The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 15—8:18 a. m.]
2220. Li Tsung-jen called me in for long conversation last week, gist of which was: Generalissimo is staying on against best interests of nation and wishes of people; he is greatly influenced by US attitude; he should be told that US Government feels that he would be best serving cause of his people if he withdrew from office now before complete military defeat, making way for new non-Communist leadership in government and country; that such new leadership would need unequivocal American support and that it could rally support of south and western China effectively enough to keep Commies north of Yangtze. (See Shanghai’s telegram 1800, November 10 , repeated Department 2377).91 On 14th Vice President sent confidential emissary to me to renew his case and to express extreme urgency of action now. If present situation were allowed to run its course he pointed out he would lose any political influence which he might now enjoy or expect to acquire by voluntary departure of Generalissimo and there would be nothing left for him to do but retire to his home in Kwangsi.
We feel that President’s reply to Generalissimo (Deptel 1608, November 1292) may have effect of demonstrating to latter limited extent of our further support of him thus responding in part to Li Tsung-jen’s request.
With respect to unequivocal support for new but non-Communist regime, we have already suggested to Department desirability of considering issuance of clarifying China policy statement (see my 2129 , November 6, repeated Paris 8). If public statement considered undesirable, I urge that I be given authority to tell Government [Page 570] officials such as Vice President and all political leaders who inquire that US does not favor Communist participation in any new Chinese government and that should such event occur it would be forced to review in its entirety China aid program and other forms of assistance now being made available. I feel that a clear-cut statement of our policy on Communist participation in governments in China or elsewhere would not only be honest but might conceivably give our friends that inspiration to resist Communist advances, if and when the Generalissimo retires from the political scene, to save south and west China from slipping behind the Iron Curtain at least for the time being or in any case to strengthen them in the all but inevitable forthcoming negotiations with Communists. Such a statement might well stress the danger to China’s national independence if the Communists succeed.
Substantiating this is fact that Foreign Minister came to see me today to ask for official statement from Washington to effect that bipartisan foreign policy of US Government includes China as well as other areas of globe. Foreign Minister seemed to feel this would be very useful to his Government at present moment with arrival of Bullitt93 in Shanghai and statement by Senator Bridges94 reported here on stepped up aid which has led in some quarters to confused thinking on American intentions and capabilities in present crisis. Any clarification at this time of our policy should, I believe, be of value.
Sent Department 2220; Department pass Paris 11 for the Secretary.
- Not printed.↩
- Vol. viii , “U.S. Military Assistance to China” (Ch. II).↩
- William C. Bullitt, Consultant to Congressional Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation.↩
- Senator Styles Bridges, Chairman of the Congressional Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation, made a statement to the United Press on November 8.↩