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Title: An American Diplomat in China
Author: Reinsch, Paul S.
Language: English
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  AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT
  IN CHINA



WRITINGS OF PAUL S. REINSCH


 The Common Law in the Early American Colonies, 1899

 World Politics at the End of the Nineteenth Century As Influenced by
 The Oriental Situation, 1900

 Colonial Government, 1902

 Colonial Administration, 1905

 American Legislatures and Legislative Methods, 1907

 Intellectual Currents in the Far East, 1911

 International Unions, 1911

 Essentials of Government, 1920 (_Published in Chinese_)

 Secret Diplomacy, 1921



  AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT
  IN CHINA


  BY

  PAUL S. REINSCH

  AMERICAN MINISTER TO CHINA,
  1913-1919


  [Illustration]


  GARDEN CITY, N.Y., AND TORONTO

  DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

  1922



  COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY
  DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
  INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

  COPYRIGHT, 1921, 1922, BY ASIA PUBLISHING COMPANY IN THE
  UNITED STATES AND ENGLAND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES
  AT
  THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N.Y.

  _First Edition_



CONTENTS


PART I OLD CHINA AND THE NEW REPUBLIC

    CHAPTER                                       PAGE

       I. The Dictator-President of China                1

      II. China of Many Persons                          8

     III. Old Confucianism in the New China             23

      IV. A Glimpse Behind the Political Scenes         42

       V. With Men Who Watch Politics                   48

      VI. China of Merchant-Adventurers                 59

     VII. Prompt Proposals for American Action          70

    VIII. A Little Vision for China                     80

      IX. "Slow Americans"                              95

       X. Folk Ways and Officials                      108


    PART II
    THE PASSING OF YUAN SHIH-KAI

      XI. The War: Japan in Shantung                   123

     XII. The Famous Twenty-One Demands                129

    XIII. Getting Together                             150

     XIV. War Days in Peking                           161

      XV. Emperor Yuan Shih-Kai                        171

     XVI. Downfall and Death of Yuan Shih-Kai          183

    XVII. Republicans in the Saddle                    198


    PART III
    THE WAR AND CHINA

    XVIII. American Entrepreneurs in Peking            207

      XIX. Guarding the "Open Door"                    217

       XX. Diary of Quiet Days. Autumn of 1916         230

      XXI. China Breaks with Germany                   241

     XXII. China's Bosses Come to Peking               260

    XXIII. An Emperor for a Day                        272

     XXIV. War With Germany: Readjustments             286

      XXV. The Chinese Go A-Borrowing                  296


    PART IV
    LAST YEAR OF WAR AND AFTERMATH

      XXVI. The Lansing-Ishii Notes                    307

     XXVII. Amidst Troubles Peking Rejoices            317

    XXVIII. A New World War Coming?                    328

      XXIX. Japan Shows Her Teeth                      339

       XXX. Bandits, Intriguers, and a House Divided   347

      XXXI. Young Men in Peking, Old Men in Paris      358

     XXXII. A Nation Strikes and Unites                368

    XXXIII. Taking Leave of Peking                     375

    Index                                              391



INTRODUCTION


Through recent developments China has been put in the forefront of
international interest. The world is beginning to have an idea of its
importance. Those who have long known it, who have given attention
to its traditions and the sources of its social and industrial
strength, have the conviction that China will become a factor of the
first magnitude in the composition of the world of the twentieth
century. They have penetrated beyond the idea that China is a land
of topsy-turvy, the main function of which is to amuse the outsider
with unexpected social customs, and which, from a political point of
view, is in a state bordering upon chaos. When we ask ourselves what
are the elements which may constitute China's contribution to the
future civilization of the world, what are the characteristics which
render her civilization significant to all of us, we enter upon a
subject that would in itself require a volume merely to present in
outline. From the point of view of social action, there is the widely
diffused sense of popular equity which has enabled Chinese society for
these many centuries to govern itself, to maintain property rights,
personal honour and dignity without recourse to written law or set
tribunals, chiefly through an informal enforcement by society itself
acting through many agencies, of that underlying sense of proportion
and rightness which lives in the hearts of the people. From the point
of view of economic life, China presents the picture of a society in
which work has not been robbed of its joy, in which the satisfaction
of seeing the product of industry grow in the hands of the craftsman
still forms the chief reward of a labour performed with patient toil
but without heartbreaking drudgery. From the point of view of social
organization, China forms an extremely intricate organism in which
the specific relationship between definite individuals counts far
more than any general principles or ideas. Loyalty, piety, a sense of
fitness give meaning to the ceremonial of Chinese social life, which
is more than etiquette as a mere ornament of social intercourse in
that it bodies forth in visible form as every-day observances, the
relations and duties upon which society rests. From the point of view
of art, China stands for a refinement of quality which attests the
loving devotion of generations to the idea of a perfect product; in the
representative arts, calmness of perception has enabled the Chinese to
set a model for the artistic reproduction of the environments of human
life. In their conception of policy and world position, the Chinese
people have ever shown a readiness to base any claim to ascendancy
upon inherent excellence and virtue. They have not imposed upon their
neighbours any artificial authority, though they have proudly received
the homage and admiration due their noble culture.

At this time, when the Far Eastern question is the chief subject-matter
of international conferences and negotiations, China stands before
the world in the eyes of those who really know her, not as a bankrupt
pleader for indulgence and assistance, but as a great unit of human
tradition and force which, heretofore somewhat over-disdainful of the
things through which other nations had won power and preference and
mechanical mastery, has lived a trifle carelessly in the assurance that
real strength must rest on inner virtue; China has made no use of the
arts of self-advertisement, but has felt within her the consciousness
of a great human force that must ultimately prevail over petty
intrigue and forceful aggression. The secular persistence of Chinese
civilization has given to the Chinese an inner strength and confidence
which make them bear up even when the aggressiveness of nations more
effectively organized for attack seems to render their position
well-nigh desperate. Can the world fail to realize that if this vast
society can continue to live according to its traditions of peace and
useful industry instead of being made the battleground of contending
Imperial interests, the peace of the world will be more truly advanced
than it may be by any covenants of formal contrivance? Declarations,
treaties, and leagues are all useful instruments, but unless the
nations agree without afterthought to respect the life and civilization
of China, all professions of world betterment would be belied in fact.
If China is to be looked upon as material for the imperialist policies
of others, peace conferences will discuss and resolve in vain.

During the six years of my work in China I was constantly surrounded
by the evidences of the transition of Chinese life to new methods and
aims. In all its complex phases this enormous transformation passed
in review before my eyes, in all its deep significance, not only for
China and the Far East, but for the whole world. It was this that made
life and work in China at this time so intensely fascinating. A new
form of government had been adopted. As I represented the Republic
upon which it had been largely modeled, whose spirit the Chinese were
anxious to follow, it fell to me to counsel with Chinese leaders as
if I had been one of their number. The experience of a great American
commonwealth which had itself successfully endeavoured to raise its
organization to a higher plane was of unending assistance to me in
enabling me to see the Chinese problems as part of what right-thinking
men were struggling for throughout the world. The most discouraging
feature was, however, that the needs of China so often took the form of
emergencies in which it seemed futile to plan at long range, in which
immediate help was necessary. Where one was coöperating with a group of
men beset by overpowering difficulties of the moment, it often seemed
academic even to think of the general improvement of political and
economic organization, over a longer range of time. The old elements
of the Imperial régime, the traditional methods of basing authority on
something from above, the purely personal conception of politics with
the corruption incident upon the idea that members of clans must take
care of each other--which formerly was a virtue--all were the sources
of the outstanding difficulties that jutted everywhere into the plans
for a more highly and efficiently organized commonwealth. But it was
a pleasure to see the growing manifestation of a commonwealth spirit,
the organization of public opinion, and the clearer vision of the
demands of public service. Even among the officials the idea that the
Government was merely a taxing and office-holding organization was
giving way, especially among the younger men, to a desire that the
functions of government should be used for developmental purposes, in
helping the people towards better methods in agriculture and industry,
in encouraging improved communications and public works of many kinds.

International action as seen from Peking during this period did not
have many reassuring qualities. In most cases it was based upon a
desire to lose no technical advantage of position; to yield not a whit,
no matter what general benefit might result through mutual concessions.
Each one was jealously guarding his position in which he had advanced
step by step. Some were willing to make common cause with others in
things that would not always commend themselves to a sense of equity,
in order that they might take still another step forward. During the
major part of this period one power employed every device of intrigue,
intimidation, corruption, and force in order to gain a position for
itself in flagrant disregard of the rights of the Chinese people
itself, and in oblivion of the rights of others.

As to American policy, the difficulties which I encountered arose from
the fact that a great deal was expected of a country so powerful, which
had declared and always pursued a policy so just to China. Chinese
goodwill and confidence, and the real friendship of the Chinese people
toward America certainly tended to make easier any task America might
be ready to undertake. But America had no political aims and desired to
abstain particularly from anything verging on political interference,
even in behalf of those principles we so thoroughly believe in.
American relationships to China depended not on governmental action,
but on a spontaneous coöperation between the two peoples in matters of
education, commerce, and industry.

Infinitely complex as were the questions of Chinese internal affairs
and of the privileges and desires of the various powers, yet to my mind
it was not a difficult problem to see what should be done in order
to put matters on a sound foundation. I had learned to have great
confidence in the ability of the Chinese to manage their own affairs
when let alone, particularly in commerce and industry.

That was the first desideratum, to secure for them immunity from
the constant interference, open and secret, on the part of foreign
interests desirous of confusing Chinese affairs and drawing advantage
from such confusion. So far as American diplomatic action was
concerned, its essential task was to prevent such interference, and
to see to it that China could not be closed even by those indirect
methods which often accompany the most vociferous, ardent declarations
in favour of Chinese independence and sovereignty. We therefore had
to keep a close watch and to resist in specific detail any and all of
those innumerable efforts on the part of others to secure and fortify
a position of privilege. That was the negative side of our action. The
positive side, however, was entirely non-political. Americans sought
no position of tutordom or control. Only upon the free and spontaneous
invitation of the Chinese would they come to counsel and assist.

The important thing was that Americans should continue to take a
hand in the education of China and the upbuilding of Chinese business
and enterprise. They had done this in the past, and would do it in
the future in the spirit of free coöperation, without desire to
exercise a tutelage over others, always rejoicing in any progress the
Chinese themselves made. Such activities must continue and increase.
Sound action in business and constructive work in industry should be
America's contribution to the solution of the specific difficulties of
China. The Chinese people were discouraged, confused, disillusioned;
but every centre, no matter how small, from which radiate sound
influences in education and business, is a source of strength and
progress. If Americans could be stopped from doing these things, or
impeded and obstructed in them, then there would nothing further
remain worth while for Americans to do. But if they could organize
enterprises, great and small, they would in the most direct and
effective manner give the encouragement and organizing impulse which
China needed so urgently. So the simple principle of American action
in China is this: By doing things in themselves worth while, Americans
will contribute most to the true liberation of the Chinese people.

Never has one nation had a greater opportunity to act as counsellor and
friend to another and to help a vast and lovable people to realize its
striving for a better life. Coöperation freely sought, unconstrained,
spontaneous desire to model on institutions and methods which are
admired--that is the only way in which nations may mutually influence
each other without the coercion of political power and the cunning of
intrigue. That is a feeling which has existed in the hearts of the
Chinese toward America. The American people does not yet realize what a
treasure it possesses in this confidence.



  PART I

  OLD CHINA AND THE
  NEW REPUBLIC

AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT IN CHINA



CHAPTER I

THE DICTATOR-PRESIDENT OF CHINA


"My opponents are disloyal. They would pull down my government." He who
spoke was cordial in his manner as he thus off handedly epitomized his
theory of government.

Yuan Shih-kai, President of the Chinese Republic, was short of stature
and thickset; but his expressive face, his quick gestures, his powerful
neck and bullet head, gave him the appearance of great energy. His
eyes, which were fine and clear, alive with interest and mobile, were
always brightly alert. They fixed themselves on the visitor with keen
penetration, yet never seemed hostile; they were full always of keen
interest. These eyes of his revealed how readily he followed--or
usually anticipated--the trend of the conversation, though he listened
with close attention, seemingly bringing his judgment to bear on each
new detail. Frenchmen saw in him a resemblance to Clemenceau; and this
is born out by his portrait which appears on the Chinese dollar. In
stature, facial expression, shape of head, contour of features as well
as in the manner of wearing his moustache, he did greatly resemble the
Tiger.

I had noted these things when I was first presented to the President,
and I had felt also the almost ruthless power of the man. Republican
in title he was, but an autocrat at heart. All the old glittering
trappings of the empire he had preserved. Even the Chief of the
Military Department of the President's household, General Yin Chang,
whom Yuan had sent to fetch me in Imperial splendour, is a Manchu and
former Imperial commander. His one foreign language significantly
enough was German which he acquired when he was minister in Berlin. I
had passed between files of the huge guardsmen of Yuan Shih-kai, who
had Frederick the Great's fondness for tall men; and I found him in the
showy palace of the great Empress Dowager, standing in the main throne
hall to receive me. He was flanked by thirty generals of his household,
extended in wings at both sides of him, and their uniforms made it a
most impressive scene.

But that was an occasion of state. Later, at a more informal interview,
accompanied only by Mr. Williams, secretary of the legation and Mr.
Peck, the Chinese secretary, observed Yuan's character more fully.
He had just expelled from parliament the democratic party (Kuo Min
Tang); then he had summarily dismissed the Parliament itself. Feeling,
perhaps, a possible loss of American goodwill he had sent for me to
explain his action.

"It was not a good parliament, for it was made up largely of
inexperienced theorists and young politicians," he began. "They wished
to meddle with the Government as well as to legislate on all matters.
Their real function was to adopt a permanent constitution for the
Republic, but they made no headway with that." And with much truth he
added: "Our traditions are very different from your Western ones and
our affairs are very complex. We cannot safely apply your abstract
ideas of policy."

Of his own work of stirring up, through emissaries, internal and
partisan controversies which prevented the new parliament from
effectively organizing, Yuan of course omitted to speak. Moreover,
he said little of the possibility of more closely coördinating the
executive and the legislative branches; so while he avowed his desire
to have a constitution forthwith, and to reconstitute Parliament by
more careful selections under a new electoral law, I found myself
thinking of his own career. His personal rule, his unscrupulous
advancement to power, with the incidental corruption and cold-blooded
executions that marked it, and his bitter personal feeling against all
political opponents--these were not qualities that make for stable
parliamentary government, which depends on allowing other people
frankly to advocate their opinions in the effort to gain adherents
enough to succeed in turn to political power. The failure to understand
this basic principle of democracy is the vice of Chinese politics.

"As you see," Yuan beamed eagerly, "the Chinese Republic is a very
young baby. It must be nursed and kept from taking strong meat or
potent medicines like those prescribed by foreign doctors." This
metaphor he repeated with relish, his eyes sparkling as they sought
mine and those of the other listeners to get their expressions of
assent or reserve.

A young baby indeed and childishly cared for! Here, for example, is a
decree published by Yuan Shih-kai on March 8, 1915. It indicates how
faith in his republicanism was penetrating to remote regions, and how
such faith was rewarded by him:

"Ihsihaishun, Prince of the Koersin Banner, reported through the Board
for Mongolia and Tibet that Kuanchuk-chuaimupal, Hutukhtu of the
Banner, has led his followers to support the cause of the Republic and
requested that the said Hutukhtu be rewarded for his good sentiments.
The said Hutukhtu led his followers and vowed allegiance to the
Republic, which action shows that he clearly understands the good
cause. He is hereby allowed to ride in a yellow canopied carriage to
show our appreciation."

This rather naïve emphasis on externals and on display is born of the
old imperialism, a more significant feature of Chinese political life
than it may seem. It colours most of the public ceremonies in China.
The state carriage which the President had sent to convey me to his
official residence in the Imperial City for the presentation of my
credentials, on November 17th, was highly ornate, enamelled in blue
with gold decorations. It was drawn by eight horses, with a cavalry
escort sent by the President and my own guard of mounted marines; the
legation staff of secretaries and attachés accompanied me in other
carriages.

Thus in an old Imperial barouche and with an ex-Imperial military
officer, General Yin, at my side, I rolled on toward the abode of the
republican chief magistrate. We alighted at the monumental gate of an
enclosure that surrounds the lovely South Lake in the western part of
the Imperial City. On an island within this lake arose, tier above
tier, and roofed with bright tiles of blue and yellow, the palace
assigned by the Empress Dowager to Emperor Kwang Hsu; for long years,
until death took him, it was his abode in semi-captivity. This palace
was now the home of President Yuan.

The remote origin of its buildings, their exquisite forms and brilliant
colouring, as contrasted with the sombreness of the lake at that
season, and the stirring events of which they have been the scene,
cannot fail to impress the visitor as he slowly glides across the
Imperial lake in the old-fashioned boat, with its formal little cabin,
curtained and upholstered, and with its lateral planks, up and down
which pass the men who propel the boat with long poles.

Arrived at the palace, everything recalled the colourful court life
so recently departed. I was greeted by the master of ceremonies, Mr.
Lu Cheng-hsiang, and his associate, Mr. Alfred Sze, later Chinese
minister at London and Washington. The former soon after became
Minister for Foreign Affairs, while Mr. Sze was originally sent as
minister to England. These gentlemen escorted me through a series of
courts and halls, all spacious and impressive, until we reached the
old Imperial library, a very jewel of architecture in this remarkable
Eastern world of beauty. The library faces on a clear and deep pool
round which are grouped the court theatre and various throne rooms
and festival halls; all quiet and secluded--a charming place for
distinguished entertainments. The rustle of heavy silks, the play of
iridescent colour, the echoes of song and lute from the theatre--all
that exquisite oriental refinement still seems to linger.

The library itself is the choicest of all these apartments. The perfect
sense of proportion expressed in the architecture, the quiet reserve
in all its decorations, the living literary reminiscence in the verses
written on the paper panels by the Imperial hand, all testify to a most
fastidious taste.

Here we rested for a few minutes while word was carried to the
President, who was to receive my credentials. Then followed our walk
between the files of the huge guardsmen, our entrance to the large
audience chamber in the pretentious modern structure erected by the
Empress Dowager, and the presentation to Yuan Shih-kai, as he stood in
the centre, flanked by his generals.

I was formally presented to the President by Mr. Sun Pao-chi, Minister
of Foreign Affairs; and Dr. Wellington Koo translated my brief address
and the President's reply.

A military dictatorship had succeeded the old imperialism, that was
all. Yuan had made his reputation and gained his power as a military
commander. Yet there was about him nothing of the adventurer, nor any
suggestion of the field of battle. He seemed now to be an administrator
rather than a military captain. Certainly he had won power through
infinite patience, great knowledge of men, political insight, and,
above all, through playing always a safe if unscrupulous game.

What is meant by governing in a republic he could not know. Without
high literary culture, although with a mind trained and well informed,
he had not seen foreign countries, nor had he any knowledge of foreign
languages. Therefore, he could have only a remote and vague notion of
the foreign institutions which China at this time was beginning to
imitate. He had no real knowledge or conception of the commonwealth
principle of government, nor of the true use and function of a
parliament, and particularly of a parliamentary opposition. He merely
accepted these as necessary evils to be held within as narrow limits as
possible.

During the two and a half years from my coming to Peking until the
time of his death, Yuan Shih-kai left the enclosure of his palace only
twice. This reminds me of the American, with an introduction from the
State Department, who wired me from Shanghai asking me to arrange for
him to take a moving picture of Yuan "proceeding from his White House
to his Capitol." This enterprising Yankee would have had plenty of
time to meditate on the difference between oriental political customs
and our own if he had waited for Yuan Shih-kai to "proceed" from his
political hermitage. The President's seclusion was usually attributed
to fear of assassination, but if such fear was present in his mind, as
well it might have been, there was undoubtedly also the idea, taken
over from the Empire, that the holder of the highest political power
should not appear in public except on very unusual occasions.

When he received me informally, he doffed the uniform of state and
always wore a long Chinese coat. He had retained the distinction and
refinement of Chinese manners, with a few additions from the West, such
as shaking hands. His cue he had abandoned in 1912, when he decided
to become President of the Republic. In the building which is now the
Foreign Office and where he was then residing, Yuan asked Admiral Tsai
Ting-kan whether his entry into the new era should not be outwardly
expressed by shedding the traditional adornment of the head which
though once a sign of bondage had become an emblem of nationality.
When Admiral Tsai advised strongly in favour of it, Yuan sent for a big
pair of scissors, and said to him: "It is your advice. You carry it
out." The Admiral, with a vigorous clip, transformed Yuan into a modern
man.

But inwardly Yuan Shih-kai was not much changed thereby.



CHAPTER II

CHINA OF MANY PERSONS


Yuan Shih-kai, a ruler whose power was personal, whose theories of
government were those of an absolute monarch, who believed that
in himself lay the hope of his people; China itself a nation of
individualists, among whom there was as yet no unifying national sense,
no inbred love of country, no traditions of personal responsibility
toward their government, no sense that they themselves shared in the
making of the laws which ordered their lives--these, I think, were the
first clear impressions I had of the land to which I came as envoy in
the early days of the Republic.

Even the rivers and cities through which we passed on our way to Peking
seemed to deepen this feeling for me. The houseboats jammed together in
the harbour at Shanghai visualized it. Each of these boats sheltered
a family, who lived and moved and had their being, for the most part,
on its narrow decks. Each family was quite independent of the people
on the next boat. Each was immersed in the stern business of earning
bread. These houseboat people (so it seemed) had little in common with
each other, little in common with the life of the cities and villages
which they regularly visited. As a class they lived apart; and each
family was, for most of the time, isolated from the others. Their
life, I thought, was the civilization of China in miniature. Of course
such a figure applies only roughly. I mean merely to suggest that the
population of this vast country is not a homogeneous one in a political
sense. The unit of society is--as it has been for many centuries--the
family, not the state. This is changing now, and changing rapidly.
The seeds of democracy found fertile soil in China; but a civilization
which has been shaping itself through eighty centuries cannot be too
abruptly attacked. China is, after all, an ancient monarchy upon which
the republican form of government was rather suddenly imposed. It is
still in the period of adjustment. Such at least were my reactions as
we ascended the Hwang-pu River, on that October day in 1913, and drew
into the harbour basin which lies at the centre of Shanghai.

In one of the hotels of the city we found the "Saturday Lunch Club" in
session. I was not a little surprised that this mid-day gastronomic
forum, which had but lately come into vogue in America, had become
so thoroughly acclimated in this distant port. But despite the many
nationalities represented at this international gathering, the language
was English. As to dress, many of the Chinese at the luncheon preferred
their dignified, long-flowing robes to Western coats and trousers.

Dr. Wu Ting-fang was present in Chinese costume and a little purple
skull cap, and we sat down to talk together. He related the moves
made by President Yuan against the democratic party (Kuo Min Tang)
in parliament and said: "Yuan Shih-kai's sole aim is to get rid of
parliament. He has no conception of free government, is entirely a man
of personal authority. The air of absolutism surrounds him. Beware,"
Dr. Wu admonished, "when you get behind those high walls of Peking.
The atmosphere is stagnant. It seems to overcome men and make them
reactionary. Nobody seems to resist that power!"

Later I was accosted on a momentous matter by an American missionary.
He was not affiliated with any missionary society, but had organized
a so-called International Institute for a Mission among the Higher
Classes. His mien betrayed overburdening care, ominous presentiment,
and he said he had already submitted a grave matter to the Department
of State. It concerned the Saturday Lunch Club. Somewhat too
precipitately I spoke with gratification of its apparent success. "But,
sir," he interposed, "it was established and set in motion by the
consul-general!"

As still I could not see wherein the difficulty lay, my visitor became
emphatic.

"Do you not realize, sir, that my institute was established to bring
the different nationalities together, and that the formation of such a
club should have been left to me?"

When I expressed my feeling that there was no end of work to be done
in the world in establishing relationships of goodwill; that every
accomplishment of this kind was to be received with gratitude, he
gave me up. I had thought, at first, that he was about to charge the
consul-general, at the very least, with embezzlement.

That afternoon I inspected the student battalion of St. John's
University. This institution is modern, affiliated with the
Episcopalian Church, and many of its alumni are distinguished in public
life as well as in industrial enterprise and commerce. Of these I need
only mention Dr. W.W. Yen, Dr. Wellington Koo, Dr. Alfred Sze, and
Dr. Wang Chung-hui, later Chief Justice of China. Dr. Hawks Pott, the
president, introduced me to the assembled students as an old friend
of China. There I met Dr. Pott's wife, a Chinese lady, and several of
their daughters and sons, two of whom later fought in the Great War.

A newspaper reporter brought me back abruptly to local matters. He
was the first to interview me in China. "Will you remove the American
marines," he queried, "from the Chienmen Tower?"

A disturbing question! I was cautious, as I had not even known there
were marines posted on that ancient tower. Whether they ought to
be kept there was a matter to look into, along with other things
affecting the destiny of nations.

I could not stop to see Shanghai then, but did so later. If one looks
deeply enough its excellences stand out. The private gardens, behind
high walls, show its charm; acres covered with glorious plants, shrubs,
and bushes; rows and groves of springtime trees radiant with blossoms;
the parks and the verandas of clubs where people resort of late
afternoons to take their tea; the glitter of Nanking Road at night, its
surge of humanity, the swarming life on river and creeks. This is the
real Shanghai, market and meeting place of the nations.

Nanking came next, visited the 4th of November. Forlorn and woeful the
old capital lay in gray morning light as we entered. The semi-barbarous
troops of Chang Hsun lined its streets. They had sacked the town,
ostensibly suppressing the last vestiges of the "Revolution." General
Chang Hsun, an old imperialist, still clinging to ancient customs, had
espoused the cause of President Yuan. A rough soldier quite innocent
of modernity, he had taken Nanking, not really for the republican
government, but for immediate advantage to himself, and for his
soldiers to loot and burn. There they stood, huge, black-uniformed,
pig-tailed men, "guarding" the streets along which the native dwellers
were slinking sullenly and in fear. Everywhere charred walls without
roofs; the contents of houses broken and cast on the street; fragments
of shrapnel in the walls--withal a depressing picture of misery.

Nanking, immense and primitive, had reverted partly to agriculture, and
for miles the houses of farmers line extensive fields. Three Japanese
men-of-war rode at anchor in mid-river; they had come to support the
representations of the Japanese consul over an injury suffered by a
Japanese barber during the disturbances. General Chang Hsun, forced to
offer reparation, had among other things to call ceremoniously on the
Japanese consul to express his formal regrets. This he did, saving his
face by arranging to call on all the foreign consuls the same day.

Another bit of local colour: We were driven to the American consulate,
modestly placed on the edge of the agricultural region of Nanking, with
barns in the offing. The consul being absent on leave, the official in
charge greeted us. His wife related that a few days before thirty of
Chang's braves, armed to the teeth, had come to the house to see what
they might carry off. In her husband's absence Mrs. Gilbert met them
at the door and very quietly talked the matter over with them as to
what unending bother it would occasion everybody, particularly General
Chang, if his men should invade the American consulate, and how it
would be far better to think it over while she prepared some tea for
them.

The men, at first fierce and unrelenting, looked at one another
puzzled, then found seats along the edge of the veranda. When the tea
came in, their spokesman said they recognized that theirs had been a
foolish enterprise. With expressions of civility and gratitude they
consumed their tea and went away--which shows what one American woman
can do in stilling the savage breast of a Chinese vandal by a quiet
word of reason.

After the exhibition his men had made of themselves in Nanking, I had
no wish to call on His Excellency Chang Hsun. We arranged to take the
first train for Tientsin. Crossing the broad river by ferry, from its
deck friends pointed out Tiger Head and other famous landscapes, the
scenes of recent fighting and of clashes during the Revolution of
1911. In the sitting room of our special car on the Pukow railway, the
little company comprised Dr. Stanley K. Hornbeck, who went on with me
to Peking; Mr. Roy S. Anderson, an American uniquely informed about
the Chinese, and a Chinese governmental representative who accompanied
me. In a single afternoon Mr. Anderson gave me a complete view of
the existing situation in Chinese politics, relating many personal
incidents and characteristics.

In Chinese politics the personal element is supreme. The key to the
ramifications of political influence lies in knowledge of persons;
their past history, affiliations and interests, friendships, enmities,
financial standing, their groupings and the interactions of the various
groups. Intensely human, there is little of the abstract in Chinese
social ethics. Their ideals of conduct are personal, while the remoter
loyalties to principle or patriotic duty are not strongly expressed
in action. In this immediate social cement is the strength by which
Chinese society has been able to exist for ages.

The defect of this great quality is in the absence of any motive
whereby men may be carried beyond their narrower interests in
definitely conceived, broad public aims. When I came to China these
older methods prevailed more than at present; hence Mr. Anderson's
knowledge of the Chinese, wide as the nation and specific as to the
qualities of all its important men, enabled me to approach Chinese
affairs concretely, personally, and to lay aside for the time any
general and preconceived notions. It enabled me to see, also, how
matters of such vast consequence, as, for example, the Hwai River
famines, had been neglected for the short-sighted individual concerns
of Chinese politics.

That afternoon we passed through the Hwai River region. An apparently
endless alluvial plain, it is inexhaustibly rich in depth and quality
of soil--_loess_, which has been carried down from the mountains and
deposited here for eons. Fitted by Nature to be one of the most fertile
garden spots on earth, Nature herself has spoiled it. The rivers,
swollen by torrential rains in the highlands, flood this great area
periodically, destroying all crops; for many years only two harvests
have been gathered out of a possible six, in some years there have been
none at all.

Here the visitations of famine and plague are immemorial. The liberal
and effective assistance which the American Red Cross gave during
the last famine, in 1911, is gratefully remembered by the Chinese.
Beholding this region, so richly provided and lacking only a moderate,
systematic expenditure for engineering works to make it the source of
assured livelihood for at least twenty millions more than its present
population, I resolved that one of my first efforts would be to help
reclaim the vast estate.

We arrived after dark in the province of Shantung--Shantung, which
was destined to play so large a part in my official life in China!
The crowds at stations were growing enormous, their greetings more
vociferous. An old friend appeared, Tsai Chu-tung, emissary of the
Provincial Governor and of the Commissioner of Foreign Affairs; he
had been a student under me, and, for a time, my Chinese secretary.
Past the stations with their military bands and metallic welcomes
and deputations appearing with cards, at all hours of the night, we
arrived at length at Tsinan, Shantung's capital. Here, in behalf of
the Governor, the young Commissioner Tsai, together with an official
deputation, formally greeted me; thence he accompanied me to Peking,
affording me another chance to hear from a very keen and highly trained
man an account of China's situation.

Reaching Tientsin that afternoon, we were met by representatives of the
Civil Governor and by his band. There the American community, it seems,
had been stirred prematurely by news of my coming, and had visited
the station for two days in succession. The manager of the railway, a
Britisher, had confused the Consul-General by his error in date of my
arrival, starting too soon the entire machinery of reception, including
a parade by the Fifteenth United States Infantry.

We had dinner that evening with Civil Governor Liu at his palace. Miles
of driving in rain through dark, narrow streets, ending with a vision
of huge walls and lantern-illuminated gates, found us in the inner
courts, and, finally, in the main hall of the antique, many-coloured
structure where the fat and friendly Governor received us. The heads
of the various provincial departments attended, together with the
President of the Assembly and the military aides. Young Mr. Li, the
Governor's secretary and interpreter for the after-dinner speechmakers,
performed the rare feat of rendering into either language an entire
speech at a time--and the speeches were not short. My Chinese secretary
commented on his brilliant translations, the perfect renderings of
the English into Chinese, and I could myself admire his mastery of
the English idiom. Such talent of translation is seldom displayed;
the discourse of speakers is usually limited to brief paragraphs,
continually checked by the renderings of the interpreters. Of course,
this interrupts the flow of thought and contact with one's hearers.
But the interpreter at this dinner even managed to translate jokes
and witticisms without losing the point. A play on words is most
difficult to carry into a foreign tongue, but the Chinese is so full
of opportunities for puns that a nimble interpreter will always find a
substitute. To the telling of a really funny situation the Chinese can
be relied on to respond. Their humour is not unlike the American, which
delights particularly in exposing undue pretensions. Interpreters, in
translating speeches to the general public, have sometimes resorted
to something of their own invention, in order to produce the expected
laugh. When they despair of making the foreign joke hit the bull's-eye,
they occasionally help things along by making personal remarks about
the speaker, whose gratifications at the hilarity produced is usually
unclouded by a knowledge of the method employed.

Our departure from Tientsin was signalized by an unusual mark of
Chinese governmental courtesy. For the trip to Peking we found assigned
the palace car of the former Empress Dowager, and I was told that it
had not been used since her reign came to an end. Adapting a new
invention to old custom, the car's interior had been arranged as a
little palace chamber. The entrance doors were in a double set. Those
in the centre were to be opened only when the sovereign entered or
departed, the side doors being for ordinary use. Opposite the central
doors at the end of the salon stood a little throne, high and wide,
upholstered in Imperial yellow. The draperies and upholsteries of the
car were all of that colour, and it made, in its way, quite a showing
of splendour and departed greatness.

As one approaches the capital city, the beautiful mountain forms of
the so-called Western Hills, which rise suddenly out of the plain
about ten miles beyond Peking and attain an altitude of from six to
seven thousand feet, present a striking contrast to the flat and
far-stretching Chihli plain. The towers and city walls of Peking, an
impressive and astounding apparition of strength and permanence, befit
this scene. Solemn and mysterious, memorable for their size, extent,
and general inevitableness of structure, they can be compared only with
the Pyramids, or with great mountains fashioned by the hand of Nature
herself. Looking down upon these plains, where so many races have
met, fought, worked, lived, and died, where there is one of the chief
meeting points of racial currents, these walls are in themselves the
symbols of a memorable and long-sustained civilization.

As we approach more closely, the walls tower immediately above us as
the train skirts them for several miles, crosses a number of busy roads
leading to the southern gates of the city, and then suddenly slips
through an opening in the walls to the inside. We first pass through
the so-called Chinese city; this particular corner is no longer densely
populated, but is now left to gardens, fields, and burial places with
their monuments and pagodas. We only skirt the populous part of the
Chinese city. Soon we are brought immediately under the lofty walls
which separate the Chinese from the Manchu city, adjacent to it on
the north, but separated from it by an enormous wall one hundred feet
high, with a diameter of eighty feet. Where the two encircling walls
meet, towering bastions soar upward, and above the roadways rise high
gate-houses of many stories. The impassivity of these monumental
structures contrasts sharply with the swarming human life that surges
in the streets below.

From Mr. Willys R. Peck, Chinese Secretary of the Legation, who had
met us at Tientsin and accompanied us to Peking, I learned more about
the recent events in the capital and the fight which Yuan Shih-Kai
was waging against the Parliament. At the station we were greeted by
a large concourse of civilian and military officials, and Mr. E.T.
Williams, Chargé d'Affaires since Mr. Calhoun's departure, acted as
introducer. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sun Pao-chi, a tall,
benevolent-looking man, wearing European dress and long chin whiskers,
and speaking a little English with more French and German, offered
his welcome and felicitations. Other high officials were there, many
members of the American community, and several representatives of
the parliament. It was a delight to see the fine-looking companies
of American marines, who among all troops in Peking are noted for
their well-groomed, smart, and soldierly appearance. Included for the
official welcome was a company of stalwart Chinese infantry, and one
of the Peking gendarmerie, which also is military in its organization.
The several bands vied with each other in playing national airs and
salutes, while thousands of spectators congregated.

The central Tartar city gate (the Chienmen), was still in its original
form, and in passing through or under it one received an indelible
impression of the stupendous majesty and dignity which characterize
this unique capital. The curtain walls connecting the inner and outer
gates have since been removed. We drove through a side gate in the
curtain wall, finding ourselves in an impressive plaza overtowered by
the two lofty and beautiful gate-houses. Two small picturesque antique
temples flank the main entrance; one, dedicated to the God of War, was
a favourite place with the Empress Dowager, who stopped her cortège
there whenever she passed. From the flag-poles of these temples huge,
brilliantly coloured banners floated in the air. Atop the wall from
which the Chienmen Tower arises were American marines on guard and
looking down upon us. These, then, were the men whose presence up there
seemed to be interesting people so much.

From the main gateway one looks straight up the avenue which forms the
central axis of Peking; it leads through many ornamental gates and
between stately buildings to the central throne halls of the Imperial
Palace. The city plan of Peking is a symmetrical one. This central
axis, running due north and south, passes through a succession of
important gateways, monuments, and seats of power. From it the city
expands regularly east and west; on the south the Chinese city, the
symmetry of its streets and alleyways more broken; and the Manchu city
on the north, with broad avenues leading to the principal gates, while
the large blocks between them are cut up more regularly by narrower
streets and alleyways.

From the main south gate of the Chinese city the central line passes
along the principal business street to the central south gate of the
Tartar city--the imposing Chienmen--while eighty rods beyond this
stands the first outer gate of the Imperial City. Thence the central
line cuts the large square which lies immediately outside of the
Forbidden City, forming the main approach to the Imperial City. The
line then passes between pillars and huge stone lions through the
Forbidden City's first gate, cutting its inner parade ground and inner
gate, above which stands the throne from which the Emperor reviewed
his troops. Through the central enclosures, with the throne rooms
and coronation halls, three magnificent structures in succession,
the line passes, at the point where the thrones stand, into the
residential portion of the Forbidden City where the present Emperor
lives, and strikes the summit of Coal Hill, the highest point in
Peking. It bisects the temple where the dead bodies of Emperors reposed
before burial, and proceeds from the rear of the Imperial City by
its north gate through the ancient Bell Tower and Drum Tower. A more
awe-inspiring and majestic approach to a seat of power is not to be
seen in this world. We can well imagine, when tribute bearers came to
Peking and passed along this highway beset with imposing structures and
great monuments, that they were prepared to pay homage when finally
in the presence of the being to whose might all this was but an
introduction.

But we did not follow along this path of sovereign power. After passing
through the Chienmen we turned directly to the right to enter the
Legation Quarter and to reach the American Legation, which nestles
immediately inside the Tartar wall in the shadow of the tall and
imposing Chienmen Tower. It is the first of the great establishments
along Legation Street, which is approached through a beautiful
many-coloured pailu, or street arch.

No other American representative abroad has quite so easy a time
upon arrival at his post. We were going to a home prepared for
our reception, adequately furnished, and with a complete staff of
servants and attendants who were ready to serve luncheon immediately,
if required. In most cases, unfortunately, an American diplomatic
representative will for weeks or months have no place to lay his head
except in a hotel. Many American ministers and ambassadors have spent
fully one half the time during their first year of office in making
those necessary living arrangements which I found entirely complete at
Peking. That is the crucial period, too, when their minds should be
free for observing the situation in which they are to do their work.
May the time soon come when the nation realizes more fully the need of
dignified representation of its interests abroad.

The residence of the minister I found simple but handsome, in stately
colonial renaissance style, its interior admirably combining the
spaciousness needed for official entertaining with the repose of a
real home. It is made of imported American materials, and a government
architect was expressly sent to put up the legation buildings. He had
been designing government structures in America, and the somewhat
stereotyped chancery and houses of the secretaries were popularly
called "the young post offices." But the minister's house, largely
due to the efforts of Mr. Rockhill, who was minister at the time, is
a masterpiece of appropriateness--all but the chimneys. It is related
that the architect, being unfamiliar with the ways of Chinese labourers
and frequently impatient with them, incurred their ill-will. When
Mr. Rockhill first occupied the residence, it was found the chimneys
would not draw; the disgruntled masons had quietly walled them up, in
order that the architect might "lose face," and the chimney from the
fireplace of the large dining room was so thoroughly blockaded that it
remained permanently out of commission.

At a distance from the "compound," or enclosure, which surrounds the
minister's residence, fronting on a central plaza, there is a veritable
hamlet of additional houses occupied by secretaries, attachés, consular
students, and the clerical staff. It is a picturesque Chinese village,
with an antique temple and many separate houses, each with its garden
enclosed within high walls--a rescued bit of ancient China in the midst
of the European monotony of the Legation Quarter. It adjoins the Jade
Canal, opposite the hotel called "Sleeping Cars" by some unimaginative
director, but more fitly known as the Hotel of the Four Nations. At the
Water Gate, where the Jade Canal passes under the Tartar wall, is the
very point where the American marines first penetrated into the Tartar
city in 1900.

The Chinese are remarkably free from self-consciousness, and therefore
are good actors; as one sees the thousands passing back and forth on
the streets, one feels that they, too, are all acting. Here are not
the headlong rush and elbowing scramble of the crowded streets of a
Western metropolis. All walk and ride with dignity, as if conscious of
a certain importance, representing in themselves not the eager purpose
presently to get to a certain place, but rather a leisurely flow of
existence, carrying traditions and memories of centuries in which
the present enterprise is but a minor incident. Foreign women have
sometimes been terrified by these vast, surging crowds; but no matter
how timid they be, a few rickshaw rides along the streets, a short
observation of the manners of these people, will make the faintest
hearted feel at home. Before long these Tartaric hordes cease to be
terrifying, and even the feeling that they are ethnological specimens
passes away; it is remarkable how soon one feels the humanity of it
all among these multitudes that seem to engulf but that never press or
crowd.

Looking down upon a Chinese street, with multitudes of walkers and
runners passing back and forth, mingled among donkey carts, riders on
horse- or donkey-back, mule litters, rickshaws, camel caravans, flocks
of animals led to sale and slaughter, together with rapidly flying
automobiles--all gives the impression of perfect control of motion and
avoidance, of crowding and scuffling, and recalls the movements of
practised dancers on a crowded ballroom floor. A view of the crowds
which patiently wait at the great gateways for their turn to pass
through affords a constant source of amusement and delight. The line
slowly pushes through the gate like an endless string being threaded
through a needle. If there is mishap or collision, though voices of
protest may arise, they will never be those of the stoic, dignified
persons sitting in the rickshaws; it is against etiquette for the
passenger to excite himself about anything, and he leaves that to the
rickshaw man. All humanity and animaldom live and work together in
China, in almost undisturbed harmony and mutual understanding.

Only occasionally a hubbub of altercation rises to the skies. In
these days the pigtails had only just been abolished. Under the old
conditions, the technique of personal combat was for each party to
grab the other by the cue and hold him there, while describing to him
his true character. During the first years of the reform era one might
still see men who were having a difference frantically grabbing at the
back of each other's heads where there was, however, no longer anything
to afford a secure hold.

A great part of Chinese life is public. It is on the streets with
their innumerable restaurants; their wide-open bazaars of the trades;
their ambulent letter-writers and story-tellers with the curious ones
clustered about them; their itinerant markets; their gliding rickshaws;
their haphazard little shops filled with a profusion of ageless,
precious relics. There is the charm of all this and of the humanity
there swarming, with its good-natured consideration for the other
fellow, its constant movement, its excited chatter, its animation and
its pensiveness, and its occasional moments of heated but bloodless
combat.



