793.94/10748: Telegram

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

833. Tsingtao’s October 18, 3 p.m.39

Captain Dorn40 at Tsinan reports 17th that Japanese are continuing to withdraw along Tsinpu line and that as consequence Han Fu Chu’s41 political plans, as Dorn envisages them, may be delayed since Japanese withdrawal would remove any excuse for change at the present time. He stated that such change was scheduled for October 19 or 20, Tsinan Paoantui and police have already been disarmed, Commander of 74th Division Li Han Chang has submitted resignation, Commander 20th Division Sun Tung Hsuan in all probability and Commanders of 81st and 22nd Divisions are in favor of [Page 622] peace plan. Dorn predicts that probably Shantung will become a buffer state between Yellow River and Lunghai Railway and that such arrangement is likely to be basis for Japanese peace proposals.
Dorn states that according to local opinion Japanese withdrawal is due to (1) situation in Shansi and (2) Soviet Russian assistance to rebels in Manchuria.
According to Chiang Kai-shek’s adviser, Donald, confirmation of a report of Japanese withdrawal has not been received, the Japanese were still in Tehchow last evening, and any withdrawal will be (1) for the purpose of shortening their line or (2) because of no serious reverse in Shansi which he confirmed. He states definitely that no Soviet assistance is being received at present by China, Soviet Russia does not want to become involved in hostilities with Japan, Soviet-Japanese hostilities are unlikely until at least after the Nine Power Conference unless, possibly, a crushing Japanese defeat in the northwest should influence the Russians to positive action.
Sent to the Department. Repeated to Peiping, Shanghai, Tokyo.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Capt. Frank Dorn, U.S.A., language officer.
  3. Chairman of Shantung Provincial Government.