The Consul General at Hong Kong (Hopper) to the Ambassador in China (Stuart)89

Subject: Views of Marshal Li Chi-sen.

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a memorandum90 dated February 28, 1948, in which Vice Consul R. M. Service furnishes an account of an interview with Marshal Li Chi-sen.

Summary of Enclosure. Marshal Li stated that the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee advocates a return to the orthodox principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen; the Committee therefore claims to be an orthodox movement within the Party. It favors the establishment of a coalition government in which the Communists will participate to a degree relative to the amount of territory controlled by them. The United States is largely responsible for the survival of the Generalissimo and his reactionary supporters, and the continuance of American military, economic and moral aid to the Central Government is retarding the inevitable collapse of the Gimo and therefore increasing the ultimate Communist role in the Government. American relief supplies should be distributed entirely by Americans and should not be exploited for political purposes by the Kmt. The Chinese National Army is tired of the civil war and will support a liberal re-organization of the Government. Dissatisfaction with the Chiang regime is widespread within the Kmt. Marshal Li does not favor Communism and will not support Communist domination of China. Under a coalition government the Communist Army will be nationalized. Li Ts’ung-jen is seeking the Vice Presidency so that he may resign from his military post in Peiping.

It is possible that Marshal Li’s public statements reflect a desire to establish good relations with the Communists, without whose support he can scarcely hope to set up a coalition government after the collapse of the present government. End of Summary of Enclosure.

Respectfully yours,

George D. Hopper
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General without covering despatch; received March 29.
  2. Not printed.