336. Memorandum of Conversation0
PRESIDENT’S FAR EASTERN TRIP
- President Eisenhower
- Ambassador Drumright
- Lt. Colonel John Eisenhower
- Mr. Hagerty
- General Goodpaster
- Assistant Secretary Parsons
- Maj. General Snyder
Republic of China
- President Chiang
- Madame Chiang
- Vice President Chen
- Secretary General Chang
- Foreign Minister Shen
- Ambassador Yeh
- Vice Foreign Minister Chow
- Mr. Shen (Interpreter)
- Free World–Sino-Soviet Relations; Chicom–Outer Mongolia Treaty; Possible Soviet-Chinese Split; Consultation among Allies; The Situation in Asia
President Eisenhower started the conversation by saying that he was pleasantly surprised to observe the healthy, happy and well-dressed [Page 676] look of the people on the streets. Before arriving he had not known what to expect. He thought the people looked fine. In reply President Chiang observed that President Eisenhower’s visit had brought cheer and courage to the Chinese people. President Eisenhower rejoined that he was complimented by President Chiang’s remarks, but he could take no credit. President Eisenhower then observed that he was particularly impressed with the sweet and lovely looks of the Chinese girls.
President Chiang observed that he could say with some pride that there are no beggars in Taiwan.
President Eisenhower said that last Saturday, just prior to his departure from the United States, he had talked with General MacArthur. He said that General MacArthur had asked him to convey his warm greetings to President and Madame Chiang, two of his oldest and warmest friends in the Far East. General MacArthur had also asked President Eisenhower to tell President Chiang that he was watching the Republic of China’s progress with the greatest admiration and interest. In reply to President Chiang’s query, President Eisenhower said that General MacArthur is now enjoying very good health. The General had been in a hospital for an operation from which he had made a good recovery.
President Chiang observed that President Eisenhower’s visit provided a good opportunity to have an exchange of views on matters of common concern. President Eisenhower rejoined that a question of common interest is what is going on in the Communist world—the Soviet and Chinese Communist areas. President Eisenhower observed that President Chiang’s long study of Communism and his deep experience with it made him one of the world’s experts on the subject. Accordingly, he would be grateful to hear President Chiang’s views on the subject of Communism, its stresses and strains, et cetera.
President Chiang said it was most kind of President Eisenhower to term him an expert on Communism. He said he would be glad to give his views. President Chiang referred to the view prevalent abroad that the Soviet Russians and the Chinese Communists are in conflict and will come to a parting of ways. He had heard of the theory that Chinese Mainland population pressures would push the Chinese to territorial expansion and thus threaten the Soviets. But he believed that these reports of conflicts and contradictions leading to a breach were optimistic. Adenauer had stated this theory some three years ago to a Chinese. Khrushchev, when he saw Adenauer had said that Soviet Russia had a nation on its border which constituted a threat and had asked how in that case Soviet Russia could be a threat to the West. President Chiang observed that Khrushchev’s statement was merely a Soviet intrigue to create the illusion of a split between Soviet Russia and Communist China. He said the Communist idea was to make the Western nations think less [Page 677] of the Russian threat and also to minimize their apprehensions of danger from the Chinese Communists. President Chiang went on to observe that the first objective of the Russians is to lead the West to believe in Russian sincerity. The second objective, he said, is to lead the West to think that by approving the admission of the Chinese Communists to the UN the West would be doing itself a good turn. President Chiang said he expected the Soviets to continue this sort of propaganda and urged that the West understand their motives and stay vigilant.
President Chiang then said there was another fact he would like to explain in detail and this was that it is absolutely impossible for the Chinese Communists to separate from or abandon the Soviet Union. He said there is a theory that Khrushchev torpedoed the Paris Summit Meeting because of pressures at home and from Communist China. He granted that the Chinese Communists did not always see eye to eye with the Soviets, especially in regard to the theory of coexistence with the West. He said that another divergency between the two powers lay in the failure of the Soviet Union to make good on some military and economic aid assurances to the Chinese Communists. He also granted that ideologically there was some room for dispute on the subjects of revisionism and orthodox Communism, adding that several special phenomena occurring since the Paris Conference need watching.
