740.0011 P. W./79: Telegram

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

53. Peiping’s 33, January 21, 3 p.m.70 The American informant71 mentioned in the telegram under reference received the following information February 4 from a Chinese who has dependable sources of information (among Japanese officials):

Germany is greatly intensifying pressure on Japan to synchronize an advance southwards with a German invasion of Great Britain planned to commence in a short time. In preparation for this Japan is attempting to obtain a nonaggression pact with Soviet Russia by ceding Saghalien Island and possibly by other concessions; also by trying to arrange a peace with General Chiang Kai-shek. The present military conference in Tokyo is discussing the disposition of land forces during the prospective [naval] war with the United States. Japanese troops are to be withdrawn from Manchuria, Central, and South China for use in Indochina and for holding North China. Wang Ching-wei72 is to control the lower Yangtze area with Chinese troops now being recruited for the purpose.

The American informant recently had conversations at their request with Counselor Tsuchida of the Japanese Embassy here and General Morioka, head of the Asia Affairs Board in Peiping. They appear still to be endeavoring to find an approach to General Chiang Kai-shek. Most of the conversation was along familiar lines, but the new note is that by convincing General Chiang that he and Japan have common ground in suppressing communism they can combine in this objective and cease lighting each other. Neither of the two officials appears to have any confidence in Wang Ching-wei’s regime.

[Page 30]

According to the American informant, a number of Chinese who are connected with the Japanese-controlled regime in North China, including some of the most prominent, [have] during the past month or two been endeavoring to “mend their fences” with Chungking apparently having begun to feel that Japan will lose out in China.

Sent to the Department, repeated to Chungking, Tokyo, Shanghai.

  1. Vol. v, p. 466.
  2. Dr. John Leighton Stuart, president of Yenching University, Peiping.
  3. Wang Ching-wei was head of the Japanese-sponsored “government” at Nanking.