793.94/14702: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Lockhart) to the Secretary of State

83. Embassy’s 18, January 11, noon.21

The Japanese claim to have cleared southwestern Shansi of guerrillas and troops formerly under Yen Hsi Shan, but whether their occupation will be permanent or only temporary as in the past remains to be seen. Continuing attempts to cross the Yellow River from Fenglingtu, Shansi, to Tungkuan, Honan, have failed as have attempts to cross in Shensi from southwest Shansi near Yumenkou. There have been repeated artillery duels at the Tungkuan crossing and, according to reports from Chinese circles, that the defenders of Szechuan have been reinforced by heavy artillery and gunners from Soviet Russia. As part of their campaign to cut the route of Chinese supplies from Soviet Russia via Sinkiang and Shensi Japanese planes have been bombing Sian, Lanchow and other places. Air raids against Tungkuan have reportedly been comparatively unsuccessful because of high range Russian antiaircraft guns there.
While the Japanese have for several months kept East Hopei clear of guerrillas there appears to have been no diminution of guerrilla activities in South and Central Hopei and northern Honan. According to a foreign traveller, the Pinghan Railway from Chengchow, Honan, south to Kwangshui, Hupeh, (a distance of 110 miles) has been entirely removed by Chinese, the road bed ploughed into fields and the rails and sleepers used to extend the Lunghai westward. A foreigner coming recently from Paoting states that guerrilla attacks upon the south suburb of that city continue at night as do attacks upon the Pinghan Railway especially south of Paoting. He states that the Japanese troops at Paoting are clearing the western territory of Chinese, presumably to accommodate an increased garrison and to prepare for the projected establishment there of the puppet Hopei Provincial Government.
There have been no attacks on the Peining Railway since January 11 (Embassy’s 26, January 13, 9 a.m., and 23, January 12, noon,22 paragraph 4).

Repeated to Chungking. Text by mail to Tokyo.

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