Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1920, Volume I
The Consul General at Canton ( Bergholz ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 21.]
Sir: I have the honor to transmit a most admirable and, I believe, a correct exposition of the present political situation in China, issued under the seal of the Government and bearing the signatures of its principal officials. The Manifesto, as it is called, is the work, I understand, of Mr. Wen Tsung-yao, from whom I received it with the request that I communicate it to the Department and the Legation at Peking.
Mr. Wen Tsung-yao sets forth, clearly and well, the differences between the rival parties of the South and their attitude towards the two great factions in the North. To facilitate the Department’s understanding of this interesting document I have attached thereto a list of the principal adherents of both the Chihli faction and of the Anfu club and their respective partisans of the South.
A copy of this despatch has been forwarded to the Legation at Peking.
I have [etc.]
Manifesto Issued by the Military Government of the Republic of China, June 15, 1920
It is three years now, since the Southwestern Provinces declared their Independence and the Navy came over to join hands with them. During these three years, China has been suffering from civil strife, involving great loss of life, property and wealth. And all this has been done for the sake of defending the Constitution and saving the country.
The Constitution must be defended because Tuan Chi-jui is destroying it: the country must be saved because the Anfuites, of whom Tuan Chi-jui is the principal leader, are bartering away its sovereign rights. Therefore, there is no hope of success in defending the Constitution, unless Tuan Chi-jui is put out of power; and no hope of success in saving the country, unless the Anfu Party is dissolved. Accordingly, the Southwestern Provinces and the Navy seceded from the Peking Government and established an independent Government in Canton under the title of “The Military Government of [Page 428] the Republic of China” in order to achieve their patriotic aim of defending the Constitution and saving the country.
But, relying upon the help that they have secured from an outside state, Tuan Chi-jui and his Anfuites are determined to crush the Southwestern Provinces by superior military forces. This is why they are putting every obstacle in the way of peace, though, in order to deceive the world, their lips are full of peace talks. The one fact that Wang Yi-tang, Speaker of the illegal Anfuite Parliament in Peking, was appointed Chief Peace Delegate for the North in place of Chu Chi-chien after peace negotiations had already been opened for more than four months, sufficiently shows that Tuan Chi-jui and his Anfuites have no desire for peace but are still as sanguine as ever for war.
Now, among those, crying against Tuan Chi-jui and his Anfuites, no one has cried louder and more bitterly than Sun Yat-sen: among those, refusing to recognize Wang Yi-tang as Chief Peace Delegate for the North and calling for his removal, no one seems to have taken a firmer attitude than Tang Shao-yi. But both Sun Yat-sen and Tang Shao-yi have now suddenly changed their minds and assumed a very different attitude. Sun has allied himself with Tuan Chi-jui and is doing his utmost to flatter him: Tang Shao-yi has joined hands with Wang Yi-tang and is eager to do him homage. To those who look at Sun and Tang when they are wearing their masks, this news must appear surprising and startling. But by us, who know these two men well in their naked form, such an attitude on their part has, for some time past, been expected. Between Tuan Chi-jui and Wang Yi-tang on one side and Sun Yat-sen and Tang Shao-yi on the other, secret agents have, during the past six months, frequently gone forward and backward, personal views have been exchanged and conditions, conducive to the private interest of both sides, have been agreed upon, which have more than once leaked out through the native Press in Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai and Hongkong. According to these conditions, the present President Hsu Shih-chang is to quit and Tuan Chi-jui to be elected to fill his place; Wang Yi-tang to be Premier; Tang Shao-yi to be Minister of Foreign Affairs; Tang Chi-yao to be Inspector-General for the three provinces of Yunnan, Szechuen and Kweichow; Wu Tingfang’s son, Wu Chao-chu, to be Minister to Washington; while Sun Yat-sen is to receive eight hundred thousand dollars per annum, to stay abroad and to keep quiet.
