Agreement Regarding the Restoration of the State of Peace between Germany and China (1921)
An agreement was signed in Beijing on May 20, 1921 between the German and Chinese governments in order to restore peaceful relations following the First World War. The main reason for the treaty was that the Chinese government refrained from signing the Treaty of Versailles, since it granted the Japanese government control over Chinese territory, the formerly German concession of Shandong. The agreement was beneficial for both sides, since it led to cooperation between the two governments in the military field, cooperation which lasted until the German government became aligned with the Japanese government on the eve of the Second World War.
The Chinese government declared war on the German Reich on August 14, 1917, thus becoming one of the Allied Powers of the First World War. On June 28, 1919, a peace treaty between the Allied governments and the German government was signed in Paris, but the Chinese delegation was instructed by the government in Beijing not to sign the treaty, since it granted the Japanese Empire control over areas in China. As a result, the diplomatic state of war between Berlin and Beijing was not terminated. On September 15, 1919, the President of China issued a presidential decree lifting enemy state restrictions from the German government. On May 20, 1921, the two governments concluded a treaty to restore the state of peace between them, this without recognizing the transfer of the former German colonies in China to Japanese control.
Terms of the agreement
The agreement was accompanied by a joint declaration in which the two governments agreed their relations be governed by the main provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, without accepting the transfer of territories from China to Japanese control. The agreement restored diplomatic and trade relations between the two governments, while abolishing German consular jurisdiction over German citizens staying in China, a practice which existed prior to the war.
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 9, pp. 272-289.
- John V.A. MacMurray (ed.), Treaties and Agreements with and Concerning China 1894-1919 (New York, 1921) vol. 2, p. 1381.