31. An Illusion of Omnipotence

As Japan went through the final throes of its defeat and surrender, the Chinese Communists hardened their position. Hope faded that the Americans would force the Nationalists into a coalition government with them. Rather, anger and frustration arose with Americans for favoring Chiang Kai-shek.

Indications of hardening came during the Communists' seventh party congress at Yan'an April-June, 1945. Here the Communist movement recognized Mao Zedong as its dominant leader and elevated his thought to be the guide for all action.1

Mao laid down the Communist position in a report "On the Coalition Government." Mao said the one-party dictatorship of the Kuomintang was the only obstacle to democratic reform and the embryo of civil war. The KMT ruling clique was preparing to launch an internecine struggle and only waiting until American troops had driven out the Japanese. Mao charged the Nationalists also were hoping the U.S. would send its own troops against the Reds.2

The Reds were especially fearful the U.S. would intervene in north China, where they ruled some 90,000,000 people.3 Possession of north China was imperative to survival of their movement. From north China Communists also could expand into Manchuria while denying the Nationalists access.4

In early May, 1945, Everett F. Drumwright of the State Department Chinese affairs division outlined a counterfear widespread in official Washington: Soviet entry into the war might lead to establishment in Manchuria of a regime friendly to Russia and possibly operated by the Chinese Communists.5

Behind apprehension about a China divided lay a far greater anxiety that the United States and the Soviet Union were on the verge of a cataclysmic confrontation. Already American leaders like Averell Harriman and Joseph C. Grew were talking about a Soviet conspiracy to expand Communism throughout the world. Soviet intransigence in eastern Europe was apparently confirming evidence of this intrigue.

Congressman Walter H. Judd's March 15, 1945, speech marked the first major effort to develop an American policy to support Chiang Kai-shek and oppose the Communists, no matter what. Judd warned the U.S. not to "sell out Chiang or China." The Chinese Communists, he charged, were connected closely with the Soviet Union, though he offered no proof.6 Americans who believed they detected Communist machinations were dividing the world into two irreconcilable camps, East and West, Red and non-Red. They were defining a Mithraic-Manichean conflict between the good forces of light (the West) and the evil forces of darkness (the Communists).

Judd held that the United States should back Chiang Kai-shek because he opposed Communists, was Christian and professed belief in democracy. The Communists in Judd's view were not patriots but conspirators bent on taking over China and perhaps the world.

Because Chiang promised ultimate democracy, his American advocates chose to ignore the fact that he had refused actually to implement democratic government and doggedly maintained a clique-ridden regime serving a privileged few. On the other hand there was justifiable suspicion that the Reds were only giving lip-service to democracy in order to secure power themselves and then impose their world view on the Chinese people. The Reds were no more interested in American representative democracy than the Nationalists. Lost in this controversy was the reality that an American-style political process had no hope of developing. The Chinese had virtually no experience in representative government or party politics but a long history of authoritarian rule stretching back to the Chinese dynasties before the time of Christ.

The question facing China was not democracy, but which of the two contending parties most accurately represented the wishes and needs of the people. The Communists had proved that their interpretation of Chinese needs enjoyed far more popular support than the Nationalists' version. This was because the Reds promised the exploited farmers and workers in China, who represented 95 per cent of the population, a fairer shake than the Nationalists. The Reds promised to divide the nation's farmland equitably and provide better working conditions for the industrial proletariat, a group which had been exploited by industrialists ever since factories had come to China. The Nationalists, though advocating ultimate improvements, continued to uphold landlords and industrialists and to extract a tremendously disproportionate share of taxes from the poor. Neither Reds nor Nationalists, despite pious cant directed at the Americans, offered democracy. But the Reds pledged actual relief from economic oppression, while the Nationalists promised only vague future improvements which never came.

The principal concern in the U.S. in 1945 was whether a worldwide Communist conspiracy did exist and whether it was being run by the Kremlin in furtherance of Soviet imperialistic interests. If there was a plot and if all Communist parties everywhere were tools of the Kremlin, then any Red government would be a Soviet satellite. However, there was virtually no acceptance among the American advocates of Chiang Kai-shek that the Chinese Communists might be independent of Moscow and might be pursuing the same national interests as the KMT.

