America Must Prepare for a War Over Taiwan
Being Ready Is the Best Way to Prevent a Fight With China
FROM the Nationalist Headquarters at Hankow there comes a "Manifesto to the American People" in which it is declared that, "The Chinese people believe the American people are not aware of the crimes their government is committing" in pursuit of a "catastrophic change in America's policy toward China."
Misinformation, misrepresentation, ignorance, credulity, emotionalism and impatience render the Chinese masses easy victims of the agitator and American classes enthusiastic creditors of much that is incredible. In soil fertilized by one or more of these ingredients grew the Boxer Uprising. In such soil have been cultivated the anti-foreign manifestations of the Chinese nationalist movement. In such soil there flourishes in the United States a luxuriant crop of erroneous impressions with regard to conditions in China and with regard to what the United States, its government and its citizens are doing in China.
Impressions, opinions, assertions. There are in regard to the situation in China, and in regard to the problem which that situation presents, certain indisputable facts. Chinese leaders, groups and factions are at war with one another. Some of them are actively hostile to the foreign Powers, foreign nationals and foreign influences. Political authority has broken down. Chinese soldiers and Chinese civilians have driven and are driving foreigners from their homes and their places of business. Articulate political China has declared and is demanding that the "unequal" treaties be done away with and that the privileges enjoyed by the foreign Powers and foreign nationals in China be terminated.
For months there have been demands that the American Government "do something" in regard to China. From China, in so far as it is articulate, and from many quarters in the United States have come suggestions, advice and demands with regard to the negotiation of a new treaty. After the adjournment (July 23, 1926) of the Special Conference on the Chinese Customs Tariff (Peking), the demand began to be voiced that the American Government "negotiate with China" at once and independently of the other Powers. In January, 1927, Secretary of State Kellogg made public a statement affirming the willingness of the American Government to go on with the negotiations begun at Peking or to enter upon new negotiations with representatives of China at the earliest possible moment. A flood of suggestions and demands has ensued. From some quarters it has been urged that the Department of State propose formally to the Chinese Minister in Washington that Delegations be forthwith appointed; from some, that the American Government appoint its delegates without waiting for the Chinese; and from some, that it "confirm its readiness to negotiate" by "naming a delegation satisfactory to the Chinese." A prominent Chinese spokesman has urged that "the Powers themselves should declare in irrevocable terms and unconditionally the terminating of all unequal treaties."
In studying the treaty provisions and the whole system which has arisen under the treaties in regulation of the contact between the Chinese and foreigners, two facts should be kept ever in mind. First, this system has developed not without cause and reason. Second, whatever its faults, it exists; it rests upon law and contract; it has been the legal basis upon which many foreigners and more Chinese have ordered their lives, made their investments, created and carried on their business, during several generations; and it cannot be abolished suddenly without working injustice and great hardship to a considerable number of honest, law-abiding, hard-working and progressive persons, both foreigners and Chinese, more of the latter than of the former.
It was urged until a few weeks ago by some Chinese and some Americans that the Government stake everything on the prospects of one Chinese faction; and advocates of this course declared that if the United States did not do this, the Chinese people would "lose faith in America," would regard America as an imperialistic power, would consider her an enemy and would treat her as such. It has since been suggested that the American Government send a Commission to China to investigate, authorized perhaps to negotiate. It has been suggested recently that the American Government should negotiate with both "governments" or with each and all of the various contending and competing authorities in China.
Always the demand that the American Government "do something;" frequently the demand that it "take the lead" in China; in many forms, a demand for action, immediate action and positive action.
Then came action. There was a change in the situation in China. Attacks on foreigners began. Missionaries were driven from their posts; the British Concession at Hankow was overrun by a mob; it was announced that Chinese armed forces intended to take the International Settlement at Shanghai. Action. The British Government sent armed forces to China; the American Government and other governments sent armed forces. Then came the affirmation, with grave concern on the part of those who advanced it, that there had been a deplorable "change" in the policy of the United States toward China. Next came dispatches to the effect that the other Powers were swinging toward the policy of the American Government -- much to the gratification of Washington.
