893.00/5–2946: Telegram

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

879. Through good offices Soviet Consul General and labors of Governor Chang Chih-chung, deadlock in Sinkiang negotiations which continued from last days April through 10 May broken 11 and 12 May by Chinese agreement establishment six regiments rebel troops to garrison Ining, Tacheng and Chenghwa (Embtel 843, May 22.10 This message complete[s] text Ward’s 65 through 73 from Tihwa dated 14 and 15 May) rebels on their side dropped demand to have one regiment each Kashgar and Aqsu.

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Chinese have agreed not to despatch troops other than those so stationed into areas garrisoned by ex-rebel regiments although border of Sinkiang is to be held by Chinese troops; Chinese have also agreed to consult ex-rebel views in proposed reorganization of Peace Preservation Corps in Kashgar and Aqsu. Rebels have today presented list of eight nominees for posts in Provincial Govt; only very slight differences 6-point Govt plan remain and it should be possible to complete new supplementary agreement and [give] effect thereto on establishment of the new Sinkiang Provincial Govt within 4 or 5 days.

However, it must be most sharply emphasized that even when these things shall have been brought about they will represent only the essential conditions precedent to a solution of the Sinkiang problem rather than amounting in themselves to such a solution.

It is automatic that no alien ruling minority can hope to maintain its rule by anything less than its complete dedication to the welfare of the native people. The Chinese have now procured another chance, albeit almost certainly their last one, to make good their governance of Sinkiang. If they fail again, Sinkiang will be irrevocably lost.

They can avoid such failure only by the most urgent and vigorous action to raise the living standards of the people, to increase production, to reopen trade, to provide for at least a bare minimum in public health, to build adequate system of good roads, to establish an educational system in the Turkish language, to set up native printing presses, and to wipe out the present fantastic corruption among the Chinese Govt officials.

The last of these objectives is far and away the most immediately pressing: Chang should receive complete support from the Central Govt in a crusade to clean up the Govt of Sinkiang; several leading officials of the last regime should be publicly exposed and their gross speculations should be spread over headlines in China. For Sinkiang at least, this is a political imperative of the first order of importance.

If the Chinese speedily achieved these objectives and there was still not peace, the Chinese case and cause would then be unassailable. On the other hand, if they do not act at once to attain them, peace is impossible and China will be fortunate if she loses only Sinkiang.

Sent Dept 879, May 29, 8 a.m. Dept please repeat to Moscow.

  1. Not printed.