793.94/13163: Telegram

The First Secretary of Embassy in China (Salisbury) to the Secretary of State

342. 1. The Japanese announce the occupation yesterday noon of Kaifeng which has been seriously menaced since the close of May when Yucheng, Kweiteh and Kihsien were taken in quick succession. Lanfeng was reportedly evacuated by Chinese forces prior to the fall of Kaifeng, thus removing a serious threat to the Doihara Division, and it appears now that the second phase of the Lunghai campaign is nearing a close and that a direct campaign for the capture of Hankow will ensue. This probability becomes more and more real if Japanese reports of a Chinese retreat from Chengchow, Honan, are true and if as also claimed by the Japanese a Japanese force from east of Kaifeng has cut down to the Pinghan Railway south of Chengchow.

2. The Japanese claim further to have occupied on June 6 Cheng-yangkuang, Anhwei, about 60 miles northwest of Hofei (Luchowfu). [Page 195] While this does not bring the Japanese column operating in northern Anhwei actually much nearer to Hankow (some 200 miles distant) than it was at Hofei, this movement may be an important step in the advance on Hankow which appears to be taking form.

3. Repeated to Hankow, Nanking, Shanghai. By mail to Tokyo.