Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

time comes in any action aiming at the consolidation of a stable state of peace by which the rights of all the States will be secured and their sovereignty and independence guaranteed.


CHINESE REPLY TO PRESIDENT WILSON'S PEACE NOTE1
January 9, 1917

I have examined, with the care which the gravity of the questions raised demands, the note concerning peace which President Wilson has addressed to the Governments of the Allies and the Central Powers now at war and the text of which your Excellency has been good enough to transmit to me under instructions of your Government.

China, a nation traditionally pacific, has recently again manifested her sentiments in concluding treaties concerning the pacific settlement of international disputes, responding thus to the (. . . .)2 of the peace conferences held at The Hague.

On the other hand the present war, by its prolongation, has seriously affected the interests of China, more so perhaps than those of other Powers which have remained neutral. She is at present at a time of reorganization which demands economically and industrially the cooperation of foreign countries, cooperation which a large number of them are unable to accord on account of the war in which they are engaged.

In manifesting her sympathy for the spirit of the President's note, having in view the ending as soon as possible of the hostilities, China is but acting in conformity with not only her interest but also with her profound sentiments.

On account of the extent which modern wars are apt to assume and the repercussion which they bring about, their effects are no longer limited to belligerent States. All countries are interested in seeing wars becoming as rare as possible. Consequently China can not but show satisfaction with the views of the Government and people of the United States of America who declare themselves ready and even eager to cooperate when the war is over by all proper means to assure the respect of the principle of the equality of nations

____________________
1
4 Dip. Corr.. 334.
2
Apparent omission.

-34-

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