Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting of the Military Sub-Committee—General Chang Chih-chung, General Chou En-lai, Advised by General Marshall—Held at the Office of the Aide to Generalissimo Chiang, Friday, February 15, 1946, 3:30 p.m.

Present: General Chang Chih Chung
General Chou En-lai
General Marshall
Also present: Colonel Caughey
Colonel Pee
Mr. Chang Wen Chien[-chin]
Capt. Soong
Lt. Hickey95
General Lee96
General Tong [Tung]97

M[arshall]: Gentlemen, where do you wish to start? Article 4.

G[en. Chang]: That is correct.

M: The first paragraph or Section 1, Article 4. Any comments?

C[hou]: General Chou says that in the Army under the Communist authority there are Army units which are organized on the basis of Brigade.

[Page 225]

G: General Chang suggested that Nationalist Divisions should also include all units in excess of 90 divisions. General Chang agrees on the first paragraph.

M: As changed to read, “The National Government shall demobilize all units in excess of 90 and the Communist Party shall demobilize all units in excess of 18 divisions.” The last sentence is unchanged. Is that acceptable.

G: Yes.

C: Yes.

M: Next paragraph.

G: General Chang says that at present time the National Defense Council has not been established. How about National Military Council?

M: Is that agreeable to you, General Chou? We could put that in, “National Military Council.” Would that be acceptable?

C: General Chou accepts that. He has some other comments. Firstly, the procedure of submitting this list should first go through the Military Sub-Committee of Three[,] then to be sent to the Ministry of National Defense or the National Military Council because all of these lists have also to go to the Executive Headquarters so it is better through the hands of the Military Sub-Committee of Three. General Chou is thinking that two weeks might be too short for submitting this list.

M: That is what I was afraid of. These lists have to be used here by the Committee of Three. This staff I am getting together in order to prepare the detailed plan for the approval of the Committee of Three, all before it goes to the Executive Committee. What I was trying to do here was to make available the information as quickly as possible. Now, whether it would be better to say two weeks and then have you run a little late or it is better to say three weeks and have it run later. We have to get this for these men to work. Now I thought two weeks was a very short time for the Communist Party.

C: Very short.

G: How about changing to three weeks.

M: All right.

G: General Chang states that it reads, “these articles” then later on it speaks of “this agreement” and then in the title we use, “Basis for reorganization of Communist Military Forces …” General Chang thinks we ought to unify this term.

C: Articles?

G: How about agreements?

C: Agreements.

M: Articles of agreement or just agreement.

[Page 226]

C: General Chou favors simply agreement for the reorganization, etc.

M: Just simply agreement. General Chang agrees to that?

G: General Chang suggested that we not change the title of that, leave it as it is. In this document change “articles” to “agreements”.

M: Is that agreed? The title remains the same?

G: Yes.

C: Yes.

Then return to the second paragraph of Article 4. It is decided that the period will be three weeks and not two. Now General Chou proposes that the submission be to the Committee of Three.

G: General Chang agrees on General Chou’s proposal.

M: Then we could change this to read as follows: “The Government shall prepare within three weeks of the promulgation of this agreement a list of 90 divisions to be retained and the order of demobilization of divisions during the first two months.”

C: Could we say units?

M: Of units. “Order of demobilization of units during the first two months.” “The Communist Party shall prepare within three weeks of the promulgation of this agreement, a complete list of its military units stating character, strength, armament, names of brigades and higher commanders.” “This report shall include a list of 18 divisions to be retained and the order of demobilization during the first two months. These lists shall be submitted to the Military Sub-Committee.” Is that all right the way we changed it?

G: General Chang asked whether those lists should be sent to the Military Sub-Committee for transmission to the Ministry of National Defense.

M: No. That is the basis for the detailed plan which has to be approved. There is a great deal of work to be done and before it goes to the Ministry of National Defense, this furnishes the basis for all detailed plans. That paragraph is now acceptable?

G: Yes.

C: Yes.

M: Next paragraph. I propose that in the first sentence we substitute for “Ministry of National Defense” the words “Military Sub-Committee” and the fourth to the last word change from “prepare” to “submit”. “One month after promulgation of this agreement the Communist Party shall submit to the Military Sub-Committee a complete list of the organizations to be demobilized to be demobilized [sic] and the National Government shall submit a similar list.” Now since we have changed two weeks to three weeks should we change one month to some other period, say, six weeks.

