The Consul General at Canton (Jenkins) to the Minister in China (MacMurray)57

No. 482

Sir: In connection with this Consulate General’s telegraphic correspondence with the Legation respecting the form of address to be employed in relation to Mr. Eugene Chen, I now have the honor to transmit a copy of an article published in the semi-official Canton Gazette of July 5, 1926.

It will be observed that this publication was authorized by the Foreign Office and that it embodies my letter of June 30 to Mr. Chen and his reply of July 2. It is obvious, of course, that Mr. Chen’s reply was prepared primarily for publication,—that he saw an opportunity [Page 669] to let the Powers know his attitude with respect to recognition and made use of it.

As authorized by the Legation, my note to Mr. Chen was addressed as follows:

“Honorable Ch’en Yu-jen,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs,

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Unless the Legation directs otherwise, I shall not make any reply to Mr. Chen’s communication of July 2.

I have [etc.]

Douglas Jenkins

Article Published in the “Canton Gazette” July 5, 1926

The Foreign Office has authorised the publication of the following statement:

In view of the excellent relations now existing between the Government at Canton and the American Consular authorities, the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs believes that no misunderstanding will be created by the publication of the following letter, dated, June 30. from Mr. Douglas Jenkins, American Consul General, to Mr. Chen Yu-jen (Eugene Chen), Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, with the reply of the latter dated July 2:

Sir: Adverting to this Consulate General’s dispatch of June 16 in acknowledgment of your note of June 4, 1926,58 concerning the abolition of the office of Commissioner of Foreign Affairs and the intention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with all international cases in the future, I have the honor to explain that while this Consulate General is pleased to correspond directly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is of course understood that recognition is not implied.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,

(Signed) Douglas Jenkins,
American Consul General

Foreign Minister’s Reply

republic of china

nationalist government

ministry of foreign affairs

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 30, in which you explain—what has already been quite clear and obvious to me—that recognition is not implied in your despatch of June 16 acknowledging my note of June 4, which notified you of the abolition of the Office of Commissioner for Foreign Affairs [Page 670] and the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with all international cases in the future.

Though in ordinary circumstances your letter might call for no specific reply, I believe the best interests of the American people and of the Chinese people as represented by my Government would be served if I make the categorical statement that, while my Government (which has stabilized an independent political regime founded here nearly a decade ago and has unified a group of territories larger in area than France and Italy combined, with a population of 60,000,000 people) demands that it be treated with respect, it neither desires nor expects from America and other Foreign Powers the sort of recognition which even considerations of political realism and international dignity have not prevented them from granting to the phantom governments successively set up in Peking by Mandarin squeezers, military plunderers and ex-bandit chiefs. The Foreign Powers, apparently, have not yet realised that Peking has long ceased to represent the Chinese nation and that it is today but an organ of exploitation and plunder in the hands of the Mandarinate and the Northern militarists. As long as this fundamental fact remains ungrasped by the Foreign Powers, the state of China must necessarily worsen and some of the ominous possibilities of the situation may well become realities.

With a clear apprehension of what it all means, my Government is striving to forward the work of establishing the new equilibrium between the Chinese system (i.e. the Chinese people in their organization as a social and politico-economic aggregate) and the altered environment brought about largely by foreign intercourse and pressure. And though unrecognized but withal the only ruling group in China at the moment that really governs, my Government is not without hope of planting the foundation of a great new structure of relations between China and America and other friendly Powers which, while assuring the latter a friendly and profitable market for their goods and services, will enable the Chinese people to live in freedom and to work out the modernisation of their country in terms of the best both in their historic experience and individual culture and in the doctrinal systems and material progress of the West.

I have etc.,

Ch’en Yu-jen

Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the consul general as an enclosure to his despatch No. 582, July 7; received Aug. 11.
  2. Not printed.