The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Chinese Legation2

Marshal Chang Hsiao-Liang,3 wiring on January 2 from Peiping, reported that a telephone communication from Shanhaikwan revealed the following facts:

At 9: 30 p.m. in the night of January 1 a few Japanese soldiers in civilian clothes appeared at the Southern gate of Shanhaikwan and fired several shots into the city.
In the same night a bomb was dropped by the Japanese sentry at the railway station of Shanhaikwan.
The police forces of the puppet government in the Three Eastern Provinces also fired more than ten shots around the same district.
Japanese military police on duty there assisted in the firing for a short time.

Brigadier-General Ho Chu-Kuo4 immediately despatched a representative to enquire at the headquarters of the Japanese military police. The Japanese alleged that the Chinese forces had fired upon them, citing as proof several bomb holes in the headquarter itself. The [Page 2] Japanese authority then issued a warning demanding the residents of Shanhaikwan to evacuate the territory for fear of possible danger to them. This warning was to be answered by the Chinese within fifty minutes of its issuance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, upon receipt of this report, has ordered the local Chinese authorities to negotiate with the Japanese hoping to localize the affair, although active preparations were being made for resistance against any possible attack. At the same time the Chinese are protesting to the Japanese in accordance with reasons. Whether this affair can be satisfactorily settled or not can not be known until January 3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered Marshal Chang to investigate as to which side opened fire and to try to localize the affair as much as possible. However, any condition which the Japanese may attach to the solution must first obtain the consent of the central government.

  1. Translation of telegram transmitted to the Department by the Chinese Legation on January 3.
  2. Usually known as Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang (the “Young Marshal”), Acting Chairman, Peiping branch, National Military Council.
  3. Commander, Ninth Brigade, at Shanhaikwan.