893.00/8–2448: Airgram

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

A–215. Following article was published in the Central News Agency’s English Service on August 22, 1948:

[Page 427]

“President Chiang Kai-shek issued a statement on the current situation and recent important Government measures this afternoon. The statement reads as follows:

[‘]I cannot help recalling how immediately after V–J Day,70 our people all entertained fervent hopes of a quick economic recovery and of better days for everybody. I also remember having devoted a great deal of my time and thought to matters concerning the formulation of concrete reconstruction plans and to the training of personnel. My earnest wish then was to strive together with the rest of the nation to translate the Three People’s Principles into action.

Three years have elapsed since the war ended. Had it not been for the Communist rebellion, we would have achieved considerable progress in our recovery and reconstruction efforts under conditions of peace and stability such as other democratic nations have done. However, this is not what the Communists wanted to see happen. In pursuance of premeditated schemes, they have done everything in their power to jeopardize our sovereignty and territorial integrity, to undermine the foundation of our unity and independence, to besmear our glorious history as a victorious power, equality in the community of nations. Their policy has been one of armed uprising and merciless slaughter of the people. This explains the chaos and sufferings in our country today.

Although in launching their all-out rebellion, the Communists have taken full advantage of our post-war economic dislocation and general weariness after a long war, they have failed during the last three years in their conspiracy against our nation and against the livelihood of the people. This being the case, one can be sure that they will never succeed in selling out our nation, no matter how much longer they may try.

In the past year, the Communists have mobilized all human and material resources in their areas in a determined effort against the Government. They have hoped to win support for their rebellion by “land revolution,” and wherever such support was not forthcoming, by “class struggle” and other methods of intimidation. But subsequent events have proved that the Communists’ so-called “one-year plan” has failed. Not only their military adventures have fallen short of their objectives, but they have also suffered the consequences of their own ruthless “class struggles”. Peoples in Communist areas have risen in revolt because the Communists have brought on famine and starvation.

To cover up their failure, the Communist[s] have launched political offensive by instigating students in Government areas to open a “second [Page 428] front” for them. As part of this scheme, their agents have started the so-called “anti-war” movement. This was nothing but another attempt to create disturbances in Government areas.

The gullible few taken in by the Communists and fellow-travellers have in concert put all the blame on the Government for conditions resultant from Communist terrorist methods. They have gone to the extent of accusing the Government of manufacturing “civil war”. They have overlooked the fact that the Government’s rebellion-suppression campaign aims at protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country and at preserving our national independence and freedom. In reality, the present campaign is but the continuation of our earlier War of Resistance against Japanese aggression.

So long as our unity and independence remain to be secured and so long as there are people in the Communist areas to be delivered from agony, our patriotic citizens, both in and outside of our armed forces, cannot rest, for they are duty bound to press this campaign to its victorious conclusion. Otherwise, not only our people would be unable to preserve their fruits of victory won with bloodshed and great sacrifices in the eight years of war, but the entire nation would meet with an irrevocable fate of enslavement.

Despite all difficulties, the Government has not ceased its reconstruction efforts just because there is a military campaign under way. At this juncture, the Fapi has reached a stage of malignant inflation. In view of its far-reaching effect on the national economy and the people’s livelihood, the Government has resolutely reformed the currency in order to achieve economic stability. The decision to issue the Gold Yuan Notes was reached only after the most careful considerations. An adequate reserve has been set aside to back them. Meanwhile detailed plans have been mapped out for financial reorganization and economic control to ensure the success of the reform. I am firmly resolved that the four sets of financial and economic emergency measures will be enforced to the letter.

It should be realized that henceforth progress in national reconstruction and economic stability will both be predicated on a stable currency. Therefore, I hope all patriotic citizens will lend their unanimous support to the new monetary system. Furthermore, it should be stressed that this latest currency reform will pave the way for subsequent financial reorganization and stability in the people’s livelihood.

