Chargé Coolidge to the Secretary of State.
Peking, May 2, 1905.
(Mr. Coolidge transmits the reply of China to Department’s telegram of April 28, 1905, which states that the Chinese foreign office some time ago, upon hearing reports that the Russian vessels interned at Shanghai were planning to put to sea, sent telegrams repeatedly directing the viceroy at Nanking to investigate the matter. The viceroy reported that the condition of the Russian war vessels was unchanged since the removal of their machinery; that he (the viceroy) had detailed additional war vessels to watch, and that strict and secret protective measures were being taken, no remissness [Page 142] being shown. The foreign office had also asked the Russian minister to instruct, by telegraph, the Russian war vessels at Shanghai that on no account should they attempt such a thing. The foreign office adds that it is China’s desire and for the interest of all nations that its neutrality should not be violated, and that the government of that country is observing strict neutrality and will certainly use every exertion to discharge its responsibility. The Chinese Government is grateful to the Government of the United States for its kind concern in the matter.)