Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Conference Between General Marshall and Mr. Tseng Chi, Representative of the Young China Party, at No. 5 Ning Hai Road, Nanking, July 9, 1946, 10 a.m.

Also present: Prof. Chou, Young China Party
Captain Soong

Mr. Tseng said that the setbacks in the present negotiations were to be expected, but it should not constitute discouragement of anyone in General Marshall’s effort to mediate. He pointed out that with 5,000 years of history, the political affairs in China were bound to be complicated. He asked for General Marshall’s reaction.

General Marshall replied that he did not care to make any comment now. He was sure that they were aware of the present situation as well as he was. However, both sides utilized a great wealth of propaganda which did not help the situation.

Mr. Tseng then said that negotiations were a long drawn out procedure but certain actions were needed and would no doubt prove more effective than mere talks. The Young China Party concurred with the statement made by President Truman and Secretary Byrnes regarding China.96 It was hoped that this policy in helping [Page 1330]China would be carried out completely by General Marshall irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations. Only through such a procedure, would China have a constitutional Democracy. In this respect, the Young China Party was different from the Communist Party in that the latter wanted U. S. help only after the establishment of Coalition Government.

Mr. Tseng then expressed his belief that in order to return political control to the people and in order to nationalize the Chinese Army, the Communist Party must make more concessions militarily, while the Kuomintang must make its concession chiedy in its political control. Many military agreements had been made but none were being carried out. He cited as an example the Army Reorganization Agreement. The postponement or delay in carrying out these agreements necessarily delayed the reorganization of the Government. Consequently, it weakened the Government position on one hand and strengthened the Communist Party on the other. This was evidenced by the Manifesto issued by Communist Party at Yenan on 7 July. Mr. Tseng further explained that Kuomintang had been supported by the people for the past eight years and that it represented the people. Therefore, the help of the United States might give to the Government would actually be help to the Chinese people. The Communist Party’s claim that it had a people’s army and that it was supported by the Chinese people, was purely propaganda. The people of numerous localities once dominated by Communists and later evacuated by them were actually hateful toward Communists. Mr. Tseng reasoned that Chinese farmers were not property owning people and that they were not farm slaves like in Russia. Whatever Chinese farmers obtained from the land was divided between the landlords and the farmers. The land policy enforced by the Communist Party did not at all meet the approval of the people. Communism was not wanted.

Mr. Tseng said that the Young China Party was the third largest political party in China. There were over 100 political parties since the day of the Republic of China. But there were only three political parties qualified in accordance with two basic principles—over 20 years of history, and a nationwide organization. These three were Kuomintang, Communist Party and Young China Party. Mr. Tseng explained that Kuomintang represented the upper class of people, such as wealthy persons and high public officials. The Communist Party represented the lower class people—such as the productive industrial workers. The Young China Party represented the middle class of people—such as educated people and salary earning groups. The number of people in the upper and lower classes represented by the Kuomintang and Communist Party respectively were actually very small while the majority of the Chinese people fall into the [Page 1331]middle class. Consequently, both the Kuomintang and the Communist Party were not successful in China.

Mr. Tseng then reiterated that the Young China Party did not have an international background or motive as the Communist Party and that it did not possess an army. He further stated that it was the intention of the Young China Party to adopt a program of expansion in the near future in order to democratize China. He expressed desire for General Marshall to pay more attention to that party which he thought was very hopeful.

General Marshall then asked Mr. Tseng for his comments regarding the commonly expressed belief that the Democratic League was a tool of Communist Party and the Young China Party was a tool of Kuomintang. To this, Mr. Tseng replied that while Democratic League might be a tool of the Communist Party, the Young China Party was not a tool to Kuomintang. He cited numerous instances during the last PCC session when the Young China Party disagreed openly with the Kuomintang in many of the latter’s proposals,—such as the system of the Government, the method of electing National Assembly Delegates, etc. But the Democratic League had agreed to all Communist Party’s proposals in the PCC. Mr. Tseng then listed three special characteristics of the Young China Party; (1) It is independent Political Party; (2) It is a mediating group—non-extremist; and (3) It is a constructive political party.

  1. For statement of the Secretary of State on December 7, 1945, see memorandum of December 9, 1945, United States Relations With China, p. 606; for President Truman’s statement of December 15, see ibid., p. 607.