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(2) The Nanking incident


(2) The Nanking incident

1) After the Shanghai Incident

On November 8 and on December 2,1937, Japan proposed peace-talk to China intermediated by Trautmann(the German embassy in China), but Chiang Kai-shek rejected these proposals. The Japanese proposal included (i) stopping of anti-Japanese policy by China, (ii) making cooperation between Japan and the Guomindang to oppose the Communist, and (iii) complete withdrawal of Japanese army down to the line before the `Marco Polo Bridge` incident had happened. The possible reasons for the rejection by Chiang Kai-shek were (i) the Guomindang had already decided anti-Japan War officially and rigidly, (ii) the Guomindang and CCP had already agreed with the second coalition, (iii) Chiang Kai-shek hoped against the 'Brussels 9-Country Meeting' starting from November 3, 1937.
On November 16,1937, Chiang Kai-shek decided the transfer of the capital from Nanking to Chungking, and then almost all of the bureaucracies, the public officers and the the policemans started to escape from Nanking. At the same time, most of citizens also escaped from Nanking, but 200,000 poor people who could not pay transportation expenses remained in Nanking and were concentrated in the Nanking Safety Zone.

2) The previous night of the Nanking incident ('scorched earth' policy)

Around the Nanking castle, all of the buildings were burned out by Chinese armies themselves, so to say 'scorched earth' policy. Chinese aimed not only to prevent Japanese army from obtaining any useful materials, but also to have a fine outlook to shoot and bomb Japanese army.

NANKING, 6 P.M., Dec. 6 (AP) . by C, Yates McDaniel
[Smoke from a hundred villages and hamlets, set afire by retreating Chinese Forces, late today darkened the horizon to the east and south of Nanking. ](New York Times, Dec. 7,1937)

NANKING, Dec.7
[According to the acquaintance from England, Chinese armies are systematically setting on fire and plundering the city] ( a telegram from the American embassy in Nanking to the Secretary of state)----retranslated from Japanese document by us.

NANKING, Wednesday, Dec. 8. by F. Tillman Durdin
[The burning of obstructions within the defense zone by the Chinese continued. Palatial homes of Chinese officials in the Mausoleum Park district were among the places burned late yesterday. The city was ringed by a dense pall of smoke, for the Chinese also continued to burn buildings and obstructions yesterday in towns in a ten-mile radius. This correspondent, motoring to the front, found the entire valley outside Chungshan Gate, southeast of Mausoleum Park, ablaze. The village of Hsiaolingwei, along the main highway bordering the park, was a mass of smoking ruins, and inhabitants who had not exacted days before were streaming toward Nanking carrying their few miserable belongings and occasionally pausing to take last sorrowing looks at their former homes.](New York Times, Dec. 8, 1937)

NANKING, Wednesday, Dec. 8. by F. Tillman Durdin
[A. L. Patterson, an American airplane salesman who passed through Chinkiang Manday, arrived population of 200,000 had been a mass flames and ruins. He said the city had been fired by the Chinese themselves.](New York Times, Dec. 8, 1937)

NANKING, Thursday, Dec. 9. by F. Tillman Durdin
[Chinese defense preparations here continue to by marked by the wholesale burning of buildings. The entire heavily populated area around the south gate was cleared of people, who have been sent to the city's safety zone, and a district the size of a small city was being set afire. Similarly, a new model village near the Hsiakwan station has been burned. ](New York Times, Dec. 9, 1937)

NANKING, Thursday, Dec. 9. by Archibald T. Steel
[The suburbs are scorched by Chinese armies, and a cloud of smoke covered the town beyond the castle wall.](Chicago Daily News)----retranslated from Japanese document by us.

SHANGHAI, Thursday, Dec. 9. by Hallett Abend
[Foreign military observers remaining in Nanking are amazed by the extent of the Chinese destruction of everything within the zones they still control. Most of this destruction is said to be purposeless, serving no military use for the advantage of the Chinese or to the disadvantage of the Japanese except to force invaders to use tents instead of billeting in buildings........ "Not since the armies of Genghis Khan turned the sites of once-populous cities of China into grazing lands has there been any such systematic destruction as that going on in the lower Yangtze area at the hands of the Chinese themselves," a neutral military observer told the writer. "Japanese aerial bombings and artillery fire have been destructive in comparatively narrow ranges, mostly military objectives, but all such damages combined will not equal one-tenth the destruction achieved by the Chinese armies. From the way the Chinese are behaving you would think they did not expect to recover any semblance of control in this part of China in the next century. You would think they were laying waste land belonging to some bitter foe. "It is incredible that they are adopting this 'scorched earth' policy against forces which must certainly be only temporary invaders and are not going to attempt to colonize Chinese soil. What is being destroyed represents the savings of thrifty generations of hard-working Chinese. "Those who advocate the policy of frenzied destruction of towns, cities and country side do not pause to think that they are utterly wiping out hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of accumulated wealth and that this property, if not destroyed, could have been taxed by the Chinese Government at no distant future, thereby helping the nation to refinance its rehabilitation. This rich area, which had been one of the most thickly populated in the world, will need vast sums to rebuild what is vanishing in flames." The only acceptable explanation seems to involve the ancient Oriental idea of "saving face," the Chinese believing they enchance their prestige if their retreat leaves only a barren wilderness of smoking ruins for the invaders to occupy. This policy ignores the welfare of millions of Chinese who have fled from this fighting zone. How the millions of refugees are to be fed and housed through the Winter is a serious problem because their own government cannot do anything for their relief.](New York Times, Dec. 9, 1937)

NANKING, Thursday, Dec. 10. by Archibald T. Steel
[This night, the horizon is glaringly glittering red at the tree directions due to the explosion of fire by Chinese armies around the castle](Chicago Daily News)----retranslated from Japanese document by us.

Nowadays, in so many of books that emphasize 'Nanking Massacre' these burn-outs ('scorched earth' policy) are discripted groundlessly as if Japanese army had burned out, and this is the reason why we quoted many documents as above.


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