CHAPTER III

OLD CONFUCIANISM IN THE NEW CHINA


"The whole Chinese people hold the doctrines of Confucius most sacred,"
declared President Yuan Shih-kai in his decree of November 26, 1913,
which re-introduced much of the old state religion. He stopped a little
short of giving Confucianism the character of an established religion,
but ordered that the sacrificial rites and the biennial commemoration
exercises be restored. "I am strongly convinced," he said, "of the
importance of preserving the traditional beliefs of China." In this
he was upheld by the Confucian Society at Peking, in the organization
of which an American university graduate, Dr. Chen Huan-chang, was a
leading spirit. Mr. Chen's doctoral dissertation had dealt with the
economic principles of Confucius and his school; upon his return to
China his aim had been to make Confucianism the state religion under
the Republic.

The Christian missionaries were agitated. They felt it to be a step
backward for the new republic to recognize any form of belief.
Yuan, however, said: "It is rather the ethic and moral principles
of Confucius, as a part of education, that the Government wishes
to emphasize." As there is nothing mystical or theological about
Confucianism, such a view is, indeed, quite tenable.

Yuan Shih-kai again declared toward the end of December: "I have
decided to perform the worship of heaven on the day of the winter
solstice."

This fell on the 23rd of December, and again excited discussion.
"It means that Yuan is edging toward the assumption of the Imperial
dignity," many said.

I had a talk about this matter with the Minister of the Interior, Mr.
Chu Chi-chien, who was thoroughly informed concerning the details
of Confucian worship and the worship of Heaven; he had, in fact, an
inexhaustible fund of knowledge of Chinese traditions. Nevertheless, he
was a man of action, planning cities, building roads, and developing
industries. Comparatively young and entirely Chinese by education and
character, he had supremely that knowledge of the personalities of
Chinese politics which was necessary in his ministry. As a builder he
became the Baron Haussmann of Peking, widening and paving the avenues,
establishing parks, rearranging public places, in all of which he
did marvels within his short term of two years. He established the
National Museum of Peking, and converted a part of the Imperial City
into a public park which has become a centre of civic life theretofore
unknown in China. Mr. Chu's familiarity with religion, art, and
architecture--he was a living encyclopædia of archæology and art--and
his pleasure in reciting the history of some Chinese temple or palace
did not free him from a modern temptation. He would try to import too
many foreign elements in the improvements which he planned, so that
foreign friends of Chinese art had to keep close to him to prevent the
bringing in of incongruous Western forms which would have spoiled the
marvellous harmony of this great city.

"It would be dangerous," Mr. Chu informed me, "for the republican
government to neglect the worship of Heaven. The entire farm population
observes the ceremonial relative to sowing, harvesting, and other
rural occupations according to the old calendar. Should the worship of
Heaven be omitted on the winter solstice day, now that the Government
has become established; and should there follow a leanness or entire
failure of crops, the Government would surely be held responsible by
the farmers throughout the land."

"Of course," he added, smilingly, "the worship will not guarantee
good crops, but at any rate it will relieve the Government of
responsibility."

I could not but reflect that, even in our own democracy,
administrations have been given credit and blame by reason of general
prosperity or of the lack of it, and that good crops certainly do help
the party in power.

"In the ritual, we shall introduce some changes appropriate to
republicanism," Mr. Chu assured me. "I am myself designing a special
ceremonial dress to be worn by those participating, and the music
and liturgy will be somewhat changed." But it was difficult to see
wherein consisted the specific republican bias of the changes. Yuan
Shih-kai did proceed to the Temple of Heaven before daybreak on
December 23rd; in the dark of the morning the President drove to that
wonderfully dignified open-air sanctuary in its large sacred grove
along the southern wall of the Chinese city. He drove surrounded by
personal bodyguards over streets covered with yellow sand and lined
three-fold with soldiers stationed there the evening before. With him
were the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Master of Ceremonies,
the Censor General, the Minister of War, and a staff of other high
officials and generals. Arrived at the temple, he changed his uniform
for the sacrificial robes and hat, and, after ablutions, proceeded
together with all the other dignitaries to the great circular altar,
which he ascended. He was there joined by the sacrificial meat-bearers,
the silk and jade bearers, the cupbearers, and those who chanted
invocations. In succession the different ceremonial offerings were
brought forward and presented to Heaven with many series of bows. A
prayer was then offered, as follows:

 Heaven, Thou dost look down on us and givest us the nation. All-seeing
 and all-hearing, everywhere, yet how near and how close: We come
 before Thee on this winter solstice day when the air assumes a new
 life; in spirit devout, and with ceremony old, we offer to Thee jade,
 silk, and meat. May our prayer and offerings rise unto Thee together
 with sweet incense. We sanctify ourselves and pray that Thou accept
 our offerings.

The first Confucian ceremony, which the President attended in person
at four o'clock in the morning, took place about two months later. A
complete rehearsal of the ceremony, with all details, had been held on
the preceding afternoon. Many foreigners were present. Passing from
the entrance of the Temple, between rows of immemorial ilex trees,
and through lofty porticoes, in one of which are preserved the famous
stone drums which date from the time of the Sage, the visitors entered
the innermost enclosure. It, too, is set with ancient trees, which,
however, leave the central portion open. The musical instruments were
placed on the platform in front of the main temple hall. Here the
ceremony itself was enacted, while the surface of the court was filled
with members of the Confucian Society, ranks of dignified long-gowned
men, members of the best classes of Peking.

I was told that the music played on this occasion was a modification
of the classic strains which had from time immemorial been heard
here. Perfect knowledge of this music seems no longer to exist. The
music accompanying the ceremony was nevertheless attractive, produced
with jade plaques, flutes, long-stringed instruments resembling small
harps, but with strings of more uniform length, drums, and cymbals.
A dominant note was struck on one of the jade plaques, whereupon
all the instruments fell in with a humming sound, held for fully a
minute, which resembled the murmur of forest trees or the surging
of waves. There was no melody; only a succession of dominants, with
the accompaniment of this flow of sound surging up, then ebbing and
receding. One of the instruments is most curious, in the shape of a
leopard-like animal, in whose back there are closely set about twenty
small boards. At certain stages of the music a stick is rapidly passed
over these boards, giving a very peculiar punctuation to the strains
that are being played.

The chief dignitaries officiating were Mr. Chu Chi-chien, the Minister
of the Interior, and Mr. Sun Pao-chi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
gorgeous in their newly devised ceremonial costumes. The splendid and
dignified surroundings of the temple courts enhanced the ceremony, but
it depended for its effect on the manner of chanting, the music, and
the very dignified demeanour of all who participated. Quite apart from
the question of the advisability of a state religion or the possible
reactionary influences which such ceremonies might have, I could not
but feel that the refusal to cast off entirely such traditions was
inspired by sound instinct.

Moreover, this revival came during the adoption of new ways. Chinese
ladies came out in general society for the first time on the night of
the 5th of February, at the Foreign Office ball. Many representatives
of the outlying dependencies of China were there in picturesque
costumes, invariably exhibiting a natural self-confidence which made
them seem entirely in place in these modern surroundings. The Foreign
Office building, planned by an American architect, contains on the main
floor an impressive suite of apartments so arranged as to give ample
space for large entertainments, while it affords every opportunity for
the more intimate gathering of smaller groups. Guests were promenading
through the long rows of apartments from the ballroom, where the
excellent Navy Band was playing for the dancers.

The Chinese women gave no hint of being unaccustomed to such general
gatherings of society, but bore themselves with natural ease and
dignity. Nor did they conceal their somewhat amused interest in the
forms of the modern dance; for only a few of the younger Chinese
ladies had at that time acquired this Western art. The number of
votaries, however, increased rapidly during the next few years.

From among the Tartars of the outlying regions this occasion was graced
by a Living Buddha from Mongolia, to whom the Chinese officials were
most attentive. Surrounded by a large retinue, he overtopped them
all, and his bodily girth seemed enormous. He found his way early in
the evening to a room where refreshments were being offered, took
possession of a table, and proceeded to divest himself of seven or
eight layers of outer garments. Thus reduced, he became a man of
more normal dimensions. Several of his servitors then went foraging
among the various tables, bringing choice dishes to which the Living
Buddha did all justice. Long after midnight reports still came to the
ballroom: "The Living Buddha is still eating."

It seems remarkable that Chinese women should so readily adapt
themselves to wholly new situations. They have shown themselves capable
of leadership in social, political, and scientific matters; a great
many develop wide intellectual interests and manifest keen mental
powers. When I gave the Commencement address at the Women's Medical
College of Peking, the 13th of February, I was curious to see what
types of Chinese women would devote themselves to a medical education.
In this field Dr. King Ya-mei and Dr. Mary Stone are the pioneers.
With the advance of modern medicine in China many Chinese women have
adopted the career of nurses and of physicians. On this occasion the
women students of the middle school sang various selections, and I
was impressed with the cello-like quality of their alto voices. As
customary on such occasions my address was made through an interpreter.
The delivery of these chopped-off paragraphs can scarcely be inspiring,
yet Chinese audiences are so courteous and attentive that they never
give the speaker any suggestion of impatience.

A luncheon at the Botanical Gardens was given the next day by the
Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chang Chien. This institution, to
which a small and rather hungry-looking collection of animals is
appended, occupies an extensive area outside of the northwest gate,
and was formerly a park or pleasure garden of the Empress Dowager. A
modern-style building, erected for her use and composed of large main
apartments on each floor, with smaller side-chambers opening out from
them, was used for our luncheon party. Its walls were still hung with
pictures painted by the hand of the august lady, who loved to vary her
busy life by painting flowers. The conversation here was mostly on
Chinese art, there being among the guests an antiquarian expert, Chow,
who exhibited some fine scrolls of paintings. I noted that the Chinese
evinced the same interest in the writing appended to the paintings
(colophon) as in the picture itself. They seemed to admire especially
the ability, in some famous writers, of executing complicated strokes
without hesitation and with perfect control. When we were looking at a
page written by a famous Sung poet, Mr. Chow said: "He always finished
a stroke lightly, like his poems, still leaving something unsaid."

Chinese handwriting has infinite power to express differences of
character and cultivation. It is closely associated with personality.
Some writing has the precision of a steel engraving; other examples,
again, show the sweep and assurance of a brush wielded by a Franz Hals.
It is the latter that the Chinese particularly admire; and even without
any knowledge of Chinese script one cannot but be impressed with its
artistic quality and its power to reveal personal characteristics. It
is still the great ambition of educated Chinese to write well--that is,
with force and individual expression. My host on this occasion was one
of the most noted calligraphers in China. Many emulated him; among them
a northern military governor who had risen from the ranks, but spent
laborious hours every day decorating huge scrolls with a few characters
he had learned, with which to gladden the hearts of his friends.

The new things cropping out in Chinese life had their detractors. Mr.
and Mrs. Rockhill had come to Peking for a visit. Relieved of official
duties through a change in the administration, it was quite natural
that Mr. Rockhill should return where his principal intellectual
interests lay. Throughout our first conversation at dinner Mrs.
Rockhill affected a very reactionary view of things in China, praising
the Empire and making fun of all attempts at modernization. One would
have thought her not only a monarchist, but a believer in absolutism
of the old Czarist type. A woman so clever can make any point of view
seem reasonable. Mr. Rockhill did not express himself so strongly, but
he was evidently also filled with regret for the old days in China
which had passed. While we were together receiving guests at a dinner I
was giving Mr. Rockhill, some of the young Foreign Office counsellors
appeared in the distance, wearing conventional evening clothes. "How
horrible," Mr. Rockhill murmured, quite distressed. Not perceiving
anything unusual to which his expression of horror could refer, I
asked, "What?" "They ought to wear their native costume," he answered;
"European dress is intolerable on them, and it is so with all these
attempted imitations."

The talk at another dinner, a small gathering including Mr. Rockhill,
Doctor Goodnow, and Dr. Henry C. Adams, revolved around conditions
in China and took a rather pessimistic tone. Doctor Adams had been
elaborating a system of unified accounting for the railways. "At every
turn," he said, "we seem to get into a blind alley leading up to a
place where some spider of corruption sits, the whole tribe manipulated
by a powerful head spider."

This inheritance of corruption from the easy-going past, when the
larger portion of official incomes was made up of commissions and
fees, was recognized to be a great evil by all the more enlightened
Chinese officials. They attempted to combat it in behalf of efficient
administration but they could not quite perform the heroic task of
lifting the entire system bodily onto a new basis. Because the new
methods would require greatly increased salaries, the ideal of strict
accountability, honesty, and efficiency, could only be gradually
approached. Doctor Goodnow for his part contributed to the conversation
a sense of all the difficulties encountered by saying: "Here is a
hitherto non-political society which had vegetated along through
centuries held together by self-enforced social and moral bonds,
without set tribunals or formal sanction. Now it suddenly determines
to take over elections, legislatures, and other elements of our more
abstract and artificial Western system. I incline to believe that it
would be infinitely better if the institutional changes had been more
gradual, if the system of representation had been based rather on
existing social groupings and interests than on the abstract idea of
universal suffrage. These political abstractions as yet mean nothing to
the Chinese by way of actual experience."

He also did not approve of the persistent desire of the democratic
party to establish something analogous to the English system of cabinet
government. He felt that far more political experience was needed for
working so delicate a system. "I am inclined to look to concentration
of power and responsibility in the hands of the President for more
satisfactory results," he said.

Mr. Rockhill's fundamental belief was that it would be far better for
the world not to have meddled with China at all. "She should be allowed
to continue under her social system," he urged, "a system which has
stood the test of thousands of years; and to trust that the gradual
influence of example would bring about necessary modifications." He
had thorough confidence in the ability of Yuan Shih-kai, if allowed a
free hand, to govern China in accordance with her traditional ideas but
with a sufficient application of modern methods. He even considered the
strict press censorship applied by Yuan Shih-kai's government as proper
under the circumstances.

Throughout this conversation, which dwelt mostly on difficulties,
shortcomings and corruption, there was, nevertheless, a notable
undercurrent of confidence in the Chinese _people_. These experienced
men whose work brought them into contact with specific evils, looked at
the Chinese, not from the ordinary viewpoint so usual with foreigners
who assume the utter hopelessness of the whole China business, but much
as they would consider the shortcomings of their own nation, with an
underlying faith in the inherent strength and virtue of the national
character. The idea of China being bankrupt was laughed to scorn by
Mr. Rockhill. "There are its vast natural and human resources," he
exclaimed. "The human resources are not just a quantity of crude
physical man power, but there is a very highly trained industrial
capacity in the handicrafts." But it is exactly when we realize the
stupendous possibilities of the country, her resources of material
wealth, her man power, her industrial skill, and her actual capital
that the difficulties which obstruct her development seem so deplorable.

Mr. Liang Chi-chao gave a dinner at about this time, at which Doctor
Adams, Doctor Goodnow, President Judson of Chicago, and the ladies
were present. Mr. Liang had a cook who was a master in his art, able
to produce all that infinite variety of savory distinction with which
meat, vegetables, and pastry can be prepared by the Chinese. One
usually speaks of Chinese dinners as having from one hundred fifty
to two hundred courses. It would be more accurate, however, to speak
of so many dishes, as at all times there are a great many different
dishes on the table from which the guests make selection. The profusion
of food supplied at such a dinner is certainly astonishing. The
guests will take a taste here and there; but the greater part of it
is sent back to the household and retainers. It is a popular mistake
to believe that Chinese food is composed of unusual dishes. There are
indeed birdsnest soup, shark fins, and ducks' kidneys, but the real
excellence of Chinese cooking lies in the ability to prepare one thing,
such as chicken, or fish, in innumerable ways, with endless varieties
of crispness, consistency, and flavour. It is notable to what extent
meat predominates. Although there is always a variety of vegetables
and of fruit, the amount of meat consumed by the Chinese is certainly
astonishing to one who has classified them, as is usually done, as a
vegetarian people.

The show of abundance at a Chinese banquet seems the fare of poverty
compared with the cargoes of delicacies served at the Imperial table.
It was a rule of the Imperial household that any dish which the Emperor
had at any time called for, must be served him at the principal meal
every day; as his reign lengthened the numbers of dishes at his table,
naturally, constantly increased. It is related that the dinner of the
Emperor Chen Lung required one hundred and twenty tables; and the
Empress Dowager, at the time of her death, had worked up to about
ninety-six tables. It is not to be wondered at that the Emperor's
kitchen had an army of three hundred cooks! At one time when the Duke
Tsai was discussing with me the financial situation of the Imperial
family, he remarked, with a deep sigh: "The Emperor has had to reduce
the number of his servants. For instance, at present he has only thirty
cooks." Not knowing of the custom described above, I was inclined to
consider that number quite adequate. I believe the little Emperor has
at the time I write reached the quota of about fifteen tables.

At the hospitable board of Mr. Liang Chi-chao, while the dishes were
served in Chinese style and the food eaten with chopsticks, some
modifications of the usual dinner procedure had been made. The
etiquette of a Chinese meal requires that when a new set of dishes with
food has been placed in the centre of the table, the host, hostess,
and other members of the family survey what is there and pick out the
choicest morsels to lay on the plates of their guests. The guests then
reciprocate the courtesy, and the interchange of favours continues
throughout the dinner, giving the whole affair a most sociable aspect.
At Mr. Liang Chi-chao's table these courtesies were observed, but there
were special chopsticks provided for taking the food from the central
dishes and transferring it to a neighbour's or to one's own.

The conversation after dinner wandered toward Chinese ethics. Mr. Liang
Chi-chao is one of the most competent authorities on this subject
and on its relations to Western thought and life. I ventured this
opinion: "While the high respect in which the elders are held by the
younger generation in China is a remarkably strong social cement, it is
discouraging to progress in that it gives the younger and more active
little chance to carry out their own ideas."

"But the system does not," Mr. Liang rejoined, "necessarily work
to retard change; because it is, after all, society rather than
individuals which controls. With all proper respect for elders, the
younger element has ample opportunity to bring forward and carry out
ideas of social change."

He regarded the principle of respect for elders and of ancestor worship
of fundamental importance; in addition to its direct social effects,
it gave to Chinese society all that the Western peoples derive from
the belief in immortality. The living individual feels a keen sense
of permanence through the continuity of a long line of ancestors,
whose influence perceptibly surrounds those actually living; moreover,
their own actions are raised to a higher plane, as seen not from the
narrow interests of the present, but in relation to the life of the
generations that are to succeed, in whom the character and action of
the individual now living will persist.

This evening's entertainment, with its intimate Chinese setting
and its conversation dealing with the deeper relationships between
different civilizations, has remained a memorable experience for those
who attended it. Only recently it was thus recalled by one of the
guests: "Think of going to a dinner with the 'Secretary of Justice' in
Washington, and conversing about the immortality of the soul!"

Interested to see how, despite the new ways in China, the old
Confucianism persisted, I determined upon a pilgrimage to the Confucian
shrines. Dr. Henry C. Adams invited me in November, 1914, to join him
on a trip to the sacred mountain, Taishan, in Shantung Province, and to
Chüfu, the home of Confucius.

A small party was made up. I slipped away quietly in order to avoid
official attentions and to spare the local authorities all the bother
of formally entertaining a foreign representative. We arrived at
Taianfu early in the morning, where with the help of missionaries
chair-bearers had been secured to carry us up the mountain.

The trip to these sacred heights is of an unusual character. The ascent
from the base is almost continuously over stair-ways. Up these steep
and difficult grades two sturdy chairmen, with a third as alternate,
will carry the traveller rapidly and with easy gait. The route is
fascinating not only because of the singular natural beauty of the
ravines through which it passes, and of the constantly broadening
prospects over the fruitful plains of Shantung from every eminence, but
because of the historic interest of the place; this is testified to by
innumerable temples, monuments, tablets, and inscriptions sculptured
in the living rock which line the path up the mountain. It must be
remembered that in the time of Confucius this was already a place
of pilgrimage of immemorial tradition; a place of special grandeur,
wherein the mind might be freed of its narrow needs and find its
place in the infinite. Many of its monuments refer to Confucius and
record his sayings as he stopped by the way to rest or to behold the
prospect. At one point, whence one looks off a steep precipice down to
the plain thousands of feet below, his saying, as reported, was: "Seen
from this height, man is indeed but a speck or insect." But not all
of his remarks were of this obvious nature, which justifies itself in
its appeal to the common mind, to be initiated into the truths of the
spirit.

In these thousands of years many other sages, emperors, and statesmen
have ascended the sacred hill, also leaving memorials in the shape of
sculptured stones bearing their sentiments. It would be an agreeable
task for a vacation to read these inscriptions and to let the
imagination shadow forth again these unending pilgrimages extending
back to the dawn of history.

The stairway leading up the mountain, which is about 6,000 feet high,
is often so steep that we had to guard against being overcome by
dizziness in looking down. Occasionally a stop is made at a wayside
temple, where tea is served in the shady courts. In the summer heat
these refuges must be especially grateful. We reached the temples that
crown the summit after a journey of about six hours. In a temple court
at the very top the servants who had preceded us had set up their
kitchen, and an ample luncheon was awaiting us there.

At this altitude a cold and cutting wind was blowing. Yet we preferred
to stay outside of the temple buildings in order to enjoy the view
which is here unrolled, embracing a great portion of the whole province
of Shantung. I noted that the coolies did not seem impressed with the
sanctity of this majestic height, but used the temple courts as a
caravanserai.

The descent is made rapidly, as the practised chair-bearers run
down the stairs with quick, sure steps--which gives the passenger
the sensation of skirting the mountainside in an aeroplane. When I
inquired whether accidents did not occasionally happen, they told me:
"Yes, but the last time when any one has fallen was about four hundred
years ago." As in the early days chair-bearers who had fallen were
killed, the tendency to fall was in the course of time eradicated. They
descend with a gliding motion that reminds one of the flight of birds.
The chair-bearers are united in a guild, and happen to be Mohammedans
by religion.

The town of Taianfu, which lies at the foot of the mountain, is
notable for a very ancient and stately temple dedicated to the god
who represents the original nature worship which centres around Mount
Taishan, and which forms the historic basis for all religion in
China. The spacious temple courts, with their immemorial trees and
their forests of tall stone tablets bearing inscriptions dedicated by
emperors for thousands of years past, testify to the strength of the
native faith. The streets of the town, set at frequent intervals with
arches bearing sculptured animal forms, were lined with shops through
whose trellised windows, now that night had come, lights were shining,
revealing the activities within. These, with an occasional tall tower
or temple shadowing the gathering darkness, made this old town appear
full of romance and strange beauty.

Sleeping on our car, we were by night carried to the railway station of
Chüfu; some seven miles farther on lies the town of the same name, the
home of Confucius. We hired donkey carts at the station; also, as the
ladies were anxious to have the experience of using the local passenger
vehicle, the wheel-barrow, we engaged a few of these; whereupon our
modest cavalcade proceeded first to the Confucian burial ground, to the
north of the city. On the way thither we were met by chair-bearers who
carried a portable throne and brought complimentary messages from the
Holy Duke. As the chair had been sent for my use, there was nothing for
it but to get in. Soon appeared, also, a string of mule carts drawn by
sleek and well-fed animals, contrasting with the bony and dishevelled
beasts we had hired.

It was plain that the incognito was ended, and that the Duke had been
apprised of our coming. Then came the emissaries of the district
magistrate, offering further courtesies, such as a guard of honour; and
another delegation from the Duke brought a huge red envelope containing
an invitation for luncheon. We tried to decline all these civilities
and to stroll about quietly, in order to come entirely under the spell
of this place. But there was no more rambling and strolling for us. We
had to sit in our chairs and carts, and, after two polite declinations
of the luncheon invitation, alleging the shortness of our time and our
desire to see everything thoroughly, and asking leave to call on the
Duke later in the afternoon--we accepted the customary third issue of
the ducal invitation.

Our procession was quite imposing as we passed on to the inner gate of
the cemetery. Covering about one and a half square miles, the enclosure
has been the burial ground of the Confucian family for at least three
thousand years, antedating Confucius himself. No other family in the
world has such memorials of its continuity. The simple dignity of a
huge marble slab set erect before the mound-covered grave marks the
burial place of the sage. The adjoining site of the house where his
disciples guarded his tomb for generations, but which ultimately
disappeared some two thousand years ago, also bears monuments and
inscriptions.

Leaving the cemetery, a large cavalry escort sent by the district
magistrate joined our cavalcade of chairs, mule carts, and
wheelbarrows, together with crowds of the curious who trudged
along. The village streets were lined with people anxious to see
the strangers; but their curiosity had nothing intrusive. They were
friendly lookers-on, nodding a pleasant welcome should your eye catch
theirs.

We passed through many gates of the ancient palace before we were
finally received by the Duke himself at the main inner doorway. He was
accompanied by the magistrate, and with these two we sat down to chat;
nearly an hour elapsed before we were summoned to the table. The meal,
which was made up of innumerable courses, lasted at least two hours,
during which we kept up an animated conversation concerning the more
recent history of the town and of the temple.

The Duke was agitated because missionaries from Taianfu were trying to
acquire land in the town of Chüfu. He looked upon this intrusion as
unwarranted, saying that as his town was devoted to the memory of the
Chinese sage, it did not seem suitable that any foreign religion should
try to introduce its worship, and it would certainly result in local
ill-feeling.

I tried to quiet his apprehensions by speaking of the educational work
of missionaries, of the fact that they, also, respected the great sage;
but it was hard to allay his opposition.

The magistrate was jovial, laughing uproariously at the mildest joke.
When we arose from the table, the Duke took us to the apartments of the
Duchess, who was staying with the infant daughter recently born, their
first child. The Duchess was his second wife, and he was considerably
her senior. The little lady seemed to be particularly fond of cats, of
which at least forty were playing about her; one of these she presented
to Mrs. Adams.

The great Temple of Confucius immediately adjoins the palace. Although
the afternoon was wearing on, we still had time to visit it and to
wander about in its noble courts. The pillars in the main halls are
adorned by marvellous sculpture, and the temple is remarkable for
the refined beauty of the structures composing it and for the serene
dignity of its aspect. Adjoining the main temple is an ancient well
near which stood the original house of Confucius. Stone reliefs
present in a long series the history of Confucius in pictures, and
there is a great collection of instruments used in performing the
classical music. But the chief charm of the temple lies in the vistas
afforded by its courts, set with magnificent trees and with the
monuments of the past seventy generations.

It was dark when we had finished our visit to the temple. We bade
the Duke farewell, and our cavalcade, starting back to the station,
was now made picturesque by the flaring torches and the huge paper
lanterns which were carried alongside each chair and cart. Slowly the
procession wound its way back over the dark plains toward the lights
of the station platform and the emblems of a mechanical civilization
that contrasted at every point with the life we had seen. The Duke had
regretted having objected so strongly to the proposal to bring the
railway closer to the town, for it was of inconvenience to visitors;
but he felt, after all, that the great sage himself would always prefer
the peacefulness and quiet of the older civilization.

I revisited Chüfu three years later, this time with Mr. Charles R.
Crane and Mrs. Reinsch, who had been unable to accompany me on the
first visit. The officials were expecting us, and everywhere we were
followed with attentions. Not satisfied with giving us two private
cars, the railway officials insisted that we have a special engine,
too. In the region of Chüfu we gathered an army of military escorts.
Arriving at the palace, the Duke greeted us with a child on either
arm. The little daughter was now over three, the son slightly over
one year old. I have never seen any one who appeared more devoted to
his children than the Duke. He always had them with him, carried them
about, playing with them and fondling them. When he and the Duchess
visited us in Peking he brought the two little ones, and they and my
small children played long together joyfully and to the amusement
of their elders. The Duke was tall, broad-shouldered, aristocratic
looking. While not credited with great ability, he was undoubtedly a
man of intelligence, although his education had been narrowly classical
and had not given him contact with the world's affairs. He was
seventy-third in line from the great sage. At that time he was engaged
especially with plans to create in Chüfu a university wherein the
Confucian tradition should be preserved in its purity, but which should
also teach modern science.

Once during the revolution against the Manchus the Duke was considered
a possible successor to the throne. If the country had had a Chinese
family of great prominence in affairs, the transfer of the monarchy
to a Chinese house might have been accomplished, but the Duke was by
no means a man of action or a politician. Neither had the descendants
of the Ming, Sung, and Chow emperors, or of other Imperial houses,
sufficient prominence or genius for leadership to command national
attention.

The title of the Holy Duke is the only one in China which remains
permanently the same. Under the empire, titles were granted, but in
each succeeding generation the rank was lowered by one grade until the
status of a commoner had again been reached. By this arrangement, under
which noble rank gradually "petered out," China escaped the creation of
a class or caste of nobility.



CHAPTER IV

A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE POLITICAL SCENES


Modelling largely on American example, China is striving to create
truly representative political institutions. Personal rule, imperial
traditions, hamper the Chinese in their efforts, unguided as they
are by experience; moreover, they meet with foreign skepticism and
opposition. It is America's rôle not officiously to interfere in their
endeavours, but in every proper way to help them.

The institutions a nation develops are largely its own business.
Other nations should not interfere. But in China all liberal-minded,
forward-looking men see in the United States a free government which
they not only wish to emulate, but to which they look for interest,
sympathy, and moral assistance. The results of their efforts are by
no means indifferent to us. Should they fail, should militarist and
absolutist elements gain the upper hand; particularly, should China
become an appendage to a foreign militarist autocracy, grave dangers
would arise. The ideals of the progressive Chinese are in keeping with
the peaceful, industrious traditions of China. With these traditions
Americans in China are closely allied. They do not seek, nor have they
need to seek, to control by political means the choice of the Chinese
people. On the other hand, it would be difficult for them to tolerate
any attempt to prevent the Chinese from freely following the model of
their choice, and from securing those mutually helpful relations with
Americans which they themselves desire. In this sense only, then, have
Americans a vital interest in Chinese politics. That personal rule and
imperial traditions, as well as military despotism, are still powerful
enough to hamper the will of the new Chinese democracy may be manifest
from a few instances that early came to my attention.

The first case was that of Mr. C.T. Wang. When he related to me the
history of the dissolution of his party--he was and still is one of the
leaders of the democratic party (Kuo Min Tang)--he told me that he was
in great personal danger. Mr. Wang had been marked for execution as a
leader of the disbanded party and he was living in concealment as a
refugee.

His call upon me, shortly after my arrival in Peking, was my first
direct contact with Chinese internal or party politics. He had greeted
me at the railway station upon my arrival, and now he told me the story
of Yuan Shih-kai's successful attempt to break down the opposition of
the parliament and to render that body entirely innocuous. Mr. Wang was
the Vice-President of the Senate, and through his party was associated
with Dr. Sun Yat-sen and General Huang Hsin, the men who had attempted
the revolution during the summer just passed. But Mr. Wang represented
the younger, more modern-minded elements in the party, who desired to
adopt the best institutions and practices of the West, but who did not
favour violent measures.

Yuan Shih-kai had divided the majority party, in order in the end to
destroy its two sections. The most recent action in this fight was the
dissolution of the Kuo Min Tang, which was decreed by the President
on November 5th, on the ground that this body was implicated in, and
responsible for, the revolutionary movement against the President. The
President had approached the Tutuhs--or military governors, after the
downfall of Yuan Shih-kai called Tuchuns--in the various provinces
and had secured in advance an endorsement of his action. Of course,
this appeal ignored the constitutional character which the state was
supposed to have, and encouraged the military governors in thinking
that they were semi-independent rulers. After the death of Yuan their
sense of their own importance and independence grew apace. They
imitated him in looking upon their armies as their personal property.
Moreover, they seized control of the provincial taxes. From all this
arose that pseudo-feudalism of military despots, which is the baneful
heritage left by Yuan Shih-kai in China.

I had already received, through the Department of State, an inquiry
from American friends concerning Mr. Wang's safety. He was graduated
from Yale University, was first among the American-returned students,
and favourably known among Americans in general. He had been the
president of the Chinese Y.M.C.A. and bore the reputation of being an
able, clean-handed, and conscientious man. I could not, of course,
know in how serious danger Mr. Wang found himself, nor could I make
any formal representations in a case where the facts were unknown.
However, through making inquiry as to whether any unfavourable action,
such as arrest, was contemplated, I hinted to the Government that any
harsh action against Mr. Wang would be noted. The very fact that a
well-disposed foreign nation is taking notice will tend to prevent rash
or high-handed action, which is frequently forced by some individual
hothead commander or official. When public attention has been directed
to the unjust treatment of a man, rash vindictiveness may be restrained
by wiser heads.

A further example of the working of Chinese internal politics which
came under my observation at this time is shown in the method by which
Yuan Shih-kai politely imprisoned the Vice-President.

From time to time Yuan Shih-kai had made efforts to induce the
Vice-President, General Li Yuan-hung, to come to Peking from Wuchang,
where he was stationed in command of troops. He had sent him messengers
and letters, protesting the need he felt of having General Li closely
by his side in order to profit by his support and advice on important
affairs. These polite invitations had been answered by General Li
in a most self-deprecatory tone; he could not aspire to the merit
and wisdom attributed to him by the President; he could be of but
little assistance in important affairs of state; it was far better
for him to stay in his position as commander at Wuchang, whence he
could effectively support the authority of the President and all his
beneficent works.

This interchange of correspondence went on for some time. It was
evident that General Li did not wish to come to Peking. It was surmised
that the President did not like the prominence which the democratic
party had given to the name of General Li Yuang-hung, whom they had
heralded as a true republican and a man of popular sympathies. Probably
Yuan feared that General Li might be placed at the head of a new
political movement against the President's authority.

The President not only sent messengers and letters of cordial
invitation, but he also rearranged the disposal of troops, with the
result that bodies of troops upon which Yuan Shih-kai could rely were
drawn around Wuchang with a constantly shortening radius. Finally in
December General Li realized that he had no alternative. He therefore
informed the latest messenger of Tuan that he could no longer resist
the repeated cordial invitations, and that while he was sharply
conscious of his shortcomings, he would endeavour to assist the chief
magistrate to the limit of his powers.

He came to Peking in December, without troops of his own. The President
received him with the greatest cordiality, embracing him and vowing
that now the burden of responsibility was lightened for him; that he
must have his great associate and friend always close at hand, where
he could consult with him daily, in fact, any hour of the day and
night; he therefore invited General Li to make his home close to the
palace of Yuan, namely, on the little island in the South Lake in whose
many-coloured, gracefully formed halls, Emperor Kwang Hsu was for many
years kept a prisoner by the Empress Dowager.

There General Li took his residence, knowing that his great friend the
first magistrate could not spare his presence at any hour of day or
night.

The question arose whether the foreign representatives should call on
the newly arrived Vice-President. The Government tentatively suggested
that as hosts it might be proper for them to make the first call.
Whether or not this was done in the expectation that the suggestion
would not be accepted, it certainly was not the desire of Yuan Shih-kai
to encourage close relations between the Vice-President and any
outsiders.

Although Yuan Shih-kai still allowed the rump parliament to exist,
he had undoubtedly decided at this time to dispose of it entirely.
A ready pretext was at hand, because, with the expulsion of the Kuo
Min Tang, the parliament no longer could muster a quorum. On November
13th, it was announced that a central administrative conference would
be created to act in an advisory capacity in matters of government.
It was plain that this body was intended to displace parliament. The
list of nominees was made up mostly of men of the old régime, literati
and ex-officials--the kind known among the Chinese as "skeletons";
a group of high standing and very good reputation, but from which
little constructive action could be expected. Among them was a very
effective orator, Ma Liang, a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
He was a dignified, elderly man, who came to see me to talk about
reforestation and colonization of outlying regions. His contact with
Western civilization had been through the Jesuit College at Zikawei.
Another member was Dr. Yen Fu, who had won reputation by translating
a large number of scientific works into Chinese and creating a modern
scientific terminology in Chinese. Among other councillors with whom I
became well acquainted was Hsu Shih-chang, later President of China,
and Li Ching-hsi, a nephew of Li Hung-chang, who had been Viceroy of
Yunnan under the Empire.

Dr. Frank J. Goodnow, the American Constitutional Advisor, often
discussed Chinese political affairs with me. It was his impression
that parliament had attempted to take over too much of Western
political practice without sufficiently considering its adaptability
to Chinese uses. He believed that the administrative power should not
be subject to constant interference by parliament, and that China
was not yet ready for the cabinet system. He therefore held a rather
conservative view favouring gradual development in the direction
of Western institutions, but not a wholesale adoption of the same.
The Yuan Shih-kai government took advantage of this attitude of the
American expert to give out, whenever it proposed a new arrangement
for strengthening its hold, that the matter had the approval of Doctor
Goodnow and other foreign advisers. However, these authorities were not
really consulted; that is, they were not brought into the important
conferences, nor given the chance to coöperate in the formulation
of vital projects. As a matter of form they were, of course,
"consulted"--but usually after the decisions had been made. They were
informed of what had been agreed upon; and then it was announced that
the approval of the advisers had been secured. Another example of
the bland self-sufficiency of Yuan Shih-kai and his government. They
believed in themselves; they considered that they were accountable only
to themselves; they had fundamentally the monarchic point of view in
all departments of public service.



CHAPTER V

WITH MEN WHO WATCH POLITICS


I found in Peking several good observers of political life, especially
Dr. George Morrison, Mr. B. Lenox Simpson, and Mr. W.H. Donald. All
three had the training in observation and judgment which comes from
writing for responsible papers. Doctor Morrison was gifted with a
memory for details. Thus, he would say: "When I first visited New
York I lived in a little hall room on the third floor of 157 East
Twenty-ninth Street, with a landlady whose name was Simkins, who had
green eyes and a red nose and who charged me two dollars a week for my
room." He delighted in detailing minutely his daily doings. His sense
of infinite detail combined with his remarkable memory made Doctor
Morrison an encyclopædia of information about Chinese public men. He
knew their careers, their foibles and ambitions, and their personal
relationships. Like most British in China he was animated with a
sincere wish to see the Chinese get ahead, and was distressed by the
obstacles which a change for the better encountered at every step.
His own mind was of the analytical and critical type rather than the
constructive, and his greatest services were rendered as interpreter
of events and in giving to public men and the people a clear idea of
the significance of complex Chinese situations. "I am annoyed," he
would say, "because kindly old ladies persistently identify me with the
missionary Morrison who died in 1857."

Mr. Donald's acquaintance with Chinese affairs had come through
close contact with the leaders of new China, with whom he coöperated
intimately in their military and political campaigns. He had a heart
for the Chinese, as if they had been his own people. He worried about
their troubles and fought their fights. Mr. Simpson, the noted writer
who uses the pen name "Putnam Weale," began active life as a member of
the Maritime Customs service, but he soon resigned, to devote himself
wholly to literary work. His masterly works of political analysis
were written in the period of the Russo-Japanese War, although his
best-known book came a little earlier--a book which long earned him the
ill-will and suspicion of many of the legations in Peking. He himself
disavows giving in "Indiscreet Letters from Peking" a recital of
actual facts. He told me: "I wished to give the psychology of a siege,
selecting from the abundant material significant facts and expressions,
but I was not in any sense attempting to chronicle events and personal
actions."

Mr. Simpson has also written a series of novels dealing with Chinese
life. The short stories are the best; the longer ones, while
interesting in description and clever in dialogue, lack that intuitive
power of characterization which is found in the greatest novels, though
"Wang the Ninth" which has recently come from the press is an admirable
study of Chinese psychology and an excellent story as well. Though his
playful and cynical mind often led people to judge that he was working
solely for literary effect, it seemed to me he had a deep appreciation
of what China should mean to the world; he also had real sympathy for
the Chinese, and desired in every way to help them to realize the great
promise of their country and people. As a conversationalist Mr. Simpson
resembled Macaulay, in that his interludes of silence were infrequent.
Notwithstanding the brilliance of this conversation, luncheon parties
of men occasionally seemed to become restive under a monologue which
gave few others a chance to wedge in a word.

Aside from these three British writers, many other men were following
with intelligent interest the course of events. Bishop Bashford, gifted
with a broad and statesmanlike mind, could always be trusted to give
passing events significant interpretations. Dr. W.A.P. Martin had then
reached an age at which the individual details of current affairs no
longer interested him. His intimate friend, Dr. Arthur H. Smith--a
rarely brilliant extemporaneous speaker--was full of witty and incisive
observations, often deeply pessimistic, though tempered with a deep
friendship for the Chinese people.

Among the members of the diplomatic corps it was chiefly the Chinese
secretaries who busied themselves, out of professional interest with
the details of Chinese affairs, although they did not in all cases
exhibit a broad grasp of the situation.

Mr. Willys R. Peck, Chinese secretary of the American Legation, born in
China, had a complete mastery of the difficult language of the country.
He could use it with a colloquial ease that contrasted most pleasantly
with the stilted and stiff enunciation of the ordinary foreigner
speaking Chinese. His tact in intercourse with the Chinese and his
judgment on character and political affairs could be relied on. Mr.
Peck took the place of Mr. E.T. Williams, who was called to Washington
as chief of the Far Eastern Division in the State Department. I
considered it great good fortune that there should be at the Department
a man so experienced and so familiar with Chinese affairs.

It was my good fortune to have as first secretary of the legation a man
exceptionally qualified to cope with the difficulties and intricacies
of Chinese affairs. Not only are these affairs infinitely complex in
themselves, but they have been overlaid through many decades with a web
of foreign treaty provisions, which makes them still more baffling to
the stranger who tackles them. But Mr. J.V.A. MacMurray, the secretary,
was possessed of a keenly analytical, legally trained mind which was
able to cut through the most hopelessly tangled snarl of local custom,
national law, international agreement, and general equity. Also his
interest in things Chinese was so deep and genuine that his researches
were never perfunctory. The son of a soldier, he had an almost
religious devotion to the idea of public service.

Among the ministers themselves, Sir John Jordan, actual Dean of the
Diplomatic Corps, was through long experience and careful attention
to affairs most fitted to speak with authority on things Chinese. I
was immediately greatly attracted to him and formed with him a close
acquaintanceship. This led to constant coöperation throughout the
difficult years that lay ahead. Sir John was a man of unusually long
and varied experience in China. He came first to the consular service,
then became minister resident in Korea, and his forty years of official
work had given him complete intimacy with Chinese affairs. Although he
speaks Chinese with fluency, in official interviews and conversations
he was always accompanied by his Chinese secretary and expressed
himself formally in English. As a matter of fact, few diplomats
ever use the Chinese language in official conversation. Because of
its infinite shades of meaning it is a complex and rather unprecise
medium, therefore misunderstandings are more readily avoided through
the concurrent use of another language. While Sir John understood
Chinese character and affairs and was sympathetic with the country in
which his life work had been spent, yet there dwelt in him no spirit
of easy compliance. When he considered it necessary, he could insist
so strongly and so emphatically upon the action he desired taken
that the Chinese often thought of him as harsh and unrelenting: yet
they always respected his essentially English spirit of fairness and
straightforwardness.

