Executive Secretariat Files

Note by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Souers) to the Council

NSC 34/1

United States Policy Toward China

The enclosed report on the subject, prepared by the NSC Staff with the advice and assistance of representatives of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and of the National Security Resources Board and the Central Intelligence Agency, is submitted herewith for consideration by the National Security Council.

The report was prepared in the light of an initial working draft by the Department of State (Reference A10) and in the light of the discussion at the 26th Council meeting (Reference B11).

It is recommended that, if the Council adopts the enclosed report, it be submitted to the President with the recommendation that he approve it and direct that it be implemented by all appropriate Executive Departments and Agencies of the United States Government under the coordination of the Secretary of State.

Sidney W. Souers

Draft Report by the National Security Council

United States Policy Toward China

The objective of the U.S. with respect to China is the eventual development by the Chinese themselves of a unified, stable and independent [Page 475]China friendly to the U.S., in order to forestall threats to our national security which would arise from the domination of China by any foreign power.
The U.S. should recognize that the development of a unified, stable and independent China acceptable to the U.S. is not likely to be accomplished by any apparent Chinese group or groups within the foreseeable future.
The immediate aim of the U.S. should, therefore, be to prevent China from becoming an adjunct of Soviet power. In pursuing this aim the U.S. should:
Make appropriate plans and timely preparations in order to exploit opportunities in China while maintaining flexibility and avoiding irrevocable commitments to any one course of action or to any one faction.
Regard efforts with respect to China as of lower priority than efforts in other areas where the benefits to U.S. security are more immediately commensurate with the expenditure of U.S. resources.

  1. NSC 34; see ibid., p. 146, footnote 11.
  2. See draft report by the National Security Council, November 2, 1948, and footnote 29a, ibid., p. 185.