IV. The puppetgovernments in China under Japan


1) The assassination ofWang Jingwei
Japan knew that for sucha big country like China, they should make up some puppetgovernments, or they could not rule all China by themselves.Manchukuo in the northeastern China was the first puppet governmentJapan had established. As Japan expanded their invasion into otherprovinces, they had other local puppet governments founded. FromDecember of 1937 to March of 1938, two more puppet governments wereset up, one in Peking, and the other in Nanking.
Japan always wanted toinduce Chiang Kai-shek and the national government to surrender toJapan and became the central puppet government, but never succeeded.In November, 1938, Japan sent someone to talk to Wang Jingwei and hisclique. His two important followers were Chen Gongbo and Zhou Fohai.Both were originally members of the communist party. It was said thatmost of members of any party were opportunists. They would go wherepersonal benefits beckoned to them.
Wang always wanted to bethe head of a government, but he was no rival to Chiang whocontrolled the army. Now Japan offered him a chance to be one, thoughonly the head of a puppet government. Better than nothing. So therepresentatives of both sides had a secret talk in Shanghai andsigned an agreement that the puppet government recognized theManchukuo, and Japan had the priority for the natural resources inChina, etc. On the 18th day of December, 1938, WangJingwei, Chen Gongbo and Zhou Fohai stealthily left Chongqing, thetemporary capital in the war time, and went to Kunming, where theytook a plane to Hanoi in Vietnam.
On the 29thday of December, 1938, Wang sent out a public telegram, stating threepoints as his principles to negotiate with Japan: firstly, befriendly to the adjacent countries; secondly, cooperate with Japanagainst the communist party; thirdly, get financial assistance fromJapan. Nevertheless, the national government and the communist partyboth thought that it was Wang's statement to betray China andsurrender to Japan. So Wang and his followers were defined astraitors.
Therefore, on the newyear's day of 1939, Chiang had a meeting to announce to expel Wangfrom the national party and dismiss all his offices from the nationalgovernment. Then he decided to get rid of Wang physically. So somespecial agents were sent to assassinate him in Hanoi.
Wang and his wife, ChenBijun, and another follower, hid in a house and seldom went out. Thespecial agents were composed of 18 experienced assassins, called “18Arhans,” which came from the Buddhist culture, but meant “strongmen” in Chinese culture. They already arrived in Hanoi and got allthe information they needed about Wang, and where he lived. They werewaiting for the final action order from Chiang. Chiang still harboreda hope that Wang would turn back to the national government. Chiangsent someone to Hanoi to have a talk with Wang, but Wang refused therequest of Chiang for him to go back. Wang and his wife knew thatthey were now in danger to be killed.
On the 19thday of March, Chiang gave the final order to rid of Wang. So the 18Arhans got ready for action. At 9 o'clock on the 20th day,when the agents had a meeting to arrange for the action, they gotinformation that Wang and his men were getting ready to leave thehouse. So the agents came to chase them, who rode in two cars. WhenWang and his men found that they were followed, they succeeded tolose the agents in the heavy traffic at a crossroad.
At 4 o'clock in theafternoon on the 21st day, information came about whereWang lived now. So six agents went there. They must act fast becausethey were in a foreign country. Vietnam at that time was under theFrench rule. Wang's guards could not bring guns with them. The agentssecretly had guns carried in. So when the agents attacked, the guardshad no weapons to defend. An agent went to a room the informationsaid Want lived in. The agent used an ax to make a hole in the doorand saw a man and a woman inside. He shot at the man for three times.He witnessed the bullets hit home and left as fast as he could. Threeof the agents escaped and three of them were arrested by the policein Hanoi. Afterwards when they were happy thinking that they hadfinished the task to kill Wang, information came that Wang was stillalive. Only one of his followers was killed. Then some of agents leftand some remained behind for further action. But they never killedWang.