Text of a Statement Issued by Mr. Wang Ching-wei, President of the Executive Yuan, Dated Nanking, June 2 66
After the fall of Jehol the Chinese troops along the Great Wall fought fearlessly against the Japanese military forces, in order to defend and recover Chinese territory. Handicapped by the lack of deadly weapons and sinews of war, but thanks to the loyalty and bravery of our officers and soldiers, we were able to engage in the severest fighting continuously for three months without our troops relaxing in the least their energy. The battles, which the troops under the command of Generals Miao Cheng-liu, Sun[g] Che-yuan, Shang Chen and Hsu Ting-yao respectively fought at Lamatung, Shifengkow, Lengkow and Kupeikow, demonstrated their fearlessness of powerful enemies and resulted in the glorious and noble sacrifice of their lives. The recent fighting around Nantienmen during which the casualties of the troops despatched there by the Central Government exceeded one half of the total number was especially terrible and proved unmistakably the patriotic spirit, in which they made their supreme sacrifice.
The Japanese army with such superior offensive weapons as heavy guns, tanks and bombing planes ceaselessly attacked the Chinese troops who fought as it were with their own flesh. But the Chinese troops tenaciously held their ground until their defence works were completely destroyed by the bombing of the Japanese airplanes and it was only then that the Chinese troops were compelled to retreat for strategic reasons. The bombing from the air was not confined [Page 354] to the Chinese military camps, but it was also wantonly extended to the civilian population who took no part in military engagements, resulting in the slaughter of innocent people and the ruthless destruction of their property.
On May 22nd and 23rd, the Japanese troops were advancing rapidly on Tientsin and Peiping, where there is a large population and where foreign nationals and Chinese live in close propinquity. Such atrocities as are mentioned above threw them into a panic fright and they ardently hoped that measures would be adopted to relieve the tension of the situation, so that the catastrophe might be averted.
The Chinese Government urged as well as encouraged the troops to continue the defense of the country with heart and soul and to the best of their ability. At the same time the Government would permit the cessation of local hostilities, provided that the territorial sovereignty of China be not impaired and the various international agreements concerning the maintenance of world peace and justice remain unprejudiced.
The Agreement relating to cessation of fighting in Hopei Province has now been signed by the representatives of the military commanders at the front. Needless to say, it is most painful to examine this document. However, as it is confined to military matters and touches upon no political issues, it does not in the least affect the fundamental policy which the Chinese Government has adopted. China will seek a just and equitable settlement of the whole situation in the Far East under the same principles which have hitherto guided her efforts in this regard and which have been upheld practically by all the nations of the world.
- Copy transmitted to the Department by the First Secretary of the Chinese Legation in covering letter dated June 2, together with the Chinese text of the Truce Agreement of May 31, 1933; for English text of the latter, see Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 120.↩