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July 1945

Message from Averell Harriman to the President and Secretary of State

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




Soong invited [ILLEGIBLE] to tell me of a message he had received from Chiang. He has not, repeat, not seen Stalin again as he decided to await further instructions from the Generalissimo, receipt of which had evidently been delayed by the Generalissimo's absence form Chungking.


The Generalissimo has now instructed Soong to inform Stalin that he cannot repeat not recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia at this time since this would result in the fall of his Government in China. He proposes, however, that after the war is ended and if the Soviet Government will cooperate with the National Government in obtaining control of Manchuria and Singkiang, he will agree to the holding of a plebiscite in Outer Mongolia. If this plebiscite, as he assumes it will, indicates a popular desire for independence, Chiang will support it and recommend to the Chinese Assembly recognition of the independence of Outer Mongolia. Unless Stalin will agree to the above Soong is instructed to leave Moscow at once.


As to Port Arthur, he wants to avoid the term quote lease unquote but agrees to joint use. He wishes Dairen to be a free port under Chinese management with full rights to Russia to freely import and export [sic]. He hopes also for Stalin's agreement to complete Chinese management of the railroads under joint operation, the profits to be divided. Soong is ready to make more liberal concessions and if he can get over the hurdle of Outer Mongolia he expects to be able to get the Generalissimo to agree to terms more favorable to the Russians.


I again urged on Soong the desirability of reaching an agreement during his present visit, expressing my personal opinion that he would never again have an opportunity to reach an agreement with Stalin on as favorable terms.


Soong hopes to see Stalin tonight.





Harriman reports on Chiang Kai-Shek and Stalin's bartering over the status of Outer Mongolia. Chiang refuses to recognize its independence now, but offers to hold a plebiscite after the war.

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W.A. Harriman Papers, Library of Congress.

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Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation