893.01/4–1849: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Stuart) to the Secretary of State

782. At request Acting President, I arranged meeting for him with British, French, Australian Ambassadors my house last evening. He came accompanied only by his advisor-interpreter Kan Chieh-hou. (See my 772 to Department April 16, repeated Canton 256.)

Acting President informed me and my colleagues that Huang Shao-hsiung had returned from Peiping with written draft agreement. Draft had been prepared by CCP and given to Nationalist delegates in early stage of discussions. After days of arguing Nationalist delegates have succeeded in achieving slight drafting changes but nothing of substance and they emphasize to their Government here that this present draft must be accepted as no more changes possible. CCP has given Government until April 20 to accept or reject draft. If not accepted by deadline, CCP will break off peace negotiations. Li Tsung-jen has replied that since some Government leaders are in Shanghai and since document will require study by full Cabinet, he will require 2 or 3 more days which in any event will not carry deadline beyond 23d.

Dr. Kan then read out in English resume of most important points of draft agreement.

Begin Résumé. Preamble points out mistakes made by Nanking Government, that it has lost confidence of people, that its armed forces are defeated, reviews efforts for peace since January 1 ending in appointment of plenipotentiaries by two opposing forces, says they agree Nanking Government has full responsibility for mistaken policies of war and agree to following terms:

War criminals responsible for initiating and carrying out civil war shall be punished; however, leniency will be shown if they perform [Page 245] useful service to CCP and assist in liberation of remainder of China by peaceful means. The case of Japanese war criminal Okamura and 260 other Japanese war criminals shall be left open to be dealt with finally by new democratic coalition government.
Present constitution to be abolished. New PCC and democratic coalition government will formulate new statute.
Legal status of Nanking Government shall be denounced.
All armed forces shall be reorganized into regular People’s Liberation Army. Reorganization shall be carried out by National Reorganization Committee which shall have Communist as chairman and Nationalist as vice chairman and on which Communists shall have one extra member. Reorganization divided into two periods:
Nationalist forces in areas held by People’s Liberation Army shall turn over peacefully and thence move to designated places; military establishments, military materiel likewise turned over.
Ground, naval, air force shall be reorganized into regular PLA after their move to designated places and according to PLA system. Nanking Government undertakes preserve, protect military establishment materiel where PLA has not yet arrived. (Military reorganization committee affects only Nationalist Army and not PLA which remains under jurisdiction People’s Revolutionary Military Committee Peiping.)
Properties such as banks, mines, vessels, business firms acquired through political power or by wealthy families be confiscated as well as all enterprises financed by wealthy officials.
Following arrival of PLA there shall be general reduction rents, interest rates and redistribution of land.
Nanking Government shall turn over to democratic coalition government all treaties and agreements concluded as well as open and secret despatches and documents. Democratic coalition government will denounce or revise treaties which betray or are detrimental to interests of Chinese people.
Until establishment of democratic coalition government, Nanking Government will function in consultation with people’s revolutionary military committee. It will help PLA in taking over various areas under Nationalist Government control including local government. Nanking Government will preserve peace and order; preserve all mines, banks, ships, airplanes, warehouses, communications, antiques, gold, silver, bullion, foreign exchange and turn them over to democratic coalition government after latter’s establishment. When this has finally been accomplished, Nanking Government will then declare its own demise. End of Résumé.

Huang Shao-hsiung also brought oral message to effect that when PLA crosses Yangtze under terms of above agreement it shall be understood that they will promptly occupy and control six Yangtze basin provinces of Honan, Hupeh, Kiangsi, Anhwei, Kiangsu and Chekiang. Also Nationalist Government shall provide for Communist [Page 246] occupation promptly of Lungwing [sic], an area between provinces of Shensi and Kansu.

Acting President told us he felt sure terms would be unacceptable to his Government. He said he had worked hard for peace, his delegation had spent days in Peiping defending Nationalist position, but now with this reply he was convinced peaceful settlement could not be reached with Communists. He went on to say that some members of Government might feel that these terms should be accepted because China’s war-time allies and powers friendly to her had indicated no willingness to come to her assistance, not even with moral support; that chances of successful resistance to Communists under these circumstances were slight. Li then said he would be grateful for our comments and advice on what he should do.

British Ambassador14 acted as spokesman by earlier agreement among us (I felt this good opportunity for Li to hear views of someone other than US Ambassador). Stevenson said that we all appreciated confidence Acting President had shown by informing contents this secret document and expressed our great admiration for the steadfast purpose and calm patience Li Tsung-jen had shown during past several months. British Ambassador continued that he was sure in face of this record that Li would do what was best for Chinese people. As far as British Government was concerned he said they stood by Moscow Declaration of 194515 pledging complete noninterference in Chinese internal affairs. Consequently while we had great sympathy with Li and present heavy responsibility and would like to help him, there was in fact nothing that his Government could do. We all said we agreed with Stevenson. Australian pointed out it was Chinese problem which must be settled by Chinese themselves. I added that President must not give up hope and [must] do what he thought was right. Li was obviously disheartened, chilled by our reserved, somewhat formal attitudes. He agreed that while it was true that this was Chinese problem in one sense, his opponent Mao Tse-tung did not believe so, referring to Mao’s recent statement that in event of war between “the imperialists” and USSR, Communist China would fight with Russians.

I received impression that Government will not accept CCP terms despite noncommittal attitude of my colleagues last night and recent indications no more substantial US aid.

Sent Department, repeated OffEmb Canton 261 eyes only Clark, Shanghai 384 eyes only Cabot.

  1. Sir Ralph Stevenson.
  2. December 27, 1945; Department of State Bulletin, December 30, 1945, p. 1027.