34. The U.S. Cuts Its Losses

The year 1947 opened with massive anti-American demonstrations in several Chinese cities. The ostensible reason was the alleged rape of a Chinese university student by two U.S. marines in Beiping but antagonism against Americans went quickly beyond this criminal charge. The rape became a symbol of anger, shared by many Chinese, against American intervention in China on the side of the Nationalists. Thousands of demonstrators, mostly students, in Beiping, Nanjing and Shanghai demanded withdrawal of American military forces from China.1 Although the complaints gradually subsided, strong feeling against the United States remained among Reds and liberals. Without American support of the KMT, many people believed Chiang Kai-shek would cease his attempt to reach a military solution to the problem of a divided China and agree to a political compromise.

As the year began, the Nationalists appeared to be winning the civil war. Only six days into the new year, however, the situation dramatically changed. The lightly armed Chinese Communist forces, now called the People's Liberation Army (PLA), abruptly turned on the seemingly victorious Nationalist armies and attacked. Lin Biao crossed the Songhua river in northern Manchuria with 60,000 men and inflicted numerous casualties before withdrawing. Red troops retreating from northern Jiangsu joined with other Communists in Shandong and counterattacked at Zaozhuang in southern Shandong. Government forces lost 40,000 men and a number of tanks. Chen Yi,2 the Red commander, did not have enough strength to hold his position but he ambushed part of the KMT force and exacted heavy casualties.3

This campaign demonstrated the weaknesses of the Nationalist armies and the strengths of the PLA and showed how the civil war was largely going to be fought. The Nationalists held overwhelming superiority in automatic weapons, artillery, tanks and trucks. This war materiel became an embarrassment of riches, forcing the Nationalists onto roads and dependence upon heavy amounts of supplies delivered over roads or railroad tracks which the Reds sometimes could stop by roadblocks and destroying tracks. The Nationalist generals in addition possessed one fatal tactical flaw: they were afraid to move their forces boldly through the countryside. Their bountiful equipment made them relatively immobile off the roads, they believed their men would desert in open country and they feared Communist forces would surround them. Consequently, Nationalist generals tended to withdraw behind the walls or fortifications of cities and to wait passively for Communist assaults.4

The Communists, on the other hand, possessed little to inhibit their movements, although virtually all of them had to be on foot. Communist weapons consisted largely of rifles (not all the men had these) and a few machine guns and mortars. They at first possessed virtually no artillery, tanks or trucks.5 The PLA had to carry most of its food, equipment, weapons and ammunition on the backs of humans or animals or by horsecart. This severely limited the Reds' offensive power but freed them from reliance upon roads. They could fight wherever their feet could carry them. They were able to walk over mountains and along narrow trails to emerge at places where they were completely unexpected. They also were experts at night marches and could often arrive at points of attack without being observed, even though the Nationalists enjoyed complete air supremacy. At first the Communists' poor weaponry and small amounts of ammunition kept Nationalist forces holed up in cities safe against Red attacks. But if the Communists could block supply access to Nationalist-held cities, they might be able to starve out the garrisons.6

American military specialists, who had never fought a semiguerrilla army, did not understand the nature of PLA warfare any more than Nationalist generals. They therefore did not at first recognize that victory or defeat would ultimately hang on whether the Nationalists could keep open their supply lines. The prevailing orthodoxy was that the Nationalists could achieve in north China and Manchuria at least what the Japanese invaders before them had done: control of the major roads and railways.7 The Japanese had maintained supply lines only with ruthless efficiency, aggressive tactics, discipline and great skill with artillery, automatic weapons and tanks, traits the Nationalist armies did not possess in any substantial degree.

Chiang Kai-shek, a soldier with unbelievably poor strategic sense, also weakened KMT efforts by bad military decisions. For example, about 75,000 Nationalists began an offensive early in 1947 against the Communist capital of Yan'an in Shaanxi province. Perhaps Chiang Kai-shek believed the Communists would defend their base vigorously and that KMT troops could destroy a large number of Communist forces. The Red troops and people, however, abandoned Yan'an and the largely barren region around it, allowing the Nationalists to press fruitlessly into the northern Shaanxi cul de sac while they attacked strategically important Luoyang, on the Longhai railway, the major east-west Chinese artery. Luoyang changed hands several times but finally remained in Communist possession.8

