379 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China, to Legation in Nanking

Note NANKING, 5 December 1947

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the Australian Legation and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a memorandum from the Australian Department of External Affairs transmitted to the Ministry by the Chinese Legation in Canberra on November 29. [1]

In reply, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the honor to state that, in addressing to the Governments of the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom and the United States its proposal regarding the composition and procedure of a preliminary conference to deal with the peace settlement for Japan, it has never been the intention of the Chinese Government to minimize the importance of the role of any of China's Allies in the war against Japan. The Chinese Government recalls with special admiration the part played by the Australian forces in all theatres during World War II.

It was after careful consideration of the divergence of views which had arisen on the organization of the preliminary conference under discussion that the Chinese Government offered its proposal.

The Chinese Government believed that this proposal should be acceptable to all the parties concerned, inasmuch as it is based upon the principles, already agreed upon, governing the composition and procedure of the Far Eastern Commission.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sending a reply to the Soviet note referred to in the memorandum of the Australian Department of External Affairs and has pleasure in enclosing for the information of the Commonwealth Government a copy of this reply which will serve to clarify the stand of the Chinese Government. [2]

In closing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to express, on behalf of the Chinese Government, its appreciation of the generosity shown by the Commonwealth Government at the Far Eastern Commission in regard to the distribution of Japanese reparations.


1 Presumably Document 375.

2 The Note stated that the Chinese Government was unable to accept the view that the task of preparing the Japanese peace settlement was limited to the four major Powers and that it saw no need for the peace conference to deviate from the principles governing the composition or voting procedure in FEC.

3 In presenting this note, George Yeh, Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, asked Dr Anstey Wynes, First Secretary, Nanking, to convey to Evatt a number of points. These included: China's concern that the British Commonwealth countries would vote as a bloc, China's preference for an early peace and its insistence that 'every country which had participated in the war against Japan should take part in the peace discussions notwithstanding that China had home the brunt for a long time before the others'.

Yeh further stated that 'China must retain the veto because this was the only way the people could trust the government to attend the Peace Conference'.

[AA : A4144/2, 502/1947]