Other colleagues with whom close relationships grew up were Don Luis
Pastor, the Spanish minister, a gentleman thoroughly American in
his ways and familiar through long residence in Washington with our
affairs; and Count Sforza, the Italian minister. To the latter China
seemed more or less a place of exile; he appeared bored and only
moderately interested in the affairs about him. But his legation--with
Countess Sforza, Madame Varè, whose Lombard beauty did not suggest her
Scotch origin; the Marquise Denti, with her quizzical, Mona Lisa-like
haunting smile, concealing great ennui; and the entirely girlish and
playful Countess Zavagli, a figure which might have stepped out of a
Watteau--was a most charming social centre. M. Beelaerts van Blokland,
the Netherlands minister, a man of clear-thinking, keen mind, and great
reasonableness, and the Austrian minister, M. von Rosthorn, a profound
Chinese scholar, who was then working on a Chinese history, were men of
whom I saw much during these years.

There were few sinologists in Peking at this time. The successive
Chinese secretaries of the American Legation ranked high in this
respect. Of resident sinologists the most noted, Mr. (later Sir) Edward
Backhouse was a recluse, who never allowed himself to be seen in the
company of other people of a Western race. At the only period when I
had long conversations with him I found him much disturbed by wild
rumours current in the Chinese quarter to which I could not attach any
weight. Others whose knowledge of Chinese was exceptional were Mr.
Sidney Mayers, representative of the British China Corporation, who had
formerly been in the consular service; Doctor Gattrell, who had acted
as secretary of the American Group; Mr. W.B. Pettus, the director of
the Peking Language School; Mr. Simpson, already mentioned; and several
missionaries and professors at Peking University.

Of the Chinese there were, of course, many with whom I could
profitably discuss the events of the day and gather suggestions and
interpretations of value. With all these men I conversed upon events,
relying for my information not on rumours or reports, but on the facts
which I could learn through the men directly concerned; or through
others well informed. The opinion which I formed from such various
sources about the political condition of China at this time, the spring
of 1914, may be stated as follows:

The political authority of the Central Government in China rested upon
military organization. Other sources of authority, such as customary
submission on the one hand, and the support based upon the intelligent
coöperation of all classes of citizens in the achievement of the
purposes of government in accordance with public opinion on the other,
were only of secondary influence. It was therefore important to inquire
whether the military power was so organized as to afford a stabilizing
support to public authority. This did not seem to be the case.

In the first place, the existence of a large army of doubtful
efficiency was in itself an evil, considering the then limited
resources of the Chinese State, and the fact that any attempt to reduce
the military forces to more reasonable dimensions met with stubborn
opposition. Whenever troops were disbanded they showed no tendency to
return to useful occupations: the ex-soldiers desired only to continue
to live upon the country, and, no longer serving the established
authority, they joined bandit gangs, rendering the interior of the
majority of the provinces insecure.

The weakness of the army was strikingly demonstrated whenever an
attempt was made to use it to defend the country against either
external or internal enemies. In the campaign against the Mongols, the
Chinese troops had failed entirely; even within the country itself,
this huge army was not able to insure the fulfilment of that first
duty of a government--the protection of the lives and property of its
citizens.

In the provinces of Honan and Hupei brigands, led by a person known as
"White Wolf," had for months been terrifying the population; ravaging
the countryside; sacking walled cities; murdering and outraging the
population; and in a number of instances had killed foreigners. Thus
far the army had been powerless to suppress these brigands; in fact,
evidence was at hand that the troops had repeatedly been so lax and
remiss that the only explanation of their conduct would seem to lie in
a secret connivance at the brigandage, and lack of coöperation among
the commanders of the troops.

As the authority of the Central Government was commensurate with its
control over the tutuhs (tuchuns), or military governors, the attitude
of the latter toward the President had to be carefully watched; and it
was causing no small uneasiness that there did not seem to be perfect
agreement among these pillars of authority in the various provinces;
thus, friction had recently been reported between General Tuan
Chi-jui, the Minister of War, who was the acting tutuh of Hupei, and
General Feng Kuo-chang, the tutuh of Kiangsu, two of the most powerful
supporters of the President.

None of the provinces of China, during the preceding three months, had
been free from brigandage, attempted rebellion, troubles resulting from
the disbanding of troops, and local riots. Conditions were worst in the
provinces of Honan and Hupei, in which the bands of "White Wolf" are
operating.

These bands had assumed a distinctly anti-foreign attitude. In
Kansu there were constant Mohammedan uprisings, related to the open
rebellion in Tibet and Mongolia. Bandit movements had also occurred
in the provinces of Shansi, Shensi, Szechuan (super-added to revolts
of the troops), Anhui, Kiangsi, Hunan, Fukien, Kweichow, Yunnan, and
Kwangtung. Chekiang, Kwangsi, Shantung, and Chihli had been the least
molested.

While the Government had been unable to fulfil its duty of protecting
the lives and property of its citizens, it was also unable to exercise
the elementary power of providing, through taxation, the means for its
own support. The maintenance of the army had eaten up the available
means and it had not been possible to secure sufficient money from
the provinces to meet the ordinary running expenses of the Central
Government. The remarkable resisting power of China is illustrated
by the fact that, notwithstanding the conditions of rebellion and
political unrest which characterized the year 1913, general commerce
remained so active that the collections of the Customs and of the
Salt Gabelle exceeded those of any previous year. These two sources
of revenue were sufficient to provide for the interest payments and
amortization of the long-term foreign loans then contracted; their
administration, under foreign control, had secured to the Central
Government the funds to meet these obligations and to avoid open
bankruptcy.

All other forms of taxation were disorganized. The collection of the
land tax was in many places discontinued; records had been destroyed,
or the population took an attitude hostile to its collection. The
proceeds of the _likin_, as far as collected, were retained for
provincial use. Altogether, the Central Government received from the
provinces not more than 10 per cent. of the estimated income from these
sources under the last Imperial Budget for 1912.

Meanwhile, the Central Government had been living from hand to mouth,
using the proceeds of foreign loans for administrative purposes, and
was kept going by taking cash advances upon foreign loan contracts made
for furnishing materials and for various concessions. In this way the
future had been discounted to a dangerous extent.

The weakness of the financial administration of the Government was
found in all other branches of its activities. There was little
evidence of constructive capacity.

In the ministries and departments of the Central Government the
greatest disorganization was apparent. In dealing with technical
questions the officials were often entirely at sea, not being trained
themselves in these matters, nor willing to make real use of the many
advisers who were engaged by the Government; there was no adequate
system of accounting; the departmental records were not well kept;
frequently the existence of a transaction was not known to the
officials most nearly concerned; past transactions, fully consummated,
had been forgotten; there was no centralization of governmental
knowledge; so a great deal of the public business was transacted in a
haphazard way, leading to a helpless opportunism of doing the things
most strongly urged and of grasping at small immediate advantages at
the cost of engagements long to be regretted.

Ambitious schemes of general policy had been brought up, and elaborate
regulations promulgated, to all of which little attention was
subsequently paid. On the other hand, there had scarcely been one
single concrete result obtained in constructive work.

The metropolitan Province of Chihli had been quiet and peaceful since
the outbreak of 1912. The Government here certainly had sufficient
authority to introduce constructive reforms, and the general conditions
for such action in this province had been relatively most favourable.
But not even in the case of Chihli Province had the taxation system
been rendered efficient; no efficient auditing methods had been
introduced in practice, although systems of auditing control had been
promulgated; educational institutions had been allowed to run down: in
short, under the most favourable conditions, no constructive work had
been accomplished.

Nearly all attempts to do something of a constructive nature had been
immediately associated with foreign loans, often involving a cash
advance to the Government. It might, of course, be said that the great
difficulty of the Chinese Government was exactly that it lacked the
funds for carrying out constructive work; and that, therefore, only
such lines of improvement could be followed for which it had been
possible to secure foreign loans.

This, however, was only partly true. A great many reforms could have
been accomplished without the increase of expenditure; indeed, they
would have resulted in a reduction of outlay. The fact seemed to be
that the Central Government, realizing how important foreign financial
support had been to it during the Revolution of 1913, was anxious to
secure more and more funds from abroad without counting the ultimate
cost.

An opportunity for obtaining from abroad large sums of money, far
beyond any amount ever before dealt with by Chinese officials and
merchants, in itself had an unsettling effect upon methods of public
business. The old caution and economy, which kept the public debt
within narrow limits, had given way to a readiness to obtain funds
from abroad in enormous amounts, without apparently the realization
of the burden imposed upon China by way of the necessity of return in
the future through the results of labour and sacrifice of millions of
people.

Nor had the old system, under which the inadequate salaries of
officials had ordinarily to be supplemented by extraneous illicit
gains, given way to a more efficient and business-like organization of
the public service under which officials would be able to devote their
undivided attention to the accomplishment of their regular allotted
tasks without spending their energy in contriving additional means of
obtaining income.

In the case of certain classes of officials, the Government had
endeavoured to place their salaries at a figure sufficient to render
them independent of these practices; but the resources of the
Government were not adequate to enable it at once to place the entire
public service upon a basis of individual independence. It was also
true that certain among the closest advisers of the President were
commonly believed to have used their positions for the purpose of
accumulating vast private fortunes--a belief which, whether justified
or not, must be counted with in determining the standing of the
Government as enjoyed throughout the country.

Thus the old hostility and lack of confidence, which formerly
characterized the relations between merchants and officials, continued
under the new system.

Through the dissolution of the Parliament, the Government had destroyed
an organ which might, in the course of time, have established relations
of confidence between the great middle class of China and the
Government.

As a statesman, the President emphasized in the first place the
requirements of order and of authority. To him it seemed that
Parliament, with its free discussion, with its opportunity for forming
political factions, opposing the men in authority, stood in the way of
the establishment of a lasting system of legal order. He, therefore,
dissolved first the national parliament, then the assemblies of the
provinces, and finally the local self-governing bodies.

In each case inefficiency was justly complained of. The men in
the parliamentary bodies had often been self-seeking, factional,
and unpractical. But the President seemed to have no perception
of the true value of parliamentary action as a basis of public
authority; he considered opposition to the Government synonymous
with opposition to lawful authority. And in his ideas upon the
reconstitution of Parliament, as far as they had been announced, two
main principles dominated: first, that only men of mature experience
and of conservative ideas should be selected; and secondly, that the
activities of Parliament should be confined to discussing and giving
advice upon policies already determined upon by the Administration.



CHAPTER VI

CHINA OF MERCHANT-ADVENTURERS


The past may become in the human present more alive than ever. John
Richard Green finds in the old records of the guilds of Berwick an
enactment "that where many bodies are found side by side in one place
they may become one, and have one will, and in the dealings of one
with another have a strong and hearty love." In the history of the
Saxons, Edwin of Northumbria "caused stakes to be fixed in the highways
where he had seen a clear spring," and "brazen dishes were chained to
them, to refresh the weary sojourner, whose fatigues Edwin had himself
experienced." These things shine with the sun, and enlighten our work
to-day. The Maine woodsman sits on a stump whose rings number centuries
of growth. When Chinese children came to play with our children at the
Legation, I was always impressed by their dignity of demeanour and
their observance of the courtesies while their elders were present.
On the faces of these little heirs of the Holy Duke the composure of
eighty generations of culture and traditions sat freshly; and it by no
means alloyed their delight, which was unstinted, in American toys and
dolls.

This transmutation of the old into new life is seen everywhere in
China. The day comes every morning fresh as a flower. But we know it
is old; it is an ancient day, white-clad and beautiful as the stars.
The Chinese peasant thrusts his stick of a plough many eons deep into
his ancestral soil. In north China it is loess soil, the most fertile
on the globe, brought down from the mountains for millenniums and
deposited to depths of from twenty to thirty feet. When there are no
floods the rain sinks deeply into this porous soil, meets the moisture
retained below, and draws up therefrom the inorganic salts that are
held dissolved. So its fertility is inexhaustible.

But floods do come, as they have come unchecked for ages. In the Hwai
River region, with all this natural richness underfoot, the people are
poor, weak, famine-stricken, living in aggregations of shabby hovels
that are periodically swept away. Its crops, which should normally
be six in three years, average but two and three. This region is
only one example of several prodigious and extensive valleys choked
with fertility, yet with famine and pestilence raging through them,
cursed as they are by inundations that might be completely checked
at little engineering cost. With these regions reclaimed and the
border provinces colonized, China's crops alone would support double
her present population. The people of the Hwai region, secure and
affluent, might be easily increased by twenty million living heirs
of a fifty-centuries-old civilization. Indeed, a little vision and
scientific application would transform China.

With what the ages have produced for the West--the old guild spirit
reviving, if you please, in the modern trust--the West can meet
the East. The true ministers and ambassadors to China are the
merchant-adventurers of the Western nations, bearing their goods, their
steel and tools, their unique engineering skill and works. It was not
for what the _entrepreneurs_ "could get out of" China, nor yet for
what China could get out of us, that my policy as American minister
was directed to this complementary meeting of two civilizations. It
was because I saw millions perishing wretchedly whose birthright in
the higher arts and amenities of living is at least as rich as our
own--perishing for lack of an organizing skill which it is the province
of the Western peoples to supply. It was because I knew, with their
admirable family life and local democratic institutions, it needed
only trunk-line railways to link together these close-set communities,
comprising one quarter of the earth's population, into as admirable a
central democracy.

But how the West was then meeting the East came home to me on the
second morning of my stay in Peking. I entered the breakfast room,
where I found Doctor Hornbeck in a state of annoyance. He handed me the
morning copy of the _Journal de Peking_, a sheet published in French
and known to be subservient to Russian and French political interests
from which it got subventions. The article in question was a scurrilous
attack on me personally, and on American action in China generally.

A Chinese journal in Shanghai had published a laudatory article
in which had been cited extracts from my published books. One of
these, taken from "World Politics," had happened to speak of French
subserviency to Russian policy in the Far East. The French journal
repeated these expressions as if they had been given out by me in an
interview upon arriving in China. As they were in fact taken from books
published more than ten years before, which had run the gauntlet of
French critical journals without ever having been taken as hostile to
France, I did not have any reason to worry, and the fume and fury of
the local journal rather amused me than otherwise. I could, however,
not help noting the temper of these attacks, their bitterness and the
utter rashness and lack of inquiry with which the charges were made.
It gave me early warning, considering its gross lack of courtesy to a
newcomer, who had entered the field in a spirit friendly to all, as to
what might be expected from some of our friendly rivals. When several
years later one of the ministers whose legation stood sponsor for this
sheet approached me with a request to use my influence to suppress a
Chinese paper which had attacked him, I regretted that it was not in my
power to be of assistance.

The significance of the article lay of course in its attack upon
American policy, which was characterized as one of "bluff", and which
charged the United States with assuming a tone of superior virtue
in criticising others, and, while loudly professing friendship for
the Chinese, failing to shoulder any part of the responsibility in
actual affairs. The Y.M.C.A. and the Standard Oil Company were coupled
together as twin instruments of a nefarious and hypocritical policy.

The _China Press_, the American newspaper of Shanghai, pointed out that
the attack of the French paper indicated what the American minister
would have to face, and observed that the success or failure of his
diplomatic mission must depend upon the readiness of the American
Government to take an active part in the rehabilitation of China.
Should America play the rôle of an altruistic but impotent friend,
and of a captious critic of the other powers, it could gain neither
sympathy nor respect.

The American Government was at this time severely criticised for
its failure to endorse the Six-Power Consortium; it was urged that
the Administration had sacrificed the best opportunity for bringing
American goodwill to bear on Chinese public affairs, by exercising
a moderating and friendly influence in the council of the great
powers. On the other hand, it ought to be considered that a new
administration, when confronted with the sudden proposal that it
give _exclusive_ support to one special group of banks, might well
hesitate, particularly in view of the fact that the group in this case
consisted of only four New York houses. An earlier administration had
answered such an inquiry in a similar way. Considering the merits
of the question from the point of view of China, the action might
present itself in the light of a refusal to join with others in placing
upon the young republic the fetters of foreign financial control.
Moreover, the proceeds of the Reorganization Loan were actually not
used for the benefit of the Chinese people, but on the contrary this
financial support fastened the personal authority of Yuan Shih-kai
on the country and enabled him to carry on a successful fight against
parliament. That body never gave its approval to the loan.

From my conversations with President Wilson before departing for my
post I had formed the conclusion that the President realized that
as America had withdrawn from a coöperative effort to assist in the
development of China, it was incumbent upon her to do her share
independently and to give specific moral and financial assistance;
in fact, I received the President's assurance of active support for
constructive work in China. In his conversation he dwelt, however,
more on the educational side and on political example and moral
encouragement, than on the matter of finance and commerce.

It cannot be doubted that in China the withdrawal of the United
States from the Consortium was interpreted as an act of friendship
by all groups with the exception of that which was in control of the
Government at the time, which would have preferred to have the United
States at the council table of the Consortium Powers. Those opposed
to the Government were particularly strong in their commendation of
our refusal to join in an agreement which to them seemed far from
beneficial to China. But all parties without exception drew the
conclusion that the friendly action of the United States, which had
now rejected the method of international coöperation, would continue
independently of the others. In view of the power and resources of the
United States, it was hoped that there would be a greater participation
by the United States in Chinese industrial and commercial affairs, as
well as in administrative loans, than had hitherto existed.

It is apparent from all this that the American position in China
was not free from difficulties. The covert antagonism of the five
Consortium Powers was continuous. We were isolated, and would be judged
by what we could do by ourselves. Should it turn out that we had
nothing to offer but sage advice, the strictures of our rivals might
in time come to carry a certain amount of conviction.

So far as the Americans themselves were concerned, they were thoroughly
discouraged, and everywhere talked as if it were all up with American
enterprise in China. When I said: "No, it is only just beginning,"
polite incredulity was the best I could expect. It is very probable
that the Americans who were so downcast saw in the appointment of
a literary and university man as minister to China an additional
indication that there was to be no special encouragement given to
American economic enterprise. Having long been familiar with the
underlying facts of the Far Eastern situation, I had entirely made
up my mind on the primary importance of American participation in
the industrial and economic development of China. No one could have
appreciated more highly than I did the important work done by American
missionaries, teachers, and medical men, in bringing to China a
conception of Western learning and life. But if China should have
to rely entirely on other nations for active support in the modern
development of her industries and resources, then our position in the
eyes of the Chinese nation could never come up to the opportunities
which Nature had given us through our geographic position and our
industrial strength.

I had long discarded any narrow interpretation of diplomacy, but even
if I had adhered to the principle that the diplomat must busy himself
only with political matters, I should have had to admit that in China
political matters included commerce, finance, and industry. I did not,
of course, intend that the Legation should enter into a scramble for
concessions, but it was my purpose that it should maintain sympathetic
contact with Americans active in the economic life of China, and should
see to it that the desire of the Chinese to give them fair treatment
should not be defeated from any other source.

When I thought of American enterprise in China I had less in mind the
making of government contracts, than the gaining of the confidence of
the Chinese people in the various provincial centres of enterprise
by extensive business undertakings, resting on a sound and broad
foundation. In China the people are vastly more important than the
Government, so that it is necessary to make up one's mind from the
start not to regard Peking as the end-all and be-all of one's activity,
but to interest one's self deeply in what is going on in all of those
important interior centres where the real power of government over the
people is exercised, and where the active organizations of the people
are located.

The universal knowledge that America has no political aims in China, of
itself gives Americans the confidence of the Chinese and predisposes
the latter to favour intimate coöperation. Our policy is known to be
constructive and not to imply insidious dangers to their national life.
It would be discouraging to the Chinese, should Americans fail to take
a prominent part in the development of Chinese resources. To Americans
the idea of securing preëminence or predominance is foreign, but from
the very nature of their purely economic interest they have to resist
any attempt on the part of others to get exclusive rights or a position
of predominance, which could be utilized to restrict, or entirely to
extinguish, American opportunities.

I was therefore resolved to give every legitimate encouragement to
constructive enterprise, whether it were in education, finance,
commerce, or industry.[1] Fully a year before going to China I had
expressed my view of the nature of American policy there, saying that
a united China, master of its own land, developing its resources, open
to all nations of the world equally for commercial and industrial
activity, should be the chief desideratum.

Among the specific American interests already existing in China, that
of missionary and educational work had at this time to be given the
first rank. There are two factors which have made it possible for this
work to achieve a really notable influence. The one is that it is
plainly the result of individual impulse on the part of a great many
people animated by friendly motives, and not the result of a concerted
plan of propaganda. The second factor is the spirit of helpfulness and
coöperation which permeates this work. There is no trace of a desire to
establish a permanent tutelage. An institution like the Y.M.C.A. acts
with the sole thought of helping the Chinese to a better organization
of their own social and educational life. The sooner they are able
to manage for themselves, the better it seems to please the American
teachers, who may remain for a while as friendly counsellors, but who
make no effort to set up a permanent hierarchy of supervision. The
Chinese have an intense respect for their educators, and it has been
the good fortune of many Americans--men like Dr. W.A.P. Martin and Dr.
Chas. D. Tenney--to win the devoted loyalty of innumerable Chinese
through their activity as teachers.

Among commercial enterprises the Standard Oil Company was carrying
petroleum to all parts of China. It had introduced the use of the
petroleum lamp, had extended the length of the day to the hundreds
of millions of Chinese, and even its emptied tin cans had become
ubiquitous in town and country, because of the manifold uses to which
these receptacles could be put. For efficiency and close contact with
the people, the Chinese organization of this great company was indeed
admirable.

A similar result had been obtained by the British-American Tobacco
Company, which, although organized in England under British law, is
American by majority ownership, business methods, and personnel.
The cigarette had been made of universal use, and had been adapted
to the taste and purchasing ability of the masses. Though there
were several American commission firms of good standing, none had
the extensive trade and financial importance of the great British
houses. Several American firm names established in China early in the
nineteenth century, like that of Frazar & Company, had become British
in ownership. The only American bank was the International Banking
Corporation, which at this time confined itself to exchange business
and did not differ in its policy or operations from the common run of
treaty port banks.

If national standing in China were to be determined by the holding
of government concessions, America was at this time, indeed, poorly
equipped. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation had in 1910 concluded a
contract with the Imperial Government for the construction of vessels
to the value of $20,000,000. When I came to China, a vice-president
of the corporation, Mr. Archibald Johnston, was in Peking, ready
to arrange with the republican government for a continuance of the
contract. The American banking group was a partner in the Hukuang
Railways, in which it shared with the British, French, and German
groups. An American engineer was employed at the time in making a
survey of a portion of the proposed line along the Yangtse River. The
American group also held the concession for the Chinchow-Aigun Railway
in Manchuria, the execution of which had been blocked by Russia and
Japan. The group further participated with the three other groups above
mentioned in the option for a currency loan. The only activity going on
at this time in connection with these various contracts, on the part of
America, was the survey of the Hukuang railway line west of Ichang.

For some time the practice had grown up, on the part of European
powers, to urge the Chinese to employ, as advisers, men reputed to have
expert knowledge in certain fields. The most noted adviser at this time
was Dr. George Morrison, who had gained a reputation in interpreting
Far Eastern affairs as Peking correspondent for the London _Times_
during and after the critical period of 1900. A fresh group of advisers
had just been added under the terms of the Reorganization Loan. Each
power therein represented had insisted that the Chinese appoint at
least one of its nationals as an adviser. The American Government had
never urged China to make such an appointment. But when President Eliot
visited China in 1913, Chinese officials expressed to him the wish
that a prominent American should be retained as adviser to the Chinese
Government. President Eliot suggested that the Carnegie Endowment might
propose certain experts from whom the Chinese Government could then
make a selection. This method was actually followed, and as a result
Prof. F.J. Goodnow of Columbia University, a recognized authority
on constitutional law, had been retained by the Chinese Government
and was at this time already in residence at Peking. The Ministry of
Communications on its part had sought a man familiar with railway
accounting, and had called upon the late Prof. Henry C. Adams, the
noted economist and railway expert of Michigan University.

The important administrative positions of Inspector General of Customs
and of Foreign Inspector of the Salt Revenue were held by two British
officials. The salt administration had come within the purview of
international supervision through the Reorganization Loan agreement;
and, as America was not a party to that loan, the appointment of
Americans to any positions in this service was frowned upon by several
of the partners. The Inspector, Sir Richard Dane, an official of long
experience in India, however, adopted the policy of not confining the
appointments to subjects of the Consortium Powers. He had retained
several Americans, in whom he seemed to place great confidence. In the
Customs Service, Americans did not hold the number of positions to
which they were relatively entitled. This was undoubtedly due to the
fact that very few people in the United States knew that such positions
in China are open to Americans; moreover, many of those Americans
who were actually appointed had become impatient with the relatively
slow advancement in this service and had been attracted by other
opportunities. There were, however, a number of highly reputed and
efficient American officials in the Customs Service.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: The leading British paper of China had this to say
concerning the modern functions of diplomacy: "It is characteristic of
Doctor Reinsch and his outlook upon China that he should mark a point
of progress in the fact that the legations are ceasing to be merely
political centres, and that, instead of politics being the one and only
object of their existence, they are now establishing relations of all
kinds of mutual helpfulness in vital phases of national reorganization.
In this connection, we may see an increase in the number of experts
who will come, unofficially for the most part, to study conditions and
gather data which may be available as a sure foundation for progress."
I may say in passing that the British papers in China, throughout the
period of my work there, were almost uniformly fair and friendly, and
gave credit for honest efforts to improve conditions.]



CHAPTER VII

PROMPT PROPOSALS FOR AMERICAN ACTION


The Chinese were not slow in showing what conclusions they deduced
from the withdrawal of the American Government from the Six-Power
Consortium. On November 27th, two cabinet ministers called on me for
a private conversation. Following this interview Mr. Chang Chien,
recognized master of antique Chinese learning, but also Minister of
Industries and Commerce, came to me. I will relate the substance of
what passed on these two occasions, beginning with Mr. Chang.

Chang Chien carried off first honours in the great metropolitan
examinations of Peking under the old régime in 1899. He is a scholar
_par excellence_ of the Chinese classics, and his chirography is so
famous that he has been able to support a college out of the proceeds
of a sale of examples of his writing. But he has not rested satisfied
with the ancient learning. In the region of his home, Nan Tung-chow, on
the banks of the Yangtse, he has established schools, factories, and
experiment stations for the improvement of agriculture and industry.
He had financial reverses. People at this time still doubted whether
he would be permanently successful, although they admitted that he
had given impetus to many improvements. Since then his enterprises
have flourished and multiplied. He has become a great national figure,
whose words, spoken from an honest desire for right public action,
have decisive weight with the nation. While he still represents the
old belief that the superior man of perfect literary training should
be able successfully to undertake any enterprise and to solve any
practical difficulty--which belief is contrary to the demands of our
complex modern life for specialization--yet he has succeeded in bending
his intelligence to thoroughly modern tasks.

As would be expected from his high culture as a Chinese scholar,
Mr. Chang Chien is a man of refinement and distinction of manners,
than which nothing could be more considerate and more dignified. The
Chinese are exceedingly sensitive to the thought and feeling of any
one in whose company they happen to be; if their host is busy or
preoccupied, no matter how politely he may receive them, they will
nevertheless sense his difficulty and will cut their visit short. They
also have great tact in turning a conversation or avoiding discussions
they are not ready for, and they can do this in a manner which makes
it impossible to force a discussion without impolite insistence.
The smoothness and velvetiness of Chinese manners, together with
the absence of all servile assent and the maintenance of complete
independence of discussion, are marvellous and bear evidence to
thousands of years of social training.

Mr. Chang Chien was particularly interested in river and harbour
development, and in plans for the drainage of those regions of
China which are subject to periodical floods. It was contemplated
to establish a special conservancy bureau under whose care surveys
for important projects were to be undertaken. I questioned Mr. Chang
concerning the status of the Hwai River conservancy scheme for the
prevention of floods in the northern portion of the provinces of
Kiangsu and Anhui, the region from which he came.

"I have already established a special engineering school," he replied,
"in order to train men for this work. A large part of the survey has
been made, and it can be entirely completed by a further expenditure of
35,000 taels.

"Besides the enormous benefit of such a work to all the adjoining
agricultural lands," he continued, "there would be reclaimed nearly
3,000,000 acres which could now not be used at all, although their soil
is inexhaustibly fertile. The land thus reclaimed would be salable
immediately for at least $40 an acre. Would not this alone be ample
security for a large conservancy loan? $25,000,000 would do the work."

Mr. Chang was also interested in the establishment of a commercial and
industrial bank, in copartnership with American capitalists. "Such a
bank," he said, "would assist in furnishing the capital for the works
of internal improvement."

It was quite plain that Mr. Chang looked upon a bank as an institution
which would invest its capital in such enterprises--a conception which
was then quite current among the Chinese. They had not yet fully
realized that in the modern organization of credit a bank may act as a
depository and may make temporary loans, but more permanent investments
must ultimately be placed with individual capitalists, with banks
acting only as underwriting and selling agencies.

As we talked about the execution of these large and useful projects,
Mr. Chang repeatedly made expressions such as this: "I prefer American
coöperation. I am ready to employ American experts to work out the
plans and to act as supervisors. But please to bear in mind, these
works may not be undertaken without raising a large part of the needed
funds in the United States or in other countries."

When the two cabinet ministers called they brought no interpreter. "The
matters about which we wish to talk," they said, "are so important that
we wish to keep the discussion confined to as few persons as possible.
We bring the ideas of President Yuan Shih-kai and his government with
respect to what Americans might do in China."

They first gave me a review of the recent development of the
Russo-Japanese entente with respect to Manchuria and Mongolia. They
expressed their belief that an understanding existed between these
powers to treat outer Mongolia as a region within which Russian
control should not be obstructed, and, _vice versa_, to allow a free
hand to Japan, not only in southern Manchuria, but also in eastern
Mongolia. Continuous activity of the Japanese in south China, in
stirring up opposition to the Central Government, indicated a desire
to weaken China, and, if possible, to divide it against itself. The
extraordinary efforts made by Japan to increase her naval establishment
were also particularly mentioned. The impression their discourse
conveyed was that Japan was engaged in a strong forward policy in
China, and that in this she had the countenance and support of Russia.

My visitors then passed on to the reasons why the Chinese entertained
the hope that America would give them its moral support to the extent
of opposing the inroads made by Japan and Russia, and of coöperating
with Great Britain and other powers favourable to the Open Door policy
in preventing attempts to break up the Chinese Republic. They fully
realized the improbability of an alliance between China and the United
States, but laid stress on the parallel interests of the two countries,
and particularly on the sympathy engendered through following the
principles of democratic government. Having become a republic, the
Chinese Government is brought into peculiarly close relationship to
the United States; it sees in the United States its most sincere and
unselfish friend, and realizes the importance of American moral support.

Descending to particulars, the ministers pointed out that while China
appreciated and valued the friendly interest and counsel of the United
States, it was disappointing that so very little had been done by
America, while the European Powers and Japan should have taken such a
very important part in the development of the resources of China. They
said that the Chinese Government and people were desirous of affording
the Americans unusual opportunities, should they be ready to coöperate.

Taking up specific enterprises, they stated that the Government was
quite willing to ratify and carry out the contract made in 1910 by
the Imperial Government with the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Under
this contract they intended to build vessels adapted for commercial
purposes, but convertible into warships somewhat like the vessels of
the Russian Volunteer Fleet. The establishment of a steamship line to
the United States, directly or by way of the Panama Canal, was greatly
desired by the Government.

It was recalled that at the time the naval mission of Prince Tsao
visited the United States, the matter of lending American experts
as instructors for the Chinese navy came up for discussion, and
such assistance was promised by the American Administration under
President Taft. The assistance contemplated was to be instructional and
technical, not involving matters of policy or suggesting a political
alliance, and of a nature such as had been in the past given by other
nations, particularly Great Britain. The ministers stated that the
Chinese Government still intended to avail itself of this assistance
should the need for it arise, and that American coöperation in a matter
like this was preferred because of the political disinterestedness of
the American Government.

The ministers then took up more purely industrial enterprises, and
dwelt particularly on plans for river and harbour improvement,
mentioning the Hwai River region and other districts where agricultural
pursuits are interrupted by destructive floods. As the Central
Government contemplated the establishment of a national bureau to
provide for these matters, the ministers suggested that the American
Government would be invited to give its assistance by lending experts
to plan and conduct the proposed works. They expressed their belief
that the experience of Americans in such enterprises had qualified them
above any other nation for coping with these problems of China.

Other matters were taken up, such as the possible creation of a
tobacco monopoly, from which the ministers expected both increased
revenue and a more effective organization of tobacco production
throughout China. It was not their desire to oust the British-American
Tobacco Company, but they suggested that an arrangement would be made
whereby this company might act as the selling agent of the Chinese
Government.

Another subject was the exploration of China for petroleum. They stated
that the Government wished that the development of oil fields should
be undertaken. On account of the manner in which some other nations
were wont to extend the scope of any concessions of this kind so as
to establish general claims of preference, particularly as to railway
rights, the Government much preferred to take up this matter with
Americans.

It was apparent that these men entertained high hopes of American
activity in China, and that they were ready to do their part in making
the conditions favourable. Their minds were alive with plans of
development. Both because of American experience with similar problems
and of the American spirit of fairness, they believed that great
benefit would result if Americans were to become prominently active
in the vast industrial transformation which they anticipated in the
immediate future.

As this conversation passed from topic to topic, touching on proposals
of moment, I could not but feel that a new spirit had surely arisen
in China. It would have been inconceivable under the old régime for
high officials, trained in the traditional formalism and reticent
with inherited distrust of the foreigner, to approach a foreign
representative thus frankly, laying before him concrete proposals for
joint action. In the past, as we know, it was the foreigners who had
desired changes and new enterprises and who had in and out of season
pressed them upon the reluctant and inert Chinese officials. But here
were men who realized that it is the function of the Government to
plan and to initiate; and they were ready to go to any length in making
advances to a country in whose motives they had full confidence.

It was impossible not to be fascinated by the prospects that were here
unfolded. A country of vast resources in natural wealth, labour, power,
and even in capital, was turning toward a new form of organization in
which all these forces were to be made to work in larger units, over
greater areas and with more intensive methods than ever before. The
merely local point of view was giving way to the national outlook.
National resources and industries were looked at not from the point of
view alone of any local group interested but of the unity of national
life and effort. To know that in this great task of reorganization,
Americans would be most welcome as associates and directors; that
they were spontaneously and sincerely desired in order that all these
materials and resources might the more readily be built into a great
and effective unity of national life--that, indeed, could not fail
to be a cause for pride and gratification to an American. The only
disturbing thought was the question whether Americans were ready to
appreciate the importance of the opportunity here offered. Yet there
could be no doubt that every energy must be applied in order to make
them realize the unprecedented nature of the opportunities and the
importance to America herself of the manner in which these materials
were to be organized so as to promote general human welfare rather than
selfish exploitation and political ambition.

The Russian efforts to strengthen their position in Mongolia, to which
these two visitors had alluded, had at this time brought fruit in the
form of an agreement with China to have the "autonomy" of Mongolia
recognized. A result and byplay of these negotiations came to the
notice of the foreign representatives in Peking at a meeting of the
diplomatic corps on December 11th. The meeting was at the British
Legation, to which Sir John Jordan had by this time returned.

The head of the large establishment of the Russian Legation was a
young man, Mr. Krupenski. Trained under some of the ablest diplomats
of Russia and having spent many years in Peking as secretary, he had
manifestly not been selected by chance. With his English secretary
he occupied his vast house alone, being unmarried. He entertained
brilliantly, ably seconded therein by the Russo-Asiatic Bank across the
way. Besides his thorough understanding of the Chinese, Mr. Krupenski
had a valuable quality in his ability to shed all the odium that
might attach to the policy of his government, as a duck sheds water.
He appeared at times greatly to enjoy mystifying his colleagues, to
judge by his amused and unconcerned expression when he knew they were
guessing as to what his last move might mean. Mr. Krupenski is tall,
florid, unmistakably Russian. During my first visit with him he plunged
_in medias res_ concerning China. Though he probably wondered what move
I might contemplate after the Manchurian proposals of Mr. Knox and
America's withdrawal from the Six-Power Group, he gave no hint of his
feelings, which undoubtedly did not contemplate me as likely to become
an intimate associate in policies. When I left him I knew that here
was a man, surrounded by competent experts in finance, language, and
law, who could play with the intricacies of Chinese affairs and take
advantage of opportunities and situations of which others would not
even have an inkling.

At the meeting of December 11th the Russian minister stated that he
desired to make an announcement, and proceeded to tell his colleagues
quite blandly that his government had decided to withdraw the legation
guards and other Russian troops from north China, and that they
suggested to the other governments to take similar action.

This announcement caused surprise all around the table. Questions came
from all directions: "Is this action to be immediate?" "What is the
purpose of your government?" "What substitute for this protection do
you suggest?" These and many more. The Russian minister seemed amused
by the excitement he had caused. He allowed none of the questioners
to worry him in the least, or to draw him out. With a quizzical and
non-committal smile he let the anxious surmises of his colleagues
run off his back. He shrugged his shoulders and said: "These are the
instructions of my government. Their purpose--I do not know." When the
meeting adjourned, small groups walked off in different directions, all
still intently discussing the meaning of this move. So, the legation
guards were really very important! The first question put to me in
Shanghai had related to them, and here I found the diplomatic corps
thrown into excitement by the announcement that Russia was withdrawing
her guard.

When I arrived at the Legation, where Mrs. Reinsch was receiving and
where visitors in large numbers were taking tea and dancing to the
music of the marine band, the news had evidently already preceded me,
for several people asked me what had happened; and Putnam Weale and
W.C. Donald, the British press representatives, were full of surmises.
The interpretation generally accepted was that the Russians, and
possibly the Japanese, were trying to put the other powers in a hole;
if they did not withdraw their legation guards they might displease the
Chinese Government, after what Russia had done; if they did withdraw
them, they would give an advantage to Russia and Japan, powers who, on
account of their proximity to China, could send large bodies of troops
upon short notice.

From the attitude of the diplomats it had been apparent that the
proposal of the Russians would not prove acceptable. For weeks the
press was filled with attempts to gauge the true bearing of the
Russian proposal. Looked at from this distance after the Great War,
it is hard to imagine how so relatively unimportant a matter could
cause excitement. Of course, the removal of the legation guard was
not considered so important in itself, but it was of moment as an
indication of what Russia might plan with respect to the further
advance of her influence in China.

Probably Russia's action did not really contemplate any far-reaching
consequences. The Russians were urging the Chinese Government to
make an arrangement for Mongolian "autonomy," which could not but
be intensely distasteful to the Chinese. The Russians had to offer
something in return; with thorough knowledge of the old type of the
Chinese official mind, they selected something which would not cost
them anything, but which would be most gratifying to the Chinese
Government. The Government looked upon the presence of foreign troops
in Peking and in Chihli Province as incompatible with its dignity.
Therefore, the Russian Government knew that through withdrawing its
troops and calling upon the other governments to do likewise, an
opportunity would be given the Chinese Government to claim an important
victory, and the bitterness of renunciation with respect to Mongolia
would thus be somewhat tempered. Yuan Shih-kai and the Government as
such would probably take that view; but the Chinese as individuals were
not likely thus to consider the presence of foreign troops an unmixed
evil. These guards tended to stabilize the situation, also to prevent
unconscionable acts or high-handed inroads by any individual powers. So
far as the people of China were concerned, Russia might not gather much
credit through this move.



CHAPTER VIII

A LITTLE VISION FOR CHINA


I have said that a little vision and the application of American
scientific methods would transform China. Chang Chien had instanced the
Hwai River valley, and the ease with which it might be made to bloom
as the most fertile tract on the globe. China boasts the most skilled
horticulturists and truck-farmers of any nation, and they breed its
thousands of species of vegetables and flowering plants and shrubs. It
is said of the Chinese gardener, that if there is a sick or weakened
plant, he "listens and hears its cry," and nurses it into health like
a mother. But now the multitudes in the flood-ridden districts must
periodically expect the scarification of their gorgeous acres, the
bearing away of their dwellings and loved ones on the remorseless
floods.

Americans had for some time been aware of the possibilities of
delivering from their curse these garden spots of earth. The American
Red Cross, after giving $400,000 for relief of the severe famine in
1911, was advised by its representatives how such calamities might be
prevented, and it set an American engineer at making surveys in the
Hwai regions and suggesting suitable engineering works. Chang Chien,
with his native school of engineers, was also investigating the flood
conditions, just about the time the American group of financiers left
the Six-Power Consortium. It might be expected that this American group
would be reluctant immediately to start further enterprises in China;
indeed, that it might even discourage others from starting. Hence I
thought it essential to propose only such undertakings as would come
naturally from past relationships or would help develop some American
interest already established in China. I was attracted by this plan,
sound, useful, and meritorious, to redeem the Hwai River region.

I found that the Chinese did not wish to take up this matter with any
other nation than the United States, for they feared the territorial
ambitions of the other powers and their desire to establish "spheres of
influence" in China. To send in engineers, to drain and irrigate, meant
close contacts; it might mean control over internal resources within
the regions affected, for by way of security the foreign creditor would
demand a mortgage upon the lands to be improved. Then there was the
Grand Canal, a navigable watercourse, which would come within the scope
of such works, and would give the foreign engineers and capitalists a
direct means of penetrating the interior. Jealous of foreign political
control in their domestic affairs, the Chinese were guarding their
rights. But the American policy was traditionally non-aggressive, and I
found that to fair-minded Americans the Chinese would grant concessions
which no other nation might hope to secure.

I therefore asked through the Department of State what the American Red
Cross might continue to do. Would it take steps toward the choosing
of a reputable and efficient American engineering firm and have this
firm supported by American capitalists, who might lend the Chinese
Government the funds needed to reclaim the rich Hwai River region?
The Red Cross responded favourably. I thereupon sought out Mr. Chang
Chien, the scholar and minister, and got from him a definite agreement
to entrust to the American Red Cross the selection of engineers and
capitalists to carry out this great reform upon conditions laid down.

The minister and I had frequent conferences. We discussed carefully
the engineering contracts, the conditions of the loan, the security.
Every sentence in the proposed agreement had been weighed, every
word carefully chosen; finally, on January 27, 1914, it was signed
by Chang Chien as minister, and by myself in behalf of the American
Red Cross. The J.G. White Corporation was chosen to finance the
preliminary survey. Thus there were sent to China during the next
summer three experts: Colonel (later Major General) Sibert, of the
Panama Canal Commission; Mr. Arthur P. Davis, director of the United
States Reclamation Service; and Prof. D.W. Mead, of the University of
Wisconsin, an expert in hydraulic engineering.

Here was a beginning of great promise, and in a new direction.

