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Meeting with Chou En-lai
August 3, 1946, 11:00 A.M. Nanking, China
MARSHALL handed Chou a copy of the U.S. report on the Anping incident and discussed Ambassador Stuart’s proposal to Chiang Kai-shek that Stuart head a special committee to reach an agreement for the immediate organization of the State Council. Marshall said he was leaving that day for Kuling to discuss the proposal.
Chou wondered “if the Government is now trying to stall by initiating the political discussions while on the military side a full-fledged civil war is being waged.” He described bombing attacks on Yenan and Wangchiaping, where Chairman Mao Tse-tung lived, and government plans for an offensive toward southern Shantung province. Effecting a truce, not discussing political matters, was the key issue at present, Chou asserted.
Concerning the Anping incident, Chou reiterated Yenan’s claim that Nationalist troops were present with the Marines, who were engaged in a military movement in a Communist liberated area. The episode was particularly regrettable, Marshall said, because the “Government would probably react to the incident in a manner that was not conducive to a cessation of hostilities.” They concluded with a discussion of the situation north of Hankow. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 1443-48.)
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. 645.