Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Minutes of Meeting of the Military Sub-Committee of Three, Held at the Office of the Aide to Generalissimo Chiang, February 16, 1946, 3 p.m.

Present: General Chang Chih Chung
General Chou En-lai
General G. C. Marshall
Also present: Colonel Caughey
Colonel Pee
Mr. Chang
Capt. Eng4
Lt. Hickey
Gen. Lee
Gen. Tong [Tung]


C—General Chou

M—General Marshall

G: The class is now in session.

M: Then if we will take up the business here of Article 5. When we adjourned yesterday General Chou had made a statement regarding Article 5 and had followed that with a statement and has General Chang any comments on that?

G: Do you refer to Section 1 of Article 5 or do you refer to Article 5 as a whole.

M: We were just starting on Article 5. These two statements were made. The actual deployment of Section 3 was also discussed. The discussion hinged around the first sentence “At the end of twelve [Page 236] months after the promulgation of this agreement, the National and the Communist divisions shall have been combined into 36 armies; 15 of these shall be integrated: that is, shall have both National and Communist divisions within the army.” The discussion pertained to that sentence. General Chou, as I understood it, stated that his understanding was that the process of the demobilization and integration should be in two periods—the integration to follow the demobilization. In effect, I understood him to mean that the integration should not commence until the end of 18 months.

C: General Marshall, did you understand that integration should not commence until 12 months after the commencement of the reorganization of the armies.

M: I understood him to say 18 months because he spoke of the 60 divisions.

C: With reference to the 18 months General Chou is of the opinion that what he meant by 18 months, the first 12 months will be devoted to demobilization and starting with the 13th month until the 18th month will be devoted to integration.

M: The minutes of the meeting confirm what General Chou has just stated.

C: General Chou’s idea was that during the first 12 months they will be devoted to demobilization and beginning from the 13th month we will start the integration of the armies which will be completed at the end of the 18th month, by that time there will only be 10 divisions of the Communist Army.

M: I understand.

G: General Chang understands that General Chou’s idea is to carry on the integration after 12th month and that means that starting from the 13th to 18th month the further deactivation and integration will take place at the same time. Your proposal is to start integration after the fourth or the 6th month so it is a difference of a period of 6 months. That is the time factor. Second, General Chang thinks that integration is only a preliminary step towards fusion of the armies. To see a complete fusion of the armies of this country and in the future there will be no demarcation between Communist and National troops, but he likes to say that there will be a single army—army of the country. No distinction between this Army or that army. That will be a step towards that final goal. General Chang said that in regarding the time factor he favors the original plan drawn up by you stating integration from the 6th month, he favors that original arrangement. Considering his views to those of General Chou, there are only two differences of opinion. The first is the time factor which he just explained there is a difference of 6 months and the second is he likes to see a complete fusion of the armies of this country. [Page 237] Regarding the time factor, being the representative of the government he doesn’t want to insist on the first point in order to make difficulty for the progress of the meeting.

M: You mean the second point don’t you—the fusion of the armies. The time factor is the first point. Is that right?

G: General Chang explained that those two points he differs from General Chou. He doesn’t like to see that the progress of the meeting will be jeopardized so he likes to listen to what is your opinion and he will respect your suggestions or your opinions.

M: General Chou, have you any further comment to make?

