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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 07, 1945

RECORD OF A MEETING BETWEEN T. V. SOONG AND STALIN

This document was made possible with support from the Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation

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    Stalin and Dr. Soong continue their discussions on Outer Mongolia, Soong reports Chian Kai-Shek's intention to preserve the status quo of Outer Mongolia according to the Yalta agreement. Stalin and Soong end their meeting in disagreement.
    "Record of a Meeting Between T. V. Soong and Stalin," July 07, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Victor Hoo Collection, box 6, folder 9, Hoover Institution Archives. Contributed by David Wolff. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123420
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7 July 1945, 11:00 - 11:45 p.m.

[T.V] Soong: Sorry we delayed a few days.

[Joseph] Stalin: It doesn't depend on me.

Soong: I have reported faithfully my talk with you. Told Chiang [Kai-shek] that Stalin considers Outer Mongolia question of great importance. Therefore Chiang took great deal of time to consider the question. You remember my position when I left.

Stalin: Yes.

Soong: My position was not to discuss the question.

Stalin: To leave it open.

Soong: I reported how important Stalin considers the question. He has given his reply. Agrees with Yalta formula signed by the Three, i.e., preserve status quo of Outer Mongolia. We cannot recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia. Reason simple: self-preservation is first law of nature. No Chinese government can last if it signs agreement amputating Outer Mongolia. But we agree to status quo.

Stalin: How do you understand 'status quo'?

Soong: How it stands today.

Stalin: They don't accept Chinese representative. They proclaimed independence. You put up with this.

Soong: You have troops there. You said in case of threat to Soviet Union you have to send troops to Outer Mongolia. That we are ready to agree. Molotov said that there might be people stirring trouble between Soviet Union and China. If we agree what trouble can arise?

Molotov: I had in view Chinese press.

Soong: It can be told not to stir up trouble.

Molotov: Constitution of Outer Mongolia provides for independence.

Soong: They can do what they like. We are realistic. We do not propose to disturb the status quo.

Stalin: In another half month another conflict will break out. Mongolia cannot go on like that. Chinese people will represent Soviet Union as usurpers, invaders. We should not like to be in this position.

Soong: You will not be in this position because we recognize the status quo.

Stalin: I am afraid nothing will come out from it.

Molotov: A situation which is left undetermined will hamper and spoil the Sino-Soviet relations.

Soong: Yalta agreement was not to disturb status quo. We agreed to that.

Stalin: We understood China will recognize independence.

Soong: This was not my understanding when I discussed in Washington.

Stalin: Status quo is formal recognition of independence. Now Outer Mongolia has no representatives from China. Outer Mongolia proclaimed its independence on two occasions. Chiang said once he recognizes independence of Mongolia Tibet will not follow suit. No analogy. There is representative of China in Tibet and vice-versa. Mongolia has no representatives and China has none.

Soong: I was not at Yalta.

Stalin: You are familiar with the declaration.

Soong: No Chinese government can recognize independence of Outer Mongolia and survive.

Stalin: Why?

Soong: Because public sentiment will not support it.

Stalin: Soviet Union recognized independence of Finland and survived. Finns demanded it and public opinion accepted.

Soong: No parallel. Chiang delayed so long because he considered very carefully the considered opinion of China. He cannot recognize independence of Outer Mongolia. We have also well considered this question. He thinks nothing will come out of this. Three leaders in Yalta recognized sensitiveness of Chinese public opinion. Therefore it called for preservation of status quo.

Stalin: It's our formula. They signed. I am prepared to repeat that.

Molotov: That's how the matter stood. Independence was meant.

Soong: In spite of everything we cannot recognize independence and survive. It's the opinion of Chiang and his advisers. Soviet Union position is question of military importance. Send troops in case of threat of Japan. We agree to that.

Stalin: Not only that. Mongols do not want to join China or Soviet Union. They want to be independent.

Soong: We are ready to give high degree of autonomy.

Stalin: What is that?

Soong: Right of military and foreign affairs. They could make arrangement with Soviet Union concerning entry of Soviet troops in case of necessity.

Stalin: Will it be part of China? It will be source of conflict between Soviet Union and China. As we propose make alliance with you must eliminate all causes of conflict.

Soong: I stated how realistic we are. Ready accept entry of Soviet troops. You must also be realistic. My Government cannot recognize independence and remain in power.

Stalin: Cannot see why.

Soong: That's in our public opinion. Sun Yat-sen proclaimed our territorial integrity.

Stalin: At time of Sun Yat-sen white Russian troops were in Outer Mongolia.

Soong: Joffe signed agreement with Sun Yat-sen accepting territorial integrity of China.

Stalin: There was no Government authority in Outer Mongolia at that time.

Soong: Our Government does not think it can survive if it recognizes the independence of Outer Mongolia. Even the extreme liberals are not for recognizing independence of Outer Mongolia.

Stalin: Who can overthrow Government? What forces?

Soong: Many forces will take opportunity to over throw Chiang.

Stalin: There is the Kuomintang. Other forces are communists. Can communists overthrow Kuomintang? If China makes alliance with Soviet Union nobody will overthrow government.

Soong: I am not in agreement with you. There is nobody in Kuomintang who will support recognition of Outer Mongolia. Communists may not openly oppose it, but they would be far from human, if they did not try to use this as means to overthrow.

Molotov: With existence of alliance with Soviet Union?

Soong: Even so. Stalin must know value of intangible factors. No government, the old Manchu Government, Yuan Che-kai, or present Government, can go against public opinion.

Stalin: We cannot make concessions on this point.

Soong: It's only strong governments that can make things as Stalin said. Today is July 7th. 9th anniversary of our war. Our people have suffered tremendously economically and otherwise. The Government is not so strong as Stalin believes that it can affront public opinion. That's simple fact. But we are realistic. Neither Chiang nor I can see reasons of conflict if we recognize status quo and recognize right to send troops.

Stalin: I think of future. Japan will be crushed but she will restore her might in 20, 30 years. Whole plan of our relations with China is based on this. Now our preparations in Far East in case Japan restore might is inadequate. We have one port Vladivostok which is imperfect. Soviet Harbour is another one which is being built. It is not yet a port. Third place is Petropavlosk in Kamtchatka. 2500 klms. of railways are necessary to connect with it. We need 20 to 30 years to equip and build installations in Petropavlosk. There is another port (De Castri?) railways have to be built north of Baikal. This will take 40 years. Therefore we want alliance. Mongolia is part of this plan. We cannot send troops to Chinese territory.

Soong: We have no objection to your stationing troops.

Stalin: Indefinite: today you do not object. Strange to maintain garrison in China but to maintain it in a small state is natural. We have withdrawn troops from Sin-Kiang, which were sent there at the request of Shen.

Soong: If military alliance you could station troops.

Stalin: We have draft for 20 years for alliance. We have prepared four drafts.

Molotov: They concern:

1) Friendship and alliance;

2) Chinese Eastern Railway and South Manchurian Railway;

3) Port Arthur and Dalny;

4) Declaration on independence of Outer Mongolia.

These are the four questions we want to settle.

Soong: Stalin has been very kind and open in explaining his plans. He looks far ahead. But for us there is present question as well as future. If there is no present there is no future. Self-preservation is first thing we must look upon. Therefore our realistic proposal are Outer Mongolia.

Stalin: It is not realistic.

Soong: Our Government thinks it is realistic.

Stalin: Well, we did not come to an agreement.

Soong: Sorry, so are my instructions.

Stalin: Let's finish now.

Soong: Sorry you cannot see our point. To us in China it is a very real point.

Stalin: Sorry you cannot see our point. Let it go at that.