893.01/284a: Telegram

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


189. Although it may be that the time has not arrived for the taking of definite action toward recognition of the existing Nationalist Government as the Government of China, it is felt that if the internal warfare should appear to be actually at an end it will be necessary soon for us to deal with that Government, as the de facto Government of China at least, and that we be prepared to fulfill the promises set forth in my statement of January 27, 1927.89 That statement, I believe, had much influence in averting hostility toward the United States because it was an offer of a liberal, broad, fair nature to any government of China or to a body of delegates fairly representative of China. An indication of the readiness of the United States to enter into negotiations on the basis of that statement, with or without recognition of the existing government, would, I now believe, have considerable influence toward making the situation more stable.

[Page 182]

That statement, fairly interpreted, places us under an obligation to proceed, either with the other powers or alone, to negotiate on tariff matters. I should like to be prepared also to negotiate at the same time in regard to extraterritoriality, not necessarily with a view to the immediate abandonment of rights of an extraterritorial nature, but with the idea of their relinquishment gradually, with certain provisions for protection, in the interim, of American citizens and their interests.

Your views in regard to the following points as soon as possible would be appreciated:

The probability of establishment of a responsible government by the Nationalists.
The steps which should be taken by us with a view to recognition, on a de facto basis at least.
Is the American Government prepared to indicate its willingness to proceed with negotiations with the Nationalists as soon as they are able to designate authorized representatives?

The other governments have not been consulted by me in this matter. I shall, of course, inform them if we decide to proceed with the negotiations. Before final action is taken by us, I should consult with them on the subject or at least inform them of that which we propose to do, even if they should not be willing to proceed with us.

  1. See telegram No. 28, Jan. 25, 1927, to the Chargé in China, Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. ii, p. 350.