There exist areas of potential discord between our policies and those of the United Kingdom and the U. S. S. R. toward China. At present, the British recognize that China is a theater of primary concern to us in the prosecution of the war, and the Russians desire to see established in China a government friendly to them. But the progress of events during the war and in the immediate post-war period may develop discords detrimental to the achievement of victory and peace-detrimental to our objective of a united, progressive China capable of contributing to security and prosperity in the Far East.
An unstable, divided, and reactionary China would make stability and progress in the Far East impossible, and would greatly increase the difficult task, which will be largely ours, of maintaining peace in the western Pacific. A strong, friendly China would do much to lighten our task and to promote mutually beneficial cultural and commercial intercourse.
It is not enough that we merely hope for a strong, friendly China or that we simply pursue the negative policies of the pre-war period. We should assume the leadership in the development of the kind of China that will contribute toward peace in the Pacific in cooperation with the United Kingdom and the U. S. S. R. We may reasonably expect that a strong, united China will cooperate with the United States, the United Kingdom and the U. S. S. R. in dealing with post-war Japan.
There is now Kuomintang China, Communist China, and puppet China. Kuomintang China is being weakened by dissident elements and widespread popular discontent. Communist China is growing in material and popular strength. Puppet China is filled with pockets of Communist guerrilla resistance. A partial settlement between the Kuomintang and the Communists would not eliminate the fundamental struggle for power, one aspect of which will be competition to win over the puppet troops as Japan is driven from China. The only hope of preventing civil war and disunity will lie in the creation of a democratic framework within which the opposing groups can reconcile their differences on a political level.
There are reports that elements among the British out of imperial considerations desire a weak and possibly disunited China in the post-war period. The British are undoubtedly less optimistic–more cynical–than we are regarding the future of China but neither the British Government nor the British people will derive benefit from an unstable China in the post-war period.
Some apprehension has been voiced lest the Russians may utilize the Chinese Communists to establish an independent or autonomous area in north China and Manchuria. There is nothing in Russia’s present attitude as officially disclosed to us to substantiate those fears. But if Russia comes into the war in the Far East, or if an open break between the Kuomintang and the Communists occurs, Russia may be strongly tempted to abandon its policy declared in 1924 of non-interference in China’s internal affairs.
It is our task to bring about British and Russian support of our objective of a united China which will cooperate with them as well as with us. The British attitude is characterized by skepticism and is influenced by a residue of nineteenth century thinking. We hope that the British, given a clear knowledge of our objective and assurance that we mean to work consistently and energetically for that objective, will support our efforts. The Russians primarily want a China friendly to them. We should give Russia definite assurance that we too desire and are working for a united China friendly to all its neighbors.
Our policy toward China is not based on sentiment. It is based on an enlightened national self-interest motivated by considerations of international security and well-being. Unless the United Kingdom and the U. S. S. R. are in substantial agreement with us it is doubtful whether we can accomplish the objective of our policies.
Outline of Short-Range Objectives and Policies of the United States with Respect to China
The principal and immediate objectives of the United States Government are to keep China in the war against Japan and to mobilize China’s full military and economic strength in the vigorous prosecution of the war. To accomplish these objectives the United States Government has undertaken the following measures:
- Direct Military Assistance to China and the Chinese Armed Forces
We are keeping China in the war by supplying war materials to the Chinese armed forces, by maintaining an effective air force in China and an American expeditionary force based in India but operating in northern Burma with the participation of Chinese units, and by flying into China a substantial quantity of munitions and war materials. It is this Government’s policy to encourage and to assist, in so far as transportation of supplies permits, effective participation by Chinese armies in the war against Japan. To this end we are also engaged in training numbers of Chinese troops.
- Promotion of Effective Sino-American Military Cooperation
Sino-American military cooperation has been strengthened since the appointment of General Wedemeyer as commander of the China area and we hope that it will become increasingly effective. There would be advantages from a political and probably from a military point of view if an American officer should be given command of all Chinese and American forces in China.
- Encouragement to the Chinese to Contribute their Maximum Effort in the War
Internal disunity, economic instability (including severe inflation), lack of supplies and general war weariness are greatly impeding China’s war effort. It is this Government’s policy to support and encourage all measures designed to resolve these difficulties. Through the exercise of friendly good offices our Ambassador is endeavoring to promote greater internal unity, including the reconciliation of the fundamental differences between the Chungking Government and the Communist group. The establishment of a Chinese WPB as a result of Mr. Donald Nelson’s mission should result in increased production of certain types of military equipment and in an improvement in the problem of supply. Arrangements are being completed for the shipment of increased quantities of Lend-Lease materials into China, including spare parts for industrial equipment, raw materials, several thousand heavy trucks, a complete oil refining unit and a substantial number of small power plants. Inflation in China, which has been a serious obstacle to maximum war effort, may be partially checked by such measures and by the shipment into China of small quantities of consumer goods.
