[Occupied] China–Japan: Treaty Concerning Basic Relations—Annexed Protocol (November 30, 1940)

Wang Jingwei did not immediately assume leadership of occupied China after leaving Chongcjing in 1938. He spent over a year in negotiations with top Japanese officials. Not until March 30, 1940, did Japan formally announce the creation of a new national government, the Republic of China. Negotiations moved slowly because Wang Jingwei was not Japan's first choice to head their collaborationist government. Japan originally believed Chiang Kai-shek himself could be still be coaxed into peace negotiations. As a result, Japan ivithheld establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and Wang's new Nanjing regime until they had exhausted all attempts to negotiate with Chiang’s Chongcjing government. Wang Jingwei remained optimistic that he had made the right choice through the early 1940s as Japan and Germany's military victories mounted. Wang Jingwei never lived to see China's victory over Japan. He died in 1944from the lingering complications of a 1935 assassination attempt. His death allowed him to escape the ignominious fate of the other collaborationist leaders who were executed within weeks, if not days, of Japan's defeat.


  • 1. What rights in the Annexed Protocol does Japan still retain during wartime?
  • 2. Why do you think Japan was interested in consolidating the collaborationist regimes into a single regime with Wang as the president?

In proceeding this day to the signature of the treaty concerning the basic relations between Japan and China, and the plenipotentiaries of the two countries have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Government of the Republic of China, understanding that, during the period in which Japan continues warlike operations it is at present carrying on in the territory of China, there exists a special state of affairs attendant upon such warlike operations, and that Japan must take such measures as are required for the attainment of the object of such operations, shall accordingly, take the necessary measures.

Even during the continuation of the said warlike operations, the special state of affairs referred to in the preceding paragraph shall, in so far as there is no obstacle to the attainment of the object of the operations, be adjusted in accordance with the changing circumstances and in conformity with the treaty and its annexed documents.

Article 2

While the affairs previously administered by the Provisional Government of the Republic of China, the Reformed Government of the Republic of China and others have been taken over and temporarily maintained as they are by the Government of the Republic of China, those which require adjustment but are not yet adjusted shall be adjusted in conformity with the purpose of the treaty and its annexed documents through consultation between the two countries, as promptly as circumstances may permit.

Article 3

When general peace is restored between the two countries and the state of war ceases to exist, the Japanese forces shall commence evacuation with the exception of those which are stationed in accordance with the treaty concerning the basic relations between Japan and China signed today and the existing agreements between the two countries, and shall complete it within two years with the firm establishment of peace and order, and the Government of the Republic of China shall guarantee the firm establishment of peace and order during the period.

Article 4

The Government of the Republic of China shall compensate for the damages to rights and interests suffered by Japanese subjects in China on account of the China affair since its outbreak.

The Government of Japan shall with respect to the relief of the Chinese rendered destitute by the China affair, cooperate with the Government of the Republic of China.

Article 5

The present protocol shall come into effect simultaneously with the treaty. In witness whereof the plenipotentiaries of the two countries have signed this protocol and have affixed thereto their seals.

Done in duplicate, in the Japanese and Chinese languages, at Nanjing the 30th day of the 11th month of the 15th year of Showa, corresponding to the 30th day of the 11th month of the 29th year of the Republic of China.

Chiang Kai-shek, “China’s War, a World War” (July 7, 1942)

The folloiving is the text of an address given by Chiang Kai-shek on the fifth anniversary of the Lugoucjiao Bridge Incident and the start of the War of Resistance Against Japan (July 7,1942). In the preceding months (after Pearl Harbor), Chiang had succeeded in allying China with the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, bringing in much-needed material support for the beleaguered nation. Chiang clearly sought to portray this new alliance as a watershed moment in China's battle with Japan. Many scholars have suggested that Chiang's military strategy became increasingly passive as he became convinced American forces would engage Japan in the Pacific and draw Japan's main military forces out of China. Japan's Ichigo campaign in 1944 came as a bitter shock. With a massive military build-up, Japan successfully established a corridor allowing uninterrupted rail and road connections between Korea and their troops in Indochina. The campaign underscored the KMT's military weakness, organizational inefficiency, and Chiang's poor command of their resources after nearly seven years of war. It turned out to be Japan's last, largest, and ultimately futile land campaign.


  • 1. What reasons does Chiang give that the Chinese people should feel optimistic on this fifth anniversary of the start of the War of Japanese Resistance?
  • 2. How does Chiang Kai-shek balance the War of Resistance within the larger "World War"?

Today we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the beginning of China's armed resistance. The struggle of the Chinese Army and people against aggression has been in progress for five full years. The past year has, moreover, been a year of extraordinary developments in the world situation which will determine the final outcome of the war.

On this solemn occasion foremost in our hearts and minds must be the sorrowing homage we owe to all those who have nobly laid down their lives for the common cause. At the same time let us take this opportunity to express our gratification at the achievements of our allies. The present moment affords me also a fitting occasion to acknowledge China's appreciation of the gallantry of our Allied forces which are fighting shoulder to shoulder with us. To the governments and peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Soviet Russia, the Netherlands, Australia, India, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Mexico and others of the United Nations I express our warm thanks for the unfailing concern they have felt for us at every stage of our national trial. Their readiness to extend collaboration to China has been a constant source of encouragement to us. . . .

The present war is a war between good and evil, between right and might. The difficulties and perils we have encountered have only served to give proof of the undaunted revolutionary spirit possessed by our people. Through all these difficulties and dangers a sure path has been found and our efforts have not been in vain. The guidance we have derived from the noble principles of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary teachings has enabled us to give this demonstration of the invincible and sustaining qualities of our national character. The moral ascendancy we have acquired is such that no force or knavery can ever shatter. It is the guarantee for our victory and an all-important factor in our reconstruction.

Today China no longer stands alone as she has stood for four and a half years. Our present position imposes greater responsibilities upon us. I desire today to impress upon you the weight of those responsibilities that fell to our lot in the present World War. You will, I trust, continue to do your duty with devotion and endurance....

What we have seen of recent American action in the Pacific, the bombing of Tokyo and the engagements in the Coral Sea, off Midway Island and at Dutch Harbor has been sufficient indication that America is beginning to discharge her supremely important duty in the Pacific. That is to say America is bound to deal first with the enemy from which she has most to fear for the defense of her own soil and for her security as the arsenal of the Democracies and in order to carry out her mission of world leadership not only during the present war but also in post-war reconstruction.

You must be on your guard against giving credence to superficial speculation that Allied strategy and policy consider the Pacific War to be of secondary importance, that our allies intend to let Japan have her own way for the time being or even that there is no comprehensive Allied strategy and that there is no concrete organization to direct Allied efforts. All such talk leads to unjustified apprehension. In the near future the collapse of the enemy will be apparent—then the strategy. Organization and strength of the United Nations will be properly appraised. ...

Meanwhile, the land, sea and air strength of the United Nations is daily increasing and already exceeds that of the Axis bloc. By the end of this winter Japan's strength will be only one tenth that of the Allies. I need not elucidate further the significance of this comparison. The final defeat of Japan will start on sea and will end on land. Her depredations in the South Seas will prove to be the prelude of her disaster. She is meanwhile plunging deeper and deeper into the morass of her continental adventure wherein for five years she has pursued a suicidal course dictated by our strategy. She is now beyond recovery. Our efforts will determine the speed with which she can be finally overthrown.

At this moment we are at the turning point in our War of Resistance. Patriotism demands of us sustained sacrifice. Irrespective of age or sex we must each contribute to the all-important task which when completed will bring victory and permanent security to a freed world.

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