893.00 P.R./13

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

No. 1804

Sir: In accordance with the Department’s instruction No. 78, of October 9, 1925,67 I have the honor to submit the following summary, with index, of events and conditions in China during November, 1928:

In the field of Sino-foreign relations the month was characterized by actively pursued negotiations with a view to the conclusion of [Page 175] new treaties. In respect to China’s domestic affairs during the period there would appear to have been growing among her citizens, to judge from reports reaching the Legation, a feeling that dissension among the several factions in the Kuomintang was serious enough to foreshadow recourse to further military activity. Such an eventuality would be the more to be regretted as six months have not yet elapsed since there was set up at Nanking a centralized and allegedly stable and responsible government.

The standing committee of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang determined, at a special meeting held in Nanking on November 16th, to postpone the Third National Convention of Kuomintang Representatives from January 1st to March 15, 1929, on the ground that time was lacking to complete the necessary preparations and to select delegates before the first of the new year. The reason also was advanced that, since the formal interment of Dr. Sun Yat Sen is to take place in Nanking on March 12th, delegates thus would be spared the necessity of a second displacement from their homes within three months. The real cause of the delay in holding the congress would seem to be that the inner group of the Kuomintang in control of the government apprehended dispossession. Among those resenting the postponement was the influential left wing leader, Dr. Wang Ching-wei, who contended, on somewhat barren constitutional grounds, that the Central Executive Committee, which has arrogated unto itself virtually dictatorial prerogatives, had no power to alter a decision reached at a plenary session of the party. The decision to hold the congress on January 1st, next, was arrived at during the fifth plenary meeting of the Kuomintang of last August.

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

Sino-Foreign Relations

Three treaties were concluded by the Nationalist Government during the month: (1) a Sino-Norwegian tariff treaty68 similar to ours of July 25th; (2) a Sino-Belgian “Preliminary Treaty of Amity and Commerce,”69 less unfavorable to Belgium, chiefly in the matter of extraterritorial privileges, than had been anticipated, and of interest also as providing for the ultimate acquisition by Belgian subjects of the right to live, trade, and acquire property anywhere in China; and, (3), a Sino-Italian treaty70 generally similar to the Belgian treaty.

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[Page 176]

Sino-Japanese Treaty Relations

The conversations between Dr. C. T. Wang and the Japanese Consul General at Shanghai relative to treaty revision and the settlement of the Tsinan, Nanking, and Hankow incidents, which were interrupted at the end of October pending the receipt of further instructions from their respective Governments, were to have been resumed at Shanghai on November 22nd. Prior to that date, however, the members of the State Council insisted that before any further meetings were held the date of the evacuation of Japanese troops from Shantung should be fixed. As Consul General Yada was unable to make any definite agreement on that point the conversations remained temporarily suspended.

It is the Legation’s understanding that the Japanese nationals in Shantung protested to their home Government because of the great number of bandits outside of the walls of Tsinan who threatened Japanese lives and property. Japan nevertheless was reported to be anxious to evacuate Shantung as soon as proper guarantees are given.

An intensification of the anti-Japanese boycott, due to the suspension of Sino-Japanese negotiations, took place during November.

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

I have [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Not printed.
  2. For text of treaty, signed November 12, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. lxxxvii, p. 381.
  3. For text of treaty, signed November 22, see ibid., p. 287.
  4. For text of treaty, signed November 27, see ibid., vol. xciii, p. 173.