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The A B C's of the Twenty-One Demands

The A B C's of the

TWENTY-ONE DEMANDS

 

 

By Thomas F. Millard

Author of
"AMERICA AND THE FAR EASTERN QUESTION," "DEMOCRACY AND THE EASTERN QUESTION," "OUR EASTERN QUESTION," "THE NEW FAR EAST," "THE SHANTUNG CASE AT THE CONFERENCE," ETC.

 

1921

 

Published by
The Weekly Review of the Far East
Shanghai, China

Price $1.00

Introductory Note

 

 

The purpose of this discussion of the Twenty-One Demands by Japan upon China in 1915 is to visualize to the Americans the exact meaning of this curious phase of Oriental diplomacy in its relationship to the traditional American policy of the Open Door of Equal Opportunity in the Far East.

We have tried seriously by paraphrasing the Demands to show what they would have meant had they been applied to the United States instead of the Republic of China.

Since the chief purposes back of the Conference on Limitation of Armament and Pacific Far Eastern Problems are in the re-establishment of the doctrine of the open door and to obtain international recognition of the principle of the integrity of China, we hope that this booklet may be of interest in a true understanding of the subject.

Other books in this series pertaining to the Conference which have recently been published are, "The Shantung Case at the Conference," and "America's Position on the Shantung Question."

—The Weekly Review of the Far East, Shanghai.


The Weekly Review of the Far East is an American-owned and edited magazine devoted to the economic, political and social development of the Republic of China.

The A B C's of the

TWENTY-ONE DEMANDS

 

 

Intelligent persons who are trying to follow the issues of the Conference on the Limitation of Armaments and Far Eastern and Pacific Ocean Questions at Washington hardly can have failed to notice the repetition by responsible Japanese statesmen, by the Japanese press, and with great frequency by writers of other than Japanese nationality, of the assertion that the policy of the Japanese Government is in no sense threatening to China, and is not conceived in a spirit of aggression upon the territorial integrity and political autonomy of China.

It is in the acts of the Japanese Government that a true exposition of Japan's policy in China is to be found; and the most recent expose of the real policy and objects of Japan visavis China is contained in the famous "Twenty-One Demands" made by the Japanese Government to the Chinese Government in 1915.

The true content of those demands is discovered in a reading of their text, but before giving the text of the demands in full, a brief preliminary explanation will help in understanding their meaning and purposes. In 1914, soon after the Great War began (disregarding the efforts of China and neutral nations which would have neutralized the German leased port at Tsingtau, China, without embroiling China in the scope of hostilities and thereby eliminated it as a factor in German operations for the period of the war), Japanese military forces had occupied, against the protest of China, the territory of the German leasehold on Kiaochou Bay, in Shantung Province, and had farther extended Japanese military occupation over almost the whole area of the Province, outside the German leasehold. This was the situation when, on January 18, 1915, the Japanese Minister at Peking, acting under instructions from his Government, privately presented to the Chinese Government a series of proposals, in five groups and twenty-one articles.

The text of the original demands which follows is the oflicial translation into English published by the Chinese Government, and confirmed officially in various ways. As a device to make the true meaning to China, and the purposes of the Japanese Government plain to American comprehension, I have in parallel columns given, on the left the actual text of the demands, and on the right a paraphrase of the demands showing with approximate accuracy how those demands would have transposed had they been addressed to the American Government, instead of to China.

THE REAL DEMANDS

THE DEMANDS PARAPHRASED

I.

I.

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 neighborhood existing between the two nations, agree to the following articles:

The Japanese Government and the Government of the United States of America being desirous of maintaining the general peace in the Pacific Ocean and further strengthening the friendly relations and good neighborhood 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 Shantung.
Article 1. The Government of the United States of America 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 property which Germany, by virtue of treaties or otherwise, possesses in relation to the State of California.

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 2. The American Government engages that within the State of California 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 building a railway from Chefoo or Lungkow (in Shantung) to join the Kiaochou-Tsingtau Railway.

Article 3. The American Government consents to Japan building a railway from a port in California to be selected by Japan to join the Southern Pacific Railway System.

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 (by Japan and China) in a separate agreement.

Article 4. The American Government engages in the interest of trade and for the residence of foreigners to open as soon as possible certain important cities and towns in the State of California as commercial ports. What places shall be opened are to be decided in a separate agreement.

 

II.

 

II.

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:

The Japanese Government and the American Government, since the American Government has always acknowledged the special position enjoyed by Japan in Alaska and in the States of Oregon and Washington, agree to the following articles:

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

Article 1. The two Contracting Parties mutually agree that the term of the lease to Japan of the Port of Seattle and of the Alaskan and Northern Pacific Railways 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 farming.