The Government belongs to the people as a whole. The people are masters of the country. There is an old saying: “If the skin is gone, the hair will have nothing to grow on.” At a time like this when the Communist rebels are rampant confronting the nation with a serious crisis, the people, the State and the Government will share [Page 429] the same consequences, be they good or bad. By supporting the new currency and by observing all related Government measures, the people will be doing what is necessary to secure their own livelihood and their own rights and interests.

I sincerely hope all our people will understand the indivisibility of the State, the Government and themselves. Consequently, not only there ought to be mutual trust and mutual help between the people and the Government, but the people themselves should, through mutual exhortation and persuasion, rally behind the new currency to see to it that all related measures are enforced.

Should there be a few who choose to subordinate the national welfare to their self-interests and resume such practices as were customary during the days of the Fapi and use of the new Gold Yuan Notes as an instrument in hoarding and speculation, thereby undermining popular confidence in the new currency, these men will be guilty of jeopardizing the livelihood of the people as a whole. Thus, they will become public enemies of the nation. The Government will certainly prosecute them on charges of high treason and seek their severest punishments under the National General Mobilization Act and the Criminal Code.

The people, on their part, should expose any such activities and help the Government in implementing its policy as the latter is designed to protect the interests of the people, to stabilize national economy and safeguard the livelihood of the citizenry. During the past 10-odd years, the Fapi had served its usefulness in financing the twofold program of war and national reconstruction. I am confident that the Gold Yuan will likewise see our new twofold task of rebellion-suppression and national reconstruction to its successful conclusion.

Of course, nation-building has its material requisites, but of greater importance is that it must have a spiritual force behind it. Universities, being the training ground of the nation’s reconstruction personnel, are the fountainhead of this spiritual force. Unfortunately for the country as a whole, the Communists have planted agents in our universities and have surreptitiously induced the students to join Communist organizations. As a result, students in many of our institutions of higher learning have wasted much of their valuable time which they should have expended in more profitable ways. What makes it worse is that once they get involved in the Communist intrigues, the reasoning power of the students becomes so impaired that they come to espouse the Communist cause by carrying on clandestine activities against the Government.

Furthermore, these Communist agents are instilling pernicious thoughts into the youth, trying, in one stroke, to ruin our traditional [Page 430] culture, destroy national consciousness and interrupt the pursuit of scientific knowledge. This is serious because any of these foregoing attributes is indispensable to any intellectual who later on is to play a part in national reconstruction. The Government simply cannot and will not sit back and watch this devastating force spread among our youth and do nothing to stop it.

At present though beset with financial difficulties, the Government is doing its best to aid large numbers of students and to give relief to those who have fled Communist-controlled areas. It can be truthfully said that the Government has been most assiduous in looking after the students. However, it will not again condone any Communist-inspired acts against our society and nation. That is why it has ordered the security authorities in various parts of the country to suppress Communist espionage activities and particularly to remove insidious elements from among our college students. This was prompted as much by a desire to safeguard peace on the campus as by a wish to make it possible for our youth to carry on their studies in peace and security.

Today our national fortunes are in the balance. It is my earnest hope that our people as a whole will have confidence in the Government, observe laws and orders and help establish a sound currency, cease hoarding and speculating activities, do away with extravagance, practice economy, preserve China’s traditional virtues of industry and frugality, restore our national characteristics of personal integrity and sense of propriety.

On the other hand, we should expose the activities of Communist agents, maintain social order, protect the schools against infiltration by Communist agents and, on the part of the youth themselves, to value most highly, their opportunity of receiving an education.

Rebellion-suppression and national reconstruction must proceed simultaneously. We should together work for the consummation of the Three People’s Principles. This is what we owe to those who have laid down their lives in defending the country against the Japanese during the war and against the Communist rebels since. This is also what we must do in order to bring solace to the spirit of our Revolutionary martyrs. [’]”

  1. September 2, 1945.