Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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

. (page 28 of 39)
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terms as the English, it is further agreed, that should
the Emperor hereafter, from any cause whatever, be
ed to grant additional privileges or immunities to
any of the subjects or citizens of such foreign countries,
the same privileges and immunities will he extended to,
and enjoyed by, British subjects; but it is to be under-
stood, that demands or requests are not on this plea to
be unnecessarily brought forward."

In the Treaty of Peace, Amity and Commerce, between
the United States and China, signed at Wanghia, July
3, 1844, 2 the most favored nation treatment was found
(Art. 2) :

"Citizens of the United States . . . shall in no case
be subject to other or higher duties than are or shall be
required of the people of any other nation whatever . . .
and if additional advantages or privileges of whatever
description, be conceded hereafter by China to any other
nation, the United States, and the citizens thereof, shall
be entitled thereupon to a complete equal and impartial
participation in the same."

In the Treaty of Whampoa with France, October 24,
1844, 3 similar most favored nation treatment was granted
(Arts. 6 and 35). Thus in practically all the subse-
quent treaties of commerce, the most favored nation
clause was found.

Now there are several forms of the most favored
nation provision in the Chinese treaties. The first is
the unilateral and unqualified form. That is to say, it
provides for unconditional most favored nation treatment
by China without at the same time including the reciprocal
engagement of the Towers in question to render the same
privileges in return to China or her citizens. For in-
stance :


"The British Government and its subjects are hereby
confirmed in all privileges, immunities, and advantages

conferred on them by previous treaties: and it is hereby
expressly stipulated that the British Government and its
subjects will be allowed free and equal participation in
all privileges, immunities, and advantages that may have
been, or may he hereafter, granted by His Majesty the
Emperor of China to the Government or subjects of any
other nation" (Art. 54).*

In fact, this provision proved to be so efficacious that
when Japan, having defeated China in 1895, made the
Treaty of Commerce on July 21, 1896, the same provision,
mutatis mutandis, was repeated (Art. 25 ). 5 Again, in
the French Treaty of Tientsin, June 27, 1858, it was spe-
cifically stipulated that the French, while enjoying the
most favored nation treatment, were, nevertheless, not
subject to obligations not expressly provided in the
convention :

"II est d'ailleurs entendu que toute obligation non con-
signee expresscment dans la presente Convention ne
saura etre imposee aux Consuls ou aux Agents Consu-
laires, non plus qu'a leurs nationaux, tandis que, comme
il a ete stipule, les Francais jouiront de tous les droits,
privileges, immunites et garanties quelconques qui au-
raient etc on qui seraient accordes par le Gouvernemenl
Chinois a d'autres Puissances" (Art. 40).°

The second form is the reciprocal, which means that
not only China, hut also the other contracting party
undertakes identical obligations. In other words, it is
bilateral and reciprocal, and not unilateral. For example:

"The contracting parties agree that tin- Government,
publi( . and citizens of the Republic t Peru shall

full.- and equally participate in .all privileges, rights, im-
munities, jurisdiction* and advantages that may have be< a,
or m reafter, granted by Mis Majesty the Em-


peror of China to the Government, public officers, citi-
zens or subjects of any other nation.

"In like manner, the Government, public officers, ;m2, against the proc-
lamation in pursuance of the McKinley Act of October
1. L890, authorizing the President of the United States
to retaliate in tariff rates upon certain products, Mr.
Blaine said: "The law cited applies the same treatment
to all countries whose tariffs are found by the President
to be unequal and unreasonable." 50

The sixth limitation is the bounties. By this is meant
that a state can levy additional duty on goods which have
received bounties at home, so as to equalize the cost of
these goods. "Lord Salisbury, July 15, 1899, replied that
the Russian system, under which the excise duty on
sugars is repaid in case of exportations, created an 'arti-
ficial stimulus,' which had the same effect as 'a bounty
of a more direct character.' . . . Wherever an artificial
preference was produced by the direct legislative act
of a Government which was a party to the most favored
nation stipulation, the other Government might 'redress
the balance of trade which has thus been artificially dis-
turbed.' . . ."« Again, on "November 20, 1902, Lord
Lansdowne, replying to the Russian memorandum, stated
that . . . the course they had taken was . . . dictated
solely by a desire to secure 'equality of conditions' for
those engaged in the production and refining of sugar;
and as other states did not hesitate to impose high and
prohibitive tariffs for the protection of their trade in their
own markets, His Majesty's Government failed to see
with what reason the Russian Government could 'com-
plain of a measure out of favor, but of simple and ele-
mentary justice to British trade.'" 52

With these limitations in mind, let us now consider the
IS or excesses in the operation or application of the
most favored nation clause in China. First, it is not
limited to matters of commerce and navigation, but ex-
ceeding its legitimate bounds, it claims to include politi-

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 28 of 39)