President Chiang said that the first of these phenomena is the recent conclusion of a treaty of amity between Outer Mongolia and Communist China.1 He said that the signing of this treaty marked a departure or change in the attitude of Soviet Russia. President Chiang said that the Chinese Communist-Outer Mongolia treaty is one of friendship and amity on the surface but had actually turned out to be a military treaty. In view of this, President Chiang believed that the signing of the treaty must have reflected an important change of policy on the part of the Russians because in the past the Soviet Union had attached much importance to Outer Mongolia and had carefully kept Outer Mongolia in its sphere of influence. In the past Soviet Russia and China had looked upon Outer Mongolia as a buffer state. Now, with this new treaty, Outer Mongolia was linked with Communist China. President Chiang thought that the timing of the signing of the treaty was of significance since it took place at the end of last month after the collapse of the Paris Summit Conference. President Chiang added that he hoped that this significant development would receive the close study and attention of the State Department. President Chiang continued by saying that he believed he saw a connection between the torpedoed Paris Summit Conference and the presence there of Malinovsky2 and the conclusion of a treaty between Communist [Page 678] China and Outer Mongolia. He pointed out that at Paris Malinovsky never left Khrushchev’s side for a moment. President Chiang then said he would like to make a few remarks in regard to Malinovsky and his relationship to the Chinese Communists. Malinovsky had for several years been the Soviet military commander in the Far East. He had been the Soviet military commander who had occupied Manchuria and who had facilitated the turnover of Manchuria to the Chinese Communists, adding that the Chinese Communists were largely the product of Malinovsky’s efforts after World War II. Some of the top Chinese Communist military commanders formerly worked under Malinovsky, including General Lin Piao, present Chinese Communist Minister of Defense. In President Chiang’s considered view, the Chinese Communist-Outer Mongolia treaty is the handiwork of Malinovsky. Without Malinovsky’s influence, President Chiang doubted whether the treaty could have been concluded. He added that Malinovsky now undoubtedly has a great influence in the Kremlin in regard to matters relating to the Far East.
Elaborating further on the subject of Outer Mongolia, President Chiang said that Molotov, Soviet Ambassador to Outer Mongolia, proceeded to Moscow early this spring and was later allowed to return to Outer Mongolia. President Chiang believed that Molotov’s influence was also a factor in the signing of the treaty. President Chiang therefore believed that the Outer Mongolia treaty constituted a sign of increased influence on the part of Malinovsky and Molotov in the Far Eastern area. President Chiang added that there was reason to believe that the Stalinists are on the way up in the Soviet hierarchy again—Malinovsky in the military sphere and Molotov in the political area.
Referring to the Central Asian area President Chiang said that two lines of communication are being constructed between Soviet Russia and Mainland China. One is a railway leading from Alma Ata to Kansu. This railway is scheduled to be completed next summer. The other route runs through Outer Mongolia and Suiyuan into China proper. The railway under construction between Alma Ata and Lanchow, Kansu, passes through the heartland of Asia. Returning to the subject of Outer Mongolia, President Chiang said he believed the Russians would not be likely to give up Outer Mongolia unless something significant had happened to bring this about. He did not know what the factor was but he thought that something might happen this fall or winter to throw light on the matter. President Chiang said he had dwelled on the matter of Outer Mongolia at such length because he believed it had high significance. President Chiang then said he felt certain that in the event of Communist aggression the Russians would stand aside at the beginning and let the Chinese Communists do the fighting.
When Mr. Dillon and Mr. Parsons had visited Taiwan he had explained relations between the Soviets and the Chinese Communists as he [Page 679] saw them. In any case, he said, it is impossible for the Chinese Communists to split from the Soviet Russians. He stated emphatically that the Communist bloc works as a bloc, pursues a global scheme, and no party to the bloc can take independent action. He said he also wanted to state that while on the surface Mao Tse-tung might show conflicts with the Russians, in reality he cannot turn against them. As of now, Mao is in control of the Chinese Communist Party, but if he should oppose the Kremlin, it could overthrow him. In the Far East the Communist bloc has an integrated plan of aggression and there can be no independent action. The current trouble in Japan, it is true to say, is largely the handiwork of the Chinese Communists. They have spent a great deal of money there to bring about disturbance and chaos, but Moscow also took a hand in stirring up trouble in Japan. President Chiang said he was afraid that those who see a Moscow–Peiping split will fall into a Communist trap. President Chiang said that the foregoing summed up his views on relations between the Soviet Union and Communist China. He added that he would appreciate having President Eisenhower’s views on the subject.
