Legislative Yuan Report – Committee Of Territorial Defense
Committee Of Territorial Defense; Investigation On National Limitations and Perogatives In The Event of Conflict With The Japanese (Abridged)
Pertaining to a joint tripartite investigation (hence: THE INVESTIGATION) by Committee Of Territorial Defense (hence: THE COMMITTEE) - Executive Yuan military cabinets – and the Judicial Yuan, The Committee sought legal parameters for the operation of Chinese military assets and institutions in event of war with Japan, pertaining to demands the Federal Republic of China (hence: THE NATION) may make against them. In review of histories and present commitments the Investigation reviewed what may be awarded to The Nation's in victory over Japan as exists in The Nation's national and international agreements. Combined with a force overview of military assets and a review of both civilian and military intelligence over the forces of the Japanese Empire we set out to propose the scale at which the Nation can act in the event of war, and outline the extent of authority the Nation can exert against the Japanese Empire in event territorial gains vs the Japanese. The Investigation is headed by:
Liang Chung (Democratic Socialist Party) Wei-Liang Hsiu (Democratic Socialist Party)
Fei Song (Constitutional Kuomintang) Lei Sung (Constitutional Kuomintang)
Zheng Yui (Constitutional Kuomintang) Su-Wei Peng (Democratic Socialist Party)
Zhang Xue (Kuomintang) Qichao Song (Kuomintang)
Chang Sheng (Kuomintang) Li Ho (Communist Party)
John Qi-Shao (Liberal-Democratic) Charles Wu (Liberal-Democratic)
Hon'ble Sing Wu (J. Yuan) Hon'ble Ma Tscheng (J. Yuan)
General Liu Siàu Tha̍t (Army) TV Soong (Ex. Yuan)
The findings of the Investigation were submitted to the Committee on August 25th 1955.
The Investigation determined that the direct threats to The Nation's territorial integrity by the Japanese are their ongoing occupation of the Korean Peninsula, and the Island of Formosa. The Japanese on Formosa has been a continuing reality since the Treaty of Simonoseki. And on Korea since the 1910 Japanese-Korean treaty. From these positions, any escalations of hostilities from Japan gives the enemy nation a position from which:
- To invade China by land
- Harass southern ports and endanger up to 70% of the Nation's international trade
Disruption to northern industry by a Japanese land invasion from Korea would very likely have disastrous consequences to the heavy industry sector of the north, further compounding economic dangers to the Nation by the Japanese should the Japanese embark on a two-pronged land-invasion and convoy raiding.
While military leadership indicates that with high troop numbers relative to that of the Japanese and an overall condition of the Army as being “fresh” compared against the Japanese military, the dangers of convoy raiding to the Nation's economy would be considerably high and carry high risk for the Nation and the impending threat of refugees at the head of Japanese invasion in the first phase from Korea would put civil strain on northern population centers and endanger major hydroelectric dams. These structures, we are obliged to recognize by history were constructed by the Japanese in the early and middle phases of their occupation of the north in the thirties and forties and represent known factors and strategic targets for the Japanese military.
Given relative troop readiness between the Nation and Japan, it is the opinion of the Committee that a conflict with Japan would highly probably succeed and end with the defeat of the Japanese armed forces, and additional territory occupied by our forces. Which is henceforth the mission of The Investigation to determine the strongest course of action in the event of. Supporting intelligence by the army and their self-assessment contains the calculation of the war cost, but is for the foreseeable future classified intelligence and out of the scope of The Investigation's report. The Investigation as such seeks to outline for future government to possible courses we may take as a nation on:
- The Korean Peninsula
- The Island of Formosa
As based on the intelligence and information available to us.
Declaration of Commitment to the Korean Peninsula
The Nation shares commitments and promises with the Provisional Korean Republic in sharing the vision of an independent Korean nation. As headed by Syngman Rhee, we bear a diplomatic priority and a singular goal to restoring an independent Korea in the event of war with the Japanese.
