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

No. 941

Sir: Pursuant to the Department’s instruction No. 78, of October 9, 1925,2 I have the honor to present herewith a summary of events and conditions in China during January, 1927.

A review of the general situation in China for January should once again be prefaced by the statement that there are no indications that an improvement can be hoped for in the immediate future.

Dissension, jealousy, and suspicion are rife among the northern military leaders and the unanimity of policy which is so essential to the successful conclusion of any military operations is sadly lacking among the leaders of the Ankuochun.3 Chang Tsung-chang is casting covetous eyes upon Shanghai and would appear only to be awaiting a favorable opportunity to oust Sun Chuan-fang from its control and to gain possession of its revenues, which amount to about 40 per cent of the Customs receipts for the whole of China.

Owing to defections among his Generals and lack of money and ammunition, Wu Pei-fu is in a precarious situation and continues rapidly to lose the prestige and influence he previously enjoyed. In spite of protestations that he is capable of maintaining his position in Honan without the assistance of Fengtien troops, Chang Tso-lin and Chang Tsung-chang have been sending large forces into that province, ostensibly with the intention of aiding Wu in his offensive operations against the Cantonese, although it is generally recognized that they hope at the same time to eliminate him altogether as a factor in the military situation.

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Disunion and lack of a common policy likewise exist to a certain extent in the ranks of the Nationalists. There is an ever widening split between the military and political factions and much dissatisfaction is said to exist among the troops who are clamoring for arrears in pay. At a military and political conference at Nanchang, General Chiang Kai-shek4 is reported to have endeavored to introduce measures to counteract the communist influence in the Kuomintang, but was successfully opposed by Borodin5 and Tung Yen-to [Teng Yen-ta].6

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I have [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Not printed; it instructed the Minister to supplement his political reports by a brief monthly summary of events and conditions in China.
  2. Allied Northern armies under Chang Tso-lin, Chang Tsung-ch’ang, and Sun Ch’uan-fang.
  3. Commander in chief of the Chinese Nationalist army.
  4. Michael Borodin, Russian adviser to the Hankow regime.
  5. Chief of the Political Bureau of the Hankow regime.