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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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It's always nice when you can persuade an enemy to surrender.
 
Chapter 21 - the Japanese Envoy

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Chapter 21 - the Japanese Envoy

While the police and the military were preparing for the Japanese envoy to arrive, Ren Jiyu had another matter he needed to resolve, children. He knew it would take several days for the Japanese envoy to arrive. Since he arrived in Sichuan one of the more common sights was the children abandoned and starving. Far too many were abandoned. Then there were the girls who were sold into prostitution just to afford a bowl of rice, it made Jiyu infuriated just by thinking of it.

Later Jiyu went to the office of Magistrate Zha Jie. Both men were clearly a bit tired from having to organize famine relief. The desk of the magistrate was covered in several papers that he was working on. Orders for this and dispatches for that. It was a mess. Still work had to be done. After greeting the magistrate, Jiyu would take a seat.

“You wished to speak with me, Minister?” Zha Jie.

“I did. But first here is the report on the progress of the famine relief efforts so far.” Jiyu said, handing over a report to the magistrate.

“So it is working but slowly.” Jie said.

“Yes, hopefully faster progress will be here when aid from Beijing arrives.” Jiyu said.

“So what is it that you wanted to speak to me about.” Zha Jie asked.

“Right to the point then. What are you going to do about the children?” Jiyu asked the magistrate.

“You are not the first to ask about this.” Zha said softly more to himself then to Jiyu before speaking a bit more clearly. “What do you want me to do?”

“Get them off the street.” Jiyu stated.

“And where would we put them?” He replied.

“A school, an orphanage, something. We need them off the street and out of crime.” Jiyu said.

“The Buddhist Monasteries will help.” Zha Jie said.

“Hmm. Well we can set up some orphanages for them.” Zha Jie said.

“Good. I will make sure that food is allotted for them from the warehouse. The children should not go hungry.” Jiyu said.

“No they should not. Though some may not be happy about this.” Zhang Jie replied.

“Then perhaps keep them busy. Have them do service for food and work for their food.” Jiyu suggested.

“Hmm, I will speak with Captain Sheng.” Jie said.

Later when Jiyu returned to his office as he compiled some of his own reports for his superiors back in Beijing, he heard a knock on the door. Sliding the papers away for another more innocuous report, he spoke aloud. “Please come in.” In stepped Qin Lan who had her own set of reports.

“And what is that you have to report to, Lan?” He asked politely.

“Some new orders from Chengdu. I know you are here on behalf of the Imperial government but still I think that they might be of interest to you.” She said before handing over the report. The report detailed a plan to rebuild the civil service in Sichuan, and that started by rooting out corruption in the province. This would suit things nicely. Though the curious thing was that this order came from Liu Wenhui.

“I thought Deng Xihou was the governor of Sichuan?” Jiyu asked.

“Ah. well he and Liu Wenhui both work together. Their cooperation is what ensured victory in the civil war.” She commented respectfully.

“Ah. I see. Thank you. Anything else to report.” He asked.

“None unless you had anything for me to do before that damned Japanese devil arrives.” she said.

“Prepare for his arrival. We do not know what sort of trucks they are up to. A country that is importing food is going to offer aid, that seems rather curious. We must be wary of some sort of trap.” He said to her.

“Of course. I shall make sure that preparations are made right away.” She said bowing before she left. Jiyu then went back to composing his actual report. This recent information about the diarchy would prove very useful to his superiors in Beijing.

Then the day arrived that everyone was concerned about, the Japanese boat was spotted sailing up the river. The flag of Japan is high and it was clear to Jiyu that it was visible on purpose to send a message. Gao Sheng and the military were there to keep order. Jiyu hoped that nothing would happen, but there was a tension in the air. Moreover he had no idea what the Japanese were up to.

As the ship pulled into the docks Jiyu saw several men step out. Several guards came out followed by a man in a well tailored suit. The man was tall and thin, Jiyu saw him and thought the man was cold, his small round sunglasses concealing his eyes.

“Which one of you is the Governor of this town.” The man spoke, his Chinese surprisingly good though unmistakably with a Japanese accent.

“I am the magistrate in charge of the town.” Zha Jie said.

“Good. I am Ishimaru Kenjiro. I have come on behalf of the Empire of Japan.” the man said, introducing himself. His tone was even and calm but there was a sense of coldness

“And what brought you here to Chongqing.” Zha Jie asked.

“I am here to deliver food.” He said.

Jiyu was highly suspicious of this information. The crowd of people in the docks on the other hand did not seem to care that it was the Japanese who were here to deliver the food, food is what they need.

