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Title: The Problem of China
Author: Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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O.M., F.K.S.






     The Ruler of the Southern Ocean was Shû (Heedless), the Ruler of
     the Northern Ocean was Hû (Sudden), and the Ruler of the Centre
     was Chaos. Shû and Hû were continually meeting in the land of
     Chaos, who treated them very well. They consulted together how
     they might repay his kindness, and said, "Men all have seven
     orifices for the purpose of seeing, hearing, eating, and
     breathing, while this poor Ruler alone has not one. Let us try
     and make them for him." Accordingly they dug one orifice in him
     every day; and at the end of seven days Chaos died.--[_Chuang
     Tze_, Legge's translation.]

The Problem of China



A European lately arrived in China, if he is of a receptive and
reflective disposition, finds himself confronted with a number of very
puzzling questions, for many of which the problems of Western Europe
will not have prepared him. Russian problems, it is true, have important
affinities with those of China, but they have also important
differences; moreover they are decidedly less complex. Chinese problems,
even if they affected no one outside China, would be of vast importance,
since the Chinese are estimated to constitute about a quarter of the
human race. In fact, however, all the world will be vitally affected by
the development of Chinese affairs, which may well prove a decisive
factor, for good or evil, during the next two centuries. This makes it
important, to Europe and America almost as much as to Asia, that there
should be an intelligent understanding of the questions raised by China,
even if, as yet, definite answers are difficult to give.

The questions raised by the present condition of China fall naturally
into three groups, economic, political, and cultural. No one of these
groups, however, can be considered in isolation, because each is
intimately bound up with the other two. For my part, I think the
cultural questions are the most important, both for China and for
mankind; if these could be solved, I would accept, with more or less
equanimity, any political or economic system which ministered to that
end. Unfortunately, however, cultural questions have little interest for
practical men, who regard money and power as the proper ends for nations
as for individuals. The helplessness of the artist in a hard-headed
business community has long been a commonplace of novelists and
moralizers, and has made collectors feel virtuous when they bought up
the pictures of painters who had died in penury. China may be regarded
as an artist nation, with the virtues and vices to be expected of the
artist: virtues chiefly useful to others, and vices chiefly harmful to
oneself. Can Chinese virtues be preserved? Or must China, in order to
survive, acquire, instead, the vices which make for success and cause
misery to others only? And if China does copy the model set by all
foreign nations with which she has dealings, what will become of all of

China has an ancient civilization which is now undergoing a very rapid
process of change. The traditional civilization of China had developed
in almost complete independence of Europe, and had merits and demerits
quite different from those of the West. It would be futile to attempt to
strike a balance; whether our present culture is better or worse, on the
whole, than that which seventeenth-century missionaries found in the
Celestial Empire is a question as to which no prudent person would
venture to pronounce. But it is easy to point to certain respects in
which we are better than old China, and to other respects in which we
are worse. If intercourse between Western nations and China is to be
fruitful, we must cease to regard ourselves as missionaries of a
superior civilization, or, worse still, as men who have a right to
exploit, oppress, and swindle the Chinese because they are an "inferior"
race. I do not see any reason to believe that the Chinese are inferior
to ourselves; and I think most Europeans, who have any intimate
knowledge of China, would take the same view.

In comparing an alien culture with one's own, one is forced to ask
oneself questions more fundamental than any that usually arise in regard
to home affairs. One is forced to ask: What are the things that I
ultimately value? What would make me judge one sort of society more
desirable than another sort? What sort of ends should I most wish to see
realized in the world? Different people will answer these questions
differently, and I do not know of any argument by which I could persuade
a man who gave an answer different from my own. I must therefore be
content merely to state the answer which appeals to me, in the hope that
the reader may feel likewise.

The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not
merely as means to other things, are: knowledge, art, instinctive
happiness, and relations of friendship or affection. When I speak of
knowledge, I do not mean all knowledge; there is much in the way of dry
lists of facts that is merely useful, and still more that has no
appreciable value of any kind. But the understanding of Nature,
incomplete as it is, which is to be derived from science, I hold to be a
thing which is good and delightful on its own account. The same may be
said, I think, of some biographies and parts of history. To enlarge on
this topic would, however, take me too far from my theme. When I speak
of art as one of the things that have value on their own account, I do
not mean only the deliberate productions of trained artists, though of
course these, at their best, deserve the highest place. I mean also the
almost unconscious effort after beauty which one finds among Russian
peasants and Chinese coolies, the sort of impulse that creates
folk-songs, that existed among ourselves before the time of the
Puritans, and survives in cottage gardens. Instinctive happiness, or joy
of life, is one of the most important widespread popular goods that we
have lost through industrialism and the high pressure at which most of
us live; its commonness in China is a strong reason for thinking well of
Chinese civilization.

In judging of a community, we have to consider, not only how much of
good or evil there is within the community, but also what effects it has
in promoting good or evil in other communities, and how far the good
things which it enjoys depend upon evils elsewhere. In this respect,
also, China is better than we are. Our prosperity, and most of what we
endeavour to secure for ourselves, can only be obtained by widespread
oppression and exploitation of weaker nations, while the Chinese are not
strong enough to injure other countries, and secure whatever they enjoy
by means of their own merits and exertions alone.

These general ethical considerations are by no means irrelevant in
considering the practical problems of China. Our industrial and
commercial civilization has been both the effect and the cause of
certain more or less unconscious beliefs as to what is worth while; in
China one becomes conscious of these beliefs through the spectacle of a
society which challenges them by being built, just as unconsciously,
upon a different standard of values. Progress and efficiency, for
example, make no appeal to the Chinese, except to those who have come
under Western influence. By valuing progress and efficiency, we have
secured power and wealth; by ignoring them, the Chinese, until we
brought disturbance, secured on the whole a peaceable existence and a
life full of enjoyment. It is difficult to compare these opposite
achievements unless we have some standard of values in our minds; and
unless it is a more or less conscious standard, we shall undervalue the
less familiar civilization, because evils to which we are not accustomed
always make a stronger impression than those that we have learned to
take as a matter of course.

The culture of China is changing rapidly, and undoubtedly rapid change
is needed. The change that has hitherto taken place is traceable
ultimately to the military superiority of the West; but in future our
economic superiority is likely to be quite as potent. I believe that, if
the Chinese are left free to assimilate what they want of our
civilization, and to reject what strikes them as bad, they will be able
to achieve an organic growth from their own tradition, and to produce a
very splendid result, combining our merits with theirs. There are,
however, two opposite dangers to be avoided if this is to happen. The
first danger is that they may become completely Westernized, retaining
nothing of what has hitherto distinguished them, adding merely one more
to the restless, intelligent, industrial, and militaristic nations
which now afflict this unfortunate planet. The second danger is that
they may be driven, in the course of resistance to foreign aggression,
into an intense anti-foreign conservatism as regards everything except
armaments. This has happened in Japan, and it may easily happen in
China. The future of Chinese culture is intimately bound up with
political and economic questions; and it is through their influence that
dangers arise.

China is confronted with two very different groups of foreign Powers, on
the one hand the white nations, on the other hand Japan. In considering
the effect of the white races on the Far East as a whole, modern Japan
must count as a Western product; therefore the responsibility for
Japan's doings in China rests ultimately with her white teachers.
Nevertheless, Japan remains very unlike Europe and America, and has
ambitions different from theirs as regards China. We must therefore
distinguish three possibilities: (1) China may become enslaved to one or
more white nations; (2) China may become enslaved to Japan; (3) China
may recover and retain her liberty. Temporarily there is a fourth
possibility, namely that a consortium of Japan and the White Powers may
control China; but I do not believe that, in the long run, the Japanese
will be able to co-operate with England and America. In the long run, I
believe that Japan must dominate the Far East or go under. If the
Japanese had a different character this would not be the case; but the
nature of their ambitions makes them exclusive and unneighbourly. I
shall give the reasons for this view when I come to deal with the
relations of China and Japan.

To understand the problem of China, we must first know something of
Chinese history and culture before the irruption of the white man, then
something of modern Chinese culture and its inherent tendencies; next,
it is necessary to deal in outline with the military and diplomatic
relations of the Western Powers with China, beginning with our war of
1840 and ending with the treaty concluded after the Boxer rising of
1900. Although the Sino-Japanese war comes in this period, it is
possible to separate, more or less, the actions of Japan in that war,
and to see what system the White Powers would have established if Japan
had not existed. Since that time, however, Japan has been the dominant
foreign influence in Chinese affairs. It is therefore necessary to
understand how the Japanese became what they are: what sort of nation
they were before the West destroyed their isolation, and what influence
the West has had upon them. Lack of understanding of Japan has made
people in England blind to Japan's aims in China, and unable to
apprehend the meaning of what Japan has done.

Political considerations alone, however, will not suffice to explain
what is going on in relation to China; economic questions are almost
more important. China is as yet hardly industrialized, and is certainly
the most important undeveloped area left in the world. Whether the
resources of China are to be developed by China, by Japan, or by the
white races, is a question of enormous importance, affecting not only
the whole development of Chinese civilization, but the balance of power
in the world, the prospects of peace, the destiny of Russia, and the
chances of development towards a better economic system in the advanced

The Washington Conference has partly exhibited and partly concealed the
conflict for the possession of China between nations all of which have
guaranteed China's independence and integrity. Its outcome has made it
far more difficult than before to give a hopeful answer as regards Far
Eastern problems, and in particular as regards the question: Can China
preserve any shadow of independence without a great development of
nationalism and militarism? I cannot bring myself to advocate
nationalism and militarism, yet it is difficult to know what to say to
patriotic Chinese who ask how they can be avoided. So far, I have found
only one answer. The Chinese nation, is the most, patient in the world;
it thinks of centuries as other nations think of decades. It is
essentially indestructible, and can afford to wait. The "civilized"
nations of the world, with their blockades, their poison gases, their
bombs, submarines, and negro armies, will probably destroy each other
within the next hundred years, leaving the stage to those whose pacifism
has kept them alive, though poor and powerless. If China can avoid being
goaded into war, her oppressors may wear themselves out in the end, and
leave the Chinese free to pursue humane ends, instead of the war and
rapine and destruction which all white nations love. It is perhaps a
slender hope for China, and for ourselves it is little better than
despair. But unless the Great Powers learn some moderation and some
tolerance, I do not see any better possibility, though I see many that
are worse.

Our Western civilization is built upon assumptions, which, to a
psychologist, are rationalizings of excessive energy. Our industrialism,
our militarism, our love of progress, our missionary zeal, our
imperialism, our passion for dominating and organizing, all spring from
a superflux of the itch for activity. The creed of efficiency for its
own sake, without regard for the ends to which it is directed, has
become somewhat discredited in Europe since the war, which would have
never taken place if the Western nations had been slightly more
indolent. But in America this creed is still almost universally
accepted; so it is in Japan, and so it is by the Bolsheviks, who have
been aiming fundamentally at the Americanization of Russia. Russia, like
China, may be described as an artist nation; but unlike China it has
been governed, since the time of Peter the Great, by men who wished to
introduce all the good and evil of the West. In former days, I might
have had no doubt that such men were in the right. Some (though not
many) of the Chinese returned students resemble them in the belief that
Western push and hustle are the most desirable things on earth. I cannot
now take this view. The evils produced in China by indolence seem to me
far less disastrous, from the point of view of mankind at large, than
those produced throughout the world by the domineering cocksureness of
Europe and America. The Great War showed that something is wrong with
our civilization; experience of Russia and China has made me believe
that those countries can help to show us what it is that is wrong. The
Chinese have discovered, and have practised for many centuries, a way of
life which, if it could be adopted by all the world, would make all the
world happy. We Europeans have not. Our way of life demands strife,
exploitation, restless change, discontent and destruction. Efficiency
directed to destruction can only end in annihilation, and it is to this
consummation that our civilization is tending, if it cannot learn some
of that wisdom for which it despises the East.

It was on the Volga, in the summer of 1920, that I first realized how
profound is the disease in our Western mentality, which the Bolsheviks
are attempting to force upon an essentially Asiatic population, just as
Japan and the West are doing in China. Our boat travelled on, day after
day, through an unknown and mysterious land. Our company were noisy,
gay, quarrelsome, full of facile theories, with glib explanations of
everything, persuaded that there is nothing they could not understand
and no human destiny outside the purview of their system. One of us lay
at death's door, fighting a grim battle with weakness and terror and the
indifference of the strong, assailed day and night by the sounds of
loud-voiced love-making and trivial laughter. And all around us lay a
great silence, strong as death, unfathomable as the heavens. It seemed
that none had leisure to hear the silence, yet it called to me so
insistently that I grew deaf to the harangues of propagandists and the
endless information of the well-informed.

One night, very late, our boat stopped in a desolate spot where there
were no houses, but only a great sandbank, and beyond it a row of
poplars with the rising moon behind them. In silence I went ashore, and
found on the sand a strange assemblage of human beings, half-nomads,
wandering from some remote region of famine, each family huddled
together surrounded by all its belongings, some sleeping, others
silently making small fires of twigs. The flickering flames lighted up
gnarled, bearded faces of wild men, strong, patient, primitive women,
and children as sedate and slow as their parents. Human beings they
undoubtedly were, and yet it would have been far easier for me to grow
intimate with a dog or a cat or a horse than with one of them. I knew
that they would wait there day after day, perhaps for weeks, until a
boat came in which they could go to some distant place in which they had
heard--falsely perhaps--that the earth was more generous than in the
country they had left. Some would die by the way, all would suffer
hunger and thirst and the scorching mid-day sun, but their sufferings
would be dumb. To me they seemed to typify the very soul of Russia,
unexpressive, inactive from despair, unheeded by the little set of
Westernizers who make up all the parties of progress or reaction. Russia
is so vast that the articulate few are lost in it as man and his planet
are lost in interstellar space. It is possible, I thought, that the
theorists may increase the misery of the many by trying to force them
into actions contrary to their primeval instincts, but I could not
believe that happiness was to be brought to them by a gospel of
industrialism and forced labour.

Nevertheless, when morning came I resumed the interminable discussions
of the materialistic conception of history and the merits of a truly
popular government. Those with whom I discussed had not seen the
sleeping wanderers, and would not have been interested if they had seen
them, since they were not material for propaganda. But something of that
patient silence had communicated itself to me, something lonely and
unspoken remained in my heart throughout all the comfortable familiar
intellectual talk. And at last I began to feel that all politics are
inspired by a grinning devil, teaching the energetic and quickwitted to
torture submissive populations for the profit of pocket or power or
theory. As we journeyed on, fed by food extracted from the peasants,
protected by an army recruited from among their sons, I wondered what we
had to give them in return. But I found no answer. From time to time I
heard their sad songs or the haunting music of the balalaika; but the
sound mingled with the great silence of the steppes, and left me with a
terrible questioning pain in which Occidental hopefulness grew pale.

It was in this mood that I set out for China to seek a new hope.



Where the Chinese came from is a matter of conjecture. Their early
history is known only from their own annals, which throw no light upon
the question. The Shu-King, one of the Confucian classics (edited, not
composed, by Confucius), begins, like Livy, with legendary accounts of
princes whose virtues and vices are intended to supply edification or
warning to subsequent rulers. Yao and Shun were two model Emperors,
whose date (if any) was somewhere in the third millennium B.C. "The age
of Yao and Shun," in Chinese literature, means what "the Golden Age"
mean with us. It seems certain that, when Chinese history begins, the
Chinese occupied only a small part of what is now China, along the banks
of the Yellow River. They were agricultural, and had already reached a
fairly high level of civilization--much higher than that of any other
part of Eastern Asia. The Yellow River is a fierce and terrible stream,
too swift for navigation, turgid, and full of mud, depositing silt upon
its bed until it rises above the surrounding country, when it suddenly
alters its course, sweeping away villages and towns in a destructive
torrent. Among most early agricultural nations, such a river would have
inspired superstitious awe, and floods would have been averted by human
sacrifice; in the Shu-King, however, there is little trace of
superstition. Yao and Shun, and Yü (the latter's successor), were all
occupied in combating the inundations, but their methods were those of
the engineer, not of the miracle-worker. This shows, at least, the state
of belief in the time of Confucius. The character ascribed to Yao shows
what was expected of an Emperor:--

     He was reverential, intelligent, accomplished, and
     thoughtful--naturally and without effort. He was sincerely
     courteous, and capable of all complaisance. The display of these
     qualities reached to the four extremities of the empire, and
     extended from earth to heaven. He was able to make the able and
     virtuous distinguished, and thence proceeded to the love of the
     nine classes of his kindred, who all became harmonious. He also
     regulated and polished the people of his domain, who all became
     brightly intelligent. Finally, he united and harmonized the
     myriad States of the empire; and lo! the black-haired people were
     transformed. The result was universal concord.[1]

The first date which can be assigned with precision in Chinese history
is that of an eclipse of the sun in 776 B.C.[2] There is no reason to
doubt the general correctness of the records for considerably earlier
times, but their exact chronology cannot be fixed. At this period, the
Chou dynasty, which fell in 249 B.C. and is supposed to have begun in
1122 B.C., was already declining in power as compared with a number of
nominally subordinate feudal States. The position of the Emperor at this
time, and for the next 500 years, was similar to that of the King of
France during those parts of the Middle Ages when his authority was at
its lowest ebb. Chinese history consists of a series of dynasties, each
strong at first and weak afterwards, each gradually losing control over
subordinates, each followed by a period of anarchy (sometimes lasting
for centuries), and ultimately succeeded by a new dynasty which
temporarily re-establishes a strong Central Government. Historians
always attribute the fall of a dynasty to the excessive power of
eunuchs, but perhaps this is, in part, a literary convention.

What distinguishes the Emperor is not so much his political power, which
fluctuates with the strength of his personality, as certain religious
prerogatives. The Emperor is the Son of Heaven; he sacrifices to Heaven
at the winter solstice. The early Chinese used "Heaven" as synonymous
with "The Supreme Ruler," a monotheistic God;[3] indeed Professor Giles
maintains, by arguments which seem conclusive, that the correct
translation of the Emperor's title would be "Son of God." The word
"Tien," in Chinese, is used both for the sky and for God, though the
latter sense has become rare. The expression "Shang Ti," which means
"Supreme Ruler," belongs in the main to pre-Confucian times, but both
terms originally represented a God as definitely anthropomorphic as the
God of the Old Testament.[4]

As time went by the Supreme Ruler became more shadowy, while "Heaven"
remained, on account of the Imperial rites connected with it. The
Emperor alone had the privilege of worshipping "Heaven," and the rites
continued practically unchanged until the fall of the Manchu dynasty in
1911. In modern times they were performed in the Temple of Heaven in
Peking, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The annual
sacrifice in the Temple of Heaven represented almost the sole official
survival of pre-Confucian religion, or indeed of anything that could be
called religion in the strict sense; for Buddhism and Taoism have never
had any connection with the State.

The history of China is known in some detail from the year 722 B.C.,
because with this year begins Confucius' _Springs and Autumns_, which is
a chronicle of the State of Lu, in which Confucius was an official.

One of the odd things about the history of China is that after the
Emperors have been succeeding each other for more than 2,000 years, one
comes to a ruler who is known as the "First Emperor," Shih Huang Ti. He
acquired control over the whole Empire, after a series of wars, in 221
B.C., and died in 210 B.C. Apart from his conquests, he is remarkable
for three achievements: the building of the Great Wall against the Huns,
the destruction of feudalism, and the burning of the books. The
destruction of feudalism, it must be confessed, had to be repeated by
many subsequent rulers; for a long time, feudalism tended to grow up
again whenever the Central Government was in weak hands. But Shih Huang
Ti was the first ruler who made his authority really effective over all
China in historical times. Although his dynasty came to an end with his
son, the impression he made is shown by the fact that our word "China"
is probably derived from his family name, Tsin or Chin[5]. (The Chinese
put the family name first.) His Empire was roughly co-extensive with
what is now China proper.

The destruction of the books was a curious incident. Shih Huang Ti, as
appears from his calling himself "First Emperor," disliked being
reminded of the fact that China had existed before his time; therefore
history was anathema to him. Moreover the literati were already a strong
force in the country, and were always (following Confucius) in favour of
the preservation of ancient customs, whereas Shih Huang Ti was a
vigorous innovator. Moreover, he appears to have been uneducated and not
of pure Chinese race. Moved by the combined motives of vanity and
radicalism, he issued an edict decreeing that--

     All official histories, except the memoirs of Tsin (his own
     family), shall be burned; except the persons who have the office
     of literati of the great learning, those who in the Empire permit
     themselves to hide the Shi-King, the Shu-King (Confucian
     classics), or the discourses of the hundred schools, must all go
     before the local civil and military authorities so that they may
     be burned. Those who shall dare to discuss among themselves the
     Shi-King and the Shu-King shall be put to death and their corpses
     exposed in a public place; those who shall make use of antiquity
     to belittle modern times shall be put to death with their
     relations.... Thirty days after the publication of this edict,
     those who have not burned their books shall be branded and sent
     to forced labour. The books which shall not be proscribed are
     those of medicine and pharmacy, of divination ..., of agriculture
     and of arboriculture. As for those who desire to study the laws
     and ordinances, let them take the officials as masters. (Cordier,
     op. cit. i. p. 203.)

It will be seen that the First Emperor was something of a Bolshevik. The
Chinese literati, naturally, have blackened his memory. On the other
hand, modern Chinese reformers, who have experienced the opposition of
old-fashioned scholars, have a certain sympathy with his attempt to
destroy the innate conservatism of his subjects. Thus Li Ung Bing[6]

     No radical change can take place in China without encountering
     the opposition of the literati. This was no less the case then
     than it is now. To abolish feudalism by one stroke was a radical
     change indeed. Whether the change was for the better or the
     worse, the men of letters took no time to inquire; whatever was
     good enough for their fathers was good enough for them and their
     children. They found numerous authorities in the classics to
     support their contention and these they freely quoted to show
     that Shih Huang Ti was wrong. They continued to criticize the
     government to such an extent that something had to be done to
     silence the voice of antiquity ... As to how far this decree (on
     the burning of the books) was enforced, it is hard to say. At any
     rate, it exempted all libraries of the government, or such as
     were in possession of a class of officials called Po Szu or
     Learned Men. If any real damage was done to Chinese literature
     under the decree in question, it is safe to say that it was not
     of such a nature as later writers would have us believe. Still,
     this extreme measure failed to secure the desired end, and a
     number of the men of letters in Han Yang, the capital, was
     subsequently buried alive.

This passage is written from the point of view of Young China, which is
anxious to assimilate Western learning in place of the dead scholarship
of the Chinese classics. China, like every other civilized country, has
a tradition which stands in the way of progress. The Chinese have
excelled in stability rather than in progress; therefore Young China,
which perceives that the advent of industrial civilization has made
progress essential to continued national existence, naturally looks with
a favourable eye upon Shih Huang Ti's struggle with the reactionary
pedants of his age. The very considerable literature which has come
down to us from before his time shows, in any case, that his edict was
somewhat ineffective; and in fact it was repealed after twenty-two
years, in 191. B.C.

After a brief reign by the son of the First Emperor, who did not inherit
his capacity, we come to the great Han dynasty, which reigned from 206
B.C. to A.D. 220. This was the great age of Chinese imperialism--exactly
coeval with the great age of Rome. In the course of their campaigns in
Northern India and Central Asia, the Chinese were brought into contact
with India, with Persia, and even with the Roman Empire.[7] Their
relations with India had a profound effect upon their religion, as well
as upon that of Japan, since they led to the introduction of Buddhism.
Relations with Rome were chiefly promoted by the Roman desire for silk,
and continued until the rise of Mohammedanism. They had little
importance for China, though we learn, for example, that about A.D. 164
a treatise on astronomy was brought to China from the Roman Empire.[8]
Marcus Aurelius appears in Chinese history under the name An Tun, which
stands for Antoninus.

It was during this period that the Chinese acquired that immense
prestige in the Far East which lasted until the arrival of European
armies and navies in the nineteenth century. One is sometimes tempted to
think that the irruption of the white man into China may prove almost as
ephemeral as the raids of Huns and Tartars into Europe. The military
superiority of Europe to Asia is not an eternal law of nature, as we are
tempted to think; and our superiority in civilization is a mere
delusion. Our histories, which treat the Mediterranean as the centre of
the universe, give quite a wrong perspective. Cordier,[9] dealing with
the campaigns and voyages of discovery which took place under the Han
dynasty, says:--

     The Occidentals have singularly contracted the field of the
     history of the world when they have grouped around the people of
     Israel, Greece, and Rome the little that they knew of the
     expansion of the human race, being completely ignorant of these
     voyagers who ploughed the China Sea and the Indian Ocean, of
     these cavalcades across the immensities of Central Asia up to the
     Persian Gulf. The greatest part of the universe, and at the same
     time a civilization different but certainly as developed as that
     of the ancient Greeks and Romans, remained unknown to those who
     wrote the history of their little world while they believed that
     they, were setting forth the history of the world as a whole.

In our day, this provincialism, which impregnates all our culture, is
liable to have disastrous consequences politically, as well as for the
civilization of mankind. We must make room for Asia in our thoughts, if
we are not to rouse Asia to a fury of self-assertion.

After the Han dynasty there are various short dynasties and periods of
disorder, until we come to the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907). Under this
dynasty, in its prosperous days, the Empire acquired its greatest
extent, and art and poetry reached their highest point.[10] The Empire
of Jenghis Khan (died 1227) was considerably greater, and contained a
great part of China; but Jenghis Khan was a foreign conqueror. Jenghis
and his generals, starting from Mongolia, appeared as conquerors in
China, India, Persia, and Russia. Throughout Central Asia, Jenghis
destroyed every man, woman, and child in the cities he captured. When
Merv was captured, it was transformed into a desert and 700,000 people
were killed. But it was said that many had escaped by lying among the
corpses and pretending to be dead; therefore at the capture of Nishapur,
shortly afterwards, it was ordered that all the inhabitants should have
their heads cut off. Three pyramids of heads were made, one of men, one
of women, and one of children. As it was feared that some might have
escaped by hiding underground, a detachment of soldiers was left to kill
any that might emerge.[11] Similar horrors were enacted at Moscow and
Kieff, in Hungary and Poland. Yet the man responsible for these
massacres was sought in alliance by St. Louis and the Pope. The times of
Jenghis Khan remind one of the present day, except that his methods of
causing death were more merciful than those that have been employed
since the Armistice.

Kublai Khan (died 1294), who is familiar, at least by name, through
Marco Polo and Coleridge; was the grandson of Jenghis Khan, and the
first Mongol who was acknowledged Emperor of China, where he ousted the
Sung dynasty (960-1277). By this time, contact with China had somewhat
abated the savagery of the first conquerors. Kublai removed his capital
from Kara Korom in Mongolia to Peking. He built walls like those which
still surround the city, and established on the walls an observatory
which is preserved to this day. Until 1900, two of the astronomical
instruments constructed by Kublai were still to be seen in this
observatory, but the Germans removed them to Potsdam after the
suppression of the Boxers.[12] I understand they have been restored in
accordance with one of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. If
so, this was probably the most important benefit which that treaty
secured to the world.

Kublai plays the same part in Japanese history that Philip II plays in
the history of England. He prepared an Invincible Armada, or rather two
successive armadas, to conquer Japan, but they were defeated, partly by
storms, and partly by Japanese valour.

After Kublai, the Mongol Emperors more and more adopted Chinese ways,
and lost their tyrannical vigour. Their dynasty came to an end in 1370,
and was succeeded by the pure Chinese Ming dynasty, which lasted until
the Manchu conquest of 1644. The Manchus in turn adopted Chinese ways,
and were overthrown by a patriotic revolution in 1911, having
contributed nothing notable to the native culture of China except the
pigtail, officially abandoned at the Revolution.

The persistence of the Chinese Empire down to our own day is not to be
attributed to any military skill; on the contrary, considering its
extent and resources, it has at most times shown itself weak and
incompetent in war. Its southern neighbours were even less warlike, and
were less in extent. Its northern and western neighbours inhabited a
barren country, largely desert, which was only capable of supporting a
very sparse population. The Huns were defeated by the Chinese after
centuries of warfare; the Tartars and Manchus, on the contrary,
conquered China. But they were too few and too uncivilized to impose
their ideas or their way of life upon China, which absorbed them and
went on its way as if they had never existed. Rome could have survived
the Goths, if they had come alone, but the successive waves of
barbarians came too quickly to be all civilized in turn. China was saved
from this fate by the Gobi Desert and the Tibetan uplands. Since the
white men have taken to coming by sea, the old geographical immunity is
lost, and greater energy will be required to preserve the national

In spite of geographical advantages, however, the persistence of Chinese
civilization, fundamentally unchanged since the introduction of
Buddhism, is a remarkable phenomenon. Egypt and Babylonia persisted as
long, but since they fell there has been nothing comparable in the
world. Perhaps the main cause is the immense population of China, with
an almost complete identity of culture throughout. In the middle of the
eighth century, the population of China is estimated at over 50
millions, though ten years later, as a result of devastating wars, it is
said to have sunk to about 17 millions.[13] A census has been taken at
various times in Chinese history, but usually a census of houses, not of
individuals. From the number of houses the population is computed by a
more or less doubtful calculation. It is probable, also, that different
methods were adopted on different occasions, and that comparisons
between different enumerations are therefore rather unsafe. Putnam
Weale[14] says:--

     The first census taken by the Manchus in 1651, after the
     restoration of order, returned China's population at 55 million
     persons, which is less than the number given in the first census
     of the Han dynasty, A.D. 1, and about the same as when Kublai
     Khan established the Mongal dynasty in 1295. (This is presumably
     a misprint, as Kublai died in 1294.) Thus we are faced by the
     amazing fact that, from the beginning of the Christian era, the
     toll of life taken by internecine and frontier wars in China was
     so great that in spite of all territorial expansion the
     population for upwards of sixteen centuries remained more or less
     stationary. There is in all history no similar record. Now,
     however, came a vast change. Thus three years after the death of
     the celebrated Manchu Emperor Kang Hsi, in 1720, the population
     had risen to 125 millions. At the beginning of the reign of the
     no less illustrious Ch'ien Lung (1743) it was returned at 145
     millions; towards the end of his reign, in 1783, it had doubled,
     and was given as 283 millions. In the reign of Chia Ch'ing (1812)
     it had risen to 360 millions; before the Taiping rebellion (1842)
     it had grown to 413 millions; after that terrible rising it sunk
     to 261 millions.

I do not think such definite statements are warranted. The China Year
Book for 1919 (the latest I have seen) says (p. 1):--

     The taking of a census by the methods adopted in Western nations
     has never yet been attempted in China, and consequently estimates
     of the total population have varied to an extraordinary degree.
     The nearest approach to a reliable estimate is, probably, the
     census taken by the Minchengpu (Ministry of Interior) in 1910,
     the results of which are embodied in a report submitted to the
     Department of State at Washington by Mr. Raymond P. Tenney, a
     Student Interpreter at the U.S. Legation, Peking.... It is
     pointed out that even this census can only be regarded as
     approximate, as, with few exceptions, households and not
     individuals were counted.

The estimated population of the Chinese Empire (exclusive of Tibet) is
given, on the basis of this census, as 329,542,000, while the population
of Tibet is estimated at 1,500,000. Estimates which have been made at
various other dates are given as follows (p. 2):

A.D.                      A.D.
1381   59,850,000            / 143,125,225
1412   66,377,000        1760--203,916,477
1580   60,692,000        1761  205,293,053
1662   21,068,000        1762  198,214,553
1668   25,386,209        1790  155,249,897
     / 23,312,200            / 307,467,200
1710 --27,241,129        1792- 333,000,000
1711   28,241,129            / 362,467,183
1736  125,046,245        1812--360,440,000
    / 157,343,975        1842  413,021,000
1743  149,332,730        1868  404,946,514
    \ 150,265,475        1881  380,000,000
1753  103,050,600        1882  381,309,000
                         1885  377,636,000

These figures suffice to show how little is known about the population
of China. Not only are widely divergent estimates made in the same year
(_e.g._ 1760), but in other respects the figures are incredible. Mr.
Putnam Weale might contend that the drop from 60 millions in 1580 to 21
millions in 1662 was due to the wars leading to the Manchu conquest. But
no one can believe that between 1711 and 1736 the population increased
from 28 millions to 125 millions, or that it doubled between 1790 and
1792. No one knows whether the population of China is increasing or
diminishing, whether people in general have large or small families, or
any of the other facts that vital statistics are designed to elucidate.
What is said on these subjects, however dogmatic, is no more than
guess-work. Even the population of Peking is unknown. It is said to be
about 900,000, but it may be anywhere between 800,000 and a million. As
for the population of the Chinese Empire, it is probably safe to assume
that it is between three and four hundred millions, and somewhat likely
that it is below three hundred and fifty millions. Very little indeed
can be said with confidence as to the population of China in former
times; so little that, on the whole, authors who give statistics are to
be distrusted.

There are certain broad features of the traditional Chinese civilization
which give it its distinctive character. I should be inclined to select
as the most important: (1) The use of ideograms instead of an alphabet
in writing; (2) The substitution of the Confucian ethic for religion
among the educated classes; (3) government by literati chosen by
examination instead of by a hereditary aristocracy. The family system
distinguishes traditional China from modern Europe, but represents a
stage which most other civilizations have passed through, and which is
therefore not distinctively Chinese; the three characteristics which I
have enumerated, on the other hand, distinguish China from all other
countries of past times. Something must be said at this stage about each
of the three.

1. As everyone knows, the Chinese do not have letters, as we do, but
symbols for whole words. This has, of course, many inconveniences: it
means that, in learning to write, there are an immense number of
different signs to be learnt, not only 26 as with us; that there is no
such thing as alphabetical order, so that dictionaries, files,
catalogues, etc., are difficult to arrange and linotype is impossible;
that foreign words, such as proper names and scientific terms, cannot be
written down by sound, as in European languages, but have to be
represented by some elaborate device.[15] For these reasons, there is a
movement for phonetic writing among the more advanced Chinese reformers;
and I think the success of this movement is essential if China is to
take her place among the bustling hustling nations which consider that
they have a monopoly of all excellence. Even if there were no other
argument for the change, the difficulty of elementary education, where
reading and writing take so long to learn, would be alone sufficient to
decide any believer in democracy. For practical purposes, therefore, the
movement for phonetic writing deserves support.

There are, however, many considerations, less obvious to a European,
which can be adduced in favour of the ideographic system, to which
something of the solid stability of the Chinese civilization is probably
traceable. To us, it seems obvious that a written word must represent a
sound, whereas to the Chinese it represents an idea. We have adopted the
Chinese system ourselves as regards numerals; "1922," for example, can
be read in English, French, or any other language, with quite different
sounds, but with the same meaning. Similarly what is written in Chinese
characters can be read throughout China, in spite of the difference of
dialects which are mutually unintelligible when spoken. Even a Japanese,
without knowing a word of spoken Chinese, can read out Chinese script in
Japanese, just as he could read a row of numerals written by an
Englishman. And the Chinese can still read their classics, although the
spoken language must have changed as much as French has changed from

The advantage of writing over speech is its greater permanence, which
enables it to be a means of communication between different places and
different times. But since the spoken language changes from place to
place and from time to time, the characteristic advantage of writing is
more fully attained by a script which does not aim at representing
spoken sounds than by one which does.

Speaking historically, there is nothing peculiar in the Chinese method
of writing, which represents a stage through which all writing probably
passed. Writing everywhere seems to have begun as pictures, not as a
symbolic representation of sounds. I understand that in Egyptian
hieroglyphics the course of development from ideograms to phonetic
writing can be studied. What is peculiar in China is the preservation of
the ideographic system throughout thousands of years of advanced
civilization--a preservation probably due, at least in part, to the fact
that the spoken language is monosyllabic, uninflected and full of

As to the way in which the Chinese system of writing has affected the
mentality of those who employ it, I find some suggestive reflections in
an article published in the _Chinese Students' Monthly_ (Baltimore),
for February 1922, by Mr. Chi Li, in an article on "Some Anthropological
Problems of China." He says (p. 327):--

     Language has been traditionally treated by European scientists as
     a collection of sounds instead of an expression of something
     inner and deeper than the vocal apparatus as it should be. The
     accumulative effect of language-symbols upon one's mental
     formulation is still an unexploited field. Dividing the world
     culture of the living races on this basis, one perceives a
     fundamental difference of its types between the alphabetical
     users and the hieroglyphic users, each of which has its own
     virtues and vices. Now, with all respects to alphabetical
     civilization, it must be frankly stated that it has a grave and
     inherent defect in its lack of solidity. The most civilized
     portion under the alphabetical culture is also inhabited by the
     most fickled people. The history of the Western land repeats the
     same story over and over again. Thus up and down with the Greeks;
     up and down with Rome; up and down with the Arabs. The ancient
     Semitic and Hametic peoples are essentially alphabetic users, and
     their civilizations show the same lack of solidity as the Greeks
     and the Romans. Certainly this phenomenon can be partially
     explained by the extra-fluidity of the alphabetical language
     which cannot be depended upon as a suitable organ to conserve any
     solid idea. Intellectual contents of these people may be likened
     to waterfalls and cataracts, rather than seas and oceans. No
     other people is richer in ideas than they; but no people would
     give up their valuable ideas as quickly as they do....

     The Chinese language is by all means the counterpart of the
     alphabetic stock. It lacks most of the virtues that are found in
     the alphabetic language; but as an embodiment of simple and final
     truth, it is invulnerable to storm and stress. It has already
     protected the Chinese civilization for more than forty centuries.
     It is solid, square, and beautiful, exactly as the spirit of it
     represents. Whether it is the spirit that has produced this
     language or whether this language has in turn accentuated the
     spirit remains to be determined.

Without committing ourselves wholly to the theory here set forth, which
is impregnated with Chinese patriotism, we must nevertheless admit that
the Westerner is unaccustomed to the idea of "alphabetical civilization"
as merely one kind, to which he happens to belong. I am not competent to
judge as to the importance of the ideographic script in producing the
distinctive characteristics of Chinese civilization, but I have no doubt
that this importance is very great, and is more or less of the kind
indicated in the above quotation.

2. Confucius (B.C. 551-479) must be reckoned, as regards his social
influence, with the founders of religions. His effect on institutions
and on men's thoughts has been of the same kind of magnitude as that of
Buddha, Christ, or Mahomet, but curiously different in its nature.
Unlike Buddha and Christ, he is a completely historical character, about
whose life a great deal is known, and with whom legend and myth have
been less busy than with most men of his kind. What most distinguishes
him from other founders is that he inculcated a strict code of ethics,
which has been respected ever since, but associated it with very little
religious dogma, which gave place to complete theological scepticism in
the countless generations of Chinese literati who revered his memory and
administered the Empire.

Confucius himself belongs rather to the type of Lycurgus and Solon than
to that of the great founders of religions. He was a practical
statesman, concerned with the administration of the State; the virtues
he sought to inculcate were not those of personal holiness, or designed
to secure salvation in a future life, but rather those which lead to a
peaceful and prosperous community here on earth. His outlook was
essentially conservative, and aimed at preserving the virtues of former
ages. He accepted the existing religion--a rather unemphatic
monotheism, combined with belief that the spirits of the dead preserved
a shadowy existence, which it was the duty of their descendants to
render as comfortable as possible. He did not, however, lay any stress
upon supernatural matters. In answer to a question, he gave the
following definition of wisdom: "To cultivate earnestly our duty towards
our neighbour, and to reverence spiritual beings while maintaining
always a due reserve."[16] But reverence for spiritual beings was not an
_active_ part of Confucianism, except in the form of ancestor-worship,
which was part of filial piety, and thus merged in duty towards one's
neighbour. Filial piety included obedience to the Emperor, except when
he was so wicked as to forfeit his divine right--for the Chinese, unlike
the Japanese, have always held that resistance to the Emperor was
justified if he governed very badly. The following passage from
Professor Giles[17] illustrates this point:--

     The Emperor has been uniformly regarded as the son of God by
     adoption only, and liable to be displaced from that position as a
     punishment for the offence of misrule.... If the ruler failed in
     his duties, the obligation of the people was at an end, and his
     divine right disappeared simultaneously. Of this we have an
     example in a portion of the Canon to be examined by and by. Under
     the year 558 B.C. we find the following narrative. One of the
     feudal princes asked an official, saying, "Have not the people of
     the Wei State done very wrong in expelling their ruler?" "Perhaps
     the ruler himself," was the reply, "may have done very wrong....
     If the life of the people is impoverished, and if the spirits
     are deprived of their sacrifices, of what use is the ruler, and
     what can the people do but get rid of him?"

This very sensible doctrine has been accepted at all times throughout
Chinese history, and has made rebellions only too frequent.

Filial piety, and the strength of the family generally, are perhaps the
weakest point in Confucian ethics, the only point where the system
departs seriously from common sense. Family feeling has militated
against public spirit, and the authority of the old has increased the
tyranny of ancient custom. In the present day, when China is confronted
with problems requiring a radically new outlook, these features of the
Confucian system have made it a barrier to necessary reconstruction, and
accordingly we find all those foreigners who wish to exploit China
praising the old tradition and deriding the efforts of Young China to
construct something more suited to modern needs. The way in which
Confucian emphasis on filial piety prevented the growth of public spirit
is illustrated by the following story:[18]

     One of the feudal princes was boasting to Confucius of the high
     level of morality which prevailed in his own State. "Among us
     here," he said, "you will find upright men. If a father has
     stolen a sheep, his son will give evidence against him." "In my
     part of the country," replied Confucius, "there is a different
     standard from this. A father will shield his son, a son will
     shield his father. It is thus that uprightness will be found."

It is interesting to contrast this story with that of the elder Brutus
and his sons, upon which we in the West were all brought up.

Chao Ki, expounding the Confucian doctrine, says it is contrary to
filial piety to refuse a lucrative post by which to relieve the
indigence of one's aged parents.[19] This form of sin, however, is rare
in China as in other countries.

The worst failure of filial piety, however, is to remain without
children, since ancestors are supposed to suffer if they have no
descendants to keep up their cult. It is probable that this doctrine has
made the Chinese more prolific, in which case it has had great
biological importance. Filial piety is, of course, in no way peculiar to
China, but has been universal at a certain stage of culture. In this
respect, as in certain others, what is peculiar to China is the
preservation of the old custom after a very high level of civilization
had been attained. The early Greeks and Romans did not differ from the
Chinese in this respect, but as their civilization advanced the family
became less and less important. In China, this did not begin to happen
until our own day.

Whatever may be said against filial piety carried to excess, it is
certainly less harmful than its Western counterpart, patriotism. Both,
of course, err in inculcating duties to a certain portion of mankind to
the practical exclusion of the rest. But patriotism directs one's
loyalty to a fighting unit, which filial piety does not (except in a
very primitive society). Therefore patriotism leads much more easily to
militarism and imperialism. The principal method of advancing the
interests of one's nation is homicide; the principal method of advancing
the interest of one's family is corruption and intrigue. Therefore
family feeling is less harmful than patriotism. This view is borne out
by the history and present condition of China as compared to Europe.

