790B.00/10–351: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Rankin) to the Secretary of State


450. Deptel 284, Sept 28.1 Substance reftel communicated Oct 2 to AFT director East Asia Dept2 who recounted familiar reasons why Chi Govt cannot issue effective orders for Li Mi’s troops to leave Burma or be interned there. According to the director, the recent debacle in which Li Mi’s troops had temporarily fought their way back into Yunnan were soon forced back into Burma demonstrates the pointlessness of again ordering Chi Govt troops to return to Yunnan. Because of inadequate food and ill-treatment given Chi refugees in Burmese concentration camps, Chi Govt troops in Burma will not voluntarily submit to internment there, he declared. In addit to other obstacles, the departure of Chi Govt troops for Formosa, Indochina or Thailand wld be impracticable because of necessity of traversing Burma.

Director said that if GOB takes case of Chi Govt troops in North Burma to UN, result will be to destroy slight control and influence Chi Govt has exerted over these forces since Chi Govt will have to publicly state that they are irregulars and not controlled by it. Airing of matter in UN will disclose that GOB troops who attempted to subdue Chi Govt troops in North Burma were defeated by latter and that Chi Govt troops in North Burma receive collaboration of local officials and welcome of local populace. These circumstances, he felt, reflected adversely on GOB auth in Burma. Without elaborating director remarked that public discussion of this affair wld not be in best interest of US, presumably an allusion to previous allegations by the FonOff that US mil have been involved in this matter.

As for Burmese fear that presence Chi Govt troops in North Burma may provoke Chi Commie attack, director said that Chi Commies have many pretexts already for invasion and only lack of force not lack of excuse has held off their aggression.

Pass Rangoon; rptd info Rangoon 3.

  1. In telegram 284 to Taipei, September 28, the Embassy was informed that the Burmese Government had asked the United States to urge the Chinese Nationalist Government to order General Li Mi to return to Taiwan and to order the KMT soldiers in Burma to leave the country or to submit to internment; otherwise, the Burmese might submit the issue to the United Nations which would probably result in embarrassment to the Chinese Nationalist Government (790B.00/9–551).
  2. The Director, East Asian Affairs Department, Chinese Nationalist Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was Dr. Wang Hsiao-hsi.