Raw Materials : The " Haves " and the " Have-Nots "
From Our Russian Correspondent The bombardment of several Chinese towns by the Japanese has justly raised a wave of indignation in Europe by the U.S.A. Without suggesting that such action can be excused by other considerations, it still remains important to have a clear idea of some of the motives which compelled Japan to risk a war which will by no means be an easy one. For, in spite of preparations for a long war, Japan could stand it only by straining every resource to the utmost, at the cost of great sacrifices for the nation as a whole, and if she has taken the plunge it is because Japan feels its urgertcy for her security and very .existence. Two reasons have conditioned this decision and the military operations clearly indicate the objectives of the Japanese strategy.
To End Soviet Intrigues
The first is to end Soviet intrigue in China. Having occupied Outer Mongolia which is, in everything but name, a Soviet republic the U.S.S.R. has never ceased to carry on Communist agitation in China, utilising the old trade routes through Inner Mongolia—the only one-s by which Siberia is linked with China proper.
In spite of the boasts of Marshal Blucher, dictator and military commander of the Far East; the Communists arc in nowise anxious to fight the Japanese. When, in June. Soviet forces occupied three islands on the Amur river, Manchukuo troops forced them back and sunk one Soviet gunboat. The Soviets threatened reprisals but climbed down and submitted to all Manchukuo demands as soon as Japan spoke. Immediately, as if to divert Japanese attention to another place, came the incidents of Peking and Lanfang which led to the beginning of military operations in North China.
In order to isolate China from the Soviets, Japan will be compelled to occupy the two Inner Mongolian provinces of Chahar and Suiyuan.
It was with this object in view that strong Japanese forces moved north-west from Peking, and having secured the NankowPass after bitter fighting, occupied Kalgan, capital of Chahar. Thence they will move towards Pao-Tow, terminus of the railway line from Peking, the occupation of which will secure their control of Suiyuan and of all trade routes from Siberia.
U.S.S.R. Loses Opportunity
It is incomprehensible how, after having clamoured so loudly about the Japanese danger, the Soviets did not attempt to take the Japanese northern army in the flank. Indeed, even without declaring war, it would have been easy for ,Soviet troops masquerading as Mongolians to move from Ulan Bator (Urga) towards Kalgan and place the Japanese invaders in a critical position.
A few months hence this excellent opportunity will he lost and Inner Mongolia, like Manchukuo, become another bulwark safeguarding the East from the spreading of Communist poison. That the Soviets are losing this opportunity is but another proof of the weakness of their Red Army.
Russia Worse than Japan in China For twenty years the Soviets have brought death and desolation into the peaceful Chinese homes: millions have been killed in the civil war due to Communism, and if by the shattering moral effect of the bombing of-populated centres the war can be brought to a speedy end and China at last pacified, the result will be more humane than the continuation of a state of permanent revolution with all its horrible consequences.
Need for Raw Materials Japan's strategical movement from Peking and Tientsin along the two railways Peking-Flankow and Peking-Pukow (Nanking) has a quite different objective — the occupation of the three Chinese provinces of Hopei, Shantung and Shansi, rich in coal, iron, gold and other minerals, whilst Shantung is one of the richest agricultural provinces of China with an enormous output of rice, corn, Millet and cotton.
it is because of the lack of these raw materials which Japan cannot obtain for her industries from the " have" countries (these are ready to sell their raw materials at prices which the " havetints" are unable to pay), that she has embarked upon a high-handed attempt to secure the supplies of goods needed for the very existence of the Japanese.
Undeniably there is " aggression," but does the guilt rest with the Japanese Government alone?