The Consul at Tihwa (Paxton) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 13—4:35 a. m.]
112. SecGen Liu now in Nanking discussing Sinkiang problems and Mayor Chu presumably with him. Foreign Affairs delegate Liu, recently back (mytel to Embassy 196, repeated Department 99, October 2040) from Lanchow conference with General Chang, asserts that:
- No understanding at all was reached on renegotiation of airline agreement or even where talks are to take place, though Russians want [Page 751] them at Moscow; as a result the termination will stand unless new accord is arrived at by next September (despite all denials Consulate still suspects some secret arrangements have in fact already been reached. Liu now claims he lacked authority to discuss terms with Russians but see mytel to. Embassy 162 through Department 82, August 30);
- Although he visited Moscow he has not yet had any Soviet answer to Chinese trade pact offer, reference 6th paragraph mytel to Embassy 181, September 23;41
- An Ili reply to Chang’s note of April 1 (mytel to Embassy 106, repeated Department 50, May 4) was sent October 2; other sources report it was given Liu during brief plane stop at Ining in sealed cover to be opened by Chang personally (but he has been told that note, text of which he has not yet seen, still blames Chinese entirely and thus indicates lack of any progress toward solution).
Some rapprochement with dissidents is, however, implied by resumption last week by Talat’s firm of trans-Manass trade (mytel to Embassy 112, repeated Department 53, May 1242) after over 3 months’ cessation. That comprehensive settlement may be drawing near is suggested by Chang’s announcement (refmytel to Embassy 209, repeated Department 107, November 4). My guess, backed by rumors from several sources, is that Soviet sponsors of 3 zones may have undertaken to bring them back into the fold in exchange for Chinese acceptance of terms for renewal of airline and trade pacts more favorable to USSR and general Sino-Soviet accommodation for entire area at Muslim expense may be in process.
To the possibility of some such deal the Turki, Kazak and Tungan leaders are alive and might oppose its development with force (reference mytel to Embassy 190, repeated Department 93, October 2). Disorders with lines so drawn could be set off by any local incident or the collapse of Zenn [Central?] Government authority.
Provisional military headquarters has discontinued supply of arms to Kazaks formerly given by garrison Commander Sung; Liu too complains of problem caused by their continuing raids into Outer Mongolia which used to please Sung; references mytel to Embassy 75 , repeated Department 39 , March 142 and later reports from Ekvall. These nomads, many of them Osman’s men driven out of Ashan zone (mytel to Embassy 44, repeated Department 23, February 542), strongly resent withdrawal of aid and moral support and are ripe for vengeance. Recent attacks by the tribesmen on Chinese troop contingents near Santvi some 60 miles northeast of Tihwa are admitted by Peace Preservation Corps though minimized.[Page 752]
View Embassy cirtel November 1042a urging share reduction code traffic, foregoing is being sent through Department. Although this information not yet urgent, message should be in Embassy’s hands before next courier run which may be indefinitely delayed.
Sent Department, pouched Nanking and Shanghai.