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July 9, 1945

Record of a Meeting Between T. V. Soong and Stalin

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

 9 July 1945, 9:00 - 10:40 p.m. 


Stalin: What news?


Soong: I reported to Chiang [Kai-shek] that our meeting was at a deadlock. I told that Stalin wanted remove all questions between two countries so that from now on we can co-operate in friendship without any cause of conflict. I have his reply today. Before translating his reply, I want to give background not by way of argument but to show the magnitude of concession of Chiang.


When I left Washington I had no idea that Outer Mongolia question would be a problem. I told Truman that we might settle this question by not discussing it. I said status quo was that juridical sovereignty remains with China. It is true we cannot exercise this sovereignty. Truman agreed and also Secretary of State. In Chungking I discussed with Chiang. None of us had any idea that Outer Mongolia would be an obstacle in our discussions. Stalin must understand strength of Chinese national feeling towards alienating any part of its territory. Don't want to draw parallel with Manchuria.


In one sense it's the same: alienation of Chinese sovereign territory. Although we had little strength in comparison with Japan and no hopes of change in world situation we did not yield our juridical right in Manchuria. Stalin must know at tempts of Japan to force our recognition. In the first instance, in 1933, when I was going to the Economic Conference I had been passing Japan. I was invited by Japanese Emperor to meet and discuss question of Manchuria. If we renounce legal title Japan could renounce aggression. I declined. Nevertheless, Shigenutau was sent to Yokohama to persuade me to go to Tokyo. I refused. Because instinct of China for her sovereign territory is so strong. If Government recognizes independence of Outer Mongolia it would go against instinct of Chinese people. It transcends safety and security of Government. It goes against genuine public opinion. I say this not by way of argument but want Stalin realizes sacrifices Chinese Government is ready to make on the altar of perpetual friendship between China and USSR. We do not treat Outer Mongolia lightly. May I translate telegram from Chiang:


"Chinese Government now willing make greatest sacrifice in the utmost sincerity to find, fundamental solution of Chinese/Soviet relations, removing all possible disagreement and rankling unpleasantness so as to secure fundamental co-operation between the two countries in order to complete the will of Dr. Sun Yat-sen which was to co-operate with Soviet Russia. What is the greatest demand for China today: secure administrative integrity and territorial sovereignty and real unity in China. On this there are three items. Anxiously hoping that Soviet Government will give us concrete sympathy and assistance and give concrete and determined reply:


1) Sovereignty and administrative integrity of Manchuria. Stalin has expressed his respect of this point for which we are very grateful.


Stalin: Did you expect anything else from me?


Soong: I am translating textually the telegram.


For common interest of China and Russia, China is ready to afford joint use of Port Arthur [Lüshunkou]. Dairen [Dalian] declared an open port for period 20 years. As to administration of Port Arthur and Dairen this should go to China so that China has real sovereignty and administrative integrity in Manchuria.


Molotov: Port Arthur and Dairen, both?


Soong: Yes. Chinese Eastern Railway and south Manchurian Railway main lines to be operated jointly by Soviet Union. Profits to be divided equally. Branch lines, other enterprises not connected with exploitation of railways not included in joint administration.


Period also 20 years.


2) Sin-kiang [Xinjiang]. In the last year or so there broke out rebellion in Sinkiang so that communication between China and Sin- kiang broken: trade and commerce cannot be maintained. We are anxious that Soviet Russia, in accordance with previous agreement, co-operate with us to eliminate trouble so that trade, communication could be resumed. Altai range: originally belonged to Sin-kiang, should continue form part of Sin-kiang.


3) Chinese Government. Because of Chinese communist administration and army, who are not united within the central government, wish Soviet Government to give to central Chinese Government alone all moral and material support. Any assistance given to China should be confined to the central government.


4) Outer Mongolia. Chinese government regards that since Outer Mongolia question is the stumbling block in Sino-Soviet relations, for common interest of Soviet Union and China and lasting peace, is ready after the defeat of Japan and acceptance of the three points by Soviet Government, to grant Outer Mongolia its independence. On this matter, in order to avoid future disputes to go through form of plebiscite . After plebiscite Chinese government will declare independence. As to area of Outer Mongolia should conform former area set out in our maps. Chinese Government deeply hopes Soviet Government can understand the enormous sacrifice and utmost sincerity of the Chinese Government, so as to secure two countries lasting and fundamental co-operation. Will you please communicate to Stalin without any reservation."


That is the matter.


Stalin: It would be good to have this translated and to think it over. You can have this translated into English?


He draws analogy between Outer Mongolia and Manchuria.


Soong: I said twice I am not drawing a parallel.


Stalin: In Manchuria there are Chinese. In Mongolia, there are no Chinese.


Soong: There were Chinese in minority. I just pointed out that any alienation of territory is matter of great pain.


Stalin: Status quo in Outer Mongolia is really in fact independence since 1921. We want that this factual situation should be recognized legally.


