File No. 763.72/3417

The Minister in China ( Reinsch) to the Secretary of State


Referring to my cable of February 28, 7 p.m. On account of nonappearance of a satisfactory reply to its protest to Germany, the Chinese Government is now confronted with the necessity of deciding upon a further course of action as its position is fundamentally identical with that of the American Government in that both are neutral and seek no national advantages but only the maintenance of their essential rights. The Chinese Government thinks association with the United States in this matter natural. But Japan is urgently advising union with the Allies, whose representatives, under instructions, have invited China and offered certain inducements, such as the postponement of Boxer indemnity. …

The preference of the Chinese Government for alignment with the United States would determine their action, could they be sure of moderate recognition and support. Such action would receive passively or spontaneously the applause of the Allies. The features of the situation are alike favorable to a maintenance of Chinese rights and American vital interests if some financial assistance can come from American sources and the American Government will secure for China a voice in the possible conferences. The very fact of China’s being in this matter associated primarily with the United States will make it impossible to impose upon her exclusive outside control of her military establishment.

It is essential that I should have your instructions as I am asked to state the attitude of the American Government.

[File copy not signed]