Apart from filial piety, Confucianism was, in practice, mainly a code
of civilized behaviour, degenerating at times into an etiquette book. It
taught self-restraint, moderation, and above all courtesy. Its moral
code was not, like those of Buddhism and Christianity, so severe that
only a few saints could hope to live up to it, or so much concerned with
personal salvation as to be incompatible with political institutions. It
was not difficult for a man of the world to live up to the more
imperative parts of the Confucian teaching. But in order to do this he
must exercise at all times a certain kind of self-control--an extension
of the kind which children learn when they are taught to "behave." He
must not break into violent passions; he must not be arrogant; he must
"save face," and never inflict humiliations upon defeated adversaries;
he must be moderate in all things, never carried away by excessive love
or hate; in a word, he must keep calm reason always in control of all
his actions. This attitude existed in Europe in the eighteenth century,
but perished in the French Revolution: romanticism, Rousseau, and the
guillotine put an end to it. In China, though wars and revolutions have
occurred constantly, Confucian calm has survived them all, making them
less terrible for the participants, and making all who were not
immediately involved hold aloof. It is bad manners in China to attack
your adversary in wet weather. Wu-Pei-Fu, I am told, once did it, and
won a victory; the beaten general complained of the breach of etiquette;
so Wu-Pei-Fu went back to the position he held before the battle, and
fought all over again on a fine day. (It should be said that battles in
China are seldom bloody.) In such a country, militarism is not the
scourge it is with us; and the difference is due to the Confucian

Confucianism did not assume its present form until the twelfth century
A.D., when the personal God in whom Confucius had believed was thrust
aside by the philosopher Chu Fu Tze,[21] whose interpretation of
Confucianism has ever since been recognized as orthodox. Since the fall
of the Mongols (1370), the Government has uniformly favoured
Confucianism as the teaching of the State; before that, there were
struggles with Buddhism and Taoism, which were connected with magic, and
appealed to superstitious Emperors, quite a number of whom died of
drinking the Taoist elixir of life. The Mongol Emperors were Buddhists
of the Lama religion, which still prevails in Tibet and Mongolia; but
the Manchu Emperors, though also northern conquerors, were
ultra-orthodox Confucians. It has been customary in China, for many
centuries, for the literati to be pure Confucians, sceptical in religion
but not in morals, while the rest of the population believed and
practised all three religions simultaneously. The Chinese have not the
belief, which we owe to the Jews, that if one religion is true, all
others must be false. At the present day, however, there appears to be
very little in the way of religion in China, though the belief in magic
lingers on among the uneducated. At all times, even when there was
religion, its intensity was far less than in Europe. It is remarkable
that religious scepticism has not led, in China, to any corresponding
ethical scepticism, as it has done repeatedly in Europe.

3. I come now to the system of selecting officials by competitive
examination, without which it is hardly likely that so literary and
unsuperstitious a system as that of Confucius could have maintained its
hold. The view of the modern Chinese on this subject is set forth by the
present President of the Republic of China, Hsu Shi-chang, in his book
on _China after the War_, pp. 59-60.[22] After considering the
educational system under the Chou dynasty, he continues:

     In later periods, in spite of minor changes, the importance of
     moral virtues continued to be stressed upon. For instance, during
     the most flourishing period of Tang Dynasty (627-650 A.D.), the
     Imperial Academy of Learning, known as Kuo-tzu-chien, was
     composed of four collegiate departments, in which ethics was
     considered as the most important of all studies. It was said that
     in the Academy there were more than three thousand students who
     were able and virtuous in nearly all respects, while the total
     enrolment, including aspirants from Korea and Japan, was as high
     as eight thousand. At the same time, there was a system of
     "elections" through which able and virtuous men were recommended
     by different districts to the Emperor for appointment to public
     offices. College training and local elections supplemented each
     other, but in both moral virtues were given the greatest

     Although the Imperial Academy exists till this day, it has never
     been as nourishing as during that period. For this change the
     introduction of the competitive examination or Ko-chü system,
     must be held responsible. The "election" system furnished no
     fixed standard for the recommendation of public service
     candidates, and, as a result, tended to create an aristocratic
     class from which alone were to be found eligible men.
     Consequently, the Sung Emperors (960-1277 A.D.) abolished the
     elections, set aside the Imperial Academy, and inaugurated the
     competitive examination system in their place. The examinations
     were to supply both scholars and practical statesmen, and they
     were periodically held throughout the later dynasties until the
     introduction of the modern educational regime. Useless and
     stereotyped as they were in later days, they once served some
     useful purpose. Besides, the ethical background of Chinese
     education had already been so firmly established, that, in spite
     of the emphasis laid by these examinations on pure literary
     attainments, moral teachings have survived till this day in
     family education and in private schools.

Although the system of awarding Government posts for proficiency in
examinations is much better than most other systems that have prevailed,
such as nepotism, bribery, threats of insurrection, etc., yet the
Chinese system, at any rate after it assumed its final form, was harmful
through the fact that it was based solely on the classics, that it was
purely literary, and that it allowed no scope whatever for originality.
The system was established in its final form by the Emperor Hung Wu
(1368-1398), and remained unchanged until 1905. One of the first objects
of modern Chinese reformers was to get it swept away. Li Ung Bing[23]

     In spite of the many good things that may be said to the credit
     of Hung Wu, he will ever be remembered in connection with a form
     of evil which has eaten into the very heart of the nation. This
     was the system of triennial examinations, or rather the form of
     Chinese composition, called the "Essay," or the "Eight Legs,"
     which, for the first time in the history of Chinese literature,
     was made the basis of all literary contests. It was so-named,
     because after the introduction of the theme the writer was
     required to treat it in four paragraphs, each consisting of two
     members, made up of an equal number of sentences and words. The
     theme was always chosen from either the Four Books, or the Five
     Classics. The writer could not express any opinion of his own, or
     any views at variance with those expressed by Chu Hsi and his
     school. All he was required to do was to put the few words of
     Confucius, or whomsoever it might be, into an essay in conformity
     with the prescribed rules. Degrees, which were to serve as
     passports to Government positions, were awarded the best writers.
     To say that the training afforded by the time required to make a
     man efficient in the art of such writing, would at the same time
     qualify him to hold the various offices under the Government, was
     absurd. But absurd as the whole system was, it was handed down to
     recent times from the third year of the reign of Hung Wu, and was
     not abolished until a few years ago. No system was more perfect
     or effective in retarding the intellectual and literary
     development of a nation. With her "Eight Legs," China long ago
     reached the lowest point on her downhill journey. It is largely
     on account of the long lease of life that was granted to this
     rotten system that the teachings of the Sung philosophers have
     been so long venerated.

These are the words of a Chinese patriot of the present day, and no
doubt, as a modern system, the "Eight Legs" deserve all the hard things
that he says about them. But in the fourteenth century, when one
considers the practicable alternatives, one can see that there was
probably much to be said for such a plan. At any rate, for good or evil,
the examination system profoundly affected the civilization of China.
Among its good effects were: A widely-diffused respect for learning; the
possibility of doing without a hereditary aristocracy; the selection of
administrators who must at least have been capable of industry; and the
preservation of Chinese civilization in spite of barbarian conquest.
But, like so much else in traditional China, it has had to be swept away
to meet modern needs. I hope nothing of greater value will have to
perish in the struggle to repel the foreign exploiters and the fierce
and cruel system which they miscall civilization.


[Footnote 1: Legge's _Shu-King,_ p. 15. Quoted in Hirth, _Ancient
History of China_, Columbia University Press, 1911--a book which gives
much useful critical information about early China.]

[Footnote 2: Hirth, op. cit. p. 174. 775 is often wrongly given.]

[Footnote 3: See Hirth, op. cit., p. 100 ff.]

[Footnote 4: On this subject, see Professor Giles's _Confucianism and
its Rivals,_ Williams & Norgate, 1915, Lecture I, especially p. 9.]

[Footnote 5: Cf. Henri Cordier, _Histoire Générale de la Chine_, Paris,
1920, vol. i. p. 213.]

[Footnote 6: _Outlines of Chinese History_ (Shanghai, Commercial Press,
1914), p. 61.]

[Footnote 7: See Hirth, _China and the Roman Orient_ (Leipzig and
Shanghai, 1885), an admirable and fascinating monograph. There are
allusions to the Chinese in Virgil and Horace; cf. Cordier, op. cit., i.
p. 271.]

[Footnote 8: Cordier, op. cit. i. p. 281.]

[Footnote 9: Cordier, op. cit. i. p. 237.]

[Footnote 10: Murdoch, in his _History of Japan_ (vol. i. p. 146), thus
describes the greatness of the early Tang Empire:

"In the following year (618) Li Yuen, Prince of T'ang, established the
illustrious dynasty of that name, which continued to sway the fortunes
of China for nearly three centuries (618-908). After a brilliant reign
of ten years he handed over the imperial dignity to his son, Tai-tsung
(627-650), perhaps the greatest monarch the Middle Kingdom has ever
seen. At this time China undoubtedly stood in the very forefront of
civilization. She was then the most powerful, the most enlightened, the
most progressive, and the best governed empire, not only in Asia, but on
the face of the globe. Tai-tsung's frontiers reached from the confines
of Persia, the Caspian Sea, and the Altai of the Kirghis steppe, along
these mountains to the north side of the Gobi desert eastward to the
inner Hing-an, while Sogdiana, Khorassan, and the regions around the
Hindu Rush also acknowledged his suzerainty. The sovereign of Nepal and
Magadha in India sent envoys; and in 643 envoys appeared from the
Byzantine Empire and the Court of Persia."]

[Footnote 11: Cordier, op. cit. ii. p. 212.]

[Footnote 12: Cordier, op. cit. ii. p. 339.]

[Footnote 13: Cordier, op. cit. i. p. 484.]

[Footnote 14: _The Truth About China and Japan_. George Allen & Unwin,
Ltd., pp. 13, 14.]

[Footnote 15: For example, the nearest approach that could be made in
Chinese to my own name was "Lo-Su." There is a word "Lo," and a word
"Su," for both of which there are characters; but no combination of
characters gives a better approximation to the sound of my name.]

[Footnote 16: Giles, op. cit., p. 74. Professor Giles adds, _à propos_
of the phrase "maintaining always a due reserve," the following
footnote: "Dr. Legge has 'to keep aloof from them,' which would be
equivalent to 'have nothing to do with them.' Confucius seems rather to
have meant 'no familiarity.'"]

[Footnote 17: Op. cit., p. 21.]

[Footnote 18: Giles, op. cit. p. 86.]

[Footnote 19: Cordier, op. cit. i. p. 167.]

[Footnote 20: As far as anti-militarism is concerned, Taoism is even
more emphatic. "The best soldiers," says Lao-Tze, "do not fight."
(Giles, op. cit. p. 150.) Chinese armies contain many good soldiers.]

[Footnote 21: Giles, op. cit., Lecture VIII. When Chu Fu Tze was dead,
and his son-in-law was watching beside his coffin, a singular incident
occurred. Although the sage had spent his life teaching that miracles
are impossible, the coffin rose and remained suspended three feet above
the ground. The pious son-in-law was horrified. "O my revered
father-in-law," he prayed, "do not destroy my faith that miracles are
impossible." Whereupon the coffin slowly descended to earth again, and
the son-in-law's faith revived.]

[Footnote 22: Translated by the Bureau of Economic Information, Peking,

[Footnote 23: Op. cit. p. 233.]



In order to understand the international position of China, some facts
concerning its nineteenth-century history are indispensable. China was
for many ages the supreme empire of the Far East, embracing a vast and
fertile area, inhabited by an industrious and civilized people.
Aristocracy, in our sense of the word, came to an end before the
beginning of the Christian era, and government was in the hands of
officials chosen for their proficiency in writing in a dead language, as
in England. Intercourse with the West was spasmodic and chiefly
religious. In the early centuries of the Christian era, Buddhism was
imported from India, and some Chinese scholars penetrated to that
country to master the theology of the new religion in its native home,
but in later times the intervening barbarians made the journey
practically impossible. Nestorian Christianity reached China in the
seventh century, and had a good deal of influence, but died out again.
(What is known on this subject is chiefly from the Nestorian monument
discovered in Hsianfu in 1625.) In the seventeenth and early eighteenth
centuries Roman Catholic missionaries acquired considerable favour at
Court, because of their astronomical knowledge and their help in
rectifying the irregularities and confusions of the Chinese
calendar.[24] Their globes and astrolabes are still to be seen on the
walls of Peking. But in the long run they could not resist quarrels
between different orders, and were almost completely excluded from both
China and Japan.

In the year 1793, a British ambassador, Lord Macartney, arrived in
China, to request further trade facilities and the establishment of a
permanent British diplomatic representative. The Emperor at this time
was Chien Lung, the best of the Manchu dynasty, a cultivated man, a
patron of the arts, and an exquisite calligraphist. (One finds specimens
of his writing in all sorts of places in China.) His reply to King
George III is given by Backhouse and Bland.[25] I wish I could quote it
all, but some extracts must suffice. It begins:

     You, O King, live beyond the confines of many seas, nevertheless,
     impelled by your humble desire to partake of the benefits of our
     civilization, you have despatched a mission respectfully bearing
     your memorial.... To show your devotion, you have also sent
     offerings of your country's produce. I have read your memorial:
     the earnest terms in which it is cast reveal a respectful
     humility on your part, which is highly praiseworthy.

He goes on to explain, with the patient manner appropriate in dealing
with an importunate child, why George III's desires cannot possibly be
gratified. An ambassador, he assures him, would be useless, for:

     If you assert that your reverence for our Celestial Dynasty fills
     you with a desire to acquire our civilization, our ceremonies and
     code of laws differ so completely from your own that, even if
     your Envoy were able to acquire the rudiments of our
     civilization, you could not possibly transplant our manners and
     customs to your alien soil. Therefore, however adept the Envoy
     might become, nothing would be gained thereby.

     Swaying the wide world, I have but one aim in view, namely, to
     maintain a perfect governance and to fulfil the duties of the
     State; strange and costly objects do not interest me. I ... have
     no use for your country's manufactures. ...It behoves you, O
     King, to respect my sentiments and to display even greater
     devotion and loyalty in future, so that, by perpetual submission
     to our Throne, you may secure peace and prosperity for your
     country hereafter.

He can understand the English desiring the produce of China, but feels
that they have nothing worth having to offer in exchange:

"Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and
lacks no product within its own borders. There was therefore no need to
import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own
produce. But as the tea, silk and porcelain which the Celestial Empire
produces are absolute necessities to European nations and to
yourselves," the limited trade hitherto permitted at Canton is to

He would have shown less favour to Lord Macartney, but "I do not forget
the lonely remoteness of your island, cut off from the world by
intervening wastes of sea, nor do I overlook your excusable ignorance of
the usages of our Celestial Empire." He concludes with the injunction:
"Tremblingly obey and show no negligence!"

What I want to suggest is that no one understands China until this
document has ceased to seem absurd. The Romans claimed to rule the
world, and what lay outside their Empire was to them of no account. The
Empire of Chien Lung was more extensive, with probably a larger
population; it had risen to greatness at the same time as Rome, and had
not fallen, but invariably defeated all its enemies, either by war or by
absorption. Its neighbours were comparatively barbarous, except the
Japanese, who acquired their civilization by slavish imitation of China.
The view of Chien Lung was no more absurd than that of Alexander the
Great, sighing for new worlds to conquer when he had never even heard of
China, where Confucius had been dead already for a hundred and fifty
years. Nor was he mistaken as regards trade: China produces everything
needed for the happiness of its inhabitants, and we have forced trade
upon them solely for our benefit, giving them in exchange only things
which they would do better without.

Unfortunately for China, its culture was deficient in one respect,
namely science. In art and literature, in manners and customs, it was at
least the equal of Europe; at the time of the Renaissance, Europe would
not have been in any way the superior of the Celestial Empire. There is
a museum in Peking where, side by side with good Chinese art, may be
seen the presents which Louis XIV made to the Emperor when he wished to
impress him with the splendour of _Le Roi Soleil_. Compared to the
Chinese things surrounding them, they were tawdry and barbaric. The fact
that Britain has produced Shakespeare and Milton, Locke and Hume, and
all the other men who have adorned literature and the arts, does not
make us superior to the Chinese. What makes us superior is Newton and
Robert Boyle and their scientific successors. They make us superior by
giving us greater proficiency in the art of killing. It is easier for an
Englishman to kill a Chinaman than for a Chinaman to kill an Englishman.
Therefore our civilization is superior to that of China, and Chien Lung
is absurd. When we had finished with Napoleon, we soon set to work to
demonstrate this proposition.

Our first war with China was in 1840, and was fought because the Chinese
Government endeavoured to stop the importation of opium. It ended with
the cession of Hong-Kong and the opening of five ports to British trade,
as well as (soon afterwards) to the trade of France, America and
Scandinavia. In 1856-60, the English and French jointly made war on
China, and destroyed the Summer Palace near Peking,[26] a building whose
artistic value, on account of the treasures it contained, must have been
about equal to that of Saint Mark's in Venice and much greater than that
of Rheims Cathedral. This act did much to persuade the Chinese of the
superiority of our civilization so they opened seven more ports and the
river Yangtze, paid an indemnity and granted us more territory at
Hong-Kong. In 1870, the Chinese were rash enough to murder a British
diplomat, so the remaining British diplomats demanded and obtained an
indemnity, five more ports, and a fixed tariff for opium. Next, the
French took Annam and the British took Burma, both formerly under
Chinese suzerainty. Then came the war with Japan in 1894-5, leading to
Japan's complete victory and conquest of Korea. Japan's acquisitions
would have been much greater but for the intervention of France, Germany
and Russia, England holding aloof. This was the beginning of our support
of Japan, inspired by fear of Russia. It also led to an alliance between
China and Russia, as a reward for which Russia acquired all the
important rights in Manchuria, which passed to Japan, partly after the
Russo-Japanese war, and partly after the Bolshevik revolution.

The next incident begins with the murder of two German missionaries in
Shantung in 1897. Nothing in their life became them like the leaving of
it; for if they had lived they would probably have made very few
converts, whereas by dying they afforded the world an object-lesson in
Christian ethics. The Germans seized Kiaochow Bay and created a naval
base there; they also acquired railway and mining rights in Shantung,
which, by the Treaty of Versailles, passed to Japan in accordance with
the Fourteen Points. Shantung therefore became virtually a Japanese
possession, though America at Washington has insisted upon its
restitution. The services of the two missionaries to civilization did
not, however, end in China, for their death was constantly used in the
German Reichstag during the first debates on the German Big Navy Bills,
since it was held that warships would make Germany respected in China.
Thus they helped to exacerbate the relations of England and Germany and
to hasten the advent of the Great War. They also helped to bring on the
Boxer rising, which is said to have begun as a movement against the
Germans in Shantung, though the other Powers emulated the Germans in
every respect, the Russians by creating a naval base at Port Arthur,
the British by acquiring Wei-hai-wei and a sphere of influence in the
Yangtze, and so on. The Americans alone held aloof, proclaiming the
policy of Chinese integrity and the Open Door.

The Boxer rising is one of the few Chinese events that all Europeans
know about. After we had demonstrated our superior virtue by the sack of
Peking, we exacted a huge indemnity, and turned the Legation Quarter of
Peking into a fortified city. To this day, it is enclosed by a wall,
filled with European, American, and Japanese troops, and surrounded by a
bare space on which the Chinese are not allowed to build. It is
administered by the diplomatic body, and the Chinese authorities have no
powers over anyone within its gates. When some unusually corrupt and
traitorous Government is overthrown, its members take refuge in the
Japanese (or other) Legation and so escape the punishment of their
crimes, while within the sacred precincts of the Legation Quarter the
Americans erect a vast wireless station said to be capable of
communicating directly with the United States. And so the refutation of
Chien Lung is completed.

Out of the Boxer indemnity, however, one good thing has come. The
Americans found that, after paying all just claims for damages, they
still had a large surplus. This they returned to China to be spent on
higher education, partly in colleges in China under American control,
partly by sending advanced Chinese students to American universities.
The gain to China has been enormous, and the benefit to America from the
friendship of the Chinese (especially the most educated of them) is
incalculable. This is obvious to everyone, yet England shows hardly any
signs of following suit.

To understand the difficulties with which the Chinese Government is
faced, it is necessary to realize the loss of fiscal independence which,
China has suffered as the result of the various wars and treaties which
have been forced upon her. In the early days, the Chinese had no
experience of European diplomacy, and did not know what to avoid; in
later days, they have not been allowed to treat old treaties as scraps
of paper, since that is the prerogative of the Great Powers--a
prerogative which every single one of them exercises.

The best example of this state of affairs is the Customs tariff.[27] At
the end of our first war with China, in 1842, we concluded a treaty
which provided for a duty at treaty ports of 5 per cent. on all imports
and not more than 5 per cent on exports. This treaty is the basis of the
whole Customs system. At the end of our next war, in 1858, we drew up a
schedule of conventional prices on which the 5 per cent. was to be
calculated. This was to be revised every ten years, but has in fact only
been revised twice, once in 1902 and once in 1918.[28] Revision of the
schedule is merely a change in the conventional prices, not a change in
the tariff, which remains fixed at 5 per cent. Change in the tariff is
practically impossible, since China has concluded commercial treaties
involving a most-favoured-nation clause, and the same tariff, with
twelve States besides Great Britain, and therefore any change in the
tariff requires the unanimous consent of thirteen Powers.

When foreign Powers speak of the Open Door as a panacea for China, it
must be remembered that the Open Door does nothing to give the Chinese
the usual autonomy as regards Customs that is enjoyed by other sovereign
States.[29] The treaty of 1842 on which the system rests, has no
time-limit of provision for denunciation by either party, such as other
commercial treaties contain. A low tariff suits the Powers that wish to
find a market for their goods in China, and they have therefore no
motive for consenting to any alteration. In the past, when we practised
free trade, we could defend ourselves by saying that the policy we
forced upon China was the same as that which we adopted ourselves. But
no other nation could make this excuse, nor can we now that we have
abandoned free trade by the Safeguarding of Industries Act.

The import tariff being so low, the Chinese Government is compelled, for
the sake of revenue, to charge the maximum of 5 per cent, on all
exports. This, of course, hinders the development of Chinese commerce,
and is probably a mistake. But the need of sources of revenue is
desperate, and it is not surprising that the Chinese authorities should
consider the tax indispensable.

There is also another system in China, chiefly inherited from the time
of the Taiping rebellion, namely the erection of internal customs
barriers at various important points. This plan is still adopted with
the internal trade. But merchants dealing with the interior and sending
goods to or from a Treaty Port can escape internal customs by the
payment of half the duty charged under the external tariff. As this is
generally less than the internal tariff charges, this provision favours
foreign produce at the expense of that of China. Of course the system of
internal customs is bad, but it is traditional, and is defended on the
ground that revenue is indispensable. China offered to abolish internal
customs in return for certain uniform increases in the import and export
tariff, and Great Britain, Japan, and the United States consented. But
there were ten other Powers whose consent was necessary, and not all
could be induced to agree. So the old system remains in force, not
chiefly through the fault of the Chinese central government. It should
be added that internal customs are collected by the provincial
authorities, who usually intercept them and use them for private armies
and civil war. At the present time, the Central Government is not strong
enough to stop these abuses.

The administration of the Customs is only partially in the hands of the
Chinese. By treaty, the Inspector-General, who is at the head of the
service, must be British so long as our trade with China exceeds that of
any other treaty State; and the appointment of all subordinate officials
is in his hands. In 1918 (the latest year for which I have the figures)
there were 7,500 persons employed in the Customs, and of these 2,000
were non-Chinese. The first Inspector-General was Sir Robert Hart, who,
by the unanimous testimony of all parties, fulfilled his duties
exceedingly well. For the time being, there is much to be said for the
present system. The Chinese have the appointment of the
Inspector-General, and can therefore choose a man who is sympathetic to
their country. Chinese officials are, as a rule, corrupt and indolent,
so that control by foreigners is necessary in creating a modern
bureaucracy. So long as the foreign officials are responsible to the
Chinese Government, not to foreign States, they fulfil a useful
educative function, and help to prepare the way for the creation of an
efficient Chinese State. The problem for China is to secure practical
and intellectual training from the white nations without becoming their
slaves. In dealing with this problem, the system adopted in the Customs
has much to recommend it during the early stages.[30]

At the same time, there are grave infringements of Chinese independence
in the present position of the Customs, apart altogether from the fact
that the tariff is fixed by treaty for ever. Much of the revenue
derivable from customs is mortgaged for various loans and indemnities,
so that the Customs cannot be dealt with from the point of view of
Chinese interests alone. Moreover, in the present state of anarchy, the
Customs administration can exercise considerable control over Chinese
politics by recognizing or not recognizing a given _de facto_
Government. (There is no Government _de jure_, at any rate in the
North.) At present, the Customs Revenue is withheld in the South, and an
artificial bankruptcy is being engineered. In view of the reactionary
instincts of diplomats, this constitutes a terrible obstacle to internal
reform. It means that no Government which is in earnest in attempting
to introduce radical improvements can hope to enjoy the Customs revenue,
which interposes a formidable fiscal barrier in the way of

There is a similar situation as regards the salt tax. This also was
accepted as security for various foreign loans, and in order to make the
security acceptable the foreign Powers concerned insisted upon the
employment of foreigners in the principal posts. As in the case of the
Customs, the foreign inspectors are appointed by the Chinese Government,
and the situation is in all respects similar to that existing as regards
the Customs.

The Customs and the salt tax form the security for various loans to
China. This, together with foreign administration, gives opportunities
of interference by the Powers which they show no inclination to neglect.
The way in which the situation is utilized may be illustrated by three
telegrams in _The Times_ which appeared during January of this year.

On January 14, 1922, _The Times_ published the following in a telegram
from its Peking correspondent:

     It is curious to reflect that this country (China) could be
     rendered completely solvent and the Government provided with a
     substantial income almost by a stroke of the foreigner's pen,
     while without that stroke there must be bankruptcy, pure and
     simple. Despite constant civil war and political chaos, the
     Customs revenue consistently grows, and last year exceeded all
     records by £1,000,000. The increased duties sanctioned by the
     Washington Conference will provide sufficient revenue to
     liquidate the whole foreign and domestic floating debt in a very
     few years, leaving the splendid salt surplus unencumbered for the
     Government. The difficulty is not to provide money, but to find a
     Government to which to entrust it. Nor is there any visible
     prospect of the removal of this difficulty.

I venture to think _The Times_ would regard the difficulty as removed
if the Manchu Empire were restored.

As to the "splendid salt surplus," there are two telegrams from the
Peking correspondent to _The Times_ (of January 12th and 23rd,
respectively) showing what we gain by making the Peking Government
artificially bankrupt. The first telegram (sent on January 10th) is as

     Present conditions in China are aptly illustrated by what is
     happening in one of the great salt revenue stations on the
     Yangtsze, near Chinkiang. That portion of the Chinese fleet
     faithful to the Central Government--the better half went over to
     the Canton Government long ago--has dispatched a squadron of
     gunboats to the salt station and notified Peking that if
     $3,000,000 (about £400,000) arrears of pay were not immediately
     forthcoming the amount would be forcibly recovered from the
     revenue. Meanwhile the immense salt traffic on the Yangtsze has
     been suspended. The Legations concerned have now sent an Identic
     Note to the Government warning it of the necessity for
     immediately securing the removal of the obstruction to the
     traffic and to the operations of the foreign collectorate.

The second telegram is equally interesting. It is as follows:--

     The question of interference with the Salt Gabelle is assuming a
     serious aspect. The Chinese squadron of gunboats referred to in
     my message of the 10th is still blocking the salt traffic near
     Chingkiang, while a new intruder in the shape of an agent of
     Wu-Pei-Fu [the Liberal military leader] has installed himself in
     the collectorate at Hankow, and is endeavouring to appropriate
     the receipts for his powerful master. The British, French, and
     Japanese Ministers accordingly have again addressed the
     Government, giving notice that if these irregular proceedings do
     not cease they will be compelled to take independent action. The
     Reorganization Loan of £25,000,000 is secured on the salt
     revenues, and interference with the foreign control of the
     department constitutes an infringement of the loan agreement. In
     various parts of China, some independent of Peking, others not,
     the local _Tuchuns_ (military governors) impound the collections
     and materially diminish the total coming under the control of the
     foreign inspectorate, but the balance remaining has been so
     large, and protest so useless, that hitherto all concerned have
     considered it expedient to acquiesce. But interference at points
     on the Yangtsze, where naval force can be brought to bear, is
     another matter. The situation is interesting in view of the
     amiable resolutions adopted at Washington, by which the Powers
     would seem to have debarred themselves, in the future, from any
     active form of intervention in this country. In view of the
     extensive opposition to the Liang Shih-yi Cabinet and the present
     interference with the salt negotiations, the $90,000,000
     (£11,000,000) loan to be secured on the salt surplus has been
     dropped. The problem of how to weather the new year settlement on
     January 28th remains unsolved.

It is a pretty game: creating artificial bankruptcy, and then inflicting
punishment for the resulting anarchy. How regrettable that the
Washington Conference should attempt to interfere!

It is useless to deny that the Chinese have brought these troubles upon
themselves, by their inability to produce capable and honest officials.
This inability has its roots in Chinese ethics, which lay stress upon a
man's duty to his family rather than to the public. An official is
expected to keep all his relations supplied with funds, and therefore
can only be honest at the expense of filial piety. The decay of the
family system is a vital condition of progress in China. All Young China
realizes this, and one may hope that twenty years hence the level of
honesty among officials may be not lower in China than in Europe--no
very extravagant hope. But for this purpose friendly contact with
Western nations is essential. If we insist upon rousing Chinese
nationalism as we have roused that of India and Japan, the Chinese will
begin to think that wherever they differ from Europe, they differ for
the better. There is more truth in this than Europeans like to think,
but it is not wholly true, and if it comes to be believed our power for
good in China will be at an end.

I have described briefly in this chapter what the Christian Powers did
to China while they were able to act independently of Japan. But in
modern China it is Japanese aggression that is the most urgent problem.
Before considering this, however, we must deal briefly with the rise of
modern Japan--a quite peculiar blend of East and West, which I hope is
not prophetic of the blend to be ultimately achieved in China. But
before passing to Japan, I will give a brief description of the social
and political condition of modern China, without which Japan's action in
China would be unintelligible.


[Footnote 24: In 1691 the Emperor Kang Hsi issued an edict explaining
his attitude towards various religions. Of Roman Catholicism he says:
"As to the western doctrine which glorifies _Tien Chu_, the Lord of the
Sky, that, too, is heterodox; but because its priests are thoroughly
conversant with mathematics, the Government makes use of them--a point
which you soldiers and people should understand." (Giles, op. cit. p.

[Footnote 25: _Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking_, pp. 322 ff.]

[Footnote 26: The Summer Palace now shown to tourists is modern, chiefly
built by the Empress Dowager.]

[Footnote 27: There is an admirable account of this question in Chap.
vii. of Sih-Gung Cheng's _Modern China_, Clarendon Press, 1919.]

[Footnote 28: A new revision has been decided upon by the Washington

[Footnote 29: If you lived in a town where the burglars had obtained
possession of the Town Council, they would very likely insist upon the
policy of the Open Door, but you might not consider it wholly
satisfactory. Such is China's situation among the Great Powers.]

[Footnote 30: _The Times_ of November 26, 1921, had a leading article on
Mr. Wellington Koo's suggestion, at Washington, that China ought to be
allowed to recover fiscal autonomy as regards the tariff. Mr. Koo did
not deal with the Customs _administration_, nevertheless _The Times_
assumed that his purpose was to get the administration into the hands of
the Chinese on account of the opportunities of lucrative corruption
which it would afford. I wrote to _The Times_ pointing out that they had
confused the administration with the tariff, and that Mr. Koo was
dealing only with the tariff. In view of the fact that they did not
print either my letter or any other to the same effect, are we to
conclude that their misrepresentation was deliberate and intentional?]



The position of China among the nations of the world is quite peculiar,
because in population and potential strength China is the greatest
nation in the world, while in actual strength at the moment it is one of
the least. The international problems raised by this situation have been
brought into the forefront of world-politics by the Washington
Conference. What settlement, if any, will ultimately be arrived at, it
is as yet impossible to foresee. There are, however, certain broad facts
and principles which no wise solution can ignore, for which I shall try
to give the evidence in the course of the following chapters, but which
it may be as well to state briefly at the outset. First, the Chinese,
though as yet incompetent in politics and backward in economic
development, have, in other respects, a civilization at least as good as
our own, containing elements which the world greatly needs, and which we
shall destroy at our peril. Secondly, the Powers have inflicted upon
China a multitude of humiliations and disabilities, for which excuses
have been found in China's misdeeds, but for which the sole real reason
has been China's military and naval weakness. Thirdly, the best of the
Great Powers at present, in relation to China, is America, and the worst
is Japan; in the interests of China, as well as in our own larger
interests, it is an immense advance that we have ceased to support Japan
and have ranged ourselves on the side of America, in so far as America
stands for Chinese freedom, but not when Japanese freedom is threatened.
Fourthly, in the long run, the Chinese cannot escape economic domination
by foreign Powers unless China becomes military or the foreign Powers
become Socialistic, because the capitalist system involves in its very
essence a predatory relation of the strong towards the weak,
internationally as well as nationally. A strong military China would be
a disaster; therefore Socialism in Europe and America affords the only
ultimate solution.

After these preliminary remarks, I come to the theme of this chapter,
namely, the present internal condition of China.

As everyone knows, China, after having an Emperor for forty centuries,
decided, eleven years ago, to become a modern democratic republic. Many
causes led up to this result. Passing over the first 3,700 years of
Chinese history, we arrive at the Manchu conquest in 1644, when a
warlike invader from the north succeeded in establishing himself upon
the Dragon Throne. He set to work to induce Chinese men to wear pigtails
and Chinese women to have big feet. After a time a statesmanlike
compromise was arranged: pigtails were adopted but big feet were
rejected; the new absurdity was accepted and the old one retained. This
characteristic compromise shows how much England and China have in

The Manchu Emperors soon became almost completely Chinese, but
differences of dress and manners kept the Manchus distinct from the
more civilized people whom they had conquered, and the Chinese remained
inwardly hostile to them. From 1840 to 1900, a series of disastrous
foreign wars, culminating in the humiliation of the Boxer time,
destroyed the prestige of the Imperial Family and showed all thoughtful
people the need of learning from Europeans. The Taiping rebellion, which
lasted for 15 years (1849-64), is thought by Putnam Weale to have
diminished the population by 150 millions,[31] and was almost as
terrible a business as the Great War. For a long time it seemed doubtful
whether the Manchus could suppress it, and when at last they succeeded
(by the help of Gordon) their energy was exhausted. The defeat of China
by Japan (1894-5) and the vengeance of the Powers after the Boxer rising
(1900) finally opened the eyes of all thoughtful Chinese to the need for
a better and more modern government than that of the Imperial Family.
But things move slowly in China, and it was not till eleven years after
the Boxer movement that the revolution broke out.

The revolution of 1911, in China, was a moderate one, similar in spirit
to ours of 1688. Its chief promoter, Sun Yat Sen, now at the head of the
Canton Government, was supported by the Republicans, and was elected
provisional President. But the Nothern Army remained faithful to the
dynasty, and could probably have defeated the revolutionaries. Its
Commander-in-Chief, Yuan Shih-k'ai, however, hit upon a better scheme.
He made peace with the revolutionaries and acknowledged the Republic, on
condition that he should be the first President instead of Sun Yat Sen.
Yuan Shih-k'ai was, of course, supported by the Legations, being what is
called a "strong man," _i.e._ a believer in blood and iron, not likely
to be led astray by talk about democracy or freedom. In China, the North
has always been more military and less liberal than the South, and Yuan
Shih-k'ai had created out of Northern troops whatever China possessed in
the way of a modern army. As he was also ambitious and treacherous, he
had every quality needed for inspiring confidence in the diplomatic
corps. In view of the chaos which has existed since his death, it must
be admitted, however, that there was something to be said in favour of
his policy and methods.

A Constituent Assembly, after enacting a provisional constitution, gave
place to a duly elected Parliament, which met in April 1913 to determine
the permanent constitution. Yuan soon began to quarrel with the
Parliament as to the powers of the President, which the Parliament
wished to restrict. The majority in Parliament was opposed to Yuan, but
he had the preponderance in military strength. Under these
circumstances, as was to be expected, constitutionalism was soon
overthrown. Yuan made himself financially independent of Parliament
(which had been duly endowed with the power of the purse) by
unconstitutionally concluding a loan with the foreign banks. This led to
a revolt of the South, which, however, Yuan quickly suppressed. After
this, by various stages, he made himself virtually absolute ruler of
China. He appointed his army lieutenants military governors of
provinces, and sent Northern troops into the South. His régime might
have lasted but for the fact that, in 1915, he tried to become Emperor,
and was met by a successful revolt. He died in 1916--of a broken heart,
it was said.

Since then there has been nothing but confusion in China. The military
governors appointed by Yuan refused to submit to the Central Government
when his strong hand was removed, and their troops terrorized the
populations upon whom they were quartered. Ever since there has been
civil war, not, as a rule, for any definite principle, but simply to
determine which of various rival generals should govern various groups
of provinces. There still remains the issue of North versus South, but
this has lost most of its constitutional significance.

The military governors of provinces or groups of provinces, who are
called Tuchuns, govern despotically in defiance of Peking, and commit
depredations on the inhabitants of the districts over which they rule.
They intercept the revenue, except the portions collected and
administered by foreigners, such as the salt tax. They are nominally
appointed by Peking, but in practice depend only upon the favour of the
soldiers in their provinces. The Central Government is nearly bankrupt,
and is usually unable to pay the soldiers, who live by loot and by such
portions of the Tuchun's illgotten wealth as he finds it prudent to
surrender to them. When any faction seemed near to complete victory, the
Japanese supported its opponents, in order that civil discord might be
prolonged. While I was in Peking, the three most important Tuchuns met
there for a conference on the division of the spoils. They were barely
civil to the President and the Prime Minister, who still officially
represent China in the eyes of foreign Powers. The unfortunate nominal
Government was obliged to pay to these three worthies, out of a bankrupt
treasury, a sum which the newspapers stated to be nine million dollars,
to secure their departure from the capital. The largest share went to
Chang-tso-lin, the Viceroy of Manchuria and commonly said to be a tool
of Japan. His share was paid to cover the expenses of an expedition to
Mongolia, which had revolted; but no one for a moment supposed that he
would undertake such an expedition, and in fact he has remained at
Mukden ever since.[32]

In the extreme south, however, there has been established a Government
of a different sort, for which it is possible to have some respect.
Canton, which has always been the centre of Chinese radicalism,
succeeded, in the autumn of 1920, in throwing off the tyranny of its
Northern garrison and establishing a progressive efficient Government
under the Presidency of Sun Yat Sen. This Government now embraces two
provinces, Kwangtung (of which Canton is the capital) and Kwangsi. For a
moment it seemed likely to conquer the whole of the South, but it has
been checked by the victories of the Northern General Wu-Pei-Fu in the
neighbouring province of Hunan. Its enemies allege that it cherishes
designs of conquest, and wishes to unite all China under its sway.[33]
In all ascertainable respects it is a Government which deserves the
support of all progressive people. Professor Dewey, in articles in the
_New Republic_, has set forth its merits, as well as the bitter enmity
which it has encountered from Hong-Kong and the British generally. This
opposition is partly on general principles, because we dislike radical
reform, partly because of the Cassel agreement. This agreement--of a
common type in China--would have given us a virtual monopoly of the
railways and mines in the province of Kwangtung. It had been concluded
with the former Government, and only awaited ratification, but the
change of Government has made ratification impossible. The new
Government, very properly, is befriended by the Americans, and one of
them, Mr. Shank, concluded an agreement with the new Government more or
less similar to that which we had concluded with the old one. The
American Government, however, did not support Mr. Shank, whereas the
British Government did support the Cassel agreement. Meanwhile we have
lost a very valuable though very iniquitous concession, merely because
we, but not the Americans, prefer what is old and corrupt to what is
vigorous and honest. I understand, moreover, that the Shank agreement
lapsed because Mr. Shank could not raise the necessary capital.

The anarchy in China is, of course, very regrettable, and every friend
of China must hope that it will be brought to an end. But it would be a
mistake to exaggerate the evil, or to suppose that it is comparable in
magnitude to the evils endured in Europe. China must not be compared to
a single European country, but to Europe as a whole. In _The Times_ of
November 11, 1921, I notice a pessimistic article headed: "The Peril of
China. A dozen rival Governments." But in Europe there are much more
than a dozen Governments, and their enmities are much fiercer than those
of China. The number of troops in Europe is enormously greater than in
China, and they are infinitely better provided with weapons of
destruction. The amount of fighting in Europe since the Armistice has
been incomparably more than the amount in China during the same period.
You may travel through China from end to end, and it is ten to one that
you will see no signs of war. Chinese battles are seldom bloody, being
fought by mercenary soldiers who take no interest in the cause for which
they are supposed to be fighting. I am inclined to think that the
inhabitants of China, at the present moment, are happier, on the
average, than the inhabitants of Europe taken as a whole.

It is clear, I think, that political reform in China, when it becomes
possible, will have to take the form of a federal constitution, allowing
a very large measure of autonomy to the provinces. The division into
provinces is very ancient, and provincial feeling is strong. After the
revolution, a constitution more or less resembling our own was
attempted, only with a President instead of a King. But the successful
working of a non-federal constitution requires a homogeneous population
without much local feeling, as may be seen from our own experience in
Ireland. Most progressive Chinese, as far as I was able to judge, now
favour a federal constitution, leaving to the Central Government not
much except armaments, foreign affairs, and customs. But the difficulty
of getting rid of the existing military anarchy is very great. The
Central Government cannot disband the troops, because it cannot find
the money to pay them. It would be necessary to borrow from abroad
enough money to pay off the troops and establish them in new jobs. But
it is doubtful whether any Power or Powers would make such a loan
without exacting the sacrifice of the last remnants of Chinese
independence. One must therefore hope that somehow the Chinese will find
a way of escaping from their troubles without too much foreign

It is by no means impossible that one of the Tuchuns may become supreme,
and may then make friends with the constitutionalists as the best way of
consolidating his influence. China is a country where public opinion has
great weight, and where the desire to be thought well of may quite
possibly lead a successful militarist into patriotic courses. There are,
at the moment, two Tuchuns who are more important than any of the
others. These are Chang-tso-lin and Wu-Pei-Fu, both of whom have been
already mentioned. Chang-tso-lin is supreme in Manchuria, and strong in
Japanese support; he represents all that is most reactionary in China.
Wu-Pei-Fu, on the other hand, is credited with liberal tendencies. He is
an able general; not long ago, nominally at the bidding of Peking, he
established his authority on the Yangtze and in Hunan, thereby dealing a
blow to the hopes of Canton. It is not easy to see how he could come to
terms with the Canton Government, especially since it has allied itself
with Chang-tso-lin, but in the rest of China he might establish his
authority and seek to make it permanent by being constitutional (see
Appendix). If so, China might have a breathing-space, and a
breathing-space is all that is needed.

The economic life of China, except in the Treaty Ports and in a few
regions where there are mines, is still wholly pre-industrial. Peking
has nearly a million inhabitants, and covers an enormous area, owing to
the fact that all the houses have only a ground floor and are built
round a courtyard. Yet it has no trams or buses or local trains. So far
as I could see, there are not more than two or three factory chimneys in
the whole town. Apart from begging, trading, thieving and Government
employment, people live by handicrafts. The products are exquisite and
the work less monotonous than machine-minding, but the hours are long
and the pay infinitesimal.

