The Personal Representative of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (Ma Soo) to President Harding

Your Excellency: I have the honor to transmit to Your Excellency the enclosed letter from Dr. Sun Yat-sen, which I received from Canton this morning.

I have [etc.]

Ma Soo
[Page 338]

Dr. Sun Yat-sen to President Harding

Your Excellency: I have just issued a Manifesto to the Friendly Nations13 but I am impelled, on behalf of my countrymen, to make a particular appeal to Your Excellency, for the reason that we regard America as the Mother of Democracy, and the champion of liberalism and righteousness, whose disinterested friendship and support of China in her hour of distress has been demonstrated to us more than once. China is now in the most critical time of her existence. Whether democracy triumphs or fails much depends upon the decision of America. This time we look again to America to support righteousness and help uphold the will of the Chinese people.

As I have shown in my Manifesto to the Friendly Nations, the so-called Northern and Southern war in China is not a war between the different sections of the country, but a national struggle between militarism and democracy and between treason and patriotism. That the people in the North are sympathetic and are working in cooperation with the South has been demonstrated by the fact that they have spontaneously organized demonstrations and boycotts in order to fight against the foreign oppressor who supports those traitors.

When at the end of the Great War, the Powers advised us to cease fighting and bring about the unification of the country, the South complied by meeting the North at a Conference in Shanghai. The South was ready, for the sake of early restoration of peace, to yield in practically everything on one condition, namely that the Peking Government should repudiate all the secret treaties and, in particular, the Twenty-One Demands of Japan, which were contracted after the illegal dissolution of Parliament, and which was merely the bait offered by the Emperor Yuan Shi Kai for the recognition of his abortive empire. But this simple and just demand of the South was rejected. The South being unwilling to sacrifice national independence for a nominal unification, the Peace Conference came to a deadlock, and the state of war continued.

Furthermore, it was simply the weight of public opinion in China that forced China’s delegates to the Peace Conference at Paris to present an appeal for the restoration of Shantung to China. The Northern militarists, however, worked secretly against this appeal for should Japan be forced to return Shantung, they would lose the material support of Japan.

The internal condition of China has gone from bad to worse. While the people of North China are dying by the millions from starvation, plenty of food are cornered immediately around the [Page 339] Famine Districts by these militarists for the sake of self-gain. This is proved by the fact that while some foreign philanthropists offered a large quantity of rice to relieve the famine situation, the Chinese Famine Relief Society declined the offer in kind, but requested in its stead the equivalent in money, since plenty of food can be gotten even in the famine areas.

Such is the state of affairs in China that unless America, her traditional friend and supporter comes forward to lend a helping hand in this critical period, we would be compelled against our will to submit to the Twenty-One Demands of Japan. I make this special appeal, therefore, through Your Excellency to the Government of the United States to save China once more, for it is through America’s genuine friendship, as exemplified by the John Hay Doctrine, that China owes her existence as a nation. The John Hay Doctrine is to China what the Monroe Doctrine is to America. The violation of this Hay Doctrine would mean the loss of our national integrity and the subsequent partitioning of China. Just as America would do her utmost to keep intact the spirit as well as the letter of the Monroe Doctrine so we in China are striving to uphold this spirit of the John Hay Doctrine. It is in this spirit, therefore, that I appeal to the author of the John Hay Doctrine to befriend the Chinese nation again in this hour of her national peril, by extending immediate recognition to this Government.

With assurances [etc.]

Sun Yat-sen

  1. Ante, p. 336.