Chiang Kaishek's Mukden Incident Anniversary Speech
ww2dbaseIt is just a decade since the Japanese occupied our northeastern city of Mukden and our fellow countrymen in Manchuria are as yet not delivered from the hellish sufferings the enemy invasion has brought upon them.
But resistance has intervened. The whole nation has plunged into a great struggle to assert and maintain the absolute inviolability of China's territorial sovereignty, the aim being the recovery of the northeastern Provinces and release of their 30,000,000 inhabitants from the wretchedness and hopelessness of oppression. Their lives are one with the lives of all other fellow citizens, and the soil whereon they live is one with the rest of the land. There can be no separating any portion of Chinese territory from the whole. Surviving we shall survive whole; if we perish, we shall perish as one man.
In the northeast there dwell thirty millions of a fine and sturdy population. There are 240,000,000 mou* of farm lands. There are 200,000,000 mou of fertile land yet uncultivated. There are 600,000,000 mou of standing timber. There are 8,000,000,000 tons of unmined metal and other minerals. Some of the most important resources of our country are to be found there. All the material conditions essential to the construction of a modern nation prevail there. These riches are being given up to the depredation of the enemy to be used in the destruction of China and to imperil the whole world.
Dr. Sun [Yat-Sen] in his "Plans for the International Development of Industry in China" laid emphasis upon the value of the port, railways and resources in the northeast that so well fit the area to be a center for industrial development. It is an area, in fact, the fate of which is of immense consequence to the well being of east Asia and the world, as well as to China.
As long as the northeast remains under the control of the Japanese, no peace loving nation in the world can be sure of putting an end to Japanese acts of aggression. A proposal to "disarm the aggressor nations" will all the more obviously be impracticable while Japan is still in possession of such a source of strength. Close indeed is the relation of the four provinces to the advance of the Chinese resolution and the development of the world situation.
In 1914 I had an opportunity to study northeastern conditions and in the memorandum I then presented to Dr. Sun I said, "the northeast is not a starting point for the revolution, but it is, on the contrary, its final objective. The area involves problems affecting the whole international situation. Its problems are not to be solved during the initial stages of the revolution, but approached as the revolution comes near to completion."
Since the war of resistance began I have frequently insisted upon the fact that we can stop at no point short of the ultimate aim we have set ourselves. I have said, "the length of duration of our resistance and the nature of its conclusion will have to be determined in conjunction with the general restoration of world peace."
And when the European war seemed inevitable I said, "China's resistance will be resolutely fought out, becoming a part of the world conflict and concluding when both Far Eastern and European problems find a common and integral solution."
The decade that has elapsed seems to us but as the passage of a day, so deeply engraved upon the memory is the event that began the story of Japanese aggression in China. The decision to resist virtually dates from that event. It rendered us acutely conscious of the necessity of maintaining our administrative and territorial integrity and indicating international justice and equity by overthrowing the aggressor and establishing a new basis for lasting world peace.
The origin of the Japanese ambition to conquer China dates, however, much further back than September 18, 1931. Even in the Ming Dynasty the piratical instinct of the Japanese had become fully apparent. Even then Japan desired to be "over the mountains and across the seas" and to conquer the four hundred counties of the Ming. At the time of the invasion of Korea the further objective of China's northeast was vividly present in the minds of Japan's rulers. Their gaze was flung as far as the steppes of Siberia and the road thence lay through the four northeastern provinces. The Tanaka Memorial defined the conquest of China as the first step to the conquest of Asia, the south seas and eventually the entire globe.
The northeast formed in that grandiose plan the point of vantage first to be secured. The history of conflict between China and Japan is written about the theme of the northeast, which if lost to China, would prevent her national revival and constitute in the hands of the Japanese an immediate danger to the world. World security as much as China's national existence depends upon the expulsion of the aggressor from that rich land.
The contrast between China's circumstances in 1931 and the position in which she stands today is indeed striking. We have friendly nations at our side ready in word and deed to assist and support our cause. The United States, under the leadership of President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull, has proceeded from the "non-recognition" policy to one of drastic economic sanctions against Japan, and material aid on a large scale for China. Other countries such as Britain and Soviet Russia are acting with a proper sense of their common interests in similar manners and in collaboration one with another. Gratitude and elation inspire China's response.
In a letter to the then war minister of Japan, General [Jiro] Minami, Shigeru Honjo wrote, "China's revival and the progress of America and Russia are equally inimical to Japan's national policy. Preparatory to war with the United States, China and Russia must be crushed and a separate country be made of Manchuria and Mongolia under Japanese occupation. The next step must be the invasion of Siberia in order to convert both the seas of Okhotsk and of Japan into territorial waters of Japan. Going on we must drive the Americans east of the Hawaiian islands and the English west of Singapore. In this way the Dutch East Indies, Australia and New Zealand shall all come under our hegemony."
So we see that Japan was early bent upon subjecting Britain, America and Russia to her aggressive attentions. On September 18, 1931, the Japanese initiated the unfolding of a tremendous scheme of which the threatened nations now appreciate the scope and which they are co-operating to frustrate. The hope of success for the Japanese continental and Pacific policies have already been dissipated by Chinese resistance.
Today we are full of confidence in the nations friendly to us and supremely optimistic regarding the future of the fight against the aggressors. At the same time we believe a place of high renown and honor in the pages of human history is reserved for the part we are playing in the struggle. We intend to press forward from height to height, never losing sight of the invariable goal of our national policy. We are fighting that the independent existence of the Chinese nation may be preserved and our administrative and territorial integrity rendered secure against all such peril as now menaces it. The aim is to procure for China free and equal enjoyment of her rights and to establish an order of things in the Orient and in the world that may properly be called a just peace.
Resistance will not cease as long as any trace of the invader a single man of his forces, remains upon our soil. I am convinced that the powers opposed to Japan will continue a daily tightening and strengthening of the cordon they are drawing about her. I further believe the final collapse of Japan, the aggressor, who has wrought so much evil in East Asia during the past decade is about to begin. That is the reflection that should hearten and spur us on as we commemorate today the anniversary of that dark hour of ten years ago.
* Editor's note: 1 mou equals to 666.5 square meters or 0.165 acre ww2dbase
Source: Chinese News Service Press Release
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Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937