15 MARCH 1940, Page 2

The Puppet Government in China

In those areas of China which are occupied by Japanese armies it is easy for the Japanese to set up a Government and call it a Chinese Government. That is what is happen- ing in the establishment of the so-called Chinese Central Government under Mr. Wang Ching-wei, who, long before he headed any Government and before he had even been installed in office by his country's enemies, was going through the solemn formalities of " negotiating " with the Power on whom he depended. To make the negotiations the more specious this ruler who was not yet a ruler is represented as having stood out stoutly for minimum terms in favour of the Chinese with a courage that must have been pleasing to Japan as demonstrating the independence of the Government which it was about to create. So Mr. Wang Ching-wei is to head what a high Japanese authority describes as the de facto Government of all occupied China, adding that it will be a reality which foreigners will not be able to ignore. But it is not yet a de jure Government, and there remains the de facto and de jure Government of General Chiang Kai- shek at Chungking which is still confident and in full control of the western provinces. It is essential that the British Government should avoid commitments which would com- promise his position.