121.893/7–1747: Telegram

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

1538. The announcement by the White House of the appointment of General Albert C. Wedemeyer as a special representative of the President on a fact-finding mission to China and Korea was received with immediate approval by all sections of Government, party spokesmen and press. The announcement was a headline story in all papers and has since been followed by a stream of news stories speculating on scope, nature and meaning of the mission. Most of these news stories have drawn the conclusion that the mission means a change of American policy and a radical increase in American aid to the National Government.

Foreign Minister at once issued a statement welcoming General Wedemeyer to China as a recognized friend of China and an expert on the problems which it is currently facing. A similar statement was issued by Wu Te-chen, Secretary General of the Kuomintang, and favorable responses from such prominent individuals as Dr. Hu Shih28 also received wide publicity.

Government and party press reaction was uniformly favorable. Editorial comment was found in leading papers such as Kuomintang Chung Yang Jih Pao, CC Clique29 papers Ta Rung Pao and Shun Pao and the Army Ho Ping Joh Pao. These editorials welcomed the mission and acclaimed General Wedemeyer as a person calculated to take a correct attitude toward Chinese problems and foresaw in this development a drastic change in American policy, the early extension of comprehensive American aid to the Central Government and the inclusion of China in the Marshall plan.

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There has as yet been no editorial reaction from the independent vernacular press or the Communists.

English language papers in Shanghai have reacted favorably though on a somewhat more restrained scale. The Chinese-owned China Press and the China Daily Tribune followed the general government line. The British-subsidized North China Daily News predicted a change in policy and the American-owned Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury expressed the opinion that General Wedemeyer is well-qualified for a mission of fact-finding and warned against prejudgment on what his solution would be.

Sent Department, repeated Tokyo and Korea. Department please repeat Moscow.

  1. Formerly Chinese Ambassador in the United States.
  2. The Chen brothers, Li-fu and Kuo-fu.