110.11 DU/9–954: Telegram

No. 288
The Ambassador in the Republic of China (Rankin) to the Department of State 1

confidential
niact

170. Secretary Dulles and party left for Tokyo by air 5 p.m. local time after 5 hour stop in Taipei.

After luncheon with President Chiang two hour conference took place attended by Secretary, Senator Smith, MacArthur, myself and following Chinese: President, Vice President,2 Premier,3 Foreign Minister, Secretary General4 and interpreter.

Detailed memorandum of conversation will be pouched5 but following are salient points: President asked that conversation be opened by Secretary who gave summary background and accomplishments of Manila conference. Chiang regarded result as gratifying success for US.

Chiang then emphasized traditional friendship between US and China, adding that whatever was in best interest of former was, in [Page 582] long run, for good of China. Under such circumstances he would speak quite frankly.

First he brought up matter of proposed bilateral pact. After advancing usual arguments in favor President went on to say US has no firm policy for Asia and reluctance to give free China treaty similar to those extended other countries was evidence of this. Argument that Formosa should not have pact because situation here was “fluid” could be countered by argument fluid situation was caused by absence of pact. He was not suggesting one need be signed tomorrow but when concluded it would end current wrangling over seating of Red China in UN and possible trusteeship for Formosa; it would mark significant step toward a firm US policy in East Asia.

Supporting his standard thesis that Communist problem in Asia can be solved only by Nationalist “return to mainland” Chiang urged US military aid be given to make this possible. He gave emphatic assurance no US forces, ground, sea or air, would be needed—only adequate logistic support for his forces. He would not undertake such operation until certain of success and not until US approved. But he was confident of eventual success and US could be guided by advice of its representatives here whether his forces were prepared attack mainland at any given time.

Secretary pointed out importance of timing to move with tide not against it and mentioned certain difficulties in way of bilateral pact. These were desire to avoid freezing Nationalists in present position and problem of phrasing with reference to off-shore islands. He also remarked that certain Filipinos thought free China better off with actual Seventh Fleet protection than they were with pact which might require various steps before it would be implemented.

In conclusion Chiang recommended US exert influence on Japan to prevent becoming neutralist like India. He ascribed part of Rhee’s distrust of Japan to this danger. A firm US policy would produce a strongly anti-Communist Japan. Finally President referred in passing to problems of Europe but added tinder box was Far East.

Secretary assured President he valued all former has said from his rich experience and that it had not fallen on barren ground.

Rankin
  1. Also sent niact to Tokyo for the Secretary.
  2. Ch’en Ch’eng.
  3. O.K. Yui.
  4. Gen. Chang Chun, Secretary General of the Office of the President.
  5. A detailed memorandum of conversation, prepared by the Chinese, was sent to the Department with despatch 138 from Taipei, Sept. 16. (110.11 DU/9–1654) Another copy was sent to Dulles with a letter of Sept. 21 from Ambassador Koo; Dulles commented in an Oct. 4 memorandum to MacArthur that it was generally, though not entirely, accurate. (611.93/9–2154)