893.00/11–848: Telegram

The Consul General at Peiping (Clubb) to the Secretary of State

438. Generally well-informed source states original plan at time Generalissimo was present Peiping was for evacuation Manchurian forces to North China with those forces (commanded primarily by Whampoa officers) to be charged with defence north Hopeh area enabling Fu (who would have remained nominally in command) stabilize position to west Suiyuan and North Shansi with own troops. That strategic concept thus envisaged overall strengthening and stabilization North China. It collapsed when it proved impossible effect withdrawal of Manchurian forces. Fu, where previously confident of ability Republic strengthen position, is untenable [sic]. Note he lacks artillery adequate meet Communists who now possess important amounts American equipment.

Same source reports military personages, recently arriving from Manchuria, in meeting Peiping November 3 advised Fu withdraw and maintain his military strength intact. Now confirmed by press Fu proceeded Nanking as reported (Contel 432, November 552). Nanking military conference undoubtedly has referred at least in part to urgent situation North China.

Source indicates position Taiyuan was, of course, hopeless view inaccessibility major supply lines. American newsmen who interviewed Shansi chairman Yen Hsi-shan yesterday reported Yen very bitter against CAF53 for lack cooperation, also against Generalissimo’s failure give promised support.

Source pointed out pronounced shift in balance political power which has now occurred in China with elimination from scene of many Whampoa supporters of Generalissimo due to Manchurian collapse. Noting that Hsuchow front is now threatened, he pointed out destruction those national forces would mean eliminate last front Whampoa military support for Generalissimo’s regime and that, assuming Fu Tso-yi would be able to withdraw, western power would then remain non-Whampoa hands, that is in hands Fu, Pai Chung-hsi53a and Ma generals of northwest.54 Nanking regime thought would be unable survive such blow whereupon non-Whampoa generals [Page 548] would be left dominant in non-Communist China. Those however would probably be caused in first instance sue for peace with Communists.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Chinese Air Force.
  3. Commander in chief of Central China Bandit Suppression Forces.
  4. Ma Pu-fang, Governor of Tsinghai; Ma Hung-kuei, Governor of Ningsia; Ma Pu-ching, Deputy Commander of Fortieth Group Army; Ma Chang-hsiang, Commander of Fifth Cavalry Army; and Ma Hung-pin, Military Commander in Tsinghai.