711.9312A/13

The Chinese Minister ( C. C. Wu ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of June 22, 1929, concerning the two alterations suggested by my Government in the text of the arbitration treaty proposed by the American Government.

I am pleased to note that the first change desired by my Government, which consists of a definite reference to the Permanent International Commission constituted in pursuance of the treaty signed between China and the United States on September 15, 1914, is fully acceptable to the Government of the United States.

As a substitute for the second change desired by my Government relative to the signing of the treaty in the Chinese and English languages, both texts having equal force, you are good enough to suggest that the formula used in the treaty regulating tariff relations concluded by the Governments of China and the United States on July 25, 1928, should be used also in the present treaty. The reason for the amendment proposed by my Government in this regard is already given in the explanatory note which accompanied my note of May 28 last. It is to conform to an order of the National Government, which was based upon a recommendation of the Legislative Yuan, to the effect that hereafter whenever China concludes treaties with foreign countries it should be provided in the treaties, in regard to the interpretation of the text, that the Chinese language should prevail except when a third language is stipulated as authoritative. This order of the National Government was issued after the signing of the treaty regulating tariff relations between our two countries and is now controlling upon all departments of the National Government. It is not within the power of any department now to go against the plain meaning of the order.

It is to be noted in this connection that the arbitration treaties which the United States has recently concluded with several countries, for example, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Sweden, all provide for the signing of the respective treaties in two languages, both texts having equal force. The change desired by my Government respecting the languages used in this treaty appears to be in line with the other arbitration treaties above mentioned. It is therefore in conformity, not only with the policy of my Government, but also with the most recent practice of the American Government. I trust that the American Government will see its way to adopt the same provision in the case of China as in the cases of so many other countries.

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A copy of the Chinese text of the treaty is herewith submitted for your consideration.76

Accept [etc.]

Chao-Chu Wu
  1. Not printed.