C: Referring to the two points mentioned by General Chang, I wish to state the following: Firstly, regarding the time factor. Now the time factor is rather connected with the execution of the integration and I wish to first to recall the peace pact. I must say that the integration of the armies was first raised by General Marshall. In fact at the PCC this point was not worked out until a previous talk between the Government arid Communist representatives. It was not mentioned then because at that time we had only thought of reorganization of the Communist armies into 20 divisions and both sides agreed that after this has been accomplished we will discuss the next step. The reason why we reached such an agreement at that time was because those armies had been hostile to each other for 18 years and they are both brought up under different systems and training so it is not possible to put them together in one stroke and we are very much afraid that we would pursue the same path which we have followed shortly after the outbreak of the war, we have to be very careful in tackling this problem and I lay special emphasis on the problem of the training and therefore that was the reason why in the previous talk between the two parties we only laid down provisions for completing the first step and we also in that agreement we talked about unified training problems, but we leave everything else to be discussed later on when that has been accomplished. Now at the PCC we have made another step forward. It was agreed that the reorganization of the Communist armies into 20 divisions will be left to the Subcommittee of Three to be taken up and it has further stipulated that after the Nationalist troops have been reorganized into 90 divisions and the Communist troops into 20 divisions then we will commence with the integrated reorganization into 50 of the 60 divisions, but of course it has not been clarified on what is meant by the integrated reorganization. Then after than [that?] General Marshall has for the first time given a definition to the term integrated reorganization by working out a formula that is to integrate both armies with divisions as units into armies. This is a new formula for us and so at this juncture we not only have definite methods for the demobilization but we further [Page 238] have concrete methods for the integration, of how to tackle the problem of integration. So on learning General Marshall’s formula I have made the report to Yenan and because that was something entirely new to us and so in my report to Yenan I have stated that the integration will commence only after the first 12 months, and I also repeatedly stated in our preparatory talks that I have made a very favorable interpretation of General Marshall’s formula to Yenan and it was my hope that by gradually carrying out the integration we may finally ultimately reach the unification of the armies. Now under this understanding Yenan has approved my suggestions and therefore in the document before us now I think that it is within the scope of my responsibility simply to agree to such an extent that is: Firstly, the integration of the armies will only commence at the conclusion of the first 12 months, and secondly that at the conclusion of the 18 months the Communist armies will be reduced to 10 divisions. Anything going beyond that limit would not be within my power. I mean that the following may be beyond my power. Firstly, to commence the integration at an earlier period say at the beginning of the 7th month and secondly that if we should also work out provisions for the fusion of the two armies which I consider as a third step because the first step is demobilization, the second step, integration and then the fusion apparently will be the third step. I am very much afraid that by raising the question of the fusion that our whole discussion might be jeopardized and right now we are all making our best efforts toward the unification of the Chinese armies. We must fully realize that the armies in China have been hostile to each other for 18 whole years. If we can now bring them together within 18 months then in fact we have accomplished something extraordinary and if both the National Government and the Communist Party shall come to an agreement then I can say responsibly that we will carry it out with 18 months and we will carry it out fairly well so that we may pave the way for further unification of the armies. If we try at the present instant also to lay down a scheme for the fusion then I must say sincerely that it goes beyond my power and when saying this I am thinking of the country and I am saying it with a sense of responsibility. I want to add one more word. I think everybody is aware of the fact that during the past 18 years even armies under the same flag have not reached complete fusion. So this illustrates the difficulty we have to face. If from now on we can accomplish this in 18 months, this may be considered abroad as very slow, but for China it must be considered as very quick and something extraordinary.

G: General Chang has the feeling that since yesterday when we touched the point about Article 5 he has noticed that General Chou talked about that point with some seriousness and unpleasantness.

[Page 239]

C: Only seriousness—not unpleasantness.

G: General Chang is very reluctant to add some more unpleasant remarks and furthermore General Chang understands General Chou has trouble with his nose, but I cannot help but just explain on two points. He mentioned the fact that in the October 10th talk5 between the Government and the Communists only the demobilization had been touched and integration was not stipulated at all in last year’s talk. In one sense General Chou’s statement is true, but in last year’s talk it was with the understanding that how to nationalize the army in this country is the prime objective. With that in mind we talk about the demobilization first, so we leave the Military Sub-Committee to decide how to work out the plans for the nationalization of the armies within this country. Secondly, General Chou has said that the Communists have made one step forward to meet the discussion of these matters. In other words it may imply that he meant the Communist side had made a big concession in that respect, but General Chang likes to call General Chou’s attention to the fact that the Government has made greater concessions on that point. General Chang would like to make it crystal clear that in last year’s discussion under the subject of reorganization of the Communist troops was in the agenda but mentioned nothing about the demobilization of the National troops and in this present meeting General Chou has made concession to reduce the number from 20 to 18 divisions. That is a concession that he has made, but on the government side we had made concessions to reduce the National troops from 260 divisions into 90 divisions. I think that concession is far greater than the concession made by the Communists. This is a statement of facts and I hope those facts will not increase the unpleasantness of General Chou.

