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

No. 450

Sir: As indicating the befuddlement in high governmental ranks and particularly of Vice-President Li Tsung-jen, I have the honor to enclose a copy of a memorandum of conversation with him on October 28, 1948.16

My conversation with him indicates to me that the Vice-President is ingenuous, patriotic, strongly anti-Communist and anxious to do his bit according to the Constitution, but he is perplexed and is floundering for answers to his questions. He would prefer to be loyal to the Generalissimo, but is quite aware of the hindrance the President is to any other than a military solution, both because of his own unyielding determination and because of the swelling opposition to his leadership everywhere. If Li were thinking primarily of succeeding to this office there would have been some hint of it in self-conscious admissions, but he talked of this problem as simply as though he had no personal relationship to it. The interview also revealed a contrast in his lack of the strong qualities of initiative and leadership needed in such a crisis which the Generalissimo certainly possesses.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Lewis Clark

Minister-Counselor of Embassy
  1. Not printed.