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Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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

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vent foreign powers from interfering with the separate
rights of any nation in this hemisphere, and that the
whole aim was to preserve to each republic the power
of self-development. . . ." 42

Again in his statement of November 6, 1917. in explana-
tion of the agreement, Mr. Lansing stated: '

"The statements in the notes recpiire no explanation.
They not only contain a re-affirmation of the 'Open Door'
policy, but introduce a principle of non-interference with
the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, which,
generally applied, is essential to {perpetual international
peace as clearly declared by President Wilson and which
is the very foundation of Pan-Americanism as inter-
preted by this government."

From his own testimony and statement, the conclu-
sion may be drawn that in recognizing Japan's "special
interests," Secretary Lansing recognized Japan's pro-
fessed Monroe Doctrine in China, or at least its leading
principle — Japan's right to enforce, both on herself and
the other Powers, the obligation of non-interference with
the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. Re-
grettable as the fact that no definition of "special in-
terests" was given in the agreement may be. the inter-
pretation of Mr. Lansing stamps the expression 'special
interests" with the indelible meaning of non-interfer-
ence with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
China. As such, and as the Open Door doctrine pro-
poses to preserve the same sovereignty and territorial in-
tegrity of China, the recognition of the special interests



POLICY OF UNITED STATES IN CHINA 1C7

of Japan was not inconsistent but rather in harmony,
with the principles of the Open Door doctrine. 44

If, however, the special interests of Japan arc inter-
preted to mean -rested interests, then the ( 'pen Door doc-
trine recognizes, and accords them due respect. The
compromise reached at Tokio between Thomas \\ . I.a-
mont and the Japanese Government respecting the Japan-
ese special interests in South Manchuria and E
Inner Mongolia, which were interpreted to mean .
interests, goes to show that special interests in vested
right.- are not inconsistent with the ( >pen Door
doctrine.

Having seen its meaning, let us pass on to the condi-
requisite for successful application. It is not a
part of international law, but a mere international agree-
ment among the powers interested in China, and under-
taken on the condition that the other Powers would ob-
tlie same. It has therefore no other sanction for
its enforcement than the moral validity of the doctrine,
or the physical force that each state may chot
behind it. Besides, it is an agreement among the Powers
inter se to which China is not a party. "She, therefore,
technically speaking, cannot be said to have gained any
contractual or conventional rights from or under them." '"'
It seems, therefore, that except for the fulfillment of cer-
tain conditions, the application of the doctrine is likely
to fail.

The firsl necessary condition is the cooperation of
China. Unless she obeys the doctrine, it is hopel<
expeel it- successful operation. For China can grant
il privileges and thus violate the principle of the
equal opportunity of trade, with the consequence that
the Powers thu> discriminated against will 1"' obliged
io claim similar or equivalenl privileges, in which case,
the United States will he helpless to check the Towers
from a scramble. The protesl of Hay, against the grant
to Russia, through a corporation, of the monopoly of the



168 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

industrial development of Manchuria, was based specifi-
cally "ii this ground.

"... Furthermore, such concessions on the part of
China will undoubtedly be followed by demands from
other powers for similar and equal exclusive advantages
in other parts of the Chinese Empire and the inevitable
result must be the complete wreck of the policy of abso-
lute equality of treatment of all nations in regard to
trade, navigation, and commerce within the confines of
the empire." 46

Again, China may voluntarily alienate, or barter away,
or forfeit her territory and sovereignty, in which case,
the United States will be powerless to assist in any way,
much as she may wish to do so. As Professor \Y. W.
Willoughby has well said:

"China will, therefore, be ill-advised if she does not
bear constantly in mind the fate of Korea. That country
had had its sovereignty guaranteed by several of the
Powers, and especially and repeatedly by Japan, and
yet, when Japan exhibited to the world a document pur-
porting to be a treaty signed by the government of K
consenting to annexation, the other Powers, even those
which, like the United States, had promised to exert good
offices in case other powers should threaten it, did not
feel called upon to go back to the formal instrument of
annexation in order to determine the circumstances under
which it had been negotiated and the signatures to it
obtained." 47

Finally, China may let extravagance, corruption, civil
nsioil and militarism so infest and strangle her gov-
ernment as to render her bankrupt, in which cast- the

United States, regretting to intervene, will be compelled,

ill mn junction with the other interested Powers, to take
over the finances of China and, by so doing, practically
destroy her administrative integrity. In short, China



POLICY OF UNITED STATES IN CHINA 169

must cooperate with the United States in the application
of the Open Door doctrine by a scrupulous observance
of the principles of the equal treatment of all Powers
and of the preservation of her own integrity. To act
otherwise means the inevitable doom of the policy.

