893.00/9952a: Telegram

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

158. 1. Associated Press despatches from Shanghai give the impression that defense measures under consideration at Tientsin may involve the establishment of a 20-li zone somewhat as provided in the understanding arrived at in July 1902 between China and certain powers, not including the United States. (See MacMurray’s Treaties, page 317).44 Please report if the above plan has been adopted. [Page 222] Also if in your opinion this is liable to bring on a conflict between the Chinese armies and the forces at Tientsin. In your opinion is it necessary to keep Chinese armed forces out of the native city any more than it was at Shanghai?

2. Of course, you understand it is the desire of the United States that its armed forces should, consistent with their duty to protect American citizens, avoid if possible conflict with Chinese soldiers and thereby prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate occurrences at Tsinanfu.