The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

No. 874

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s telegram no. 1409 of June 27, 1947, 2:00 p.m., with regard to recent occurrences in China and statements by key Chinese officials which have led the Embassy to believe that the Chinese Government is endeavoring to foster the adoption of a more positive American attitude vis-à-vis the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Union in the Far East. In this connection there is set forth below certain information with regard to recent private conversations of Dr. Sun Fo, Vice President [Page 237] of the National Government, and there are enclosed27 accounts of a series of public statements made by Dr. Sun within recent weeks.

Enclosure no. 1 is a report of an interview between Dr. Sun and Mr. Harold Milks, of the Associated Press, on June 11. The report of this interview was not published in English language dailies in China because at the time of the interview the Associated Press had ceased for a time to service these papers. The Embassy assumes, however, that the story was published in the United States. Mr. Milks called upon Dr. Sun at his residence merely to ask the Vice President’s opinion as to whether general elections would be postponed and whether the inauguration of the Constitution would be delayed. Dr. Sun dismissed the subject by stating that there was no formal movement in the Government either to postpone the elections or the date of placing in effect the new Constitution. Mr. Milks then engaged in a general conversation with Dr. Sun, who made no stipulation that any of his remarks were “off the record”.

It will be noted from the first enclosure that Sun Fo conceded that there was little difference between the former Government and the present “reorganized” Government in which representatives of the Youth Party and the Social Democratic Party are participating, and that the Government was still dominated by the Kuomintang. Of greater interest, however, is Dr. Sun’s assertion that China missed a great opportunity for unity and progress at the time of the end of the Pacific War inasmuch as at that time all factions—whether Kuomintang, Communist or others—were in favor of a strong and united China and people of all classes were prepared to work hard to achieve this end. It is also interesting to note Dr. Sun’s statement that an American loan was not in itself a cure for the ills which at present beset China, particularly the inflationary situation now prevailing.

A few days after the interview with Harold Milks, Dr. Sun received Miss Dorothy Borg, a research analyst of the Institute of Pacific Relations. Miss Borg was familiar with the tone of the Milks interview and was somewhat surprised to find that in conversation with her Dr. Sun was adamant in stating that an American loan was immediately necessary in order to stabilize the economy of China and to effect needed reconstruction, but most important of all to combat Communistic influence which, according to Dr. Sun, was being actively fostered by the Soviet Union. To Miss Borg Dr. Sun praised the present Government, stating that it was the best government possible under the circumstances and was worthy of American support.

On June 18, several days after the Borg interview, which was not for publication, Dr. Sun received Dr. Lo Lung-chi, of the Democratic [Page 238] League, and in conversation with Dr. Lo stated that no solution of China’s problems could be achieved without a fundamental settlement between the Soviet Union and the United States. Dr. Lo talked with an officer of the Embassy on June 19 and expressed himself as having been shocked by the impression he had received from Dr. Sun to the effect that Dr. Sun felt that “fundamental solution” between the Soviet Union and the United States presupposed war between the two nations. Dr. Lo stated that it was the first time in his long acquaintance with Dr. Sun that he had heard him talk in a manner which Dr. Lo considered to be provocative and irresponsible.

Commencing on June 20 in an interview with Mr. Miles W. Vaughn, Far Eastern Manager of the United Press Association, Dr. Sun launched a series of public statements which have received wide publicity in China, and assumably abroad as well, to the general effect that the Soviet Union is responsible for the civil war in China, that discord between the United States and the Soviet Union was responsible for the breakdown of the American mediatory effort, that there is active Soviet intervention on behalf of the Chinese Communists, and that there has been open Russian violation of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1945.28 Enclosure no. 3 contains a summary of these statements published by the Central News Agency English service on June 23, 1947 under the heading “Foreign Aid Needed to Avert World War III”.

It is regrettable that at this time a Chinese official of the prominence of Dr. Sun Fo should make occasion to issue statements which, although in themselves founded in fact, seem obviously aimed at exacerbating uneasy American-Russian relations for Chinese purposes, as exemplified by Dr. Sun’s marked change of tone between early and late June. In this same general connection, the Department will recall that on the occasion of the visit to Shanghai of a party of prominent American editors and publishers, Mayor K. C. Wu went so far as to remark that China was already fighting the opening phases of World War III on behalf of the United States. (See the Embassy’s telegram no. 1412 of June 27, 6:00 p.m.)

It is interesting to note that the Foreign Minister in conversation with the Minister-Counselor on July 4th, indicated that he had not been consulted by Dr. Sun Fo regarding his recent press statements and that the Foreign Minister in fact disapproved of them and felt that the Chinese Government should not make difficulties for the [Page 239] Secretary of State’s policy to reach a working arrangement with Russia. There is little doubt but that statements such as those made by Dr. Sun could not have been issued without the prior knowledge and approval of the Generalissimo.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
William T. Turner

First Secretary of Embassy
  1. Enclosures not printed.
  2. Signed at Moscow, August 14, 1945; for text, see United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 10, p. 300.