United States Relations with China: With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949

By United States Department Of State | Go to book overview

Annexes to Chapter VII: The Military
Picture, 1945-1949

170
Oral Statement by President Truman to Dr. T. V. Soong Concerning
Assistance to China, September 14, 1945

The United States is prepared to assist China in the development of armed forces of moderate size for the maintenance of internal peace and security and the assumption of adequate control over the liberated areas of China, including Manchuria and Formosa.The arrangements for the provision of such assistance should include the method of discharge by the Chinese Government of the financial obligations incurred In connection with the supplies furnished and services rendered by the United States.

Having in mind statements by the Generalissimo that China's internal political difficulties will be settled by political methods, it should be clearly understood that military assistance furnished by the United States would not be diverted for use in fractricidal warfare or to support undemocratic administration.

The exact amount of assistance which can be provided by the United States will need to be agreed between the U.S. and Chinese Governments and will depend on a detailed study by the Chinese and U.S. military authorities. It appears practicable at this time, subject to suitable mutual arrangements concerned with the provision of equipment and supplies to complete the 39-division program, to furnish certain naval craft, particularly those suitable for coastal and river operations, and to equip an air force of commensurate size. After consulting General Wedemeyer further and when the problem has been considered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other U.S. agencies concerned and we have completed our determination of availability of equipment, we will be in a position to determine what assistance, if any, beyond the 39-division program will be feasible.

The exact size, composition and functions of an advisory mission will be dependent upon the status and character of the mission and on the size and composition of the Chinese armed forces which may be agreed between the U.S. and Chinese Governments. As to the status and character of the mission, it might be more desirable to relieve officers from active duty for appointment by the Chinese Government than for this Government to organize and appoint such a group.

A U.S. advisory mission composed of officers on active duty can only be established under the emergency powers of the President. Consequently legislation would be required to continue the mission after the expiration of these powers.

It is suggested that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek immediately formulate a plan, in collaboration with General Wedemeyer, for the post-war Chinese armed forces and an estimate of U.S. assistance desired and indicate to this Government his views as to the financial and other governmental arrangements which must be made.

-939-

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