No. 264.

Mr. McLane to Mr. Bayard .

No. 29.]

Sir: I have the honor to send herewith a copy and a translation of the treaty of Tien-Tsin between France and China, which was laid before the Chambers on the 22d instant. The treaty was signed on the 9th, and ratified shortly after by the Emperor of China. Mr. de Freycinet, in presenting it to the Chamber, said it was desirable that France should ratify it without delay, and asked that proper authority be given to the Government to that effect.

The treaty of Tien-Tsin is not ostensibly a treaty of peace, for the fiction that China and France have not been at war is respected in this instrument, which puts an end to the hostilities existing between the two nations; it is a treaty to improve the friendly and commercial relations existing between the two countries, and in fact it does improve materially these relations by securing to France commercial advantages which compensate for the sacrifices she has made.

China, however, does not acknowledge in words the protectorate of France over Annam, but she engages to respect all the treaties or arrangements made or to be made by France with Annam, and as the treaty of Hue establishes the French protectorate in the broadest terms, and stipulates that the diplomatic relations of that court will be conducted through the intermediary of France, her protectorate over Annam is as fully recognized by China as it can be.

Commissioners are to be appointed to determine the frontier line of the two countries, and when this frontier has been so determined no one will be allowed to pass from Tonquin to China without a French passport. This clause, coupled with another article providing that the rates of duties levied on all merchandise carried from Tonquin to the two provinces of Yunnan and Kuang-si, or from these provinces to Tonquin, will be less than the duty paid at the Chinese ports open to foreigners, practically places the whole of this region under the control of France.

In addition to the advantages thus assured to France, China agrees that when she builds railroads she will apply to French manufacturers and mechanics, and the French Government is to afford her every possible facility for the engagement of railway engineers. Although it is stated that this clause is not to be considered in the light of an exclusive [Page 371] privilege for France, it is plain that France will have special opportunities to turn it to her advantage, and as it is reported that the two Governments have in view the construction of a line connecting Canton with Hanoi, nearly one thousand miles, some hundreds of millions may thereby be expended in France.

In short, although the indemnity formerly so persistently claimed by France is now waived by her, she obtains by the treaty of Tien-Tsin full and undisputed possession of the whole of Tonquin, and exclusive privileges of trading which open to her commerce and industry the southwestern markets of one of the largest Empires of the world.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 29.—Translation.]

Treaty of peace, &c., concluded between France and China, June 9, 1885, at Tien-Tsin.

The President of the French Republic and his Majesty the Emperor of China, both animated by an equal desire of putting an end to the difficulties to which their simultaneous intervention in the affairs of Annam have given rise, and wishing to restore and improve the old relations of friendship and commerce existing between France and China, have resolved to conclude a fresh treaty corresponding to the commercial interests of the two nations, taking as a basis the convention signed at Tien-Tsin on the 11th of June, 1884, and ratified by imperial decree on the 10th of April, 1885.

For this purpose the two high contracting parties have appointed as their plenipotentiaries the President of the French Republic, M. Jules Patenétre, plenipotentiary of France in China, officer of the Legion of Honor, Grand Cross of the Order of the Pole Star of Sweden, &c.; and his Majesty the Emperor of China, Li Hung-Chang, imperial commissioner, first grand secretary of state, honorary grand tutor of the heir presumptive, overseer of the commerce of the northern ports, governor-general of the province of Tcheli, belonging to the first degree of the third rank of the nobility, with the title of Son-gi; assisted by Si-Tchen, imperial commissioner, member of the council of foreign affairs, president of the ministry of justice, administrator of the treasury at the ministry of finance, director of schools for the education of hereditary officers of the left wing of the Tartar guard at Peking, commander-in-chief of the Chinese contingent of the embroidered left banner; and by Teng-Tcheng-Sieon, imperial commissioner, member of the council of state ceremonial; who, after having exchanged their full powers, which they recognized to be in due and proper form, have agreed to the following articles:

