The Counselor of Embassy in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 12—1:43 p.m.]
267. Our 265, July 12, 3 p.m.
1. According to a spokesman of the Foreign Office, the following, which was published today by the semi-official Central News Agency, [Page 145]is a correct account of a conversation held yesterday between Vice Foreign Minister Chen Chieh and the Counselor of the Japanese Embassy here:
“Nanking, July 11 (Central). Demand that he immediately cable the Japanese Government to order a cessation of Japanese military activities in North China was made today by Mr. Chen Chieh, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, upon Mr. S. Hidaka, Counsellor of the Japanese Embassy here, in an interview at 4 o’clock this afternoon.
Mr. Chen enumerated the facts regarding the reinforcement of Japanese troops in the Peiping-Tientsin area, pointing out that such action was completely contradictory to the professed desire of the Japanese Government and its diplomatic authorities in China to prevent any aggravation of the situation.
Replying, Mr. Hidaka said that the reported movement of Central Government troops northward has given rise to apprehension on the part of the Japanese troops.
Mr. Chen, however, assured Mr. Hidaka, that Chinese troops have no intention of provoking a war with the Japanese Army.
Nevertheless Mr. Chen warned Mr. Hidaka that China does not tolerate any alien country arbitrarily increasing its garrison in China and infringing on her territorial sovereignty. If such action continues, Mr. Chen said, China will be forced to take defensive measures.
In conclusion Mr. Chen expressed the hope that the Japanese authorities will awake to the situation and take necessary steps not to aggravate the relations between the two countries”.
3. To the Department and Peiping. By mail to Tokyo.