The abdication decree of Emperor Puyi (1912)

The abdication decree of Emperor Puyi, signed February 12th 1912. The abdication was negotiated by the Dowager Empress Longyu, on Puyi’s behalf:

“The Whole Country is tending towards a republican form of government. It is the Will of Heaven, and it is certain that we could not reject the people’s desire for the sake of one family’s honour and glory.

We, the Emperor, hand over the sovereignty to the people. We decide the form of government to be a constitutional republic.

In this time of transition, in order to unite the South and the North, We appoint Yuan Shikai to organise a provisional government, consulting the people’s army regarding the union of the five peoples: Manchus, Han Chinese, Mongolians, Mohammedans and Tibetans. These peoples jointly constitute the great State of Chung Hwa Ming-Kus [a republic of China].

We now retire to a peaceful life and will enjoy the respectful treatment of the nation.”