893.00/2–2348: Telegram

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

339. Following is text of official Central News story which appeared in vernacular press, February 23:

Dr. J. Leighton Stuart, American Ambassador to China, in an exclusive interview with Central News this evening, denied that he had told the UP that “the best possible solution of the China problem was a resumption of negotiations between the Nationalists and the Communists”.

[Page 110]

Dr. Stuart summarized what he told the UP representative during the interview, in reply to UP questions, as follows:

“What I said to him (the United Press representative) was the same idea as given in my earlier statement. I said in so serious a situation facing the country at present, there seems to be a great opportunity and responsibility for all who love their country, especially the patriotic educated people, to organize and study what the national problems are and arouse and instruct the people so that they may realize democratic government.

“In so doing, the patriotic intellectuals can correct whatever distrust; they have with the present Government and in that way support it in its efforts to bring peace to China.

“About the specific point which Mr. Robert Clurman raised, I understand that various people had been making special efforts. I know no details. It seemed to me that America always hoped that the way could be found to end the civil war. It seemed to me that there is a way the people of the country could unite and find a solution for the difficulties. I did not say what solution or how it could be done. The American policy is the same as before. American aid is being extended to China with the hope that it will bring temporary relief, while some other fundamental solution may be found.”

Dr. Stuart disclosed that earlier today he met with American correspondents in Nanking to clarify the misunderstanding that had thus been created by the UP report. He said the UP representative expressed “regrets”, for having misinterpreted the Ambassador’s statements. The Ambassador said that the UP representative “thought he was quoting me correctly. But the inference that he drew from my statement was certainly not my ideas”.

Dr. Stuart, replying to a question, told Central News he singled out the intellectuals and the educated because they are capable of leading the masses. He suggested that the intellectuals and the educated might form a new party to offer constructive criticisms of the Government. Or they might be simply organized into groups for the purpose of advocating certain reforms and a progressive movement.

Dr. Stuart said he is alarmed at the negative attitude taken by the intellectuals and the educated—for instance professors in the universities—toward the Government. Many of them are criticizing the Government, he said, but are doing nothing to help improve it. These people ought to be active, he said, in playing their part under the new constitution, to help solve the problems of the country.

The American Ambassador said that while the China aid issue is now fully brought to the attention of the American people, they look forward to seeing “that there can be such a progressive movement launched with the support of the Government. The Americans are waiting for it. Thus the aid will achieve its: maximum result”.

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In urging that the Government assist in the development of such a progressive movement, Dr. Stuart said that the nation needs the spirit that was behind the Kuomintang when it sought and successfully overthrew the Ching dynasty, when it launched the northern punitive expedition and finally when it led the nation in the war of resistance against the Japanese. The popular will supported the Generalissimo63 (in the latter two campaigns). He believed that with that spirit prevailing the movement would be expedited.

Dr. Stuart said a solution to the Communist issue in China can be found. He said that in his belief the military phase of the Communist suppression campaign is not the whole story. The Government should seek to remove the causes that fertilize Communism. He pointed out that in all localities through the provincial governments down to the hsien, there should be close collaboration between the people, the officials and the military. He indicated that because there is this collaboration, the province of Hopei feels it has the situation well in hand. He said that he had learned that the people in the northeast do not want Communism and that is why such collaboration is all the more needed.

Dr. Stuart said that he believed a solution of the problems possible. He said he entertains as he has always done the highest hope in the Government and stood for the Government. He said he hopes the thinking people will support it and help to improve what they do not like about it.

Regarding the leaders of the Government, Dr. Stuart said he has the “greatest admiration for them. Many of them I have known for many years. They hold up well against officials of other countries”.

  1. Chiang Kai-shek, President of the National Government of the Republic of China.