32. Marshall, Apostle to the Chinese

Although the principal announced goal of George Marshall's ministry was to convert the Chinese to the true faith of constitutional, multiparty democracy, Marshall never required the Kuomintang to be born-again. He wanted to push Reds and Nationalists into an American-style representative government but this desire was secondary to combating what he and others in Washington saw as the threat of Soviet infiltration.1 His instructions, which he had largely written, carried a commitment to one side and offered the other only a subordinate role.2 If the two sides couldn't agree, the U.S. was still going to support the Nationalists. Marshall, at his first meeting with Chiang Kai-shek, informed the Generalissimo he was in China only as envoy to Chiang and his government.3 It was as if Marshall came to a great ecumenical conference and announced he believed in equal rights for all denominations so long as everyone recognized the Pope as head of the church.4

Chiang Kai-shek quickly recognized the power that the tacit American pledge gave him. Though wishing to appear cooperative, he never offered any substantial concessions to the Communists.5

Marshall apparently did not recognize the impossible position in which American policy had placed him. Shortly after arriving at Shanghai on December 20, Marshall showed General Wedemeyer a copy of the president's directive. Wedemeyer told Marshall "he would never be able to effect a working arrangement between the Communists and Nationalists, since the Nationalists, who still had most of the power, were determined not to relinquish one iota of it, while the Communists for their part were equally determined to seize all power, with the aid of the Soviet Union." General Marshall, Wedemeyer wrote, "reacted angrily and said: 'I am going to accomplish my mission and you are going to help me.'"6

Marshall and other leaders turned their eyes away from evidence of KMT disintegration. John Fairbank, director of the U.S. Information Service in China, reported on January 14, 1946, that Chinese intellectuals had deserted Chiang. "Liberals say they see no hope in his regime: it will continue to seek political control without achieving economic and social reform." Fairbank saw growing anger at the United States among the people because "we have in effect taken sides in the civil conflict." The conflict "is not merely political; it is economic and social and goes to the bottom of Chinese life." China's revolution, he added, "will produce a different political and social structure than ours; we should not look for our own image."7 Washington ignored Fairbank.

More baffling is the inattention official Washington gave to an analysis by a highly respected expert, George F. Kennan, chargé at the Moscow embassy. Although Kennan subscribed to the orthodoxy that the Soviet Union sought predominant influence in China, he raised doubts as to whether the Chinese Communists would be agents of the Kremlin. He pointed out that they had developed their own brand of Marxism, indigenous traditions and "nationalist coloration." The Chinese Communists "have little reason to be grateful to the USSR. They have survived and grown not because of but despite relations with Moscow."8

Top American leaders, however, failed to study the real economic and political conditions in China which might have brought them to the conclusion that American intervention was wrong and that the United States had no interest in choosing one side. If the Nationalists failed, the victors would automatically regard the United States as an enemy.

Here was about to unfold one of the great instances in modern times of what historian Barbara Tuchman calls "the march of folly," a phenomenon in which governments perversely pursue policies contrary to their own interests.9

* * * * * * * * * *

While Marshall was going to China, Secretary of State James Byrnes was in Moscow at a conference of the Big Three foreign ministers. There he had a difficult time explaining to Foreign Minister Molotov and Joseph Stalin the American military presence in north China. Though Byrnes tried to turn the tables by questioning the continued presence of Soviet troops in Manchuria, Molotov pointed out Soviet policy was to support Chiang and Soviet troops were being kept in Manchuria "so that Chiang Kai-shek's forces would have time to get into Mukden [Shenyang] and Changchun [Manchuria's capital]."10 Here was positive evidence that the Soviet Union was backing Chiang against the Chinese Communists but American suspicions of Soviet intentions persisted and no reappraisal of American China policy occurred.

Molotov charged American troops represented intervention in the internal affairs of China and aggravated the political struggle. The responsibility for getting Japanese troops home was with China and should not be assigned to foreign forces. He called for a simultaneous evacuation in mid-January, 1946, of north China by American troops and of Manchuria by Soviet troops. Byrnes replied that the Chinese were unable to disarm the Japanese alone and the marines couldn't leave until the Japanese were returned home.11

Byrnes told Joseph Stalin the U.S. had no desire to interfere in the Chinese internal struggle but did not wish to worsen the situation of the central Nationalist government "which we had agreed to support." Byrnes did not recognize that by supporting one faction over another the U.S. was intervening in Chinese internal affairs.

