793.003 C 73/42: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Schurman)

90. Your telegram No. 181, May 25, noon.

I of course appreciate that under the conditions now prevailing in China it would scarcely be possible to make any progress towards the eventual abolition of extraterritoriality in China. I am considering however whether, in addition to such results as might be accomplished in harmonizing the several systems of foreign jurisdiction in China, it might not be possible for the Commission if convened in the early future to serve a useful purpose by focusing Chinese and foreign attention upon the political abuses which China must find the means to remedy as a necessary condition of obtaining any relaxation of foreign treaty rights. In this connection see Department’s telegram No. 45, May [March] 9, 6 p.m. I should welcome an expression of your opinion on this question, from the viewpoint that this Government is concerned not to champion the Chinese claim to immediate relief from the burden of extraterritoriality, but to pursue the course which will best tend to bring about conditions of order and stability and enable China to fulfill the obligations as well as to claim the prerogatives of a sovereign state.