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Meeting with Yu Ta-wei
August 10, 1946, 5:15 P.M. Nanking, China
NOTHING definite had been accomplished during that morning’s conference with Chou En-lai, Marshall stated. (See Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 1493-1502.) “The Communists felt, as a result of the Generalissimo’s recent terms, that they were being pressed into a corner because of the additional severity of the terms.” Marshall outlined Chou En-lai’s position on other aspects of the negotiations. General Yu admitted that there had been a general deterioration in the situation, but he blamed this on the divergence between what the Communists said they desired regarding implementation of the January Political Consultative Conference resolutions and their actions.
Marshall replied that the deterioration resulted more from the two sides’ mutual retaliations based only on their own viewpoint and fears. For example, “he felt that the Generalissimo did not hear of the gross misconduct on the part of Military Commanders, but instead only hears of the same sort of conduct on the part of Communist commanders; thus his approach to most of the Military aspects is unrealistic.”
While Chou En-lai was an able, liberal-minded man of high integrity, General Yu stated, he “did not represent the true mentality of the Communist people as a group. General Marshall agreed that he was a liberal and said he believed that if General Chou occupied the key position in the new Coalition government he, because of his liberal ideas, would not necessarily adhere strictly to the Communist platform.” However, Marshall observed, “the Generalissimo did not want Communism in his Government.” But the Kuomintang’s anti-communist tactics would, in the long run, “create conditions favorable for a communistic regime. For instance, a continuation of the present scale of military operations undoubtedly will cause a financial crash, most likely a party dissolution, dissension among party members, and strife and civil war on a large scale. He added that all these factors were fruitful breeding grounds for Communism.” (Ibid., pp. 1505-7.)
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), pp. 650-651.