These facts account for the sudden change of attitude on the part of Sun Yat-sen and Tang Shao-yi and their adherents. And these facts also account for the reason why, about five months ago, Tang Shao-yi wired to Canton, suggesting that the Military Government should waive its demand for the publication of all the secret treaties [Page 429] which Tuan Chi-jui and his Anfuites had made with Japan and th-at only one thing should be demanded as a condition for the resumption of negotiations for peace with the Northern Peace Delegates, namely, the cancellation of the Military Pact. But the Military Government was not satisfied with this one condition: it wanted one more, namely, the recall of the Anfuite Wang Yi-tang and the appointment of a more acceptable person to take his place as Chief Peace Delegate for the North. This additional condition, however, was offensive to both the party represented by Wang Yi-tang and the party represented by Tang Shao-yi, as it practically amounted to the nullification of the secret arrangement already come to between them; for if Wang Yi-tang be removed and a new man appointed in his place, that new man might be some one, who does not belong to the Anfu Party. And in that case he would most likely refuse to abide by the secret conditions above referred to.
After this, Sun Yat-sen, Tang Shao-yi and Wu Ting-fang were determined to usurp the power of the Military Government to enable them to carry out the secret arrangement they had made with the Anfuites. But the power of the Military Government could not be usurped unless Tsen Chun-hsuan, Lu Yung-ting, Lin Pao-yi and Mo Yung-hsin were overthrown. Therefore, they sent their secret agents, Kuo Tung and Wang Nai-chang, to Yunnan to make arrangement with Tang Chi-yao to have their scheme carried out; and Tang Chi-yao readily consented to co-operate with them because he was so pleased with the idea that he had already long cherished that he was to be made Inspector-General for the three provinces of Yunnan, Szechuen and Kweichow. At that moment there were two divisions of Yunnan troops in Kwangtung under the command of General Li Kan-yuen, who though being a native of Yunnan, was loyal to the Military Government. Fearing lest General Li Kan-yuen would not obey orders, if called upon to attack the Kwangsi troops in Kwangtung, who were supporting the Military Government, General Tang Chi-yao issued a mandate, removing General Li Kanyuen from his commandership and putting General Li Lieh-chun in command of the Yunnan troops. But General Li Kan-yuen refused to hand over his command to General Li Lieh-chun, General Li Lieh-chun, thereupon, declared war upon General Li Kan-yuen, and fighting between them followed, in which General Li Lieh-chun was defeated and would certainly have lost his life, had not Tsen Chun-hsuan gone to the scene of battle in Shaochow to protect him and bring him safely back to Canton.
Owing to the complete failure of their plot, and fearing of its being discovered by the Military Government at any moment, Wu Ting-fang and his son, Wu Chao-chu, secretly quitted Canton during the absence of Tsen Chun-hsuan in Shaochow, carrying away with [Page 430] them all the public funds in Wu Ting-fang’s trust, as Acting Minister of Finance in the Military Government; and, for the same reason, Tang Shao-yi sent word to those members of the Old Parliament, who were siding with him, to go to Shanghai, believing that, with the secession of Wu Ting-fang and these members of the Old Parliament, the Military Government would come to an end. But, to their great disappointment, with the single exception of Yunnan, all the provinces in the Southwest remain loyal to the Military Government and still obey its mandates.
