Temporary Presidential Residence,
Peking, Republic of China
President Sun Li-jen felt out of place wearing civilian clothing, after having worn a military uniform for so long, but he had to be careful to be seen as being a new breed of Chinese politician, not a puppet of the military and not beholden to the provincial warlord power-brokers, but a true representative of the people, though not elected. He was more than happy to relinquish this power to a truly democratic successor; he had no taste for it. Pacing the length and breadth of the conference room, taking in all the information available and forming a plan based on it, was what he did best.
Assembled with him in this early morning meeting were the members of his reformed General Staff, consisting of his Army Chief of Staff, Air Force Chief of Staff and his Naval Commander-In-Chief, and their aides, as well as his ministers of war and justice and of the interior. Spread out on the central table were detailed maps of the target areas concerned. They were expecting other Allied leaders later on in the day, so there stood the possibility of rest before those meetings began.
He'd just been briefed on the effort to collect and employ the commandos that had been trained by the OSS agents, who had been operating outside the chain of command of SACO, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization. Thus far, about 3,500 of the more than 4,000 commandos were located. One of the first things that President Sun did upon assuming the authority of the presidency was to abolish the hated Bureau of Investigation and Statistics, and have its leader, General Tai Li, arrested on charges of corruption, profiteering and treason. He was immediately hanged; the infamous photo of General Tai, dangling at the end of the noose, was cheered across China. His next order of business was to abolish SACO, in favor of a bilateral information-sharing agreement with Allied intelligence services, which the Americans and, to a lesser degree, the British were more than willing to agree to. As part of the agreement, the U.S. Navy agreed to remove Commodore Milton Miles (who was tainted by his association with General Tai) as commander of Naval Group China. In exchange, President Sun agreed to accept the operation within his territory of a CIA mission, headed by Brigadier General Archimedes L.A. Patti. The President was familiar with General Patti's work out of Kunming, and his assessments of the situation in French Indochina were spot-on, for the most part. The only thing that had not been foreseen was the sudden Soviet invasion of Western Europe, which upset the entire balance of power in the region.
The one thing that President Sun could not do anymore was go out and command troops in the field, which he had been doing a few scant weeks ago. He had broken up the bulk of the New First Army, to provide training cadres for the rest of the new Chinese Army, and with the commandos back in service and under his army's command, he was hoping to reorganize his forces using the American model, as opposed to the cumbersome German one. Another thing that irked him was still having to deal with some of the creatures who had populated Generalissimo Chiang's halls of power, such as the ruthless Hui Muslim warlord of Tsinghai, Ma Pufang, or the prideful Chiang toady and Whampoa graduate, Du Yuming, both of whom were in attendance at this planning session. But he had to admit, despite his prejudices against them, they were very able soldiers and commanders. This time, he would not suggest that General Du follow his lead; he'd demand total obedience, or General Du would suffer the ultimate cost. The examples of the generals and admirals who refused to follow Comrade Chiang into exile, on the island of Formosa, should have been more than enough to show the rest that President Sun meant business.
As for General Ma, he would make sure that he understood that he held his governorate in Tsinghai Province, and his military command, at the President's pleasure. To ensure that the point was punctuated, he made sure that all his commanders knew the fate of the Governor of Sikang, Liu Wenhui, a warlord who was deposed as the Governor of Szechuan a decade ago for allegedly allowing safe passage to the communists during their Long March. General Liu was hanged and left to rot in the main square in Kangting, for defying President Sun's reforms. President Sun was not above using violence to achieve his ends. This was the only language that the warlords and “little” generals all understood perfectly: do as you're told, or you'll die, just like the guy before you, who couldn't get with the program. All it took was a few warlords to meet an ignominious end so that the rest would fall in line. The President knew that in their heart of hearts, they would turn on him the moment they had a chance; but he needed them and their well-armed militias in the fight against the communists in what the Americans would call a “go-for-broke” or “hail mary” operation.
President Sun planned to cull the most loyal units from among General Du's divisions for an infiltration assault inside Manchuria. This operation would be led by the very same commandos that they had been looking for. A head-on assault against the approximately 80 divisions that the Soviets have spread out through Manchuria and Outer Mongolia is virtual suicide. At the same time, General Ma's forces would strike through Sinkiang (President Sun having secured an autonomy agreement with the Uighur minority in the region first) in an apparent movement toward Tannu-Tuva, northwest of Outer Mongolia. This would be supported by American actions that would be determined at a later point in time.
One might ask, “why is the Chinese command now so capable of being so bold and confident in their planning?” The simple answer is that they have finally captured the main spy among them in the Ministry of National Defense in Nanking. A communist courier was caught attempting to deliver documents from the Ministry, most of which were originated from the 5th Department, the intelligence department of the Ministry. It was determined that the documents that the courier was carrying had been given to him by none other than the deputy head of the department, General Kuo Ju-kuei. General Kuo was arrested and publicly shamed, then he disappeared into a dungeon, where despite his protestations of ignorance, he finally gave up his spy cell, and the entire network was rooted out.
Henceforth, they were now in the planning stages of the counter-revolution.....