* * * * * * * * * *

The actual Communist break with the United States came on June 6, 1945, when agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested John Service as part of a bizarre side event known as the Amerasia case. Amerasia was a small fortnightly magazine favorable to the Chinese Reds. In January, 1945, it ran an article on Thailand similar to a classified OSS report. The article resulted in four secret OSS raids on the magazine's offices in New York City beginning on March 11. The raids turned up many government documents that should not have been there. The FBI also began an investigation of the editor, Philip Jaffe, and some of his associates, including, Andrew Roth, a lieutenant in naval intelligence.7

John Service had arrived back in the U.S. on April 12 and met Jaffe through Lieutenant Roth. Jaffe wanted to discuss what was happening in China and Service lent Jaffe personal copies of several reports he'd filed from China. On June 6 the FBI arrested Service, Jaffe, Roth, Emmanuel S. Larsen, a low-level State Department functionary and two writers on counts of espionage.

The Yan'an radio, seeing only the surface aspects of the event, charged that the arrests had occurred because the six suspects were "friends of China bitterly opposed to the policy of supporting Chinese reactionaries," meaning the Nationalists. To the Reds, Service's arrest symbolized a turn by the United States toward full support of Chiang. This turn in fact was occurring but Service's arrest had nothing to do with it. By July Communist verbal attacks on Chiang, "American imperialists" and Ambassador Hurley had become vitriolic.8

A federal grand jury indicted Jaffe, Roth and Larsen early in August. It let off the two writers and by a unanimous vote refused to indict Service, who the jury thought was guilty of nothing worse than indiscretion. Jaffe pleaded guilty and Larsen nolo contendere. Both received modest fines and the government eventually dropped its case against Roth. These events in theory ended the Amerasia case but opponents of the American China policy later resurrected the issue. In September, the State Department sent Service to Tokyo as the executive to George Atcheson in the diplomatic section of General MacArthur's new headquarters. It was a strong vote of confidence.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Japanese surrender began immediately after President Truman sent General MacArthur General Order No. 1 on August 15, 1945, which had been agreed to by the Allies, including Russia. It designated the Russians to take the capitulation of Japanese forces in Manchuria and down to the 38th parallel in Korea but for the Nationalists only (and not the Chinese Communists) to take submissions in China and Taiwan as well as in French Indochina north of the 16th parallel.9

The French didn't like the idea of Chinese troops moving into northern Indochina but they couldn't do much about it. However, the British insisted on handling the surrender at Hong Kong, though they allowed Chinese representatives to be present at the ceremony.10

The far greater problem was within China, where Communist troops immediately began to move forward along various fronts, especially in north China, although General Wedemeyer, on orders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set up an airlift to carry Nationalist troops to key points in Japanese-occupied regions, including north China.11

Directly behind the KMT troops an avaricious horde of Nationalist official carpetbaggers descended upon the formerly occupied parts of China and grabbed enemy property. Greedy officials gave people of the eastern cities new reasons for alienation from the Nationalist regime.12

The Communists didn't accept being excluded from taking Japanese surrenders. On August 12 Zhu De, Red commander, ordered Red troops to demand the yielding of Japanese forces in areas near them. Ambassador Hurley called Zhu's order an open defiance of the Nationalist government, resulting in a fierce response by Zhu that the U.S. should halt lend-lease to the Nationalists and not aid them in launching a civil war against the Reds.13

The United States, in fact, had decided to come out in full support of Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists, despite some contradictory verbal backing and filling. It came in a decision about continued military aid to Chiang. Until this moment American aid to China had been predicated on its use to defeat the Japanese enemy. Now the U.S. resolved to sustain the Nationalists at the expense of the Communists.

Soviet intransigence and new fears of Russian imperialist ambitions had aroused the specter of subversive Communist parties and cells everywhere. The Red scare transformed the Chinese Communists, more or less without a trial, into agents of the Kremlin. A new and unreasoning fixation dominated American thinking upon the defeat of Japan: protecting China against a Soviet takeover through a conniving Communist party.

