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Boxer Protocol, 1901

Peace Agreement between the Great Powers and China
December 13, 1901


Peking, September 7, 1901

THE PLENIPOTENTIARIES of . . .[ambassadors from 9 European powers, the United States, and Japan together with Chinese representatives Li Hongzhang and Yikuang] have met for the purpose of declaring that China has complied with the conditions laid down in the note of the 22nd December, 1900, and which were accepted in their entirety by His Majesty the Emperor of China in a Decree dated the 27th December, 1900.

ARTICLE 1. 1) By an Imperial Edict of the 9th June last, . . Prince of the First Rank, Chun, was appointed Ambassador of His Majesty the Emperor of China, and directed in that capacity to convey to His Majesty the German Emperor the expression of the regrets of His Majesty the Emperor of China and of the Chinese Government at the assassination of his Excellency the late Baron von Ketteler, German Minister. Prince Chun left Peking on the 12th July last to carry out the orders which had been given him. 2)The Chinese Government has stated that it will erect on the spot of the assassination of his Excellency the late Baron von Ketteler, commemorative monument worthy of the rank of the deceased, and bearing an inscription in the Latin, German, and Chinese languages which shall express the regrets of His Majesty the Emperor of China for the murder committed. The Chinese Plenipotentiaries have informed his Excellency the German Plenipotentiary, in a letter dated the 22nd July last, that an arch of the whole width of the street would be erected on the said spot, and that work on it was begun on the 25th June last.

ARTICLE II. 1) Imperial Edicts of the 13th and 21st February, 1901, inflicted the following punishments on the principal authors of the attempts and of the crimes committed against the foreign Governments and their nationals: - Tsa-Ii, Prince Tuan, and Tsai-Lan, Duke Fu-kuo, were sentenced to be brought before the Autumnal Court of Assize for execution, and it was agreed that if the Emperor saw fit to grant them their lives, they should be exiled to Turkestan, and there imprisoned for life, without the possibility of commutation of these punishments. Tsai Hsun, Prince Chuang, Ying-Nien, President of the Court of Censors, and Chao Shu- chiao, President of the Board of Punishments, were condemned to commit suicide. Yu Hsun, Governor of Shansi, Chi Hsiu, President of the Board of Rites, and Hsu Cheng-yu, formerly Senior Vice-President of the Board of Punishments, were condemned to death. Posthumous degradation was inflicted on Kang Yi, Assistant Grand Secretary, President of the Board of Works, Hsu Tung, Grand Secretary, and Li Ping-heng, former Governor- General of Szu-chuan. Imperial Edict of the 13th February last rehabilitated the memories of Hsu Yung-yi, President of the Board of War; Li Shan, President of the Board of Works; Hsu Ching Cheng, Senior VicePresident of the Board of Civil Office; Lien Yuan, Vice-Chancellor of the Grand Council; and Yuan Chang, Vice-President of the Court of Sacrifices, who had been put to death for having protested against the outrageous breaches of international law of last year. Prince Chuang committed suicide on the 21st February last; Ying Nien and Chao Shu- chiao on the 24th February; Yu Hsien was executed on the 22nd February; Chi Hsiu and Hsu Cheng-yu on the 26th February; Tung Fu-hsiang, General in Kan-su, has been deprived of his office by Imperial Edict of the 13th February last, pending the determination of the final punishment to be inflicted on him. Imperial Edicts, dated the 29th April and 19th August, 1901, have inflicted various punishments on the provincial officials convicted of the crimes and outrages of last summer. 2) An Imperial Edict, promulgated the 19th August, 1901, ordered the suspension of official examinations for five years in all cities where foreigners were massacred or submitted to cruel treatment.

ARTICLE III. So as to make honourable reparation for the assassination of Mr. Sugiyama, Chancellor of the Japanese Legation, His Majesty the Emperor of China, by an Imperial Edict of the 18th June, 1901, appointed Na T'ung, Vice-President of the Board of Finances, to be his Envoy Extraordinary, and specially directed him to convey to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan the expression of the regrets of His Majesty the Emperor of China and of his Government at the assassination of Mr. Sugiyama.

