CHINA: I Am Very Optimistic

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Victory finally came to China—a great double triumph in war and diplomacy. There were still uncertainties ahead—as there were uncertainties ahead of every power in the world, great and small. But never in modern times had the great nation of 450,000,000 people been so close to an era of peace and progress. After a century of foreign intervention and meddling western imperialism, China was mistress of her own house and her own destiny.

Back to Nanking. The big moment came at Chihkiang, a sun-baked Allied air base in Central China. A Japanese plane circled, then glided to a bumpy landing. Chinese officers waited.

No salutes were exchanged as the Japanese Deputy Chief of Staff in China, Major General Takeo Imai, his gloved hand resting on the jeweled hilt of his oversize samurai sword, stepped stiffly into a Chinese Army jeep. His six aides and their luggage (briefcases, tins of tea, fruit juices, U.S. crabmeat) followed.

Under a flowering cherry tree, the in scrutable Japs were served Chinese food by inscrutable Chinese waiters. Then they were summoned to headquarters of Lieut. General Hsiao Yu-shu, deputy of Chinese Chief of Staff General Ho Ying-chin.

General Hsiao did not rise as the enemy entered. In the background innumerable cups of tea were poured as the terms were outlined. When the enemy handed over a map showing the disposition of his 1,000,000 troops in China, General Hsiao's aides broke their imperturbability, crowded for a jubilant look.

Two days later the Japanese Commander in Chief in China, Lieut. General Yasuji Okamura, agreed to surrender all his sea, air and ground forces, from Manchuria's southern border to Formosa and northern Indo-China. Next day, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Central Government troops entered Nanking. They were back in China's capital just seven years, nine months and five days since they had been forced to leave the city to a brutal fate that shook the world.

"Hao Hao!" At the temporary capital in Chungking the Generalissimo whirled through a week of high statesmanship. In a brief ceremony at the National Government building, he signed the United Nations Charter. When he put down his brush, he made his characteristic short, quick bow, murmured: "Hao hao, hao hao—very good, very good!" He looked deeply satisfied.

Before a joint session of the powerful National Defense Council and the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, the Generalissimo delivered an epochal address on foreign policy. It was the logical sequence to the treaty of friendship and alliance negotiated in Moscow by his dynamic brother-in-law and trouble-shooter-in-chief, Premier T. V. Soong (see INTERNATIONAL).

In an interview with TIME Correspondent Annalee Jacoby, the Generalissimo voiced his own, and his nation's high hopes. "I am very optimistic," he said. On the eve of important talks with the Chinese Communists, he felt that a peaceful unity could be achieved. He was firm in his ruling on the Communist demand that the convocation of a National Assembly to launch constitutional government be postponed. "The National Assembly,"' said he, "will be convened as scheduled."'

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