File No. 861.00/2307

The Chargé in China ( MacMurray ) to the Secretary of State


Chinese Legation at Tokyo has been informed in behalf of the Japanese Government that the United States has requested Japan to land forces at Vladivostok, each nation furnishing 7,000 troops; and that Japan would decide upon that invitation without consulting China, as the military action so proposed is not considered by Japan as coming within the contemplation of the recent military agreement between Japan and China. This information was informally conveyed to me by a representative of the Premier, who stated that this Government is disposed to offer participation with approximately 7,000 troops in the military operations proposed and who further intimated that the Chinese Government would for that purpose welcome such an invitation from the United States as had been given to Japan. I discouraged this suggestion, pointing out that our Government has heretofore had under consideration with Japan the whole question of action in Siberia so that in that case there exists a basis for what might perhaps be described as an invitation, whereas no such basis exists vis-à-vis [China]; and I furthermore intimated a doubt whether our Government would be disposed to take any initiative in respect to military cooperation by China which might be construed as ignoring the relationship established by the recent Sino-Japanese convention.

I beg to request instructions as to the attitude which the Legation should take towards the proposed participation by China in any joint military operations which may be undertaken.