Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Ringwalt) to Brigadier General Marshall S. Carter 99

Attached is Nanking’s despatch no. 35 of January 26, 19481 in which are described Bishop Meigan’s views on the China situation. It is believed that his observations, based largely on his residence in Honan, may be of interest to the Secretary …

Summary of Bishop Meigan’s Views: The major Communist strategic aim in 1948 is the crossing of the Yangtze and the development of offensive operations in central and south China. The Communists cannot take cities by direct assault but apparently believe they can reduce Nationalist garrisons by isolation and attrition. Much American equipment (carbines, machine guns and rocket launchers) has been [Page 132] seen in the hands of regular Communist troops. The latter are well-trained, well-disciplined and thoroughly indoctrinated. Their leadership is of high order and they appear convinced of ultimate victory. Nationalist morale is low in all echelons and the Nationalist rank and file is inferior to the Communists. Communist techniques of occupation result in consolidation of political control to the point where reconquest by the Government would not only be difficult but also insufficient in itself to eradicate Communist influence completely. Communist propaganda, generally pro-Soviet and anti-Government and anti-US, is effective. The Chinese Army cannot eliminate communism as an armed force without US aid. It needs not only US equipment, but also US advice, including American officers with some command function, down to and including the division level. Failure to provide such aid will mean a Communist China with the end of US business and missionary activity as a certain result.

A[rthur] R. R[ingwalt]
  1. Special Assistant to the Secretary of State. This memorandum was initialed by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth).
  2. Not printed.