Lin Sen, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Provisional Government of the Republic of China
Allow me to be the first to request that sense be allowed to reassert itself, even if such an attribute is in short enough supply that it may only last this moment of clarification.
The legitimate government of the Republic of China looks on with sorrow at the events transpiring in China. The loss of Christian lives is felt as keenly by our government as the loss of any other, as many practicing Christians among our government -including President Sun- can attest. Equally, the chaos caused by the Tatar occupiers and Beiyang clique was an unnecessary, if understandable, reaction, particularly given the lack of true negotiation that could have prevented this crisis. These are facts readily understood by anybody with a grasp of the situation before and after the current state of affairs.
What is less apparent, however, are the reasoning behind the actions taken on behest of this alliance of Great Powers. The French invasion of Yunnan -rightfully a province of China- may have been uncontested, but that does not grant it legitimacy: neither the Self-Strengthening Movement nor any organization taking hostile actions against the French is present in the area, and apart from its current governance at the hands of a warlord and renegade, the situation is known to be stable and non-threatening. French presence in the region, therefore, is as unnecessary as it is inexplicable, until such a time as the government in Paris -supposedly on an armed humanitarian mission- deigns to inform the inhabitants of a nation of the reasons behind their occupation.
Secondly, the Provisional Government of the Republic of China has a similar request to the Austrian delegation, if one more worrying. Having been in negotiations with the self-styled Great Ming Heavenly Kingdom -a former reformist movement, not a hostile army akin to the Boxers- since the declaration of a true Republic of China, we must admit that the idea of an Austrian army being intercepted on the way to Shanghai is a worrying one. This is particularly frightening to our government when we consider the fact that a 1,500 kilometer march was apparently
planned from the outer edges of Guangdong to Shanghai, without the consultation of any authority in the area.
Unless, of course, the Austrian military was planning on arriving by sea, as would have been suggested by any government familiar with the area or a geography textbook. One supposes such a rational measure would have precluded an attack by the Tongmenghui or former Ming forces, however, lacking in seapower as we are.
That said, whatever the matter, we must humbly request that the Austrians withdraw from their current base. The Republic of China has taken no hostile action against your government save for the defense of our nation from an apparent invasion, and requests compensation for the lives lost due to an unnecessary geographical error.
Finally, I am reminded of the old adage: "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
Having been educated by British standards, Dr. Sun is familiar with the studies of a European citizen, and professes repeatedly his respect for the profession and its historical curriculum. He is thus rather surprised at the mistakes currently being made in Shanghai, now an "International City", or to the understanding of this government and the citizens of China, an international legation encompassing one of the largest cities in our nation. Worryingly, this has been proclaimed without consent of its inhabitants, the government of Republic of China, and even the Beiyang warlords and remnants of the Tatar dynasty, thus defining it as an annexation and not a negotiated concession, such as have been made in the past.
What has prompted such an aggressive action against the Chinese people, illegal by international law? The alliance of involved nations have restored your legations and removed the Self-Strengthening Movement as a threat. The people of China and our government wish only for peace brought about by sovereignty and the friendship of the world
, sovereignty through pride in our nation and union of our peoples. But capitulations and kowtowing prevent the former and chaos prevents the latter: and as has been seen numerous times, only chaos will come to China when ourpeople are deprived of a voice.
Thank you for your time, gentlemen.