893.00/13201: Telegram

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

447. My 442, August 28, 3 p.m. Mandate for abolition of the Peiping Political Affairs Readjustment Committee was issued August 29, by the National Government and the organization comes to an end August 31.

2.
The situation appears to be developing substantially along the lines mentioned in paragraph 2 of the above-mentioned telegram. [Page 344]Complete abolition of the Political Committee came as a surprise to its members. According to a responsible member, the action was the result of Huang Fu’s dislike of Wang Keh-min and [I?] infer directly connected with the Japanese. There have been, however, statements in the past by Japanese to the effect that they would like to have it abolished; and it helps to clear the way for a new regime in North China. Wang Keh-min is understood to be trying to become Mayor of Peiping. He may also become head of the new Hopei Economic Association scheduled to be organized soon.
3.
It is claimed by responsible Chinese officials that the proposed organization will have for its purpose some Japanese economic cooperation; that only Chinese, principally bankers, will be members; and that it will not be governmental but will “consult” with the Tientsin and Peiping Municipal Governments and the Hopei Provisional Government. According to one official, Chow Tso-min, president of the Kin Cheng Banking Corporation, will be the head. Chow was known a year ago to be negotiating with the Japanese for the building of a railway from Shihkiachuang to Tsangchow.
4.
Sung Che-yuan has been appointed Commandant of the Peiping-Tientsin garrison. The question of the removal of his troops from Chahar is understood still to be in dispute.
5.
The assassination of Liu (my 421, August 19, 4 p.m.81) is not yet settled; a former subordinate of his has confessed to the crime but his story is said to vary each time he tells it. I am informed that the Japanese insists that “the principal murderer” be apprehended.
6.
The press reports today that the Japanese Consul General at Tientsin has presented five demands to the Managing Director of the Peiping-Mukden Railway with regard to the holdup on that line on August 15, these demands being limited entirely to the immediate incident and including one for “restoration of the stolen goods, which consist principally of bank notes, to the value of $35,000; failing this compensation to that value” (those to be compensated were Koreans travelling third class) Legation is attempting to obtain authoritative statement concerning demands.
7.
Negotiations for North China-”Manchukuo” air communication are reliably said to have stopped as a result, according to Chinese official sources, of “excessive” demands by the Japanese in this regard.
8.
I shall report more fully when the situation has become somewhat clarified.

Repeated by mail to Nanking and Tokyo.

Johnson
  1. Not printed; Col. Liu Tso-chou was an officer in the Peace Preservation Corps.