All within a few weeks -- assertions that the United States has not a Chinese policy, assertions that it has, demands that it do something, complaints when it does something, complaints because it does not do more, demands that its policy be changed, the affirmation that it has been changed, assurance that it has not been changed, and expressions of gratification that the other Powers are inclining toward the American policy.
To the question asked a few days ago by one of the keenest men in Washington -- "Has the American Government, really, a Chinese policy," the reply was and is: "Yes, it has -- a policy so obvious, so simple and so straight-in-line with American traditions and opinions that many people fail to see it because they are looking for something different."
The American Government has a Chinese policy, based on well-established principles. The Chinese policy of the United States has been and is, fortunately, a consistent policy. To anyone who will take the trouble to look into the history of American activities in the Far East during a century and a half of contact between the United States and China and then read the published statements of the President and the Secretary of State during the past two years and then examine the record of the past five years, this will appear a truism.
Probably the most common error made by those who study foreign policy is that of failing to distinguish between policy and plan of action, then between plan of action and detail of action, and finally between action which is negative -- but nevertheless deliberate and consciously determined -- and action which is positive and expressed in movement.
In the field of foreign relations, every Government has a twofold duty: first to safeguard the lives and interests of its own citizens; second, to respect the rights and susceptibilities of the people of other countries. In relations between the United States and China, successive American Administrations have established in reference to this twofold duty a record of performance with which neither the American nor the Chinese public, as they look back over it, find much fault. And the present Administration is not ignorant of or indifferent to that record.
American Far Eastern policy has been shaped by the belief of the American people that free states should remain free -- in the Orient as elsewhere -- and should be encouraged to develop peacefully along their own lines without political interference. In this respect the Far Eastern policy of the United States has sprung from the same root in American thought from which sprang the Monroe Doctrine in relation to the Western Hemisphere. In relation to China, as earlier in relation to Japan, the American people and the American Government have looked with disapproval upon tendencies toward imperialistic adventure or partition or absorption by foreign states. This attitude and policy have run a clear course.[i]
American interest in China has been chiefly commercial and cultural. To China from America there went first merchants; second, missionaries; third, diplomats. No American soldiers went to China until 1900.
In the early days of the Canton trade, before the first treaties, "In every issue between the foreigner and the Chinese, the important question was whether the Americans would find it most to their profit to stand with the English or with the Chinese." This continued after the signing of the treaties. "Sometimes the Americans stood with the British for concerted action, but when the concerted action proposed by the British would have a tendency to weaken the Chinese merchants, or when the British adopted policies directly inimical to the American trade the Americans were disposed to support the Chinese."[ii]
When diplomatic relations began, the principal positive objective of American policy in China was -- as it had been and has been elsewhere -- to ensure for Americans equality of opportunity. In the treaty which Caleb Cushing concluded, equality of treatment was promised by China to the United States.[iii]
The "second plank in the platform of American policy" toward China was laid down in the period of the Taiping Rebellion. Humphrey Marshall, American Commissioner, took the position (1853) ". . . . that the highest interests of the United States are involved in sustaining China -- maintaining order here [at Shanghai] . . . rather than to see China become the theatre of widespread anarchy and ultimately the prey of European ambition;" and, later, "it is my purpose to perform, punctiliously, every obligation assumed by the United States under the treaty, and to refrain from embarrassing the public administration of Chinese affairs by throwing unnecessary obstacles in the way." The American Government became of the same mind: its policy became that of respecting China's sovereignty and helping the Chinese authorities to maintain the political and administrative integrity of the Empire.
Shortly thereafter, though Americans in China, including officials, merchants and some missionaries[iv] urged that the United States coöperate with European Governments in the use of force, the American Government resolutely refused to be drawn into the armed conflict.