While military operations increased, Nationalist China's economic situation continued to deteriorate. In Shanghai in January, 1947, the price level rose well above the 1946 average increase of 12 per cent a month. And in February a violent upheaval shook the Shanghai money market. The exchange rate for the yuan rose abruptly from 7,700 to the U.S. dollar to 18,000. There was no logical reason for the sudden change, other than activities by speculators.9

The economic chaos brought about the resignation of T.V. Soong as president of the executive yuan (prime minister) on February 28, 1947, and his replacement by General Zhang Qun. Though some minor governmental changes occurred, Chiang Kai-shek made no economic reforms and no move, as General Marshall hoped he would do, toward promoting a liberal, centrist party. Inflation continued unabated. Chiang removed all Democratic League and Communist members from the People's Consultation Council (PCC) and the council's role as a forum to discuss change ceased.10

In March, 1947, Tillman Durdin, New York Times correspondent, reported that the KMT was resorting to severe repression in consequence of an open declaration of war against the Communists. "Widespread arrests have been made throughout the country of individuals suspected of opposition to the war or sympathy with the Communists," Durdin reported. "And many have not been heard from since they were detained." The intensified campaign against the Reds strengthened the CC clique and military extremists, a further indication that General Marshall's call for a middle-course party had no hope of succeeding.11

The Kuomintang was also incorribly corrupt. This was demonstrated in Taiwan, the island province recovered from the Japanese in 1945. Chiang had turned governorship of the island over to Chen Yi, who had allowed KMT officials to practice excessive private graft, while they also exhibited gross ineptitude and incompetence. Repression of the Taiwanese people aroused intense resentment which resulted in widespread rioting in March, 1947. The government put down the disorders in a bloodbath. As many as 5,000 were killed or wounded.12

In April, 1947, about 400,000 Nationalist troops moved out in a major campaign to destroy Chen Yi's Communist forces which had retreated to the I-meng mountains of western Shandong. The campaign culminated in a great battle on Menglianggu mountain in mid-May during which the Nationalists lost 15,000 men, including a complete KMT division which Red forces surprised and surrounded in an area incapable of sustained defense. Although the Nationalists forced Chen Yi's troops to withdraw, he extricated his army to fight again.13

In Manchuria the military situation for the Nationalists worsened steadily. One of the principal reasons was that the KMT occupied Manchuria like a conquering army, filling government offices with reliable Kuomintang personnel from central and southern China. These officials exploited the local people. Most of the Communist forces in the northeast had been recruited from the region and therefore the people identified with them.

In May, Lin Biao launched a new drive across the Songhua river, concentrating upon the capture of Siping, midway between Mukden and Changchun. The lightly armed Red troops were unable to breach the Siping defenses and they suffered heavily in the attempt, losing 40,000 men in dead and wounded. Lin Biao accepted the blame for the disaster but the Communists had gained the initiative and had forced government troops to abandon outposts north of the Songhua river. They drove other KMT troops out of smaller points into Changchun, Jilin, Mukden and a few other towns.

The Communist advances caused Nationalist morale in Manchuria to deteriorate. Angus Ward, U.S. consul general at Mukden, reported on May 30 that Nationalists were in "a panicky state and feverishly building trench systems everywhere with only 'Maginot' defense strategy in mind," referring to the static Maginot line which the French relied upon to protect them but which the Germans simply went around in 1940 to conquer France. Ward also reported that high-ranking Nationalist officers evacuated their families from Kaiyuan, about sixty miles northeast of Mukden but abandoned a number of wounded Nationalist soldiers at the railway station. When the Reds captured the station, their medics dressed the wounds of the KMT soldiers and removed the more seriously wounded, handling them carefully and with kindness. Nationalist soldiers no longer feared capture by the Communists and surrendered at increasing rates. From this point on, a large number of Communist troops consisted of former Nationalist soldiers who had defected.14

The Communists were winning on the strength of psychological factors, not military power. But American leaders typically hoped material factors would turn the tide. In April and May the U.S. finally moved most of its remaining marines out of China, turning over 7,000 tons of small arms and artillery ammunition to the Nationalists.15 And on May 26, 1947, Secretary of State Marshall formally lifted the embargo on shipment of arms to the KMT forces.16

* * * * * * * * * *

With crisis overtaking the Nationalists, Secretary of State Marshall in Washington received two extremely conflicting recommendations, one from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the other from the State Department.

