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Editorial Note on Continuing Mediation Efforts in China
Nationalist-Communist fighting escalated in North China during the summer of 1946 and began to spread into Manchuria. Both sides had seemingly concluded that the political issues could only be settled militarily. Neither, however, desired to appear to be the proximate cause of the end of General Marshall’s mediation efforts. For his part, Marshall had no desire to be an umpire in a civil war that he suspected neither side could win and he feared might ultimately involve the United States and the Soviet Union, but he believed that he owed the Chinese people his best efforts to seek a solution as long as any hope for one existed. He believed that there were “liberals” among nonparty leaders—and even within the two contending parties—who might be induced to coalesce to facilitate a reformist coalition government under Chiang Kai-shek’s leadership. Despite rising hostility toward the United States in China and Chinese press attacks on his personal integrity, Marshall resolved to continue his efforts a while longer.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 675.