Mingchien Joshua Bau.

The foreign relations of China: a history and a survey online

. (page 11 of 39)
Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 11 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tion to the government of Tsingtau.

Further, instead of domination and exploitation, she
manifested remarkable self-restraint. By the agreement
of July 24, 1911, - with the exception of "the Fangtze
and Tzechwan mining areas and the mining district from
Chinlingchen along the Kiaochow-Chinan Railway in a
northerly direction for a distance of thirty li to Chang-
tien" and some other areas, "all mining rights hitherto
granted by China to the company within thirty li (15
kilometers) on both sides of the Kiaochow-Chinan Kail-
road now in operation, the Tientsin-Pukow Railroad
now under construction and the Kiaochow-I-Chow Rail-
road recently surveyed are hereby canceled" (Art. 3),
stipulating, however, thai in case foreign assistance,
either in capital or enj or material, should be

needed in the development of the relinquished distri<


first option should be given to the Germans. Likewise,
by the agreement oi December 31, 1913, 23 relating to the
extension of the Tsingtau-Tsinan Railway, while she
procured the two concessions, one from Kaonii to
Hsuchowfu and the other from Tsinan to Shunteh, she
surrendered the railway concessions, acquired under the
Convention of March 6, 1898, for the lease of Kiao-

What is more, instead of being uncompromising and
revengeful and relentless, as shown during the Boxer
Uprising, she manifested an attitude of friendliness and
helpfulness, with a view to winning the friendship and
goodwill of the Chinese and to extending German com-
merce and kullur in China. By the Tientsin-Pukow
Railway loan of January 13, 1908,- 5A she gave the best
terms for railway construction, which have since served
as the model for other railway construction contracts.
She inaugurated the project of systematic forestation,
extending even into the hinterland of Kiaochow.- 50 She
established high schools and professional schools for
the spread of German kullur, to which Chinese students
flocked from all parts of the country. As a result of
this systematic and deliberate cultivation of Chinese
friendship, her trade prospered by leaps and bounds, as
evidenced by the following figures,-" which show that
from 1902 to 1911 the imports increased tenfold, and
the exports about twenty.

Imports 1902 1 1,078,000 marks

1911 114,938,000 "

Exports 1902 4,865.880 "

1911 80,295,000 "

This policy of the Open Door and friendliness,
however, was interrupted by the Great War. As is
well known, Germany at the beginning of the war
was supplanted in the East by Japan, who occupied


the entire length of the Tsingtau-Tsinan line on Oc-
tober 6, 1914, and captured Tsingtau on November 7.
On August 14, 1917, China declared war on Germany,
terminating all treaty relations.- 7 By the Treaty of
Peace signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919 (Arts. 156,
157, 158), Germany was to renounce in favor of Japan
all her rights in Shantung, including the lease of Kiao-
chow, the Tsingtau-Tsinan Railway with the adjoining
mines, and the submarine cables, thus losing her sphere
of influence in China. She was further directed to re-
turn to China the astronomical instruments which she
had taken during the Boxer Uprising (Art. 131), the
concessions at Tientsin and Hankow (Art. 132), to re-
nounce the balance of the Boxer indemnity (Art. 128),
and to withdraw from the protocol of September 7,
1901, the tariff arrangement of August 29, 1902, and the
arrangements of 1905 and 1912 regarding Whampoo.

After Germany's passage through the ordeal of war
and the humiliation of peace, it is interesting to conjec-
ture what will be her future policy with regard to China.
Shorn of all rights, she returns to China without a sphere
of influence, without a base of action, without a settle-
ment, and without the protection of extraterritorial
jurisdiction. On the other hand, she has to enter into
the spheres of influence of other Powers, and compete
there for her commerce and interests. Under such cir-
cumstances, she cannot favor the policy of the Closed
Door, not to say that of partition or control ; rather, she
will favor the Open Door policy. She will desire the
maintenance of the equal opportunity of trade and the
preservation of China's integrity, so that her commerce
may yet compete with the other Powers now holding
spheres of influence. We may. therefore, venture the
conclusion that Germany's attitude towards China will
be the same policy of the Open hour and friend!
she SO splendidly adhered to in the years immediately
before the outbreak of the Great \Ya:



I. I '.it rick Gallagher, America's Aims and Asia's Aspirations,
]). 143 ; Overlackj Foreign Financial Control in China, pp. 139-
141; von I'.ulow's statement in the Reichstag, April 27, 1898,
reported in the enclosure of the letter from Sir. !■'. Lascelles to
the Marquess of Salisbury— China, No. 1 (1899), Affairs of

_'. Vim Bulow, Imperial Germany, Translation, 1916, pp. 49-50.

