761.00/6–3048: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Secretary of State


1214. Embassy still believes Soviet policy pattern Far East and South East Asia (London’s 108, June 23, sent to Dept as 2778)1 similar to that outlined Embtel 3310, December 2, 1947,1 although failure Communists complete conquest Manchuria implies caution in setting up independent regime and suggests Soviet planning may be directed more toward China as whole than to Manchuria.

Soviets adapt their tactics to various parts Far East with circumspection and on basis hard realistic analysis of situation. Seems clear that events in Japan genuinely disturb them with result their propaganda on Japan now becomes louder and longer. However, Japan is long-range Soviet problem and more immediate results are expected elsewhere. Kremlin thinking might be conjectured as follows:

North Korean Government, after anticipated withdrawal US forces from south, can enforce its claim of united government for all [Page 584] Korea, preferred method to be usual infiltration and carrying off political coup when time ripe.
China presents more complex problem. Chinese CP not yet in sufficiently favorable position form separate government. Furthermore, independent Communist Manchuria does not satisfy aim of eventual Red China, and might even hinder its achievement not to speak of creating awkward treaty situation with Central Government. While hope remains of utilizing sympathetic anti-Chiang2 politicos (such as Li Chi Shen and the like) to form coalition government which CP could eventually capture, postponement of inauguration separatist regime and cautious handling Central Government appears desirable. Meanwhile, driving wedge between US and China on Japan and aid policy can serve to orient Chinese Soviet-wards.
Obvious that maximum Communist activity to be directed all SEA countries. Problematical how soon decisive CP victories can be achieved in these areas but they would be ripe for picking when China fell to Soviets and Chinese Party leaders already in vanguard would be ready play leading roles.
India tempts energetic and strenuous efforts although party needs strengthening and program must perforce be more long range than immediate.

Embassy believes China is key to whole policy and that Soviets expect success as much by political as by military means. Kremlin is undoubtedly aware of risk that headstrong cocky Chinese party might be troublesome but we believe that such risk not sufficient deter Soviets from aim for Communist dominated China assuming leadership of backward peoples Orient. Such regime would expectedly represent in actuality a merger of old Japanese co-prosperity sphere with militant Stalinism and to Communist eyes must offer a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Sent Department, repeated London 74.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Chiang Kai-shek, President of the Republic of China.