893.00B/12–648: Airgram

The Consul General at Hong Kong (Hopper) to the Secretary of State

A–138. Following is summary of information and views recently obtained from local sources as designated.

Several sources (Chow Ching-wen of CDL,87 C. Y. Li of KmtRC,88 Li Meng of Hsin Shen Wan Pao) state that the CCP89 has decided to enlarge the People’s Consultative Conference to include “elected” representatives from throughout CCP-controlled areas. Instead of a relatively small body, variously estimated to number from 70 to 200 members, the PCC will include some 1000-odd delegates. The Communists allegedly intend to stage a great show of “democracy”. It is considered significant that many dissidents here, from Marshal Li Chi-shen90 down, insist that all policy decisions affecting the formation of the provisional coalition government, the election of delegates to a [Page 630] constitutional convention, and so forth, are being decided in the present pre-PCC meetings in Manchuria.

It is now apparent that another group of dissidents has left for the north; among at least 10 prominent leaders were Kuo Mo-jo, Ma Hsu-lun, Hou Wai-lu, and Mrs. Wang K’un-lun. The senior leaders here of the National Salvation Association and of the Peasants and Workers Democratic Party also were included. It is believed that the party left Hong Kong about November 23, 1948; information on this movement was received from Chow Ching-wen and Ma Man-fei.

A factor influencing the CCP selection of personnel in this group of Hong Kong dissidents undoubtedly is the desire of the Communists to window-dress the pre-PCC meetings with representatives of various groups. Chow has learned that Ts’ai T’ing-k’ai, for instance, nominally represents only the Kmt Democracy Promotion Society in these meetings, while the KmtRC is represented by Mrs. Feng Yu-hsiang and Chu Hsueh-fan. Shen Chun-ju and Chang Po-chun represent the Democratic League instead of their own groups, and subordinates have therefore been despatched to the north to sit for the Salvationists and the Third Party.

Recently C. Y. Li asserted that Marshal Li, as president of the coalition government, will have control of foreign relations. He said that agreement has been reached with the CCP for the Marshal to select his own Foreign Minister; this indicates that the KmtRC apparently expects little else in the line of ministerial appointments. Chow Ching-wen believes that the pre-PCC meetings will designate either Chou En-lai91 or Lo Lung-chi92 as Foreign Minister; although he believes Chou’s qualifications would render it exceedingly difficult for the CCP to permit the selection of another, he shares the opinion of other observers that the CCP may prefer to let a non-Communist handle critically important relations with the western democracies.

Percy Chen,93 without stating that he has been invited to attend the pre-PCC meetings, declared that he refused to go. He visualizes the fall of Chiang and the formation of a Southwest Political Council by “we liberals”, including Yu Han-mou94 (“a real patriot with good troops”), W. W. Yen,95 Pai Chung-hsi,96 Li Tsung-jen,97 and even Sun Fo, provided he abandons the Nanking regime shortly. Chen believes that the CCP forces will stop at Nanking, and that southern [Page 631] leaders will be able to weld a powerful army of troops imbued with high morale because they will be fighting, not for Chiang, but for their homes. American money (“let’s say 400 million, in round figures”) will provide for good treatment of the soldiers and permit economic stabilization of the southwest; free enterprise will flourish, and the Government will be forbidden to enter business in any way. Percy Chen looks to the middle class for the salvation of China; he sees no need for agrarian reform, except to reduce taxation and conscription. He said that even if his plan falls, he will have the satisfaction of knowing that he helped finish Chiang.

  1. China Democratic League.
  2. Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee.
  3. Chinese Communist Party.
  4. Chairman of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee.
  5. Member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party.
  6. Spokesman of the Democratic League.
  7. Co-Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Action Committee.
  8. Commander in Chief of the Chinese Army.
  9. State Councilor and former Premier.
  10. Commander in Chief of the Central China Bandit Suppression Forces.
  11. Vice President of the Republic of China.