But, in order to deceive the world and to cover their own crimes, Sun Yat-sen, Tang Shao-yi, Wu Ting-fang and Tang Chi-yao recently issued a manifesto,11 in which they praise themselves and lay every crime at the door of the Military Government; in which they still claim to be Administrative Directors, though, with the only exception of Tang Chi-yao, the positions of Sun Yat-sen, Wu Ting-fang and Tang Shao-yi as Administrative Directors in the Military Government, were cancelled by the Old Parliament, assembled in extraordinary session on the 4th of May 1920; in which they attack the Military Government on the “so-called five articles”, though these five articles were suggested and offered to the Military Government for consideration by a third and neutral party, who is anxious to see the restoration of peace; in which they declare that “poppy is widely cultivated” in the Southwest, though, as a matter of fact, poppy is widely and densely cultivated only in the province of Yunnan, which is governed by Tang Chi-yao, one of the four Signatories to the manifesto above referred to; in which they assert that “gambling dens are in evidence in every street”, though, as known to every Cantonese, gambling, which was abolished by Tsen Chun-hsuan in the year 1904 when he was Viceroy of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, was re-established in Kwangtung during Sun Yatsen’s tenure of office as self-appointed “Generalissimo” in Canton previous to his departure in shame and disgrace, after he had failed to take the city by bombardment for a whole night; in which they claim themselves to be the Military Government, though the only province in the Southwest that is supposed to be on their side is Yunnan; and in which they claim that “the provinces of Yunnan, Szechuen and Kweichow still follow the lead of Tang Chi-yao”, though recent events show that, on account of Tang Chi-yao’s disloyalty to the Military Government, and of his intrigues against Szechuen, his most intimate friend, General Ku Pin-chen, Commander-in-Chief of the Yunnan troops in Szechuen, has sent out a circular telegram from Suifu in Szechuen, denouncing Tang Chiyao’s inconsistent and selfish conduct and declaring that he has [Page 431] severed all connections with Tang Chi-yao. All this is an accurate statement of facts, which is capable of bearing investigation.
Now, while the Military Government is anxious for the restoration of peace, it hesitates to negotiate peace with any Anfuite like Wang Yi-tang, for it is convinced that, if peace is made through such an Anfuite, the Anfu influence can not be got rid of, or reduced to any satisfactory point. But, if the Anfu influence is allowed to remain, neither can the Constitution be defended, nor can the country be saved from destruction. Therefore, the Military Government has dismissed Tang Shao-yi from his position of Chief Peace Delegate for the South and has declared that any arrangement secretly made between him and the Anfuite Wang Yi-tang shall have no effect; and has appointed Wen Tsung-yao to the position of Chief Peace Delegate, who will open negotiations for peace with the North, as soon as the Peking Government recalls Wang Yi-tang and appoints an acceptable person to be its Chief Peace Delegate.
This manifesto is issued and circulated to give the world a true description of the situation in China, and to correct the false statements of Sun Yat-sen, Tang Shao-yi, Wu Ting-fang and Tang Chiyao, in the manifesto that they issued and circulated on the 3rd of June 1920.
Chief Administrative Director
Administrative Director, Minister of War, and Inspector-General of Kwangtung and Kwangsi
Administrative Director, Minister of the Navy, and Military Governor of Fukien
Administrative Director, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chief Peace Delegate
Administrative Director, Military Governor of Szechuen, and Acting Civil Governor of Szechuen
(Note: The name of the other Administrative Director, Liu Hsienshih, Military Governor of Kweichow, is omitted because his representative has not yet arrived in Canton.)
(Stamped) The Military Government of the Republic of China
List of Chinese Party Leaders
|President Hsu Shih-chang||Chief Leader.|
|“||Li Kwei-yuan||Acting Military Governor of Hunan. (North).|
|Ex-premier Tuan Chi-jui||Chief Leader.|
|“||Hsu Shu-cheng||Director General of the Mongolian Frontier Defence Army.|
Southern Leaders, Siding with the Chihli Party
|Tsen Chun-hsuan||Chief Leader, Administrative Director.|
|General Lu Yung-ting||Administrative||Director.|
|Admiral Lin Pao-yi||“||“||& Military Governor of Fukien. (South).|
|Wen Tsung-yao||Administrative Director & Minister of Foreign Affairs.|
|“||Tan Yen-kai||“||“||“||Hunan. (South).|
Southern Leaders, Siding with the [Anfu] Party
|General Tang Chi-yao||Military Governor of Yunnan.|