611.9331/66: Telegram

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


556. Legation’s 555, July 20, 10 p.m.

Soong and I, in a further discussion, reached an agreement upon the following text, which corresponds, you will observe, more [Page 470] closely with that set forth in the Department’s 202, June 23, 3 p.m., than with the draft which was the subject of discussion last October.

“All those provisions appearing in treaties hitherto concluded and in force between the United States of America and China and relating to rates of duty on imports and exports of merchandise, drawbacks, transit dues, coastwise duties, and tonnage dues in China shall be annulled and become inoperative, and the principle of complete national tariff autonomy shall apply subject, however, to the condition that in the territories of the other each of the High Contracting Parties shall enjoy, with respect to the above specified and any related matters, treatment in no way discriminatory as compared with the treatment accorded any other country. (The bracketed clause reading as follows is optional: On the further condition that the assent of no other power to tariff increases in return for any compensatory privilege or benefit shall have been obtained by China.)

Under no pretext whatever shall the nationals of either of the High Contracting Parties be compelled to pay within the territory of the other party any duties, internal charges or taxes upon their importations and exportations other or higher than those which are paid by the nationals of the country or by the nationals of any other country.

On January 1, 1929, the above provision shall become effective, if the exchange of ratifications hereinafter provided shall have taken place by that date; otherwise, at a date 4 months following such exchange of ratifications.”

The possibility of a clause making tariff autonomy conditional upon a substantial abolition of likin is still being considered by Soong.
The treaty would be signed by him under authority granted by the “Government Council of the Nationalist Government of the Republic of China”.
I am informed by Soong that General Chiang Kai-shek, who has been consulted by him, supports the proposed treaty enthusiastically.