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The Fight For The Republic In China by B.L. Putnam Weale

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the official worship of Confucius--both Imperialistic measures--
whilst a brand-new ceremony, the worship of the two titulary
Military Gods, was ordered so as to inculcate military virtue! It
was laid down that in the worship of Heaven the President would
wear the robes of the Dukes of the Chow dynasty, B. C. 1112, a
novel and interesting republican experiment. Excerpts from two
Mandates which belong to these days throw a flood of light on the
kind of reasoning which was held to justify these developments.
The first declares:

... "In a Republic the Sovereign Power is vested in the people,
and the main principle is that all things should be determined in
accordance with the desires of the majority. These desires may be
embraced by two words, namely, existence and happiness. I, the
President, came from my farm because I was unable to bear the
eternal sufferings of the innocent people. I assumed office and
tried vainly to soothe the violent feelings. The greatest evil
nowadays is the misunderstanding of true principles. The
Republicans on the pretext of public interest try to attain
selfish ends, some going so far as to consider the forsaking of
parents as a sign of liberty and regarding the violation of the
laws as a demonstration of equality. I will certainly do my best
to change all this."

In the second Mandate Yuan Shih-kai justifies the re-establishment
of the Confucian worship in a singular way, incidentally showing
how utterly incomprehensible to him is the idea of representative
government, since he would appear to have imagined that by
dispatching circular telegrams to the provincial capitals and
receiving affirmative replies from his creatures all that is
necessary in the way of a national endorsement of high
constitutional measures had been obtained.

... "China's devotion to Confucius began with the reign of the
Emperor Hsiaowu, of the Han dynasty, who rejected the works of the
hundred authors, making the six Confucian classics the leading
books. Confucius, born in the time of the tyranny of the nobility,
in his works declared that after war disturbances comes peace, and
with peace real tranquillity and happiness. This, therefore, is
the fountain of Republicanism. After studying the history of China
and consulting the opinions of scholars, I find that Confucius
must remain the teacher for thousands of generations. But in a
Republic the people possess sovereign power. Therefore circular
telegrams were dispatched to all the provinces to collect
opinions, and many affirmative answers have already been received.
Therefore, all colleges, schools, and public bodies are ordered to
revive the sacrificial ceremony of Confucius, which shall be
carefully and minutely ordained" ...

With the formal promulgation of the Constitutional Compact the
situation had become bizarre in the extreme. Although even the
child-mind might have known that powers for Constitution-making
were vested solely in the National Assembly, and that the re-
division of authority which was now made was wholly illegal,
because Yuan Shih-kai as the bailiff of the Powers was able to do
much as he pleased; and at a moment when Liberal Europe was on the
eve of plunging into the most terrible war in history in defence
of right against might, reaction and Prussianism of the most
repulsive type were passed by unnoticed in China. In a few loosely
drafted chapters not only was the governance of the country
rearranged to suit a purely dictational rule, but the actual
Parliament was permanently extinguished and replaced by a single
Legislative Chamber (Li Fa Yuan) which from its very composition
could be nothing but a harmless debating Society with no greater
significance than a dietine of one of the minor German States.
Meanwhile, as there was no intention of allowing even this chamber
to assemble until the last possible moment, a Senate was got
together as the organ of public opinion, ten Senators being chosen
to draft yet another Constitution which would be the final one.
Remarkable steps were taken a little later in the year (1914) to
secure that the succession to the dictatorship should be left in
Yuan Shih-kai's own hands. An elaborate ritual was contrived and
officially promulgated under the title of the Presidential
Succession Law on the 29th December whereby the Chief Executive
selected three names which were placed in a gold box in a Stone
House in the grounds of the Palace,--the gold box only to be
opened when death or incapacity deprived the nation of its self-
appointed leader. For the term of the presidency was openly
converted into one of ten years and made subject to indefinite
renewal by this precious instrument which was the work of the
puppet senate. In case of the necessity of an election suddenly
arising, an Electoral College was to be formed by fifty members
drawn from the Legislative Chamber and fifty from the Senate, the
Presidential candidates consisting of the President (if he so
desired) and the three whose names were in the gold box in the
Stone House in the Palace grounds. It is not definitely known to
whom these provisions were due, but it is known that at least they
were not the work of the American adviser.

His responsibility, however, was very great; for the keynote of
all this scheme, according to Dr. Goodnow, [Footnote: It is
significant that Dr. Goodnow carried out all his Constitutional
Studies in Germany, specializing in that department known as
Administrative Law which has no place, fortunately, in Anglo-Saxon
conceptions of the State.] was "centralization of power," a
parrot-like phrase which has deluded better men than ever came to
China and which--save as a method necessary during a state of war
--should have no place in modern politics. But it was precisely
this which appealed to Yuan Shih-kai. Although as President he was
ex officio Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, he now turned
this office into a direct and special organization installed
within the precincts of the Imperial City. The flags of this new
dictatorship constantly floated over his palace, whilst scores of
officers were appointed to scores of departments which were
directly concerned with centralizing the control of every armed
man in the country in the master's hands. Meanwhile in order to
placate provincial commanders, a "Palace of Generals," was created
in Peking to which were brought all men it was held desirable to
emasculate. Here, drawing ample salaries, they could sit in
idleness the livelong day, discussing the battles they had never
fought and intriguing against one another, two occupations in
which the product of the older school of men in China excels.
Provincial levies which had any military virtue, were gradually
disbanded, though many of the rascals and rapscallions, who were
open menaces to good government were left with arms in their hands
so as to be an argument in favour of drastic police-rule. Thus it
is significant of the underlying falseness and weakness of the
dictator's character that he never dared to touch the troops of
the reprobate General Chang Hsun, who had made trouble for years,
and who had nearly embroiled China in war with Japan during the
so-called Second Revolution (July-August, 1913) by massacring some
Japanese civilians in the streets of Nanking when the city was
recaptured. So far from disbanding his men, Chang Hsun managed
constantly to increase his army of 30,000 men on the plea that the
post of Inspector-General of the Yangtsze Valley, which had been
given to him as a reward for refusing to throw in his lot with the
Southern rebels, demanded larger forces. Yuan Shih-kai, although
half-afraid of him, found him at various periods useful as a
counterweight to other generals in the provinces; in any case he
was not the man to risk anything by attempting to crush him. As he
was planted with his men astride of the strategically important
Pukow railway, it was always possible to order him at a moment's
notice into the Yangtsze Valley which was thus constantly under
the menace of fire and sword.

Far and wide Yuan Shih-kai now stretched his nets. He even
employed Americans throughout the United States in the capacity of
press-agents in order to keep American public opinion favourable
to him, hoping to invoke their assistance against his life-enemy--
Japan--should that be necessary. The precise details of this
propaganda and the sums spent in its prosecution are known to the
writer; if he refrains from publishing them it is solely for
reasons of policy. England it was not necessary to deal with in
this way. Chance had willed that the British Representative in
Peking should be an old friend who had known the Dictator
intimately since his Korean days; and who faithful to the
extraordinary English love of hero-worship believed that such a
surprising character could do little wrong. British policy which
has always been a somewhat variable quantity in China, owing to
the spasmodic attention devoted to such a distant problem, may be
said to have been non-existent during all this period--a state of
affairs not conducive to international happiness.

Slowly the problem developed in a shiftless, irresolute way.
Unable to see that China had vastly changed, and that government
by rascality had become a physical and moral impossibility, the
Legations in Peking adopted an attitude of indifference leaving
Yuan Shih-kai to wreak his will on the people. The horde of
foreign advisers who had been appointed merely as a piece of
political window-dressing, although they were allowed to do no
work, were useful in running backwards and forwards between the
Legations and the Presidential headquarters and in making each
Power suppose that its influence was of increasing importance. It
was made abundantly clear that in Yuan Shih-kai's estimation the
Legations played in international politics much the same role that
provincial capitals did in domestic politics: so long as you bound
both to benevolent neutrality the main problem--the consolidation
of dictatorial power--could be pushed on with as you wished.
Money, however, remained utterly lacking and a new twenty-five
million sterling loan was spoken of as inevitable--the accumulated
deficit in 1914 being alone estimated at thirty-eight million
pounds. But although this financial dearth was annoying, Chinese
resources were sufficient to allow the account to be carried on
from day to day. Some progress was made in railways, building
concessions being liberally granted to foreign corporations, this
policy having received a great impetus from the manner in which
Dr. Sun Yat Sen had boomed the necessity for better communications
during the short time he had ruled at a National Railway Bureau in
Shanghai, an office from which he had been relieved in 1913 on it
being discovered that he was secretly indenting for quick-firing
guns. Certain questions proved annoying and insoluble, for
instance the Tibetan question concerning which England was very
resolute, as well as the perpetual risings in Inner Mongolia, a
region so close to Peking that constant concentrations of troops
were necessary. But on the whole as time went on there was
increasing indifference both among the Foreign Powers and Chinese
for the extraordinary state of affairs which had been allowed to
grow up.

There was one notable exception, however, Japan. Never relaxing
her grip on a complicated problem, watchful and active, where
others were indifferent and slothful, Japan bided her time.
Knowing that the hour had almost arrived when it would be possible
to strike, Japan was vastly active behind the scenes in China long
before the outbreak of the European war gave her the longed for
opportunity; and largely because of her the pear, which seemed
already almost ripe, finally withered on the tree.




The thunderclap of the European war shattered the uneasy calm in
China, not because the Chinese knew anything of the mighty issues
which were to be fought out with such desperation and valour, but
because the presence of the German colony of Kiaochow on Chinese
soil and the activity of German cruisers in the Yellow Sea brought
the war to China's very doors. Vaguely conscious that this might
spell disaster to his own ambitious plans, Yuan Shih-kai was
actually in the midst of tentative negotiations with the German
Legation regarding the retrocession of the Kiaochow territory when
the news reached him that Japan, after some rapid negotiations
with her British Ally, had filed an ultimatum on Germany,
peremptorily demanding the handing-over of all those interests
that had been forcibly acquired in Shantung province in the great
leasing-year of 1898.

At once Yuan Shih-kai realized that the Nemesis which had dogged
his footsteps all his life was again close behind him. In the
Japanese attack on Kiaochow he foresaw a web of complications
which even his unrivalled diplomacy might be unable to unravel;
for he knew well from bitter experience that wherever the Japanese
sets his foot there he remains. It is consequently round this
single factor of Japan that the history of the two succeeding
years revolves. From being indisputably the central figure on the
Chinese canvas, Yuan Shih-kai suddenly becomes subordinate to the
terror of Japanese intervention which hangs over him constantly
like a black cloud, and governs every move he made from the 15th
August, 1914, to the day of his dramatic death on the 6th June,
1916. We shall attempt to write down the true explanation of why
this should have been so.