3. The Shantung Question, published by the Chinese National
Welfare Society in America, March 1, 1920, p. 37.

4. MacMurrav, Treaties and Agreements with and Concerning
China, Eiertslefs China Treaties, Vol. I, No. 59, p. 350
et seq. : The Shantung Question, op. cit, App. No. 1 to Vol. 2,
pp. 47-50.

5. Overlack, op. cit., pp. 139-140, von Billow's statement in
the Reichstag, April 27, 1898, reported in the enclosure of the
letter from Sir F. Lascelles to the Marquess of Salisbury — China,
No. 1 (1899). Affairs of China.

Von Biilow's Imperial Germany. Trans., 1916, p. 117.

7. Morse, The International Relations of the Chinese Empire,
Vol. 3, p. 309.

8. MacMurray, 1900/5; Asakawa, The Russo-Japanese Con-
flict, pp. 160-161.

9. London Times, March 16, 1901, quoted in S. Tomimas, The
Open Door Policy and the Territorial Integrity of China, p. 80

■i.; Asakawa, op. cit., p. 103.
10A. \V. R. Thayer. Life of John Hay, Vol. 2, p. 248, letter
to Henry Adams, Nov. 21, 1900; Morse, op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 328.
10B. Asakawa, op. cit.. pp. 160-161.

II. Morse, op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 366; China, No. 3 (1902), No.
22, Baron Eckardstein to the Marquess of Lansdowne, pp. 6-7.

12. Ibid.. Vol. 3. p. 366; July 30-Nov. 16. 1902, China, No. 3,
1902, also No. 26, No. 31, No. 41.

13. Mud., VoL 3, p. 266.

14. Vide supra, Chapter on the International Struggle for Con-

15. MacMurray, 1916/2. MacMurray, 1898/3. The coopera-
tion of her financial agents with those of Great Britain in the
Anglo-German loans of March 23, 1896, and of March 1, 1898,

due more to the exclusion of German interests from the
Russo-Chinese Bank than to any free and voluntary desire for
cooperation growing oul of similarity of policy.

16. U. S. For. ReL, 1905, p. 1.

17. MacMurray, l ( 'll/5.
1 MacMurrav, 1911/2.
19A. MacMurray, 1913/5.

I'M:. Hornbeck, Contemporary Politics in the Far East, p. 297.
The Shantung Question, op. cit., pp. 54-56.


21. MacMurray, 1899/2.

11. MacMurrav, 1900/4; The Shantung Question, op. at., pp.

23. MacMurrav, 1913/16.

24. MacMurrav, 1898/4.
25A. MacMurray, 1908/1.
25B. Hornbeck, op. cit., p. 297.

26. Gallagher, op. cit., p. 144.

27. The Shantung Question, op. cit., pp. 64-65.

28. Dr. O. Frank, Deutschland mul China vor, in und nach
dem Kriege, 1915, p. 17.


The policy of Great Britain in China is mainly com-
mercial. It aims primarily at trade predominance. Dur-
ing the first period of the diplomatic history of China,
she directed her policy toward the opening of China and
the settlement of satisfactory diplomatic intercourse at
Peking. During the second period when the other Powers
were snatching one dependency after another from China,
although she seized Burma and Sikkin as a counter-move
to French acquisition in Burma and Tonkin, she pursued
more or less a policy of laissez faire, giving the fullest
measure of liberty to private initiative and refraining
herself as far as possible from political or territorial en-
croachment, thus cultivating the good will of the Chinese
and winning trade predominance. When during the third
period the international struggle for concessions came on
— a struggle resulting in the establishment of spheres of
influence — Britain, unable to check the general move-
ment for the spoliation of China, was compelled to join
in the scramble for concessions and in the demarcation
of as large a sphere of influence as possible for herself.
This she did by exacting from China the Declaration
of Non-Alienation respecting the Yangtze Valley and
by entering into agreements with other Powers, pledging
herself to recognize their respective spheres of influence,
— with France in 1896, 1 with Germany in 1898, 2 with
Russia in 1899 3 and 1907, 4 and with Japan in 1902, 6
1905,° and 191 1. 7

Asa commercial power, she naturally favors the Open
Door doctrine in China. It is to her advantage that China
shall remain as wide open as possible for the trade of



the world ; on the other hand, it is to her disadvantage
to have China cut up into closed spheres of influence or
partitioned. For while she is not anxious to take on any
more territorial responsibilities, she does desire to see
her trade spread and predominate in the markets of

When the battle of concessions commenced toward the
close of the last century, threatening the very integrity
of China, she was therefore most anxious to proclaim a
doctrine like the Open Door, guaranteeing the equal op-
portunity of trade and upholding the integrity of China.
The debates in the House of Commons at that period
were filled with utterances for the Open Door. Lord
Charles Beresford, returning from China to Great Britain
by way of the United States, preached enthusiastically
the maintenance of the Open Door in China.

The policy of Great Britain was at that time set forth
by Sir W. V. Harcourt in his speech in Parliament on
April 29, 1898 : 8

"... I think I should be accurately stating the princi-
ples of policy at which the Government aimed under the
following heads : they were stated by several ministers
of authority, and notably by the Right Honorable Gentle-
man, the Leader of the House, in the early part of the
year. I shall say that these principles were to oppose,
for ourselves and for others, territorial occupation, which
would necessarily lead to the dismemberment of the
Chinese Empire; and, secondly, that there was to be the
principle of the Open Door, by which freedom of access
for the commerce of Great Britain, under the Treaty of
Tientsin, and other nations, should be maintained and
preserved in China. Thirdly, there was to be no acknowl-
edgement of claims to special spheres of influence for
particular governments and states, but equal rights
should be claimed and exercised everywhere ..."

Anxious as she ntight be to sponsor the Open Door
doctrine, she found that she herself was Stained with the


spoliation of China and the establishment of the sphere
of influence in the Yangtze, and could not consistently

preach a doctrine which she herself had not been able
emplify. She was therefore compelled, though re-
luctantly, to let the United States take the honor as well
as the responsibility of sponsoring and championing the
doctrine in the Far Bast.

Although disqualified to be the sponsor of the doctrine,
she was, however, most anxious to be a sincere and earn-
est upholder and supporter of it. Long before the an-
nouncement of the Open Door doctrine, she had prac-
ticed it. As soon as she had established herself in Hong
Kong, she opened that island as a free port to the trade
of the world. In 1845, when she had secured the British
settlement in Shanghai, she made it an international set-
tlement/' When John Hay sent his circular note of
September 6, 1899, proclaiming the Open Door policy in
China, Great Britain was the first to reply in favor. 10 On
October 16, 1900, she entered the Anglo-German agree-
ment with Germany affirming the Open Door and up-
holding the integrity of China, which was sent to the
several powers. Later, against the Manchurian Conven-
tion of 1900-1902 and the Seven Articles of Russia in
1903, in conjunction with Japan and the United States,
she entered vigorous protests. Failing in diplomatic
representations, she entered into an alliance with Japan
in 1902, upholding the Open Door and the integrity of
China, and directed primarily at the Russian advance in
North China. I lor subsequent renewal of the alliance in
1905 and 1911 all reaffirmed the principles of the Open
Door doctrine. 1 - I ler recent wholehearted support of the
New International Hanking Consortium, and especially
her rejection of Japan's reservation regarding South

Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia, again evidenced
her true desire and intention to follow the ( )pen Door
doc triii'

