“As the abolition of likin concerns the vital interest of the merchants and manufacturers, it should be carried out without delay. The commercial and industrial enterprises of the country can only thrive after likin is abolished and only then can new sources of revenue be obtained. This measure will form the fundamental factor of our industrial and economical development. But one thing to which we should like to call the special attention of the Government is the procedure to be adopted to negotiate with the Foreign countries respecting the adoption of this measure. The first step in this connection should be the increase of the present Customs tariff to the actual five per cent ad valorem rate. When this is done, proposals should be made to the Powers having treaty relations with us concerning the abolition of likin and revision of Customs tariff. The transit destination duties on imported goods should at the same time be done away with. This would not entail any disadvantage to the importers of foreign goods and any diplomatic question would not be difficult of solution. Meantime preparatory measures should be devised for reorganizing the method of collecting duties set forth above so that the abolition of likin can take place as soon as the Government obtains the consent of the foreign Powers respecting the increase of Customs tariff.”
THE LEADING OUTSTANDING CASES BETWEEN CHINA AND THE FOREIGN POWERS
(Author’s note. The following memorandum was drawn up by Dr. C.C. Wu, Councillor at the Chinese Foreign Office and son of Dr. Wu Ting-fang, the Foreign Minister, and is a most competent and precise statement. It is a noteworthy fact that not only is Dr. C.C. Wu a British barrister but he distinguished himself above all his fellows in the year he was called to the Bar. It is also noteworthy that the Lao Hsi-kai case does not figure in this summary, China taking the view that French action throughout was ultra vires, and beyond discussion.)
Republican China inherited from imperial China the vast and rich territory of China Proper and its Dependencies, but the inheritance was by no means free from incumbrances as in the case of Outer Mongolia, Tibet and Manchuria, and other impediments in the form of unfavourable treaty obligations and a long list of outstanding foreign cases affecting sovereign and territorial rights.