The U.S. resolve to support of the KMT against the Reds took place on September 13 with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson (himself about to retire), Navy Secretary James Forrestal and Dean Acheson, who had recently succeeded Joseph C. Grew upon his retirement as undersecretary of state. They decided the U.S. should give the Nationalists military and other assistance to complete creation of an army of thirty-nine modern divisions. Truman approved the next day. The U.S. leaders piously claimed the "intention," however, was not to furnish military equipment "for use in fratricidal war or for the support by force of undemocratic administration."

This was a most dishonest formal position, for only half the arms and equipment for thirty-nine divisions had been delivered by war's end. The remainder had to come afterward when the only enemy was an internal opponent of the KMT and the only possible use for the U.S. arms was in a "fratricidal war."14

This commitment did not, however, mark abandonment of the American aspiration to bring together Reds and Nationalists into a coalition government to avoid civil war. There appeared to be a possible breakthrough when Ambassador Hurley found that Mao Zedong was willing to talk directly with Chiang Kai-shek. The Sino-Soviet treaty, made public August 24, had demonstrated Soviet support of the KMT and stunned the Communist leadership.15 Also Mao was aware that continued American aid to Chiang was likely. Both factors made Red prospects in a civil war problematical.16 On August 27 Hurley flew to Yan'an to fetch Mao and Zhou Enlai back to Chongqing. The Communist leaders, fearful of their safety, got Hurley's personal guarantee. But any hope of reconciliation with Chiang had passed. With the Japanese menace gone and an American promise of arms in his pocket, Chiang was more intransigent than ever.17

Chiang did agree to call a People's Consultation Council made up of all parties and opinion sections but he was vague as to what powers it would have.18 He also agreed to call off, until consulting with the council, the National Assembly planned for November 12, which the Reds opposed as representing only the KMT.19 The Red-Nationalist talks dragged on inconclusively for two months with no result.20

The Reds occupied a number of Japanese-held areas in north China and began a race to get into Manchuria ahead of the Nationalists.21 Manchuria was extremely important to the Red Chinese because of its resources. They found to their dismay that the Russians were dismantling factories and seizing other economic goods and sending the booty back to the Soviet Union. The Russians did allow the Chinese Communists to take some surrendered Japanese weapons and other military supplies, however.22 The U.S. Navy attempted to land Kuomintang forces in October at Dairen but the Russians raised technical objections and the Nationalists finally went ashore at Qinhuangdao, just south of the Great Wall.23

The Joint Chiefs of Staff quickly dispatched the Third Amphibious Corps of marines (60,000 men) to secure key ports in north China and to assist the Nationalists in carrying out the Japanese capitulation. One division landed at Tanggu and occupied nearby Tianjin and a regiment moved on to Beiping. Small marine detachments also guarded the railway between Tanggu and Qinhuangdao but the U.S. command relied upon 10,000 Japanese troops and former puppet forces to protect the rail line. Marines also landed a division at Qingdao on the south side of the Shandong peninsula. The marines held these points in trust for the central government while excluding the Communists.24

The first American-Chinese Communist confrontation occurred at Chefoo (Yantai) on the north Shandong shore where the marines planned to land a battalion on October 7. Zhu De informed marine headquarters (through the Dixie mission, still at Yan'an25) that Reds already in Chefoo had disarmed Japanese troops and an American landing "would lead both the people of China and abroad to suspect American interference in Chinese internal politics." The navy withdrew without attempting to land the marines but defiantly kept five cruisers in Chefoo harbor.26

The challenge at Chefoo demonstrated Communist anger with the Americans for taking the side of the Kuomintang.27 In fact Walter S. Robertson, chargé at the Chongqing embassy, boasted about U.S. favoritism on October 14. He reported that presence within Beiping of several thousand U.S. troops had withheld the city from the Reds. Robertson reported that American assistance "makes the Communist position difficult and makes it impossible for them to take over areas which they want." Robertson said the American action was profoundly increasing Communist ill feeling but "Chinese Communists are no match for central-government troops acting with American assistance."28

The confrontational presence of American forces in north China brought a small flurry of opposition in the U.S., beginning with Congressmen Hugh De Lacy and Mike Mansfield.29 But in the emerging consensus in Washington the few dissident voices made small impact.