It is extremely hard to discuss the question of Japan for the
benefit of an exclusively Western audience in a convincing way
because Japanese policy has two distinct facets which seem utterly
contradictory, and yet which are in a great measure understandable
if the objects of that diplomacy are set down. Being endowed with
an extraordinary capacity for taking detached views, the Statesmen
of Tokio long ago discerned the necessity of having two
independent policies--an Eastern policy for Eastern Asia and a
Western policy for Western nations--because East and West are
essentially antithetical, and cannot be treated (at least not yet)
in precisely the same manner. Whilst the Western policy is frank
and manly, and is exclusively in the hands of brilliant and
attractive men who have been largely educated in the schools of
Europe and America and who are fully able to deal with all matters
in accordance with the customary traditions of diplomacy, the
Eastern policy is the work of obscurantists whose imaginations are
held by the vast projects which the Military Party believes are
capable of realization in China. There is thus a constant
contradiction in the attitude of Japan which men have sought in
vain to reconcile. It is for this reason that the outer world is
divided into two schools of thought, one believing implicitly in
Japan's bona fides, the other vulgarly covering her with abuse and
declaring that she is the last of all nations in her conceptions
of fair play and honourable treatment. Both views are far-fetched.
It is as true of Japan as it is of every other Government in the
world that her actions are dictated neither by altruism nor by
perfidy, but are merely the result of the faulty working of a
number of fallible brains and as regards the work of
administration in Japan itself the position is equally
extraordinary. Here, at the extreme end of the world, so far from
being in any way threatened, the principle of Divine Right, which
is being denounced and dismembered in Europe as a crude survival
from almost heathen days, stands untouched and still exhibits
itself in all its pristine glory. A highly aristocratic Court,
possessing one of the most complicated and jealously protected
hierarchies in the world, and presided over by a monarch claiming
direct descent from the sacred Jimmu Tenno of twenty-five hundred
years ago, decrees to-day precisely as before, the elaborate
ritual governing every move, every decision and every agreement.
There is something so engaging in this political curiosity,
something so far removed from the vast world-movement now rolling
fiercely to its conclusion, that we may be pardoned for
interpolating certain capital considerations which closely affect
the future of China and therefore cannot fail to be of public

The Japanese, who owe their whole theocratic conception to the
Chinese, just as they owe all their letters and their learning to
them, still nominally look upon their ruler as the link between
Heaven and Earth, and the central fact dominating their cosmogony.
Although the vast number of well-educated men who to-day crowd the
cities of Japan are fully conscious of the bizarre nature of this
belief in an age which has turned its back on superstition,
nothing has yet been done to modify it because--and this is the
important point--the structure of Japanese society is such that
without a violent upheaval which shall hurl the military clan
system irremediably to the ground, it is absolutely impossible for
human equality to be admitted and the man-god theory to be
destroyed. So long as these two features exist; that is so long as
a privileged military caste supports and attempts to make all-
powerful the man-god theory, so long will Japan be an
international danger-spot because there will lack those democratic
restraints which this war has shown are absolutely essential to
secure a peaceful understanding among the nations. It is for this
reason that Japan will fail to attain the position the art-genius
and industry of her people entitle her to and must limp behind the
progress of the world unless a very radical revision of the
constitution is achieved. The disabilities which arise from an
archaic survival are so great that they will affect China as
adversely as Japan, and therefore should be universally
understood. Japanese history, if stripped of its superficial
aspects, has a certain remarkable quality; it seems steeped in
heroic blood. The doctrine of force, which expresses itself in its
crudest forms in Europe, has always been in Japan a system of
heroic-action so fascinating to humanity at large that until
recent times its international significance has not been realized.
The feudal organization of Japanese society which arose as a
result of the armed conquest of the islands fifteen hundred years
ago, precluded centralizating measures being taken because the
Throne, relying on the virtues of Divine Ancestors rather than on
any well-articulated political theory, was weak in all except
certain quasi-sacerdotal qualities, and forced to rely on great
chieftains for the execution of its mandates as well as for its
defence. The military title of "barbarian-conquering general,"
which was first conferred on a great clan leader eight centuries
ago, was a natural enough development when we remember that the
autochthonous races were even then not yet pushed out of the main
island, and were still battling with the advancing tide of
Japanese civilization which was itself composed of several rival
streams coming from the Asiatic mainland and from the Malayan
archipelagoes. This armed settlement saturates Japanese history
and is responsible for the unending local wars and the
glorification of the warrior. The conception of triumphant
generalship which Hideyoshi attempted unsuccessfully to carry into
Korea in the Sixteenth Century, led directly at the beginning of
the Seventeenth Century to the formal establishment of the
Shogunate, that military dictatorship being the result of the
backwash of the Korean adventure, and the greatest proof of the
disturbance which it had brought in Japanese society. The
persistence of this hereditary military dictatorship for more than
two and a half centuries is a remarkable illustration of the fact
that as in China so in Japan the theocratic conception was
unworkable save in primitive times--civilization demanding
organization rather than precepts and refusing to bow its head to
speechless kings. Although the Restoration of 1868 nominally gave
back to the Throne all it had been forced to leave in other hands
since 1603, that transfer of power was imaginary rather than real,
the new military organization which succeeded the Shogun's
government being the vital portion of the Restoration. In other
words, it was the leaders of Japan's conscript armies who
inherited the real power, a fact made amply evident by the
crushing of the Satsuma Rebellion by these new corps whose
organization allowed them to overthrow the proudest and most
valourous of the Samurai and incidentally to proclaim the triumph
of modern fire-arms.

Now it is important to note that as early as 1874--that is six
years after the Restoration of the Emperor Meiji--these facts were
attracting the widest notice in Japanese society, the agitation
for a Constitution and a popular assembly being very vigourously
pushed. Led by the well-known and aristocratic Itagaki, Japanese
Liberalism had joined battle with out-and-out Imperialism more
than a quarter of a century ago; and although the question of
recovering Tariff and Judicial autonomy and revising the Foreign
Treaties was more urgent in those days, the foreign question was
often pushed aside by the fierceness of the constitutional

It was not, however, until 1889 that a Constitution was finally
granted to the Japanese--that instrument being a gift from the
Crown, and nothing more than a conditional warrant to a limited
number of men to become witnesses of the processes of government
but in no sense its controllers. The very first Diet summoned in
1890 was sufficient proof of that. A collision at once occurred
over questions of finance which resulted in the resignation of the
Ministry. And ever since those days, that is for twenty-seven
consecutive years, successive Diets in Japan have been fighting a
forlorn fight for the power which can never be theirs save by
revolution, it being only natural that Socialism should come to be
looked upon by the governing class as Nihilism, whilst the mob-
threat has been very acute ever since the Tokio peace riots of

Now it is characteristic of the ceremonial respect which all
Japanese have for the Throne that all through this long contest
the main issue should have been purposely obscured. The
traditional feelings of veneration which a loyal and obedient
people feel for a line of monarchs, whose origin is lost in the
mists of antiquity, are such that they have turned what is in
effect an evergrowing struggle against the archaic principle of
divine right into a contest with clan-leaders whom they assert are
acting "unconstitutionally" whenever they choose to assert the
undeniable principles of the Constitution. Thus to-day we have
this paradoxical situation: that although Japanese Liberalism must
from its very essence be revolutionary, i.e., destructive before
it can hope to be constructive, it feigns blindness, hoping that
by suasion rather than by force the principle of parliamentary
government will somehow be grafted on to the body politic and the
emperors, being left outside the controversy, become content to
accept a greatly modified rule.

This hope seems a vain one in the light of all history. Militarism
and the clans are by no means in the last ditch in Japan, and they
will no more surrender their power than would the Russian
bureaucracy. The only argument which is convincing in such a case
is the last one which is ever used; and the mere mention of it by
so-called socialists is sufficient to cause summary arrest in
Japan. Sheltering themselves behind the Throne, and nominally
deriving their latter-day dictatorship from the Imperial mandate,
the military chiefs remain adamant, nothing having yet occurred to
incline them to surrender any of their privileges. By a process of
adaptation to present-day conditions, a formula has now been
discovered which it is hoped will serve many a long year. By
securing by extra-legal means the return of a "majority" in the
House of Representatives the fiction of national support of the
autocracy has been re-invigourated, and the doctrine laid down
that what is good for every other advanced people in the world is
bad for the Japanese, who must be content with what is granted
them and never question the superior intelligence of a privileged
caste. In the opinion of the writer, it is every whit as important
for the peace of the world that the people of Japan should govern
themselves as it is for the people of Germany to do so. The
persistence of the type of military government which we see to-day
in Japan is harmful for all alike because it is as antiquated as
Tsarism and a perpetual menace to a disarmed nation such as China.
So long as that government remains, so long must Japan remain an
international suspect and be denied equal rights in the council-
chambers of the Liberal Powers.

If the situation which arose on the 15th August, 1914, is to be
thoroughly understood, it is necessary to pick up threads of
Chino-Japanese relations from a good many years back. First-hand
familiarity with the actors and the scenes of at least three
decades is essential to give the picture the completeness, the
brilliancy of colouring, and withal the suggestiveness inseparable
from all true works of art. For the Chino-Japanese question is
primarily a work of art and not merely a piece of jejune diplomacy
stretched across the years. As the shuttle of Fate has been cast
swiftly backwards and forwards, the threads of these entwining
relations have been woven into patterns involving the whole Far
East, until to-day we have as it were a complete Gobelin tapestry,
magnificent with meaning, replete with action, and full of
scholastic interest.