“Ah. How wonderful. The food can be delivered to the warehouses at once.” Zha Jie said.

“Of course. We would need a truck though.” The Japanese envoy said.

While he was polite there was something sly and smug about the envoy. An army truck that was at the docks pulled up to the boat and the bags of rice and other food. Soon some of the Sichuanese soldiers were delivering it to the warehouse after the food was delivered.

“I am curious, mr. Ishimaru I thought that Japan imported food.” Qin Lan said in a questioning tone.

“Well to some degree, that is correct. But we do have favorable trade relations with the Republic of China. Still the emperor of Japan heard of the famine and was moved to ensure that you can eat.” He said. The mention of the Republic of China meant the Zhang Zuolin’s government that in Jiyu’s mind was nothing but a puppet to the Japanese.

“Well it is appreciated nonetheless.” She added.

“Magistrate Zha Jie, do you mind showing me around the city? I do need a place to stay for the day before we are to return to Japan.” the envoy said and then left with the Magistrate to tour the city.

As the Japanese envoy left, Jiyu took his leave back to his office. He figured that the Japanese were really here to scout out the city for some reason and that the superiors back in Beijing would prefer knowing about that. Now if only the Imperial relief would arrive. He hoped that his reports to Beijing would convince them to hasten the relief efforts.
 

stnylan

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What do the Japanese want?

Altruism is not easy to trust.
 
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vyshan

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"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts." (Well, in this case not literal Greeks...)
Indeed, but of course given how desperate the people of Sichuan are that is a tough task to do.

What do the Japanese want?

Altruism is not easy to trust.
You will have to wait to find out what the Japanese are up to. ;)
 
Chapter 22 - The Bank and Tea

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Chapter 22 - The Bank and Tea

Cao Fei and her husband entered the Yien Yieh Commercial Bank building. Despite the chaos of earlier in the year and the riots the Bank was undamaged. The bank made sure to keep itself pristine and modern, going for the Western Classical style. As the couple opened the copper doors of the entrance of the bank, they entered a building filled with activity. Still they had an appointment to keep so they made their way to the elevator and went to the second floor.

After walking down the hall they entered the office of Li Jinyuan. His office was not ostentatious despite it showing his wealth. It was clean and neat, but more than anything Cao Fei was impressed which she figured was the point. Li Jinyuan almost certainly sought to impress and show off the bank’s wealth. He was not the only man in the room, his secretary Zhu Li was also here.

“Ah Zhang Yi, Madam Zhang, Glad you could make it.” Li Jinyuan said as the two entered the office and slightly bowed in greeting. After greeting the two he turned towards his secretary and spoke, “Zhu Li go and make some tea for our esteemed guests, some Tieguanyin should do nicely I would say. ”

“So what did you wish to discuss with us?” Zhang Yi asked politely.

“Several things, ” Jinyuan said pausing as Zhu Li came back with some tea. “Ah. Wonderful, Yueliang. Thank you” Jinyuan replied to which she bowed politely holding the tray in her hands.

“First though, I have been keeping my attention on the so-called legation cities.” Jinyuan siad.

“And what has your attention of late?” Yi asked.

“The Belgian matter.” Jinyuan said before sipping his tea.

“What matter is this? I thought Belgium didn’t exist.” Fei said sipping her own tea.

“They don’t but Flanders-Wallonia existed and they kept the Belgian seat, claiming they were the natural successors to the old Belgian government” Jinyuan said.

“Existed not Exists?” Fei said.

“Your wife has a good ear. That is correct, Madam. From what my sources have said there is some conflict in Europe that has caused Flanders and Wallonia to separate into separate countries.” Jinyuan explained.

“I take it that the Beligan concessions have yet to return to us.” Zhang said.

“Correct. By right it should go back to us. However it is in the neutral zones and the foreigners are unlikely to just hand it back to us.” Jinyuan said.

“We can not forget about Japan and their puppets.” Fei asked.

“Ah. Japan. That's the tricky thing, they are keeping their cards close to their chest. However we both know they are backing the Manchurian Warlord. So if they voted to return the Belgian concessions to China, they would be voting to hand it over to Zhang Zoulin.” Jinyuan said and took another sip of his tea.

“The closeness of the city to Beijing is something that we can not let happen.” Zhang said.

“Unfortunately I agree. Conflict will come with the Manchurian Warlord but it is easier to prepare if we also do not have to worry about Tianjin. Which brings me to the second thing I wanted to speak to you about, this industrial plan of yours.” Jinyuan said.

