File No. 761.94/106
Minister Reinsch to the Secretary of State
Peking, July 17, 1916, 7 p.m.
Russo-Japanese convention is interpreted in Chinese circles as a temporary yielding of Russia to Japanese pretensions and in that sense unfavorable to China. The general opinion is that the convention will be used by Japan to impress upon Great Britain that Japan is not dependent on her, and on the Chinese Government that the European Powers will not oppose Japanese policy in China; but by way of specific effect not much is expected, as the treaty contains only indefinite engagements, actual bearing of which will depend upon future conditions. If, as reported, the secret article undertakes guarantee mutual individual rights of residence, et cetera, practically all Manchuria, Mongolia, it must be said that such can be granted only by Chinese Government.
The Legation has hitherto assumed that Americans, under the most favored nation clause, have a right to enjoy privileges accorded Japanese residing in Manchuria. Do you acquiesce this view?