The Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs (Molotov) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Marshall: Supplementing my letter of March 24 of this year, in connection with the accord reached on the furnishing of information concerning the fulfillment of the Moscow Agreement on China, I consider it necessary to call your attention to the following:
In the Agreement on China concluded between the Foreign Ministers of the United States of America, Great Britain and the Soviet Union at Moscow in December 1945, it was stated:
“The three Foreign Secretaries exchanged views with regard to the situation in China. They were iii agreement as to the need for a unified and democratic China under the National Government, for broad participation by democratic elements in all branches of the National Government, and for a cessation of civil strife. They reaffirmed their adherence to the policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of China.”
I hereby affirm that the Soviet Government continues to adhere to those views which were set forth in the aforementioned Agreement of the three Ministers. Assuming that the accomplishment of the unification and democratization of China, which requires the broad participation of democratic elements in all branches of the National Government of China, is the affair of the Chinese people themselves, and considering that the interference of foreign powers in the internal affairs of China and especially the participation of foreign armed forces in the civil war in China may lead only to aggravation of the civil war and the creation of additional difficulties in the restoration of the national unity of China, the Soviet Government in its relations with China has adhered and is adhering to the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of China. The Soviet Government assumes that the Moscow Agreement on China will actually be fulfilled only if the Governments of the United States of America and the Soviet Union do not disregard the Agreement concluded in respect [Page 625] to non-interference in the internal affairs of China and if they really put this Agreement into effect.
In the Moscow Agreement it was also stated:
“Mr. Molotov stated that the Soviet forces had disarmed and deported Japanese troops in Manchuria but that withdrawal of Soviet forces had been postponed until February 1st at the request of the Chinese Government.
“Mr. Byrnes26 pointed out that American forces were in north China at the request of the Chinese Government, and referred also to the primary responsibility of the United States in the implementation of the Terms of Surrender with respect to the disarming and deportation of Japanese troops. He stated that American forces would be withdrawn just as soon as this responsibility was discharged or the Chinese Government was in a position to discharge the responsibility without the assistance of American forces.
“The two Foreign Secretaries were in complete accord as to the desirability of withdrawal of Soviet and American forces from China at the earliest practicable moment consistent with the discharge of their obligations and responsibilities.”
Thus, both the Soviet Union and the United States of America undertook the obligations of “withdrawal of Soviet and American forces from China at the earliest practicable moment consistent with the discharge of their obligations and responsibilities”. The Soviet Government has attached and is attaching great importance to the exact fulfillment of these obligations.
For its part, the Soviet Government in due course discharged the obligation which it undertook in regard to the withdrawal of Soviet forces from China. The evacuation of Soviet forces from Manchuria was fully completed on May 3, 1946.
Since then almost a year has passed and the evacuation of American forces from China not only has not been completed but it is not known at all when the United States of America will discharge its obligation concerning the withdrawal of American forces from China.
In view of such a situation the Soviet Government has considered and does consider it desirable for the Foreign Ministers of the powers participating in the Moscow Conference, who are now present in Moscow, to exchange information concerning the fulfillment of the Agreement on China. Such an exchange of information would be useful, because it might assist in clarification of the actual situation in respect to the fulfillment of the Moscow Agreement on China, in as much as the existing situation in this respect is not satisfactory, for it arouses doubts in the public mind as to the readiness to discharge obligations undertaken according to the aforementioned Agreement.[Page 626]
One copy of this letter I have sent to Mr. Bevin and another copy to the Chinese Ambassador at Moscow for the information of the Chinese Government.
Please accept [etc.]
- James F. Byrnes, then Secretary of State.↩