President Eisenhower rejoined that he found nothing in President Chiang’s exposition with which he differed. But he believed that President Chiang perhaps exaggerated the degree of belief in the Western world of holding that a split was possible between Soviet Russia and Communist China. President Eisenhower said further that he could see nothing that could be counted on dependably in that regard. President Eisenhower said that during the past seven or eight months he had made several trips and had talked with a number of world leaders. He said that none of them sees a split being created between Soviet Russia and Communist China. On the other hand he had heard some talk and speculation before the last summit conference to the effect that Khrushchev’s softer attitude during the past year or year and a half toward the Free World was not genuine. President Eisenhower said that one background fact that he deemed most important and which Khrushchev had stated half a dozen times was that if a global war should occur, both sides were going to be destroyed. Therefore there must be no war.
President Eisenhower then said that the second fact from which he worked was that the Communists would never change their objective of dominating the world. This he believed. When Krushchev goes around practicing bad deportment and threatening the Free World, the Free World tends to be better unified. The Free World is thus more unified now than it was four months ago.
Concerning Khrushchev’s reasons for breaking up the Paris Summit Conference, there was speculation that the Chinese Communists had influenced it. It was also reported that the Soviet army was unhappy about the reduction in its strength of a million men or so. The foregoing were among several reasons to explain the decision taken by Khrushchev before [Page 680] going to Paris to break up the Summit Conference. For a year at least, Khrushchev had pressed hard and expected to get something from the Summit Conference. Then, just before the Conference, he came to the conclusion that he would get nothing from it. He reasoned that if he had to go back to Moscow with nothing, then the effect on his fortunes would be bad. Also, according to some of his foreign colleagues, Khrushchev had finally concluded that it would be bad for him (President Eisenhower) to go to Russia. Twice in the abortive Paris Conference Khrushchev gave long dissertations on why he could not invite him (President Eisenhower) to go to Russia.
President Eisenhower said that if the whole situation was to be looked at in military terms, it must be recognized that in spite of occasional differences the Communists must be viewed as a solid monolithic aggregation. The Free World, on the contrary, is a loose federation or collection of loosely bound countries. These countries are tied together by common ties of liberty, human dignity, et cetera. All around the periphery of the Communist bloc each of the Free World countries has its own economic and military problems. For these Free World countries to do anything to protect themselves, to bring about a coalition against others, they can be united only if attacked by the other side. There is no other possibility of complete unity on the Free World side. They cannot, for example, initiate hostile action. Unfortunately, said President Eisenhower, the enemy knows this all too well. Therefore, this leaves the Communist bloc a certain latitude. They are well aware that what they can do cannot start a war.
President Eisenhower said that the United States stands in the central reserve position. The United States has mobile forces. What is needed is that all on the Free World side should be alerted. President Eisenhower continued that the Free World side must preach peace with justice and see to it that all are dedicated to liberty and freedom and opposed to anyone who gets out of line. That, said President Eisenhower, is the only hope of the Free World.
President Eisenhower said that finally he believed that since the United States is the center of the Free World and has resources to help, the United States should employ closer consultative processes with its allies. The United States must get an even closer and better meeting of minds with other allied nations and keep them informed so that all will move when necessary. Because he believed this so much, President Eisenhower said, means should be thought of to meet this consultative process. President Eisenhower said further that American Ambassadors usually do this for the United States, but sometimes it is necessary to talk together. In this connection, he said he wished to encourage United States higher officials—and not only in the State Department—to tell him what is in the minds of other Free World leaders. President Eisenhower [Page 681] said that his idea is to get better oral connections rather than just diplomatic cables.
President Chiang rejoined that he was completely in agreement with what President Eisenhower had said on the foregoing subject.
President Eisenhower then said that the United States is solidly with the Republic of China under the bilateral treaty of defense adding that the United States attitude has not changed one iota. President Eisenhower said further that United States agreements and commitments are exactly the same as before.
In response to the foregoing statement, President Chiang expressed his warm thanks to President Eisenhower. President Eisenhower said that when Khrushchev visited the United States last September he wanted to take up the Communist China question.3 When Khrushchev had done this, President Eisenhower said that he had told him that although he was in the United States as a guest, what he had to say about Communist China was exactly the opposite of what he (President Eisenhower) believed. Therefore, the President had told Khrushchev that he had better drop this subject if he wished to conform to the pattern of a good guest and have a good time.
