Nanking Embassy Files, Lot F73—800 Nationalist-Communist (1948)

The Commander of U. S. Naval Forces in the Western Pacific (Badger) to the Chief of Naval Operations (Denfeld)

060005Z. Since conference with Chinese, mydis 060027Z,8 US representatives have reviewed history of proposal and action on part of [Page 145]US in connection therewith. It was decided today after talk with Ambassador that certain considerations should be presented to Washington in order to give broader understanding of proposal. The importance of early favorable action and necessity for keeping US representatives in China up-to-date and continually informed as to status of proposal. These considerations follow.

The proposal and later comments and recommendations in connection therewith that have emanated from originator all have concurrence and are in harmony with views of Ambassador, Army Advisory Group, this Command and other responsible US officials in China. A communication from originator on this subject may consequently be accepted as combined voice of these officials.

The economic program for aid to China is well under way. There is much publicity and favorable comment regarding speedy manner in which this program has been pushed forward. There is on the other hand some comment, critical and adverse to us, of what appears to many to be unnecessarily slow progress in carrying out military aid program. If it were possible to get quick approval of proposed arms project for North China it would be most helpful in counteracting unfavorable aspects.

We have repeatedly criticized Chinese Central Government as inept and weak and generally unable help self. The recently instituted monetary reform constitutes convincing evidence of their willingness and determination to respond your [our?] advice to help themselves. These measures thus far have been more successful than either Chinese or anyone else had anticipated. Although not yet reflected in current intelligence reports, Chinese Government has acquired more aggressive military spirit and feeling of confidence in its ability to achieve economic and political reforms. Authorities now are planning other reforms and positive steps along lines that we have so often urged. It would hearten them immensely if we could at this, time strengthen their hand by giving them tangible evidence of our backing by supplying quickly and cheaply the arms they need now for their North China and Shantung projects.

Our discussions with Chinese leaders in Central Government at Nanking and in North China and Shantung and our efforts to get Central Government to appreciate needs of and to support North China have resulted in drawing together of leaders such as Fu Tso-yi and the Generalissimo where only a little while ago the breach seemed to be widening. Through US efforts a unity of Chinese effort may soon be realized which heretofore seemed impossible. At this stage it would be regrettable if through failure to act quickly on arms proposal the US Government should appear to the Chinese to be indifferent to their response to our suggestions.

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The Ambassador, Chief of Army Advisory Group and ComNavWesPac all feel that the effects of the program to supply arms to North China may now be much more far-reaching than any of them had originally contemplated. Not only does it hold possibility of best supporting US position and interests in China but it has already been instrumental in changing a gloomy outlook into one of distinctly hopeful possibility. It could be the turning point which would ultimately lead to a strong united China friendly to United States and an effective opponent of Communism.

Ambassador has just read and reiterates his endorsement contents this despatch.

In carrying out his duties to JCS in connection with discharge US military commitments in China, ComNavWesPac communicates with CNO, as primary contact and it is therefore requested that CNO follow up progress with other agencies concerned and keep ComNavWesPac fully informed in order that this effort and coordination with others may be most effective. My 060027Z9 and 060119Z10 are related subjects.

  1. Supra.
  2. September 6, [supra.
  3. September 6, not printed.