790B.00/7–2850: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in China 1


79. In view increasing seriousness fighting between Burm Govt Forces and Chi Nationalist troops Kengtung Dept considers desirable you inform Chi Govt our growing concern re this situation and renew our request that immed instrs be issued Chi Nationalist troops in Burm lay down arms and permit selves be interned by Burm Govt. Burm Govt has given us rptd assurances troops wld be well treated and invited officers US Emb Rangoon to visit internment camp.

You may inform Chi Govt that US Amb Rangoon was again approached on this matter by Burm Govt on Jul 25.2 You may say we consider presence these troops in Burm does not constitute mil advantage but in fact plays into hands of Commies. Necessity Burm Govt directing its mil efforts to combatting Chi Nationalist troops is weakening its mil drive to defeat domestic Commie insurgents and Karen rebel factions. If by the activities Chi Nationalist troops in Kengtung these insurgents are enabled regain some of the ground they have lost, the internal polit stability of Burm will be endangered. We believe stability of Burm is vital to security of Southeast Asia.

You may also say it has been learned that Burm Govt may appeal to UN on Jul 29 for help in dealing with Nationalist troops. It is believed that such an appeal wld be most embarrassing to Chi Govt and that in order to avoid such embarrassment we believe desirable that immed instrs be issued their troops in Burm to accept disarmament and internment by Burm Govt.

Shld Chi Govt ask for identification troops involved you may say understand there approx 2200 composed of elements 8th Army, 20th Army, and 278th Regiment of reconstituted 93rd Div.

Dept official spoke to Chi Amb in foregoing sense Jul 27. FYI Amb seemed impressed particularly by mention of possible reference to SC and indicated he wld communicate Formosa urgently.

FYI in response request made by Burm PriMin to US Amb Rangoon Dept called in Chi Amb Jul 7 and asked him send his Govt US request that Chi Govt instruct its troops Burm permit themselves be disarmed and interned by the Burm Govt. On Jul 25 Chi Amb informed Dept his Govt appreciated US viewpoint but desired gain a little time before taking action. However, in view Burm Govt plans bring matter before UN by Jul 29, immed action appears necessary.

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Burm FonMin states about 1,000 Burm troops now committed to effort forcibly disarm Chi Nationalist troops, but latter successfully resisting this attempt. Amer Amb Bangkok reports Chi Chargé Bangkok told him earlier this month that Chi troops in Kengtung do not wish to give up their arms but intend to carry on guerrilla activities against Commie forces Yunnan.

  1. Repeated to Rangoon as 57 and to Saigon as 107.
  2. This approach by Prime Minister Thakin Nu to Ambassador Key was reported in telegram 41, from Rangoon, July 25, not printed (790B.00/7–2550).