861.77 Chinese Eastern/879

The Chinese Legation to the Department of State58

Tsai Yuan-Sheng [Tsai Yun-sheng] was authorized by the National Government to enter into preliminary negotiations with Simanovsky, the Soviet Delegate, for the settlement of the questions arising out of the Chinese Eastern Railway dispute and for the discussion of the question of procedure for holding a formal conference in future. On December 22, 1929, there were signed at Habarovsk between the Chinese and Soviet Delegates certain minutes purporting to be a settlement of the dispute. The minutes contained, however, in addition to a modus vivendi relating to the questions arising out of the Railway dispute, certain other proposals of a general character concerning the relations between the two countries which the Chinese Delegate was not authorized to discuss and which were outside the scope of his instructions. In so doing he had acted ultra vires.

According to international usage, an arrangement concluded between the delegates of two countries is subject to the approval and ratification of the respective governments. In so far as the issues arising out of the Railway questions are concerned, the arrangement contained in the minutes has been carried out. In pursuance thereof persons detained on each side have been released, a new manager and a new assistant manager of the Railway have been appointed, and normal traffic on the Railway has been resumed.

The National Government of China, being desirous of arriving at a final settlement of the Railway questions, is prepared to send a delegate to the formal conference in Moscow for the exclusive purpose of effecting a readjustment of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Should the [Page 299] Soviet Government deem it necessary to negotiate with the National Government in respect of questions of a general character relating to the trade and commercial relations between the two countries as well as other problems and to that end appoint a delegate to China, the National Government will be prepared to enter into negotiations with such a delegate.

  1. Handed to the Under Secretary of State by the Chinese Minister on February 13, 1930.