The Manifesto of the Students of Beijing (1919)

The ‘Manifesto of All the Students of Beijing’ was written by Luo Jialun, a Beijing University student, and shared with other students during the May Fourth demonstration in 1919:

“Japan’s demand for the possession of Qingdao and other rights in Shandong is now going to be acceded to in the Paris Peace Conference. Her diplomacy has secured a great victory – and ours has led to a great failure.

The loss of Shandong means the destruction of the integrity of China’s territory. Once the integrity of her territory is destroyed, China will soon be annihilated. Accordingly, we students today are making a demonstration march to the Allied legations, asking the Allies to support justice. We earnestly hope that all agricultural, industrial, commercial, and other groups of the whole nation will rise and hold citizens’ meetings to strive to secure our sovereignty in foreign affairs and to get rid of the traitors at home.

This is the last chance for China in her life and death struggle. Today we swear two solemn oaths with all our fellow countrymen. First, China’s territory may be conquered, but it cannot be given away. Second, the Chinese people may be massacred but they will not surrender.

Our country is about to be annihilated. Up, brethren!”