Lord Pauncefote to Mr. Hay.

No. 315.]

Sir: In pursuance of instructions which I have received from Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, I have the honor to communicate to you the text of an agreement between Great Britain and Germany relating to the present trouble in China, which was signed in London on the 16th instant by the Marquis of Salisbury and the German ambassador on behalf of their respective Governments, and to invite the acceptance by the United States of the principles recorded in that agreement.

I have, etc.,


text of agreement.

Her Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Imperial German Government, being desirous to maintain their interests in China and their rights under existing treaties, have agreed to observe the following principles in regard to their mutual policy in China:

It is a matter of joint and permanent international interest that the ports on the rivers and 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 Governments agree on their part to uphold the same for all Chinese territory so far as they can exercise influence.
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.
In case of another power making use of the complications in China in order to obtain under any form whatever such territorial advantages, the two contracting parties reserve to themselves to come to a preliminary understanding as to the eventual steps to be taken for the protection of their own interests in China.
The two Governments will communicate this agreement to the other powers interested, and especially to Austro-Hungary, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States of America, and will invite them to accept the principles recorded in the agreement.

[A similar communication, mutatis mutandis, was made October 20, 1900, to the Secretary of State by the Imperial German chargé d’affaires.]