But American enterprise had already affected the daily life of the
Chinese in the field opened up by the Standard Oil Company. In fact,
the lamp of Standard Oil had lighted China.

Now enter Mr. Yamaza, the Japanese minister. Japan, who had no oil in
her lamp, wished to explore for it in China; so did other nations. But
the American oil company, in a way which I shall detail, had gotten
the concession. Moreover, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation had agreed
for $20,000,000 to build a merchant fleet for China, convertible into
cruisers--this to take the place of an old imperial contract for
warships. At China's express request, and not at all because they were
in that business, the Bethlehem people also consented to apply three
millions of the whole sum to improve a Chinese port. Together with the
Hwai River enterprise these American activities had put Japan on the
alert. The Japanese press had distorted their significance, and now in
the small Bethlehem contract Mr. Yamaza began to see things--a future
Chinese mistress of the Asian seas, perhaps, and the Chinese littoral
all besprinkled with naval ports. One evening Mr. Yamaza spoke to me
about it, and at length; it was plain that his government meant some
move.

Now Mr. Yamaza and his first secretary, Mr. Midzuno, were both
unusually clever men. They drank a great deal. The minister explained
that he did this for reasons of health, because, unless there were
something he could give up if he should be taken sick, it might be
very bad for him. I recall how Mr. Midzuno entertained a party at
dinner by detailing his notable collection of expressions in various
languages, of equivalents to the German term "Katzenjammer." Both of
these men had previous Chinese experience and were intimately familiar
with Chinese affairs. Yamaza was a man of great shrewdness; being under
the influence of liquor seemed rather to sharpen his understanding.
Taciturn and speaking in hesitating sentences, he would never commit
himself to anything, but would deploy the conversation with great
skill, in order to give his interlocutor every chance to do that very
thing.

On the evening of this conversation we were guests of the manager
of the Russo-Asiatic Bank. An amateur theatrical performance was in
progress--three French "one-acters," the chief being "The Man Who
Married a Dumb Wife," by Anatole France. Peking foreign society was
there in force; the majority were gathered in the large salon where the
stage was set, others promenading or conversing in small groups. In the
intermission between two plays I encountered the Japanese minister,
and, finding that he desired to talk, wandered with him to the smoking
room, where we pre-empted a corner, whence during a long conversation
we would catch now and then the echoes from the salon as the action on
the stage rose to a more excited pitch.

Mr. Yamaza was more talkative than I had ever seen him. As was his
custom, he had consumed ardent waters quite freely, but, as always,
his mind was clear and alert. "In Shensi and Chihli provinces," he
opened up, "the exertions of Japanese nationals in the matter of the
concession to the Standard Oil Company have given them a right to be
considered. I have been contending to the Chinese that Japan has a
prior interest in the oil field of Shensi Province. Do you not know
that Japanese engineers were formerly employed there?"

On my part, I expressed surprise that the Japanese papers should make
so much noise about the American oil concession, whereas it was quite
natural that Americans, who had done business in China for over a
century, should occasionally go into new lines of enterprise.

But it soon became manifest that Mr. Yamaza was thinking of the
Bethlehem Steel contract. "I must tell you," he said, "of the
strategical importance of Fukien Province to my country." Then followed
a long exposition. "China," he concluded, "has promised not to alienate
this province to any other power, and Japan has repeatedly asserted an
interest in that region."

He then repeated various surmises and reports concerning the nature
of the Bethlehem contract. I told him quite specifically the nature
of the agreement and about its long previous existence. Mr. Johnston,
vice-president of the Bethlehem company, at the request of the Chinese
Government had viewed various naval ports with the purpose of making an
estimate of improvements which were most needed. I could not admit any
sinister significance in this visit nor concede that Americans were not
free to engage in port construction in any part of China.

While I had not been unguarded in my statements, I had assuredly not
looked upon a conversation in such circumstances as a formal one.
Yet I soon found out that a memorandum upon it was presented to the
Department of State by the Japanese Ambassador in Washington, during
an interview with Secretary Bryan on the question of harbour works in
Fukien. I shall revert to this matter later.

A peculiarity of Chinese psychology was evinced after the Standard Oil
contract had been signed. One year was given to select specific areas
within which oil production was to be carried on as a joint enterprise
of the Chinese Government and the American company, the ratio of
property interest of the two partners being 45 to 55. The contract
undoubtedly offered an opportunity for securing the major share in
the development of any petroleum resources which might be discovered
in China; for, once such a partnership has been established and the
work under it carried out in an acceptable manner, an extension of the
privileges obtained may confidently be looked for. But in itself the
contract signed in February, 1914, was only a beginning. It denoted the
securing of a bare legal right; and in China a government decree or
concession is not in itself all-powerful. If its motives are suspected,
if it has been obtained by pressure or in secrecy, if its terms are not
understood or are believed to imply unjust burdens to certain provinces
or to the people at large, then popular opposition will arise. This may
not affect the legal character of the grant or the responsibility of
the Government, but it will seriously obstruct the ready and profitable
carrying out of the business. The obverse of this situation--the
getting of a contract "on the square" and the demonstration that it is
fair and just--finds every influence willing to coöperate.

But when the Standard Oil Company's contract had been signed, not much
was publicly known about it save in general terms. Rival interests
began to portray it as involving inroads upon the rights of the Chinese
people, especially of the provinces of Shensi and Chihli. Stories of
bribery were circulated in the papers. In the negotiations concluded
at Peking no particular attention had been paid to local opinion, the
suspicions of provincials were stirred, and an outcry speedily arose.

The representatives of the Standard Oil Company had left Peking. I
informed the company that its interests were endangered. Its response
was to send to Peking Mr. Roy S. Anderson, the American whose intimate
knowledge of Chinese affairs has been referred to. Mr. Anderson held
sessions with those who had objected, especially with the provincials
of Shensi who were resident in Peking. He discussed with them the terms
of the contract, pointing out the benefit to the provinces through the
development of a large industry there. The Chinese always respond to
reasonable discussion, and not many days later the very associations
which had protested most vigorously against the agreement waited upon
the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce with their congratulations.
They promised the aid of the province in carrying out the contract. Had
the contract not been straightforward and fair in its terms and free of
undue influence in its making, such active support could not have been
had.

It was then that the Chinese Government created an Oil Development
Bureau, together with a River Conservancy Bureau for drainage works,
including those projected in the Hwai River region. Of the new Oil
Development Bureau the Prime Minister, Mr. Hsiung Hsi-ling, on his
resignation from the cabinet in March, accepted the position as chief.
He had been both Premier and concurrently Minister of Finance. Tall,
good-looking, with full face and shining black hair, Mr. Hsiung speaks
with great fluency in a high-pitched voice. Though he was a member of
the Chin Pu Tang, or progressive party, he had been selected Premier by
Yuan Shih-kai, who was fighting the democratic party (Kuo Min Tang),
probably because he believed that parliament would reject him and he
could then blame that body for obstructive tactics. It accepted him,
and Yuan took another path to overthrow parliament. In his career Mr.
Hsiung had been aided by the counsel and coöperation of his wife, who
is exceptionally capable. Well-intentioned, broad-minded, given to
Western methods, the Premier was handicapped during his term through
relative inexperience in administrative and financial matters. He was
pitted against men of shrewdness as politicians and of deep immersion
in financial manipulations.

As chief of the Oil Development Bureau, Mr. Hsiung's first task was
that of pointing out to the Japanese minister, Mr. Yamaza, whom the
Japanese interests immediately pressed forward, that no monopoly of
exploitation had been granted to the Standard Oil Company, for within a
year the company would have to select specific and limited areas within
the two provinces where production was to be carried on.

"The grant to Americans," the Japanese minister thereupon remarked,
"seems to indicate that China does not care much about the
international friendship of Japan."

Mr. Hsiung's reply was that this was a business arrangement, and the
nationals of other countries as well--Great Britain, France, and
Germany--had sought such concessions in the recent past. To the inquiry
whether a similar agreement would be concluded with Japan for other
provinces, the director replied that it would not at this time be
convenient.

"Then I hereby notify you," Mr. Yamaza rejoined, "that in all
likelihood I shall take up this matter with the Minister for Foreign
Affairs."

Mr. Yamaza referred to the Japanese engineers who at one time worked
in the oil fields of Shensi Province; whereupon Mr. Hsiung recalled
that American and German engineers had formerly been employed in the
Hanyehping iron enterprise; yet when that company made a loan agreement
with Japanese interests, no objections had been made either by America
or Germany.

This conversation illustrates the manner in which attempts are
often made to establish prior claims with regard to enterprises
in China by alleging a prior desire or the prior employment of
individuals--considerations which would nowhere else be considered
as establishing a preference or inchoate option. It is as much as
to say that by merely expressing a wish for a thing one has already
established a prior right to it should it be given out.

The making of two important contracts with the Chinese Government
naturally attracted attention. Of the British press the _North China
Daily News_ repeated the judgment of its Peking correspondent: "The
Americans deserve their success, for they have worked for it steadily
and consistently."

The _Daily News_ attributed this success primarily to the fact that
since the days of Secretary Hay, American enterprise in China had been
consistently pacific and benevolent. "In no country in the world," it
declared, "can more be done through friendship and for friendship's
sake than in China."

The German press, while inclined to be critical, still admitted the
fairness of the contracts and the probable benefit to be derived
therefrom by China, and spoke in disapproval of the Japanese
attitude assumed toward the new oil enterprise. Later a long article
appeared in the chief German paper in China (_Ostasiatische Lloyd_),
in which the existence of a very far-reaching policy of economic
penetration by America was surmised. The writer imagined that all the
factors--educational, financial, and industrial--were being guided
according to a complicated but harmonious plan to achieve the actual
predominance of American interests in China.

The German minister, Von Haxthausen, spoke to me about this article. "I
hope," he said, "that you will not conclude that its views are those of
myself and my legation."

I assured him that I felt highly flattered that anybody should have
conceived that American action proceeded with such careful planning and
such cunning grasp of all details.

The Franco-Russian semi-official sheet, the _Journal de Pekin_,
continued its carping attitude against all American enterprise. It
lumped together the Y.M.C.A., missionaries, Standard Oil, and the
British-American Tobacco Company as engaged in a nefarious effort to
gain ascendency for American influence in China. It failed, however, to
surmise the subtle plan suggested in the German paper, but presupposed
an instinctive coöperation of all these American agencies. This paper
was occasionally stirred to great waves of indignation, as when it
discovered that the Y.M.C.A. was undermining Chinese religious morale
and destroying the sanctity of holy places by establishing a bathing
pool in one of the temples. This deplorable desecration, which wrung
from the breast of the Belgian editor of the Franco-Russian sheet moans
of outraged virtue, had for its substance the fact that in the large
monastery of Wo Fu Ssu--in the foothills fifteen miles from Peking,
where the Y.M.C.A. had summer quarters--a large pool in the residential
part of the enclosures was actually used for a dip on hot mornings. But
no Chinese had ever hinted that his feelings were lacerated.

The American papers and Americans generally were somewhat encouraged
by this constructive action. In the Chinese Press the veteran
American lawyer, T.R. Jernigan, said: "It is clear that the Wilson
Administration will use its influence to further the extension of the
business of American merchants whether they act in a corporate capacity
or otherwise."

On the side of finance as well as industry the Chinese courted American
interest. The Minister of Finance and Mr. Liang Shih-yi were frequently
my guests; and we conversed particularly on the financial situation.
Both took a view quite different from the traditional Chinese official
attitude. They desired to have the Government make itself useful and
take the lead in organizing both national credit and industry. They
considered it possible to develop Chinese domestic credit to an extent
that would materially supply the financial needs of the Government.
Unfortunately, the great system of banking which had been built up by
the Shansi Bankers' Guild was very inadequate to modern needs. Banking
had rested wholly on personal knowledge of the character and credit of
borrowers; no collateral was used, there was no dealing in corporate
securities.

When China came into contact with the business methods of Western
nations, this system could not help in developing new enterprises.
That task fell largely to the foreign banks established in the treaty
ports, who had no vision of the possibilities of internal development
in China. The Shansi bankers, on their part, unable to adapt themselves
to new conditions, saw their field of action gradually limited, their
business falling off. These banks lost their grip on affairs. They
felt themselves in need of financial assistance from the Government.
The Minister of Finance was considering whether these old institutions
might not be transformed into modern and adequate agencies of Chinese
domestic credit. He and other native financiers became interested
in the national banking system through which, in the United States,
quantities of public debentures had been absorbed to furnish a sound
basis for a currency.

It seemed impossible to utilize the Shansi banks as the main prop of a
modern system. A new organization, such as the Bank of China, planned
on modern lines, might be strengthened by American financial support
and technical assistance. Mr. Liang Shih-yi was willing to give to
American interests an important share in the management of the Bank
of China in return for a strengthening loan. A New York contractor,
Mr. G.M. Gest, was at this time in Peking on a pleasure tour with his
family. Impressed with the need for the launching of new financial and
industrial enterprises in China, his first thought had been to secure a
concession to build a system of tramways in Peking. Chinese officials
had previously told me of an existing Chinese contract which might
be turned over to Americans. I was not very enthusiastic about this
particular enterprise, because I feared it might destroy the unique
character of Peking street life, without great business success or much
benefit to anybody.

On inquiring further we found that French interests had just signed a
loan contract which covered, among other things, the Peking tramways.

The financing was curious; the proceeds were presumably to be used
to complete the port works at Pukow, on the Yangtse River, and to
establish the tramways of Peking. However, it was plain that the loan
had been made really for administrative or political purposes, its
industrial character being secondary, as the work was indefinitely
postponed. This subterfuge of so-called "industrial loans," of which
the proceeds were to be used for politics, was later very extensively
resorted to, particularly in the Japanese loans of 1918.

Learning of this state of affairs, Mr. Gest turned his attention to the
problem of Chinese domestic financing, and at the close of his short
residence in Peking he had obtained an option for the Bank of China
loan contract, which he followed up with energy upon his return to the
United States.

American attention had been drawn to the contracts for the Hwai River
conservancy and for petroleum exploration, and American commercial
journals and bankers were again giving thought to the financing of
projects in China. To show the attitude of New York bankers at this
time, of their difficulties, doubts, and inclinations, I shall cite
portions of a letter written me by Mr. Willard Straight, dated April
29, 1914. While I did not agree with Mr. Straight on several matters
of detail, especially the withdrawal from the Consortium, we were both
agreed as to the importance of continued American participation in
Chinese finance and industry. The letter follows:

 As regards the Hwai River conservancy, you have doubtless already been
 advised that the Red Cross has made an arrangement with J.G. White &
 Company, whereby an engineering board will be despatched to China to
 make a detailed survey. The matter of financing was brought to the
 Group, who felt it impossible satisfactorily to discuss this question
 without more definite information regarding actual conditions and the
 probable cost of the work contemplated.

 When, upon receipt of the report of the engineering board, we take up
 the discussion of the financial problem, the suggestions contained in
 your letter of the 24th of March will be very valuable. It might, as
 you say, be comparatively easy to issue a loan of ten million dollars
 at almost any time. That would depend, however, not on the size but on
 the nature of the loan. There is no market for Chinese securities in
 this country at this time, and it would be difficult if not impossible
 for the bankers to create one within any reasonable time without the
 active and intelligent support or at least the declared approval of
 the Government....

 When the American Group first entered upon negotiations for the
 Hukuang loan, conditions in this country were good. Business men were
 looking abroad for new trade openings, the Taft Administration was
 anxious to encourage the extension of foreign trade and the Chinese
 Governmental Bubble had not been pricked. During our four years of
 experience a not inconsiderable public interest in China and her
 development was aroused, and had we issued the Reorganization Loan, as
 we had hoped to do, in February, 1913, we probably could have sold our
 twenty-million-dollar share to investors throughout the country. This
 we would have been able to do despite the revolution and uncertain
 governmental conditions in China, because of public confidence due to
 the support of our own and the other interested governments.

 Neither Mr. Taft nor Mr. Knox ever promised to send American
 battleships to threaten China, or to land marines to occupy Chinese
 territory, in case of default in interest payments. The public was
 misled by no false statements, but there was, nevertheless, a general
 belief that our Government was actively interested in the preservation
 of China's credit and in the development of that country.

 This, as I told you in our conversation at the Century Club, was
 changed by the President's declaration of March 19, 1913. The fact
 that the President and the State Department felt that China, as a
 young republic, was entitled to extraordinary consideration and
 sympathy; the fact that our Government recognized Yuan Shih-kai's
 political machine, and the fact that the Administration subsequently
 gave out some general expressions regarding the Government's interest
 in the development of American trade, did not in any way restore in
 the mind of the investor the confidence which had been destroyed by
 the specific condemnation of the activities of the only American
 banking group which had had the enterprise, the courage, and the
 patience to enter and remain in the Chinese field and which, despite
 its unpopularity among certain yellow journals and a number of Western
 Congressmen, stood for integrity, fair dealing, and sound business in
 the minds of the bond-purchasing public, upon whose readiness to buy
 the success of any bond issue must depend.

 This confidence which would have enabled us to sell Chinese bonds had
 been created by four years of hard work on the part of the bankers and
 the Government. Once destroyed, it can be restored only by general
 governmental declarations, which will probably have to be stronger
 than any of those made by the Taft Administration, or, in the absence
 thereof, by effective, consistent, and repeated specific proof of
 the Government's willingness to assist and encourage our merchants,
 contractors, and bankers. As you know, it is more difficult to correct
 a bad impression than it is originally to create a good one.

 I quite appreciate that it will be difficult for the President to take
 any action which would seem to be a reversal of his former position,
 but I hope that the last paragraph of his declaration of last March,
 in which he stated that he would urge "all the legislative measures
 necessary to assure to contractors, engineers, etc., the banking and
 other financial facilities which they now lack" may be interpreted and
 developed along lines which will permit him actively to support the
 Red Cross plan.

 If the Administration will publicly evidence its interest in and its
 support of this project during the next few months, so that when the
 matter is finally brought up to the bankers for decision they may
 be able to feel that the public has become interested and assured
 that our Government is behind the plan, it may prove to be the means
 by which we can again enter China. This I have pointed out to Miss
 Boardman who, I feel sure, fully understands the situation.

 I sincerely trust that your great interest and your energy in
 endeavouring to extend our interests in China may have an effect
 upon our own Administration. I believe the bankers will always be
 willing to help if they are able to do so, but we are not, like our
 Continental friends, anxiously looking for chances to invest abroad,
 especially at the present time when we have so many troubles of our
 own, and instead of being merely shown the opportunity, we must be
 persuaded in the first place that it is sound business and in the
 second place that it is our patriotic duty to undertake it. And we
 must feel, in addition, that if we should undertake it our enterprise
 and energy will not serve merely to rouse a storm of jealousy on the
 part of those who will not assume any risks themselves, but who cry
 "monopoly" as soon as an interest capable of handling foreign business
 is given the active support of our Government.

 I am sorry that it is impossible to give a more optimistic picture,
 but I assure you that I shall do all in my power to support you and
 your efforts, which I sincerely trust may be attended with the success
 they deserve.

The intelligent support promised in this letter continued until the
untimely death of Mr. Straight in Paris, while he was with the American
Peace Commission.



CHAPTER IX

"SLOW AMERICANS"


"The Americans are altogether too slow!"

This exclamation from a Chinese seemed amusing. It came on the evening
of the red dust-storm that enveloped Peking, during one of the long
after-dinner conversations with Liang Shih-yi and Chow Tsu-chi; and it
was the latter who thus gave vent to his impatience.

Liang Shih-yi, the "Pierpont Morgan of China," Chief Secretary to the
President, was credited as being, next to Yuan Shih-kai, the ablest and
most influential man in Peking. Mr. Liang is highly educated according
to Chinese literary standards, and while he has not studied Western
science, he has a keen, incisive mind which enables him readily to
understand Western conditions and methods. His outstanding quality is
a faculty for organization. He built up the Chinese Communications
Service on the administrative and financial side. He declined taking
office as a minister, but usually controlled the action of the cabinet
through his influence over important subordinates, and managed all
financial affairs for Yuan Shih-kai. Cantonese, short of stature and
thickset, with a massive Napoleonic head, he speaks little, but his
side remarks indicate that he is always ahead of the discussion, which
is also shown by his searching questions. When directly questioned
himself, he will always give a lucid and consecutive account of any
matter. He did not rise above the level of Chinese official practice
in the matter of using money to obtain political ends. To some he was
the father of deceit and corruption, to others the god of wealth, while
still others revered in him his great genius for organization. While
by no means a romantic figure, he thoroughly stimulated a romantic
interest among others, who attributed to him almost superhuman cunning
and ability.

When the noted Sheng Hsuan-huai became Minister of Communications in
1911, he used his influence and cunning to thwart Liang and throw him
out of the mastery of the Board of Communications, known as the fattest
organ of the Government. Mr. Liang stood his ground, and his influence
greatly increased because of his ability to withstand so strong an
attack. During the revolution Liang Shih-yi was also very influential
in the Grand Council, attaching himself more and more strongly to Yuan
Shih-kai. Always satisfied with the substance of power without its
outward show, he steadfastly declined to become a responsible minister,
and worked from the vantage ground of the Secretariat of the President.
His life has frequently been endangered. He gained the hatred of
the democratic party, with which he was once associated, because he
aided Yuan in playing his complicated game of first confusing, then
destroying, parliament. Nor were the Progressives (Chin Pu Tang)
enamoured of him. Of great personal courage, he was indifferent to
the blame and ridicule which for a while almost all newspapers heaped
upon him. As he was still in a comparatively inferior position when
these attacks began, they rather helped him by calling attention to his
abilities and his personal importance. Thus his opponents advertised
him. In possession of all the intricacies of the situation, when the
parliamentarians first came to Peking, he sat back inconspicuously,
and, supplied with influence and money, moulded the political situation
as if it had been wax.

Of all the cabinet, Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, Minister of Communications,
was personally most familiar with American affairs, having lived for
several years in Washington and New York in an official capacity.
He speaks English fluently and prefers American methods. He hates
unnecessary ceremony. Whenever he called upon me I had almost to
engage in personal combat with him to be permitted to accompany him to
the outer door, as is due to a high dignitary in China. He believes in
learning improved methods from reliable foreigners, and will go as far
as any Chinese in giving foreigners whom he trusts a free hand, though
he would not yield to any one a power of supreme control. On this
occasion he talked about the reorganization of the Bank of China, and
the possibility of floating domestic bonds among Chinese capitalists.
Mr. Chow was chanting a jeremiad about how the Chinese had been led to
give valuable concessions to Americans, which had not been developed,
and how this had brought only embarrassment and trouble to China.

We spoke, also, of the original Hankow-Canton railway concession which
the Americans tried to sell to King Leopold; of the Knox neutralization
plan, and of the Chinchow-Aigun railway concession, the only effect of
which had been to strengthen the grip of Russia and Japan on Manchuria.
When the Americans, as a mark of special confidence and trust, had
received the option on a currency loan with the chance to reorganize
Chinese currency, they had straight-way invited Great Britain,
Germany, and France into the game. "Thus they saddled China with the
International Consortium," Chow Tsu-chi moaned. And so on went the
recital, through many lesser and larger enterprises that had proved
abortive.

One had to confess that in China we certainly had not taken Fortune by
the forelock, nor even had we clung to her skirts. Mr. Chow Tsu-chi
was especially grieved at the circuitous and dilatory methods of the
Four-Power Group which held the contract to build the Hukuang railways.
"The thirty millions of dollars originally provided has been almost
entirely spent," he complained, "without producing more than two
hundred miles of actual construction; and there is constant wrangling
among the partners concerning engineering standards. Moreover,
everything has to be referred from Peking to London, thence to New
York, Paris, Berlin, and back and forth among them all, until it is
necessary to look up reams of files to know what it is all about. And
it may all have been about the purchase of a flat car."

I knew well enough that Americans, too, were much discouraged at the
cumbersome progress of the Hukuang railway enterprise. The engineering
rights on the section west from Ichang up into Szechuan Province had
been assigned to America, and Mr. W. Randolph was at this time making
a survey. He had great energy and unlimited belief in the future
importance and profitableness of this line. But beyond the initial
survey the available funds would not go, and no new financing could
be obtained--this for a railway to gain access to an inland empire of
forty millions of people!

In the American enterprises which had been launched recently, however,
there was no little activity. The Standard Oil Company with commendable
expedition, if perhaps with undue lavishness of men and supplies,
sent to China geological experts of the first order, together with
large staffs of engineers, drilling experts, and all needed machinery.
The geologists were soon off toward the prospective oil regions in
Chihli and Shensi provinces. In Mr. Hsiung Hsi-ling's bureau and in
the Standard Oil offices the outfitting of expeditions, the purchase
of supplies, and the selection of a large Chinese personnel proceeded
apace. Everyone was hopeful.

With the Hwai River conservancy matter, also, negotiations had gone
rapidly in the United States. The American National Red Cross and the
engineering firm of J.G. White & Company had agreed to finance the
preliminary survey. The American Congress in May passed an act lending
the services of an army engineer for the preliminary survey. Colonel
Sibert of the Panama Canal Commission was designated as chairman of the
engineering board. The outlook was favourable, action had been taken
promptly.

The excitement stirred up among the Japanese by the sojourn in China of
the Bethlehem Steel Company's vice-president, Mr. Archibald Johnston,
now had a further sequel. The text of an alleged contract between the
Chinese Government and the Bethlehem Steel Company was circulated early
in May--by interested persons--which included among other provisions
arrangements for construction of a naval base in Fukien Province.
The bogus quality of the report was at once manifest. Through some
influence, however, it was assiduously pushed forward in the press;
it became the basis of a legend, which even got into the books of
otherwise well-informed writers as authentic. It was on the subject of
this spurious paper that the Japanese ambassador at Washington called
on Secretary Bryan for information. Thus the matter of the possible
building of a naval base in Fukien for the Chinese Government by
American contractors became a matter of State Department note. I was
informed that the Japanese ambassador at Washington had left a summary
of the conversation, of March 12th, between the Japanese minister at
Peking and myself. Apparently the Japanese were attempting to get
around my refusal to acknowledge that American enterprise in China
could in any way be limited by the declarations or agreements of other
powers than the United States.

The State Department inquired whether the newly reported contract for
a loan of $30,000,000 was identical with the older contract of the
Bethlehem Steel Company. I was informed that the Japanese Government
did not object to the loan, but to the construction of any new naval
base in Fukien, and that the Department had been told that the Chinese
Government itself did not wish to construct there because of the
Japanese objection. It was intimated to me that I might encourage the
Chinese in the idea that such building, while legitimate, would be
unwise.

I reported to the Department that the original Bethlehem contract had
no connection with the spurious document recently circulated; that
only a very small sum was to be devoted to harbour work in China, the
location of which had not been fixed; and that the execution of the
entire contract had been postponed because of financial conditions.
While the Chinese Government was not contemplating any construction
at this time, I stated that the attempt of any other government to
establish a claim of special rights of supervision must be considered
derogatory to Chinese sovereignty and to American rights of equal
opportunity; I urged, therefore, that we avoid any action or statement
which would admit such a claim, or which would in any way encourage
the making of it. The Chinese Government has never admitted that its
right to plan the defence of its coastline is subject to veto by any
other government. Such admission on our part that Japan has the right
to claim special interests in Fukien would shake the confidence of the
Chinese in our seriousness and consistency, and in our determination to
protect our legitimate interests in an undivided China, freely open to
the commerce of all nations, where Americans can do business without
asking permission of any other outsiders.

Dr. Chen Chin-tao was then acting as Financial Commissioner of the
Chinese Government in Europe and America. The danger of a further
growth of the idea of spheres of influence in China had been
accentuated. Railway concessions had been allocated to different
nations according to territorial areas where the respective countries
claimed certain priorities; if concessions were made otherwise, the
combined influence of the powers seeking special spheres was used to
defeat them. To meet this danger a plan was developed for granting a
large construction contract to an international syndicate made up
of British, American, French, and German companies, who would divide
the construction on some basis other than localized national spheres
of influence. Doctor Chen, with an American assistant, was charged to
take up this proposal with various companies. On the part of France and
Germany, contractors and governments seemed favourable to the idea.
In Great Britain the firm approached was Paulding & Company, who had
already in the preceding year received a railway concession in China
extending through the Province of Hunan and to the south thereof. This
firm would readily coöperate, but the British Government objected.
It would accept the principle of the international company only on
condition that all lines traversing the Yangtse Valley should be
constructed by the British participant in the syndicate.

This suggests the extent to which the sphere-of-influence doctrine
dominated at this time the thought and action of the British Foreign
Office.

The American Government, on its part, took exception to the size and
duration of the concession, which it feared might gain a monopolistic
character. Probably the difficulty would have been cleared up, since,
after all, a specific and limited, though considerable grant, was
intended. But the preliminary discussion had not resulted in agreement
before the Great War supervened.

When Mr. Gest returned to the United States, he took up the matter
of a loan to China with American financial interests, but they
hesitated to act until the American Government expressed its approval
and willingness to give support. Mr. Gest thereupon laid siege to
the Department of State. He succeeded on the 3rd of June in securing
from the Secretary a letter to the effect that the Department would
be gratified to have China receive any substantial assistance from
Americans in the nature of a loan upon terms similar to the present
agreement. "This Government," the letter stated, "will, in accordance
with its usual policy, give all proper diplomatic support to any
legitimate enterprise of that character."

There had been much talk about the supposed determination of the
Department of State to let American interests abroad shift for
themselves, quite without encouragement or special protection.
The letter, though moderate in language, nevertheless attracted
great attention and was taken to indicate a change of heart in the
Administration. I may say at this point that the Department of State
never at any time failed to back me in efforts to develop and protect
American interests in China. But it was not always able, especially
later on, when overburdened with the work of the war, to follow up
matters which it had approved, when the opposition or indifference of
other departments put other claims in the forefront.

I had for a season observed and worked with American commercial
interests in China. I had definite conclusions as to what was needed in
the way of organization to encourage American trade. The great defect
lay in the absence of financial institutions for handling foreign
loans, and for assisting in foreign industrial development, helpful to
American commerce. The only American bank in China, the International
Banking Corporation, then confined itself strictly to exchange business
and to dealing in commercial paper; it had developed no policy
of responding to local industrial needs and helping in the inner
development of China. All the foreign banks had wholly the treaty-port
point of view. They thought not at all of developing the interior
regions upon which the commerce of the treaty ports after all depends.
They were satisfied with scooping off the cream of international
commercial transactions and exchange operations.

I strongly favoured creating banking institutions which would broadly
represent American capital from various regions of our country, and
would respond to the urgent need of China for a modern organization of
local credit.

There were but few American commission houses. In most cases
American-manufactured goods were handled by houses of other
nationality, who often gave scant attention to promoting American trade
and used American products only when those of their own nation could
not be obtained. It seemed worth while to establish additional trading
companies, especially coöperative organizations among exporters,
after the fashion of the "Representation for British Manufacturers,
Ltd." Further, I strongly urged the American Government to station a
commercial attaché in China. I was gratified by the appointment during
the year of a commercial attaché in the person of Consul-General Julean
Arnold, an official of great intelligence, wide knowledge, and untiring
energy.

The Chinese cabinet, which had been under a provisional premier for
several months, was finally reorganized in June, 1914. The chief change
in the cabinet was the appointment of Mr. Liang Tun-yen as Minister
of Communications, and the shifting of Mr. Chow Tsu-chi from that
position to the Ministry of Finance. With these new ministers American
contractors and financiers had much to do. Premier Hsiung Hsi-ling had
withdrawn in February, and with him the two other members of the Chin
Pu Tang or progressive party. These political leaders had served Yuan's
purpose by aiding him to dissolve parliament; they could now be spared.
But a new premier was not immediately found. Yuan at length prevailed
on Mr. Hsu Shi-chang to take the premiership in June. The title of
premier was changed to secretary of state.

I met Mr. Liang Tun-yen for the first time on June 2nd, at a luncheon
given by Mr. B. Lenox Simpson, whose landlord he was. Mr. Liang is
tall, aristocratic-looking, with a fine, intellectual face. He speaks
English perfectly, as he received his earlier education in the
United States. Then, as on frequent occasions in subsequent years, he
expressed himself in a deeply pessimistic strain. He complained of
recent inroads attempted by the French in Yunnan, and of the methods
they employed to strengthen their hold. But this was only one cause for
pessimism. In the future of his country he saw "no prospect of strong
national action," or of "any sort of effective help from the outside."
He considered the upper classes "incapable of sacrifices and vigorous
action." He had recommended in 1901, he told me, that, instead of
paying an indemnity, the Chinese should be allowed to spend an equal
amount of public funds in sending abroad young men to be educated. All
young Chinese, he said, should be sent abroad quite early, "before they
have become corrupted."

When Mr. Liang Tun-yen assumed office, it was announced that he would
subject the Ministry of Communications to a thorough cleansing. This
implied that the ministry had been corrupt and systematically so, under
the control of Mr. Liang Shih-yi. Outsiders watched for indications of
how that astute manager would handle the new opposition.

Mr. Yeh Kung-cho, able and expert, had been chief of the Railway
Bureau; he became a vice minister, but as he was a lieutenant of Liang
Shih-yi's, it was understood that this position would probably be an
empty dignity. A friend of Mr. Liang Tun-yen's, a highly respected
engineer of American education, was appointed as the other vice
minister. With no formal or open breach between the different factions,
maneuvring and counter-manoeuvring there undoubtedly was. The
influence of Mr. Liang Shih-yi, however, seemed not seriously shaken.
He had organized the Chinese railway experts and engineers in a railway
association, keeping in touch with them through Mr. Yeh Kung-cho. Thus
he held in his hands the main lines of influence. Also, he continued to
head the Bank of Communications, which is the fiscal agency for the
Railway Board. So again it seemed that the opposition could not get at
the source of this unusual man's power.

Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, as Minister of Finance, warmly urged the idea that
the Americans, to whom the Government had shown itself so friendly,
reciprocate by making a loan to the Chinese Government. He planned a
loan of $40,000,000 for the purpose of refunding the entire floating
indebtedness of his government. Hopes had been entertained that the
Standard Oil Company would use its influence in bringing about such a
loan, but that company was not willing to go outside of the special
business of its contract with China. The option which had been given
to Mr. Gest had not yet resulted in any completed transaction in
the United States. So accustomed were the Chinese to the readiness
of any nationality which held important concessions, in turn to
support the Chinese Government financially, that they could not
understand how America, with professions of great friendship and just
now substantially favoured by the Chinese, should not be ready to
reciprocate. The soundness of the desire of the Americans to have every
transaction stand on its own bottom and not to use financial support as
a bait to obtain concessions, could, of course, be appreciated by the
Chinese. But at times their urgent needs made them impatient.

The news of the assassination at Sarajevo reached us on July 1st. As
this happened to be, though we did not then suspect it, the eve of a
terrible convulsion in which all accepted conditions of life, national
and international, were shattered and unsettled, I shall here insert
parts of the memorandum which I drew up for my guidance at this time:

 It is evident that China finds herself in a critical situation, in
 the sense that the fundamental character of her political life and
 the direction of her political development are now being decided.
 While a vast community living under a complicated social system,
 which embodies the experience of thousands of years, cannot change
 its methods of a sudden and will undoubtedly for a long time continue
 to differ radically from Western political societies, yet it admits
 of no doubt that a new era of development has begun and that certain
 essential alternatives are being faced. Such alternatives are
 the continued unity of the nation or its division; its continued
 independence or the direct dominance of one or more foreign suzerains;
 its commercial unity or its division into spheres of influence; the
 tendency of its institutions of government, whether in the direction
 of the absolutism of Russia and Japan, or the republicanism of the
 United States; and the character of its educational and legal system,
 either dominated by the ideas of America and England or of continental
 Europe or Japan. From these, there also follow important alternatives
 in industrial and commercial policy.

 Under these circumstances, it is of great moment whether the Chinese
 Government will remain free, with the assistance of influences
 friendly to the development of China's nationality, to preserve the
 unity of the Chinese State and to develop its institutions; or whether
 its financial distress, combined with the plottings of a revolutionary
 opposition, will deliver it into the hands of those who are not
 favourable to the growth of China's national life.

 The United States of America enjoys a position of great advantage
 for assisting the Chinese Government and influencing its development
 in the direction of free national life. The lack of a desire for
 political interference, the real sympathy felt in America with the
 strivings of the Chinese people, and cultural, educational, and
 charitable work unselfishly performed, have given the United States
 the undivided confidence of China. It is certainly true that the
 Chinese people are anxious to follow in the footsteps of the United
 States if they may only be permitted to do so.

 Any development of enterprise which increases American commercial
 interest in China is incidentally favourable to Chinese independence;
 because, through the enlistment of neutral interests, the desire
 of outsiders for political control can be counterbalanced. The
 organizing of an American investment bank and similar agencies for the
 development of American commerce in China, participation of American
 capital in railway building, and the development of mines and oil
 fields through American companies and under American business methods
 would all be welcomed by China as the strengthening of a favourable
 influence. Different Chinese ministers have repeatedly said to me
 that at this time China is in need of the active assistance of those
 who are amicably disposed and that China is willing to do her part in
 coöperating, and in extending advantages, if only such active support
 is forthcoming. If American capital, industry, and commerce are not
 ready at this time to give that comparatively slight assistance to
 China which the situation calls for, it is likely that American action
 in China in the future will be on a far more modest basis than present
 possibilities promise.

The war, of course, brought many changes in China. Much of the good
work which had been started was either destroyed or long delayed. It
marked the end of one phase of China's development.



CHAPTER X

FOLK WAYS AND OFFICIALS


Several voices whispered: "It's Prince Pu Lun."

It was at President Yuan Shih-kai's reception, New Year's Day, 1914;
the diplomatic corps and high officials were there. The Empress
Dowager's residence, now occupied by the President, was the scene.
From the side rooms, whither we had withdrawn for refreshments after
exchanging greetings with the President, we looked out into the main
hall and saw that its floor had been entirely cleared, and a solitary
figure in a general's uniform was proceeding across the floor toward
the President. Walking alone and unattended, the representative of the
Chinese Imperial Family had come to bring its felicitations to the
President of the Republic. For the first time since the abdication, the
Imperial Family was publicly taking notice of him who had displaced it
in power.

When the guests began to depart I gathered up my party and left the
hall, together with Admiral Tsai Ting-kan. Outside was Prince Pu Lun,
still solitary, walking with sad and pensive regard. We overtook him.
I talked pleasantly with him on such non-committal matters as the
Imperial collection of art, which was at this time being brought from
Mukden. He seemed quite appreciative of this attention. I took him with
me to the outer palace gate where his own carriage met him.

Except the automobiles used inside of the palace enclosure, few were
then to be found in Peking; soon, with improved roads, many hundreds
came. The Empress Dowager before her death had acquired a large
collection of these foreign vehicles, which interested her greatly;
but up to the time of her death the Board of Ceremonies had not
succeeded in solving the problem how she might ride in an automobile
in which there would also be, in sitting posture, one of her servants,
the chauffeur. If they had had more time, I imagine that they might
have found some way by which the chauffeur could kneel in driving the
Imperial car, but, as it was, the poor Empress Dowager never had the
pleasure of the swift rides she so much coveted.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many popular superstitions still prevailed in parts of the provinces.
The military attaché of the American Legation, Major Bowley, who later
did distinguished service in the Great War as general of artillery,
was active in visiting the military commanders in different parts of
China and in observing their actions and getting their views. He had
just returned from such a trip to Kiangsi Province, and related how
one of the generals there strove to improve his morale by drinking the
blood of enemies who had been killed. He spared Major Bowley a cupful
of this precious liquid, which was to be taken before breakfast. It is
startling to discover among the people so highly civilized as are the
Chinese occasional remnants of barbarous doctrines and practices. There
is an inverted homoeopathy in Chinese popular belief--to the effect
that "equals strengthen equals"; thus, to eat muscle develops strength,
to eat tripe aids the digestion, to eat heart or drink blood develops
courage, and so on.

       *       *       *       *       *

One evening, at a dinner at Mr. Liang Shih-yi's house a spirited
discussion developed between the host and Mr. Anderson. The latter had
related a local custom of the Soochow region according to which it was
permissible for a community or a crowd of people to bite to death any
person who was thoroughly disapproved of by all. Apparently the method
of execution was in itself a guaranty of universal condemnation, as a
great many people would have to coöperate to effect the desired result
by this method. Mr. Liang protested that the expression "bite to death"
was in this case used only metaphorically, and there followed a long
debate on Chinese folk customs.

       *       *       *       *       *

A dinner with General Kiang, Commander of the Peking Gendarmerie,
afforded another sidelight on Chinese character. We had already
been seated, when an unusually tall Chinese entered, wearing
Chinese civilian dress. He was introduced as Tutuh Yin (General Yin
Chang-heng), and I learned that he had just returned from Szechuan,
where he had become governor during the revolution, after putting to
death the Imperial Governor-General, Chao Er-feng. General Yin was of
striking appearance, with strong features, and vigorous in gesture.
Now, it is the custom at Chinese dinners, particularly when military
are present, to engage in extensive drinkings of health. The Chinese,
who are usually very abstemious, drink wine that resembles sherry, and
also a liqueur-like rice wine, which latter is potent. The proposer
of the toast raises his little cup and drains it in one draught; the
guest to whom he addresses himself is expected to do likewise; both say
"Gambey" (a challenge to empty the cup). General Yin, who seemed in
high spirits, was on his legs half the time "gambeying" to the other
guests, especially to myself and the other Americans, the military
attaché, the Chinese secretary, the commandant of the guard, and other
officers. General Yin must have performed this courtesy at least forty
times in the course of the evening, which with the attentions paid us
by the other members of the table round, amounted to a considerable
challenge of one's capacity. It must, however, be confessed that I
largely shirked this test, in company with the amiable General Yin
Chang, my Manchu neighbour, by irrigating a large plant in front of us
with the liquid dedicated to friendship.

I saw General Yin Chang next morning. He asked whether I knew what
had been the matter with Tutuh Yin the night before. I said that he
seemed very animated and carried his liquor very well. General Yin
then told me that after I had left, the Tutuh Yin had sat down with
him and talked seriously and intently, revealing his deep worry lest
Yuan Shih-kai should have him executed. He stated that Chao Er-hsun,
the brother of the murdered Viceroy, was in Peking, and with other men
using every influence to destroy him. "So," the Manchu general said,
"his bravado was just a cover for his worries."

Next day Yin Tutuh called on me at my residence. He expressed deep
regret for having taken so much wine on the evening of the dinner. He
said: "It is not my custom, but I was excited and worried because of
the uncertainty of my affairs." He then launched forth into a literary
discussion of Confucianism in its bearing upon modern thought. Not
knowing that he was a student of the classics, I was surprised when
he revealed this side of his nature. As a matter of fact, he greatly
resembled the men of the Renaissance who combined harsh and cruel
qualities with a deep love of literature. The last time I saw the Tutuh
Yin, more than five years later, he presented me with his written
works. There were gathered about twenty members of the Confucian
Society, and the conversation again turned around the permanent
qualities of Confucianism. When the concept of the "unknowable" was
referred to, General Yin cited at length Herbert Spencer's views
thereon. He said: "The greatness of Confucius lies in the fact that he
centred his attention on those things which we know and can control,
and that he aimed at the highest development of human action on this
common-sense basis. He leaves the dreams about the unknowable to
others."

