President Harding, who succeeded Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States of America in 1921, participated in the inaugural session. As conference chair, Charles Evans led Hughes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America.  Conference on Arms Limitation – Washington November 12, 1921 – February 6, 1922. / Arms Limitation Conference – Washington November 12, 1921 – February 6, 1922. p. 4-8 The last multilateral agreement reached at the Washington Naval Conference, a treaty of nine powers, marked the internationalization of the American open-door policy in China. The treaty promised that each of the signatories – the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and China – would respect China`s territorial integrity. The treaty recognized Japanese supremacy in Manchuria, but also reaffirmed the importance of equal opportunities for all nations doing business in the country. For its part, China has agreed not to discriminate against a country that wants to do business there.
Like the Treaty of the Four Powers, the Treaty on China called for continued consultations between signatories in the event of infringement. As a result, it did not have a method of application to ensure that all powers complied with its conditions. In addition to multilateral agreements, conference participants concluded several bilateral agreements. Japan and China signed a bilateral agreement, the Shangtung (Shandong), which returned control of the province and its railways to China. Japan had taken control of the territory by the Germans during World War I and had retained control of it in the following years. The combination of the Shangtung Treaty and the Nine-Power Treaty should assure China that its territory will no longer be threatened by Japanese expansion. In addition, Japan has agreed to withdraw its troops from Siberia and the United States and Japan have formally accepted equal access to cable and radio equipment on Japan-controlled Yap Island. Diplomatic Documents: Washington Conference: July 1921 – February 1922 / Foreign Affairs Department 1923. 208 pp. At the first plenary session on 21 November 1921, US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes presented his country`s proposals. Hughes kicked off the conference with a strong declaring that “disarmament is disarmament.”  The ambitious slogan generated enthusiastic public support and probably shortened the conference, while helping to ensure that its proposals were widely accepted.