Nanking Embassy Files, Lot F79, 710 Sino-Soviet

Memorandum by the Naval Attaché in China (Kenny) to General Wedemeyer

Serial: 00144

Brief: The Soviet Union is moving, slowly and circumspectly, towards eventual domination of China. Circumstances favoring such a Soviet effort are: geographical propinquity, ethnic similarities, anti-Chinese minority groups, the corruption and ineptitude of the Central Government, the poverty and ignorance of the masses, a strong Chinese Communist Party, and 55,000 Soviet citizens in Greater China. Sinkiang is rapidly falling into the Soviet orbit, almost by default; Inner Mongolia is slowly drifting into the Soviet orbit, largely due to Chinese ignorance and indifference; Manchuria is under the control of the Soviet-oriented CCP, and Soviet collusion and intransigence is speeding the decline and fall of the Central Government in Manchuria. Although the Chinese authorities recently forced the Soviets to announce the repatriation of the bulk of their 15,000 new citizens in China Proper, the nucleus of the intelligence organization and community organization will remain. The four overt Soviet missions in China (diplomatic, commercial, military, and propaganda) and the two covert representations (MGB47 and Comintern) which operate through the overt missions are well-staffed, well-trained, well-financed, active, and probably successful. Sino-Soviet relations at present are tense and may become severely strained. Soviet-American relations in China are not frankly hostile, but they are not often amiable. The Soviets appear to believe that, in China, time and the processes of history are on their side.

1. Submitted as of possible interest is the following summary, as this office sees it, of the present status of the Soviet effort in China. The following subjects are briefly considered: Soviet aims in China; the necessity for circumspect behavior in effecting those aims; Soviet [Page 674] allies in effecting these aims; the degree to which these aims have already been effected in Sinkiang, Inner Mongolia, and Manchuria, and the Soviet apparatus to effect them in China Proper; the work of the four overt Soviet missions (military, diplomatic, commercial, and propaganda), and of the two covert missions (the representatives of the Ministry of State Security and of the Comintern); and current Soviet relations with the Central Government and with representatives of the United States.

[Here follows summary, in numbered sections 2–14.]

15. Soviet-American relations, i. e., between personnel of the two missions, have been alternately warm and cold. At present relations are fairly good, but not genuinely friendly, and the Soviet suspicion of Americans and of their own personnel is more obvious than it used to be. The Soviets are jealous of American privileges in China but they are not especially alarmed over U. S. intelligence activities, believing their own to be superior. Neither are they especially alarmed about American activities in general in China; the Soviets appear to believe, for the reasons listed above, that time and the processes of history are on the Soviet side.

W. T. Kenny

Captain, U. S. Navy
  1. Soviet Ministry of State Security; operating abroad under cover of diplomatic missions.