Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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

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regions, which had been treated alike in the original de-
mands, were now differentiated. In South Manchuria,
all the rights and concessions, as demanded originally,
were still pressed, except the right of land ownership,
which was omitted, and the right of inland travel and
residence which was regulated by the existing and pre-
vailing rules of extraterritorial jurisdiction in China. In
other words, subject to certain limitations, all of South
Manchuria was to be opened to the Japanese. In East-
ern Inner Mongolia, whose status was originally placed
on a par with South Manchuria, only an exclusive sphere
of Japanese influence was now demanded. The granting
of railway concessions and the pledging of local taxes
as securities still required the consent of Japan, and the
opening of certain commercial ports to the resideno
trade of Japanese with the privilege of agricultural and
industrial pursuits was still demand, In the third

group dealing with the Hanyehping Company, the joint
partnership was still demanded, but the demand for the
monopoly of the mines in the neighborhood of those
owned by the company was abandoned; but the limita-
tions of non-conversion into a Slate enterprise or of con-
tion and the prohibition of the use of any other for-
eign capital than the Japanese were added. '" The fourth
group treating of the non-alienation of China's coast was


changed to a voluntary pronouncement on the part of
the Chinese Government.

In the fifth group respecting the political, military and
financial control of China, all the previous demands, in
one form or another, were still pressed with certain ex-
ceptions. The one on the joint administration of police
in important places of China was dropped. The one on
the right of land owning hy the Japanese for the pur-
pose of establishing hospitals, schools and churches was
modified to the extent that the right of land-owning was
changed to the right to purchase and lease land, and
that the right to esablish churches in the interior of
China was omitted. The one on the railway concessions
in the Yangtze Valley was modified only by the self-
denying limitation that there should be no objection from
the Power interested in these concessions, meaning, of
course, Great Britain, and by the prohibition not to grant
these concessions by China to any foreign Power, "before
Japan comes to an understanding with the other Power
which is heretofore interested therein." The one on Fu-
kien was changed from a demand for an exclusive Japan-
ese sphere of interest to a prohibition of the construc-
tion by any foreign Power of any naval and military
base, and the use of foreign capital for the construction
of the same. All the other demands such as the pur-
chase of arms or the establishment of joint arsenals, the

employment of Japan . the right of Jap

missionary propaganda, as we have seen, were pressed in
one form or another as before/' 1
In spite of revision, no agreement, however, could be
ed to the satisfaction of both sidi s. ( In May 7, 1915,
the Japanese presented an ultimatum demanding a sat-
isfactory reply within two days. All the articles in groups
1, 2, 3, 4 and the article on Fukii n in ( iroup V of the re
vised demands were | Group V excluding

we have seen, the clause on Fukien, was detached and
postponed for future negotiotion, "So, in spite of the


circumstances which admitted no patience, they have
reconsidered the feelings of the government of their
neighboring country, and, with the exception of the arti-
cles relating to Fukien, which is to be the subject of
an exchange of notes as has already been agreed upon
by the representatives of both nations, will undertake
to detach the Group V from the present negotiations, and
discuss it separately in the future. Therefore the Chinese
Government should appreciate the friendly feeling of the
Imperial Government by immediately accepting, without
any alteration, all articles of Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 and
the exchange of notes in the revised proposals presented
on the 26th of April." 52

Coerced by the ultimatum, China yielded. On the
next day, she replied and accepted the demands as set
forth in the ultimatum." On May 25, 1915, two treaties
were signed, one relating to Shantung and the other South
Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia, and thirteen
notes were exchanged covering the rest of the articles
as accepted. The only addition was the pledge of the
Japanese Government to restore the leased territory of
Kiaochow, subject to certain conditions. 5 *

Thus ended the most sensational diplomatic negotia-
tion of this period of Chinese foreign relations. By one
hold assault on China, when the European powers were
occupied in a death grapple on the battlefields of Europe,
Japan made herself the virtual successor to Germany in
Shantung; opened up the whole of South Manchuria
to the exploitation of her subjects, made an exclusive
sphere of interest of Eastern Inner Mongolia, preserved
the Hanyehping Company for the joint cooperation of
the Japanese and Chinese capitalists, and secured the
pledge of the non-alienation of China's coast. What she
had failed to force on China was Group V, which, had
it been accepted, would have made China virtually a pro-
tectorate or vassal of Japan.

Analyzing the demands of Japan from the point of


view of the international struggle for concessions, Jap-
an's action was simply to consolidate her own position
in China, especially in Shantung, South Manchuria, and
Eastern Inner Mongolia, and Fukien, so that when the
war should be over and the European tide of aggression
should again flow back to China, she would be well en-
trenched in these regions in any international struggle
for concessions. Viewed, however, from the point of
view of international cooperation and control, Japan's
action was simply an attempt to forestall the possible
international control of China, which she was far-sighted
enough to forsee and to anticipate by the overture of
Japanese control as embodied in Group V. Thus, right
or wrong, Japan had taken good advantage of the oppor-
tunity presented by the European War to consolidate
her own position in China.

The Treaties of May 25, 1915, however, did not satisfy
the Japanese, especially the military party. To the lat-
ter, the treaty was only a temporary adjustment, waiting
for a future and more opportune moment to execute its
complete program in China. Its aims, to put them in a
nutshell, were nothing less than to secure a stranglehold
of control over the whole of China, for which reason
the Japanese Government reserved the right for future
discussion of Group V, and to wrest the sovereign power
from China over South Manchuria and Eastern Inner
Mongolia, for which purpose an event soon occurred
which gave the necessary pretense.

In August, 1916, a conflict occurred between the Chinese
and Japanese soldiers at Changkiatun, a Mongol-Man-
churian town, resulting in casualties on both sides. The
original cause leading to the armed conflict was a quarrel

and fist-fighl between a Japanese

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 7 of 39)