26 NOVEMBER 1937, Page 1

The War in China The centre of interest in the

Sino-Japanese war is now occupied by the Japanese advance on Nanking. On Monday the Chinese forces withdrew from Soochow and the Japanese were allowed to enter with practically no opposition. They are now within five miles of the great manufacturing city of Wusih, and the Chinese are expected to try and hold the line from there to Kiangyin on the Yangtze. It is probable that the Japanese will attempt to break the booms across the river, in order to bring up warships beyond Chinkiang to the attack on Nanking, and with the advance of Japan's troops covered by preliminary bombing raids Chinese resistance is rendered difficult. China's great weakness is her lack of defence in the air ; but Japanese observers have reported the appearance of 5o Russian aeroplanes of a type not yet seen in the war. The capital is being evacuated and the seat of Government transferred to Chungking in Szechuan ; and Marshal Chiang Kai-Shek announces that Nanking will be defended as stubbornly as Shanghai. If the Chinese morale holds, the city is certainly capable of prolonged resistance ; and even its fall would probably be the prelude to a period of guerilla warfare, to which the Chinese forces are well suited. China's objective indeed must be to prolong the war at all possible costs.

* *