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CONVENTION AND ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN RUSSIA AND

CHINA RESPECTING MANCHURIA. a

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.)

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, December 3, 1901. (Mr. Conger reports the return of Prince Ch'ing with authority to sign Manchurian convention providing substantially as follows:

Article 1.Manchuria will be returned by Russia to Chinese jurisdiction and administration.

Article 2.--Agreement of 1896 with Russo-Chinese Bank to be permanently maintained, and protection of railway and Russian subjects is undertaken.

If there are no repetitions of disorder, and the conduct of other nations does not hamper, Russia will evacuate as follows: During 1901, the southern part of Sheng-king up to Liao River; during 1902, the remainder of Sheng-king, and during 1903, Kirin and Heilung chiang.

Article 3.-In concert with Russian authorities the military governor will fix the number of Chinese troops and points to be occupied, beyond which China will not increase nor advance troops. Except in localities assigned to railway company, China shall use only cavalry and infantry, but not artillery.

Article 4.-Troops to protect railways can not be sent by other nations. Anglo-Russian railway sphere convention and agreement as to companies borrowing funds to be maintained. No further railway or bridge construction in southern portions will be allowed, nor railway terminus changed, except by Russian consent. All Russian expenses in restoring and maintaining Shankaiwan, Yingkou, and Hsinting railways to be repaid and railway restored to the owners in 1901.

Mr. Conger states that English and Japanese ministers are warning China not to sign, and inquires what action, if any, he shall take.)

Mr. Ilay to Mr. Conger.

(Telegram.-Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 6, 1901. (Mr. Hay directs Mr. Conger to take an early opportunity to advise Prince Ch'ing that the President trusts and expects that no arrangement which will permanently impair the territorial integrity of China, or injure the legitimate interests of the United States, or impair the ability of China to meet her international obligations, will be made with any single power.)

a See under Russia, page 926, and Austria-Hungary, page 26,

Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay. No. 816.)

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, December 12, 1901. Sir: I confirm your telegram of the 6th instant, and report that on yesterday I had a conference with Prince Ch’ing on the subjectmatter thereof.

I handed to Prince Ch’ing a memorandum embodying your instructions and the expectations of the President, a copy of which I inclose. I said to him, in substance, that it was generally understood what the proposed terms of the Manchurian agreement were, but that we had no authoritative knowledge; that if the terms as understood should be agreed upon China's territorial integrity would be endangered, her sovereignty impaired, the treaty rights of other nations violated, and her ability to meet her international obligations diminished. He then briefly outlined to me the demands which Russia was making. They were substantially as reported in my telegram of the 3d instant. He said he agreed with my views as to the results to be reasonably expected from a compliance with the Russian demands, and that he should endeavor, in whatever agreement was finally reached, to preserve the sovereignty of China and respect all treaty and international obligations. He assured me that instead of taking nearly three years to evacuate Manchuria he should insist upon its being accomplished in one, and that while limiting the number and kind of Chinese troops to be kept in the territory during Russian occupancy, this matter should be left to China's judgment and control after the evacuation, and that after turning back to China the Shan-hai-kwan, Ying Kou and Hsinting railroads the Chinese Government should itself decide how it should be guarded, and whether or not a bridge across the Liao River should be constructed. Also, if upon investigation it should turn out that Russia's expenses of repair and maintenance of the abovementioned railroads were included in the general indemnity allowed by the final protocol, then they should not be paid again; otherwise, reasonable compensation should be agreed to.

I asked him if the proposed agreement did not provide for exclusive privileges of railway and mining development. He replied it did not, but that later negotiations might be entered into to reiterate the agreement heretofore entered into with the Russo-Chinese Bank; that these would give Russia, when new railroads were to be constructed or mines opened, the first right to build or open, but that these would only be given after conference with, and approval of, the Chinese authorities. He also said that if he could not secure Russian consent to these modıfications he would confer with me again before signing.

Under all the circumstances I can see no serious objections to the terms which he suggests for the general agreement; but if the understanding as to a separate agreement concerning exclusive railway and mining concessions, as it would seem, really makes a part of the main agreement, it is quite as objectionable as if it was formally included therein. I am bound to add that I have very serious doubts about his ability to secure the consent of Russia to the terms he proposes. I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

a Printed, ante,

(Inclosure.)

Memorandum left by Mr. Conger with Prince Ch'ing on December 11, 1901. The President of the United States, having heard reports to the effect that China was about to sign a convention with Russia which would materially affect the sovereignty of the former in the Manchurian provinces, and which would apparently impair very seriously the treaty obligations of China with other powers, as well as injure the commercial interests of the United States in the region mentioned, has sent Mr. Conger, the United States minister at Peking, the following cable dispatch.a

Mr. Conger to Mr. Hay.

[Telegram.-Paraphrase.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, January 29, 1902. (Mr. Conger reports that he has been informed by Prince Ch'ing that the latter has done the best he could and has held out as long as possible, but that Russian possession of Manchuria has become intolerable, and that China must at once sign the convention or lose everything; that he has therefore agreed to sign the convention, modified as substantially stated in Mr. Conger's dispatch No. 846, of December 12, 1901, and will also sign the separate agreement with the RussoChinese Bank, which practically gives exclusive privileges of industrial development in Manchuria.

