893.00/3–2146: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Smyth) to the Secretary of State

531. Appointed Commander of Northwest Field Headquarters and concurrently Chairman of Sinkiang Province has been Chang Chih-chung. Kuo Chi-chiao, Deputy Commander at Tihwa, who made speech predicting failure of peaceful settlement, will be transferred to Lanchow as Deputy Commander Northwest Field Headquarters and will be replaced at Tihwa by General Sung Hsi-lien. Masud Sabri, venerable and respected Turki leader, has been appointed commissioner of supervision of Sinkiang. These dispositions are all good. (This is substance of message dated 18 March for Ward at Tihwa. Sent Dept as 531, repeated Moscow 41, March 21, 8 a.m.)

Chang Chih-chung expected to arrive Tihwa about 25 March after stop-over at Lanchow. Rebel delegates should arrive Tihwa about 27 March for negotiations on important supplementary issues. Rebel army remains on Manass River and crisis cannot be regarded as safely past as long as this situation prevails.

Imminent replacement of Evseef, Soviet Consul General, is unfortunate. However, Ward remains confident that settlement satisfactory to all parties can and will be achieved. Only danger lies in possible failure of FonOffs to realize extreme delicacy of situation and need for patience and understanding in devolution of settlement.