The Joint Chiefs began with a questionable premise and jumped to an extreme conclusion. "It is clearly Soviet policy to expand control and influence wherever possible," the chiefs announced. In Manchuria the chiefs cited spurious "evidence" to prove that the Russians planned to achieve immediate control.17 The JCS said they believed "that the Chinese Communists, as all others, are Moscow-inspired," and "should be regarded as tools of Soviet policy."18 It was therefore "imperative that the United States take positive action to prevent" Communist victory in the Chinese civil war by providing massive assistance to the Nationalists. In summary, the Joint Chiefs saw the Chinese civil war wholly as a Soviet effort and not an indigenous political and social conflict.19

John Carter Vincent, director of Far Eastern affairs, led the State Department attack against the Joint Chiefs' aggressive policy.20 On June 20, Vincent wrote Secretary Marshall that substantial military assistance to Chiang Kai-shek "would lead inevitably to direct intervention in China's civil war." It also would provoke the Soviet Union to a similar intervention and would be inconclusive "unless we were prepared to take over direction of Chinese military operations and administration and remain in China for an indefinite period." Vincent said he didn't consider Soviet control of China to be a great danger.21

Vincent recommended that the U.S. supply the Nationalists with needed ammunition but attract as little attention as possible and not supply vastly increased military aid. Undersecretary Dean Acheson concurred.22

Marshall faced a dilemma with the State Department proposing a policy only a step above doing nothing and the Joint Chiefs pushing a plan only a step below full-scale American intervention. He believed the country need to reappraise its policy and pacify the growing bloc in Congress supporting stronger assistance to Chiang Kai-shek. Marshall decided to send Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer, last American commander of the China theater and the man he'd rejected as ambassador to China, back to China on a fact-finding mission.23 Marshall called in Wedemeyer on July 1, 1947, and proposed the mission. Wedemeyer was enthusiastic and drew from Marshall's words more than he meant. Why, Wedemeyer asked himself, "would he have chosen me for this mission unless a radical change of policy was envisaged?" Perhaps, Wedemeyer conjectured, "we would deal realistically and firmly with the Commies!"24

The actual directive President Truman gave him, however, ordered the general to make clear to Chiang Kai-shek that the U.S. would only help the KMT if he undertook a sincere rehabilitation program and allowed U.S. representatives to supervise results. It sounded almost like the hopeless American efforts during World War II to pressure Chiang into reforming and it was equally as doomed.25

Wedemeyer and his party got to Nanjing on July 22. There Ambassador Stuart and his staff held that only American assistance could save the Nationalists and Raymond P. Ludden, embassy first secretary, accepted as given that the Chinese Reds, if they won, would orient themselves toward the Soviet Union.26 Wedemeyer unhesitatingly subscribed to an alleged Chinese Communist-Soviet connection, radioing Marshall on August 8 that the Russians were in the process of creating puppet states in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Manchuria and "throughout Korea." Except for northern Korea, which the Soviets controlled directly, Wedemeyer was wrong on all counts.27

Once he got home, Wedemeyer was going to recommend massive aid to the Nationalists. For this reason, perhaps, he decided to lay out all of his complaints against the KMT regime at a joint meeting of Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, the State Council and government ministers on August 22. He presented a harsh critique, warning that the Kuomintang government's survival depended upon drastic political and economic reforms.

Wedemeyer made one astute observation which, unfortunately, neither the KMT nor the U.S. government nor Wedemeyer himself heeded. "I believe that the Chinese Communist movement cannot be defeated by the employment of force," Wedemeyer said. "Today China is being invaded by an idea instead of strong military forces from the outside. The only way in my opinion to combat this idea successfully is to do so with another idea that will have stronger appeal and win the support of the people."

Like a puritanical preacher demanding the repentence and regeneration of his flock, Wedemeyer thundered down ways how the backsliding Nationalists could deliver themselves from sin: remove corruption and incompetence, provide justice and equality, protect the liberties of the people, improve the political and economic situation immediately.28 But the time had long since passed when the Nationalists could change how they were. Wedemeyer was speaking to a congregation already damned by its own venality, not one capable of redemption.