Mr. Conger has reported to Prince Ch’ing Mr. Hay's telegraphic instructions of December 6, 1901, and the British and Japanese ministers advised him to about the same effect; but it is expected that the signing of the convention and agreement will very soon take place.)

Mr. Conger to Mr. Ilay.

No. 898.1

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Peking, January 29, 1902. Sir: I have the honor to confirm my telegram of this date.

On the 27th I had a conference with Prince Ch’ing, who informed me, substantially, that he was in a most difficult position. He had used, he said, every effort in his power to come to some agreement with Russia whereby the evacuation of Manchuria might be secured without the great sacrifice, on the part of China, which Li Hung-chang had agreed to. He had, he said, secured some very material concessions on the part of Russia, but they would yield no further, and he was convinced if China held out longer, that they would never again secure terms as lenient; that the Russians were in full possession of the territory, and their treatment of the Chinese was so aggravating that longer occupation was intolerable; that they must be got out, and that the only way left for China to accomplish this was to make the best possible terms.

The only terms that Russia would consent to was the signing of both the convention and the Russo-Chinese Bank agreement. He said that

Printed, ante.

a Printed, ante, page 271. FR 1902, PT 1 --18

the convention itself had been so modified as to require the evacuation within two instead of three years; that the number of Chinese troops and the kind of arms to be employed are to be controlled by China, and that no exclusive privileges will be granted by this convention. He said, however, that the Russo-Chinese Bank contract, besides the railroad concessions already granted, was to contain an agreement that China, so far as she desired and was able to, could herself undertake and carry out all industrial development in Manchuria, but if she required outside financial help, application should always first be made to the Russo-Chinese Bank; and if it did not wish to undertake the work, then citizens of other countries might undertake it. He said, also, that a clause was to be put in agreeing that citizens of every country should have the same rights to trade at the open ports and in the interior as they have now.

Notwithstanding this latter clause, the agreement is most sweeping and exclusive. Yet China must sign or Russia will not leave, and unless she goes now her occupancy will not long be a question for negotiation, so far as China is concerned.

I told the Prince that I recognized the difficulty in which he finds himself and his Government, and that he could go any length he pleased in making concessions to Russia, provided the treaty rights of other powers were conserved, and that my Government had instructed me to say that it could not consent to the bartering away for any purpose whatever of rights and interests which it had acquired in that territory through its formal treaties with China; and I added that if a settlement could not be made without violating rights which China had by treaty granted to other powers, then she should first notify these powers of the exact situation. The Japanese and British ministers have made like representations, and the Japanese minister making a much stronger protest.

Although Prince Ch’ing did not plainly say so, yet I think succeeding events will justify my conclusion that an agreement is already reached and will soon be signed. I have, etc.,

E. H. CONGER.

Mr. llay to Mr. Conger.

No. 447.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 30, 1902. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 846 of the 12th ultimo, inclosing a copy of a memorandum handed by you to Prince Ch’ing on the 11th ultimo, embodying your instructions from the Department and the President's expectations concerning the RussoChina negotiations as to Manchuria.

The Department commends your presentation of the subject to Prince Ch'ing. I am, etc.,

John Hay.

Mr. Hay to Mr. Conger.
[Telegram.–Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 1, 1902. (Mr. Hay states that the Government of the United States can view only with concern an agreement by which China concedes to a corporation the exclusive right to open mines, construct railways, or other industrial privilege; that such monopoly would distinctly contravene treaties of China with foreign powers, affect rights of citizens of the United States by restricting rightful trade, and tend to impair sovereign rights of China and diminish her ability to meet international obligations; that other powers will probably seek similar exclusive advantages in other parts of the Chinese Empire, which would wreck the policy of absolutely equal treatment of all nations in regard to navigation and commerce in the Chinese Empire; and that, moreover, for one power to acquire exclusive privileges for its nationals conflicts with assurances repeatedly given to the Government of the United States by the Russian ministry for foreign affairs of firm intention to follow the policy of the open door in China, as advocated by the United States and accepted by all the powers having commercial interests in China.

That the Government of the United States, animated now, as heretofore, by the sincere desire to insure to the whole world full and fair intercourse with China on equal footing, submits the foregoing considerations to the Governments of Russia and China, with confidence that due weight will be given to them and such measures be adopted as will relieve the just and natural anxiety of the United States.)

Mr. Tlay to Mr. Wu.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 3, 1902. MY DEAR MR. MINISTER: I have the honor to communicate to you herewith a memorandumo expressing the views of the United States in regard to the proposed convention and arrangement between China and Russia respecting Manchuria, the substance of which has been cabled to the American representatives at Peking and St. Petersburg. I am, etc.,

John HAY.

[Inclosure.)

Memorandum respecting Manchuria— February 1, 1902.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 1, 1902. An agreement by which China cedes to any corporation or company the exclusive right and privilege of opening mines, establishing railroads, or in any other way industrially developing Manchuria, can but be viewed with the gravest concern by the Government of the United States. It constitutes a monopoly, which is a distinct breach

a Sent also to United States representatives in Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, and Spain.

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