ORE 19-50/REPORTS OF CURRENT SOVIET MILITARY ACTIVITY IN CHINA

Created: 4/21/1950

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COPY HO. 1GO FOR THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR REPORTS AHD ESTIMATES

REPORTS OF CURRENT OVIET MILITARY ACTIVITY IN CHINA

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

ORE tv-SO Published0

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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REPORTS OF CURRENT SOVIET MILITARY ACTIVITY IN CHINA

SUMMARY

seems reasonable to Infer from reports available, particularly from those receivedanuaryhat the USSR ls now giving open military advice and tome material assistance to the Chinese Communists. Tbe fun extent of Soviet military activity In Ctiinw cannot be determined at this. time.

In particular, the USSR it believed toelping the Chinese Communists, both with advice and material aid, tomall tactical air force which will appear hi the

springroviding advisory and technical as well as material assistance ln limited categories to ground and naval forces, it is believed that such aid will be continued to the extent of assisting theCommunists In the "liberation" ofTaiwan, and Tibet.

The USSR may also, by virtue of secret agreements, utilize certain air and naval base rights in China In addition to those at Fort Arthur-Dairen.

Note: The Intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, Army. Navy, and the Air force have concurred ln this report. It contains Information avaUable to CIA as ofevelopments subsequent toarch tend to confirm the general conclusions ol this estimate.

REPORTS OF CURRENT SOVIET MILITARY ACTIVITY IN CHINA

ot substantial Soviet military aid to the Chinese Communists received before the latter part9 were largelyand Indicated little beyond thethat any sort of Soviet support wascautious. Reports since that time, taken separately, are generally of lowHowever, they have increasedln volume, number, variety, and variety of source, tend to confirm each other Indetails, and collectively Indicate that the Soviets are now giving open advice and material assistance.evelopment ls regardedogical consequence of Soviet recognition of the "People's Republic of China" In9 and the signing of the Sino-Soviet treaty In

Nature of the Reports.

While the volume of reports indicating widespread Soviet military activity In China has Increasedost of them. Individually, do notigh degree of credibility. Most are obviously composedixture of information andsome are inspired by propagandaothers are sheer rumor or suspect as deliberateany contain grossBecause US field agenciesinvestigate them, it has been Impossible toound factual evaluation of any given report except in the case of those few where US observers were eye-witnesses. It is still notable, however, not only that many more reports have come in and that they tend to be concentrated on plausible Soviet activity but also that they come from non-Nationalist as well as Nationalist sources.

Reports of Soviet military assistance to thc Chinese Communists must, in any ease, be viewedackground of growingSoviet activity in China (Appendix B) There is no question whatever of Soviet aid in the form oi advisers and technicians In

such primarily civilian activities asof damaged faculties, theof Industry, the preservation of health, and ln many other fields, some of which ore on the borderline between purely civilian and quasi-military. It is thus' always possible that activity reported as military maybe civiUan.

Meaning of iho Report*.

ineneral terms, the reports Indicate that Soviet technicians and advisers are placed in all branches of the Cninesearmed forces but lhat Soviethave not directly participated In combat operations.*

It is believed that the main Soviet emphasis is on the Chinese Communist Air Force.Indicate that an undetermined number of Soviet air advisers and technicians are assisting In the rehabilitation of airfields near major Chinese cities, and It Is believedthat the USSR is also assisting ln the training and equippingmall tactical air force. This organization will probably make its appearance in operation in thc spring0 and voll consist principally of fighter aircraft, partly made up of planes captured from thc Nationalists, and partly supplied from Soviet aircraft surpluses available In thc fort Arthur Naval Base area and elsewhere Inr East. While obsolete by present-day US and Soviet standards, these alrcrafl are believed to be as modern as those employed by the Nationalists.orce wouldbe used, in the first instance, in the defense of Shanghai where it should havesuccess against hitherto unopposed Nationalist raiders The next target should be the blockade of Shanghai, which might be considerably disrupted by air activity.Chinese Communist air operations

ew UoUtcd instances, involving Roaunhave been reported, butacfcine

logically would be expanded to cover Taiwan and South China areas. It Lb not believed that Soviet personnel will participate directly In combat. -

It ls expected, in addition, that Sovietand technical assistance will continue to be provided for ground and naval activities and that material assistance to the ground forces In limited categories will also beSuch Soviet aid. In the short term, win continue to the extent of assisting thc Chinese Communists in thc "liberation" of Hainan, Taiwan, and Tibet.

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Over and above mwiBnw to the Chinese Communists, it ls possible that the USSR, by virtue of secret agreements,mploy certain Chinese Communist air bases in Its own Interest for surveillance missions and In thc western Pacific within the next few months and will prepare such bases for future Soviet operations in thc event of war;cquire special rights for naval bases at Tsingtao and other Chinese ports,to Its present position at Dairen and Port Arthur.