We recognize that the administration of the Qing Empire took on suzerainty of Formosa with historical apprehension, and that up to that moment the Imperial State had little interest to rule over the island of Formosa, and during the period of Chinese rule before the seizure of the island by the Japanese the population had until that point little interest in being a subject of the Nation and that it has been sixty years. As such it the opinion of the Investigation that the options we have towards Formosa may prove to be the most contentious and there are options available to the Nation on which to act towards it:
- That in recognizing Formosa as Chinese territory, and amending the clause of the Republican Constitution that the land of the Republic of China incorporates all the lands controlled by the Qing Empire at the time of its drafting
- To assist in the bringing about of an Independent Formosa
To incorporate Formosa into the Nation would require an acknowledgment of the historical complexities that the island has shared with the mainland during even its brief time as a subject of the Qing court, that the native population of Formosa – both of Chinese descent and non-Chinese descent – share little relationship with China save through the observation of their fieliel piety. But that all the same the Nation states in its Constitution the representation of all Chinese nationals abroad, and so the population of Formosa all the same most come to realize a national relationship with the Nation.
If provided independence, its most apparent value would be to serve as a base for the military to serve in defending the southern coastline. But in this reality the historical course of Formosa is allowed to run its course after so many long decades under foreign occupation. And so that the people of Formosa become friends of the Nation.
In the opinions of the Investigation, it is our belief the best course of action towards Formosa is to set the island to a vote by its people to decide between integration within the Republic, or national independence of its people and that this vote should take place within two years of its occupation and surrender to the Nation by Japan.
It has been the mission of the Investigation to see into the matter surrounding the obstacles surrounding the seizing of certain territories occupied by the Japanese. We do not set out an advisory on what is to be done should the Nation occupy the Japanese. We leave this matter to a future administration, legislative body, and entirely new committee. We do not possess the legal purview to settle that subject. And it is in the opinion of the Investigation to not consider such a subject. This Investigation has been carried out as an advisory affair for future use.
A headline lay splashed across the title page of the Shanghai National Tribune, announcing in no uncertain terms: “COUNTY WIDE RENTIERS STRIKE IN WUHU, MAANSHAN COUNTIES, ANHUI”. Hou Tsun read the headline indifferently as he sat on the small balcony of his apartment. The air today was hot, suffocatingly humid. The sky dark, rain rolling in from the sea. He sat with his shirt off, feet raised against the deck rail as he leaned back in a wicker chair. Habitually he licked a finger as he went and turned the page, lazily reading the article as he slowly reached for the corner of the paper.
”Peasants in Wuhu and Maanshan counties in center-western Anhui Province have declared their intent to strike against what they call extortionary rents charged to them by their landlords. The peasants claim that the demands of the landowners have left them with shrinking savings accounts as consumer prices slowly rise while food prices fall. The peasants have assembled a negotiating committee to speak with the landlords on their behalf, though the land owners have not yet agreed to meet. Anhui Province...”
He turned the page and started just scanning headlines. Not taking anything in. On the overturned milk crate next to him sat a glass of water melting in the heat and humidity. A thick coat of condensation from glass soaking deep into the shoddy wood of the crate. In the streets below the trolley passed, ringing its bell and people meandered about the sidewalks. Somewhere on the far side of the park his apartment straddled, a vendor called out that he was serving “cold treats” without description as to what they were. In the shade of the boughs the laughing and cries of children could be heard as high-noon faded and they came home from school.
For much of the day he Tsun had shuffled about looking for work, but was not wholly interested. He had played a show in a local club last night and made enough to pay off the rent and bills for the month. He'd have to do some scrounging to get a meal, but did not feel particular pressure on his shoulders. He had packs of dried noodles tucked away, and had a few friends he could visit. There was also the promise of the job in the movies that he still entertained. He had some time yet, he knew. Having counted it all together he concluded he wasn't starving, and was doing well enough for now.
On the culture page he read the headline for an article about a new radio show for the Shanghai English radio broadcasting network. It said: “Maintaining America Abroad: Brown Hi's New Show”
Tsun stopped his thumbing through, and looked at the article. It was a fairly brief review of a new radioshow: “The emigre American, Brown Himan has not been a stranger to being on the move. Ever since the ascent of the ultra-conservative nationalist politics of America, the son of a Ukrainian Hebrew tailor has traveled between the many American-Abroad communities, comprising of varying progressive and left-wing political activists, or American-Minority groups who fled persecution from the United States, waiting for the day when the situation at home may sometime change and moderate so that they may go home. Or even: make a new life. Brown for the moment: seems to have settled on opening a new chapter in Shanghai.
“Coming to Shanghai by way of Hong Kong where he produced a mystery thriller serial for the radio there, before which he had lived briefly among the Ukrainian diaspora of Vladivostok he has landed in the Shanghai Bund where has written and pitched a futurist anthology of thrillers. He became the director-producer of a small collective of American writers and actors in the Hongkou district to record and air their show Electric Odyssey in the English language on the AMKN radio station, the English-language radio station.
