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James R. Howard & David S. Painter (1995, 1989). The United States and China, 1944–1946. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. ISBN 1-56927-345-6.

James R. Howard & David S. Painter (1995, 1989). The United States and China, 1944–1946. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. ISBN 1-56927-345-6.

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James R. Howard & David S. Painter (1995, 1989). The United States and China, 1944–1946. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. ISBN 1-56927-345-6.
James R. Howard & David S. Painter (1995, 1989). The United States and China, 1944–1946. Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. ISBN 1-56927-345-6.

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Do Not DuplicateThis is Copyrighted Material for Classroom Use.It is available only through the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.202-965-5735 (tel)202-965-5811 (fax)
During World War II, U.S. policy makers realizedthat the Chinese Communist Party posed a chal-lenge to the U.S.-backed Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. To achieve its goal of a strong, uni-fied, and pro-Western China, the United States, frommid-1944 to the end of 1946, attempted to mediatea political settlement between the Nationalist andCommunist Chinese in hope of averting a full-scalecivil war and a possible Communist victory. Theseefforts failed, and as 1947 began, the United Statesfound itself in the position of supporting a reaction-ary and corrupt regime being successfully chal-lenged by a popular and growing Communist-ledinsurgency.By the end of 1944, Mao Tse-tung’s ChineseCommunist forces controlled one-fourth of China,governed more than ninety million people, and wereable to field a well-disciplined army of almost onemillion men. Although still vastly outnumbered byChiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces, Chinese Com-munist strength had increased dramatically since1935, when 30,000 diseased and hungry troops hadstraggled into Yenan, in China’s remote northwest-ern Shensi province, after a year-long, 6,000 mileretreat to escape annihilation at the hands of theNationalist armies.Mao’s Communists represented an obstacle notonly to Chiang Kai-shek’s efforts to unify all of Chinaunder the Nationalist government but also to therealization of U.S. postwar aims for China. As envi-sioned by U.S. policy makers, a strong, unified, andpro-Western China was needed to act as a stabilizingforce in East Asia following Japan’s defeat. A strongand independent China would also serve as a bufferagainst possible Soviet expansion in northeast Asia.Committed to that end, U.S. policy in 1945 aimed tostrengthen the Nationalist government while at-tempting to avert a Chinese civil war by securingCommunist participation in a coalition governmentheaded by Chiang Kai-shek.
Efforts to unify the Nationalists and the Communistsbegan in August 1944, with General Patrick J. Hur-ley, U.S. Ambassador to China, acting as mediator.Hurley faced the formidable task of overcomingtwenty years of violent political struggle betweenthe two factions. Formed in the early 1920s underthe sponsorship of the Soviet-dominated Commu-nist International (Comintern), the Chinese Commu-nist Party (CCP), at Soviet urging, entered a workingalliance with Sun Yat-sen’s Soviet-backed Kuom-intang (National People’s Party or KMT) in 1924. InApril 1927, Chiang Kai-shek, who had assumed theleadership of the KMT following Sun Yat-sen’s deathin 1925, broke with the CCP. In the “White Terror”
Case 345, Part A
James R. Howard and David S. Painter
Copyright 1995, 1989 by Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.ISBN: 1-56927-345-6Publications, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.20057–1025http://data.georgetown.edu/sfs/programs/isd/
Lack of progress in the negotiations led PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt to seek a CCP-KMT settle-ment by securing Soviet recognition of bothChiang’s Nationalist Government and support for acoalition government. Roosevelt believed that Sovietsupport for a settlement would pressure the ChineseCommunists into entering a coalition government,thereby averting civil war. His thinking was echoedby Hurley, who believed that the Communists wouldbe forced to accept terms for a coalition governmentif they could be politically and militarily isolated. AtYalta, on February 11, 1945, Roosevelt and Stalinsigned the Far Eastern Agreement that granted terri-torial and economic concessions to the Soviet Unionin exchange for Soviet entry into the war against Japan and support for the Nationalist Chinese Gov-ernment. The Agreement stipulated that after Japan’s defeat,1.The status quo in Outer Mongolia (The Mongo-lian People’s Republic) shall be preserved.2.The former rights of Russia violated by thetreacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall berestored, viz.a.the southern part of Sakhalin as well as all theislands adjacent to it shall be returned to theSoviet Union.b.the commercial port of Darien shall be interna-tionalized, the preeminent interests of theSoviet Union in this port being safeguarded,and the lease of Port Arthur as a naval base of the USSR restored.c.the Chinese-Eastern Railroad and the South-Manchurian Railroad which provides an outletto Darien shall be jointly operated by theestablishment of a joint Soviet-Chinese Com-pany it being understood that the preeminentinterest of the Soviet Union shall be safe-guarded and that China shall retain full sover-eignty in Manchuria.3.The Kuril islands shall be handed over to theSoviet Union.It is understood that the agreement concerningOuter Mongolia and the ports and railroads referredto above will require concurrence of GeneralissimoChiang Kai-shek. The President will take measuresin order to obtain this concurrence on advice fromMarshal Stalin
with the National government of China, Hurleyrenewed his efforts to mediate a settlement whilerejecting Chinese Communist requests for materialwith which to fight the Japanese. There was wide-spread consensus among U.S. Foreign Service offic-ers in China that instead of reducing the likelihoodof civil war, the current U.S. policy would probablyprecipitate it. At the end of February 1945, whileHurley was en route to Washington for consultationswith the President, the U.S. embassy’s Foreign Ser-vice officers questioned the viability of U.S. policy ina cable to the State Department:The situation in China appears to be developingin some ways that are not conducive to effectiveprosecution of the war, nor to China’s futurepeace and unity.1. The recent American attempt through diplo-matic and persuasive means [Hurley’s mission]to assist compromise between the factions inChina was a necessary first step in the handlingof the problem. Unity was correctly taken to bethe essence not only of the most effective con-duct of the war by China but also of the peacefuland speedy emergence of a strong, united anddemocratic China.But the cessation of Japanese offensives, theopening of the road from China, the rapid devel-opment of our Army plans for rebuilding Chiang’sarmies, the increase of other assistance such asthe War Production Board, the expectation thatthe Central Government will share in the makingof important decisions at San Francisco, andbelief that we are intent upon the definite supportand strengthening of the Central Governmentalone . . . as the only possible channel for aid toother groups—these circumstances have com-bined to increase greatly Chiang’s feeling of strength and have resulted in unrealistic opti-mism on his part and lack of willingness to makeany compromise. . . .2. The Communists for their part have come tothe conclusion that we are definitely committedto the support of Chiang alone, and that we willnot force Chiang’s hand in order to be able to aidor cooperate with them. In what they considerself-protection, they are . . . actively increasingtheir forces and aggressively expanding theirareas southward. . . . In grasping time by the fore-lock, the Communists intend to take advantage of the isolation of East China by the Japanesecapture of the Canton-Hankow Railway, to makethemselves as nearly invincible as possible beforeChiang’s new armies . . . are ready, and topresent us the dilemma of accepting or refusingtheir aid if our forces land anywhere on the Chinacoast. Communists close to the leaders are nowtalking of the necessity of their seeking Sovietassistance. . . .3. Although our intentions have been good andour actions in refusing to deal with or assist anygroup but the Central Government have been dip-lomatically correct, if this situation continues . . .chaos in China will be inevitable and the probableoutbreak of disastrous civil conflict will be accel-erated. Even for the present it is obvious that thissituation, in which we are precluded from cooper-ation with the large, aggressive and strategicallysituated armies and organized population of theCommunist areas . . . is unsatisfactory and ham-pering from a purely military standpoint. . . .Unless checked, this situation is apt to developwith increasing acceleration as the tempo of thewar in China and the whole Far East is raised andthe inevitable resolution of China’s internal con-flict becomes more urgent. The time is short andit will be dangerous to allow affairs to drift.4. If the high military authorities of our Govern-ment agree that some cooperation with the Com-munists and other groups who have provedthemselves willing and are in position to fight the Japanese is or will be necessary or desirable, webelieve that the immediate and paramount con-sideration of military necessity should be madethe basis for a further step in American policy. . ..The first step we propose for consideration is that

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