Chiang and his crowd did not like hearing Wedemeyer's recriminations, particularly when he repeated several of them publicly two days later. What they hoped would come from his mission would be an immediate outpouring of American money and goods to assist them in destroying the Communists.29

Marshall withheld publication of Wedemeyer's report on his mission because Wedemeyer perversely recommended a five-power trusteeship (U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China) to rule Manchuria, a proposal similar to one he had advanced in the fall of 1945. American leaders had rejected the idea then because it was a bad idea and it remained a bad idea in 1947. Experience with the four-power trusteeship for Korea, agreed to at the foreign-ministers conference in Moscow December, 1945, already was proving that the Soviet Union was going to push hard for a government in Korea friendly only to it. To invite Russia into an official role in the governing of Manchuria, especially after China had regained sovereignty as a result of an international agreement, was foolish. It could cause only disruption and, moreover, would have been fought by all Chinese, Communists as well as Nationalists. Wedemeyer's alternative idea, to place Manchuria under a United Nations trusteeship, was equally unacceptable.

Marshall tried to persuade Wedemeyer to take the offending trusteeship proposal out of his report so that he could publish the remainder. Wedemeyer refused unless the report noted it had been changed at Secretary Marshall's request "or for reasons of overriding policy." Marshall didn't want himself or the U.S. to be saddled with charges of a cover-up and suppressed the report.30

This killed any chance for using the report as a basis for a public debate on China policy. As a consequence, American policy continued to drift without resolution. The U.S. turned partially away from China because, with the KMT rejecting any reform, the situation seemed hopeless. Besides, American strategic concerns had become focused on the fear of further Soviet advances in Europe. Lacking any better alternative, the United States persisted with limited assistance to Chiang Kai-shek. This pleased neither the KMT nor the growing China lobby in the U.S. and made no difference in the civil war. Yet continued American involvement with the KMT labeled the U.S. as the enemy to the Chinese Communists.

* * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist leadership appraised the Nationalist military intentions and decided Chiang and his generals were irretrievably committed to positional warfare and defending static positions.

Seeing a great opportunity, the Reds launched a nationwide counteroffensive. Liu Bocheng led a Red army across the Yellow river into southwestern Shandong. This relieved pressure on Chen Yi's Communists farther east, forcing the government to withdraw troops to defend the Longhai railway. Liu then marched three-hundred miles across Henan into the Dabie mountains on the Henan-Anhui-Hubei border. At the same time a smaller Red army under Chen Geng crossed the Yellow river in southern Shanxi and moved south and east to link up with Liu. Soon thereafter Chen Yi led his forces back through southwestern Shandong to open a new theater in the Henan-Anhui-Jiangsu region northeast of the Dabie mountains. The Communist initiative forced the Nationalists to spread their forces thinly over large regions, thereby allowing the Reds to choose when and where to strike.31

In September Lin Biao turned once more against the entrenched and immobile Nationalists defending cities in central and southern Manchuria as if they were ancient fortresses. Lin Biao's purpose was to isolate them and to seize harvested crops. Nationalist commanders were certain he would attack in the Mukden-Changchun area, especially the city of Siping which Lin Biao had fruitlessly assaulted in the spring. Instead, the Reds first moved far to the south, seizing Xingcheng and the region just north of the Great Wall on the Tianjin-Mukden railway and breaking the rail line about forty miles west of Mukden leading to Beiping. These moves severed rail communications between north China and Mukden. Lin Biao also cut rail lines between the KMT-occupied cities and mauled forces which ventured out to oppose him. American observers began to fear the KMT garrisons would suffer from hunger in the coming winter.32

Meantime the Nationalist economic situation had worsened. The open-market price for a U.S. dollar had soared to 45,000 yuan in August and the hyperinflation continued without check through September and October. The government made no serious effort to alter conditions giving rise to the inflation.33

In November, a Red army under Nie Rongzhen captured Shijiazhuang, about 170 miles southwest of Beiping and there the Communists established their new capital. The Red general, Liu Bocheng, operating out of the Dabie mountains, had meanwhile disrupted operation of the east-west Longhai railway line and positioned himself to disrupt the rail line running northward from Wuhan.34

In December, Lin Biao launched another offensive in Manchuria, this one aimed directly against Nationalist troops closed into the major cities. Red troops converged on Mukden, closed off by broken rail lines. Chiang flew in reinforcements from Jilin and Changchun, weakening the defenses of these two cities but concentrating over 150,000 soldiers into Mukden. In order to supply them the KMT had to resort to a costly airlift. Chiang had some of his best mobile formations inside Mukden but he refused to commit them in open operations for fear soldiers would defect or suffer defeat. Meanwhile, Lin Biao once more invested Siping, midway between Mukden and Changchun and overran nineteen towns but refrained from attacking the major cities. Instead, he held the government troops in place and waited.35

