Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting Between General Chang Chih-chung, General Chou En-lai, and General Marshall, at the Generalissimo’s Town House, Chungking, February 14, 1946, 4 p.m.

Also present: Colonel Caughey
Colonel Pee
Captain Soong
Mr. Chang

General Chang opened the meeting by asking General Marshall to act as Chairman.

General Marshall asked if there were any comments or corrections [Page 221] on the re-draft of the plan on the Basis of Reorganization of Communist Military Forces and Their Consolidation With the National Army of China.93 There was considerable discussion between General Chang and General Chou with reference to the Chinese translation. General Chang stated that since the command relationship pertaining to the appointment and relief of Communist Commanders was an interim measure that the last sentence of Article I should be separated from the remainder of the paragraph and made Section 2 of Article I. General Marshall recommended that the words “during the process of the reorganization of the military force” be inserted between the words “necessary” and “to relieve”.

General Marshall asked if there were any comments on Article II. Since the word “employment” has no Chinese equivalent it was agreed to relabel this article, “Functions and Restrictions”. General Marshall stated that he had not indicated the possibility of rebellion in this particular article since that is a matter of high political consideration and should be handled under the emergency powers of the head of the state.

General Marshall asked if there were any comments on Article III, and stated that the first issue was the number of Communists divisions desired. General Chang stated that the Communists were authorized 20 divisions at a time when the National Government had 254; that since the 254 would be reduced to 90 he felt the Communists should also reduce below 20 divisions. General Chou stated that the views of Yenan remained firm and he suggested a possible compromise of permitting the Communists to retain 20 divisions in the first stage but to shorten the stage as far as the Communists were concerned and thus permitting a more rapid reduction on their part. General Marshall then proposed that the first stage be worked out on a 9 months basis which would leave at the end of this 9 month period about 105 National divisions and 20 Communist divisions which would then permit reduction by the end of the 12 month period to 90 National divisions and possibly 18 Communist divisions. At this point General Chou and General Chang discussed the previous agreements with respect to numbers of divisions and ratios between divisions in an effort to arrive at a number of Communists divisions that would be agreeable. General Chang then asked General Marshall to be the judge in this respect. General Marshall indicated the importance of reaching an agreement at this time and recommended that at the end of the 12 month period the Communists reduce to 18 divisions. General Chou and General Chang accepted this.

The word “processing” in Article III evoked comment on the part [Page 222] of the Chinese since there was no Chinese equivalent in translation. General Marshall stated that the word “processing” would include the moving, feeding, and paying of demobilized personnel while en route to their homes or other designated place. He further stated that this word encompasses the function of vaccinating, placing in uniform, feeding, housing, and elementary training of new recruits for the various armies. General Marshall stated that this is an extremely important function since it is through this means that the armies can maintain an adequate personnel separation and replacement service. General Marshall then asked if Article III could be considered as approved. General Chang brought up the question of school supervision by the Service Area Director. General Marshall explained that he felt this would improve the school system but that he did not feel strongly as to whether this sub-paragraph should or should not be included. General Chang and General Chou indicated uncertainty with reference to this sub-paragraph but agreed to retain it for further discussion. There being no further discussion Article III was accepted.

General Marshall stressed the importance of releasing no information concerning the reorganization until the terms of an agreed release had been approved by the Generalissimo and Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Generals Chang and Chou agreed.

  1. Ante, p. 215.