Let us follow some of the tracery. It has long been the habit to
affirm that the conflict between China and Japan had its origin in
Korea, when Korea was a vassal state acknowledging the suzerainty
of Peking; and that the conflict merited ending there, since of
the two protagonists contending for empire Japan was left in
undisputed mastery. This statement, being incomplete, is
dangerously false. Dating from that vital period of thirty years
ago, when Yuan Shih-kai first went to Seoul as a general officer
in the train of the Chinese Imperial Resident (on China being
forced to take action in protection of her interests owing to the
"opening" of Korea by the American Treaty of 1882) three
contestants, equally interested in the balance of land-power in
Eastern Asia were constantly pitted against one another with Korea
as their common battling-ground--Russia, China and Japan. The
struggle, which ended in the eclipse of the first two, merely
shifted the venue from the Korean zone to the Manchurian zone; and
from thence gradually extended it further and further afield until
at last not only was Inner Mongolia and the vast belt of country
fronting the Great Wall embraced within its scope, but the entire
aspect of China itself was changed. For these important facts have
to be noted. Until the Russian war of 1904-05 had demonstrated the
utter valuelessness of Tsarism as an international military
factor, Japan had been almost willing to resign herself to a
subordinate role in the Far East. Having eaten bitter bread as the
result of her premature attempt in 1895 (after the Korean war) to
become a continental power--an attempt which had resulted in the
forced retrocession of the Liaotung Peninsula--she had been placed
on her good behaviour, an attitude which was admirably reflected
in 1900 when her Peking Expeditionary Force proved itself so well-
behaved and so gallant as to arouse the world's admiration. But
the war with Russia and the collapse of the Tsar's Manchurian
adventure not only drew her back into territory that she never
hoped to see again, but placed her in possession of a ready-made
railway system which carried her almost up to the Sungari river
and surrendered to her military control vast grasslands stretching
to the Khingan mountains. This Westernly march so greatly enlarged
the Japanese political horizon, and so entirely changed the
Japanese viewpoint, that the statesmen of Tokio in their
excitement threw off their ancient spectacles and found to their
astonishment that their eyes were every whit as good as European
eyes. Now seeing the world as others had long seen it, they
understood that just as with the individuals so with nations the
struggle for existence can most easily be conducted by adopting
that war-principle of Clausewitz--the restless offensive, and not
by writing meaningless dispatches. Prior to the Russian war they
had written to Russia a magnificent series of documents in which
they had pleaded with sincerity for an equitable settlement,--
only to find that all was in vain. Forced to battle, they had
found in combat not only success but a new principle.

The discovery necessitated a new policy. During the eighties, and
in a lesser degree in the nineties, Japan had apart from
everything else been content to act in a modest and retiring way,
because she wished at all costs to avoid testing too severely her
immature strength. But owing to the successive collapses of her
rivals, she now found herself not only forced to attack as the
safest course of action, but driven to the view that the Power
that exerts the maximum pressure constantly and unremittedly is
inevitably the most successful. This conclusion had great
importance. For just as the first article of faith for England in
Asia has been the doctrine that no Power can be permitted to seize
strategic harbours which menace her sea-communications, so did it
now become equally true of Japan that her dominant policy became
not an Eastern Monroe doctrine, as shallow men have supposed, but
simply the Doctrine of Maximum Pressure. To press with all her
strength on China was henceforth considered vital by every
Japanese; and it's in this spirit that every diplomatic pattern
has been woven since the die was cast in 1905. Until this signal
fact has been grasped no useful analysis can be made of the
evolution of present conditions. Standing behind this policy, and
constantly reinforcing it, are the serried ranks of the new
democracy which education and the great increase in material
prosperity have been so rapidly creating. The soaring ambition
which springs from the sea lends to the attacks developed by such
a people the aspect of piracies; and it is but natural in such
circumstances that for Chinese Japan should not only have the
aspect of a sea-monster but that their country should appear as
hapless Andromeda bound to a rock, always awaiting a Perseus who
never comes. ...

The Revolution of 1911 had been entirely unexpected in Japan.
Whilst large outbreaks had been certainly counted on since the
Chinese Revolutionary party had for years used Japan as an asylum
and a base of operations, never had it been anticipated that the
fall of an ancient Dynasty could be so easily encompassed.
Consequently, the abdication of the Manchus as the result of
intrigues rather than of warfare was looked upon as little short
of a catastrophe because it hopelessly complicated the outlook,
broke the pattern which had been so carefully woven for so many
years, and interjected harsh elements which could not be assigned
an orderly place. Not only was a well-articulated State-system
suddenly consigned to the flames, but the ruin threatened to be so
general that the balance of power throughout the Far East would be
twisted out of shape. Japanese statesmen had desired a weak China,
a China which would ultimately turn to them for assistance because
they were a kindred race, but not a China that looked to the
French Revolution for its inspiration. To a people as slow to
adjust themselves to violent surprises as are the Japanese, there
was an air of desperation about the whole business which greatly
alarmed them, and made them determined at the earliest possible
moment to throw every ounce of their weight in the direction which
would best serve them by bringing matters back to their original
starting-point. For this reason they were not only prepared in
theory in 1911 to lend armed assistance to the Manchus but would
have speedily done so had not England strongly dissented from such
a course of action when she was privately sounded about the
matter. Even to-day, when a temporary adjustment of Japanese
policy has been successfully arranged, it is of the highest
importance for political students to remember that the dynastic
influences in Tokio have never departed from the view that the
legitimate sovereignty of China remains vested in the Manchu House
and that everything that has taken place since 1911 is irregular
and unconstitutional.

For the time being, however, two dissimilar circumstances demanded
caution: first, the enthusiasm which the Japanese democracy, fed
by a highly excited press, exhibited towards the Young China which
had been so largely grounded in the Tokio schools and which had
carried out the Revolution: secondly--and far more important--the
deep, abiding and ineradicable animosity which Japanese of all
classes felt for the man who had come out of the contest head and
shoulders above everybody else--Yuan Shih-kai. These two
remarkable features ended by completely thrusting into the
background during the period 1911-1914 every other element in
Japanese statesmanship; and of the two the second must be counted
the decisive one. Dating back to Korea, when Yuan Shih-kai's
extraordinary diplomatic talents constantly allowed him to worst
his Japanese rivals and to make Chinese counsels supreme at the
Korean Court up to the very moment when the first shots of the war
of 1894 were fired, this ancient dislike, which amounted to a
consuming hatred, had become a fixed idea. Restrained by the
world's opinion during the period prior to the outbreak of the
world-war as well as by the necessity of acting financially in
concert with the other Powers, it was not until August, 1914, that
the longed-for opportunity came and that Japan prepared to act in
a most remarkable way.

The campaign against Kiaochow was unpopular from the outset among
the Japanese public because it was felt that they were not
legitimately called upon to interest themselves in such a remote
question as the balance of power among European nations, which was
what British warfare against Germany seemed to them to be. Though
some ill-will was felt against Germany for the part played by her
in the intervention of 1895, it must not be forgotten that just as
the Japanese navy is the child of the British navy, so is the
Japanese army the child of the German army--and that Japanese army
chiefs largely control Japan. These men were averse from "spoiling
their army" in a contest which did not interest them. There was
also the feeling abroad that England by calling upon her Ally to
carry out the essential provisions of her Alliance had shown that
she had the better part of a bargain, and that she was exploiting
an old advantage in a way which could not fail to react adversely
on Japan's future world's relationships. Furthermore, it is
necessary to underline the fact that official Japan was displeased
by the tacit support an uninterested British Foreign Office had
consistently given to the Yuan Shih-kai regime. That the Chinese
experiment was looked upon in England more with amusement than
with concern irritated the Japanese--more particularly as the
British Foreign Office was issuing in the form of White Papers
documents covering Yuan Shih-kai's public declarations as if they
were contributions to contemporary history. Thus in the preceding
year (1913) under the nomenclature of "affairs in China" the text
of a dementi regarding the President of China's Imperial
aspirations had been published,--a document which Japanese had
classified as a studied lie, and as an act of presumption because
its wording showed that its author intended to keep his back
turned on Japan. The Dictator had declared:--

... "From my student days, I, Yuan Shih-kai, have admired the
example of the Emperors Yao and Shun, who treated the empire as a
public trust, and considered that the record of a dynasty in
history for good or ill is inseparably bound up with the public
spirit or self-seeking by which it has been animated. On attaining
middle age I grew more familiar with foreign affairs, was struck
by the admirable republican system in France and America, and felt
that they were a true embodiment of the democratic precepts of the
ancients. When last year the patriotic crusade started in Wuchang
its echoes went forth into all the provinces, with the result that
this ancient nation with its 2,000 years of despotism adopted with
one bound the republican system of government.

It was my good fortune to see this glorious day at my life's late
eve; I cherished the hope that I might dwell in the seclusion of
my own home and participate in the blessings of an age of peace.

But once again my fellow-countrymen honoured me with the pressing
request that I should again assume a heavy burden, and on the day
on which the Republic was proclaimed I announced it the whole
nation that never again should a monarchy be permitted in China.
At my inauguration I again took this solemn oath in the sight of
heaven above and earth beneath. Yet of late ignorant persons in
the provinces have fabricated wild rumours to delude men's minds,
and have adduced the career of the First Napoleon on which to base
their erroneous speculations. It is best not to inquire as to
their motives; in some cases misconception may be the cause, in
others deliberate malice.

The Republic has now been proclaimed for six months; so far there
is no prospect of recognition from the Powers, while order is far
from being restored in the provinces. Our fate hangs upon a hair;
the slightest negligence may forfeit all. I, who bear this arduous
responsibility, feel it my bounden duty to stand at the helm in
the hope of successfully breasting the wild waves.

But while those in office are striving with all their might to
effect a satisfactory solution, spectators seem to find a
difficulty in maintaining a generous forbearance. They forget that
I, who have received this charge from my countrymen, cannot
possibly look dispassionately on when the fate of the nation is in
the balance. If I were aware that the task was impossible and
played a part of easy acquiescence, so that the future of the
Republic might become irreparable, others might not reproach me,
but my own conscience would never leave me alone.

My thoughts are manifest in the sight of high heaven. But at this
season of construction and dire crisis how shall these mutual
suspicions find a place? Once more I issue this announcement; if
you, my fellow countrymen, do indeed place the safety of China
before all other considerations, it behooves you to be large-
minded. Beware of lightly heeding the plausible voice of calumny,
and of thus furnishing a medium for fostering anarchy. If evilly
disposed persons, who are bent on destruction, seize the excuse
for sowing dissension to the jeopardy of the situation, I, Yuan
Shih-kai, shall follow the behest of my fellow-countrymen in
placing such men beyond the pale of humanity.

A vital issue is involved. It is my duty to lay before you my
inmost thought, so that suspicion may be dissipated. Those who
know have the right to impose their censure. It is for public
opinion to take due notice."