ARTICLE IV. The Chinese Government has agreed to erect an expiatory monument in each of the foreign or international cemeteries which were desecrated, and in which the tombs were destroyed. It has been agreed with the Representatives of the Powers that the Legations interested shall settle the details for the erection of these monuments, China bearing all the expenses thereof, estimated at 10,000 taels, for the cemeteries at Peking and in its neighbourhood, and at 5,000 taels for the cemeteries in the provinces. The amounts have been paid, and the list of these cemeteries is inclosed herewith.

ARTICLE V. China has agreed to prohibit the importation into its territory of arms and ammunition, as well as of materials exclusively used for the manufacture of arms and ammunition. An Imperial Edict has been issued on the 25th August, forbidding said importation for a term of two years. New Edicts may be issued subsequently extending this by other successive terms of two years in case of necessity recognized by the Powers.

ARTICLE VI. By an Imperial Edict dated the 29th May, 1901, His Majesty the Emperor of China agreed to pay the Powers an indemnity of 450,000,000 of Haikwan taels. This sum represents the total amount of the indemnities for States, Companies, or Societies, private individuals and Chinese, referred to in Article 6 of the note of the 22nd December,1900. 1) These 450,000,000 constitute a gold debt calculated at the rate of the Haikwan tael to the gold currency of each country [the equivalent of $330 million] ...

This sum in gold shall shall bear interest at 4 per cent. per annum, and the capital shall be reimbursed by China in thirty-nine years in the manner indicated in the annexed plan of amortization. Capital and interest shall be payable in gold or at the rates of exchange corresponding to the dates at which the different payments fall due. The amortization shall commence the 1st January, I902, and shall finish at the end of the year I940. The amortizations are payable annually, the first payment being fixed on the 1st January, 1903. Interest shall run from the 1st July, 1901, but the Chinese Government shall have the right to pay off within a term of three years, beginning January 1902, the arrears of the first six months ending the 31st December, 1901, on condition, however, that it pays compound interest at the rate of 4 per cent. a year on the sums the payment of which shall have been thus deferred. Interest shall be payable semi-annually, the first payment being fixed on the 1st July, I902.

2) The service of the debt shall take place in Shanghai in the following manner: - Each Power shall be represented by a Delegate on a Commission of bankers authorized to receive the amount of interest and amortization which shall be paid to it by the Chinese authorities designated for that purpose, to divide it among the interested parties, and to give a receipt for the same.

3) The Chinese Government shall deliver to the Doyen [i.e., the senior member] of the Diplomatic Corps at Peking a bond for the lump sum, which shall subsequently be converted into fractional bonds bearing the signature of the Delegates of the Chinese Government designated for that purpose. This operation and all those relating to issuing of the bonds shall be performed by the above-mentioned Commission, in accordance with the instructions which the Powers shall send their Delegates.

4) The proceeds of the revenues assigned to the payment of the bonds shall be paid monthly to the Commission.

5) The seven assigned as security for the bonds are the following:- a) The balance of the revenues of the Imperial Maritime Customs, after payment of the interest and amortization of preceding loans secured on these revenues, plus the proceeds of the raising to 5 per cent. effective of the present tariff of maritime imports, including articles until now on the free list, but exempting rice, foreign cereals, and flour, gold and silver bullion and coin. b) The revenues of the native Customs, administered in the open ports by the Imperial Maritime Customs. c) The total revenues of the salt gabelle, exclusive of the fraction previously set aside for other foreign loans.

6) The raising of the present tariff on imports to 5 per cent. effective is agreed to on the conditions mentioned below. It shall be put in force two months after the signing of the present Protocol, and no exceptions shall be made except for merchandize in transit not more than ten days after the said signing. . . . . . . . . . .. b) The beds of the Rivers Whangpoo and Peiho shall be improved with the financial participation of China.

ARTICLE VII. The Chinese Government has agreed that the quarter occupied by the Legations shall be considered as one specially reserved for their use and placed under their exclusive control, in which Chinese shall not have the right to reside, and which may be made defensible. . . . . . . . . . In the Protocol annexed to the letter of the 16th January, 1901, China recognized the right of each Power to maintain a permanent guard in the said quarter for the defence of its Legation.

