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loose any moment. At least it was apparent that Yuan himself was afraid of them and that he did not dare to use them, or any part of them, to suppress the existing disorder; besides, many of them were at that moment actively engaged in looting. And if these forces should combine and dare to make an assault upon the legation quarter, we would have our defensive strength strained to the utmost limit to hold them off.
The British minister was of the opinion that at least 1,000 additional troops should be brought to the city at once. He said he would bring 200 men from Tientsin. The French and Japanese Ministers agreed to do the same. The Russian chargé d'affaires assented to the proposition, but did not bring any, because he did not have them at hand. I agreed to bring 100 and an additional hundred if I could. The German Minister was not present, but he afterwards brought in 100 men. I called up on the telephone Major Arrasmith, the commander of the Fifteenth Regiment, at Tientsin, stated the situation to him, and he sent 200 men. He put them on the cars that night and they arrived in Peking Sunday morning. The troops of the other nationalities followed soon after.
On Saturday evening, March 2, the riot subsided. The city was then policed, strange to say, by the old Manchu police and gendarmerie, and they are policing the city now. Fairly good order has since been preserved.
Tientsin was the next place to have trouble. On Saturday evening, March 2, the rampage started there, and was even more destructive in its depredations than in Peking.
Paoting-fu was the next place to be heard from. This is said to have been a wealthy and prosperous city. The business section of the city is wholly destroyed; the devastation is complete.
The mutinous soldiers have gone on their way looting, burning, and sacking villages in every direction. The fact is, there is general disorder throughout the entire north. And it has something of a political cast. These soldiers who broke out in Peking told missionaries here and in Paoting-fu that their conduct was incited by their opposition to the republican movement. They condemned Yuan in severe terms for having gone over to the republicans. They also complained of not receiving their pay and of reductions in the same, but still they were pronounced in their dissent with the turn political events had taken.
The revolution was comparatively easy; it had no opposition; but now the great strain, the great test, of the movement has come. It is not too much to say that the north is seething with unrest, and if the Manchus had a leader among them with a grain of courage a coup could be pulled off in the north even more easily than the triumph of the republican movement was achieved.
Even the south is not free from trouble. There is conflict at Wuchang, at Nanking and Wuhu, Canton, and elsewhere. A counter revolution is brewing at Foochow, and there is a factional contest between the civil and military authorities there. The army, whether north or south, is the disturbing, the dangerous, element in the situation. It is without discipline, without patriotism, without leadership, and is now arrogantly conscious of its power. It won the revolution, and its members know it. The soldiers do not care a fig for
the collection of intelligent, amiable, spectacled young returned stu-
these soldiers, he may be able to hold them in line, and he may, in time, be
, able to organize from them a force upon which he can depend and by which he may restore and maintain order. But as things are now it is not too much to say that the fires that blazed through the streets of Peking, Tientsin, and Paoting-fu are only a part of the flame of anarchy with which this unhappy, this distracted, country is now threatened. There is no one here, whether diplomat or what not, but fears and believes a period of great strife is before us. I have [etc.],
W. J. CALHOUN. File No. 893.00/1202.
The Ambassador of Russia to the Acting Secretary of State. No. 100.]
IMPERIAL EMBASSY OF RUSSIA,
Washington, March 8, 1912. Mr. ACTING SECRETARY: The Federal Government will have had before it the Japanese proposition that advantage be taken of the moment when the new Chinese Government is recognized to secure the integrity of the rights, privileges, and immunities enjoyed by all foreigners in China, both by virtue of treaties and by accepted usages. Japan therefore suggests that the powers should arrive at an agreement not to recognize the new Government until they have secured from it adequate guaranties for the safeguard of their common interests. This proposition was also made by the Ambassador of Japan at St. Petersburg to the Imperial Government, which gave it its assent.
In communicating the foregoing I am instructed to bring to your notice that fact that Russia holds in North Manchuria, Mongolia and Western China special interests and rights founded on her treaties and conventions with China. While approving the idea of a joint action of the powers as far as it bears on the defense of their general interests in China, the Imperial Government must reserve to itself, in respect to Russia's rights and special interests in the said regions, the right to take such protective measures as may be forced upon it by necessity. I avail [etc.),
I. BAKHMÉTEFF. Flle No. 893.001Y/9.
The Chinese Minister to the Acting Secretary of State. No. 34.]
Washington, March 9, 1919. SIR: I am instructed by my Government to inform you that His Excellency Yuan Shih-Kai will take the oath of office and enter upon the duties as Provisional President of the Republic of China, at Peking, on the 10th instant. Accept [etc.]
CHANG YIN TANG.
File No. 893.00/1170.
Peking, March 9, 1912. Yuan authorized by Nanking Assembly to be inaugurated at Peking on March 10.
File No. 893.51/795.
The American Ambassador to Russia to the Secretary of State.