Fifteen year later, in the only treaty which Anson Burlingame succeeded in concluding, it was reiterated that the sovereign rights of China must be respected and the principle of equal opportunity for all nations to compete "in trade or navigation within the Chinese dominions" be respected -- in accordance with, but not beyond, "the treaty stipulations of the parties."[v]
It remained for John Hay to formulate in 1899 the doctrine that, in reference to their "spheres of interest" in China, the Powers should follow, with regard to each other and to the world, the principle of equality of opportunity; and to suggest in 1900 that the Powers pledge themselves to respect China's territorial and administrative entity. The Hay Notes committed the United States, and those of the other Powers whose replies were favorable, to the principle of coöperation in a course of self-denial and restraint. The principle of coöperation was followed by most of the Powers in 1900; and during the negotiations of 1900--1901, in the post-Boxer settlement, the American Government did everything possible to make effective the feature of restraint.
In 1902 and 1903 the British, the American and the Japanese Governments assented by treaty to an increase in China's tariff rates simultaneously with the abolition by China of likin duties, and agreed to relinquish extraterritorial rights when satisfied that the state of Chinese laws and arrangements for their administration and other considerations should warrant.
In 1915 the Wilson Administration served notice that it would recognize no agreement which China might be forced to make which would impair ". . . the political or territorial integrity of the Republic of China, or the international policy relative to China commonly known as the open door policy." In 1918 President Wilson approved of American participation in the new Consortium in the belief that only by participation could the American Government exercise a restraining influence which would be in the long run to China's advantage. At the Paris Conference, President Wilson labored hard over China's case. He failed to break the arrangement which had been concluded two years earlier among four other Powers. But the American Senate and the American people stood with China, the principle involved being that of preserving China's independence and territorial integrity, until, at Washington, agreements were arrived at between Japan and China whereby the "lost rights" in Shantung were restored to China.
At the Washington Conference, with the American Government playing the leading part, the principal Powers concerned (including China) committed themselves to a common understanding with regard to equality of opportunity in China, respect for China's sovereignty, and non-interference in China's domestic affairs, -- and in these agreements the underlying principle was that there should be coöperation in a course of forbearance, self-denial and restraint.
Three years went by before the last of the Powers signatory to the Washington treaties deposited its ratification of the Treaty concerning the Chinese Customs Tariff and enabled the Chinese Government to ask for the assembling of that Conference. On September 4, 1925, the Powers sent Identic Notes to the Chinese Government. In its participation in this Note, the American Government said: ". . . . The United States is now prepared to consider the Chinese Government's proposal for the modification of the existing treaties."
Two days earlier (September 2, 1925) Secretary Kellogg had stated in a speech at Detroit the principles of the Chinese policy of the American Government, as follows: "In brief, that policy may be said to be to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, to encourage the development of an effective stable government, to maintain the Open Door or equal opportunity for the trade of nationals of all countries, to carry out scrupulously the obligations and promises made to China at the Washington Conference, and to require China to perform the obligations of a sovereign state in the protection of foreign citizens and their property."
The American Government forthwith sent its Delegation to the Tariff Conference at Peking prepared to go to the limit to which other Powers might be moved to go toward creating in and for China an improved fiscal situation, and at the Conference the American Delegation did its utmost to carry out the spirit of its very liberal instructions and persisted in the hope that an agreement would be reached until, in July 1926, the Nationalist Government (then at Canton) served notice that it would recognize no engagement which might be entered into by the Peking Government.
The Commission on Extraterritoriality pursued for nine months its investigation of the laws and administration of justice in China. The American member of the Commission took a leading part, as Chairman, in drawing up suggestions and recommendations as to steps which should be taken both by China and by the Powers toward producing conditions which would warrant the Powers in giving up their rights in this connection. In their Report, the Commissioners expressed unanimously the opinion that there should be a period of transition, by agreement and program, rather than abrupt destruction of such legal structure and arrangements as exist in China before another system has been made ready to take its place.
In a statement on January 27, 1927, Secretary Kellogg said with regard to the Chinese tariff and extraterritoriality: "The United States is . . . prepared to enter into negotiations with any government of China or delegations which can represent or speak for China . . . for . . . entirely releasing tariff control and restoring complete tariff autonomy to China . . . . The United States is prepared to put into force the recommendations of the Extraterritoriality Commission which can be put into force without a treaty at once[vi] and to negotiate the release of extraterritorial rights as soon as China is prepared to provide protection by law and through her courts to American citizens, their rights and property . . . . The Government of the United States . . . is ready . . . to continue the negotiations on the entire subject of the tariff and extraterritoriality or to take up negotiations on behalf of the United States alone." But," Existing treaties which were ratified by the Senate of the United States cannot be abrogated by the President but must be superseded by new treaties negotiated with somebody representing China and subsequently ratified by the Senate of the United States."
