The Consul General at Canton (Bergholz) to the Secretary of State

No. 51

Sir: Referring to my despatch No. 38 of March 15, 1920,6 reporting the clash between General Mo Yung-hsin, Military Governor of Kwangtung, and General Tang Chi Yao, Civil and Military Governor of Yunnan, as to who should exercise supreme command over the Yunnan troops within this province, I now have the honor to inform the Department that a settlement of the dispute has been arrived at between General Li Lieh Chun, acting on behalf of the governor of Yunnan, and Tsen Chun-hsuan, Chairman of the Administrative Council, representing General Mo, which leaves General Tang in supreme command of the Yunnan troops, exercising his authority through General Li Lieh Chun who remains as chief of staff.

General Li Kan Yuan, whose removal of General Chen Kai-wen from the command of the 3rd division of the Yunnan troops, at the behest of General Mo, was the indirect cause of the trouble, has been appointed Commissioner of Defense at Kiungchow and Yaichow, Hainan, taking with him 5,000 of the 20,000 Yunnan troops within the Province. Of the rest of the Yunnan troops, 10,000 will be retained in Kwangtung under the control of General Tang Chi Yao and 5,000 will be transferred to the southern part of the province of Hunan which is under the Government of South China. All the Yunnan troops, whether within this province or in that of Hunan or [in] Hainan will be paid from the Kwangtung treasury.

It is rumored that General Mo, by his unsuccessful attempt to gain control of the Yunnan forces, has lost the confidence of General Lu Yung Ting, the recognized leader of the Military Party, as stated in my despatch No. 24 of February 17, 1920,6 and may, possibly, either be removed from his post of Military Governor or be [Page 419] permitted to retire. It is said, also, that Chang Chen Fang, the Civil Governor, may, shortly, be succeeded by Yang Wing Tai, now Commissioner of Finance.

The situation in Kwangtung could not, possibly, be worse. The pirating of shipping on the main waterways is of daily occurence and travellers on the principal highways are held up and robbed. Not only have small steamers and sailing vessels been looted of their cargos and their passengers, both foreign and Chinese, robbed of their possessions but villages and larger towns have been attacked and sacked by outlaws, and even by soldiers as if they were conquered territory.

I have [etc.]

Leo Bergholz
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