893.52/5–548

The American Embassy in China to the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs7

No. 293

The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and has the honor to inform the Ministry that, according to a report received from the American Consul General at Shanghai, the Municipal Land Bureau in that city has in certain cases requested American citizens who have applied for the issuance of new title deeds to real property owned by them to supply evidence that the state in the United States of which they are residents permits the ownership of real property by Chinese. The cases to which the Consul General refers are concerned with the registration of property acquired by the American owners prior to the effective date of the Sino-American Treaty for the Relinquishment of Extraterritoriality.

The Ministry may recall that in a note dated June 13, 1947 (No., 947)8 the Embassy called attention to a similar disposition on the part of the authorities of the Land Administration in Hopei Province to make no distinction, in so far as the applicability of the restrictive provisions of the Chinese Land Law respecting ownership of land by foreign nationals is concerned, between real property title to which was obtained by Americans prior to the date of the Treaty and property title to which was acquired subsequent to that date. At that time the Embassy expressed the firm conviction that the application of the restrictive provisions of the Land Law to American property acquired prior to the effective date of the Treaty constituted a violation of Article IV of the Treaty. In view of the report referred to above which has now been received from the American Consul General at Shanghai, the Embassy is constrained to reiterate this conviction and to ask that steps be taken to apprise the appropriate officials at [Page 730]Shanghai of the provisions of the Treaty in so far as they apply to American property rights acquired in China prior to the effective date thereof.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in China in his despatch No. 213, May 5; received May 19.
  2. Not printed.