During the past four months, it has been demonstrated that there exists in China no governing authority which can guarantee to foreigners in certain areas either protection in situ or safe-conduct to places of security in China or to points of departure from China. The American Government has dispatched to China naval and land forces, as have other governments, for the protection of its nationals. American naval vessels have been used to assist in the evacuation of foreigners from points in the interior.[vii] In several instances when fired upon by Chinese armed forces they have returned the fire. In one instance only have they fired without first having been fired upon, -- when, at Nanking, after foreigners in the city had been under Chinese fire all day and some had been killed, they threw a barrage around the Socony Compound to make possible the escape of a group of foreigners who were in imminent danger of their lives at the hands of Chinese soldiers. American marines have been landed at Shanghai and are participating there in maintaining order in the foreign-administered area (within which are resident some 40,000 foreigners, exclusive of refugees, and some 1,200,000 Chinese) and in preventing troops of any of the contending Chinese armies from invading that area.
This action of the American Government has drawn expostulations both from American and from Chinese sources. The cry has been raised that from the traditional American policy of goodwill and non-aggression toward China the United States has been drawn away into accepting a made-in-Europe policy. Until the Nanking incident, contenders of this school almost unanimously held the view that the United States should refrain from disposing in China any armed forces whatever.
Secretary Kellogg declares in a published statement: "American diplomatic and military representatives in China are coöperating fully with other foreign representatives when faced with a joint problem such as protection of the lives and property of their nationals." Senator Borah declares in a public address: "We are not sending our armed forces to China to do battle with the armed forces of China." President Coolidge takes occasion to explain that our troops will coöperate with other foreign troops for the specifically limited purpose of protecting American lives when coöperation promotes this end; but that there will be no "unified command;" and he declares: "Our citizens are being concentrated in ports where we can protect them and remove them. It is solely for this purpose that our warships and marines are in that territory."
The United States is unquestionably committed by tradition, by precedent, and by declaration to certain definite principles of China policy. These principles are: assurance of equality of opportunity; respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity; non-interference in China's domestic affairs; non-aggression; and insistence that China perform the obligations of a sovereign state in protection of foreign citizens. The United States is also committed, partly by tradition and precedent, but more particularly by the provisions and spirit of the Washington agreements, to the principle of coöperative action.
In the presence of conditions such as now exist in China, can a plan of action be devised which will be consistent at once with the principles of non-aggression, of insistence that China afford proper protection to foreigners, and of coöperation ?
Efforts have been made to commit the American Government to going along with other Powers if and when those Powers decide upon measures of coercion. But in the 1830's and in the 1850's such efforts were made. The American Government was implored to participate in armed hostilities against China -- and it refused. In 1900 the American Government sent troops to China, as did other governments, but not for purposes of aggression. American armed forces are now coöperating with those of other countries, as they did in 1900. Yet McKinley's and Hay's policy in 1900 was "to seek a solution which will safeguard the independence and integrity of the Chinese Empire;" and during the negotiations which ensued W. W. Rockhill, at Peking, with John Hay behind him at Washington, stood between Chinese officialdom and the crushing proposals of certain other Powers. What would the American Government have been able to do in those negotiations if it had not participated in the relief of the Legations?