[Page 227]

G: & C: That is agreeable.

M: I hate to do it. Is that paragraph all right.

G: General Chang likes to make one suggestion. The end of the last paragraph of the Section 1 to complete the statement, because in the previous statement it said that both the Government and the Communist Party should send a list to the Military Sub-Committee and after that the Military Sub-Committee shall forward its report or list either to the Ministry of National Defense or the National Military Council, because in the opinion of General Chang it is only the Ministry or [of] National Defense which is in the position to issue orders.

M: Yes, but somebody has to plan the details of this. Everything the committee does has got to go to the government. How do you want to put that in.

C: General Chou suggests that we put a provision in, Article 8 to this saying that all the plans and the reports should be presented to the Ministry of National Defense instead of putting it here.

M: That is all right. That is perfectly all right. What I had in mind here was to do exactly what we did in the peace …98

G: General Chang quite appreciates General Chou’s point of view. He is worried about the ordinary people who don’t know the process of these meetings. In order to avoid any misunderstanding it is better to just put a provision in there.

M: I would like to say this. I thought we would follow the same procedure as that of the cease fire. Before anybody else sees this we reached an agreement. There are only six or seven people who know anything about the list while we worked on it. We finally reached an agreement, then we prepared a letter to the Generalissimo and prepared a letter to Chairman Mao Tse-tung and we requested their approval of this document, then they both approved it and it now changed its character—it was an approved document. Then we prepared a letter to the Generalissimo transmitting the document and requesting him to put it into effect. Now in this case it is a little more complicated, because you can’t put it into effect. These are only general principles. The Executive Headquarters gets nothing until the details are worked out that we get from this paragraph. In other words the Generalissimo has no basis for issuing an order to the Executive Headquarters until these details are worked out within the Committee here. Those details once worked out are submitted again for approval to the Generalissimo and to Chairman Mao Tse-tung and they both approve them, then we transmit all of this to the Generalissimo and it becomes a paper of the government and the Military Sub-Committee presumably is out of a job. Now there is no objection [Page 228] to putting in what General Chang wants. I suggest we just put it in, but I wanted to explain how this thing would go. We would have, at any rate, to make a formal request of the two high officials representing the two parties involved in this negotiation to ask them to do this, but that is a detail that we [—] any way you want to do it is all right. So if the General wishes this sentence put in here we can write it right in here, but we are, I think, a long way from the solution.

G: General Chang asks how you will put it in there.

M: I thought he proposed it?

G: Where to put it in—on the end there?

M: May I say one more thing. I think it is very important that we avoid any appearance of taking authority that is over the National Government or over the Communist Party because nobody is arguing that we have such authority.

G: General Chang has suggested to put in another statement after the last sentence of Section 1. On the above stated list and the report the Sub-Committee forming the detailed plan should submit to the National Military Council of (Ministry of National Defense).

L[ee]: Can we take the Military Sub-Committee as a subject. The Military Sub-Committee upon receiving should work out detailed plans and present the plans to the National Defense Council or to the Ministry of National Defense.

M: That is what we are trying to do.

G: The sentence may read like this. “The Military Sub-Committee after receiving all those lists and documents should work out a detailed plan and submit to the Ministry of National Defense of the National Military Council.[”]

M: That won’t quite work because Chairman Mao Tse-tung has to work on that too. I tell you where I think we are all wrong here. This is going to be signed by you, General, but only in the name of the Generalissimo. It is going to be signed by General Chou, but in the name of Mao Tse-tung. While your signature is on it you are signing for the Generalissimo, the same for General Chou for Mao Tse-tung. So it appears to have to be read in that light—it is their agreement. It isn’t our order. Instead of their sitting down at this table, we are sitting down and doing the study as a staff, but they sign it—you sign it for them, that is all. So it is an agreement on that level. You have to read it accordingly. When we say, “The National Government shall prepare within three weeks” that isn’t this Committee that says that. We certainly can’t say the word “shall”, but this is the Generalissimo and Mao Tse-tung agreeing to something. That is what this document is. We are just doing the staff work. The proposal you made would not do because it still has to be approved [Page 229] by Mao Tse-tung. This doesn’t come out and say “Headquarters, Subcommittee of Three”. We have no position.

