Translation:Imperial Decree of declaration of war against foreign powers

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Qing Dynasty Royal Decree of declaration of war against foreign powers  (1900) 
by Guangxu, translated from Chinese by Wikisource
On 21 June 1900 the Qing Dynasty issued a Royal Decree of declaration of war against foreign powers in the name of Guangxu Emperor, but he is said by historians to have been a mere figurehead and under house arrest, and that the real power had been in the hands of Empress Dowager Cixi.

For more than 200 years, the Court had always acted in deep kindness to those foreigners of great distances. Our ancestors had always treated them with respect. During the reign of Daoguang Emperor and Xianfeng Emperor, said foreigners began to be allowed to trade with China, and yet they begged for the permission to preach the teaching of Christ, since the teaching was for the good of the people; the Court also granted permission to do so. At the beginning those preachers did behave according to our customs. Unexpectedly, however, in the last 30 or so years, despite China's kindness, they began to act aggressive, insulting our country, invading our land, trampling over our citizenry, and blackmailing our valuable goods. The Royal Court had been lenient to accommodate their demands, but these foreigners had turned aggressive and unreasonable, their attitude had been worsening by the day. They try to bully everyone, including the common citizenry, blaspheming our holy men and our gods. Our good people had built up hatred inside the hearts, and everyone is asking for revenge. This is why those Boxers were burning churches and killing Chinese Christian converts. The Imperial Court had decided not to send in the military to offer protection, to prevent hurting our good people. The Court had issued decrees to ban the Boxers from attacking the foreigners, offered protection for the foreign legations, and compensation to Chinese Christians converts. Only the other day the Court had issued a decree to mediate between the Boxers and the Chinese Christians; after all, they are all our people. The Royal Court had done it's best to treat foreigners with kindness. Besides being ungrateful, they have been blackmailing more. Recently they requested to administer the Taku Forts, intending on shaking the stability of the capital [Peking] using military might.

In the past, the Royal court had treated this foreigners like one would treated one's own neighbors, never did the court offend them. They called themselves educated nations, yet they do whatever they like here in China, just because they have strong army and powerful weapons, they have wanted to break off the good relationship with China? His Majesty Guangxu Emperor had been on this throne near 30 years, treating all the people like my own children and grandchildren, Baixing also treat me as the Emperor of Heaven. The Empress Dowager Cixi has reshaped the Universe, her benevolence and good deed is everywhere, the people feel deep in the soul, all the ancestors do agree with her, all the gods also moved by her, Her Excellency has done what previous dynasty had not done. His Majesty Guangxu Emperor has informed the ancestor temple with tears, has pledged holy commitment with teacher and students, we shall not live a miserable and submissive life, be shamed in history for the next ten thousands years, we should fight this war in a big way, to see who is the male, who is the female. The Court officials had been gathering for days, to work out strategy and to reach consensus. In provinces adjacent to Peking and Shandong, hundreds of thousands of Boxers have gathered on free will, even 5 feet tall boys would take up weapons to safeguard the homeland. The foreigners have cunning and deceptive plans, we hold the rules from heaven, the foreigners relied on brute force, we have the support of the heart of the people. China has many loyal patriots, they are not afraid to die. We have more than 20 provinces, [a] huge population of 400 millions, it is not difficult to put out the foreigners fierce fire, to showcase the might of our nation. The royal court will generously reward those who fight bravely on the front line, will also reward those who donate money in preparation of the war. The royal court will immediately execute traitors who escape from the battle field, or anyone who collaborate with the enemy, no one should hope for any leniency. All my court officials and people under the Heaven, we all have the heart of loyalty, to release the combined anger of both the human and gods. I have big expectation. His majesty sign here.

Other decrees issued on the same day[edit]

The Righteous Harmony Boxers who have now grouped around Peking and Tiantsin, they are not yet belong to any Imperial Command. I hereby order Prince Zaixun and Grand Scholar Ganyi to form a joint command for the boxers. Also order Left Wing Command Yinnian, Right Wing Command Yinxu, deputy Right Wing Command Zailan, to assist the joint command. Wenriu is to be the Wing captain. All the righteous boxer should do their best towards the monarchy, to share the same hatred, and to fight one common enemy, only unity will bring success, must always keep the spirit up, is of the outmost importance.

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.
In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.