« PreviousContinue »
A new departure in Chinese diplomacy occurred in the summer of 1868, when a legation from China arrived at Washington to negotiate a commercial treaty. Former treaties had been obtained only upon request of the United States and other foreign powers. The underlying principle of the "treaty of trade, consuls, and emigration," which was concluded in July of 1868, was the recognition of the sovereignty of the Imperial Government at Pekin over the people of China and over their commercial, social, and political relations with western nations. The United States acknowledged the sovereignty of China over tracts of land which had been set aside for purposes of foreign trade, and agreed that any trade or shipping right not stipulated by treaty should be subject to the discretion of the Chinese Government, and that the United States would not interfere in matters of internal improvement. Chinese consuls were admitted to the United States on the same terms as those of Great Britain and Russia. China on her side made certain concessions regarding travel and residence, voluntary emigration, and religious freedom.
Another commercial treaty was negotiated in 1880, the year in which the first Chinese immigration treaty was signed. It prohibited the importation of opium, established shipping reciprocity as regards duties on both tonnage and cargoes, and provided that controversies between American and Chinese citizens should be tried by the "proper official of the nationality of the defendant," the authorized officials of the plaintiff's nationality, however, having the right to attend and examine and cross-examine witnesses.
No additional treaty, other than the immigration treaty of 1894, was negotiated until 1901, but the United States benefited to some extent by the application of the most-favored-nation clause, five new treaty ports, for example, being opened as a result of the treaty of peace between Japan and China. In 1899, moreover, the Secretary of State, John Hay, addressed diplomatic notes to Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, and Japan regarding the future application of the "open door" policy in their leased territories or "spheres of interest" in China, and obtained favorable assurances that the policy would be maintained.
In the meantime the foreign trade of China was frequently disturbed by riots, the most serious disturbances being the so-called Boxer troubles of the year 1900. The armed forces of the various European countries and of the United States were used to protect the lives and property of foreigners, and at the conclusion of the troubles a joint protocol was signed by China, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Russia, Japan, and the United States. Aside from matters of indemnity, punishment of offenders, and the like, China agreed to negotiate certain amendments to the commercial treaties of the allied nations, and to cooperate in the improvement of the Peiho and Whang-Pu Rivers. The provision with
reference to the latter river was amended by a new international agreement signed in 1905. China also agreed to raise the duties on foreign imports to a minimum of 5 per cent ad valorem, certain articles, however, remaining on the free list.
In accordance with Article XI of the international protocol of 1901, an amended commercial treaty was concluded between the United States and China in 1903. It provided that the diplomatic officers of the United States may permanently reside at the capital of China, that American consuls shall have all the rights of any other foreign consuls, that American citizens may "frequent, reside, and carry on trade, industries and manufactures or pursue any lawful avocation" in all the ports or localities opened to foreign residence and trade, that American. citizens may establish bonded warehouses subject to necessary regulations, that they may engage in mining operations subject to the revised mining regulations of China, and that American trademarks, copyrights, and patents shall be protected. China further specifically agreed that having, in 1898, opened the navigable streams to commerce by all steam-vessels registered for the purpose, "citizens, firms, and corporations of the United States may engage in such commerce on equal terms with those granted to the subjects of any foreign power.' The Chinese duties on American imports were set forth in an annexed tariff in accordance with the 5 per cent minimum stipulated in the international protocol of 1901; the duties on American exports were limited to a maximum of 5 per cent ad valorem; and in lieu of the former special system of taxation of foreign goods in transit, known as "likin," and various other taxes on foreign goods, it was agreed that one special surtax should be collected at the time of importation. The United States consented to the prohibition of the importation of morphia and instruments for its injection, except for medical purposes, and agreed to relinquish extra-territorial rights "when satisfied that the state of the Chinese laws, the arrangements for their administration, and other considerations warrant it in so doing.'
This treaty, which has since 1903 governed the trade between the United States and China, superseded the preceding treaties only in so far as they contained conflicting provisions. It was expressly stated that "all the provisions of the several treaties between the United States and China which were in force on the first day of January, A. D. 1900, are continued in full force and effect except in so far as they are modified by the present Treaty or other treaties to which the United States is a party.' COMMERCIAL TREATIES WITH JAPAN.
Another country in which the trade of the United States has been largely dependent upon rights established by treaty is Japan. Until the United States obtained a treaty in 1854, the foreign trade of Japan was insignificant and was practically confined to China, Korea, Holland, and Portugal. At times only the Chinese and Dutch were allowed to
trade in Japan, the trade of Holland in 1845 being limited to one port.1 The United States made various attempts to negotiate a commercial treaty with Japan during the years 1832 to 1852, but without success, and without such treaty regular trade with Japan was impossible.
The subject concerning which Japan was finally forced to make a treaty was that of obtaining redress for the mistreatment of American sailors who had been shipwrecked on the coast of Japan. In 1852, Commodore M. C. Perry was intrusted with the mission of securing a treaty, and after much negotiation, enforced by the display of all the naval power at his command, a "treaty of peace, amity, and commerce" was concluded in March 1854. It was but the merest beginning of more extensive trade privileges which were obtained later. Two ports were opened to American vessels as places where wood, water, provisions, coal, and supplies might be obtained. The protection of shipwrecked sailors, passengers, and cargoes was promised. Trading according to regulations established by Japan was to be permitted at the two treaty ports; American consuls were to be received at one of these ports, and the United States was promised most-favored-nation treatment.
