793.94/8269: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State

308. My 305, October 16, 9 p.m.39

The director of the Publicity Department of the Foreign Office this morning informed me that Suma and the director of the Asiatic Department have had two conferences since October 8th preparatory to another meeting between the Japanese Ambassador and the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs. He said the Ambassador had received fresh instructions from Tokyo since the visit of Kuwashima and that another meeting will almost certainly take place next week. Informant seemed to withhold much information and was obviously constrained.
The confidential aide to the Minister of War this morning assured me that the present obscure situation would be clear to me “in a very short time”. A German military adviser told an officer of the Embassy last night that the Chinese military are considering the possibility of an attempt by the Japanese to provoke a decisive campaign in the Shanghai–Hangchow–Nanking area the object of which would be to crush the pick of the Chinese forces. Informant was of the opinion that the Chinese would accept such a challenge if made counting on difficult terrain to counteract Japanese tanks. The Chinese alternative strategy would of course be to revert to their former plan of abandoning this area in order to conduct protracted guerrilla warfare in the interior.
Sent to the Department and Peiping.
  1. Not printed.