Soong: Our understanding is like that of the Americans: status quo, retention of juridical sovereignty of China.


Stalin: This sovereignty does not exist.


Soong: For us, even 50 years it does not matter. This is academic question.


Stalin: First point concerned Manchuria. I declared that we recognize full sovereignty. I can make any statement you want.


Soong: I know it.


Stalin: As to communists in China we do not support and don't intend to support. We consider China has one government. If another government calls itself Government it's matter for China. As regards assistance, Chiang told us to send to Central Government. We did so. If we can render help, of course it will be given to government of Chiang.


We do not want to play with China. We want to deal honestly with China and allied nations.


Re terms for Port Arthur, Dairen and Railways, 20 years do not accommodate us. It's too little. We could accept 30 years. We cannot accept less than 30 years instead of 40. That would be the final solution.


Re military Port of Port Arthur. There should be one master in the port.


We shall have our troops, navy, there. As to territory of Liao-toung [Liaodong], formerly Port Arthur was included.


Soong: We are talking about Port Arthur. I didn't receive map.


Molotov: (Shows map). We renounce neutral sons, leave the other line.


Stalin: In the area, administration is Chinese, but as regards Port Arthur administration is Russian. Someone should be master and command.


As regards railway Chinese possession is not correct. Assumption that railway to be Chinese not correct. Russians built it. Chinese investment was returned.


Soong: I thought we are not talking of past rights which are changed. It was originally for 80 years. In 1924 changed to 60 years. Only few years left. Besides Chinese Eastern Railway sold to Japan.


(Stalin laughs).


Stalin: We did not use it much.


Soong: It's not our fault.


Stalin: You are right.


Soong: For Chiang to agree on Outer Mongolia he must show something to our people. For main line we agree to joint administration on altar of Sino-Soviet friendship. We make great sacrifice. For 8 years we have suffered. Many properties destroyed by Japanese. We hope to have some compensation.


Stalin: According to Chiang we have no right. We obtain as a favour common possession. Although Russia built the railway, and made investments, we can agree to common possession as you suggested. As regards plebiscite it would be worse for China.


Soong: Only a matter of form. The matter is settled. It is more convenient for Chinese Government to confront Chinese people if there is a plebiscite.


Stalin: What are old frontiers of Outer Mongolia? I don't know.


Molotov: Is it intended to change present frontier?


Soong: We have old maps of China.


Stalin: It would be good to see them.


Soong: Never thought we would discuss that. I did not bring them. We never contemplated that question would be raised when old maps were drawn, so we did not make it bigger or smaller. I have no maps in Moscow but this can be settled by boundary commission.


Stalin: We had argument with jobs. We referred to old map. Don't know whether you have same map in view. After when we killed their General Matsomora, they agreed (Khalkha government?) [sic].


Soong: Hope you will not have to kill our General.


Stalin: We are alive to difference between China and Japan.


Soong: We want to be fair.


Stalin: We gave you the drafts of the agreement. What is your reaction?


Soong: Many of the things are not in accord with our drafts, we have drafted our drafts. Can I go over:


1) Friendship and alliance. Little difference with yours. Only we need ratification. Question of days, is only a minor point;


2) Stalin said would be glad to have Chinese representative to accompany your troops.


Stalin: As soon as there is an agreement on all points.


Soong: … I have a copy here for Molotov.


3) Dairen – drafted according to Chiang instructions.

4) Port Arthur.

5) Administration of railway.


(Soong gives draft to Molotov).


Stalin: Re Outer Mongolia. How to understand what you said. Not recognize now but after defeat of Japan? We proposed recognize now but publish after defeat of Japan.


Soong: Yes. After defeat of Japan go through plebiscite, then recognition. I want Stalin [sic] believe me in this: matter of substance is decided now. We can explore the form. We have no intention to evade or be tricky.


Stalin: It is not a matter of honesty but of clarity. From us, China will receive all assurances she asks. We want also assurances from China now. When to publish that's another thing.


Soong: That's fair.


Stalin: Do want to finish first and go, or put it off and go back to China.


Soong: If time allows prefer finish now.


Stalin: Three days at our disposal, 10th, 11th, 12th.


Soong: I will wire back tonight to Chiang. If you go to meeting, I cannot stay here.


Stalin: We try to postpone for five days.


Molotov: It will be very difficult.


Soong: I understand. Ready to work day and night.


Stalin: No objection. If Molotov deputizes me if I cannot be present, no difference.


Soong: Yes, but on important point would like have privilege to talk to you. In Molotov's draft some points were put before our conversation with Stalin [sic]. For instance we spoke of main line.


Stalin: No branches in our draft. We do not think it is not possible to change the draft.


Soong: Yes. Also coal mines. I understand Stalin accepted our guarantee that we will supply.


Stalin: We do not want new mines but contemplate enterprises essential to railways. If joint ownership, Chinese will also be owner like Russians, and in 30 years all goes to China. In such case China not interested in separating the enterprises from the railways.


Soong: I think there was understanding that this is transportation enterprises only.