I ler adherence to the Open Door doctrine was, how-


ever, seriously handicapped, and in some instances, even
compromised by her alliance with Japan in 1905 and
1911. In exchange for the Japanese protection of her
interests in China and India, she was constrained to give
to Japan the recognition of paramountcy over Korea,
leading to the annexation of that unhappy land in 1910,
and a free hand and special interests in South Manchuria,
resulting in the closing, partial at hast, if not complete,
of South Manchuria to the trade of other nations, and
paving the way for the territorial expansion of Japan in
that region. In the Shantung question, while sympathy
might he given for the hard circumstances under which
the secret pledge was wrested from (heat Britain during
the critical days of her life and death struggle in Europe,
she was compelled to support Japan, though much
against her will, and in apparent contravention of the
Open Door doctrine, and in violation of her own sense
of justice and right. Mention must, however, be made
that not to an unappreciable measure has the alliance
exercised a restraining influence on Japan, as evidenced
by the Nanking incident when, on account of the killing
of some Japanese, Japan proposed to make war on China,
thus taking advantage of the revolution to strangle the
republic in the cradle. This was, however, nipped at
the hud by the British counsel of moderation. 11

Though compromising at times and yet still upholding
the Open Door doctrine as Ear as possible, the financial
activity of Greal Britain in China became more and more
litan and international. Having learned the les-
sons of ruin petition, she was almost always in
favor of eliminating competition by international coopera-
tion, thus incidentally asserting the principle of equal op-
portunity. She cooperated with Germany in the Tientsin-
Pukow Railway, with French interests in the Pukow-
Sinyang Railway, and with Germany, France and the
United States in the Hukuang Railway, thus admitting


foreign interests into the Yangtze Valley, which was re-
garded as her exclusive sphere of influence. With re-
spect to administrative loans, remembering the tragic ex-
perience she had in Egypt resulting in final bankruptcy
and foreign control, she was determined not to favor any
single nation's financing China for administrative re-
organization, hut was strongly in favor of having the ad-
ministrative loans shared by the powers, on the basis of
equality, if possible, and financed by the hanking institu-
tions supported by the governments interested. In other
words, she favored the policy of the internationalization
of loans, as evidenced by the following Utter of the For-
eign Office to Lord Balfour of Burleigh: 18

"In regard to the first point raised in that letter, namely,
the question of the advisability of internationalizing
loans in China, I am to inform your Lordship that Sir
E. Grey is unable to concur in the statement that it is
not in the interests of Great Britain to agree to such an
arrangement. On the contrary. His Majesty's Govern-
ment and the other governments concerned have, from
the experience of pasl years, come to the unanimous con-
clusion that, both in the interests of their own financiers
and investing public, and also a> a safeguard of China's
credit, it is incumbent on them n> prevent, as far as lies
in their power, all possibility of a return to the former
dangerous policy of unprofitable international competi-
tion in China which only enabled the Chinese Government
to obtain money without adequate guarantee and rendered
it impossible for the governments interested to exei
the necessary control over the terms of any loans. There
can be no doubt that the internationalization of future
loans would go far to secure this desirable end."

Further, for fear of extravagance and corruption on

liic part of the Chinese officials, she was quite insistent

on the necessary supervision over the proper expenditure
of the proceeds of the loans, as evidenced by the follow-
ing extracts :


"I am to add that, as a matter of principle. His Maj-
esty's Government would not feel justified in ordinary
circumstances in giving their support to any loans which
did not, in their opinion and in the opinion of the other
governments concerned, offer adequate guarantees for
the proper and useful expenditure of the proceeds, and
the satis factor)' security for the payment of principal and
interest." M

"... It was also explained to Mr. Crisp that as a
matter of general principle, His Majesty's Government
would never support a loan concluded without adequate
guarantees for the control of the expenditure of the
proceeds and without proper security . . . " 17

Thus far we have seen that the policy of Great Britain
is mainly commercial and financial. Let us now turn
and examine the political side of her policy. Burdened
with the crushing weight of colonial responsibilities ex-
tending throughout the world, she is no longer anxious
for territorial gains. This principle is convincingly set
forth in the following statement of Bonar Law made in
the House of Commons on November 27, 1911 : liA

"He (the Rt. Hon. Gentleman) pointed out quite truly
that we do not desire to extend our Empire further. . . .
I say without any hesitation that we do not desire acces-
sions of territory, and in saying that 1 am not speaking
for one small section of the house. I believe that 1 am

speaking for the nation at large. We do no!

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 11 of 39)