Stalin thereupon offered some good advice. If the Chinese people, Stalin said, became convinced that Chiang was depending upon foreign troops, Chiang would lose influence. It would be much better for Chiang to rely upon his own forces. Stalin added that Chiang didn't need a lot of troops to disarm the Japanese, who weren't offering resistance. "For example, twenty-five Soviet aviators took the surrender of two Japanese army corps at Mukden."12

Stalin denied aiding the Chinese Communists in Manchuria and agreed to join with the U.S. and Britain in a joint declaration in support of the Nationalist government. Byrnes informed Marshall he believed Stalin intended to live up to his treaty with China.13

At Moscow, the three foreign ministers agreed also to a four-power joint commission (Russia, U.S., Britain, China) to rule all of Korea in preparation for its independence. The Soviet Union, however, undercut the trusteeship by insisting that the commission work only with those Korean political groups supporting trusteeship. Since the vast majority of Koreans wanted immediate independence, only minority Communist and Communist-sympathizer groups supported the commission. The Russians sealed off the border at the 38th parallel and severely restricted traffic into and out of North Korea. This created two Korean states, a situation which was going to cause immense trouble in the future.14

The Moscow conference marked the end of Secretary Brynes's role as the principal player in American foreign policy. As "assistant president" during World War II in charge of the domestic economy, Brynes had enjoyed enormous freedom from President Roosevelt. He attempted to apply this same freedom as secretary of state and made a number of decisions at the Moscow conference without clearing them with President Truman or keeping him informed. Immediately upon his return, Truman told Brynes that he, not Brynes, made U.S. foreign policy. Brynes soon said his health would not allow him to stay but he would remain until a replacement could be named. Truman already had his successor in mind: General Marshall. But he didn't want to withdraw Marshall from China and Brynes stayed on for the present.15

* * * * * * * * * *

General Marshall removed to Chongqing, still the Nationalist capital, where he began talks with Nationalist officials and Zhou Enlai (who'd returned from Yan'an). Marshall also flirted with the Democratic League and other minority parties, although T.V. Soong was scornful of them and told Marshall that only the KMT and the Communists were "worth anything." Marshall hopelessly pursued the ignis fatuus of a third force between Reds and Nationalists throughout his mission. The Democratic League and other splinter groups had proved in the crisis year 1944 that they possessed no powerful leaders, had no effective program and enjoyed support only from China's miniscule middle class.16

In his conference with Zhou Enlai, Marshall said so long as there were two armies there were two Chinas. Thus Marshall immediately went to the issue which consumed Chiang Kai-shek, the Red army, and had nothing to say about fundamental issues dividing Communists and Nationalists.17

The reason there were two armies, Zhou responded, was because "the present government of China is a one-party government." Ever since the late 1920s Chiang Kai-shek and Whampoa military academy graduates and their allies had dominated the KMT through the army and had sought to gun down every unarmed opposition party. In 1927 they had tried to kill all Communists. Until that time, the Chinese Communists had never considered creating their own military force but for nearly two decades since the only reason the Chinese Communists had survived was because they were armed.18

Both sides wanted to show the United States their willingness to compromise. Marshall went into exhausting negotiations with Zhou Enlai and Chiang Kai-shek's agent, Zhang Qun, to work out cease-fire arrangements, completed on January 10. At the same time, the Communists and Nationalists finally gathered in the People's Consultation Council (PCC) to search for a permanent settlement. In the thirty-eight-member council were eight KMT and seven Red representatives, the remainder representing no party, the Democratic League, Youth party and other groups.19

The cease-fire order, endorsed by Chiang and Mao Zedong, called for the immediate halt of hostilities and interference with railways and other lines of communications.20 All troop movements north of the Yangzi river by either side were to cease except for Nationalist occupation of Manchuria, which the Reds acknowledged was necessary to reestablish Chinese sovereignty. To oversee the cease-fire both sides set up an "executive headquarters" in Beiping under Red General Ye Jianying, Nationalist General Zheng Jiemin and the U.S. minister in China, Walter S. Robertson. Brigadier General Henry A. Byroade, Marshall's military assistant, directed the operations section, staffed by Americans, Nationalists and Communists.21

