The Consul General at Harbin (Hanson) to the Minister in China (Johnson)83
Sir: I have the honor to report that the Hsinking Government appears to be disturbed because the Soviet Government aided the return to China of several thousand Chinese soldiers formerly under the command of General Su Ping Wen. It will be remembered that [Page 263] these soldiers fled with General Su into Siberia when the Japanese military made a drive on the western line of the Chinese Eastern Railway in December last. On March 21, 1933, Mr. Hsieh Chieh Shih, Minister for Foreign Affairs at Hsinking, instructed the local Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shih Lu Pen, to file a protest in this connection with the local Soviet Consul General. The text of the protest reads in substance as follows:
“When the Lytton Commission proposed a meeting with Ma Chan Shan last year, your Government refused to visa their passports. Besides, when our Government requested you to prevent the rebel leader from fleeing into Soviet territory, you assured us that, while it was impossible to comply with our request in view of the long distance of the frontier line, the rebel leader and his men, if they should find their way into Soviet territory, would be disarmed and be placed under personal restraint.
“Notwithstanding, when Su Ping Wen and others fled into your territory, our request for their surrender to us was ignored. Much to our regret, these anti-Manchoukuo leaders were sent back home safely by way of Vladivostok, only to allow them to fan anti-Manchoukuo movements in their home country.
“That the Soviet side should have facilitated their landing in Tientsin, close by the scene of bloodshed and complications and to rejoin in anti-Manchoukuo demonstrations is a surprise to our side.
“Such move as taken by your side is considered as a most unfriendly gesture of your attitude, while we have been ever anxious to further the friendly relation with your country. Here, we have to express our deep regret of your unfriendly move.”
- Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Harbin in his despatch No. 5722, March 30; received April 24.↩