1902, Manchuria - Russia

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CONVENTION WITH REGARD TO MANCHURIA

(April 8, 1902)

            His Majesty the Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, and His Majesty the Emperor of China, with the object of re-establishing and confirming the relations of good neighborhood, which were disturbed by the rising in the Celestial Empire of the year 1900, have appointed their Plenipotentiaries to come to an agreement on certain questions relating to Manchuria. These Plenipotentiaries, furnished with full powers which were found to be in order, agreed as follows:—

Article I.

            Chinese authority in Manchuria to be re-established.—His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia, desirous of giving fresh proof of his peaceable and friendly disposition towards His Majesty the Emperor of China, and overlooking the fact that attacks were first made from frontier posts in Manchuria on peaceable Russian Settlements, agrees to the re-establishment of the authority of the Chinese Government in that region, which remains an integral part of the Chinese Empire, and restores to the Chinese Government the right to exercise therein governmental and administrative authority, as it existed previous to the occupation by Russian troops of that region.

Article II.

            China to protect railway and all Russian subjects and their undertakings.—In taking possession of the governmental and administrative authority in Manchuria, the Chinese Government confirms, both with regard to the period and with regard to all other Articles, the obligation to observe strictly the stipulations of the Contract concluded with the Russo-Chinese Bank on the 27th August, 1896, and in virtue of paragraph 5 of the above-mentioned Contract, takes upon itself the obligation to use all means to protect the railway and the persons in its employ, and binds itself also to secure within the boundaries of Manchuria the safety of all Russian subjects in general and the undertakings established by them.

            Evacuation of Manchuria by Russia.—The Russian Government, in view of these obligations accepted by the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of China, agrees on its side, provided that no disturbances arise and that the action of other Powers should not prevent it, to withdraw gradually all its forces from within the limits of Manchuria in the following manner:—

            (a) Within six months from the signature of the Agreement, to clear the southwestern portion of the Province of Mukden up to the River Liao ho of Russian troops, and to hand the railways over to China.

            (b) Within further six months to clear the remainder of the Province of Mukden and the Province of Kirin of Imperial troops.

            (c) Within the six months following to remove the remaining Imperial Russian troops from the Province of Hei-lung-chiang.

Article III.

            Chinese forces pending evacuation.—In view of the necessity of preventing in the future any recurrence of the disorders of last year, in which Chinese troops stationed on the Manchurian frontier also took part, the Imperial Russian and Chinese Governments shall undertake to instruct the Russian military authorities and the Tsiang-Tsungs, mutually to come to an agreement respecting the numbers and the disposition of the Chinese forces until the Russian forces shall have been withdrawn. At the same time the Chinese Government binds itself to organize no other forces over and above those decided upon by the Russian military authorities and the Tsiang-Tsungs as sufficient to suppress brigandage and pacify the country.

            Chinese forces after evacuation.—After the complete evacuation of Manchuria by Russian troops, the Chinese Government shall have the right to increase or diminish the number of its troops in Manchuria, but of this must duly notify the Russian Government, as it is natural that the maintenance in the above-mentioned district of an over large number of troops must necessarily lead to a reinforcement of the Russian military force in the neighbouring districts, and thus would bring about an increase of expenditure on military requirements undesirable for both States.

            Chinese police guard in Manchuria.—For police service and the maintenance of internal order in the districts outside those parts allotted to the Eastern Chinese Railway Company, a police guard, under the local Governors (“Tsiang-Tsungs”), consisting of cavalry and infantry, shall be organized exclusively of subjects of his Majesty the Emperor of China.

Article IV.

            Shanhaikwan-Sinminting railway to be restored.—The Russian Government agrees to restore to the owners the railway Shanhaikwan-Newchwang-Sinminting, which, since the end of September, 1900, has been occupied and guarded by Russian troops. In view of this, the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of China binds itself:—

            1. China alone to protect this line.—In case protection of the above-mentioned line should be necessary, that obligation shall fall exclusively on the Chinese Government, which shall not invite other Powers to participate in its protection, construction, or working, nor allow other Powers to occupy the territory evacuated by the Russians.

            2. Completion and working of this line.—The completion and working of the above-mentioned line shall be conducted in strict accordance with the Agreement between Russia and England of the 16th April, 1899, and the Agreement with the private Corporation respecting the loan for the construction of the line. And furthermore, the Corporation shall observe its obligations not to enter into possession of or in any way to administer the Shanhaikwan-Newchwang-Sinminting line.

            3. Extension of line in South Manchuria.—Should, in the course of time, extensions of the line in Southern Manchuria, or construction of branch lines in connection with it, or the erection of a bridge in Newchwang, or the moving of the terminus there, be undertaken, these questions shall first form the subject of mutual discussion between the Russian and Chinese Governments.

            4. China to pay Russia for repair and keep of line.—In view of the fact that the expenses incurred by the Russian Government for the repair and working of the Shanhaikwan-Newchwang-Sinminting line were not included in the sum total of damages, the Chinese Government shall be bound to pay back the sum which, after examination with the Russian Government, shall be found to be due.

            The stipulations of all former Treaties between Russia and China which are not affected by the present Agreement shall remain in force.

            The Agreement shall have legal force from the day of its signature by the Plenipotentiaries of both States.

            The exchange of ratifications shall take place in St. Petersburg within three months from the date of the signature of the Agreement.

            For the confirmation of the above, the Plenipotentiaries of the two Contracting Powers have signed and sealed two copies of the Agreement in the Russian, French, and Chinese languages. Of the three texts, which, after comparison, have been found to correspond with each other, that in the French language shall be considered as authoritative for the interpretation of the Agreement.

            Done in Peking in duplicate, the 26th March (8th April), 1902.