Among our guests at a dinner was Dr. King Ya-mei, a Chinese lady
noted for her wide information and cleverness. We spoke about the
recent advance of Russia in Mongolia. "Who can resist Russia!" she
exclaimed. Like all thinking Chinese, she was deeply worried about the
difficulties confronting her nation on all sides. Dr. C.C. Wang, who
was also present, spoke of the lack of continuity in developing expert
knowledge, because of the frequent shifts which are made in the public
service.

Dr. King Ya-mei then told an amusing incident, which shows how natural
community action and passive resistance are to the Chinese. In an
orphan asylum at Tientsin a new set of regulations had been issued, but
the orphans had paid no attention to them. After a good many children
had been called to order without result, a meeting was convoked by
the principal. When the orphans were asked why they did not obey
the regulations, their spokesman said: "We are perfectly satisfied
with the old regulations, and have no desire to change them."--"But
the new regulations have been made by your teachers," rejoined the
superintendent, "and they must be obeyed."--"We do not think," the
spokesman replied, "that they are an improvement, and we propose to
obey the old rules."--"But, then you shall be punished severely."--"If
you try to punish us, we shall all go away; and then what will become
of the orphan asylum?"

They had reasoned it out that they were an important part of the
institution. That orphans should conceive the idea to go on strike
shows how normal and self-evident that mode of social action seems in
China.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was visited by the newly appointed Chinese minister to Japan, Mr. Lu
Tsung-yu, who later became quite notorious in China in connection with
the loans of 1918. He was accompanied by Doctor Tsur, the president
of Tsing Hua College and a leading American-returned student.
Mr. Lu is a slight man of suave manners, keen intelligence, and a
love of manipulation. On this occasion he developed the idea that
coöperation between the United States, China, and Japan was possible
and desirable, as these three countries had many parallel interests.
It was his opinion that Japan could not create an extensive settlement
in Manchuria. He had been stationed in that region several years
when Hsu Hsi-chang was viceroy; and he told me that he had observed
that the Japanese came as officials, soldiers, or railway employees,
or in connection with mining enterprises: but they did not seem to
have any impulse to settle in the country as farmers, and as small
merchants they could scarcely compete with the Chinese. Mr. Lu had been
educated in Japan, being one of the first batch of Chinese students
at Waseda University; together with Tsao Ju-lin, at this time Vice
Minister of Foreign Affairs, who also later played an important part
in Chino-Japanese affairs; and Chang Chung-hsiang, the Chief Justice
of China at that time, a man who exercised considerable influence in
introducing into China the Japanese idea of judicial procedure and
organization and who became Chinese minister in Tokyo in 1916. This
trio of associates was popularly known as "the Three Diamonds."

       *       *       *       *       *

An important meeting of the diplomatic corps dealt with the procedure
in the matter of claims against the Chinese Government on account of
damage suffered during the revolution. The Japanese, French, and German
representatives were inclined to insist that the Chinese Government
be held responsible for all losses which could in any way be said to
have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the revolution. In line
with the traditional policy of fairness and moderation followed by the
United States I strongly urged that only losses directly and physically
traceable to violent action should be paid, eliminating such uncertain
and contingent matters as anticipated profits. The British minister
gave support to this view; his legation, too, had not encouraged the
filing of indirect claims. After much discussion, the suggestion was
accepted in the form proposed. By this action were ruled out indirect
claims to the amount of nearly four million dollars, which had already
been listed and included by some of the legations in their totals.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British Legation, in which diplomatic meetings are held, is an old
palace, formerly the residence of a Manchu prince, which was purchased
by the British Government at the time when legations were first
established at Peking. Fortunately, the fine architectural forms of
the old structure had been retained sufficiently to leave this group
of buildings justly proportioned, beautifully decorated, and free from
jarring foreign notes. One passes to the minister's residence through
two lofty, open halls, with tiled roofs and richly coloured eaves. The
residential buildings are Chinese without and semi-European within,
Chinese decorative elements having been allowed to remain in the inner
spaces. The diplomatic meetings always took place in the dining room,
where a huge portrait of Queen Victoria, from the middle period of her
reign, impassively--not without symbolic significance--looked down upon
the company.

There were at this time about sixteen legations in Peking, so that
the meetings were not too large for intimate conversation. The
proceedings were usually carried on in the English language, partly out
of deference to the Dean, and partly because English has come quite
naturally to be the international language of the Far East.

The diplomatic corps in Peking meets frequently, and it has more
comprehensive and complicated business than falls to such a body in any
other capital. Matters of diplomatic routine occupy only a subsidiary
place. Because of the system of extra-territoriality under which
foreign residents remain exempt from Chinese law and subject only
to that of their own respective nation, the foreign representatives
in China are constantly concerned with the internal affairs of that
country. The effects of any legislation by the Chinese Government upon
foreign residents have to be considered by the diplomatic corps: if
the most punctilious minister discovers that the measure in question
in any way transgresses that absolute immunity from local law which is
claimed, then objection will be made, and the unanimous consent, which
is necessary to approve of such matters, is difficult or impossible to
obtain.

Questions of taxation are constantly before the diplomatic corps, as
the Chinese local officials quite naturally attempt to find some way to
make the foreigners bear at least part of the taxation of a government
whose general protection they demand. The methods of proving claims and
collecting indemnities give rise to much discussion, whenever there has
been some outbreak of revolutionary activity. As certain revenues have
been pledged for international loans, the diplomatic corps will object
to the Chinese Government using these revenues at all before they have
been released as not needed for defraying the debt charges. One of the
most fruitful causes of irritation comes from attempts frequently made
by one or the other minister to "hold up" the funds belonging to the
Chinese until they have fulfilled some particular demand which he had
made. The fact that it may be an entirely extraneous and irrelevant
matter, such as the appointment of a national of the minister to a
Chinese government job, does not seem to disturb the man who thinks
he has found a clever way to achieve his purpose. The international
settlement at Shanghai and the régime of foreign troops in Peking
and along the Mukden Railway also give rise to a great many problems
which are referred to the diplomatic corps. From questions involving
the recognition of the Government itself to such matters as the
advisability of bambooing prisoners at Shanghai, no question seems to
be too big or little to come before this body.

The discussions tend rather to avoid general issues and to confine
themselves to a statement and explanation of the position taken by each
government. Occasionally the stubborn and unreasonable adherence of one
or two representatives to what is considered by others as an unduly
severe and exacting position, leads to joint efforts in an attempt to
make a more fair and liberal policy prevail. The discussions are not
infrequently longer than is necessary; the main points are lost sight
of, and discussion becomes entangled, because one side may be talking
of one thing, whereas the other has quite a different matter in view.
Until it is discovered that there is no real difference or only a
difference in form, much valuable time may be consumed. At times, these
conferences remind one of a university faculty meeting.

       *       *       *       *       *

Weeks were filled with innumerable conferences on matters of business.
In China it rarely happens that the decision lies with only one
official. In order to have a proposal accepted, a great many men
have to be consulted and won over. Impatient representatives, backed
by strong national force, have frequently tried to cut short this
procedure, and, planting themselves before the official whose assent
they needed, have "pounded the table" until a promise was obtained.
They sometimes succeeded by so powerfully getting on the nerves of the
Chinese official that he saw no way to save his peace of mind but by
giving in. At one time I expressed great surprise to the Minister of
Finance, because, instead of insisting that reasonable arrangements for
the renewal of a certain short-term loan should be made, he had given
the representative in question--the agent of a munition company--a
large order for additional materials which were not needed, only to
secure an extension of time. He said, in self-defence: "The manners of
the man were so abominable that I could not stand it any longer."

However, the method of the strong arm and mailed fist, while it has
produced results in China, has also carried in itself the elements
of its own defeat. The Chinese may make a concession under such
circumstances, but they will thereafter have no interest whatsoever in
facilitating the business in question; on the contrary, it is likely
to be delayed and obstructed at every point, so that it can be carried
out only through constant pressure and show of force. The people of
China have a strong and widespread sense of equity. He who proposes a
reasonable arrangement and gives himself the trouble to talk it over
with officials and other men concerned, in the spirit of arriving at
a solution fair to all, will build on a sound foundation. Whenever
foreign interests have acted on this principle, the results have been
far more fruitful of good than where things have been carried through
with a high hand by demand and threat, without reasoning or give and
take. But to sit in conference with various people on all the phases
of any proposal is a great consumer of time. One is kept busy day and
night in following the roads and trails that lead to the final meeting
of minds from which action is to result.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had a visit from the Tuchun Tien, of Kalgan, after my return from
America in the fall of 1918. I found that the Tuchun was in very bad
grace at the American Legation. He had interfered with an automobile
service which an American had tried to establish between Kalgan and
Urga, in Mongolia, and had in other ways shown an apparent hostility to
legitimate American enterprise. As the writing of notes had not secured
any satisfactory results, I began to probe into the situation to find
what lay back of the attitude of the general.

I found that he was "blood-brother" of Mr. Pan Fu, whom in turn I
numbered among my friends. I therefore consulted Mr. Pan Fu about
the situation. He said that there must be some misunderstanding, as
the General was certainly not animated by any feeling of hostility
to America; but that it was possible that the particular American
in Kalgan had rubbed him the wrong way. So he promised to write the
General a long letter.

A short time later he called on me and reported that General Tien
had written him that he was soon coming to Peking and would be very
glad to meet me. The Tuchun soon called on me, with Mr. Chow Tsu-chi,
and we had a most friendly talk. Very little was said about any past
difficulties in Kalgan, but a great deal about future prospects of
goodwill and mutual help. In fact, our friendship was quite firmly
established, and there was no further room for misunderstanding.

Tuchun Tien was an open-faced, friendly looking person who, though he
had straggling side whiskers unusual with the Chinese, had nothing of
the berserker in his bearing. Our conversation was long and cordial.
When it had already lasted more than an hour, Mr. Chow looked at me
apologetically and said, in English: "We had better let him talk, it
does him good." As for myself, I was glad to hear his views.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Reinsch and I gave a dinner to Mr. Robert Gailey of the Y.M.C.A.
on the eve of his departure for America. About thirty guests were
present, all members of the American mission societies in Peking. I had
just entered the reception room to be ready to welcome our guests when
much to my surprise Prince Pu Lun was ushered in. It was evident that
there had been some mistake about invitations, but as there appeared
to be no other dinner given at the Legation, I made no effort to clear
up the error and tried to make him thoroughly welcome. I had the table
rearranged so as to seat the Prince between two ladies both of whom
spoke Chinese very well. He appeared to be surprised at the composition
of the company and the absence of wines, but was apparently well
entertained by his neighbours. When the dinner was about half through,
Kao, the head boy, came to the back of my chair and whispered to me:
"Mrs. Lee's boy outside. Say Prince belong Mrs. Lee dinner." So after
dinner I felt in duty bound to tell the Prince that Mrs. Lee had sent
word that she would be very happy if he could come to her house in the
course of the evening.

After a short conversation, in which he told me about his children
of whom he is very fond, the Prince departed, to recoup himself at
the house of the navy doctor for the abstinences laid upon him at the
minister's dinner.



PART II

THE PASSING OF YUAN SHIH-KAI



CHAPTER XI

THE WAR: JAPAN IN SHANTUNG


On August 8, 1914, Japanese war vessels appeared near Tsingtau. Japan
suggested on August 10th that the British Government might call for
the coöperation of Japan under the terms of the Alliance. In view of
possible consequences the British Government hesitated to make the
call; the British in China considered it important that independent
action by Japan in that country should be precluded.

Acting on its own account on August 15th, the Japanese Government sent
the Shantung ultimatum to Germany. The British Government was then
informed of the action taken. The German representative at Peking
had discussed informally with the Foreign Office the possibility of
immediately returning Kiaochow directly to China; but the Chinese
Government was now pointedly warned by the Japanese that no such action
would be permitted.

The Chinese Government then also seriously considered the policy of
declaring war on Germany. It would have been as easy for the Chinese,
as for any one else, to take Kiaochow from the Germans, but Japan was
ready and anticipated them. In fact, the Japanese minister stated to
the Chinese Foreign Office on August 20th that the Kiaochow matter
no longer concerned the Chinese Government, which, he trusted, would
remain absolutely passive in regard to it. The ultimatum to Germany,
limited to August 23rd, demanded the delivery, at a date not later than
September 15th of the leased territory of Kiaochow to the Japanese
Government, "with a view to the eventual restoration of the same to
China."

Basing its action upon the language of this ultimatum, the American
Government on August 19th made a communication to the Japanese Foreign
Office, noting with satisfaction that Japan demanded the surrender of
Kiaochow with the purpose of restoring that tract to China, and that it
was seeking no territorial aggrandizement in China.

On my return to Peking on September 30th, I found the Chinese in a
state of natural excitement over the action taken by Japan. By this
time the Japanese had invested Tsingtau; the British, who had also
sent a contingent of troops, were kept by the Japanese in a very
subsidiary position. The scope of Japan's plans was more fully revealed
on September 29th, when the Chinese Government was informed that
"military necessity" required the Japanese Government to place troops
along the entire railway in Shantung Province. As this railway had
never had German military guards, and as the portion near Tsingtau was
already held by Japanese troops, the military necessity of such further
occupation was by no means apparent.

Mr. Liang Tun-yen, Minister of Communications, called on me on
October 1st, expressing deep concern over the action of the Japanese
in Shantung. He stated his conviction that, in departing from the
necessary military operations around Tsingtau, it was Japan's plan
to stir up trouble in the interior of China with a view to more
extensive occupation of Chinese territory. From Japanese sources he
had information to the effect that the Japanese militarists were
not satisfied with the reduction of Tsingtau, but wished to take
advantage of this opportunity to secure a solid footing--political
and military--within the interior of China. He was further informed
that they were ready to let loose large numbers of bandits and other
irresponsible persons to coöperate with revolutionary elements in an
attempt to create widespread uprisings, in order to furnish a pretext
for military interference. When I called attention to the declarations
regarding Kiaochow in Japan's ultimatum to Germany, the minister shook
his head and said: "Unfortunately, Japanese policy cannot be judged
by such professions, but only by the acts of the last twenty years,
which make up a series of broken pledges and attacks upon the rights of
China."

President Yuan Shih-kai had wished to see me; so I called on him
informally on October 2nd. In stronger terms than Minister Liang he
set forth his apprehensions. "From information in my possession,"
he stated, "I am convinced that the Japanese have a definite and
far-reaching plan for using the European crisis to further an attempt
to lap the foundations of control over China. In this, the control of
Shantung through the possession of the port and the railway is to be
the foundation stone. Their policy was made quite apparent through the
threatened occupation of the entire Shantung Railway, which goes far
beyond anything the Germans ever attempted in Shantung Province. It
will bring the Japanese military forces to the very heart of China."

Thereupon Yuan Shih-kai requested that I ask President Wilson to use
his good offices in conferring with the British Government, in order to
prevail upon Japan to restrict her action in Shantung to the military
necessities involved in the capture of Tsingtau, according to the
original assurances given the Chinese Government. I communicated this
request to the President through the Department of State.

With great promptness, however, the Japanese executed the plan they
had adopted. They informed the Chinese that, being judges of their own
military necessities, they would occupy the railway by _force majeure_
immediately, but would leave its administration in Chinese hands--with
the stipulation that Japanese conductors be placed on the trains. The
Chinese found no means to resist this arrangement.

Mr. Eki Hioki, successor of Minister Yamaza, had arrived during the
summer. He had for many years been minister in Chile, where I had met
him in 1910; remembering his genial and sociable qualities, I was happy
to renew this acquaintance. Mr. Hioki differed from his predecessor in
his readiness to talk freely and abundantly. In our first conversation,
when the relations between the United States and Japan came up, he
adduced the customary argument that as the United States was preventing
the Japanese from settling in America, we could not in fairness
object if Japan tried to develop her activities and influence on the
Asian continent. I could honestly assure him that American goodwill
did go out in full measure to any legitimate development of Japanese
enterprise and prosperity, but we also had duties toward our own
citizens, who had been active in Chinese trade for more than 130 years,
as well as toward China herself. We could not be expected to approve
any action which would not respect the rights of these.

The Chinese people were becoming more and more alarmed about Japan in
Shantung. The large number of petitions and manifestoes which came to
me, as the representative of a friendly nation, from various parts of
China, gave me an idea of how widespread was this anxiety. Some of
these protests were written with the blood of the petitioner.

Count Okuma's declaration, that a large increase in the military forces
of Japan was needed to preserve peace in the Far East, was interpreted
as meaning that Japan would take the present opportunity to make
good her actual domination throughout eastern Asia. The Chinese felt
that any understanding with Japan would inevitably lead to the total
subjection of China to the political dominance of her neighbour. They
distrust all professions of Japanese friendship. Whenever I tried to
argue that a frank understanding between China and Japan was desirable,
I was told that China could not trust Japan; that Japan must not
be judged by her professions, but by her past acts, all of which
show a determined policy of political advance veiled by reassuring
declarations.

Thus the Chinese feared Japanese intrigue at every point. They
believed that revolutionary activities, as in the past, were getting
encouragement from Japan. The Japanese were ready to take advantage
of and to aggravate any weakness which might exist in Chinese social
and political life. They would fasten like leeches upon any sore spot.
The tendency toward rebellion and brigandage, the counterfeiting of
banknotes, the corruption of officials, the undermining of the credit
of important private and public enterprises, the furnishing of more
dangerous drugs when opium was forbidden--in connection with such
mischiefs individual Japanese had been active to the great damage of
the Chinese. But though it would be unjust, of course, to charge up
this meddling to the Japanese nation as a whole the connivance of their
militarist government was a fact.

The British looked upon the new adventure of Japan with a decided lack
of enthusiasm. While welcoming the losses inflicted on their enemy in
war, they were evidently fearful of the results which might come from
Shantung.

It was plain that the Russians, too, while allied with Japan, were
quite aware of the dangers inherent in the Chinese situation. Taken
with recent Japanese advances in Inner Mongolia, a situation was
created in northern China which would be regarded as dangerous by the
Russians. Discussing the unrest in China, the Russian minister said to
me significantly: "The situation itself does not impress me as serious;
the only serious thing about it is that the Japanese say it is serious."

In fine, the general temper and direction of Japanese action was
not relished by the allies of Japan. Japan had taken advantage of a
conflict which was primarily European, into the rigour of which she did
not enter, for the purpose of gathering up the possessions of Germany
in the Far East and the Pacific at a time when they could be but
weakly defended.

This policy of Japan deeply affected American prospects and enterprise
in China, as, also, that of the other leading nations. Since the
American attitude of goodwill toward China had in the past been
understood by the Chinese to imply a readiness to give them a certain
support in times of need, large hopes were entertained as to what the
United States would do. Rich and powerful beyond measure, she would,
in the minds of the Chinese, help China to maintain her integrity,
independence, and sovereignty. Other nations, not a little jealous of
the past goodwill of the Chinese toward us, were not slow to point
out that American friendship was a bubble which vanished before such
concrete difficulties as the violation of China's neutrality. But
the Chinese, after all, saw that it did not lie within the sphere of
its action for the United States to come to the rescue with direct
political and military support. True, the Chinese had encouraged
American activities in China. They had looked upon them as a safeguard
to their own national life. Since they were conducted in a fair spirit
and without political afterthought, the Chinese did hope and expect
as a minimum that Americans would stand by their guns and not let
themselves be excluded by political intrigue or other means from their
share in the development and activities of China.



CHAPTER XII

THE FAMOUS TWENTY-ONE DEMANDS, 1915


"Japan is going to take advantage of this war to get control of China."
In these words President Yuan Shih-kai summed up the situation when I
made my first call on him after returning from Europe in September.
Many Chinese friends came to see me and tell me their fears. Admiral
Tsai said: "Here are the beginnings of another Manchuria. Aggressive
Japan in Shantung is different from any European tenant."

Events had moved rapidly. Tsingtau had been taken, German control had
been wholly eliminated from the leasehold and the railway. The Chinese
Government notified Japan that permission to use part of the Province
of Shantung for military operations would be withdrawn, since occasion
for it had disappeared. This the Japanese seized upon as a calculated
and malignant insult; it was made the excuse for presentation of the
demands.

The blow fell on January 18th. The Japanese minister sought a private
interview with Yuan Shih-kai. This meeting took place at night.
With a mien of great mystery and importance the minister opened
the discussion. He enjoined absolute secrecy on pain of serious
consequences before handing Yuan the text of the demands. He made
therewith an oral statement of the considerations which favoured the
granting of them.

The Chinese, fearing greater evils, did their best to guard the secret.
They could not, however, keep in complete ignorance those whose
interests would have been vitally affected; also memoranda of important
conversations had to be set down. As soon as I received the first
inkling of what was going on, I impressed it on the Chinese that, since
the subjects under discussion intimately affected American rights in
China, I should be kept fully informed in order that my government,
relying on the treaties and understandings concerning Chinese
independence, could take necessary steps to safeguard its interests.
The Chinese were of course ready to comply with my request. My
intercourse with Chinese cabinet ministers and Foreign Office members
was not confined to formal interviews and dinners. We exchanged many
visits during which we conversed far into the night, without wasting
time over formalities or official camouflage.

In the conversation in which he presented the twenty-one demands, the
Japanese minister dropped several significant hints.

The minister then spoke of the Chinese revolutionists "who have very
close relations with many Japanese outside of the Government, and
have means and influence"; further, "it may not be possible for the
Japanese Government to restrain such people from stirring up trouble
in China unless the Chinese Government shall give some positive proof
of friendship." The majority of the Japanese people, he continued,
were opposed to President Yuan Shih-kai. "They believe," he went on,
"that the President is strongly anti-Japanese, and that his government
befriends the distant countries (Europe and America) and antagonizes
the neighbour. If the President will now grant these demands, the
Japanese people will be convinced that his feeling is friendly, and it
will then be possible for the Japanese Government to give assistance to
President Yuan." Yuan sat silent throughout this ominous conversation.
The blow stunned him. He could only say: "You cannot expect me to say
anything to-night."

Quite aside from the substance of the twenty-one demands, the threats
and promises implied in this statement convinced the Chinese leaders
that Japan was contemplating a policy of extensive interference in the
domestic affairs and political controversies in China, making use of
these as a leverage to attain its own desires. The Chinese considered
it an ominous fact that the paper on which the demands were written was
watermarked with dreadnoughts and machine guns. They believed that the
use of this particular paper was not purely accidental. Such details
mean a good deal with people who are accustomed to say unpleasant
things by hints or suggestions rather than by direct statements.

A Japanese press reporter called at the Legation on January 19th, and
related his troubles to one of the secretaries. The Japanese minister
refused absolutely, he said, to say anything about what passed between
him and the President; therefore he had sought the American Legation,
which might have knowledge which could help him. With his assumed
naïveté the man possibly hoped to get a hint as to whether a "leak"
had occurred between the Chinese and the American minister. But it was
not until January 22nd that I learned the astonishing nature of the
Japanese proposals. Calling on one of the Chinese ministers on current
business, I found him perturbed. He finally confided to me, almost with
tears, that Japan had made categorical demands which, if conceded,
would destroy the independence of his country and reduce her to a
servile state. He then told me in general terms their nature, saying:
"Control of natural resources, finances, army! What will be left to
China! Our people are being punished for their peacefulness and sense
of justice." The blow evidently had come with stunning force, and the
counsellors of the President had not been able to overcome the first
terrified surprise, or to develop any idea as to how the crisis might
be met.

An ice festival was being given on the next evening at the American
guard skating rink. Mr. B. Lenox Simpson sought me out and accosted me
quite dramatically, with the words: "While we are gambolling here,
the sovereignty of the country is passing like a cloud to the east. It
is Korea over again." He had received accurate information as to the
general character of the demands. Two days later the representative of
the London _Times_, who had been out of town, asked me casually: "Has
anything happened?" "You may discover that something has happened," I
replied, "if you look about." That evening he returned to me with all
that he could gather.

Although these correspondents, as well as the Associated Press
representative, telegraphed the astounding news to their papers,
nothing was published for two weeks either in America or in England.
The Associated Press withheld the report because its truth was
categorically denied by the Japanese ambassador at Washington. Its
Peking representative was directed to send "facts, not rumours." On
January 27th it was given out "on the highest authority" both at Tokyo
and at Washington that information purporting to outline the basis of
negotiations was "absolutely without foundation." Only gradually the
truth dawned on the British and American press. The British censor had
held up the reports for a fortnight, but on February 5th Mr. Simpson
wrote me in a hasty note: "My editors are in communication with me, and
we have beaten the censors." From 25th January on, the demands began
to be discussed confidentially among members of the diplomatic corps
but publicly by the press in Peking. As the impossibility of keeping
the matter secret locally was now universally granted from this time
high Chinese officials consulted with me almost daily about their
difficulties. The acceptance of these demands, of course, would have
effectively put an end to the equal opportunities hitherto enjoyed in
China by American citizens; I therefore made it my duty to watch the
negotiations with great care.

The Japanese were avoiding any interference with the formal
"integrity, sovereignty, and independence" of China; they were
developing special interests, similar to those enjoyed by Japan in
Manchuria, in other parts of China as well, particularly in the
provinces of Shantung and Fukien. They could place the Chinese state
as a whole in vassalage, through exercising control over its military
establishment and over the most important parts of its administration.
There would be three centres from which Japanese influence would be
exercised--Manchuria, Shantung, and Fukien. Manchuria was to be made
more completely a reserved area for Japanese capital and colonization,
but with administrative control wielded through advisers and through
priority in the matter of loans. In Shantung, the interest formerly
belonging to Germany was to be taken over and expanded. A priority
of right in Fukien was demanded, both in investment and development;
this would effectively bar other nations and would assimilate this
province to Manchuria. The northern sphere of Japan was to be expanded
by including Inner Mongolia. From the Shantung sphere influence could
be made to radiate to the interior by means of railway extensions
to Honan and Shansi. Similarly, from the Fukien sphere, railway
concessions would carry Japanese influence into the provinces of
Kiangsi, Hupei, and Kwangtung. The Japanese interest already existing
in the Hanyehping iron and coal enterprise, which was a mortgage with
right to purchase pig iron at certain rates, was to be consolidated
into a Japanese-controlled company. Added to these was the significant
demand that outsiders be denied the right to work any mines in the
neighbourhood of those owned by the Hanyehping company without its
consent; nor were they to be permitted, lacking such consent, to carry
out any undertaking that might directly or indirectly affect the
interests of that company. This astonishing proposal sought to make the
Japanese concern the arbiter of industrial enterprise in the middle
Yangtse Valley.

Group V consisted of the sweeping demands which would have virtually
deprived the Chinese Government of the substance of control over
its own affairs. The employment of effective Japanese advisers in
political, financial, and military affairs; the joint Chino-Japanese
organization of the police forces in important places; the purchase
from Japan of a fixed amount of munitions of war--50 per cent. or more;
and the establishment of Chino-Japanese jointly worked arsenals, were
embraced in these demands. The latter involved effective control over
the armament and military organization of China.

So stunned was the Chinese Government by the Japanese stroke that it
missed its first opportunity. It might have immediately given notice to
the friendly Treaty Powers of the demands, which affected their equal
rights in China, as well as the administrative independence of the
Chinese Government.

A member of the Foreign Office consulted me about the best method
of dealing with the demands; I expressed the opinion--which was not
given by way of advice--that the detailed negotiation of individual
demands, with a view of granting only the least objectionable, would be
likely to give most force to considerations of equity. Time would be
gained; the other nations interested would come to realize what was at
stake. If certain liberal grants and concessions should be made, China
could then with greater force refuse to create rights and privileges
incompatible with her sovereignty. The situation would then be more
fully and clearly understood by foreign nations.

As the negotiations proceeded the Japanese minister hinted to the
Minister for Foreign Affairs that the Japanese public looked askance
at the present Chinese administration, because of the hostility
often demonstrated by Yuan Shih-kai; still, this feeling might be
conciliated. It might even be possible for the Japanese Government to
give President Yuan assistance against rebel activities. The sinister
quality of this hint was fully appreciated. It was at this point that
the Japanese minister used the simile which promptly became famous
throughout the Far East. He employed this picturesque language: "The
present crisis throughout the world virtually forces my government to
take far-reaching action. When there is a fire in a jeweller's shop,
the neighbours cannot be expected to refrain from helping themselves."

Notwithstanding powerful efforts on the part of Japan to enforce
silence by menacing China and by muzzling the press in Japan, accurate
information got abroad; whereupon the Japanese Government presented to
the powers an expurgated version of its demands, from which the more
objectionable articles were omitted. Later on, it was admitted that
the demands of Group V had been "discussed," and statements were again
issued on "the highest authority" that these so-called demands were
merely overtures or suggestions, which violated no treaty and involved
no infringement of Chinese territory and sovereignty. The Japanese
Legation in Peking asked local correspondents to send out a similar
statement, which, however, was refused by them, as the true nature of
the demands was already known.

The British, who had more extensive interests at stake than any other
foreign nation, had shown agitation. British residents and officials
expressed deep concern because their government, being necessarily
preoccupied with events in Europe, could not give full attention to
the Far East. As the action of Japan had been taken under the ægis
of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, it seemed to the British that this
was being used to nullify any influence which Great Britain might
exercise, as against a plan on the part of Japan to seize control of
the immense resources of China and of her military establishment.[2]
It was believed that some sort of communication relating to the demands
had been made to the British Foreign Office before January 18th. When
the expurgated summary came out, the _Times_ of London on February
12th published an editorial article describing Japan's proposals as
reasonable and worthy of acceptance; it was understood in Peking that
this approval related to the summary, not to the demands as actually
made. But the Chinese officials were apprehensive lest a ready
acquiescence of public opinion in the less obnoxious demands might
encourage Japan to press the more strongly for the whole list. As late
as February 19th, the State Department informed me that it inferred
that the demands under Group V were not being urged. The full text of
the actual demands as originally made had now been communicated to the
various foreign offices; but because of the discrepancy between the two
statements, they were inclined to believe that Japan was not really
urging the articles of Group V.

The Japanese minister had at first demanded the acceptance in
principle of the entire twenty-one proposals. This was declined by
the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs. When the Japanese asked
that Mr. Lu express a general opinion on each proposal, he readily
indicated which of them the Chinese Government considered as possible
subjects for negotiation. Forthwith the Japanese minister replied that
the expression of opinion by Minister Lu was unsatisfactory; that
negotiations could not continue unless it were radically modified. Mr.
Lu was evasive and Mr. Hioki on February 18th became more peremptory;
he informed Mr. Lu that the negotiations might not be confined to the
first four groups--that the whole twenty-one demands must be negotiated
upon.

Thereupon I telegraphed inviting President Wilson's personal attention
to the proposals which affected the rights and legitimate prospects of
Americans in China. The President had already written me in a letter of
February 8th: "I have had the feeling that any direct advice to China,
or direct intervention on her behalf in the present negotiations, would
really do her more harm than good, inasmuch as it would very likely
provoke the jealousy and excite the hostility of Japan, which would
first be manifested against China herself.... For the present I am
watching the situation very carefully indeed, ready to step in at any
point where it is wise to do so."

Shantung was first taken up in the negotiations. The negotiators
were: the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lu Tseng-tsiang;
the vice-minister, Mr. Tsao Ju-lin; the Japanese minister, Mr. Eki
Hioki; and Mr. Obata, Counsellor of Legation. Vice-Minister Tsao had
been educated in Japan, and was generally considered as friendly to
that country. The Japanese minister, genial in manner and insistent
in business, was aided by a counsellor noted for tenacity of purpose
and for a grim dourness. Point by point the demands on Shantung and
Manchuria were sifted. By the preamble to Group II, in the original
version, Japan claimed a "special position" in south Manchuria and
in eastern Inner Mongolia. The Chinese took decided objection. The
Japanese minister complained on March 6th of slow progress, giving
thenceforward frequent hints that force might be resorted to. Finally,
on March 11th, the Chinese were informed that a Japanese fleet had
sailed for ports in China under sealed orders.

After agreeing to important concessions in Manchuria and Shantung,
the Chinese determined to resist further demands. Just here the
American Government gave the Japanese ambassador at Washington its
opinion that certain clauses in the demands contravened existing treaty
provisions. For the Japanese ambassador had offered a supplementary
memorandum which substantially gave the proposals of Group V as
"requests for friendly consideration." They were "mere suggestions" to
the Chinese! This method of disarming foreign opposition imposed one
disadvantage--it would hereafter hardly do actually to use military
force to coerce China into accepting the "friendly suggestions"
contained in Group V. The only chance of getting these concessions
was to keep the other governments in uncertainty as to the actual
demands, that they might not take them seriously, and meanwhile to
bring pressure to bear in order to force Peking to accept these very
proposals. The Chinese would feel themselves abandoned by the public
opinion of the world.

The Japanese increased their military forces in Manchuria and Shantung
during the second half of March; for a time the movement stopped the
ordinary traffic on the Shantung Railway.

The new troops were "merely to relieve those now stationed in
Chinese territory," it was stated. Military compulsion was clearly
foreshadowed; and thus beset, the Chinese had by the end of March
almost entirely accepted the Japanese demands in Shantung and
Manchuria. I had a long interview with President Yuan Shih-kai on March
23rd. He seemed greatly worried but was still good-humoured. He said:
"The buzzing gnats disturb my sleep, but they have not yet carried
off my rice. So I can live." Then growing serious he went on: "I am
prepared to make all possible concessions. But they must not diminish
Chinese independence. Japan's acts may force upon me a different
policy."

I wondered whether he was actually contemplating armed resistance.
"Against any action taken by Japan, America will not protest, so
the Japanese officials tell us. But the Japanese have often tried
to discourage the Chinese by such statements," he added. "They say:
'America has no interest in the Chinese'; or, 'America cannot help you
even if she wishes to.'"

Yuan felt that if America could only say, gently but firmly: "Such
matters concerning foreign rights in China, in which we have an
interest by treaties, policy, and traditions, cannot be discussed
without our participation," the danger would largely dissolve.

Certain possible solutions were now suggested by the Department of
State. They aimed to bestow desired benefits on Japan, but also to
protect China and the interests of other nations in China. Personally,
I felt that the demands of Group V should be wholly eliminated. Any
version of them would tangle, would more inextricably snarl, the
already complicated relationships of foreign powers in China, and choke
all constructive American action.

The Japanese demands respecting Manchuria were substantially complied
with during early April; and the Chinese thought this part of the
negotiations closed. Not so the Japanese; they manoeuvred to keep
open the Manchurian question on points of detail. Meanwhile, they
persistently injected Group V into the negotiations.

For over two months the negotiations had now gone on with two or three
long conferences every week. The furnishing of war materials, Fukien
Province, and pointed references to a "certain power"--meaning the
United States--occupied the Japanese part of the discussion on April
6th. The Japanese minister was strikingly peremptory in manner. Because
of the pretensions of this "certain power" he must insist on the
demands regarding harbours and dockyards. Control, direct or indirect,
of any naval base in Fukien must be frustrated, for the sake both of
China and of Japan. The present American administration might withdraw
its "pretensions"; but what if they should be resumed in future? The
only safe course was to exclude this power from any possibility of
getting such a foothold. Meanwhile, local Japanese-edited papers harped
upon the great influence which Ambassador Chinda was alleged to wield
over Secretary Bryan. It would be futile to hope, they insisted, that
America might in any way assert herself in support of China.

At this time I informed the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs that
should the attitude or policy of the United States be mentioned by any
foreign representative, and should statements be made as to what the
American Government would or would not admit, demand, or insist upon,
the Chinese Government would be more than justified in taking up such a
matter directly with the representative of the United States, through
whom alone authoritative statements as to the action of his government
could be made.

The American Government had filed with the Japanese strong objections
to the granting of any special preference to any one nation in Fukien.
It had also emphasized the right of its citizens to make contracts with
the central and provincial Chinese governments, without interference
and without being regarded as unfriendly by a third power. So far as
harbours and naval bases were concerned, as stated previously, the
American Government did not object to any arrangement whereby China
would withhold such concessions _from any and all_ foreign powers. But
Japan needed to allege some reason for making special demands with
respect to Fukien; therefore it alleged the machinations of a "certain
power."

No cause for apprehension existed. The talk of "pretensions" related to
the Bethlehem Steel Company's contract, made five years earlier, which
did not, however, touch Fukien, although a spurious version of the
contract, circulated in Peking shortly before, gave this impression.
An unfounded report spread by interested parties was thus made the
basis for a demand against the Chinese Government.

Meanwhile, what the Japanese had put forth for foreign consumption
in the way of news was being compared with what was actually done
in Peking. This annoyed the Japanese press, not so much because its
government had been caught in the act of trying to mislead its own
allies, as because timely publicity and strong public opinion abroad
were defeating the attempt to impose its demands on the Chinese. The
Chinese relied on public opinion. It was their great desire, as they
often said to me, that although the American people and its government
might not furnish material assistance it should at least know the
facts about the attack made on Chinese liberty; for they saw in the
public opinion of the world, and especially of the United States, the
force which would ultimately prevail. Even with Yuan Shih-kai, man of
authority though he was, this hope existed. Mr. Lu, the Minister for
Foreign Affairs, said to me: "All that China hopes is that America and
the world may know and judge."

Finally the _Japan Mail_, a semi-official Tokyo paper, published on
April 1st the full text of the Japanese demands in English. Thus was
admitted as a matter of course what had been categorically denied upon
"the highest authority." While the secret negotiations were going
on there was a byplay on the part of many official and non-official
Japanese, who were evidently trying to create an atmosphere of
antagonism to the Western nations. I received daily reports of
conversations in private interviews, at dinners, and on semi-public
occasions, in which Japanese were reminding the Chinese of all possible
grievances against the West, and picturing to them the strength and
importance that a Chino-Japanese alliance would have. Thus it was said
many times: "Think of all the places from which we are at present
excluded. Should we stand together, who could close the door in our
face?" Or again: "Are you not weary of the domineering attitude of the
foreign ministers in Peking? They do not pound the table in Tokyo. They
would be sent home if they did." It was constantly repeated that all
would be well if only China would let Japan reorganize her material and
military resources. Visions of millions under arms, splendidly drilled
and equipped--an invincible Chinese army officered by Japanese--were
conjured up. To all such siren songs, however, the Chinese remained
deaf.

A complete deadlock developed toward the end of April. The Chinese
desired to dispose of the grants concerning Manchuria. The Japanese
would not agree to anything definite without including the demands
under Group V. As a prelude to an ultimatum, the Japanese minister on
April 26th presented "demands" with respect to Shantung and Mongolia,
unchanged except for the wording of the preamble; this substituted
the term "economic relations" for "special position." With respect to
Hanyehping, they were softened to provide that the Chinese might not
convert the company into a state-owned concern, nor cause it to borrow
foreign capital other than Japanese. Certain railway concessions were
to be granted, and the most important demands under Group V were to be
embodied into a protocol statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Lu pointed out that the railway grants sought conflicted with the
concessions already given to British interests; Mr. Hioki then proposed
that China grant these same concessions to Japan, letting Japan "fight
it out" with Great Britain. With respect to Fukien, China was to state,
in an exchange of notes, that no foreign nation might build dockyards
or naval bases there, nor should foreign capital be borrowed for that
purpose. Japan, therefore, abandoned her attempt to secure preferential
rights in Fukien Province.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs handed his answer to the Japanese
minister on May 1st. The demands under Group V, Mr. Hioki was
informed, could not possibly be accepted by a sovereign power. With
respect to the other demands, a specific answer was given very closely
approaching acceptance of the demands as revised by Japan. No railway
concessions were made, however, and it included certain technical
modifications with respect to the Manchurian demands. Everything asked
with respect to Shantung was granted, with the counter-proposal that
China take part in the negotiations between Japan and Germany.

This was conciliatory; nevertheless, the Japanese were moving their
troops. Everything indicated extreme measures. Japan's reservists in
Mukden had been ordered to their station, Japanese residents in Peking
were warned to hold themselves ready. At Tsinanfu, new entrenchments
were being built. When it was known that an ultimatum would be
delivered, the Chinese officials were perplexed and undecided. Should
they await its delivery, or try to placate the Japanese by further
concessions? The Chinese find it hard to obey a demand backed by
force; they are used to arrangements based on persuasion, reason, and
custom. To submit to positive foreign dictation would be the greatest
conceivable _diminutio capitis_ for the Government. Chinese officials
visited me frequently. They seemed comforted in discussing their
difficulties and fears. I could not, of course, give them advice, but
I expressed my personal conviction that Japan could hardly find it
feasible to include Group V--which she had explained to the powers as
suggestions of friendship--in an ultimatum.

The position of the American minister throughout these negotiations had
not been easy. The United States was the only power that had its hands
free. The Chinese expected its resentment and strong opposition to any
arrangements conflicting with Chinese independence and the equal rights
of Americans in China. I could reiterate our repeated declarations of
policy and allow the Chinese to draw their own conclusions as to how
far our national interests were involved. But when the minister I saw
most frequently would ask: "But what will you do to maintain these
rights you have so often asserted?" I had to be particularly careful
not to express my own judgment as to what our course of action should
be, in order not to arouse any hopes among the Chinese as to what my
government would do. Instructions had been slow in coming.

It was my personal opinion that America had a sufficiently vital
interest to insist on being consulted on every phase of these
negotiations. The Chinese had hoped that America might lead Great
Britain and France in a united, friendly, but positive insistence
that the demands be settled only by common consent of all the powers
concerned. But the situation was complex. The state of Europe was
critical. The most I could do, and the least I owed the Chinese, was
to give a sympathetic hearing to whatever they wished to discuss with
me, and to give them my carefully weighed opinion. Our own national
interests were closely involved. It was my positive duty to keep close
watch of what was going on. While not taking the responsibility of
giving advice to the Chinese, I could give them an idea as to how the
tactical situation, as it developed from week to week, impressed me.
Dr. Wellington Koo all through this time acted as liaison officer
between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and myself, although I also
saw many other members of the Ministry. In discussing the consecutive
phases of the negotiations, as they developed, Doctor Koo and I had
many interesting hours over diplomatic tactics and analysis, in which
I admired his keenness of perception. Some objection was hinted by the
Japanese Legation to Doctor Koo's frequent visits to my office and
house, but his coming and going continued, as was proper.

