File No. 2413/208–209.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 1034.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for your information, translation of a draft of the steps which the Chinese Government deem it advisable to take to give effect to the declaration made in its note to me of July 14 last concerning the sending of students to the United States.

This draft was submitted to me by the Wai-wu Pu and was prepared by His Excellency Yuan Shih-k’ai. It embodies also the outlines of the regulations to govern the selection of students, their management before their departure to the United States and during their stay there. It complies with the assurances given us by the Imperial Government, and, subject to some slight amendments which I have already submitted to the Wai-wu Pa, I think it will insure success to the mission.

The details of the plan, which remain to be worked out, are sufficiently indicated in the draft inclosed; they can all be disposed of before the end of the current year.

Considering the perfectly satisfactory nature of the draft now submitted, and of the fact that no details still to be agreed upon can impair it in any way, I deemed it proper to cable youto-day recommending that the remission of the indemnity should begin from January 1 next. If this recommendation meets with your approval, it will enable the Chinese Government to begin at once carrying out the present project, hold its first examinations, establish the preparatory school here, and it seems reasonable to suppose that a first lot of students can be sent to the United States to begin their studies not later than next autumn.

I have, etc.,

W. W. Rockhill.
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Proposed regulations for the students to be sent to America.

I.—General statement.

The students to be sent to America are to be supported out of the indemnity fund remitted by the United States. It is proposed to memorialize the Throne fixing the number of students to be sent abroad, with a statement of the general arrangements made for them, and at the same time to notify the American minister.

The board of foreign affairs will be responsible for the establishment of the training schools and the appointment of the superintendent of students.

The board of education will be responsible for the examination of the students after their graduation, as the board of foreign affairs may invite the board of education.

The officials appointed by the board of foreign affairs and the American legation will be jointly responsible for the selection of the students who are to be sent to America and for their distribution in American educational institutions.

II.—The general purpose.

The aim in sending students abroad at this time is to obtain results in solid learning. Eighty per cent of those sent will specialize in industrial arts, agriculture, mechanical engineering, mining, physics and chemistry, railway engineering, architecture, banking, railway administration, and similar branches, and 20 per cent will specialize in law and the science of government.

III.—Qualifications of students.

The requirements will be—

General intelligence.
Good character.
Good health.
Respectable social position.
Suitable age.
Knowledge of Chinese sufficient to write an essay of several hundred characters.
General knowledge of Chinese classical literature and history.
Knowledge of English sufficient to enable the student to enter an American university or technical school.
The completion of a preparatory course in general studies.

IV.—The method of nomination of candidates.

The board of education will choose the most promising students from all the schools and present them for examination. The board of foreign affairs will also call for applications. Students of both these classes must be fully up to the required standard or they will not be accepted as candidates. (Detailed regulations will be drawn up later.)

V.—The examination and choice of students.

Officials appointed by the board of foreign affairs and one official appointed by the American legation will consult together and report to the board the detailed method of procedure. There shall be three tests:

Candidates must be inspected as to their physical condition by western trained physicians.
They must pass in Chinese.
They must pass in English and general branches. (Detailed regulations will be issued later.

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VI.—The training school.

The board of foreign affairs will establish a training school for students going to America (or branch schools; will he established at Tientsin, Hankow, and Canton for the convenience of students from the different Provinces). All the accepted candidates will enter this school, or schools. Those sent out the first year will be trained for six months and those sent thereafter will be trained for one year. During this time the character and ability of the students will be closely inspected and only those found satisfactory will be sent abroad. Those found unsuitable will be rejected. (Detailed regulations will be issued later.)

VII.—The superintendence of the students abroad.

At Washington, Chicago, or some other suitable place centrally located the office of the general superintendent will be established. Some one who has graduated from an American university and who has a reputation for ability will be appointed superintendent of students and four or five assistants will be appointed to attend to the placing of the students, to their finances, and to inspect their studies. These will make regular reports. (Detailed regulations will be issued later.)


After the students have completed their courses of study and obtained their diplomas they will be presented by the board of foreign affairs to the board of education to be examined according to the regulations, and they will receive rank as may be determined by the board of education.