5-527a Meeting with Chou En-lai and John Leighton Stuart

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Subject: China

Meeting with Chou En-lai and John Leighton Stuart

August 10, 10:40 A.M. Nanking, China

CHOU restated the three procedures for settling the disputes that he had given to Stuart and Marshall the previous week (i.e., immediate national truce, government reorganization, or barring these, peacemeal truces to contain the fighting). He then proceded “to enumerate the facts in support” of his assertion the previous day that “the Government has no intention to settle the disputes” but merely proposed terms they knew in advance were unacceptable to the Communists. “What the Kuomintang most desires is that we would pursue the way to civil war to try to overthrow the government. Of course we would never pursue that course.”

Taking up the Anping incident, Chou denied that the Communists sought to delay or preclude an investigation. But “in order to assure peace, the Marine Corps should be made just as completely neutral as the Executive Headquarters”—which Chou implied had not heretofore been the case. Moreover, it would be “most unfortunate” if the United States ended its mediation effort, which Nationalist sources appeared to be suggesting.

Ambassador Stuart urged Chou to consider his and Marshall’s joint recommendation that the Communists agree to make specific withdrawals in North China and Manchuria. The Americans would then urge the Chinese government to accept changes that would in effect establish a reorganized government that included Communists, which then would take up local administration and other matters. Finally, he and Marshall would urge the U.S. government to assist the new government in every possible way.

Chou indicated that certain military changes might be possible, but the government’s demand that the Communists turn over tens of millions of people to it was unreasonable. He proposed that military issues not settled prior to June 29 be settled now, and the local administration problems be referred to a political subcommittee for an overall discussion. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 1493-1502.)


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