893.00B/7–1249: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Cabot) to the Secretary of State

2717. Persistency and extent Communists’ efforts to woo Mme. Sun Yat-sen reveals importance they attach to winning her active identification [Page 425] with their cause—not only as widow of Dr. Sun (thereby providing symbolic reaffirmation to public of Sun’s “approval” of Communist principles and pro-Soviet orientation) but also as widely popular liberal-humanitarian in her own right, and finally as a Soong sister96 whose very fact of blood connection with Kmt’s four families97 invests her support with enhanced value and with opportunity for impressive display of truth Communists’ contention that their cause commands a loyalty transcending personal and family ties.

May be recalled that Li Tsung-jen in connection attempts strengthen his peace bargaining position tried vainly win some approving gesture from Mine. Sun. Later as Communist occupation Shanghai drew closer she was reported pressed by various apprehensive quarters for her patronage as protective leftist cover for their enterprises. [Possibility?] of Generalissimo’s including her in group of prominent pro-Communist suspects whom he pressured into removing to Hong Kong from Shanghai before Communist occupation was also rumored. She steadfastly resisted these various pressures and was reliably reported to be determined avoid political involvements and devote herself solely to her humanitarian work Shanghai.

Immediately following Communist occupation Shanghai, Chen Yi98 honored Mme. Sun by what understood to be his first official call. This was followed by three telegrams June 6 despatched to her by All-China Women’s Federation leaders, including Mesdames Chou En-lai and Feng Yu-hsiang,99 KmtRC Chairman Li Chi-shen1 and Democratic League leaders respectively felicitating her on liberation Shanghai and approaching realization of common “freedom and democracy” goals and indicating high esteem for her and implied hope for renewal personal association with her at Peiping. Mme. Sun’s reply was reportedly to effect that she appreciated felicitations but unable visit North China for present as recuperating from illness in Shanghai.

On June 25 Teng Ying-chao (Mme. Chou En-lai) arrived Shanghai for visit which was publicly explained as for purpose medical attention but which two reliable sources state was to persuade Mme. Sun proceed Peiping to join pre-PPC meetings. First reports indicated Mme. Sun adamantly sick [opposed?] to these overtures. Pressure continued, however. On July 1 she attended Communist Party anniversary gathering where she was accorded special honor and contributed a speech hailing Communist Party leadership which in view her “indisposition” was read for her by Mme. Chou. Same procedure repeated [Page 426] at July 7 Lukouchiao anniversary2 gathering where the speech read for her by Mme. Chou warned foreign imperialists to “get out of China”. (See Contel 27133 for texts.)

Close American friend of Mme. Sun says he suspects that second speech was prepared not by her but by others. He believes that while Communists would never venture to employ rough methods force her comply with their wishes they are applying such steady “friendly” pressure that she is gradually weakening in determination to avoid political involvements and may quite likely go north before long.

Sent Department 2717; repeated Nanking 1526, Canton operational; Department pass Peiping 202.

  1. The three Soong sisters were Mesdames H. H. Kung, Sun Yat-sen, and Chiang Kai-shek; their most prominent brother was T. V. Soong.
  2. Chiang, Soong, Kung, and Chen.
  3. Communist mayor of Shanghai.
  4. Madame Feng was the widow of the “Christian General”, Marshal Feng Yu-hsiang.
  5. Leader of the Kuomintang Revolutionary Committee (KmtRC).
  6. Beginning of undeclared war between Japan and China, 1937.
  7. July 12, not printed.