Meanwhile Nationalist forces evicted the weaker Communist units from a large part of eastern and southern China. But Red forces were successful in disrupting most movements by rail of KMT supplies into north China. The Reds offered to stop attacking the rail lines if Chiang Kai-shek would halt movement of KMT troops into north China but Chiang would not do so.30

Chiang now called upon General Wedemeyer to transport two KMT armies by ship to Tanggu. Wedemeyer refused because he said Chiang had plenty of forces (five armies) in north China to accept surrender of the Japanese there. Chiang's real reason for wanting the additional forces was to contest with "dissident elements" (Reds), Wedemeyer reported, and this was "not within the scope of our mission," since he had received orders on August 10 from the Joint Chiefs to avoid taking part in "fratricidal war."31

Wedemeyer's decision brought on a conference in Washington on November 6, 1945. Decisions as this meeting generated the policy the United States was to follow in coming years. The conference involved Secretary of State Byrnes; the new secretary of war, Robert P. Patterson; the assistant secretary of war, John J. McCloy, and the navy secretary, James V. Forrestal.32

McCloy emerged as the most vocal advocate of an aggressive policy in China. Wherever the American flag flew was evidence of American support, McCloy asserted, and the American presence "greatly strengthens Chiang's prestige." McCloy raised the specter of the Russians as the excuse for American intervention. He told the secretaries that the Russians might say there was chaos and "therefore they cannot withdraw from Manchuria." McCloy's firm stand weakened Byrnes's doubts. The U.S., he rationalized, "would seem to be involved only to the extent of furnishing transportation." McCloy agreed and said U.S. help in moving Chiang's forces to north China would be taken "as evidence throughout the Far East of our continued support for Chiang."

By November 16 the mood in Washington had shifted so firmly in the direction of supporting Chiang that Everett F. Drumwright of State's Chinese affairs division had come to the conclusion that the United States should assist Chiang in recovering all lost territory, especially Manchuria. U.S. action was necessary to achieve a united China, he asserted, and a united China was essential to American security. Drumwright accepted the emerging orthodoxy in Washington: a Chinese Red state in north China and Manchuria would probably be dominated by the Soviet Union. Drumwright abandoned everything to this thesis: "Other considerations such as democracy in China, questions as to the relative efficiency of the two contending factions, the question of 'fratricidal strife,' et cetera, would thus seem to be of secondary concern and should accordingly be so regarded at this time."33

Four days later Byrnes, Patterson, McCloy and Forrestal met again. The conference marked a sea change in American attitudes. Byrnes seized upon rationalizing American troops in China by saying they were there to help repatriate the Japanese. Forrestal agreed. Secretary of War Patterson, a former federal appeals court judge in New York, conjured up some appropriate legalistic legerdemain to justify the new policy. "Our marines are in fact there to effectuate the repatriation of the Japanese," Patterson said, "and if the incidental effect of their presence is to support the government of Chiang Kai-shek so much the better." Anyway, he saw no peril. "The 60,000 marines who are there could walk from one end of China to the other without serious hindrance," Patterson said.34

Thus, in the wake of the victory over the Japanese and the development of the atomic bomb, there arose among some American leaders like Secretary Patterson an illusion of omnipotence. This illusion gave rise to the unfortunate and ultimately disastrous belief that the United States could force unwilling foreigners to behave as Americans dictated, not as they themselves desired.

At this time, Wedemeyer composed a long-winded summary of his position for General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had just succeeded George C. Marshall as the army chief of staff. Wedemeyer was aware of the direction the wind was blowing in Washington and quickly bowed to it. But his prognosis of Chiang's situation was so gloomy and his recommendations so bad that they increased the determination in Washington to intervene directly in support of Chiang.