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APPENDIX A

RECENTLY REPORTED INSTANCES OF SOVIET MILITARY ACTIVITY IN CHINA

(BY AREA)

Aside from activity directly related to tbe legal Soviet occupation of thc Port Arthur. Dairen area, Soviet military activity Inhas been reported intermittentlyumber of recent reports fromsources Indicate that the USSR lsthe Chinese Communist forces with some logistical support and with technical andpersonnel. Moreover, this activity is expanding, and becoming more evident.

Soviet air assistance to the Chinese Commu-nists in Manchuriaror-sicier-able. Typical reports of suchhe presence of Soviet lratructors tn Chinese Communist aviation schools at Chiamussu andhe recent arrival of upwardsoviet aircraft infor use of the Chinese Communist Air Force;he presenceovietIncluding bombers. YAK 9's and YAK lS's of which some arc to be turned over to thc Chinese Communist Air Force. Although generally of low individual evnluatlon, these reportsrobability of considerable Soviet military air activity in Manchuria-There are also reports indicating Soviet assistance in the form of training andassistance to the Chinese Communists in the developmentavy. However, reports that thc USSR has turned over destroyers to the Chinese Communists arc not believed to be true.

Reports of Soviet ground forces in(in some cases as manyave been reported) are generally unconfirmed and of doubtful reliability. There is no reliable evidence of Soviet troops in Manchuria, other than those stationed in Uie Port Arthur Naval Base area.

North China.

A considerable volume of reports points to rather widespread Soviet military activity in North China as well as effective Sovietof both the high command and the tactical units of thc Chinese Communist forces, Continuing reports of Soviet air activity in and around Peiping and Tientsin, as well as the reliably reported presence of some Soviet military aircraft, technicians, and filers at North China fields. Indicate the probable presencemall group of Soviet air personnel and equipment in Peiping and Tientsin. Reports of large shipments ofmateriel, aviation gasoline, and spare parts passing south through Tientsin,generally considered to beIndicateimited amount of Soviet military equipment ls arriving in North China.

Of possible, though unknown, credibilityeport that twenty Soviet intelligencehave been assigned to the Department of Publicinternal securityof the Peiping regime, believed to be semi-military.

East China.

By far the largest volume of reportsSoviet military activity in China since the end9 deal with East China. Thc large number of dispatches received since0 concerning Soviet military activityconsiderable Soviet penetration of East China. During February and March as many0 Soviet military personnel (thebeing connected with the air force) and large shipments of materiel were reported in Tsinan. Tsingtao, Nanking, Shanghai. Wusih. Hangchow, Ningpo, and elsewhere in Che-

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kiang Province adjacent to the Chou Shan Islands. In view of possible duplication,and otherore realistic estimate of the number of Soviet military personnel Involved ln East China is probably much nearer one thousand.

Reports tending to confirm the presence or expected arrival of Soviet military personnel and materiel related to aviation and airin East Chinaeverishof foreign houses in the Hungjaoof Shanghai reportedly for Soviet Air Forceeconditioning of barracks for Soviet "guests" at Hangchow, Yushan, andhe presence of Soviet advisers with newly arrived anti-aircraft units in Shanghai, Nanking. Ningpo, and along thc Chekt&ngonstruction and other activity at the major airfields in Shanghai, Nanking, Tainan. Tsingtao. Hangchow. and Chuhsien; (S) the arrival of thirty Soviet engineers in Shanghai toadar warning net ln East and South China;he continued arrival since mid-February at Shanghai's Tachang airfield of crated planes, spare ports, and aviation gasoline. Confirmation of some aspects of the reported Soviet activity at Shanghai comes from the US Naval Attache whoersonally observed two foreign civilians attending an Inoperative Soviet radar unit ateported an area near that airfield to be occupied by Soviet advisers;

positively Identified an anti-aircraft shell fragment as being of Soviet manufacture. Two doubtful reports Indicate the arrival of several YAK aircraft with Soviet-trainedCommunist pilots at Tainan.

Possible Soviet assistance to other branches of the Chinese Communist forces is Indicated by reportsoviet advisers andhave made inspection trips and given amphibious training and operational advice to elements of the Peoplo's Liberation Army in Click lang Province;oviet advisers have assisted thc Third Field Army of the People's Liberation Army ln the construction of wooden landing craft.Soviet naval assistance or encroachment is Indicated by reportsisit to Shanghaioviet admiral

Although nearly all of thc foregoing reports are of low evaluation per te, the large volume from diversified sources IndicatesSoviet military air activity In East China, and lesser Soviet ground and naval activity.

Sooth China and Other Areas.

Although thereew reports of Soviet military activity In South and northwest China, they are generally of low credibility. Reports of Soviet military activity In Sin-klang, Kansu. Shensi, and Kwangtung, are believed to be cilher based on unfoundedrumors or to be related to Soviet civil aviation.

septet

APPENDIX B

REPORTS OF SOVIET ACTIVITYENERAL OR NON-MILITARY NATURE

some of the reports of Sovietactivity in China may. in fact, be based on the growing influx of non-militaryand technicians, there ls presentedrief survey of general and non-militaryactivities in China. While Sovietand technical personnel are reported In many of the larger cities in China andnow totaln all categories, more than half are believed to be engaged innon-military activities.

