893.00/3–148: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Smith ) to the Secretary of State

396. From Moscow viewpoint, Embassy has regarded Soviet mediation approach in China as consistent Kremlin’s general Far Eastern aims (Embtel 350, February 2182). In addition to possibility of quickening completion buffer satellites Northeast Asia (Nanking’s 369, February 26 to Department) prospect of other favorable consequences must have impelled Soviets to this step. Aware of critical Chinese [Page 123] situation they can expect such an offer to widen split in Kmt,83 to strengthen group already favoring compromise with Communists through Soviet mediation, and to accentuate divergence of policy between US and China, particularly on Jap peace. Playing role of mediator would also present Kremlin ideal opportunity to water-tighten control of Chinese Communist policy and check any excesses of independent exuberance which military successes might be arousing.

Kremlin must believe it stands to gain whether Chinese accept or reject mediation offer. If Generalissimo accepts, Communist battle for China, and eventually most of Asia, is half won. If he rejects, Kremlin may then be expected to trumpet to world in self-righteous verbiage its vain attempts to secure peace in China, its “spotless” record of correct relations with National Government (including extension nonaggression pact—Embtel 353, February 21) and its untiring efforts to assist formation “people’s coalition government”.

Then, however, we might look for stepping up of events in Northeast Asia with Chinese Communists finally given green light to set up their independent government.

Neither prospect pleases, but rejection is clearly preferable to acceptance. Consequently Embassy can only emphasize the obvious, that every argument should be used to convince Chinese of perils of Soviet mediation. “Beneš’84 shattered illusions on fate Czechoslovakia” only most recent example. An agreement with China on Jap treaty procedure (Embtel 350, February 21) would be a timely counter-measure worth exhausting every effort to achieve.

Department pass Nanking 8.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Kuomintang (Nationalist Party).
  3. Eduard Beneš, President of Czechoslovak Republic, when the Communist coup d’état took place in February 1948.