Seventy or eighty per cent. of the population of China are engaged in
agriculture. Rice and tea are the chief products of the south, while
wheat and other kinds of grain form the staple crops in the north.[34]
The rainfall is very great in the south, but in the north it is only
just sufficient to prevent the land from being a desert. When I arrived
in China, in the autumn of 1920, a large area in the north, owing to
drought, was afflicted with a terrible famine, nearly as bad, probably,
as the famine in Russia in 1921. As the Bolsheviks were not concerned,
foreigners had no hesitation in trying to bring relief. As for the
Chinese, they regarded it passively as a stroke of fate, and even those
who died of it shared this view.

Most of the land is in the hands of peasant proprietors, who divide
their holdings among their sons, so that each man's share becomes barely
sufficient to support himself and his family. Consequently, when the
rainfall is less than usual, immense numbers perish of starvation. It
would of course be possible, for a time, to prevent famines by more
scientific methods of agriculture, and to prevent droughts and floods by
afforestation. More railways and better roads would give a vastly
improved market, and might greatly enrich the peasants for a generation.
But in the long run, if the birth-rate is as great as is usually
supposed, no permanent cure for their poverty is possible while their
families continue to be so large. In China, Malthus's theory of
population, according to many writers, finds full scope.[35] If so, the
good done by any improvement of methods will lead to the survival of
more children, involving a greater subdivision of the land, and in the
end, a return to the same degree of poverty. Only education and a higher
standard of life can remove the fundamental cause of these evils. And
popular education, on a large scale, is of course impossible until there
is a better Government and an adequate revenue. Apart even from these
difficulties, there does not exist, as yet, a sufficient supply of
competent Chinese teachers for a system of universal elementary

Apart from war, the impact of European civilization upon the traditional
life of China takes two forms, one commercial, the other intellectual.
Both depend upon the prestige of armaments; the Chinese would never have
opened either their ports to our trade or their minds to our ideas if we
had not defeated them in war. But the military beginning of our
intercourse with the Middle Kingdom has now receded into the background;
one is not conscious, in any class, of a strong hostility to foreigners
as such. It would not be difficult to make out a case for the view that
intercourse with the white races is proving a misfortune to China, but
apparently this view is not taken by anyone in China except where
unreasoning conservative prejudice outweighs all other considerations.
The Chinese have a very strong instinct for trade, and a considerable
intellectual curiosity, to both of which we appeal. Only a bare minimum
of common decency is required to secure their friendship, whether
privately or politically. And I think their thought is as capable of
enriching our culture as their commerce of enriching our pockets.

In the Treaty Ports, Europeans and Americans live in their own quarters,
with streets well paved and lighted, houses in European style, and shops
full of American and English goods. There is generally also a Chinese
part of the town, with narrow streets, gaily decorated shops, and the
rich mixture of smells characteristic of China. Often one passes through
a gate, suddenly, from one to the other; after the cheerful disordered
beauty of the old town, Europe's ugly cleanliness and
Sunday-go-to-meeting decency make a strange complex impression,
half-love and half-hate. In the European town one finds safety,
spaciousness and hygiene; in the Chinese town, romance, overcrowding and
disease. In spite of my affection for China, these transitions always
made me realize that I am a European; for me, the Chinese manner of life
would not mean happiness. But after making all necessary deductions for
the poverty and the disease, I am inclined to think that Chinese life
brings more happiness to the Chinese than English life does to us. At
any rate this seemed to me to be true for the men; for the women I do
not think it would be true.

Shanghai and Tientsin are white men's cities; the first sight of
Shanghai makes one wonder what is the use of travelling, because there
is so little change from what one is used to. Treaty Ports, each of
which is a centre of European influence, exist practically all over
China, not only on the sea coast. Hankow, a very important Treaty Port,
is almost exactly in the centre of China. North and South China are
divided by the Yangtze; East and West China are divided by the route
from Peking to Canton. These two dividing lines meet at Hankow, which
has long been an important strategical point in Chinese history. From
Peking to Hankow there is a railway, formerly Franco-Belgian, now owned
by the Chinese Government. From Wuchang, opposite Hankow on the southern
bank of the river, there is to be a railway to Canton, but at present it
only runs half-way, to Changsha, also a Treaty Port. The completion of
the railway, together with improved docks, will greatly increase the
importance of Canton and diminish that of Hong-Kong.

In the Treaty Ports commerce is the principal business; but in the lower
Yangtze and in certain mining districts there are beginnings of
industrialism. China produces large amounts of raw cotton, which are
mostly manipulated by primitive methods; but there are a certain number
of cotton-mills on modern lines. If low wages meant cheap labour for the
employer, there would be little hope for Lancashire, because in Southern
China the cotton is grown on the spot, the climate is damp, and there is
an inexhaustible supply of industrious coolies ready to work very long
hours for wages upon which an English working-man would find it
literally impossible to keep body and soul together. Nevertheless, it is
not the underpaid Chinese coolie whom Lancashire has to fear, and China
will not become a formidable competitor until improvement in methods and
education enables the Chinese workers to earn good wages. Meanwhile, in
China, as in every other country, the beginnings of industry are sordid
and cruel. The intellectuals wish to be told of some less horrible
method by which their country may be industrialized, but so far none is
in sight.

The intelligentsia in China has a very peculiar position, unlike that
which it has in any other country. Hereditary aristocracy has been
practically extinct in China for about 2,000 years, and for many
centuries the country has been governed by the successful candidates in
competitive examinations. This has given to the educated the kind of
prestige elsewhere belonging to a governing aristocracy. Although the
old traditional education is fast dying out, and higher education now
teaches modern subjects, the prestige of education has survived, and
public opinion is still ready to be influenced by those who have
intellectual qualifications. The Tuchuns, many of whom, including
Chang-tso-lin, have begun by being brigands,[36] are, of course, mostly
too stupid and ignorant to share this attitude, but that in itself makes
their régime weak and unstable. The influence of Young China--_i.e._ of
those who have been educated either abroad or in modern colleges at
home--is far greater than it would be in a country with less respect for
learning. This is, perhaps, the most hopeful feature in the situation,
because the number of modern students is rapidly increasing, and their
outlook and aims are admirable. In another ten years or so they will
probably be strong enough to regenerate China--if only the Powers will
allow ten years to elapse without taking any drastic action.

It is important to try to understand the outlook and potentialities of
Young China. Most of my time was spent among those Chinese who had had a
modern education, and I should like to give some idea of their
mentality. It seemed to me that one could already distinguish two
generations: the older men, who had fought their way with great
difficulty and almost in solitude out of the traditional Confucian
prejudices; and the younger men, who had found modern schools and
colleges waiting for them, containing a whole world of modern-minded
people ready to give sympathy and encouragement in the inevitable fight
against the family. The older men--men varying in age from 30 to
50--have gone through an inward and outward struggle resembling that of
the rationalists of Darwin's and Mill's generation. They have had,
painfully and with infinite difficulty, to free their minds from the
beliefs instilled in youth, and to turn their thoughts to a new science
and a new ethic. Imagine (say) Plotinus recalled from the shades and
miraculously compelled to respect Mr. Henry Ford; this will give you
some idea of the centuries across which these men have had to travel in
becoming European. Some of them are a little weary with the effort,
their forces somewhat spent and their originality no longer creative.
But this can astonish no one who realizes the internal revolution they
have achieved in their own minds.

It must not be supposed that an able Chinaman, when he masters our
culture, becomes purely imitative. This may happen among the second-rate
Chinese, especially when they turn Christians, but it does not happen
among the best. They remain Chinese, critical of European civilization
even when they have assimilated it. They retain a certain crystal
candour and a touching belief in the efficacy of moral forces; the
industrial revolution has not yet affected their mental processes. When
they become persuaded of the importance of some opinion, they try to
spread it by setting forth the reasons in its favour; they do not hire
the front pages of newspapers for advertising, or put up on hoardings
along the railways "So-and-so's opinion is the best." In all this they
differ greatly from more advanced nations, and particularly from
America; it never occurs to them to treat opinions as if they were
soaps. And they have no admiration for ruthlessness, or love of bustling
activity without regard to its purpose. Having thrown over the
prejudices in which they were brought up, they have not taken on a new
set, but have remained genuinely free in their thoughts, able to
consider any proposition honestly on its merits.

The younger men, however, have something more than the first generation
of modern intellectuals. Having had less of a struggle, they have
retained more energy and self-confidence. The candour and honesty of the
pioneers survive, with more determination to be socially effective. This
may be merely the natural character of youth, but I think it is more
than that. Young men under thirty have often come in contact with
Western ideas at a sufficiently early age to have assimilated them
without a great struggle, so that they can acquire knowledge without
being torn by spiritual conflicts. And they have been able to learn
Western knowledge from Chinese teachers to begin with, which has made
the process less difficult. Even the youngest students, of course, still
have reactionary families, but they find less difficulty than their
predecessors in resisting the claims of the family, and in realizing
practically, not only theoretically, that the traditional Chinese
reverence for the old may well be carried too far. In these young men I
see the hope of China. When a little experience has taught them
practical wisdom, I believe they will be able to lead Chinese opinion in
the directions in which it ought to move.

There is one traditional Chinese belief which dies very hard, and that
is the belief that correct ethical sentiments are more important then
detailed scientific knowledge. This view is, of course, derived from the
Confucian tradition, and is more or less true in a pre-industrial
society. It would have been upheld by Rousseau or Dr. Johnson, and
broadly speaking by everybody before the Benthamites. We, in the West,
have now swung to the opposite extreme: we tend to think that technical
efficiency is everything and moral purpose nothing. A battleship may be
taken as the concrete embodiment of this view. When we read, say, of
some new poison-gas by means of which one bomb from an aeroplane can
exterminate a whole town, we have a thrill of what we fondly believe to
be horror, but it is really delight in scientific skill. Science is our
god; we say to it, "Though thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee." And
so it slays us. The Chinese have not this defect, but they have the
opposite one, of believing that good intentions are the only thing
really necessary. I will give an illustration. Forsythe Sherfesee,
Forestry Adviser to the Chinese Government, gave an address at the
British Legation in January 1919 on "Some National Aspects of Forestry
in China."[37] In this address he proves (so far as a person ignorant of
forestry can judge) that large parts of China which now lie waste are
suitable for forestry, that the importation of timber (_e.g_. for
railway sleepers) which now takes place is wholly unnecessary, and that
the floods which often sweep away whole districts would be largely
prevented if the slopes of the mountains from which the rivers come were
reafforested. Yet it is often difficult to interest even the most
reforming Chinese in afforestation, because it is not an easy subject
for ethical enthusiasm. Trees are planted round graves, because
Confucius said they should be; if Confucianism dies out, even these will
be cut down. But public-spirited Chinese students learn political theory
as it is taught in our universities, and despise such humble questions
as the utility of trees. After learning all about (say) the proper
relations of the two Houses of Parliament, they go home to find that
some Tuchun has dismissed both Houses, and is governing in a fashion not
considered in our text-books. Our theories of politics are only true in
the West (if there); our theories of forestry are equally true
everywhere. Yet it is our theories of politics that Chinese students are
most eager to learn. Similarly the practical study of industrial
processes might be very useful, but the Chinese prefer the study of our
theoretical economics, which is hardly applicable except where industry
is already developed. In all these respects, however, there is beginning
to be a marked improvement.

It is science that makes the difference between our intellectual outlook
and that of the Chinese intelligentsia. The Chinese, even the most
modern, look to the white nations, especially America, for moral maxims
to replace those of Confucius. They have not yet grasped that men's
morals in the mass are the same everywhere: they do as much harm as they
dare, and as much good as they must. In so far as there is a difference
of morals between us and the Chinese, we differ for the worse, because
we are more energetic, and can therefore commit more crimes _per diem_.
What we have to teach the Chinese is not morals, or ethical maxims about
government, but science and technical skill. The real problem for the
Chinese intellectuals is to acquire Western knowledge without acquiring
the mechanistic outlook.

Perhaps it is not clear what I mean by "the mechanistic outlook." I mean
something which exists equally in Imperialism, Bolshevism and the
Y.M.C.A.; something which distinguishes all these from the Chinese
outlook, and which I, for my part, consider very evil. What I mean is
the habit of regarding mankind as raw material, to be moulded by our
scientific manipulation into whatever form may happen to suit our fancy.
The essence of the matter, from the point of view of the individual who
has this point of view, is the cultivation of will at the expense of
perception, the fervent moral belief that it is our duty to force other
people to realize our conception of the world. The Chinese intellectual
is not much troubled by Imperialism as a creed, but is vigorously
assailed by Bolshevism and the Y.M.C.A., to one or other of which he is
too apt to fall a victim, learning a belief from the one in the
class-war and the dictatorship of the communists, from the other in the
mystic efficacy of cold baths and dumb-bells. Both these creeds, in
their Western adepts, involve a contempt for the rest of mankind except
as potential converts, and the belief that progress consists in the
spread of a doctrine. They both involve a belief in government and a
life against Nature. This view, though I have called it mechanistic, is
as old as religion, though mechanism has given it new and more virulent
forms. The first of Chinese philosophers, Lao-Tze, wrote his book to
protest against it, and his disciple Chuang-Tze put his criticism into a

     Horses have hoofs to carry them over frost and snow; hair, to
     protect them from wind and cold. They eat grass and drink water,
     and fling up their heels over the champaign. Such is the real
     nature of horses. Palatial dwellings are of no use to them.

     One day Po Lo appeared, saying: "I understand the management of

     So he branded them, and clipped them, and pared their hoofs, and
     put halters on them, tying them up by the head and shackling them
     by the feet, and disposing them in stables, with the result that
     two or three in every ten died. Then he kept them hungry and
     thirsty, trotting them and galloping them, and grooming, and
     trimming, with the misery of the tasselled bridle before and the
     fear of the knotted whip behind, until more than half of them
     were dead.

     The potter says: "I can do what I will with clay. If I want it
     round, I use compasses; if rectangular, a square."

     The carpenter says: "I can do what I will with wood. If I want it
     curved, I use an arc; if straight, a line."

     But on what grounds can we think that the natures of clay and
     wood desire this application of compasses and square, of arc and
     line? Nevertheless, every age extols Po Lo for his skill in
     managing horses, and potters and carpenters for their skill with
     clay and wood. Those who _govern_ the Empire make the same

Although Taoism, of which Lao-Tze was the founder and Chuang-Tze the
chief apostle, was displaced by Confucianism, yet the spirit of this
fable has penetrated deeply into Chinese life, making it more urbane and
tolerant, more contemplative and observant, than the fiercer life of the
West. The Chinese watch foreigners as we watch animals in the Zoo, to
see whether they "drink water and fling up their heels over the
champaign," and generally to derive amusement from their curious habits.
Unlike the Y.M.C.A., they have no wish to alter the habits of the
foreigners, any more than we wish to put the monkeys at the Zoo into
trousers and stiff shirts. And their attitude towards each other is, as
a rule, equally tolerant. When they became a Republic, instead of
cutting off the Emperor's head, as other nations do, they left him his
title, his palace, and four million dollars a year (about £600,000), and
he remains to this moment with his officials, his eunuchs and his
etiquette, but without one shred of power or influence. In talking with
a Chinese, you feel that he is trying to understand you, not to alter
you or interfere with you. The result of his attempt may be a caricature
or a panegyric, but in either case it will be full of delicate
perception and subtle humour. A friend in Peking showed me a number of
pictures, among which I specially remember various birds: a hawk
swooping on a sparrow, an eagle clasping a big bough of a tree in his
claws, water-fowl standing on one leg disconsolate in the snow. All
these pictures showed that kind of sympathetic understanding which one
feels also in their dealings with human beings--something which I can
perhaps best describe as the antithesis of Nietzsche. This quality,
unfortunately, is useless in warfare, and foreign nations are doing
their best to stamp it out. But it is an infinitely valuable quality, of
which our Western world has far too little. Together with their
exquisite sense of beauty, it makes the Chinese nation quite
extraordinarily lovable. The injury that we are doing to China is wanton
and cruel, the destruction of something delicate and lovely for the sake
of the gross pleasures of barbarous millionaires. One of the poems
translated from the Chinese by Mr. Waley[39] is called _Business Men_,
and it expresses, perhaps more accurately than I could do, the respects
in which the Chinese are our superiors:--

    Business men boast of their skill and cunning
    But in philosophy they are like little children.
    Bragging to each other of successful depredations
    They neglect to consider the ultimate fate of the body.
    What should they know of the Master of Dark Truth
    Who saw the wide world in a jade cup,
    By illumined conception got clear of heaven and earth:
    On the chariot of Mutation entered the Gate of Immutability?

I wish I could hope that some respect for "the Master of Dark Truth"
would enter into the hearts of our apostles of Western culture. But as
that is out of the question, it is necessary to seek other ways of
solving the Far Eastern question.


[Footnote 31: _The Truth about China and Japan_, Allen & Unwin, 1921, p.
14. On the other hand Sih-Gung Cheng (_Modern China_, p. 13) says that
it "killed twenty million people," which is the more usual estimate, cf.
_China of the Chinese_ by E.T.C. Werner, p. 24. The extent to which the
population was diminished is not accurately known, but I have no doubt
that 20 millions is nearer the truth than 150 millions.]

[Footnote 32: In January 1922, he came to Peking to establish a more
subservient Government, the dismissal of which has been ordered by
Wu-Pei-Fu. A clash is imminent. See Appendix.]

[Footnote 33: The blame for this is put upon Sun Yat Sen, who is said to
have made an alliance with Chang-tso-lin. The best element in the Canton
Government was said to be represented by Sun's colleague General Cheng
Chiung Ming, who is now reported to have been dismissed (_The Times_,
April 24, 1922). These statements are apparently unfounded. See

[Footnote 34: The soya bean is rapidly becoming an important product,
especially in Manchuria.]

[Footnote 35: There are, however, no accurate statistics as to the
birth-rate or the death-rate in China, and some writers question whether
the birth-rate is really very large. From a privately printed pamphlet
by my friend Mr. V.K. Ting, I learn that Dr. Lennox, of the Peking Union
Medical College, from a careful study of 4,000 families, found that the
average number of children (dead and living) per family was 2.1, while
the infant mortality was 184.1. Other investigations are quoted to show
that the birth-rate near Peking is between 30 and 50. In the absence of
statistics, generalizations about the population question in China must
be received with extreme caution.]

[Footnote 36: I repeat what everybody, Chinese or foreign, told me. Mr.
Bland, _per contra_, describes Chang-tso-lin as a polished Confucian.
Contrast p. 104 of his _China, Japan and Korea_ with pp. 143, 146 of
Coleman's _The Far East Unveiled_, which gives the view of everybody
except Mr. Bland. Lord Northcliffe had an interview with Chang-tso-lin
reported in _The Times_ recently, but he was, of course, unable to
estimate Chang-tso-lin's claims to literary culture.]

[Footnote 37: Printed in _China in 1918_, published by the _Peking

[Footnote 38: _Musings of a Chinese Mystic_, by Lionel Giles (Murray),
p. 66. For Legge's translation, see Vol. I, p. 277 of his _Texts of
Taoism_ in _Sacred Books of the East_, Vol. XXXIX.]

[Footnote 39: Waley, 170 _Chinese Poems_, p. 96.]



For modern China, the most important foreign nation is Japan. In order
to understand the part played by Japan, it is necessary to know
something of that country, to which we must now turn our attention.

In reading the history of Japan, one of the most amazing things is the
persistence of the same forces and the same beliefs throughout the
centuries. Japanese history practically begins with a "Restoration" by
no means unlike that of 1867-8. Buddhism was introduced into Japan from
Korea in 552 A.D.[40] At the same time and from the same source Chinese
civilization became much better known in Japan than it had been through
the occasional intercourse of former centuries. Both novelties won
favour. Two Japanese students (followed later by many others) went to
China in 608 A.D., to master the civilization of that country. The
Japanese are an experimental nation, and before adopting Buddhism
nationally they ordered one or two prominent courtiers to adopt it,
with a view to seeing whether they prospered more or less than the
adherents of the traditional Shinto religion.[41] After some
vicissitudes, the experiment was held to have favoured the foreign
religion, which, as a Court religion, acquired more prestige than
Shinto, although the latter was never ousted, and remained the chief
religion of the peasantry until the thirteenth century. It is remarkable
to find that, as late as the sixteenth century, Hideyoshi, who was of
peasant origin, had a much higher opinion of "the way of the gods"
(which is what "Shinto" means) than of Buddhism.[42] Probably the
revival of Shinto in modern times was facilitated by a continuing belief
in that religion on the part of the less noisy sections of the
population. But so far as the people mentioned in history are concerned,
Buddhism plays a very much greater part than Shinto.

The object of the Restoration in 1867-8 was, at any rate in part, to
restore the constitution of 645 A.D. The object of the constitution of
645 A.D. was to restore the form of government that had prevailed in the
good old days. What the object was of those who established the
government of the good old days, I do not profess to know. However that
may be, the country before 645 A.D. was given over to feudalism and
internal strife, while the power of the Mikado had sunk to a very low
ebb. The Mikado had had the civil power, but had allowed great
feudatories to acquire military control, so that the civil government
fell into contempt. Contact with the superior civilization of China made
intelligent people think that the Chinese constitution deserved
imitation, along with the Chinese morals and religion. The Chinese
Emperor was the Son of Heaven, so the Mikado came to be descended from
the Sun Goddess. The Chinese Emperor, whenever he happened to be a
vigorous man, was genuinely supreme, so the Mikado must be made so.

The similarity of the influence of China in producing the Restoration of
645 A.D. and that of Europe in producing the Restoration of 1867-8 is
set forth by Murdoch[43] as follows:--

     In the summer of 1863 a band of four Choshu youths were smuggled
     on board a British steamer by the aid of kind Scottish friends
     who sympathized with their endeavour to proceed to Europe for
     purposes of study. These, friends possibly did not know that some
     of the four had been protagonists in the burning down of the
     British Legation on Gotenyama a few months before, and they
     certainly could never have suspected that the real mission of the
     four youths was to master the secrets of Western civilization
     with a sole view of driving the Western barbarians from the
     sacred soil of Japan. Prince Ito and Marquis Inouye--for they
     were two of this venturesome quartette--have often told of their
     rapid disillusionment when they reached London, and saw these
     despised Western barbarians at home. On their return to Japan
     they at once became the apostles of a new doctrine, and their
     effective preaching has had much to do with the pride of place
     Dai Nippon now holds among the Great Powers of the world.

The two students who went to China in 608 A.D. "rendered even more
illustrious service to their country perhaps than Ito and Inouye have
done. For at the Revolution of 1868, the leaders of the movement harked
back to the 645-650 A.D. period for a good deal of their inspiration,
and the real men of political knowledge at that time were the two
National Doctors."

Politically, what was done in 645 A.D. and the period immediately
following was not unlike what was done in France by Louis XI and
Richelieu--curbing of the great nobles and an exaltation of the
sovereign, with a substitution of civil justice for military anarchy.
The movement was represented by its promoters as a Restoration, probably
with about the same amount of truth as in 1867. At the latter date,
there was restoration so far as the power of the Mikado was concerned,
but innovation as regards the introduction of Western ideas. Similarly,
in 645 A.D., what was done about the Mikado was a return to the past,
but what was done in the way of spreading Chinese civilization was just
the opposite. There must have been, in both cases, the same curious
mixture of antiquarian and reforming tendencies.

Throughout subsequent Japanese history, until the Restoration, one seems
to see two opposite forces struggling for mastery over people's minds,
namely the ideas of government, civilization and art derived from China
on the one hand, and the native tendency to feudalism, clan government,
and civil war on the other. The conflict is very analogous to that which
went on in mediæval Europe between the Church, which represented ideas
derived from Rome, and the turbulent barons, who were struggling to
preserve the way of life of the ancient Teutons. Henry IV at Canossa,
Henry II doing penance for Becket, represent the triumph of civilization
over rude vigour; and something similar is to be seen at intervals in

After 645, the Mikado's Government had real power for some centuries,
but gradually it fell more and more under the sway of the soldiers. So
long as it had wealth (which lasted long after it ceased to have power)
it continued to represent what was most civilized in Japan: the study
of Chinese literature, the patronage of art, and the attempt to preserve
respect for something other than brute force. But the Court nobles (who
remained throughout quite distinct from the military feudal chiefs) were
so degenerate and feeble, so stereotyped and unprogressive, that it
would have been quite impossible for the country to be governed by them
and the system they represented. In this respect they differed greatly
from the mediæval Church, which no one could accuse of lack of vigour,
although the vigour of the feudal aristocracy may have been even
greater. Accordingly, while the Church in Europe usually defeated the
secular princes, the exact opposite happened in Japan, where the Mikado
and his Court sank into greater and greater contempt down to the time of
the Restoration.

The Japanese have a curious passion for separating the real and the
nominal Governments, leaving the show to the latter and the substance of
power to the former. First the Emperors took to resigning in favour of
their infant sons, and continuing to govern in reality, often from some
monastery, where they had become monks. Then the Shogun, who represented
the military power, became supreme, but still governed in the name of
the Emperor. The word "Shogun" merely means "General"; the full title of
the people whom we call "Shogun" is "Sei-i-Tai Shogun," which means
"Barbarian-subduing great General"; the barbarians in question being the
Ainus, the Japanese aborigines. The first to hold this office in the
form which it had at most times until the Restoration was Minamoto
Yoritomo, on whom the title was conferred by the Mikado in 1192. But
before long the Shogun became nearly as much of a figure-head as the
Mikado. Custom confined the Shogunate to the Minamoto family, and the
actual power was wielded by Regents in the name of the Shogun. This
lasted until near the end of the sixteenth century, when it happened
that Iyeyasu, the supreme military commander of his day, belonged to the
Minamoto family, and was therefore able to assume the office of Shogun
himself. He and his descendants held the office until it was abolished
at the Restoration. The Restoration, however, did not put an end to the
practice of a real Government behind the nominal one. The Prime Minister
and his Cabinet are presented to the world as the Japanese Government,
but the real Government is the Genro, or Elder Statesmen, and their
successors, of whom I shall have more to say in the next chapter.

What the Japanese made of Buddhism reminds one in many ways of what the
Teutonic nations made of Christianity. Buddhism and Christianity,
originally, were very similar in spirit. They were both religions aiming
at the achievement of holiness by renunciation of the world. They both
ignored politics and government and wealth, for which they substituted
the future life as what was of real importance. They were both religions
of peace, teaching gentleness and non-resistance. But both had to
undergo great transformations in adapting themselves to the instincts of
warlike barbarians. In Japan, a multitude of sects arose, teaching
doctrines which differed in many ways from Mahayana orthodoxy. Buddhism
became national and militaristic; the abbots of great monasteries became
important feudal chieftains, whose monks constituted an army which was
ready to fight on the slightest provocation. Sieges of monasteries and
battles with monks are of constant occurrence in Japanese history.

The Japanese, as every one knows, decided, after about 100 years'
experience of Western missionaries and merchants, to close their country
completely to foreigners, with the exception of a very restricted and
closely supervised commerce with the Dutch. The first arrival of the
Portuguese in Japan was in or about the year 1543, and their final
expulsion was in the year 1639. What happened between these two dates is
instructive for the understanding of Japan. The first Portuguese brought
with them Christianity and fire-arms, of which the Japanese tolerated
the former for the sake of the latter. At that time there was virtually
no Central Government in the country, and the various Daimyo were
engaged in constant wars with each other. The south-western island,
Kyushu, was even more independent of such central authority as existed
than were the other parts of Japan, and it was in this island
(containing the port of Nagasaki) that the Portuguese first landed and
were throughout chiefly active. They traded from Macao, bringing
merchandise, match-locks and Jesuits, as well as artillery on their
larger vessels. It was found that they attached importance to the spread
of Christianity, and some of the Daimyo, in order to get their trade and
their guns, allowed themselves to be baptized by the Jesuits. The
Portuguese of those days seem to have been genuinely more anxious to
make converts than to extend their trade; when, later on, the Japanese
began to object to missionaries while still desiring trade, neither the
Portuguese nor the Spaniards could be induced to refrain from helping
the Fathers. However, all might have gone well if the Portuguese had
been able to retain the monopoly which had been granted to them by a
Papal Bull. Their monopoly of trade was associated with a Jesuit
monopoly of missionary activity. But from 1592 onward, the Spaniards
from Manila competed with the Portuguese from Macao, and the Dominican
and Franciscan missionaries, brought by the Spaniards, competed with the
Jesuit missionaries brought by the Portuguese. They quarrelled
furiously, even at times when they were suffering persecution; and the
Japanese naturally believed the accusations that each side brought
against the other. Moreover, when they were shown maps displaying the
extent of the King of Spain's dominions, they became alarmed for their
national independence. In the year 1596, a Spanish ship, the _San
Felipe_, on its way from Manila to Acapulco, was becalmed off the coast
of Japan. The local Daimyo insisted on sending men to tow it into his
harbour, and gave them instructions to run it aground on a sandbank,
which they did. He thereupon claimed the whole cargo, valued at 600,000
crowns. However, Hideyoshi, who was rapidly acquiring supreme power in
Japan, thought this too large a windfall for a private citizen, and had
the Spanish pilot interviewed by a man named Masuda. The pilot, after
trying reason in vain, attempted intimidation.

     He produced a map of the world, and on it pointed out the vast
     extent of the dominions of Philip II. Thereupon Masuda asked him
     how it was so many countries had been brought to acknowledge the
     sway of a single man.... "Our Kings," said this outspoken seaman,
     "begin by sending into the countries they wish to conquer
     _religieux_ who induce the people to embrace our religion, and
     when they have made considerable progress, troops are sent who
     combine with the new Christians, and then our Kings have not
     much trouble in accomplishing the rest."[44]

As Spain and Portugal were at this time both subject to Philip II, the
Portuguese also suffered from the suspicions engendered by this speech.
Moreover, the Dutch, who were at war with Spain, began to trade with
Japan, and to tell all they knew against Jesuits, Dominicans,
Franciscans, and Papists generally. A breezy Elizabethan sea captain,
Will Adams, was wrecked in Japan, and on being interrogated naturally
gave a good British account of the authors of the Armada. As the
Japanese had by this time mastered the use and manufacture of fire-arms,
they began to think that they had nothing more to learn from Christian

Meanwhile, a succession of three great men--Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and
Iyeyasu--had succeeded in unifying Japan, destroying the
quasi-independence of the feudal nobles, and establishing that reign of
internal peace which lasted until the Restoration--period of nearly two
and a half centuries. It was possible, therefore, for the Central
Government to enforce whatever policy it chose to adopt with regard to
the foreigners and their religion. The Jesuits and the Friars between
them had made a considerable number of converts in Japan, probably about
300,000. Most of these were in the island of Kyushu, the last region to
be subdued by Hideyoshi. They tended to disloyalty, not only on account
of their Christianity, but also on account of their geographical
position. It was in this region that the revolt against the Shogun began
in 1867, and Satsuma, the chief clan in the island of Kyushu, has had
great power in the Government ever since the Restoration, except during
its rebellion of 1877. It is hard to disentangle what belongs to
Christianity and what to mere hostility to the Central Government in the
movements of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However that may
be, Iyeyasu decided to persecute the Christians vigorously, if possible
without losing the foreign trade. His successors were even more
anti-Christian and less anxious for trade. After an abortive revolt in
1637, Christianity was stamped out, and foreign trade was prohibited in
the most vigorous terms:--

     So long as the sun warms the earth, let no Christian be so bold
     as to come to Japan, and let all know that if King Philip
     himself, or even the very God of the Christians, or the great
     Shaka contravene this prohibition, they shall pay for it with
     their heads.[45]

The persecution of Christians, though it was ruthless and exceedingly
cruel, was due, not to religious intolerance, but solely to political
motives. There was reason to fear that the Christians might side with
the King of Spain if he should attempt to conquer Japan; and even if no
foreign power intervened, there was reason to fear rebellions of
Christians against the newly established central power. Economic
exploitation, in the modern sense of the word, did not yet exist apart
from political domination, and the Japanese would have welcomed trade if
there had been no danger of conquest. They seem to have overrated the
power of Spain, which certainly could not have conquered them. Japanese
armies were, in those days, far larger than the armies of Europe; the
Japanese had learnt the use of fire-arms; and their knowledge of
strategy was very great. Kyoto, the capital, was one of the largest
cities in the world, having about a million inhabitants. The population
of Japan was probably greater than that of any European State. It would
therefore have been possible, without much trouble, to resist any
expedition that Europe could have sent against Japan. It would even have
been easy to conquer Manila, as Hideyoshi at one time thought of doing.
But we can well understand how terrifying would be a map of the world
showing the whole of North and South America as belonging to Philip II.
Moreover the Japanese Government sent pretended converts to Europe,
where they became priests, had audience of the Pope, penetrated into the
inmost councils of Spain, and mastered all the meditated villainies of
European Imperialism. These spies, when they came home and laid their
reports before the Government, naturally increased its fears. The
Japanese, therefore, decided to have no further intercourse with the
white men. And whatever may be said against this policy, I cannot feel
convinced that it was unwise.

For over two hundred years, until the coming of Commodore Perry's
squadron from the United States in 1853, Japan enjoyed complete peace
and almost complete stagnation--the only period of either in Japanese
history, It then became necessary to learn fresh lessons in the use of
fire-arms from Western nations, and to abandon the exclusive policy
until they were learnt. When they have been learnt, perhaps we shall see
another period of isolation.


[Footnote 40: The best book known to me on early Japan is Murdoch's
_History of Japan_, The volume dealing with the earlier period is
published by Kegan Paul, 1910. The chronologically later volume was
published earlier; its title is: _A History of Japan during the Century
of Early Foreign Intercourse_ (1542--1651), by James Murdoch M.A. in
collaboration with Isoh Yamagata. Kobe, office of the _Japan Chronicle_,
1903. I shall allude to these volumes as Murdoch I and Murdoch II

[Footnote 41: Murdoch I. pp. 113 ff.]

[Footnote 42: Ibid., II. pp. 375 ff.]

[Footnote 43: Murdoch I. p. 147.]

[Footnote 44: Murdoch, II, p. 288.]

[Footnote 45: Murdoch II, p. 667.]



The modern Japanese nation is unique, not only in this age, but in the
history of the world. It combines elements which most Europeans would
have supposed totally incompatible, and it has realized an original plan
to a degree hardly known in human affairs. The Japan which now exists is
almost exactly that which was intended by the leaders of the Restoration
in 1867. Many unforeseen events have happened in the world: American has
risen and Russia has fallen, China has become a Republic and the Great
War has shattered Europe. But throughout all these changes the leading
statesmen of Japan have gone along the road traced out for them at the
beginning of the Meiji era, and the nation has followed them with
ever-increasing faithfulness. One single purpose has animated leaders
and followers alike: the strengthening and extension of the Empire. To
realize this purpose a new kind of policy has been created, combining
the sources of strength in modern America with those in Rome at the time
of the Punic Wars, uniting the material organization and scientific
knowledge of pre-war Germany with the outlook on life of the Hebrews in
the Book of Joshua.

The transformation of Japan since 1867 is amazing, and people have been
duly amazed by it. But what is still more amazing is that such an
immense change in knowledge and in way of life should have brought so
little change in religion and ethics, and that such change as it has
brought in these matters should have been in a direction opposite to
that which would have been naturally expected. Science is supposed to
tend to rationalism; yet the spread of scientific knowledge in Japan has
synchronized with a great intensification of Mikado-Worship, the most
anachronistic feature in the Japanese civilization. For sociology, for
social psychology, and for political theory, Japan is an extraordinarily
interesting country. The synthesis of East and West which has been
effected is of a most peculiar kind. There is far more of the East than
appears on the surface; but there is everything of the West that tends
to national efficiency. How far there is a genuine fusion of Eastern and
Western elements may be doubted; the nervous excitability of the people
suggests something strained and artificial in their way of life, but
this may possibly be a merely temporary phenomenon.

Throughout Japanese politics since the Restoration, there are two
separate strands, one analogous to that of Western nations, especially
pre-war Germany, the other inherited from the feudal age, which is more
analogous to the politics of the Scottish Highlands down to 1745. It is
no part of my purpose to give a history of modern Japan; I wish only to
give an outline of the forces which control events and movements in that
country, with such illustrations as are necessary. There are many good
books on Japanese politics; the one that I have found most informative
is McLaren's _Political History of Japan during the Meiji Era_
1867-1912 (Allen and Unwin, 1916). For a picture of Japan as it appeared
in the early years of the Meiji era, Lafcadio Hearn is of course
invaluable; his book _Japan, An Interpretation_ shows his dawning
realization of the grim sides of the Japanese character, after the
cherry-blossom business has lost its novelty. I shall not have much to
say about cherry-blossom; it was not flowering when I was in Japan.

Before, 1867, Japan was a feudal federation of clans, in which the
Central Government was in the hands of the Shogun, who was the head of
his own clan, but had by no means undisputed sway over the more powerful
of the other clans. There had been various dynasties of Shoguns at
various times, but since the seventeenth century the Shogunate had been
in the Tokugawa clan. Throughout the Tokugawa Shogunate, except during
its first few years, Japan had been closed to foreign intercourse,
except for a strictly limited commerce with the Dutch. The modern era
was inaugurated by two changes: first, the compulsory opening of the
country to Western trade; secondly, the transference of power from the
Tokugawa clan to the clans of Satsuma and Choshu, who have governed
Japan ever since. It is impossible to understand Japan or its politics
and possibilities without realizing the nature of the governing forces
and their roots in the feudal system of the former age. I will therefore
first outline these internal movements, before coming to the part which
Japan has played in international affairs.

What happened, nominally, in 1867 was that the Mikado was restored to
power, after having been completely eclipsed by the Shogun since the end
of the twelfth century. During this long period, the Mikado seems to
have been regarded by the common people with reverence as a holy
personage, but he was allowed no voice in affairs, was treated with
contempt by the Shogun, was sometimes deposed if he misbehaved, and was
often kept in great poverty.

     Of so little importance was the Imperial person in the days of
     early foreign intercourse that the Jesuits hardly knew of the
     Emperor's existence. They seem to have thought of him as a
     Japanese counterpart of the Pope of Rome, except that he had no
     aspirations for temporal power. The Dutch writers likewise were
     in the habit of referring to the Shogun as "His Majesty," and on
     their annual pilgrimage from Dashima to Yedo, Kyoto (where the
     Mikado lived) was the only city which they were permitted to
     examine freely. The privilege was probably accorded by the
     Tokugawa to show the foreigners how lightly the Court was
     regarded. Commodore Perry delivered to the Shogun in Yedo the
     autograph letter to the Emperor of Japan, from the President of
     the United States, and none of the Ambassadors of the Western
     Powers seem to have entertained any suspicion that in dealing
     with the authorities in Yedo they were not approaching the

     In the light of these facts, some other explanation of the
     relations between the Shogunate and the Imperial Court must be
     sought than that which depends upon the claim now made by
     Japanese historians of the official type, that the throne,
     throughout this whole period, was divinely preserved by the
     Heavenly Gods.[46]

What happened, in outline, seems to have been a combination of very
different forces. There were antiquarians who observed that the Mikado
had had real power in the tenth century, and who wished to revert to the
ancient customs. There were patriots who were annoyed with the Shogun
for yielding to the pressure of the white men and concluding commercial
treaties with them. And there were the western clans, which had never
willingly submitted to the authority of the Shogun. To quote McLaren
once more (p. 33):--

     The movement to restore the Emperor was coupled with a form of
     Chauvinism or intense nationalism which may be summed up in the
     expression "Exalt the Emperor! Away with the barbarians!" (Kinno!
     Joi!) From this it would appear that the Dutch scholars' work in
     enlightening the nation upon the subject of foreign scientific
     attainments was anathema, but a conclusion of that kind must not
     be hastily arrived at. The cry, "Away with the barbarians!" was
     directed against Perry and the envoys of other foreign Powers,
     but there was nothing in that slogan which indicates a general
     unwillingness to emulate the foreigners' achievements in
     armaments or military tactics. In fact, for a number of years
     previous to 1853, Satsuma and Choshu and other western clans had
     been very busily engaged in manufacturing guns and practising
     gunnery: to that extent, at any rate, the discoveries of the
     students of European sciences had been deliberately used by those
     men who were to be foremost in the Restoration.

This passage gives the key to the spirit which has animated modern Japan
down to the present day.

The Restoration was, to a greater extent than is usually realized in the
West, a conservative and even reactionary movement. Professor Murdoch,
in his authoritative _History of Japan,_[47] says:--

     In the interpretation of this sudden and startling development
     most European writers and critics show themselves seriously at
     fault. Even some of the more intelligent among them find the
     solution of this portentous enigma in the very superficial and
     facile formula of "imitation." But the Japanese still retain
     their own unit of social organization, which is not the
     individual, as with us, but the _family_. Furthermore, the
     resemblance of the Japanese administrative system, both central
     and local, to certain European systems is not the result of
     imitation, or borrowing, or adaptation. Such resemblance is
     merely an odd and fortuitous resemblance. When the statesmen who
     overthrew the Tokugawa régime in 1868, and abolished the feudal
     system in 1871, were called upon to provide the nation with a new
     equipment of administrative machinery, they did not go to Europe
     for their models. They simply harked back for some eleven or
     twelve centuries in their own history and resuscitated the
     administrative machinery that had first been installed in Japan
     by the genius of Fujiwara Kamatari and his coadjutors in 645
     A.D., and more fully supplemented and organized in the succeeding
     fifty or sixty years. The present Imperial Cabinet of ten
     Ministers, with their departments and departmental staff of
     officials, is a modified revival of the Eight Boards adapted from
     China and established in the seventh century.... The present
     administrative system is indeed of alien provenance; but it was
     neither borrowed nor adapted a generation ago, nor borrowed nor
     adapted from Europe. It was really a system of hoary antiquity
     that was revived to cope with pressing modern exigencies.

The outcome was that the clans of Satsuma and Choshu acquired control of
the Mikado, made his exaltation the symbol of resistance to the
foreigner (with whom the Shogun had concluded unpopular treaties), and
secured the support of the country by being the champions of
nationalism. Under extraordinarily able leaders, a policy was adopted
which has been pursued consistently ever since, and has raised Japan
from being the helpless victim of Western greed to being one of the
greatest Powers in the world. Feudalisim was abolished, the Central
Government was made omnipotent, a powerful army and navy were created,
China and Russia were successively defeated, Korea was annexed and a
protectorate established over Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, industry and
commerce were developed, universal compulsory education instituted; and
worship of the Mikado firmly established by teaching in the schools and
by professorial patronage of historical myths. The artificial creation
of Mikado-worship is one of the most interesting features of modern
Japan, and a model to all other States as regards the method of
preventing the growth of rationalism. There is a very instructive little
pamphlet by Professor B.H. Chamberlain, who was Professor of Japanese
and philosophy at Tokyo, and had a knowledge of Japanese which few
Europeans had equalled. His pamphlet is called _The Invention of a New
Religion_, and is published by the Rationalist Press Association. He
points out that, until recent times, the religion of Japan was Buddhism,
to the practical exclusion of every other. There had been, in very
ancient times, a native religion called Shinto, and it had lingered on
obscurely. But it is only during the last forty years or so that Shinto
has been erected into a State religion, and has been reconstructed so as
to suit modern requirements.[48] It is, of course, preferable to
Buddhism because it is native and national; it is a tribal religion, not
one which aims at appealing to all mankind. Its whole purpose, as it has
been developed by modern statesmen, is to glorify Japan and the Mikado.