Stalin: It was question of Fushun but not mines of Chinese Eastern Railway that existed before. China interested that Chinese Eastern Railway works well.


Soong: For that reason we thought it would be only communication enterprises. You want out let to sea. We will furnish you with that.


Stalin: There are enterprises without which Chinese Eastern Railway cannot subsist.


Soong: What are they?


Stalin: I cannot give you the list now. My people will furnish you with the information.


Soong: Railway guards must be Chinese. If you have guards it is question of soldiers.


Stalin: Guards?


Soong: Railway guards must be Chinese. Stalin knows my objection to foreign troops. If we guard well why should you bother.


Stalin: We wanted supply our experienced officers.


Soong: On this point special instructions from Chiang. Once you have foreign troops whatever you call them, then there will be endless trouble. We don't want.


Stalin: Railway is extra-territorial. Railway bridges, tunnels, stations, to be guarded.


Soong: Railway not extra-territorial. You don't want extra-territoriality




Stalin: In two years we will see.


Soong: Chinese personnel fully adequate. We will send our best men – this is a point I do urge Stalin to consider for me. We do not want foreign troops or gendarmerie in Shanghai or elsewhere. You would help me, the Chinese people, by agreeing to this which Chiang considers as the most essential condition.


Stalin: We will think it over.


Soong: About Sin-kiang would Stalin help us in suppressing their trouble?


Stalin: How, by sending troops?


Soong: No. Smuggling of arms on border. Want you to stop it. Take additional trouble to stop it.


Stalin: We have no right to interfere.


Soong: Not in China but on border.


Stalin: Does China propose grant rights to population?


Soong: Yes. It's a political and military problem. Without either of them, it cannot be solved.


Stalin: Is the situation so grave?


Soong: Ili is partly occupied by rebels.


Stalin: Ouigurs [Uyghurs], Khosaks [Kazakhs]?


Soong: Lot of mixture. We want to treat all races well. That's the only way to deal. But we want to recover territory occupied by rebels.


Stalin: This is legitimate. Best means is to grant rights. We have various nationalities. This is a question for China to solve. Without the recognition of minima [sic] rights there will be always trouble.


Soong: Agree. We have a great deal to learn from Soviet Union on treatment of minorities. We are willing make concession but if not followed by obedience we must use force.


Stalin: They want to separate?


Soong: They declared new republic.


Stalin: I'll collect information. We may have a talk. As to suppression of contraband on our frontier it's our duty to prevent. We shall do what we can if there are certain holes.


Soong: Rebels are well equipped with arms that never existed there.


Stalin: We can get weapons everywhere now.


Soong: Not in Sin-kiang.


Stalin: Why?


Soong: Because of transportation problems.


Stalin: India will not sell arms?


Stalin: If two States are at war one State is giving arms to rebels.


Soong: Transportation is difficult.


Stalin: You think arms come from our territory?


Soong: Possibly.


Stalin: Let's have a talk. Hardly probable.


Soong: I want assurance that Stalin will do everything possible to stop it. We will try to win rebels by peaceful means.


Stalin: In first war a group of munition factories supplied arms to Germany. Don't you officials sell arms to rebels at high price?


Soong: My answer can be believed. These people possess better arms than what Chinese officials have.


Stalin: You seem better informed.


Soong: We have exploded shells we don't possess. I know Stalin is anxious to help us solve this difficulty as others.

Any observation about communist problem? I talk as Soong to Stalin.


Stalin: What you require? You said not to arm communists, that if we help, we help Chiang. Is that so?


Soong: Yes.


Stalin: O. K. What else. You want us to disarm communists?


Soong: This is fantastic for us to ask you. But we want you to know our point. We want to find a solution by political means.


Stalin: It would be good to find such a solution. They are good patriots. If you find political solution it will be not bad.


Soong: We want their army to merge with ours.


Stalin: It is legitimate. One Government, one army.


Soong: We are ready for their joining the war, the Cabinet and the Military Council, but that cannot happen when they stay apart from us.


Stalin: It makes bad impression.


Soong: We ask Stalin to help us morally.


Stalin: How?


Soong: There has been many attacks on Chiang in Soviet press. That is not helpful to our government. We hope Stalin will restrain them.


Stalin: Very undoubtedly. But Chinese press attacked us more.


Soong: Let us do it mutually.


Stalin: Please.


Soong: How should we proceed?


Molotov: Do we meet at 2 p.m. tomorrow?


Soong: Hope see you before.






Dr. Soong reports Chiang Kai-Shek's response to the stalemate on the question of Outer Mongolia to Stalin and Molotov. Chiang insists on preserving the territorial integrity of China vis a vis Outer Mongolia and Manchuria, and that China's sovereignty in Manchuria should be reinforced by Chinese administration of Port Arthur and Dairen. Stalin asks to think over his decision before responding to Chiang.

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Victor Hoo Collection, box 6, folder 9, Hoover Institution Archives. Contributed by David Wolff.


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