793.00/198: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

153. Following from Shanghai:

“50, March 8, 3 p.m. The following is a statement of Huang Fu given out by the Kuo Min Agency and published in this morning’s North China Daily News. This is explanatory of his foreign policy as given out by the same news agency of [on] February 22d:

‘While international treaties are binding and, therefore, legally speaking, the treaties entered into between the defunct Peking Government and the powers previous to the establishment of the Nationalist Government have to be recognized as valid, at the same time, most of these treaties are humiliating to our national dignity and greatly detrimental to our interests. Supported by the entire strength of the Nationalist Government, I shall try to reach the goal either of abrogating or revising these unilateral and unequal treaties. Of course, our method of abrogating these treaties must be other than a mere declaration that they are invalid.

As regards those treaties for loans contracted from foreign governments by Peking since the establishment of the Nationalist Government, we naturally cannot recognize them as valid, the Nationalist Government having already publicly declared its opposition to them at Canton.

More recently still, the communist secretary entered [sic] to concede Mongolia in favor of Russia to obtain assistance so as to prolong the agitation. Chang Tso-lin likewise has planned to use Manchuria and the Chinese Eastern Railway as a quid pro quo for Japanese money and other assistance.

The Nationalist Government, mindful of such dangers, specially declared its attitude in order that the Japanese and Russian Governments may awaken to their mistake [omission?] agreed for their selfish interests of the immediate future, forgetting that the Nationalist Government is Chinese sole organ for foreign relations, and thereby causing complications in the future.

That Japan has entertained wild ambitions regarding China was early noticeable by all clear-sighted men, and that Chang Tso-lin is anxious to secure Japanese support in order to prolong his existence is a fact still more evident. There is only one question behind the shaping of my country’s attitude as regards another, and that is, whether the other country’s attitude embraces an aggressive policy. If Japan can completely alter her former policy and cease her assistance to Chang Tso-lin, then the Nationalist Government ought to be able to look: at the past with sympathy and tolerance. Only yesterday I was discussing with General Chiang Kai-shek various matters in connection with the Northern expedition. If Japan, at the moment of our positive advance into Shantung, refrains from despatching troops there, or only sends a small number of soldiers and remains true to her spirit of merely protecting [Page 408] Japanese subjects in Shantung and not being an obstacle to the movement of the Northern expeditionary forces, then her attitude can manifest itself, and the Nationalist Government, as well as the entire Chinese people, can assume a new attitude towards any change [in] their traditional views regarding Japan; for then, I firmly believe our Northern expedition can conquer Peking in two months, and likewise since Japanese relations will gradually become more friendly.

The encroachments of Great Britain upon China in the past have been most decidedly detestable and have consequently aroused rational hatred of the entire Chinese people. But lately, the British Government has apparently awakened to its mistake as they [is?] evidenced by Sir Austen Chamberlain’s9 repeated professions of profound sympathy towards the aspirations of the Chinese people even in other quarters, theirs are manifestations of sincere attempts to modify its traditional policy toward China. If in future the British Government can adhere consistently to the policy of international justice and fair dealing, the Nationalist Government can also reciprocate with good will.

The attitude of the American Government towards China has been more conciliatory than both Japan and Great Britain, but, recently, due to the Nationalist Government not having yet arrived at a definite settlement with the American Government as regards the Nanking incident,10 America has not been quite sympathetic and tolerant. However my conversations with the American Minister, Mr. J. V. A. MacMurray, during his recent visit here, were wholly satisfactory.’

Repeated to Hankow.[”]

  1. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  2. See pp. 323 ff.