12 APRIL 1935, Page 2

Nanking and the Communists While the anonymous, spokesman of the

Japanese Foreign Office was delivering a surprising attack on this country, on the strength of the debate on China in the House of Lords, last week, in China itself General Chiang Kai-shek has been making notable progress against the Communist forces' in the -Upper Yangtse valley. When the Government forces got command in Kiangsi in the east, the Communiits made their way across country and created a new menace in Szechwan and Kweichow, where the Nanking. Government has never been able to exercise more than a shadowy authority. But their activities took General Chiang Kai-shek to Szechwan in person, and for some time he has made Chengtu, the capital of the province, his headquarters. That has a double advantage, for from that strategic centre he can not only direct his plans for harrying the bandits but take in hand a much-needed reform of the local administration. The latter task, according to The Times correspondent at Shanghai (a necessarily distant vantage-point), is being carried out with vigour. The effect on the cohesion and unification of China may be considerable, for Nanking's hand is being felt in a region where its writ never ran before. On the larger question of a loan to China to help her over her silver crisis it looks as though the wise plan of joint international action, in which Japan will be welcome to co-operate if she chooses, would be adopted.

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