Lord Salisbury to Mr. Choate.
London, November 30, 1899.
Your Excellency: With reference to my note of September 29 last, I have the honor to state that I have carefully considered, in communication with my colleagues, the proposal contained in your excellency’s note of September 22 that a declaration should be made by foreign powers claiming “spheres of interest” in China as to their intentions in regard to the treatment of foreign trade and interest therein.
I have much pleasure in informing your excellency that Her Majesty’s Government will be prepared to make a declaration in the sense desired by your Government in regard to the leased territory of Wei-hai Wei and all territory in China which may hereafter be acquired by Great Britain by lease or otherwise, and all spheres of interest now held or that may hereafter be held by her in China, provided that a similar declaration is made by other powers concerned.
I have, etc.,