Councils were held daily at the President's residence from May 1st on.
Informally, the ministers of the Entente Powers advised the Chinese
not to attempt armed resistance to Japan; I believe the Government
never seriously contemplated this, although some military leaders
talked about it. Indeed, violent scenes took place in the Council;
it was urged that submission would mean national disintegration. It
would rob the Government of all authority and public support, while
resistance would rally the nation. The advance of Japan might be
obstructed until the end of the Great War; then European help would
come. They pressed the President with arguments that Japan might,
indeed, occupy larger parts of China; but this would not create rights,
it would expose Japan to universal condemnation. However, in the
existing circumstances of World War, the Government feared that to defy
Japan would mean dismemberment for China.

Then President Yuan Shih-kai and the Foreign Office made their mistake.
They were panic-stricken at thought of an ultimatum. They were ready to
throw tactical advantage to the winds. Losing sight of the advantage
held by China in opposing the demands of Group V, they offered
concessions on points contained therein, particularly in connection
with the employment of advisers.

But when the Foreign Office emissary came to the Japanese Legation with
these additional proposals and the Japanese minister saw how far the
Chinese could be driven, he stated calmly that the last instructions
of his government left no alternative; the ultimatum would have to be
presented. This was done on May 7th at three o'clock in the afternoon.

The Chinese might have foreseen that the demands of Group V would not
be included in the ultimatum. Nevertheless, they were astonished at
their omission, and annoyed at unnecessarily committing themselves
the day before. At first sight, the terms of the ultimatum seemed to
dispose of these ominous demands. In the first sense of their relief
from a long strain, the Chinese understood the stipulation of the
ultimatum that "the demands of Group V will be detached from the
present negotiations, and discussed separately in the future," as an
adroit way of abandoning these troublesome questions. They were soon
to learn that their hopes were not in accord with the ideas of the
Japanese.

Why, when the Chinese were virtually ready to agree to all the demands
actually included in the ultimatum, should the Japanese not have
accepted the concessions, even if they fell slightly short of what
was asked? Thus they would avoid the odium of having threatened a
friendly government with force; a matter which, furthermore, would in
its nature tend to weaken the legal and equitable force of the rights
to be acquired. The Japanese made two fundamental mistakes. The first
was in their disingenuous denials and misrepresentation of the true
character of the demands; the second, in the actual use of an ultimatum
threatening force. That these mistakes were serious is now quite
generally recognized in Japan. Why they were made in the first place is
more difficult to explain.

Possibly, in the light of subsequent events, when Yuan Shih-kai
realized that he must unavoidably make extensive concessions, he may
have sought a certain _quid pro quo_ in the form of Japanese support
for his personal ambitions. This would accord with the hint dropped by
the Japanese minister at the beginning of the negotiations. If this
explanation be correct, one might possibly understand that Yuan himself
in his inmost thought preferred that he should be forced to accept
these demands through an ultimatum. The possibility of such motives may
have to be considered, yet from my knowledge of the negotiations from
beginning to end, I must consider utterly fanciful the charge made by
Yuan's enemies that it was he who originally conceived the idea of the
twenty-one demands, in order that he might secure Japanese support for
his subsequent policies and ambitions.

A reason for the harsh measure of the Japanese Government is
admissible. The Japanese may have feared that public opinion throughout
the world, which was disapproving the character and scope of these
negotiations, would encourage the Chinese to hold out in matters of
detail and gradually to raise new difficulties. Moreover, the men who
wielded the power of Japan were believers in military prestige and
may have expected good results from basing their new rights in China
directly on military power.

The ultimatum gave the Chinese Government a little over forty-eight
hours, that is, until 6 P.M. on May 9th, for an answer. On May 8th, the
cabinet and Council of State met in a session which lasted nearly all
day, finally deciding that the ultimatum must be accepted in view of
the military threats of Japan.

In their reply to the ultimatum a serious tactical mistake was made.
I had been informed that it would be accepted in simple and brief
language; that the Chinese Government would say it had made certain
grants to the Japanese, which would be enumerated, making no mention
of Group V. Toward evening of the 9th a member of the Foreign Office
came to me, quite agitated, saying that the Japanese Legation insisted
that the demands of Group V be specifically reserved for future
discussion. "What form," I asked, "has the Chinese answer taken?"
"This," he replied: "'The Chinese Government, etc., hereby accepts,
with the exception of the five articles of Group V, all the articles
of Group I, etc.' But," he added, "when the draft was submitted to the
Japanese Legation, they insisted that after the words 'Group V' there
be added the clause 'which are postponed for later negotiation.'" It
had been thought necessary, my visitor explained, to state in the
reply that something had been refused, in order to save the face of
the Government. But it is perfectly plain that if Group V had not been
mentioned at all, the Japanese would have found it hard to insist upon
its being kept open; for it could not be avowed before other nations as
part of the matter covered by the ultimatum. As it was, the demands in
Group V were given the character of unfinished business, to be taken up
at a future date. Thus portentously, they continued to hang over the
heads of the Chinese.

Partly in an exchange of notes, partly in a convention, the concessions
exacted through the ultimatum were granted. None of these was ever
ratified by the parliamentary body, as the Constitution requires.
Because of their origin and of this lack of proper ratification, the
Chinese people have looked upon the agreements of 1915 as invalid.

The State Department had cabled on May 6th counselling patience and
mutual forbearance to both governments. The advice was needed by Japan,
but the instructions came too late; the ultimatum had been presented. I
should have found that its delivery would have seemed like whispering a
gentle admonition through the keyhole after the door had been slammed
to.

The Department cabled on May 11th an identical note to both
governments, which I delivered to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on
the 13th. It was published in the Peking papers on the 24th, together
with a telegram from Tokyo asserting "on the highest authority" that
the report of the existence of such a note was only another instance of
machinations designed to cause political friction.

When he received the note Minister Lu said that he had tried throughout
to safeguard the treaty rights of other nations, with which China's
own rights were bound up. To a question from him I replied that
the American Government was not now protesting against any special
proposal, but insisted that the rights referred to in the note be given
complete protection in the definitive provisions of the Treaty. The
newly acquired privileges of the Japanese in Manchuria were touched on
in the conversation; I pointed out that any rights of residence granted
to the Japanese, by operation of the most-favoured-nation clause, would
accrue in like terms to all other nations having treaties with China;
they ought to be informed, therefore, of all the terms of the agreement
affecting such rights. On May 15th the Department confirmed this view
by cabled instructions, which I followed with a formal note to the
Minister for Foreign Affairs.

It appeared that the Chinese Government was comforted by an expression
in which the United States in clear terms reasserted its adhesion to
the fundamental principles of American policy in the Far East.

So ended the famous negotiations of the Twenty-one Demands. Japan
had gained from the unrepresentative authorities at Peking certain
far-reaching concessions. But in China the people, as an anciently
organized society, are vastly more important than any political
government. The people of China had not consented.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 2: For instance, Putnam Weale wrote: "Though Englishmen
believe that the gallant Japanese are entitled to a recompense just
as much now as they were in 1905 for what they have done, Englishmen
do not and cannot subscribe to the doctrine that Japan is to dominate
China by extorting a whole ring-fence of industrial concessions and
administrative privileges which will ultimately shut out even allies
from obtaining equal opportunities.... In China, though they are
willing to be reduced to second place and even driven out by fair
competition, they will fight in a way your correspondents do not yet
dream of to secure that no diplomacy of the jiujitsu order injures them
or their Chinese friends."]



CHAPTER XIII

GETTING TOGETHER


There arrived in Peking in the fall of 1915 the members of a commission
sent by the Rockefeller Foundation, to formulate definite plans for a
great scientific and educational enterprise in China. They were Dr.
Simon Flexner, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, of
New York; Dr. George A. Welch, of Johns Hopkins University; and Doctor
Buttrick, the secretary of the Foundation. By early September, 1919,
the cornerstone of the Rockefeller Hospital and Medical School in
Peking had been laid.

The China Medical Board had acquired the palace of a Manchu prince.
When their plans were first being formulated, the owner had just died,
and this magnificent property could have been bought for $75,000 Mex.
I cabled to New York at the time, advising quick action, but the
organization had not been sufficiently completed to make the purchase.
When, four months later, they were ready to buy, the price had risen
to $250,000. The fact that a rich institution desired to acquire the
property had undoubtedly helped to enhance the price; but real property
was then so rapidly rising in value all over Peking, especially in
central locations, that the price asked, as a matter of fact, was not
excessive, and a similar site could not have been secured for less.
A still further increase of values throughout the central portion of
the city was soon recorded; in fact, in many localities of China land
values have risen after the manner of an American boom town.

The stately halls of the palace had been dismantled and torn down
because they did not suit the uses of the hospital. The materials
recovered, however, were in themselves of great value. The Board had
decided, in consonance with the judgment of the architects, that
the Chinese style of architecture should be used, modified only
sufficiently to answer the modern purpose of the buildings.

We gathered on a sunny day of early September, when the air of Peking
has the fresh balminess of spring, to dedicate the cornerstone of the
first building to be erected. Admiral Knight, who was visiting us at
the time, accompanied me. Mr. Alston, the British chargé; Dr. Frank
Billings, who had just returned from Russia where he had been chairman
of the American Red Cross; and other representatives of the American
and British community were present, together with many Chinese. Mr. Fan
Yuen-lin, Minister of Education, represented the Chinese Government,
and Bishop Norris, of the Anglican Church, offered prayer. I made a
brief address in which I paid tribute to the achievements of American
and British medical missionaries, and expressed my high idea of the
value and significance, for science and human welfare, of the great
institution here to be established.

Incidentally, it had seemed to me--and I so expressed to Doctors Welch
and Flexner during their visit--that much of value might be found in
the Chinese _materia medica_. In my own experience there had been so
many instances where relief had been afforded in apparently hopeless
cases that I thought it worthy of special study. For example, a new
chauffeur whom I had engaged accompanied my old chauffeur in the
machine one day; as he jumped out, his arm was caught between the door
and a telegraph pole and crushed. We immediately had him taken to the
hospital, where the doctors decided that only an immediate operation
afforded any prospect of saving his arm, and that even a successful
operation was doubtful. I was told that evening that his mother had
taken the young man away, notwithstanding the entreaties of our Chinese
legation personnel. We gave him up for lost. But within six weeks he
reported for his position, only admitting: "My arm is still a little
weak." A Chinese doctor had cured him with poultices.

Similar cases often came to my attention. Mr. Chow Tzu-chi had
frequently suffered severely from rheumatism. He had tried every
scientific remedy without avail. One day I was glad to find him chipper
and in fine spirits. He said, "I am cured"; and he told me that a
Chinese doctor had fixed golden needles in different parts of his
body. Within a day his pains had disappeared. The empirical knowledge
accumulated by Chinese doctors through thousands of years may be worth
something.

In their hours of leisure from the scientific tasks of their mission,
the members of the Rockefeller board saw much of Chinese life on
the lighter as well as its more serious side. One evening we went
together to a Chinese restaurant where we met some native friends and
had an excellent dinner, of the best that Peking cooking affords. The
American guests were delighted with the turmoil in the courts of a
Peking restaurant. We were entertained after dinner by a well-known
prestidigitator. This man often performs in Peking, where he is
known among foreigners by the name of Ega Lang Tang. These words
mean nothing, being only an arbitrary formula which he uses in his
incantations. His tricks, many and astounding, culminate when, after
turning a somersault, he suddenly produces out of nothing a glass bowl
as large as a washtub two feet in diameter filled with water in which
shoals of fish are gaily swimming about.

In another way American initiative of an educational nature was
welcomed in Peking. Among officials and literary men were many who were
interested in the scientific study of economic and political subjects.
With them and with American and European friends I had often discussed
the desirability of establishing an association devoted to such work.
The old literary learning which had up to a very recent time organized
and given cohesion to Chinese intellectual life had largely lost its
power to satisfy men, whereas the scientific learning of the West
had not yet become sufficiently strong to act as the chief bond of
intellectual fellowship.

As all political and social action, and all systematic effort in
industry and commerce, depend on intellectual forces, it is evident
that disorganization and confusion would soon threaten Chinese life
unless centres were formed in which the old could be brought into
harmonious and organic relationship with the new, so as to focus
intellectual effort. Such centres would wield great influence.

With the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lu Tsen-tsiang, and a number
of other friends who were equally impressed with the need for such a
centre of thought and discussion, we decided in November, 1917, to take
steps toward forming a Chinese Social and Political Science Association.

The first meeting was held at the residence of the Minister for Foreign
Affairs on December 5, 1915, when plans were discussed. In an address
which I made on this occasion I expressed my idea of the significance
of the society as follows:

"The founding of the Society is an indication of the entry of China
into full coöperation in modern scientific work. This initial step
foreshadows a continuous effort through which the experience and
knowledge of China will be made scientifically available to the world
at large. The voice of China will be heard, her experience considered,
and her institutions understood by the world at large; she will be
represented in the scientific councils. At home the work of such an
association, if successful, should result in a clearer conception of
national character and destiny. The knowledge gained by its work would
be of great value in constructive administrative reform. But its
greatest service would lie in the manner in which it would contribute
to a more deep and more definite national self-consciousness...."

Virtually all the Chinese officials, of modern education, as well as
many teachers and publicists, interested themselves in the new society.
The idea was supported by men of all nations; alongside of Americans
like Doctor Goodnow, Doctors W.W. and W.F. Willoughby, and Dr. Henry
C. Adams, were the British, Dr. George Morrison, Sir Robert Bredon,
Professor Bevan, and Mr. B. Lenox Simpson; the French, M. Mazot and
M. Padoux; the Russians, M. Konovalov and Baron Staël-Holstein; and
the Japanese, Professor Ariga. The society thereafter held regular
meetings, at which valuable addresses and discussions were given; it
published a quarterly review, and it established the first library in
Peking for the use of officials, students, and the public in general.

Through the assistance of the Prime Minister, Mr. Hsu Hsi-chang, a
portion of the Imperial City was set aside for use by the library--a
centrally situated enclosure, called the Court of the Guardian
Gods. This had been used as a depository for all the paraphernalia
of Imperial ceremonies, such as lanterns, banners, emblems, state
carriages, and catafalques. When I first visited it, large stores of
these objects still remained. They were not of a substantial kind, but
such as are constructed or made over specially for each occasion; and,
while they were quite interesting, they had no intrinsic value. That
the officials and the Imperial Family should combine to set aside so
valuable an area for a modern scientific purpose was an indication that
China is moving.

Attached to the French Legation was the brilliant sinologist Paul
Pelliot, whose explorations in Turkestan had secured such great
treasures for the French museums and the Bibliothèque Nationale.
Though he acted officially as military attaché, M. Pelliot really had a
far broader function, being liaison officer between French and Chinese
culture.

Before the war the Germans had an educational attaché. On account of
the close relationship between Chinese and American education through
the thousands of American returned students, I strongly urged the
appointment of an attaché who could give his attention to educational
affairs. I was so pressed with other business that hundreds of
invitations to address educational bodies throughout China had to go
unaccepted. If there had been an assistant who could have met the
Chinese on these occasions, he could have been exceedingly helpful to
them. But I was told from Washington that there was no provision for an
attaché with such functions.

The intimate feeling of coöperation between the British and American
communities expressed itself in many meetings, in some of which the
Chinese, too, participated. Thus, on December 8, 1917, there was held a
reception of the English-speaking returned students. The Minister for
Foreign Affairs; a number of his counsellors; the British minister, Sir
John Jordan, and his staff; the American Legation; the missionaries;
all who had received their education in the United States or Great
Britain, were here present. It was a large company that gathered in the
hall of the Y.M.C.A., including a great many Chinese women.

The hum of the preliminary conversation was suddenly interrupted by
a loud voice issuing from a young man who had hoisted himself on a
chair in the centre of the room. He proceeded to give directions for
the systematic promotion of sociability and conversation. The Chinese
guests were to join hands and form a circle around the room, facing
inward; within that circle the British and American guests were to
join hands, forming a circle facing outward. At the given word the
outer circle was to revolve to the right, the inner circle to the
left. At the word "halt," everyone was to engage his or her vis-à-vis
in conversation. To eliminate every risk of stalemate, the topics for
conversation were given out, one for each stop of the revolving line,
the last being: "My Greatest Secret."

The young man who proposed this thoroughly American system of breaking
the ice had just come out from Wisconsin, and it was his business to
secure the proper mixing in miscellaneous gatherings. The British
seemed at first somewhat aghast at the prospect of this rotary and
perambulatory conversation; yet they quite readily fell in with the
idea, and when the first word of halt was given, I noticed Sir John
duly making conversation with a simpering little Chinese girl opposite
him.

A little later, in December, there was formed an Anglo-American
Club, which celebrated its début with a dinner at the Hotel of Four
Nations. This was the beginning of the closest relationship that has
ever existed between the Americans and British in the Far East. In my
brief speech I expressed my genuine feeling of satisfaction that this
coöperation should have come about.

My relations with educational authorities and activities in Peking were
most pleasant. When Commencement was celebrated at Peking University
I had the distinction of an honorary LL.D. conferred upon me. This
courtesy was performed in a very graceful manner by Doctor Lowry, my
wise and experienced friend, under whose presidency this institution
had been built up from small beginnings. I was so interested in the
promise of this American university in the capital of China that
I consented to act as a member of the Board, and I had interested
myself in its development as far as my official duties would permit.
To my great satisfaction, the university had at this time become
interdenominational, representing four of the Christian mission
societies active in China. A liberal spirit pervaded the university,
inspiring its members with a desire to serve China by spreading the
light of learning, without narrow denominational limitations, relying
on Christian spirit and character to exert its influence without undue
insistence on dogma. By a pleasant coincidence, I on that very date
received a cablegram telling me that my alma mater, the University of
Wisconsin, had also given me the honorary LL.D.

An opportunity for general meetings of Americans and British,
including, also, other residents of Peking, interested in things of the
mind, was afforded by a lecture course arranged by the Peking Language
School. I opened the course with an address on the conservation of
the artistic past of China, which was given at the residence of the
British minister. Sir John Jordan in his introductory remarks said
that the time was at hand when foreigners residing in China would take
a far deeper and more intimate interest in Chinese civilization than
they had done before. I spoke of the danger of losing the expertness
and the creative impulse of Chinese art and of the readiness it had
always shown in the past to develop new forms, methods, and beauties.
Subsequent lectures were given alternately at my residence and at the
theatre of the British Legation, and the entire course emphasized our
common interest in Chinese civilization.

During the height of the student movement in 1919 the Peking police
closed the offices of the _Yi Shih Pao_ (Social Welfare), a liberal
paper in Peking. The paper had made itself disliked by publishing news
of the Japanese negotiations and criticizing the militarist faction.
A number of Americans had previously interested themselves in the
paper, because of its liberal tendencies and because of its devotion to
social welfare work; they proposed to take it over, but the transfer
had not yet been carried out. The Chinese editor of the paper appealed
to me to assist him in the liberation of an associate who had been
imprisoned. As no legal American interest at the time existed in the
paper, however, it was not possible to use my good offices in its
behalf, although I had at all times made the Chinese officials know
that the suppression of free speech in the press was a very undesirable
procedure. The suppression of the _Yi Shih Pao_ was a result of the
desire of the reactionary faction in Peking to choke every expression
favourable to the national movement; they had been encouraged to
imitate the stringent press regulations of Japan.

Later on the Americans completed their purchase of the _Yi Shih Pao_.
The question as to how far American protection should be extended over
newspapers printed in Chinese, but owned by Americans, then came up
for decision. As Americans had become interested in the _bona fide_
enterprise of publishing newspapers in Chinese, it was not apparent
how such protection as is given to others for their legitimate
interests could be refused in this case. I therefore recommended to
the Department of State that no distinction be made against such
enterprises, and several vernacular papers were subsequently registered
in American consulates.

When I told the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs that American
registry had been given the _Yi Shih Pao_, I informed him of the
character of the American press laws, under which newspapers are in
normal times entirely free from censorship, but are responsible in
law for any misstatements of fact injurious to individuals. Many of
the reactionary officials had persistently opposed the idea of having
American-registered vernacular papers in China. But, manifestly, they
could not make any valid protest against such an arrangement. In fact,
we never had any expression of official displeasure; on the contrary,
nothing could have been more welcome to the people of China and to the
great majority of officials than to know that vernacular papers were to
be published in China by Americans.

The publication in Peking of news from abroad was much facilitated
by wireless. Early in 1919 I entertained at lunch several American
newspapermen, with whom I had a conference on the press and news
situation in the Far East. They were Mr. Fleisher, of the _Japan
Advertiser_; Mr. McClatchey, of the _Sacramento Bee_; Mr. Sharkey, of
the Associated Press; and Mr. Carl Crow, representative of the American
Committee on Public Information. Mr. Walter Rogers, an expert in this
matter, had been in Peking shortly before.

The great difficulty with which we were confronted in any attempt to
develop the news service between China and the United States was the
expense of telegraphing by cable, which made it impossible to transmit
an adequate news service. We were therefore all agreed that it was
essential to use the wireless and that every effort should be made for
arrangements whereby the wireless system of the American Government
would carry news messages at a reasonable rate.

The importance of a direct news service was demonstrated during the
war, when under an arrangement by the Committee on Public Information
a budget of news was sent by wireless daily to the Far East. For
the first time in history had there been anything approaching a
fairly complete statement of what was going on in the United States.
The service of news of the Peace Conference was also particularly
appreciated by everybody in China. China had never been so close to
Europe before.

The only agency supplying news in China is Reuter's. Its news budget
is made up in London. It proceeds to Spain, Morocco, and down the west
coast of Africa to the Cape; thence up the east coast of Egypt, Persia,
India, and Ceylon. At each of the main stations on the way items of
only local interest there are withdrawn. What is left at Ceylon as of
interest to the Far East is sent on to Singapore and Hong-Kong, as well
as by another route to Australia. It is quite natural that with such
a source and such a routing, this service should carry next to nothing
about America. I once had it observed for a whole month in June, 1916,
when the only American item carried was that Mr. Bryan had shed tears
at the National Democratic Convention!



CHAPTER XIV

WAR DAYS IN PEKING


During my first absence in America Mr. Peck had been appointed consul
at Tsingtau, and Dr. Charles D. Tenney had been sent as his successor.
My predecessor, Mr. W.J. Calhoun, in a letter concerning Doctor
Tenney, bore witness to his unusual acquaintanceship with the Chinese
and knowledge of Chinese affairs. Speaking of Doctor Tenney's joy in
returning to China, Mr. Calhoun remarked: "There is a strange thing
about foreigners who have lived very long in China: they never seem to
be contented anywhere else. They are apparently bitten by some kind
of bug which infuses a virus into their blood, and makes life in that
country the only thing endurable."

Existence of a state of war deeply affected social life in Peking.
The mutual enemies could, of course, not see each other. Their social
movements, therefore, were considerably restricted. The neutrals,
however, having relations with both sides, were if anything more
busy socially than at other times. Dinners had to be given in sets,
one for the Entente Allies, the other for the Central Powers. The
Austrian minister decided that as his country was at war and his
people were suffering, he would not accept any dinner invitations at
all, except for small parties _en famille_. The other representatives
of belligerent powers kept up their social life on a reduced scale.
Dancing was gradually restricted, and finally passed out almost
entirely.

Mr. Rockhill had died at Honolulu in December, 1914. He had been
retained by President Yuan as his personal adviser, and was returning
to China from a brief visit to the United States. I felt the loss of a
man of such unusual ability and experience, to whom China had been the
most interesting country in the world. In all the difficulties which
followed, his advice would have been of great value to the Chinese
President and Government.

The report of the Engineers' Commission which investigated the
Hwai River Conservancy project made that enterprise look even more
attractive than I had anticipated. The value of the redeemed land alone
would be more than enough to pay the cost of the improvements. I felt
that the work would give great credit to the American name. Not only
would it assure the livelihood of multitudes through the redemption
of millions of the most fertile acres in China, but it would give
to the Chinese a living example of how, by scientific methods, the
very foundations of their life could be improved. During the winter
of 1914-15 a terrible famine was again devastating that region,
threatening hundreds of thousands of peasants with extinction. Never
had the sum of twenty millions of dollars produced such benefits as
would be assured here. But after urgent appeals to the Department in
Washington, the National Red Cross, and the Rockefeller Foundation, it
was found impossible to secure the necessary capital during the year of
the option. The best I could do was to ask for an extension, which was
granted, although the Chinese themselves were impatient to see the work
begun.

We received reports during the first winter of the war about the
suffering endured by German and Austrian prisoners in Siberia. They
had been captured during the summer and early autumn, and transported
to Siberia in their summer uniforms. Subjected to the intense cold
of a Siberian winter, they were herded in barracks unprovided with
ordinary necessities; these were sealed to exclude the cold and all
kinds of disease were soon rampant. The Legation at Peking, being
nearest to Siberia, superintended the relief work there of the
American Red Cross; there was also a German relief organization (called
_Hilfsaktion_), of which a capable and enterprising woman of Austrian
descent, Madame Von Hanneken, was the moving spirit. The Legation's
work increased; innumerable appeals came to it directly, and in lending
its good offices to the German association care had to be taken that
no use of it be made that could be properly objected to. Madame Von
Hanneken was on friendly terms with the Russian Legation, which gave
her society needed facilities. Its direct representatives were European
neutrals, chiefly Danes and Swedes. The work of the American Red Cross
among the war prisoners in Siberia, as well as the efforts of the
Y.M.C.A. to introduce among them industrial and artistic activities to
alleviate their lot, make a story of unselfish effort.

I tried to encourage the Chinese to build good roads. The Imperial
roads around Peking were surfaced with huge flagstones which, through
rain and climate, had lost alignment; they tilted and sloped at angles
like the logs of a corduroy road. Vehicles might not pass them, while
the Chinese carts picked their way as best they could over low-lying
dirt tracks by the side of these magnificent causeways. The Chinese
proverbial description of them is: "Ten years of heaven and a thousand
years of hell." The country thoroughfares have worn deep; it is a
Chinese paradox that the rivers usually flow above and the highways lie
below the surface of the land. In the _loess_ regions the roads are
often cut thirty or forty feet deep into the soil.

I first suggested the building of a road from Tientsin to Peking, but
the railways did not encourage this enterprise, and it was delayed
several years. Mr. E.W. Frazar, an American merchant from Japan who
accompanied me to Tokyo in 1915, had successfully established motor-car
services in Japan. He had come to north China to establish a branch
of his firm there; he was willing to get American capital for road
building and to make a contract therefor with the Chinese Government.
This particular contract was not concluded, but an impetus had been
given to the idea among the Chinese, and the building of roads was
gradually taken up, beginning with highways around Peking. The leading
men became interested when they began to realize its effect on real
estate values.

Governor-General Harrison of the Philippine Islands spent a week in
Peking, sightseeing, making many purchases of antiques and Peking
products. He was much taken with the Chinese rugs and ordered a number
of huge carpets to be made for the Malacañan Palace. We both strongly
felt that something should be done to prevent the total disappearance
of the American flag from the Pacific, and this we knew would occur
if the existing companies carried out their threats of retrenchment
and withdrawal. Had one been able to foresee the enormous demand for
shipping which was soon to arise, he might have outdistanced the
richest of existing millionaires. The Chinese Government did give to
an American a contract to establish a Chino-American steamship line,
with a government guarantee of $3,000,000; unfortunately, it shared
the all-too-common fate of American undertakings in China and was not
carried out.

The lunar New Year of the Chinese Calendar was changed to the
Republican (Min Kuo) New Year. On January 1st Peking was given a festal
aspect. The Central Park, a part of the old Imperial City, had been
opened to the public, and under innumerable flags crowds streamed along
the pathways, stopping at booths to buy souvenirs and toys, or entering
the always popular eating places where both foreign and Chinese music
is played by bands large and small. On various public places fairs were
held; extensive settlements of booths built of bamboo poles and matting
sprang up overnight. There, curios, pictures, brass utensils, wood
carvings, gold fishes, ming eggs, birdcages, and other objects useful
and ornamental were on sale. Wandering troops of actors and acrobats
performed in enclosures to which the public was admitted for a small
fee. Before one of these stockades I saw a large sign reading: "Chow
and Chang--champion magicians educated _from_ America." So, even here,
American education was valued. The art collection in the Imperial City
was open at half the usual admission fee; the grounds of the Temple
of Agriculture and of the Temple of Heaven were crowded with holiday
visitors, and at all theatres were special performances. For three or
four days the city wore a holiday aspect.

But the old New Year was not abandoned. On the days before the lunar
year ended the streets became alive with shoppers preparing for the
grand annual feasting. Quantities of fattened ducks, pigs, chickens,
and fishes, loads of baked things and sweets were transported in
carts, rickshaws, and all sorts of vehicles or by hand, everyone
chattering and smiling in happy anticipation. The Chinese New Year is
the traditional time for settling all outstanding accounts. Slates
are wiped clean, partnerships are wound up, and all balances settled.
When New Year's eve comes, having strained themselves to meet their
obligations, all cast dull care aside. Families and clans gather for a
gargantuan feasting, the abundance and duration of which outdistances
anything seen in the West.

The official celebration of the Republican New Year at the President's
Palace had to be modified. Because of the war the diplomatic corps
could not be received as a unit. It was therefore arranged that the
President receive the foreign representatives in three groups: the
Allies, the Neutrals, and the Central Powers. High Chinese officials
and picturesque Mongolian dignitaries were received on the first day,
the diplomatic representatives on the second. As the President chatted
informally with each minister, Madam Yuan received in an adjoining
apartment, talking quite naturally with the ladies of the party about
such feminine matters as the size of families and the choice of dress
materials.

A short time ago a young American teacher, Hicks, was murdered and
his two companions seriously wounded while they were ascending the
Yangtse River in a boat. The attack was at the dead of night; the
survivors recalled only flaring torches and swarthy faces, although
they believed that their assailants wore some sort of uniform. The
Chinese Government disavowed responsibility, considering it an ordinary
robbery, and asserting that if the assailants wore uniforms they must
have been insurgents, as no regular troops were near that place. The
crime was revolting, destructive of the sense of security of foreign
travellers, and I insisted absolutely on payment of an indemnity.
Money payment is by no means satisfactory; it does give the injured
parties redress and testifies to the desire of the Central Government
to protect foreigners, but does not bring the consequences of the crime
home to the really guilty parties. I therefore always tried to have the
personal responsibility in such matters followed up and specifically
determined; in this case it was impossible. The Chinese Government
finally agreed to the very handsome indemnity of $25,000 for the death
of young Hicks, the largest pecuniary award for loss of life ever made
in China. It was an ironical circumstance that just after this had been
settled, an American driving his automobile at excessive speed in the
Peking streets struck and killed an old Chinese woman. When I stated to
the Minister for Foreign Affairs that I would ask this man to pay $300
to the relatives, he replied with a twinkle: "How much was it we paid
you for the last American who was killed?"

However, he did not really intend to dispute the reasonableness of
even so enormous a difference. Foreigners in China, on account of
their employment as managers or head teachers, necessarily have to be
considered, from a purely pecuniary point of view, to have a value far
above the average. Moreover, should large indemnities be paid for
the death of poor people among the Chinese, they would be constantly
tempted to let themselves be injured or even killed, in order to
provide for their families.

Among the Chinese who visited me during the first year of the war were
the military and civil governors of Chekiang Province. Contrary to
tradition, both were natives of the province they governed, and good
governors, too. The civil governor, Mr. Chu Ying-kuang, who was under
forty, was a man of great public spirit and wisdom, eager to discuss
constructive ideas and effective methods in government and industry.
Governor Chu wrote me a letter of thanks, which may be considered an
example of Chinese epistolary style. It ran:

 During my short stay in the Capital I hurriedly visited your
 Excellency and was so fortunate as to draw upon the stores of
 your magnificence and gain the advantage of your instruction. My
 appreciation cannot be expressed in words. You also treated me with
 extraordinary kindness in preparing for me an elaborate banquet.
 Your kindness and courtesy were heaped high and your treasures were
 lavishly displayed. My gratitude is graven on my heart and my hope and
 prayer is that the splendour of your merit may daily grow brighter and
 that your prosperity may mount as high as the clouds.

 I, your younger brother, left Peking on the 29th of last month for the
 South, and on February 2nd arrived at Hangchou. The whole journey was
 peaceful so that your embroidered thoughts need not be exercised. I
 reflect fondly on your refined conversation and cannot forget it for
 an instant. I respectfully offer this inch-long casket to express my
 sincere gratitude and hope that you will favour it with a glance.

 Respectfully wishing you daily blessings,

  Your younger brother.

The new German minister, Admiral von Hintze, arrived shortly after
the New Year. I saw him frequently after his first visit, as he had
few colleagues with whom, under the conditions of war, he could meet.
In order to avoid capture as an enemy, Admiral von Hintze had come
from the United States incognito, as a supercargo on a Norwegian
vessel. He had been minister in Mexico, and before that the Emperor's
representative at the court of the Czar, and was a man of wide
knowledge of European affairs and of diplomatic intrigue. For a man
of his intelligence, he was inclined to give undue weight to rumours.
Peking was amused shortly after his arrival when he sent orders to the
Germans resident in all parts of the capital to hold themselves ready
to come into the Legation Quarter immediately upon notice being given.
He had read books on the troubles of 1900 and on the assassination of
his predecessor, Baron Kettler; he therefore saw dire menaces where
everything seemed quite normal to older residents. Especially, he
imagined himself surrounded by emissaries and retainers of the enemy.
Several times he would say to me: "My first 'boy' is excellent. He
could not be better. The Japanese pay him well, so he has to do his
best to hold his job."

Being himself a clever man and familiar with opinion outside of
Germany, Admiral Hintze thoroughly disapproved of the acts of
unnecessary violence by which the Germans had forfeited the good
opinion of the world, especially the sinking of the _Lusitania_ and the
execution of Edith Cavell. "What a mistake," he exclaimed, "for the
sake of one woman! Why not hold her in a prison somewhere in Germany
until the war is over?" The stupidity of such acts deeply offended him.
Had he become Minister for Foreign Affairs at an earlier date, some
bad mistakes might have been avoided. When the first reports of the
resumption of exacerbated submarine warfare were received, he remarked
to me: "Do not believe these reports that Germany will resume unlimited
submarine warfare. I can assure you that they will not be foolish
enough to do such a thing."

I noticed soon after Admiral Hintze's arrival that his relations with
his Austrian colleague were not the most cordial; these two seemed
to coöperate with difficulty. They were men entirely different in
temperament. The German was a man of the world, inspired with the
ideal of German military power and looking on international politics
as a keen and clever intellectual game. Concerning Hindenburg, he said
to me: "There is a man who makes no excuses for his existence." The
Austrian minister was a man of scholarly impulse, with a broad sympathy
for humankind, deploring the shallow game of politics, and hoping for
a more humane and reasonable system of government than that of the
political state.

Mr. Sun Pao-chi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, resigned on January 28th
to head the Audit Board, and was succeeded by Mr. Lu Tseng-tsiang.
Mr. Lu had enjoyed an extensive experience in Europe. He had acquired
a thorough mastery of French and married a Belgian lady, to whom he
was deeply devoted. Like his predecessor, he abstained from internal
politics. He was called to office when the exceedingly difficult
negotiations with Japan concerning the twenty-one demands were begun,
and it became his duty to carry through a very painful and ungrateful
task. Mr. Lu was interested in general political affairs in their
broader aspects, and gave special attention to international law.

I was frequently a guest at the house of Mr. Liang Tun-yen, the
Minister of Communications. He was easy-going, prepared to talk
business there rather than at the Ministry, where I would see him
frequently also, about the Hukuang railways. The engineer of the
British section was steadfastly trying to secure standards of British
engineering and manufacture, to which it would be difficult for
American manufacturers to conform. The Legation was beset with protests
concerning orders for materials which Americans did not like, since
they embodied the special practice of one partner to the contract. Thus
matters of a technical nature had to be argued between the Legation and
the Ministry of Communications. Mr. Liang himself was not a railway
expert. For example, he once spoke enthusiastically about clearing up
the Grand Canal, exclaiming: "then you could go from Peking to Shanghai
in a houseboat." We often fell back on the more general features
of the political situation in China, concerning which Mr. Liang
displayed a gentle skepticism for all proposed reforms. With respect
to railroad concessions, he was hostile to the idea of percentage
construction contracts, believing it dangerous to measure the returns
of an engineering firm by the sum expended on the works. I argued that
since the professional standing of such a firm was involved it could
not afford to run up the cost of the works merely to increase its own
commission. But I did not overcome his skepticism.



CHAPTER XV

EMPEROR YUAN SHIH-KAI


"Yuan Shih-kai is trying to make himself emperor, we hear from Peking,"
Mr. E.T. Williams remarked to me at the Department of State when I saw
him there in July, 1915. The report said that an imperialist movement
in behalf of Yuan Shih-kai had been launched in Peking. As there had
been frequent reports during the year of such attempts to set up an
empire, I was not at first inclined to give much credence to the
rumours.

Upon my return to San Francisco in September, this time to take steamer
for China, I met Dr. Wellington Koo, who had just come on a special
mission. I had been confidentially informed that he would probably be
designated as minister to the United States, to take the place of Mr.
Shah. The Department of State had directed me to delay my departure in
order to confer with Doctor Koo upon recent developments in China. On
the day we spent together we went over all that had happened since my
absence. The reports which had already been received that a movement
had been started to make Yuan Shih-kai emperor I then considered
improbable, in view of all the difficulties which the enterprise must
encounter, both internationally and from the Chinese opposition. Doctor
Koo confirmed this feeling and said that Yuan Shih-kai himself was very
doubtful. He mentioned the Goodnow memorandum, however, as a possible
factor. I was considerably surprised later to discover that the main
object of Doctor Koo's mission was to sound public opinion in America
and Europe concerning the assumption of the imperial dignity by Yuan
Shih-kai, and to prepare the ground for it. During my return voyage
to China the matter quickly came to a head, so that when I arrived in
Peking on October 1st I was confronted with an entirely new situation.

To understand the movement it is necessary to review briefly the
significant facts of Peking politics during the summer of 1915. A
concerted effort had been made to combat the Liang Shih-yi faction.
The opposition centred in the so-called Anhui Party, which was largely
militaristic, but in which civilian leaders like the Premier, Hsu
Shih-chang, the Chief Secretary of the cabinet, Yang Shih-chi, the
Minister of Finance, as well as the Minister of Communications, were
prominent.

Charges of corruption were lodged against Chang Hu, Vice-Minister
of Finance; Yeh Kung-cho, Vice-Minister of Communications; and the
Director of the Tientsin-Pukow Railway. Including these, twenty-two
high officials were impeached during July, besides several provincial
governors. The Anhui Party was trying to eliminate radically the
influence of the so-called Communications Party, which had tried to
maintain itself through the vice-ministers and counsellors of several
important ministries, the chiefs of which were Anhui men.

It appears that several Anhui leaders were involved in a movement to
establish a monarchy, with Yuan Shih-kai as emperor. Care was exercised
in picking the Committee of Ten to make a preliminary draft of the
Permanent Constitution; it was believed by many that influences were
at work for putting into that instrument provisions for reëstablishing
the monarchy. Report had it that on July 7th General Feng Kuo-chang,
military governor at Nanking, had urged that the President assume the
throne, for which he was rebuked by Yuan in severe terms. Dr. Frank
J. Goodnow, the American constitutional adviser, returned to Peking
in mid-July for a short stay; he was asked on behalf of the President
to prepare a memorandum on the comparative adaptability of the
republican and monarchical forms of government to Chinese conditions.
Doctor Goodnow complied. As a matter of general theory, he took the
view that the monarchical form might be considered better suited to
the traditions and the actual political development of the Chinese. He
saw special merit in the fact that under the monarchical system, the
succession to power would be regulated so that it could not be made an
ever-recurring object of contention. On the expediency of an actual
return at the time from the republic to the monarchy Doctor Goodnow
expressly refrained from pronouncing a judgment. The memorandum was
prepared simply for the personal information of the President. Advisers
had been so generally treated as academic ornaments that Doctor Goodnow
did not suspect that in this case his memorandum would be made the
starting point and basis of positive action.

Meanwhile, Mr. Liang Shih-yi and his group, seeing their power
threatened, decided to do something extreme to recover the lead. They
concluded that the monarchical movement was inevitable; thereupon
they seem to have persuaded Yuan Shih-kai that the movement could be
properly handled and brought to early and successful issue only through
their superior experience and knowledge. It was they who arranged for
the memorandum of Doctor Goodnow. They had remained in the background
until the middle of August, when an open monarchical propaganda began,
based avowedly on the opinions expressed by the American adviser and
thus given a very respectable and impartial appearance.

They formed the Peace Planning Society (Chou An Hui). Its aim was
to investigate the advantages and disadvantages accruing from the
republican form of government. Doctor Goodnow's views were widely
heralded as categorically giving preference to monarchy for China,
notwithstanding disclaimers which he now issued. The fact that an
American expert should pronounce this judgment was cited as especially
strong evidence in favour of the monarchical form, since it came from a
citizen of the foremost republic in the world.

It became known in early September that the movement was in the hands
of capable organizers. Notwithstanding Yuan Shih-kai's repeated
disclaimers, he failed to take positive action to suppress the
agitation; he was therefore believed to be at least in a receptive
mood. The high officials in Peking with few exceptions had become
favourable to the movement. The Vice-President, General Li Tuan-hung,
was at first opposed, but even he appeared to be reconciled at last,
being not entirely a free agent. The members of the Anhui faction, now
that the lead had been taken out of their hands, were less enthusiastic
for the change. Several political leaders began to withdraw from
affairs. General Tuan Chi-jui, the Minister of War, and Mr. Liang
Chi-chao, the Minister of Education, resigned, undoubtedly because
of their tacit disapproval of the movement, although other reasons
were alleged.[3] The Premier and Mr. Liang Tung-yen, the Minister
of Communications, though not on principle opposed, considered that
on account of his previous allegiance to the Imperial Family, Yuan
Shih-kai could not with propriety assume the Imperial office. Within
the inner circles of the movement there was no question of the desire
of the President to have it put through. For a time, early in
September, he was even thinking of forcing the matter, but began to be
apprehensive regarding the action of certain foreign powers who might
attach difficult conditions to their recognition of the new régime.

It was suggested that the Legislative Council might simply confer
the title of emperor on the President, and the constitution might
then be amended to make the presidency hereditary. Thus, it was
naïvely believed, legal continuity could be preserved sufficiently
to obviate the necessity of seeking a new recognition. A republic
with a hereditary president seemed to some politicians the key to the
difficulty. This proposal served to direct the minds of those who were
managing the movement to the importance of letting a representative
body participate in it, and of not carrying it through by a _coup
d'état_.