C: No unpleasantness.

M: I was very much impressed by General Chou’s statement. I must admit that today I have a very much better impression of the difficulties involved in integration than I had two months ago. I think I recognize more than has been said here in regard to the difficulties of reorganizing and developing the training of the units of the Communist armies, and equipment to bring them on a parity with the divisions already equipped and carefully trained of the National armies. I had a number of discussions with various American officers who were somewhat familiar with the conditions in China regarding the basis on which to initiate integration. In all of these matters I have been giving most serious consideration to what happens during a long period following an agreement of this sort, before there is a genuine unification in process. I have been weighing the difficulties [Page 240] of the hazards of the delay in initiating integration with the hazards of a long continued period following the development of the coalition government and during a constitutional reorganization of large forces totally separate in effect, in control. There will be bitter disputes politically throughout the constitutional period of reorganization. There will be bitter feelings generally of those whose position has been completely changed or, to put it more bluntly, those who have lost position. All these, of course, will necessarily affect the spirit and morale of the troops, so we have to consider how much feeling there may be of small hostilities between organizations and their feeling growing into serious hostilities in their actions. We have to weigh that against this long continued period of total virtual separation of forces. In determining the basis of the level at which integration should start, there was much discussion among my people, of the Army group, meaning a Communist army and a National army in one group. That was felt to permit consolidation with a minimum of irritation because of the size of the units involved and the fact that they would be physically well separate on the ground, whereas an Army even though the integration is on a divisional basis does involve a more intimate association of the troops than in an army group. Now all these matters have to be settled here on the basis of negotiation and implies compromises. As we have explored this matter it appears that certain high commands such as the Pacification Headquarters, such as previously referred to will have to be continued for some little time. It might be possible to make use of this unavoidable condition in the way of a compromise. Suppose, for example, that for process of integration on an army basis, we only had in mind the 10 Communist divisions that are to be on the rolls in the end of the 18th month, that there would be no effort during their existence to integrate the remaining 8 divisions. Suppose as a basis of compromise it were proposed to start the integration on an Army group level. That is, a Communist army of 3 divisions—a National army of 3 divisions and that the army integration would not start until the 13th month. For example, say it was agreed that beginning with the 7th month say one army group would be formed, 6 divisions, 3 of them Communist; in the 8th month another army group; in the 9th month 2 army groups and the 10th month 2 army groups. How many does that make? That’s too many isn’t it. Say one in the 7th month and one in each month thereafter up to the 10th, that would be 12 Communist divisions, 2 more than tentatively agreed upon. Now the integration would start with the divisions of the first army group organized in the 13th month and so on up to the 18th month, I would like to have General Chou’s comment on some such idea as that, it being understood that as the army integration was initiated the army group disappeared, so that at the [Page 241] end of the 18th month there would be no army groups in the National Army of China except as were formed for some specific operation or condition.

G: Did you say that the army group would disappear as we proceed with the integration starting with the 13th month or that this army group would disappear at the conclusion of the 18th month?

M: It disappears gradually. Now one more point. I understand there was some misunderstanding about the 2 odd divisions involved there. I would compromise on those 2 immediately so instead of organizing a group in the 10th month we would add one Communist division to the Communist army in the group of the 9th month and you would have 8 Communist divisions in their original state and their demobilization would begin with the 13th month. The concentration of effort would be made on the 10 divisions. The Communist concentration would be on those in the 7th month, those 3 divisions in equipment and training and so on. What is General Chou’s reply or impression of such a procedure. I realize he has apparently no authority to commit himself at this time.

