He feared "serious" resentment by Germany, whose newly acquired territory at nearby Kiaochow Bay now abutted a British sphere to the north.(18) With Russia at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula and Germany in possession of Kiaochow Bay, he advised Salisbury, acquiring Weihaiwei was unlikely to have any "direct effect" on the balance of power; the international political situation in northern China would continue to be at the mercy of Russian actions in Manchuria and northern China whether or not Britain claimed the port.(19)
The peace negotiations were bound to take up the defunct German leasehold at Kiaochow, and the Peking government, which had entered the war against Germany in order to be at the peace conference, was likely to use the discussions to push for the return of all foreign leases.
Since no money had been spent to improve it, the base compared unfavorably with Kiaochow and Dairen, the commercial port adjacent to Port Arthur.
These high level preparations turned out to be superfluous; the peace conference ignored the general question of leased territories in China, and only German rights to Kiaochow and at various treaty ports were discussed.(48) The controversy over Kiaochow was postponed to the next great international conference in Washington, D.C., in 1921-22.
When the Japanese agreed at the Conference to return Kiaochow to China, Weihaiwei came once more to the fore.
Not even the occupation of Kiaochow as a consequence of the Juye missionary murders interrupted this trend.
(8.) The term "Kiaochow," referring to the German leasehold, must be distinguished from the adjacent Chinese administrative territory of Jiaozhou.