  • Article 1. France undertakes to restore and maintain order in the provinces of Annam bordering on the Chinese Empire. For this purpose she will take the necessary measures for dispersing or expelling the bands of freebooters and adventurers who compromise public tranquillity, and for preventing them from forming again. The French troops, however, shall not in any case cross the frontier separating Tonquin from China—a frontier which France engages to respect and to guarantee against any aggression. China on her part undertakes to disperse or expel the bands which may take refuge in her provinces bordering on Tonquin, and to disperse those which may seek to form on her territory in order to Introduce troubles among the populations placed under the protection of France; and in consideration of the guarantees given her as regards the security of her frontier she equally debars herself from sending troops into Tonquin. The high contracting parties will settle by a special convention the conditions on which the extradition of malefactors between China and Annam shall be effected. Chinese colonists, or old soldiers, living peaceably in Annam and devoting themselves to agriculture, industry, or commerce, and whose conduct shall be open to no reproach, shall enjoy the same security for person and property as persons protected by France.
  • Art. 2. China, resolved on doing nothing which can jeopardize the work of pacification entered upon by France, undertakes to respect, in the present and the future, the treaties and conventions directly concluded, or to be concluded, between France and Annam. As regards the relations between China and Annam, it is understood that they shall be of a nature not infringing the dignity of the Chinese Empire, and not giving rise to any violation of the present treaty.
  • Art. 3. Within six months of the signing of the present treaty, commissioners nominated by the high contracting parties shall repair to the spot for the purpose of inspecting [Page 372] the frontier between China and Tonquin. They shall, wherever necessary, place stones, designed to make apparent the line of demarkation. In case they cannot agree on the sites of these stones, or on the details of the alterations which there may be ground for making in the existing frontier of Tonquin, in the common interest of the two countries, they shall refer to their respective Governments.
  • Art. 4. When the frontier shall have been recognized, Frenchmen, or French protégés, and foreign inhabitants of Tonquin, wishing to cross it to enter China shall not do so until after previously providing themselves with passports, to be delivered by the Chinese frontier authorities on the application of the French authorities. For Chinese subjects a permit delivered by the Imperial frontier authorities shall be sufficient. Chinese subjects wishing to go from China to Tonquin by land must be furnished with regular passports, to be delivered by the French authorities on the application of the Imperial authorities.
  • Art. 5. Import and export trade shall be permitted to French merchants or French protégés and to Chinese merchants on the frontier between China and Tonquin. It shall, however, be conducted through certain points which shall be subsequently fixed, and of which the number, as well as the selection, shall depend on the direction and the importance of the traffic between the two countries. In this respect the regulations in force in the interior of China shall be kept in view. In all circumstances, two of these points shall be specified on the Chinese frontier—one above Lao-Kai, the other beyond Lang-Son. The French merchants may settle there under the same conditions and with the same advantages as in the ports open to foreign commerce. The Government of His Majesty the Emperor of China shall establish custom-houses there, and the Government of the Republic may support there consuls whose privileges and attributes will be identical with those of the agents of the same class in the open ports. On his side, the Emperor of China may, in agreement with the French Government, name consuls in the principal towns of Tonquin.
  • Art. 6. A special table, annexed to the present treaty, shall set forth the conditions under which trade shall be carried on overland between Tonquin and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Kuang-si, and Canton. This regulation shall be worked out by commissioners, who shall be named by the high contracting parties in the course of three months after the signing of the present treaty. Merchandise forming the object of this commerce shall be subject, on entering and on leaving Tonquin and the provinces of Yunnan and Kuang-si, to duties lower than those set forth in the present tariff of foreign commerce. The reduced tariff, however, shall not be applied to the merchandise conveyed over the land frontier between Tonquin and Canton, and shall have no effect in the ports already open under the treaties. The trade in arms, engines, stores, and munitions of war of all kinds shall be subjected to the laws and regulations enforced by each of the contracting states within its territory. The exportation and importation of opium shall be controlled by special arrangements, which shall also appear in the commercial regulations mentioned. The commerce by sea between China and Annam shall also be the subject of a special regulation. Provisionally there shall be no innovation on the existing practice.
  • Art. 7. With the view of developing, under the most advantageous conditions, the commercial relations and the neighborliness which it is the object of the present treaty to re-establish between France and China, the Government of the Republic shall construct roads in Tonquin, and shall encourage there the construction of railways. When; on her side, China shall have decided to construct railways, it is understood that she shall make application to French industry and to the Government of the Republic, which will give her all possible facilities to procure in France such persons as she will require. It is also understood that this clause cannot be considered to constitute an exclusive privilege in favor of France.
  • Art. 8. The commercial stipulations of the present treaty and the regulations to be added may be revised after an interval often years from the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty. But in case six months before this term neither the one nor the other of the high contracting parties shall have manifested a desire to proceed to the revision, the commercial stipulations shall remain in force for a new term of ten years, and thus subsequently.
  • Art. 9. As soon as the present treaty has been signed, the French forces shall receive the order to retire from Kelung and to abandon the right of search on the high seas. Within one month after the signing of the present treaty the island of Formosa and the Pescadores shall be entirely evacuated.
  • Art. 10. The provisions of the former treaties, agreements, and conventions between France and China, not modified by the present treaty, remain in full force. The present treaty shall be at once ratified by His Majesty the Emperor of China, and, after it has been ratified by the President of the French Republic, the exchange of the ratifications shall be made at Peking after the shortest possible delay.