File No. 15077.

The Chinese Minister to the Acting Secretary of State.

No. 9.]

Sir: You are no doubt aware that there are several South American Republics with which my country has not yet entered into treaty and diplomatic relations, but in which large numbers of my [Page 60] countrymen have made their temporary homes or are engaged in commercial pursuits. While their presence has contributed much to the prosperity of their adopted countries, and is, generally speaking, welcomed, they are nevertheless placed in an anomalous position, in that there is no official representative recognized by the local government to watch over their interests and afford them protection in case of need. Pending the negotiation and conclusion of treaties with these countries, my Government is obliged to fall back on the good offices of the diplomatic and consular representatives of friendly powers accredited to the same countries, and you will recall that only recently I had the honor of communicating with your department regarding the protection of Chinese subjects in Nicaragua.

A dispatch from our chargé d’affaires at Lima, Peru, calls attention to the fact that my countrymen in Chile and Ecuador desire that some arrangement be made whereby their interests may be safeguarded and their grievances, should they unfortunately arise, may be brought officially to the notice of the Governments concerned. In former days the British minister and consular officials accredited to the two countries undertook, at the request of my Government, to represent my people, but with the lapse of time and change of officials their interest in and attention to the task intrusted to them have gradually waned and ceased. Moreover, as all communications with British ministers have to be sent through the foreign office in London by our minister near the Court of St. James, while complaints from my countrymen residing in the Americas naturally come to my legation, the arrangement formerly entered into for the protection of Chinese subjects in Chile and Ecuador was not the best possible nor the most practicable.

In view of the fact that your Government has already undertaken to look after the interests of my countrymen in Nicaragua, Guatemala, etc., and that your Government has always manifested a willingness to assist my Government in the promotion of justice and broader humanity, I venture to address you with the request that the task of protecting Chinese subjects in Chile and Ecuador, formerly intrusted to the British ministers and consuls, be assumed by the diplomatic and consular agents of your Government.

It seems to me that the leading position occupied by the United States of America in the sisterhood of American Republics also justifies that I approach your Government and not any other for assistance in the matter outlined above. I feel sure, therefore, that you will give my communication a very favorable consideration.

Accept, etc.,

Wu Ting Fang.