The Treaty of Versailles (1919)


The Treaty of Versailles was negotiated by victorious powers in World War I between January and May 1919, and signed on June 28th of that year. The following extract contains articles relevant to China, including the cession of Shandong province to Japan:


“Article 128. Germany renounces in favour of China all benefits and privileges resulting from the provisions of the final Protocol signed at Peking on September 7th 1901, and from all annexes, notes and documents supplementary thereto. She likewise renounces in favour of China any claim to indemnities accruing thereunder subsequent to March 14th 1917…

Article 130. Subject to the provisions of Section VIII, Germany cedes to China all the buildings, wharves and pontoons, barracks, forts, arms and munitions of war, vessels of all kinds, wireless telegraphy installations and other public property belonging to the German Government, which are situated or may be in the German Concessions at Tientsin and Hankow or elsewhere in Chinese territory…

Article 131. Germany undertakes to restore to China within 12 months from the coming into force of the present Treaty all the astronomical instruments which her troops in 1900-1901 carried away from China, and to defray all expenses which may be incurred in effecting such restoration, including the expenses of dismounting, packing, transporting, insurance and installation in Peking.

Article 134. Germany renounces in favour of the Government of His Britannic Majesty the German State property in the British Concession at Shameen at Canton. She renounces in favour of the French and Chinese Governments conjointly the property of the German school situated in the French Concession at Shanghai…

Article 156. Germany renounces, in favour of Japan, all her rights, title and privileges¯particularly those concerning the territory of Kiaochow, railways, mines and submarine cables ­which she acquired in virtue of the Treaty concluded by her with China on March 6th 1898, and of all other arrangements relative to the Province of Shandong.

All German rights in the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu Railway, including its branch lines together with its subsidiary property of all kinds, stations, shops, fixed and rolling stock, mines, plant and material for the exploitation of the mines, are acquired by Japan, together with all rights and privileges attaching thereto.

The German State submarine cables from Tsingtao to Shanghai and from Tsingtao to Chefoo, with all the rights, privileges and properties attaching thereto, are similarly acquired by Japan, free and clear of all charges and encumbrances.

Article 157. The movable and immovable property owned by the German State in the territory of Kiaochow, as well as all the rights which Germany might claim in consequence of the works or improvements made or of the expenses incurred by her, directly or indirectly, in connection with this territory, are and remain acquired by Japan, free and clear of all charges and encumbrances.”

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