The Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Shen) to the Italian Minister in China (Cerruti), Senior Minister79


Mr. Minister: I have the honor to call the serious attention of Your Excellency to the following unfortunate fact which occurred on May 30th last, in the International Concession at Shanghai: [Page 648]

“Following the arrest of students and acts of violence against Chinese workmen, several of whom were wounded, a certain number of students from different universities of Shanghai went, in the afternoon of May 30th last, to the Police Station of the International Concession as a sign of protest and made speeches. The armed intervention of the Police resulted in the arrest of more than forty students, four students being killed on the spot, six students being seriously wounded two of whom succumbed shortly after, and seventeen passers-by being wounded three of whom died later.”

In learning with emotion of the fact mentioned above, I beg leave to state that whatever may be the character of their demonstration, the students who are young men of good family, very patriotic and unarmed, cannot, in any case, be treated as ordinary malefactors and that instead of quieting them by appropriate means, the Police resorted to extreme means which are essentially condemned by humanity and justice.

I find myself, therefore, absolutely obliged to address to Your Excellency the most formal protest, reserving the right to make, as soon as subsequent reports giving complete details reach me, all the claims which will result from this deplorable incident, for which the authorities of the Concession are entirely responsible.

Moreover, I would ask Your Excellency to be good enough to inform the Ministers of the interested Powers of the foregoing, and to give the necessary urgent instructions to the Consular authorities at Shanghai to set at liberty immediately the arrested persons and come to an agreement there with the Special Commissioner for Foreign Affairs of that city, in order to prevent the possible recurrence of such cases.

I have [etc.]

[File copy not signed]
  1. Transmitted by the American Minister in China as an enclosure to his despatch No. 3045, June 10; received July 11. The Minister reported his receipt of this note in telegram No. 198, June 2 (not printed).