China's Foreign Relations: 1917-1931

By Robert T. Pollard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
CONFIDENT EXPECTATION

ON June 13, 1918, at Tokyo, there was signed a Treaty of Amity between China and Switzerland. The plenipotentiaries were M. Ferdinand de Salis and Mr. Chang Tsung-hsiang, respectively the Swiss and Chinese Ministers to Japan.1 The treaty was brief. In substance, it provided merely for the reciprocal exchange of diplomatic and consular agents, each of whom was to "enjoy the same rights, privileges, favours, immunities and exemptions as are or may be conceded to the diplomatic and consular agents of the most favored powers." However, by a declaration appended to the treaty, it was agreed that Swiss Consuls in China should enjoy the right to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction until such time as the other Treaty Powers agreed to abandon their rights in that regard. Furthermore, Swiss citizens in China were to have the benefit of most- favored-nation treatment.

The treaty with Switzerland marked the end of a period in Chinese diplomatic history. It was the last in which China conceded extraterritorial privileges to a foreign power. On April 28, 1919, the very day on which the Three decided at Paris to transfer the Kiaochou leasehold to Japan, the President of China issued a mandate2 declaring that:

____________________
1
Text, MacMurray, op. cit., II, p. 1429. It should be noted that Minister Chang who signed the treaty on behalf of China was one of the three "traitors" who in May, 1919, was driven from office by the Peking students.
2
Text, North China Herald, CXXXI, May 3, 1919, p. 269. The active campaign for treaty revision had really been commenced by the Chinese Government in 1918 when it sought to establish direct relations with the Vatican, and thereby modify the treaty arrangement for French protection over Roman Catholics in China. Diplomatic negotiations with this in view were first opened in July of 1918, and the Chinese Minister to Madrid, Mr. Tai Ch'en-lin, was instructed to act concurrently as Minister to the Vatican.

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