G: General Chang is still worried about the form of wrong impression created by the ordinary people after reading that. They don’t know the status of the Sub-Committee. We want to avoid that misunderstanding. It is better to put in something—so the ordinary people have no doubts.

M: Have you another proposal?

G: Have the alternative suggestion to make that “The Military Sub-Committee on receipt of those lists and documents should work out a detailed plan after approval of both parties to submit to the Ministry of National Defense.”

M: State it again will you?

G: “The Military Sub-Committee on the receipt of the above mentioned lists and documents should work out a detailed plan after the approval of both parties to submit to the Ministry of National Defense,” “or National Military Council”. That comes as a new paragraph—another paragraph.

M: Where does that paragraph go—there are some things over here that apply also.

G: General Chang thinks that provision applies to Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4, so he thinks that should come under Section 1.

M: How would this read: “On receipt of the foregoing list and documents the Military Sub-Committee shall prepare a detailed plan for the execution of this agreement and submit it for the approval of both parties. After such approval the list, documents and plans shall be transmitted to the Ministry of National Defense (or National Military Council)”.

G: The wording is much better. General Chang proposes that the word “National” Government should be omitted. Just read Government.

M: That is all right with me. Where we say “National Government” we shall just say “Government”.

M: That goes in as the last paragraph of Section 1. Is that acceptable.

G & C: Yes.

M: Section 2.

G: General Chang states that in the sentence, “A detailed statement of such transfers will be submitted to the Ministry of National Defense by the Executive Headquarters” there should be added after “Ministry of National Defense”, “(or the National Military Council)”.

M: Yes, I have already done that.

C: There is one point General Chou likes to get clarified, that is [Page 230] about the arms and equipments from the demobilized organizations. You said, “The arms and equipment of organizations demobilized may be utilized to complete the arms and equipment of organizations to be retained in service”. He understands that this will only serve for the first stage because in the first stage the arms and equipment are not yet out and you may use those second hand arms and equipment.

M: That wasn’t the definition that you will use second hand arms. There are a great many armies who have American equipment that is scattered all over China. Because the bulk of the equipment is going to be U. S. equipment, this wasn’t intended to give to any organization second-hand equipment. It was to provide for a method of handling the equipment. I wasn’t thinking about what he is thinking about at all. I was thinking about the tremendous number of National Government divisions and the service area commanders and how they gather the things. As to the Communist troops I don’t know what equipment they have and we’d have to have some way of putting this down saying here this is the way we put it together. I was really putting that under the Executive Headquarters to do it. They will have the Supply Section and the three-party organization and that is where I thought it would have to be worked out. The matter goes very much further than this paragraph, as to details. For example, it would be very important to know which of the 18 divisions were to be the final 10. Also which of the 90 government divisions were to be the final 50. Now my conception would be that those divisions would get the pick of all the equipment. You do the best you could for the others but you certainly wouldn’t give the best equipment to a division that was going to be demobilized six months later. So that is still another consideration which I had in mind we would put in the detailed plan. You take the paragraph here regarding troops going to Japan. We certainly would make sure they had proper equipment. However, that is a detail. I do not know whether it will be practical or not, but primarily to save shipping space, I had in mind taking up with General MacArthur99 whether we might not pick up all the heavy equipment in Japan from U. S. troops going home [and] retain the equipment here with which they trained. That would save shipping, also give China that much more equipment, but those are just details. They are all involved in that paragraph. It becomes a primary problem for Executive Headquarters and the exact provision can be included in the detailed plans. The important thing is to give Executive Headquarters the power to act. That is a combined agency.

G: We agree on that point.

[Page 231]

C: I agree.

M: I guess you are afraid I will make another speech. We have an expression in the states, “filibuster”—you talk the bill to death. Section 3. The word National appears in there twice and I struck it out.

G: How about the word lawlessness.

M: We could say disorders.

C: They favor lawlessness.

C: General Chou likes to know the capacity of the special commission.

G: General Chang would like to change the special commission to special organization.

