893.801/6–2749: Telegram

The Minister-Counselor of Embassy in China (Clark) to the Secretary of State

Cantel 654. Am seeing Li Tsung-jen tomorrow re bombing raids, TelCan 375, June 23, repeated Nanking 735, Shanghai 1273, Taipei 149, London 2168, and in meantime discussed matter Tung Ling, Vice Minister Foreign Office. He says matter was considered from all angles before decision was taken. Government has no intention bomb any foreign vessel outside Chinese territorial waters and, in bombing targets inside Chinese territorial waters, every effort will be made avoid damage foreign shipping. Weapon of air force available Government [Page 1113]and unavailable Communists is too valuable, he said, to go unused and Government has taken firm decision bomb strategic targets Communist-held areas. He expressed knowledge our position re damage claims for injuries American lives and property during civil strife, but remarked Latin Americans did not agree with us and denied that our position would prove sustainable. He realized, he said, the seriousness of damage to Government hopes if it were to lose sympathy of US public opinion, but said risks had been taken into consideration when decision was made. Government anticipates restiveness and possible revolts under restraints and hardships of Communist regime in areas controlled by Communists and is determined take such measures as are open to it to exacerbate situation.

Have been unable deliver note re blockade, telCan 384, June 24, because still unbroken garbles. Since sense note is clear, however, I mentioned character our reply to Tung Ling. He said Government had not expected their note to go unanswered and our reply would receive consideration at highest levels. Here again, he said, Government decision had been taken after searching consideration and would not be withdrawn. He said we had not questioned Chinese right close Dairen without declaring blockade and he hoped we wouldn’t take serious issue with them in their efforts. Their action will, in effect, be blockade which they intend maintain effectively, but they are most loath to declare blockade and thus give belligerent status to Communists. After all, he said, “wouldn’t want to aid the Communists and the trade involved is of slight if any importance to you”. Here again he maintained that international law isn’t definitely determined and that Government had right take action it had taken. If we decide release notes. Press Foreign Office would like be informed in-order that simultaneous release may be made here.

Sent Department Cantel 654, repeated Nanking 437; Shanghai 374, Taipei 49, London unnumbered.

Clark