JULY 27, 1946
NEW YORK, Friday—The continuation of civil war in China is certainly a discouraging thing to read about every day in the newspapers. Ambassador Wellington Koo's statement from Washington, in answer to Mme. Sun Yat-sen's appeal to the United States, was the statement of a very excellent diplomat. However, in most of the newspaper articles I have read, the point of Mme. Sun's statement seems to me to have been ignored.
As I see it, she feels that China cannot be unified until there is actual representation of all parties in the government, including the so-called Communist group. As I understand it, the Democratic League is the middle-of-the-road group which forms the connecting link between the right and the left. The point that all shades of thought must be allowed to have representation seems to me absolutely reasonable, and is an essential preliminary step for a peaceful China.
It is a sign of political maturity to be able to live with your opposition and work out your problems in a peaceful manner. Years ago, I remember, the delegations from north and south China travelled to the 1919 peace conference on the same steamer, in spite of the fact that north and south China were carrying on a civil war.
Traditionally, we in this country have a great affection for and interest in China and its people. But I think a good many of our people are beginning to hope that military occupations, outside of conquered countries such as Germany and Japan, may give way as rapidly as possible to such civilian aid as can be of value only when nations are at peace. There is so much work to be done in China, to help the average human being to raise his standard of living, that it seems an utter waste of time for the Chinese to be fighting each other because they cannot agree on some form of representation in their government which will give a voice to all shades of thought—a chance to be heard without bloodshed.
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I woke this morning to the most wonderful cool breeze and, if the weather could just continue as it is today, I would recommend New York City as a really invigorating summer climate! On the whole, I think we have been lucky this summer. I have spent most of the last ten days in the city, and the weather has not been unbearable at any time.
Out of my apartment windows, I look on the tops of the trees which give shade to Washington Square, and I know that this little bit of green helps to reconcile me to the bricks and mortar of the city. The older I get, the more I realize that cities—big cities particularly—are an unnatural man-made type of existence!
Instead of increasing the size of our cities, we should make them places used largely for work and entertainment, and should try to live where we can have some open green space around us. New ways of travel are going to make this increasingly possible, and I think the day is not far distant when the roofs of buildings in the city will be used as landing places for commuter aircraft.