There were many more deaths to come—hanjian to be exterminated—in 1940 and 1941, but patriotic terrorism and civil resistance ceased in Shanghai after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The polarized clarity of mutual opposition had by then been blurred by the Nationalist intelligence services' strategy of quxian jiu-guo ("saving the nation in a devious way"): that is, of both overtly working with the enemy's intelligence services and covertly infiltrating thousands of lower-ranking double agents into the puppet Special Work organization. This policy of entwinement, according to mainland Chinese sources, was secretly adopted by
Wang Jingwei's puppet régime was roundly detested.
Wang Kemin's provisional government and Liang Hongzhi's reform government were the senior generation that had formerly operated under the sign "traitor" [jian]. In the occupied zone everyone called them the "former Han traitors" [qianhan]. Naturally enough, Wang Jingwei's collaborationist régime was called the "latter Han traitors" [houhan]. Many of these treacherous scoundrels verbally acknowledged that they were "latter Han traitors" but quite unabashedly saw no cause for shame. But ever since the "latter Han traitors" took the "former Han traitors'" place as Japanese puppets, the people gnashed their teeth and hated them bitterly. This was because the "former" were actually no match for the "latter" in heinousness, especially since the "latter" had their den of monsters at No. 76 (the puppet secret service organ)—the mere mention of which turned one pale—where people were mowed down like fields of hemp.
But Chiang Kai-shek's secret service units colluded with them nonetheless.
For Chiang Kai-shek had given the same orders to the civilian secret service under Chen Lifu and Xu Enzeng (director of Zhongtong, the Central Statistics Bureau). Xu was in direct and personal communication with Ding Mocun, former Zhongtong agent and now one of the heads of the Special Work Headquarters of the Nanjing régime. Whenever clerks in the Zhongtong Code Section in Nationalist Chongqing received a wireless message from Ding's transmitter, they hand-carried it immediately to Director Xu, who deciphered it for his and Chiang Kai-shek's "eyes only."
Dai Li had an identical arrangement with Zhou Fohai, Nanjing's arch hanjian by all Guomindang public accounts. Dai also placed key agents such as Mao Sen (who was captured by the Japanese in occupied Shanghai) in the security services of the Nanjing administration, where their deeds sometimes served Juntong ends, and sometimes served the puppet government—including the arrest, torture, and execution of Chinese patriotic "warriors." Meantime, puppet agents were also infiltrating Juntong on behalf of the Japanese, while Communist spies simultaneously cooperated with the puppets, the Japanese, and the American Office of Strategic Services, just as they also tried to place agents within Military Statistics. As a consequence of this fractured clandestine politics, most of which was totally impenetrable to the public, their ultimate loyalty remained very much in question throughout the war; and despite the extreme polarization between "warriors" and "traitors" there was not quite the same clarity of choice as one could imagine in the case of the French resistance to the Nazis.
For, even though the resistancialist myth was quickly exposed in postwar France, certain fundamental polarities remained. "Whenever any party refers to the Occupation [in France], it invariably touches on the century's central issues:
Historians in China have never fully explored the issue of wartime hanjian. But when Chinese historians do address the subject, they will have to confront the question of clearness of choice, if only to show how motley people's aims were at the time, and how muddled were the distinctions between friend and foe when the agents of at least three seats of government—the Nationalist party-state in Chongqing, the Reform puppet-state in Nanjing, and the Communist rebel-state in Yan'an—competed among themselves for positional advantage in whatever settlement was likely to fall out after the Japanese were defeated.