Page images

His Excellency was most cordial throughout the interview, and the Taotai told the Commissioner of Customs later in the day that the Viceroy was exceedingly pleased with my visit and Lord Salisbury's message, by which his hands were strengthened.

In my opinion the Viceroy's promises are sincere, and the only danger is the remote risk that his troops may not be so loyal and trustworthy as his Excellency undoubtedly believes.

P. L. Warren, Esq.

I have, &c.,


(Inclosure 5.)-Taotai Trên to Acting Consul-General Fraser.



June 19, 1900.

TO-DAY I received the following communication from his Excellency the Viceroy Chang :

"I (the Viceroy) must therefore urgently instruct you (the Taotai) to at once inform the British Consul-General that I shall exert myself to protect [foreigners] within my jurisdiction, and to prevent bad characters from making trouble. If any lawless crew does create a disturbance before we are on our guard, the might of the regular troops will amply suffice to put them down and crush them immediately, nor will such a movement on any account be allowed to spread. Yesterday I was consulting with the Viceroy of Nanking by wire, and he informed me that he, too, had everywhere issued stringent orders for the protection [of foreigners], his idea being that he and I should co-operate in looking after the lower Yang-tsze. We both ask the British Consul-General to inform his Government that at present bad characters are being put down in the Yang-tsze district, and that foreign assistance is not required. If the British fleet suddenly comes up the Yang-tsze to assist, not only will no advantage be gained, but on the other hand the people will, we fear, become suspicious, and other countries will follow Britain's example, thus rendering the readjustment of affairs impossible. As to the fear that other countries may take the initiative in entering the river to meddle, if the British Government do not make the first move, the other countries will not do so. Britain need, therefore, be under no apprehension." E. H. Fraser, Esq.

(Taotai's card.)

Lord Salisbury serait heureux de savoir ce que pense le Gouvern ment Impérial et Royal des principes fondamentaux exposés par le Gouvernement Russe. Le Gouvernement Britannique se joint au désir exprimé d'éviter tout ce qui pourrait tendre à un partage de la Chine, mais, dans son ignorance actuelle de l'état et des intentions de l'autorité existant aujourd'hui à Pékin, il lui paraîtrait pour le moins prématuré de parler d'un rétablissement par les efforts concertés des Puissances d'un Gouvernement Central capable de garantir l'ordre et la sécurité.

Imperial Decree issued at Peking on the 21st of the 6th Moon (July 17), and received in London on July 21.-(Communicated by Sir Chihchen Lofengluh, July 24, 1900.)

THE present disturbance in our foreign relations is to be traced to the antipathies which have long existed between the native Christians and their fellow-subjects, and to the irritation occasioned by the Treaty Powers in attacking and occupying the forts at Taku.

The Court of Peking attach much importance to the maintenance of friendly relations with the Treaty Powers, and would view any interruption of them with sincere regret; and it was for this reason that, notwithstanding the hostilities at Taku, we have repeatedly issued Imperial Decrees enjoining the metropolitan and provincial authorities to accord plenary protection to the foreign Legations in Peking and foreigners residing in other parts of the Empire. And as the disturbances which called for these Decrees still continue unabated, and as large numbers of foreigners are resident in divers parts of China, we now command the Tartar Generals, the Viceroys and Governors of provinces, to make themselves acquainted with their various places of abode, whether at the Treaty ports or at the foos, chows, and hsiens in the interior, so that our Treaty obligation to give adequate protection to them may be fulfilled, and further untoward incidents prevented from occurring.

We were shocked to learn last month that Mr. Sugiyama, the Chancellor of the Japanese Legation, had been killed, and some time afterwards that Baron von Ketteler, the Minister of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany, had been assassinated at his post in Peking. We now command that the parties to these outrages may be sought for and arrested without delay, in order that they may be punished according to law.

Since the outbreak of hostilities at Tien-tsin there have doubtless

been many peaceful missionaries and other foreigners, unconnected with these hostilities, who, at the hands of disorderly persons, have suffered in person or property. Let the Governor of Peking and the Viceroy of Chihli cause their cases to be severally investigated and reported to us for our information.

Recently in other parts of the Empire bandits and unruly persons have committed many acts of oppression, arson, rapine, and murder. The Viceroys and Governors of provinces and the high territorial military authorities are commanded to take stringent measures for the restoration of order and tranquillity in their respective Governments, and the extermination of the parties by whom these outrages were committed.

Let this, our Imperial Decree, be promulgated in every part of the Empire.

Respect this.

The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir C. MacDonald.