Moreover Yuan Shih-kai had also shown in his selection and use of
foreign Advisers, that he was determined to proceed in such a
manner as to advertise his suspicion and enmity of Japan. After
the Coup d'etat of the 4th November, 1913, and the scattering of
Parliament, it was an American Adviser who was set to work on the
new "Constitution"; and although a Japanese, Dr. Ariga, who was in
receipt of a princely salary, aided and abetted this work, his
endorsement of the dictatorial rule was looked upon as traitorous
by the bulk of his countrymen. Similarly, it was perfectly well-
known that Yuan Shih-kai was spending large sums of money in Tokio
in bribing certain organs of the Japanese Press and in attempting
to win adherents among Japanese members of Parliament. Remarkable
stories are current which compromise very highly-placed Japanese
but which the writer hesitates to set down in black and white as
documentary proof is not available. In any case, be this as it
may, it was felt in Tokio that the time had arrived to give a
proper definition to the relations between the two states,--the
more so as Yuan Shih-kai, by publicly proclaiming a small war-zone
in Shantung within the limits of which the Japanese were alone
permitted to wage war against the Germans, had shown himself
indifferent to the majesty of Japan. The Japanese having captured
Kiaochow by assault before the end of 1914 decided to accept the
view that a de facto Dictatorship existed in China. Therefore on
the 18th of January, 1915, the Japanese Minister, Dr. Hioki,
personally served on Yuan Shih-kai the now famous Twenty-one
Demands, a list designed to satisfy every present and future need
of Japanese policy and to reduce China to a state of vassalage.



Although the press of the world gave a certain prominence at the
time to the astounding demarche with which we now have to deal,
there was such persistent mystery about the matter and so many
official dementis accompanied every publication of the facts that
even to this day the nature of the assault which Japan delivered
on China is not adequately realized, nor is the narrow escape
assigned its proper place in estimates of the future. Briefly, had
there not been publication of the facts and had not British
diplomacy been aroused to action there is little doubt that Japan
would have forced matters so far that Chinese independence would
now be virtually a thing of the past. Fortunately, however, China
in her hour of need found many who were willing to succour her;
with the result that although she lost something in these
negotiations, Japan nevertheless failed in a very signal fashion
to attain her main objective. The Pyrrhic victory which she won
with her eleventh hour ultimatum will indeed in the end cost her
more than would have a complete failure, for Chinese suspicion and
hostility are now so deep-seated that nothing will ever completely
eradicate them. It is therefore only proper that an accurate
record should be here incorporated of a chapter of history which
has much international importance; and if we invite close
attention to the mass of documents that follow it is because we
hold that an adequate comprehension of them is essential to
securing the future peace of the Far East. Let us first give the
official text of the original Demands:


Translations of Documents Handed to the President, Yuan shih-kai,
by Mr. Hioki, the Japanese Minister, on January 18th, 1915.


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government being desirous
of maintaining the general peace in Eastern Asia and further
strengthening the friendly relations and good neighbourhood
existing between the two nations agree to the following articles:--

Article 1. The Chinese Government engages to give full assent to
all matters upon which the Japanese Government may hereafter agree
with the German Government relating to the disposition of all
rights, interests and concessions, which Germany, by virtue of
treaties or otherwise, possesses in relation to the Province of

Article 2. The Chinese Government engages that within the Province
of Shantung and along its coast no territory or island will be
ceded or leased to a third Power under any pretext.

Article 3. The Chinese Government consents to Japan's building a
railway from Chefoo or Lungkow to join the Kiaochou-Tsinanfu

Article 4. The Chinese Government engages, in the interest of
trade and for the residence of foreigners, to open by herself as
soon as possible certain important cities and towns in the
Province of Shantung as Commercial Ports. What places shall be
opened are to be jointly decided upon in a separate agreement.


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government, since the
Chinese Government has always acknowledged the special position
enjoyed by Japan in South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia,
agree to the following articles:--

Article 1. The two Contracting Parties mutually agree that the
term of lease of Port Arthur and Dalny and the term of lease of
the South Manchurian Railway and the Antung-Mukden Railway shall
be extended to the period of 99 years.

Article 2. Japanese subjects in South Manchuria and Eastern Inner
Mongolia shall have the right to lease or own land required either
for erecting suitable buildings for trade and manufacture or for

Article 3. Japanese subjects shall be free to reside and travel in
South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia and to engage in
business and in manufacture of any kind whatsoever.

Article 4. The Chinese Government agrees to grant to Japanese
subjects the right of opening the mines in South Manchuria and
Eastern Inner Mongolia. As regards what mines are to be opened,
they shall be decided upon jointly.

Article 5. The Chinese Government agrees that in respect of the
(two) cases mentioned herein below the Japanese Government's
consent shall be first obtained before action is taken:--

(a) Whenever permission is granted to the subject of a third Power
to build a railway or to make a loan with a third Power for the
purpose of building a railway in South Manchuria and Eastern Inner

(b) Whenever a loan is to be made with a third Power pledging the
local taxes of South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia as

Article 6. The Chinese Government agrees that if the Chinese
Government employs political, financial or military advisers or
instructors in South Manchuria or Eastern Inner Mongolia, the
Japanese Government shall first be consulted.

Article 7. The Chinese Government agrees that the control and
management of the Kirin-Changchun Railway shall be handed over to
the Japanese Government for a term of 99 years dating from the
signing of this Agreement.


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government, seeing that
Japanese financiers and the Hanyehping Co. have dose relations
with each other at present and desiring that the common interests
of the two nations shall be advanced, agree to the following

Article 1. The two Contracting Parties mutually agree that when
the opportune moment arrives the Hanyehping Company shall be made
a joint concern of the two nations and they further agree that
without the previous consent of Japan, China shall not by her own
act dispose of the rights and property of whatsoever nature of the
said Company nor cause the said Company to dispose freely of the

Article 2. The Chinese Government agrees that all mines in the
neighbourhood of those owned by the Hanyehping Company shall not
be permitted, without the consent of the said Company, to be
worked by other persons outside of the said Company; and further
agrees that if it is desired to carry out any undertaking which,
it is apprehended, may directly or indirectly affect the interests
of the said Company, the consent of the said Company shall first
be obtained.


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government with the object
of effectively preserving the territorial integrity of China agree
to the following special articles:--

The Chinese Government engages not to cede or lease to a third
Power any harbour or bay or island along the coast of China.


Article 1. The Chinese Central Government shall employ influential
Japanese advisers in political, financial and military affairs.

Article 2. Japanese hospitals, churches and schools in the
interior of China shall be granted the right of owning land.

Article 3. Inasmuch as the Japanese Government and the Chinese
Government have had many cases of dispute between Japanese and
Chinese police to settle cases which caused no little
misunderstanding, it is for this reason necessary that the police
departments of important places (in China) shall be jointly
administered by Japanese and Chinese or that the police
departments of these places shall employ numerous Japanese, so
that they may at the same time help to plan for the improvement of
the Chinese Police Service.

Article 4. China shall purchase from Japan a fixed amount of
munitions of war (say 50% or more) of what is needed by the
Chinese Government or that there shall be established in China a
Sino-Japanese jointly worked arsenal. Japanese technical experts
are to be employed and Japanese material to be purchased.

Article 5. China agrees to grant to Japan the right of
constructing a railway connecting Wuchang with Kiukiang and
Nanchang, another line between Nanchang and Hanchow, and another
between Nanchang and Chaochou.

Article 6. If China needs foreign capital to work mines, build
railways and construct harbour-works (including dock-yards) in the
Provinces of Fukien, Japan shall be first consulted.

Article 7. China agrees that Japanese subjects shall have the
right of missionary propaganda in China. [Footnote: Refers to
preaching Buddhism.]

The five groups into which the Japanese divided their demands
possess a remarkable interest not because of their sequence, or
the style of their phraseology, but because every word reveals a
peculiar and very illuminating chemistry of the soul. To study the
original Chinese text is to pass as it were into the secret
recesses of the Japanese brain, and to find in that darkened
chamber a whole world of things which advertise ambitions mixed
with limitations, hesitations overwhelmed by audacities,
greatnesses succumbing to littlenesses, and vanities having the
appearance of velleities. Given an intimate knowledge of Far
Eastern politics and Far Eastern languages, only a few minutes are
required to re-write the demands in the sequence in which they
were originally conceived as well as to trace the natural history
of their genesis. Unfortunately a great deal is lost in their
official translation, and the menace revealed in the Chinese
original partly cloaked: for by transferring Eastern thoughts into
Western moulds, things that are like nails in the hands of soft
sensitive Oriental beings are made to appear to the steel-clad
West as cold-blooded, evolutionary necessities which may be
repellent but which are never cruel. The more the matter is
studied the more convinced must the political student be that in
this affair of the 18th January we have an international coup
destined to become classic in the new text-books of political
science. All the way through the twenty-one articles it is easy to
see the desire for action, the love of accomplished facts,
struggling with the necessity to observe the conventions of a
stereotyped diplomacy and often overwhelming those conventions. As
the thoughts thicken and the plot develops, the effort to mask the
real intention lying behind every word plainly breaks down, and a
growing exultation rings louder and louder as if the coveted
Chinese prize were already firmly grasped. One sees as it were the
Japanese nation, released from bondage imposed by the Treaties
which have been binding on all nations since 1860, swarming madly
through the breached walls of ancient Cathay and disputing hotly
the spoils of age-old domains.

Group I, which deals with the fruits of victory in Shantung, has
little to detain us since events which have just unrolled there
have already told the story of those demands. In Shantung we have
a simple and easily-understood repeated performance of the
history of 1905 and the settlement of the Russo-Japanese War.
Placed at the very head of the list of demands, though its
legitimate position should be after Manchuria, obviously the
purpose of Group I is conspicuously to call attention to the fact
that Japan had been at war with Germany, and is still at war with
her. This flourish of trumpets, after the battle is over, however,
scarcely serves to disguise that the fate of Shantung, following
so hard on the heels of the Russian debacle in Manchuria, is the
great moral which Western peoples are called upon to note. Japan,
determined as she has repeatedly announced to preserve the peace
of the Orient by any means she deems necessary, has found the one
and only formula that is satisfactory--that of methodically
annexing everything worth fighting about.

