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Qing Dynasty Royal Decree on events leading to the signing of Boxer Protocol.
by Guangxu Emperor, translated by Wikipedia user:Arilang1234

This Royal Decree was officially issued by Guangxu Emperor, who was in reality under house arrest, ordered by Empress Dowager Cixi at that time, as the full administrative power was in the hand of Empress Dowager Cixi. This Royal Decree can be seen as Empress Dowager Cixi's version of address to the nation regarding historical events surrounding Boxer Rebellion and Boxer Protocol, the later was signed on 7 September, 1901.

This Royal Decree is issued on 26 December(lunar calander), number 26 years of Guangxu Emperor. On Summer (1900), boxer bandits carried out a rebellion, attacking friendly foreign nations, I (Guangxu Emperor) had accompanied Empress Dowager to inspect the western provinces, Peking was in total chaos. Prince Qing and Grand Scholar Li Hongzhang had been given the full mandate to represent the Royal Court, to negotiate a cease fire and a peace treaty with all the foreign diplomats. Yesterday Prince Qing had sent a telegram, detailing the 12 clauses of the peace treaty, I(Guangxu Emperor) have agreed in general, I(Guangxu Emperor) again sent telegram to instruct the minister to patiently work out and double check the finer details, fully utilize China's natural resources in offering foreign nations to all their satisfaction. The Royal Court is fully aware of this regretful disaster, it is more than reasonable to issue a Decree on those Royal misdeeds, and since the Royal Court has suffered unspeakable hardship and disgrace, it is the Royal Court's obligation to give a clear explanation to all my ministers and all my people under the Heaven. This disaster was caused by conflicts and disputes between boxers and Christian converts, ignorant people claim that it was because our country encourage and protect bandits, escalating it into an upheaval, they did not know that during May and June(luna calender) the court had issued many decrees, calling for the extermination of the boxers and the protection of Christian converts, but those rebellious people, despite numerous Royal Decrees being issued to prohibit the practice of Boxers, they continue to create chaos that will plunge the country into extermination. At the upheaval on 21th July(lunar calender), I (Guangxu Emperor) and Empress Dowager were ready to sacrifice for the country, in order to express gratitude to the spirits of all the ancestors, it was a moment of extreme confusion, sadness and pain , help came from some princes and ministers, eventually we were able to stumble out of Peking, amid forest of guns and countless bomb shells raining down, we were able to flee to western provinces for a hunting trip. Empress Dowager was frightened and in danger, the Aisin Gioro clan was in danger, clothing and hats were been thrown to ditches, all these sufferings were caused by the boxer bandits, who can claim that the Royal Court was offering protection for them? This upheaval and chaos that initiated by the boxer bandits, and their supporters that went into rebellion, certainly there are reasons behind. Foreign nations had been preaching Christianity in China for a long time, in dealing with disputes between locals and the Christian churches, the local magistrates did not always act impartially: those who tried to avoid controversial would bias towards the Churches, thus caused harm to the locals; those who are into making a big name of themselves would do the opposite. The local magistrates were out of wit, thus the hatred between these two groups get deepened. The boxer bandits then utilize it to start a war. This really is the fault of the local magistrates, daily unresolved conflicts thus burst into uncontrollable upheaval. The Shangdong boxer bandits were burning churches and destroying roads, the Court had dispatched army to exterminate this rebellion, but the Lian Army was without discipline, which caused harm to plain folks. Moreover, the boxer bandits focus on hatred against the Christian churches, they never disturb the local neighborhood, this is why the people had begun to love the bandits and frightened of Emperor's soldiers. The bandit's influence was on the rise, their group had increased in size. This was due to the fault of commanding generals. Those bandits using evil speech and twisted theory, inciting and seducing uneducated people, even among princes and ministers, some were young and wanton, some were ignorant, they were jealous of the military might of the foreigners, did not understand their own shortcomings, deceived by the devils and the fake, believing in the magic power of the boxers, they began to practice at their own homes as well as at the streets and the market places. Boxers were supplied with rations and weapons, they began with 2,3 persons, now they have tens of millions followers. Me(Guangxu Emperor) and Empress Dowager insisted on capturing the leaders, disband this bandit group, gave Ganyi special Royal Court order to pronounce a ban, yet with no result. Instead, tens of thousands of rebels, dare to wear red scarf and carried knife, roaming the capital, burn and root churches, siege and attack foreign embassy. Empress Dowager had been dictating national policy behind a curtain for the last 40 years, I(Guangxu Emperor) always respected her majesty and eager to receive her majesty's kind teaching, kindness to neighboring nations and protection for the churches, these are of kind heart policy. Under the heaven, people with righteousness are not murderers and arsonists, national policy should not lean towards bandits and breaking up international alliance at will. Right when the foreign legations being surrounded, several decrees had been directed at Zongli Yaman, requesting ministers to go and stop any aggressive attacks and offer solace to the diplomats, but the Royal Decrees had never been delivered, no ministers had ever gone there, among all the confusions, no explanation had ever been put forward. Had the foreign legations being subjected to the full force of bombardment, would those buildings still be intact today? The reasons why worst disasters been prevented, just because the Royal Court intervened with full force, even frequently sending fruits and beverage to the foreigners, because Empress Dowager has a kind heart, that all you foreigners need to understand, and show appreciation. On this peace treaty, the Manchu Empire sovereignty is kept intact, no territorial land annexation had been requested, the Royal court is mindful of the understanding of the foreign power, is resentful of (boxer bandits) ignorant violent acts, in retrospect, a mix of regret and anger. Since the peace treaty had been agreed upon, we shall just leave it as that.


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