St. Petersburg, March 12, 1912. The Minister for Foreign Affairs frankly states that Russia does not wish to see a strong military power in China. He further expressed his doubt of the ability of China to maintain law and order as a republic. Nevertheless Russia may join the four powers already interested in emergency loans to China, but with the proviso that if so her interests, notably in railways available in war, shall be strictly conserved in Manchuria, Mongolia and Western China; and with the further proviso that Russia by so joining incurs no implied recognition of the Chinese Republic.
St. Petersburg, March 13, 1912. Sir: Confirming my yesterday's telegram, the Russian Government appears to be acting in good faith with the other powers. Russia is protecting her consulates in Mongolia with troops and increasing the consulates. The Russian Government is profoundly dissatisfied with the prospects in China and believes the Provisional Government a failure. Every possible influence will be used to prevent creation of another strong military power on Russia's borders, or the construction of railroads that could be used against Russia in war. I have [etc.]
File No. 893.00/1202.
The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador of Russia.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 18, 1912. EXCELLENCY: In acknowledging the receipt of the note of March 8, in which your excellency courteously informed me of the assent of the Imperial Russian Government to the recent proposals of the Government of Japan relating to an agreement of the powers as to the recognition of the new Government of China, I have the honor to state that, as your excellency has already informally been advised, the Government of the United States likewise expressed its agreement in principle to the policy of concerted action in the recognition of the Republic of China in accordance with the accepted principles of international law, so long as no undue delay was entailed thereby, and stated that the American Government would be glad to make more definite reply to the other questions raised when informed more explicitly as to the nature and terms of the proposed guaranties. The view was expressed that the established obligations of China held irrespective of the form of government and passed automatically in turn to the de facto Provisional Government and to such ultimate government as might merit formal recognition.
I take note of the statement in your excellency's communication that in approving the idea of joint action by the powers in the defense of their general interests in China, the Imperial Russian Government reserves, in respect of Russia's particular rights and interests based on treaties and conventions, the right to take such protective measures as necessity may demand. Accept [etc.]
HUNTINGTON WILSON. File No. 893.00/1234. The Ambassador of Great Britain to the Acting Secretary of State.
Washington, April 2, 1912. Dear Mr. Wilson: I wrote to you on the 21st," telling you that His Majesty's Government had received from the Russian Ambassador a communication similar to that sent to your Department regarding the reserves which his Government made in agreeing to the Japanese proposals regarding the recognition of the new Chinese Government.
I informed you that Sir Edward Grey, in reply to that communication, had not then made a reference to those reserves. I am now, ever, told that he has now informed the Russian Ambassador that His Majesty's Government recognize the right of Russia to take such action as may be necessary to safeguard her special rights and interests in northern Manchuria, Mongolia, and the Chinese west, in so far as such special rights and interests arise out of treaties and agreements with China. Very sincerely, yours,
File No. 151.096/28.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Peking, April 4, 1912. I am requested by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to instruct certain consuls to visa Section 6 certificates issued by local provisional government. Would compliance with this request involve recognition of the present administration?
* Not printed.
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 5, 1912. Compliance with the request of the Chinese Foreign Minister referred to in your April 4 does not involve formal recognition; it would be in harmony with our de facto relations with the present administration. You may instruct consuls to comply, with this understanding
File No. 893.032/4.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
(Extract.] No. 531.)
Peking, May 2, 1912. Sir: I have the honor to send enclosed in duplicate five clippings from the Peking Daily News?; three from its issue of April 30 and two from that of May 1. One of the former reports the opening of the National Council in Peking on April 29; a second gives the text of the address of the Provisional President of the Republic delivered on that occasion; and the third is an editorial comment upon the event.
The opening of the Council was a noteworthy event and inasmuch as a rather serious disagreement developed among its members immediately after assembling which is but briefly mentioned in the clipping, I have the honor to explain the reference more fully.
When the Council met it at once appeared that of the 76 members reported present a large number were never elected members of this National Council but were members of the Advisory Council that formerly sat at Nanking. The minister here gives the details of this complication.] A compromise was finally reached on the afternoon of May 1, when it was decided that the representatives of Kiangsi and Hupei in the Nanking Assembly now in Peking, who come from Provinces as yet unrepresented here, should be allowed to sit in the National Council until duly elected representatives of these Provinces shall arrive. There are six Provinces which have as yet held no election, and to those telegrams were sent yesterday urging the immediate election of representatives.
The acting chairman made a few remarks in which he sought to enforce his view that this was none other than the Nanking Assembly transferred to Peking, and then introduced President Yuan Shih-kai, who was received with applause. The President read his address and on its conclusion a reply was read by the acting chairman.
The address of the President, which has been widely published in Chinese and in English, made an excellent impression upon the foreign residents of China. It will be noticed that he recognizes the financial problem as the one of paramount importance. He speaks
* Not printed.