611.9331/176: Telegram

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

56. Reference Department’s 6, January 9, 5 p.m.; and my 32, January 13, 4 p.m.,60 following is translation of note dated January 18 from Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs:

“I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your formal note of January 13th stating that you have received instructions from the American Government expressing concurrence in the proposal of the Chinese Government for the revision of the treaty of 1903. You request further information in regard to the desire and proposal which the Chinese Government has in mind both as regards the substance of the negotiations and the time, the place and the manner in which such negotiations might be conducted in order that the various proposals [problems] involved may be given consideration.

I have not failed to note the above. The commercial treaty of 1903 was made 30 years ago. Conditions and circumstances have changed and most of the articles have already become inapplicable. Except for those articles relating to customs tariff which were all abrogated by the Sino-American tariff treaty of 192861 the representative [remaining] provisions are mostly of a unilateral nature and do not conform to the principles of equality and reciprocity. The provisions regarding extraterritoriality and inland river and coastal navigation are extremely injurious to China’s sovereign rights and should be abrogated; this is particularly the long-standing desire of the people of China. The Chinese Government sincerely hopes that a new treaty will be concluded at an early date with different provisions to make it satisfactory.

The time and place for the opening of negotiations can be fixed as soon as I have been informed of the views of the American Government.”

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Signed at Peking, July 25, 1928, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. ii, p. 475.