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In the course of the conversation I told him that the American Government had tried to maintain strict neutrality throughout the present struggle in China and that we considered it the part of true friendship so to act. I assured him that not only the American Government but the mass of the American people entertained feelings of sincere friendship for the Chinese people; that we wished to see the integrity of China preserved, and we wished to allow the Chinese people to settle for themselves the question of the form of government under which they would be ruled without any outside interference; that the American legation had given no aid or support to either side, in order to avoid establishing a precedent for outside interference which might be used by other powers to prolong the civil war and weaken China. I assured him that when the Chinese had finally settled their disagreement and north and south had reunited, America would not be backward in showing her friendship I am (etc.),
CHARLES D. TEN XEY. File No. 893.00/1105.
The Japanese Embassy to the Department of State. (Summary of an undated memorandum handed to the Acting Secretary of State by the
Japanese Ambassador, February 23, 1912.]
Washington. The powers will be called upon to recognize any new and stable government established in China, and it is essential to continue under any such new order of affairs the rights, privileges and immunities of foreigners at present enjoyed. The majority of these rest upon treaty grants, but some depend upon legislative enactment or upon custom. Therefore a confirmation of all these rights, privileges and immunities should be secured by the powers at the time of recognition of any new government. At the same time they should secure from such new government formal engagements regarding the foreign indebtedness of China. In view of the fore. going the Imperial Japanese Government suggest that the principle of joint action, adhered to so successfully during the present crisis, be extended to the recognition of any new government and to the above-mentioned conditions thereof, in order to secure guaranties more satisfactory than could be obtained otherwise.
File No. 893.00/1103.
Washington, February 24, 1912. DEAR MR. SECRETARY: His Majesty's Principal Secretary of Stato for Foreign Affairs understands that a memorandum has been communicated to the Government of the United States by the Government of Japan stating the conditions which should be secured when there shall be in China a government entitled to recognition. This memorandum, which further advocates that the powers should continue to act in concert, has been communicated to Sir Edward Grey, who has replied that he agrees to it in principle. I should be very glad if, should there be no objection, you could let me know for Sir Edward Grey's information what answer the United States Government propose to return to this communication. Very sincerely, yours,
Tile No. 893.00/1105.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 25, 1912—8 p. m. Referring to Secretary Knox's note [of February 3] to the German Ambassador here, the substance of which was sent you through the Embassy at Berlin on February 5, the British and German Gorcrnments state that the substance of the note is quite in accord with their own attitude. The Governments of Japan and of Russia also concur with the United States in the view that the policy of nonintervention and of common action for the protection of the common interests in China in the present crisis has been and still is the wisest course for the powers concerned to pursue.
Repeat to embassies at London, Berlin, Rome, and St. Petersburg for their information.
File No. 893.00/1105.
The Department of State to the Japanese Embassy.
(Memorandum-Summary. ] With reference to the memorandum handed to the Acting Secretary of State on February 23 by the Ambassador of Japan, the Government of the United States welcomes this fresh affirmation by the Imperial Japanese Government of the policy of concerted action and agrees in principle to its application to the recognition of the Republic of China as far as this course will entail no delay. The Government of the United States will be glad to reply more definitely in regard to the other questions raised when more explicitly informed as to the nature and terms of the guaranties proposed. It may be said in the meantime that this Government regards the established obligations of China as holding irrespective of the form of government, and as passing automatically to the de facto provisional government with which the United States will informally deal, and thence to such ultimate government as may merit formal recognition. DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 27, 1912.
File No. 893.00/1103.
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador of Great Britain.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 28, 1912. My Dear MR. AMBASSADOR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 24th instant, regarding the recent memorandum of the Japanese Government on the question of the formal recognition of a new government in China and wherein it is suggested that such recognition be conditioned upon the giving by the new gov. ernment of certain guaranties and that the concert of the powers should be continued in the consideration of this question. Besides stating that your Government agrees in principle to the suggestions of the Japanese Government, you request to be informed as to any reply this Government may make to the communication of the Japanese Government.
In reply I beg to state that in a memorandum handed to the Japa-
[Extract. ) No. 446.]
Peking, March 1, 1912. Sir: Last evening about half-past 7 o'clock we were surprised by the sound of rifle firing in different parts of the city, and almost im mediately a 3-inch percussion shell landed in the compound of the marine guard. Fortunately, the shell did not explode, otherwise it would probably have killed or wounded a number of men.
The rifle firing seemed very heavy in the neighborhood of the new Wai Wu Pu building, now occupied by President Yuan and his executive staff. Our first thought was that it indicated an attack upon the president, and that his assassination, so long feared, had come at last. But he is safe and the attack appears not to have been made against him. The firing soon became quite general and evidenced a concerted movement of some kind. It was evident that no conflict of any kind between contending forces was going on, because there was no volley firing; it was a case of quite general but indiscriminate shooting.
