761.93/1760: Telegram

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

613. Government spokesman at press conference April 5 refused to comment on Tass despatch April 3, regarding Sinkiang incident or to elaborate on Central News Agency April 3 denial of truth of Tass report (Embassy’s 593, April 4). He explained Government policy was to make no comment on incident but added “Chinese troops did not cross Outer Mongolian border”. Reliable informed sources state that at time of receipt of Tass despatch Chinese were preparing statement, for which was subsequently substituted Central News despatch said to have been written by Generalissimo. Usually reliable Chinese source says statement giving full details of incident now being prepared by Chinese Government for release in near future.

It is reported here that 42nd Army is being moved from Kansu into Sinkiang. Rice reports from Lanchow under dates March 25 and April 3 that trucks being commandeered there for movement troops into Sinkiang and that important officials proceeding by plane to Sinkiang from Lanchow and Chungking. Although rumors current here and Lanchow of presence of Ma Chung-yin in Sinkiang, local Chinese correspondent states General Ho Ying-chin denies them.

Some usually well informed Chinese state Generalissimo now desires avoid magnifying incident and that he may endeavor remove Sheng Shih-tsai both as means of placating Soviet Russia and of increasing Central Government influences in Sinkiang. Movement of Central Government troops into Sinkiang would be necessary if removal of Sheng contemplated. Information Ministry official in position to know is said to have stated Chinese Government brought incident to attention American and British representatives Tihwa and [Page 771] [launched] rumor campaign Chungking in hope of obtaining Anglo-American intervention against Soviet action and of increasing friction between Anglo-American powers and Russia, last named of which Chinese fear more than Japan. This official allegedly admits provincial troops crossed Mongol border.