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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 271

exactly which troops are brigands and which are regular forces of
either the North or the South has led each side to accuse the other of
a violation of the terms of the armistice.
Upon the assumption of office by H. E. Hsu Shih-ch'ang as Presi-
dent on October 10th, Gen. Tuan Chi-jui resigned his post as premier
in favor of Mr. Chien Nung-hsun, who was at the time Minister of
the Interior. Mr. Chien showed a marked disinclination to accept
the post but was finally persuaded to do so on the understanding that
the appointment would be temporary only: his personal intimacy
with the President no doubt was a further inducement. For some
time a complete reorganization of the cabinet was anticipated; but
owing to the difficulty of securing parliamentary ratification of a new
cabinet and to the exigencies of politics, the old Tuan cabinet has
remained in office with only one important change, the resignation
of Tsao Ju-lin as Minister of Finance and the appointment of Mr.
Kung Hsin-chan in his place. This has not tended to strengthen the
position of the President as Mr. Tsao Ju-lin, who retained his port-
folio of Minister of Communications, remains the dominating figure
in the cabinet, and is intimately associated with the Northern mili-
tary party which is in opposition to the President's domestic peace
policy. It must also be noted that the Northern Parliament, which
was elected under the auspices of the military clique, is still entirely
dependent, as to its majority, upon the same, and will therefore not
ratify any cabinet appointments which are not agreeable to the inner
Tuan Chi-jui-Tsao Ju-lin combination and their foreign mentors.
It was generally believed that President HsA would make the
termination of the civil war the object of first importance in his
domestic policy, and this belief has been amply substantiated by
events. The peace campaign in the north was inaugurated by an
unofficial conference in Tientsin between a number of prominent
civilian officials, including Mr. Liang Shih-yi and Mr. Hsiung Hsi-
ling, ex-premiers, Mr. Chow Tze-chi, ex-Minister of Finance, and a
number of other political leaders, which resulted in the formation
of a widely supported society pledged to furthering the cause of
peace. The three Yangtsze tuchuns, headed by General Li Hsun
of Nanking, represented the military element in this association.
The agitation in favor of peace launched under these auspices was
further increased by the issue on October 24th of a peace mandate
by the President.2 This was a typical Chinese document, ambiguous
in its phraseology and containing no definite plan of action but of
importance as marking the first definite step toward overtures to
the South. In passing, it may be mentioned that in this mandate
President HAi made a prominent reference to the views of Presi-
2 See ibid, pp. 118-119.

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