As the people of a week country we have patiently endured a great deal for several years in our efforts to maintain peace. However, we are now faced with a critical situation wherein, in order to perpetuate our nation, we must resist aggression even at the cost of our lives. We cannot make any compromise at the last moment. All must fully recognize the meaning of what we call the critical situation. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident is clearly the result of international, provocative action on the part of the Japanese forces. Six years have passed since we lost our four northeastern provinces (Manchukuo). Then came the Tanghu Agreement soon afterwards, and now a clash between our forces and Japanese troops has taken place at the Marco Polo Bridge, which is a gateway to Peiping. Should it be occupied in force by the Japanese invaders, who could say definitely that our old capital, which has continued to thrive for 500 years as a political, cultural and military center in the north, would not become another Mukden? If the Peiping of today should become the Mukden of the old days, the China area (Hopei- Chahaerh area) would likewise follow the fate of the four northeastern provinces. Then who could be sure that Nanking would not become another Peiping? The development of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident is indeed of grave national concern, and whether this incident can be settled is a problem that may decide the fate of our people. Being a weak nation, we should make it a national policy to safeguard peace and not provoke war. However, should we be faced with a national crisis from foreign aggression, we must accept the challenge for the continuance of our national existence, for which we are responsible to our ancestors. Once a war is begun, there will be left no chance for compromise by this weak country of ours. In this
eventuality, we should strive to gain a final victory even at the cost of our existence.
Whether the Marco Polo Bridge Incident will develop into an outright war between China and Japan depends entirely upon the attitude of the Japanese Government. Whether we can hope for peace hinges largely upon the action of Japanese troops. Even if the hope for peace lessens, we should still seek settlement of the incident through diplomatic negotiations, For the peaceful settlement of the incident, we must set forth the following four conditions which indicate the last line to be held in the diplomacy of the weaker nations:
(1) A settlement must be achieved which does not violate the territorial right and sovereignty of China.
(2) No illegal change in the administrative system of the Chicha area will be allowed.
(3) Local government officials dispatched from the Central Government, such as Sung Cheyuan, Chairman of the Chicha Administration Committee, should not be replaced under pressure from outside.
(4) No restriction can be placed on the present assignment area of the 29th Army.
In short, the Government has already formulated consistent policies and established irrevocable conditions for the settlement of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and intends to stand by these conditions. While hoping for peace, we do not seek momentary ease. While increasing preparations for a counteraction, we will never refuse to fight. Once a nationwide resistance is launched, the only way left for us will be its thorough execution at all cost. The Government should face this crisis with special prudence, while the people should prepare themselves resolutely and calmly for the defense of their own country, relying upon national unity and strictly observing discipline and public order at this time of crisis.