38. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State0
1934. Beam-Wang Talks. After regular 105th meeting1Wang invited me to adjoining apartment for a cup of coffee and conversation which lasted hour and half with only interpreters each side present.
He began by saying move or gesture by US required for Laos solution. He put particular stress on two points. First, if US withdrew forces and advisers from Laos he was “certain Pathet Lao attacks would stop”. Secondly, he said his side not satisfied with Souvanna Phouma original idea to exclude Boun Oum and Nosavan from Cabinet. Intimated his side willing to have latter two in Cabinet since representation three factions necessary in new government in order “to accord with realities situation”.
Wang led up to above by long expose Laos developments saying Souvanna Phouma “who belonged neither to East nor West” only possible chief of government. Pathet Lao which had started as very small force now a growing national movement which must be given rightful role. ChiComs had 500 mile frontier with Laos and would not tolerate hostile government. ChiComs had never intervened or exerted pressure in Laotian affairs nor had they been accused of doing so at present Geneva conference.
Wang then complained about alleged remarks by Vice President Johnson in Taiwan that Marshal Chen Yi “insignificant figure who spoke only from prepared texts.” Regretted this as personal attack especially when US representative Geneva had complimented Chen Yi on elevated tone of debate. Stressed continued presence Chen Yi at Geneva sign of ChiCom patience and restraint.
Wang then switched to Chiang Kai-shek who he asserted (contrary to recent ChiCom propaganda) had been mistrusted in early days by General Stilwell2 and President Roosevelt. He appealed to US withdraw forces from Taiwan area following which there would be peaceful settlement with Chiang. Mentioned former Kuomintang representatives now generals on Chinese mainland and said Chiang would be eligible for even higher position and be taken care of in honorable fashion. Incidentally [Page 88]said he himself involved in 1936 kidnapping of Chiang whom ChiComs on humanitarian grounds decided not to kill him.
Wang emphasized his personal friendship with General Stilwell when latter military attache 1938 as well as with other Americans. 600 million Chinese could not understand US support Chiang Kai-shek as representing China.
Wang said had he had heard Adlai Stevenson would undertake mission shortly to convince Europeans on need “successor state” solution for Chinese representation next UN whereby GRC and ChiComs would become “successor states” to former China, GRC remaining on SC and ChiCom obtaining GA seat. He scorned this as ridiculous. I replied not competent discuss Laos beyond pointing out we required guarantees for neutral independent Laos through ICC supervision effective cease-fire and assurances country would be able remain independent and neutral. Pathet was not to be regarded as neutral because of character outside support. I said Chiang Kai-shek one of oldest allies whom we would not abandon and whom we recognized as head Government Republic of China. As to Taiwan area, pointed out US not asking ChiComs abandon their case or even expecting them cease political activities but were asking them join in renunciation of force in interest removing risk of hostilities. Recalling Wang asked for US gesture said there was one ChiComs could usefully make on grounds justice and advantage. While US prisoners might seem small issue to Wang it was major question with US public and their release would yield immediate and measurable benefits in improving atmosphere. As to Stevenson, said not informed about such mission and knew of no change in US position.
After his presentation which was obviously prepared Wang said little in reply to my remarks. He said Steeves and Harriman had indicated willingness have another talk with him and with Chen Yi in Geneva and that he looked forward to this. He recalled he had exchanged dinners with Johnson3 in Geneva 1955 at which frank private talks had been held “without obligation either side”.4 He stated that he considered this meeting in Warsaw in similar light.
Comment: Wang's unusual initiative in proposing informal tete-a-tete probably had its origin in desire to exploit his presence on ChiCom delegation Geneva. It seems likely he will follow it up with Steeves and perhaps seek opportunity for further informal exchanges at Geneva. Wang probably expects me to respond with invitation to similar informal get-together, as he referred to value of social exchange between him and [Page 89]Johnson in 1955. This might be useful to us at some appropriate future time, subject to Department's prior clearance.
On ChiRep matter, Wang appeared wish spike any new move our part in UN which would advocate less than SC membership for ChiComs. He did not, however, specifically put his government on record as refusing sit with GRC in UN under any conditions whatsoever.
Wang was at pains to adopt friendly, persuasive, at times almost cajoling mood. He returned constantly to theme that two governments should reconcile views and could do so. He noted his government had often had many critical things to say of US but that we should take this in good grace as it was for our own benefit. He contrasted this with “flattery” of Syngman Rhee,5Chiang Kai-shek and certain Japanese toward US which, he asked, was of what real benefit. Throughout conversation he was relaxed, attempted humorous sallies, and interjected reminiscences.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/6-3061. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Taipei and Geneva.↩
- See Document 37.↩
- Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell, chief of staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the latter's role as Supreme Commander of United Nations forces in the China Theater, 1942-1944.↩
- U. Alexis Johnson, then Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, represented the United States in the ambassadorial talks in Geneva, 1955-1957.↩
- For Johnson's reports of his discussions with Wang over dinner on August 22 and 28, 1995, see Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. III, pp. 58-60 and 70-71.↩
- Former President of the Republic of Korea.↩