Professor Chamberlain points out how little reverence there was for the
Mikado until some time after the Restoration:--

     The sober fact is that no nation probably has ever treated its
     sovereigns more cavalierly than the Japanese have done, from the
     beginning of authentic history down to within the memory of
     living men. Emperors have been deposed, emperors have been
     assassinated; for centuries every succession to the throne was
     the signal for intrigues and sanguinary broils. Emperors have
     been exiled; some have been murdered in exile.... For long
     centuries the Government was in the hands of Mayors of the
     Palace, who substituted one infant sovereign for another,
     generally forcing each to abdicate as he approached man's estate.
     At one period, these Mayors of the Palace left the Descendant of
     the Sun in such distress that His Imperial Majesty and the
     Imperial Princes were obliged to gain a livelihood by selling
     their autographs! Nor did any great party in the State protest
     against this condition of affairs. Even in the present reign
     (that of Meiji)--the most glorious in Japanese history--there
     have been two rebellions, during one of which a rival Emperor was
     set up in one part of the country, and a Republic proclaimed in

This last sentence, though it states sober historical fact, is scarcely
credible to those who only know twentieth-century Japan. The spread of
superstition has gone _pari passu_ with the spread of education, and a
revolt against the Mikado is now unthinkable. Time and again, in the
midst of political strife, the Mikado has been induced to intervene, and
instantly the hottest combatants have submitted abjectly. Although there
is a Diet, the Mikado is an absolute ruler--as absolute as any sovereign
ever has been.

The civilization of Japan, before the Restoration, came from China.
Religion, art, writing, philosophy and ethics, everything was copied
from Chinese models. Japanese history begins in the fifth century A.D.,
whereas Chinese history goes back to about 2,000 B.C., or at any rate to
somewhere in the second millennium B.C. This was galling to Japanese
pride, so an early history was invented long ago, like the theory that
the Romans were descended from Æneas. To quote Professor Chamberlain

     The first glimmer of genuine Japanese history dates from the
     fifth century _after_ Christ, and even the accounts of what
     happened in the sixth century must be received with caution.
     Japanese scholars know this as well as we do; it is one of the
     certain results of investigation. But the Japanese bureaucracy
     does not desire to have the light let in on this inconvenient
     circumstance. While granting a dispensation _re_ the national
     mythology, properly so called, it exacts belief in every iota of
     the national historic legends. Woe to the native professor who
     strays from the path of orthodoxy. His wife and children (and in
     Japan every man, however young, has a wife and children) will
     starve. From the late Prince Ito's grossly misleading _Commentary
     on the Japanese Constitution_ down to school compendiums, the
     absurd dates are everywhere insisted upon.

This question of fictitious early history might be considered
unimportant, like the fact that, with us, parsons have to pretend to
believe the Bible, which some people think innocuous. But it is part of
the whole system, which has a political object, to which free thought
and free speech are ruthlessly sacrificed. As this same pamphlet says:--

     Shinto, a primitive nature cult, which had fallen into discredit,
     was taken out of its cupboard and dusted. The common people, it
     is true, continued to place their affections on Buddhism, the
     popular festivals were Buddhist; Buddhist also the temples where
     they buried their dead. The governing class determined to change
     all this. They insisted on the Shinto doctrine that the Mikado
     descends in direct succession from the native Goddess of the Sun,
     and that He himself is a living God on earth who justly claims
     the absolute fealty of his subjects. Such things as laws and
     constitutions are but free gifts on His part, not in any sense
     popular rights. Of course, the ministers and officials, high and
     low, who carry on His government, are to be regarded not as
     public servants, but rather as executants of supreme--one might
     say supernatural--authority. Shinto, because connected with the
     Imperial family, is to be alone honoured.

All this is not mere theorizing; it is the practical basis of Japanese
politics. The Mikado, after having been for centuries in the keeping of
the Tokugawa Shoguns, was captured by the clans of Satsuma and Choshu,
and has been in their keeping ever since. They were represented
politically by five men, the Genro or Elder Statesmen, who are sometimes
miscalled the Privy Council. Only two still survive. The Genro have no
constitutional existence; they are merely the people who have the ear of
the Mikado. They can make him say whatever they wish; therefore they are
omnipotent. It has happened repeatedly that they have had against them
the Diet and the whole force of public opinion; nevertheless they have
invariably been able to enforce their will, because they could make the
Mikado speak, and no one dare oppose the Mikado. They do not themselves
take office; they select the Prime Minister and the Ministers of War and
Marine, and allow them to bear the blame if anything goes wrong. The
Genro are the real Government of Japan, and will presumably remain so
until the Mikado is captured by some other clique.

From a patriotic point of view, the Genro have shown very great wisdom
in the conduct of affairs. There is reason to think that if Japan were
a democracy its policy would be more Chauvinistic than it is. Apologists
of Japan, such as Mr. Bland, are in the habit of telling us that there
is a Liberal anti-militarist party in Japan, which is soon going to
dominate foreign policy. I see no reason to believe this. Undoubtedly
there is a strong movement for increasing the power of the Diet and
making the Cabinet responsible to it; there is also a feeling that the
Ministers of War and Marine ought to be responsible to the Cabinet and
the Prime Minister, not only to the Mikado directly.[49] But democracy
in Japan does not mean a diminution of Chauvinism in foreign policy.
There is a small Socialist party which is genuinely anti-Chauvinist and
anti-militarist; this party, probably, will grow as Japanese
industrialism grows. But so-called Japanese Liberals are just as
Chauvinistic as the Government, and public opinion is more so. Indeed
there have been occasions when the Genro, in spite of popular fury, has
saved the nation from mistakes which it would certainly have committed
if the Government had been democratic. One of the most interesting of
these occasions was the conclusion of the Treaty of Portsmouth, after
the Sino-Japanese war, which deserves to be told as illustrative of
Japanese politics.[50]

In 1905, after the battles of Tsushima and Mukden, it became clear to
impartial observers that Russia could accomplish nothing further at sea,
and Japan could accomplish nothing further on land. The Russian
Government was anxious to continue the war, having gradually accumulated
men and stores in Manchuria, and greatly improved the working of the
Siberian railway. The Japanese Government, on the contrary, knew that it
had already achieved all the success it could hope for, and that it
would be extremely difficult to raise the loans required for a
prolongation of the war. Under these circumstances, Japan appealed
secretly to President Roosevelt requesting his good offices for the
restoration of peace. President Roosevelt therefore issued invitations
to both belligerents to a peace conference. The Russian Government,
faced by a strong peace party and incipient revolution, dared not refuse
the invitation, especially in view of the fact that the sympathies of
neutrals were on the whole with Japan. Japan, being anxious for peace,
led Russia to suppose that Japan's demands would be so excessive as to
alienate the sympathy of the world and afford a complete answer to the
peace party in Russia. In particular, the Japanese gave out that they
would absolutely insist upon an indemnity. The Government had in fact
resolved, from the first, not to insist on an indemnity, but this was
known to very few people in Japan, and to no one outside Japan. The
Russians, believing that the Japanese would not give way about the
indemnity, showed themselves generous as regards all other Japanese
demands. To their horror and consternation, when they had already packed
up and were just ready to break up the conference, the Japanese
announced (as they had from the first intended to do) that they accepted
the Russian concessions and would waive the claim to an indemnity. Thus
the Russian Government and the Japanese people were alike furious,
because they had been tricked--the former in the belief that it could
yield everything except the indemnity without bringing peace, the latter
in the belief that the Government would never give way about the
indemnity. In Russia there was revolution; in Japan there were riots,
furious diatribes in the Press, and a change of Government--of the
nominal Government, that is to say, for the Genro continued to be the
real power throughout. In this case, there is no doubt that the decision
of the Genro to make peace was the right one from every point of view;
there is also very little doubt that a peace advantageous to Japan could
not have been made without trickery.

Foreigners unacquainted with Japan, knowing that there is a Diet in
which the Lower House is elected, imagine that Japan is at least as
democratic as pre-war Germany. This is a delusion. It is true that
Marquis Ito, who framed the Constitution, which was promulgated in 1889,
took Germany for his model, as the Japanese have always done in all
their Westernizing efforts, except as regards the Navy, in which Great
Britain has been copied. But there were many points in which the
Japanese Constitution differed from that of the German Empire. To begin
with, the Reichstag was elected by manhood suffrage, whereas in Japan
there is a property qualification which restricts the franchise to about
25 per cent of the adult males. This, however, is a small matter
compared to the fact that the Mikado's power is far less limited than
that of the Kaiser was. It is true that Japan does not differ from
pre-war Germany in the fact that Ministers are not responsible to the
Diet, but to the Emperor, and are responsible severally, not
collectively. The War Minister must be a General, the Minister of Marine
must be an Admiral; they take their orders, not from the Prime Minister,
but from the military and naval authorities respectively, who, of
course, are under the control of the Mikado. But in Germany the
Reichstag had the power of the purse, whereas in Japan, if the Diet
refuses to pass the Budget, the Budget of the previous year can be
applied, and when the Diet is not sitting, laws can be enacted
temporarily by Imperial decree--a provision which had no analogue in the
German Constitution.

The Constitution having been granted by the Emperor of his free grace,
it is considered impious to criticize it or to suggest any change in it,
since this would imply that His Majesty's work was not wholly perfect.
To understand the Constitution, it is necessary to read it in
conjunction with the authoritative commentary of Marquis Ito, which was
issued at the same time. Mr. Coleman very correctly summarizes the
Constitution as follows[51]:--

     Article I of the Japanese Constitution provides that "The Empire
     of Japan shall be reigned over and governed by a line of Emperors
     unbroken for ages eternal."

     "By reigned over and governed," wrote Marquis Ito in his
     _Commentaries on the Constitution of Japan_, "it is meant that
     the Emperor on His Throne combines in Himself the Sovereignty of
     the State and the Government of the country and of His subjects."

     Article 3 of the Constitution states that "the Emperor is sacred
     and inviolate." Marquis Ito's comment in explanation of this is
     peculiarly Japanese. He says, "The Sacred Throne was established
     at the time when the heavens and earth became separated. The
     Empire is Heaven-descended, divine and sacred; He is pre-eminent
     above all His subjects. He must be reverenced and is inviolable.
     He has, indeed, to pay due respect to the law, but the law has no
     power to hold Him accountable to it. Not only shall there be no
     irreverence for the Emperor's person, but also shall He neither
     be made a topic of derogatory comment nor one of discussion."

     Through the Constitution of Japan the Japanese Emperor exercises
     the legislative power, the executive power, and the judiciary
     power. The Emperor convokes the Imperial Diet, opens, closes,
     prorogues, and dissolves it. When the Imperial Diet is not
     sitting, Imperial ordinances may be issued in place of laws. The
     Emperor has supreme control of the Army and Navy, declares war,
     makes peace, and concludes treaties; orders amnesty, pardon and
     commutation of punishments.

     As to the Ministers of State, the Constitution of Japan, Article
     55, says: "The respective Ministers of State shall give their
     advice to the Emperor and be responsible for it."

     Ito's commentary on this article indicates his intention in
     framing it. "When a Minister of State errs in the discharge of
     his functions, the power of deciding upon his responsibilities
     belongs to the Sovereign of the State: he alone can dismiss a
     Minister who has appointed him. Who then is it, except the
     Sovereign, that can appoint, dismiss, and punish a Minister of
     State? The appointment and dismissal of them having been included
     by the Constitution in the sovereign power of the Emperor, it is
     only a legitimate consequence that the power of deciding as to
     the responsibility of Ministers is withheld from the Diet. But
     the Diet may put questions to the Ministers and demand open
     answers from them before the public, and it may also present
     addresses to the Sovereign setting forth its opinions.

     "The Minister President of State is to make representations to
     the Emperor on matters of State, and to indicate, according to
     His pleasure, the general course of the policy of the State,
     every branch of the administration being under control of the
     said Minister. The compass of his duties is large, and his
     responsibilities cannot but be proportionately great. As to the
     other Ministers of State, they are severally held responsible for
     the matters within their respective competency; there is no joint
     responsibility among them in regard to such matters. For, the
     Minister President and the other Ministers of State, being alike
     personally appointed by the Emperor, the proceedings of each one
     of them are, in every respect, controlled by the will of the
     Emperor, and the Minister President himself has no power of
     control over the posts occupied by other Ministers, while the
     latter ought not to be dependent upon the former. In some
     countries, the Cabinet is regarded as constituting a corporate
     body, and the Ministers are not held to take part in the conduct
     of the Government each one in an individual capacity, but joint
     responsibility is the rule. The evil of such a system is that the
     power of party combination will ultimately overrule the supreme
     power of the Sovereign. Such a state of things can never be
     approved of according to our Constitution."

In spite of the small powers of the Diet, it succeeded, in the first
four years of its existence (1890-94), in causing some annoyance to the
Government. Until 1894, the policy of Japan was largely controlled by
Marquis Ito, who was opposed to militarism and Chauvinism. The statesmen
of the first half of the Meiji era were concerned mainly with
introducing modern education and modern social organization; they wished
to preserve Japanese independence _vis-à-vis_ the Western Powers, but
did not aim, for the time being, at imperialist expansion on their own
account. Ito represented this older school of Restoration statesmen.
Their ideas of statecraft were in the main derived from the Germany of
the 'eighties, which was kept by Bismarck from undue adventurousness.
But when the Diet proved difficult to manage, they reverted to an
earlier phase of Bismarck's career for an example to imitate. The
Prussian Landtag (incredible as it may seem) was vigorously obstreperous
at the time when Bismarck first rose to power, but he tamed it by
glutting the nation with military glory in the wars against Austria and
France. Similarly, in 1894, the Japanese Government embarked on war
against China, and instantly secured the enthusiastic support of the
hitherto rebellious Diet. From that day to this, the Japanese Government
has never been vigorously opposed except for its good deeds (such as the
Treaty of Portsmouth); and it has atoned for these by abundant
international crimes, which the nation has always applauded to the echo.
Marquis Ito was responsible for the outbreak of war in 1894. He was
afterwards again opposed to the new policy of predatory war, but was
powerless to prevent it.[52] His opposition, however, was tiresome,
until at last he was murdered in Korea.

Since the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in 1894, Japan has pursued a
consistent career of imperialism, with quite extraordinary success. The
nature and fruits of that career I shall consider in the next two
chapters. For the time being, it has arrested whatever tendency existed
towards the development of democracy; the Diet is quite as unimportant
as the English Parliament was in the time of the Tudors. Whether the
present system will continue for a long time, it is impossible to guess.
An unsuccessful foreign war would probably destroy not only the existing
system, but the whole unity and _morale_ of the nation; I do not believe
that Japan would be as firm in defeat as Germany has proved to be.
Diplomatic failure, without war, would probably produce a more Liberal
regime, without revolution. There is, however, one very explosive
element in Japan, and that is industrialism. It is impossible for Japan
to be a Great Power without developing her industry, and in fact
everything possible is done to increase Japanese manufactures. Moreover,
industry is required to absorb the growing population, which cannot
emigrate to English-speaking regions, and will not emigrate to the
mainland of Asia because Chinese competition is too severe. Therefore
the only way to support a larger population is to absorb it into
industrialism, manufacturing goods for export as a means of purchasing
food abroad. Industrialism in Japan requires control of China, because
Japan contains hardly any of the raw materials of industry, and cannot
obtain them sufficiently cheaply or securely in open competition with
America and Europe. Also dependence upon imported food requires a strong
navy. Thus the motives for imperialism and navalism in Japan are very
similar to those that have prevailed in England. But this policy
requires high taxation, while successful competition in neutral markets
requires--or rather, is thought to require--starvation wages and long
hours for operatives. In the cotton industry of Osoka, for example, most
of the work is done by girls under fourteen, who work eleven hours a day
and got, in 1916, an average daily wage of 5d.[53] Labour organization
is in its infancy, and so is Socialism;[54] but both are certain to
spread if the number of industrial workers increases without a very
marked improvement in hours and wages. Of course the very rigidity of
the Japanese policy, which has given it its strength, makes it incapable
of adjusting itself to Socialism and Trade Unionism, which are
vigorously persecuted by the Government. And on the other hand Socialism
and Trade Unionism cannot accept Mikado-worship and the whole farrago of
myth upon which the Japanese State depends.[55] There is therefore a
likelihood, some twenty or thirty years hence--assuming a peaceful and
prosperous development in the meantime--of a very bitter class conflict
between the proletarians on the one side and the employers and
bureaucrats on the other. If this should happen to synchronize with
agrarian discontent, it would be impossible to foretell the issue.

The problems facing Japan are therefore very difficult. To provide for
the growing population it is necessary to develop industry; to develop
industry it is necessary to control Chinese raw materials; to control
Chinese raw materials it is necessary to go against the economic
interests of America and Europe; to do this successfully requires a
large army and navy, which in turn involve great poverty for
wage-earners. And expanding industry with poverty for wage-earners
means growing discontent, increase of Socialism, dissolution of filial
piety and Mikado-worship in the poorer classes, and therefore a
continually greater and greater menace to the whole foundation on which
the fabric of the State is built. From without, Japan is threatened with
the risk of war against America or of a revival of China. From within,
there will be, before long, the risk of proletarian revolution.

From all these dangers, there is only one escape, and that is a
diminution of the birth-rate. But such an idea is not merely abhorrent
to the militarists as diminishing the supply of cannon-fodder; it is
fundamentally opposed to Japanese religion and morality, of which
patriotism and filial piety are the basis. Therefore if Japan is to
emerge successfully, a much more intense Westernizing must take place,
involving not only mechanical processes and knowledge of bare facts, but
ideals and religion and general outlook on life. There must be free
thought, scepticism, diminution in the intensity of herd-instinct.
Without these, the population question cannot be solved; and if that
remains unsolved, disaster is sooner or later inevitable.


[Footnote 46: McLaren, op. cit. p. 19.]

[Footnote 47: Kegan Paul, 1910, vol. i. p. 20.]

[Footnote 48: "What _popular_ Shinto, as expounded by its village
priests in the old time, was we simply do not know. Our carefully
selected and edited official edition of Shinto is certainly not true
aboriginal Shinto as practised in Yamato before the introduction of
Buddhism and Chinese culture, and many plausible arguments which
disregard that indubitable fact lose much of their weight." (Murdoch, I,
p. 173 n.)]

[Footnote 49: The strength of this movement may, however, be doubted.
Murdoch (op. cit. i, p. 162) says: "At present, 1910, the War Office and
Admiralty are, of all Ministries, by far the strongest in the Empire.
When a party Government does by any strange hap make its appearance on
tho political stage, the Ministers of War and of Marine can afford to
regard its advent with the utmost insouciance. For tho most extreme of
party politicians readily and unhesitatingly admit that the affairs of
the Army and Navy do not fall within the sphere of party politics, but
are the exclusive concern of the Commander-in-Chief, his Imperial
Majesty the Emperor of Japan. On none in the public service of Japan are
titles of nobility, high rank, and still more substantial emoluments
showered with a more liberal hand than upon the great captains and the
great sailors of the Empire. In China, on the other hand, the military
man is, if not a pariah, at all events an exceptional barbarian, whom
policy makes it advisable to treat with a certain amount of gracious,
albeit semi-contemptuous, condescension."]

[Footnote 50: The following account is taken from McLaren, op. cit.
chaps, xii. and xiii.]

[Footnote 51: _The Far East Unveiled_, pp. 252-58.]

[Footnote 52: See McLaren, op. cit. pp. 227, 228, 289.]

[Footnote 53: Coleman, op. cit. chap. xxxv.]

[Footnote 54: See an invaluable pamphlet, "The Socialist and Labour
Movements in Japan," published by the _Japan Chronicle_, 1921, for an
account of what is happening in this direction.]

[Footnote 55: _The Times_ of February 7, 1922, contains a telegram from
its correspondent in Tokyo, _à propos_ of the funeral of Prince
Yamagata, Chief of the Genro, to the following effect:--

"To-day a voice was heard in the Diet in opposition to the grant of
expenses for the State funeral of Prince Yamagata. The resolution, which
was introduced by the member for Osaka constituency, who is regarded as
the spokesman of the so-called Parliamentary Labour Party founded last
year, states that the Chief of the Genro (Elder Statesmen) did not
render true service to the State, and, although the recipient of the
highest dignities, was an enemy of mankind and suppressor of democratic
institutions. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, but the fact that
the introducer could obtain the necessary support to table the
resolution formally was not the least interesting feature of the



Before going into the detail of Japan's policy towards China, it is
necessary to put the reader on his guard against the habit of thinking
of the "Yellow Races," as though China and Japan formed some kind of
unity. There are, of course, reasons which, at first sight, would lead
one to suppose that China and Japan could be taken in one group in
comparison with the races of Europe and of Africa. To begin with, the
Chinese and Japanese are both yellow, which points to ethnic affinities;
but the political and cultural importance of ethnic affinities is very
small. The Japanese assert that the hairy Ainus, who are low in the
scale of barbarians, are a white race akin to ourselves. I never saw a
hairy Ainu, and I suspect the Japanese of malice in urging us to admit
the Ainus as poor relations; but even if they really are of Aryan
descent, that does not prove that they have anything of the slightest
importance in common with us as compared to what the Japanese and
Chinese have in common with us. Similarity of culture is infinitely more
important than a common racial origin.

It is true that Japanese culture, until the Restoration, was derived
from China. To this day, Japanese script is practically the same as
Chinese, and Buddhism, which is still the religion of the people, is of
the sort derived originally from China. Loyalty and filial piety, which
are the foundations of Japanese ethics, are Confucian virtues, imported
along with the rest of ancient Chinese culture. But even before the
irruption of European influences, China and Japan had had such different
histories and national temperaments that doctrines originally similar
had developed in opposite directions. China has been, since the time of
the First Emperor (_c._ 200 B.C.), a vast unified bureaucratic land
empire, having much contact with foreign nations--Annamese, Burmese,
Mongols, Tibetans and even Indians. Japan, on the other hand, was an
island kingdom, having practically no foreign contact except with Korea
and occasionally with China, divided into clans which were constantly at
war with each other, developing the virtues and vices of feudal
chivalry, but totally unconcerned with economic or administrative
problems on a large scale. It was not difficult to adapt the doctrines
of Confucius to such a country, because in the time of Confucius China
was still feudal and still divided into a number of petty kingdoms, in
one of which the sage himself was a courtier, like Goethe at Weimar. But
naturally his doctrines underwent a different development from that
which befel them in their own country.

In old Japan, for instance, loyalty to the clan chieftain is the virtue
one finds most praised; it is this same virtue, with its scope enlarged,
which has now become patriotism. Loyalty is a virtue naturally praised
where conflicts between roughly equal forces are frequent, as they were
in feudal Japan, and are in the modern international world. In China, on
the contrary, power seemed so secure, the Empire was so vast and
immemorial, that the need for loyalty was not felt. Security bred a
different set of virtues, such as courtesy, considerateness, and
compromise. Now that security is gone, and the Chinese find themselves
plunged into a world of warring bandits, they have difficulty in
developing the patriotism, ruthlessness, and unscrupulousness which the
situation demands. The Japanese have no such difficulty, having been
schooled for just such requirements by their centuries of feudal
anarchy. Accordingly we find that Western influence has only accentuated
the previous differences between China and Japan: modern Chinese like
our thought but dislike our mechanism, while modern Japanese like our
mechanism but dislike our thought.

From some points of view, Asia, including Russia, may be regarded as a
unity; but from this unity Japan must be excluded. Russia, China, and
India contain vast plains given over to peasant agriculture; they are
easily swayed by military empires such as that of Jenghis Khan; with
modern railways, they could be dominated from a centre more securely
than in former times. They could be self-subsistent economically, and
invulnerable to outside attack, independent of commerce, and so strong
as to be indifferent to progress. All this may come about some day, if
Russia happens to develop a great conqueror supported by German
organizing ability. But Japan stands outside this order of
possibilities. Japan, like Great Britain, must depend upon commerce for
power and prosperity. As yet, Japan has not developed the Liberal
mentality appropriate to a commercial nation, and is still bent upon
Asiatic conquest and military prowess. This policy brings with it
conflicts with China and Russia, which the present weakness of those
Powers has enabled Japan, hitherto, to conduct successfully. But both
are likely to recover their strength sooner or later, and then the
essential weakness of present Japanese policy will become apparent.

It results naturally from the situation that the Japanese have two
somewhat incompatible ambitions. On the one hand, they wish to pose as
the champions of Asia against the oppression of the white man; on the
other hand, they wish to be admitted to equality by the white Powers,
and to join in the feast obtained by exploiting the nations that are
inefficient in homicide. The former policy should make them friendly to
China and India and hostile to the white races; the latter policy has
inspired the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and its fruits in the annexation of
Korea and the virtual annexation of Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. As a
member of the League of Nations, of the Big Five at Versailles, and of
the Big Three at Washington, Japan appears as one of the ordinary Great
Powers; but at other moments Japan aims at establishing a hegemony in
Asia by standing for the emancipation from white tyranny of those who
happen to be yellow or brown, but not black. Count Okuma, speaking in
the Kobe Chamber of Commerce, said: "There are three hundred million
natives in India looking to us to rescue them from the thraldom of Great
Britain."[56] While in the Far East, I inquired of innumerable
Englishmen what advantage our Government could suppose that we derived
from the Japanese Alliance. The only answer that seemed to me to supply
an intelligible motive was that the Alliance somewhat mitigates the
intensity of Japanese anti-British propaganda in India. However that may
be, there can be no doubt that the Japanese would like to pose before
the Indians as their champions against white tyranny. Mr. Pooley[57]
quotes Dr. Ichimura of the Imperial University of Kyoto as giving the
following list of white men's sins:--

     (1) White men consider that they alone are human beings, and that
     all coloured races belong to a lower order of civilization.

     (2) They are extremely selfish, insisting on their own interests,
     but ignoring the interests of all whom they regard as inferiors.

     (3) They are full of racial pride and conceit. If any concession
     is made to them they demand and take more.

     (4) They are extreme in everything, exceeding the coloured races
     in greatness and wickedness.

     (5) They worship money, and believing that money is the basis of
     everything, will adopt any measures to gain it.

This enumeration of our vices appears to me wholly just. One might have
supposed that a nation which saw us in this light would endeavour to be
unlike us. That, however, is not the moral which the Japanese draw. They
argue, on the contrary, that it is necessary to imitate us as closely as
possible. We shall find that, in the long catalogue of crimes committed
by Europeans towards China, there is hardly one which has not been
equalled by the Japanese. It never occurs to a Japanese, even in his
wildest dreams, to think of a Chinaman as an equal. And although he
wants the white man to regard himself as an equal, he himself regards
Japan as immeasurably superior to any white country. His real desire is
to be above the whites, not merely equal with them. Count Okuma put the
matter very simply in an address given in 1913:--

     The white races regard the world as their property and all other
     races are greatly their inferiors. They presume to think that the
     rôle of the whites in the universe is to govern the world as they
     please. The Japanese were a people who suffered by this policy,
     and wrongfully, for the Japanese were not inferior to the white
     races, but fully their equals. The whites were defying destiny,
     and woe to them.[58]

It would be easy to quote statements by eminent men to the effect that
Japan is the greatest of all nations. But the same could be said of the
eminent men of all other nations down to Ecuador. It is the acts of the
Japanese rather than their rhetoric that must concern us.

The Sino-Japanese war of 1894-5 concerned Korea, with whose internal
affairs China and Japan had mutually agreed not to interfere without
first consulting each other. The Japanese claimed that China had
infringed this agreement. Neither side was in the right; it was a war
caused by a conflict of rival imperialisms. The Chinese were easily and
decisively defeated, and from that day to this have not ventured to
oppose any foreign Power by force of arms, except unofficially in the
Boxer rebellion. The Japanese were, however, prevented from reaping the
fruits of their victory by the intervention of Russia, Germany and
France, England holding aloof. The Russians coveted Korea for
themselves, the French came in as their allies, and the Germans
presumably joined them because of William II's dread of the Yellow
Peril. However that may be, this intervention made the Russo-Japanese
war inevitable. It would not have mattered much to Japan if the Chinese
had established themselves in Korea, but the Russians would have
constituted a serious menace. The Russians did not befriend China for
nothing; they acquired a lease of Port Arthur and Dalny (now called
Dairen), with railway and mining rights in Manchuria. They built the
Chinese Eastern Railway, running right through Manchuria, connecting
Port Arthur and Peking with the Siberian Railway and Europe. Having
accomplished all this, they set to work to penetrate Korea. The
Russo-Japanese war would presumably not have taken place but for the
Anglo-Japanese Alliance, concluded in 1902. In British policy, this
Alliance has always had a somewhat minor place, while it has been the
corner-stone of Japanese foreign policy, except during the Great War,
when the Japanese thought that Germany would win. The Alliance provided
that, in the event of either Power being attacked by two Powers at once,
the other should come to its assistance. It was, of course, originally
inspired by fear of Russia, and was framed with a view to preventing the
Russian Government, in the event of war with Japan or England, from
calling upon the help of France. In 1902 we were hostile to France and
Russia, and Japan remained hostile to Russia until after the Treaty of
Portsmouth had been supplemented by the Convention of 1907. The Alliance
served its purpose admirably for both parties during the Russo-Japanese
war. It kept France from joining Russia, and thereby enabled Japan to
acquire command of the sea. It enabled Japan to weaken Russia, thus
curbing Russian ambitions, and making it possible for us to conclude an
Entente with Russia in 1907. Without this Entente, the Entente concluded
with France in 1904 would have been useless, and the alliance which
defeated Germany could not have been created.

Without the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Japan could not have fought Russia
alone, but would have had to fight France also. This was beyond her
strength at that time. Thus the decisive step in Japan's rise to
greatness was due to our support.

The war ended with a qualified victory for Japan. Russia renounced all
interference in Korea, surrendered Port Arthur and Dalny (since called
Dairen) to the Japanese, and also the railway as far north as Changchun.
This part of the railway, with a few branch lines, has since then been
called the South Manchurian Railway. From Dairen to Changchun is 437
miles; Changchun is 150 miles south of Harbin. The Japanese use Dairen
as the commercial port for Manchuria, reserving Port Arthur for purely
naval purposes. In regard to Korea, Japan has conformed strictly to
Western models. During the Russo-Japanese war, the Japanese made a
treaty guaranteeing the independence and integrity of Korea; in 1910
they annexed Korea; since then they have suppressed Korean nationalists
with every imaginable severity. All this establishes their claim to be
fully the equals of the white men.

The Japanese not merely hold the South Manchurian Railway, but have a
monopoly of railway construction in South Manchuria. As this was
practically the beginning of Japan's control of large regions in China
by means of railways monopolies, it will be worth while to quote Mr.
Pooley's account of the Fa-ku-Men Railway incident,[59] which shows how
the South Manchurian monopoly was acquired:--

"In November 1907 the Chinese Government signed a contract with Messrs
Pauling and Co. for an extension of the Imperial Chinese railways
northwards from Hsin-min-Tung to Fa-ku-Men, the necessary capital for
the work being found by the British and Chinese Corporation. Japan
protested against the contract, firstly, on an alleged secret protocol
annexed to the treaty of Peking, which was alleged to have said that
'the Chinese Government shall not construct any main line in the
neighbourhood of or parallel to the South Manchurian Railway, nor any
branch line which should be prejudicial to the interests of that
railway'; and, secondly, on the Convention of 1902, between China and
Russia, that no railway should be built from Hsin-min-Tung without
Russian consent. As by the Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan succeeded to the
Russian rights, the projected line could not be built without her
consent. Her diplomatic communications were exceedingly offensive in
tone, and concluded with a notification that, if she was wrong, it was
obviously only Russia who could rightfully take her to task!

"The Chinese Government based its action in granting the contract on the
clause of the 1898 contract for the construction of the Chung-hon-so to
Hsin-min-Tung line, under which China specifically reserved the right to
build the Fa-ku-Men line with the aid of the same contractors. Further,
although by the Russo-British Note of 1898 British subjects were
specificially excluded from participation in railway construction north
of the Great Wall, by the Additional Note attached to the Russo-British
Note the engagements between the Chinese Government and the British and
Chinese Corporation were specifically reserved from the purview of the

"Even if Japan, as the heir of Russia's assets and liabilities in
Manchuria, had been justified in her protest by the Convention of 1902
and by the Russo-British Note of 1899, she had not fulfilled her part of
the bargain, namely, the Russian undertaking in the Note to abstain from
seeking concession, rights and privileges in the valley of the Yangtze.
Her reliance on the secret treaty carried weight with Great Britain, but
with no one else, as may be gauged from the records of the State
Department at Washington. A later claim advanced by Japan that her
action was justified by Article VI of the Treaty of Portsmouth, which
assigned to Japan all Russian rights in the Chinese Eastern Railway
(South Manchurian Railway) 'with all rights and properties appertaining
thereto,' was effectively answered by China's citation of Articles III
and IV of the same Treaty. Under the first of these articles it is
declared that 'Russia has no territorial advantages or preferential or
exclusive concessions in Manchuria in impairment of Chinese sovereignty
or inconsistent with the principle of equal opportunity'; whilst the
second is a reciprocal engagement by Russia and Japan 'not to obstruct
any general measures common to all countries which China may take for
the development of the commerce and industry of Manchuria.'

"It would be interesting to know whether a refusal to allow China to
build a railway on her own territory is or is not an impairment of
Chinese sovereignty and whether such a railway as that proposed was not
a measure for the 'development of the commerce and industry of

"It is doubtful if even the Russo-Japanese war created as much feeling
in China as did the Fa-ku-men incident. Japan's action was of such
flagrant dishonesty and such a cynical repudiation of her promises and
pledges that her credit received a blow from which it has never since
recovered. The abject failure of the British Government to support its
subjects' treaty rights was almost as much an eye-opener to the world as
the protest from Tokio....

"The methods which had proved so successful in stopping the Fa-ku-men
railway were equally successful in forcing the abandonment of other
projected railways. Among these were the Chin-chou-Aigun line and the
important Antung-Mukden line.[60] The same alleged secret protocol was
used equally brutally and successfully for the acquisition of the
Newchwang line, and participation in 1909, and eventual acquisition in
1914, of the Chan-Chun-Kirin lines. Subsequently by an agreement with
Russia the sixth article of the Russo-Chinese Agreement of 1896 was
construed to mean 'the absolute and exclusive rights of administration
within the railway zone.'"

Japan's spheres of influence have been subsequently extended to cover
the whole of Manchuria and the whole of Shantung--though the latter has
been nominally renounced at Washington. By such methods as the above, or
by loans to impecunious Chinese authorities, the Japanese have acquired
vast railway monopolies wherever their influence has penetrated, and
have used the railways as a means of acquiring all real power in the
provinces through which they run.

After the Russo-Japanese war, Russia and Japan became firm friends, and
agreed to bring pressure on China jointly in any matter affecting
Manchuria. Their friendship lasted until the Bolshevik revolution.
Russia had entered into extensive obligations to support Japan's claims
at the Peace Conference, which of course the Bolsheviks repudiated.
Hence the implacable hostility of Japan to Soviet Russia, leading to the
support of innumerable White filibusters in the territory of the Far
Eastern Republic, and to friendship with France in all international
questions. As soon as there began to be in China a revolutionary party
aiming at the overthrow of the Manchus, the Japanese supported it. They
have continuously supported either or both sides in Chinese dissensions,
as they judged most useful for prolonging civil war and weakening China
politically. Before the revolution of 1911, Sun Yat Sen was several
times in Japan, and there is evidence that as early as 1900 he was
obtaining financial support from some Japanese.[61] When the revolution
actually broke out, Japan endeavoured to support the Manchus, but was
prevented from doing so effectively by the other Legations. It seems
that the policy of Japan at that time, as later, was to prevent the
union of North and South, and to confine the revolution to the South.
Moreover, reverence for monarchy made Japan unwilling to see the Emperor
of China dispossessed and his whole country turned into a Republic,
though it would have been agreeable to see him weakened by the loss of
some southern provinces. Mr. Pooley gives a good account of the actions
of Japan during the Chinese Revolution, of which the following quotation
gives the gist[62]:--

     It [the Genro] commenced with a statement from Prince Katsura on
     December 18th [1911], that the time for intervention had arrived,
     with the usual rider "for the sake of the peace of the Far East."
     This was followed by a private instruction to M. Ijuin, Japanese
     Minister in Peking, whereunder the latter on December 23rd
     categorically informed Yuan-shi-kai that under no circumstances
     would Japan recognize a republican form of government in
     China.... In connection with the peace conference held at
     Shanghai, Mr. Matsui (now Japanese Ambassador to France), a
     trusted Councillor of the Foreign Office, was dispatched to
     Peking to back M. Ijuin in the negotiations to uphold the
     dynasty. Simultaneously, Mr. Denison, Legal Adviser to the
     Japanese Foreign Office, was sent to Shanghai to negotiate with
     the rebel leaders. Mr. Matsui's mission was to bargain for
     Japanese support of the Manchus against the rebels, Manchuria
     against the throne; Mr. Denison's mission was to bargain for
     Japanese support of the rebels against the throne, recognition by
     Peking of the Southern Republic against virtually a Japanese
     protectorate of that Republic and exclusive railway and mining
     concessions within its borders. The rebels absolutely refused Mr.
     Denison's offer, and sent the proposed terms to the Russian
     Minister at Peking, through whom they eventually saw the light of
     day. Needless to say the Japanese authorities strenuously denied
     their authenticity.

The British Legation, however, supported Yuan Shi-k'ai, against both the
Manchus and Sun Yat Sen; and it was the British policy which won the
day. Yuan Shi-k'ai became President, and remained so until 1915. He was
strongly anti-Japanese, and had, on that ground, been opposed as
strongly as Japan dared. His success was therefore a blow to the
influence of Japan in China. If the Western Powers had remained free to
make themselves felt in the Far East, the course of events would
doubtless have been much less favourable to the Japanese; but the war
came, and the Japanese saw their chance. How they used it must be told
in a separate chapter.


[Footnote 56: Quoted by A.M. Pooley, _Japan's Foreign Policy_, Allen &
Unwin, 1920, p. 18.]

[Footnote 57: Op. cit. p. 16 n.]

[Footnote 58: Pooley, op. cit. p. 17.]

[Footnote 59: A.M. Pooley, _Japan's Foreign Policies_, pp. 48-51.]

[Footnote 60: This line was subsequently built by the Japanese.]

[Footnote 61: Pooley, op. cit., pp. 67-8.]

[Footnote 62: Page 66.]



The most urgent problem in China's relations with foreign powers is
Japanese aggression. Originally Japan was less powerful than China, but
after 1868 the Japanese rapidly learnt from us whatever we had to teach
in the way of skilful homicide, and in 1894 they resolved to test their
new armaments upon China, just as Bismarck tested his on Denmark. The
Chinese Government preserved its traditional haughtiness, and appears to
have been quite unaware of the defeat in store for it. The question at
issue was Korea, over which both Powers claimed suzerainty. At that time
there would have been no reason for an impartial neutral to take one
side rather than the other. The Japanese were quickly and completely
victorious, but were obliged to fight Russia before obtaining secure
possession of Korea. The war with Russia (1904-5) was fought chiefly in
Manchuria, which the Russians had gained as a reward for befriending
China. Port Arthur and Southern Manchuria up to Mukden were acquired by
the Japanese as a result of the Russo-Japanese war; the rest of
Manchuria came under Japanese control as a result of Russia's collapse
after the Great War.

The nominal sovereignty in Manchuria is still Chinese; the Chinese have
the civil administration, an army, and the appointment of the Viceroy.
But the Japanese also have troops in Manchuria; they have the railways,
the industrial enterprises, and the complete economic and military
control. The Chinese Viceroy could not remain in power a week if he were
displeasing to the Japanese, which, however, he takes care not to be.
(See Note A.) The same situation was being brought about in Shantung.

Shantung brings us to what Japan did in the Great War. In 1914, China
could easily have been induced to join the Allies and to set to work to
turn the Germans out of Kiao-Chow, but this did not suit the Japanese,
who undertook the work themselves and insisted upon the Chinese
remaining neutral (until 1917). Having captured Tsing-tau, they
presented to the Chinese the famous Twenty-One Demands, which gave the
Chinese Question its modern form. These demands, as originally presented
in January 1915, consisted of five groups. The first dealt with
Shantung, demanding that China should agree in advance to whatever terms
Japan might ultimately make with Germany as regarded this Chinese
province, that the Japanese should have the right to construct certain
specified railways, and that certain ports (unspecified) should be
opened to trade; also that no privileges in Shantung should be granted
to any Power other than Japan. The second group concerns South Manchuria
and Eastern Inner Mongolia, and demands what is in effect a
protectorate, with control of railways, complete economic freedom for
Japanese enterprise, and exclusion of all other foreign industrial
enterprise. The third group gives Japan a monopoly of the mines and iron
and steel works in a certain region of the Yangtze,[63] where we claim
a sphere of influence. The fourth group consists of a single demand,
that China shall not cede any harbour, bay or island to any Power except
Japan. The fifth group, which was the most serious, demanded that
Japanese political, financial, and military advisers should be employed
by the Chinese Government; that the police in important places should be
administered by Chinese and Japanese jointly, and should be largely
Japanese in _personnel_; that China should purchase from Japan at least
50 per cent. of her munitions, or obtain them from a Sino-Japanese
arsenal to be established in China, controlled by Japanese experts and
employing Japanese material; that Japan should have the right to
construct certain railways in and near the Yangtze valley; that Japan
should have industrial priority in Fukien (opposite Formosa); and
finally that the Japanese should have the right of missionary propaganda
in China, to spread the knowledge of their admirable ethics.

These demands involved, as is obvious, a complete loss of Chinese
independence, the closing of important areas to the commerce and
industry of Europe and America, and a special attack upon the British
position in the Yangtze. We, however, were so busy with the war that we
had no time to think of keeping ourselves alive. Although the demands
constituted a grave menace to our trade, although the Far East was in an
uproar about them, although America took drastic diplomatic action
against them, Mr. Lloyd George never heard of them until they were
explained to him by the Chinese Delegation at Versailles.[64] He had no
time to find out what Japan wanted, but had time to conclude a secret
agreement with Japan in February 1917, promising that whatever Japan
wanted in Shantung we would support at the Peace Conference.[65] By the
terms of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Japan was bound to communicate the
Twenty-one Demands to the British Government. In fact, Japan
communicated the first four groups, but not the fifth and worst, thus
definitely breaking the treaty;[66] but this also, one must suppose, Mr.
Lloyd George only discovered by chance when he got to Versailles.

China negotiated with Japan about the Twenty-one Demands, and secured
certain modifications, but was finally compelled to yield by an
ultimatum. There was a modification as regards the Hanyehping mines on
the Yangtze, presumably to please us; and the specially obnoxious fifth
group was altered into an exchange of studiously vague Notes.[67] In
this form, the demands were accepted by China on May 9, 1915. The United
States immediately notified Japan that they could not recognize the
agreement. At that time America was still neutral, and was therefore
still able to do something to further the objects for which we were
supposed to be fighting, such as protection of the weaker nations. In
1917, however, after America had entered the war for self-determination,
it became necessary to placate Japan, and in November of that year the
Ishii-Lansing Agreement was concluded, by which "the Government of the
United States recognizes that Japan has special interests in China,
particularly for the parts to which her possessions are contiguous." The
rest of the agreement (which is long) consists of empty verbiage.[68]

I come now to the events leading up to China's entry into the war.[69]
In this matter, the lead was taken by America so far as severing
diplomatic relations was concerned, but passed to Japan as regards the
declaration of war. It will be remembered that, when America broke off
diplomatic relations with Germany, President Wilson called upon all
neutrals to do likewise. Dr. Paul S. Reinsch, United States Minister in
Peking, proceeded to act with vigour in accordance with this policy. He
induced China first, on February 9, 1917, to send a Note of
expostulation to Germany on the subject of the submarine campaign; then,
on March 14th, to break off diplomatic relations. The further step of
declaring war was not taken until August 14th. The intrigues connected
with these events deserve some study.

