693.0031 Tibet/8–1148

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Chinese Affairs (Sprouse)

Participants: Dr. Tan Shao-hwa, Chinese Minister
Mr. Sprouse, CA
Mr. Freeman, CA

In Mr. Butterworth’s absence, I received Dr. Tan this afternoon who called by appointment. Dr. Tan said that the Chinese Embassy had been informed by the Foreign Office of the approach made by the American Embassy at Nanking in regard to the call of the Tibetan Trade Mission on the President. The Foreign Office had indicated to the American Embassy at Nanking, and had so informed the Chinese Embassy here, that it was still unwilling that the Tibetan Trade Mission call on the President unless accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador. Dr. Tan said that the Foreign Office attitude was based on the principle of Chinese juristic relations with Tibet and apprehension that any encouragement given to the Tibetans in the United States might create political difficulties for the Chinese Government. He described these difficulties as being both internal and international. He said that internally the Foreign Office had to consider criticism by the Legislative Yuan. Externally there was apprehension lest any excuse be given for action by China’s northern neighbor.

Mr. Freeman assured Dr. Tan that the discussions between members of the Tibetan Trade Mission and officials of this Government had been confined solely to commercial and trade matters and that there had been no reference whatsoever to political matters. Dr. Tan said that the Chinese Embassy believed that the Tibetans had some political motive in their visit to the United States.

Dr. Tan said that at the time of its departure from Washington the Tibetan Trade Mission had indicated that it might return to this city and it was felt by the Chinese Embassy that the Tibetans might still hope to see the President. Mr. Sprouse informed Dr. Tan that he had heard nothing of any Tibetan plans for a return to Washington, which was confirmed by Mr. Freeman.