793.94/6100: Telegram

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

280. Reuter from Shanghai today:

“In advancing Chinese thesis that vital interests of United States demand active and positive intervention of America in conflict created by Japan’s military action against China, Eugene Chen, former Foreign Minister, has issued lengthy statement on American right and obligation in the Sino-Japanese conflict. Chen urges that America demand in return for cancellation of war debts that Britain and France cooperate with United States in assisting China to secure Japanese observance of Nine-Power Treaty and carry out general disarmament which would insure international security and peace in Far East. Examining situation from many aspects and consideration[s,] Chen believes that, willing or unwilling, America is bound to take leading part in task of preventing Japan breaking up the international system in Far East which rests on doctrine of open door, Nine-Power Treaty and Kellogg Pact. He rejects thesis that Manchuria is a matter of life and death for Japan as a source of raw materials, a barrier against Soviets and a home for Japan’s surplus population.”