ARTICLE VIII. The Chinese Government has consented to raze the forts of Taku, and those which might impede free communication between Peking and the sea. Steps have been taken for carrying this out.

ARTICLE IX. The Chinese Government conceded the right to the Powers in the Protocol annexed to the letter of the i6th January, 1901, to occupy certain points, to be determined by an Agreement between them for the maintenance of open communication between the capital and the sea. The points occupied by the Powers are:- Huang-tsun, Lang-fang, Yang-tsun, Tien-tsin, Chun-liang-Cheng, Tong-ku, Lu-tai, Tong- shan, Lan-chou, Chang-li, Chin-wang Tao, Shan-hai Kuan.

ARTICLE X. The Chinese Government has agreed to post and to have published during two years in all district cities the following Imperial Edicts: I) Edict of the 1st February, 1901, prohibiting for ever under pain of death, membership in any anti-foreign society. 2) Edicts of the 13th and 21st February, 29th April and 19th August, 1901, enumerating the punishments inflicted on the guilty. 3) Edict of the 19th August, 1901, prohibiting examinations in all cities where foreigners were massacred or subjected to cruel treatment. 4) Edicts of the 1st February, 1901, declaring all GovernorsGeneral, Governors, and provincial or local officials responsible for order in their respective districts, and that in case of new anti-foreign troubles or other infractions of the Treaties which shall not be immediately repressed and the authors of which shall not have been punished, these officials shall be immediately dismissed without possibility of being given new functions or new honours. The posting of these Edicts is being carried on throughout the Empire.

ARTICLE XI. The Chinese Government has agreed to negotiate the amendments deemed necessary by the foreign Governments to the Treaties of Commerce and Navigation and the other subjects concerning commercial relations with the object of facilitating them. At present, and as a result of the stipulation contained in Article 6 concerning the indemnity, the Chinese Government agrees to assist in the improvement of the courses of the Rivers Peiho and Whangpoo, as stated below.- 1) The works for the improvement of the navigability of the Peiho, begun in 1898 with the co-operation of the Chinese Government, have been resumed under the direction of an International Commission. As soon as the Administration of Tien-tsin shall have been handed back to the Chinese Government it will be in a position to be represented on this Commission, and will pay each year a sum of 60,000 Haikwan taels for maintaining the works.

2) A Conservancy Board, charged with the management and control of the works for straightening the Whangpoo and the improvement of the course of that river, is hereby created. The Board shall consist of members representing the interests of the Chinese Government and those of foreigners in the shipping trade of Shanghai. The expenses incurred for the works and the general management of the undertaking are estimated at the annual sum of 460,000 Haikwan taels for the first twenty years. This sum shall be supplied in equal portions by the Chinese Government and the foreign interests concerned.

ARTICLE XII. An Imperial Edict of the 24th July, 1901, reformed the Office of Foreign Affairs, Tsung- li Yamen, on the lines indicated by the Powers, that is to say, transformed it into a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wai Wu Pu, which takes precedence over the six other Ministries of State; the same Edict appointed the principal Members of this Ministry. An agreement has also been reached concerning the modification of Court ceremonial as regards the reception of foreign Representatives, and has been the subject of several notes from the Chinese Plenipotentiaries, the substance of which is embodied in a Memorandum herewith annexed. Finally, it is expressly understood that as regards the declarations specified above and the annexed documents originating with the foreign Plenipotentiaries, the French text only is authoritative. The Chinese Government having thus complied to the satisfaction of the Powers with the conditions laid down in the above-mentioned note of the 22nd December, 1900, the Powers have agreed to accede to the wish of China to terminate the situation created by the disorders of the summer of 1900. In consequence thereof, the foreign Plenipotentiaries are authorized to declare in the names of their Governments that, with the exception of the Legation guards mentioned in Article VII, the international troops will completely evacuate the city of Peking on the 7th September, 1901, and, with the exception of the localities mentioned in Article IX, will withdraw from the Province of Chihli on the 22nd September, 1901. The present final Protocol has been drawn up in twelve identical copies, and signed by all the Plenipotentiaries of the contracting countries......................

Source: With some minor changes, this document comes from Joseph V. O'Brien, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York,  <>.