Members of the marine guard, who were out on leave, and other Americans, began to come in, and they reported that a general looting of shops on the principal streets was going on; that it was being done entirely by soldiers, assisted in some instances by the police, who were shooting indiscriminately, yelling like fiends, smashing in doors and windows, carrying off merchandise of all kinds, and setting fire to the buildings.
The special phase of the outbreak, which may be said to be one redeeming feature of it, was the absence of any antiforeign demonstration. Evidently the sole purpose of the outbreak was loote
It is said the troops engaged left the city early this morning, captured two or three trains, and have gone down the railroad toward Paoting-fu. The city seems to be free from them.
It is apparent that Yuan has little or no control over his troops. He has lost much “ face" over this unfortunate affair, and the effect upon the pending negotiations with the Nanking delegation will be bad. I have [etc.]
W. J. CALHOUN.
Washington, March 2, 1912. The following is the text of a joint resolution passed by the House of Representatives February 29:
Whereas the Chinese Nation has successfully asserted the fact that sovereignty is vested in the people, and has recognized the principle that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed, thereby terminating a condition of internal strife; and
Whereas the American people are inherently and by tradition sympathetic with all efforts to adopt the ideals and institutions of representative government: Therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatires of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the United States of America congratulates the people of China on their assumption of the powers, duties and responsibilities of self-government, and expresses the confident hope that, in the adoption and maintenance of a republican form of government, the rights, liberties, and happiness of the Chinese people will be secure and the progress of the country insured.
The text should be circulated among the American consulates in China to be discreetly given such publicity as will be conducive to the interests of the United States. It may be regarded as an expression of the sympathy of the American people, through their representatives, with the new order of things in China. Due care should be taken, however, particularly with the leaders now assembled at Peking, that this action be not confused with recognition, which is a prerogative of the Executive and as to which it is the present intention of the President and the Department to proceed in harmony with the other powers by entering automatically into effective informal relations with the de facto provisional government, pending the establishment of such ultimate government as may merit formal recognition.
File No. 893.00/1137.
Peking, March 4, 1912—7 p. m. Serious mutiny in Wuchang February 27. General condition of anarchy occasions reasonable fear that foreign intervention may become necessary. Japanese are bringing one more battalion to Tientsin from Marchuria.
File No. 893.00/1229.
[Extract.) No. 463.]
Peking, March 8, 1912. Sir: Supplementing my No. 446, of March 1, 1912, I have the honor to further report that the outbreak in Peking which occurred on Thursday evening, February 29, continued all of that night; shooting, burning, and looting everywhere. Friday night the riot started up again, with shooting, burning, and looting going on over most of the city. Soldiers of other divisions, together with most of the police, participated in it; they looted vigorously. No apparent effort was made to suppress it.
Yuan Shih-kai seemed overwhelmed with the disaster. He was simply stunned. All evidences of authority possessed by him shriveled to nothing. He did not have a soldier or a policeman upon whom he could rely. While the stormt was still raging on Saturday, about noon, Tong Shao-yi (who had taken refuge in the legation quarter) addressed a note to Sir John Jordan, the British minister and dean of the diplomatic corps, in which he said the situation was becoming more serious; he had word that a large body of troops were coming from Paoting-fu to Peking, and he suggested that the diplomatic body should be convened at once to take action to protect the city and to prevent bloodshed.
The British Minister issued an urgent call for a meeting of the diplomatic body, and it convened very soon afterwards. The diplomatic body agreed that the situation was grave. While no antiforeign feeling had been so far displayed, yet the temper of the mob, in that respect, could not be relied upon; the antiforeign feeling might develop any moment. Even the legation quarter might invite attack, not so much because it was occupied by foreigners as of the wellknown fact that immense stores of valuable property had been deposited there for safety by wealthy natives.
The diplomatic body, however, deemed it inexpedient and inadvisable, at this time, for foreigners to actively interfere in the situation or to assume police control of the city. The time might arrive wherein it would be necessary to do so in order to protect human life, but that time apparently had not arrived. It was agreed, however, that conditions justified and demanded that the number of foreign troops in Peking should be increased, not so much for defensive purposes as for the effect on the Chinese. If a show of foreign force were made, it was believed it would have a restraining effect on the mob; that the legations which were in a position to do so might bring troops up from Tientsin and have them go through the streets a few times, and thereby show the irresponsible Chinese soldiers and the mob of looters following them that there was a force here which they must respect, and which they would have reason to fear if their depredations went too far or continued too long. The gravity of the situation was increased by the fact that there were some 30,000 native troops, including the Manchu contingent, in and around Peking. All of them, so far as we knew anything about them, were either in open mutiny or mutinous and aggressive in spirit, and were liable to break