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Meeting with Chiang Kai-shek
August 27, 1946, Noon Kuling, China
THE Generalissimo agreed to nominate government representatives to Dr. Stuart’s Five-Man Committee on political issues. He also asserted that a cease-fire order was not necessary because the January 10 agreement provided for a cessation of hostilities. “All that was necessary was for the Communists to cease fighting.” There had been great changes in military dispositions since January 10, Marshall noted; moreover, the January 10 agreement provided that troops were to remain in the localities they occupied on January 13 pending further agreements. Did that mean the recent government advances in Kiangsu province were to be evacuated, Marshall asked; Chiang gave a lengthy response but not a definite reply.
Did the Generalissimo imply that while the new State Council was in session fighting would continue? Marshall “thought that was quite impractical.” He did, however, offer another scenario that halted the fighting by mutual cease-fire orders (as had been done in Manchuria) after the State Council had been organized and formally opened. On the subject of Manchuria, Marshall wrote, Chiang “referred to my view that once the fighting spread into Jehol, it would result in a general conflagration in Manchuria. He did not agree. He thought that if the Communists felt that they had the power for successful military action in Manchuria they would be fighting there now. I disagreed, and reminded him that this view of his was inconsistent with his statement some months ago that neither the Communists or the Soviets wanted to come out into the open in Manchuria, that they wished to accomplish their purpose or gain control under the cover of the Central Government. He made no reply.” (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 83-86.)
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. 670.