General Byroade set up truce-inspection "field teams" composed of three officers, one American, one Communist and one KMT.22 They went everywhere needed except Manchuria and did a remarkable job of cooling tempers and halting confrontations. By January 25 armed clashes had practically ceased.23 There were, however, two examples of Nationalist intransigence. In Guangdong, the KMT commander attacked small Communist detachments and north of Wuhan Nationalist troops surrounded about 60,000 Red soldiers, making it difficult for them to obtain food.24

At the opening of the PCC, Chiang Kai-shek announced immediate granting of free speech and assembly, free political parties, popular elections and release of political prisoners. But the Nationalists were extremely halting in implementing these grants.25 The final PCC plan called for a forty-member State Council to rule until a new constitution could be enacted. Meantime a PCC commission was to write a new constitution to present to a May 5 meeting of the National Assembly.26

Chiang Kai-shek endorsed the PCC's recommendations but the test was not his facile public approval but the response of the KMT central executive committee (CEC), to meet March 1.27. The CEC contained fierce reactionary forces, especially the ultraright "CC clique" led by two brothers, Chen Lifu and Chen Guofu, and the "Whampoa clique," made up of right-wing military cronies. The Whampoa clique had the support of army commanders, many of whom would lose their jobs if a new government carried out army reform. The CC clique opposed Marshall's mission and all concessions to the Reds.28

Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong were complimentary of General Marshall for his "fair and just attitude" in achieving a cease-fire. The PCC accords showed "the door toward democracy is now pushed open," Zhou said, "regardless of how narrow the opening still is."

Zhou also told Marshall that Mao had instructed him to say that China's democracy should follow the American pattern because "the conditions necessary to the introduction of socialism do not exist." Finally, Zhou fished for a U.S. invitation to Mao Zedong to visit the U.S.29 Marshall, of course, didn't take the bait. The appearance of the chairman of the Chinese Communist party in the United States was not in keeping with American policy. Nevertheless, Zhou's statement was important and probably represented an accurate assessment of Red thinking in early 1946. The Communists saw little hope for a successful military challenge to Chiang. Most probably they hoped for a coalition government in which they could slowly build their strength.

Because of the cease-fire, Chinese and American efforts to demobilize the remaining Japanese soldiers and send them and the Japanese civilians home proceeded rapidly. By February 20 there were only about 120,000 soldiers and 190,000 civilians left in north China and these were being shipped out at a rate of 3,000 a day through Tanggu and 1,500 through Qingdao. The Japanese presence in China soon disappeared.30

However, Marshall was increasingly preoccupied with Manchuria. Since the cease-fire agreement had specifically authorized Nationalist troops to continue moving into the northeast region, the cease-fire executive headquarters in Beiping did not dispatch field teams to Manchuria and at first thought its authority did not extend there.31 Although there was only one brief collision between Red forces (which were mostly ill-organized guerrilla units) and KMT troops in Manchuria, General Marshall wanted to get field teams sent into the region to prevent Red-Nationist conflict. Chiang Kai-shek opposed this on the ostensible and false grounds the Russians would demand representation on such teams.32

Marshall's and Chiang's real concern with Manchuria revolved around Soviet intentions there. In early February, officials with the Soviet army commander in Manchuria, Marshal Rodion Y. Malinovsky, "informally" suggested that Russian withdrawal "could be expedited" if the Chinese would agree to 50 per cent Soviet ownership in virtually every phase of the Manchurian economy. The Russians wanted these shares as "war booty," the theory being that the Japanese had developed Manchurian industry and the Soviet Union was entitled to a share as victor.33

The Russian ploy alarmed Marshall and he radioed Truman "we must clear our hands out here as quickly as possible" in order to avoid Soviet recriminations. This meant closing down the China theater, replacing it with a military advisory group and sending the marines and navy home.34 Truman moved rapidly to set up a group of a thousand American officers and men to assist the Nationalist army, navy and air force.35 Thus, while Marshall's mission was supposedly evenhanded, the United States rendered favored assistance to the KMT in direct opposition to the Communists.

