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Foreign News: Question of Right

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The South China Nationalist Government at Nanking has recently suffered the loss of 3,000 troops killed or wounded in the course of Japanese intervention in Shantung (seep. 18).

Therefore the Nationalists despatched an appeal to the League of Nations, last week, which began by declaring that the Japanese have “committed what amounts to acts of war … in Shantung . . . [and] fired on Chinese soldiers and civilians without provocation.”

The note continued: “The territorial integrity and political independence of China have been ruthlessly violated, and the peace of nations threatened by this aggression on the part of Japan.

“You are urgently requested to summon a meeting of the Council of the League.

“It is earnestly urged that the League request cessation of hostilities by the Japanese troops and their immediate withdrawal from Shantung.”

The League States took no action last week; and the Nationalists thereupon called to Paris requesting Dr. C. C. Wu, distinguished statesman, and son of the late Chinese Minister to the U. S., Wu Ting-fang to proceed at once to Washington and explain the Nationalist case against Japan before U. S. public opinion. At Paris last week Dr. Wu, who is on a round-the-world trip for the Nationalist

Government, said: “The presence of Japanese troops in Shantung is at once a violation of Chinese sovereignty and of the

Washington treaty, to which both the United States and Japan are signatories. . . . “The Japanese have, for a good many years, backed Chang Tso-lin, the Northern Dictator. That is one fact well known. But here is a second fact. We were on our way to Peking to expel Chang Tso-lin when the present trouble [Japanese intervention] commenced. Our army had al ready captured Shantung. The intervention of the Japanese undoubtedly was a godsend to Chang Tso-lin. There you have two facts; all you have to do is to put them together.” Dr. Wu’s facts are facts, and his conclusion is sound. The Nationalist position is deserving of much sympathy. But it was the opinion last week of most responsible eyewitnesses in China that the Nationalist armies (and all Chinese armies of today) are an irresponsible rabble, constantly committing acts of violence and depredation in the course of their incessant warfare. Japan, right or wrong, is using shot & shell to keep the rabble at a distance from Japanese colonists in Shan tung, and to prevent the overthrow of Chang Tso-lin whom Japan, rightly or wrongly, regards as the least undesirable of the Chinese war lords.

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