C: General Chou would like to say this. We are going to set up the service areas and after the reorganization of the government we are going to have a Ministry of National Defense, he is questioning whether we have to set up a special organization like the special commission for a particular purpose.

M: “The Government shall take over unified control of these matters as soon as practicable.” Is that agreeable? That is what you want. You want to take it over by somebody. In other words strike out “establish immediately a special commission to”. “The Government shall take over unified control of these matters as soon as practicable.”

G & C: Agree.

M: Section 4.

G: General Chang says no matter how you write it, General Chang would like to add a sentence to this paragraph. General Chang thinks that it appears in Section 4 of 60 divisions, 50 divisions shall be National and 10 shall be Communist divisions. It seems that there will be still discussion of National divisions versus Communist divisions which we are trying very hard to avoid, so he proposed to add another clause to the last sentence stating of the 60 divisions, 50 shall be National divisions and 10 Communist divisions to be mix-organized. There will be no further separation of National and Communist divisions—just call it a National division. General Chang says that after a period of 18 months there will be no distinction between the Communist division and a National division[,] only that the Government side will provide 50 and 10 from the Communists and put them together, organized into any number of armies and henceforth there will be no such a name as a Communist division or a National division.

C: General Chou is afraid that this is not the understanding because in the past it was the understanding that we would have to reach the amalgamation of the two armies in stages. General Chou’s understanding was that in the first stage in the first 12 months the Communist [Page 232] armies will be reorganized into 18 divisions while the National divisions into 90 divisions. Then in the second stage in the 6 months following the first 12 months, the Communist armies will further be reduced to 10 divisions either by selecting 10 or by reorganizing the entire divisions into 10 while the National armies are further reduced from 90 to 50 divisions. Now, about the integration of the two armies, General Chou’s understanding was that we will have special integrated armies with 2 Communist and 1 National division with a Communist commander and we will have armies with 2 National divisions and a National commander and in this way it would try to get the armies together and we will have a combined integrated staff for most of the armies so that we may get rid of the animosities between the two armies and this proposal as we understand it. I also discussed with General Chang on this point previously and I have expressed to General Chang at the last preliminary meeting that Yenan agrees with this method of integration of the two armies but considers that it should be carried out as a second stage.

M: That meaning what?

C: The integration of divisions.

M: I have here a proposal that Colonel Caughey has written. I will read it: “During the six months following the first 12 months, the National divisions shall be further reduced to 50 and the Communist divisions shall be further reduced to 10. These 60 divisions shall be known as the National Army of the Republic of China.” I think that this brings such a delicate issue that it would be best not to settle it here at the board this afternoon, but to pass it on for consideration at the next meeting, and pass on to Article 5.

C: Section 4?

M: Section 4, I am referring to. I turned one sheet too many.

G: General Chang suggest[s] that we have a little recess and have some tea.

M: That is perfectly all right with me.

M: It is half past five now and I will have to leave at 6:20 for I have a meeting with Dr. Wang.1 He has been trying all day to see me and that is the only time I could see him. Article 5. Section 1, first paragraph. I have scratched out the words, “herein provided for”. I also struck out the words in the second sentence “shall also have been integrated and”. The meaning is just the same, I just made it shorter. Have they got these figures. We just worked those up last night.

[Page 233]

General Marshall read to General Lee[:]

In section 1 combined into 36 armies; 15 of these armies …2 Down in section 2. Manchuria, 5; North China, 11; Central China, 11; South China, 8 and Japan, 1. Section 3 is Manchuria 3 armies, and 2 armies, and then in the last total of 5 armies. North China 4 armies, then 4 armies consisting of … Then on next page 3 armies and total 11, Central China, 7, 4 armies after and total 11. South China 8, total 8. Japan 1.

Now those numbers were merely written in there as a basis for discussion.