Meantime KMT rightists commenced a series of demonstrations to disrupt approval by the central executive committee of the PCC agreement. On February 10, three-hundred hoodlums interfered with a Democratic League demonstration in Chongqing celebrating the accords and beat up several prominent Chinese liberals.36 On February 23, ten-thousand Chinese students, in an effort staged by the KMT, paraded in Chongqing demanding the return of Manchuria to Chinese control and the immediate departure of Soviet troops. Instead of focusing on the Soviet embassy, as would have been logical, the students destroyed the offices of the Chinese Communist newspaper and the headquarters of the Democratic League. They seriously injured several newspaper employees and also created a disturbance at Communist delegation headquarters.37

Ever since January 23 Marshall had been working with Kuomintang and Communist representatives to consolidate the two armies. On February 25 he signed accords with Zhou Enlai and KMT General Zhang Zhizhong. The agreement called for the Nationalist army to drop from 268 to fifty 14,000-man divisions in a year and a half. The Red army would drop from twenty-three to ten divisions in the same period. The plan set a maximum of five Nationalist armies (fifteen divisions) and one Red army (three divisions) in Manchuria at the end of a year and fourteen KMT divisions and one Red division in eighteen months.38 The proposal had no chance of succeeding unless accompanied by a general political settlement.39

Marshall now decided to return to Washington to talk with Truman and Byrnes and also lobby Congress for some financial incentives to encourage Chiang and the KMT to approve the PCC accords.40 After an inspection trip into north China, during which he flew into Yan'an and finally met Mao Zedong,41 he departed for Washington on March 11. Marshall left Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr. as his representative and, just before flying out, finally talked Chiang into permitting truce teams in Manchuria.42

In Washington, federal agencies had assembled proposals for a loan for China, credits from the Export-Import Bank, cotton credits, resumption of lend-lease (stopped at war's end) to cover equipment and supplies for the Nationalists, arrangements to provide them surplus property left in various parts of Asia and the Pacific and proposals to give American food, clothing, medicine and other goods through the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Need was great all over China but it was especially so in north China where peasants, largely from Communist-run areas, were building levees to divert the Yellow river back to its old bed north of the Shandong peninsula. Chiang Kai-shek had ordered levees blasted open in 1938 to divert the river south of the peninsula in a vain effort to stop Japanese advances.43

The day before Marshall departed, Chiang Kai-shek told Marshall he was convinced the Chinese Communist party was loyal to Russia and intended to infiltrate the national government and reorganize national armies so as "to play the Soviet hand." It was a line that reflected fears of a Soviet conspiracy growing in Washington and encouraged a blind American allegiance to Chiang as representing anti-Communism in China.44

The Reds, already tarred with the Kremlin brush, kept having to insist they were not Soviet agents. Zhou Enlai protested that the Communists had endorsed KMT occupation of Manchuria and had never sought a separate status for the region.45 He told Marshall "the CC clique has attempted to link everything pertaining to Soviet Russia to us" and mentioned the demonstrations against Soviet occupation of Manchuria which had been directed against Chinese Communists, not Russia.46

* * * * * * * * * *

The uneasy truce began to crack up shortly after Marshall returned to the United States. The first evidence came on March 16. The KMT central executive committee endorsed the PCC recommendations but added a requirement that destroyed them, insisting that the National Assembly consider the old reactionary draft constitution, not a more liberal document being prepared by the PCC. This would mean continuation of the existing authoritarian government.47

Chiang Kai-shek himself transformed the crisis into a virtual complete split. On April 1, 1946, he announced there would be no discussion of Manchurian problems until the government had reestablished sovereignty there, implying he intended for Nationalist troops to occupy the entire region, including areas already in possession of Communists. On April 8 he told Miles Vaughn, Far Eastern manager for the United Press news service, the Chinese Communist objective was to Sovietize China and certain Chinese Red actions were possibly controlled by Moscow.48 This evidence of the Generalissimo's obstinacy froze the position of both sides. The PCC steering committee decided to call off the National Assembly on May 5 and Chiang formally postponed it indefinitely.49

While the Nationalists were reestablishing their capital at Nanjing at the beginning of May, 1946, the latent conflicts in Manchuria were building into a crisis. The first hint had already come on March 28 when KMT generals opposed truce teams in the northeast until they had captured Changchun, some 170 air miles northeast of Mukden. They knew this advance was going to bring out Communist defenders and didn't want Nationalist advances slowed by the teams. Although the teams flew into Mukden, KMT opposition immoblized them.50 Zhou Enlai told General Gillem most of the northeast already had been liberated by the Chinese Reds and the Nationalist movement was "for the sole purpose of liquidating Communists."51