On my return to China Mr. Chow Tsu-chi and other leaders waited on me,
saying that present uncertainties involved such drawbacks to peace
and prosperity that from all the provinces the strongest appeals were
coming, to prevail upon Yuan to sanction the movement. Mr. Chow went
so far as to say: "There is such a strong demand for this step that we
shall have great trouble if it is not taken. There will be military
uprisings." When I looked incredulous, Mr. Chow proceeded: "Yes,
indeed, the people can only understand a personal headship, and they
want it, so that the country may be settled." Though I took this all
with a grain of salt, I was surprised at the apparent unanimity with
which the inevitableness of the change seemed to be accepted. When I
asked how the President would reconcile such a step with the oath he
had taken to support a republican government, I was told that this was,
indeed, the great obstacle; that probably it could not be overcome
unless the whole nation insisted and made it a point of duty that Yuan
Shih-kai continue to govern the state under the new form.

The attempt to reëstablish the monarchy seemed to me a step backward.
I had always felt that, whereas the Chinese had no experience with
elective representative institutions, nevertheless they were locally so
largely self-governed that they were fitted by experience and tradition
to evolve some form of provincial and national representation. Yet I
was strongly convinced that it is under any circumstances injudicious
for one nation or the officials of one nation to assume that they can
determine what is the best form of government for another nation. The
fundamental principle of self-government is that every people shall
work out that problem for itself, usually through many troubles and
with many relapses to less perfect methods.

The Legation had during my absence asked for instructions about a
possible eventual decision to recognize the new form of government.
It had suggested that acceptability to the people, and, consequently,
ability to preserve order, should be among the factors determining our
attitude. This position had been approved by the State Department.
In the many conversations I had with the President and members of
the cabinet, I confined myself to expressing the opinion that the
Government would strengthen itself and gain respect at home and abroad
in such measure as it made real use of representative institutions and
encouraged local self-government.

The Council of State on 6th October passed a law instituting a
national referendum on the question. Each district was to elect one
representative. The delegates from each province were to meet at the
respective provincial capitals and to ballot upon the question. The
election was fixed for the 5th of November, the date for balloting
on the principal issue on November 15th. Those desiring constructive
and progressive action had allied themselves with the monarchical
movement. They hoped to strengthen constitutional practice and
administrative efficiency after the personal ambitions of Yuan Shih-kai
had been realized. With Yuan in the exalted position of Emperor, Mr.
Chow Tsu-chi explained to me, the government itself would be in
the hands of the prime minister and cabinet; they would carry it on
constitutionally and in harmony with the legislative branch. As Mr.
Chow put it: "We shall make Yuan the Buddha in the temple."

The original promoters of the movement were not wholly pleased with
the efforts to engraft on it principles of constitutional practice
and popular consent. As certain military leaders might resort to a
_coup d'état_ on October 10th, the anniversary of the outbreak of
the revolution in 1911, the review of troops set for that date was
countermanded.

Mr. Liang Shih-yi and Mr. Chow Tsu-chi afterward explained to me
their preference for the monarchical form. Mr. Liang said: "Chinese
traditions and customs, official and commercial, emphasize personal
relationships. Abstract forms of thinking, in terms of institutions
and general legal principles, are not understood by our people. Under
an emperor, authority would sit more securely, so that it would be
possible to carry through a fundamental financial reform such as that
of the land tax. The element of personal loyalty and responsibility is
necessary to counteract the growth of corruption among officials. The
Chinese cannot conceive of personal duties toward a pure abstraction."

With President Yuan Shih-kai I had a long interview on October 4th.
He assumed complete indifference as to the popular vote soon to be
taken. "If the vote is favourable to the existing system," he said,
"matters will simply remain as they are; a vote for the monarchy would,
on the contrary, bring up many questions of organization. I favour a
representative parliament, with full liberty of discussion but with
limited powers over finance." Education and expert guidance in the
work of the Government were other things about which he was planning.
"There is a general lack of useful employment," he added with some
hilarity, "on the part of the numerous advisers who hover around the
departments. With an administrative reorganization all this will
be changed. These experts will be put to work in helping to develop
administrative activities." And he reverted to his favourite simile of
the infant: "Even if we feel that all their medicine may not be good
for the child, yet we shall let them take it by the hand to help it to
walk."

It was plain that Yuan Shih-kai, while seeming very detached, was
trying to justify the proposed change on the ground of making the
Government more efficient and giving it also a representative character.

Doubtless Yuan Shih-kai had thought originally that the Japanese would
not obstruct the movement, though ever since the time of his service
in Korea he had not been favourably regarded by them. His supporters,
indeed, claimed that the assurances first given to Yuan by the
Japanese were strong enough to warrant him in expecting their support
throughout. By the end of October, however, the Japanese Government
came to the conclusion that the project to put Yuan Shih-kai on the
throne should, if possible, be stopped.

A communication came from Japan to the United States, Great Britain,
France, and Russia, which expressed concern because the monarchical
movement in China was likely to create disturbances and endanger
foreign interests. Japan invited the other powers to join in advising
the Chinese President against continuing this policy. The American
Government declined this invitation, because it did not desire to
interfere in the internal affairs of another country. The other powers,
however, fell in with the Japanese suggestion, and on October 29th the
Japanese Chargé, and the British, French, and Russian ministers, called
at the Foreign Office and individually gave "friendly counsel" to the
effect that it would be desirable to stop the monarchical movement.

The British minister asked whether the Minister for Foreign Affairs
thought disturbances could surely be prevented; whereat the Chinese
rejoiced, believing it a friendly hint that everything would be
well, provided no disturbances should take place. As the machinery
for holding the elections had been set in motion, the Chinese leaders
believed that any action to stop them would bring discredit and loss of
prestige.

The final voting in the convention of district delegates at Peking,
on December 9th, registered a unanimous desire from the elections of
November 5th to have Yuan Shih-kai assume the imperial dignity. Mr.
Chow Tsu-chi remarked to me: "We tried to get some people to vote in
the negative just for appearance's sake, but they would not do it."
Prince Pu-Lun made the speech nominating Yuan as emperor, which earned
him the resentment of the Manchus. On the basis of these elections, the
acting Parliament passed a resolution bestowing on Yuan Shih-kai the
imperial title, and calling upon him to take up the duties therewith
connected. He twice rejected the proposal, but when it was sent to him
the third time he submitted, having exhausted the traditional forms of
polite refusal.

When Yuan was actually elected Emperor, the Entente Powers were
puzzled. They announced that they would await developments. The
Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs informed them that there would
be some delay, as many preparations were still required before the
promulgation of the empire could be made. But it was generally believed
that the movement had reached fruition. The Russian and French
ministers had already expressed themselves privately as favourable
to recognition. The German and Austrian ministers hastened to offer
Yuan their felicitations, which embarrassed the Chinese not a little.
The majority of foreign representatives at Peking were favourable to
recognizing the new order on January 1st, when the promulgation was
to be made. Messages of devotion and sometimes of fulsome praise came
to the Emperor-elect (already called Ta Huang Ti) from foreigners.
Foreign advisers, including the Japanese but not the Americans, set
forth their devotion in glowing phrases. Doctor Ariga, the Japanese
adviser, expressed his feelings in the traditional language of imperial
ceremony. It was even announced that the new emperor had been prayed
for in foreign Christian churches. I could not, however, verify any
such case.

Suddenly, on Christmas Day, came the report that an opposition movement
had been started in Yunnan Province.

A young general, Tsai Ao, who had for a time lived in Peking where he
held an administrative post, had left the capital during the summer
and had coöperated with Liang Chi-chao, after the latter resigned
his position as Minister of Education. Liang Chi-chao attacked the
monarchical movement in the press, writing from the foreign concession
at Tientsin. General Tsai Ao returned to his native Yunnan, and from
that mountain fastness launched a military expedition which was opposed
to the Emperor-elect.

So the dead unanimity was suddenly disrupted. Now voices of opposition
came from all sides. The Chinese are fatalists. The movement to
carry Yuan into imperial power had seemed to them irresistible; many
had therefore suppressed their doubts and fears. But when an open
opposition was started they flocked to the new standard and everywhere
there appeared dissenters.

A small mutiny took place in Shantung early in December. In the
Japanese papers it was called "premature."

A night attack was executed near Shanghai on the settlement boundary,
which was participated in by several Japanese. Being easily suppressed,
it was not thought important.

Yuan Shih-kai had long been in training for the emperorship, he loved
to use the methods of thought and expression of legendary monarchs.
Keeping close to national traditions in the days of his power he always
took care to use words indicative of self-deprecation and consideration
for his subordinates. The members of the cabinet repaired on December
13th to the President's house to offer their congratulations.
Replying, the Emperor-elect said: "I should rather be condoled with
than congratulated; for I am giving up my personal freedom and that
of my descendants for the public service. I would find far greater
satisfaction in leisurely farming and fishing on my Honan estate than
in this constant tussling with problems of state."

When one of the ministers suggested that there should be a great
celebration of the new departure, Yuan Shih-kai replied: "It would be
better not to think of celebrating and of glory at the present time,
but only of work, and work, and work. My government should be improved
and soundly established. In that case, glory will ultimately come, but
otherwise, if artificially enacted, it is bound to be shortlived."

These sayings were reported by his faithful ministers as being quite in
keeping with the character of a self-sacrificing, benevolent monarch.

The empire to be established was to be quite _comme il faut_; it
was to have a complete ornamentation of newly made nobility. The
Vice-President was to have the title of prince, and there were to be
innumerable marquises, counts, and barons. The military governors
and members of cabinet were to become dukes and marquises, while
the barons would be as many as the sands of the sea. The attitude
of Vice-President Li Yuan-hung was not quite plain. Aside from the
princedom he was also offered the marriage of one of his sons to one
of Yuan's daughters. One of his wives seemed especially fascinated by
these glittering honours; she was said to have virtually prevailed upon
General Li to resign himself to the situation. The President was very
kind to him and had supplied him with a bodyguard which watched his
every movement--for Yuan Shih-kai's information.

New styles of robes for the Emperor and for his high officials and
attendants were designed under direction of Mr. Chu Chi-chien. They
were fashioned after the ceremonial robes of the Japanese Imperial
House. The great coronation halls in the Imperial City were thoroughly
cleansed and repainted. New carpets were ordered; the making of
a nicely upholstered throne was entrusted to Talati's, a general
merchandise house in Peking, which fact greatly amused Countess
Ahlefeldt.

Meanwhile, with foresight and astuteness, General Tsai Ao and Liang
Chi-chao were planning their movement against Yuan. By establishing the
first independent government in the remote province of Yunnan they made
sure that Yuan Shih-kai would be unable to vindicate his authority over
all China at an early time. With Yunnan as starting point, it was hoped
that the provinces of Kweichow, Kuangsi, and Szechuan could be induced
to associate themselves with the anti-monarchist movement. Though
Canton had a large garrison of Yuan's troops, it was hoped that inroads
would be made even there.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 3: Mr. Liang Chi-chao wrote a characteristic letter of
resignation to the President:

"On a previous occasion, I had the honour to apply to Your Excellency
for leave to resign and in answer to my request, Your Excellency
granted me two months' sick leave. This shows the magnanimity and
kindness of Your Excellency toward me.

"The recent state of my health is by no means improved. The 'pulses'
in my body have become swollen and I am often attacked by fits of
dizziness. My appearance looks healthy, but my energy and spirit have
become exhausted. Different medicines have been prescribed by the
doctors, but none has proved effective. My ill-health has been chiefly
caused by my doctors' 'misuse of medicine.' I have lately been often
attacked by fits of cold, which cause me sleepless nights. I am quite
aware of the gravity of my disease and unless I give up all worldly
affairs, I am afraid that my illness will be beyond hope of cure.

"In different places in America, the climate is mild and good for
invalids. I have now made up my mind to sail for the new continent to
recuperate my health. There I shall consult the best physicians for the
care of my health. I am longing to spend a vacation in perfect ease
and freedom from worldly cares in order to recuperate my health. I am
sailing immediately. I hereby respectfully bring this to the notice of
Your Excellency."

He did not, however, proceed to America.]



CHAPTER XVI

DOWNFALL AND DEATH OF YUAN SHIH-KAI


Everybody thought that the monarchy was to be proclaimed on New Year's
Day, 1916. Disaffection, it was realized, though hitherto confined to
a remote province, might spread; delay was dangerous. Business in the
Yangtse Valley and elsewhere was dull. Merchants blamed the Central
Government, and murmurings were heard. General Feng Kuo-chang, who had
at first encouraged Yuan Shih-kai, now reserved his independence of
action.

The revolt remained localized in Yunnan throughout January. With
the rise of an opposition, Yuan was now more ready to accentuate
the constitutional character of the new monarchy. His Minister of
Finance, Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, told me that a constitutional convention
would be convoked when the monarchy was proclaimed. This would provide
a representative assembly and a responsible cabinet. Constructive
reforms were to be announced. No further patents of nobility were to be
awarded, the titles already granted would be treated as purely military
honours.

If Yuan and his advisers had acted boldly at this time in promulgating
the monarchy, recognition by a number of powers would probably
have followed, especially as the continuity of the personnel of
the Government made recognition easier. But hesitation and delay
strengthened the opposition. Yunnanese troops had by the end of January
penetrated into the neighbouring provinces of Szechuan and Kuangsi. To
learn what was going on in these provinces I sent the military attaché,
Major Newell, up the Yangtse River to Szechuan, and the naval attaché,
Lieut.-Commander Hutchins, to Canton. Efforts of the generals loyal to
Yuan to expel the Yunnanese from Szechuan Province were unsuccessful.

After the peculiarly complex manner of Chinese political relationships,
Yunnan began to exercise an influence in Szechuan Province which was
to last for years. The Yunnanese were protected by natural barriers
of mountains; to make headway against them was difficult, even had
the troops of the President shown greater energy. How hollow was
the unanimity which had been proclaimed in the November elections
now became thoroughly apparent. Encouraged by the open opposition,
ill-will against Yuan Shih-kai began to be shown in other localities,
particularly in Hunan and in the southernmost provinces, Kuangsi and
Kuangtung. Rivalries hitherto held in check by Yuan's strong hand also
came to the fore. In central China the two men holding the greatest
military power, Generals Feng Kuo-chang and Chang Hsun, began to
cherish resentment against the President; for, in exchanging notes upon
meeting, they discovered that Yuan had set each of them to watch the
other.

Even now the monarchical movement might have gained strength from
the moderates, who feared the Japanese. They did not wish to see the
national unity disrupted. "Get a constitution and a representative
legislature," they advised Yuan Shih-kai; "put in play a constructive
programme of state action; reform the finances and the audit, simplify
the taxes, extend works of public use, build roads, reclaim lands,
develop agriculture and industry, and all might yet be well." Mr. Liang
Shih-yi and Mr. Chow Tsu-chi hoped, once the question of succession was
definitely settled, to "put in commission" the dictatorial power of
Yuan. As Mr. Chow this time put it: "Yuan will have the seat of honour
but others will order the meal."

Toward the end of January the formal proclamation of the empire was
further postponed. Mr. Chow Tsu-chi was to go on a special mission to
Japan, probably to induce the Japanese Government to be more favourable
to the new monarchy, and to bear handsome concessions to the Japanese.
But the Japanese Government declared that for personal reasons the
Emperor of Japan could not receive a Chinese embassy at that time.
Possibly various other concessionaire governments intimated to Japan
that they did not expect her to entertain any special proposals at this
time. Nevertheless, the Japanese must have made strong representations
to cause Yuan Shih-kai, who was a decisive and determined man, to risk
all by hesitating at this critical moment.

To present some Americans I called on Yuan Shih-kai on February 16th.
Mr. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant were visiting Peking, and Yuan was
glad to have me present the son of the famous American President who
had himself visited China and established cordial relations with Li
Hung-chang, Yuan's great master. Significantly the President said to
Mr. Grant: "Your honoured father had great power, but he could safely
resign it to others when the time came. You have great political
experience in the West." It was quite a little party, including
the newly appointed commercial attaché, Mr. Julean H. Arnold; the
commandant of the guard, Colonel Wendell C. Neville; and two young
writers, Miss Emerson and Miss Weil, who have since devoted themselves
to Far Eastern studies and literary work. While the Emperor-elect
betrayed traces of strain and worry, he had his accustomed genial
manners. Apropos of the commercial attaché and the commandant he made
a little pleasantry about commerce and war coming hand in hand. After
a brief interview the visitors were taken by the master of ceremonies
to see the gardens, while I remained with Yuan Shih-kai for a long
conversation. This was interpreted by Doctor Tenney and by Dr. Hawkling
L. Yen, of the Foreign Office; it was understood by us all that the
conversation was personal and unofficial.

"I have not sought new honours and responsibilities, but now that a
course of action has been formally decided upon, it is my duty to carry
it out," Yuan said. "The people coöperated in this, I desire that they
shall coöperate at all times."

I asked how soon he would announce definitely his constitutional
policy. I had some doubt as to how far he intended to apply any,
and his answer was evasive. "It is hard," he replied, "to make a
constitution before the monarchy is actually reëstablished. Then,
too, if the Emperor heads the Government, the powers of departments
under him would need to be more restricted than under a republic." His
advisers, it seemed, were unduly optimistic in expecting Yuan to stand
squarely for constitutional government, with power devolving on the
parliament and the different departments. I reminded him of the British
monarchy in its various historic forms to refute his idea.

"Well," he responded, "the new constitution must wait for a People's
Convention. This is soon to be called; its action must not be in any
way anticipated."

He then fell back on his record, stating that he had pressed the Manchu
Government to adopt a constitution. He also referred to the title
chosen for his reign, "Hung Hsien," which means "great constitutional
era."

A mandate of February 22nd announced the postponement of formal
accession to the throne. Mr. C.C. Wu, who brought me information
concerning certain state plans of Yuan Shih-kai, said that this mandate
would put an end to the innumerable petitions sent to accelerate the
formal coronation. He added that essentially the Government, so far as
domestic matters were concerned, was already a monarchy, that only in
its international aspects had it failed to assume this character.

Suddenly, on March 18th, the Province of Kuangsi demanded the
cancellation of the monarchy; events were moving more rapidly.

At this juncture I had to decide whether to allow the Lee Higginson
loan to be completed without a caution or warning, or to assume
responsibility of virtually stopping that transaction. As soon as it
became clear that open opposition to Yuan Shih-kai's government was no
longer confined to one province and its immediate sphere of influence,
it seemed no longer proper for any American institution to furnish
money to the Chinese Government. Many appeals had been made by the
Opposition based on the demand that, since the country was divided, no
loans should be made to the Government. In ordinary circumstances the
protests of factions would not have weight, but when several provinces
expressed their disapproval of a basic governmental policy the case was
different. To have to counsel delay in execution of the loan agreement
was intensely disappointing to me, fervently as I had wished the
American financiers to participate in Chinese finance, in order that
credit and resources might be organized and developed for the benefit
of all. Unfortunately, in the lull after the disposal of the twenty-one
demands the Chinese had immediately embarked on this doubtful political
enterprise, consuming precious energies and money. The sums spent on
military expeditions, in favourably attuning doubtful military leaders,
and in the creation of the alleged unanimous consent through a popular
vote, had been thrown away. They merely added to the burdens carried by
the Chinese people.

With the disaffection of yet more provinces the Government on March
22nd promulgated a decree cancelling the monarchy, and announcing that
Yuan Shih-kai would retain the Presidency of the Republic.

This sudden and unilateral concession, without a guaranteed _quid pro
quo_ by way of submission to the Central Government by the revolting
forces, came as a surprise. Doubtless the step was taken because
the President feared that the Province of Kuangtung, whose military
governor had urged him to compromise, would join the revolutionaries.
Moreover, the former Secretary of State, Hsu Shih-chang, who had been
in retirement, advised it. The Anhui Party in Peking saw an opportunity
to regain control and oust the Cantonese leaders, in whose hands the
monarchical movement had been since August. The President believed
that the return of such men as Hsu Shih-chang and Tuan Chi-jui would
strengthen him in the eyes of the revolutionists. Hsu Shih-chang
personally had lived up to the canons of Confucian morality in failing
to approve the action of Yuan Shih-kai when he tried to assume the rank
of his former master, the Emperor. This gained him universal respect
in China. But his impelling motive was personal loyalty to the old
Imperial Family rather than attachment to its government.

Of course, the cancellation of the monarchy failed to satisfy the
revolutionists. They interpreted it as a confession of weakness and
defeat. Nor was it more welcome to the adherents of the President
in the provinces, especially the military, who felt that he was
surrendering without getting anything in return. Thus the President
lost his friends and failed to placate his enemies. Had the southern
leaders been content, the chastened Yuan might have been satisfied to
be formal head of a constitutional government. But they were not. His
authority and prestige had been too gravely compromised; revolutionists
were appearing in various parts of China; Tsingtau was being used as
a base for revolutionary activities in the Province of Shantung with
connivance of the Japanese authorities. The Peking Government was
thrown into confusion. The official world was apprehensive as to what
the President would do, while the foreign community feared military
riots.

The leaders of the so-called Anhui Party had evidently expected that
it would be easy to proscribe the Cantonese leaders, Liang Shih-yi,
Chow Tsu-chi, lately Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, and Chu
Chi-chien, Minister of the Interior, and have them banished or
executed. But contrary to their expectations these men did not at
that critical time take to the woods. To the amusement of everyone,
the leaders of the other party then became frightened and began to
remove their families from Peking and to plan for places of safety
for themselves. With somewhat grim humour, Minister Chu Chi-chien
declared that as conditions in Peking were perfectly normal, and as any
unwarranted show of nervousness by officials would tend unnecessarily
to disturb the populace, officials would no longer be permitted to
remove their families from the city.

It now became a question whether Yuan Shih-kai could remain even as
President. I had a conversation with Mr. Hioki, the Japanese minister,
who spoke at length about the shortcomings of Yuan, and his tendency to
use all the functions of state, including particularly the financial,
to satisfy his personal ambitions. Mr. Hioki did not believe that Yuan
Shih-kai could possibly restore his authority. The month of April was
a period of great depression in Peking. All constructive work, and
even planning therefor, had been entirely suspended. The new ministry
came in on April 24th, under General Tuan Chi-jui as Minister of War.
This fact indicated shiftings of power, as General Tuan had never
supported the President in his imperialist ambitions. The Cantonese
leaders stepped out of the Government, maintaining their influence
thereafter by the familiar methods of Liang Shih-yi. Mr. Tsao Ju-lin,
who belonged to the Communications Party, but had been specializing
in establishing closer relations with the Japanese, became Minister
of Communications. The President agreed to turn over to the cabinet
full governmental powers, and to make the ministers responsible to the
national parliament, which was to be summoned forthwith. Yuan ceased
his personal control over all important branches of the Administration.
The control of the army was transferred from the President to the
Board of War. He was stripped of all military forces but his Honanese
bodyguard, which numbered about twenty thousand.

The name of Yuan Shih-kai, however, was retained as a symbol of
authority, for all the military leaders owed him allegiance. Mr. Liang
Shih-yi, as president of the Bank of Communications, still controlled
the finances, and his associate, Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, was placed in charge
of the Bank of China.

The Government was driven to such extremes by its financial needs that
in May the cabinet declared a moratorium suspending specie payments
on notes of the government banks. The term "moratorium," which had
just then come into prominence in Europe, was greeted by the Chinese
financiers as the password to save them--a respectable name for
what was otherwise not so honourable. Through this step, whatever
confidence still remained in Yuan Shih-kai was dissipated. Because of
the complex nature of Chinese affairs peculiar consequences followed.
Thus, the postal administration offices and those of certain railways
independently announced that they would not accept notes but would
demand payment in silver.

All reports of local troubles coming from reliable sources in various
parts of China spoke of the participation of Japanese in revolutionary
activities. Specific reports from Shantung indicated that the
revolutionaries there were favoured by the Japanese. At Tsingtau
bandits had come over from Manchuria and were openly drilling early
in May under the noses of the Japanese military. About a thousand
of these rebels left Tsingtau on May 4th over the Shantung railway,
carrying machine guns to the centre of the province, where they took
part in the disturbances. Meanwhile, the same railway, under Japanese
control, had refused to carry Chinese government troops on the ground
that neutrality must be maintained. When questioned about the rebels
transported, the railway officials stated that the rebels must have
been in civilian clothes and must have carried their armament as
baggage.

It is not clear whether the Japanese were systematically working
for the establishment of an independent government in the south, or
whether they were merely covertly encouraging opposition to the Central
Government, to foment division and unrest. But the plans of Japan for
gaining a dominant position in China were certainly favoured by the
final breakdown of the authority of Yuan Shih-kai.

Japanese correspondents at this time started the report that Chinese
merchants in the Yangtse Valley were so provoked with Americans for
making a loan to the Chinese Government--the Lee Higginson loan--that
they were planning a boycott against American goods. The Japanese
paper, _Shun Tim Shih Pao_, incidentally drew on its imagination, and
published a yarn to the effect that in addition to the $5,000,000 loan
already agreed to, the American firm had promised to hand over to the
Peking authorities $15,000,000 before the end of July. As a matter
of fact, beyond the original payment of $1,000,000, nothing was ever
paid over. The Chinese did not take up the suggestion of a boycott;
although, had the making of the loan proceeded, such a result might
have followed. In Peking, on the other hand, the Japanese tried to
impress upon Chinese officials that the non-completion of the Lee
Higginson loan offered new proof that Americans could not be relied
upon when it came to a showdown.

Throughout this difficult period the European Allied Powers felt that
they lacked a free hand, and that any joint action undertaken might
easily assume such form as to create a Japanese hegemony. The Japanese
at all times urged that as they were on the spot it would be only
natural to entrust them with the representation of the interests of the
Allies. Many representative Europeans in China plainly intimated to us
the hope that the American Government might show a strong interest in
Chinese affairs, and might not fail to insist on the maintenance of
existing treaty rights and of Chinese sovereignty.

I knew from the Chinese who saw him daily that Yuan Shih-kai suffered
under the strain of his troubles and disappointment. As early as March
Mr. Liang Tun-yen besought me to visit the President and give him
encouragement, as worry and despair were breaking him down. Yuan had
lived a sedentary life of intense work and great responsibility. He
had developed Bright's disease, but his strong constitution had fought
it off. Now when great trouble beset him his strength failed. Mr. Chow
Tzu-chi remarked to me: "The President's power of quick decision has
left him; he is helpless in the troublesome alternatives that confront
him. Formerly it was 'yes' or 'no' in an instant, to my proposals. Now
he ruminates, and wavers, and changes a decision many times." Yuan
contemplated resignation, and seemed taken with the idea of visiting
America. I was sounded as to giving him safe conduct and asylum. The
Opposition, it seemed, would make no objection to his leaving the
country. He was confined to his room during the latter half of May, but
continued to give his personal attention to telegrams and important
correspondence. In the first days of June his health seemed to improve.
I went with my family to Peitaiho to instal them in their summer
residence, and to rest for a few days. I had left a special code with
Mr. MacMurray, in which the word _Pan_ stood for Yuan Shih-kai. I was
shocked on the afternoon of June 6th to receive the brief telegram:
"Pan is dead."

By the night train I returned to the capital. Yuan's sons, the
ex-Premier Hsu Shih-chang, and several officials close to the
President, were with him when he died. During the night he had made
solemn declaration to the ex-Premier that it had not been his wish
to become Emperor; he had been deceived into believing that the step
was demanded by the public, and was necessary to the country. After
saying this he seemed exhausted, and continued to sink until the end
came. He had weakened himself and further aggravated his illness by
indiscriminately taking medicine prescribed by a foreign physician
together with all sorts of Chinese remedies which his women urged upon
him.

The ministers of the Allied Powers at once called on General Tuan to
inquire whether the Government was prepared to prevent disorders. Some
time previously the Japanese minister had asked me whether I would
consider it suitable for the diplomatic corps, in the event of danger
of disturbances, to make such an inquiry. I felt it unnecessary and
undesirable, as it might cause apprehension among the public.

The German and Austrian commandants were included in the conference to
agree on measures of protection--probably the only instance during the
war where the belligerents of both sides met to consider common action.
Subsequently the Belgian minister requested the American Legation to
take over the patrol of the city wall immediately back of the Belgian
Legation, which had thus far had German sentinels. It illustrates the
complexity of all things in China that, as late as 1916, German troops
were concerned in the formal protection of the Belgian Legation.

Yuan Shih-kai before his death wrote a declaration to the effect
that in the event of his disability the Presidency should devolve on
General Li Yuan-hung. The accession of the Vice-President was announced
immediately. The members of the cabinet, as well as Prince Pu-Lun, as
chairman of the State Council, waited on President Li on the 7th of
June; with a simple ceremonial, including three deferential bows, the
cabinet expressed its allegiance to the new President. He was accepted
peaceably and with unanimity by all the provinces.

General Tuan Chi-jui and Mr. Liang Shih-yi coöperated in arranging
for the transfer of authority to the new President. That this was done
so quietly and in so orderly a fashion caused the foreigners to regard
Chinese republicanism with much higher respect.

The body of Yuan was not transferred from Peking to his Honan home
until June 28th, when the mausoleum on the ancestral estate was ready.
As part of the Imperial movement, Yuan Shih-kai had previously begun
the construction of this large tomb. The commemorative ceremony took
place on the 26th in Peking. The great hall of the Presidential palace,
where we had often witnessed New Year receptions and other festivities,
was used. There were gathered the foreign representatives with their
staffs and the high officials of the Chinese Republic. It was a strange
mingling of old and new. The President's body lay on a high catafalque,
in the very place where he had so often received us. In front of the
entrance to the inner apartments stood rows of tables bearing the usual
funeral offerings as well as the weapons, clothes, and other objects of
personal use of the departed. Here were gorgeous Mandarin coats of the
old régime, including the famous Yellow Jacket, and generals' uniforms
of the new, and innumerable decorations sent by all the countries
bestowing such honours; also tall riding boots, soft Chinese slippers,
long native pipes and foreign smoking sets, swords, and pistols.

The service was a litany conducted by Lama priests from temples
in Peking and Mongolia. Some of the priests wore a huge headdress
resembling a dragoon's helmet; others, a large round hat not unlike
that of a cardinal. As they intoned the ritual their deep voices rolled
as if they issued from an underground cavern. The music accompanying
the singing was Chinese, supplied by flutes and stringed instruments;
but at the beginning the President's band had played a Western funeral
march. The second part of the service consisted of the burning of
incense in memory of the departed. First, the sons of Yuan, wearing
the white garments of mourners, came forth from an inner apartment and
took their station before the catafalque. They prostrated themselves,
struck their foreheads heavily against the floor, and wailed with loud
voices. Yuan Ko-ting, as chief mourner, offered sacrifice. Meanwhile,
the women of the Presidential household peered through the windows of
the apartments which opened into the central hall.

When the sons of Yuan had withdrawn, the singing of the priests was
taken up again, now in a different key and accompanied by the tinkling
of many bells clear as silver, but some of them as deep as the sea.
Buddhist prayers were intoned in voices sonorous and deep as the grave.
The new President next offered sacrifice at the bier of his predecessor.

What contrasts of character and aims, what mingling of old and new
forces, what a rush of incongruous ideas and practices were typified in
this ceremony, with all its accompaniments! And these were embodied,
too, in the personality of the dead leader and in his successor!

The foreign representatives next paid their respect to the memory of
Yuan. We rose and each in turn deposited before the catafalque a huge
wreath, and returned after making the customary three bows of high
ceremony. Following the diplomats came the Secretary of State and high
Chinese officials, as well as the foreign advisers.

The procession to the railway station, on June 28th, testified to
the genius of the Chinese for pageantry. They had preserved some of
the colour and brilliance of an Imperial procession, and what was
remarkable, had so arranged the parade that the modern elements--troops
in modern uniform, brass bands, officials in evening dress, and
diplomats in their varied uniforms--myself alone wearing ordinary
civilian dress--did not impart to the pageant a jarring note. In fact,
throughout the ceremony at the palace and the subsequent procession,
there was a gratifying absence of dissonance, notwithstanding the
multifariousness of the elements included.

The huge catafalque upon which the body of Yuan lay was borne by a
hundred men by means of a complicated arrangement of poles. It was
covered with crimson silk embroidered in gold; its imperial splendour
accentuated the tragedy of the occasion. Old Chinese funeral customs,
such as the throwing into the air of paper resembling money, were
observed. Heading the procession rode twenty heralds, then followed
in succession three large detachments of infantry, bearing their arms
reversed. Between each two detachments marched a band. After the
infantry came Chinese musicians, playing weirdly plaintive strains
on their flutes. Then came the beautiful and fascinating part of the
cortège--a large squadron of riders in old Chinese costume, carrying
huge banners, long triangular pennants, and fretted streamers of many
colours, which, as they floated gracefully in the air, made a charming
picture. The Chinese have a genius for using banners with dazzling
effect. Then followed lancers escorting an empty state carriage;
Buddhist monks beating drums and cymbals; the President's band; long
lines of bearers with sacrificial vessels preceding the sedan chair
in which was set the soul tablet of Yuan; then still other lines of
men bearing the food offerings, the mementoes of Yuan's personal life,
and the wreaths, all from the funeral ceremony of two days before.
High officials came next, on foot, in military uniform or civilian
full dress, and here indeed the frock coats and top hats did seem
somewhat out of keeping. A throng of white-clad mourners preceded the
catafalque; the sons of Yuan walked under a white canopy. Yuan Ko-ting
in the midst of it all seemed a pathetic figure.

The vast throngs that lined the route behind lines of troops looked
on in respectful silence. There was no sign of grief, rather mute
indifference. Yuan had not won the heart of the people, who regarded
him as a masterful individual dwelling in remote seclusion whose
contact with them came through taxes and executions. I believe a
Chinese crowd is incapable of the enthusiastic hero-worship which great
political leaders in the Occident receive. The people have not yet come
to look upon such men as their leaders. The Peking population, imbued
still with traditions of imperial splendour and the remoteness and
semi-divinity of their rulers, are as yet only onlookers at the pageant
of history.

The tragedy of the great man who had died as a consequence of his
ambition made this occasion impressive to the foreigners present,
even to the most cynical. It was the last act in one of the most
striking dramas of intrigue, achievement, and defeat. The foreign
representatives left the cortège before it issued from the southernmost
gate of the Imperial City, stopping while the mourners and the
catafalque moved past. A piece of paper money thrown into the air
to pacify the spirits fell on me, and I kept it as a characteristic
memento. I walked back to the Legation Quarter with the Russian
minister, Prince Koudacheff, who, like myself, was deeply impressed; we
agreed that in ceremony and pageantry the Chinese stand supreme.

Thus, with the fluttering of bright banners and the wailing of the reed
flutes, another crowded chapter in the history of the new China drew to
its close.



CHAPTER XVII

REPUBLICANS IN THE SADDLE


The passing of Yuan Shih-kai left the ground clear for the nurturing of
a real republic in China. Would those in control be real republicans,
or would they be merely politicians? Politics, with all that this term
implies in modern times, was exotic, its importation into China might
have disastrous results. Concentration on industry, on local government
by the Chinese people, and the building up from these of a sound
and democratic national consciousness were needed. It was upon this
foundation that Li Yuan-hung might have founded his rule.

His first reception to foreign ministers was given by President Li
Yuan-hung shortly after the funeral of Yuan Shih-kai. Li had removed
from the island in the Imperial City before the death of Yuan; and this
was a step toward freedom, though he had continued to be surrounded
with guards ostensibly for his protection, but really there to watch
him and restrict his movements. His friends were still apprehensive
for his safety, and I was repeatedly approached with inquiries as to
whether in case of need I should receive him at the American Legation,
or possibly, even, send a guard detachment to bring him in. The latter
I could not do; but, while it is not proper to give specific assurances
of protection in advance, I could say that it was customary to grant
asylum to political refugees. I learned that some Americans were ready
to try a rescue of the Vice-President should his situation become
perilous. Upon the death of Yuan Shih-kai, General Li's situation of
uncertainty and danger was ended at least for a while.

He received the diplomats in a private residence, whence he did not
remove to the palace for several months. The ceremony was simple.
The foreign representatives were introduced in three groups: Allies,
Neutrals, and Central Powers. The President received us standing,
attended by his ministers and twelve generals, all in uniform.
General Tuan Chi-jui looked disconsolate, standing with bent head and
with epaulets sloping down on his chest. I do not know whether his
spirit was as sad as his outward demeanour, but he probably saw many
difficulties ahead. The President made a few remarks of a friendly
nature, but throughout he looked far more serious than was his wont;
and his face was not wreathed in smiles.

On the afternoon of the day of Yuan's funeral I visited the new
President informally; passing through several interior courts where
soldiers were on guard and through a smiling flower garden I came
into the library, simply furnished, where the President was working.
Piles of papers and books on the desk and side tables indicated that
he had been seeking information from many sources. We spent an hour
or so discussing the political situation. He felt relieved at being
no longer guarded and confined; but his newly acquired state had not
changed his simplicity of manner. Quite in his usual optimistic mood,
he said: "I have found a way to secure the coöperation of all factions.
I will declare the Provisional Constitution of 1912 to be in force, and
summon the old parliament; but its membership should be reduced by one
half; it is too unwieldy. It will be summoned for this purpose only and
to finish the Constitution; the reduction will come by amending the
parliamentary election law."

I asked the President whether he did not consider it impossible thus to
limit the function of the parliament, when once it was summoned. Would
it not, I asked, almost certainly try to assume a controlling power in
the Government, and would not this, in the absence of mature leaders,
cause confusion?

"No," the President insisted; "the parliament will be confined to the
specific function indicated by me."

As the community of Americans at Shanghai had repeatedly invited
me to come to that city, I carried out a long-delayed intention by
journeying southward to celebrate the Fourth of July there. My chief
engagement--following, among others, an address at the Commencement
exercises at St. John's University, an American University Club lunch,
a reception given in my honour on the Flagship _Brooklyn_--was an
address before the American Chamber of Commerce at dinner in the Palace
Hotel, on July 1st. I spoke about the requirements of the new period
upon which American commercial interests in the Far East were entering.
In European countries and Japan, I said, the relation between the
Government and the large industries and banking institutions is close.
Together they develop national enterprise abroad. Not so in America.
The Government and the concentrated capital of the United States do
not act as a unit in foreign affairs. We believe that it is better to
leave the initiative to private enterprise, confining the action of the
Government to protecting opportunities for commerce abroad. In their
work of organization, American merchants and representatives have the
function of discovering, testing, and approving commercial policies and
projects which are to be executed with home capital. On their wisdom
and experience in China, New York and Chicago have to rely.

At the reception given by the Consul-General in Shanghai on the Fourth
of July, I met Mr. Tang Shao-yi, the Kuo Min Tang leader who had
been Premier and Minister of Finance in the first cabinet under the
Republic. I found him unprepared to assume any responsible part in
politics, although the prominence of his opposition to Yuan Shih-kai
might have made him ready to help. As President Li had urged him to
come to Peking, Mr. Tang said he would go when parliament had been
reconvoked. But I apprehended and understood from others that he was
loth to go because his enemies in Peking were still too powerful.

After a brief vacation at the summer residence of my family at
Peitaiho, whither I had proceeded on the U.S. ship _Cincinnati_, I
returned to Peking on the 27th of July, as much business awaited me
there.

A change of government took place. The appointment of a new cabinet
was announced on June 30, 1916, with a personnel completely different
from that under Yuan Shih-kai. Mr. Tang did not leave Shanghai. A
provisional cabinet was therefore constituted under General Tuan
Chi-jui, Dr. Chen Chin-tao acting as Minister of Finance and Mr. Hsu
Shih-ying as Minister of Communications. I had long known Doctor
Chen, who had received his education in the United States and had
lived abroad many years as Financial Commissioner of the Chinese
Government. He was one of the few men in Chinese official life familiar
with Western finance and banking--a scholarly man, slow and somewhat
heavy in speech and manner, studious, and desirous of carrying modern
methods of efficiency and careful audit into all branches of the
Administration. Everyone met him with confidence.

The southern leaders did not come to Peking because they wished
their complete ascendency to be recognized before taking part in the
Government. Their demands that the Constitution of 1912 be revived
and that Parliament be restored had been complied with. They further
insisted on punishment for the leaders of the monarchical movement.
Accordingly, on July 13th a mandate was issued providing for the
arrest and trial of eight public men, including Liang Shih-yi, Chu
Chi-chien, and Chow Tsu-chi. All of these men happened to be beyond
the jurisdiction of the Chinese Government, so the mandate had the
effect only of a decree of exile. General Tuan, the Premier, smilingly
remarked in cabinet meeting that if the monarchists were really to be
punished, few men in public life would go free.

With an entirely new personnel of government, all threads of
negotiations, past and present, had to be taken up anew. I was already
acquainted with the Premier and with Doctor Chen, but the other cabinet
members I had met casually or not at all. With Doctor Chen and his
associate of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Hsu Un-yuen, who had been
appointed managing director of the Bank of China, and with General Hsu
Shu-cheng, the Premier's chief assistant, I frequently talked over
the financial situation of China. The monarchical movement had been
defeated, the Republic more firmly established; now, they suggested, it
was highly appropriate for America to support China financially. They
requested that the loan contract made by Lee, Higginson & Company be
carried out, and further steps taken for strengthening and organizing
Chinese credit.

I told the Premier about the railway and canal negotiations. He wished
to encourage American participation in Chinese development, but did not
commit himself on the new American proposals. On the matter of a loan
he reënforced the position taken by the Minister of Finance and General
Hsu. General Tuan had won the confidence of the Chinese people through
his disapproval of Yuan's monarchical ambitions, and now occupied a
strong position. "I do not expect much good," he said, "from the return
of parliament; there will be endless party struggles and interference
with the Administration. But as to this curious modern method of
governing through talk, which fundamentally I see no virtue in, I am
willing to give it a fair trial."

When I called on the Minister of Communications, I took care that the
conversation should be, not on business, but on literature and the
surroundings of Peking. He liked calligraphy; also, he had written
short literary pieces, one of which was a poetical description of the
Summer Palace. After a pleasant hour with tea the minister escorted me
not only through all the various gates of the inner courts, but to the
very door of my carriage. One of my colleagues on his initial visit
to the minister had a less fortunate experience. The interview, which
concerned a certain action long delayed, was somewhat spirited, for the
diplomat insisted with great emphasis that something be done forthwith.
By contrast the minister made me specially welcome, pleased that I
did not immediately descend upon him with demands. When, thereafter,
matters of business had to be taken up, there was the same cordiality,
even when difficult things were discussed.

During the first month of its renewed life, beginning the 1st of
August, the parliament did nothing to justify the unfavourable
expectations of its critics. It was not rash or irresponsible, its
members subordinated their private and partisan views to the urgent
needs of national unity and coöperation. The military party pursued
a waiting policy, seeming ready to give parliament a chance to show
what it could do. Meanwhile, the financial situation of the Government
became difficult, as the provinces had not yet been prevailed upon to
give adequate support.

