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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 20, 1948

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION, SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO CHINA, N. V. ROSHCHIN WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHINESE REPUBLIC JIANG JIESHI [CHIANG KAI-SHEK] ON 2 JUNE 1948

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    Report from Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin on a conversation he had with Jiang Jieshi. The two discuss Japan; Jieshi remains vague on his opinions of the handling of the Japanese situation, but admits that the American approach has some flaws. Roshchin concludes that the Chinese should be watched with respect to Japan.
    "Memorandum of Conversation, Soviet Ambassador to China, N. V. Roshchin with the President of the Chinese Republic Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] on 2 June 1948," June 20, 1948, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, f. 0100 (Chinese embassy - secret section), op. 41, por. 19, pap. 276, ll. 32-35. Translated for CWIHP David Wolff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117861
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Secret, Copy 1, 20 June 1948, No. 108

Memorandum of Conversation

USSR Ambassador to China, N. V. ROSHCHIN with the president of the Chinese Republic

JIANG JIESHI [Chang Kaishi; Chiang Kai-shek] on 2 June 1948

On 2 June Jiang Jieshi gave a luncheon. Before lunch the conversation was of a protocol nature. Jiang asked how long it was from Moscow by plane and by train; what was the weather; how was Ambassador Petrov’s [unclear word] health, the health of our government officials? During the meal, Jiang asked about economic reconstruction, the climate in various parts of our country, prospects for the harvest, etc.

After lunch Jiang immediately got down to business. He asked who heads our mission in Japan at present and my opinion on the American policy towards Japan. To the president’s question I replied that he probably knows the situation in Japan, since the head of the Chinese mission General [name illegible] and the many Chinese Japan-experts working in the Chinese mission in Japan can see the American policy well enough. I then added that the policy being carried out by [U.S. Gen. Douglas W.] MacArthur contradicts all agreements on the Japanese question and that the Americans, ignoring these, are carrying out their own policy. Questions of Japan’s demilitarization, democratization and war criminals ... [6 words unclear]. Regarding reparations, the American forces are cons idering suspending reparations.  Therefore, naturally, these American intentions have called forth a wave of discontent among the Chinese public. The Chinese press is publishing more and more comments on this question from all over the country.

Here I asked the president his opinion of the American policy in Japan. He replied that he considered the American policy incorrect [nepravil’naia].

Continuing the conversation, he asked the opinion of the Soviet Government regarding the question of peace with Japan, should we conclude peace sooner or should we wait [?] To this I replied that the president knows the opinion of the Soviet Government from previous correspondence with the Chinese Government and this has not changed.  The question of peace discussions with Japan is ripe. This should have been preceded by the fulfillment of the conditions stated in the decisions of the [December 1945] Moscow [U.S.-U.K.-Soviet foreign ministers] conference, but the Americans don’t want to do this.

Having asked Jiang his point of view on the question of peace with Japan, I received the answer that he considers the question of concluding peace ripened [nazrevshii].

I asked Jiang what kind of Japan the Chinese people would like to see and in the president’s [Jiang’s] opinion what should be done with Japan. He, having thought it over, answered that “We do not want vengeance, but in Japan it is necessary to liquidate the fundament on which her military industry and her military potential could be revived,” adding that it will be possible to exchange opinions on the Japanese question another time. And now he would like to ask me about the situation in Korea.

[Roshchin then attacks US policy in Korea as not leading to reunification, while referring Jiang to previously published statements of the Soviet government.  Jiang agrees vaguely that the “Americans are not carrying out a completely correct policy …”  In closing, Roshchin adds that:]

As can be seen from the conversation and from published newspaper articles from the anti- American campaign against the new US policy in Japan, it is clear that the Chinese are mainly troubled by the reparations question.  Everything else is for the moment [unclear word]. Jiang did not say a word about Japanese politics. He did not answer the question asked him. We will watch the Chinese policy towards Japan carefully. Earlier materials pointed out that the Chinese bargain [vytorgovyvaiut] their [unclear word] on the Japanese question with the Americans for surplus [unclear word]. This continues even today.

The conversation was translated by Com. Fedorenko and Pu Daomin.

USSR Ambassador in China N. Roshchin