This thesis examines the rhetoric employed by the Chinese and Japanese delegates to the League of Nations during the Manchurian crisis of 1931-33, as well as the verdict of the League. Individual statements from representative diplomats were analyzed for literal meaning as well as underlying motive driven by circumstance. Rhetorical analysis of Chinese and Japanese statements during the Manchurian crisis and the subsequent Sino-Japanese conflict reveals the tension between appealing to the international community for aid and maintaining nationalistic pride. The Sino-Japanese conflict challenged the League of Nations' policies and practices. By attempting to conform to the League's principles, China and Japan reinforced the League of Nations' position as the mediator in international conflict dedicated to the maintenance of peace. At the same time, the conflict discredited the League of Nations' effectiveness because negotiations ultimately failed and Japan withdrew from the League rather than adhere to the League of Nations' resolutions. Chinese and Japanese delegates manipulated language to impart specific implications in their speeches and statements. Specific examination of word inclusion and omission contributes to understanding the requisite rhetorical skills needed to maintain and develop support without alienating competing foreign powers. When examined in conjunction with historical contextual analysis, it is clear that the rhetoric employed in official Chinese and Japanese statements reflected political dynamics and the pre-World War II trend away from imperialism. Analysis of the League of Nations' actions during the Sino- Japanese conflict exposes the League's impotence in the face of a serious international dispute. The League of Nations attempted to appear relevant in negotiating peace, but as demonstrated by this study, the League's emphasis on its successful implementation of specific procedures and policies was to a large degree a diversionary tactic intended to mask the League's inability to bring about any true resolution to the Manchurian conflict.