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Editorial Summary of Meetings with John Leighton Stuart and Tung Pi-wu and Wang Ping-nan
September 28-29, 1946 Nanking, China
John Leighton Stuart, September 28, 10:00 A.M.
Dr. Stuart reported on his meeting the previous evening with the Generalissimo. Marshall mentioned that the Marshall-Stuart letter of September 26 to Chou En-lai had been a “face-saving device for Chou,” who could now be seen as participating in the negotiations because of special representations by the American mediators.
At his own meeting with Chiang Kai-shek the previous morning, Marshall noted, he had told the Generalissimo that he was not concerned about Chou’s threat to publish the minutes of his meetings with Marshall—this was merely part of the Communists’ propaganda efforts. Marshall then gave Chiang a public statement he had drafted for the Generalissimo’s signature stating “the conditions under which the Government is prepared to act to secure an immediate cessation of hostilities” (see Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 238-39) and expressing “an attitude of tolerance.” Stuart said that Chiang later told him that he generally liked Marshall’s draft. Marshall thought that Chiang should issue the statement immediately. (Ibid., pp. 239-41.)
Tung Pi-wu and Wang Ping-nan, September 29, 10:00 A.M.
The members of the Communist delegation in Nanking had come to ask Marshall about the government’s attitude on a cessation of hostilities and negotiations. Marshall, who had not previously met Tung Pi-wu, described the history of his mediation role and the techniques he used to establish the exact meaning of each side’s statements and proposals. He also explained the problems he had had with each side’s military errors, their perceptions of the other side and of his role, the reasons he and Stuart had proposed the Five-Man Committee, and the effects on the negotiations of each side’s recent “tornado” of “notoriously inaccurate” propaganda. As an example of the “mess of misinformation” that encouraged mistrust, Marshall cited the Communists’ statements regarding the warlike intent of the August surplus property agreement between the U.S. and China. He assured them that his efforts to facilitate a settlement had been honest and that if the Communists had lost confidence in him they should say so and he would withdraw from China immediately.
Tung and Wang defended the Communist party against some of Marshall’s charges and explained again the party’s position regarding the initiation of the Five-Man Committee and the reconvening of the Committee of Three. Marshall reiterated his belief that holding Committee of Three meetings without sufficient preparation was a receipe for failure and the end of the mediation. (Ibid., pp. 243-56.)