Courtesy Reuters

China Prepares to Resist

p>THE summer of 1935 marked the darkest period of China's political history. The three Manchurian provinces had been lost without a struggle. Jehol had then been taken by the Japanese after an eight-day battle lasting just long enough for the opium-king, General Tang Yu-lin, to furnish an example of the world's most demoralized army in a most spectacular retreat. The Tangku Pact had been signed next, after a futile war of resistance had been fought along the Great Wall by local generals, pathetically without leadership from the National Government. As a result of the Tangku Pact, the text of which never was officially published, the Japanese claimed many rights and privileges in the important province of Hopei, containing the great cities of Peiping and Tientsin. The Chinese denied that many of these concessions had ever been granted, such as the Japanese claim that the Chinese Government had agreed not to station more troops in Hopei than necessary for policing purposes. The most clearly defined result of the Pact was the establishment of a demilitarized zone inside the Great Wall, coming within about thirty miles of Peiping. Under this scheme, the bogus "autonomous régime" of East Hopei had been established, with the ill-concealed guidance of Japanese army chiefs. The same bogus régime had been used for daylight robbery of the Chinese national revenues through wholesale smuggling by a fleet of small Japanese steamers. An army of ruffians, chiefly Koreans, under the direct protection of Japanese consular authorities, demanded the disarming of the Chinese Customs officers and negotiated for the release of arrested smugglers, the return of their goods, and damages for any injuries sustained. Meanwhile, under the most rigid press censorship, the Japanese were penetrating into and taking over part of Chahar (lying north of Hopei and outside the Great Wall), without either the Chinese or the Japanese Government saying a word about it. And finally, spurred on by the success of these silent tactics, Japanese army officers had broadly hinted

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