893.00/9928: Telegram

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

330. Following is the translation of a circular telegram to the country at large which has just been issued by Chang Tso-lin:

“Civil war has been going on for several years since the Communists attempted to ruin [rule?] the country. The southeastern provinces have repeatedly gone through indescribable sufferings of which I have heard a good deal and invariably with a feeling of pain. I could not bear to see the bolshevization of this nation, and it was responding to the call of the provinces that I determined to lead my troops for a campaign against bolshevism. From the very beginning I declared that I would regard my personal foes as friends if only they concurred with me in the suppression of bolshevism. On the other hand, I made up my mind to deliver a decisive blow to the Communists with a view towards its total elimination. Wherever my troops went, strict orders were issued to them for the maintenance of discipline and the protection of lives and properties of both the Chinese and foreigners, for I always apprehended that civil war might effect [affect] diplomacy and thereby impair China’s friendly relations with the powers.

During the last year or two unfortunate international incidents had happened in Canton, Hankow, Nanking and Tsinan. It is highly regrettable that foreigners should be involved in our domestic struggles. If this state of affairs should be allowed to continue I shall be unable to face the whole nation as well as our friendly powers. In view of this situation I have ordered my victorious troops at Changteh and along the Cheng-Tai Railway to cease hostilities at once. As regards national politics I will not be insistent if our people can agree on a fair and impartial decision. The question of right and wrong rests with the people. I had [have] been in the military service ever since I was a youth. As an old resident in Manchuria I knew perfectly well the evil influences of communism and the preventive measures taken by the other nations, indeed I feel that my personal experience along that line qualifies me to give a better view of the whole question than many of our prominent men in the country. Knowing that certain traitors, ignorant of the consequences that carry in its wake, have been deeply imbued with the idea of communism [and] are sure to bring havoc to the country, I considered the extermination of communism and the extreme caution to be taken in our diplomatic dealings as the sole means of attaining our independence. Presently there seems to be no end to our civil strife and the Ship of State is sinking rapidly. I hope our people will come to their senses and save this country from destruction. This, in brief, is my appeal, and I hope to hear from you all.”

  1. Telegram in three sections.