Nor must China hypnotize herself into the belief that
the United States will fight for her integrity and so fail
to provide her own means of national defense or to resist
foreign aggression. In declaring the Open Door doctrine,
the United States Government simply states its own
policy or attitude and asks the other Powers interested
to do likewise. But she does not pledge the enforcement
thereof by her own military and naval forces. Prob-
lematical as it may be as to whether the United States
will ever fight for China, the conclusion may be safely
ventured that, unless China fulfills the obligation due to
herself, by defending her own integrity to her utmost
ability, the United States will not feel called upon to
undertake a task which should rest on the shoulders of
the Chinese themselves. The Senate reservation to Article
10 of the Peace Treaty with Germany signed at Versailles
on June 28, 1919, clearly shows that except at the dis-
cretion and direction of Congress, the United States will
not obligate herself to defend the integrity and independ-
ence of another state. 48 Again, when Russia violated
the Open Door in Manchuria and refused to fulfill her
pledge of evacuation except upon the grant of seven addi-
tional demands, Secretary Hay wrote :

"If they choose to disavow Plancon (the Russian
Charge d'Affaires at Peking) and to discontinue to vio-
late tluir agreements, we shall be all right, but if the lie

they told was intended to serve only a week or two, the
situation will become a serious one. The Chinese as well
as the Russians seem to know that the strength of our
position is entirely moral; and if the Russians are con-
vinced that we will not fight for Manchuria as I sup-
pose we will not — and the Chinese are convinced that



170 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

they have nothing but good to receive from us and noth-
ing bul a beating from Russia, the open hand will not he
so convincing to the poor devils of Chinks as tin- raised

club. Still we must do the best we can with the means
at our disposal." 60

The second condition necessary for the successful ap-
plication of the Open Door policy is tin- direct participa-
tion of the United States in the international affairs of
China. This is necessary, because, unless the 1
States participates in the affairs and sees that the < >pen
Door doctrine is observed, the other Powers will fall
back into the practice of insisting on closed spheres, atul
degenerate into the old international struggle for con-
cessions. This was clearly shown after the withdrawal
of the American Group from the Sextuple Consortium
in 1913, when, in absence of a moral leader to uphold the
Open Door doctrine, the Powers resorted to another
struggle for concessions in China as narrated in the chap-
ter on International Cooperation and Control. In addi-
tion the withdrawal hindered the investment of American
capital in China and thereby reduced the trade that neces-
sarily follows the loans. This harmful effect was clearly
voiced by the complaint of the American Association of
China:" 1

"The policy of the United States Government in dis-
couraging investment of American capital in Chinese rail-
ways and in loans to the Republic has been detrimental
to our merchants, but as the administration gains a clearer
view of the situation in China and begins to recognize
the things that must be done if the United States is to
share in this vast trade area, there are possibilities of
some modifications of this policy which is believed to
have been put forth without sufficient investigation, and,

at that, on sentimental grounds. This association should

ery means in its power to awaken the government

in Washington, through whatever means it can find, to

the necessity of a more vigorous policy in China to secure



POLICY OF UNITED STATES IN CHINA 171

for us and to uphold open when secured as liberal
advantages for the extension of our trade as are now en-
joyed by other nationalities."

Furthermore, from the point of view of Chinese na-
tional interests, the withdrawal of the United States left
China without a disinterested friend to help her in her
dealings with other Powers. This need of friendly as-
sistance and mediation is set forth clearly in the case of
the Hukuang Railway Loan, when the United States in-
sisted on participation : M

"The fact that the loan was to carry an Imperial guar-
anty and be secured on the Internal revenues made it of
the greatest importance that the United States should
participate therein in order that this government might
be in a position as an interested party to exercise an in-
fluence equal to that of any of the other three Powers
in any questions arising through the pledging of China's
national resources, and to enable the United States, more-
over, at the proper time again to support China in urgent
and desirable fiscal administrative reforms, such as the
abolition of likin, the revision of the customs tarill, and
general fiscal and monetary rehabilitation."