So far so good. The insertion of a special preamble to Group II,
which covers not only South Manchuria but Eastern Inner Mongolia
as well, is an ingenious piece of work since it shows that the hot
mood of conquest suitable for Shantung must be exchanged for a
certain judicial detachment. The preamble undoubtedly betrays the
guiding hand of Viscount Kato, the then astute Minister of Foreign
Affairs, who saturated in the great series of international
undertakings made by Japan since the first Anglo-Japanese Treaty
of 1902, clearly believes that the stately Elizabethan manner
which still characterizes British official phrasing is an
admirable method to be here employed. The preamble is quite
English; it is so English that one is almost lulled into believing
that one's previous reasoning has been at fault and that Japan is
only demanding what she is entitled to. Yet study Group II closely
and subtleties gradually emerge. By boldly and categorically
placing Eastern Inner Mongolia on precisely the same footing as
Southern Manchuria--though they have nothing in common--the
assumption is made that the collapse in 1908 of the great Anglo-
American scheme to run a neutral railway up the flank of Southern
Manchuria to Northern Manchuria (the once celebrated Chinchow-
Aigun scheme), coupled with general agreement with Russia which
was then arrived at, now impose upon China the necessity of
publicly resigning herself to a Japanese overlordship of that
region. In other words, the preamble of Group II lays down that
Eastern Inner Mongolia has become part and parcel of the
Manchurian Question because Japan has found a parallel for what
she is doing in the acts of European Powers.

These things, however, need not detain us. Not that Manchuria or
the adjoining Mongolian plain is not important; not that the
threads of destiny are not woven thickly there. For it is certain
that the vast region immediately beyond the Great Wall of China is
the Flanders of the Far East--and that the next inevitable war
which will destroy China or make her something of a nation must be
fought on that soil just as two other wars have been fought there
during the past twenty years. But this does not belong to
contemporary politics; it is possibly an affair of the Chinese
army of 1925 or 1935. Some day China will fight for Manchuria, if
it is impossible to recover it in any other way,--nobody need
doubt that. For Manchuria is absolutely Chinese--people must
remember. No matter how far the town-dwelling Japanese may invade
the country during the next two or three decades, no matter what
large alien garrisons may be planted there, the Chinese must and
will remain the dominant racial element, since their population
which already numbers twenty-five millions is growing at the rate
of half a million a year, and in a few decades will equal the
population of a first-class European Power.

When we reach Group III we touch matters that are not only
immediately vital but quite new in their type of audacity and
which every one can to-day understand since they are politico-
industrial. Group III, as it stands in the original text, is
YANGTSZE VALLEY which mainly centres round Hankow because the vast
alluvial plains of the lower reaches of this greatest of rivers
were once the floor of the Yellow Sea, the upper provinces of
Hupeh, Hunan, Kiangsi being the region of prehistoric forests
clothing the coasts, which once looked down upon the slowly-
receding waste of waters, and which to-day contain all the coal
and iron. Hitherto every one has always believed that the Yang
tsze Valley was par excellence the British sphere in China; and
every one has always thought that that belief was enough. It is
true that political students, going carefully over all published
documents, have ended their search by declaring that the matter
certainly required further elucidation. To be precise, this so-
called British sphere is not an enclave at all in the proper
sense; indeed it can only seem one to those who still believe that
it is still possible to pre-empt provinces by ministerial
declarations. The Japanese have been the first to dare to say that
the preconceived general belief was stupid. They know, of course,
that it was a British force which invaded the Yangtsze Valley
seventy-five years ago, and forced the signature of the Treaty of
Nanking which first opened China to the world's trade; but they
are by no means impressed with the rights which that action has
been held to confer, since the mineral resources of this region
are priceless in their eyes and must somehow be won.

The study of twenty years of history proves this assumption to be
correct. Ever since 1895, Japan has been driving wedges into the
Yangtsze Valley of a peculiar kind to form the foundations for her
sweeping claims of 1915. Thus after the war with China in 1894-95,
she opened by her Treaty of Peace four ports in the Yangtsze
Valley region, Soochow, Hangchow, Chungking and Shasi; that is, at
the two extreme ends of the valley she established politico-
commercial points d'appui from which to direct her campaign.
Whilst the proximity of Soochow and Hangchow to the British
stronghold of Shanghai made it difficult to carry out any
"penetration" work at the lower end of the river save in the form
of subsidized steam-shipping, the case was different in Hunan and
Hupeh provinces. There she was unendingly busy, and in 1903 by a
fresh treaty she formally opened to trade Changsha, the capital of
the turbulent Hunan province. Changsha for years remained a secret
centre possessing the greatest political importance for her, and
serving as a focus for most varied activities involving Hunan,
Hupeh, and Kiangsi, as well as a vast hinterland. The great Tayeh
iron-mines, although entirely Chinese-owned, were already being
tapped to supply iron-ore for the Japanese Government Foundry at
Wakamatsu on the island of Kiushiu. The rich coal mines of
Pinghsiang, being conveniently near, supplied the great Chinese
Government arsenal of Hanyang with fuel; and since Japan had very
little coal or iron of her own, she decided that it would be best
to embrace as soon as possible the whole area of interests in one
categorical demand--that is to claim a dominant share in the
Hanyang arsenal, the Tayeh iron-mines and the Ping-hsiang
collieries. [Footnote: The reader will observe, that the
expression "Hanyehping enterprises" is compounded by linking
together characters denoting the triple industry.] By lending
money to these enterprises, which were grouped together under the
name of Hanyehping, she had early established a claim on them
which she turned at the psychological moment into an international

We can pass quickly by Group IV which is of little importance,
except to say that in taking upon herself, without consultation
with the senior ally, the duty of asking from China a declaration
concerning the future non-leasing of harbours and islands, Japan
has attempted to assume a protectorship of Chinese territory which
does not belong to her historically. It is well also to note that
although Japan wished it to appear to the world that this action
was dictated by her desire to prevent Germany from acquiring a
fresh foothold in China after the war, in reality Group IV was
drafted as a general warning to the nations, one point being that
she believed that the United States was contemplating the
reorganization of the Foochow Arsenal in Fuhkien province, and
that as a corollary to that reorganization would be given the
lease of an adjoining harbour such as Santuao.

It is not, however, until we reach Group V that the real purpose
of the Japanese demands becomes unalterably clear, for in this
Group we have seven sketches of things designed to serve as the
coup de grace. Not only is a new sphere--Fuhkien province--
indicated; not only is the mid-Yangtsze, from the vicinity of
Kiukiang, to serve as the terminus for a system of Japanese
railways, radiating from the great river to the coasts of South
China; but the gleaming knife of the Japanese surgeon is to aid
the Japanese teacher in the great work of propaganda; the Japanese
monk and the Japanese policeman are to be dispersed like
skirmishers throughout the land; Japanese arsenals are to supply
all the necessary arms, or failing that a special Japanese arsenal
is to be established; Japanese advisers are to give the necessary
advice in finance, in politics, in every department--foreshadowing
a complete and all embracing political control. Never was a more
sweeping program of supervision presented, and small wonder if
Chinese when they learnt of this climax exclaimed that the fate of
Korea was to be their own. For a number of weeks after the
presentation of these demands everything remained clothed in
impenetrable mystery, and despite every effort on the part of
diplomatists reliable details of what was occurring could not be
obtained. Gradually, however, the admission was forced that the
secrecy being preserved was due to the Japanese threat that
publicity would be met with the harshest reprisals; and presently
the veil was entirely lifted by newspaper publication and foreign
Ambassadors began making inquiries in Tokio. The nature and scope
of the Twenty-one Demands could now be no longer hidden; and in
response to the growing indignation which began to be voiced by
the press and the pressure which British diplomacy brought to
bear, Japan found it necessary to modify some of the most
important items. She had held twenty-four meetings at the Chinese
Foreign Office, and although the Chinese negotiators had been
forced to give way in such matters as extending the "leasing"
periods of railways and territories in Manchuria and in admitting
the Japanese right to succeed to all German interests and rights
in Shantung (Group I and II), in the essential matters of the
Hanyehping concessions (Group III) and the noxious demands of
Group V China had stood absolutely firm, declining even to discuss
some of the items.

Accordingly Japanese diplomacy was forced to re-state and re-group
the whole corpus of the demands. On the 26th April, acting under
direct instructions from Tokio, the Japanese Minister to Peking
presented a revised list for renewed consideration, the demands
being expanded to twenty-four articles (in place of the original
twenty-one largely because discussion had shown the necessity of
breaking up into smaller units some of the original articles).
Most significant, however, is the fact that Group V, (which in its
original form was a more vicious assault on Chinese sovereignty
than the Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia of June, 1914) was so
remodelled as to convey a very different meaning, the group
heading disappearing entirely and an innocent-looking exchange of
notes being asked for. It is necessary to recall that, when taxed
with making Demands which were entirely in conflict with the
spirit of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, the Japanese Government
through its ambassadors abroad had categorically denied that they
had ever laid any such Demands on the Chinese Government. It was
claimed that there had never been twenty-one Demands, as the
Chinese alleged, but only fourteen, the seven items of Group V
being desiderata which it was in the interests of china to endorse
but which Japan had no intention of forcing upon her. The writer,
being acquainted from first to last with everything that took
place in Peking from the 18th January to the filing of the
Japanese ultimatum of the 7th May, has no hesitation in
stigmatising this statement as false. The whole aim and object of
these negotiations was to force through Group V. Japan would have
gladly postponed sine die the discussion of all the other Groups
had China assented to provisions which would have made her
independence a thing of the past. Every Chinese knew that, in the
main, Group V was simply a repetition of the measures undertaken
in Korea after the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 as a forerunner to
annexation; and although obviously in the case of China no such
rapid surgery could be practised, the endorsement of these
measures would have meant a virtual Japanese Protectorate. Even a
cursory study of the text that follows will confirm in every
particular these capital contentions:


Japan's Revised Demands on China, twenty-four in all, presented
April 26, 1915.


[The revised list of articles is a Chinese translation of the
Japanese text. It is hereby declared that when a final decision is
reached, there shall be a revision of the wording of the text.]


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government, being desirous
of maintaining the general peace in Eastern Asia and further
strengthening the friendly relations and good neighbourhood
existing between the two nations, agree to the following

Article 1. The Chinese Government engages to give full assent to
all matters upon which the Japanese Government may hereafter agree
with the German Government, relating to the disposition of all
rights, interests and concessions, which Germany, by virtue of
treaties or otherwise, possesses in relation to the Province of

Article 2. (Changed into an exchange of notes.)

The Chinese Government declares that within the Province of
Shantung and along its coast no territory or island will be ceded
or leased to any Power under any pretext.

Article 3. The Chinese Government consents that as regards the
railway to be built by China herself from Chefoo or Lung kow to
connect with the Kiaochow-Tsinanfu Railway, if Germany is willing
to abandon the privilege of financing the Chefoo-Weihsien line.
China will approach Japanese capitalists to negotiate for a loan.