The new Chinese constitution was to go into effect at the end of 1947. Ignoring General Marshall's urgings to establish a middle-of-the-road party which would demonstrate he was committed to democracy, Chiang Kai-shek increased pressure on the liberal Democratic League and in October the government declared it illegal. On December 5, Carsun Chang,36 who had led a group to secede from the league to form a new Democratic Socialist party, told the U.S. consul at Shanghai that his party would have no voice in the new government. Rather it would be only a token because the KMT was determined to keep all control. Elections to the National Assembly took place in November and rightest elements in the KMT dominated it. The KMT also dominated elections to the legislative yuan or parliament held in January, 1948. Under Chiang Kai-shek there was going to be no democracy.37

* * * * * * * * * *

In February, 1948, the Truman administration finally came to something of a decision about China. Although it gave the impression of being a positive program, it was little different than a rich man handing a down-and-out associate a handful of money and turning away, while bemoaning that there was little hope for him anyway.

The administration proposed that Nationalist China get 570 million dollars by June, 1949, most of it to import essential goods like food and industrial materials, but made no recommendation to fight the Communists. Secretary Marshall told a joint congressional committee that, for the Nationalists to reduce the Reds to a negligible factor, would require the U.S. "virtually to take over the Chinese government and administer its economic, military and governmental affairs." This, Marshall said, "I cannot recommend." Nevertheless, Marshall said the executive branch had an "intense desire to help China."

Marshall said he hoped the administration's proposal would arrest economic deterioration and provide the Chinese government the opportunity to stabilize the situation. Marshall himself doubtless didn't think the modest amount of economic aid he was proposing would do this, especially as he admitted that China was in the midst of a "social and political revolution." But the United States could not afford to take over for the Nationalist government. Major American strength had to be directed to meet the principal Communist threat, which was, Marshall said, in western Europe.38

Congress did not accept the idea of virtually no military aid to China and ultimately passed a bill authorizing 338 million dollars in economic and 125 million in military assistance. It actually appropriated the entire 125 million for military aid but only authorized 275 million for economic purposes.39

Although the Marshall proposal wasn't exactly a washing of American hands of China, it was a major step away from U.S. involvement. The American response was more a sad recognition that the Nationalists had declined beyond the hope of recovery because of their own inadequacies. It contained no hint of friendship to the Communists, who remained the bête noir to the administration. Indeed, on March 10 the State Department tried to imply it never had advocated a coalition Chinese government including the Communists. The next day President Truman said he hoped liberals would be admitted but the U.S. did "not want any Communists in the government of China or anywhere else if we could help it."40

The hate campaign against all things Communist reached fever pitch on June 24, 1948, when the Soviet Union imposed the Berlin blockade on American, British and French zones in the former German capital. The reason was Soviet anger over the decision of the Western Allies to unite their German occupation zones into a single economic unit. From this rose a Western-oriented West Germany and a Soviet-oriented East Germany. The Western Allies fought the Berlin land blockade by using guaranteed air corridors to fly in food and supplies. The Russians abandoned the land blockade on May 12, 1949, but the Western Allies kept flying in supplies until September. The Berlin blockade, more than anything else, confirmed in the minds of Americans that Communism was embarked on aggressive expansion throughout the world. The blockade also focused American attention on Europe and diverted interest from China. This reduced chances that a strong movement would arise to rescue Chiang Kai-shek but Americans nevertheless swept the Chinese Reds into the same category with Soviet Communists and did not seriously consider the possibility that they were fundamentally different.

The United States thus watched its old friend in China waste away but offered no hand to his successor.

Chapter 35: The Reds Create a People's Republic >>

1. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 1-6, 126.

2. The Communist commander Chen Yi (1901-72) is not to be confused with Chen Yi, the Nationalist governor of Taiwan in this period.

3. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 768.

4. Major General David G. Barr, senior U.S. military advisor in China, described the "wall pyschology" of Nationalist generals in FRUS, White Paper, p. 337.

5. Even when the PLA had artillery and ammunition for the guns they frequently did not use them because they did not have many prime movers or the fuel to propel them. Also they had no warplanes nor trained pilots. Artillery, being mostly confined to roads on the march or in open places when in use, was vulnerable to air attack. Instead of artillery, the PLA relied upon mortars, which could be broken down and carried on the backs of men or beasts.

6. Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 769-70; for examples of how Reds concentrated on supply lines and Nationalists held to static defense in cities, see FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 36-37, 49-50, 88-89, 130-1, 134-7, 157-9, 166-8, 171-3, 178-81, 192-3, 195-6, 198-9. See also Alexander, pp. 299-303, for description of PLA tactics in Korea, which represented a culmination of the methods the Reds developed in the Chinese civil war.

7. FRUS, China, 1946, vol. x, pp. 235-7.

8. Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 772-3; FRUS, White Paper, p. 317; FRUS, China, 1947, p. 61.

9. FRUS, White Paper, p. 361-4, 366-9; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 1053-5, 1058-63, 1085, 1088-9.

10. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 23, 43-44, 47-51, 55, 70, 100, 102-03.

11. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 77, 125.

12. FRUS, China, 1947, 71-72, 124-5, 423-80.

13. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 769.

14. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 765; FRUS, White Paper, p. 315; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 130-1, 134-7, 151-2, 156-9, 166-7.

15. In the fall of 1945 the U.S. had 113,000 soldiers, sailors and marines in China. By December 12, 1946, the number had dropped to fewer than 12,000, of which about 2,000 were with executive headquarters and field teams. See FRUS, China, 1946, vol. x, pp. 615-6, 628.

16. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 356, 381; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 166-7, 853; Pogue, pp. 261-2.

17. The Joint Chiefs of Staff listed what they considered to be evidence that Soviet intentions were to remove Manchuria from the Chinese economy and integrate it into the economy of eastern Siberia: 1) their "obvious efforts and success" in preventing reestablishment of active Chinese sovereignty in Manchuria; 2) robbing Manchurian industrial equipment and shipping it to Siberia in 1945 and early 1946; 3) the Sino-Soviet treaties of 1945, which, "as a result of Soviet pressure on China," gave the Soviets control of Manchuria's "only efficient system of communications and important trade outlets"; 4) the "systematic encirclement" of Manchuria through Soviet positions in northern Korea, Port Arthur and Mongolia and "through encouragement given Communist forces in Manchuria itself." None of these is "evidence" of Soviet aggressive intentions in Manchuria, however. Reasons are as follows: item 1) the Chinese Communists, not the Russians, were preventing Nationalist control of Manchuria and where the Reds were in possession there was no Soviet presence whatsoever; item 2) Soviet removal of Manchurian industrial equipment to Siberia proves rather that the Russians entertained no plans for control of Manchuria and instead robbed it while they were temporarily in possession; item 3) the United States and Britain at the Yalta conference approved Soviet control of the Manchurian railways, Port Arthur and Dairen in exchange for Soviet entry into the war against Japan; item 4) the U.S. and Britain also approved "independence" of Outer Mongolia and Soviet occupation of north Korea at Yalta and there was no evidence of Soviet encouragement of Red forces in Manchuria. Indeed, to counter unsubstantiated claims of Soviet assistance to the Chinese Reds, which the American consul general had already refuted on April 17, 1947, Arthur R. Ringwalt, chief of Chinese affairs in the State Department, produced a summary on July 3 which showed there was no evidence of Soviet aid to the Chinese Reds. Ringwalt's report found no Soviet equipment captured; no evidence of Soviet military material support; no Russian-speaking Chinese officer; all explosives, ammunition and other supply boxes labeled in Chinese; no noticeable quantities of Soviet artillery or heavy weapons (but much presence of American equipment captured from the Nationalists). See FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 99, 148, 174, 207-08, 214-5, 838-9.

18. Ibid., pp. 840-1; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 774.

19. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 843-8.

20. As a concession to those Republicans who wanted a more aggressive policy of aid to Chiang Kai-shek (the emerging "China bloc"), the State Department got John Carter Vincent out of his job on the Far Eastern desk by sending him to Switzerland as minister on September 15, 1947. Vincent's replacement was W. Walton Butterworth. See Tsou, p. 453.

21. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 849-51. The remarkable degree of ignorance about the Chinese Communists is shown by the fact that Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal said at a meeting on June 26, 1947, with no one contradicting him, that "we should recognize that the Chinese Communists are, in fact, true Communists and that their leaders have been Russian trained." Neither Mao Zedong nor Zhou Enlai had been to the Soviet Union. Although U.S. leaders did not then know of the Zunyi conference in 1935 in which Mao wrested control of the party from the "28 Bolsheviks," reports by foreign-service officers on the Dixie mission to Yan'an in 1944-45 had shown clearly that the top Chinese Communist leaders were not "Russian trained." Ignorance of American leaders led to a distorted view of the Chinese situation. American leaders largely failed to question assumptions or broad statements of purported Soviet expansionist aims and connections with Chinese Communists (such as those advanced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff). Because of a false perception, American leaders saw dangers where they didn't exist.