“'We hope to keep a little bit of the art of the old United States going', he said in an interview with the Yangtze Cultural Association, 'and perhaps also for a bridge between us and our Chinese hosts'
“The show airs weekly every Friday, and has been on the air for a month. So far the four episodes are tightly contained sixty-minute short story broadcasts and contain remarkably well paced plots...”
Tsun got bored, and went on, going back and forth between the headlines before putting the paper down and looking out into the city.
Tibetan Militarized Zone
They could not see it, but they knew it was there. The weather had turned bleak suddenly and a cold wind was blowing over them from the north-west. Carried on it was a cloud of sand and dust picked up from somewhere over Mongolia or Xinjiang. But from the other direction came a thunderbolt from Nianjing. Contained in a military aircraft, its humming engines could be heard even over the gusting of the wind as the men stood ready to receive it on the tarmac of the airstrip. Their army coats whipped violently in the wind, their collars pulled all the way up to shield them from the weather. Some of the men present had put on goggles to shield against the dust. Feng Lu had forgone the eye protection, but regretted it. The particulate heart his eyes, and he squinted hard against it. In his gut he was afraid he was making himself look like an old Hui man with his eyes shut so narrow against the wind, and his shoulders went more rigid at disgust at the thought. He was already on edge, having learned so late in the proceedings that somewhere in central army command someone had gone above and around him and what had been assured to be a normal process to find someone else to take the reign. Quan Yu was there too, as a formality. But the old officer did not show any distinct mood one way or the other. His face obscured by his cap and collar, he looked like a hobbled round sage with his back hunched against the wind and his arms left hanging to his side.
Suddenly through the gray-brown weather the plane was sighted making its approach. Its descent alternated, at once being slow and then becoming fast and sharp. Deep in his chest Lu hoped that a burst of air would simply knock it out of the sky and send it dashing into the rocks and they would be done with it. But alas, no such favor was granted to them. Finding their approach awkward, the pilots skillfully peeled off and disappeared back into the sky to circle around again and try again. Perhaps they hoped the weather might clear a bit more and they could find the runway amenable to them. Lu simply wished conditions would get worse and knock them out of the sky one way or another. The silhouette of the large airplane simply stoked his jealousy. In a moment, the sound of the engines disappeared. He knew it was because it had flown off distantly to circle. Minutes later it confirmed it had not snuffed itself out, and reappeared low over the ground making a gentle descent to the runway.
The guard mustered to great their new commanding officer rose their rifles in salute as the airplane taxied down the runway, gently rocking back and forth and tail swinging to and fro in the wind before it came to a stop. Not seconds after it came to a stop a ground crew ran up to it with a ramp and the door opened, spilling out into the cold Qinghai storm a stream of junior officers gathered around their peacock senior officer as he stepped out into the storm, head down and hand to his cap. Feng Lu noticed he wore gloved. Feng Lu stiffened himself to salute, as did Quan Yu.
The new commander, Fen Yu-Wen came near and barely rose his head to look at them. Lu noticed he wore glasses, large square lenses that he noted dryly were beginning to cake with dust around the edge. The two men looked at each other square in the eyes, and Yu-Wen offered the most curt and short salute he might offer at the time. He said nothing, and Lu noticed then that he had wrapped cloth around his mouth to keep from breathing in the dust. With a white gloved hand he pointed off into the near distance at the concrete structure that was the airfield building. “Yes general, sir,” Quan Yu said shouting, hobbling in from the side, “Let us take you inside.”
Fen Yu-Wen nodded energetically, and went impatiently in behind Quan Yu, Feng Lu close in third surrounded by the new commander's staff of followers.
Once inside, the door was closed and the sound of the wind fell silent, muffled by the concrete and carpet. Now free of the wind, everyone cleared their lungs and beat the sand from their coats. Fen Yu-Wen straightened his back and violently shook the collar of his coat to free it of dust, and removed his cap and shook it over his hand. Feng Lu noted that he was balding, his hair thin over the top of his head. Clearing his throat he removed the fabric from over his thin, long lips and adjusted his uniform. “For a post that I was assured would be fashionable, it is a shame about the weather.” he gripped. He removed his glasses and taking a cloth from a pocket in his coat began cleaning the lenses before putting them on. He noticed then too that his white gloves had already become soiled and tan from the storm and removed them, shaking off any loose dust as he continued: “Perhaps I may have to move everything back south.” he said in a low voice.
