793.5890B/8–1550: Telegram

The Ambassador in Burma ( Key ) to the Secretary of State


94. ReEmbtel 86, August 13.1 Without specifying whether or not General Ne Win was aware of development set forth in Taipei’s 6 August 12,2 Prime Minister warned me last night General Ne Win still pressing for resort to UN. Prime Minister, however, categorically refused on grounds his “promise to me” not to take such action unless and until new developments compelled reconsideration, in which case he would give me ample notice. Prime Minister nevertheless expressed fear that during his forthcoming ten-day absence from Rangoon on visit to Delta, Ne Win might, as acting head of government, initiate UN action on his own. Prime Minister, therefore, suggested that I make every effort in my scheduled visit with Ne Win today persuade latter do nothing precipitate.

Accordingly during my call on Ne Win this morning accompanied by Army Attaché, I reviewed in considerable detail numerous steps taken by US Government find satisfactory solution Kengtung situation, stressing this done at request of GOB arid out of sympathy for [Page 251] latter’s position. I then acquainted him contents Taipei’s 6, August 12. To my surprise he said this was first he had heard of this development. Like Prime Minister, he stated that if these orders issued and carried out, this would be entirely satisfactory. (Note: This encouraging since Chinese orders do not conform exactly with previous Burmese insistence that KMT troops submit internment.) Although Ne Win stated he had not yet received any reports from Kengtung which indicated orders had been received or acted upon, he acknowledged communication difficulties, and stated he would closely watch developments next three or four days and keep Embassy informed. Meantime he would advise me of any suggestions how our good offices might be of further use.

Ne Win next stated he personally reluctant resort UN because of possible embarrassment this might cause friendly powers, but extremists were pressing hard for such action on grounds aggression should be opposed whether in Korea or Burma. He hoped, therefore, that Taipei’s orders would promptly be carried out. Comment: (1) Prime Minister version Ne Win’s attitude at variance with latter’s own remarks to me. (2) This interview reemphasizes importance sincere effort by Taipei Government make known its orders to all KMT units involved and to desirability getting these orders and its good faith on record in case question eventually comes before UN.

Ne Win disclosed that aside from new group approximately 400 along Yunnan border (Embtel 83, August 123), only about 200 KMT troops remaining in Kengtung, but these well-armed with new equipment including radios. Bulk of original estimated 2,000 together with families have crossed into Thailand but have not been disarmed or interned by Thais. Few if any known to have entered Indochina. Ne Win reemphasized urgent necessity, therefore, for Thailand immediately take effective action prevent KMT troops reentering Burma or further assistance through Thailand to those still in Burma (Embtel 74, August 103).

Indian Ambassador told me yesterday that under instructions he had informed Prime Minister that GOI considered inadvisable Burma, resort to UN this stage.

Department pass Taipei, Saigon, Bangkok, London, Delhi. Sent Department 94, repeated info Taipei 7, Saigon, Bangkok 12, London 22, Delhi 6.

  1. Not printed; it reported on a conversation with Thakin Nu in which the Burmese Prime Minister had stated that he would not resort to the United Nations since the Chinese had ordered their troops in Kengtung to leave Burma. Thakin Nu expressed his “deep appreciation” for the good offices of the United States. (793.5890B/8–1350)
  2. Not printed; it reported that the Foreign Office had stated “that urgent orders were issued yesterday to Chinese troops in Kengtung to leave Burmese soil not later than August 14.” (357.AA/8–1250)
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.