693.0031 Tibet/7–1548

The Chinese Embassy to the Department of State 12


Tibet is a part of the Territory of the Republic of China and, under the Constitution of the Republic, has no authority to conduct diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments; and its relations with the outside world are subject to the direction and approval of the Central Government of China.
The travel papers which the members of the Tibetan Trade Mission, headed by Mr. Shakabpa, hold, cannot replace the necessary passports [Page 762] issued by the Chinese Government for travel abroad. It is a matter of surprise that the United States’ Consul-General in Hongkong visaed these unusual travel papers without first notifying or consulting the Chinese Commissioner of Foreign Affairs representing the Waichiaopu13 in Hongkong. Presumably he acted without first reporting to his Government for instructions.
Mr. Shakabpa and other members of the said Mission have no authority to enter into direct relations with the United States Government, but the Chinese Embassy will be glad to facilitate the purpose of their visit which is understood to be in the interest of trade.
The Government of the United States has always recognized the sovereignty of the Chinese Republic over its territory. The Chinese Government therefore believes that the action of the Consul-General in visaing the travel papers of the Tibetan Trade Mission in place of the regular Chinese Government’s passports was an inadvertence and was not intended to signify any departure on the part of the United States Government from its traditional policy respecting the territorial integrity of the Republic of China.
  1. Handed to the Secretary of State by the Chinese Ambassador on July 15; for memorandum of conversation on that date, see p. 361.
  2. Chinese Foreign Office.