C: I appreciate very much General Marshall’s effort to present the picture that we are doing our best to integrate the Chinese armies instead of leaving them in independent states and that we are leaving no stone unturned in finding out a solution. As to your proposition, I would like to pay consideration personally and will also submit report to Yenan. In my previous comments I have laid special emphasis on difficulties on our side in order to let you be acquainted with our difficulties, but when I was talking about the integration it certainly affects both armies and on the Government side they will also face many difficulties because we are trying to put two hostile armies together and so we will, we are aware that the government has the same difficulties. In my previous talk with General Chang we have considered seriously the work of preparation needed to effect the integration and we must work out plans for the training and education of both armies so that we may reach a solution.

M: What is General Chang’s reaction to my proposal?

G: General Chang says he has expressed the fact that he will respect your suggestion and your opinion provided General Chou will accept your suggestion.

M: Well then, I suggest that while General Chou is considering the rough outline I gave that we discontinue our discussion of Article 5 and move on to Article 6. Is that acceptable?

G & C: Yes.

M: What are General Chang’s comments on Article 6.

G: General Chang has no remarks to be added.

M: General Chou?

[Page 242]

C: In China we have two separate things; one is militia and the other is Peace Preservation Corps. The Peace Preservation Corps are the professional soldiers and we are wondering whether we could change the term into Peace Preservation Corps.

M: I think so, because that was what I was talking about—anybody that can get a gun.

G: Yes.

M: We have, every citizen in our country is a member of the unorganized militia—every citizen. Every male citizen who is not in the professional army is a member of the militia but we use the term organized militia by stating National Guard. Under the Constitution you are all liable to the militia, but you may not have a gun, but when we organize the militia we call it the National Guard. So you call this Peace Preservation Corps.

G: Yes.

M: Might I have a little discussion on that; who raises the Corps, who has the power over the Corps, who furnishes the arms for the Corps—how is that done in China?

G: The Peace Preservation Corps are supplied and equipped and controlled by the Provincial Government.

M: By the Provincial Government. There is no limit on the strength?

G: It varies according to different provinces.

M: Who decides it. Who decides how strong it will be?

G: It is decided by the Provincial Government, but submitting its strength to the Central Government for approval.

M: It is sent to the Central Government.

C: General Chou asks about the present strength of the Peace Preservation Corps. General Chou has the following question. If the strength is limited to 15,000 men per province, would there be much to be demobilized?

M: What do you think about this strength of 15,000? Is that too little. You will understand that I had to put down some figure. I am just starting the discussion.

G: General Chang thinks that 15,000 is enough—not exceed 15,000. If the Corps is maintained by the Provincial Government then the people would have to pay more tax.

M: Well, I am thinking about some provinces that have very large cities. Are Nanking and Shanghai in the same province?

G: Yes.

M: The governors of those provinces would need more than the provinces with very small population. Is Canton in the province of Kwangtung—is that a large province.

[Page 243]

G: Nanking, Shanghai, Tientsin, Canton—they are all special municipalities.

M: Oh yes, I had forgotten that. Then I would like to ask about this second sentence. “After it has become apparent that the civil police of any province have been unable to cope with the situation, the governor of that province is authorized to employ the Peace Preservation Corps to quell civil disorder.” Is that too much of a restriction on the governor? How frequently does the governor have to use the Peace Preservation Corp[s] troops?

G: Very often.

M: Well, is that too close a restriction?

G: It may be too restrictive because the police are very inefficient, so at times the governor has to depend on the Peace Preservation Corps.

M: Well, I was thinking of poor communications, the distance of the governor from the place and inefficient police. Is there any local man who can authorize the Peace Preservation Corps troops before the governor speaks. No matter how bad the situation, no matter how poor the communications are (meaning slow) do they have to wait for the governor before they can do anything to stop the riot?

G: We have a sort of prefecture. The prefect sometimes is given the authority to direct and control the Peace Preservation Corps stationed in that place, but at other times he is not authorized. It depends on the arrangements he makes with the governor. In the first case of a riot, there is no question whatsoever. A serious riot breaks out [and] he can direct the Peace Preservation Corps to quell this riot. However this man has to be given the authority to act.

