The Personal Representative of Dr. Sun Yat-sen ( Ma Soo ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you the accompanying cablegram in pursuance of instructions received by me from Dr. Wu Ting-fang in Canton, reading:

“Ma Soo, Washington: Please communicate to the State Department the following manifesto to the Foreign Powers issued by President Sun Yat-sen on his assumption of office.—Wu Ting-fang.”

I have [etc.]

Ma Soo
[Page 336]

Manifesto to the Foreign Powers Issued by Dr. Sim Yat-sen, May 5, 1921

During the last four years the patriots of China have been waging war against the militarists and traitors of the country for the cause of constitutional government and for the national existence itself. It has been no war between the north and south of China but a struggle between militarism and democracy, between treason and patriotism. That the people in the north are sympathetic to the purposes and aims of the south has been demonstrated by the fact that they have spontaneously organized demonstrations and boycotts for the same purposes and aims.

The government at Peking has lost the last vestige of its control over the provinces. Even those nominally within its jurisdiction, where the military satraps are plundering the people and ruining the country, it has even to take orders from them. These militarists wage war among themselves in the struggle for power. One of them has lately gone to the extent of treacherously leaguing himself with the Russian monarchists and aiding and abetting them to attack and capture Urga.

While the Peking government is fast crumbling from sheer hollowness, foreign domination tends to spread from north to south. The existence of China as a nation is in jeopardy. Since the unconstitutional dissolution of the National Assembly in June 1917, no de jure government has existed in Peking. New election laws may have been made and new national assemblies may have been elected, but they all lack legal basis. Confirmation of this view has come from an unexpected quarter—from Hsu Shih-chang himself, when he issued the order in October last for the holding of a general election based not on the new election law which is the basis of his own title, but on the old election law which is incompatible with his claim to the Presidency. The extraordinary spectacle is thus presented of the self styled President of the Republic confessing that he has no legal right to that title. Thus in this hour of crisis when the national existence itself is imperilled there is in Peking no government which is legally constituted or able to discharge the functions of government.

Under these circumstances the National Assembly, the only body of legally elected representatives of all the provinces and territories of the country has established a formal government and has elected me to be President of the Republic. Being the founder of the Republic I cannot afford to see her in danger without making an effort to save her. Having been summoned once before in 1911 to the Presidency, from which I resigned after a short tenure, in order, as I thought, to bring about unity to the country, I intend now to do [Page 337] all in my power to discharge those duties and functions honestly, faithfully and to the satisfaction of my fellow citizens.

As the National Assembly which has elected me represents the whole country irrespective of north or south, so it shall be my first endeavor to unite all provinces and territories of the Republic under one government, which shall be progressive and enlightened. The legitimate rights of foreign powers and their nationals duly acquired by treaty, contract or established usage shall be scrupulously respected. The vast resources of the country, natural and industrial, shall be developed so that the whole world suffering from the disastrous effects of long years of war will be benefited. For this purpose foreign capital and expert knowledge will in pursuance of open door policy be welcomed. There is little doubt that with the southern provinces enjoying good government and prosperity under honest administration and a constructive program, other provinces will be only too ready to throw off the yoke of militarism and misrule and, acknowledging the authority of this government, will bring about the much desired unification of the country. I believe my task is lightened by the fact of the illegality and incompetency of the Peking government. That government is not recognized by the Chinese people themselves, it is being propped up solely by the fact of its possession of the historic capital of the country and its consequent recognition by the foreign powers.

I appeal to the governments of the friendly powers to withdraw recognition from the soi-disant government which is avowedly no de jure government and which is proving itself not even a de facto government. And in the same manner in which they recognized the republican government formed by the National Assembly in 1913 I request that they accord recognition to this government formed now by the same Assembly. This is the only government of the Republic actuated by no desire of selfish gain, but by the sole motive of serving the Republic to the best of their ability. Members of this government represent those ideals and those principles which, if the Republic is to survive and take its rightful place in the family of nations as they firmly believe she will, must necessarily triumph, viz, liberalism, constitutionalism and devotion to commonweal.