The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 2—6 a.m.]
584. 1. The Generalissimo asked me to see him this evening. Mrs. Chiang acted as interpreter. He stated that he hoped I would communicate the following to my Government. He said that it was not China that had violated the Nine Power Agreement (although he expressed the opinion that the Nine Power Treaty had been of great assistance to China during her real troubles), that China still stood by the Treaty, the good intent of which China recognized, and that it was the firm decision of the Chinese Government to continue resistance against Japanese aggression as long as there was a China. He recognized that China is a weak power but he knew no other road but to [Page 504]fight. China might be completely destroyed but that destruction would not come by way of surrender. He expressed the hope that in this conflict the United States would see that justice finally prevailed, for when the United States abandoned justice, then he felt that it was hopeless for the world to expect justice to prevail.
2. Early in conversation Generalissimo expressed himself as puzzled over American policy in the present Far Eastern situation, particularly as regards our unwillingness to associate ourselves with Great Britain in attempting to restrain Japan. I took advantage of his question to make to him the explanation outlined in paragraph 2, Department’s 179, August 25, 11 a.m. [8 p.m.] He questioned the word “parallel” and asked why it was that we had not been willing to take joint action with the British. I told him that we preferred to act in consultation, and when in agreement, independently, that I was not aware of any difference of opinion or purpose as between the two Governments. He stated that China realized that it had to fight its battles alone, that China was not asking anyone to fight those battles for it and then made the statements set forth in paragraph 1 of this telegram.
3. I came away with a feeling that the Generalissimo is much disappointed at what he believes to be the failure of the United States in not more publicly condemning Japanese aggression on Chinese soil in utter defiance of the Kellogg Pact, the Nine Power Treaty and international justice. He feels that China is fighting for its very life and that the outcome should be of profound interest to the United States.
Repeated to Peiping.