In view of the fact that the Japanese were among the Allies, the Chinese
had not any strong tendency to take sides against Germany. The English,
French and Russians had always desired the participation of China (for
reasons which I shall explain presently), and there appears to have been
some suggestion, in the early days of the war, that China should
participate in return for our recognizing Yuan Shi-k'ai as Emperor.
These suggestions, however, fell through owing to the opposition of
Japan, based partly on hostility to Yuan Shi-k'ai, partly on the fear
that China would be protected by the Allies if she became a belligerent.
When, in November 1915, the British, French and Russian Ambassadors in
Tokyo requested Japan to join in urging China to join the Allies,
Viscount Ishii said that "Japan considered developments in China as of
paramount interest to her, and she must keep a firm hand there. Japan
could not regard with equanimity the organization of an efficient
Chinese army such as would be required for her active participation in
the war, nor could Japan fail to regard with uneasiness a liberation of
the economic activities of 400,000,000 people."[70] Accordingly the
proposal lapsed. It must be understood that throughout the war the
Japanese were in a position to blackmail the Allies, because their
sympathies were with Germany, they believed Germany would win, and they
filled their newspapers with scurrilous attacks on the British, accusing
them of cowardice and military incompetence.[71]

But when America severed diplomatic relations with Germany, the
situation for China was changed. America was not bound to subservience
to Japan, as we were; America was not one of the Allies; and America had
always been China's best friend. Accordingly, the Chinese were willing
to take the advice of America, and proceeded to sever diplomatic
relations with Germany in March 1917. Dr. Reinsch was careful to make no
_promises_ to the Chinese, but of course he held out hopes. The American
Government, at that time, could honestly hold out hopes, because it was
ignorant of the secret treaties and agreements by which the Allies were
bound. The Allies, however, can offer no such excuse for having urged
China to take the further step of declaring war. Russia, France, and
Great Britain had all sold China's rights to secure the continued
support of Japan.

In May 1916, the Japanese represented to the Russians that Germany was
inviting Japan to make a separate peace. In July 1916, Russia and Japan
concluded a secret treaty, subsequently published by the Bolsheviks.
This treaty constituted a separate alliance, binding each to come to the
assistance of the other in any war, and recognizing that "the vital
interests of one and the other of them require the safeguarding of China
from the political domination of any third Power whatsoever, having
hostile designs against Russia or Japan." The last article provided that
"the present agreement must remain profoundly secret except to both of
the High Contracting Parties."[72] That is to say, the treaty was not
communicated to the other Allies, or even to Great Britain, in spite of
Article 3 of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which provides that "The High
Contracting Parties agree that neither of them will, without consulting
the other, enter into a separate agreement with another Power to the
prejudice of the objects described in the preamble of this Agreement,"
one of which objects was the preservation of equal opportunity for all
Powers in China and of the independence and integrity of the Chinese

On February 16, 1917, at the very time when America was urging China to
sever diplomatic relations with Germany, we concluded an agreement with
Japan containing the following words:--

     His Britannic Majesty's Government accedes with pleasure to the
     request of the Japanese Government, for an assurance that they
     will support Japan's claims in regard to the disposal of
     Germany's rights in Shantung and possessions in the islands north
     of the equator on the occasion of the Peace Conference; it being
     understood that the Japanese Government will, in the eventual
     peace settlement, treat in the same spirit Great Britain's claims
     to the German islands south of the equator.

The French attitude about Shantung, at the same time, is indicated by
Notes which passed between France and Japan at Tokyo.[73] On February
19th, Baron Motono sent a communication to the French and Russian
Ambassadors stating, among other things, that "the Imperial Japanese
Government proposes to demand from Germany at the time of the peace
negotiations, the surrender of the territorial rights and special
interests Germany possessed before the war in Shantung and the islands
belonging to her situated north of the equator in the Pacific Ocean."
The French Ambassador, on March 2nd, replied as follows:--

     The Government of the French Republic is disposed to give the
     Japanese Government its accord in regulating at the time of the
     Peace Negotiations questions vital to Japan concerning Shantung
     and the German islands on the Pacific north of the equator. It
     also agrees to support the demands of the Imperial Japanese
     Government for the surrender of the rights Germany possessed
     before the war in this Chinese province and these islands.

     M. Briand demands on the other hand that Japan give its support
     to obtain from China the breaking of its diplomatic relations
     with Germany, and that it give this act desirable significance.
     The consequences in China should be the following:

     First, handing passports to the German diplomatic agents and

     Second, the obligation of all under German jurisdiction to leave
     Chinese territory;

     Third, the internment of German ships in Chinese ports and the
     ultimate requisition of these ships in order to place them at the
     disposition of the Allies, following the example of Italy and

     Fourth, requisition of German commercial houses, established in
     China; forfeiting the rights of Germany in the concessions she
     possesses in certain ports of China.

The Russian reply to Baron Motono's Note to the French and Russian
Ambassadors, dated March 5, 1917, was as follows:--

     In reply to the Note of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
     under the date of February 19th last, the Russian Embassy is
     charged with giving the Japanese Government the assurance that it
     can entirely count on the support of the Imperial Government of
     Russia with regard to its desiderata concerning the eventual
     surrender to Japan of the rights belonging to Germany in Shantung
     and of the German Islands, occupied by the Japanese forces, in
     the Pacific Ocean to the north of the Equator.[74]

It will be observed that, unlike England and France, Russia demands no
_quid pro quo_, doubtless owing to the secret treaty concluded in the
previous year.

After these agreements, Japan saw no further objection to China's
participation in the war. The chief inducement held out to China was the
hope of recovering Shantung; but as there was now no danger of this hope
being realized, Japan was willing that America, in more or less honest
ignorance, should unofficially use this hope for the persuasion of the
Chinese. It is true that Japan had reason to fear America until the last
days of the Peace Conference, but this fear was considerably diminished
by the conclusion of the Lansing-Ishii Agreement in November 1917.

Meanwhile Japan had discovered that the question of China's entry into
the war could be used to increase internal strife in China, which has
been one of the aims of Japanese policy ever since the beginning of the
revolutionary movement.[75] If the Chinese had not been interfered with
at this time, there was some prospect of their succeeding in
establishing a stable democratic government. Yuan was dead, and his
successor in the Presidency, Li Yuan Hung, was a genuine
constitutionalist. He reassembled the Parliament which Yuan had
dismissed, and the work of drafting a permanent constitution was
resumed. The President was opposed to severing diplomatic relations,
and, of course, still more to declaring war. The Prime Minister, Tuan
Chih-jui, a militarist, was strongly in favour of war. He and his
Cabinet persuaded a considerable majority of both Houses of the Chinese
Parliament to side with them on the question of severing diplomatic
relations, and the President, as in duty bound, gave way on this issue.

On the issue of declaring war, however, public opinion was different. It
was President Wilson's summons to the neutrals to follow him in breaking
off diplomatic relations that had given force to the earlier campaign;
but on June 5th the American Minister, acting on instructions, presented
a Note to the Chinese Government urging that the preservation of
national unity was more important than entry into the war, and
suggesting the desirability of preserving peace for the present. What
had happened in the meantime was that the war issue, which might never
have become acute but for President's Wilson's action, had been used by
the Japanese to revive the conflict between North and South, and to
instigate the Chinese militarists to unconstitutional action. Sun Yat
Sen and most of the Southern politicians were opposed to the declaration
of war; Sun's reasons were made known in an open letter to Mr. Lloyd
George on March 7th. They were thoroughly sound.[76] The Cabinet, on
May 1st, decided in favour of war, but by the Constitution a declaration
of war required the consent of Parliament. The militarists attempted to
coerce Parliament, which had a majority against war; but as this proved
impossible, they brought military force to bear on the President to
compel him to dissolve Parliament unconstitutionally. The bulk of the
Members of Parliament retired to the South, where they continued to act
as a Parliament and to regard themselves as the sole source of
constitutional government. After these various illegalities, the
military autocrats were still compelled to deal with one of their
number, who, in July, effected a five days' restoration of the Manchu
Emperor. The President resigned, and was succeeded by a person more
agreeable to the militarists, who have henceforth governed in the North,
sometimes without a Parliament, sometimes with a subservient
unconstitutional Northern Parliament. Then at last they were free to
declare war. It was thus that China entered the war for democracy and
against militarism.

Of course China helped little, if at all, towards the winning of the
war, but that was not what the Allies expected of her. The objects of
the European Allies are disclosed in the French Note quoted above. We
wished to confiscate German property in China, to expel Germans living
in China, and to prevent, as far as possible, the revival of German
trade in China after the war. The confiscation of German property was
duly carried out--not only public property, but private property also,
so that the Germans in China were suddenly reduced to beggary. Owing to
the claims on shipping, the expulsion of the Germans had to wait till
after the Armistice. They were sent home through the Tropics in
overcrowded ships, sometimes with only 24 hours' notice; no degree of
hardship was sufficient to secure exemption. The British authorities
insisted on expelling delicate pregnant women, whom they officially knew
to be very likely to die on the voyage. All this was done after the
Armistice, for the sake of British trade. The kindly Chinese often took
upon themselves to hide Germans, in hard cases, from the merciless
persecution of the Allies; otherwise, the miseries inflicted would have
been much greater.

The confiscation of private property during the war and by the Treaty of
Versailles was a new departure, showing that on this point all the
belligerents agreed with the Bolsheviks. Dr. Reid places side by side
two statements, one by President Wilson when asking Congress to agree to
the Declaration of War: "We shall, I feel confident, conduct our
operations as belligerents without passion, and ourselves observe with
proud punctilio the principles of right and fairplay we profess to be
fighting for"; the other by Senator Hitchcock, when the war was over,
after a day spent with President Wilson in learning the case for
ratification of the Versailles Treaty: "Through the Treaty, we will yet
get very much of importance.... In violation of all international law
and treaties we have made disposition of a billion dollars of
German-owned properly here. The Treaty validates all that."[77] The
European Allies secured very similar advantages from inducing China to
enter the war for righteousness.

We have seen what England and France gained by the Chinese declaration
of war. What Japan gained was somewhat different.

The Northern military faction, which controlled the Peking Government,
was completely dependent upon Japan, and could do nothing to resist
Japanese aggression. All the other Powers were fully occupied with the
war, and had sold China to Japan in return for Japanese neutrality--for
Japan can hardly be counted as a belligerent after the capture of
Tsingtau in November 1914. The Southern Government and all the liberal
elements in the North were against the clique which had seized the
Central Government. In March 1918, military and naval agreements were
concluded between China and Japan, of which the text, never officially
published, is given by Millard.[78] By these agreements the Japanese
were enabled, under pretence of military needs in Manchuria and
Mongolia, to send troops into Chinese territory, to acquire control of
the Chinese Eastern Railway and consequently of Northern Manchuria, and
generally to keep all Northern China at their mercy. In all this, the
excuse of operations against the Bolsheviks was very convenient.

After this the Japanese went ahead gaily. During the year 1918, they
placed loans in China to the extent of Yen 246,000,000,[79] _i.e.,_
about £25,000,000. China was engaged in civil war, and both sides were
as willing as the European belligerents to sell freedom for the sake of
victory. Unfortunately for Japan, the side on which Japan was fighting
in the war proved suddenly victorious, and some portion of the energies
of Europe and America became available for holding Japan in check. For
various reasons, however, the effect of this did not show itself until
after the Treaty of Versailles was concluded. During the peace
negotiations, England and France, in virtue of secret agreements, were
compelled to support Japan. President Wilson, as usual, sacrificed
everything to his League of Nations, which the Japanese would not have
joined unless they had been allowed to keep Shantung. The chapter on
this subject in Mr. Lansing's account of the negotiations is one of the
most interesting in his book.[80] By Article 156 of the Treaty of
Versailles, "Germany renounces, in favour of Japan, all her rights,
title, and privileges" in the province of Shantung.[81] Although
President Wilson had consented to this gross violation of justice,
America refused to ratify the Treaty, and was therefore free to raise
the issue of Shantung at Washington. The Chinese delegates at Versailles
resisted the clauses concerning Shantung to the last, and finally,
encouraged by a vigorous agitation of Young China,[82] refused to sign
the Treaty. They saw no reason why they should be robbed of a province
as a reward for having joined the Allies. All the other Allies agreed to
a proceeding exactly as iniquitous as it would have been if we had
annexed Virginia as a reward to the Americans for having helped us in
the war, or France had annexed Kent on a similar pretext.

Meanwhile, Young China had discovered that it could move Chinese public
opinion on the anti-Japanese cry. The Government in Peking in 1919-20
was in the hands of the pro-Japanese An Fu party, but they were forcibly
ejected, in the summer of 1920, largely owing to the influence of the
Young China agitation on the soldiers stationed in Peking. The An Fu
leaders took refuge in the Japanese Legation, and since then the Peking
Government has ventured to be less subservient to Japan, hoping always
for American support. Japan did everything possible to consolidate her
position in Shantung, but always with the knowledge that America might
re-open the question at any time. As soon as the Washington Conference
was announced, Japan began feverishly negotiating with China, with a
view to having the question settled before the opening of the
Conference. But the Chinese, very wisely, refused the illusory
concessions offered by Japan, and insisted on almost unconditional
evacuation. At Washington, both parties agreed to the joint mediation of
England and America. The pressure of American public opinion caused the
American Administration to stand firm on the question of Shantung, and I
understand that the British delegation, on the whole, concurred with
America. Some concessions were made to Japan, but they will not amount
to much if American interest in Shantung lasts for another five years.
On this subject, I shall have more to say when I come to the Washington

There is a question with which the Washington Conference determined not
to concern itself, but which nevertheless is likely to prove of great
importance in the Far East--I mean the question of Russia. It was
considered good form in diplomatic circles, until the Genoa Conference,
to pretend that there is no such country as Russia, but the Bolsheviks,
with their usual wickedness, have refused to fall in with this pretence.
Their existence constitutes an embarrassment to America, because in a
quarrel with Japan the United States would unavoidably find themselves
in unwilling alliance with Russia. The conduct of Japan towards Russia
has been quite as bad as that of any other Power. At the time of the
Czecho-Slovak revolt, the Allies jointly occupied Vladivostok, but after
a time all withdrew except the Japanese. All Siberia east of Lake
Baikal, including Vladivostok, now forms one State, the Far Eastern
Republic, with its capital at Chita. Against this Republic, which is
practically though not theoretically Bolshevik, the Japanese have
launched a whole series of miniature Kolchaks--Semenov, Horvath, Ungern,
etc. These have all been defeated, but the Japanese remain in military
occupation of Vladivostok and a great part of the Maritime Province,
though they continually affirm their earnest wish to retire.

In the early days of the Bolshevik régime the Russians lost Northern
Manchuria, which is now controlled by Japan. A board consisting partly
of Chinese and partly of reactionary Russians forms the directorate of
the Chinese Eastern Railway, which runs through Manchuria and connects
with the Siberian Railway. There is not through communication by rail
between Peking and Europe as in the days before 1914. This is an extreme
annoyance to European business men in the Far East, since it means that
letters or journeys from Peking to London take five or six weeks instead
of a fortnight. They try to persuade themselves that the fault lies with
the Bolsheviks, but they are gradually realizing that the real cause is
the reactionary control of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Meanwhile,
various Americans are interesting themselves in this railway and
endeavouring to get it internationalized. Motives similar to those which
led to the Vanderlip concession are forcing friendship with Russia upon
all Americans who have Siberian interests. If Japan were engaged in a
war with America, the Bolsheviks would in all likelihood seize the
opportunity to liberate Vladivostok and recover Russia's former position
in Manchuria. Already, according to _The Times_ correspondent in Peking,
Outer Mongolia, a country about as large as England, France and Germany
combined, has been conquered by Bolshevik armies and propaganda.

The Bolsheviks have, of course, the enthusiastic sympathy of the younger
Chinese students. If they can weather their present troubles, they have
a good chance of being accepted by all vigorous progressive people in
Asia as the liberators of Asia from the tyranny of the Great Powers. As
they were not invited to Washington, they are not a party to any of the
agreements reached there, and it may turn out that they will upset
impartially the ambitions of Japan, Great Britain and America.[83] For
America, no less than other Powers, has ambitions, though they are
economic rather than territorial. If America is victorious in the Far
East, China will be Americanized, and though the shell of political
freedom may remain, there will be an economic and cultural bondage
beneath it. Russia is not strong enough to dominate in this way, but may
become strong enough to secure some real freedom for China. This,
however, is as yet no more than a possibility. It is worth remembering,
because everybody chooses to forget it, and because, while Russia is
treated as a pariah, no settlement of the Far East can be stable. But
what part Russia is going to play in the affairs of China it is as yet
impossible to say.


[Footnote 63: On this subject George Gleason, _What Shall I Think of
Japan?_ pp. 174-5, says: "This paragraph concerns the iron and steel
mills at the city of Hanyang, which, with Wuchang and Hangkow, form the
Upper Yangtze commercial centre with a population of 1,500,000 people.
The Hanyeping Company owns a large part of the Tayeh iron mines, eighty
miles east of Hangkow, with which there are water and rail connections.
The ore is 67 per cent. iron, fills the whole of a series of hills 500
feet high, and is sufficient to turn out 1,000,000 tons a year for 700
years. [Probably an overstatement.] Coal for the furnaces is obtained
from Pinghsiang, 200 miles distant by water, where in 1913 five thousand
miners dug 690,000 tons. Japanese have estimated that the vein is
capable of producing yearly a million tons for at least five

"Thus did Japan attempt to enter and control a vital spot in the heart
of China which for many years Great Britain has regarded as her special
trade domain."

Mr. Gleason is an American, not an Englishman. The best account of this
matter is given by Mr. Coleman, _The Far East Unveiled_, chaps. x.-xiv.
See below, pp. 232-3.]

[Footnote 64: See letter from Mr. Eugene Chen, _Japan Weekly Chronicle_,
October 20, 1921.]

[Footnote 65: The Notes embodying this agreement are quoted in Pooley,
_Japan's Foreign Policies_, Allen & Unwin, 1920, pp. 141-2.]

[Footnote 66: On this subject, Baron Hayashi, now Japanese Ambassador to
the United Kingdom, said to Mr. Coleman: "When Viscount Kato sent China
a Note containing five groups, however, and then sent to England what
purported to be a copy of his Note to China, and that copy only
contained four of the groups and omitted the fifth altogether, which was
directly a breach of the agreement contained in the Anglo-Japanese
Alliance, he did something which I can no more explain than you can.
Outside of the question of probity involved, his action was unbelievably
foolish" (_The Far East Unveiled_, p. 73).]

[Footnote 67: The demands in their original and revised forms, with the
negotiations concerning them, are printed in Appendix B of _Democracy
and the Eastern Question_, by Thomas F. Millard, Allen & Unwin, 1919.]

[Footnote 68: The texts concerned in the various stages of the Shantung
question are printed in S.G. Cheng's _Modern China_, Appendix ii, iii
and ix. For text of Ishii-Lansing Agreement, see Gleason, op. cit. pp.

[Footnote 69: Three books, all by Americans, give the secret and
official history of this matter. They are: _An American Diplomat in
China_, by Paul S. Reinsch, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1922; _Democracy and
the Eastern Question_, by Thomas F. Millard, Allen & Unwin, 1919; and
_China, Captive or Free?_ by the Rev. Gilbert Reid, A.M., D.D. Director
of International Institute of China, Allen & Unwin, 1922.]

[Footnote 70: Millard, p. 99.]

[Footnote 71: See Pooley, _Japan's Foreign Policies_, pp. 23 ff;
Coleman, _The Far East Unveiled_, chap, v., and Millard, chap. iii.]

[Footnote 72: Millard, pp. 64-66.]

[Footnote 73: Reid, op. cit. pp. 114-5; Cheng, op. cit., pp. 343-6.]

[Footnote 74: See Appendix III of Cheng's _Modern China_, which contains
this note (p. 346) as well as the other "documents relative to the
negotiations between Japan and the Allied Powers as to the disposal of
the German rights in respect of Shantung Province, and the South Sea
Islands north of the Equator."]

[Footnote 75: The story of the steps leading up to China's declaration
of war is admirably told in Reid, op. cit. pp. 88-109.]

[Footnote 76: Port of the letter is quoted by Dr. Reid, p. 108.]

[Footnote 77: Reid, op. cit. p. 161. Chap. vii. of this book,
"Commercial Rivalries as affecting China," should be read by anyone who
still thinks that the Allies stood for honesty or mercy or anything
except money-grubbing.]

[Footnote 78: Appendix C, pp. 421-4.]

[Footnote 79: A list of these loans is given by Hollington K. Tong in an
article on "China's Finances in 1918" in _China in_ 1918, published
early in 1919 by the Peking leader, pp. 61-2. The list and some of the
comments appear also in Putnam Weale's _The Truth about China and

[Footnote 80: Mr. Lansing's book, in so far as it deals with Japanese
questions, is severely criticized from a Japanese point of view in Dr.
Y. Soyeda's pamphlet "Shantung Question and Japanese Case," League of
Nations Association of Japan, June 1921. I do not think Dr. Soyeda's
arguments are likely to appeal to anyone who is not Japanese.]

[Footnote 81: See the clauses concerning Shantung, in full, in Cheng's
_Modern China_, Clarendon Press, pp. 360-1.]

[Footnote 82: This agitation is well described in Mr. M.T.Z. Tyau's
_China Awakened_ (Macmillan, 1922) chap, ix., "The Student Movement."]

[Footnote 83: "Soviet Russia has addressed to the Powers a protest
against the discussion at the Washington Conference of the East China
Railway, a question exclusively affecting China and Russia, and declares
that it reserves for itself full liberty of action in order to compel
due deference to the rights of the Russian labouring masses and to make
demands consistent with those rights" (_Daily Herald_, December 22,
1921). This is the new-style imperialism. It was not the "Russian
labouring masses," but the Chinese coolies, who built the railway. What
Russia contributed was capital, but one is surprised to find the
Bolsheviks considering that this confers rights upon themselves as heirs
of the capitalists.]



The Washington Conference, and the simultaneous conference, at
Washington, between the Chinese and Japanese, have somewhat modified the
Far Eastern situation. The general aspects of the new situation will be
dealt with in the next chapter; for the present it is the actual
decisions arrived at in Washington that concern us, as well as their
effect upon the Japanese position in Siberia.

In the first place, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance has apparently been
brought to an end, as a result of the conclusion of the Four Power Pact
between America, Great Britain, France and Japan. Within this general
alliance of the exploiting Powers, there is a subordinate grouping of
America and Great Britain against France and Japan, the former standing
for international capitalism, the latter for national capitalism. The
situation is not yet plain, because England and America disagree as
regards Russia, and because America is not yet prepared to take part in
the reconstruction of Europe; but in the Far East, at any rate, we seem
to have decided to seek the friendship of America rather than of Japan.
It may perhaps be hoped that this will make our Chinese policy more
liberal than it has been. We have announced the restoration of
Wei-hai-wei--a piece of generosity which would have been more impressive
but for two facts: first, that Wei-hai-wei is completely useless to us,
and secondly, that the lease had only two more years to run. By the
terms of the lease, in fact, it should have been restored as soon as
Russia lost Port Arthur, however many years it still had to run at that

One very important result of the Washington Conference is the agreement
not to fortify islands in the Pacific, with certain specified
exceptions. This agreement, if it is adhered to, will make war between
America and Japan very difficult, unless we were allied with America.
Without a naval base somewhere near Japan, America could hardly bring
naval force to bear on the Japanese Navy. It had been the intention of
the Navy Department to fortify Guam with a view to turning it into a
first-class naval base. The fact that America has been willing to forgo
this intention must be taken as evidence of a genuine desire to preserve
the peace with Japan.

Various small concessions were made to China. There is to be a revision
of the Customs Schedule to bring it to an effective five per cent. The
foreign Post Offices are to be abolished, though the Japanese have
insisted that a certain number of Japanese should be employed in the
Chinese Post Office. They had the effrontery to pretend that they
desired this for the sake of the efficiency of the postal service,
though the Chinese post is excellent and the Japanese is notoriously one
of the worst in the world. The chief use to which the Japanese have put
their postal service in China has been the importation of morphia, as
they have not allowed the Chinese Customs authorities to examine parcels
sent through their Post Office. The development of the Japanese
importation of morphia into China, as well as the growth of the poppy
in Manchuria, where they have control, has been a very sinister feature
of their penetration of China.[84]

Of course the Open Door, equality of opportunity, the independence and
integrity of China, etc. etc., were reaffirmed at Washington; but these
are mere empty phrases devoid of meaning.

From the Chinese point of view, the chief achievement at Washington was
the Shantung Treaty. Ever since the expulsion by the Germans at the end
of 1914, the Japanese had held Kiaochow Bay, which includes the port of
Tsingtau; they had stationed troops along the whole extent of the
Shantung Railway; and by the treaty following the Twenty-one Demands,
they had preferential treatment as regards all industrial undertakings
in Shantung. The railway belonged to them by right of conquest, and
through it they acquired control of the whole province. When an excuse
was needed for increasing the garrison, they supplied arms to brigands,
and claimed that their intervention was necessary to suppress the
resulting disorder. This state of affairs was legalized by the Treaty of
Versailles, to which, however, America and China were not parties. The
Washington Conference, therefore, supplied an opportunity of raising the
question afresh.

At first, however, it seemed as if the Japanese would have things all
their own way. The Chinese wished to raise the question before the
Conference, while the Japanese wished to settle it in direct negotiation
with China. This point was important, because, ever since the
Lansing-Ishii agreement, the Japanese have tried to get the Powers to
recognize, in practice if not in theory, an informal Japanese
Protectorate over China, as a first step towards which it was necessary
to establish the principle that the Japanese should not be interfered
with in their diplomatic dealings with China. The Conference agreed to
the Japanese proposal that the Shantung question should not come before
the Conference, but should be dealt with in direct negotiations between
the Japanese and Chinese. The Japanese victory on this point, however,
was not complete, because it was arranged that, in the event of a
deadlock, Mr. Hughes and Sir Arthur Balfour should mediate. A deadlock,
of course, soon occurred, and it then appeared that the British were no
longer prepared to back up the Japanese whole-heartedly, as in the old
days. The American Administration, for the sake of peace, showed some
disposition to urge the Chinese to give way. But American opinion was
roused on the Shantung question, and it appeared that, unless a solution
more or less satisfactory to China was reached, the Senate would
probably refuse to ratify the various treaties which embodied the work
of the Conference. Therefore, at the last moment, the Americans strongly
urged Japan to give way, and we took the same line, though perhaps less
strongly. The result was the conclusion of the Shantung Treaty between
China and Japan.

By this Treaty, the Chinese recover everything in Shantung, except the
private property of Japanese subjects, and certain restrictions as
regards the railway. The railway was the great difficulty in the
negotiations, since, so long as the Japanese could control that, they
would have the province at their mercy. The Chinese offered to buy back
the railway at once, having raised about half the money as a result of
a patriotic movement among their merchants. This, however, the Japanese
refused to agree to. What was finally done was that the Chinese were
compelled to borrow the money from the Japanese Government to be repaid
in fifteen years, with an option of repayment in five years. The railway
was valued at 53,400,000 gold marks, plus the costs involved in repairs
or improvements incurred by Japan, less deterioration; and it was to be
handed over to China within nine months of the signature of the treaty.
Until the purchase price, borrowed from Japan, is repaid, the Japanese
retain a certain degree of control over the railway: a Japanese traffic
manager is to be appointed, and two accountants, one Chinese and the
other Japanese, under the control of a Chinese President.

It is clear that, on paper, this gives the Chinese everything five years
hence. Whether things will work out so depends upon whether, five years
hence, any Power is prepared to force Japan to keep her word. As both
Mr. Hughes and Sir Arthur Balfour strongly urged the Chinese to agree to
this compromise, it must be assumed that America and Great Britain have
some responsibility for seeing that it is properly carried out. In that
case, we may perhaps expect that in the end China will acquire complete
control of the Shantung railway.

On the whole, it must be said that China did better at Washington than
might have been expected. As regards the larger aspects of the new
international situation arising out of the Conference, I shall deal with
them in the next chapter. But in our present connection it is necessary
to consider certain Far Eastern questions _not_ discussed at Washington,
since the mere fact that they were not discussed gave them a new form.

The question of Manchuria and Inner Mongolia was not raised at
Washington. It may therefore be assumed that Japan's position there is
secure until such time as the Chinese, or the Russians, or both
together, are strong enough to challenge it. America, at any rate, will
not raise the question unless friction occurs on some other issue. (See

The Siberian question also was not settled. Therefore Japan's ambitions
in Vladivostok and the Maritime Provinces will presumably remain
unchecked except in so far as the Russians unaided are able to check
them. There is a chronic state of semi-war between the Japanese and the
Far Eastern Republic, and there seems no reason why it should end in any
near future. The Japanese from time to time announce that they have
decided to withdraw, but they simultaneously send fresh troops. A
conference between them and the Chita Government has been taking place
at Dairen, and from time to time announcements have appeared to the
effect that an agreement has been reached or was about to be reached.
But on April 16th (1922) the Japanese broke up the Conference. _The
Times_ of April 27th contains both the Japanese and the Russian official
accounts of this break up. The Japanese statement is given in _The
Times_ as follows:--

     The Japanese Embassy communicates the text of a statement given
     out on April 20th by the Japanese Foreign Office on the Dairen

     It begins by recalling that in response to the repeatedly
     expressed desire of the Chita Government, the Japanese Government
     decided to enter into negotiations. The first meeting took place
     on August 26th last year.

     The Japanese demands included the non-enforcement of communistic
     principles in the Republic against Japanese, the prohibition of
     Bolshevist propaganda, the abolition of menacing military
     establishments, the adoption of the principle of the open door in
     Siberia, and the removal of industrial restrictions on
     foreigners. Desiring speedily to conclude an agreement, so that
     the withdrawal of troops might be carried out as soon as
     possible, Japan met the wishes of Chita as far as practicable.
     Though, from the outset, Chita pressed for a speedy settlement of
     the Nicolaievsk affair, Japan eventually agreed to take up the
     Nicolaievsk affair immediately after the conclusion of the basis
     agreement. She further assured Chita that in settling the affair
     Japan had no intention of violating the sovereignty and
     territorial integrity of Russia, and that the troops would be
     speedily withdrawn from Saghalin after the settlement of the
     affair, and that Chita'a wishes in regard to the transfer of
     property now in the custody of the Japanese authorities would be

     The 11th Division of the troops in Siberia was originally to be
     relieved during April, but if the Dairen Conference had
     progressed satisfactorily, the troops, instead of being relieved,
     would have been sent home. Japan therefore intimated to Chita
     that should the basis agreement be concluded within a reasonable
     period these troops would be immediately withdrawn, and proposed
     the signature of the agreement by the middle of April, so that
     the preparations for the relief of the said division might be
     dispensed with. Thereupon Chita not only proposed the immediate
     despatch of Chita troops to Vladivostok without waiting for the
     withdrawal of the Japanese troops, but urged that Japan should
     fix a tine-limit for the complete withdrawal of all her troops.

     Japan informed Chita that the withdrawal would be carried out
     within a short period after the conclusion of the detailed
     arrangements, giving a definite period as desired, and at the
     same time she proposed the signing of the agreement drawn up by

     Whereas Japan thus throughout the negotiations maintained a
     sincere and conciliatory attitude, the Chita delegates entirely
     ignored the spirit in which she offered concessions and brought
     up one demand after another, thereby trying to gain time. Not
     only did they refuse to entertain the Japanese proposals, but
     declared that they would drop the negotiations and return to
     Chita immediately. The only conclusion from this attitude of the
     Chita Government is that they lacked a sincere effort to bring
     the negotiations to fruition, and the Japanese Government
     instructed its delegates to quit Dairen.

The Russian official account is given by _The Times_ immediately below
the above. It is as follows:--

     On April 16th the Japanese broke up the Dairen Conference with
     the Far Eastern Republic. The Far Eastern Delegation left Dairen.
     Agreement was reached between the Japanese and Russian
     Delegations on March 30th on all points of the general treaty,
     but when the question of military evacuation was reached the
     Japanese Delegation proposed a formula permitting continued
     Japanese intervention.

     Between March 30th and April 15th the Japanese dragged on the
     negotiations _re_ military convention, reproaching the Far
     Eastern delegates for mistrusting the Japanese Government. The
     Russian Delegation declared that the general treaty would be
     signed only upon obtaining precise written guarantees of Japanese
     military evacuation.

     On April 15th the Japanese Delegation presented an ultimatum
     demanding a reply from the Far Eastern representatives in half an
     hour as to whether they were willing to sign a general agreement
     with new Japanese conditions forbidding an increase in the Far
     Eastern Navy and retaining a Japanese military mission on Far
     Eastern territory. _Re_ evacuation, the Japanese presented a Note
     promising evacuation if "not prevented by unforeseen
     circumstances." The Russian Delegation rejected this ultimatum.
     On April 16th the Japanese declared the Dairen Conference broken
     up. The Japanese delegates left for Tokyo, and Japanese troops
     remain in the zone established by the agreement of March 29th.

Readers will believe one or other of these official statements according
to their prejudices, while those who wish to think themselves impartial
will assume that the truth lies somewhere between the two. For my part,
I believe the Russian statement. But even from the Japanese communiqué
it is evident that what wrecked the Conference was Japanese
unwillingness to evacuate Vladivostok and the Maritime Province; all
that they were willing to give was a vague promise to evacuate some day,
which would have had no more value than Mr. Gladstone's promise to
evacuate Egypt.

It will be observed that the Conference went well for Chita until the
Senate had ratified the Washington treaties. After that, the Japanese
felt that they had a free hand in all Far Eastern matters not dealt with
at Washington. The practical effect of the Washington decisions will
naturally be to make the Japanese seek compensation, at the expense of
the Far Eastern Republic, for what they have had to surrender in China.
This result was to be expected, and was presumably foreseen by the
assembled peacemakers.[85]

It will be seen that the Japanese policy involves hostility to Russia.
This is no doubt one reason for the friendship between Japan and France.
Another reason is that both are the champions of nationalistic
capitalism, as against the international capitalism aimed at by Messrs.
Morgan and Mr. Lloyd George, because France and Japan look to their
armaments as the chief source of their income, while England and America
look rather to their commerce and industry. It would be interesting to
compute how much coal and iron France and Japan have acquired in recent
years by means of their armies. England and America already possessed
coal and iron; hence their different policy. An uninvited delegation
from the Far Eastern Republic at Washington produced documents tending
to show that France and Japan came there as secret allies. Although the
authenticity of the documents was denied, most people, apparently,
believed them to be genuine. In any case, it is to be expected that
France and Japan will stand together, now that the Anglo-Japanese
Alliance has come to an end and the Anglo-French Entente has become
anything but cordial. Thus it is to be feared that Washington and Genoa
have sown the seeds of future wars--unless, by some miracle, the
"civilized" nations should grow weary of suicide.


[Footnote 84: See _e.g._ chap. viii. of Millard's _Democracy and the
Eastern Question._]

[Footnote 85: I ought perhaps to confess that I have a bias in favour of
the Far Eastern Republic, owing to my friendship for their diplomatic
mission which was in Peking while I was there. I never met a more
high-minded set of men in any country. And although they were
communists, and knew the views that I had expressed on Russia, they
showed me great kindness. I do not think, however, that these courtesies
have affected my view of the dispute between Chita and Tokyo.]



The Far Eastern situation is so complex that it is very difficult to
guess what will be the ultimate outcome of the Washington Conference,
and still more difficult to know what outcome we ought to desire. I will
endeavour to set forth the various factors each in turn, not simplifying
the issues, but rather aiming at producing a certain hesitancy which I
regard as desirable in dealing with China. I shall consider successively
the interests and desires of America, Japan, Russia and China, with an
attempt, in each case, to gauge what parts of these various interests
and desires are compatible with the welfare of mankind as a whole.[86]

I begin with America, as the leading spirit in the Conference and the
dominant Power in the world. American public opinion is in favour of
peace, and at the same time profoundly persuaded that America is wise
and virtuous while all other Powers are foolish and wicked. The
pessimistic half of this opinion I do not desire to dispute, but the
optimistic half is more open to question. Apart from peace, American
public opinion believes in commerce and industry, Protestant morality,
athletics, hygiene, and hypocrisy, which may be taken as the main
ingredients of American and English Kultur. Every American I met in the
Far East, with one exception, was a missionary for American Kultur,
whether nominally connected with Christian Missions or not. I ought to
explain that when I speak of hypocrisy I do not mean the conscious
hypocrisy practised by Japanese diplomats in their dealings with Western
Powers, but that deeper, unconscious kind which forms the chief strength
of the Anglo-Saxons. Everybody knows Labouchere's comment on Mr.
Gladstone, that like other politicians he always had a card up his
sleeve, but, unlike the others, he thought the Lord had put it there.
This attitude, which has been characteristic of England, has been
somewhat chastened among ourselves by the satire of men like Bernard
Shaw; but in America it is still just as prevalent and self-confident as
it was with us fifty years ago. There is much justification for such an
attitude. Gladstonian England was more of a moral force than the England
of the present day; and America is more of a moral force at this moment
than any other Power (except Russia). But the development from
Gladstone's moral fervour to the cynical imperialism of his successors
is one which we can now see to be inevitable; and a similar development
is bound to take place in the United States. Therefore, when we wish to
estimate the desirability of extending the influence of the United
States, we have to take account of this almost certain future loss of

Nor is idealism in itself always an unmixed blessing to its victims. It
is apt to be incompatible with tolerance, with the practice of
live-and-let-live, which alone can make the world endurable for its less
pugnacious and energetic inhabitants. It is difficult for art or the
contemplative outlook to exist in an atmosphere of bustling practical
philanthropy, as difficult as it would be to write a book in the middle
of a spring cleaning. The ideals which inspire a spring-cleaning are
useful and valuable in their place, but when they are not enriched by
any others they are apt to produce a rather bleak and uncomfortable sort
of world.

All this may seem, at first sight, somewhat remote from the Washington
Conference, but it is essential if we are to take a just view of the
friction between America and Japan. I wish to admit at once that,
hitherto, America has been the best friend of China, and Japan the worst
enemy. It is also true that America is doing more than any other Power
to promote peace in the world, while Japan would probably favour war if
there were a good prospect of victory. On these grounds, I am glad to
see our Government making friends with America and abandoning the
militaristic Anglo-Japanese Alliance. But I do not wish this to be done
in a spirit of hostility to Japan, or in a blind reliance upon the
future good intentions of America. I shall therefore try to state
Japan's case, although, _for the present_, I think it weaker than

It should be observed, in the first place, that the present American
policy, both in regard to China and in regard to naval armaments, while
clearly good for the world, is quite as clearly in line with American
interests. To take the naval question first: America, with a navy equal
to our own, will be quite strong enough to make our Admiralty understand
that it is out of the question to go to war with America, so that
America will have as much control of the seas as there is any point in
having.[87] The Americans are adamant about the Japanese Navy, but very
pliant about French submarines, which only threaten us. Control of the
seas being secured, limitation of naval armaments merely decreases the
cost, and is an equal gain to all parties, involving no sacrifice of
American interests. To take next the question of China: American
ambitions in China are economic, and require only that the whole country
should be open to the commerce and industry of the United States. The
policy of spheres of influence is obviously less advantageous, to so
rich and economically strong a country as America, than the policy of
the universal Open Door. We cannot therefore regard America's liberal
policy as regards China and naval armaments as any reason for expecting
a liberal policy when it goes against self-interest.

In fact, there is evidence that when American interests or prejudices
are involved liberal and humanitarian principles have no weight
whatever. I will cite two instances: Panama tolls, and Russian trade. In
the matter of the Panama canal, America is bound by treaty not to
discriminate against our shipping; nevertheless a Bill has been passed
by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives, making a
discrimination in favour of American shipping. Even if the President
ultimately vetoes it, its present position shows that at least
two-thirds of the House of Representatives share Bethmann-Hollweg's view
of treaty obligations. And as for trade with Russia, England led the
way, while American hostility to the Bolsheviks remained implacable, and
to this day Gompers, in the name of American labour, thunders against
"shaking hands with murder." It cannot therefore be said that America is
_always_ honourable or humanitarian or liberal. The evidence is that
America adopts these virtues when they suit national or rather financial
interests, but fails to perceive their applicability in other cases.

I could of course have given many other instances, but I content myself
with one, because it especially concerns China. I quote from an American
weekly, The _Freeman_ (November 23, 1921, p. 244):--

     On November 1st, the Chinese Government failed to meet an
     obligation of $5,600,000, due and payable to a large
     banking-house in Chicago. The State Department had facilitated
     the negotiation of this loan in the first instance; and now, in
     fulfilment of the promise of Governmental support in an
     emergency, an official cablegram was launched upon Peking, with
     intimations that continued defalcation might have a most serious
     effect upon the financial and political rating of the Chinese
     Republic. In the meantime, the American bankers of the new
     international consortium had offered to advance to the Chinese
     Government an amount which would cover the loan in default,
     together with other obligations already in arrears, and still
     others which will fall due on December 1st; and this proposal had
     also received the full and energetic support of the Department of
     State. That is to say, American financiers and politicians were
     at one and the same time the heroes and villains of the piece;
     having co-operated in the creation of a dangerous situation, they
     came forward handsomely in the hour of trial with an offer to
     save China from themselves as it were, if the Chinese Government
     would only enter into relations with the consortium, and thus
     prepare the way for the eventual establishment of an American
     financial protectorate.

It should be added that the Peking Government, after repeated
negotiations, had decided not to accept loans from the consortium on the
terms on which they were offered. In my opinion, there were very
adequate grounds for this decision. As the same article in the _Freeman_

     If this plan is put through, it will make the bankers of the
     consortium the virtual owners of China; and among these bankers,
     those of the United States are the only ones who are prepared to
     take full advantage of the situation.

There is some reason to think that, at the beginning of the Washington
Conference, an attempt was made by the consortium banks, with the
connivance of the British but not of the American Government, to
establish, by means of the Conference, some measure of international
control over China. In the _Japan Weekly Chronicle_ for November 17,
1921 (p. 725), in a telegram headed "International Control of China," I
find it reported that America is thought to be seeking to establish
international control, and that Mr. Wellington Koo told the
_Philadelphia Public Ledger_: "We suspect the motives which led to the
suggestion and we thoroughly doubt its feasibility. China will bitterly
oppose any Conference plan to offer China international aid." He adds:
"International control will not do. China must be given time and
opportunity to find herself. The world should not misinterpret or
exaggerate the meaning of the convulsion which China is now passing
through." These are wise words, with which every true friend of China
must agree. In the same issue of the _Japan Weekly Chronicle_--which, by
the way, I consider the best weekly paper in the world--I find the
following (p. 728):--

     Mr. Lennox Simpson [Putnam Weale] is quoted as saying: "The
     international bankers have a scheme for the international control
     of China. Mr. Lamont, representing the consortium, offered a
     sixteen-million-dollar loan to China, which the Chinese
     Government refused to accept because Mr. Lamont insisted that the
     Hukuang bonds, German issue, which had been acquired by the
     Morgan Company, should be paid out of it." Mr. Lamont, on hearing
     this charge, made an emphatic denial, saying: "Simpson's
     statement is unqualifiedly false. When this man Simpson talks
     about resisting the control of the international banks he is
     fantastic. We don't want control. We are anxious that the
     Conference result in such a solution as will furnish full
     opportunity to China to fulfil her own destiny."

