Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 6, 1904
Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.
Peking, February 17, 1904.
Sir: For the enforcement of the neutrality edict the Chinese Government have now published a series of regulations, a copy of which I inclose herewith, and have the honor, etc.,
The Chinese Government has adopted the following regulations in definition of its proclamation of neutrality:
- The troops of the various foreign powers left to secure a clear road to the sea, stationed between Peking and Shan-hai-kuan, are so placed in accordance with the protocol agreed upon by the powers on the 25th of the seventh moon, XXVII year of Kuangsü—that is, September 7, 1901, of the Western calendar—and must continue to observe the original intent of the said protocol and must not concern themselves with the present changed aspect of affairs.
- If any foreigners living within the limits of the neutral territory of this Empire shall secretly supply the belligerents with contraband of war to the prejudice of this country’s responsibilities as a neutral, the local authorities must take measures to prohibit it or notify the consular authorities concerned that they may investigate and take action.
- Chinese officials and people must uniformly observe the following regulations prohibiting actions that interfere with neutrality:
- Chinese subjects must not meddle in the war nor enlist as soldiers.
- Vessels belonging to Chinese subjects shall not enlist in the service of the belligerents, nor at their invitation engage in such official services as privateering or transport.
- It is not permitted one to lease or sell a vessel to a belligerent, nor to load such vessel with munitions of war for a belligerent, nor equip it for such power, nor otherwise assist in such transaction so as to furnish it with such vessel and supplies for use of war or in privateering.
- It is not allowed to buy up contraband of war for the
belligerents nor to manufacture contraband of war within the
boundaries (of the neutral territory), to be forwarded for
sale to the armies or navies of the belligerents. Goods that
are contraband of war are included under the following
- Cannon shot, lead balls, powder, and all sorts of weapons.
- Salt peter, sulphur, and all materials used in the manufacture of powder.
- All vessels that may be used in fighting or materials used in their construction.
- Official dispatches relating to the war.
- It is not allowed to transport officers or soldiers for the belligerents.
- It is not allowed to loan funds to the belligerents.
- Vessels, except when fleeing from a tempest, may not dare to enter a port blockaded by a belligerent.
- Vessels entering the area of hostilities may not oppose their being searched by a belligerent.
- It is not allowed to act as a spy for a belligerent to make report of military conditions.
- It is not allowed to sell provisions, coal, or charcoal to belligerents in Chinese ports, except that vessels of all sorts belonging to belligerents may purchase such supplies as may be needed for the working of the vessels, subject to the special regulations given below.
- The rights enjoyed by China as a neutral power are as follows:
- China maintains diplomatic relations with the two belligerents as heretofore.
- China is permitted to employ troops to guard her own frontiers.
- The belligerent powers must not invade that portion of the Chinese Empire which has been declared to be neutral territory.
- The belligerent powers must not blockade Chinese ports.
- All passports and certificates issued by China must be recognized by the two belligerent powers.
- Chinese subjects may still trade with the belligerent countries as usual, and may visit for commercial purposes any place where military operations are not being conducted.
- It is expected that the belligerent powers will protect all Chinese subjects dwelling within their borders, both in person and property. They must not seize their wealth nor compel them to do military service.
- Should there be Chinese subjects sojourning within a port blockaded by a belligerent power, this Goverment may send a war ship to give them protection or to take them from the port.
- Chinese vessels may give transportation to envoys or noncombatant citizens of a belligerent power.
- Goods of a belligerent country carried in Chinese ships, and Chinese goods carried in ships of a belligerent power, except such as are contraband of war, may pass to and fro without hindrance.
- Arms and ammunition carried by Chinese ships, if intended simply for self-defense, must not be considered as prohibited.
- Although Chinese ships may be carrying prohibited goods, if they are being shipped to a neutral country or being brought from a neutral country, they may not be detained.
- If a Chinese vessel shall have already been seized by a belligerent power it must not at once be confiscated. There must first be an investigation by a court of the belligerent power, and only if there shall have been a violation of prohibitions may the vessel be condemned according to precedent. If there shall have been a mistaken seizure, compensation for damages must be paid by the belligerent power, the amount of such compensation to be determined by the court of said belligerent,
- China may send officers to observe the military operations, but there must be no interference on their part.
- Should there be land or naval forces of a belligerent within the limits of that portion of China declared to be neutral territory they must observe the following regulations:
- Should any of the land forces of a belligerent, owing to defeat, flee across the boundaries into China, they must give up their arms and submit to the restraint of the Chinese officials; they must not presume to move about of their own accord.
- Should there be any fugitive soldiers of a belligerent power within the borders of China in need of clothing and food, the Chinese Government will undertake to supply them, and at the conclusion of hostilities the said belligerent must make due compensation.
- Privateers of a belligerent power may not sail into a Chinese port, but such as seek temporary shelter from a tempest, or wish to repair damages or obtain necessary provisions, if there really be no alternative, are exempted from this prohibition. Immediately upon the conclusion of their business they must leave said port.
- War ships of a belligerent power must not engage in hostilities in any port of China nor seize merchant vessels therein nor make such a port a base for naval operations.
- Should any war ships or transports of a belligerent desire to enter a Chinese seaport, if it be for no other purpose than that of touching at the port as in an ordinary voyage, they will be permitted to enter such ports as are ordinarily touched at. Within twenty-four hours they must leave. If on account of dangerous weather it be difficult for them to put to sea, or if their repair of damages be not completed, or if the supply of necessary provisions and coals purchased be insufficient to enable them to reach the nearest port, they must obtain an extension of the time limit from the Chinese naval commandant or the local official. Immediately upon the conclusion of their business they must take their departure.
- War vessels and transports of belligerents must not bring ships which they have captured into a Chinese port. But should they be seeking shelter from a storm or desiring to repair damages or buy necessary provisions, and there really be no alternative course, they shall be exempted from this prohibition, and immediately upon the conclusion of their business they must take their departure. During their stay, however, they must not land their captives nor sell captured vessels or materials.
- A belligerent power must not attempt to enroll troops in a Chinese seaport nor inland within the boundaries of neutral territory, nor buy arms, ammunition, or other military supplies in such places. If there should be a war vessel of a belligerent repairing damages at a Chinese seaport the work must be such only as may be required to enable it to reach the nearest port.
- Should war vessels or transports of the two belligerent powers meet in one port, the vessel arriving last must wait until the first vessel shall have left the port one day and one night, and must receive the permission of the Chinese naval commandant or the local official before it may proceed.
- In matters not fully provided for, the Tartar generals, viceroys, and governors of the various provinces shall, as occasion may arise, investigate the circumstances [Page 21] and examine the provisions of international law and direct their subordinates what action to take.
From the day on which the above regulations shall be communicated in dispatches and published they shall be of force, and action must at once and uniformly be taken in accordance with them. There must be no disobedience.