711.93/461: Telegram

The Ambassador in China ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

2. Following are extracts from a New Year’s address broadcast to the United States by the Chinese Foreign Minister:4

“…5 From the very beginning of the present hostilities, you and your Government have both in words and actions shown where your sympathies lie. Hence, I believe, you will be glad to hear me say that China’s position today is stronger than it ever has been, and that her power of resistance has become greater and greater with the passage of time. The enemy has been held at bay and dealt many a heavy blow by our army as we continue to struggle for final victory.

The Far Eastern policy of the United States is closely identified with two fundamental principles: first, respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial and administrative integrity of China; and second, equality of opportunity for the commerce and industry of all nations in China, commonly known as the open door policy. Thanks largely to American initiative, these principles were embodied in the Nine Power Treaty of Washington.6 It gave the Far East nearly 10 years of uninterrupted peace. And peace we would still have, had it not been violated by Japan, one of the original signatories of the treaty.

[Page 456]

The foreign policy of China is motivated by substantially the same principles. They may be stated to be: first, nondiscrimination against any foreign power; second, opposition to external force or aggression; and third, equality for China in the family of nations. Far from being based, therefore, on racial hatred of anti-foreignism, China’s foreign policy aims at genuine cooperation with the powers on terms of equality and reciprocity.

Thus, China and the United States are in complete accord with regard to the stand they have taken in the Far East. They have the same ideals and objectives, namely, peace and order in this part of the world. The fact that Sino-American relations have steadily grown in cordiality is eloquent testimony of the soundness of the principles maintained by our two countries…

Japan, under the control of her militarists, showed her determination to disregard her pledged word by her attack upon Manchuria in 1931. Since then the extent of her aggressive designs to dominate Asia and the South Sea regions and to infringe upon the rights and interests of other powers has been made evident not only by the actions of her militarists, but also by the public utterances of her politicians and diplomats. In a word, the status quo in the Pacific which the Washington Conference sought to stabilize is in danger of being upset.

It is gratifying to note, however, that the American Government, failing in diplomatic language to bring Japan to her senses, is at last compelled to take action. The measures which your Government has taken both before and after the conclusion of the Three Power Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan,8 such as the credit loans to China, the placing of restrictions on the export of war materials, the construction of a two ocean navy, the strengthening of your defenses in the Far East, the advice to American nationals to evacuate from certain areas in the Orient,—all the measures cannot but serve as a warning to Japan against her self-appointed mission to create the so-called ‘new order in greater East Asia’.

The Chinese Government and people are deeply grateful to the American people for the just and righteous stand they have taken in the Sino-Japanese conflict. They cherish the hope that the United States, as a power vitally interested in the Pacific, can see its way clear to coordinate American-Japanese commercial relations with its foreign policy toward the Far East. The Japanese depend upon their trade with the United States to replenish their rapidly exhausting sinews of war. Once this source of strength is cut off, their whole war machine will collapse like a house of cards. And I am happy to say that this appears to be the trend in which events are moving.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. China looks to America as one of her true friends in this hour of distress. Whether you want it or not, the role of leadership is being forced upon the United States. As far as China is concerned she still possesses man power and source to continue her resistance against Japanese aggression, formidable though it be. Nevertheless, we need the assistance of our friends. For the more help we get, the shorter will be the period of woe and suffering forced upon the Chinese people through no fault of their own, and [Page 457] the sooner will peace be restored in the Far East for the benefit of all concerned…”

Sent to the Department. Repeated to Peiping. Please mail to Tokyo.

  1. Wang Chung-hui.
  2. Omissions indicated in the original.
  3. Signed February 6, 1922, Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. i, p. 276.
  4. Signed at Berlin, September 27, 1940, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 165.