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On the sixth day of the seventh month of the tenth year of Guangxu, the Cabinet was informed that Vietnam has been a tributary country of the Qing Dynasty for more than two hundred years, and it has been recorded in the canonical books and is known in China and abroad. The French cunningly want to try expanding its influence, first into the provinces of South Ky, and then into the Hanoi and other places, killing its people, profiting on its land, taking away its taxes. The Vietnamese rulers and ministers were cowardly and did not report that they had entered into a private agreement; the law was unreasonable, and the Vietnamese were also guilty. The French government and ministers were not aware of this.
During the winter of Guangxu 8, the French ambassador Baohai and our representative Li Hongzhang met in Tianjin to discuss the three articles, which were ordered to the Prime Minister's Office of National Affairs to discuss the proper preparation, the law and withdraw the ambassador to change the proposal; I provide leniency, they demonstrate arrogance! The provinces of Shanxi and Beining were the places where our troops were stationed to investigate the Vietnamese bandits and protect the clan, which had nothing to do with France. In February of this year, French soldiers came to attack the defense camp. When the decree was decreed, we were going to send troops to enter and try to suppress them; but suddenly, according to the general of that country, France proposed peace to China. At that time, the country was in danger because of Egypt, and China knew that it was in dire straits and could have rejected it, but it still showed generosity and allowed it to be done; it ordered Li Hongzhang to negotiate the "concise treaty" with five paragraphs, which were mutually agreed upon. Lang Shan, Baosheng and other troops, were to be transferred back after the agreed March.
By the repeated instructions of the defense forces to hold positions, to not refrain from provocation; the officers were ordered to maintain caution. However, the country did not comply with the agreement, and suddenly on the first and second day of May, under the name of "border patrol", they attacked the defense camp in Lang Son and fired cannons first; our troops started to fight with them and killed each other. The French violated the treaty, issued unprovoked provocations, wounded my official army; because of the idea of the treaty and peace for more than 20 years, it is not necessary to abandon the former alliance, but still allowed the Prime Minister's Office and the French ambassador in Beijing back and forth note, reasoning, to three again.
On May 24 of the year, the military was sent down to withdraw the troops according to the agreement, showing the great faith. This is the reason why the peace was preserved. If the legal person knew a little bit of propriety and righteousness, he would have repented. However, they always rely on their faults, and demanded the military expenses without a name, and demanded arbitrarily; they occupied the Keelung Hill Battery in Taipei on June 15, and were immediately repelled by Liu Mingchuan's victory. On the third day of this month, He Jing had just received a note from the French consul to start the war, and the French soldiers had already attacked in Mawei in advance, injuring and destroying the ships of soldiers and merchants, and blowing up the shipyard. This country has been acting trickily and capriciously, and has started the war first; if it is tolerated again, how can it stretch the public opinion and obey the people! I hereby reveal the unreasonable circumstances and announce them to the world, so that it will be clear that France intends to abrogate the treaty and that the provocation has been started by them. The minister in charge of the army and the governor and the governor of the provinces have been preparing for years; if there is a French soldier ship sailing into the coastal ports, they are required to supervise the defense forces to attack together and drive away all of them. The land army should be carried out where the troops, that is, quickly forward.
Although Liu Yongfu holds loyalty, but Vietnam is ignorant to know people, not promoted. This member is a Chinese person, can be taken into our use, should be put on the record with the name of the governor, and rewarded with a plume; leading the troops, surprise and victory, will be corporate encroachment on the Vietnamese cities quickly restored. Where our soldiers, brave and meritorious, exceptional grace and special award of internal funds; retreat and misconduct, immediately before the military justice. The imperial court carefully weighed this matter, always because it was inevitable that the people would be shocked by the mobilization of the army; therefore, it was not light on a hair. This time, the corporation reneged on the contract and broke faith, the public anger is difficult to appease, and had no choice but to use the military. All the provinces are committed to the city, will be able to make the same enemy; and the governor, the governor rate of war guard, to build a special merit, with the reward.
This matter is of the alliances' provocation, and in addition to the commercial countries and China have been contracted for a long time, there is no animosity; must not be because of the legal person's affairs, have hurt the peace. Have the coastal governors and governors to strictly order the local officials and the battalion commanders to protect all the merchants of all countries, even if the French officials and teachers are willing to stay in the mainland to keep their jobs, should also be all defend. If there is any interference with the military, etc., the detection will be punished according to the public law. There is the reason for disobeying the imperial decree. Loyal citizens and people shall not harbor any doubts in executing this decree; such criminals, that is, they should be strictly apprehended and punished, without leniency. This decree shall be disseminated widely. Emperor signs here.