Article 4. The Chinese Government engages, in the interest of
trade and for the residence of foreigners, to open by China
herself as soon as possible certain suitable places in the
Province of Shantung as Commercial Ports.

(Supplementary Exchange of Notes)

The places which ought to be opened are to be chosen and the
regulations are to be drafted, by the Chinese Government, but the
Japanese Minister must be consulted before making a decision.


The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government, with a view to
developing their economic relations in South Manchuria and Eastern
Inner Mongolia, agree to the following articles:--

Article 1. The two contracting Powers mutually agree that the term
of lease of Port Arthur and Dalny and the terms of the South
Manchuria Railway and the Antung-Mukden Railway shall be extended
to 99 years.

(Supplementary Exchange of Notes)

The term of lease of Port Arthur and Dalny shall expire in the
86th year of the Republic or 1997. The date for restoring the
South Manchurian Railway to China shall fall due in the 91st year
of the Republic or 2002. Article 12 in the original South
Manchurian Railway Agreement stating that it may be redeemed by
China after 36 years after the traffic is opened is hereby
cancelled. The term of the Antung-Mukden Railway shall expire in
the 96th year of the Republic or 2007.

Article 2. Japanese subjects in South Manchuria may lease or
purchase the necessary land for erecting suitable buildings for
trade and manufacture or for prosecuting agricultural enterprises.

Article 3. Japanese subjects shall be free to reside and travel in
South Manchuria and to engage in business and manufacture of any
kind whatsoever.

Article 3a. The Japanese subjects referred to in the preceding two
articles, besides being required to register with the local
authorities pass-ports which they must procure under the existing
regulations, shall also submit to police laws and ordinances and
tax regulations, which are approved by the Japanese consul. Civil
and criminal cases in which the defendants are Japanese shall be
tried and adjudicated by the Japanese consul; those in which the
defendants are Chinese shall be tried and adjudicated by Chinese
Authorities. In either case an officer can be deputed to the court
to attend the proceedings. But mixed civil cases between Chinese
and Japanese relating to land shall be tried and adjudicated by
delegates of both nations conjointly in accordance with Chinese
law and local usage. When the judicial system in the said region
is completely reformed, all civil and criminal cases concerning
Japanese subjects shall be tried entirely by Chinese law courts.

Article 4. (Changed to an exchange of notes.)

The Chinese Government agrees that Japanese subjects shall be
permitted forthwith to investigate, select, and then prospect for
and open mines at the following places in South Manchuria, apart
from those mining areas in which mines are being prospected for or
worked; until the Mining Ordinance is definitely settled methods
at present in force shall be followed.


Locality District Mineral

Niu Hsin T'ai Pen-hsi Coal
Tien Shih Fu Kou Pen-hsi Coal
Sha Sung Kang Hai-lung Coal
T'ieh Ch'ang Tung-hua Coal
Nuan Ti Tang Chin Coal
An Shan Chan region From Liao-yang
to Pen-hsi Iron

(Southern portion)

Sha Sung Kang Ho-lung Coal and Iron
Kang Yao Chi-lin (Kirin) Coal
Chia P'i Kou Hua-tien Gold

Article 5. (Changed to an exchange of notes.) The Chinese
Government declares that China will hereafter provide funds for
building railways in South Manchuria; if foreign capital is
required, the Chinese Government agrees to negotiate for the loan
with Japanese capitalists first.

Article 5a. (Changed to an exchange of notes.) The Chinese
Government agrees that hereafter, when a foreign loan is to be
made on the security of the taxes of South Manchuria (not
including customs and salt revenue on the security of which loans
have already been made by the Central Government), it will
negotiate for the loan with Japanese capitalists first.

Article 6. (Changed to an exchange of notes.) The Chinese
Government declares that hereafter if foreign advisers or
instructors on political, financial, military or police matters,
are to be employed in South Manchuria, Japanese will be employed

Article 7. The Chinese Government agrees speedily to make a
fundamental revision of the Kirin-Changchun Railway Loan
Agreement, taking as a standard the provisions in railroad loan
agreements made heretofore between China and foreign financiers.
If, in future, more advantageous terms than those in existing
railway loan agreements are granted to foreign financiers, in
connection with railway loans, the above agreement shall again be
revised in accordance with Japan's wishes.

All existing treaties between China and Japan relating to
Manchuria shall, except where otherwise provided for by this
Convention, remain in force.

1. The Chinese Government agrees that hereafter when a foreign
loan is to be made on the security of the taxes of Eastern Inner
Mongolia, China must negotiate with the Japanese Government first.

2. The Chinese Government agrees that China will herself provide
funds for building the railways in Eastern Inner Mongolia; if
foreign capital is required, she must negotiate with the Japanese
Government first.

3. The Chinese Government agrees, in the interest of trade and for
the residence of foreigners, to open by China herself, as soon as
possible, certain suitable places in Eastern Inner Mongolia as
Commercial Ports. The places which ought to be opened are to be
chosen, and the regulations are to be drafted, by the Chinese
Government, but the Japanese Minister must be consulted before
making a decision.

4. In the event of Japanese and Chinese desiring jointly to
undertake agricultural enterprises and industries incidental
thereto, the Chinese Government shall give its permission.


The relations between Japan and the Hanyehping Company being very
intimate, if those interested in the said Company come to an
agreement with the Japanese capitalists for co-operation, the
Chinese Government shall forthwith give its consent thereto. The
Chinese Government further agrees that, without the consent of the
Japanese capitalists, China will not convert the Company into a
state enterprise, nor confiscate it, nor cause it to borrow and
use foreign capital other than Japanese.


China to give a pronouncement by herself in accordance with the
following principle:--

No bay, harbour, or island along the coast of China may be ceded
or leased to any Power.

Notes to be Exchanged A

As regards the right of financing a railway from Wuchang to
connect with the Kiu-kiang-Nanchang line, the Nanchang-Hangchow
railway, and the Nanchang-Chaochow railway, if it is clearly
ascertained that other Powers have no objection, China shall grant
the said right to Japan.


As regards the rights of financing a railway from Wuchang to
connect with the Kiu-kiang-Nanchang railway, a railway from
Nanchang to Hangchow and another from Nanchang to Chaochow, the
Chinese Government shall not grant the said right to any foreign
Power before Japan comes to an understanding with the other Power
which is heretofore interested therein.


The Chinese Government agrees that no nation whatever is to be
permitted to construct, on the coast of Fukien Province, a
dockyard, a coaling station for military use, or a naval base; not
to be authorized to set up any other military establishment. The
Chinese Government further agrees not to use foreign capital for
setting up the above mentioned construction or establishment.

Mr. Lu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated as follows:--

1. The Chinese Government, shall, whenever, in future, it
considers this step necessary, engage numerous Japanese advisers.

2. Whenever, in future, Japanese subjects desire to lease or
purchase land in the interior of China for establishing schools or
hospitals, the Chinese Government shall forthwith give its consent

3. When a suitable opportunity arises in future, the Chinese
Government will send military officers to Japan to negotiate with
Japanese military authorities the matter of purchasing arms or
that of establishing a joint arsenal.

Mr. Hioki, the Japanese Minister, stated as follows:--

As relates to the question of the right of missionary propaganda
the same shall be taken up again for negotiation in future.

An ominous silence followed the delivery of this document. The
Chinese Foreign Office had already exhausted itself in a
discussion which had lasted three months, and pursuant to
instructions from the Presidential Palace prepared an exhaustive
Memorandum on the subject. It was understood by now that all the
Foreign Offices in the world were interesting themselves very
particularly in the matter; and that all were agreed that the
situation which had so strangely developed was very serious. On
the 1st May, proceeding by appointment to the Waichiaopu (Foreign
Office) the Japanese Minister had read to him the following
Memorandum which it is very necessary to grasp as it shows how
solicitous China had become of terminating the business before
there was an open international break. It will also be seen that
this Memorandum was obviously composed for purpose of public
record, the fifth group being dealt with in such a way as to fix
upon Japan the guilt of having concealed from her British Ally
matters which conflicted vitally with the aims and objects of the
Anglo-Japanese Alliance Treaty.


Read by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Mr. Hioki, the Japanese
Minister, at a Conference held at Wai Chiao Pu, May 1, 1915.

The list of demands which the Japanese Government first presented
to the Chinese Government consists of five groups, the first
relating to Shantung, the second relating to South Manchuria and
Eastern Inner Mongolia, the third relating to Hanyehping Company,
the fourth asking for non-alienation of the coast of the country,
and the fifth relating to the questions of national advisers,
national police, national arms, missionary propaganda, Yangtsze
Valley railways, and Fukien Province. Out of profound regard for
the intentions entertained by Japan, the Chinese Government took
these momentous demands into grave and careful consideration and
decided to negotiate with the Japanese Government frankly and
sincerely what were possible to negotiate. This is a manifestation
to Japan of the most profound regard which the Chinese Government
entertains for the relations between the two nations.

Ever since the opening of the negotiations China has been doing
her best to hasten their progress holding as many as three
conferences a week. As regards the articles in the second group,
the Chinese Government being disposed to allow the Japanese
Government to develop the economic relations of the two countries
in South Manchuria, realizing that the Japanese Government
attaches importance to its interests in that region, and wishing
to meet the hope of Japan, made a painful effort, without
hesitation, to agree to the extension of the 25-year lease of Port
Arthur and Dalny, the 36-year period of the South Manchurian
Railway and the 15-year period of the Antung-Mukden Railway, all
to 99 years; and to abandon its own cherished hopes to regain
control of these places and properties at the expiration of their
respective original terms of lease. It cannot but be admitted that
this is a most genuine proof of China's friendship for Japan.

As to the right of opening mines in South Manchuria, the Chinese
Government has already agreed to permit Japanese to work mines
within the mining areas designated by Japan. China has further
agreed to give Japan a right of preference in the event of
borrowing foreign capital for building railways or of making a
loan on the security of the local taxes in South Manchuria. The
question of revising the arrangement for the Kirin-Changchun
Railway has been settled in accordance with the proposal made by
Japan. The Chinese Government has further agreed to employ
Japanese first in the event of employing foreign advisers on
political, military, financial and police matters.

Furthermore, the provision about the repurchase period in the
South Manchurian Railway was not mentioned in Japan's original
proposal. Subsequently, the Japanese Government alleging that its
meaning was not clear, asked China to cancel the provision
altogether. Again, Japan at first demanded the right of Japanese
to carry on farming in South Manchuria, but subsequently she
considered the word "farming" was not broad enough and asked to
replace it with the phrase "agricultural enterprises." To these
requests the Chinese Government, though well aware that the
proposed changes could only benefit Japan, still acceded without
delay. This, too, is a proof of China's frankness and sincerity
towards Japan.

