The Consul General at Shanghai ( Cunningham ) to the Secretary of State

No. 214

Sir: I have the honor to transmit clippings from The China Press (American), of June 4, 1920, in regard to mandate issued by Messrs. Sun Yat-sen, Tong Shao-yi, Wu Ting-fang and Tong Chi-yao. The translation of the circular is possibly correct, as it has been authorized by some of the signatories to the same. On the same subject is enclosed an editorial taken from the North China Daily News (British), of June 4, 1920,8 in regard to the existing conditions between the North and the South. This editorial is based upon an article appearing in the same issue, a copy of which is enclosed herewith.8 This editorial takes the position that there is no real war existing between the North and the South, and practically this seems to be about correct. One would not consider during the many years of Indian uprisings in the Western part of the United States that there was a state of war existing in America. The conditions in China would appear to be more or less peaceful, except when bandits and robbers are active, and isolated cases of assault take place. There has been a growing sentiment in Shanghai of late that it would be an extremely useful thing if the impression should go out that conditions here are not abnormal, and that there is only an imaginary difference between the North and the South.

I have [etc.]

Edwin S. Cunningham
[Page 424]

Manifesto Issued by Four Southern Constitutionalist Leaders, June 3, 1920 9

Since the lack of a quorum of Administrative Directors, there has been no Military Government at Canton. Since the simultaneous removal of the two Houses, there has been no Parliament at Canton. Although the remnants of these institutions usurp these names and gather together fellows of their kind, they cannot deceive everybody.

The furthest extent to which they can carry their deception and force is limited to the confines of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, but even in these provinces the true sentiments of the people are not thereby suppressed. Besides, the provinces of Yunnan, Kweichow and Szechuen still follow the lead of the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Ching Kuo Forces, while the Constitutionalist regions of southern Fukien, southern Hunan, western Hunan, western Hupeh and western Shensi are yet true to their cause.

The situation is thus clear in law and in fact, and justifies the conviction that the body of Constitutionalists is not broken up by the defection of a few.

Owing to the fact that the seat of the Administrative Council has been at Canton, it has, since its establishment, been “bossed” by one or two individuals.

Their conception of war has been to surround themselves with troops and communicate with the enemy: their conception of peace has been to struggle for gains and divide the spoils. They attain their selfish objects by clandestine means and obtain their desires by autocratic ways with the result that there have appeared the so-called “Five Articles.”

The Constitutionalist objects have long been sacrificed by them, yet they continue to use the name of Constitutionalism as a cloak to cover their acts of injury to the people.

Thus, the poppy is widely cultivated: gambling dens are in evidence in every street; the fat of the land is sucked to feed to truculent generals and arrogant soldiery: and where there are troops, there occur violence and plunder, murder and incendiarism, and villages and hamlets are laid waste.

Such acts not only set the law of the land at defiance, but also outrage humanity. Our lot having been thrown together with them, we have put up with them in the hope of accomplishing some good. Unfortunately things have come to such a pass that further association with them has, much to our regret, become intolerable.

However, since we have received the mandate of the people, we, the undersigned, cannot but collaborate and, brushing aside all obstacles, endeavor to attain our original aims.

[Page 425]

We have now, after consultation, resolved to remove the seat of the Military Government.

I, Tang Shao-yi, when I first accepted the functions of Chief Peace Delegate, observing that the people were tired of strife and that external troubles were pressing, proposed to the North, for the sake of establishing a lasting peace, eight articles, laying special emphasis on the publication of the secret treaties and the declaration of the invalidity, ab initio, of the Military Pact.

In continuing to perform these functions I await the reply of the, North to these proposals, in order to determine the future course of action.

I, Wu Ting-fang, being Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Finance, on my departure from Canton, have kept in my control the balance of the Customs funds to preserve them for use for proper purposes. Those funds not yet received shall be negotiated for.

I, Sun Yat-sen, and I, Tang Chi-yao, leading the troops, will work to the best of our ability for the welfare of the country and endeavor to find a solution for her present difficulties.

We jointly make this declaration. Hereafter the Constitutionalist provinces, territories and armies of the Southwest are, and continue to be, within the organisation of the Military Government.

The peace negotiations with the North shall be continued, the seat for which shall still be Shanghai, and the Chief Peace Delegate shall make preparations for their resumption.

The masquerading institution at present in Canton, having placed itself beyond the orbit of the Military Government, all its orders, acts, its clandestine negotiations with the North and its loans and mortgages are and have been null and void.

The salt and custom revenues should be paid to this Military Government.

Pending the removal of the Military Government, the Chief Peace Delegate is charged with the conduct and negotiation of its various affairs.

We trust that the North, on receipt of this declaration, mindful of where the real public sentiment of the South-west is represented, will continue the peace negotiations in order that the national troubles may be terminated and an early solution of the general situation be found, to the fulfilment of our earnest hopes.

We hope that our fellow citizens and the friendly powers will take due note of this manifesto.

  • Sun Yat-sen
  • Tang Shao-yi
  • Wu Ting-fang
  • Tang Chi-yao
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Published in The China Press, June 4, 1920.