Thursday, 4 January

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Round House

Thursday, 4 January


Ling Jidong told me Zhao Minheng(趙敏恒)[1] said that the head of the Ammunition Department was unhappy with Soviet ammunition, saying that it was old and unusable. Even President H.H. Kung told Ling Jidong in person that the price of Russian airplanes was higher than those of the United States. Zhou Zhirou (周至柔)[2] also told Sun Fo about the various insubordinate behaviours of Russian pilots. All in all, various sides were not as enthusiastic towards the Soviet Union as earlier last year. In the afternoon, it happened that I and Sun Fo touched on the subject that the Soviet products were rather expensive. He said we could not compare in this way. It was because our agreement with the Soviet Union was some three fabi in exchange for one US dollar. When we bought from the United States, we had to settle the payment in US dollars. Consequently every US dollar was in exchange for thirteen fabi. In comparison, in terms of nominal price, Soviet goods were double the price of those of the United States, but in fact only half the price of American goods. Sun Fo also told me that General Chiang was quite determined to work with the Soviet Union. He had asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform Britain and France that it was inappropriate to suggest sanctions to the Soviet Union in the Administrative Council of the League of Nations because if such a motion was raised our country would definitely vote against it, thus making it unable to be passed. Our situation now absolutely did not permit us to offend the Soviet Union. As for Gu Weijun’s approach to the permanent members’ group of the League of Nations, Chiang was quite unhappy about it, saying Gu should follow the government’s order. With regard to the war in Guangdong Chiang was still quite optimistic, saying the importance of the recent big victory in Wengyuan was no less a victory than the one in Northern Hunan, which seemed to be able to prevent enemy attempts to advance further. As for the CCP Chiang would not allow them to expand further, and he required absolute obedience to an agreed order, and they should not interpret independently. Otherwise he would impose sanctions.

At 12.30 I invited Wu Shangying, Miss.Hu and others to lunch at the Fenjiang.

Xu Keting invited us to have dinner at the Round House. Wang Chonghui said with regard to the Sino-Soviet Commercial Treaty that General Chiang again wanted to stop the exchange (of documents) and approval of the Treaty.  Wang told us not to publicise the treaty.

[1] Zhao Minheng (1904-1961) was a journalist and scholar from Jiangsu. He had studied at Missouri and Columbia Universities.

[2] Zhou Zhirou (1899-1986) was a close associate of Chiang Kai-shek. He was a senior aviation military officer of the Nationalist Government.