Article 2. Japanese subjects in the States of Oregon and Washington, and Alaska, shall have the right to lease or own land required either for erecting suitable buildings for trade and manufacture or for farming.

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

Article 3. Japanese subjects shall be free to reside and travel in the States of Oregon and Washington, and Alaska, and to engage in business 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 shall be opened, they shall be decided upon jointly.

Article 4. The American Government agrees to grant to Japanese subjects the right of exploitation of the mineral resources in the States of Oregon and Washington, and Alaska. As regards what resources shall be exploited, 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:

Article 5. The American Government agrees that in respect of the (two) cases herein below mentioned 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 Mongolia.

(a) Whenever permission is granted to the subject of a third Power to build a railway, or to make an international loan for the purpose of building a railway in the States of Oregon and Washington, and in Alaska.

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

(b) Whenever a loan is to be issued for international subscription pledging the local taxes of the States of Oregon and Washington, or Alaska, as security.

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 6. The American Government agrees that if the American Government employs political, financial or military advisers or instructors in Oregon, Washington, or Alaska, the Japanese Government shall first be consulted.

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

Article 7. The American Government agrees that control and management of the Oregon Short Line Railway shall be handed over to the Japanese Government for a term of 99 years dating from the signing of this Agreement.

 

III.

 

III.

The Japanese Government and the Chinese Government, seeing that Japanese financiers and the Hanyehping Company have close relations with each other at present and desiring that the common interests of the two nations shall be advanced, agree to the following articles:
The Japanese Government and the American Government, seeing that Japanese financiers and the United States Steel Corporation and its associated industries have close relations with each other at present and desiring that the common interests of the two nations shall be advanced, agree to the following articles:
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 same.
Article 1. The two Contracting Parties mutually agree that when the opportune moment arrives the United States Steel Corporation and its associated industries shall be made a joint concern of the two nations and they further agree that without the previous consent of Japan the American Government shall not by_its own act dispose of the rights and property of whatsoever nature of the said Corporation and its associated industries, nor permit the said Corporation to dispose freely of same.
Article 2. The Chinese Government agrees that all mines in the neighborhood 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.
Article 2. The American Government agrees that all mines in the neighborhood of those owned by the United States Steel Corporation and its associated industries shall not be permitted, without the consent of the said Corporation, to be worked by other persons outside of the said Corporation; and the American Government 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 Corporation, the consent of the said Corporation shall first be obtained.
 

IV.

 

IV.

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

The Japanese Government and the American Government with the object of effectively preserving the territorial integrity of the United States agree to the following special Article:

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

The American Government engages not to cede or to lease to a third Power any harbor or bay or island along the coast of the United States.

 

V.

 

V.

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

Article 1. The American Government at Washington, D. C., shall employ influential Japanese as 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 2. Japanese hospitals, churches and schools in the United States 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 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 to that they may at the same time help to plan for the improvement of the Chinese police service.

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

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

Article 4. The United States shall purchase from Japan a fixed amount of munitions of war (say 50 per cent. or more) of what is needed by the American Government, or there shall be established in America a Japan-American jointly Worked arsenal. Japanese technical experts are to be employed and Japanese material used.

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

Article 5. The American Government agrees to grant to Japan the right of constructing a railway connecting Chicago with St. Louis and Pittsburgh, and another line between Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and another line between Pittsburgh and Charleston.

Article 6. If China needs foreign capital to work mines, build railways and construct harbor Works (including dockyards) in the Province of Fukien, Japan shall be first consulted.

Article 6. If the United States needs foreign capital to develop mines, build railways and construct harbors (including dock-yards) in the States of Virginia and North Carolina, Japan shall be first consulted.

Article 7. China agrees that Japanese subjects shall have the right of missionary propaganda in China.

Article 7. The American Government agrees that Japanese subjects shall have the right of Budhist propaganda in the United States.

Shantung Province has a population of about 30,000,000. The region has been an integral part of China continuously since before the dawn of authentic history, and is peopled today by the descendants of families who have lived there for thousands of years. The coastline contains a number of the best harbors in China, and the railways in the province penetrate directly to the heart of China and the whole region drained by the Yellow River.

In respect to Group I. of the demands, regarding Shantung Province, the comparison with California in the paraphrase requires one to take it as if, when the Great War commenced, German capital was invested in the Southern Pacific Railway and the entire harbor works of San Francisco, and these interests were to be transferred to Japan by the terms of the proposed agreement.

