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Editorial Summary of a Meeting with Chang Chih-chung
January 31, 1946, 2:00 P.M. Chungking, China
General Chang explained the changes that Chiang Kai-shek desired in the draft military reorganization plan that Marshall had proposed. Chiang thought that the number of divisions allowed to the Communists should be changed back to twenty from fifteen “in order to avoid embarrassment to General Marshall”; the government could then propose fifteen, and, if the Communists objected, compromise. Marshall said that the Communists had already indicated that they would accept a 6:1 ratio of Nationalist to Communist divisions (e.g., 90:15).
Generalissimo Chiang also objected to having nine government armies in Manchuria, and Marshall and Chang agreed that the American proposal would show five. (A Chinese government “army” was approximately the equivalent of an American corps—i.e., three divisions plus support and certain nondivisional units. A Chinese division was nominally fourteen thousand men.) Marshall also suggested that Chang see the Generalissimo about sending a Chinese force to Japan for occupation duty. The Generalissimo had some suggestions regarding the wording in some of the proposal’s sections. Marshall ended the discussion by pointing out the difference between the Western and Eastern civil-military traditions and urged the Chinese government “to accept the Western ideas in order to develop a nationalized, non-political armed force.” (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 201-2.)
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), pp. 434-435.