Sagacious people will be inclined to conclude that so much anger must be
due to being touched on the raw, and that Mr. Lamont, if he had had
nothing to conceal, would not have spoken of a distinguished writer and
one of China's best friends as "this man Simpson."

I do not pretend that the evidence against the consortium is conclusive,
and I have not space here to set it all forth. But to any European
radical Mr. Lamont's statement that the consortium does not want control
reads like a contradiction in terms. Those who wish to lend to a
Government which is on the verge of bankruptcy, must aim at control,
for, even if there were not the incident of the Chicago Bank, it would
be impossible to believe that Messrs. Morgan are so purely philanthropic
as not to care whether they get any interest on their money or not,
although emissaries of the consortium in China have spoken as though
this were the case, thereby greatly increasing the suspicions of the

In the _New Republic_ for November 30, 1921, there is an article by Mr.
Brailsford entitled "A New Technique of Peace," which I fear is
prophetic even if not wholly applicable at the moment when it was
written. I expect to see, if the Americans are successful in the Far
East, China compelled to be orderly so as to afford a field for foreign
commerce and industry; a government which the West will consider good
substituted for the present go-as-you-please anarchy; a gradually
increasing flow of wealth from China to the investing countries, the
chief of which is America; the development of a sweated proletariat; the
spread of Christianity; the substitution of the American civilization
for the Chinese; the destruction of traditional beauty, except for such
_objets d'art_ as millionaires may think it worth while to buy; the
gradual awakening of China to her exploitation by the foreigner; and one
day, fifty or a hundred years hence, the massacre of every white man
throughout the Celestial Empire at a signal from some vast secret
society. All this is probably inevitable, human nature being what it is.
It will be done in order that rich men may grow richer, but we shall be
told that it is done in order that China may have "good" government. The
definition of the word "good" is difficult, but the definition of "good
government" is as easy as A.B.C.: it is government that yields fat
dividends to capitalists.

The Chinese are gentle, urbane, seeking only justice and freedom. They
have a civilization superior to ours in all that makes for human
happiness. They have a vigorous movement of young reformers, who, if
they are allowed a little time, will revivify China and produce
something immeasurably better than the worn-out grinding mechanism that
we call civilization. When Young China has done its work, Americans will
be able to make money by trading with China, without destroying the soul
of the country. China needs a period of anarchy in order to work out her
salvation; all great nations need such a period, from time to time. When
America went through such a period, in 1861-5, England thought of
intervening to insist on "good government," but fortunately abstained.
Now-a-days, in China, all the Powers want to intervene. Americans
recognize this in the case of the wicked Old World, but are smitten with
blindness when it comes to their own consortium. All I ask of them is
that they should admit that they are as other men, and cease to thank
God that they are not as this publican.

So much by way of criticism by America; we come now to the defence of

Japan's relations with the Powers are not of her own seeking; all that
Japan asked of the world was to be let alone. This, however, did not
suit the white nations, among whom America led the way. It was a United
States squadron under Commodore Perry that first made Japan aware of
Western aggressiveness. Very soon it became evident that there were only
two ways of dealing with the white man, either to submit to him, or to
fight him with his own weapons. Japan adopted the latter course, and
developed a modern army trained by the Germans, a modern navy modelled
on the British, modern machinery derived from America, and modern
morals copied from the whole lot. Everybody except the British was
horrified, and called the Japanese "yellow monkeys." However, they began
to be respected when they defeated Russia, and after they had captured
Tsing-tao and half-enslaved China they were admitted to equality with
the other Great Powers at Versailles. The consideration shown to them by
the West is due to their armaments alone; none of their other good
qualities would have saved them from being regarded as "niggers."

People who have never been outside Europe can hardly imagine the
intensity of the colour prejudice that white men develop when brought
into contact with any different pigmentation. I have seen Chinese of the
highest education, men as cultured as (say) Dean Inge, treated by greasy
white men as if they were dirt, in a way in which, at home, no Duke
would venture to treat a crossing-sweeper. The Japanese are not treated
in this way, because they have a powerful army and navy. The fact that
white men, as individuals, no longer dare to bully individual Japanese,
is important as a beginning of better relations towards the coloured
races in general. If the Japanese, by defeat in war, are prevented from
retaining the status of a Great Power, the coloured races in general
will suffer, and the tottering insolence of the white man will be
re-established. Also the world will have lost the last chance of the
survival of civilizations of a different type from that of the
industrial West.

The civilization of Japan, in its material aspect, is similar to that of
the West, though industrialism, as yet, is not very developed. But in
its mental aspect it is utterly unlike the West, particularly the
Anglo-Saxon West. Worship of the Mikado, as an actually divine being,
is successfully taught in every village school, and provides the popular
support for nationalism. The nationalistic aims of Japan are not merely
economic; they are also dynastic and territorial in a mediæval way. The
morality of the Japanese is not utilitarian, but intensely idealistic.
Filial piety is the basis, and includes patriotism, because the Mikado
is the father of his people. The Japanese outlook has the same kind of
superstitious absence of realism that one finds in thirteenth-century
theories as to the relations of the Emperor and the Pope. But in Europe
the Emperor and the Pope were different people, and their quarrels
promoted freedom of thought; in Japan, since 1868, they are combined in
one sacred person, and there are no internal conflicts to produce doubt.

Japan, unlike China, is a religious country. The Chinese doubt a
proposition until it is proved to be true; the Japanese believe it until
it is proved to be false. I do not know of any evidence against the view
that the Mikado is divine. Japanese religion is essentially
nationalistic, like that of the Jews in the Old Testament. Shinto, the
State religion, has been in the main invented since 1868,[88] and
propagated by education in schools. (There was of course an old Shinto
religion, but most of what constitutes modern Shintoism is new.) It is
not a religion which aims at being universal, like Buddhism,
Christianity, and Islam; it is a tribal religion, only intended to
appeal to the Japanese. Buddhism subsists side by side with it, and is
believed by the same people. It is customary to adopt Shinto rites for
marriages and Buddhist rites for funerals, because Buddhism is
considered more suitable for mournful occasions. Although Buddhism is a
universal religion, its Japanese form is intensely national,[89] like
the Church of England. Many of its priests marry, and in some temples
the priesthood is hereditary. Its dignitaries remind one vividly of
English Archdeacons.

The Japanese, even when they adopt industrial methods, do not lose their
sense of beauty. One hears complaints that their goods are shoddy, but
they have a remarkable power of adapting artistic taste to
industrialism. If Japan were rich it might produce cities as beautiful
as Venice, by methods as modern as those of New York. Industrialism has
hitherto brought with it elsewhere a rising tide of ugliness, and any
nation which can show us how to make this tide recede deserves our

The Japanese are earnest, passionate, strong-willed, amazingly hard
working, and capable of boundless sacrifice to an ideal. Most of them
have the correlative defects: lack of humour, cruelty, intolerance, and
incapacity for free thought. But these defects are by no means
universal; one meets among them a certain number of men and women of
quite extraordinary excellence. And there is in their civilization as a
whole a degree of vigour and determination which commands the highest

The growth of industrialism in Japan has brought with it the growth of
Socialism and the Labour movement.[90] In China, the intellectuals are
often theoretical Socialists, but in the absence of Labour
organizations there is as yet little room for more than theory. In
Japan, Trade Unionism has made considerable advances, and every variety
of socialist and anarchist opinion is vigorously represented. In time,
if Japan becomes increasingly industrial, Socialism may become a
political force; as yet, I do not think it is. Japanese Socialists
resemble those of other countries, in that they do not share the
national superstitions. They are much persecuted by the Government, but
not so much as Socialists in America--so at least I am informed by an
American who is in a position to judge.

The real power is still in the hands of certain aristocratic families.
By the constitution, the Ministers of War and Marine are directly
responsible to the Mikado, not to the Diet or the Prime Minister. They
therefore can and do persist in policies which are disliked by the
Foreign Office. For example, if the Foreign Office were to promise the
evacuation of Vladivostok, the War Office might nevertheless decide to
keep the soldiers there, and there would be no constitutional remedy.
Some part, at least, of what appears as Japanese bad faith is explicable
in this way. There is of course a party which wishes to establish real
Parliamentary government, but it is not likely to come into power unless
the existing régime suffers some severe diplomatic humiliation. If the
Washington Conference had compelled the evacuation of not only Shantung
but also Vladivostok by diplomatic pressure, the effect on the internal
government of Japan would probably have been excellent.

The Japanese are firmly persuaded that they have no friends, and that
the Americana are their implacable foes. One gathers that the
Government regards war with America as unavoidable in the long run. The
argument would be that the economic imperialism of the United States
will not tolerate the industrial development of a formidable rival in
the Pacific, and that sooner or later the Japanese will be presented
with the alternative of dying by starvation or on the battlefield. Then
Bushido will come into play, and will lead to choice of the battlefield
in preference to starvation. Admiral Sato[91] (the Japanese Bernhardi,
as he is called) maintains that absence of Bushido in the Americans will
lead to their defeat, and that their money-grubbing souls will be
incapable of enduring the hardships and privations of a long war. This,
of course, is romantic nonsense. Bushido is no use in modern war, and
the Americans are quite as courageous and obstinate as the Japanese. A
war might last ten years, but it would certainly end in the defeat of

One is constantly reminded of the situation between England and Germany
in the years before 1914. The Germans wanted to acquire a colonial
empire by means similar to those which we had employed; so do the
Japanese. We considered such methods wicked when employed by foreigners;
so do the Americans. The Germans developed their industries and roused
our hostility by competition; the Japanese are similarly competing with
America in Far Eastern markets. The Germans felt themselves encircled by
our alliances, which we regarded as purely defensive; the Japanese,
similarly, found themselves isolated at Washington (except for French
sympathy) since the superior diplomatic skill of the Americans has
brought us over to their side. The Germans at last, impelled by terrors
largely of their own creation, challenged the whole world, and fell; it
is very much to be feared that Japan may do likewise. The pros and cons
are so familiar in the case of Germany that I need not elaborate them
further, since the whole argument can be transferred bodily to the case
of Japan. There is, however, this difference, that, while Germany aimed
at hegemony of the whole world, the Japanese only aim at hegemony in
Eastern Asia.

The conflict between America and Japan is superficially economic, but,
as often happens, the economic rivalry is really a cloak for deeper
passions. Japan still believes in the divine right of kings; America
believes in the divine right of commerce. I have sometimes tried to
persuade Americans that there may be nations which will not gain by an
extension of their foreign commerce, but I have always found the attempt
futile. The Americans believe also that their religion and morality and
culture are far superior to those of the Far East. I regard this as a
delusion, though one shared by almost all Europeans. The Japanese,
profoundly and with all the strength of their being, long to preserve
their own culture and to avoid becoming like Europeans or Americans; and
in this I think we ought to sympathize with them. The colour prejudice
is even more intense among Americans than among Europeans; the Japanese
are determined to prove that the yellow man may be the equal of the
white man. In this, also, justice and humanity are on the side of Japan.
Thus on the deeper issues, which underlie the economic and diplomatic
conflict, my feelings go with the Japanese rather than with the

Unfortunately, the Japanese are always putting themselves in the wrong
through impatience and contempt. They ought to have claimed for China
the same consideration that they have extorted towards themselves; then
they could have become, what they constantly profess to be, the
champions of Asia against Europe. The Chinese are prone to gratitude,
and would have helped Japan loyally if Japan had been a true friend to
them. But the Japanese despise the Chinese more than the Europeans do;
they do not want to destroy the belief in Eastern inferiority, but only
to be regarded as themselves belonging to the West. They have therefore
behaved so as to cause a well-deserved hatred of them in China. And this
same behaviour has made the best Americans as hostile to them as the
worst. If America had had none but base reasons for hostility to them,
they would have found many champions in the United States; as it is,
they have practically none. It is not yet too late; it is still possible
for them to win the affection of China and the respect of the best
Americans. To achieve this, they would have to change their Chinese
policy and adopt a more democratic constitution; but if they do not
achieve it, they will fall as Germany fell. And their fall will be a
great misfortune for mankind.

A war between America and Japan would be a very terrible thing in
itself, and a still more terrible thing in its consequences. It would
destroy Japanese civilization, ensure the subjugation of China to
Western culture, and launch America upon a career of world-wide
militaristic imperialism. It is therefore, at all costs, to be avoided.
If it is to be avoided, Japan must become more liberal; and Japan will
only become more liberal if the present régime is discredited by
failure. Therefore, in the interests of Japan no less than in the
interests of China, it would be well if Japan were forced, by the joint
diplomatic pressure of England and America, to disgorge, not only
Shantung, but also all of Manchuria except Port Arthur and its immediate
neighbourhood. (I make this exception because I think nothing short of
actual war would lead the Japanese to abandon Port Arthur.) Our Alliance
with Japan, since the end of the Russo-Japanese war, has been an
encouragement to Japan in all that she has done amiss. Not that Japan
has been worse than we have, but that certain kinds of crime are only
permitted to very great Powers, and have been committed by the Japanese
at an earlier stage of their career than prudence would warrant. Our
Alliance has been a contributory cause of Japan's mistakes, and the
ending of the Alliance is a necessary condition of Japanese reform.

We come now to Russia's part in the Chinese problem. There is a tendency
in Europe to regard Russia as decrepit, but this is a delusion. True,
millions are starving and industry is at a standstill. But that does not
mean what it would in a more highly organized country. Russia is still
able to steal a march on us in Persia and Afghanistan, and on the
Japanese in Outer Mongolia. Russia is still able to organize Bolshevik
propaganda in every country in Asia. And a great part of the
effectiveness of this propaganda lies in its promise of liberation from
Europe. So far, in China proper, it has affected hardly anyone except
the younger students, to whom Bolshevism appeals as a method of
developing industry without passing through the stage of private
capitalism. This appeal will doubtless diminish as the Bolsheviks are
more and more forced to revert to capitalism. Moreover, Bolshevism, as
it has developed in Russia, is quite peculiarly inapplicable to China,
for the following reasons: (1) It requires a strong centralized State,
whereas China has a very weak State, and is tending more and more to
federalism instead of centralization; (2) Bolshevism requires a very
great deal of government, and more control of individual lives by the
authorities than has ever been known before, whereas China has developed
personal liberty to an extraordinary degree, and is the country of all
others where the doctrines of anarchism seem to find successful
practical application; (3) Bolshevism dislikes private trading, which is
the breath of life to all Chinese except the literati. For these
reasons, it is not likely that Bolshevism as a creed will make much
progress in China proper. But Bolshevism as a political force is not the
same thing as Bolshevism as a creed. The arguments which proved
successful with the Ameer of Afghanistan or the nomads of Mongolia were
probably different from those employed in discussion with Mr. Lansbury.
The Asiatic expansion of Bolshevik influence is not a distinctively
Bolshevik phenomenon, but a continuation of traditional Russian policy,
carried on by men who are more energetic, more intelligent, and less
corrupt than the officials of the Tsar's régime, and who moreover, like
the Americans, believe themselves to be engaged in the liberation of
mankind, not in mere imperialistic expansion. This belief, of course,
adds enormously to the vigour and success of Bolshevik imperialism, and
gives an impulse to Asiatic expansion which is not likely to be soon
spent, unless there is an actual restoration of the Tsarist régime
under some new Kolchak dependent upon alien arms for his throne and his

It is therefore not at all unlikely, if the international situation
develops in certain ways, that Russia may set to work to regain
Manchuria, and to recover that influence over Peking which the control
of Manchuria is bound to give to any foreign Power. It would probably be
useless to attempt such an enterprise while Japan remains unembarrassed,
but it would at once become feasible if Japan were at war with America
or with Great Britain. There is therefore nothing improbable in the
supposition that Russia may, within the next ten or twenty years,
recover the position which she held in relation to China before the
Russo-Japanese war. It must be remembered also that the Russians have an
instinct for colonization, and have been trekking eastward for
centuries. This tendency has been interrupted by the disasters of the
last seven years, but is likely to assert itself again before long.

The hegemony of Russia in Asia would not, to my mind, be in any way
regrettable. Russia would probably not be strong enough to tyrannize as
much as the English, the Americans, or the Japanese would do. Moreover,
the Russians are sufficiently Asiatic in outlook and character to be
able to enter into relations of equality and mutual understanding with
Asiatics, in a way which seems quite impossible for the English-speaking
nations. And an Asiatic block, if it could be formed, would be strong
for defence and weak for attack, which would make for peace. Therefore,
on the whole, such a result, if it came about, would probably be
desirable In the interests of mankind as a whole.

What, meanwhile, is China's interest? What would be ideally best for
China would be to recover Manchuria and Shantung, and then be let alone.
The anarchy in China might take a long time to subside, but in the end
some system suited to China would be established. The artificial ending
of Chinese anarchy by outside interference means the establishment of
some system convenient for foreign trade and industry, but probably
quite unfitted to the needs of the Chinese themselves. The English in
the seventeenth century, the French in the eighteenth, the Americans in
the nineteenth, and the Russians in our own day, have passed through
years of anarchy and civil war, which were essential to their
development, and could not have been curtailed by outside interference
without grave detriment to the final solution. So it is with China.
Western political ideas have swept away the old imperial system, but
have not yet proved strong enough to put anything stable in its place.
The problem of transforming China into a modern country is a difficult
one, and foreigners ought to be willing to have some patience while the
Chinese attempt its solution. They understand their own country, and we
do not. If they are let alone, they will, in the end, find a solution
suitable to their character, which we shall certainly not do. A solution
slowly reached by themselves may be stable, whereas one prematurely
imposed by outside Powers will be artificial and therefore unstable.

There is, however, very little hope that the decisions reached by the
Washington Conference will permanently benefit China, and a considerable
chance that they may do quite the reverse. In Manchuria the _status quo_
is to be maintained, while in Shantung the Japanese have made
concessions, the value of which only time can show. The Four
Powers--America, Great Britain, France, and Japan--have agreed to
exploit China in combination, not competitively. There is a consortium
as regards loans, which will have the power of the purse and will
therefore be the real Government of China. As the Americans are the only
people who have much spare capital, they will control the consortium. As
they consider their civilization the finest in the world, they will set
to work to turn the Chinese into muscular Christians. As the financiers
are the most splendid feature of the American civilization, China must
be so governed as to enrich the financiers, who will in return establish
colleges and hospitals and Y.M.C.A.'s throughout the length and breadth
of the land, and employ agents to buy up the artistic treasures of China
for sepulture in their mansions. Chinese intellect, like that of
America, will be, directly or indirectly, in the pay of the Trust
magnates, and therefore no effective voice will be, raised in favour of
radical reform. The inauguration of this system will be welcomed even by
some Socialists in the West as a great victory for peace and freedom.

But it is impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, or peace
and freedom out of capitalism. The fourfold agreement between England,
France, America and Japan is, perhaps, a safeguard of peace, but in so
far as it brings peace nearer it puts freedom further off. It is the
peace obtained when competing firms join in a combine, which is by no
means always advantageous to those who have profited by the previous
competition. It is quite possible to dominate China without infringing
the principle of the Open Door. This principle merely ensures that the
domination everywhere shall be American, because America is the
strongest Power financially and commercially. It is to America's
interest to secure, in China, certain things consistent with Chinese
interests, and certain others inconsistent with them. The Americans, for
the sake of commerce and good investments, would wish to see a stable
government in China, an increase in the purchasing power of the people,
and an absence of territorial aggression by other Powers. But they will
not wish to see the Chinese strong enough to own and work their own
railways or mines, and they will resent all attempts at economic
independence, particularly when (as is to be expected) they take the
form of State Socialism, or what Lenin calls State Capitalism. They will
keep a _dossier_ of every student educated in colleges under American
control, and will probably see to it that those who profess Socialist or
Radical opinions shall get no posts. They will insist upon the standard
of hypocrisy which led them to hound out Gorky when he visited the
United States. They will destroy beauty and substitute tidiness. In
short, they will insist upon China becoming as like as possible to
"God's own country," except that it will not be allowed to keep the
wealth generated by its industries. The Chinese have it in them to give
to the world a new contribution to civilization as valuable as that
which they gave in the past. This would be prevented by the domination
of the Americans, because they believe their own civilization to be

The ideal of capitalism, if it could be achieved, would be to destroy
competition among capitalists by means of Trusts, but to keep alive
competition among workers. To some extent Trade Unionism has succeeded
in diminishing competition among wage-earners within the advanced
industrial countries; but it has only intensified the conflict between
workers of different races, particularly between the white and yellow
races.[92] Under the existing economic system, the competition of cheap
Asiatic labour in America, Canada or Australia might well be harmful to
white labour in those countries. But under Socialism an influx of
industrious, skilled workers in sparsely populated countries would be an
obvious gain to everybody. Under Socialism, the immigration of any
person who produces more than he or she consumes will be a gain to every
other individual in the community, since it increases the wealth per
head. But under capitalism, owing to competition for jobs, a worker who
either produces much or consumes little is the natural enemy of the
others; thus the system makes for inefficient work, and creates an
opposition between the general interest and the individual interest of
the wage-earner. The case of yellow labour in America and the British
Dominions is one of the most unfortunate instances of the artificial
conflicts of interest produced by the capitalist system. This whole
question of Asiatic immigration, which is liable to cause trouble for
centuries to come, can only be radically solved by Socialism, since
Socialism alone can bring the private interests of workers in this
matter into harmony with the interests of their nation and of the world.

The concentration of the world's capital in a few nations, which, by
means of it, are able to drain all other nations of their wealth, is
obviously not a system by which permanent peace can be secured except
through the complete subjection of the poorer nations. In the long run,
China will see no reason to leave the profits of industry in the hands
of foreigners. If, for the present, Russia is successfully starved into
submission to foreign capital, Russia also will, when the time is ripe,
attempt a new rebellion against the world-empire of finance. I cannot
see, therefore, any establishment of a stable world-system as a result
of the syndicate formed at Washington. On the contrary, we may expect
that, when Asia has thoroughly assimilated our economic system, the
Marxian class-war will break out in the form of a war between Asia and
the West, with America as the protagonist of capitalism, and Russia as
the champion of Asia and Socialism. In such a war, Asia would be
fighting for freedom, but probably too late to preserve the distinctive
civilizations which now make Asia valuable to the human family. Indeed,
the war would probably be so devastating that no civilization of any
sort would survive it.

To sum up: the real government of the world is in the hands of the big
financiers, except on questions which rouse passionate public interest.
No doubt the exclusion of Asiatics from America and the Dominions is due
to popular pressure, and is against the interests of big finance. But
not many questions rouse so much popular feeling, and among them only a
few are sufficiently simple to be incapable of misrepresentation in the
interests of the capitalists. Even in such a case as Asiatic
immigration, it is the capitalist system which causes the anti-social
interests of wage-earners and makes them illiberal. The existing system
makes each man's individual interest opposed, in some vital point, to
the interest of the whole. And what applies to individuals applies also
to nations; under the existing economic system, a nation's interest is
seldom the same as that of the world at large, and then only by
accident. International peace might conceivably be secured under the
present system, but only by a combination of the strong to exploit the
weak. Such a combination is being attempted as the outcome of
Washington; but it can only diminish, in the long run, the little
freedom now enjoyed by the weaker nations. The essential evil of the
present system, as Socialists have pointed out over and over again, is
production for profit instead of for use. A man or a company or a nation
produces goods, not in order to consume them, but in order to sell them.
Hence arise competition and exploitation and all the evils, both in
internal labour problems and in international relations. The development
of Chinese commerce by capitalistic methods means an increase, for the
Chinese, in the prices of the things they export, which are also the
things they chiefly consume, and the artificial stimulation of new needs
for foreign goods, which places China at the mercy of those who supply
these goods, destroys the existing contentment, and generates a feverish
pursuit of purely material ends. In a socialistic world, production will
be regulated by the same authority which represents the needs of the
consumers, and the whole business of competitive buying and selling will
cease. Until then, it is possible to have peace by submission to
exploitation, or some degree of freedom by continual war, but it is not
possible to have both peace and freedom. The success of the present
American policy may, for a time, secure peace, but will certainly not
secure freedom for the weaker nations, such as Chinese. Only
international Socialism can secure both; and owing to the stimulation of
revolt by capitalist oppression, even peace alone can never be secure
until international Socialism is established throughout the world.


[Footnote 86: The interests of England, apart from the question of
India, are roughly the same as those of America. Broadly speaking,
British interests are allied with American finance, as against the
pacifistic and agrarian tendencies of the Middle West.]

[Footnote 87: It is interesting to observe that, since the Washington
Conference, the American Administration has used the naval ratio there
agreed upon to induce Congress to consent to a larger expenditure on the
navy than would otherwise have been sanctioned. Expenditure on the navy
is unpopular in America, but by its parade of pacifism the Government
has been enabled to extract the necessary money out of the pockets of
reluctant taxpayers. See _The Times'_ New York Correspondent's telegram
in _The Times_ of April 10, 1922; also April 17 and 22.]

[Footnote 88: See Chamberlain, _The Invention of a New Religion_,
published by the Rationalist Press Association.]

[Footnote 89: See Murdoch, _History of Japan_, I. pp. 500 ff.]

[Footnote 90: An excellent account of these is given in _The Socialist
and Labour Movement in Japan_, by an American Sociologist, published by
the _Japan Chronicle_.]

[Footnote 91: Author of a book called _If Japan and America Fight_.]

[Footnote 92: The attitude of white labour to that of Asia is
illustrated by the following telegram which appeared in _The Times_ for
April 5, 1922, from its Melbourne correspondent: "A deputation of
shipwrights and allied trades complained to Mr. Hughes, the Prime
Minister, that four Commonwealth ships had been repaired at Antwerp
instead of in Australia, and that two had been repaired in India by
black labour receiving eight annas (8d.) a day. When the deputation
reached the black labour allegation Mr. Hughes jumped from his chair and
turned on his interviewers with, 'Black labour be damned. Go to
blithering blazes. Don't talk to me about black labour.' Hurrying from
the room, he pushed his way through the deputation...." I do not
generally agree with Mr. Hughes, but on this occasion, deeply as I
deplore his language, I find myself in agreement with his sentiments,
assuming that the phrase "black labour be damned" is meant to confer a



There is at present in China, as we have seen in previous chapters, a
close contact between our civilization and that which is native to the
Celestial Empire. It is still a doubtful question whether this contact
will breed a new civilization better than either of its parents, or
whether it will merely destroy the native culture and replace it by that
of America. Contacts between different civilizations have often in the
past proved to be landmarks in human progress. Greece learnt from Egypt,
Rome from Greece, the Arabs from the Roman Empire, mediæval Europe from
the Arabs, and Renaissance Europe from the Byzantines. In many of these
cases, the pupils proved better than their masters. In the case of
China, if we regard the Chinese as the pupils, this may be the case
again. In fact, we have quite as much to learn from them as they from
us, but there is far less chance of our learning it. If I treat the
Chinese as our pupils, rather than vice versa, it is only because I fear
we are unteachable.

I propose in this chapter to deal with the purely cultural aspects of
the questions raised by the contact of China with the West. In the three
following chapters, I shall deal with questions concerning the internal
condition of China, returning finally, in a concluding chapter, to the
hopes for the future which are permissible in the present difficult

With the exception of Spain and America in the sixteenth century, I
cannot think of any instance of two civilizations coming into contact
after such a long period of separate development as has marked those of
China and Europe. Considering this extraordinary separateness, it is
surprising that mutual understanding between Europeans and Chinese is
not more difficult. In order to make this point clear, it will be worth
while to dwell for a moment on the historical origins of the two

Western Europe and America have a practically homogeneous mental life,
which I should trace to three sources: (1) Greek culture; (2) Jewish
religion and ethics; (3) modern industrialism, which itself is an
outcome of modern science. We may take Plato, the Old Testament, and
Galileo as representing these three elements, which have remained
singularly separable down to the present day. From the Greeks we derive
literature and the arts, philosophy and pure mathematics; also the more
urbane portions of our social outlook. From the Jews we derive fanatical
belief, which its friends call "faith"; moral fervour, with the
conception of sin; religious intolerance, and some part of our
nationalism. From science, as applied in industrialism, we derive power
and the sense of power, the belief that we are as gods, and may justly
be, the arbiters of life and death for unscientific races. We derive
also the empirical method, by which almost all real knowledge has been
acquired. These three elements, I think, account for most of our

No one of these three elements has had any appreciable part in the
development of China, except that Greece indirectly influenced Chinese
painting, sculpture, and music.[93] China belongs, in the dawn of its
history, to the great river empires, of which Egypt and Babylonia
contributed to our origins, by the influence which they had upon the
Greeks and Jews. Just as these civilizations were rendered possible by
the rich alluvial soil of the Nile, the Euphrates, and the Tigris, so
the original civilization of China was rendered possible by the Yellow
River. Even in the time of Confucius, the Chinese Empire did not stretch
far either to south or north of the Yellow River. But in spite of this
similarity in physical and economic circumstances, there was very little
in common between the mental outlook of the Chinese and that of the
Egyptians and Babylonians. Lao-Tze[94] and Confucius, who both belong to
the sixth century B.C., have already the characteristics which we should
regard as distinctive of the modern Chinese. People who attribute
everything to economic causes would be hard put to it to account for the
differences between the ancient Chinese and the ancient Egyptians and
Babylonians. For my part, I have no alternative theory to offer. I do
not think science can, at present, account wholly for national
character. Climate and economic circumstances account for part, but not
the whole. Probably a great deal depends upon the character of dominant
individuals who happen to emerge at a formative period, such as Moses,
Mahomet, and Confucius.

The oldest known Chinese sage is Lao-Tze, the founder of Taoism. "Lao
Tze" is not really a proper name, but means merely "the old
philosopher." He was (according to tradition) an older contemporary of
Confucius, and his philosophy is to my mind far more interesting. He
held that every person, every animal, and every thing has a certain way
or manner of behaving which is natural to him, or her, or it, and that
we ought to conform to this way ourselves and encourage others to
conform to it. "Tao" means "way," but used in a more or less mystical
sense, as in the text: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." I
think he fancied that death was due to departing from the "way," and
that if we all lived strictly according to nature we should be immortal,
like the heavenly bodies. In later times Taoism degenerated into mere
magic, and was largely concerned with the search for the elixir of life.
But I think the hope of escaping from death was an element in Taoist
philosophy from the first.

Lao-Tze's book, or rather the book attributed to him, is very short, but
his ideas were developed by his disciple Chuang-Tze, who is more
interesting than his master. The philosophy which both advocated was one
of freedom. They thought ill of government, and of all interferences
with Nature. They complained of the hurry of modern life, which they
contrasted with the calm existence of those whom they called "the pure
men of old." There is a flavour of mysticism in the doctrine of the Tao,
because in spite of the multiplicity of living things the Tao is in some
sense one, so that if all live according to it there will be no strife
in the world. But both sages have already the Chinese characteristics of
humour, restraint, and under-statement. Their humour is illustrated by
Chuang-Tze's account of Po-Lo who "understood the management of
horses," and trained them till five out of every ten died.[95] Their
restraint and under-statement are evident when they are compared with
Western mystics. Both characteristics belong to all Chinese literature
and art, and to the conversation of cultivated Chinese in the present
day. All classes in China are fond of laughter, and never miss a chance
of a joke. In the educated classes, the humour is sly and delicate, so
that Europeans often fail to see it, which adds to the enjoyment of the
Chinese. Their habit of under-statement is remarkable. I met one day in
Peking a middle-aged man who told me he was academically interested in
the theory of politics; being new to the country, I took his statement
at its face value, but I afterwards discovered that he had been governor
of a province, and had been for many years a very prominent politician.
In Chinese poetry there is an apparent absence of passion which is due
to the same practice of under-statement. They consider that a wise man
should always remain calm, and though they have their passionate moments
(being in fact a very excitable race), they do not wish to perpetuate
them in art, because they think ill of them. Our romantic movement,
which led people to like vehemence, has, so far as I know, no analogue
in their literature. Their old music, some of which is very beautiful,
makes so little noise that one can only just hear it. In art they aim at
being exquisite, and in life at being reasonable. There is no admiration
for the ruthless strong man, or for the unrestrained expression of
passion. After the more blatant life of the West, one misses at first
all the effects at which they are aiming; but gradually the beauty and
dignity of their existence become visible, so that the foreigners who
have lived longest in China are those who love the Chinese best.

The Taoists, though they survive as magicians, were entirely ousted from
the favour of the educated classes by Confucianism. I must confess that
I am unable to appreciate the merits of Confucius. His writings are
largely occupied with trivial points of etiquette, and his main concern
is to teach people how to behave correctly on various occasions. When
one compares him, however, with the traditional religious teachers of
some other ages and races, one must admit that he has great merits, even
if they are mainly negative. His system, as developed by his followers,
is one of pure ethics, without religious dogma; it has not given rise to
a powerful priesthood, and it has not led to persecution. It certainly
has succeeded in producing a whole nation possessed of exquisite manners
and perfect courtesy. Nor is Chinese courtesy merely conventional; it is
quite as reliable in situations for which no precedent has been
provided. And it is not confined to one class; it exists even in the
humblest coolie. It is humiliating to watch the brutal insolence of
white men received by the Chinese with a quiet dignity which cannot
demean itself to answer rudeness with rudeness. Europeans often regard
this as weakness, but it is really strength, the strength by which the
Chinese have hitherto conquered all their conquerors.

There is one, and only one, important foreign element in the traditional
civilization of China, and that is Buddhism. Buddhism came to China from
India in the early centuries of the Christian era, and acquired a
definite place in the religion of the country. We, with the intolerant
outlook which we have taken over from the Jews, imagine that if a man
adopts one religion he cannot adopt another. The dogmas of Christianity
and Mohammedanism, in their orthodox forms, are so framed that no man
can accept both. But in China this incompatibility does not exist; a man
may be both a Buddhist and a Confucian, because nothing in either is
incompatible with the other. In Japan, similarly, most people are both
Buddhists and Shintoists. Nevertheless there is a temperamental
difference between Buddhism and Confucianism, which will cause any
individual to lay stress on one or other even if he accepts both.
Buddhism is a religion in the sense in which we understand the word. It
has mystic doctrines and a way of salvation and a future life. It has a
message to the world intended to cure the despair which it regards as
natural to those who have no religious faith. It assumes an instinctive
pessimism only to be cured by some gospel. Confucianism has nothing of
all this. It assumes people fundamentally at peace with the world,
wanting only instruction as to how to live, not encouragement to live at
all. And its ethical instruction is not based upon any metaphysical or
religious dogma; it is purely mundane. The result of the co-existence of
these two religions in China has been that the more religious and
contemplative natures turned to Buddhism, while the active
administrative type was content with Confucianism, which was always the
official teaching, in which candidates for the civil service were
examined. The result is that for many ages the Government of China has
been in the hands of literary sceptics, whose administration has been
lacking in those qualities of energy and destructiveness which Western
nations demand of their rulers. In fact, they have conformed very
closely to the maxims of Chuang-Tze. The result has been that the
population has been happy except where civil war brought misery; that
subject nations have been allowed autonomy; and that foreign nations
have had no need to fear China, in spite of its immense population and

Comparing the civilization of China with that of Europe, one finds in
China most of what was to be found in Greece, but nothing of the other
two elements of our civilization, namely Judaism and science. China is
practically destitute of religion, not only in the upper classes, but
throughout the population. There is a very definite ethical code, but it
is not fierce or persecuting, and does not contain the notion "sin."
Except quite recently, through European influence, there has been no
science and no industrialism.

What will be the outcome of the contact of this ancient civilization
with the West? I am not thinking of the political or economic outcome,
but of the effect on the Chinese mental outlook. It is difficult to
dissociate the two questions altogether, because of course the cultural
contact with the West must be affected by the nature of the political
and economic contact. Nevertheless, I wish to consider the cultural
question as far as I can in isolation.

There is, in China, a great eagerness to acquire Western learning, not
simply in order to acquire national strength and be able to resist
Western aggression, but because a very large number of people consider
learning a good thing in itself. It is traditional in China to place a
high value on knowledge, but in old days the knowledge sought was only
of the classical literature. Nowadays it is generally realized that
Western knowledge is more useful. Many students go every year to
universities in Europe, and still more to America, to learn science or
economics or law or political theory. These men, when they return to
China, mostly become teachers or civil servants or journalists or
politicians. They are rapidly modernizing the Chinese outlook,
especially in the educated classes.

The traditional civilization of China had become unprogressive, and had
ceased to produce much of value in the way of art and literature. This
was not due, I think, to any decadence in the race, but merely to lack
of new material. The influx of Western knowledge provides just the
stimulus that was needed. Chinese students are able and extraordinarily
keen. Higher education suffers from lack of funds and absence of
libraries, but does not suffer from any lack of the finest human
material. Although Chinese civilization has hitherto been deficient in
science, it never contained anything hostile to science, and therefore
the spread of scientific knowledge encounters no such obstacles as the
Church put in its way in Europe. I have no doubt that if the Chinese
could get a stable government and sufficient funds, they would, within
the next thirty years, begin to produce remarkable work in science. It
is quite likely that they might outstrip us, because they come with
fresh zest and with all the ardour of a renaissance. In fact, the
enthusiasm for learning in Young China reminds one constantly of the
renaissance spirit in fifteenth-century Italy.

It is very remarkable, as distinguishing the Chinese from the Japanese,
that the things they wish to learn from us are not those that bring
wealth or military strength, but rather those that have either an
ethical and social value, or a purely intellectual interest. They are
not by any means uncritical of our civilization. Some of them told me
that they were less critical before 1914, but that the war made them
think there must be imperfections in the Western manner of life. The
habit of looking to the West for wisdom was, however, very strong, and
some of the younger ones thought that Bolshevism could give what they
were looking for. That hope also must be suffering disappointment, and
before long they will realize that they must work out their own
salvation by means of a new synthesis. The Japanese adopted our faults
and kept their own, but it is possible to hope that the Chinese will
make the opposite selection, keeping their own merits and adopting ours.

The distinctive merit of our civilization, I should say, is the
scientific method; the distinctive merit of the Chinese is a just
conception of the ends of life. It is these two that one must hope to
see gradually uniting.

Lao-Tze describes the operation of Tao as "production without
possession, action without self-assertion, development without
domination." I think one could derive from these words a conception of
the ends of life as reflective Chinese see them, and it must be admitted
that they are very different from the ends which most white men set
before themselves. Possession, self-assertion, domination, are eagerly
sought, both nationally and individually. They have been erected into a
philosophy by Nietzsche, and Nietzsche's disciples are not confined to

But, it will be said, you have been comparing Western practice with
Chinese theory; if you had compared Western theory with Chinese
practice, the balance would have come out quite differently. There is,
of course, a great deal of truth in this. Possession, which is one of
the three things that Lao-Tze wishes us to forego, is certainly dear to
the heart of the average Chinaman. As a race, they are tenacious of
money--not perhaps more so than the French, but certainly more than the
English or the Americans. Their politics are corrupt, and their powerful
men make money in disgraceful ways. All this it is impossible to deny.

Nevertheless, as regards the other two evils, self-assertion and
domination, I notice a definite superiority to ourselves in Chinese
practice. There is much less desire than among the white races to
tyrannize over other people. The weakness of China internationally is
quite as much due to this virtue as to the vices of corruption and so on
which are usually assigned as the sole reason. If any nation in the
world could ever be "too proud to fight," that nation would be China.
The natural Chinese attitude is one of tolerance and friendliness,
showing courtesy and expecting it in return. If the Chinese chose, they
could be the most powerful nation in the world. But they only desire
freedom, not domination. It is not improbable that other nations may
compel them to fight for their freedom, and if so, they may lose their
virtues and acquire a taste for empire. But at present, though they have
been an imperial race for 2,000 years, their love of empire is
extraordinarily slight.

Although there have been many wars in China, the natural outlook of the
Chinese is very pacifistic. I do not know of any other country where a
poet would have chosen, as Po-Chui did in one of the poems translated by
Mr. Waley, called by him _The Old Man with the Broken Arm_, to make a
hero of a recruit who maimed himself to escape military service. Their
pacifism is rooted in their contemplative outlook, and in the fact that
they do not desire to change whatever they see. They take a pleasure--as
their pictures show--in observing characteristic manifestations of
different kinds of life, and they have no wish to reduce everything to a
preconceived pattern. They have not the ideal of progress which
dominates the Western nations, and affords a rationalization of our
active impulses. Progress is, of course, a very modern ideal even with
us; it is part of what we owe to science and industrialism. The
cultivated conservative Chinese of the present day talk exactly as their
earliest sages write. If one points out to them that this shows how
little progress there has been, they will say: "Why seek progress when
you already enjoy what is excellent?" At first, this point of view seems
to a European unduly indolent; but gradually doubts as to one's own
wisdom grow up, and one begins to think that much of what we call
progress is only restless change, bringing us no nearer to any desirable

It is interesting to contrast what the Chinese have sought in the West
with what the West has sought in China. The Chinese in the West seek
knowledge, in the hope--which I fear is usually vain--that knowledge may
prove a gateway to wisdom. White men have gone to China with three
motives: to fight, to make money, and to convert the Chinese to our
religion. The last of these motives has the merit of being idealistic,
and has inspired many heroic lives. But the soldier, the merchant, and
the missionary are alike concerned to stamp our civilization upon the
world; they are all three, in a certain sense, pugnacious. The Chinese
have no wish to convert us to Confucianism; they say "religions are
many, but reason is one," and with that they are content to let us go
our way. They are good merchants, but their methods are quite different
from those of European merchants in China, who are perpetually seeking
concessions, monopolies, railways, and mines, and endeavouring to get
their claims supported by gunboats. The Chinese are not, as a rule, good
soldiers, because the causes for which they are asked to fight are not
worth fighting for, and they know it. But that is only a proof of their

I think the tolerance of the Chinese is in excess of anything that
Europeans can imagine from their experience at home. We imagine
ourselves tolerant, because we are more so than our ancestors. But we
still practise political and social persecution, and what is more, we
are firmly persuaded that our civilization and our way of life are
immeasurably better than any other, so that when we come across a nation
like the Chinese, we are convinced that the kindest thing we can do to
them is to make them like ourselves. I believe this to be a profound
mistake. It seemed to me that the average Chinaman, even if he is
miserably poor, is happier than the average Englishman, and is happier
because the nation is built upon a more humane and civilized outlook
than our own. Restlessness and pugnacity not only cause obvious evils,
but fill our lives with discontent, incapacitate us for the enjoyment of
beauty, and make us almost incapable of the contemplative virtues. In
this respect we have grown rapidly worse during the last hundred years.
I do not deny that the Chinese go too far in the other direction; but
for that very reason I think contact between East and West is likely to
be fruitful to both parties. They may learn from us the indispensable
minimum of practical efficiency, and we may learn from them something of
that contemplative wisdom which has enabled them to persist while all
the other nations of antiquity have perished.

