793.94/14665: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Peck) to the Secretary of State

68. Embassy’s 619, December 24, 3 p.m.17 In a conversation on February 1, a German military adviser who has remained with the Generalissimo stated to a member of the Embassy that the Chinese Army is still undergoing reorganization and replenishment. This informant declared he believed that the Chinese Army is now prepared for at least another year of hostilities and expressed confidence that if supplied with war materials from abroad the Chinese could continue to wage war indefinitely.

Referring to the question of possible Japanese military movements the informant said that while he is cognizant of rumors of an imminent Japanese push into Shensi, he believes the Japanese will first strike at Kwangsi for the following reasons: (1) the belief that a drive in the south will enable the Japanese Navy to fulfill its desire to participate in operations and that such an advance will be possible without undue foreign risk and (2) the belief that a drive on Sian and toward Chengtu would amount to the “turning of the back” of the Japanese Army to Soviet Russia, a position in which he feels that the Japanese Army would be reluctant to place itself owing to the parlous state of Japanese-Russian relations and the shifting international situation.

The informant stated that Russian military advisers in China now number about 200 and that they are serving in various advisory capacities with the Chinese Army.

Repeated to Peiping.