The Chargé in China ( Peck ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 20—7 a.m.]
44. In conversations with foreign military observers the Embassy has been impressed with their feeling that the Chinese soldier can hardly be surpassed for heroic endurance of hardship and suffering, indifference to danger and loyal obedience to orders but that Chinese officers, especially those in the higher ranks, lack both enterprise and cooperative qualities. Such observers find deplorable absence of organization and coordination even in the air service which at present has the most important duties to perform of any branch. On the other hand the newly arrived French Military Attaché has informed me that whereas the French authorities in Indo-China told him that the Chinese Government was in a chaotic condition bordering on anarchy he had been agreeably surprised to find them organized and operating efficiently.
While he felt discouraged at the lack of [team?] work in the Chinese military set up and, as do other Military Attachés, the strange reluctance of high Chinese military authorities to permit any foreign insight into their military operations and methods, he felt that the Chinese cause was by no means hopeless because of his conviction that [Page 128] the Japanese are beginning to feel exhaustion after their enormous efforts, and that while they are approaching within measurable distance of depletion of available man power Chinese human resources are practically unlimited. He had found Chinese soldiers as far as he had observed them well instructed and well equipped while ammunition appeared abundant for an indefinite period.
Repeated to Peiping.