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Editorial Summary of Meetings with Chang Chun and Chou En-lai
January 14, 1946 Chungking, China
Chang Chun, 1:30 P.M.
General Chang reported on the Communists’ continued fighting and a consequent exchange of accusatory messages with Chou En-lai. Marshall said that he would pass Chang’s information to Executive Headquarters and direct them to send truce teams to investigate. Marshall then signed two agreements: (1) instructions to Executive Headquarters to dispatch representatives to Jehol and Chahar to report on conditions there; (2) recommendations to Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung that a Military Sub-Committee of the Committee of Three be convened immediately in order to develop a plan for reorganizing China’s armed forces. These documents were immediately taken to Chou En-lai for his signature, returned to Marshall’s house for Chang’s signature, and dispatched. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 345-47.)
Chou En-lai, 8:30 P.M.
As Chang had done earlier, Chou opened the meeting with a series of charges of truce violations by the opposition. Marshall said that he would inform Executive Headquarters and take the matters up with government representatives. Marshall told Chou that Chiang Kai-shek had assured him that hostilities would cease and the government would be embarrassed if Nationalist troops did not obey the cease-fire order. Marshall hoped that reports of heavy fighting were exaggerated, but he would “use his every influence to insure that actions in the field are in conformance with the agreements.” The reason he had insisted that Executive Headquarters be established as rapidly as possible with sufficient manpower, Marshall said, was so it could smooth over low-level difficulties that were bound to appear.
The Communist party would not interpret the taking of Chihfeng by Nationalist troops as a low-level action, Chou said, and he suggested that Executive Headquarters either send representatives to Chihfeng and Chengteh or observe the actions from the air and drop cease-fire leaflets. After the meeting, Marshall reported Chou’s allegations and suggestion to Byroade in Peiping (see the following document, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-326 [5: 421-22]) and in a memorandum to General Shang Chen, Chiang Kai-shek’s personal chief of staff. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 347-49.)
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. 421.