740.0011 PW/9–945: Telegram

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

1561. Summary Military Attachés report week ending September 8 follows:

Attempt by Chinese Communists to gain control important points in east and north China made no progress during week. Chief activity occurred Shantung–Hopei region where it seemed Japanese would take active measures to ensure control by Central Government over all important regions. In Weihsien and Tsingtao areas Central Government [Page 553]commanders were stated to be getting Japanese reinforcements as was also puppet garrison in Tsinan. Indications were that for present at least Communists were giving up original plans and instead would move strong forces northward to assist other Communists in obtaining control Tientsin–Peiping region. Such a move appears unlikely at this time, however, because of difficulties placed upon Communists’ movement by strict Japanese control of communication lines. Furthermore, even if Communists succeeded in getting to northern Hopei, intervention by Japanese similar to their present actions in Shantung would stop any Communist occupation of cities there.

While not successful in more important objectives, Communists did succeed in extending control over large areas in Shantung, Hopei and northern Kiangsu, taking number of country cities. It is not easy to determine what success Communists will have in future control of these areas, because contemplated Central Government troop regiment [movement?] by air to eastern and northern China to take over from Japs would be serious, if not final, blow to Communist strategy. Communists have already lost Yangtze Valley with important cities of Hankow, Nanking, Shanghai and Wuhu and Central Government Forces are gradually being sent in, now by air, but shortly by land, as Japs retire. If plans for transportation Central Government Forces are successful, east and north China north of Yangtze River will soon also be taken over. Therefore only really doubtful areas remaining are northwest provinces of Shansi, Suiyuan, Shensi and Chahar, and also Manchuria. Reports from Yenan indicate that Communist “Government” is preparing to move to northeast, possibly to Kalgan, Chahar capital, which was recently taken by Communists, and has good radio station. This, if true, would perhaps indicate effort to occupy approaches to Manchuria where Central Government is weakest. This has considerable significance with relation as [to?] control over Manchuria, but it is too soon to speculate on outcome or discuss [implications?] which may be possible but concerning which no indications are available (End Summary).

Hurley