The British Embassy to the Department of State


On January 8th the British Embassy were informed by the State Department that the Chinese Government had asked for the negotiation of an entirely new commercial treaty to replace the Sino-American Treaty of 1903.

A similar request has been made to His Majesty’s Government in respect of the Sino-British Treaty of 1902.59 No reply is being sent, and further information from Peking is awaited before considering the matter further. His Majesty’s Government will probably adopt substantially the same attitude as the United States Government: but [Page 525] as the Sino-British Treaty, unlike the Sino-American Treaty, provides for revision of tariff only and China now has tariff autonomy, the request to His Majesty’s Government may have a merely paper significance.

His Majesty’s Minister at Peking will be instructed to keep in touch with his United States colleague.

  1. Signed at Shanghai, September 5, 1902, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. xcv, p. 39.