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Notes on The China White Paper
by William P. Meyers

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The China White Paper was compiled by the U.S. Department of State and given to President Harry Truman by Dean Acheson on July 30, 1949. [More]

Kuomintang Suppression of Liberal Groups

"A tremendous internal pressure for unity exists in China, based upon compromise with the Communists and an opportunity for self-expression on the part of the now repressed liberal groups. Even inside the Kuomintang, these liberal groups such as the Sun Fo group, and the minor parties, were ignored in recent negotiations by the Kuomintang, although not by the Communists... They are discouraged and disillusioned by what they regard as an American commitment to the Kuomintang's existing reactionary leadership." [George Atcheson, American Charge d'Affaires at Chungking, February 29, 1945][88] He recommended working closely, and U.S. aid to, the Communists and Liberal groups. [92]

However, "General Hurley strongly opposed the course of action recommended above and it remained the policy of the United States to supply military materiel and financial support only to the recognized Chinese National Government." [92]

Japan Surrenders; Mao Visits Chungking

Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945. "Mao Tse-tung accompanied by General Hurley, who had gone to Yenan for this purpose, arrived in Chungking on August 28, 1945, and remained for about a month... [This] may well have been precipitated in part by the announcement of the Sino-Soviet Treaty on August 14, 1945, which pledged Russian support for the National Government as the only government of China." At this point the American-supervised negotiations between the Chiang and the Communists appeared to be making progress. [105]

Fighting Starts While Negotiations continue

Already by November, 1945 there were reports of sporadic fighting between Communist and Nationalist troops. The Communists informed the U.S. Embassy staff that Nationalists sought to delay a political solution so that they could gain military control of Communist areas. Wang Ping-nan "voiced the Communist resentment of what he termed "American Intervention" in landing [U.S.] troops at many points in North China to them pending the arrival of Government troops, large elements of which had been flown north by the United States Air Force.

[WPM opinion:] Judging from reports and actions, at the end of 1945 none of the principle players believed the Communists were in a position to defeat the Nationalist army and Kuomintang political establishment. Stalin and the U.S. both supported Chiang Kai-shek. The Chinese Communists thought their best course was to join a coalition government, which would allow them the right to try to organize Chinese outside their base areas. The Nationalist Army was well-armed and had a large, American trained and supplied air force. The Communists did not realize how strong they were, and no one yet realized that most Nationalist troops hated their corrupt, incompetent commanders.

Aside on Allied War Aims Hypocrisy

Pages 113 to 126 describe the Yalta Agreement. I just want to point out that the Allies supposedly were a defensive pact, but that in return for the Soviet (Russian) commitment to attack Japan, Russia was promised the south part of Sakhalin Island and a naval base at Port Arthur (in China), and the Kuril Islands.

Moscow Conference

In December 1945, at the Moscow Conference of the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union, the issue of the withdrawal of U.S. and Soviet troops from China was discussed. The Soviet troops had entered Manchuria to fight Japan, but the U.S. troops had largely arrived after the surrender of Japan, on the rational these troops were needed to repatriate Japanese troops. The Russians announced they would delay withdrawal until February 1, 1946. U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes said the U.S. troops would be withdrawn when the Japanese were gone [but lied, and kept U.S. Marines and other troops there much longer].

To be continued

©2015 by William P. Meyers

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