The Minister in China (Schurman) to the Consular Officers in China30

Circular No. 46

Gentlemen: The Legation has to transmit herewith for your information and guidance a copy of a note from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, dated March 23, 1922, relative to the present dangers to the travel of foreigners in the border regions of Szechuan Province.

I am [etc.]

(For the Minister)
A. B. Ruddock

The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs (W. W. Yen) to the American Minister (Schurman)

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that a telegram has been received from the Commander-in-Chief of the Military Forces in Szechuan, General Liu Hsiang, to the following effect:

“On a previous occasion, owing to the numbers of brigands in the border regions of Szechuan, the office of the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs at Chengtu in December, 1919, addressed communications to the various foreign consuls in the province, informing them that the border regions of Szechuan province were not peaceful and that the travel of foreign persons in such regions was temporarily suspended. This is on record. At the present time the bandit activities in that region are still dangerous and foreigners traveling in Szechuan unavoidably incur danger. It is requested that the Minister for Foreign Affairs address a request to the foreign ministers in Peking, asking them to instruct their respective nationals temporarily not to proceed to the border regions of Szechuan in order that untoward incidents may be avoided.”

I have the honor to observe that bandits are intermittently active on the borders of Szechuan and that although troops have been sent to subdue them, yet up to the present time peace has not been restored. Foreigners traveling in those regions, therefore, incur great danger and the request made by the Commander-in-Chief quoted above is based upon a sincere solicitude for the lives of foreign persons. His request is, moreover, in accordance with treaty provisions, [Page 863]and I have the honor to convey it to your attention, Mr. Minister, with the request that you issue instructions to the missionaries and merchants of your country temporarily not to proceed to the regions in question in order that untoward incidents may be avoided.

Hoping that this may be done, I have the honor to convey my compliments.

Seal of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch no. 517 of Apr. 3, received about May 2.