C: General Chou has several points to make. Firstly, for the integrated armies which comprise both Communist and Nationalist divisions referring to this point, the question arises whether this stage is carried out in the first 12 months or in the months following that. I have stated repeatedly that we favor its execution in the second state in the months following the first 12 months because of both parties, the armies have not been trained and mentally prepared for the integration and we can expect that many difficulties will arise and if we will try to do it in a hurry we would defeat our purpose. Secondly, my understanding was, Article 5 will be put into effect in the second stage in the months following the first 12 months and that is at a time when we will have 50 National divisions versus 10 Communist divisions. Now here it is stipulated that the integration of the armies will take place in the course of the first 12 months and this seems to be different from my understanding and I think it has to be reconsidered because this would be effected not at the time when we have 60 divisions, but when we have in excess of 60 divisions. In the Chinese version of this text for the term integration of the armies they have used a term which is rather identified with fusion of the armies. Now this term has been under dispute in the PCC and finally it was agreed by PCC that we should rather use the word integration of the armies than fusion of the armies and later on from what General Marshall has explained to me it seems to me that his idea was rather close to the position of the PCC, which stipulated that in the first stage of the reorganization we will have 90 National divisions against 20 Communist divisions and the second stage we will have 60 divisions which we call integrated armies at that time and we would use the term fusion and I think General Marshall’s idea was very close to the idea of the PCC and I agree with his views. In the PCC decision they have only laid down for the first stage of the reorganization would have certain number of National armies and saying that the Communist armies should be reorganized and [Page 234] in the meetings to reorganize to 90 divisions.2a Referring to the second stage, it has only used the term integration to have integrated armies but they have not elaborated on this point. Now later on General Marshall has laid out, has given us a concrete idea about what kind of armies we will have in the second stage and we think it is proper at the present time to work out concrete plans for the second stage and we [are] perfectly willing to have it put down in papers and compared with the decisions of the PCC and I may say that we have made the largest stride forward in that we have already put down in, or tried to put down, the concrete matters for the second stage for the PCC only stipulated to work out the concrete steps for the first stage and after that they will use the plans for the second stage. Now all in all I still ought to say that previous understanding was that the formation of integrated armies will take place only in the second stage and at any time during the first stage by the stipulation here in the document and from my view I think we need reconsideration of this point.

M: I find myself in a rather embarrassing position. While we have left the previous section to be considered later, yet it refers to the discussion General Chou has just presented. My embarrassment is that I do not agree with General Chang that that would be the time to start a fusion instead of an integration. I do not think the personnel would be ready for that. I think we would have to go along further before attempting that. I think it will probably arise through the gradual change of the men in the ranks and the casualties among the officers—resignation, sickness or other reasons. It will be effected more by replacements than any other way. So I am not in agreement, or rather I do not think it would be wise to attempt a complete fusion at so early a date. Now on the other side, my embarrassment is that I do not agree with General Chou’s proposition. As I recall the PCC spoke of reduction to 90 divisions in the first 6 months. Well if it were possible in an orderly manner to reduce to 90 divisions in 6 months then I think it might be all right to try the first steps of integration until that period had elapsed, but I think we all agree it is impracticable to reduce to 90 divisions in 6 months. It would entail too much of a confusion and a possibility of, not only disorder, but a bad effect on the country. However, I think to delay the integration for a year and a half defers unification so far beyond the political unification that it is unwise. Therefore, I think the integration should start mildly at a much earlier date. I am sorry if I misled General Chou as to what my idea was, but I never had in mind any such long delay as that. I had proposed here I think that in the 4 [Page 235] months, we would start with two armies. Maybe that is too early, but to delay it all a year from now, I think that would be unwise. I think the basis of compromise is what month we start the first unification. So in the light of what General Chou has just said, I would suggest that we commence the discussion tomorrow on a basis of 6 months. It is too formidable a subject to attempt to settle it here in 30 minutes. I think that would be unwise. Maybe tomorrow is too soon. My suggestion is that we would delay any further discussion until tomorrow.

G: General Chang says it will be all right to discuss it tomorrow.

C: General Chou agrees.

M: I am going to coin a new word. We have reached a “Chihfeng”.3

The meeting is adjourned.

  1. Lt. R. C. Hickey, personal secretary to General Marshall.
  2. Chinese Government representative.
  3. Chinese Communist representative.
  4. Points appear in the original.
  5. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for Allied Powers, Japan.
  6. Wang Shih-chieh, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  7. Points appear in the original.
  8. The sentence is apparently incomplete.
  9. The town of Chihfeng in Jehol province; this had reference to the phase reached about January 8 in the talks of the Committee of Three leading up to the Cessation of Hostilities order of January 10.