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

No. 2720

Sir: I have the honor to enclose for your information copy of a translation of a presidential mandate concerning nationals of non-treaty countries, which appeared on April 28th.

Some of my Colleagues desire to bring up this matter for discussion as they are not sure whether nationals of the newly-liberated countries should not be taken under the protection of the Allied Ministers rather than to live under Chinese law.

As this is a very complicated question I should greatly value your telegraphic instructions as to whether I should cooperate in extending to such nationals protection which would give them the privileges of extraterritoriality.

I also have the honor to request instructions whether in cases where individual Roumanians, Czecho-Slovaks, Jugo-Slavs, Serbians or Poles should apply to the Legation for good offices, as has been done [Page 685] in several cases, such good offices may be extended and in what measure this may be done.

I have [etc.]

Paul S. Reinsch

Presidential Mandate of April 28, 1919, Concerning Nationals of Non-Treaty Countries

That all non-treaty nationals, residing and travelling in China, should respect and obey Chinese laws and orders, and cannot enjoy the protection accorded by another nation, was (embodied in a despatch) circulated to the provinces by the Ministry of Foreign Intercourse in the ninth moon of the 34th year of Kuang Hsu, during the former dynasty, as on record. Hereafter, all non-treaty countries wishing to enter into treaty relations with China should do so on the basis of equality. Those severing their connexion with their parent countries and establishing new independent states should not be allowed to succeed to the rights and privileges secured in the treaties signed by their parent countries. The peoples of these races now living within Chinese territory in large numbers should all obey and respect Chinese laws and orders in all matters of taxation and litigation. If any Third Power should demand the privilege of protecting them, such demands, one and all, must be rejected by quoting the authority above referred to. Regulations for the control of such non-treaty subjects should speedily be framed, for the guidance of the concerned. Let the Cabinet instruct all the offices controlling such matters to draft and submit these regulations as soon as possible. Let the high territorial officials issue circulars, ordering their subordinates to take note of and obey this Order.