The Minister-Counselor of Embassy in China (Clark) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 1—12:17 p. m.]
Cantel 670. vice Foreign Minister Tung Ling tells me he is working on reply our note re blockade (Cantel 663,33a repeated Nanking 442, Shanghai 378, Taipei 51, London unnumbered). Chinese note, he says, will take line that Chinese position is sustainable under international law and that ours is not. In other words, Chinese Government plans carry on discussion through diplomatic channels, the while enforcing what will in effect be blockade. Tung Ling says that when he was pointing out to Cabinet the advantages and disadvantages of the various measures, open to Chinese Government, he had stressed that, [Page 1116]whatever decision was taken, it should be held to irrevocably. He assures me that Chinese position having been taken, it will not be changed.
He again referred to our lack of action at time Chinese declared port Dairen closed and said our action that time created precedent which would preclude US from objecting present action Chinese Government closing other ports similarly not strictly speaking entirely within control Nationalist Government. He pointed out this connection Nationalist Government still maintains control ports in question from sea and air; that it has only lost control of ground areas which it intends recover. He hoped in meantime public sentiment in US opposed Communism and favorable Free China would deter US from convoying vessels through prohibited areas. Government is obviously banking on our friendship and unlikelihood that we or British, the principal powers involved, will run risk involved in active measures opposing closure delimited Chinese territorial waters regardless principles international law involved.
Sent Department Cantel 670, repeated Nanking 448, Shanghai 383, Taipei 52, London unnumbered.