FE files, lot 55 D 388, “Communist Chinese”

Memorandum by the Regional Planning Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (Ogburn)1

  • Subject:
  • Need for Planning U.S. Strategy on Chinese Representation Question

In her memorandum to you of May 25, Miss Bacon notes that the General Assembly might decide at the Session beginning on September 15 to seat the Chinese Communists and recommends that we explore means of influencing the U.K., France, and other members to maintain the present Chinese representation.

I would suggest that before seeking to influence the policy of other nations with respect to China, we decide what our own is to be. Any rational policy toward China must have as its objective detaching China from the Soviet camp. At present, so far from directing our efforts to encouraging Chinese Communist independence of Moscow, we do not even admit for planning purposes that the possibility of a split exists. At the same time we are very far from developing the means required to liberate China from the present regime. The possibility of our eliminating this regime with any instruments now available to us or likely to be developed by us under present planning is almost nil, I would think. The Peiping regime’s control of China is not being weakened by anything we are doing. The tendency has been for it to grow stronger. We may note also that our policy toward Formosa is self-liquidating. It is based upon a Chinese Nationalist military force that will become ineffective with age in a few years or be transformed by replacement into something quite different—that is, a provincial Formosan force that very likely will refuse to be ruled by mainlanders and that we can hardly expect to be regarded anywhere as Chinese or national.

If we are going to exercise leadership on the Chinese issue, then it seems to me that we must come forward with a policy and with programs that lead somewhere. I believe we will all agree that our allies have a right to demand as much. Our resort to “pressures” upon them, such as Miss Bacon’s memorandum recommends, would be an acknowledgment that our position fails to elicit support by its reasonableness and would indicate that it requires re-examination.

  1. Addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Johnson).