There appears to be substantialof Soviet advisory and technicalIn non-military categories, such as civil administration, police, railroad restoration and operation, civil aviation, factories,power plants, iron and steel works, mining, and other enterprises. Sovietthrough advisers and techniciansto have been most liberally provided In Manchuria and North China. This activity, currently Increasing and becoming morenow appears to be extending to East China and perhaps to other areas.

Manchuria.

Leaving aside consideration of Sovietconnected with the Port Arthur Naval Base, there are probably hundreds of Soviet advisers, several thousand railroad guards, and operating and administrative personnel elsewhere in Manchuria and Dairen.of Soviet technicians sent from thc USSR to reconstruct and improve theof Manchurian industries have cited:

Soviet operation of large training schools in thc Dairen area for the repair and operation of railroads and the training of locomotive engineers; Soviet bridge repairare also reported.

Soviet advisers with Uie iron and steel industry at Anshan, engaged in speedingof steel production.

Sovietnumberthe principal electric power plants In Manchuria. It seems likely thatadvice is needed In order to complete the Hsiaofengmen hydroelectric project. Soviet aid In connection with the Harbin power plant Is Indicatedeport that the Soviet adviser to thc Harbin power plant was re-cenUy reported to be negotiating In Shanghai for equipment unobtainable from thc USSR

The assistance, acknowledged by the Chinese press, of Soviet forestry experts, plague-fighting teams, and technical experts attached to various industries in the Dairenlectrical, glass, shipbuilding. Other sources report Soviet chemicalin Mukden; this is plausible in view of the reported resumpUon of oil production from the Fushun oil-shale deposits.

While Soviet advice has been provided in numerous economic fields, practicalhas probably been concentrated on the railroads and on thc iron and steel industry.

North China.

In North China as in Manchuria, Soviet advice and assistance in the economic Geld is concentrated In communications and heavyeam of eight Soviet technicians has been attached to the Talyuan iron and steel works since last October, and. according to Chinese Communist propaganda, has taught the Chinese to double steel production there. It is reported that Soviet engineers are responsible for the excellent job ofrailroad bridges in North China.railroad advisors have appeared inand elsewhere, possibly stimulatingof Soviet control over Uie Ministry of Communications. Soviet technicians areby several sources, including thepress and radio, to be advising in many

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fields of ccotiomlc activity In North China, such as the radio station atthe film industry, the "city planning" of Peiping and Tientsin, the Ministry of Health, agriculture, the postal system, and the textile Industry. Reconstructionof Soviet origin have apparently been sent to North China and have consistedentirely of motor vehicles and railroad equipment.0 tons of oil products (kerosene, and motor and aviation gasoline) delivered to Dairen by tanker in the summerhe bulk has already been transferred to Tientsin and Tsingtao

There have been few reportsoviet effort to extend control over the Party and governmental apparatus of thc Peiping regime, and thc USSR appears to becircumspectly in that effort. It ishowever, that the USSR wil] attempt to transform influence into control.hc Chinese Communist pressoviet jurist to be attached to the College of Political Science and Law InIn January. Soviet advisers wereby Chinese sources lo be In effective control of the Chinese Communist secret police, the Ministry of Justice, and tneof Communications. It seems likely that Soviet advisers and observers areat least to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. Public Security, Justice. HeavyRailways. Communications, Labor, Culture, Education, and Propaganda. There is no evidence that Uie advice of such advisers is binding

East China.

A group ofussians has been reported at Tsinan.ew Soviet offi-

cials have been observed in the Tsingtao area. One source claims that four Soviet experts have been investigating the possibilities of restoring tbe old Japanese aluminum plant near Posban.

Since mid-February, various sources have estimated that there areoviet advisers, in all categories. In Shanghai. There have been several Inspections, by small groups of Russians, of the Shanghaiand the Shanghai Power Company. As long ago asoviet advisers were reported to be attached to the Shanghai police. There Is no reliable Information about the numbers of those mentioned in thc above estimate who have been assignedor political tasks as distinguished from military.

Elsewhere in East China. Soviet missions, some presumably permanent and otherson tour, have been reported at Nanking and Wuslh, but no accurate information Is available as to Uie nature of their activities.

South China.

With the exceptionailroad mission of one adviser and five technicians, the activity of Soviet non-military personnel in South China is not known.

Olher Areas.

Although reports of Soviet non-military activity In other areas of China have been sketchy and limited In number, there have been reportsoviet mission at Hankow, and some Indications that Soviet geologists, railroad planners, and civil airline personnel have been active in Slnklang, Kansu, and Shenai.

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