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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

China,   pp. 270-723 PDF (159.9 MB)

Page 270

Report on Political and Economic Conditions for the Quarter Ending
December 31, 1918
The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Acting Secretary of State
No. 2583                         PEKING, March 10, 1919.
[Received April 7.]
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report on the general
political situation in China during the quarter ended December 31st,
(1) Political observations and developments.
During the quarter under review, the civil war and the attempts
made to bring it to a conclusion have remained the principal subject
of interest in the domestic situation.
The actual military situation from the beginning of the quarter
until the declaration of the armistice on November 18th remained
practically stationary, with the Southern forces in possession of the
southern half of the province of Fukien, a portion of the province
of Hunan, practically the whole of the province of Szechuan, and
an undefined portion of Shensi, in addition to the four provinces of
Kwangtung, Kuangsi, Kweichow and Yunnan, comprising the orig-
inal Southern Federation. No important military operations were
undertaken by either side although there was much desultory fight-
ing between small bands of Southern troops and bandits on the one
hand and Northern garrison troops on the other, in Fukien and
Shensi. Both of these provinces and Hunan suffered severely from
the ravages of bandits, whose operations have been greatly facili-
tated by the breakdown of governmental authority. In Shensi in
particular conditions have become indescribably chaotic, where there
appeared to be at least four regular armies operating and an indefi-
nite number of brigand bands. The impossibility of determining
' Continued from Foreign Relations, 1918, pp. 83-137.

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