As regards matters relating to Shangtung the Chinese Government
has agreed to a majority of the demands.

The question of inland residence in South Manchuria is, in the
opinion of the Chinese Government, incompatible with the treaties
China had entered into with Japan and other Powers, still the
Chinese Government did its best to consider how it was possible to
avoid that incompatibility. At first, China suggested that the
Chinese Authorities should have full rights of jurisdiction over
Japanese settlers. Japan declined to agree to it. Thereupon China
reconsidered the question and revised her counter-proposal five or
six times, each time making some definite concession, and went so
far to agree that all civil and criminal cases between Chinese and
Japanese should be arranged according to existing treaties. Only
cases relating to land or lease contracts were reserved to be
adjudicated by Chinese Courts, as a mark of China's sovereignty
over the region. This is another proof of China's readiness to
concede as much as possible.

Eastern Inner Mongolia is not an enlightened region as yet and the
conditions existing there are entirely different from those
prevailing in South Manchuria. The two places, therefore, cannot
be considered in the same light. Accordingly, China agreed to open
commercial marts first, in the interests of foreign trade.

The Hanyehping Company mentioned in the third group is entirely a
private company, and the Chinese Government is precluded from
interfering with it and negotiating with another government to
make any disposal of the same as the Government likes, but having
regard for the interests of the Japanese capitalists, the Chinese
Government agreed that whenever, in future, the said company and
the Japanese capitalists should arrive at a satisfactory
arrangement for co-operation, China will give her assent thereto.
Thus the interests of the Japanese capitalists are amply

Although the demand in the fourth group asking for a declaration
not to alienate China's coast is an infringement of her sovereign
rights, yet the Chinese Government offered to make a voluntary
pronouncement so far as it comports with China's sovereign rights.
Thus, it is seen that the Chinese Government, in deference to the
wishes of Japan, gave a most serious consideration even to those
demands, which gravely affect the sovereignty and territorial
rights of China as well as the principle of equal opportunity and
the treaties with foreign Powers. All this was a painful effort on
the part of the Chinese Government to meet the situation--a fact
of which the Japanese Government must be aware.

As regards the demands in the fifth group, they all infringe
China's sovereignty, the treaty rights of other Powers or the
principle of equal opportunity. Although Japan did not indicate
any difference between this group and the preceding four in the
list which she presented to China in respect to their character,
the Chinese Government, in view of their palpably objectionable
features, persuaded itself that these could not have been intended
by Japan as anything other than Japan's mere advice to China.
Accordingly China has declared from the very beginning that while
she entertains the most profound regard for Japan's wishes, she
was unable to admit that any of these matters could be made the
subject of an understanding with Japan. Much as she desired to pay
regard to Japan's wishes, China cannot but respect her own
sovereign rights and the existing treaties with other Powers. In
order to be rid of the seed for future misunderstanding and to
strengthen the basis of friendship, China was constrained to
iterate the reasons for refusing to negotiate on any of the
articles in the fifth group, yet in view of Japan's wishes China
has expressed her readiness to state that no foreign money was
borrowed to construct harbour work in Fukien Province. Thus it is
clear that China went so far as to see a solution for Japan of a
question that really did not admit of negotiation. Was there,
then, evasion, on the part of China?

Now, since the Japanese Government has presented a revised list of
demands and declared at the same time, that it will restore the
leased territory of Kiaochow, the Chinese Government reconsiders
the whole question and herewith submits a new reply to the
friendly Japanese Government.

In this reply the unsettled articles in the first group are stated
again for discussion.

As regards the second group, those articles which have already
been initialled are omitted. In connection with the question of
inland residence the police regulation clause has been revised in
a more restrictive sense. As for the trial of cases relating to
land and lease contracts the Chinese Government now permits the
Japanese Consul to send an officer to attend the proceedings.

Of the four demands in connection with that part of Eastern Inner
Mongolia which is within the jurisdiction of South Manchuria and
the Jehol intendency, China agrees to three.

China, also, agrees to the article relating to the Hanyehping
Company as revised by Japan.

It is hoped that the Japanese Government will appreciate the
conciliatory spirit of the Chinese Government in making this final
concession and forthwith give her assent thereto.

There is one more point. At the beginning of the present
negotiations it was mutually agreed to observe secrecy but
unfortunately a few days after the presentation of the demands by
Japan an Osaka newspaper published an "Extra" giving the text of
the demands. The foreign and the Chinese press has since been
paying considerable attention to this question and frequently
publishing pro-Chinese or pro-Japanese comments in order to call
forth the World's conjecture--a matter which the Chinese
Government deeply regrets.

The Chinese Government has never carried on any newspaper campaign
and the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly
declared this to the Japanese Minister.

In conclusion, the Chinese Government wishes to express its hope
that the negotiations now pending between the two countries will
soon come to an end and whatever misgivings foreign countries
entertain toward the present situation may be quickly dispelled.

The Peking Government, although fully aware of the perils now
confronting it, had dared to draft a complete reply to the revised
Demands and had reduced Japanese redundancy to effective limits.
Not only were various articles made more compact, but the
phraseology employed conveyed unmistakably, if in a somewhat
subtle way, that China was not a subordinate State treating with a
suzerain. Moreover, after dealing succinctly and seriously with
Groups I, II and III, the Chinese reply terminates abruptly, the
other points in the Japanese List being left entirely unanswered.
It is important to seize these points in the text that follows.


China's Reply of May 1, 1915, to the Japanese Revised Demands of
April 26, 1915.


The Chinese Government and the Japanese Government, being desirous
of maintaining the general peace in Eastern Asia and further
strengthening the friendly relations and good neighbourhood
existing between the two nations, agree to the following

Article 1. The Chinese Government declares that they will give
full assent to all matters upon which the Japanese and German
Governments may hereafter mutually agree, relating to the
disposition of all interests, which Germany, by virtue of treaties
or recorded cases, possesses in relation to the Province of

The Japanese Government declares that when the Chinese Government
give their assent to the disposition of interests above referred
to, Japan will restore the leased territory of Kiaochow to China;
and further recognize the right of the Chinese Government to
participate in the negotiations referred to above between Japan
and Germany.

Article 2. The Japanese Government consents to be responsible for
the indemnification of all losses occasioned by Japan's military
operation around the leased territory of Kiaochow. The customs,
telegraphs and post offices within the leased territory of
Kiaochow shall, prior to the restoration of the said leased
territory to China, be administered as heretofore for the time
being. The railways and telegraph lines erected by Japan for
military purposes are to be removed forthwith. The Japanese troops
now stationed outside the original leased territory of Kiaochow
are now to be withdrawn first, those within the original leased
territory are to be withdrawn on the restoration of the said
leased territory to China.

Article 3. (Changed to an exchange of notes.)

The Chinese Government declares that within the Province of
Shantung and along its coast no territory or island will be ceded
or leased to any Power under any pretext.

Article 4. The Chinese Government consent that as regards the
railway to be built by China herself from Chefoo or Lung kow to
connect with the Kiaochow-Tsinanfu railway, if Germany is willing
to abandon the privilege of financing the Chefoo-Weihsien line,
China will approach Japanese capitalists for a loan.

Article 5. The Chinese Government engage, in the interest of trade
and for the residence of foreigners, to open by herself as soon as
possible certain suitable places in the Province of Shantung as
Commercial Ports.

(Supplementary Exchange of Notes)

The places which ought to be opened are to be chosen, and the
regulations are to be drafted by the Chinese Government, but the
Japanese Minister must be consulted before making a decision.

Article 6. If the Japanese and German Governments are not able to
come to a definite agreement in future in their negotiations
respecting transfer, etc., this provisional agreement contained in
the foregoing articles shall be void.

GROUP II [Footnote: Six articles found in Japan's Revised Demands
are omitted here as they had already been initiated by the Chinese
Foreign Minister and the Japanese minister.]

The Chinese Government and the Japanese Government, with a view to
developing their economic relations in South Manchuria, agree to
the following articles:--

Article 2. Japanese subjects in South Manchuria may, by
arrangement with the owners, lease land required for erecting
suitable buildings for trade and manufacture or agricultural

Article 3. Japanese subjects shall be free to reside and travel in
South Manchuria and to engage in business and manufacture of any
kind whatsoever.

Article 3a. The Japanese subjects referred to in the preceding two
articles, besides being required to register with the local
authorities pass-ports which they must procure under the existing
regulations, shall also observe police rules and regulations and
pay taxes in the same manner as Chinese. Civil and criminal cases
shall be tried and adjudicated by the authorities of the defendant
nationality and an officer can be deputed to attend the
proceedings. But all cases purely between Japanese subjects and
mixed cases between Japanese or Chinese, relating to land or
disputes arising from lease contracts, shall be tried and
adjudicated by Chinese Authorities and the Japanese Consul may
also depute an officer to attend the proceedings. When the
judicial system in the said Province is completely reformed, all
the civil and criminal cases concerning Japanese subjects shall be
tried entirely by Chinese law courts.


1. The Chinese Government declare that China will not in future
pledge the taxes, other than customs and salt revenue of that part
of Eastern Inner Mongolia under the jurisdiction of South
Manchuria and Jehol Intendency, as security for raising a foreign

2. The Chinese Government declare that China will herself provide
funds for building the railways in the part of Eastern Inner
Mongolia under the jurisdiction of South Manchuria and the Jehol
Intendency; if foreign capital is required, China will negotiate
with Japanese capitalists first, provided this does not conflict
with agreements already concluded with other Powers.

The Chinese Government agree, in the interest of trade and for the
residence of foreigners, to open by China herself certain suitable
places in that part of Eastern Inner Mongolia under the
jurisdiction of South Manchurian and the Jehol Intendency, as
Commercial Marts.

The regulations for the said Commercial Marts will be made in
accordance with those of other Commercial Marts opened by China


The relations between Japan and the Hanyehping Company being very
intimate, if the said Company comes to an agreement with the
Japanese capitalists for co-operation, the Chinese Government
shall forthwith give their consent thereto. The Chinese Government
further declare that China will not convert the company into a
state enterprise, not confiscate it, nor cause it to borrow and
use foreign capital other than Japanese.

