893.01/5–1149: Telegram

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

TelCan 199. ReCantel 360, May 11.58 Possibility rapid conquest S. China by Commies, reports Liu Po-cheng’s forces concentrating Nan-cheng area threatening Fukien and Gimo’s inconclusive answers to Li’s message all wld seem indicate possibility Gimo’s retreating Taiwan shld it become clear mainland untenable. In such event Gimo wld in all probability insist on retention Chen Cheng and likelihood latter wld comply with Li’s instructions re replacement wld appear slight unless force employed. Dept’s position re status Taiwan made clear in statement by Dept spokesman that final determination must await conclusion peace settlement for Japan. Comment drawn in Chi press and statement presenting contrary view by Wang Shih-chieh indicate Chi well aware US position this matter.

Dept of opinion, therefore, that casual statement by ConGen Taipei to Chen Cheng on occasion Li’s instructions re removal (Cantel 303 May 159) wld fall short of desired effect in view larger considerations involved and might backfire if Chen or Gimo saw fit give matter publicity. [Page 337]In any event, implementation of Chi decision re governorship Taiwan does not fall within US competence and you shld so inform Li or his representative.