When I went to China, I went to teach; but every day that I stayed I
thought less of what I had to teach them and more of what I had to learn
from them. Among Europeans who had lived a long time in China, I found
this attitude not uncommon; but among those whose stay is short, or who
go only to make money, it is sadly rare. It is rare because the Chinese
do not excel in the things we really value--military prowess and
industrial enterprise. But those who value wisdom or beauty, or even the
simple enjoyment of life, will find more of these things in China than
in the distracted and turbulent West, and will be happy to live where
such things are valued. I wish I could hope that China, in return for
our scientific knowledge, may give us something of her large tolerance
and contemplative peace of mind.


[Footnote 93: See Cordier, op. cit. i. p. 368, and Giles, op. cit. p.

[Footnote 94: With regard to Lao-Tze, the book which bears his name is
of doubtful authenticity, and was probably compiled two or three
centuries after his death. Cf. Giles, op. cit., Lecture V.]

[Footnote 95: Quoted in Chap. IV, pp. 82-3.]



There is a theory among Occidentals that the Chinaman is inscrutable,
full of secret thoughts, and impossible for us to understand. It may be
that a greater experience of China would have brought me to share this
opinion; but I could see nothing to support it during the time when I
was working in that country. I talked to the Chinese as I should have
talked to English people, and they answered me much as English people
would have answered a Chinese whom they considered educated and not
wholly unintelligent. I do not believe in the myth of the "Subtle
Oriental": I am convinced that in a game of mutual deception an
Englishman or American can beat a Chinese nine times out of ten. But as
many comparatively poor Chinese have dealings with rich white men, the
game is often played only on one side. Then, no doubt, the white man is
deceived and swindled; but not more than a Chinese mandarin would be in

One of the most remarkable things about the Chinese is their power of
securing the affection of foreigners. Almost all Europeans like China,
both those who come only as tourists and those who live there for many
years. In spite of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, I can recall hardly a
single Englishman in the Far East who liked the Japanese as well as the
Chinese. Those who have lived long among them tend to acquire their
outlook and their standards. New arrivals are struck by obvious evils:
the beggars, the terrible poverty, the prevalence of disease, the
anarchy and corruption in politics. Every energetic Westerner feels at
first a strong desire to reform these evils, and of course they ought to
be reformed.

But the Chinese, even those who are the victims of preventable
misfortunes, show a vast passive indifference to the excitement of the
foreigners; they wait for it to go off, like the effervescence of
soda-water. And gradually strange hesitations creep into the mind of the
bewildered traveller; after a period of indignation, he begins to doubt
all the maxims he has hitherto accepted without question. Is it really
wise to be always guarding against future misfortune? Is it prudent to
lose all enjoyment of the present through thinking of the disasters that
may come at some future date? Should our lives be passed in building a
mansion that we shall never have leisure to inhabit?

The Chinese answer these questions in the negative, and therefore have
to put up with poverty, disease, and anarchy. But, to compensate for
these evils, they have retained, as industrial nations have not, the
capacity for civilized enjoyment, for leisure and laughter, for pleasure
in sunshine and philosophical discourse. The Chinese, of all classes,
are more laughter-loving than any other race with which I am acquainted;
they find amusement in everything, and a dispute can always be softened
by a joke.

I remember one hot day when a party of us were crossing the hills in
chairs--the way was rough and very steep, the work for the coolies very
severe. At the highest point of our journey, we stopped for ten minutes
to let the men rest. Instantly they all sat in a row, brought out their
pipes, and began to laugh among themselves as if they had not a care in
the world. In any country that had learned the virtue of forethought,
they would have devoted the moments to complaining of the heat, in order
to increase their tip. We, being Europeans, spent the time worrying
whether the automobile would be waiting for us at the right place.
Well-to-do Chinese would have started a discussion as to whether the
universe moves in cycles or progresses by a rectilinear motion; or they
might have set to work to consider whether the truly virtuous man shows
_complete_ self-abnegation, or may, on occasion, consider his own

One comes across white men occasionally who suffer under the delusion
that China is not a civilized country. Such men have quite forgotten
what constitutes civilization. It is true that there are no trams in
Peking, and that the electric light is poor. It is true that there are
places full of beauty, which Europeans itch to make hideous by digging
up coal. It is true that the educated Chinaman is better at writing
poetry than at remembering the sort of facts which can be looked up in
_Whitaker's Almanac_. A European, in recommending a place of residence,
will tell you that it has a good train service; the best quality he can
conceive in any place is that it should be easy to get away from. But a
Chinaman will tell you nothing about the trains; if you ask, he will
tell you wrong. What he tells you is that there is a palace built by an
ancient emperor, and a retreat in a lake for scholars weary of the
world, founded by a famous poet of the Tang dynasty. It is this outlook
that strikes the Westerner as barbaric.

The Chinese, from the highest to the lowest, have an imperturbable quiet
dignity, which is usually not destroyed even by a European education.
They are not self-assertive, either individually or nationally; their
pride is too profound for self-assertion. They admit China's military
weakness in comparison with foreign Powers, but they do not consider
efficiency in homicide the most important quality in a man or a nation.
I think that, at bottom, they almost all believe that China is the
greatest nation in the world, and has the finest civilization. A
Westerner cannot be expected to accept this view, because it is based on
traditions utterly different from his own. But gradually one comes to
feel that it is, at any rate, not an absurd view; that it is, in fact,
the logical outcome of a self-consistent standard of values. The typical
Westerner wishes to be the cause of as many changes as possible in his
environment; the typical Chinaman wishes to enjoy as much and as
delicately as possible. This difference is at the bottom of most of the
contrast between China and the English-speaking world.

We in the West make a fetish of "progress," which is the ethical
camouflage of the desire to be the cause of changes. If we are asked,
for instance, whether machinery has really improved the world, the
question strikes us as foolish: it has brought great changes and
therefore great "progress." What we believe to be a love of progress is
really, in nine cases out of ten, a love of power, an enjoyment of the
feeling that by our fiat we can make things different. For the sake of
this pleasure, a young American will work so hard that, by the time he
has acquired his millions, he has become a victim of dyspepsia,
compelled to live on toast and water, and to be a mere spectator of the
feasts that he offers to his guests. But he consoles himself with the
thought that he can control politics, and provoke or prevent wars as may
suit his investments. It is this temperament that makes Western nations

There are, of course, ambitious men in China, but they are less common
than among ourselves. And their ambition takes a different form--not a
better form, but one produced by the preference of enjoyment to power.
It is a natural result of this preference that avarice is a widespread
failing of the Chinese. Money brings the means of enjoyment, therefore
money is passionately desired. With us, money is desired chiefly as a
means to power; politicians, who can acquire power without much money,
are often content to remain poor. In China, the _tuchuns_ (military
governors), who have the real power, almost always use it for the sole
purpose of amassing a fortune. Their object is to escape to Japan at a
suitable moment; with sufficient plunder to enable them to enjoy life
quietly for the rest of their days. The fact that in escaping they lose
power does not trouble them in the least. It is, of course, obvious that
such politicians, who spread devastation only in the provinces committed
to their care, are far less harmful to the world than our own, who ruin
whole continents in order to win an election campaign.

The corruption and anarchy in Chinese politics do much less harm than
one would be inclined to expect. But for the predatory desires of the
Great Powers--especially Japan--the harm would be much less than is
done by our own "efficient" Governments. Nine-tenths of the activities
of a modern Government are harmful; therefore the worse they are
performed, the better. In China, where the Government is lazy, corrupt,
and stupid, there is a degree of individual liberty which has been
wholly lost in the rest of the world.

The laws are just as bad as elsewhere; occasionally, under foreign
pressure, a man is imprisoned for Bolshevist propaganda, just as he
might be in England or America. But this is quite exceptional; as a
rule, in practice, there is very little interference with free speech
and a free Press.[96] The individual does not feel obliged to follow the
herd, as he has in Europe since 1914, and in America since 1917. Men
still think for themselves, and are not afraid to announce the
conclusions at which they arrive. Individualism has perished in the
West, but in China it survives, for good as well as for evil.
Self-respect and personal dignity are possible for every coolie in
China, to a degree which is, among ourselves, possible only for a few
leading financiers.

The business of "saving face," which often strikes foreigners in China
as ludicrous, is only the carrying-out of respect for personal dignity
in the sphere of social manners. Everybody has "face," even the humblest
beggar; there are humiliations that you must not inflict upon him, if
you are not to outrage the Chinese ethical code. If you speak to a
Chinaman in a way that transgresses the code, he will laugh, because
your words must be taken as spoken in jest if they are not to constitute
an offence.

Once I thought that the students to whom I was lecturing were not as
industrious as they might be, and I told them so in just the same words
that I should have used to English students in the same circumstances.
But I soon found I was making a mistake. They all laughed uneasily,
which surprised me until I saw the reason. Chinese life, even among the
most modernized, is far more polite than anything to which we are
accustomed. This, of course, interferes with efficiency, and also (what
is more serious) with sincerity and truth in personal relations. If I
were Chinese, I should wish to see it mitigated. But to those who suffer
from the brutalities of the West, Chinese urbanity is very restful.
Whether on the balance it is better or worse than our frankness, I shall
not venture to decide.

The Chinese remind one of the English in their love of compromise and in
their habit of bowing to public opinion. Seldom is a conflict pushed to
its ultimate brutal issue. The treatment of the Manchu Emperor may be
taken as a case in point. When a Western country becomes a Republic, it
is customary to cut off the head of the deposed monarch, or at least to
cause him to fly the country. But the Chinese have left the Emperor his
title, his beautiful palace, his troops of eunuchs, and an income of
several million dollars a year. He is a boy of sixteen, living peaceably
in the Forbidden City. Once, in the course of a civil war, he was
nominally restored to power for a few days; but he was deposed again,
without being in any way punished for the use to which he had been put.

Public opinion is a very real force in China, when it can be roused. It
was, by all accounts, mainly responsible for the downfall of the An Fu
party in the summer of 1920. This party was pro-Japanese and was
accepting loans from Japan. Hatred of Japan is the strongest and most
widespread of political passions in China, and it was stirred up by the
students in fiery orations. The An Fu party had, at first, a great
preponderance of military strength; but their soldiers melted away when
they came to understand the cause for which they were expected to fight.
In the end, the opponents of the An Fu party were able to enter Peking
and change the Government almost without firing a shot.

The same influence of public opinion was decisive in the teachers'
strike, which was on the point of being settled when I left Peking. The
Government, which is always impecunious, owing to corruption, had left
its teachers unpaid for many months. At last they struck to enforce
payment, and went on a peaceful deputation to the Government,
accompanied by many students. There was a clash with the soldiers and
police, and many teachers and students were more or less severely
wounded. This led to a terrific outcry, because the love of education in
China is profound and widespread. The newspapers clamoured for
revolution. The Government had just spent nine million dollars in
corrupt payments to three Tuchuns who had descended upon the capital to
extort blackmail. It could not find any colourable pretext for refusing
the few hundred thousands required by the teachers, and it capitulated
in panic. I do not think there is any Anglo-Saxon country where the
interests of teachers would have roused the same degree of public

Nothing astonishes a European more in the Chinese than their patience.
The educated Chinese are well aware of the foreign menace. They realize
acutely what the Japanese have done in Manchuria and Shantung. They are
aware that the English in Hong-Kong are doing their utmost to bring to
naught the Canton attempt to introduce good government in the South.
They know that all the Great Powers, without exception, look with greedy
eyes upon the undeveloped resources of their country, especially its
coal and iron. They have before them the example of Japan, which, by
developing a brutal militarism, a cast-iron discipline, and a new
reactionary religion, has succeeded in holding at bay the fierce lusts
of "civilized" industrialists. Yet they neither copy Japan nor submit
tamely to foreign domination. They think not in decades, but in
centuries. They have been conquered before, first by the Tartars and
then by the Manchus; but in both cases they absorbed their conquerors.
Chinese civilization persisted, unchanged; and after a few generations
the invaders became more Chinese than their subjects.

Manchuria is a rather empty country, with abundant room for
colonization. The Japanese assert that they need colonies for their
surplus population, yet the Chinese immigrants into Manchuria exceed the
Japanese a hundredfold. Whatever may be the temporary political status
of Manchuria, it will remain a part of Chinese civilization, and can be
recovered whenever Japan happens to be in difficulties. The Chinese
derive such strength from their four hundred millions, the toughness of
their national customs, their power of passive resistance, and their
unrivalled national cohesiveness--in spite of the civil wars, which
merely ruffle the surface--that they can afford to despise military
methods, and to wait till the feverish energy of their oppressors shall
have exhausted itself in internecine combats.

China is much less a political entity than a civilization--the only one
that has survived from ancient times. Since the days of Confucius, the
Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman Empires have
perished; but China has persisted through a continuous evolution. There
have been foreign influences--first Buddhism, and now Western science.
But Buddhism did not turn the Chinese into Indians, and Western science
will not turn them into Europeans. I have met men in China who knew as
much of Western learning as any professor among ourselves; yet they had
not been thrown off their balance, or lost touch with their own people.
What is bad in the West--its brutality, its restlessness, its readiness
to oppress the weak, its preoccupation with purely material aims--they
see to be bad, and do not wish to adopt. What is good, especially its
science, they do wish to adopt.

The old indigenous culture of China has become rather dead; its art and
literature are not what they were, and Confucius does not satisfy the
spiritual needs of a modern man, even if he is Chinese. The Chinese who
have had a European or American education realize that a new element, is
needed to vitalize native traditions, and they look to our civilization
to supply it. But they do not wish to construct a civilization just like
ours; and it is precisely in this that the best hope lies. If they are
not goaded into militarism, they may produce a genuinely new
civilization, better than any that we in the West have been able to

So far, I have spoken chiefly of the good sides of the Chinese
character; but of course China, like every other nation, has its bad
sides also. It is disagreeable to me to speak of these, as I experienced
so much courtesy and real kindness from the Chinese, that I should
prefer to say only nice things about them. But for the sake of China, as
well as for the sake of truth, it would be a mistake to conceal what is
less admirable. I will only ask the reader to remember that, on the
balance, I think the Chinese one of the best nations I have come across,
and am prepared to draw up a graver indictment against every one of the
Great Powers. Shortly before I left China, an eminent Chinese writer
pressed me to say what I considered the chief defects of the Chinese.
With some reluctance, I mentioned three: avarice, cowardice and
callousness. Strange to say, my interlocutor, instead of getting angry,
admitted the justice of my criticism, and proceeded to discuss possible
remedies. This is a sample of the intellectual integrity which is one of
China's greatest virtues.

The callousness of the Chinese is bound to strike every Anglo-Saxon.
They have none of that humanitarian impulse which leads us to devote one
per cent. of our energy to mitigating the evils wrought by the other
ninety-nine per cent. For instance, we have been forbidding the
Austrians to join with Germany, to emigrate, or to obtain the raw
materials of industry. Therefore the Viennese have starved, except those
whom it has pleased us to keep alive from philanthropy. The Chinese
would not have had the energy to starve the Viennese, or the
philanthropy to keep some of them alive. While I was in China, millions
were dying of famine; men sold their children into slavery for a few
dollars, and killed them if this sum was unobtainable. Much was done by
white men to relieve the famine, but very little by the Chinese, and
that little vitiated by corruption. It must be said, however, that the
efforts of the white men were more effective in soothing their own
consciences than in helping the Chinese. So long as the present
birth-rate and the present methods of agriculture persist, famines are
bound to occur periodically; and those whom philanthropy keeps alive
through one famine are only too likely to perish in the next.

Famines in China can be permanently cured only by better methods of
agriculture combined with emigration or birth-control on a large scale.
Educated Chinese realize this, and it makes them indifferent to efforts
to keep the present victims alive. A great deal of Chinese callousness
has a similar explanation, and is due to perception of the vastness of
the problems involved. But there remains a residue which cannot be so
explained. If a dog is run over by an automobile and seriously hurt,
nine out of ten passers-by will stop to laugh at the poor brute's howls.
The spectacle of suffering does not of itself rouse any sympathetic pain
in the average Chinaman; in fact, he seems to find it mildly agreeable.
Their history, and their penal code before the revolution of 1911, show
that they are by no means destitute of the impulse of active cruelty;
but of this I did not myself come across any instances. And it must be
said that active cruelty is practised by all the great nations, to an
extent concealed from us only by our hypocrisy.

Cowardice is prima facie a fault of the Chinese; but I am not sure that
they are really lacking in courage. It is true that, in battles between
rival tuchuns, both sides run away, and victory rests with the side that
first discovers the flight of the other. But this proves only that the
Chinese soldier is a rational man. No cause of any importance is
involved, and the armies consist of mere mercenaries. When there is a
serious issue, as, for instance, in the Tai-Ping rebellion, the Chinese
are said to fight well, particularly if they have good officers.
Nevertheless, I do not think that, in comparison with the Anglo-Saxons,
the French, or the Germans, the Chinese can be considered a courageous
people, except in the matter of passive endurance. They will endure
torture, and even death, for motives which men of more pugnacious races
would find insufficient--for example, to conceal the hiding-place of
stolen plunder. In spite of their comparative lack of _active_ courage,
they have less fear of death than we have, as is shown by their
readiness to commit suicide.

Avarice is, I should say, the gravest defect of the Chinese. Life is
hard, and money is not easily obtained. For the sake of money, all
except a very few foreign-educated Chinese will be guilty of corruption.
For the sake of a few pence, almost any coolie will run an imminent risk
of death. The difficulty of combating Japan has arisen mainly from the
fact that hardly any Chinese politician can resist Japanese bribes. I
think this defect is probably due to the fact that, for many ages, an
honest living has been hard to get; in which case it will be lessened as
economic conditions improve. I doubt if it is any worse now in China
than it was in Europe in the eighteenth century. I have not heard of any
Chinese general more corrupt than Marlborough, or of any politician more
corrupt than Cardinal Dubois. It is, therefore, quite likely that
changed industrial conditions will make the Chinese as honest as we
are--which is not saying much.

I have been speaking of the Chinese as they are in ordinary life, when
they appear as men of active and sceptical intelligence, but of somewhat
sluggish passions. There is, however, another side to them: they are
capable of wild excitement, often of a collective kind. I saw little of
this myself, but there can be no doubt of the fact. The Boxer rising was
a case in point, and one which particularly affected Europeans. But
their history is full of more or less analogous disturbances. It is this
element in their character that makes them incalculable, and makes it
impossible even to guess at their future. One can imagine a section of
them becoming fanatically Bolshevist, or anti-Japanese, or Christian, or
devoted to some leader who would ultimately declare himself Emperor. I
suppose it is this element in their character that makes them, in spite
of their habitual caution, the most reckless gamblers in the world. And
many emperors have lost their thrones through the force of romantic
love, although romantic love is far more despised than it is in the

To sum up the Chinese character is not easy. Much of what strikes the
foreigner is due merely to the fact that they have preserved an ancient
civilization which is not industrial. All this is likely to pass away,
under the pressure of the Japanese, and of European and American
financiers. Their art is already perishing, and being replaced by crude
imitations of second-rate European pictures. Most of the Chinese who
have had a European education are quite incapable of seeing any beauty
in native painting, and merely observe contemptuously that it does not
obey the laws of perspective.

The obvious charm which the tourist finds in China cannot be preserved;
it must perish at the touch of industrialism. But perhaps something may
be preserved, something of the ethical qualities in which China is
supreme, and which the modern world most desperately needs. Among these
qualities I place first the pacific temper, which seeks to settle
disputes on grounds of justice rather than by force. It remains to be
seen whether the West will allow this temper to persist, or will force
it to give place, in self-defence, to a frantic militarism like that to
which Japan has been driven.


[Footnote 96: This vexes the foreigners, who are attempting to establish
a very severe Press censorship in Shanghai. See "The Shanghai Printed
Matter Bye-Law." Hollington K. Tong, _Review of the Far East,_ April 16,



China, like Italy and Greece, is frequently misjudged by persons of
culture because they regard it as a museum. The preservation of ancient
beauty is very important, but no vigorous forward-looking man is content
to be a mere curator. The result is that the best people in China tend
to be Philistines as regards all that is pleasing to the European
tourist. The European in China, quite apart from interested motives, is
apt to be ultra-conservative, because he likes everything distinctive
and non-European. But this is the attitude of an outsider, of one who
regards China as a country to be looked at rather than lived in, as a
country with a past rather than a future. Patriotic Chinese naturally do
not view their country in this way; they wish their country to acquire
what is best in the modern world, not merely to remain an interesting
survival of a by-gone age, like Oxford or the Yellowstone Park. As the
first step to this end, they do all they can to promote higher
education, and to increase the number of Chinese who can use and
appreciate Western knowledge without being the slaves of Western
follies. What is being done in this direction is very interesting, and
one of the most hopeful things happening in our not very cheerful epoch.

There is first the old traditional curriculum, the learning by rote of
the classics without explanation in early youth, followed by a more
intelligent study in later years. This is exactly like the traditional
study of the classics in this country, as it existed, for example, in
the eighteenth century. Men over thirty, even if, in the end, they have
secured a thoroughly modern education, have almost all begun by learning
reading and writing in old-fashioned schools. Such schools still form
the majority, and give most of the elementary education that is given.
Every child has to learn by heart every day some portion of the
classical text, and repeat it out loud in class. As they all repeat at
the same time, the din is deafening. (In Peking I lived next to one of
these schools, so I can speak from experience.) The number of people who
are taught to read by these methods is considerable; in the large towns
one finds that even coolies can read as often as not. But writing (which
is very difficult in Chinese) is a much rarer accomplishment. Probably
those who can both read and write form about five per cent, of the

The establishment of normal schools for the training of teachers on
modern lines, which grew out of the edict of 1905 abolishing the old
examination system and proclaiming the need of educational reform, has
done much, and will do much more, to transform and extend elementary
education. The following statistics showing the increase in the number
of schools, teachers, and students in China are taken from Mr. Tyau's
_China Awakened_, p. 4:--

                         1910        1914       1917       1919

Number of Schools       42,444     59,796    128,048    134,000
Number of Teachers     185,566    200,000    326,417    326,000
Number of Students   1,625,534  3,849,554  4,269,197  4,500,000

Considering that the years concerned are years of revolution and civil
war, it must be admitted that the progress shown by these figures is
very remarkable.

There are schemes for universal elementary education, but so far, owing
to the disturbed condition of the country and the lack of funds, it has
been impossible to carry them out except in a few places on a small
scale. They would, however, be soon carried out if there were a stable

The traditional classical education was, of course, not intended to be
only elementary. The amount of Chinese literature is enormous, and the
older texts are extremely difficult to understand. There is scope,
within the tradition, for all the industry and erudition of the finest
renaissance scholars. Learning of this sort has been respected in China
for many ages. One meets old scholars of this type, to whose opinions,
even in politics, it is customary to defer, although they have the
innocence and unworldliness of the old-fashioned don. They remind one
almost of the men whom Lamb describes in his essay on Oxford in the
Vacation--learned, lovable, and sincere, but utterly lost in the modern
world, basing their opinions of Socialism, for example, on what some
eleventh-century philosopher said about it. The arguments for and
against the type of higher education that they represent are exactly the
same as those for and against a classical education in Europe, and one
is driven to the same conclusion in both cases: that the existence of
specialists having this type of knowledge is highly desirable, but that
the ordinary curriculum for the average educated person should take more
account of modern needs, and give more instruction in science, modern
languages, and contemporary international relations. This is the view,
so far as I could discover, of all reforming educationists in China.

The second kind of higher education in China is that initiated by the
missionaries, and now almost entirely in the hands of the Americans. As
everyone knows, America's position in Chinese education was acquired
through the Boxer indemnity. Most of the Powers, at that time, if their
own account is to be believed, demanded a sum representing only actual
loss and damage, but the Americans, according to their critics, demanded
(and obtained) a vastly larger sum, of which they generously devoted the
surplus to educating Chinese students, both in China and at American
universities. This course of action has abundantly justified itself,
both politically and commercially; a larger and larger number of posts
in China go to men who have come under American influence, and who have
come to believe that America is the one true friend of China among the
Great Powers.

One may take as typical of American work three institutions of which I
saw a certain amount: Tsing-Hua College (about ten miles from Peking),
the Peking Union Medical College (connected with the Rockefeller
Hospital), and the so-called Peking University.

Tsing-Hua College, delightfully situated at the foot of the Western
hills, with a number of fine solid buildings,[97] in a good American
style, owes its existence entirely to the Boxer indemnity money. It has
an atmosphere exactly like that of a small American university, and a
(Chinese) President who is an almost perfect reproduction of the
American College President. The teachers are partly American, partly
Chinese educated in America, and there tends to be more and more of the
latter. As one enters the gates, one becomes aware of the presence of
every virtue usually absent in China: cleanliness, punctuality,
exactitude, efficiency. I had not much opportunity to judge of the
teaching, but whatever I saw made me think that the institution was
thorough and good. One great merit, which belongs to American
institutions generally, is that the students are made to learn English.
Chinese differs so profoundly from European languages that even with the
most skilful translations a student who knows only Chinese cannot
understand European ideas; therefore the learning of some European
language is essential, and English is far the most familiar and useful
throughout the Far East.

The students at Tsing-Hua College learn mathematics and science and
philosophy, and broadly speaking, the more elementary parts of what is
commonly taught in universities. Many of the best of them go afterwards
to America, where they take a Doctor's degree. On returning to China
they become teachers or civil servants. Undoubtedly they contribute
greatly to the improvement of their country in efficiency and honesty
and technical intelligence.

The Rockefeller Hospital is a large, conspicuous building, representing
an interesting attempt to combine something of Chinese beauty with
European utilitarian requirements. The green roofs are quite Chinese,
but the walls and windows are European. The attempt is praiseworthy,
though perhaps not wholly successful. The hospital has all the most
modern scientific apparatus, but, with the monopolistic tendency of the
Standard Oil Company, it refuses to let its apparatus be of use to
anyone not connected with the hospital. The Peking Union Medical College
teaches many things besides medicine--English literature, for
example--and apparently teaches them well. They are necessary in order
to produce Chinese physicians and surgeons who will reach the European
level, because a good knowledge of some European language is necessary
for medicine as for other kinds of European learning. And a sound
knowledge of scientific medicine is, of course, of immense importance to
China, where there is no sort of sanitation and epidemics are frequent.

The so-called Peking University is an example of what the Chinese have
to suffer on account of extra-territoriality. The Chinese Government (so
at least I was told) had already established a university in Peking,
fully equipped and staffed, and known as the Peking University. But the
Methodist missionaries decided to give the name "Peking University" to
their schools, so the already existing university had to alter its name
to "Government University." The case is exactly as if a collection of
old-fashioned Chinamen had established themselves in London to teach the
doctrine of Confucius, and had been able to force London University to
abandon its name to them. However, I do not wish to raise the question
of extra-territoriality, the more so as I do not think it can be
abandoned for some years to come, in spite of the abuses to which it
sometimes gives rise.

Returned students (_i.e._ students who have been at foreign
universities) form a definite set in China.[98] There is in Peking a
"Returned Students' Club," a charming place. It is customary among
Europeans to speak ill of returned students, but for no good reason.
There are occasionally disagreements between different sections; in
particular, those who have been only to Japan are not regarded quite as
equals by those who have been to Europe or America. My impression was
that America puts a more definite stamp upon a student than any other
country; certainly those returning from England are less Anglicized than
those returning from the United States are Americanized. To the Chinaman
who wishes to be modern and up-to-date, skyscrapers and hustle seem
romantic, because they are so unlike his home. The old traditions which
conservative Europeans value are such a mushroom growth compared to
those of China (where authentic descendants of Confucius abound) that it
is useless to attempt that way of impressing the Chinese. One is
reminded of the conversation in _Eothen_ between the English country
gentleman and the Pasha, in which the Pasha praises England to the
refrain: "Buzz, buzz, all by steam; whir, whir, all on wheels," while
the Englishman keeps saying: "Tell the Pasha that the British yeoman is
still, thank God, the British yeoman."

Although the educational work of the Americans in China is on the whole
admirable, nothing directed by foreigners can adequately satisfy the
needs of the country. The Chinese have a civilization and a national
temperament in many ways superior to those of white men. A few Europeans
ultimately discover this, but Americans never do. They remain always
missionaries--not of Christianity, though they often think that is what
they are preaching, but of Americanism. What is Americanism? "Clean
living, clean thinking, and pep," I think an American would reply. This
means, in practice, the substitution of tidiness for art, cleanliness
for beauty, moralizing for philosophy, prostitutes for concubines (as
being easier to conceal), and a general air of being fearfully busy for
the leisurely calm of the traditional Chinese. Voltaire--that hardened
old cynic--laid it down that the true ends of life are "_aimer et
penser_." Both are common in China, but neither is compatible with
"pep." The American influence, therefore, inevitably tends to eliminate
both. If it prevailed it would, no doubt, by means of hygiene, save the
lives of many Chinamen, but would at the same time make them not worth
saving. It cannot therefore be regarded as wholly and altogether

The best Chinese educationists are aware of this, and have established
schools and universities which are modern but under Chinese direction.
In these, a certain proportion of the teachers are European or
American, but the spirit of the teaching is not that of the Y.M.C.A. One
can never rid oneself of the feeling that the education controlled by
white men is not disinterested; it seems always designed, unconsciously
in the main, to produce convenient tools for the capitalist penetration
of China by the merchants and manufacturers of the nation concerned.
Modern Chinese schools and universities are singularly different: they
are not hotbeds of rabid nationalism as they would be in any other
country, but institutions where the student is taught to think freely,
and his thoughts are judged by their intelligence, not by their utility
to exploiters. The outcome, among the best young men, is a really
beautiful intellectual disinterestedness. The discussions which I used
to have in my seminar (consisting of students belonging to the Peking
Government University) could not have been surpassed anywhere for
keenness, candour, and fearlessness. I had the same impression of the
Science Society of Nanking, and of all similar bodies wherever I came
across them. There is, among the young, a passionate desire to acquire
Western knowledge, together with a vivid realization of Western vices.
They wish to be scientific but not mechanical, industrial but not
capitalistic. To a man they are Socialists, as are most of the best
among their Chinese teachers. They respect the knowledge of Europeans,
but quietly put aside their arrogance. For the present, the purely
Chinese modern educational institutions, such as the Peking Government
University, leave much to be desired from the point of view of
instruction; there are no adequate libraries, the teaching of English is
not sufficiently thorough, and there is not enough mental discipline.
But these are the faults of youth, and are unimportant compared with the
profoundly humanistic attitude to life which is formed in the students.
Most of the faults may be traced to the lack of funds, because the
Government--loved by the Powers on account of its weakness--has to part
with all its funds to the military chieftains who fight each other and
plunder the country, as in Europe--for China must be compared with
Europe, not with any one of the petty States into which Europe is
unhappily divided.

The students are not only full of public spirit themselves, but are a
powerful force in arousing it throughout the nation. What they did in
1919, when Versailles awarded Shangtung to Japan, is well told by Mr.
Tyau in his chapter on "The Student Movement." And what they did was not
merely political. To quote Mr. Tyau (p. 146):--

     Having aroused the nation, prevented the signature of the
     Versailles Treaty and assisted the merchants to enforce the
     Japanese boycott, the students then directed their energies to
     the enlightenment of their less educated brothers and sisters.
     For instance, by issuing publications, by popular lectures
     showing them the real situation, internally as well as
     externally; but especially by establishing free schools and
     maintaining them out of their own funds. No praise can be too
     high for such self-sacrifice, for the students generally also
     teach in these schools. The scheme is endorsed everywhere with
     the greatest enthusiasm, and in Peking alone it is estimated that
     fifty thousand children are benefited by such education.

One thing which came as a surprise to me was to find that, as regards
modern education under Chinese control, there is complete equality
between men and women. The position of women in Peking Government
University is better than at Cambridge. Women are admitted to
examinations and degrees, and there are women teachers in the
university. The Girls' Higher Normal School in Peking, where prospective
women teachers are taught, is a most excellent and progressive
institution, and the spirit of free inquiry among the girls would
horrify most British head mistresses.

There is a movement in favour of co-education, especially in elementary
education, because, owing to the inadequate supply of schools, the girls
tend to be left out altogether unless they can go to the same school as
the boys. The first time I met Professor and Mrs. Dewey was at a banquet
in Chang-sha, given by the Tuchun. When the time came for after-dinner
speeches, Mrs. Dewey told the Tuchun that his province must adopt
co-education. He made a statesmanlike reply, saying that the matter
should receive his best consideration, but he feared the time was not
ripe in Hunan. However, it was clear that the matter was within the
sphere of practical politics. At the time, being new to China and having
imagined China a somewhat backward country, I was surprised. Later on I
realized that reforms which we only talk about can be actually carried
out in China.

Education controlled by missionaries or conservative white men cannot
give what Young China needs. After throwing off the native superstitions
of centuries, it would be a dismal fiasco to take on the European
superstitions which have been discarded here by all progressive people.
It is only where progressive Chinese themselves are in control that
there is scope for the renaissance spirit of the younger students, and
for that free spirit of sceptical inquiry by which they are seeking to
build a new civilization as splendid as their old civilization in its
best days.

While I was in Peking, the Government teachers struck, not for higher
pay, but for pay, because their salaries had not been paid for many
months. Accompanied by some of the students, they went on a deputation
to the Government, but were repulsed by soldiers and policemen, who
clubbed them so severely that many had to be taken to hospital. The
incident produced such universal fury that there was nearly a
revolution, and the Government hastened to come to terms with the
teachers with all possible speed. The modern teachers have behind them
all that is virile, energetic, and public-spirited in China; the gang of
bandits which controls the Government has behind it Japanese money and
European intrigue. America occupies an intermediate position. One may
say broadly that the old traditional education, with the military
governors and the British and Japanese influence, stands for
Conservatism; America and its commerce and its educational institutions
stand for Liberalism; while the native modern education, practically
though not theoretically, stands for Socialism. Incidentally, it alone
stands for intellectual freedom.

The Chinese are a great nation, incapable of permanent suppression by
foreigners. They will not consent to adopt our vices in order to acquire
military strength; but they are willing to adopt our virtues in order to
advance in wisdom. I think they are the only people in the world who
quite genuinely believe that wisdom is more precious than rubies. That
is why the West regards them as uncivilized.


[Footnote 97: It should be said that one sees just as fine buildings in
purely Chinese institutions, such as Peking Government University and
Nanking Teachers' Training College.]

[Footnote 98: Mr. Tyau (op. cit. p. 27) quotes from _Who's Who of
American Returned Students_, a classification of the occupations of 596
Chinese who have returned from American universities. The larger items
are: In education, 38 as administrators and 197 as teachers; in
Government service, 129 in executive offices (there are also three
members of Parliament and four judges); 95 engineers; 35 medical
practitioners (including dentists); 60 in business; and 21 social and
religious workers. It is estimated that the total number of Chinese
holding university degrees in America is 1,700, and in Great Britain 400
_(ib.)._ This disproportion is due to the more liberal policy of America
in the matter of the Boxer indemnity. In 1916 there were 292 Chinese
university students in Great Britain, and Mr. Tyau (p. 28) gives a
classification of them by their subjects. The larger groups are:
Medicine, 50; law and economics, 47; engineering, 42; mining, 22;
natural science (including chemistry and geology, which are classified
separately), 19.]



China is as yet only slightly industrialized, but the industrial
possibilities of the country are very great, and it may be taken as
nearly certain that there will be a rapid development throughout the
next few decades. China's future depends as much upon the manner of this
development as upon any other single factor; and China's difficulties
are very largely connected with the present industrial situation. I will
therefore first briefly describe this situation, and then consider the
possibilities of the near future.

We may take railways and mines as the foundation of a nation's
industrial life. Let us therefore consider first the railways and then
the mines, before going on to other matters.

When railways were new, the Manchu Government, like the universities of
Oxford and Cambridge (which it resembled in many ways), objected to
them, and did all it could to keep them at a distance.[99] In 1875 a
short line was built by foreigners from Shanghai to Woosung, but the
Central Government was so shocked that it caused it to be destroyed. In
1881 the first permanent railway was constructed, but not very much was
accomplished until after the Japanese War of 1894-5. The Powers then
thought that China was breaking up, and entered upon a scramble for
concessions and spheres of influence. The Belgians built the important
line from Peking to Hankow; the Americans obtained a concession for a
Hankow-Canton railway, which, however, has only been constructed as far
as Changsha. Russia built the Manchurian Railway, connecting Peking with
the Siberian Railway and with Europe. Germany built the Shantung
Railway, from Tsingtau to Tsinanfu. The French built a railway in the
south. England sought to obtain a monopoly of the railways in the
Yangtze valley. All these railways were to be owned by foreigners and
managed by foreign officials of the respective countries which had
obtained the concessions. The Boxer rising, however, made Europe aware
that some caution was needed if the Chinese were not to be exasperated
beyond endurance. After this, ownership of new railways was left to the
Chinese Government, but with so much foreign control as to rob it of
most of its value. By this time, Chinese public opinion had come to
realize that there must be railways in China, and that the real problem
was how to keep them under Chinese control. In 1908, the Tientsin-Pukow
line and the Shanghai-Hangchow line were sanctioned, to be built by the
help of foreign loans, but with all the administrative control in the
hands of the Chinese Government. At the same time, the Peking-Hankow
line was bought back by the Government, and the Peking-Kalgan line was
constructed by the Chinese without foreign financial assistance. Of the
big main lines of China, this left not much foreign control outside the
Manchurian Railway (Chinese Eastern Railway) and the Shantung Railway.
The first of these is mainly under foreign control and must now be
regarded as permanently lost, until such time as China becomes strong
enough to defeat Japan in war; and the whole of Manchuria has come more
or less under Japanese control. But the Shantung Railway, by the
agreement reached at Washington, is to be bought back by China--five
years hence, if all goes well. Thus, except in regions practically lost
to China, the Chinese now have control of all their more important
railways, or will have before long. This is a very hopeful feature of
the situation, and a distinct credit to Chinese sagacity.

Putnam Weale (Mr. Lennox Simpson) strongly urges--quite rightly, as I
think--the great importance of nationalizing _all_ Chinese railways. At
Washington recently, he helped to secure the Shantung Railway award, and
to concentrate attention on the railway as the main issue. Writing early
in 1919, he said[100]:--

     _The key to the proper control of China and the building-up of
     the new Republican State is the railway key_.... The revolution
     of 1911, and the acceptance in principle of Western ideas of
     popular government, removed the danger of foreign provinces being
     carved out of the old Manchu Empire. There was, however, left
     behind a more subtle weapon. _This weapon is the railway_. Russia
     with her Manchurian Railway scheme taught Japan the new method.
     Japan, by the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, not only inherited
     the richer half of the Manchurian railways, but was able to put
     into practice a new technique, based on a mixture of twisted
     economics, police control, and military garrisons. Out of this
     grew the latter-day highly developed railway-zone which, to all
     intents and purposes, creates a new type of foreign _enclave_,
     subversive of the Chinese State. _The especial evil to-day is
     that Japan has transferred from Manchuria to Shantung this new
     technique,_ which ... she will eventually extend into the very
     heart of intramural China ... and also into extramural Chihli and
     Inner Mongolia (thus outflanking Peking) unless she is summarily
     arrested. _At all costs this must be stopped._ The method of
     doing so is easy: _It is to have it laid down categorically, and
     accepted by all the Powers, that henceforth all railways on
     Chinese soil are a vital portion of Chinese sovereignty and must
     be controlled directly from Peking by a National Railway Board;
     that stationmasters, personnel and police, must be Chinese
     citizens, technical foreign help being limited to a set standard;
     and that all railway concessions are henceforth to be considered
     simply as building concessions which must be handed over, section
     by section, as they are built, to the National Railway Board_.

If the Shantung Railway Agreement is loyally carried out, this
reform--as to whose importance I quite agree with Putnam Weale--will
have been practically completed five years hence. But we must expect
Japan to adopt every possible means of avoiding the carrying out of her
promises, from instigating Chinese civil war to the murdering of
Japanese employees by Japanese secret agents masquerading as Chinese.
Therefore, until the Chinese actually have complete control of the
Shantung Railway, we cannot feel confident that they will ever get it.

It must not be supposed that the Chinese run railways badly. The Kalgan
Railway, which they built, is just as well built as those constructed by
foreigners; and the lines under Chinese administration are admirably
managed. I quote from Mr. Tyau[101] the following statistics, which
refer to the year 1919: Government railways, in operation, 6027
kilometres; under construction, 383 kilometres; private and provincial
railways, 773 kilometres; concessioned railways, 3,780 kilometres.
Total, 10,963 kilometres, or 6,852 miles. (The concessioned railways are
mainly those in Manchuria and Shantung, of which the first must be
regarded as definitely lost to China, while the second is probably
recovered. The problem of concessioned railways has therefore no longer
the importance that it had, though, by detaching Manchuria, the foreign
railway has shown its power for evil). As regards financial results, Mr.
Tyau gives the following figures for the principal State railways in

Name of Line.    Kilometres    Year        Per cent, earned
                 Operated.     Completed.  on Investment.

Peking-Mukden      987          1897          22.7
Peking-Hankow     1306          1905          15.8
Shanghai-Nanking   327          1908           6.2
Tientsin-Pukow    1107          1912           6.2
Peking-Suiyuan     490          1915           5.6

Subsequent years, for which I have not the exact figures, have been less

I cannot discover any evidence of incompetence in Chinese railway
administration. On the contrary, much has been done to overcome the
evils due to the fact that the various lines were originally constructed
by different Powers, each following its own customs, so that there was
no uniformity, and goods trucks could not be moved from one line on to
another. There is, however, urgent need of further railways, especially
to open up the west and to connect Canton with Hankow, the profit of
which would probably be enormous.

Mines are perhaps as important as railways, for if a country allows
foreign control of its mineral resources it cannot build up either its
industries or its munitions to the point where they will be independent
of foreign favour. But the situation as regards mining is at present far
from satisfactory. Mr. Julean Arnold, American Commercial Attaché at
Peking, writing early in 1919, made the following statement as regards
China's mineral resources:--

     China is favoured with a wonderful wealth in coal and in a good
     supply of iron ore, two essentials to modern industrial
     development. To indicate how little China has developed its
     marvellous wealth in coal, this country imported, during 1917,
     14,000,000 tons. It is estimated that China produces now
     20,000,000 tons annually, but it is supposed to have richer
     resources in coal than has the United States which, in 1918,
     produced 650,000,000 tons. In iron ore it has been estimated that
     China has 400,000,000 tons suitable for furnace reaction, and an
     additional 300,000,000 tons which might be worked by native
     methods. During 1917, it is estimated that China's production of
     pig iron was 500,000 tons. The developments in the iron and steel
     industry in China are making rapid strides, and a few years hence
     it is expected that the production of pig iron and of finished
     steel will be several millions of tons annually.... In antimony
     and tin China is also particularly rich, and considerable
     progress has taken place in the mining and smelting of these ores
     during the past few years. China should jealously safeguard its
     mineral wealth, so as to preserve it for the country's

The _China Year Book_ for 1919 gives the total Chinese production of
coal for 1914 as 6,315,735 tons, and of iron ore at 468,938 tons.[103]
Comparing these with Mr. Arnold's figures for 1917, namely 20,000,000
tons of coal and 500,000 tons of pig iron (not iron ore), it is evident
that great progress was made during those three years, and there is
every reason to think that at least the same rate of progress has been
maintained. The main problem for China, however, is not _rapid_
development, but _national_ development. Japan is poor in minerals, and
has set to work to acquire as much as possible of the mineral wealth of
China. This is important to Japan, for two different reasons: first,
that only industrial development can support the growing population,
which cannot be induced to emigrate to Japanese possessions on the
mainland; secondly, that steel is an indispensable requisite for

The Chinese are proud of the Kiangnan dock and engineering works at
Shanghai, which is a Government concern, and has proved its capacity for
shipbuilding on modern lines. It built four ships of 10,000 tons each
for the American Government. Mr. S.G. Cheng[104] says:--

     For the construction of these ships, materials were mostly
     supplied by China, except steel, which had to be shipped from
     America and Europe (the steel produced in China being so limited
     in quantity, that after a certain amount is exported to Japan by
     virtue of a previous contract, little is left for home

Considering how rich China is in iron ore, this state of affairs needs
explanation. The explanation is valuable to anyone who wishes to
understand modern politics.

