The Straits Times, July 8,
Japan Captures Two Military
shot down in retreat
Reported Near Peiping
Severe fighting between Japanese and Chinese
forces has broken out near the strategic railway town
of Fengtai, a few miles south of Peiping, according
to Japanese messages received in Tokio (say Reuter).
A Japanese communique claims that the Chinese
military stronghold of Liuwangmiao and the walled
town of Lukouchiao have been captured.
Firing with light
artillery and machine-gun is audible in Peiping,
these reports state.
A battalion of the Hopel 29th Route
Army staged manoeuvres at midnight in the
neighbourhood of Fengtai station. The Japanese and
Chinese commands rushed reinforcements to the scene
where it is reported, fighting broke out.
A severe engagement is reported to be taking
A Japanese communique issued in Tientsin states
that Liuwangmiao, a Chinese military stronghold, has
been occupied by the Japanese, who are pursuing and
machine-gunning the retreating Chinese troops. Scores
of Chinese troops have been killed.
Japanese troops are entering the walled town of
Luckouchia and disarming the Chinese troops there,
continues the communique.
The Tientsin-Peiping telephone line has been cut.
Early this morning the Japanese military
headquarters issued a comunique stating that one
officer was killed and several Japanese soldiers
wounded, and that fighting in the Fengtai area, which
started at 5.30a.m. was still going on.
Fighting ended at 9.30a.m. after the Japanese had
shelled Wangping small walled city near famous Marco
Polo Bridge, destroying several houses, says a late
Reuter message from Peiping.
Armistice was declared at 10 a.m., the Japanese
conditions specifying the withdrawal of the Chinese
forces from the Lukouchiao district by 11a.m.
The present trouble is not unexpected, according
to Sin Chew Jit Poh. Rumours have been circulating
for some days of an autonomy coup about to be staged
in the Peiping-Tientsin area. One story said that
under cover of Japanese military manoeuvres, Chinese
autonomists would attempt to seize the railroads and
towns in North Hopei, including Peiping and Tientsin.
In the light of latest developments, special
significance is attached to a warning sounded
yesterday by a Japanese military attache in Tientsin.
Denying that the Japanese military was exerting
pressure on Gen.Sung Che-yuan, chairman of
Hopei-Chahar Council, now absent for several
weeks on leave at Loling, Northern Shantung,
the attache said:
"We hope, however, that Gen Sung will
reconsider the position of North China. If Nanking's
Centralisation plans for the North are carried out
they will bring grave consequences."
Fengtai is a strategic station on the loop line
linking the Peiping-Tientsin and Peiping-Hankow
railways. The Japanese North China Command some time
ago stationed a garrison at Fengtai, the force is
being gradually increased. Now the strength is
estimated at about 1,000 men.
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