W. Reginald Wheeler
China and the World War




I. Circular Note of Secretary of State John Hay, for the United States, sent on Sept. 6, 1899, to the diplomatic representatives of the United States at London, Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, and in November to Rome and Tokyo, asking the governments of the countries to which they were respectively accredited to make a "formal declaration of an 'open door policy' in the territories held by them in China."

The request made of each government was that it:

"First. Will in no way interfere with any treaty port or any vested interest within any so-called 'sphere of interest' or leased territory it may have in China.

"Second. That the Chinese treaty tariff of the time being shall apply to all merchandise landed or shipped to all such ports . . . (unless they be 'free ports'), . . . and that duties so leviable shall be collected by the Chinese Government.

"Third. That it will levy no higher harbour dues on vessels of another nationality frequenting any port in such 'sphere' than shall be levied on vessels of its own nationality, and no higher railroad charges over lines built, controlled, or operated within its 'sphere' on merchandise belonging to citizens or subjects of other nationalities transported through such 'sphere' than shall be levied on similar merchandise belonging to its own nationals transported over equal distances."

Each of the governments so addressed gave its assent to the principles suggested, whereupon Secretary Hay, having in hand and having compared the replies, sent, on March 20, 1900, instructions mutatis mutandi, to the ambassadors to inform the governments to which they were respectively accredited that in his opinion the six powers in question and the United States were mutually pledged to the policy of maintaining the commercial status quo in China, and of refraining each within what might be considered its "sphere of influence" from measures "calculated to destroy equality of opportunity." The seven powers thus mutually pledged were France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States. (The United States had, however, no special "sphere of influence.")

II. Circular Telegram sent by Mr. Hay to the diplomatic representatives of the United States at Berlin, Brussels, The Hague, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, and Vienna, July 3, 1900

". . . the policy of the Government of the United States is to seek a solution which may bring about permanent safety and peace to China, preserve China's territorial and administrative entity, protect all rights guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty and international laws, and safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade with all parts of the Chinese Empire."

III. Lord Salisbury, English Prime Minister, in an interview with the United States Ambassador to England, July 7, 1900, "expressed himself most emphatically as concurring" in the policy of the United States as set forth in the above telegram.

In a statement made in the English House of Commons, Aug. 2, 1900, regarding the policy of the British Government, it was declared:

"Her Majesty's Government are opposed to any partition of China, and believe that they are in accord with other powers in this declaration."

IV. Agreement, Great Britain-Germany --- Oct. 16, 1900.

"1. It is a matter of joint and permanent international interest that the ports on the rivers and the littoral of China should remain free and open to trade and to every other legitimate form of economic activity for the nationals of all countries without distinction, and the two agree on their part to uphold the same for all Chinese territory so far as they can exercise influence.

"2. Her Britannic Majesty's Government and the Imperial German Government will not on their part make use of the present complication to obtain for themselves any territorial advantages in Chinese dominions and will direct their policy toward maintaining undiminished the territorial conditions of the Chinese Empire."

V. Mr. Hay, Oct. 29, 1900.

"When the recent troubles were at their height this government, on the 3d of July, once more made an announcement of its policy regarding impartial trade and the integrity of the Chinese Empire and had the gratification of learning that all the powers held similar views."

As the above Note indicates, the eleven countries addressed by Secretary Hay in his telegram of July 3 had all signified in one way or another their approval of the principles to which he asked attention in that telegram.

VI. For the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Aug. 12, 1902, see Appendix V, under " Treaties . . . Korea," V.

VII. Mr. Hay to United States Ambassadors to Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Portugal, Jan. 13, 1905--- (During the Russo-Japanese war.)

". . . the United States has repeatedly made its position well known and has been gratified at the cordial welcome accorded to its efforts to strengthen and perpetuate the broad policy of maintaining the integrity of China and the 'open door' in the Orient. . . . Holding these views, the United States disclaims any sort of reserved territorial rights or control in the Chinese Empire, and it is deemed fitting to make this purpose frankly known and to remove all apprehension on this score so far as concerns the policy of this nation. . . . You will bring this matter to the notice of the Government to which you are accredited, and you will invite the expression of its views thereon."

By Jan. 23 replies had been received from the Governments of Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain, and Italy, entirely agreeing with the position taken by the United States and declaring their constant adhesion to the policy of the integrity of China and the open door in the Orient.