But what about "coöperation" now? Concerted action is one of the most desirable things and one of the things most difficult to achieve in the field of human endeavor. It is difficult enough as between two individuals. Where a dozen nations are involved the difficulty is multiplied many-fold. Americans have coöperated with the nationals of other countries in China in many ways and over long periods of time. American officials and the American Government have coöperated with the officials and the governments of other countries, frequently, effectively and through periods of years, in China. The American Government has from time to time definitely advocated, and at Washington actually brought about, an agreement that there should be coöperation. Where this principle is adopted, there must either be express commitment as to specified courses of action, or provision that the will of the majority shall prevail, or an understanding that in the absence of specifications and of the majority rule each party shall be free to participate in or to abstain from action proposed. The Washington treaties committed the Powers -- and in reference to some matters, China -- to coöperation in relation to certain specified matters; they committed them to the not-doing of certain things, to self-denial. The separate treaties between China and the Powers individually commit the parties to certain things. But is there anywhere a provision which prescribes a course of action to be taken in case of breach of treaty provision, a provision whereunder, for instance, in case China disregards or cannot fulfil her treaty pledges to one or to all of the treaty Powers, those Powers are pledged jointly to employ force in an effort to penalize or to coerce her? The United States never has participated in aggressive action against China and has never entered into any engagement so to do. It has no commitments which lay upon it the obligation to use its forces in 1927 for any other than a common protective end.
The question whether the United States should or should not coöperate in the use of force to compel one or another of the Chinese authorities to honor China's treaty obligations is one in the answering of which the American Government is no less free now than it was in 1900 and in 1853 and in 1840 to exercise its own judgment and to decide according to its reading of American public opinion and its estimate of the various rights and interests and other considerations involved.
At this point there comes a series of questions. What, in the presence of existing conditions and circumstances, would the American Government have a legal right to do in China? What would it be politically expedient for it to do? What is the extent of its lawful obligation to citizens of the United States in regard to (a) protection of life, (b) protection of property, (c) enforcement of rights accorded under treaty provisions in general? How many, and where, are the persons to be protected? How much, where, and of what value is the property which is threatened? Of what sort and of what value are the general treaty rights for which enforcement is sought? What do the people of the United States want the Government to do? What is it advisable for it to do?
There are present in the Far Eastern Division of the Department of State five officers each of whom has had long experience in the Far East. Two of these men were born and brought up in China. Three have had more than fifteen years each of official "career" service in China, read and speak Chinese, and have served both in consulates and at the Legation in Peking. One has been Consul-General-at-Large in the Far East. A fourth has had more than thirty years in the Consular service, of which the past thirteen have been in China and the past eight as Consul-General at the most important port in China. The fifth has had twenty years of "career" service in Japan, in Manchuria and in Siberia, and speaks and reads Japanese. The American Minister to China is a recognized authority on China and has served in Siam, in Russia, and in Japan, as well as twice in China and for six years in the Department of State. These men know their Far East.
In the conduct of foreign relations the Department of State pays much attention to the question of legal rights and lawful obligations. It is well informed with regard to the number and location of American citizens and the value and location of American property in China, and with regard to American investments, trade and other interests involved. With regard to what the people of the United States want, it must form its own conclusions, but it is in much better position to judge than is the man in the street or in the business office or at missionary headquarters or in the study, -- for there pour in to it from a thousand quarters, from all over the United States, from all over China, from all over the world, reports, dispatches, petitions, resolutions, letters, telegrams and memoranda expressive of opinions, hopes, desires and demands.
There is no unanimity of opinion -- it goes without saying -- among Americans, either in the United States, or in China or elsewhere with regard to what the Government ought to do. Merely among Americans resident in China three sets of interests, three points of view, and three schools of thought are readily distinguishable. The merchant class is concerned about markets; the missionary class is concerned about propagation of ideas; the official class is concerned about persons and property in relation to laws and principles. But not all of the merchants hold the same views regarding policy, either commercial or political; not all of the missionaries are engaged in the same lines of endeavor, have the same outlook, or advocate the same policies, either for the societies under which they work or for the Government to which they owe allegiance; and not all of the officials have the same views with regard to what is expedient or what is advisable. The interests, the views and the objectives of the importer and the exporter differ considerably from those of the banker and the railway builder. The perspective and the views of the missionary who sits in a comfortable office in the security of Shanghai, and those of the missionary who resides, by virtue of a special treaty provision and the Grace of Providence, in a remote village in the interior, travelling year in and year out among vocational and avocational bandits, are quite different. Even among the diplomatic and consular officials there is by no means always identity of view, though within this class there is as a rule less diversity and less particularity of view than within the other classes.
