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Editorial Summary of Meetings with Chang Chih-chung and Chou En-lai
February 20-21, 1946 Chungking, China
Chang Chih-chung, February 20, 5:00 P.M.
Marshall told the Nationalist member of the Military Sub-Committee that Chou En-lai had “enthusiastically” received the idea of creating a preintegration elementary training school for Communist troops. Marshall then asked General Chang’s opinions on the timing and manner of military integration, the details regarding the new army group organization, and the upcoming Committee of Three trip to northern China.
Chou En-lai was anxious to have the Committee of Three go to Manchuria, but Marshall was reluctant to go “since he did not want to give the Russians a new opportunity for conjecture and possible propaganda lines that might be injurious” to his mission. At least one truce team ought to be sent to Yinkow in Manchuria, as Chou had suggested; Marshall thought that this indicated that Chou needed Executive Headquarters help in handling some of the local Communists. The demobilization and integration plan should not include having a Communist army in Manchuria, Marshall said. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 262-63.)
Chou En-lai, February 21, 10:00 A.M.
General Chou had returned the previous day from a visit to Yenan, and he announced that Chairman Mao had accepted, in principle, Marshall’s two-stage integration proposal. Mao also indicated “enthusiastic acceptance” of Marshall’s idea of establishing a transitional training school for Communist officers and men. The Communists’ best men would attend. Concerning Manchuria, Chairman Mao had concluded that the Committee of Three should visit, the cease-fire order was applicable there, and army reorganization should also take place there. With regard to Marshall’s planned visit to Washington in March, Mao hoped that Marshall would not go until China’s constitutional reform and army reorganization had become “reasonably stabilized.” Marshall said that he would only be gone four or five weeks in order to handle urgent economic issues regarding China. (Ibid., pp. 263-64.)
Military Sub-Committee, February 21, 4:00 P.M., Generalissimo’s Aide’s Office
Marshall began the discussion with Article V, which dealt with troop integration and deployment. Chou En-lai noted that Marshall’s initial proposal concerning the beginning twelve-month stage included some Communist troops in Manchuria, but his most recent one did not; he asked that the Communists have one of the armies to be formed in the area, and General Chang agreed. The committee then discussed the precise demarcation of the five regions into which China was to be divided for purposes of demobilization and integration and the number of armies and army groups and their Communist-Nationalist composition in each region during the initial phase. Article V was accepted.
Having jumped this hurdle, the committee members agreed to minor modifications to various other articles. On the problem of military and railroad police, Marshall suggested that Chang and Chou settle this between themselves. The American minutes record that “there was a long animated discussion in Chinese at this point not translated,” after which the Chinese representatives announced that they had agreed to have General Chou and Nationalist representatives settle this separately. The meeting ended with Chang and Chou debating the agreement’s title and its implications. (Ibid., pp. 265-77.)
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. 463-464.