Meanwhile, Soviet Marshall Malinovsky announced Soviet troops would essentially be out of Manchuria by the end of April.52 The news brought on a race for Changchun by both Nationalists and Communists.53 The Reds quickly occupied Harbin and other cities in the north and interposed a force along the railway at Siping, about a hundred air miles south of Changchun.54

Marshall returned to China in mid-April, 1946, and brought back his wife, Katherine. They remained only a short time in Chongqing before moving April 30 with the Nationalist capital to Nanjing, where the Marshalls lived in a compound with offices and living quarters for them and members of the staff.55

Marshall returned just as Communist forces entered Changchun and other Red units fought the Nationalists at Siping but withdrew in the face of heavy KMT fire. The Red occupation of Changchun was a flagrant violation of the cease-fire order and made Communist military commanders in Manchuria overconfident and less willing to compromise. The effect was even worse on ultrareactionary groups in the KMT who now could say the Reds never intended to carry out the agreements.56

The Manchurian situation angered General Marshall greatly. He let out his frustration on April 22 at Chongqing to General Yu Dawei, minister of communications and the KMT member of the "committee of three" (including Zhou Enlai and Marshall) overseeing the cease-fire and other Red-KMT agreements.57 He told General Yu that no one offered any solution in Manchuria except a great war "and you cannot support a great war."58

Marshall tried to get the two sides to halt hostilities but Chiang announced that a cease-fire depended upon Red evacuation and KMT occupation of Changchun.59. Zhou Enlai, who knew Chiang Kai-shek from decades of conflict, told Marshall that Chiang would not enter into an agreement if he thought he could capture Changchun in a short time. And if he did seize the city, he would then raise new demands.60 It was a prophetic statement.

Marshall had become alarmed at the dangerous military position the Nationalists were getting into in Manchuria and he knew the Communists were well aware of it.61 Although the Nationalists had infinitely superior arms, they would run into serious strategic peril if they continued to advance along the railway lines, ignoring the Communist forces on either side. By penetrating deeply into the interior they would become dependent upon the railroads, which Red forces could cut, thus leaving Nationalists isolated in a sea of Communist troops. Marshall recommended that Chiang concentrate his troops in southern Manchuria until a political settlement could be worked out but Chiang ignored the advice.62

Zhou Enlai meanwhile increased his pressure on Marshall for a U.S. halt in transporting troops and supplies to the Nationalists in Manchuria. Marshall, in a message to Truman, acknowledged that continuing to move troops "amounts in effect to supporting under the existing circumstances a civil war." Marshall held off on further troop shipments on American vessels, although the U.S. had turned over to the Nationalists a number of Liberty merchant ships and ten LSTs which could be used for the purpose and which constituted at least indirect aid to the Nationalists. However, in regard to continued U.S. supplying of munitions to the KMT forces in Manchuria, Marshall told the president: "It is my conviction that it would be most unfair for our government to leave, as it were, his [Chiang's] troops now in Manchuria completely in the lurch as the Chinese government for some months to come will not possess sufficient transportation to maintain their armies in the north."63 Marshall made an illogical distinction between moving troops and supplying munitions, implying the latter was not assistance in a civil war while the former was. Here General Marshall came face to face with the enormous contradiction American policy in China was creating.64

On May 22 Chiang Kai-shek pulled a trick that should have proved to Marshall and the American leaders that they were dealing with an untrustworthy character. It didn't. Chiang told Marshall that Nationalist troops had been successful at Siping (the Reds facing them had withdrawn) and he feared his generals were proceeding on into Changchun. He told Marshall he agreed that Nationalist occupation of the city would be inadvisable in light of cease-fire negotiations with the Reds. Therefore, he was going to Mukden with Madame Chiang to talk with his generals and "get control of the situation."65

Zhou Enlai recognized that Chiang would try to resolve the Manchurian problem by force and told Marshall he was conveniently absenting himself from Nanjing to avoid negotiations. Marshall, who had supplied his own C-54 aircraft for Chiang to use, was taken aback.66

On May 24 Madame Chiang wrote Marshall that Nationalist troops had entered Changchun the day before, the Red forces having evacuated. In a tone implying this changed everything, she gave the Generalissimo's new conditions: the Communists should not "obstruct or impede" the government forces in "taking over the sovereignty of Manchuria" and not interfere with efforts to repair the railroads. Furthermore, in any future argument between Nationalists and Reds, the American officers in the cease-fire headquarters or on the teams would have final say. It was a move to involve the U.S. in decisions, Chiang having concluded that American military officers were mostly in the Nationalist camp.67

