121.893/9–1947

Memorandum by Mr. Philip D. Sprouse to General Wedemeyer

The following is a summary of the views expressed to me by the Democratic League representatives (Lo Lung-chi, Chang Tung-sun, Huang Yen-pei and Chang Po-chun) following the conclusion of their interview with you this morning:

The only solution in China is through peace and the formation of a coalition government. The easiest way in which this could be achieved would be through the resignation of the Generalissimo, as there are many people in the Government and many military commanders who are convinced that without peace China will face untold destruction and suffering. The Chinese Communists would agree to enter a coalition government under such conditions, probably on a 3–3–3–basis with the Kuomintang and other minority and non-party groups. This would also probably include the establishment of a federation with the Communists in control of Manchuria and certain parts of north China. The solution could also be reached without the removal of the Generalissimo if he were deprived of his present powers and retained only as the titular head of the government.

There are four possible courses which may result from the present situation:

(1)
The Government may continue on its present course with the eventual result of the collapse of the Central Government and the emergence of the Communists as the dominant force in a coalition government formed of the Communists, the Kuomintang and various local groups and minority party personnel.
(2)
The instant cessation of hostilities and the formation of a coalition government in the near future is the only way to save the country from Communist domination in the long run.
(3)
The U.S. Government may endeavor to bolster the Kuomintang in order to prevent Communist domination of China. This would serve to turn many people toward the Communists and give added strength to the Communist cause as one against foreign intervention.
(4)
The U.S. Government could make clear to the Generalissimo that it will not give any aid to China until hostilities have ceased and a coalition government has been formed—this would make it possible to bring peace and stability to China and prevent Communist domination which would follow prolonged hostilities.

The liberal groups, such as the Democratic League, fear Communist totalitarian control and many Chinese critical of the Government would turn over to the Communists except for:

(1)
fear of the establishment of a totalitarian form of government,
(2)
the abolition of private property, and
(3)
the danger of China’s becoming a puppet of Soviet Russia.

The key to the situation lies within the policy of the U.S.: It must convince the Chinese Government that it will not support, directly or indirectly, a civil war and it must aid the liberal groups in China. Only through such a policy can Communist domination of China be prevented.

The Democratic League representatives are preparing a detailed memorandum setting forth their ideas, which, in accordance with General Wedemeyer’s request, they will present for his consideration.

Philip D. Sprouse