Wedemeyer believed Chiang alone didn't have enough resources to recover north China and Manchuria concurrently and didn't think Chiang could even recover north China for "possibly years." Chiang was diverting his troops from disarming the Japanese to attacking the Communists. The Generalissimo's policy made it impossible for the marines to avoid being involved in "fratricidal warfare." Wedemeyer asked, therefore, for U.S. forces to be removed from China or his directives changed to justify their remaining. Accepting what was becoming an American doctrine (though no one advanced any proof as to its accuracy), Wedemeyer wrote that a Communist Chinese victory would mean that China would become a Soviet puppet, thus giving Russia control of "the continents of Europe and Asia." Wedemeyer's solution was for the U.S. to support the Kuomintang with arms but not men. His political savvy was not of a high order and his solution to the problem of Manchuria was to establish a trusteeship over it under Britain, Russia, China and the U.S. The U.S. wanted no Russians or even Britons involved in Manchuria and Chinese of every political stripe would fight such a plan to the end.35

Secretaries Patterson and Forrestal refused to accept Wedemeyer's contention that Chiang Kai-shek was unable to secure Manchuria. The war and navy secretaries again endorsed U.S. assistance in disarming and repatriating the 570,000 Japanese in north China. They felt Communist Chinese military strength was exaggerated and the only real problem was getting enough KMT troops into north China to counter the Reds. The U.S., therefore, should help Chiang to transport all necessary troops to north China and Manchuria and perhaps support them there. This would require keeping the marines in place.36

At this critical juncture, Hurley resigned as ambassador, hurling wild charges at supposed enemies left and right. He had returned to Washington in late September but had planned to return. He released a statement to the press on November 27 without giving Byrnes any warning. His statement exhibited a messiah concept that he alone knew the right way and any other ideas represented malicious attempts to obstruct him. He accused members of the foreign service of siding with the Chinese Communists and "the imperialist bloc of nations whose policy it was to keep China divided against itself." He maintained that foreign service officers advised the Reds to decline unification of their army with the KMT "unless the Chinese Communists were given control." The United States now was supporting the imperialistic bloc, he asserted. "At the same time a considerable section of our State Department is endeavoring to support Communism generally as well as specifically in China."37

Atcheson and Service radioed from Tokyo that Hurley's contentions were ridiculous and the best means of countering them was to produce the record.38 Hurley's charges led Congress to hold a full-scale inquiry which concluded with Hurley's charges unsubstantiated, his own position damaged and Secretary Brynes having endorsed the officers' actions and affirmed their loyalty.39

The Truman administration already was well on the way toward adopting a more militant stand against the Communists. Thus Hurley had little to do with the basic change that occurred. However, to have the ambassador to China repudiate his job publicly while citing possible conspiracies required a bold move by President Truman to recoup public confidence.

Truman made a decision the same day. He phoned George Marshall who that morning had driven with his wife, Katherine, to their house at nearby Leesburg, Virginia, on the first day of Marshall's retirement. The day before, only a few weeks short of his sixty-fifth birthday, he had stepped down after six years as army chief of staff. Truman asked Marshall to become his special envoy to China with the rank of ambassador and Marshall accepted.40

Truman's move checkmated Hurley. No one in the United States enjoyed greater prestige than General Marshall; no one was held in higher esteem. Truman had replaced a boastful, vain and self-centered man seeking primarily his own advancement with a self-effacing, restrained and dedicated leader who saw in the performance of duty the highest goal that a person could attain. There could scarcely be two more opposite personalities or more different concepts of public service.