This Government believes that China can and should make every effort to collaborate with us to the full extent of her capabilities in the vigorous prosecution of the war. We consider that the Generalissimo should continue earnestly to seek to bring about internal unity, that he should take immediate measures adequately to feed and clothe his troops and that he should strengthen national morale and increase popular participation in the war by the introduction of fundamental governmental reforms.
Outline of Long-Range Objectives and Policies of the United States with Respect to China
The American Government’s long-range policy with respect to China is based on the belief that the need for China to be a principal stabilizing factor in the Far East is a fundamental requirement for peace and security in that area. Our policy is accordingly directed toward the following objectives:
- Political:A strong stable and united China with a government representative of the wishes of the Chinese people:
- We seek by every proper means to promote establishment of a broadly representative government which will bring about internal unity, including reconcilement of Kuomintang-Communist differences, and which will effectively discharge its internal and international responsibilities. While favoring no political faction, we continue to support the existing government of China as the central authority recognized by the Chinese people and we look for the establishment within its framework of the unified and effective type of government that is needed.
- Should these expectations fail of achievement and the authority of the existing government disintegrate, we would reexamine our position in the light of the manifested wishes of the Chinese people and regard sympathetically any government or movement which gave promise of achieving unity and of contributing to peace and security in eastern Asia.
- We regard Sino-Soviet cooperation as a sine qua nonof peace and security in the Far East and seek to aid in removing the existing mistrust between China and the Soviet Union and in bringing about close and friendly relations between them. We would interpose no objection to arrangements voluntarily made by China and the Soviet Union to facilitate the passage of Soviet trade through Manchuria, including the possible designation by the Chinese Government of a free port.
- We consider cooperation between China and Great Britain to be an essential part of United Nations’ solidarity and necessary for the development of China as a stabilizing factor in the Far East. We would welcome the restoration by Great Britain of Hong Kong to China and we are prepared in that event to urge upon China the desirability of preserving its status as a free port. Should other territorial problems arise between the two powers, we would hope to see them settled by friendly negotiation.
- We favor the establishment by China of close and friendly relations with Korea, Burma, Thailand, Indochina and other neighboring areas. We do not favor Chinese domination or political control over such areas.
- We believe that China’s territorial integrity should be respected, including her claim to sovereign rights over such outlying territories as Tibet and Outer Mongolia. We would not oppose, however, any agreements respecting those territories reached by process of amicable negotiation between China and other interested governments. We hope that the Chinese Government will meet the aspirations of the native peoples of such territories for local autonomy.
- In line with the policy enunciated at Moscow and the pattern outlined at Dumbarton Oaks, we offer and seek full collaboration with China as an equal among the major sovereign powers entitled and needed to share primary responsibility in the organization and maintenance of world peace and security.
- Economic:The development of an integrated and well-balanced Chinese economy and a fuller flow of trade between China and other countries. Toward these objectives we intend to:
- Continue to give to China all practicable economic and financial assistance which she may request within the framework of our traditional principles of equality of opportunity and respect for national sovereignty and the liberal trade policies to which this Government is endeavoring to secure general adherence.
- Negotiate with China a comprehensive treaty relating to commerce and navigation on the basis of unconditional most-favored nation treatment and looking toward the elimination of all forms of discriminatory treatment.
- Give practicable assistance to China in connection with her efforts to plan an integrated and well-balanced economy, with particular reference to agriculture, transportation, communication and industry. Such assistance would be extended at China’s request.
- Make available such technical assistance as may be desired by China, including the training of Chinese technicians in the United States.
- Provide such financial assistance as may be appropriate in the light of conditions obtaining in China, largely through private financing and investment.
- Promote American trade with China by all practicable means to the mutual benefit and advantage of China and the United States.
In extending such forms of support, we propose to take careful cognizance of the commercial policies of the Chinese Government and of actual conditions affecting American trade with and in China.
- Cultural:Cultural and scientific cooperation with China as a basis for common understanding and progress:
- We consider most essential closer association between China and other United Nations in cultural and scientific fields. Toward that end we are undertaking in various ways to promote between the Chinese and American peoples a better appreciation of each other’s thought and culture and to make available to China scientific knowledge and assistance which she needs for her development and contribution to international progress.