Foreign Office, July 24, 1900. THE Chinese Minister in the course of conversation asked me what answer we proposed to give to the appeal which he had placed in our hands from His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of China. I replied that whenever the European Ministers should return to us unhurt, we should be very glad to discuss, and to discuss in the most favourable manner, any appeal which the Imperial Government of China might have to make to Her Majesty's Government; but as long as there remained this terrible doubt as to the fate which they might have incurred at the hands of the Chinese soldiery or the Boxers, it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government to enter into further negotiations with that of the Empire.

I am, &c.,

Sir C. MacDonald.



The Marquess of Salisbury to Sir H. Rumbold.

Foreign Office, July 25, 1900.

THE Austro-Hungarian Ambassador called at this Office to-day and read to Sir T. Sanderson a telegram from his Government, stating that the Austro-Hungarian vessels "Elizabeth" and "Aspern" are being sent to China under the command of Rear-Admiral Montecucoli, who, on arriving in Chinese waters, would also assume command of the two Austrian vessels already out there.

[1900-1901. XCIV.]

4 E

The Imperial message is respectfully transmitted, as follows:"The Emperor of China to his Excellency the President of the United States, greeting:

"China has long maintained friendly relations with the United States, and is deeply conscious that the object of the United States is international commerce. Neither country entertains the least suspicion or distrust towards the other. Recent outbreaks of mutual antipathy between the people and Christian Missions caused the foreign Powers to view with unwarranted suspicion the position of the Imperial Government as favourable to the people and prejudicial to the Missions, with the result that the Taku forts were attacked and captured. Consequently there has been clashing of forces with calamitous consequences. The situation has become more and more serious and critical. We have just received a telegraphic Memorial from our Envoy Wu Ting-fang, and it is highly gratifying to us to learn that the United States' Government, having in view the friendly relations between the two countries, has taken a deep interest in the present situation. Now China, driven by the irresistible course of events, has unfortunately incurred wellnigh universal indignation. For settling the present difficuity, China places special reliance in the United States. We address this message to your Excellency in all sincerity and candidness, with the hope that your Excellency will devise measures and take the initiative in bringing about a concert of the Powers for the restoration of order and peace. The favour of a kind reply is earnestly requested, and awaited with the greatest anxiety.

"Kwang Hsü, 26th year, 6th moon, 23rd day "(July 19, 1900)."

It is therefore my duty to transmit the above with the request that your Excellency, in respectful obedience of Imperial wishes. will deliver the same to its high destination and favour me with a reply.

YU LIEN-YUEN, Taotai at Shangha Kwang Hsü, 26th year, 6th moon, 23rd day (July 19, 1900).


The President of the United States to the Emperor of China greeting:

I have received your Majesty's message of the 19th July, s am glad to know that your Majesty recognizes the fact that "

Majesty the German Emperor. China and Germany have long lived in peace together, and on neither side has there subsisted any mistrust. Outbreaks of hatred have recently taken place between the Chinese population and the (native) Christians, during which Baron von Ketteler, Imperial German Minister, was unexpectedly murdered by the insurgents, which gives us occasion to express our profound regret. The inquiry had been commenced for the arrest and punishment of the murderer, when the suspicion arose among all the foreign States that the attitude of the Imperial Government towards the population in their persecution of the Christians was one of connivance. Thereupon followed first the capture of the forts of Taku, hostilities commenced, and the evil increased in complexity. The situation in which China at present finds herself will be difficult to put straight, especially as the Chinese Government have not the intention of ever allowing the existing good relations to undergo a change, for it is only owing to the circumstances at present prevailing that the Government have to their regret been forced into a position of constraint.

"For the removal of the universal feeling prevailing against the Chinese Government, and for a clearing up of the situation, there remains the one means of an appeal to the assistance of Germany. Therefore we open our heart to your Majesty in this letter, in the hope that the continuance of the friendly relations will thereby be assured, and that your Majesty may be moved to conceive a plan for the attainment of this end, and to assume the direction in order to bring about the former peaceful state of things. We pray that your Majesty will return us a favourable reply, our gratitude for which to your Majesty will always remain alive.

"Given the 23rd day of the 6th moon of the 26th year of the reign of Kwangsü."

July 19, 1900.

The Imperial Chinese Legation was thereupon handed the following note verbale on the 24th instant :

66 Berlin, July 21, 1900. "The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State, Count von Bülow, has received the note verbale from the Imperial Chinese Legation of the 21st instant, inclosing a telegraphic communication from His Majesty the Emperor of China to His Majesty the Emperor and King. Count Bülow does not find himself in a position to submit this telegram to His Majesty the Emperor and King so long as the fate of the foreign Missions shut in in Peking, and of the other foreigners there, has not been cleared up, and so long as the Imperial Chinese Government have not made

« PreviousContinue »