* * * * * * * * * *

Marshall commenced his mission by drawing up a draft statement on U.S. policy. Although this draft went through several revisions, it survived largely intact and became the official United States position.41

In this paper, the U.S. urged a cease-fire between Communists and Nationalists and a national conference of all political elements to end strife and unify the country. Thus the United States government sent Marshall to China to bring about the same sort of coalition government which Patrick Hurley had so signally failed to achieve in a over a year of effort. Although Marshall enjoyed the unqualified support of the Truman administration and far more personal stature than Hurley, his task remained as hopeless as Hurley's. There were two major reasons why: 1) each side was determined to rule China alone and neither wanted a true democratically elected parliament with free political parties, and 2) the United States all along supported Chiang, a fact which the Generalissimo discerned easily and which confirmed him in his intransigence.42

Inherent in discussions among the top American leadership was the acceptance, almost as a matter of course, that the United States had every right to interfere in the political struggle going on in China. The leaders were convinced that, without U.S. assistance, the Russians would take control of Manchuria and dominate north China. Secretary Byrnes stated this explicitly on December 10.43 There was virtually no discussion of the economic and social conditions inside China which had made the Communist movement possible. There was no appraisal of the Communists as a domestic alternative to KMT failures, privilege and corruption. The leaders ignored highly instructive reports on the Communist movement by foreign-service officers in the Dixie mission and U.S. embassy. Rather, American leaders assumed an automatic connection between the Chinese Communists and the Soviet Union and concluded that only support of the KMT could prevent a virtual Soviet takeover of much of China.

Despite this, the original U.S. position was murky and only became clarified after Marshall insisted on making it so. American leaders wanted Nationalists and Reds to get together in a coalition government as a means of defending against the supposed Soviet threat. They also wanted to get the Japanese out of China as soon as possible. Chiang desired only to fight the Chinese Reds and wanted U.S. transportation to double the five armies he had in north China. He was little concerned about evacuating the Japanese.44 U.S. leaders had decided to withhold further shipments of Nationalist troops until Marshall succeeded in getting Chiang to discuss unity with the Reds.45 If Marshall failed, the plan was for the U.S. to withdraw support from the Nationalists and evacuate the Japanese in cooperation with the Chinese Communists.46

This policy didn't sit well with Marshall. On December 11 he predicted disaster if the U.S. abandoned Chiang because he failed to make concessions to the Reds. "There would follow," Marshall said, "the tragic consequences of a divided China and of a probable Russian reassumption of power in Manchuria, the combined effect of this resulting in the defeat or loss of the major purpose of our war in the Pacific." In response, Byrnes and Truman abruptly reversed the policy and elected to support Chiang Kai-shek irrespective of how well he cooperated with the Reds to form a coalition and repatriate the Japanese. This decision by Truman and Byrnes eliminated any pretense of American neutrality.47 Three days later the president specified this condition in a directive deliberately left unwritten. He ruled that, in the event Marshall was unable to secure necessary cooperation by Chiang, the U.S. would still back the Nationalists.48

On December 15, President Truman gave Marshall written instructions, including a public statement of U.S. policy toward China. It called for a cease-fire between Reds and Nationalists, U.S. help to repatriate the Japanese and a national political conference to bring about unification. U.S. troops, it said, were in China to help disarm Japanese forces and send them home. It declared that the Nationalist government "is the proper instrument" to achieve unification but the U.S. would not intervene militarily "to influence the course of any Chinese internal strife." The U.S. recognized that the KMT regime was a "one-party government" and urged its expansion to include other major political elements (without mentioning the Reds by name). It condemned the autonomous Red army as making unity impossible. Truman didn't announce publicly but wrote Marshall secret instructions that the U.S. would continue to supply the KMT government with arms "so it can reestablish control over the liberated areas of China, including Marchuria."49

The statement also contained a curious section designed to justify the direct intervention of the United States. Although calling such action in general "inappropriate," the statement added: "The U.S. government feels, however, that China has a clear responsibility to the other United Nations to eliminate armed conflict within its territory as constituting a threat to world stability and peace."

This viewpoint could justify intervention of American forces in any country any time the U.S. unilaterally decided events within it constituted "a threat to world stability and peace." It was as aggressive as what the United States was accusing the Soviet Union of perpetrating on China. The statement was a flagrant expression of the American illusion of omnipotence, in that the U.S. leaders genuinely believed their views on China were correct and their solutions were in the interests of the Chinese people, if only the Chinese would wake up and acknowledge them. It's obvious, too, that a touch of hubris, or arrogance arising from excessive pride in the correctness of the American world view, had crept in as well.50

General Marshall flew off to China on an American mission to save the Chinese from themselves.