The treaty negotiated by Commodore Perry was soon after followed by two more extensive treaties. In 1857 a "commercial and consular treaty" was concluded. American vessels were admitted at three ports, instead of at but two, American citizens were permitted to reside permanently at two ports, an American vice-consul was admitted at one additional port, and it was agreed that "Americans committing offenses in Japan shall be tried by the American Consul General or Consul, and shall be punished according to American laws."
This treaty was in the following year superseded by a "treaty of commerce and navigation," which permitted an American diplomatic agent to reside at Yedo, and American consuls to reside at all the Japanese ports open to American commerce, reciprocal privileges being granted to Japan. A number of additional Japanese treaty ports were specified where American citizens were permitted to lease ground, purchase buildings, erect dwellings and warehouses, and conduct trade. The import and export duties to be paid at these ports were fixed in a tariff schedule appended to the treaty, the opium trade was prohibited, and various trade regulations were agreed upon. It was also agreed that American citizens in Japan should be allowed the free exercise of their religion.
Similar treaties were made by Japan with Great Britain, France, Holland, Prussia, and Russia, which were followed by severe anti-foreign disturbances, the American legation being burned. Moreover, the partisans of the Mikado refused to recognize the treaties which had been made by the Tokugawa Shōgun's Government. When the Prince Daimyō of Chosu, who controlled the Straits of Shimonoseki, closed the
'Moore, International Law Digest, V, 734.
passage to inland navigation, the naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, France, and Holland, at the request of the Tokugawa Shōgun's Government at Yedo, jointly "destroyed the batteries commanding the straits, blew up the magazines, threw shot and shell into the sea, carried away seventy cannon, and obtained the unconditional surrender of the province." The ratification of the treaties by the Mikado followed soon after.
In 1864 the duties on numerous articles imported from the United States were reduced in a "convention for the reduction of import duties." This was, however, in 1866 superseded by a joint tariff convention among Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Holland, which revised the tariffs and foreign trade regulations of Japan, provided for the establishment of bonded warehouses, subjected transit dues to regulation, and permitted Japanese merchants to trade freely with foreigners without the interference of Government officers. In 1878 an extensive commercial convention was negotiated to supersede the convention of 1866 and the commercial clauses of the treaty of 1857, but its enforcement being conditioned upon the conclusion of similar treaties with other treaty powers, it remained inoperative.
After abolishing the feudal system and adopting the imperial form of government in 1868, Japan began striving to obtain a dignified place among the nations of the world. The Japanese Government desired especially to gain complete control of the import duties levied by Japan and to abolish the extra-territorial rights of foreign treaty powers. At length, after many negotiations were undertaken, in July 1894 a revised treaty was concluded with Great Britain, and in November of the same year another treaty was made with the United States. The "treaty of commerce and navigation" of 1894, which became effective in 1899 and superseded all former commercial treaties, was similar to the commerce and navigation treaties which the United States had negotiated with European and other western powers, and it placed Japan on a treaty basis entirely different from that possessed by China. It provided for freedom of commerce and navigation, abolished foreign settlements and consular courts with extra-territorial powers, provided for shipping reciprocity, the exchange of consuls, the protection of patents, trademarks, and designs, the return of deserted seamen, the payment of such import and export duties as are granted to the most favored nation, and the general application of the American mostfavored-nation clause to all commercial matters.
The treaty of 1894 was supplemented by a special convention concerning patents, trademarks, and designs in 1897, and by a copyright convention in 1905. The greatly increased trade between the United States and Japan was built up under the terms of the treaty of 1894, which remained in force until 1911. The revised "treaty of commerce
'Moore, International Law Digest, V. 750.
and navigation," which was signed in February of that year, contains most of the provisions of the former treaty, but differs from it in that it provides that future import tariffs shall be "regulated either by treaty between the two countries or by the internal legislation of each." Pending the negotiation of a special tariff treaty, it was later agreed in a special protocol that the tariff provisions of the treaty of 1894 should remain in force. The treaty of 1911 guaranteed the inviolability of dwellings and places of business, abolished all transit duties, promised equality of treatment with native citizens or subjects in matters of warehouses, bounties, facilities, and drawbacks, authorized corporations and other associations to exercise their rights in the courts, and explicitly guaranteed complete freedom of foreign trade and navigation. There are other commercial treaties, notably those with Korea, Siam, Borneo, the Barbary States, the Kongo Free State, Egypt, Zanzibar, Madagascar, and Ethiopia, which contain provisions differing widely from those contained in the usual commerce and navigation treaties of the United States. Some of the treaties contain special provisions with reference to the import and export duties and tonnage dues which may be collected on American ships and cargoes, and some specify particularly the places at which trade may be conducted and the manner in which it is to be carried on, while others deal with the use of rivers, railroads, and other means of transportation, the protection of persons and property, and the powers of American consuls. Since the trade conducted under these treaties has always been relatively small in volume, they need not be fully described.1
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS, AGREEMENTS, UNIONS, AND OTHER ACTS.
The United States, jointly with other treaty powers, has become party to numerous international conventions and acts dealing with particular matters of commerce. Some of them have been mentioned in other connections, as, for example, the general act for repression of the slave trade (1890), the international protocol made at the conclusion of the Boxer trouble (1901), the new agreement as to the Whang-Pu River Conservancy (1905), and the international convention for the protection of literary and artistic copyrights (1902).
The United States is also a member of the Universal Postal Union, which was established in 1874 by a treaty called the Universal Postal Convention. In the following year the United States joined with 16 other powers in the establishment of an "international bureau of weights and measures." It was also stated, in connection with trademarks and patents, that the United States is party to the "convention for the international protection of industrial property," which was concluded in 1883 and supplemented in 1891 and 1900. This conven
'See Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, etc., I, II, and III.