Letter to be addressed by the Japanese Minister to the Chinese
Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Excellency: I have the honour to state that a report has reached
me that the Chinese Government have given permission to foreign
nations to construct, on the coast of Fukien Province, dock-yards,
coaling stations for military use, naval bases and other
establishments for military purposes; and further, that the
Chinese Government are borrowing foreign capital for putting up
the above-mentioned constructions or establishments. I shall be
much obliged if the Chinese Government will inform me whether or
not these reports are well founded in fact.

Reply to be addressed by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs
to the Japanese Minister.

Excellency: I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your
Excellency's Note of ... In reply I beg to state that the
Chinese Government have not given permission to foreign Powers to
construct, on the coast of Fukien Province, dock-yards, coaling
stations for military use, naval bases or other establishments for
military purposes; nor do they contemplate to borrow foreign
capital for putting up such constructions or establishments.

Within forty-eight hours of this passage-at-arms of the 1st May it
was understood in Peking that Japan was meditating a serious step.
That vague feeling of unrest which so speedily comes in capitals
when national affairs reach a crisis was very evident, and the
word "ultimatum" began to be whispered. It was felt that whilst
China had held to her rights to the utmost and had received
valuable indirect support from both England and the United States,
the world-situation was such that it would be difficult to prevent
Japan from proceeding to extremities. Accordingly there was little
real surprise when on the 7th May Japan filed an ultimatum
demanding a satisfactory reply within 48 hours to her Revised
Demands--failing which those steps deemed necessary would be
taken. A perusal of the text of the Ultimatum will show an
interesting change in the language employed. Coaxing having
failed, and Japan being 'now convinced that so long as she did not
seek to annex the rights of other Foreign Powers in China open
opposition could not be offered to her,' states her case very
defiantly. One significant point, however, must be carefully
noted--that she agrees "to detach Group V from the present
negotiations and to discuss it separately in the future." It is
this fact which remains the sword of Damocles hanging over China's
head; and until this sword has been flung back into the waters of
the Yellow Sea the Far Eastern situation will remain perilous.


Japan's Ultimatum delivered by the Japanese Minister to the
Chinese Government, on May 7th, 1915.

The reason why the Imperial Government opened the present
negotiations with the Chinese Government is first to endeavour to
dispose of the complications arising out of the war between Japan
and China, and secondly to attempt to solve those various
questions which are detrimental to the intimate relations of China
and Japan with a view to solidifying the foundation of cordial
friendship subsisting between the two countries to the end that
the peace of the Far East may be effectually and permanently
preserved. With this object in view, definite proposals were
presented to the Chinese Government in January of this year, and
up to today as many as twenty-five conferences have been held with
the Chinese Government in perfect sincerity and frankness.

In the course of the negotiation the Imperial Government have
consistently explained the aims and objects of the proposals in a
conciliatory spirit, while on the other hand the proposals of the
Chinese Government, whether important or unimportant, have been
attended to without any reserve.

It may be stated with confidence that no effort has been spared to
arrive at a satisfactory and amicable settlement of those

The discussion of the entire corpus of the proposals was
practically at an end at the twenty-fourth conference; that is on
the 17th of the last month. The Imperial Government, taking a
broad view of the negotiation and in consideration of the points
raised by the Chinese Government, modified the original proposals
with considerable concessions and presented to the Chinese
Government on the 26th of the same month the revised proposals for
agreement, and at the same time it was offered that, on the
acceptance of the revised proposals, the Imperial Government
would, at a suitable opportunity, restore, with fair and proper
conditions, to the Chinese Government the Kiaochow territory, in
the acquisition of which the Imperial Government had made a great

On the 1st of May, the Chinese Government delivered the reply to
the revised proposals of the Japanese Government, which is
contrary to the expectations of the Imperial Government. The
Chinese Government not only did not give a careful consideration
to the revised proposals but even with regard to the offer of the
Japanese Government to restore Kiaochow to the Chinese Government
the latter did not manifest the least appreciation for Japan's
good will and difficulties.

From the commercial and military point of view Kiaochow is an
important place, in the acquisition of which the Japanese Empire
sacrificed much blood and money, and, after the acquisition the
Empire incurs no obligation to restore it to China. But with the
object of increasing the future friendly relations of the two
countries, they went to the extent of proposing its restoration,
yet to her great regret, the Chinese Government did not take into
consideration the good intention of Japan and manifest
appreciation of her difficulties. Furthermore, the Chinese
Government not only ignored the friendly feelings of the Imperial
Government in offering the restoration of Kiaochow Bay, but also
in replying to the revised proposals they even demanded its
unconditional restoration; and again China demanded that Japan
should bear the responsibility of paying indemnity for all the
unavoidable losses and damages resulting from Japan's military
operations at Kiaochow; and still further in connection with the
territory of Kiaochow China advanced other demands and declared
that she has the right of participation at the future peace
conference to be held between Japan and Germany. Although China is
fully aware that the unconditional restoration of Kiaochow and
Japan's responsibility of indemnification for the unavoidable
losses and damages can never be tolerated by Japan yet she
purposely advanced these demands and declared that this reply was
final and decisive.

Since Japan could not tolerate such demands the settlement of the
other questions, however compromising it may be, would not be to
her interest. The consequence is that the present reply of the
Chinese Government is, on the whole, vague and meaningless.

Furthermore, in the reply of the Chinese Government to the other
proposals in the revised list of the Imperial Government, such as
South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mongolia, where Japan
particularly has geographical, commercial, industrial and
strategic relations, as recognized by all the nations, and made
more remarkable in consequence of the two wars in which Japan was
engaged the Chinese Government overlooks these facts and does not
respect Japan's position in that place. The Chinese Government
even freely altered those articles which the Imperial Government,
in a compromising spirit, have formulated in accordance with the
statement of the Chinese Representatives thereby making the
statements of the Representatives an empty talk; and on seeing
them conceding with the one hand and withholding with the other it
is very difficult to attribute faithfulness and sincerity to the
Chinese authorities.

As regards the articles relating to the employment of advisers,
the establishment of schools, and hospitals, the supply of arms
and ammunition and the establishment of arsenals and railway
concessions in South China in the revised proposals they were
either proposed with the proviso that the consent of the Power
concerned must be obtained, or they are merely to be recorded in
the minutes in accordance with the statements of the Chinese
delegates, and thus they are not in the least in conflict either
with Chinese sovereignty or her treaties with the Foreign Powers,
yet the Chinese Government in their reply to the proposals,
alleging that these proposals are incompatible with their
sovereign rights and treaties with Foreign Powers, defeat the
expectations of the Imperial Government. However in spite of such
attitude of the Chinese Government, the Imperial Government,
though regretting to see that there is no room for further
negotiations, yet warmly attached to the preservation of the peace
of the Far East, is still hoping for a satisfactory settlement in
order to avoid the disturbance of the relations.

So in spite of the circumstances which admitted no patience, they
have reconsidered the feelings of the Government of their
neighbouring country and, with the exception of the article
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 negotiation and discuss it separately in the future.
Therefore the Chinese Government should appreciate the friendly
feelings of the Imperial Government by immediately accepting
without any alteration all the articles of Group I, II, III, and
IV and the exchange of notes in connection with Fukien province in
Group V as contained in the revised proposals presented on the
26th of April.

The Imperial Government hereby again offer their advice and hope
that the Chinese Government, upon this advice, will give a
satisfactory reply by 6 o'clock P. M. on the 9th day of May. It is
hereby declared that if no satisfactory reply is received before
or at the specified time, the Imperial Government will take steps
they may deem necessary.


Accompanying Ultimatum delivered to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs by the Japanese Minister, May 7th, 1915.

1. With the exception of the question of Fukien to be arranged by
an exchange of notes, the five articles postponed for later
negotiation refer to (a) the employment of advisers, (b) the
establishment of schools and hospitals, (c) the railway
concessions in South China, (d) the supply of arms and ammunition
and the establishment of arsenals and (e) right of Missionary

2. The acceptance by the Chinese Government of the article
relating to Fukien may be either in the form as proposed by the
Japanese Minister on the 26th of April or in that contained in the
Reply of the Chinese Government of May 1st. Although the Ultimatum
calls for the immediate acceptance by China of the modified
proposals presented on April 26th, without alteration but it
should be noted that it merely states the principle and does not
apply to this article and articles 4 and 5 of this note.

3. If the Chinese Government accept all the articles as demanded
in the Ultimatum the offer of the Japanese Government to restore
Kiaochow to China, made on the 26th of April, will still hold

4. Article 2 of Group II relating to the lease or purchase of
land, the terms "lease" and "purchase" may be replaced by the
terms "temporary lease" and "perpetual lease" or "lease on
consultation," which means a long-term lease with its
unconditional renewal.

Article 4 of Group II relating to the approval of police laws and
Ordinances and local taxes by the Japanese Council may form the
subject of a secret agreement.

5. The phrase "to consult with the Japanese Government" in
connection with questions of pledging the local taxes for raising
loans and the loans for the construction of railways, in Eastern
Inner Mongolia, which is similar to the agreement in Manchuria
relating to the matters of the same kind, may be replaced by the
phrase "to consult with the Japanese capitalists."

The article relating to the opening of trade marts in Eastern
Inner Mongolia in respect to location and regulations, may,
following their precedent set in Shantung, be the subject of an
exchange of notes.

6. From the phrase "those interested in the Company" in Group III
of the revised list of demands, the words "those interested in"
may be deleted.

7. The Japanese version of the Formal Agreement and its annexes
shall be the official text or both the Chinese and Japanese shall
be the official texts.

Whilst it would be an exaggeration to say that open panic followed
the filing of this document, there was certainly very acute
alarm,--so much so that it is today known in Peking that the
Japanese Legation cabled urgently to Tokio that even better terms
could be obtained if the matter was left to the discretion of the
men on the spot. But the Japanese Government had by now passed
through a sufficiently anxious time itself, being in possession of
certain unmistakable warnings regarding what was likely to happen
after a world-peace had come,--if matters were pressed too far.
Consequently nothing more was done, and on the following day China
signified her acceptance of the Ultimatum in the following terms.

Reply of the Chinese Government to the Ultimatum of the Japanese
Government, delivered to the Japanese Minister by the Minister of
Foreign Affairs on the 8th of May, 1915,

On the 7th of this month, at three o'clock P. M. the Chinese
Government received an Ultimatum from the Japanese Government
together with an Explanatory Note of seven articles. The Ultimatum
concluded with the hope that the Chinese Government by six o'clock
P. M. on the 9th of May will give a satisfactory reply, and it is
hereby declared that if no satisfactory reply is received before
or at the specified time, the Japanese Government will take steps

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