In the articles relating to the Hanyehping Company, the only important steel works in China, and controlling most of the yielding iron beds, it may be stated that these works are located at Hanyang, one of the three cities (Hankow, Wuchang and Hanyang) situated at the junction of the Han and Yangtze rivers, and which together compare to Chicago in America, with this difference: Hankow is 650 miles from the mouth of the Yangtze, and is reached by ocean-going ships of considerable tonnage, is in fact a sea port in the center of China. Taking advantage of the disorders in connection with the rebellion of 1913, the Japanese Government erected permanent barracks at Hankow and still maintains there a military garrison, over the protests of China. The proposals regarding the Hankehping Company should be read by Americans as if the Bank of Japan, or the Mitsui Company, owned a controlling interest in or a blanket mortgage over the property of the Steel Corporation, and had a garrison at Pittsburg to protect their interests.

The paraphrase of articles of Group V. should be read as if Japanese in America were under "extra-territorial" provisions, and exempt from the processes of American law and courts, and could only be tried for offenses committed in America, in Japanese courts, or by Japanese consular officials. In this connection it is pertinent to remember that the Government of Japan denies to Chinese, and to Americans also, the right to own land in Japan; and limits Chinese immigration to Japan.

One of the outstanding inequities of these demands is the fact that they nowhere mention or allow anything in the way of a quid pro quo, or compensatory equivalent, to China for what she is asked to concede to Japan.

After the Chinese, contrary to the stern injunction of Japan, had informed the other Powers and the press of the presentation of the demands, diplomatic pressure and other factors induced Japan to moderate her demands, principally by the temporary abeyance of Group V. It is believed that British opposition to Article 5 of this Group, whereby Japan invaded the British "sphere" in the Yangtze, was influential in causing the Japanese Government to abate somewhat. The Chinese Government retarded the negotiations as long as it could, but was compelled to yield finally to an ultimatum delivered by Japan.


Text of Japan's Ultimatum to China

The Imperial Japanese Government hereby again offer their advice and hope that the Chinese Government, upon this advice, will give a satisfactory reply by six o'clock p. m. on the ninth day of May. It is hereby declared that if no satisfactory reply is received before or at the specified time the Imperial Japanese Government will take such steps as they may deem necessary.

Peking, May 7, 1915.


Extract from
Text of China's Statement Re The Ultimatum

It is plain that the Chinese Government proceeds to the fullest extent of possible concession in view of the strong national sentiment manifested by the people throughout the whole period of the negotiations. All that the Chinese Government strove to maintain was China's plenary sovereignty, the treaty rights of foreign Powers in China, and the principle of equal opportunity. * * * In considering the nature of the course they should take in reference to the ultimatum, the Chinese Government was influenced by its desire to preserve the Chinese people, as well as a large number of foreign residents in China, from unnecessary suffering, and also to prevent the interests of friendly Powers from being imperiled. For these reasons the Chinese Government was constrained to comply in full with the ultimatum, but, in complying, the Chinese Government disclaims any desire to associate itself with any revision which may thus be affected in the various conventions and agreements concluded between other Powers, with respect to the maintenance of territorial independence and integrity, the preservation of the status quo, and the principle of equal opportunity for the commerce and industry of all nations in China.


The monopolistic and exclusive advantages which Japan attempted to establish in China for its subjects, and a position of quasi-sovereignty over China, appear in the text of the Twenty-One Demands; and they did not escape the notice of other Governments.


Text of Note of the American Government

In view of the circumstances of the negotiations which have taken place or which are now pending between the Government of China and the Government of Japan and the agreements which have been reached as a result thereof, the Government of the United States has the honor to notify the Government of the Chinese Republic that it cannot recognize any agreement or undertaking which has been entered into, or which may be entered into between the Governments of China and Japan impairing the treaty rights of the United States and its citizens in China, the political or torial integrity of the Republic of China, or the international policy commonly known as the open-door policy.

Dated May 16, 1915.

An identical Note was at the same time handed to the Japanese Government by the American Embassy at Tokio.


Applications to the Washington Conference

The core of issues involved in this conference lies in the situation of China resultant in a large measure from Japan's policy as expressed in the original Twenty-One Demands, and in the agreement wrung from China under ultimatum.

At the Peace Conference at Paris the Chinese Government contended that those agreements with Japan which followed the demands and the ultimatum were invalid, since they were obtained by intimidation. Furthermore, the Chinese Government contended, in respect to former leasehold and vested interests of Germany in Shantung, that those reverted automatically to China when China declared war against Germany, thereby terminating all treaties between the two nations.

Japan's claims were found (a matter disclosed to China, and to the American Government, for the first time after the Paris conference convened) to rest on secret agreements made between Japan and Great Britain, Japan and France, and Japan and Italy, during the war.

When the Council of Four allotted the German so-called rights in Shantung to Japan, the Chinese Government refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles, and to this date never has acquiesced in its disposition of Kiaochou.

The Senate of the United States adopted a reservation rejecting the Shantung articles of the treaty specifically. The Shantung question remains in this state, with Japan still in occupation of the Province.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1942, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.