Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Notes on Meeting Between General Marshall and Professors Lo Chung-shu, Wu Chi-yu, and Professor Yi at General Marshall’s Residence, Nanking, November 19, 1946, 11 a.m.

Also present: Captain Soong

Professor Lo expressed the opinion that all the liberal elements must join together and have an established organ to express their ideas. This organ could serve the purpose of working up public opinion, and give the people hope for a true democratic life.

General Marshall commented that some organization must be established quickly in order to serve as a balancing power between the Kuomintang and the Communist Parties. Further delay in meeting the political situation would mean disaster for the entire people of [Page 552] China. General Marshall said that although the cultural elevation of the people of China is very important, it will be a lengthy procedure. General Marshall emphasized the urgent need of a party to offset the one-party domination of China. He further pointed out that the Communist Party must be handled politically instead of by force. General Marshall mentioned the importance of all liberals joining together to form an ever-growing organization. The idea of this organization would be to prevent either the Communist Party or the Kuomintang from persisting in wrong-doing. General Marshall frankly pointed out that the university professors cannot produce the tactical leaders for such an organization, and that such leadership must be furnished by liberals of political experience. He also suggested that these liberal elements should join together as an informal group instead of as another political party because he felt that if a new party should be created at the present moment, it would only add more complications to the situation.

Professor Wu asked if it would be possible to put the Communist Party back into a qualified position as the opposition party to the Kuomintang. General Marshall stated that in China today the military leaders are in the saddle. They are opposing all conciliatory actions proposed by the Government.

Professor Wu then asked to what extent the attitude of the Communist Party had been influenced by Soviet Russia. General Marshall replied that the Russian action so far as he knew had only been of negative character. However, the Kuomintang’s policy of force invites Russian intervention. Professor Wu further asked if Soviet Russia and the United States reached a better understanding, would the negotiations between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang be accelerated. General Marshall replied that the two are related. The Kuomintang has always accused the Communist Party of allegiance to Soviet Russia and the Russians are very sympathetic toward the Chinese Communists. Moreover General Chou En Lai always felt resentful when the Chinese Communist Party was accused of being merely an agrarian movement.

Professor Wu then asked if it was consistent for the Kuomintang leaders to carry out a military campaign since they would have to rely on the United States for assistance. General Marshall stated that the United States Government would not support the Kuomintang in a campaign of force. He said that prior to August of this year the Government distrust of the Communist Party predominated. However, today the Communist Party does not place any trust whatever in any proposals of the Government. Professor Wu commented that lack of mutual trust between Kuomintang and the Communist [Page 553] Party was due to historical hatred which can be traced back to the revolutionary days of 1923. The high officials in the Government, including the Generalissimo, are highly suspicious toward anyone outside of their own party. Therefore, there is no common ground for the Kuomintang and the Communist Party to come together. At the present time Professor Wu does not see any neutral party that can act as a mediator. The real need today is for a genuine third party, unlike the Democratic League or the Young China Party.

Professor Lo then asked whether it is possible for a third party to balance the situation between the opposing parties. General Marshall replied affirmatively and cited the Executive Headquarters as an example. He said the American members in the Executive Headquarters and its field teams served as a third party and they have served as a balancing of military power between the Kuomintang and the Communist members.

Professor Wu then said the liberal elements of many countries in Europe have been able to emerge and reform their governments due to the presence of external forces. In China such external forces are lacking. Can Chinese liberal elements bring about a social reform without the pressure from the powers outside? General Marshall replied that he thought they could.