President Chiang remarked that this was a very good way to handle Khrushchev.
President Eisenhower then said that the Communists liked to get into an argument and then while we told the truth, they used lies to support their case. This was not a very useful process.
President Chiang said he wondered whether it would be profitable for him and President Eisenhower to utilize the opportunity of their meeting to go over the Asian situation. Proceeding, President Chiang said that since the founding of the Soviet Union, its emphasis had always been on Asia. The center of aggression had been and remains in Asia. The Communists had been active elsewhere, but so long as the Asian situation is not solved to their satisfaction, he didn’t think that the Communists would go all out in other areas of the world. Unfortunately, the weakest link of the Free World is in Asia. He added that this fact imposed an extremely heavy responsibility on the United States as the leader of the Free World. With the Communist seizure of Mainland China, President Chiang said the next objective of the Communists is Japan. He said that it is a Communist purpose to prevent Japan from taking the side of the Free World and he said that is why the Communists are trying so hard to sabotage the United States-Japanese treaty.
President Eisenhower stated that President Chiang was right in his statement.[Page 682]
President Chiang then expressed the view that the United States should try to maintain its position in Japan.
President Eisenhower asked whether President Chiang meant military bases. In reply President Chiang said that he meant both tangible and intangible things. President Eisenhower said that of the two, intangible things were most important, adding that the presence of military formations and bases of one country in other countries sometimes created great difficulties.
President Chiang said that if the Free World should let go or relax in Japan, that country might go under. He said that the repercussions would be very serious, not only for the Pacific countries but for other parts of the world. He said that this basic consideration compelled the Soviet Russians and Chinese Communists to go all out to wreck the Japanese-United States treaty. President Chiang then expressed the hope that President Eisenhower would not feel upset because the Kishi Government had postponed President Eisenhower’s visit to Japan.4
President Eisenhower responded that the postponement was tantamount to a Red victory but said he would use this to make the American people more alert to the threat.
President Chiang stressed the need for a continued effort to keep Japan from failing under Communist control. President Chiang went on to say that the Chinese Communists are at the bottom of virtually all troubles in Asia. Therefore, ways and means need be devised to cope with them—not by military means from outside but by stirring up popular uprisings. President Chiang said that that would be the best way to insure the downfall of the Communists and bring about stability.
President Eisenhower said that he could agree with President Chiang’s idea, but it would be necessary to take care not to cause a debacle. He mentioned Hungary as an example to be avoided.
President Eisenhower said that Japan is a very crowded country with a large population. He said that Japan had to trade to live. He said that he had done his best to promote Japanese trade with the United States and that the Republic of China had also done so. He added that all free countries must trade with Japan to keep it from falling under the domination of Communist China. President Eisenhower said he was prepared to do anything he could to keep Japan in the Free World camp. He added that he was not critical of Japan and its people because of what had happened the past few days. He was only critical of Communist penetration. President Eisenhower said that he had urged upon Prime Minister Macmillan, Chancellor Adenauer and President De Gaulle the [Page 683] need of maximizing trade with Japan in order to keep it a part of the Free World.
At this point in the conversation Madame Chiang said that it appeared advisable to proceed to the speakers’ platform because the people for the rally were all gathered and the weather was threatening.5 Accordingly, the conversation stopped at this point.
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International Trips and Meetings Series. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Drumright and approved in the White House on June 20. The conversation was held in President Chiang’s office. President Eisenhower visited the Republic of China June 18–19 during a trip in which he also visited the Philippines and Korea. For text of a joint communiqué issued by Eisenhower and Chiang on June 19, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1960, pp. 660–661.↩
- Signed at Ulan Bator on May 31, 1960; for text, see Peking Review, June 7, 1960, p. 10.↩
- Soviet Defense Minister Marshal Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky.↩
- See Document 301.↩
- The President had been scheduled to visit Japan after his visit to the Republic of China, but following disturbances in Japan, the White House announced on June 16 that the visit had been postponed at Japanese request.↩
- For text of President Eisenhower’s address at the rally, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960–61, pp. 504–507.↩