VIII. Treaty, Great Britain and Japan-Aug. 12, 1905. (Renewing the Alliance.)

Preamble. "The Governments of Great Britain and Japan . . . have agreed upon the following articles, which have for their objects:

"(a) The consolidation and maintainance of the general peace in the regions of Eastern Asia and of India.

"(b) The preservation of the common interests of all the powers in China by insuring the independence and the integrity of the Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce and industry of all nations in China."

For reference in this treaty to Korea, see Appendix V, under " Treaties . . . Korea," IX.

IX. Dispatch (Accompanying a copy of the foregoing) from the Marquis of Lansdowne to his Majesty's Minister at St. Petersburg, Sept. 6, 1905.

"Sir: I enclose . . . a copy of a new Agreement. . . . The Russian Government will, I trust, recognize that the new Agreement is an international instrument to which no exception can be taken by any of the powers interested in the affairs of the Far East. You should call special attention to the objects mentioned in the Preamble as those by which the policy of the contracting parties is inspired. His Majesty's Government believe that they may count upon the good will and support of all the powers in endeavouring to maintain peace in Eastern Asia and in seeking to uphold the integrity and independence of the Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunity for the commerce and the industry of all nations in that country."

X. Treaty (of Portsmouth), Russia-Japan ---Sept. 5, 1905. (At the end of the Russo-Japanese War.)

Article 3. "Japan and Russia mutually engage

. 2. To restore entirely and completely to the exclusive administration of China all portions of Manchuria now in the occupation or under the control of (their troops), with the exception of the territory above mentioned (the Liaotung peninsula).

"The Imperial Government of Russia declare that they have not in Manchuria any territorial advantage or exclusive concessions in impairment of Chinese sovereignty or inconsistent with the principle of equal opportunity."

Article 4. "Japan and Russia reciprocally engage not to obstruct any general measures common to all countries which China may take for the development of the commerce and industry of Manchuria."

XI. Treaty, China-Japan -Dec. 22, 1905.

(Confirming arrangements made in the Portsmouth Treaty.)

Article 12. The two governments "engage that in all matters dealt with in the treaty signed this day or in the present Agreement the most favourable treatment shall be reciprocally extended."

XII. Convention, France-Japan ---June 10, 1907.

"The Governments of Japan and France, being agreed to respect the independence and integrity of China, as well as the principle of equal treatment in that country. . . ."

XIII. Convention, Japan-Russia --- July 30, 1907.

Article 2. " The two High Contracting Parties recognize the independence and the territorial integrity of China and the principle of equal opportunity in whatever concerns the commerce and industry of all nations in that Empire, and engage to sustain and defend the status quo and respect for this principle by all the pacific means within their reach."

XIV. Exchange of Notes, Japan and the United States --- November, 1908.

1. "It is the wish of the two Governments . . .

2. "They are also determined to preserve the common interests of all powers in China by supporting by all pacific means at their disposal the independence and the integrity of China and the principle of equal opportunity . . . in that Empire."

XV. Convention, Japan-Russia --- July 4, 19 10

The two governments, "sincerely attached to the principles established by the convention concluded between them on July 30, 1907 . . . . ..

Article 2. "Each . . . engages to maintain and respect the status quo in Manchuria resulting from the treaties, conventions and other arrangements concluded up to this day between Japan and Russia, or between either of those two Powers and China."

XVI. Treaty, Great Britain-Japan --- July 13, 1911. (Renewing the alliance for the second time.)

Preamble: (The two governments declare as among their objects) "The preservation of the common interests of all Powers in China by insuring the independence and integrity of the Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunities for the commerce and industry of all nations in China."

XVII. Agreement, United States-Japan --- Nov. 2, 1917.

"The Government of the United States recognizes that Japan has special interests in China, particularly in the parts to which her possessions are contiguous. . . . The territorial sovereignty of China, nevertheless, remains unimpaired . . . and the Japanese Government . . . has no desire to discriminate against the trade of other nations or to disregard the commercial rights heretofore granted by China in treaties with other Powers. The Government of the United States and Japan deny that they have any purpose to infringe in any way the independence or territorial integrity of China, and they declare furthermore, that they always adhere to the principle of the so-called 'open door,' or equal opportunities for commerce and industry in China."

With the exception of Clause XVII, this summary appears in Contemporary Politics in the Far East, by S. K. Hornbeck, copyrighted by D. Appleton & Co., and is here used by permission of authors and publishers.

Appendix Five

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