The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:45 p.m.]
136. 1, A foreign adviser to the Chinese Government having close connections with high officials including Chiang Kai-shek informs me that Chinese Government leaders view the current Japanese affair in North China as being primarily directed against Chiang because, in spite of his conciliatory pronouncements concerning a Sino-Japanese rapprochement, the Japanese consider him the greatest individual obstacle to the accomplishment of their aims and have marked him down as a special object for attack. This view is borne out by various evidences of bitterness against Chiang on the part of the Japanese military as seen in press statements issued by Takahashi and others and by remarks made in conversation by Suma of Japanese Embassy. The [Page 200]immediate objects of the Japanese, in the informant’s opinion, are those which Rengo’s and other reports have contained, namely, the elimination from North China of Yu Hsueh-chung, Ho Ying-chin, Tangpu representatives and all official or semi-official elements in North China which the Japanese believe to be actively inimical to their interests in that region.
2. The administrative Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs stated yesterday that he was sure an amicable settlement of the North China situation would be achieved and other officials of the Ministry have made similar statements. These statements indicate, as exemplified in the hurried steps to remove the Hopei Provincial Government from Tientsin to Paotingfu, that the Chinese are complying with the “advice” which the Japanese military in North China have so harshly tendered them.