The _China Year Book_ for 1919[105] (a work as little concerned with
politics as _Whitaker's Almanack_) gives a list of the five principal
iron mines in China, with some information about each. The first and
most important are the Tayeh mines, worked by the Hanyehping Iron and
Coal Co., Ltd., which, as the reader may remember, was the subject of
the third group in the Twenty-one Demands. The total amount of ore in
sight is estimated by the _China Year Book_ at 50,000,000 tons, derived
chiefly from two mines, in one of which the ore yields 65 per cent. of
iron, in the other 58 to 63 per cent. The output for 1916 is given as
603,732 tons (it has been greatly increased since then). The _Year Book_
proceeds: "Japanese capital is invested in the Company, and by the
agreement between China and Japan of May 1915 [after the ultimatum which
enforced the revised Twenty-one Demands], the Chinese Government
undertook not to convert the Company into a State-owned concern nor to
compel it to borrow money from other than Japanese sources." It should
be added that there is a Japanese accountant and a Japanese technical
adviser, and that pig-iron and ore, up to a specified value, must be
sold to the Imperial Japanese works at much below the market price,
leaving a paltry residue for sale in the open market.[106]

The second item in the _China Year Book's_ list is the Tungkuan Shan
mines. All that is said about these is as follows: "Tungling district on
the Yangtze, 55 miles above Wuhu, Anhui province. A concession to work
these mines, granted to the London and China Syndicate (British) in
1904, was surrendered in 1910 for the sum of £52,000, and the mines were
transferred to a Chinese Company to be formed for their exploitation."
These mines, therefore, are in Chinese hands. I do not know what their
capacity is supposed to be, and in view of the price at which they were
sold, it cannot be very great. The capital of the Hanyehping Co. is
$20,000,000, which is considerably more than £52,000. This was the only
one of the five iron mines mentioned in the _Year Book_ which was not
in Japanese hands at the time when the _Year Book_ was published.

Next comes the Taochung Iron Mine, Anhui province. "The concession which
was granted to the Sino-Japanese Industrial Development Co. will be
worked by the Orient Steel Manufacturing Co. The mine is said to contain
60,000,000 tons of ore, containing 65 per cent. of pure iron. The plan
of operations provides for the production of pig iron at the rate of
170,000 tons a year, a steel mill with a capacity of 100,000 tons of
steel ingots a year, and a casting and forging mill to produce 75,000
tons a year."

The fourth mine is at Chinlingchen, in Shantung, "worked in conjunction
with the Hengshan Colliery by the railway." I presume it is to be sold
back to China along with the railway.

The fifth and last mine mentioned is the Penhsihu Mine, "one of the most
promising mines in the nine mining areas in South Manchuria, where the
Japanese are permitted by an exchange of Notes between the Chinese and
Japanese Governments (May 25, 1915) to prospect for and operate mines.
The seam of this mine extends from near Liaoyang to the neighbourhood of
Penhsihu, and in size is pronounced equal to the Tayeh mine." It will be
observed that this mine, also, was acquired by the Japanese as a result
of the ultimatum enforcing the Twenty-one Demands. The _Year Book_ adds:
"The Japanese Navy is purchasing some of the Penhsihu output. Osaka
ironworks placed an order for 15,000 tons in 1915 and the arsenal at
Osaka in the same year accepted a tender for Penhsihu iron."

It will be seen from these facts that, as regards iron, the Chinese have
allowed the Japanese to acquire a position of vantage from which they
can only be ousted with great difficulty. Nevertheless, it is absolutely
imperative that the Chinese should develop an iron and steel industry of
their own on a large scale. If they do not, they cannot preserve their
national independence, their own civilization, or any of the things that
make them potentially of value to the world. It should be observed that
the chief reason for which the Japanese desire Chinese iron is in order
to be able to exploit and tyrannize over China. Confucius, I understand,
says nothing about iron mines;[107] therefore the old-fashioned Chinese
did not realize the importance of preserving them. Now that they are
awake to the situation, it is almost too late. I shall come back later
to the question of what can be done. For the present, let us continue
our survey of facts.

It may be presumed that the population of China will always be mainly
agricultural. Tea, silk, raw cotton, grain, the soya bean, etc., are
crops in which China excels. In production of raw cotton, China is the
third country in the world, India being the first and the United States
the second. There is, of course, room for great progress in agriculture,
but industry is vital if China is to preserve her national independence,
and it is industry that is our present topic.

To quote Mr. Tyau: "At the end of 1916 the number of factory hands was
officially estimated at 560,000 and that of mine workers 406,000. Since
then no official returns for the whole country have been published ...
but perhaps a million each would be an approximate figure for the
present number of factory operatives and mine workers."[108] Of course,
the hours are very long and the wages very low; Mr. Tyau mentions as
specially modern and praiseworthy certain textile factories where the
wages range from 15 to 45 cents a day.[109] (The cent varies in value,
but is always somewhere between a farthing and a halfpenny.) No doubt as
industry develops Socialism and labour unrest will also develop. If Mr.
Tyau is to be taken as a sample of the modern Chinese governing classes,
the policy of the Government towards Labour will be very illiberal. Mr.
Tyau's outlook is that of an American capitalist, and shows the extent
to which he has come under American influence, as well as that of
conservative England (he is an LL.D. of London). Most of the Young
Chinese I came across, however, were Socialists, and it may be hoped
that the traditional Chinese dislike of uncompromising fierceness will
make the Government less savage against Labour than the Governments of
America and Japan.

There is room for the development of a great textile industry in China.
There are a certain number of modern mills, and nothing but enterprise
is needed to make the industry as great as that of Lancashire.

Shipbuilding has made a good beginning in Shanghai, and would probably
develop rapidly if China had a flourishing iron and steel industry in
native hands.

The total exports of native produce in 1919 were just under £200,000,000
(630,000,000 taels), and the total imports slightly larger. It is
better, however, to consider such statistics in taels, because currency
fluctuations make the results deceptive when reckoned in sterling. The
tael is not a coin, but a certain weight of silver, and therefore its
value fluctuates with the value of silver. The _China Year Book_ gives
imports and exports of Chinese produce for 1902 as 325 million taels and
214 million taels respectively; for 1911, as 482 and 377; for 1917, as
577 and 462; for 1920, as 762 and 541. (The corresponding figures in
pounds sterling for 1911 are 64 millions and 50 millions; for 1917, 124
millions and 99,900,000.) It will thus be seen that, although the
foreign trade of China is still small in proportion to population, it is
increasing very fast. To a European it is always surprising to find how
little the economic life of China is affected by such incidents as
revolutions and civil wars.

Certain principles seem to emerge from a study of the Chinese railways
and mines as needing to be adopted by the Chinese Government if national
independence is to be preserved. As regards railways, nationalization is
obviously desirable, even if it somewhat retards the building of new
lines. Railways not in the hands of the Government will be controlled,
in the end if not in the beginning, by foreigners, who will thus acquire
a power over China which will be fatal to freedom. I think we may hope
that the Chinese authorities now realize this, and will henceforth act
upon it.

In regard to mines, development by the Chinese themselves is urgent,
since undeveloped resources tempt the greed of the Great Powers, and
development by foreigners makes it possible to keep China enslaved. It
should therefore be enacted that, in future, no sale of mines or of any
interest in mines to foreigners, and no loan from foreigners on the
security of mines, will be recognized as legally valid. In view of
extra-territoriality, it will be difficult to induce foreigners to
accept such legislation, and Consular Courts will not readily admit its
validity. But, as the example of extra-territoriality in Japan shows,
such matters depend upon the national strength; if the Powers fear
China, they will recognize the validity of Chinese legislation, but if
not, not. In view of the need of rapid development of mining by Chinese,
it would probably be unwise to nationalize all mines here and now. It
would be better to provide every possible encouragement to genuinely
Chinese private enterprise, and to offer the assistance of geological
and mining experts, etc. The Government should, however, retain the
right (_a_) to buy out any mining concern at a fair valuation; (_b_) to
work minerals itself in cases where the private owners fail to do so, in
spite of expert opinion in favour of their being worked. These powers
should be widely exercised, and as soon as mining has reached the point
compatible with national security, the mines should be all nationalized,
except where, as at Tayeh, diplomatic agreements stand in the way. It is
clear that the Tayeh mines must be recovered by China as soon as
opportunity offers, but when or how that will be it is as yet impossible
to say. Of course I have been assuming an orderly government established
in China, but without that nothing vigorous can be done to repel foreign
aggression. This is a point to which, along with other general questions
connected with the industrializing of China, I shall return in my last

It is said by Europeans who have business experience in China that the
Chinese are not good at managing large joint-stock companies, such as
modern industry requires. As everyone knows, they are proverbially
honest in business, in spite of the corruption of their politics. But
their successful businesses--so one gathers--do not usually extend
beyond a single family; and even they are apt to come to grief sooner or
later through nepotism. This is what Europeans say; I cannot speak from
my own knowledge. But I am convinced that modern education is very
quickly changing this state of affairs, which was connected with
Confucianism and the family ethic. Many Chinese have been trained in
business methods in America; there are Colleges of Commerce at Woosung
and other places; and the patriotism of Young China has led men of the
highest education to devote themselves to industrial development. The
Chinese are no doubt, by temperament and tradition, more suited to
commerce than to industry, but contact with the West is rapidly
introducing new aptitudes and a new mentality. There is, therefore,
every reason to expect, if political conditions are not too adverse,
that the industrial development of China will proceed rapidly throughout
the next few decades. It is of vital importance that that development
should be controlled by the Chinese rather than by foreign nations. But
that is part of the larger problem of the recovery of Chinese
independence, with which I shall deal in my last chapter.


[Footnote 99: For the history of Chinese railways, see Tyau, op. cit.
pp. 183 ff.]

[Footnote 100: _China in_ 1918. Published by the _Peking Leader_, pp.

[Footnote 101: Op. cit. chap. xi.]

[Footnote 102: _China in_ 1918, p. 26. There is perhaps some mistake in
the figures given for iron ore, as the Tayeh mines alone are estimated
by some to contain 700,000,000 tons of iron ore. Coleman, op cit. p.

[Footnote 103: Page 63. The 1922 _Year Book_ gives 19,500,000 tons of
coal production.]

[Footnote 104: _Modern China,_ p, 265.]

[Footnote 105: Pages 74-5.]

[Footnote 106: Coleman, op. cit. chap. xiv.]

[Footnote 107: It seems it would be inaccurate to maintain that there is
nothing on the subject in the Gospels. An eminent American divine
pointed out in print, as regards the advice against laying up treasure
where moth and rust doth corrupt, that "moth and rust do not get at Mr.
Rockefeller's oil wells, and thieves do not often break through and
steal a railway. What Jesus condemned was hoarding wealth." See Upton
Sinclair, _The Profits of Religion_, 1918, p. 175.]

[Footnote 108: Page 237.]

[Footnote 109: Page 218.]



In this chapter I propose to take, as far as I am able, the standpoint
of a progressive and public-spirited Chinese, and consider what reforms,
in what order, I should advocate in that case.

To begin with, it is clear that China must be saved by her own efforts,
and cannot rely upon outside help. In the international situation, China
has had both good and bad fortune. The Great War was unfortunate,
because it gave Japan temporarily a free hand; the collapse of Tsarist
Russia was fortunate, because it put an end to the secret alliance of
Russians and Japanese; the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was unfortunate,
because it compelled us to abet Japanese aggression even against our own
economic interests; the friction between Japan and America was
fortunate; but the agreement arrived at by the Washington Conference,
though momentarily advantageous as regards Shantung, is likely, in the
long run, to prove unfortunate, since it will make America less willing
to oppose Japan. For reasons which I set forth in Chap. X., unless China
becomes strong, either the collapse of Japan or her unquestioned
ascendency in the Far East is almost certain to prove disastrous to
China; and one or other of these is very likely to come about. All the
Great Powers, without exception, have interests which are incompatible,
in the long run, with China's welfare and with the best development of
Chinese civilization. Therefore the Chinese must seek salvation in their
own energy, not in the benevolence of any outside Power.

The problem is not merely one of _political_ independence; a certain
cultural independence is at least as important. I have tried to show in
this book that the Chinese are, in certain ways, superior to us, and it
would not be good either for them or for us if, in these ways, they had
to descend to our level in order to preserve their existence as a
nation. In this matter, however, a compromise is necessary. Unless they
adopt some of our vices to some extent, we shall not respect them, and
they will be increasingly oppressed by foreign nations. The object must
be to keep this process within the narrowest limits compatible with

First of all, a patriotic spirit is necessary--not, of course, the
bigoted anti-foreign spirit of the Boxers, but the enlightened attitude
which is willing to learn from other nations while not willing to allow
them to dominate. This attitude has been generated among educated
Chinese, and to a great extent in the merchant class, by the brutal
tuition of Japan. The danger of patriotism is that, as soon as it has
proved strong enough for successful defence, it is apt to turn to
foreign aggression. China, by her resources and her population, is
capable of being the greatest Power in the world after the United
States. It is much to be feared that, in the process of becoming strong
enough to preserve their independence, the Chinese may become strong
enough to embark upon a career of imperialism. It cannot be too
strongly urged that patriotism should be only defensive, not aggressive.
But with this proviso, I think a spirit of patriotism is absolutely
necessary to the regeneration of China. Independence is to be sought,
not as an end in itself, but as a means towards a new blend of Western
skill with the traditional Chinese virtues. If this end is not achieved,
political independence will have little value.

The three chief requisites, I should say, are: (1) The establishment of
an orderly Government; (2) industrial development under Chinese control;
(3) The spread of education. All these aims will have to be pursued
concurrently, but on the whole their urgency seems to me to come in the
above order. We have already seen how large a part the State will have
to take in building up industry, and how impossible this is while the
political anarchy continues. Funds for education on a large scale are
also unobtainable until there is good government. Therefore good
government is the prerequisite of all other reforms. Industrialism and
education are closely connected, and it would be difficult to decide the
priority between them; but I have put industrialism first, because,
unless it is developed very soon by the Chinese, foreigners will have
acquired such a strong hold that it will be very difficult indeed to
oust them. These reasons have decided me that our three problems ought
to be taken in the above order.

1. _The establishment of an orderly government_.--At the moment of
writing, the condition of China is as anarchic as it has ever been. A
battle between Chang-tso-lin and Wu-Pei-Fu is imminent; the former is
usually considered, though falsely according to some good authorities,
the most reactionary force in China; Wu-Pei-Fu, though _The Times_ calls
him "the Liberal leader," may well prove no more satisfactory than
"Liberal" leaders nearer home. It is of course possible that, if he
wins, he may be true to his promises and convoke a Parliament for all
China; but it is at least equally possible that he may not. In any case,
to depend upon the favour of a successful general is as precarious as to
depend upon the benevolence of a foreign Power. If the progressive
elements are to win, they must become a strong organized force.

So far as I can discover, Chinese Constitutionalists are doing the best
thing that is possible at the moment, namely, concerting a joint
programme, involving the convoking of a Parliament and the cessation of
military usurpation. Union is essential, even if it involves sacrifice
of cherished beliefs on the part of some. Given a programme upon which
all the Constitutionalists are united, they will acquire great weight in
public opinion, which is very powerful in China. They may then be able,
sooner or later, to offer a high constitutional position to some
powerful general, on condition of his ceasing to depend upon mere
military force. By this means they may be able to turn the scales in
favour of the man they select, as the student agitation turned the
scales in July 1920 in favour of Wu-Pei-Fu against the An Fu party. Such
a policy can only be successful if it is combined with vigorous
propaganda, both among the civilian population and among the soldiers,
and if, as soon as peace is restored, work is found for disbanded
soldiers and pay for those who are not disbanded. This raises the
financial problem, which is very difficult, because foreign Powers will
not lend except in return for some further sacrifice of the remnants of
Chinese independence. (For reasons explained in Chap. X., I do not
accept the statement by the American consortium bankers that a loan from
them would not involve control over China's internal affairs. They may
not mean control to be involved, but I am convinced that in fact it
would be.) The only way out of this difficulty that I can see is to
raise an internal loan by appealing to the patriotism of Chinese
merchants. There is plenty of money in China, but, very naturally, rich
Chinese will not lend to any of the brigands who now control the

When the time comes to draft a permanent Constitution, I have no doubt
that it will have to be federal, allowing a very large measure of
autonomy to the provinces, and reserving for the Central Government few
things except customs, army and navy, foreign relations and railways.
Provincial feeling is strong, and it is now, I think, generally
recognized that a mistake was made in 1912 in not allowing it more

While a Constitution is being drafted, and even after it has been agreed
upon, it will not be possible to rely upon the inherent prestige of
Constitutionalism, or to leave public opinion without guidance. It will
be necessary for the genuinely progressive people throughout the country
to unite in a strongly disciplined society, arriving at collective
decisions and enforcing support of those decisions upon all its members.
This society will have to win the confidence of public opinion by a very
rigid avoidance of corruption and political profiteering; the slightest
failure of a member in this respect must be visited by expulsion. The
society must make itself obviously the champion of the national
interests as against all self-seekers, speculators and toadies to
foreign Powers. It will thus become able authoritatively to commend or
condemn politicians and to wield great influence over opinion, even in
the army. There exists in Young China enough energy, patriotism and
honesty to create such a society and to make it strong through the
respect which it will command. But unless enlightened patriotism is
organized in some such way, its power will not be equal to the political
problems with which China is faced.

Sooner or later, the encroachments of foreign Powers upon the sovereign
rights of China must be swept away. The Chinese must recover the Treaty
Ports, control of the tariff, and so on; they must also free themselves
from extra-territoriality. But all this can probably be done, as it was
in Japan, without offending foreign Powers (except perhaps the
Japanese). It would be a mistake to complicate the early stages of
Chinese recovery by measures which would antagonize foreign Powers in
general. Russia was in a stronger position for defence than China, yet
Russia has suffered terribly from the universal hostility provoked by
the Bolsheviks. Given good government and a development of China's
resources, it will be possible to obtain most of the needed concessions
by purely diplomatic means; the rest can wait for a suitable

2. _Industrial development._--On this subject I have already written in
Chap. XIV.; it is certain general aspects of the subject that I wish to
consider now. For reasons already given, I hold that all railways ought
to be in the hands of the State, and that all successful mines ought to
be purchased by the State at a fair valuation, even if they are not
State-owned from the first. Contracts with foreigners for loans ought to
be carefully drawn so as to leave the control to China. There would not
be much difficulty about this if China had a stable and orderly
government; in that case, many foreign capitalists would be willing to
lend on good security, without exacting any part in the management.
Every possible diplomatic method should be employed to break down such a
monopoly as the consortium seeks to acquire in the matter of loans.

Given good government, a large amount of State enterprise would be
desirable in Chinese industry. There are many arguments for State
Socialism, or rather what Lenin calls State Capitalism, in any country
which is economically but not culturally backward. In the first place,
it is easier for the State to borrow than for a private person; in the
second place, it is easier for the State to engage and employ the
foreign experts who are likely to be needed for some time to come; in
the third place, it is easier for the State to make sure that vital
industries do not come under the control of foreign Powers. What is
perhaps more important than any of these considerations is that, by
undertaking industrial enterprise from the first, the State can prevent
the growth of many of the evils of private capitalism. If China can
acquire a vigorous and honest State, it will be possible to develop
Chinese industry without, at the same time, developing the overweening
power of private capitalists by which the Western nations are now both
oppressed and misled.

But if this is to be done successfully, it will require a great change
in Chinese morals, a development of public spirit in place of the family
ethic, a transference to the public service of that honesty which
already exists in private business, and a degree of energy which is at
present rare. I believe that Young China is capable of fulfilling these
requisites, spurred on by patriotism; but it is important to realize
that they are requisites, and that, without them, any system of State
Socialism must fail.

For industrial development, it is important that the Chinese should
learn to become technical experts and also to become skilled workers. I
think more has been done towards the former of these needs than towards
the latter. For the latter purpose, it would probably be wise to import
skilled workmen--say from Germany--and cause them to give instruction to
Chinese workmen in any new branch of industrial work that it might be
desired to develop.

3. _Education._--If China is to become a democracy, as most progressive
Chinese hope, universal education is imperative. Where the bulk of the
population cannot read, true democracy is impossible. Education is a
good in itself, but is also essential for developing political
consciousness, of which at present there is almost none in rural China.
The Chinese themselves are well aware of this, but in the present state
of the finances it is impossible to establish universal elementary
education. Until it has been established for some time, China must be,
in fact, if not in form, an oligarchy, because the uneducated masses
cannot have any effective political opinion. Even given good government,
it is doubtful whether the immense expense of educating such a vast
population could be borne by the nation without a considerable
industrial development. Such industrial development as already exists is
mainly in the hands of foreigners, and its profits provide warships for
the Japanese, or mansions and dinners for British and American
millionaires. If its profits are to provide the funds for Chinese
education, industry must be in Chinese hands. This is another reason why
industrial development must probably precede any complete scheme of

For the present, even if the funds existed, there would not be
sufficient teachers to provide a schoolmaster in every village. There
is, however, such an enthusiasm for education in China that teachers are
being trained as fast as is possible with such limited resources; indeed
a great deal of devotion and public spirit is being shown by Chinese
educators, whose salaries are usually many months in arrears.

Chinese control is, to my mind, as important in the matter of education
as in the matter of industry. For the present, it is still necessary to
have foreign instructors in some subjects, though this necessity will
soon cease. Foreign instructors, however, provided they are not too
numerous, do no harm, any more than foreign experts in railways and
mines. What does harm is foreign management. Chinese educated in mission
schools, or in lay establishments controlled by foreigners, tend to
become de-nationalized, and to have a slavish attitude towards Western
civilization. This unfits them for taking a useful part in the national
life, and tends to undermine their morals. Also, oddly enough, it makes
them more conservative in purely Chinese matters than the young men and
women who have had a modern education under Chinese auspices. Europeans
in general are more conservative about China than the modern Chinese
are, and they tend to convey their conservatism to their pupils. And of
course their whole influence, unavoidably if involuntarily, militates
against national self-respect in those whom they teach.

Those who desire to do research in some academic subject will, for some
time to come, need a period of residence in some European or American
university. But for the great majority of university students it is far
better, if possible, to acquire their education in China. Returned
students have, to a remarkable extent, the stamp of the country from
which they have returned, particularly when that country is America. A
society such as was foreshadowed earlier in this chapter, in which all
really progressive Chinese should combine, would encounter difficulties,
as things stand, from the divergencies in national bias between students
returned from (say) Japan, America and Germany. Given time, this
difficulty can be overcome by the increase in purely Chinese university
education, but at present the difficulty would be serious.

To overcome this difficulty, two things are needed: inspiring
leadership, and a clear conception of the kind of civilization to be
aimed at. Leadership will have to be both intellectual and practical. As
regards intellectual leadership, China is a country where writers have
enormous influence, and a vigorous reformer possessed of literary skill
could carry with him the great majority of Young China. Men with the
requisite gifts exist in China; I might mention, as an example
personally known to me, Dr. Hu Suh.[110] He has great learning, wide
culture, remarkable energy, and a fearless passion for reform; his
writings in the vernacular inspire enthusiasm among progressive Chinese.
He is in favour of assimilating all that is good in Western culture, but
by no means a slavish admirer of our ways.

The practical political leadership of such a society as I conceive to be
needed would probably demand different gifts from those required in an
intellectual leader. It is therefore likely that the two could not be
combined in one man, but would need men as different as Lenin and Karl

The aim to be pursued is of importance, not only to China, but to the
world. Out of the renaissance spirit now existing in China, it is
possible, if foreign nations can be prevented from working havoc, to
develop a new civilization better than any that the world has yet known.
This is the aim which Young China should set before itself: the
preservation of the urbanity and courtesy, the candour and the pacific
temper, which are characteristic of the Chinese nation, together with a
knowledge of Western science and an application of it to the practical
problems of China. Of such practical problems there are two kinds: one
due to the internal condition of China, and the other to its
international situation. In the former class come education, democracy,
the diminution of poverty, hygiene and sanitation, and the prevention of
famines. In the latter class come the establishment of a strong
government, the development of industrialism, the revision of treaties
and the recovery of the Treaty Ports (as to which Japan may serve as a
model), and finally, the creation of an army sufficiently strong to
defend the country against Japan. Both classes of problems demand
Western science. But they do not demand the adoption of the Western
philosophy of life.

If the Chinese were to adopt the Western philosophy of life, they would,
as soon as they had made themselves safe against foreign aggression,
embark upon aggression on their own account. They would repeat the
campaigns of the Han and Tang dynasties in Central Asia, and perhaps
emulate Kublai by the invasion of Japan. They would exploit their
material resources with a view to producing a few bloated plutocrats at
home and millions dying of hunger abroad. Such are the results which the
West achieves by the application of science. If China were led astray by
the lure of brutal power, she might repel her enemies outwardly, but
would have yielded to them inwardly. It is not unlikely that the great
military nations of the modern world will bring about their own
destruction by their inability to abstain from war, which will become,
with every year that passes, more scientific and more devastating. If
China joins in this madness, China will perish like the rest. But if
Chinese reformers can have the moderation to stop when they have made
China capable of self-defence, and to abstain from the further step of
foreign conquest; if, when they have become safe at home, they can turn
aside from the materialistic activities imposed by the Powers, and
devote their freedom to science and art and the inauguration of a better
economic system--then China will have played the part in the world for
which she is fitted, and will have given to mankind as a whole new hope
in the moment of greatest need. It is this hope that I wish to see
inspiring Young China. This hope is realizable; and because it is
realizable, China deserves a foremost place in the esteem of every lover
of mankind.


[Footnote 110: An account of a portion of his work will be found in
Tyau, op. cit. pp. 40 ff.]


While the above pages were going through the Press, some important
developments have taken place in China. Wu-Pei-Fu has defeated
Chang-tso-lin and made himself master of Peking. Chang has retreated
towards Manchuria with a broken army, and proclaimed the independence of
Manchuria. This might suit the Japanese very well, but it is hardly to
be supposed that the other Powers would acquiesce. It is, therefore, not
unlikely that Chang may lose Manchuria also, and cease to be a factor in
Chinese politics.

For the moment, Wu-Pei-Fu controls the greater part of China, and his
intentions become important. The British in China have, for some years,
befriended him, and this fact colours all Press telegrams appearing in
our newspapers. According to _The Times_, he has pronounced in favour of
the reassembling of the old all-China Parliament, with a view to the
restoration of constitutional government. This is a measure in which the
South could concur, and if he really adheres to this intention he has it
in his power to put an end to Chinese anarchy. _The Times_ Peking
correspondent, telegraphing on May 30, reports that "Wu-Pei-Fu declares
that if the old Parliament will reassemble and work in national
interests he will support it up to the limit, and fight any

On May 18, the same correspondent telegraphed that "Wu-Pei-Fu is lending
his support to the unification movements, and has found common ground
for action with Chen Chiung Ming," who is Sun's colleague at Canton and
is engaged in civil war with Sun, who is imperialistic and wants to
conquer all China for his government, said to be alone constitutional.
The programme agreed upon between Wu and Chen Chiung Ming is given in
the same telegram as follows:

     Local self-government shall be established and magistrates shall
     be elected by the people; District police shall be created under
     District Boards subject to Central Provincial Boards; Civil
     governors shall be responsible to the Central Government, not to
     the Tuchuns; a national army shall be created, controlled and
     paid by the Central Government; Provincial police and
     _gendarmerie_, not the Tuchuns or the army, shall be responsible
     for peace and order in the provinces; the whole nation shall
     agree to recall the old Parliament and the restoration of the
     Provisional Constitution of the first year of the Republic; Taxes
     shall be collected by the Central Government, and only a
     stipulated sum shall be granted to each province for expenses,
     the balance to be forwarded to the Central Government as under
     the Ching dynasty; Afforestation shall be undertaken, industries
     established, highways built, and other measures taken to keep the
     people on the land.

This is an admirable programme, but it is impossible to know how much of
it will ever be carried out.

Meanwhile, Sun Yat Sen is still at war with Wu-Pei-Fu. It has been
stated in the British Press that there was an alliance between Sun and
Chang, but it seems there was little more than a common hostility to Wu.
Sun's friends maintain that he is a genuine Constitutionalist, and that
Wu is not to be trusted, but Chen Chiung Ming has a better reputation
than Sun among reformers. The British in China all praise Wu and hate
Sun; the Americans all praise Sun and decry Wu. Sun undoubtedly has a
past record of genuine patriotism, and there can be no doubt that the
Canton Government has been the best in China. What appears in our
newspapers on the subject is certainly designed to give a falsely
unfavourable impression of Canton. For example, in _The Times_ of May
15, a telegram appeared from Hong-Kong to the following effect:

     I learn that the troops of Sun Yat Sen, President of South China,
     which are stated to be marching north from Canton, are a rabble.
     Many are without weapons and a large percentage of the uniforms
     are merely rags. There is no discipline, and gambling and
     opium-smoking are rife.

Nevertheless, on May 30, _The Times_ had to confess that this army had
won a brilliant victory, capturing "the most important stronghold in
Kiangsi," together with 40 field guns and large quantities of munitions.

The situation must remain obscure until more detailed news has arrived
by mail. It is to be hoped that the Canton Government, through the
victory of Chen Chiung Ming, will come to terms with Wu-Pei-Fu, and will
be strong enough to compel him to adhere to the terms. It is to be hoped
also that Chang's proclamation of the independence of Manchuria will not
be seized upon by Japan as an excuse for a more complete absorption of
that country. If Wu-Pei-Fu adheres to the declaration quoted above,
there can be no patriotic reason why Canton should not co-operate with
him; on the other hand, the military strength of Canton makes it more
likely that Wu will find it prudent to adhere to his declaration. There
is certainly a better chance than there was before the defeat of Chang
for the unification of China and the ending of the Tuchuns' tyranny. But
it is as yet no more than a chance, and the future is still

_June_ 21, 1922.


Academy, Imperial, 44
Adams, Will, 94
Afghanistan, 175
Ainu, 117
America, 17, 54, 63, 69, 134, 136, 145 ff., 159 ff
  and naval policy, 161-2
  and trade with Russia, 162-3
  and Chinese finance, 163-5, 244
  and Japan, 167 ff.
Americanism, 221
Ancestor-worship, 39
An Fu Party, 145, 205, 243
Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 120, 123, 133, 137, 149, 175
Annam, 52
Arnold, Julean, 231
Art, 11, 12, 28, 189
Australia, 181

Backhouse, 49
Balfour, 152, 153
Benthamites, 80
  in China, 73
  in Japan, 116
Bismarck, 112, 130
Bland, 49, 77 n, 107
Bolsheviks, 17, 18, 128, 136, 143, 146 ff., 175 ff., 245
Bolshevism, 82
  in China, 175, 194, 204
Books, burning of, 24 ff.
Boxer rising, 53, 54, 227
  indemnity, 54, 217
Brailsford, 166
Buddhism, 27, 31, 48, 190
  in Japan, 86 ff., 91, 105, 169
Burma, 52
Bushido, 172

Canada, 181
Canton, 50, 68, 71, 75, 207
Capitalism, 179
Cassel agreement, 69
Chamberlain, Prof. B.H.,  103, 105
Changchun, 124
Chang-tso-lin, 68, 71, 77,242, 253
Chao Ki, 40
Chen Chiung Ming, 68, 253-5
Chen, Eugene, 133 n.
Cheng, S.G., 55 n., 65, 134 n., 139 n., 232
Chien Lung, Emperor, 49 ff.
Chi Li, Mr., 37
  early history, 21 S ff.
  derivation of name, 24
  population, 31-4
  Year Book, 32
  produce, 72
  influence on Japan, 86 ff.,104
  and the war, 134 ff.
  Post Offices, 150
  character of, 199-213
  love of laughter, 188-9, 200
  dignity, 202
  pacifism, 195, 213
  callousness, 209
  cowardice, 210
  avarice, 211
  patience, 206
  excitability, 212
Chingkiang, 60
Chinlingchen mine, 234
Chita, 146, 154
Choshu, 99, 101, 102, 106
Chou dynasty, 22
Christianity in Japan, 92 ff.
Chuang Tze, 8, 82, 188, 192
Chu Fu Tze, 43
Chu Hsi, 46
  alphabetical, 37
  Chinese, 187 ff.
  European, 186
Coal in China, 132 n., 231 ff.
Coleman, 77 n., 110, 132 n., 133 n.
Colour prejudice, 168, 173
  and labour, 181 ff.
Confucius, 21, 22, 24, 38, 187, 208
Confucianism, 34, 38 ff., 190
  in Japan, 118
Consortium, 14, 163 ff., 179, 244
Cordier, Henri, 24 n., 25, 27 n., 28, 30 n., 31 n., 187 n.
Cotton, 76, 235
  industry in Osaka, 114
  Chinese, 55 ff.,
  on exports, 56
  internal, 56-7

Dairen, 123
  Conference at, 154 ff.
Denison, 129
Dewey, Professor, 69, 224
  Mrs., 224
Diet, Japanese, 109 ff.
Dutch in Japan, 94 ff., 100

Education, 44 ff., 76 ff., 193, 214-225, 247 ff.
  statistics of, 215
  classical, 215-7
  European and American, 217-21
  modern Chinese, 221 ff.
  of women, 223-4
Efficiency, creed of, 17
"Eight Legs," 45, 46
Emperor of China 22 ff, 39, 83, 88, 205
  "First," 24 ff.
Empress Dowager, 52 n.
Examination, competitive, 34, 44 ff, 76

"Face," 204
Famines in China, 72, 210
Far Eastern Republic, 140, 154
Federalism in China, 70, 244
  in China, 24, 26
  in Japan, 89 ff.
Filial Piety, 39 ff., 61
  and patriotism, 41
  in Japan, 118, 169
Foreign Trade statistics, 236-7
Forestry, 80
Fourteen Points, 53
France, 52, 53, 123
  and Shantung, 137-8
  and Japan, 157
Fukien, 132

Galileo, 186
Genoa Conference, 146
Genro, the, 91, 106 ff., 128
George III, 49
Germany, 30, 53, 109, 138, 172
  property in China during war, 141 ff.
Giles, Lionel, 82 n.
Giles, Professor, 23, 39, 43 n., 49 n., 187 n.
Gladstone, 157, 160
Gleason, 132 n., 134 n.
Gobi desert, 31
Gompers, 163
Great Britain--
  and China, 52 ff.
  and Shantung, 137
Great Wall, 24
Greeks, 186
Guam, 150

Han dynasty, 27
Hanyehping Co., 132 n., 232-3
Hart, Sir Robert, 57
Hayashi, 133 n.
Hearn, Lafcadio, 99
Heaven (in Chinese religion), 23, 43
  Temple of, 23, 24
Hideyoshi, 87, 93, 94
Hirth, 22 n., 23 n., 27 n.
Hong Kong, 52, 69, 75, 207
Hsu Shi-chang, President, 44
Hughes, Premier, 181 n.
Hughes, Secretary, 152, 153
Hung Wu, Emperor, 45
Huns, 24, 27, 31
Hu Suh, 250

Ichimura, Dr., 121
Ideograms, 34 ff.
Immigration, Asiatic, 181 ff.
Imperialism. 82
India, 27, 29, 48, 119, 120
Industrialism, 186
  in China, 75, 76, 212,
  226-39, 245 ff.
  in Japan, 114
Inouye, 88
Intelligentsia in China, 76
Iron in China, 131, 132 n., 231 ff.
  Japanese control of, 232 ff.
Ishii, 135. _See_ also Lansing-Ishii
Ito, 88. 109 ff
lyeyasu, 91, 94, 95

Japan, 14, 15, 27, 30, 52, 53, 62, 63, 86-175
  early history, 86 ff.
  constitution, 109 ff.
  war with China, 113, 122, 130
  war with Russia, 108, 123, 130
  clan loyalty, 118
  loyalty to Allies, 136
  hegemony in Asia, 120
  loans to China in 1918, 143
  Socialism in, 114, 170
Jenghis Khan, 28 ff.
Jews, 186

Kang Hsi, Emperor, 49 n.
Kara Korum, 30
Kato, 133 n.
Kiangnan Dock, 232
Kiaochow, 53,  131, 151
Kieff, 29
Koo, Mr. Wellington, 58 n., 164
Korea, 53, 86, 120, 122, 124
Kublai Khan, 29, 30
Kyoto, 96
Kyushu, 92, 94

Lama Religion, 43
Lamont, 165
Lansing, 144
Lansing-Ishii Agreement, 134, 139, 151
Lao-Tze, 43, 82, 187, 194
Legge, 22 n., 39 n., 82 n.
Lenin, 180, 250,
Lennox, Dr., 73 n.
Literati, 25, 26, 38 ff.
Li Ung Bing, 26, 45
Li Yuan Hung, President, 140 ff.
Li Yuen, 28 n.
Lloyd George, 133, 140, 157
Louis XIV., 51
Louis, Saint, 29

Macao, 62
Macartney, 49
Malthus, 73
Manchu dynasty, 30, 31, 43, 64
Manchuria, 53, 68, 120, 123, 127, 130, 146, 154, 177, 178, 207
Manila, 93
Marco Polo, 29
Marcus Aurelius, 27
Marx, 250
Masuda, 93
McLaren, 98, 103 n.
Mechanistic Outlook, 81 ff.
Merv, 29
Mikado, 87, 99, 106
  worship of, 98, 103, 168-9
Militarism, 16, 42, 43 n.
Millard, 134 n., 143, 151 n.
Minamoto Yoritomo, 90
Mines, 230 ff.
Ming dynasty, 30
Missionaries, 196
  Roman Catholic, 48, 49 n.
  in Japan, 92 ff.
Mongol dynasty, 28 ff., 43
Mongolia, 29, 43, 120, 147, 154
Morgan, J.P., 157, 165
Morphia, 150
Moscow, 29
Mukden, 130
Murdoch, 28 n., 86 n., 101, 107 n.

Nationalism, 16
Nestorianism, 48
Nicolaievsk, 155
Nietzsche, 84, 194
Nishapur, 29
Nobunaga, 94
Northcliffe, Lord, 77 n.

Observatory, Peking, 30, 49
Okuma, 120, 122
Open Door, 55, 162, 179
Opium, 52

Panama Tolls, 162
Peking, 30, 34, 52, 72
  Legation Quarter, 54
  Union  Medical  College, 73, 219
  Government University, 217 n., 222
  Girls' High Normal School, 224
Penhsihu mine, 234
Perry, Commodore, 96, 100, 167
Persia, 27, 29, 175
Phonetic writing, 35
Plato, 186
Po Chui, 195
Po Lo, 83
Pooley, 120 n., 121, 124, 128, 133 n.
Pope, The, 29, 169
Port Arthur, 54, 123, 130, 150, 175
Portsmouth, Treaty  of, 108-9, 125
Portuguese, 92 ff.
Progress, 13, 196, 202
Putnam Weale, 32, 33, 65, 143 n., 165, 228

Railways, 226 ff.
  nationalization of, 228 ff.
  statistics of, 230
  Chinese Eastern, 123, 126, 143, 146, 227
  Fa-ku-Men, 124
  Hankow-Canton, 227
  Peking-Kalgan, 227, 229
  Peking-Hankow, 227
  Shantung, 151 ff., 227
  Siberian, 146, 227
  South Manchurian, 124, 125, 126
  Tientsin-Pukow, 227
Reid, Rev. Gilbert, 134 n., 139 n. 142
Reinsch, 134 n., 135, 136
Restoration in Japan, 87, 97 8.
Revolution of 1911, 30, 65 ff.
  and Japan, 128 ff.
Rockefeller Hospital, 218
Rome, 27, 51
Roosevelt, 108
Rousseau, 42
Russia, 15, 18-20, 29, 53, 108, 119, 127, 146 ff., 175 ff.
  war with Japan, 108,123, 130
  secret treaty with Japan, 136
  and Shantung, 138-9

Salt tax, 59, 60
_San Felipe_, 93
Sato, Admiral, 172
Satsuma, 94, 99, 101, 102, 106
Science, 51, 80, 81, 186, 193
Shank, Mr., 69
Shantung, 53, 127, 131 ff., 178
  secret treaties concerning, 137
  in Versailles Treaty, 144
  and Washington Conference, 145, 151 ff.
Shaw, Bernard, 160
Sherfesee, 80
Shih Huang Ti,  _See_ Emperor, "First"
Shi-King, 25
Shinto, 87 ff., 103, 105, 169
Shogun, The, 90, 99 ff.
Shu-King, 21, 22 n., 25
Simpson, Lennox. _See_ Putnam Weale
Socialism, 64, 181 ff.
  State, 180, 246
  in Japan, 114, 170
  in China, 222, 236
Soyeda, 144 n.
Spaniards in Japan, 93
Student Movement, 223, 243
  returned, 17, 193, 219
  statistics of, 220 n.
Summer Palace, 52
Sung dynasty, 30, 45
Sun Yat Sen, 65, 68, 128, 140, 253-6
Supreme Ruler. _See_ Heaven

Taiping Rebellion, 32, 56, 65
Tai-tsung, 28 n.
Tang dynasty, 28, 44
Taochung iron mine, 234
Taoism, 43, 187 ff.
Tartars, 27, 31
Tayeh mines, 231 n., 232-3
Teachers' strike, 206, 225
Tenny, Raymond P., 33
Tibet, 31, 43
Ting, Mr. V.K., 73 n.
Tokugawa, 99
Tong, Hollington K., 143 n., 204 n.
Trade Unionism, 180-1
  in Japan, 114-5
Treaty Ports, 74
Tsing-hua College, 217
Tsing-tau, 131, 151
Tuan Chih-jui, 140 ff.
Tuangkuan Shan mines, 233
Tuchuns, 61, 67, 71, 76, 203, 206
Twenty-one Demands, 131 ff., 233, 234
Tyau, M.T.Z., 144 n., 215, 220 n., 223, 226 n., 230, 235

United States. _See_ America.

Versailles Treaty, 53, 142, 144,151
Vladivostok, 146, 154
Volga, 18
Voltaire, 221

Waley, 84, 195
War, Great, idealistic aims of, 141 ff.
Washington Conference, 16, 55 n., 61, 63, 127, 145, 149 ff., 178
Wei-hai-wei, 54, 149
White men, virtues of, 121
William II., 122
Wilson, President, 140, 142
Women, position  of, in  China, 223-4
Woosung College, 239
Wu-Pei-Fu, 42, 60, 68, 71, 242, 253-3

Yamagata, Prince, 115 n.
Yangtze, 52, 132
Yao and Shun, 21, 22
Yellow River, 21, 187
Y.M.C.A., 82, 83, 222
Young China, 26, 61, 77 ff., 144, 145, 167, 193, 247, 250
Yü, 22
Yuan Shi-k'ai, 65 ff., 129, 135

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