Page 8, 10th December 1937

10th December 1937
Page 8
Page 8, 10th December 1937 — The Fall Of Nanking By the time these lines are
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The Fall Of Nanking By the time these lines are

read, China's capital may be entirely in the hands of the Japanese. After the heroic defence at Shanghai and the determination of Chang-Kai-Shek to dispute every inch of Chinese territory with the might of modern Japan, the collapse of the weaker party has been all the more sudden and startling.

The future is dark. It may be that the forces of united China will reform themselves and find a new point on which to base their resistance, but it is more likely that such provinces as cannot be subjugated by Japan will relapse into disunion and anarchy with the spirit of Russian-imported Communism once again in the ascendant.

Thus it is highly doubtful whether the Japanese triumph, bought at such a high price both in human lives and in moral obloquy, will effect one of the chief ends, envisaged by the Catholics of Japan in their manifesto, arguing that their war ,is just.

With the argument of that manifesto, published last week, we cannot agree. In two respects at least the claim is unfounded. It cannot he said that Japan exhausted all peaceful means before having recourse to war, nor is it at all likely that the evils brought about by the war—one fought with a grimness, new even in the grim annals of modern warfare--are likely to be less than the evils which, according to the Japanese argument, the war is eliminating.

It is in fact a pure war of imperialist conquest, timed to prevent a weaker power from establishing its unity and independence against not only Communism but Japanese imperialism.

This seems to us a question of fact, but we recognise the difficulty of judging Japan. There is something very ironic in the attempted defence on the part of the White Powers of the integrity of the International Settlement against Japanese invasion, when that Settlement is itself the result of the white man's invasion of China for the purpose of exploiting her trade.

What we did more diplomatically, Japan is doing more brutally. We have had our day and profited by it. Japan intends to have hers.




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