693.0031/7–849: Telegram

The Consul at Tihwa (Paxton) to the Secretary of State

181. Nephew of Ma Pu-fang, Lt. General Ma Cheng-hsiang, 36–year-old Tungkan commanding Fifth Cavalry Army, says conclusion Sin-kiang-Soviet trade and related pacts now impossible. He states anti-Communist plans for economy of province could replace Russian proposals if essential commercial supplies were delivered Lanchow for transportation here by trucks on hand.

He stresses cheapness of investment required to safeguard provincial economy and thus help prevent Soviet expansion to borders of China proper at Kansu. He avers anti-Communists nowhere more determined than this region; vouches for no Tungkan defections here; and voices opinion few Han gen[eral]s in Sinkiang pro-Communist though most more timid and less forthright than Tungkan military. Ma states that American specialists will eventually be welcome for development area’s resources but fears if they should come now this open frustration of Soviet hopes might result in early armed attack from Ili or Outer Mongolia with Red Army support beyond present power of provincial forces to resist.

Consulate would appreciate information whether responsible American is now Lanchow for liaison with Ma Pu-fang who could assist in correlation and expedition most needed supplies for Sinkiang. If not, appointment such person might be most helpful.

Sent Department, repeated Nanking 112, OffEmb Canton 72, Chungking 31.