Zhou Enlai called on Chiang to deliver on his promise to resume negotiations once the Nationalists occupied Changchun.68 Chiang Kai-shek responded that he would not order his troops to stop until he got assurances that the Reds would immediately put into effect the army reorganization plan in the northeast. This meant establishing a ratio of five Nationalist soldiers to one Communist soldier, which would give Chiang overwhelming control.69

Chiang knew the Reds would not accept his conditions, proving he'd planned a military solution all along. Marshall realized he had given the Reds the impression he was in on the conspiracy because he had supplied Chiang an airplane. He radioed Chiang: "The continued advances of the government troops in Manchuria in the absence of any action by you to terminate the fighting other than the terms you dictated via Madame Chiang's letter of May 24 are making my services as a possible mediator extremely difficult and may soon make them virtually impossible."70

In fact they already had made Marshall's position impossible and only Marshall's pride kept him from recognizing the truth. It was at this point that the United States should have pulled out of China. For Chiang's action showed that the U.S. was having a baneful effect upon the prospects for peace. The U.S. attempt to bring together two opposing forces with their fundamentally different views of China's future had always been impossible. But when the United States combined this effort as an honest broker with decided partisanship as close advisor and supplier of one side, the American role became pernicious.

Marshall had an excuse to depart China and he turned it down, an indication he still thought he had a chance of getting a settlement. President Truman took advantage of a Far Eastern trip in May, 1946, by Dwight Eisenhower to inform Marshall that Secretary of State Byrnes had "stomach trouble and wanted to retire from office" around July and to inquire whether Marshall would take the job. Marshall said yes but he couldn't leave before September, by which time he hoped to get an agreement. As it turned out, he stayed even longer.71

* * * * * * * * * *

Marshall and Zhou got together on May 30 at Marshall's compound to talk about Chiang's aggression in Manchuria. To Zhou, the news meant war. He said he believed Chiang now would turn down all fundamental agreements and was seeking any pretext to continue fighting.72

Zhou asserted the Reds could not enter into negotiations with Chiang until there was a truce in Manchuria and China proper. The same applied to carrying out the army reorganization plan and to restoring rail communications in north China. How could the Communists permit rail lines to be reopened when the Nationalists would use them to supply forces fighting Red troops? Cutting rail lines was the only way the Communists could counterbalance KMT strength.

Finally, Zhou reiterated his anger at American aid to the Nationalists and told Marshall that without U.S. assistance Chiang would have a difficult time continuing the war in Manchuria. For example, he said American marines were guarding the rail line leading into Manchuria from north China and the Nationalists were using this railroad for war purposes. Marshall responded lamely that there were "entirely logical" reasons for American action but for him the U.S. policy was a fact.73

On June 1 Dr. Luo Longji, a leader of the Democratic League, pleaded with General Marshall for the U.S. not to take sides in the burgeoning civil war. Luo urged Marshall to tell the Nationalists if they continued to refuse a cease-fire the U.S. would stop delivering supplies. Marshall reserved comment, folding himself into his ambassadorial cloak. But it's evident Luo struck a nerve, because Marshall informed Truman four days later that U.S. naval vessels no longer were transporting troops or military supplies. The U.S. halt had little effect, however, because the U.S. Navy had already laid in a three-months supply of munitions, food and other goods for the Nationalist armies in Manchuria.74

Chiang Kai-shek returned to Nanjing on June 3 and met with Marshall the next morning. The Generalissimo at last agreed to a fifteen-day cease-fire for the Communists "to prove their sincerity." Chiang's conditions were for the Reds to halt hostilities in Manchuria, permit resumption of rail and road traffic in north China and begin consolidating the two armies into one.75

The cease-fire gave both sides a chance to catch their breath. But the cleavage was far too great. By this time Nationalist plans for a full-scale offensive were complete and the Communists were aware of them. Marshall didn't want to admit it but his mission had failed and China was on the way to civil war.76

Chapter 33: The Chinese Defeat Marshall >>

1. The State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee on June 1, 1946, finally articulated the thinking which had been going on in Washington. The committee's report, though unofficial, was authoritative and concluded that Soviet policy in the decades ahead would concern itself increasingly with East Asia, particularly Manchuria and China, by encouraging Communist movements. "The technique in all probability will be to control these movements through small groups of nationals who will seek to turn legitimate indigenous liberal programs to Soviet ends, who will infiltrate the government and who will wittingly or unwittingly guide their nation into the Soviet orbit." See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 933-45; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 716-8.

2. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 139-44.

3. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 796.

4. Suzanne Pepper of the Universities Service Centre, Hong Kong, points out (Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 735) that Kuomintang leaders were well aware that the United States would still support them in any showdown with the Communists, no matter how dissatisfied American leaders might be with Chiang's government.

5. FRUS, China, 1945, p. 797.

6. Wedemeyer, p. 363.

7. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 131-2.

8. Ibid., pp. 116-9.

9. Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984, p. 4. "Why," Tuchman asks, "did Chiang Kai-shek refuse to heed any voice of reform or alarm until he woke up to find his country had slid from under him?" And why, one might ask, did the United States so long and so willfully aid and abet him in his folly?

10. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 799, 836-7, 841-4. For a full study of Manchuria, see Steven I. Levine, Anvil of Victory, The Communist Revolution in Manchuria, 1945-1948, New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

11. Ibid., pp. 844-8.

12. Ibid., pp. 848-50.

13. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, p. 18. The joint communiqué is given in FRUS, White Paper, p. 125. See also Great Game, pp. 354-5.

14. Alexander, p. 11.

15. Truman, Decisions, pp. 546-52.

16. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 804-13, 815-24; Pogue, p. 78.

17. FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 800-04.

18. For an analysis of the influence of the military in the KMT in causing the civil war, see Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 749. The Nationalists and Communists agreed to establish the Political Consultation Council during the Mao-Chiang talks in September and October, 1945. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 132-3; FRUS, China, 1945, p. 805.

19. Ibid., pp. 129-30; FRUS, White Paper, p. 136; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 730.

20. On February 9, 1946, KMT General Zhang Zhizhong, Zhou Enlai and General Marshall concluded an agreement on restoration of communications. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 398-425; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 136-7.

21. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 43-116, 119-29, 341-2.

22. Ibid., pp. 353-9, 378-80, 389.

23. Ibid., pp. 397-8.

24. Ibid., pp. 396-7, 430, 431, 516-28; FRUS, White Paper, p. 146.

25. Ibid., p. 138; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 138-9.

26. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 139-44, 149-50; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 139-40, 610-21.

27. Although the Kuomintang central executive committee was theoretically supreme, the CEC effectively abdicated full power to Chiang Kai-shek on January 29, 1939. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, p. 155. Chiang nevertheless found it expedient to cater as best he could to the various cliques and self-interest groups. However, the question must remain as to whether Chiang did not use the CEC to do his dirty work while maintaining a public posture of reasonableness and compromise. Reason for suspicion is that, on every important (nonpublic) occasion when he expressed his views to Marshall, Chiang repeated the same unyielding opposition to concessions to the Communists. As examples see ibid., pp. 528-9, 978.

28. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, p. 154; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 734. The younger Chen brother, Lifu, was best known to the Americans. Born in 1900, he received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in mining engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He served as Nationalist minister of education and from 1928 to 1938 he was occupied with "the identifying and the removing from the Kuomintang Communists or persons suspected of Communist sympathies or connections." Chen Lifu worked with Dai Li, chief of the Gestapo-like Nationalist secret police. Marshall felt his chief antagonist was Chen Lifu. See also Pogue, pp. 82-83, 120-1.

29. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 151-2.

30. Ibid., pp. 435-7, 438.

31. Ibid., pp. 371-2.

32. Ibid., pp. 428, 430-1.

33. Ibid., pp. 426-7, 443; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 123-4; Great Game, pp. 356-7.

34. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 428-9, 434-5. Marshall informed Truman that General Wedemeyer "on my urging is actually but unofficially organizing" a military advisory group in Nanjing.

35. President Truman authorized a joint army and navy U.S. military advisory group in China on February 20, 1946. Until August, 1946, American air corps instructors advised Nationalist fighter groups actively engaged in combating Chinese Communists. At this time, General Marshall ordered the Americans withdrawn from active participation. The United States also gave the Nationalists enormous quantities of military aid and assistance. Among the most important were 781 million dollars worth of lend-lease assistance after the Japanese surrender, including sufficient materiel to complete the remaining 50 per cent of the wartime program to equip thirty-nine Nationalist divisions; 101 million dollars worth of surplus military equipment (appraised at a greatly depreciated value); over three-hundred military aircraft; large quantities of ammunition, and 125 million dollars under the China aid act of 1948. See FRUS, White Paper, pp. 338-59, 940-80; FRUS, China, 1946, vol. x, pp. 810-48; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 859-71.

