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

No. 2801

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a communication from the Chairman of the Anglo-American Association of Peking,23 enclosing a resolution passed by the Association with the request that the same be forwarded to the President of the United States and the Secretary of State.

The Anglo-American Association includes all prominent American and British citizens in Peking. The members of the two Legations were not present when this resolution was passed.

I have [etc.]

[Page 699]

Resolution Passed by the Anglo-American Association of Peking, June 6, 1919

While recognizing that a supreme attempt is being made to set up a new international order, in which secret treaties, political aggression, and the settlement of international disputes by war shall have no place; and appreciating that these lofty aims can only be achieved by overcoming difficulties, of which we in China have not a full knowledge; this Association learns with the keenest disappointment, and deepest sympathy with the Chinese people, the decision of the Peace Conference to transfer to Japan the former German rights in Shantung.

We express our solemn conviction that this decision will create conditions that must, inevitably, bring about extreme discord between the Chinese people and Japan, and raise a most serious hindrance to the development of the economic interests of China and other countries. A settlement, which perpetuates the conditions created by Germany’s aggression in Shantung in 1898—conditions that led to similar action on the part of other states, that were contributing causes to the disorders in North China in 1900, and that made inevitable the Russo-Japanese war—cannot make for peace in the Far East, for political stability in China itself, nor for development of trade and commerce equally open to all.

Further, the evil consequences of conditions which are not only subversive of the principle of national self-determination, but also a denial of the policy of the open door, and of the principle of equality of opportunity, will be greatly accentuated, if Japan, a near neighbour, be now substituted for Germany, whose centre of political and economic activities was on the other side of the globe.

Therefore, we, the members, of the Peking Anglo-American Association, resolve that representations be made to the British and American Governments, urging that the States taking part in the Peace Conference devise and carry through a just settlement, which will not endanger the safety of China and the peace of the world.

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