ZHANG QUN.  1889-1990. Autograph Letter (possibly in a scribal hand), 3 pp, 4to, Nanjing, [September-early December, 1936], to Chiang Kai-Shek, on blue stationery, regarding ongoing negotiations with the Japanese,
Lot 4
ZHANG QUN. 1889-1990. Autograph (or possibly scribal) Letter, 3 pp, 4to, Nanjing, [September-early December, 1936], to Chiang Kai-shek, on blue stationery, regarding ongoing negotiations with the Japanese,
Sold for US$ 6,875 inc. premium
Lot Details
ZHANG QUN. 1889-1990.
Autograph (or possibly scribal) Letter, 3 pp, 4to, Nanjing, [September-early December, 1936], to Chiang Kai-shek, on blue stationery, regarding ongoing negotiations with the Japanese, creasing at folds, very mild toning; with original transmittal envelope marked in character "Confidential Document," small cut at flap, light thumbing.

Zhang Qun [1889-1990] served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of China from 1935-1937. Zhang reports to Chiang that he has had a telegram from China's ambassador to Japan, Xu Shiying [1873-1964], who has reported that the Japanese were ready to return to negotiations. They were, however, worried about Zhang Xueliang falling under the influence of anti-Japanese forces. Xu also reported that the Japanese were worried about the rise of anti-Japanese incidents, and were insisting that Chiang show his determination to gain control over the anti-Japanese forces. The letter closes with Zhang Qun worrying that this seemed to be a final warning from the Japanese government.
This letter to Chiang Kai-shek made its way to Zhang Xueliang's hands, though it is not known whether Chiang showed it himself or it was intercepted. Either way, it would have shown Zhang that Chiang was far more likely to negotiate with the Japanese than with the Communists.

Footnotes

  • 張群(1889-1990)信函

    親筆信(或代筆信),共三頁,4to尺寸。一九三六年九月至十二月初書於南京。收信人為蔣介石,內容提及中日談判。藍色信紙,邊緣有摺痕,並有輕微褪色。原信封寫有機密字樣,封口蓋有小缺口,並微微翹起。

    張群(1889-1990)曾於一九三五年至一九三七年出任中華民國外教部長。他在此信中表示,接獲駐日大使許世英(1973-1964)傳來電報,說明日方有意願重啟談判,但又擔心張學良此際投效抗日勢力。許世英亦表示,日方擔心抗日事件與日俱增,要求蔣介石展現決心,管好屬下,彌平抗日勢力。張群於信末表示,這可能是日方的最後通牒。

    這封寫給蔣介石的信最終落到了張學良手中──是蔣介石交給了張學良還是張學良從中攔截我們不得而知。但重要的是,張學良從中得知蔣介石寧可與日軍談判,而不願與共軍談判。
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