As American participation is so necessary, and espe-
cially impelled by the consideration of equipping China
for active participation in the Great War, the United
States Government, in 1918, reversed its policy and
mitted American capitali ts to make loans to China,
backed by diplomatic support. The participation how-
ever was to be qualified by certain conditions. To this
effect, tin- I >epai tmenl of State -aid i

"< bina declared war againsl ' Icnnany very largely

because of the action of tin- United States. Therefore
this government has fell a special interest in the desire of
('bina bo to equip herself a- to be of more specifi

sistance in the war against the Central Pow<



172 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

"Until the present time the engagements of the United
States in preparing to exert effectively its strength in
the European theater of war has operated to prevent spe-
cific constructive steps to help China realize her desires.
Qtly, however, this government felt that, because of
the approach to Chinese territory of the scenes of dis-
order, a special effort should be made to place proper
means at the disposal of China. Consequently a number
of American hankers, who had been interested in the
past in making loans to China, and who had had experi-
ence in the Orient, were called to Washington and asked
to become interested in the matter. The bankers re-
sponded very promptly and an agreement has been reached
between them and the Department of State which has
the following salient features:

"First, the formation of a group of American bankers
to make a loan or loans and to consist of representatives
from different parts of the country.

"Second, an assurance on the part of the bankers that
they will cooperate with the government and follow the
policies outlined by the Department of State.

"Third, submission of the names of the banks who will
compose the groups for approval by the Department of
State.

"Fourth, submission of the terms and conditions of
any loan or loans for approval by the Department of
State.

"Fifth, assurances that, if the terms and conditions
of the loan are accepted by this government and by the
government to which the loan is made, in order to en-
courage and facilitate the free intercourse between Amer-
ican citizens and foreign states, which is mutually ad-
vantageous, the government will be willing to aid in
every way possible and to make prompt and vigorous rep-
resentations and to take every possible step to insure
the execution of equitable contracts made in good faith
by its citizens in foreign lands.

"It is hoped that the American group will be associated
with bankers of Great Britain, Japan and France. Nego-
tiations are now in progress between the government
of the United States and those governments which it



POLICY OF UNITED STATES IN CHINA 173

is hoped will result in their cooperation and in the par-
ticipation by the bankers of those countries in equal parts
in any loan which may be made."

The third condition necessary for the successful ap-
plication of the Open Door doctrine is the cooperation
or the Powers interested. That this is necessary, is evi-
denced by the fact that all the Powers, except Italy,
addressed by Secretary Hay in his first circular note of
1899, replied favorably, but with the condition that the
other Powers would make a similar declaration respecting
the Open Door policy. This condition means that, unless
all the other Powers observe the Open Door doctrine,
any Power promising to do so, is not bound by the ob-
ligation assumed. Thus, when one Power commences
to seize concessions, the others do not feel obligated to
restrain themselves, but, on the contrary, are compelled
to do likewise. For instance, in the general scramble for
concessions in 1914 after the withdrawal of the United
States, France did not feel obliged to abide by her reply
to the former pledging to observe the Open Door doc-
trine, but felt free to secure from the Chinese Govern-
ment the assurance, that in Kwangsi, preference would be
given to French interests in regard to railway and mining
enterprises. When Russia forced her joint suzerainty
with China over Outer Mongolia in 1913, Great Britain
did not feel bound by her own pledge of 1899 and 1900.
On the contrary, in order to preserve the balance of power
and for self-defense, she felt constrained in 1''14 to make
a similar attempt on Tibet. In the absence of any means
of enforcement, therefore, it is clear that any pr
or measure made in behalf of the Open Door policy must
receive the cooperation and support of the Powers in-
ted. Otherwise it has little chance to succeed. The

neutralization plan Of Secretary Knox, formulated evi-
dently with statesmanlike purpose, was not materialized

through the opposition of Russia and Japan. On the



174 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IX CHINA

other hand, the currency :m



Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 14 of 39)