Library of Congress A CIA map depicting the USSR-Manchuria border, 1960.

The War in the Far East

A Soviet View

A STATE of war has existed in the Far East for more than six months. The Manchester Guardian is quite right when it says that it is mainly thanks to the proceedings of the League of Nations that this fact has not been sufficiently impressed upon the public opinion of the world. The League's endless discussions as to how to apply the Covenant to the Sino-Japanese war have obscured and still obscure its immense historical significance. Actually the conflict marks the beginning of a whole new era in the Far East. In order to show that this conflict is no mere accident, it will be sufficient to call attention to the fact that while at the sessions of the League which followed Japan's seizure of Mukden on September 18 the Japanese representatives could speak of "local incidents," Japan proved to be so well prepared to exploit a situation arising from "local incidents" that in the course of a few days she succeeded in occupying, obviously in accordance with a carefully prepared plan, all the localities of decisive strategical importance in Manchuria.

This is a mystery which the League of Nations did not attempt to solve. But Soviet observers who studied the situation in Manchuria in the summer of 1931 were able to give a very accurate forecast of what lay ahead. V. Avarin, in his book "Imperialism and Manchuria," published in the summer of 1931, wrote as follows: "The representatives of Japanese imperialism stubbornly claim the full rights and privileges obtained under the twenty-one demands. It is perfectly clear that without a bloody struggle Japan will not at the present time accept ejection from Manchuria, nor even a weakening of her position there. A weakening of Japan's position has nevertheless been much in evidence of late. This means that at any moment one can expect some decisive action on the part of Japanese imperialism. And if it meets with opposition, this will mean that on the basis of a complex of imperialistic contradictions (among

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