The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 2—2:05 p.m.]
497. Tientsin’s telegram May 31, 6 p.m. giving text of truce agreement. Vice Minister Liu informs me that this text represents all that was discussed or agreed to and that it was entirely handled by Chinese and Japanese military. He promises me a copy of Chinese official text shortly.
Chinese desired agreement include provision for evacuation of so-called independent troops under Li Chi-chun who have been operating in the Lwan River area with the friendly aid of the Japanese and well armed. Japanese refused to include any provision covering this force. Vice Minister Liu expressed uncertainty in regard to these forces but stated a belief that Chinese could deal with them. Unless Chinese are able to persuade these independent forces to resume their loyalty to the Chinese, situation in area between line named in truce agreement and Great Wall will continue to contain factors capable at any moment of precipitating further trouble for Japanese will oppose entry of that area by Chinese forces sent to suppress these armed independents and it is doubtful whether [Page 353] Chinese police can handle them. Hallett Abend65 informs me that Japanese military at Tientsin state that South Manchuria is taking over Peiping-Mukden line between Shanhaikwan and Lutai and will operate line on same basis as Peiping-Mukden line between Shanhaikwan and Mukden assuming all financial obligations to British bondholders. This indicates permanent occupation of railway right of way. I expect that Japanese will now endeavor to open negotiations at Nanking on all questions outstanding between China and Japan and will probably use threat of encouraging establishment of opposition government in North China for the purpose of furthering these negotiations.
- Chief correspondent in China of the New York Times. ↩