The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 23—10 a.m.]
33. Embassy’s 21, January 16, 4 p.m. Progress of Japanese activities and Sino-Japanese negotiations and conversations in Hopei and other provinces of North China continue to be obscure. It is believed that the Japanese are continuing their efforts to obtain the autonomy of the five provinces but find Sung, Han,44 and Yen45 difficult. It is thought that, if Sung does not come to terms with the Japanese, he will be forced out of Hopei. It is possible that the appointment of Shih Yu-san as commander of Peace Preservation Corps of Peiping, presumably at Japanese instance, may be a preparatory measure for removing Sung if necessary. It is said that, disregarding their personal feelings, there are important elements among the subordinates of Sung, Han, and Yen strongly opposed to submitting to the Japanese.
- Apparently Teh Wang46 has not yet declared independence. (See Embassy’s 24, January 19, 11 a.m.43) According to a competent [Page 23]Chinese observer, the drive of Li Shou Hsin into Suiyuan awaits the melting of snows, one purpose of taking Suiyuan being to bring pressure on Yen to obtain his acquiescence to the Japanese program. The rumored appointment of the renegade Sun Tien Ying to a military post in southern Hopei may also be a potential threat directed toward Yen.
- There are no indications here that the Kwantung army’s plans for North China will be altered by possible Sino-Japanese conversations at Nanking.
By mail to Nanking and Tokyo.