintang possessed the majority of the railways while the Communist Party were left with little means of communication. The Kuomintang controlled all large industries while the Communist Party were confined to rural and agricultural [Page 1281] areas. All these tend to create an impression that the Kuomintang was the legal body in China while the Communist Party was illegal. Therefore, if a person was to mediate the situation, he must understand this condition. He must understand the ideology of both sides and then obtain solution with a fair attitude. In this respect, General Marshall thoroughly understood both sides perfectly.