Memorandum left at the Department of State by the Chinese minister.

An Imperial edict, issued on the 21st day of the sixth moon (July 17), transmitted by the viceroy, Liu Hun-Yih, on the 20th of July, and received by Minister Wu on the 21st day of July at 7 o’clock.

The present conflict between China and the foreign powers had its origin in the long-standing antagonism between the people and Christian [Page 281] missions. The subsequent fall of the Taku forts precipitated the meeting of force with force. The Imperial Government having due regard to the importance of international intercourse, still refused to go so far as to interrupt the existing relations. We have already repeatedly issued decrees providing for the protection of the foreign legations, and also commanded the provincial authorities to protect missionaries. Inasmuch as there is still no cessation in the employment of force, foreign merchants and subjects residing in China, who form a numerous body in the country, should be protected without distinction. We hereby command all the Tartar generals, governors-general, and governors of provinces to look after the foreign merchants and missionaries living in the open ports, prefectures, departments, and districts under their respective jurisdiction, and to afford them due protection in accordance with treaty stipulations without fail. Last month we heard with profound astonishment and regret of the killing of the chancellor of the Japanese legation, Mr. Akira, and the same fate befel the German minister shortly afterwards. The violent removal of the German minister, whose residence at the capital was necessary to the transaction of business between the two countries, affected us very deeply. It is the duty of the authorities concerned to cause stringent orders for the speedy arrest and punishment of the murderers to be carried out. Since the commencement of the attack in Tientsin there are foreign subjects and missionaries who have, on account of local disturbances, suffered death or loss of property through no fault of their own. We hereby command the governor of Pekin and the viceroy of Chihli to cause investigations to be made by their respective subordinates of all such claims except those arising directly from the said attack, with a view to their ultimate settlement. Moreover, local outlaws and rebellious subjects have of late given themselves up to burning, killing, and plundering, to the great disquiet of our loyal subjects. This is an utter defiance of law. We hereby command the said governors-general, governors, and commanders of our forces to investigate the situation and to take such measures for the punishment of the offenders and restoration of order as the necessities of the case demand. We hereby command this our general edict to be made known for the information of all whom it may concern. Respect this.