365. Letter From President Chiang to President Eisenhower 0

Dear Mr. President: Since you assumed in 1952 the leadership of the free world in its struggle against Communism and slavery, the Republic of China has benefited much from your country in way of moral support and material aid. The spirit of utmost cooperation as demonstrated by the signing of the Sino-American defense treaty has soared to a height unprecedented in relations between our two countries during the past half a century. Now as your term of office is about to expire, I wish to express to you, on behalf of the Chinese people as a whole, civilians and military alike, our profound admiration as well as our deep gratitude.

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During the past eight years, your country has helped us in numerous ways. Among the most concrete, most remarkable and also most memorable accomplishments has been the economic assistance which has enabled us to build the East-West cross-island highway on Taiwan in a record time, and also to undertake the construction of the Ta-chien Dam, which, when completed, will be the second highest dam in the world. It is this American economic aid which has encouraged us in our own efforts to seek further economic development and improvement of the people’s standard of living.

During the same period, your country has continuously supplied our army, air force and navy with new equipment with a view to strengthening our defense capabilities. Your country’s prompt logistic aid at the time of the Chinese Communists’ ferocious and prolonged bombardment of the Kinmen complex in 1958 not only improved the foundation for the modernization of our armed forces, but also had a great boosting effect on the morale of our military personnel as well as our civilian population. Particularly inestimable has been its impact on the spirit of millions upon millions of enslaved people on the Chinese mainland because it sustains them in their longings for democracy and freedom.

In this connection, aside from expressing my sincere thanks for your approval of the plan [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] for the purpose of encouraging an anti-Communist and anti-tyranny movement on the mainland, I also hope that your side will continue to work with us to ensure the smooth implementation of the said plan. In particular, I wish you would authorize the delivery to us before you leave office several long-range and large-capacity C–130s or other transport planes with similar capabilities, so that prompt use can be made of them when preparations for the execution of the above-mentioned plan are completed.1

Your leaving office at a time when the International Communists are menacingly vociferous and when the world situation is dangerously uncertain, is causing concern because it will deprive the free world of an experienced helmsman. However, I personally and the Chinese people as a whole will continue to look upon you as a symbol in the free world’s resistance against the onslaught of Communism.

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Once again, I wish to thank you for the great friendship and good wishes which you have all along shown to the Republic of China during the past eight years.

With the Season’s Greetings,

Sincerely yours,

Chiang Kai-shek 2
  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Personal and Confidential. Filed with a memorandum of December 17 from Acting Director of the Executive Secretariat Emory C. Swank to Parsons, which states that the letter was delivered at the White House that day by Ambassador Yeh.
  2. A December 22 memorandum from Herter to the President enclosed a draft reply expressing regret that it was not possible to respond affirmatively to this request and suggesting that a request be submitted through the normal Military Assistance Program channels. (Ibid., Central Files, 793.5–MSP/12–2260) The draft was apparently not approved by the White House; a memorandum of January 4 from Herter to the President enclosed a new draft, stating that the President had authorized the delivery of one C–130B. (Ibid., 793.5–MSP/1–461) The second draft was signed by the President; his reply, dated January 12, 1961, was sent to Taipei in telegram 310 of that date. (Ibid., 793.5–MSP/1–1261)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.