The Consul at Tihwa (Ward) to the Secretary of State 56

No. 15

Sir: I have the honor to refer to this Consulate’s despatch no. 9,57 on the subject of the progress of the Sinkiang Revolt from the first week in February to the middle of May, and, further in that connection, to submit the following report on the course of the uprising from the middle of May to the middle of July.

[Here follows detailed report.]

V. Conclusions.

The longer the Ining Revolt continues, the graver the situation becomes.

The presence in the Province of a sufficient force of Chinese troops to assure the Chinese of a conclusive victory in the fighting which is expected this coming winter will not make that fighting less likely.

Chinese troops, were they victorious, could hardly be restrained to purely defensive action, nor could they be checked from the pursuit of their enemy.

By the same token, the direct involvement of one of the neighboring Soviet Republics would become the more likely the more overwhelming was the Chinese victory.

The continual increase of Chinese troops in the Province, clearly justifiable in the Chinese view, may reach a point at which the Outer Mongolian forces will regard defensive action to prevent the further reinforcement of those troops as imperative for their own safety.

On the other hand, if, while unsatisfactory relations subsist between China and Russia, a native revolutionary group made good its control over any considerable portion of the Province, and was able to defeat (as was the Ining regime) Chinese forces sent against it, the Russian Government would be strongly impelled by internal political considerations to recognize that regime.

In neither of the eventualities contemplated would the question of whether the Ining revolt was Soviet-instigated be of any more than academic interest.

It would therefore appear urgently advisable that the Chinese should set aside their contentions in these premises in favor of immediate and imaginative action to settle their internal problems within the Province and to liquidate in negotiation such of their external difficulties as affect Sinkiang.

Respectfully yours,

Robert S. Ward
  1. Approved by the Ambassador for transmission to the Department.
  2. Not printed.