36. Ibid., pp. 154-5.

37. Ibid., pp. 439-40, 442, 448-53.

38. The record of the negotiations to consolidate the Chinese armies appears in ibid., pp. 177-341. The February 25, 1946, accord appears on pp. 291-300. The record of Nationalist and Red strength in early March, 1946, appears on pp. 181-2. See also FRUS, White Paper, pp. 140-3.

39. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 181-2.

40. Ibid., pp. 444-6.

41. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 501-02, 510; Pogue, pp. 101-02.

42. Ibid., pp. 535, 543.

43. Ibid., p. 513; Acheson, pp. 147-8. The United States share of UNRRA goods delivered to China through 1947 amounted to 475 million dollars. The Chinese Communists received less than 1 per cent of UNRRA support, the remainder being diverted by the KMT to Nationalist-occupied areas, although Red-occupied areas suffered half of the total damage during the Japanese occupation. In early 1946 the Export-Import Bank approved credits of nearly 67 million dollars for cargo vessels, railway materials, electric-power generating equipment and raw cotton. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 953, 960; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 226-7, 994-1001. For details of developments in 1945-46, see FRUS, China, 1945, pp. 777-85, 1055-1205; FRUS, China, 1946, vol. x, pp. 724-1098. See also Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 735-6.

44. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 528-9.

45. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 577-81.

46. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 513-6, 529-35.

47. Ibid., pp. 156-62, 163-6; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 144-5, 634-9; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 751.

48. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 166-7, 169-71.

49. Ibid., pp. 171-5, 177.

50. Ibid., pp. 714-5, 726, 729-30, 740-2.

51. Ibid., pp. 715-21. On April 10, 1946, Zhou lodged a second protest against American aid to the KMT. See ibid., pp. 752-3.

52. Ibid., pp. 443-4, 447-8, 733-4, 822-3.

53. Ibid., p. 724.

54. Ibid., p. 758.

55. Pogue, pp. 110-1. Mrs. Marshall found Nanjing hot and swampy "even beyond Washington" and from mid-July, 1946, on she was guest of Generalissimo and Madame Chiang at their summer place at Guling on Lu Shan mountain south of Jiujiang. Mrs. Marshall occupied a large cottage with servants, swimming pool and trees. Madame Chiang spent a good deal of time with Mrs. Marshall. General Marshall made the trip to Guling frequently, not only to see his wife but to talk with Chiang, who spent most of the summer there. There could scarcely have been stronger psychological evidence of American support of the Nationalists than for the wife of the chief American negotiator to live at the home of the Nationalist leader and his wife.

56. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 790, 945-6; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 149-50.

57. The original KMT member of the committee of three was General Zhang Qun, whom Chiang Kai-shek soon removed. Later General Zhang Zhizhong became a member before being replaced by Yu Dawei. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 12-14, 20, 25-26, 398-422 passim, 467-501 passim, 1370-1; Pogue, pp. 99, 116.

58. Ibid., pp. 788-90; Truman, Trial, p. 79.

59. Ibid., pp. 802-05. The proposals are given in ibid., pp. 795-6, 788-9, 801-02.

60. Ibid., pp. 826, 831, 833, 840-1, 845-6, 851-2, 876.

61. Ibid., pp. 815-6.

62. Ibid., pp. 824-8, 831.

63. Ibid., p. 817.

64. Ibid., pp. 956-8, 979.

65. Ibid., pp. 880-1.

66. Ibid., p. 885.

67. Ibid., pp. 891-2; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 156-7.

68. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 901-02, 903-04.

69. Ibid., pp. 906-08.

70. Ibid., p. 912; FRUS, White Paper, p. 155.

71. Truman, Decisions, p. 553; Acheson, pp. 192-3; Pogue, p. 113.

72. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. ix, pp. 946-50.

73. Ibid., pp. 915-26.

74. Ibid., pp. 927-30, 952, 957-8, 979.

75. Ibid., pp. 976-9.

76. Ibid., pp. 983-5; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 158-9; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 733.