893.00 Mongolia/1–2346

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Rice) to the Chief of the Division (Drumright)

I have discussed the matter of possible US recognition of Outer Mongolia with Mr. William W. Bishop (Le),2 Mr. Samuel W. Boggs (GE)3 and Mr. John Carter Vincent (FE).4 Their expressed views, if I understood them, are as outlined below.

Mr. Bishop considers, in view of the Chinese decision to recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia, that we should also do so. He suggests that diplomatic recognition take the form of establishment of diplomatic relations rather than that of making a statement re recognition. This would give us a better bargaining position if we are to attempt to send a diplomatic representative into Outer Mongolia.

Mr. Boggs would be interested in knowing about any concrete developments or of formulated plans in the premises but made no suggestion as to the advisability of our recognizing Outer Mongolia.

Mr. Vincent stated that he had urged on T. V. Soong5 the desirability of China’s making a delimitation of Outer Mongolia’s borders (on Sinkiang and Inner Mongolian provinces of China) a condition-precedent for its assent to the plebiscite arrangement. Apparently T. V. Soong did not see fit to follow this advice, but we ought not to recognize Outer Mongolia until its borders with China are delimited; future troubles between the two are unlikely over Outer Mongolia’s domestic administration, but they are not unlikely over the common boundary, which is most ill-defined. Aside from this consideration, recognition of Outer Mongolia by the US would be to China’s advantage and could not be a cause of valid complaint by the USSR (although the USSR might conceivably cause Outer Mongolia to interpose objections to establishment of diplomatic relations). China, Mr. Vincent feels, ought to send a regular diplomatic mission rather than a mere commission to the Outer Mongolian capital.6

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  1. Of the Office of the Legal Adviser.
  2. Special Adviser on Geography.
  3. Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs.
  4. President of the Chinese Executive Yuan.
  5. Mr. Drumright commented: “My idea is that we should keep this question under active consideration, but that there is no reason to hurry into precipitate recognition at this time. In my view, we should let China go forward on its negotiations and that when the Chinese and Mongolians have exchanged diplomatic representatives—if and when they do—we can think more actively about recognition.

    “I suggest that you may want to discuss the matter with Perkins. We should be present at any discussion on the question.”

    Mahlon F. Perkins was Foreign Service Officer with years of service in China, at this time assigned to the Department.