Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Cloyce K. Huston, Counselor of Mission, Office of United States Political Adviser in Japan 50

Mr. Chakravarty, Chief of the Indian Mission here, discussed at length certain issues involved in the prospects of early communist domination of China in my conversation with him yesterday. He said it seemed clear to him that the Nationalist cause was now hopeless, that anything like an honest coalition would be unacceptable to the communist leaders, and that the American policy of extending aid to Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek had definitely failed. He believed that the situation was not necessarily desperate, however, and found one line of thinking which gave him hope: he did not believe Soviet Russia would find communist China a willing servant of Moscow nor that the Soviet Government would be happy to have a vast and potentially powerful but non-compliant state, even though communist, as an eastern neighbor. Neither did Mr. Chakravarty agree with those who say that the Chinese communist is not a genuine communist. He felt certain that the Chinese communists were sincere adherents to communist principles and philosophy, even though he expected them to manifest strong political independence from Moscow; he was even more sure that they would always remain primarily Chinese, citing particularly in support of this argument the strong force of Chinese culture, which has its roots in China itself.

Mr. Chakravarty recalled that, just prior to his leaving Nanking for Tokyo late last spring, he had had a conversation with the Soviet Ambassador51 there, formerly Soviet Military Attaché in China for a number of years. When Mr. Chakravarty remarked that he supposed that it would be a source of gratification to Soviet Russia to see the emergence of a communist China, the Soviet Ambassador replied that he saw no reason why his Government should interfere in the Chinese situation, saying “let them fight it out themselves” and going on to admit that a huge communist state on Soviet Russia’s eastern frontier would create serious problems for his Government. The Soviet Ambassador implied that because of its vast extent and huge population China would prove to be “indigestible” even to the communist appetite, and concluded his remarks by saying: “let the Americans pour all the money they wish into China—it will only make them weaker”.

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Mr. Chakravarty then went on to say that Soviet Russia was well content to have a number of small states, communist or not, on its eastern periphery, as they would constitute convenient buffers and offer no threat, but that a communist state of the magnitude and importance of China would not be an unmitigated blessing in any sense; it would undoubtedly not [sic] develop the same propensities for dissension and independence as had Yugoslavia, but on a vastly greater scale, and the Soviet Union would be forced as a result to maintain large military forces in the East. Mr. Chakravarty did not pretend to see the future too clearly, but concluded that the foregoing line of thinking gave him some hope that present communist successes in China would not necessarily serve to further Russian expansion but indeed might ultimately work to weaken the Soviet position in the East.

Cloyce K. Huston
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the acting Political Adviser in Japan (Sebald) in his despatch No. 18, January 8; received January 25.
  2. Maj. Gen. N. V. Roschin.