And the views of a class, or of a majority within a class, as well as of individuals, are subject to change, sometimes radical and rapid change. Thus, the views of the missionaries with regard to the Nationalist Government at Hankow and with regard to the presence of foreign armed forces in Chinese waters and at Shanghai appear to have undergone considerable modification since March 24 (the Nanking incident).
In considering what it may or may not do, what it will or will not do with regard to China, an Administration must necessarily consider not alone relations with China but also relations with other Powers. The American Government is responsible for considering and safeguarding the interests of all Americans, not only all Americans in China but all Americans everywhere; it has to consider the safety and interests of the whole American people.
In deciding what it may or may not do, an Administration must turn both to national law and to international law. It does not have an altogether free hand -- or will -- in relation to such a question as, for instance, that of affording protection. Treaties are made between governments, but they provide for rights of persons as well as of states. In the United States, treaties are a part of the law of the land. Is it not, then, an obligation, a duty of the government to protect its citizens in the enjoyment of their lawful rights? Ordinarily this obligation is met, this function performed, by diplomatic processes. But where a foreign government has become powerless, where there is no local authority able to afford protection, where American nationals are in danger of violence to their persons, is it not the duty of the American Government to substitute its own police force for the local police forces which should be but are not present? The only way to protect life is to prevent its being taken.
The American Government has commitments -- to China and to other Powers. And so has China commitments -- to the United States and to the other Powers. The American Government tries to live up to its commitments.
In dealing with China the Powers have tried almost every line of policy imaginable. There have been periods of independent action (free competition), periods of partial coöperation, periods of complete coöperation, periods of informal coöperation, periods of coöperation by agreement. The theory of the Washington treaties is coöperation. The American Government coöperated with the others at the Tariff Conference, in the work of the Extraterritoriality Commission, in connection with representations to both of the contending Chinese factions in North China in 1926 with regard to what is called the "Taku Incident." American forces are coöperating now with those of other foreign Powers in China. As Secretary Kellogg has stated, "American diplomatic and military representatives in China are coöperating fully with other foreign representatives when faced with a joint problem such as the protection of the lives and property of their nationals."
That appears, however, to be the limit within which it intends to use force. It has coöperated in the presentation of demands to Nationalist authorities in connection with the Nanking Incident. But it apparently declines to participate in proposed measures of a coercive character conceived with a view to following up those demands. Whence, now, the charge that by holding back it is untrue to the principle of coöperative action.
This charge is not warranted. The theory of the coöperative policy does not require that in whatever direction one or more Powers may wish to proceed the others must go; and the express commitments with regard to coöperation are commitments individually and collectively to refrain from aggression, not commitments collectively to proceed in measures of coercion. Any one of the states committed to the coöperative policy may without violation either of the letter or of the spirit of the policy object to a proposed positive program and decline to participate in its execution, without violation of either the letter or the spirit of the coöperative policy. In fact, in case some states proceed with such a program in spite of objection and of refusal to participate on the part of others, is it not those who act, rather than those who decline to act who forsake the coöperative principle?
As a matter of fact, while the coöperative principle has been in force, several Powers have not hesitated to act independently. While the Powers were acting in common in negotiating at Peking concerning the Chinese Customs Tariff, Japan was, with the full knowledge of all the others, negotiating with the Peking Government for a new and separate commercial treaty between itself and China. Belgium has been negotiating with Peking during the past six months. Great Britain has been negotiating with both the Peking and the Nationalist (Hankow) authorities. The principle of coöperative action applies properly where there has been or can be achieved a unanimity of opinion with regard to a proposed action wherein common rights and interests are involved. The principle of independent action may be applied properly where such unanimity has not been or cannot be achieved, or where the issue is one in which rights and interests peculiar to one or several Powers only are involved. In view of difficulties experienced, Secretary Kellogg has declared in regard to such questions as, for instance, the tariff, that the American Government is prepared either to continue negotiations in common with the other Powers or to enter upon negotiations between China and the United States alone.