“Ah The Young China Plan’s calls for modernizing the industry and moving them to the west. We are going to need a number of Military factories for the coming conflicts.” Yi said.

“Why the west in particular?” Jinyuan asked, though Cao Fei felt he already knew the answer.

“Sooner or later war is going to come with the Japanese will come. If the east falls then we must have the west to hold them back else all will be lost.” Yi said.

“We are both aware that it will cost a lot of Yuan, So I will have to speak to the board about this. Still I think something can be worked out. You do have a detailed copy of the plans?” Jinyuan asked.

“Right here.” Fei said, she had come prepared with a document that detailed the plans. Well the parts that were willing to be spoken out to those outside of the Young China Party and the government.

Jinyuan took the documents and smiled at what he read. “Now this is what I am liking. We can make this be rather mutually profitable for both of us. I will give the Young China Party a small loan. It should take care of some of the initial costs of some of the industries. Should that prove fruitful and the Board agrees further loans will be given.” Jinyuan explained.

“Wonderful.” Fei said.

Later the next day Cao Fei had her chauffeur drive her to Longtan Park to meet with Liu Yun. Yun had offered to have tea with her and Fei was curious why she would but she was not going to let an opportunity to learn more about the opposition in government go to waste. Arriving at the Longtan Park, there were a number of people but it was still in the morning and the crowds had yet to arrive. The table that Yun had chosen was overlooking the lake, more importantly it was rather secluded from the crowds Fei noticed.

“Ah, Ms. Cao Fei, I am glad that you could make it. What tea would you like?” Yun said bowing politely to her, Fei bowed in return. Yun’s tone was gentle and polite, exceedingly polite.

“Some silver needle would be lovely.” Fei said.

“Two Silver Needles then.” Yun said to the waitress. Not long later two cups were placed on the table before the waitress poured the tea.

“So why did you invite me here? I assume you had a reason beyond just tea.” Fei asked.

“I wanted to get your impression of Yingandao as Zhang Tianran will be heading to Beijing soon.” Yun asked before sipping tea.

“Don’t you have your own impression of them?” Fei said politely before sipping her tea.

“I don’t know what to make of them. They wish to help the people but they could be the next Boxers or they could be the next Red Turbans.” Yun said.

“They seem more akin to the Boxers.” Fei said.

“I certainly hope not.” Yun said, pausing a moment to sip her tea before she spoke again, “The other reason I wanted to speak to you is that I am concerned about the growing power of the Zongshe Party since the overthrow of the Zhili Clique.”

“The Manchu party? And why are you concerned about them?” Fei said sipping her tea.

“They hold most of the positions of authority.” Yun said.

“For now.” Fei replied.

“I hope it is temporary but the reactionaries within that party are of no benefit to China. Their views on how to deal with the warlords is terrible.” Yun said.

“You have made your point, but what is your plan?” Fei replied politely sipping her tea.

“I know that our husbands are in different parties and we may not see eye to eye, still I feel that it is better to work together instead of the Manchus. Perhaps a meeting could be arranged between the men to see if something could be done to ensure that the Zongshe lose influence.” Yun said never losing her politeness as she finished her tea.

“I will speak with my husband. Something mutually agreeable could be worked out.” Fei said, also finishing her tea.

The two then departed. As Cao Fei sat in her car as it drove back to her home, she was smiling inwardly at this. Liu Yun was polite, never losing her cool and there had to be more to this meeting then she let on. Still if the NCERA could be neutralized then the YCP would guide China into the future and the Chinese Century.
 

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I suppose this might be mis-labelled "soft" diplomacy. There is nothing soft about it.
 
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vyshan

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I suppose this might be mis-labelled "soft" diplomacy. There is nothing soft about it.
Well its certainly softer then most diplomacy in China in this era which involves the barrel of a gun. :p

Good to see that someone is looking towards the future. War with Japan is, if not inevitable, then at least a real possibility that needs to be prepared for.
Japan is the big bad lurking in the background. Everyone knows that some sort of conflict with them is inevitable, its just a matter of time.
 

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Just nominated this AAR for the Weekly AAR Showcase
 
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Cromwell

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I assume the Japanese food delivery is cover for espionage, the next landing might be depositing something other than food.
 
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vyshan

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I assume the Japanese food delivery is cover for espionage, the next landing might be depositing something other than food.
More will be revealed about the Japanese envoy in future updates.

Also sorry for the lack of update recently. I am working on it, but I have been a bit slower in writing lately.
 

Cromwell

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It's OK, it's a hobby not a job. Write at any pace you like, we'll be here waiting :)
 

stnylan

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Thirding the above sentiments
 
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