22. Ibid., pp. 852-6. The U.S., irrespective of any further decision, was shipping the Nationalists 130 million rounds of 7.92-millimeter rifle ammunition manufactured in the U.S. for use in Chinese-made rifles but not delivered at war's end. The U.S. also was transferring transport planes and spare parts to complete the eight-and-a-third group Nationalist air force (nearly a thousand aircraft). See ibid., pp. 848, 853, 856-7, 871-3.

23. Wedemeyer says in his memoirs (Wedemeyer, p. 382) that "pressure in Congress (from Congressman Walter Judd, Senator Styles Bridges and others) and from other sources accusing the administration of pursuing a negative policy in China were compelling a reappraisal of United States policy." Judd also suggested the move directly to Marshall. See Tsou, pp. 453-4.

24. Wedemeyer, p. 383.

25. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 635-41; Pogue, pp. 267-8; Wedemeyer, p. 384; Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 786-7. A full study of the Wedemeyer mission is by William W. Stueck, Jr., The Wedemeyer Mission; American Politics and Foreign Policy toward China and Korea, 1947-50, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981.

26. Ibid., p. 657.

27. Ibid., pp. 713-4.

28. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 758-822; Pogue, pp. 270-2; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 786; Wedemeyer, pp. 387-9.

29. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 824-5; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 650-1, 770-1, 774-5; Wedemeyer, pp. 389-90.

30. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 769-70, 776-81; FRUS, White Paper, pp. 260-1; Tsou, p. 460; Pogue, pp. 273-4; Wedemeyer, pp. 391-8. Wedemeyer's report didn't surface until publication of the State Department's White Paper in 1949 and then without his remarks on Korea.

31. Cambridge, vol. 13, pp. 770, 772; FRUS, White Paper, p. 317; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 269-70, 290, 291.

32. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 257-8, 270-1, 287-8, 298, 302, 306-08, 315-20, 356-8, 362-3, 373-80; Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 772.

33. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 369-70; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 1194-6.

34. Cambridge, vol. 13, p. 772; FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 365-6.

35. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 403-04, 411-5; FRUS, White Paper, p. 318; Cambridge, vol. 13, 773-4.

36. Carsun Chang's other names were Zhang Junmai and Zhang Jiasen.

37. FRUS, China, 1947, pp. 83-84, 116, 118-9, 282-3, 301-02, 310-2, 326-8, 350-4, 359, 369, 385-7, 395-6, 416-7, 419-20; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. 7, pp. 25-26, 36, 43-45, 55-56, 70-71, 169-71, 223, 225-6.

38. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 379-87, 981-7; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. viii, pp. 479-85; Tsou, pp. 471-4.

39. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 387-404, 991-3; FRUS, China, 1948, vol. 8, pp. 442-505; Tsou, pp. 474-7.

40. FRUS, White Paper, pp. 271-3. The changing mood in Washington in opposition to Communists in toto could scarcely be more graphically demonstrated than in the March 11, 1948, Truman press conference. There the president said it was news to him if it had ever been the policy of the U.S. government to favor including Communists in the Chinese government. Thereby he denied almost four years of persistent efforts by U.S. administrations, including his own, to pressure Chiang Kai-shek to admit the Communists. It took fancy footwork to get around his December 15, 1945, public statement at the beginning of the Marshall mission, which urged on the "one-party government" of Chiang to broaden its basis "to include other political elements." See FRUS, White Paper, p. 608. Now Truman insisted the broadening didn't include taking in the Chinese Communists, despite the fact that Marshall for a full year had devoted much of his effort to achieve just that. When a reporter asked Truman pointedly what was the purpose in sending Marshall to China, Truman answered: "It was an endeavor to assist the Chiang Kai-shek government to meet the situation with which it was confronted." A State Department press release the same day announced that the December 15, 1945, presidential statement still stood but the Reds "were now in open rebellion against the government" and it was up to the Chinese government to decide whether Communists should be admitted. The State Department release and the Truman press conference transcript are given in FRUS, China, 1948, vol. 7, pp. 141-3.