893.00/8–1049: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Clark) to the Secretary of State

Cantel 918. Li Tsung-jen50 entertained me last evening at delightful informal dinner and despite White Paper he gave impression of being most friendly and cordial. He, as others with whom I have talked, seem to agree with Han Li-wu, Minister Education, who said he realized necessity publication and “the sooner we stopped talking about it and get on with our job, the better”. Li was somewhat perturbed over publication his letter to President,51 but admitted he had written only truth and said that in fact Generalissimo had agreed with him when he saw Generalissimo on Taiwan that present ills were due to past failures of government.

Li still desperately hopes for US military aid, yet admits that “fundamental” problem is Chinese and must be solved by Chinese. He agreed also that battle was for mind Chinese people and could not be won by bullets alone. Reform was necessary, he said, and would be carried out. Also psychological warfare would be improved.

It is firm policy of Government to harass Communists by blockade, by air raids and by continued armed resistance, even as guerrillas if necessary, in effort make their problems more difficult, hoping they will prove insoluble with result that disillusionment among Chinese people, revulsion of feeling, and eventual revolt will ensue. Li realizes we can only give aid where we are convinced that to do so has possibility being effective, yet he desperately hopes our aid will not come “too little or too late”.

Sent Department Cantel 918, repeated Nanking 604, Shanghai 487, Taipei 108.

  1. Acting President of China since January 21.
  2. Dated May 5, United States Relations With China, p. 409; see also ante, p. 699.