18 DECEMBER 1936, Page 1

Crisis in China • Various theories have been put forward

to explain the kidnapping of General Chiang Kai-shek by the Young Marshal, Chang Hsueh-liang. The simplest is that the Young Marshal, about to lose his position . as commander of the anti-Communist forces in Sianfu, kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek in Order to impose on him a more militant policy towards Japan. His own troops have been infected by the violent anti-Japanese feeling of the Communist forces they were meant to suppress. It is suggested, on the one side, that the kidnapping was engineered by Communist intrigues from Moscow ; on the other, that it was planned in Tokyo to provoke a recrudescence of civil war. Certainly, it has pleased the Japanese Government, which has lately met with firm opposition both from Moscow and from Nanking ; it will please them also that loyal forces from Nanking and Canton have marched to suppress both Chang Hsueh- hang and presumably the Communists. These forces might possibly endanger any further advance southwards • by the Japanese. In Chinese politics it is necessary to allow for every kind of personal intrigue and treachery. When this allowance has been made, it is still possible to distinguish two essential developments in the situation - —the recent strengthening of Chinese national feeling, which has already influenced Chiang Kai-shek, and the grave danger which now faces the strong Government he has built up in the central and southern Provinces of China.