894A.00/3–1347: Telegram

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

541. At regular weekly press conference March 12 Minister of Information had following to say regarding Taiwan uprising:

“What is the present situation in Taiwan? Is General Pai Chunghsi20 going to Taiwan?

Answer. The situation in Taiwan has been rapidly stabilized during the past 3 days. The incident will be closed very soon. The Govt is ready to carry out any legitimate reforms both in the political and economic fields, and to take a very lenient attitude toward the people involved in the riots, as President Chiang announced on March 11. But as the nation enters into a democratic and constitutional regime, our people should ‘be responsible in their utterances and observe discipline in their actions’ in accordance with the mottoes of the Gmo. It is time to avoid going to extremes. Such abusive requests as the abolition and disarmament of the Taiwan garrison, and the recruiting of Taiwan armed forces exclusively from natives of Taiwan, are obviously irresponsible and undisciplined. Setting out to establish democratic and constitutional government by such excessive methods would be, as Mencius said, ‘climbing a tree to look for fish’. This is a matter the whole nation should take to heart.”

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The Minister added that General Pai Chung-hsi is going to Taiwan very soon and that General Pai had said he would be too busy to take correspondents with him and that the Ministry of Information would not facilitate their going there independently since provincial officials are too busy to look after them. He said this did not constitute a prohibition on their going.

  1. Chinese Minister of National Defense.