The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 9—1:06 p. m.]
61. I was called to Foreign Ministry this afternoon and handed an aide-mémoire by Wu Te-chen47 suggesting that US Government along with British, French and Soviet Governments, act as intermediary for initiation of negotiations with Chinese Communist Party with view to attaining restoration of peace in China. Text of aide-mémoire follows:
“The Chinese people, true to their peaceful traditions, have always devoted themselves to the pursuit of international as well as domestic peace. In their long history, it was only when they were in the face of the danger of aggression that they took up arms in self-defense. For this reason, the people rose to resist the Japanese invaders, and later, through their close cooperation with their allies, World War II was carried to a successful conclusion. On the eve of victory, China took an active part in organizing and founding the United Nations in the hope that a foundation for world peace might thus be laid and international disputes settled by pacific means. For, it has long been the conviction of the Chinese people that it is only through the maintenance of peace that the continuity and development of human civilization can be ensured.
Following the surrender of Japan, the National Government immediately took steps to initiate and carry on peace negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party. Through the good offices personally offered by General Marshall48 the Political Consulative Council was set up and a number of meetings took place. Unfortunately, the failure to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement led to a renewal of hostilities. Although these efforts proved abortive at the time, the Government and the people have never since abandoned the hope that hostilities may still be brought to an end.[Page 23]
However, in the wake of the long, gruelling struggle against Japan, this renewed conflict has inflicted untold suffering upon the masses and prevented the Government from carrying out the plans of reconstruction which it had prepared during the war with Japan. The ravages of war followed by rapid deterioration of the economic life of the nation make it imperative that peace be restored as soon as possible.
As nations today are unavoidably interdependent and international peace and stability depends largely upon degree to which international cooperation can be achieved, it would be difficult for any nation to confine the effect of its own unsettled conditions to itself. The Chinese Government is, therefore, most anxious that her internal situation should not in any way become an impediment to the progress of world peace.
In consideration of the above facts, the President of the Republic of China, in his New Year message on January 1st, announced without hesitation his determination for the restoration of peace in the country. The decision thus proclaimed by the President has since received the general support of the people, who have through numerous messages and public statements echoed their prompt support for a peaceful settlement of the questions at issue between the Government and the Communists.
The US Government has on many occasions in the past demonstrated its friendly concern over the state of affairs in China and has cooperated with the Chinese Government for the promotion of international peace. The Chinese Government wishes hereby to assure the US Government of its sincere desire for a peaceful settlement with the Chinese Communist Party and particularly avail itself of this opportunity to ascertain the views of the US Government on this subject. The Chinese Government will welcome any suggestion by the US Government which may lead to an early restoration of peace in China. The Chinese Government further signifies its readiness, through the possible intermediary of the US Government, to initiate negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party with a view to attaining the end stated above.
Similar notes are being communicated to the French, the Soviet and the British Governments. An early reply from the US Government will be greatly appreciated.”
Foreign Minister said he was delivering identical notes to other three Ambassadors this afternoon and he hoped we would treat this approach with greatest secrecy. I made no comment on substance of note and said that I would transmit it promptly to my Government. At 7 this evening I am having conference with British and French Ambassadors49 on this Chinese approach and will report subsequently their views.
Sent Department 61, repeated London, Paris, Moscow unnumbered.
- Vice President of the Chinese Executive Yuan and concurrently Minister for Foreign Affairs.↩
- General of the Army George C. Marshall was President Truman’s special representative in China from December 1945 to January 1947. For documentation on the Marshall Mission to China, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vii, pp. 745 ff. and ibid., 1946, volumes ix and x .↩
- Sir Ralph Stevenson and Jacques Meyrier, respectively.↩