M: They think this second sentence is all right?

G: General Chang suggests you scratch out, “After it has become apparent that the civil police of any province have been unable to cope with the situation” and put another clause that goes, “If any disorder happens within the province the governor of the province will authorize the use of the Peace Preservation Corps.”

M: That means then that there is no expression of limitation at all. What we are trying to get at is—in a military force in a democracy there is always a limit, there are certain qualifications. That is what we are trying to get, but I was afraid I might have an impractical plan. The whole theory, as I understand it, is that it is the desire of the PCC to get the military into a suitable posture in a democracy. You don’t always give a free hand. So we say the governor can limit it, we say that the civil police has to be used first.

G: I see.

M: Then is this first section acceptable as written?

C: There is another question raised by General Chou that if it has [Page 244] been stipulated that the Peace Preservation Corps would not exceed 15,000 men then any number in excess of that figure has to be demobilized then we must put it down as a time factor when it has been completed.

M: What does he propose.

C: General Chou is not familiar with the present status of the Peace Preservation Corps.

G: We were discussing the various aspects of the Peace Preservation Corps in different provinces.

C: We both agree that it need not be provided here.

M: Then is that first section acceptable?

C: It is not clear to General Chou why you first say these provinces and then say the “several provinces”. Would it not be better to say, “the governor of that province is authorized”?

M: “The governor of that province is authorized”, that is much better, “to employ this Corps to quell civil disorder.”

M: Is the second paragraph acceptable?

G: General Chang agrees to it.

M: Then this is acceptable in its present form.

C: General Chou has another point to raise about the military police or the gendarme[s]. At the present time we have two kinds, the nature of military police in China have two aspects. The one is to look after the discipline of the armies and he thinks that the military police should go around with the army and attached to the Army. For this purpose its normal need would not be large and since we have now fixed the strength of the armies we should also fix the number of the military police. Now secondly, apart from that the Chinese military police is not equipped to look after discipline of the armies especially in the large cities and military police also interfere with civil affairs and the numbers of special kind of military police is considerably higher. Especially in the large cities they are playing an important part in addition to the Peace Preservation Corps. According to his idea, in the future, the military police should have nothing to do with civil order and civil affairs. The military police should not form an independent unit as far as the Army in China and maybe we should also stipulate for the large municipalities that they have some Peace Preservation Corps and the military police would have nothing to do with that. He is asking whether that would come under Section 1 or under some other Article.

M: I think in some other place. I should think under the special provisions, Article 7. Section 4 is secret military forces. I[t] might not be in paragraph in or under Section 4, but in that neighborhood.

[Page 245]

C: The first thing, we should decide whether we should put down here that the special municipalities might also have their own Peace Preservation Corps.

G: General Chang said that regarding the secret police which should be integrated part of the army that would be provided in that 5 per cent of the Army troops but regarding the other military police, General Chang said that it is better included in the plan for the reorganization of the national troops and not included in the present plan.

M: What about the Peace Preservation Corps for the special municipalities?

G: General Chang said that there is no Peace Preservation Corps in the existing, in the special municipalities and it depends on the police to handle the situation in those municipalities so he doesn’t think it is necessary to have it in that article.

M: Well, if it is I have the paragraph.

G: General Chang understands that the Article 6 is very necessary because with that provision than [then?] we cannot take advantage that for those deactivated personnel to be entered or included in some militia organization—it will prevent that happening in the future. So he thinks that is a very good provision. Very good restriction and we are ready to accept that restriction so that deactivated personnel may have a, may not go and organize in other local forces and then regarding gendarme[s], the existence, the function, whether we should have gendarmes and what functions should be allowed to them, General Chang doesn’t think it needs to be provided in this plan. That can be discussed and worked out by the Ministry of National Defense or at some other occasion.

M: Do I understand that Article 6 is accepted?

G: General Chang accepts.

