893.00/1–2549: Telegram

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

215. Acting President Li Tsung-jen reported by all Nanking vernacular papers January 25 to have issued following 7-point program to back up statement that all obstacles to democracy and freedom will be removed:

Conversion of all Bandit-Suppression Headquarters into headquarters of regional military commanders;
Abolition nation-wide martial law (except in areas near front lines);
Abolition Bandit-Suppression Corps;
Release of political prisoners;
Revival all banned newspapers and magazines;
Abolition all special courts; and
Cessation all activities special service men.

Reports on a decision to enforce 7-point program vary. Several organs report decision approved by Kmt Central Political Council, others claim Acting President merely mentioned decision to Council, while few claim Li Tsung-jen issued direct orders to Executive Yuan to enforce program.

In this connection, press featured report that Li ordered release young Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang58 and Yang Hu-cheng59 and played up brief speech by action service [sic] in which he pointed out present situation due more to Kmt weakness than to Communist superiority. Catholic organ stated Vice President claimed he would persevere toward peace, but, if Communists will not talk peace, he has “other schemes”.

Repeated Shanghai 102.

  1. Former ruler of Manchuria and leader of the Sian coup by which Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was held prisoner in December 1936; see Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. iv, pp. 414455, passim.
  2. Pacification Commissioner for Shensi at the time of the Sian coup.