Statement Issued by the Department of State, May 28, 1934

Revised Regulations in Regard to the Export to China of Arms and Munitions of War

In order to make clear the American Government’s position in reference to the exportation of arms from the United States to China, the Secretary of State announces that the exportation of arms and [Page 498] munitions of war from the United States to China has been governed and will continue to be governed by the President’s Proclamation of March 4, 1922, issued in pursuance of the Joint Resolution of Congress approved January 31, 1922.11

Under the provisions of the Joint Resolution and of the President’s Proclamation it is, until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress, unlawful to export to China “except under such limitations and exceptions as the President prescribes, any arms or munitions of war from any place in the United States”. By the provisions of the Proclamation the Secretary of State is authorized to prescribe the limitations and exceptions to the application of the Resolution.

In accordance with the authority thus conferred upon him, the Secretary of State announces that exportation of arms and munitions of war for the use of Chinese official authorities (including those of subdivisions) will be permitted when (a) an application for license to export has been submitted by the firm or firms in the United States which desire to make shipment and (b) the Department of State has been informed through appropriate diplomatic channels (ordinarily, the Chinese Legation in Washington) that it is the desire of the Chinese Government that export of the shipment be authorized.

The question of bringing about notification to the Department of State, through the Chinese Legation, that the Chinese Government desires that export of a shipment be authorized is a matter with regard to which the initiative and responsibility lie with the Chinese Government and the potential shipper.

In connection with license to export, the Department of State provides a form of application for license and requires that application be submitted to the Department on such forms fully filled out by the prospective exporters.

Export licenses will be required henceforth for the exportation to China of the following articles:

Arms and small arms of all kinds, other than those classed as toys, and spare parts thereof.
Guns, machine guns, and spare parts thereof, and gun grease.
Gun mountings and limbers; tanks, armored motor cars, armored trucks, and armor plate.
Shot, shells and cartridges for arms and small arms, both loaded and empty, and their component parts.
Projectiles, charges, cartridges, and grenades of all kinds and their component parts.
Machinery, such as cartridge-making machines, specially manufactured for use in making arms and ammunition.
Explosives as follows: Gun powders, smokeless powders, blasting powders, all forms of high explosives including dynamite, nitroglycerine [Page 499] and TNT, and blasting materials, fuses, detonators and other detonating agents.
Land and submarine mines, bombs and torpedoes.
Tear gas (C6H5COCH2CL) and other non-toxic gases and apparatus designed for the storage or the projection of such gases. (No licenses will be issued for toxic gases and flame acids or for apparatus designed for their storage or projection.)
Range finders and gun-sighting apparatus and their component parts.
Radio apparatus designed expressly for military use.
Military aircraft (including all types of aircraft fitted with armor, guns, machine guns, gun mounts, bomb dropping or other military devices) together with spare parts and equipment therefor.
Vessels of war of all kinds.
Other equipment for military purposes.

In connection with the foregoing, it is the understanding of the Department of State that the Chinese Government is now exercising strict control over the import into China of arms and munitions of war; that the Chinese Government requires that shipments from abroad of arms and munitions of war be covered by permits issued by the appropriate authorities in China; and that such permits be submitted to the Chinese diplomatic mission in the country of export for examination and certification prior to the shipment of the goods under consideration. In the absence of sufficient time to permit American exporters to obtain required import permits from the Chinese Government and to forward such permits to the Chinese Legation at Washington, it is understood that the Chinese Government will give consideration to requests received from the representatives in China of American exporters for the transmission by telegraph to the Chinese Legation in Washington of information to the effect that the Chinese Government has issued the necessary import permit and that it desires that the export from the United States of the goods in question be authorized by the Department of State.