Regardless of League resolutions, the swift Japanese triumph in Jehol proved only the prelude to a final flurry of fighting in an area of far greater concern to the Western powers. Towards the end of March there were frequent skirmishes along the Great Wall between Shanhaikuan and Hsifengkow, with the Chinese, anxious to restore their tattered morale and reputation, claiming major victories over small Japanese units that had been installed to cover the passes. In their turn, the Kwantung Army announced their refusal to tolerate the presence of Chinese troops in the Shanhaikuan—Hsifengkow—Luanchow triangle. After making an attack to clear this area and then withdrawing, they found the enemy reoccupying it and thereupon launched a new and heavy assault on 7 May, driving south towards the Luan river. Japanese planes appeared over Peking, where a direct attack was now expected as Chinese troops abandoned Miyun and other towns not far to the north. With a major victory within their grasp, however, the Japanese pulled up, and negotiations between military commanders—the Chinese delegates fearing for their lives at the hands of enraged compatriots—led to the signing of a truce at Tangku on 31 May. Chinese forces were to withdraw from a broad zone stretching up to the Wall from just north of Peking and Tientsin, leaving it to be controlled by their police only; once the Kwantung Army were satisfied by means of aerial and other observation that this had been carried out, they, too, would withdraw to the Wall.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.