Chinese Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, January 9, 1917

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WWI Document Archive > 1916 Documents > Official Communications and Speeches Relating to Peace Proposals 1916-1917 > Chinese Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, January 9, 1917

Chinese Reply to President Wilson's Peace Note, January 9, 19171
                    Minister Reinsch to the Secretary of State


                                                            AMERICAN LEGATION,
                                                            Peking, January 9, 1917.
     Minister for Foreign Affairs has written as follows in answer to
my note transmitting the President's note to the belligerent powers:
“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 Govern-
     "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 seri-
ously 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 num-
ber 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 peo-
ple 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
whatever their power may be and to relieve them of the peril of
wrong and violence. China is ready to join her efforts with theirs
for the attainment of such results which can only be obtained through
the help of all."

1Official print of the Department of State.
2Apparent omission.