“All the same, it's a pleasure.” Quan Yu said deferentially, with a bow. He turned slightly from him to look at Feng Yu, demanding with his eyes that he grant him the honors too.
Reluctantly, Feng Lu bowed, and Yu-Wen reciprocated. “You must be Quan Yu and Feng Lu then,” he said matter of factly, “A pleasure to make your acquaintances. I'm sorry to say though,” he continued, turning to Feng Lu in particular, “That I was able to bring my own staff.”
“I... understand.” Lu said reluctantly.
“As I'm sure you were told, you are not being relieved of any command. So whatever section of the district was still under your command, then so it will remain.” Yu-Wen smiled, as if presenting a gift to him. He looked at either of them hoping also either of them had a gift but the room was silent. He cleared his throat and said, “excellent. Could we perhaps have a drink, it's been a long flight and I at least am parched. Shall we?”
“Yes, this way.” Feng Lu said quickly, taking charge. He looked over at Quan Yu in the moment it took him to turn and saw him smile with approval. They turned down the hall of the airfield building towards a small office where they might get some water. Unless either of them wanted to go back into the weather, it would have to do.
“Do you...” Lu began uncertainly as they went, “do you happen to need any briefing on the subject of Tibet?”
“Thank you, but I won't.” Fen Yu-Wen said, “I received a strategic briefing on the situation in Beijing and reviewed the district intelligence on the way over. I still have more to go over, but I have the relevant information. Short, of course of a review and tour of the area and units involved.”
“Ah- yes.” said Lu. He felt he would have had a moment to make something of himself to the new commander and salvage something of his career in the process. The maneuverings of Nanjing left him feeling bruised. “If I may, though,” he continued all the same, hoping he was not revealing too much of his anger and jealousy, “was there any reason why- erm,” he knew the subject was sensative and tried to look over in the corner of his eyes to his former senior officer for approval, but it dawned on him he had already committed. Stopping by the doors to the office lounge Fen Yu-Wen was looking at him expectantly. This close, he was notably shorter than he, and perhaps it was the light but he had a shade darker tone of skin. How far south did he come from, he wondered to himself but recovered from this distraction, “how it was you got this post?”
Fen Yu-Wen raised a brow and coughed under his breath. He looked to Quan Yu as if to ask if this was something in particular. The retiring officer did not give comment or hint at anything. Finally he said, “Seniority.” The response was barbed and distrustful, and even offended at the question Lu realized. With a breath Yu-Wen clarified, “Namely while your career record his admirable, it was decided last minute that such an important command shouldn't be under the command of someone so young. That it should be optimally commanded by someone with more lineage.” he said, the tone of his voice dropping somewhat as if talking down to an enlistedman.
The office lounge doors opened, and the entourage spilled in. Yu-Wen immediately claimed an arm chair and a glass of water was quickly provided to him by one of his personal staff. “If I may,” Quan Yu said, knowingly inserting himself into the conversation, “The post during much of my time wasn't considered a priority and was considered mostly as containment. Has there been a change?”
Yu-Wen looked first over to Fen Yu and took a sip of water before answering with heavy thought to his words, “Not quiet.” he said, rather restrained.
“Not quiet?” repeated Quan Yu.
“This command, at least here may not be fashionable, unlike the North East, but it's being considered a promotion over all. People in Nanjing are moving to finally fill the void on the plateau and reign in what's now being discussed as a recalcitrant province. If not finished, the long drive west is to be made one step more complete.”
Quan Yu nodded, his eyes lighting up a bit. But he must not have thought it his place because he said nothing else. Feng Lu caught what was happening, and nodded. “Ah, very well!” he said, hoping he was announcing just enough excitement.
Yu-Wen smiled wide and bowed in his direction from the chair, “Perhaps a feather in your cap for a fashionable appointment someday.” he said, sounding nearly mocking of him, “At least, in so far as that damned Communist doesn't win.”
“I don't play too much politics.” Quan Yu said humbly. Yu-Wen laughed, catching the joke.
“I worry if he had his way he will sooner dash the Constitution against the wall and split the Nation up more. He be damned. I need a harder drink though. I want a celebration of my flight. And to a new era!”