The Department of State to the British Embassy41


The Secretary of State refers to his statement made public on January 27, 1927,42 and his note of July 24, 1928,43 with its enclosure, regarding the attitude of the American Government toward the question of revision of its treaty relations with China, and to the signing of a treaty, at Peiping (Peking) on July 25, 1928, to regulate tariff relations between the United States and China.

The American Government has now been approached by the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China through its Minister at Washington with a request that negotiations be begun on the subject of a general revision of the treaties between the two countries, with special reference to the steps which it may be desirable to take looking toward relinquishment of extraterritorial rights in China.

The American Government, while it has felt that conditions in the past have not warranted entering upon negotiation of a new general treaty with China, nevertheless feels that the Nationalist Government gives promise of greater stability and national unity than has prevailed heretofore; it believes that all possible encouragement should be given to the Nationalist Government; it is willing to discuss the subject of revision of the treaties; and, in response to the above mentioned request of the Nationalist Government, it has approved the holding of informal conversations between certain of its officers and spokesmen for the Nationalist Government, with a view to discovering, if possible, a basis for negotiations.

Believing that the situation in China has changed in certain particulars within the past few months, the Secretary of State would be [Page 436] pleased to be informed, if it be agreeable and convenient to the British Government to give him such information, concerning the present views of the British Government with regard to revision of treaties with China.

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, to the Belgian, French, Italian, Japanese, Netherland, and Portuguese diplomatic representatives at Washington.
  2. See telegram No. 28, Jan. 25, 1927, to the Chargé in China, Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. ii, p. 350.
  3. Identic notes (not printed) to the diplomatic representatives of the interested powers, transmitting copy of statement communicated by the Minister in China to the Nationalist Government at Nanking, according to instruction No. 230, July 20, Post, p. 464.