Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.
Peking , September 18, 1905 .
Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a translation of an imperial edict which was published on the 15th instant, directing the board of foreign affairs, the board of commerce, the Viceroy Yuan, and the governor-general of Manchuria to jointly consider and report on the opening of more localities in Manchuria to international trade, the promoting of trade and commerce in the same region, and for other purposes.
The opening of a large number of localities in Manchuria to international trade is strongly favored by the Japanese Government and by the Viceroy Yuan, at least, (perhaps by others), in China.
I fancy this important step is taken at the present moment by the Chinese Government so as to show to the world that without any outside pressure it favors and is ready to carry out a progressive policy. China also firmly believes that the opening of localities to international residence and trade is the most efficacious method of preventing one nation acquiring preponderating influence in any given section of the Empire. I am disposed to think we shall shortly hear of a number of localities being opened to international trade in other parts of the Empire, especially Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan.
I have, etc.,