893.48/12–2646

The Chinese Ambassador ( Koo ) to the Secretary of State

The Government of the Republic of China is gratified to learn that the President of the United States of America is undertaking to recommend to Congress for an appropriation for purposes of post-UNRRA1 relief to be extended to friendly countries which have been devastated by the war and will still be in need of aid after the termination of the UNRRA operations. It is earnestly requested that China, in view of her pressing need for postwar relief and her inability to pay for the necessary supplies on account of the lack of adequate reserve in foreign exchange, will be included among the recipient countries.

The present UNRRA Program for China provides for only about one-fourth of her estimated total needs for postwar relief and rehabilitation. When the original relief and rehabilitation program was drawn up by the Chinese Government in 1944, it was ascertained that requirements for immediate postwar relief and for the rehabilitation of the economy of the country to the 1937 level would require approximately 10,000,000 tons of supplies, involving an expenditure in U. S. currency of some $2,000,000,000. Of this figure the most urgent requirements, which amounted to 4,000,000 tons of supplies and were estimated at $945,000,000, were requested from UNRRA. Recent country-wide surveys have indicated and reaffirmed that the original estimate is correct as regards the amount of supplies required as well as their categories.

On account of the limitation of financial resources, the UNRRA allocation for China was reduced to $535,000,000. The UNRRA Program for China when successfully consummated can only be expected to furnish supplies to meet about one-fourth of the total needs of China. It is apparent, therefore, that the task of relief and rehabilitation can not be terminated with the UNRRA Program for China and that substantial requirements for the meeting of these needs have to be sought from other sources.

The main requirements urgently needed for relief are within the [Page 1294] categories of food, raw cotton, agricultural supplies, and medical supplies. The necessity for transportation equipment should also be stressed, as China’s transportation system had been seriously damaged on account of the war and it has to be restored and properly maintained for the distribution of such supplies. The procurement for the necessary supplies to meet these urgent deficiencies for the period beginning from May 1947 to April 1948, together with ocean freight charges, costs for petroleum, oil and lubricants, and salaries for the technical personnel, will total approximately $200,000,000.

In view of China’s meager foreign assets a good part of which has been earmarked for monetary stabilization, her unfavorable position in the international balance of payment due to the destruction and dislocation of the economy of the country, and of the fact that production and trade have not yet been restored to their normal conditions to acquire the necessary foreign exchange, China is not in the position to finance the procurement of the necessary supplies and services to meet the deficiencies referred to above. The Chinese Government should feel deeply grateful if the most favorable consideration would be accorded to its request for an appropriate share in the post-UNRRA relief to be undertaken by the United States Government. The Chinese Government on its part will ensure the proper utilization and the prompt distribution of all the relief articles to be thus allocated to China.

The Chinese Ambassador desires to inform the Secretary of State that the Washington Office of the Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration has been authorized by the Chinese Government to exchange views with the designated officials of the United States Government on all technical questions arising out of the post-UNRRA Relief Program for China.

  1. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.