The Chinese emperor's proclamation was an interesting document, giving an inaccurate statement of facts and revealing some of the main features of China's warlike plans in the coming campaign. A translation of this edict reads as follows:

"Korea has been under China's suzerainty for more than two hundred years, and has rendered us annual tributes, as is well known at home and abroad. For over a decade Korea has been troubled by repeated insurrections. We, in sympathy with our small tributary, have often sent troops to her aid, and suppressed the rebels, and also placed a resident at Seul to render protection as needed. In the fourth moon of this year [May, 1894] another rebellion took place in Korea, for the suppression of which her king made to us an urgent appeal to send troops. We then ordered Li Hung Chang to dispatch troops to Korea. As soon as they reached Asan the rebels scattered. But the Wojen [a familiar and contemptuous name for the Japanese], without cause, sent their soldiers suddenly into Seul, and reinforced them with more than ten thousand men. Japan then forced Korea to change her system of administration, and unreasonably made various demands. According to our method of ruling the tributary state [Korea], the latter's internal affairs are left to its self-government. Japan's treaty with Korea was as one country with another; there is no law for sending large armies to intimidate her and compel her to change her administrative system. The public opinion of the various powers considers the conduct of the Japanese as unjustifiable and unreasonable. We exhorted them to withdraw their troops, but they paid no heed and offered no explanation. On the contrary, Japan has continually dispatched more soldiers, until the Korean peasants and Chinese merchants were every day more alarmed than before. We therefore sent more troops to protect them. Greatly to our surprise, a number of the Wojen ships suddenly appeared and taking advantage of our unpreparedness opened fire upon our transports off Asan, thus causing us to suffer from their treacherous conduct, which could not be foretold by us. Japan has observed neither treaties nor international law, but is running rampant with her false and treacherous actions, commencing hostilities herself, and laying herself open to condemnation by the various powers at large. We therefore make it known to the world that throughout the whole complications we have observed the utmost benevolence and righteousness, while the Wojen have broken pledges and opened hostilities, which passes our patience to bear with. Hence we command Li Hung Chang to give strict orders to our various armies to hasten with all speed to exterminate the foe; to send successive forces of valiant men in order to save the Koreans from the dust of bondage. We also command the Tartar-generals, viceroys, and governors of the maritime provinces, as well as the commanders in chief of the various armies. to prepare for war and to make every effort to fire on the Wojen ships if they come into our ports, and utterly destroy them. We exhort our generals to refrain from the least laxity in obeying our commands in order to avoid severe punishment at our hands. Let all know this edict as if addressed to them individually. Respect this!"