C: General Chou likes to comment that General Chang has just stated that there is, it is not necessary to provide Peace Preservation Corps troops for the special municipalities. He thinks the police are perfectly capable of handling the situation and with this understanding General Chou agrees with the article and he reserves the right to discuss military police further.

M: Article 7, Section 1, any comments? Last line should head “this agreement” instead of “these articles”. Is that acceptable.

G & C: Yes.

M: Section 2.

G: General Chang accepts.

[Page 246]

C: General Chou accepts. General Chou points out here an omission here of weapons, equipment[,] of uniformity of equipment. Whether that has to be separate.

M: I think that has to be separate. One outfit might have British and another might have U. S. artillery. That is going to be down in the details. We merely want them to all look alike here.

M: Section 3.

G: General Chang accepts.

C: General Chou suggests after “an adequate personnel system” that the following be put in there, “without discrimination of party affiliation”.

G: General Chang suggest[s] an “adequate and a fair personnel list shall be established without discrimination or a political party.”

M: Without political prejudice.

G: General Chang thinks that [should] any ordinary person read it it will not create a very good impression if it is not a fair list.

M: It is assumed that if we don’t write fair in here we will do something devilish and we don’t want to say that. I would like to make this observation. The real dynamite here is in this word “rank”. No one has commented on that. When you come to a military merger that is very difficult. I don’t know how you would determine rank at the present time. If you have 10 Generals[,] who is number one; if you have 200 Colonels[,] who is number one and who is number 200. I don’t know how you would do that. We have this difficulty in the U. S. at this moment. We are taking a great many temporary officers into the permanent Army. This sounds paradoxical but the great difficulty is because the army is non-political. Tremendous political influence is used. Here are 2,000 Captains—how are they going to be arranged. I don’t think that has to be covered by this instrument, you could work out the details of that. The interpretation of the word “rank”[,] it should read “grade”. Grade means Colonel or Major or Captain or what. I am avoiding the difficulty at the moment.

M: Is that acceptable without change.

C: Do you mean the second clause or do you mean the whole sentence.

M: I was referring to the whole sentence with the word “grade” in there.

C: General Chou doesn’t think that you can skip that political affiliation.

M: Do you want to put in the words “without political prejudice”? Is that acceptable to General Chang?

[Page 247]

C: General Chou has raised this question because the grades now in the Communist armies have no legal basis because they will have trouble in obtaining the formal grade from the National Government. General Chou just recalled that he got the grade of Major General in 1925.

M: Does he want these words in here, “without political prejudice”?

C: Yes, because in the PCC they have the same clause “without political prejudice”.

M: Shouldn’t that go on the end, “and the name, grade, and assignment of each officer of the Army shall be carried on a single list without political prejudice.” I was recorder of a board for five months in 1922 trying to straighten out the rank from the first World War. We had 400 witnesses testify. It took us five months. So this is a very gentle looking paragraph, but it’s dynamite. It now reads, “An adequate personnel system shall be established and the name, grade, and assignment of each officer of the Army shall be carried on a single list without political prejudice.” Is that acceptable.

G & C: Yes.

M: Section 4, scratch out the word “National” and the last two words and change “these articles” to “this agreement”. Is that acceptable?

C: We say “secret military forces” then we refer down there to “secret or independent”. Wouldn’t it be better to say “Special military forces”.

G: “Special armed forces”.

M: “Special armed forces”. Change the word to “armed” clown there after the word “independent”.

G: How about not changing the contents of the Article, but just to change the title. What is the difference between military and armed.

M: Armed force is very good, it doesn’t allow you to avoid the issue. We are talking about an armed force of any kind. The doctor is in the military force but he is only armed with a knife.

G: General Chang thinks that because it is getting late we should adjourn.

M: When shall we next meet.

G: What time do you suggest?

M: I am at your disposal. General Chou has a meeting Monday morning.

C: Monday afternoon at 3:30.

M: All right.

  1. Horace Eng, language officer, U. S. Army, and interpreter.
  2. See United States Relations With China, p. 577.