793.94/11936: Telegram

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

1. My 128, December 31, 4 [2] p.m.2

Following is text of terms which Dr. Hsu Mo3 handed me in confidence this morning stating that they were communicated to the Chinese Government by the German Ambassador4 under instructions from his Government. Dr. Hsu Mo [said?] these terms were handed to the German Ambassador at Tokyo on December 23 by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.5
“Basic Conditions.
China to abandon her pro-communist policy as well as her anti-Japanese and anti-Manchukuo policy and to cooperate with Japan and Manchukuo in the execution of their anti-communist policies.
Demilitarized zones to be established and special regimes set up in necessary areas.
Agreements for close economic cooperation to be concluded between Japan, Manchukuo and China.
China to make necessary indemnification to Japan”.
Dr. Hsu Mo stated that instructions had been cabled to Chinese Ambassadors at Paris, Washington, London and Moscow to communicate these terms to those Governments. He stated he had not yet heard whether C. T. Wang6 had acted. He volunteered information [Page 2] that Chinese Ambassador had an appointment with the President but he did not know whether it was for purpose of showing him these terms. He said he understood Secretary of State was ill.
He made the comment that terms were so general in scope that although they looked innocent, Japan, if China accepted, would be free to claim that most any demand it made was within the meaning of these terms and that China could not accept these terms as a basis of negotiation. He said that any person who had watched the actions of Japanese military leaders in China during the last few months would understand the purposes hidden behind the terms.
I made no comment other than to say that the wording of the terms looked to me as though it had been chosen for consumption in Europe and America to persuade the public as stated therein of the innocence of Japanese intention.

Sent to Shanghai [to] inform Commander-in-Chief;7 Peiping transmit to Tokyo.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1937, vol. iii, p. 847.
  2. Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Oskar Trautmann.
  4. Koki Hirota.
  5. Chinese Ambassador in the United States.
  6. Admiral Harry E. Yarnell of the United States Asiatic Fleet.