But General Wedemeyer had reported that which his superiors did not wish to hear. His fate was a discharge from diplomacy and an exile from the Pentagon. Moreover, the Wedemeyer Report was not released until August, 1949. Meanwhile, in the intervening two years our pro-Communist policy of withdrawing assistance from Chiang, while the Soviet rushed supplies to his enemies, had tipped the scales in favor of tushed supplies to his enemies, had tipped the scales in favor of those enemies, the Chinese Communists.
Needless to say, under Mr. Dean Acheson, who succeeded Marshall as Secretary of State (January, 1949), our pro-Soviet policy in China was not reversed! Chiang had been holding on somehow, but Acheson slapped down his last hope. In fact, our Secretary of State possibly by some strange coincidence – pinned on the Nationalist Government of China the term ―reactionary (August 6, 1949), a term characteristically applied by Soviet stooges to any unapproved person or policy, and said explicitly that the United States would give the Nationalist Government no further support.
Meanwhile, the Soviet had continued to supply the Chinese Communists with war materiel at a rate competently estimated at eight to ten times the amount per month we had furnished at the peak of our aid to Chiang‘s Nationalists. Chiang‘s troops, many of them without ammunition, were thus defeated, as virtually planned by our State Department, whose Far Eastern Bureau was animated by admirers of the North Chinese Communists, But the defeat of Chiang was not the disgrace his enemies would have us believe. His evacuation to Formosa and his reorganization of his forces on that strategic island were far from contemptible achievements.
Parenthetically, as our State Department‘s wrong-doing comes to light, there appears a corollary re-evaluation of Chiang. In its issue of April 9, 1951, Life said editorially that Now we have only to respect the unique tenacity of Chiang Kai Shek in his long battle against Communism and take full advantage of whatever the Nationalists can do now to help us in this struggle for Asia. It should be added here that any idea of recognizing Communist China as the representative government of China is absurd. According to a Soviet Pollitburo report (This Week. September 30, 1951) the member-ship of the Chinese Communist Party is 5,800,000. The remainder of China‘s 450,000,000 or 475,000,000 people, in so far as they are actually under Communist control, are slaves.
But… back to the chronology of our policy in the Far East.
On December 23, 1949, the State Department sent to five hundred American agents abroad (New York Journal-American, June 19, 1951, p. 18) a document entitled Policy Advisory Staff, Special Guidance No. 38, Policy Information Paper Formosa. As has been stated in many newspapers, the purpose of this policy memorandum was to prepare the world for the United States plan for yielding Formosa (Taiwan, in Japanese terminology)to the Chinese Communists. Here are pertinent excerpts from the surrender document which, upon its release in June, 1951, was published in full in a number of newspapers:
Loss of the island is widely anticipated, and the manner in which civil and military conditions there have deteriorated under the Nationalists adds weight to the expectation.
Formosa, politically, geographically, and strategically is part of China in no way especially distinguished or important.
Treatment: All material should be used best to counter the impression that. . . its [Formosa‘s] loss would seriously damage the interests of the United States or of other countries opposing Communism [and that] the United States is responsible for or committed in any way to act to save Formosa. . . Formosa has no special military significance. . . China has never been a sea power and the island is of no special strategic advantage to Chinese armed forces.
This State Department policy paper contains unbelievably crass lies such as the statement that the island of Formosa is, in comparison with other parts of China, in no way especially distinguished or important and the claim that the island would be of no special strategic advantage to its Communist conquerors. It contains an unwarranted slam at our allies, the Chinese Nationalists, and strives to put upon our ally Britain the onus for our slight interest in the island – an interest the policy memorandum was repudiating! It is hard to see how the anonymous writer of such a paper could be regarded as other than a scoundrel. No wonder the public was kept in ignorance of the paper‘s existence until the MacArthur investigation by the Senate raised momentarily the curtain of censorship!
In a Statement on Formosa (New York Times, January 6, 1950), President Truman proceeded cautiously on the less explosive portions of the Policy Memorandum, but declared Formosa a part of China obviously, from the context, the China of Mao Tse-Tung and continued: The United States has no desire to obtain special rights or privileges or to establish military bases on Formosa at this time. Nor does it have any intention of utilizing its armed forces to interfere in the present situation.
The President‘s statement showed a dangerous arrogation of authority, for the wartime promises of the dying Roosevelt had not been ratified by the United States Senate, and in any case a part of the Japanese Empire was not at the personal disposal of an American president. More significantly, the statement showed an indifference to the safety of America or an amazing ignorance of strategy, for any corporal in the U.S. army with a map before him could see that Formosa is the virtual keystone of the U.S. position in the Pacific. It was also stated by our government a limited number of arms for internal security.
Six days later (January 12, 1950) in an address at a National Press Club luncheon, Secretary Acheson announced a new motivation of United States Foreign policy, which confirmed the President‘s statement a week before, including specifically the hands off policy in Formosa. Acheson also expressed the belief that we need not worry about the Communists in China since they would naturally grow away from the Soviet on account of the Soviet‘s attaching North China territory to the great Moscow-ruled imperium (article by Walter H. Waggoner, New York Times, January 13, to January 10, 1950).
These sentiments must have appealed to Governor Thomas E. Dewey, of New York, for at Princeton University on April 12 he called for Republican support of the Truman-Acheson foreign policy and specifically commended the appointment of John Foster Dulles (for the relations of Dulles with Hiss, see Chapter VIII) as a State Department consultant.
Mr. Acheson‘s partly concealed and partly visible maneuverings were thus summed up by Walter Winchell (Dallas Times Herald, April 16, 1951):
These are the facts. Secretary Acheson . . . is on record as stating we would not veto Red China if she succeeded in getting a majority vote in the UN. . . As another step, Secretary Acheson initiated a deliberate program to play down the importance of Formosa.