The Secretary of State to the Minister in China ( MacMurray )
11. On October 1 this Government pursuant to Article 8 of Nine Power Treaty relating to principles and policies invited the German Government to adhere to that Treaty. On January 7 the Chinese Minister called upon me and discussed with me an instruction which he stated he had received from his Government to protest against Germany’s adherence to this Treaty. The Chinese Minister explained that his Government made this protest because the Powers which attended the Washington Conference and which signed the treaty were all Powers possessing special treaty rights in China and inasmuch as Germany no longer occupied such a position, having renounced such special rights, she no longer enjoyed the right to be invited to adhere to this Treaty.
I informed the Chinese Minister that Article 8 of the Treaty relating to principles and policies provided that the Government of the United States should invite those Powers not signatory to the Treaty “which have Governments recognized by the signatory Powers and which have treaty relations with China”, to adhere to the treaty. I pointed out that this Treaty was solely for the benefit of China and, after reading the several articles aloud to him, stated [Page 1003] that I could see no reason why it would not be to the interest of China to have every Government having treaty relations with China adhere to it. The Chinese Minister agreed to this interpretation and later informed the Department that he had made representation to his Government substantially along the following lines:
“I explained to Secretary Kellogg today your views accordance yours 5th. Kellogg says America’s asking Germany adhere Nine Power Treaty is carrying out her duties accordance Article 8. America in her relations towards or concerning China has always been and is still actuated by unselfish motives with a view to enabling China fulfil her aspirations. The same motives that led to the conclusion of Nine Power Treaty guide her actions since. America has never claimed spheres of influence in China nor has she wished or wishes to do anything to impair sovereign rights of China. She therefore does not hold the view that being party to Nine Power Treaty means that she believed in or had spheres of influence in China nor she desired any impairment of Chinese sovereignty. In like manner the asking of Germany to adhere is not understood here as restoring to Germany rights or treaties which she already renounced. In fact adherence imposes on Germany the same obligation by which the eight Powers agree to be guided in their relations with or concerning China. Kellogg went over the treaty article by article and said that nothing can be either directly or by implication injurious or derogatory to China by Germany’s adherence. America did not ask Germany to adhere to Customs Treaty or to come to Extra[territoria]lity Commission because Germany is not entitled to participate. America asked Germany to adhere on October 1st. I can assure you that Kellogg in his dealings with China has been most friendly and sympathetic and we can accept his assurances and explanations without hesitation.”