793.00/12–2750: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Offices 1


The Department is interested in obtaining at an early date as full and concrete information as possible concerning groups on the mainland in armed opposition to the Chinese Communist regime. Information from the field has been of a continuing nature during the past months but there has been no overall program for reporting, no uniformity has been provided for, and satisfactory evaluation has not been possible.

Effective on receipt of this instruction, it is requested that the concerned posts undertake to compile a study of guerrilla and bandit forces on the mainland of China, setting forth the following information in the order given below. Tabular form is preferred.

Title used by group, if any.
Name of leader.
Estimated strength and composition (whether former KMT soldiers, rebellious peasants, professional bandits, secret societies such as Green Gang, Red Spear).
Types of weapons possessed.
Communications equipment available.
Means of supply.
Liaison with other groups.
Relations with Nationalists or other outside elements, if any.
Source of the information.
Evaluation of the information given.
Type and intensity of Communist efforts to suppress respective groups.

Chinese characters should be given for names of leaders and titles of groups.

Overall estimates by areas of guerrilla strength (including potential groups now “lying low”) would also be of interest. The Department realizes that in many cases it will not be possible to provide the information called for under each of the foregoing headings but has listed them to indicate the type of information of value and to standardize reporting.

It is suggested that an effort be made in each case to tap official sources as well as unofficial sources provided that in the opinion of the post this can be done discretely [discreetly?] and without the exhibition of undue interest in the subject. It is desired that all efforts connected with the preparation of the study be made insofar as possible in a manner to stimulate the minimum curiosity over the interest of the Department.

Inasmuch as one of the main benefits to be derived from the various studies is an opportunity to compare reports from the various concerned posts which might overlap in their coverage it is suggested that the concerned posts, except Taipei, avoid using sources known to have official relationship with the Chinese Nationalist Government.

In addition to the foregoing study, it is desired that each post submit a list of organizations and/or persons claiming a direct connection with or interest in active opposition to the Chinese Communist regime and evaluate them from the standpoint of reliability, activity, purpose, leadership, and utility.

The Department recognizes that these projects entail considerable effort for each reporting post. It also recognizes that a period of perhaps several weeks may be required for their completion and that this instruction might appear to require the duplication of much of the work done in past months, such as that reported in Hong Kong’s despatches Nos. 490 of May 22 and 237 of August 16.2 The Department does not minimize the attention devoted to this subject previously but wishes to bring its information thoroughly up-to-date.

It is desired that information of spot reporting value uncovered during the compilation of the study be forwarded to the Department without delay. Following completion of the study, spot reporting on this subject should follow the general outline provided above.

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To facilitate completion of both requested studies, it is considered desirable that the assistance of the Armed Services Attachés and Liaison Officers and controlled American sources be utilized under the general supervision and coordination of the Chief of Mission or Principal Officer.

  1. Sent to the Embassies in Bangkok, Rangoon, and Taipei; the Legation in Saigon; the Consulate General at Hong Kong; and the Consulates at Hanoi and Chieng Mai.
  2. Neither printed.