893.00/6–749: Telegram

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

1229. Commenting on Peiping’s 917 to Department, it contains extremely important indication as to possible American policy. (With this in view I have been trying to keep in personal contact with Chou whenever practicable.) We must be careful not to over-play our chance while also taking full advantage of it. Nor should we overrate its significance. It implies no basic change in CCP theory or program. It is struggle for power between two men next in line after Mao, together with their respective emphases and experiences. Liu is wholly pro-Soviet and because of current anti-American sentiment has been gaining ascendency. Chou’s message is call for help. He would never have taken this risk [omission indicated in the source text] sending one. It might begin by referring to our traditional policy of friendly good will for people of China in their struggles to attain independence and national sovereignty and in their need of economic betterment and technological progress; then continue that we would be as ready now as we have always been to assist toward these two interrelated objectives if basis of mutual self-respect and confidence could be reestablished between China and US; that atmosphere conducive to friendly cooperation cannot be created by such developments as present treatment our Consular officers in China, particularly Mukden; by constant anti-American propaganda which deliberately distorts our motives and deeds; by official stimulation of anti-western sentiment among the Chinese people through controlled press and radio, et cetera. Communication might close with statement that we sincerely welcome Chou’s protestations of pro-western sentiment but that they cannot be expected to bear fruit until they have been translated into deeds capable of convincing people of US that continued American support of Chinese objectives is in mutual interest of both countries.

Department may feel it unwise at this stage to commit itself officially and prefer that I reply in somewhat personal tone. In any case [Page 373] I shall have other suggestions as to how to follow up this lead if considered desirable.

We assume Clubb will develop better channel of reply on this subject than initial intermediary, Michael Keon, an Australian newspaperman employed by United Press.

Repeated Canton 507, Peiping 205.