From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

15 September 1942
Sin-hua, Central China

A couple of weeks ago I was arrested by Chiang Kai-shek’s soldiers and thrown into solitary confinement. So much for my fine idea that Chiang might now be glad to have us as an ally. It’s true that he’s resisting the Japanese, but he’s really more against Mao and the Chinese Communists, and despite my offer to help against the Japanese (made through Wu-Man-to), he probably thinks we really want to help Mao.

Conditions were terrible at first: sleeping on the ground, no heat, bad food. I thought they wanted me to die. Then a few days ago things got a bit better: straw and quilt (filthy), better food. And on my pleading, something to write with. When you reach bottom, a step up seems like comfort, two steps is sheer luxury.

Ho apparently entered China to go up to Chungking and contact Chiang Kai-shek, who now needed all the help he could get against the ever-advancing Japanese. But even under this threat Chiang felt still more threatened by the Chinese Communists than by the Japanese. In any event, Ho was arrested and, for over a year (August 29, 1942 through September 10, 1943), was marched from jail to jail, often in chains, half frozen and half starved. Although the reason for his release has never been clear, it is possible that Chiang Fa-kwei finally persuaded Chiang Kai-shek that Ho was essential in winning Vietnamese help against the Japanese.
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