In final analysis the Government has to make up its own mind with regard to what is lawful, what is possible, what is expedient, what is advisable -- what is to be done. This the Government appears to have done and to be doing, without fuss and without confusion. It is well equipped adequately to consider the factors and to arrive at sound conclusions. It is not likely that it will depart far from the established lines of American policy. Even if it should wish to, it would find it difficult to do so. The Chinese policy of the Government always has been responsive to the attitude and wishes of the American people. Public opinion is becoming more and more an active and conclusive influence in the determining of policy and of action. Public opinion does not change rapidly. The American people are possessed of a peculiarly sympathetic attitude toward the Chinese people, an attitude which is somewhat sentimental and somewhat patronizing but genuinely benevolent. Warranted or not, Americans regard the Chinese as a nation of great potentialities, wish them well, believe that they will be better off and the world better off if they govern themselves, and believe them capable of self-government. The American people are opposed to any course of action which would constitute, in their opinion, "aggression" against the Chinese people.
In only one particular, so far as is discernible, has the present Administration deviated from the course prescribed by the traditions, the precedents and the practices to which, in reference to China, it has fallen heir from preceding Administrations. For almost a hundred and fifty years the American people and the American Government have proceeded on the assumption that in China there was a Government capable of performing the ordinarily accepted functions of a sovereign authority. Now, and for the time being, the American Government has apparently, of necessity, given up that assumption -- as have the other foreign Governments.
The Government appears fully to understand what it is about. It has declared clearly the principles of its position. It has stated what it is prepared to do with regard to treaties and for what purpose it has sent armed forces. In the presence of an obscure and involved situation in China, where political chaos may continue for a long time, it has envisaged the fundamental facts and taken a "long swing" view, profiting by the lessons of history. Its acts have been consistent with its statements. There is no evidence to warrant the assertion that it has departed from the traditions of American policy or the apprehension that it will do so. We may assume that it will continue along the line which it has followed during the past few months, which is simply a practical application of principles which have been developed during a century and a half of American contact with China.
There is every reason to expect that it will continue to pursue a course directed toward the protection of American lives and the conservation of American interests, -- a course considerate of Chinese rights and interests and aspirations, coöperative in so far as commitments and common responsibilities are concerned, independent where an issue is peculiar to the United States and China or to another Power and China, independent where some objective is sought by another or other Powers and not by the United States, independent where there arises a question of using force for purposes other than defense.
Where there is occasion for concurrent action, the United States may be expected to use its influence in the direction of restraint -- in opposition to aggression. If aggression is decided upon, it may reasonably be expected that the United States will not participate.
[i] In the amended text of the Preamble to the Porter Resolution, as passed by the House of Representatives on February 21, 1927, it is stated, ". . . . The United States, in its relations with China, has always endeavored to act in a spirit of mutual fairness and equity and with due regard for the conditions prevailing from time to time in the two countries." This is a fair statement.
[ii] Tyler Dennett, "Americans in Eastern Asia," p. 53.
[iii] As in the preceding British treaties, the provisions with regard to the tariff and extraterritoriality were unilateral, but it needs to be taken into consideration -- though it seldom seems to be -- that all of the Far Eastern treaties of that period were concluded with a view to regulating contacts on Oriental, not on Occidental soil. The West went to the East; for a long time the East did not reciprocate; there was, therefore, in those early days no occasion for and probably little thought of "reciprocity."
[iv] "The aggressiveness of the American missionaries in their disposition to force the opening of the empire is notable. It is entirely in accord with what had been the prevailing spirit in missionary circles from the beginning." Tyler Dennett, "Americans in Eastern Asia," p. 563. ". . . . From 1830 to about 1900 'American' missionaries carried on most of the actual intercourse between the Governments of China and the United States. . . ." and, ". . . so far as I can discover, the generality of the missionaries approved of both the necessity of the 'rights' and of their being made treaty provisions. . . ." Frank Rawlinson, "Chinese Recorder," Nov. 1925, p. 721.
[v] In that treaty, too, were included several wholly reciprocal provisions; and there was laid down the principle (Article VIII) of non-intervention in China's domestic administration.
[vi] The American Government has since taken certain steps in this direction.
[vii] The foreign Governments have asked or ordered their citizens to come out from points in the interior. The American Government has no means of forcing American citizens to come out, but it has done everything possible to get them to come and has provided them with transportation facilities.