793.94/7874: Telegram

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

213. 1. Reference paragraph 1 of Embassy’s 201, April 20, 2 p.m., Sung Che Yuan and his self-seeking civilian subordinates are conferring at Tientsin with Japanese military leaders. Available information indicates that Sung is being urged to sign an anti-Communism agreement which is designed for strategic purposes with regard to Soviet Russia, for further separation of the Sung regime from the National Government, and for further extension of Japanese influence in North China. Details are not obtainable.

2. Japanese advisers suggested recently to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hopei-Chahar Political Council that Japanese nationals be granted the privilege of free residence in North China. All of the Committee except the chairman, allegedly a member of the Kwangsi clique of the Kuomintang and opposed to Chiang Kai Shek, disapproved of the suggestion, which has been referred to Sung Che Yuan. Acceptance of the suggestion would facilitate Japanese penetration and activities as, for example, it might be used as an excuse to bring in additional Japanese police and courts.

3. According to Chinese officials, it has been definitely decided by the Hopei-Chahar Political Council to construct a railway from Shihkiachwang on the Pinghan Railway to Tsangchow on the Tsinpu Railway. (Reference page 3 of Embassy’s despatch 2897, August 10, 1934.61) Apparently the project has the approval of the National Government as the Ministry of Railways has appointed the “chief of the engineering bureau of the Tsangchow-Shihkiachwang Railway”. It is not known what Japanese interests are involved.

4. The Japanese military are constructing new barracks at Kupei-kou to the south of the north gate, apparently on a fairly extensive scale. At present there are about 100 Japanese troops at Kupeikou.

5. It is reliably reported that all construction of roads, railways, and the like in Jehol Province has ceased since the Tokyo assassinations. There is a news report about Hsinking, indicating an economy program with regard to Manchukuo.

[Page 125]

6. Major General Tada, commander of the North China Garrison, and Major General Itagaki, Chief of Staff of the Kwantung army, have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

7. An unconfirmed report is current in Peiping today that the form and personnel for an autonomous Mongol government under Japanese direction is ready for inauguration “at a suitable time” with Prince Teh as the head and Panhofen in western Chahar as the capital.

By mail to Peiping.

  1. Not printed.