761.00/6–1546: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Smith ) to the Secretary of State

1890. Development of Soviet policy in Asia appears to be shaping up on different pattern from Soviet policy in Europe. USSR mediated [Page 1209] in Sinkiang between Government and rebels, and conduct of Soviet officials there appears to have been designed to avoid giving open cause for criticism of USSR. Trend with regard to Iran seems to be in similar direction. And now with announcement of Soviet-Afghan agreement14 on frontier questions, which for years have caused Afghan anxiety, USSR appears to have taken another step in direction of “correct” relationship with its Asiatic neighbors. These disarming symptoms, in contrast to Soviet truculence in Europe, do not by any means indicate that USSR has abandoned predatory aims in Asia. They simply represent different tactical approach.

They suggest that Soviet policy, calculating that time and the forces of decay and regeneration in Asia are on Soviet side, are relying heavily on: (1) Ingratiation with Asiatic masses; (2) holding USSR up as contrast to “imperialist” USA and UK; (3) intrigue and covert political manipulation of native fifth column. These tactics are more dangerous than more obvious ones employed in Europe and will bear close attention and reporting. (Department please repeat to Paris as Moscow’s 183, to Tehran as 112 and Nanking as 83).

  1. Signed at Moscow, June 13, 1946, United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 31, p. 147.