Count von Bülow to Mr. White .
Berlin , February 19, 1900 .
Mr. Ambassador: Your excellency informed me, in a memorandum presented on the 24th of last month, that the Government of the United States of America had received satisfactory written replies from all the powers to which an inquiry had been addressed similar to that contained in your excellency’s note of September 26 last, in regard to the policy of the open door in China. While referring to this, your excellency thereupon expressed the wish that the Imperial Government would now also give its answer in writing.
Gladly complying with this wish, I have the honor to inform your excellency, repeating the statements already made verbally, as follows: As recognized by the Government of the United States of America, according to your excellency’s note referred to above, the Imperial Government has, from the beginning, not only asserted, but also practically carried out to the fullest extent, in its Chinese possessions, absolute equality of treatment of all nations with regard to trade, navigation, and commerce. The Imperial Government entertains no thought of departing in the future from this principle, which at once excludes any prejudicial or disadvantageous commercial treatment of the citizens of the United States of America, so long as it is not forced to do so, on account of considerations of reciprocity, by a divergence from it by other governments. If, therefore, the other powers interested in the industrial development of the Chinese Empire are willing to recognize the same principles, this can only be desired by the Imperial Government, which in this case upon being requested will gladly be ready to participate with the United States of America and the other powers in an agreement made upon these lines, by which the same rights are reciprocally secured.
I avail myself, etc.,