Chapter 32: Marshall, Apostle to the Chinese >>

1. Cambridge, vol. 13, chapter 12, "The Chinese Communist Movement during the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945," by Lyman Van Slyke, p. 716.

2. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 362-5; Schaller, pp. 219-20. "On Coalition Government" was a continuation of "The New Democracy" and called for a coalition government essentially like the "new democratic" government of five years previously. See Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 717-8.

3. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 645.

4. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 363-4, 372.

5. Ibid., p. 381.

6. Ibid., p. 413.

7. Kahn, pp. 161-72; Schaller, pp. 226-7; Buhite, p. 283; FRUS, China, 1945, p. 418.

8. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 433-4.

9. Ibid., pp. 530-1. An excellent short history of the period 1945-49 is Lionel Max Chassin, The Communist Conquest of China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.

10. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 498-514.

11. Ibid., pp. 527-8; 573-4. Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, commander of air forces in China, reported that by November 1 he expected to have moved 140,000 Nationalist troops by air to key areas in the formerly Japanese-occupied parts of China. See above, p. 574.

12. Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 738-40.

13. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 514-7; 519-25.

14. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 735; FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 527-8, 547-9, 550-1, 551-2, 557, 559-62, 583-98, 614-7; FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, 954-5; FRUS, China, 1946, vol. x, p. 823; Buhite, pp. 235-6.

15. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 720; Stuart Schram, Chairman Mao Talks to the People: Talks and Letters: 1956-1971, New York: Pantheon Books, 1974, p. 191.

16. Cambridge, vol. 13, chapter 13, "The KMT-CCP Conflict 1945-1949," by Suzanne Pepper, Universities Service Centre, Hong Kong, p. 721.

17. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 455-62, 463-5.

18. Zhou Enlai and the KMT agreed around September 16, 1945, that the national government would call a political conference of representatives of political parties and non-partisans to discuss national affairs, unity and national reconstruction, democratic government, participation of various parties in the government, convocation of the national assembly, postwar reconversion and rehabilitation, etc. The conference was to be called the Political Consultation (or Consultative) Conference and the group holding it the People's Consultation (or Consultative) Council. See ibid., pp. 464, 775; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 578, 580; FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 1, 3, 10,, 132, 146.

19. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 775.

20. Ibid., pp. 466, 473; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 723-4. Mao returned to Yan'an on October 11. On that date the two sides published a summary of their conversations, which contained a number of agreements, most of which required further agreements and action to be put into effect. The summary is given in FRUS, White Paper, pp. 577-81. Zhou continued negotiations in Chongqing somewhat longer.

21. Schaller, p. 277.

22. FRUS, China 1945, pp. 578-9, 807; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 381, 596-604.

23. Schaller, pp. 277-8; FRUS, China, 1945, p. 798.

24. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 570-1; 577-8, 599, 752-3; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 735.

25. The Dixie mission, renamed Yan'an observer group, finally closed down on April 11, 1946, although the U.S. maintained for some months longer an officer and two enlisted men at Yan'an for liaison with the Communists. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 777-9.

26. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 577, 582. There was also one other case of American confrontation with Chinese Reds. It would have remained an unfortunate individual incident except that afterward American right-wing anti-Communists named one of their organizations after the victim, Captain John M. Birch, who was in charge of an intelligence party along with a KMT officer. The incident occurred August 29, 1945, at the railway station of Xuzhou, about 170 air miles northwest of Nanjing. A Red Chinese unit stopped the intelligence party for questioning. The surviving KMT officer reported that Birch provoked the Communists, calling them "bandits." When the KMT officer warned him to stop, Birch reportedly said: "I want to find out how they intend to treat Americans. I don't mind if they kill me. If they do they will be finished, for America will punish them with atomic bombs." The Reds were convinced the U.S.-KMT intelligence teams were linked to the KMT secret-police chief Dai Li and to Nationalist espionage. The Reds, therefore, executed Birch. Nevertheless, Wedemeyer refused to accept Mao Zedong's apology and warned against further attacks on Americans. See ibid., pp. 542-3; Schaller, pp. 269-70.

27. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 527. Zhou Enlai lodged a formal protest with General Wedemeyer early in November, 1945, saying the announced policy of the United States was nonintervention but at the same time it was U.S. policy to transport KMT troops to the north, police the railroads and go slowly on disarming the Japanese (since the Kuomintang and the Americans were using them to police the rail lines against Red attacks). See ibid., pp. 624-5.

28. Ibid., pp. 579-80.

29. Ibid., pp. 577-8, 580-2.

30. Ibid., pp. 601-2, 613-4, 667-8.

31. Ibid., pp. 603-05.

32. Ibid., pp. 606-07.

33. Ibid., pp. 629-34.

34. Ibid., pp. 646-7.

35. Ibid., pp. 650-60.

36. Ibid., pp. 670-8.

37. Ibid., pp. 722-6.

38. Ibid., pp. 726-7.

39. Buhite, p. 265-81; FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 728-44. For a full study of the histories of the foreign-service officers, see E.J. Kahn, Jr., The China Hands.

40. Pogue, pp. 1, 3; FRUS, China, 1945, p. 726.

41. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 747-51.

42. Ibid., pp. 749-50.

43. Ibid., p. 762.

44. Ibid., pp. 655, 683, 752-3. The United States considered the continued presence of armed Japanese in China to be a destabilizing factor, especially their continued use in a military function to guard key centers and railways. The Chinese Communists wanted to disarm the Japanese themselves so as to acquire Japanese arms and to occupy areas vacated by the Japanese. The Nationalists did not have the ships to repatriate the former enemy soldiers and civilians back to Japan at any speed. It would be necessary for the U.S. to assist. See ibid., pp. 606, 674-5, 682-3.

45. Ibid., p. 699; FRUS, White Paper, p. 607. The U.S., however, was to make prior arrangements for transporting KMT troops to north China but not communicate this information to Chiang Kai-shek.

46. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 759-60, 762-3; Acheson, p. 142.

47. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 767-8; Acheson, p. 143.

48. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 770; Schaller, p. 292.

49. The instructions to Marshall are given in FRUS, White Paper, pp. 605-09. Truman's unpublished letter to Marshall outlining U.S. policy, which generally follows his public statement but makes clear the U.S. commitment to the Nationalists, appears in FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 770-3. This letter also contained instructions that Nationalist troops would not be transported by the U.S. into north China "when their introduction would prejudice the objectives of the military truce and the political negotiations." The purpose was to give Marshall a bargaining tool to force the Nationalists to negotiate a compromise with the Reds. See Acheson, pp. 142-3. Truman, in a separate "last word of encouragement and appreciation" on December 15, 1945, wrote Marshall that "the development of a strong, united and democratic China is essential. The alternatives seem to me clearly to be disunity or prolonged civil war." See FRUS, China, 1945, p. 773. This note shows that Truman's primary goal was a democratic Chinese government. But the U.S. statement of policy toward China specifically asserted that "the United States and the other United Nations have recognized the present national government of the republic of China as the only legal government in China. It is the proper instrument to achieve the objective of a unified China." See FRUS, White Paper, p. 608. Since this locked the U.S. into support of the Nationalist government, it was in the hands of Chiang Kai-shek to grant or deny a democratic government to China. This Chiang had consistently refused to do. By committing the U.S. to an adamantly undemocratic regime while affirming that a democratic government was essential, Truman displayed his contradictory policy.

50. Suzanne Pepper (Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 737) wonders why the Americans ever should have assumed their mediation effort had any chance of success. "That erroneous assumption," she writes, "was part of a more deep-seated belief on the part of many in the United States, growing out of its Second World War role as the chief arbiter of Asia's fortunes, that in one way or another American policy makers had the power and responsibility to determine the political fate of China." See also FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 703-04.