861.01/801: Telegram

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

128. Your 81, April 26, 6 p.m.

Note in accordance with your instructions delivered to Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 3rd, copy enclosed in despatch no. 2242, May 5, in today’s pouch. French Minister addressed note of similar tenor May 7th. British Minister states he intends to communicate orally with Koo and to say that British Government indorses view expressed in my note. Japanese Minister, to whom I also communicated copy of my note, has given no indications of what action if any he intends taking.
Purport of my note and French Minister’s having duly leaked out of Foreign Office and appeared in local press, Karakhan, Bolshevik representative, has issued statement appearing today in Chinese and English language papers of which following is summary:
Chinese Government denies interference with Russo-Chinese relations but Karakhan has brought forth evidence of French interference, and America has now come into the open on the same side. Chinese Eastern Railway question relates only to China and Russia, and if other powers intervene, it is only to hamper understanding [Page 490] between Russia and China. French and American protests mean, they will not allow Russo-Chinese Agreement without their participation. Powers refer to Washington Conference resolutions as if they had acquiesced in rights thereby, although resolutions were adopted without the master Soviet Russia. Present case usual imperialistic action by France, America and possibly other powers who believe world is theirs. Soviet has taught all great powers not to meddle with Russian affairs and now hopes to teach them not to interfere with Russo-Chinese affairs. Difficulty is that China is weak, cannot defend national dignity and sovereignty and takes more stock in French and American threats than friendship with Soviet. France and America are very strict about Washington resolutions when it is question of hostility toward Chinese interests but resolutions forgotten when same would benefit China. During several years France and America have failed to carry out decisions regarding extraterritoriality or customs tariff in disregard of China’s requests and in manner humiliating to China. If powers ever begin this work, it will only be to dupe China. Soviet alone could voluntarily renounce treaties imposed by force on [China].