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Sir Chentung Liang-Cheng to Mr. Hay.

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I beg to inclose herewith for the files of your Department copies of two telegrams from the Waiwu Pu, dated the 12th instant, relative to the neutrality of China in the present conflict between Japan and Russia, the contents of which I communicated to you this morning.

I am, etc.,

Chentung Liang-Cheng.
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[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

Cablegram from the Waiwu Pu, dated February 12, 1904.

An Imperial decree has this day been received, which reads as follows:

Whereas a state of war now exists between Japan and Russia; and

Whereas in view of the friendly relations existing between this government and the governments of both of the said countries, it behooves China to take proper steps for the maintenance of a strict neutrality:

We hereby command, therefore, the Manchu generals, governors-general, and governors of all the provinces that they issue orders to all civil and military officers under their direction, and enjoin all subjects and persons residing within their jurisdiction, to observe a strict neutrality between the contending powers with a view to the preservation of good feeling and general quiet, and to commit no act, intentionally or unintentionally, in violation thereof.

We hereby declare and make known this our command.

You will please communicate the foregoing to the Secretary of State.

[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

A cablegram from the Waiwu Pu, February 12, 1904.

Japan and Russia have commenced hostilities. In view of the fact that both are friendly powers, and on account also of a neighborly feeling for each of them, an Imperial decree declaring the neutrality of this government has been issued to all the provincial authorities for their guidance. Strict orders have also been issued for the suppression of local disorders and for the protection of merchants and missionaries.

The defense of Mukden and Hingking, where the Imperial mausoleums and palaces are, is intrusted to the duly designated Manchu general. The two powers should permit no injury to be done to the cities, forts, public buildings, lives, and property in the three Manchurian provinces. The Chinese troops originally stationed there are not to attack, or to be attacked by, either party. All the territory west of the Liao River, which the Russian troops have evacuated, is to be occupied by troops under the command of the minister-superintendent of the northern ports (Viceroy of Chihli). In all the provinces and along the borders of Inner and Outer Mongolia, China will observe the laws of neutrality and the two powers will not be permitted to violate Chinese territory or to cross the boundary.

Manchuria, however, is still occupied by foreign troops.

In territory not already evacuated China is powerless to discharge the duties of a neutral. It is hereby expressly declared that, without regard to the ultimate outcome of the conflict, all the territory in the three Manchurian provinces, with all the rights and prerogatives appertaining thereto, must be restored to Chinese control, and must not be subject to seizure and occupation by either power. The foreign representatives at this capital are duly informed of the contents of this telegram. You will please communicate the same to the Secretary of State.