Among the newly arrived leaders of the democratic party whose abilities
and character I was appraising was Mr. Sun Hung-yi, the Minister of the
Interior. I went to him, passing through narrow and crooked streets to
his house in a remote part of the city. It was surrounded by military
guards, carriages, and automobiles. The courts swarmed with people;
soldiers were lounging about, while countless long-coated individuals
hurried to and fro or sat in conversation in the rooms or on porches.
Mr. Sun, who met me in an interior apartment, was tall, broad faced,
with sparse whiskers and hair standing up rebelliously in wisps. He
wore a long brown coat, bestowing little care on his appearance.
"The parliament," he said, "cannot confine itself to its principal
task, the finishing of the Constitution; it must also control public
administration."

A contest for power was inevitable, it seemed, between the Premier and
the parliament.

Mr. Sun was a typical politician. Here he was, his innumerable
retainers about him, all intent on the game, while he was cunningly
deploying his forces for tactical advantage in politics. He betrayed no
ideas of statesmanship, only a desire for party dominance; though later
he did show signs of developing a broader vision.

I also met Mr. Ku Chung-hsiu, the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce,
a most complacent and oily person, who would be recognized the world
over as the suave political manipulator.

Of such calibre, then, were the men who, under President Li Yuan-hung,
were to lay the foundations of the new government.



PART III

THE WAR AND CHINA



CHAPTER XVIII

AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS IN PEKING


As the second year of the Hwai River conservancy option was about to
expire, something positive had to be done in order to make an actual
beginning on this work. Mr. W.F. Carey, whose various enterprises have
already been referred to, had arrived in Peking in December, 1915, with
his family and a large staff. He brought over his whole organization,
for his firm's arrangements with the New York capitalists made him
feel ready, not only to negotiate, but to start work. He had completed
extensive railway construction work in Canada and the United States;
his organization was ready for China. He was a man accustomed to
attacking his work with full force and getting it out of the way. He
knew there was plenty of work to do in China, and he was ready to start
doing it without delay.

Tested and highly recommended as the conservancy undertaking had been
by the engineering commission under Colonel Sibert, the financiers
associated with the Siems-Carey Company yet hesitated. It was then
suggested that they do part of the work and reserve an option on the
entire enterprise. The negotiations with Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, Minister of
Finance, developed that the only part which might be dissociated from
the whole was the restoration of the Grand Canal. But it would hardly
be profitable to undertake this unless at least the whole portion from
the Yangtse River to Techow were to be made navigable. Enough traffic
might then be counted upon to afford by means of tolls security for
the loan, together with certain tracts of land which would be drained.
A period of four months was given to investigate the feasibility and
cost of this work, while the option on the more extensive enterprise of
the Hwai River conservancy was extended.

The men representing American firms who came with Mr. Carey created
in Peking the impression of an onslaught of American enterprise. The
International Banking Corporation and the American International
Corporation had sent a new representative. The firm of Anderson, Meyer
& Company, hitherto Danish, had been acquired by American capital, and
a representative had been sent to Peking. Social life in the American
colony was visibly enlivened by this influx. It was amusing to see
how large groups of people from St. Paul, Kansas City, Chicago, and
various Eastern towns, suddenly planted in these entirely foreign
surroundings, could in an incredibly short time make themselves
thoroughly comfortable, and establish intimate relations with their
new neighbours. The various American representatives took large houses
in the city outside of the Legation Quarter, where they entertained a
great deal.

But by the legal talent mustered for the negotiations the Chinese were
rather taken aback. Not much given to legal refinements, nor to setting
down in the written contract detailed provisions for every imaginable
contingency, the meticulous care of the American legal draughtsmen
impressed the Chinese as savouring of suspicion.

Their own business arrangements are more simple and general, with
reliance on a mutual sense of equity; moreover, all contracts with
foreigners had hitherto been made in a less technical manner. An
American lawyer would not be satisfied with this. He would think of
the other corporation lawyers at home, sitting in their offices on
the thirty-fifth floor, to whom the ordinary Chinese way of drawing
up contracts would seem criminally lax. To overcome the concealed
resentment of the Chinese took time, together with much talk about
how the common interest would be promoted by completely defining all
responsibilities assumed. The argument which really impressed them was
that other foreign nations had frequently interpreted simply drawn
contracts entirely to the disadvantage of the Chinese.

Mr. Carey, also, did not personally believe in much legal refinement,
but bowed to the mature judgment of the profession. He had won his way
from the ranks, and his Irish originality had not been befogged with
theoretical discussion. He immediately felt at home with the frank and
human Chinese, and constantly had many of them at his house, where they
partook of true American hospitality and shared in frolics of dancing
and poker. The Chinese are fond of this American game, in which human
nature plays so large a part; the impassiveness of their countenance
lends itself admirably to the tactics of poker. It was amusing to hear
Liang Shih-yi, who otherwise spoke not a word of English, enunciate
from behind a pile of chips, in staccato tones: "Full house,"--"Two
pair." This eminent financier was a worthy match for any poker expert.

Mr. Carey brought his unwarped intelligence to bear with great
freshness on Chinese affairs, which he discussed in the language
of an American contractor and business man who reduced everything
to terms of getting something done. To observe how a man of his
training, instincts, and tradition, so utterly different from the
Chinese, remained in constant, intimate intercourse and joyous mutual
understanding with them, made one believe that there must be real bonds
of sympathy between Americans and the Chinese. Mr. Carey abbreviated
many of the Chinese names, thus making them far more pronounceable. Mr.
Chen Pan-ping, the Minister of Agriculture, thus became Ping-pong; the
Secretary of State, Hsu Shih-chang, was Susie.

When the preliminary contract for the Grand Canal had been signed, Mr.
Carey and all his associates departed for Shantung and Kiangsu under
the guidance of Mr. Pan Fu, a young capitalist and official from
Shantung Province, who was anxious to have the constructive work begun
early.

A mistake made by Americans in other parts of the world was not avoided
in China. Several of the new organizations that came in at this time
and during the war made their entry with a considerable blare of
trumpets and pounding of gongs, announcing the millions that were
backing them and describing the manner in which they would rip things
up generally when they got started. As a great part of international
business is diplomacy, such methods of blatant advertisement are not
best calculated to facilitate the early operations of a new enterprise.
They raise expectations of "easy money" in the people dealt with,
and they engender cynicism and rock-ribbed opposition on the part of
competitors. Great enterprises in foreign trade are usually built up
with quieter methods. My observations on this score by no means refer
to all new American enterprise in China, but there was enough of
this sort of brass-band work to give people an idea that it was the
approved method of American entry into foreign markets. The subsequent
flattening out of several of these loudly heralded ventures did not
help matters.

I had on February 29th a long interview with Dr. Jeme Tien-yow, an
American-educated engineer, who had won repute through the survey
and construction of the Peking-Kalgan Railway, of which he was chief
engineer. He was looked upon as a living example of what the Chinese
could do for themselves in engineering. At this time he was managing
director of the Hukuang railways. I had had extensive correspondence
with him, directly and through the Consul-General at Hankow with
respect to the engineering standards to be applied on his lines, as it
was difficult to find a middle ground between the American and British
manufacturers and those of other nations concerned. Doctor Jeme was
on the whole favourable to America, but clung to European standards,
much to the disadvantage of American equipment. We went over all the
disputed points with regard to solid cast wheels or tread wheels,
shapes of box cars, types of engines, and so on--a curiously technical
conversation for a foreign minister to hold with a railway director as
a matter of official business. Doctor Jeme was slow, undemonstrative,
quite willing to discuss, but not ready to yield any point in which
he thoroughly believed. The argument cleared up some matters and left
others the subject of continued correspondence.

I was trying to induce the American group to take the lead in
furnishing funds so that the building of the Szechuan line of
the Hukuang railways could be undertaken. I also hoped that,
notwithstanding the war, the British and French groups might continue
to furnish enough funds to complete the line from Hankow to Canton.

Doubtless the greatest national need of China was the completion of
these trunk lines, both to connect the north and south of the country,
and to open a land route to Szechuan Province, which could then be
reached only by boat on the Yangtse, subject to all contingencies of
an uncertain and dangerous navigation. It should not have required
argument to induce the capitalists to advance money for a short
railway which would open an inland empire of forty millions of people,
especially when they had already bound themselves by contract to
furnish the funds.

The $30,000,000 originally advanced had been spent, without more than
two hundred miles of actual construction to show for the vast sum. This
was due partly to the need of buying out earlier Chinese companies
at extravagant figures, but also in large part to the cumbersome and
expensive organization of this international enterprise. Only by
actually finishing one of these basically important lines and putting
it in operation could the money already expended be made to count.

At home the group seemed favourable to going ahead to the completion
of the work. Mr. Willard Straight in February went to London to seek
the consent of the British and French partners. But beyond settling
some minor details about alignments no definite result was secured.
Chinese development was blocked disastrously through this failure to
complete the existing contracts. In comparison with the amounts spent
in Europe by America, the cost of entirely carrying out this enormously
important work would have been infinitesimal; a thousandth part of our
war expense would have permanently changed the face of China.

Indeed, completion of such an enterprise would far transcend
mere business. What the Chinese needed was the organization of
their national life. In every particular this depended upon
communications--trunk lines north and south, east and west--which would
have largely overcome obstacles to Chinese progress. The nation's mind,
instead of being focussed on building up, unifying, and organizing the
different parts of the country, remained localized and scattered. A
thousand times the energy needed to achieve this unique work was spent
by us in Europe. That is part of the cost of war.

Mr. Charles Denby, interested in automobile manufacture, called one
morning and asked that I take a motor ride up the Tartar City Wall--a
thing which had never before been attempted. I yielded to the idea, and
without further inquiry joined him, together with the commandant of
the guard, Colonel W.C. Neville. Leaving the rear gate of the Legation
and approaching the broad ramp leading up to the wall, I was surprised
to see gathered there all the American marines, as well as many other
people, including motion-picture men. I had not counted on this
publicity; it was, however, too late to have any regrets, so we were
whisked up the steep incline and took a ride on the top of the great
wall. This first automobile ascension of the monumental structure
excited a good deal of attention. A British paper tried to raise a
laugh by ironically criticizing the British minister for not supporting
British industry by taking air flights, or doing other things which
might serve to attract attention to national products. I did not mind
what was said, as I had enjoyed the excitement of the ride.

Mr. Carey's party had by this time finished its survey. Laborious
negotiations had gone on for an acceptable contract to improve the
ancient Grand Canal. Mr. Carey also sought a contract for the building
of railways. These matters were entrusted to Mr. Roy S. Anderson,
who carried on the detailed negotiations. I had given Mr. Carey an
introduction to the various officials concerned, and had from time
to time supported his efforts, but did not take part in the details.
The business was carried on with Mr. Tsao Ju-lin, the Minister of
Communications, while the canal matter lay with Mr. Chen Pan-ping,
Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, a younger man, educated in Japan
and a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Chow Tsu-chi, the Minister
of Finance, and Mr. Liang Shih-yi, wielded a directing influence in
the negotiations. I was careful to abstain from anything which could
possibly savour of pressure, or a desire to take advantage of the
difficult financial necessities of the Government. The contracts were
made not on the basis of any temporary or local interest, but to
furnish a foundation for long-continued constructive work.

The Chinese Government gave to the American concern the right to build
fifteen hundred miles of railway, to be selected from five alignments
mentioned in the contract. Mr. Carey started for America on May 18th,
to secure ratification of the agreements. With him he took the most
favourable concessions which the Chinese Government had ever granted to
foreigners. All the most advantageous provisions of former contracts
had been embodied; the American contractors were to get a commission of
10 per cent. on the cost of construction and equipment, and were to
share, also, in the profits of operation. A broad policy of development
was adopted, embracing the encouragement of industries along the
railways to be built.

The Chinese Government, accustomed to financial support from nations
which had valuable concessions, hoped that the Americans would now
offer such assistance. The concessions were in no sense made dependent
upon loans, but collateral loan negotiations were proceeding, and Mr.
Carey took with him proposals concerning loans and securities offered.
His associates made every effort to secure a loan to China, but as
they now turned over their holdings to the American International
Corporation, and as the latter was negotiating to take over the
American group agreements with Great Britain, Russia, France, and
Japan, the matter became hopelessly tangled up with international
affairs and no action resulted. The Americans understood that Japan
would coöperate in a joint loan but would oppose any separate action
by the United States. American finance was still too provincial to
act independently in such a matter. Also it would approach each piece
of business as a separate unit, not ready to exert itself in behalf
of a loan in order to create a more favourable situation for other
transactions. European and Japanese combinations in China took a
different view; they were organized to represent a broad national
interest in Chinese business. While the attitude of individual American
corporations corresponded to the individualism of our business, yet the
national commercial interest of America was bound to suffer because
an organization did not exist which was broadly representative, which
would look upon all parts of Chinese commerce and finance in their
interrelation, and gather from every individual exertion favourable
cumulative effects in other fields of enterprise.

In yet another respect American practice was unsuited to the conditions
of business in China. After negotiating in a painstaking manner for
months, the corporation's representatives had finally signed a formal
agreement that was more advantageous than any ever granted before. The
results of this successful negotiation were set before the home office,
which took the position that its hands were still completely free. The
provisions of the contract were minutely reëxamined; on several points
it was concluded that still more favourable arrangements might be made.
The representatives were instructed to reopen the negotiations, making
the consent of the home corporation dependent on the acceptance of
these additional terms.

Such a method could not be used in China more than once. The
Chinese expect that when an agreement is arrived at with business
representatives in Peking, it will be adhered to, unless very radical
changes of conditions occur. They have been dealing on this basis with
the agents of European corporations, whose experience is considered
by their home offices as entitling them to handle the details of the
negotiations without reporting minutely to home officials far less
informed than they. To disavow the activity of a local representative
in China, except under absolute necessity, is to discredit the whole
negotiation. The representative who should wield great influence is
suddenly reduced to the dimensions of a clerk with whom the Chinese
will not take up anything of importance thereafter.

That the Americans would not make a loan disappointed the Chinese
officials. They were used to looking for financial support to
powerful groups, who desired or had obtained concessions. When, in
addition, proposals came for many changes in the signed contracts, the
displeasure of the Chinese knew no limits. The storm broke just before
the funeral of Yuan Shih-kai. I was appealed to for aid in predisposing
the Chinese officials to look upon the new proposals with more favour.
The Minister of Communications as well as Mr. Chu Chi-chien, the
Minister of the Interior, whom I interviewed, were dejected because
the loan had been so abruptly refused. They had counted on America to
take part in Chinese finance, in order that the Chinese Government
might not be entirely at the mercy of the Five-Power Consortium, or
rather of Japan, which was now the only active member of that group.
I tried to explain the action of the Americans on the basis of sound
business practice. I pointed out that in the United States, capital,
industry, and commerce are not mobilized for foreign enterprise as is
the case with the big foreign banking institutions of Europe. I tried
to encourage them to set American firms to doing constructive work in
China, and assured them that out of such relationships there would
naturally grow a readiness to afford financial support.

They did not dispute my point, but, in the words of Cleveland, they
felt themselves confronted by a condition, not a theory.



CHAPTER XIX

GUARDING THE "OPEN DOOR"


Negotiations had been proceeding all through the autumn of 1916,
between the Corporation and the Chinese Government, concerning the
modifications which the former desired to introduce into the Grand
Canal contract signed in May. The negotiations on the part of the
Chinese were in the hands of the Minister of Agriculture, and of Mr.
Pan Fu, a young Shantung capitalist and official of progressive ideas.
As the Minister of Agriculture was not well disposed, it was found
difficult to get him to agree to the additional advantages which the
Corporation desired to secure before finally ratifying the contract.
Shortly before Christmas, however, a basis of agreement had been
reached. Just at this time there came from America the astonishing
news that the American corporation had invited Japanese capitalists to
coöperate in this contract, on condition that such coöperation would be
acceptable to the Chinese Government.

The representatives of the American corporation in Peking had no
thought nor inkling whatsoever of this change in policy. The step had
been taken without warning and without consulting either the American
Government or the representatives of the company in China. It may be
imagined in what position it left the latter, to whom the Chinese had
entrusted these important rights solely because of the confidence
they had in Americans, both as to their ability to carry through
an enterprise of this kind, and as to their complete freedom from
all political afterthought. Unmindful of the fiduciary relationship
which their representatives had established in China, the American
corporation, without first sounding the Chinese and without giving
any intimation to the American Government--through whose approval and
support they had been able to gain these rights--turned around and made
an agreement to bring the subjects of another nation into the contract.
It is to be doubted if the nationals of any other country would have
acted in this manner.

If the action had been taken out of deference to rights which the
Japanese might claim in the future as a part of a sphere of influence
to be asserted in Shantung, then indeed it was one of superlative
international courtesy. New York bankers, however, were at this time
still notoriously the most timid beings known to experience, when
it came to matters of foreign investment. To make up for this they
did, when they once got started, throw away American money in amazing
quantities on reckless foreign enterprises in Europe and South America.

What made this action so inexcusable was not that Japanese coöperation
had been invited or accepted, but that the one enterprise selected for
such coöperation was the one in which America, through the National
Red Cross, had long been interested and which had been committed to
Americans as a special mark of confidence. One might have thought that
goodwill to the Japanese might have been amply demonstrated had our
people declared their complete readiness to coöperate on any one of
the numerous unfinished enterprises which the Japanese controlled in
Manchuria and elsewhere.

It was no easy task for the representatives of the American corporation
to tell the Chinese what had been done in New York. The proviso that
the arrangement was conditional upon its being acceptable to the
Chinese was of course pathetically ineffectual, because after the
arrangement made in New York the Chinese could certainly not refuse
to accept any outside partners without giving very serious offence
to them. I told the Chinese that we wished them to act with perfect
freedom and consult their own best interests in dealing with the
American corporation. But the Premier met all my explanations with:
"What can we do? The corporation has tied our hands."

The Chinese had shown special favour and bestowed their contracts
upon the American nation; by their own act Americans had changed this
disposal in such a way as to let in a third party. Personally, I had
not the least objection to the Japanese or any other nation; although
it seemed that in China coöperation with the Chinese would be the
normal method. Yet my experience with the Hukuang railways had made me
very doubtful of the practical advantages of international coöperation
in industry. It is a cumbersome, expensive way of doing business,
full of delay and circumlocution. I felt that the different nations
should mutually facilitate each other's enterprises and coöperate in
constructive planning from which all might derive advantage; but I felt
strongly that individual enterprises should be managed by a particular
group or corporation without complicated international machinery.

The railway concessions made to the Siems-Carey Company, which were
to be financed by the American International Corporation, were also
making trouble. Protests were made by the Russian Legation with regard
to the alignment from Tatungfu toward Lanchow; these rested upon an old
assurance given by the Chinese to Russia that any line northward or
eastward from Peking and Kalgan should first invite Russian capital.
But the protests had a weak leg to stand on, for the proposed line led
southwestward from Kalgan, away from Russia's dominions. They had the
less force in that the European Powers could not at this time furnish
money for the construction of the much-needed railways which had been
committed to their care; the more need, therefore, that America, which
had means, should build other necessary railways to provide China with
inter-provincial transit.

But that was the method of diplomacy--to hunt about for some ground of
protest to the Chinese Government, in order to obtain from it a few
counterbalancing advantages. The American policy of equal opportunity
had the verbal agreement of the other important powers, but we had
to be vigilant if Americans were to be protected in their right to
do business in various parts of China on the basis of this policy.
Everywhere we met attempts to solidify the inchoate desires and lusts
to secure exclusive rights, until the "spheres of influence" should be
firmly outlined.

I always took the position with the Russian minister that the American
concession in this case did not conflict with any promise given to
Russia. He spoke to me about the wish of Russia to use Mongolia as a
protective barrier. If Mongolia were to be developed through railways
and colonization, he felt that friction between Russia and China might
come about through this mutual approach of large populations. To keep
so vast a territory barren and unproductive just to serve as frontier
marches seemed to me unjustifiable. But I did not dispute the policy,
rather insisting that a railway that connected one of the eighteen
provinces of China with another could have but remote bearing on the
fears expressed by my Russian colleague. I told him the survey would go
on, but whether the road would be built would depend upon the judgment
of the engineers as to whether it would be commercially profitable. The
conversations were very leisurely. He did not say so, but I could see
that the minister fully expected the Americans to go ahead, while he
would use his protests as a means of getting some "compensation" out of
the Chinese.

I was therefore not a little surprised when on one of my visits to him
the Russian minister met me with a quizzical smile, and handed me a
telegram which he had just received from Washington. The dispatch was
from the Russian ambassador, and read in substance as follows:

 A representative of the American International Corporation has
 just called on me. He stated that the corporation regretted beyond
 measure that the impression had been given that it might contemplate
 undertakings in China which would be unwelcome to the Russian
 Government, and to which the latter would object. He stated that it
 was far from the intention of the corporation to do anything in China
 that would thus be objectionable to the Russian Government.

Never was the ground cut from under any one exerting himself to
safeguard the interests of others as was done in this case. There was
nothing to do but to say: "They are very courteous, and wish to save
your susceptibility. They would probably not ask for any branches in
the direction of Urga, and confine themselves just to building the main
line to Kansu." The Russian minister did not take an undue advantage of
me.

The next protest came from the French Legation. They had dug up a note
sent them on September 26, 1914, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs
of that time. This note, conveying an entirely unnecessary gift by
that good-natured minister, had been kept secret; it acknowledged the
handsome manner assumed by the French minister during the negotiations
about a small frontier incident. Just to show absence of ill feeling,
the Foreign Minister assured the French minister that in case in future
any mining or railway enterprises were to be undertaken in the Province
of Kwangsi, French capital would be consulted first. It was a grim joke
that an official should thus light-heartedly and without _quid pro
quo_ sign away important rights in contravention to all the announced
policies of his and other governments, including that to which the
grant was made. The French protest related to the southern part of the
line from Chuchow in Honan, to Chinchow, on the coast of Kwangsi.

I took the stand that the note which had turned up was contrary to the
expressed policy of the various governments concerned, and could have
no bearing on the relations of American citizens with China; moreover,
it had been secret, and neither the public nor any other government
knew about it. As the French minister whom the Chinese had asked the
French Government to withdraw because of his domineering attitude was
not at this time complacent in this or any other matter, I suggested
that the Department of State take up this question directly with the
French Minister for Foreign Affairs. I expressed the hope that the
French, our military and diplomatic associates, would wish particularly
to adhere "to the letter and the spirit of the declarations of equal
commercial opportunities."

The Continental Commercial Bank Loan had been announced in November,
1916. I was happy that this result had been achieved. An advance of
only $5,000,000 was made, but even that small sum was an important
aid to the Chinese Government. The fact that a big Western financial
institution had taken up relations with China was promising. What
foreign banking there was in New York was tangled up with European
interests, followed the lead of London, and had not manifested much
readiness to exert itself for the development of American interests
abroad.

The French protested this loan because it carried the security of the
tobacco and wine tax which had been assigned to some previous French
loans. I saw Doctor Chen, and Count Martel called on me. I took the
position that as the French loan--which was small in amount and would
require only a very minor portion of the proceeds of the tax--remained
entitled to be the first lien, the French interests were in no way
prejudiced. I imagine, what they really objected to was the eventual
appointment of an American auditor or co-inspector for this revenue. As
this, however, would go to strengthen the security for their loan, I
do not see that they had any reason for complaint. The representative
of the French bank which was interested saw me and made a tentative
suggestion that if adviserships were established the French might take
the wine tax, and the Americans the tobacco tax. I felt, however, that
the hands of the Chinese were perfectly free when the loan was made;
there could be no objection, except on the supposition that wherever
the Chinese do business, no matter how small, with respect to any
subject matter, they impliedly give a lien on all future dealings. To
the general suggestion of American-French coöperation in matters for
which both parties could find capital, I was by no means averse.

In this same month the affairs relating to the Standard Oil Company's
exploration were finally wound up. The geological experts they sent
over had not "struck" oil enough to pay. Drilling expeditions had come
over, which by the spring of 1915 had found traces of oil, and the
Chinese were considering giving them further areas for investigation.
But as they wished to modify their contract relating to production and
refining activities, Mr. E.W. Bemis, vice-president of the company,
came on and negotiated for a whole summer with the officials. He left
without concluding an agreement. Not only had he received the support
of the Legation at Peking and of the American Government, but the
Chinese were anxious to extend the privileges of exploration; his
decision to abandon the negotiations must therefore have been based
on a total change of policy. The company had apparently decided not
to develop production in China, but to continue merely its marketing
business. It was to be expected that competitors would be discouraged
from undertaking similar explorations. Mr. Hsiung Hsi-ling, ex-Premier
and chief of the National Oil Administration, called on me at this time
and gave me an account of his final negotiations with the company. He
had offered to establish a joint Chinese and American enterprise if
more extensive search should reveal oil deposits of great value.

The mineral situation in China was being surveyed during this time
by representatives of the New York Orient Mines Company, Mr. John
W. Finch, Dr. F. Bain, and Mr. Joseph E. Johnson, Jr. The attitude
of these men, whose training as observers and clean-cut scientific
methods gave their conclusions a particular cogency and definiteness,
interested me. They had found that the iron deposits of China were not
so extensive as is usually supposed. They believed, also, that the
market for iron products could only gradually be developed with the
growth of the general industry. They had analyzed the organization of
the Hanyehping Iron Works, and learned that its lack of success was due
to faulty planning, which necessitated the bringing of both the coal
and iron ore from a distance to the central point of manufacture. They
believed that for the time there was room for only one first-class iron
and steel enterprise in China. As smaller enterprises would hardly pay,
they favoured a national industrial plant, to be equipped on a scale to
assure every advantage of short transport and economic production. The
Premier gave them permission to investigate China's ore deposits, with
a view to suggesting a basis upon which a national industry could be
founded with temporary American financial assistance.

The Chinese Government had fully decided to adhere to its policy of
nationalizing the iron deposits, and the decree already issued by Yuan
Shih-kai was to be reënacted by parliament. The Chinese were eager to
establish a national steel industry. It should help supply the national
needs for iron products, with the aid, if necessary, of foreign
capital. They would not take the sole assistance of the Japanese,
because they knew that in that case the Chinese industry would be
confined to the production of pig-iron and would become the slave of
the steel industry of Japan. China would furnish raw materials; Japan,
the finished products.

Another secret agreement, this time with Japan, came to light. A loan
of 3,000,000 yen had been concluded with Japanese banks in the latter
part of 1916, and the secret agreement attached thereto gave Japanese
interests the right to meet the lowest price of any competitor in
bidding on any materials for the Chinese telephone and telegraph
service. Of course, this would have destroyed the equal opportunity
for other nationals in this business. The contract had been signed
by a notoriously corrupt official, who was completely under Japanese
influence and had since fled to escape prosecution for corruption.

I protested strongly. I told the Minister of Communications that the
provision was monopolistic, therefore in conflict with the treaties.
His answer disavowed the existence of the provision. But I knew it did
exist among the original agreements; nevertheless, the awards actually
made at this time, after my protest, were in accordance with the bids
submitted, and with the recommendations of the experts.

In a talk I had with the Premier during the spring of 1917 I advised
him to take up quickly the offer of the American International
Corporation to float the first bond issue of $6,000,000 on the
railway to be constructed by the Siems-Carey Company. The Ministry of
Communications was obstructing it, acting under Japanese influences. I
told the Premier that Mr. Carey's authority to conclude the loan might
be revoked at any time, whereupon he promised to instruct the acting
Vice-Minister of Communications to complete the transaction forthwith.

The Ministry of Communications was then in charge of one Chuan Liang,
who had, in fact, long been considered as representing the Japanese
element. He had married a Japanese woman. Chuan refused obstinately,
first, to take up the negotiations, then, to advance them when they
were begun. The rate of interest and terms of issue offered were fair,
considering existing market values; but the American company agreed to
make a concession and raise the issue price.

Chuan continued to be stubborn. I spoke to the Premier, General Tuan,
about it; President Li himself gave his support, and the orders to
make the loan were thus reënforced. Still delay. After General Tuan's
retirement, Dr. Wu Ting-fang as acting Premier again issued orders,
which were repeated for the third time by General Chiang when he, in
turn, displaced Doctor Wu. All these high officials concurred. Yet, in
an astounding manner, the acting vice-minister, together with a ring of
petty officials in his ministry and in the cabinet office, blocked the
carrying out of the orders issued by the President, the Premier, and
the whole cabinet.

But Dr. Wu Ting-fang was anxious to see the contract carried out. He
suggested that I write a note demanding its execution, which I did on
June 6th. Wu intended to have the successive orders published in the
_Government Gazette_, and, thus published, to be communicated to me
officially by the Foreign Office in response to my note. But the petty
ring delayed the publication. Meanwhile, the answer of the acting
vice-minister was prepared and inserted in the _Government Gazette_
on the 27th, before the Foreign Office could communicate it to me. It
presented unfairly the proposals of the American company, its language
was almost insulting.

During all this time the high Chinese officials, who were my friends,
were at a loss to explain to me how this subordinate's defiance of
their orders could be successful. They intimated that the obstruction
must be due to Japanese influence exercised in opposition to American
enterprise in China. We noted that immediately upon publication of
the vice-minister's answer and before we knew about it ourselves, a
secretary of the Japanese Legation quite officiously expressed to one
of the American secretaries his surprise at such a publication.

But by this act the vice-minister had overstepped the mark. The
leaders of the Communications party, who were holding aloof from
politics with General Tuan, strongly condemned Chuan, who had always
been dependent on them. He showed a remarkable change. He even sent
emissaries to me, pleading for forgiveness and stating that he was in
no way animated by hostility to American interests, but had acted on an
honest though mistaken view of the transaction.

Calling on me on July 2nd, he repeated his apology. On the 30th of June
the Ministry of Communications had formally accepted the offer of funds
by the American company. Thereafter negotiations were again interrupted
by political changes and disturbances.

This incident will serve to illustrate the complexity of Chinese
affairs, and the condition of disorganization in which the Chinese
Government was at this time.

The creation of a Chino-American Industrial Bank was the subject of
many discussions I had with Chinese officials and financiers. This
occupied a good deal of my attention during 1918, while Mr. Hsu
Un-yuen, after his retirement from the presidency of the Bank of China,
was devoting his time to working out a plan and securing the support
of prominent Chinese for this undertaking. Mr. Hsu Sing-loh was also
working on it independently; Mr. Hsu was secretary of the Minister
of Finance, educated in England, and exceptionally well informed. In
December of 1918 I accompanied Mr. Hsu to the house of Mr. Yang, a
capitalist interested in the China Merchants Steamship Company, where
we met with the Premier, Mr. Chien Neng-hsun, and Mr. Chou Hsueh-hsi,
who had recently been Minister of Finance. Here we talked over matters
of banking and finance, with Mr. Chou leading the conversation. He was
sure the Government would give a favourable charter that would enlist
the necessary capital. Chinese ideas about an industrial bank were
vague; in some mysterious way it was thought that it could produce
capital for developing industries, or, rather, could manifold its
capital for such uses. Three industries were ready--cotton, steel,
and scientific agriculture--for an extensive development. He did not
know how bad it is for a bank to lock up its capital in long-time
commitments. I asked those present as to how ready the Chinese public
would be to absorb the long-term bonds. Mr. Chou thought they would
take them, if strongly backed, at a relatively low interest. All
desired to go ahead. Ultimately the bank was founded, but by another
group.

Before parting on that day our wealthy host brought forth from the
strong-boxes many great treasures of Chinese art, including paintings
of the Sung and Ming periods. China boasts only one museum. Only
through seeing such private collections can one form an estimate of the
richness and extent of Chinese art treasures. For an hour I looked on
delightedly while one after another of these precious works of Chinese
painting were unrolled before us. Chinese pictures are very modest.
They come out when called, but retire again readily to the quiet
of the storeroom. Also, darkness has not the dulling effect on the
water-colours used by Chinese painters that it exercises upon pictures
done in oils.

Incidentally, Minister Chow and other prominent officials had been
interested in a savings bank combined with a lottery, which announced
the sale of so-called premium bonds. There were to be quarterly
drawings, at which a certain number of the bonds would receive prizes,
ranging as high as $100,000. Mr. Chow explained to me that it would be
futile for a Chinese savings bank to offer a matter of 5 or 6 per cent.
interest for funds. Nobody would heed it, because of the profitableness
of commercial enterprise. In order to strike public attention and
to cause people to bring their money for deposit, the inducement
of winning a large amount must be provided. The assurance that the
original deposit itself would not be lost, but would ultimately be
repaid, would be the second attraction.

The minister said that it was the plan of the bank to reduce the amount
of prizes and to increase their number so that gradually the payment of
a reasonable interest would be approached, as the people got accustomed
to the idea of placing their funds in such an institution. The fact
that this country, whose people are so frugal and parsimonious and
where there is so much accumulated capital, should hitherto have been
without savings banks appears remarkable to a stranger. But the high
return on commercial loans, and the ever-present gambling instinct of
the Chinese, account to some extent for this absence.



CHAPTER XX

A DIARY OF QUIET DAYS, AUTUMN OF 1916


_September 3_: Judge Elbert H. Gary has just been in Peking for ten
days with Mrs. Gary and a small party. I took them to call on President
Li who is now living in a private residence with extensive rockeries
and gardens, in the East City. We threaded our way to a central
pavilion where the President received us. He talked amiably about his
desire to see the great resources of China developed with American
coöperation. In the evening I gave a dinner to Judge Gary and the new
Ministers of Finance and Communications. Charles A. Coolidge, the
Boston architect, was also present. On the following day I arranged for
the American guests to see the Winter Palace; Mr. Coolidge afterward
said to me that the trip through the palace grounds had been the
most interesting experience of his life from the point of view of
architectural beauty. Someone with Judge Gary told me that every lunch,
afternoon reception, and dinner engagement, for the entire stay in
Japan, was already arranged for, together with many engagements for
breakfast; adding: "The Japanese certainly know a great man when they
see him, more than the Chinese." As a matter of fact, the Chinese are
so unartificial that they do not think of organizing their hospitality
to any distinguished guest. What they do is quite spontaneous; they are
truly hospitable, but they do not understand the first elements of the
art of advertising.

_September 9_: I took a trip to Dajessu with the Austrian minister.
This temple lies about twelve miles beyond the summer palace. We walked
part of the way; a Chinese fell in with us, and, as is customary,
opened conversation. Without seeming unduly inquisitive he elicited
information about the size of our families, our age, income, and the
cost of our clothing, the material of which he greatly admired. When
the Austrian minister told him that he had about four hundred men under
him, our companion looked rather dubious, and finally asked: "Why,
then, if you have so many attendants, are you walking?" The explanation
that we preferred to walk did not seem to remove his doubts. He told us
in turn all the details of his family and business affairs.

We spent the week-end at the beautiful temple, from which we took
walks to the surrounding mountainside. A deserted temple on a high
hill overlooking the valley is picturesque as any castle on the Rhine.
We ascended to the summer residence of Mr. Hsu Un-yuen, a temple
perched on a precipitous spur of the main mountain range. The temple
had evidently been erected originally for a semi-residential purpose,
though it was in a quite inaccessible place, where neither worshippers
nor vacationists would ordinarily have sought it out. We found Mr. Hsu
and his wife enjoying the magnificent view from a terrace opening out
from the living apartments.

_September 13_: I gave a dinner to Mr. C.T. Wang, the vice-president
of the senate, and a few representative members of parliament. We
engaged in a general after-dinner discussion of politics. Most of the
men present were Progressives. They argued volubly. The arguments
and illustrations were such as one would hear in a Western country.
I missed, as usual, a thorough discussion of underlying facts,
traditions, and practices of Chinese life, out of which institutions
should develop. I mentioned this; Mr. Wang said that they needed
a guiding principle of organization, which they must get from the
experience of constitutional countries. The question uppermost was
the proposed election of provincial governors by the people of the
respective provinces, instead of their appointment by the Central
Government. Most of those present considered this change necessary,
as through union and mutual support the appointive military governors
could exercise great power and defeat the aims of Parliament.

_September 14_: Failing to get financial assistance from America,
the Chinese have been considering Japanese offers of loans. Dr.
Chen Chin-tao, forced by the situation and the importunities of the
ministers, who need money, has signed a preliminary agreement for a
loan of eighty million yen, on which an advance of five million yen is
to be paid over immediately.

_September 18_: The House of Representatives to-day in secret session
discussed the Japanese loan. I am informed that it was strongly
attacked on the ground that certain mines in Hunan Province had been
pledged to secure the advance. The Minister of Finance was not present,
the vice-minister appearing to answer questions. The minister was
violently condemned for signing the preliminary agreement without
the consent of parliament. The argument was made that it related to
an advance, but not to the main loan itself. That argument was not
considered valid.

_September 19_: Negotiations were concluded with the Minister of
Communications for a satisfactory adjustment of the American railway
contract. Most of the proposals made were accepted, so that the
American corporation ought certainly to be thoroughly well satisfied,
considering all the changes and difficulties that have occurred since
the original contract was made. That of the 17th May was allowed
to stand, the changes being introduced by way of annexes. After
the Chinese have thus gone to the limit of making the undertaking
attractive to Americans, it is to be hoped that there will be no
further delay; that, at least, some important constructive work will be
done by Americans.

_September 21_: We welcomed a little son to-day in the family. I do
not know that any children were born to any American minister in Peking
before our little daughter Pauline came, in February, 1915. The two
little ones were born into a strange world in which parents may well
fear for the health of their children, because of frequent epidemics.
Still, aside from such visitations, the Peking climate seems to be most
favourable to children; they thrive and grow apace. Claire, the eldest
daughter, aside from a terrible attack of appendicitis in which Dr.
M.A. Stewart, of the Navy, saved her life, has been the very spirit of
health. The faithful Chinese servants surround the children with every
care.

_October 3_: I gave a men's dinner, attended by the ministers of
Portugal, Russia, and Japan, and by Mr. Obata, the Japanese counsellor;
Count Martel, the French first secretary; Mr. Aglen, Inspector-General
of Customs; Mr. Alston, the British counsellor; Mr. Herrera de Huerta,
formerly Mexican Chargé; Mr. Mitrophanow, of the Russian Legation;
Doctor Willoughby, Doctor McElroy of Princeton, and other guests. It
was really a dinner of welcome to the new Japanese minister, Baron
Hayashi, who has recently arrived to take the place of Mr. Hioki. It
was probably thought better to displace the minister upon whom had
fallen the disagreeable duty of forcing through the Twenty-one Demands
of 1915. Baron Hayashi, who had been ambassador in Italy, brings a long
diplomatic experience and very careful methods. He is very silent,
speaks little except when few or only one other person are present. In
a larger company or at a meeting, he gives the impression of detachment
and deep reflection. In social intercourse he is more retiring than his
predecessor. He impresses me as a thoughtful, fair-minded man.

_October 4_: I am told that a guest at last night's dinner, a visitor
from a distant country, complained because he had not been ranked with
the ministers. As I had no information, nor have it now, that he was
entitled to such ranking, I shall not worry. This is the first instance
of any dissatisfaction with the seating. My predecessor related to
me that a secretary of the British Legation once took his sudden
departure before dinner for this reason. I have not always closely
adhered to rank in seating, particularly at dinners where there are
Chinese, in order to avoid a grouping which should make conversation
impossible; but in such cases, of course, I always speak to whichever
guest is slightly prejudiced by the arrangement and explain the reason
to him. I have never noticed the least sign of displeasure. At a very
formal dinner, it is of course always safer to follow rank and let the
conversation take care of itself. Any enjoyment people get out of such
a dinner they set down as pure profit, anyhow.

_October 7_: Ambassador and Mrs. Guthrie arrived to-day. They will be
our guests for several weeks. Mr. Guthrie has not been very well, so
has come for a rest. We spent the day together, talking over Chinese
and Japanese affairs and relations. We agree on most points.

In the evening we dined at the officers' mess, after which there was
dancing. Mrs. Ollie James and Mrs. Hall of Washington came with the
Guthries. They were at the dinner, at which great cheer prevailed.
Colonel Neville, the new commandant of the marines, radiates good
fellowship. He is sociable, efficient, and ready to coöperate in all
good causes. His officers and men seem to revere him, and a very fine
spirit reigns in the marine compound.

_October 11_: I presented Ambassador Guthrie to the President, who
had invited us for luncheon. We were only six at the table. Mr. Quo
Tai-chi, the youthful English-speaking secretary of the President,
interpreted. The President had many questions to ask about Japan.
Then, he spoke quite hopefully about the outlook in China. Financial
difficulties will be overcome through coöperation of parliament and
the cabinet, so that the Government may count on popular consent to an
increase in taxes.

President Li now occupies the palace where Yuan Shih-kai had lived. We
met in a small apartment in the building constructed for the Empress
Dowager, which was tastefully furnished in the best Chinese style.

_October 13_: The dinner season has fully set in. There are dinners
every night, and will be, throughout the winter. This evening we
entertained for the Guthries, having Prince Koudacheff, Baron Hayashi,
and the wives of the Russian and Danish ministers, who are themselves
absent.

_October 23_: The Political Science Association met at my house. The
Minister for Foreign Affairs presided. Doctor W.W. Willoughby and
Senator Yen Fu, the noted scholar, read papers. Over a hundred men were
in attendance--the cream of the Western-educated officials, as well as
European and American members.

_October 29_: The Guthries left yesterday. To-day arrived General and
Mrs. Liggett, who will be our guests for a few days. General Liggett is
tall and impressive-looking. We had a long initial conversation about
the effects of the war in the Far East. The Philippines are beginning
to be prosperous on account of the war demand for their products.

_October 31_: I presented General Liggett to President Li. In a long
conversation the President was frank in his statement concerning the
international difficulties of China. He expressed himself in strong
terms as desirous of close coöperation with America. I gathered that
he feared that certain foreign influences might stir up trouble
between the parliament and the Government, and otherwise seek to cause
embarrassment.

_November 3_: I went with a small party to the mountain temple
Djetaissu. Mrs. Chadbourne, the sister of my friend Mr. Charles R.
Crane; Miss Ellen Lamotte the writer; Mr. and Mrs. Burns of Shanghai;
and Mr. Charles Stevenson Smith, of the Associated Press, took this
excursion riding on donkeys, with many spills as the animals slipped on
the rocky road. The temple is near the top, commanding a magnificent
view of the plains and of the higher mountains farther inland. It rises
tier above tier, its platforms shaded by huge trees, with enchanting
vistas of architecture and a broad sweep of view in all directions.

_November 9_: The Continental Commercial Bank Loan is announced. I am
happy that this result has been achieved. An advance of only $5,000,000
will be made, but even that small sum will be an important aid to the
Chinese Government. The fact that a big Western financial institution
has taken up relations with China is promising. What foreign banking
there is in New York is tangled up with European interests, follows the
lead of London, and has not manifested much readiness to exert itself
for the development of American interests abroad.

_November 10_: I attended the balloting for the election of the
Vice-President of the Republic, at a joint session of the two houses
of parliament. While no speeches were made, with the exception of
brief discussion on points of order, yet it was of interest to see
the general aspect of parliament. The procedure, certainly, was
business-like. Balloting was by written and signed vote; after each
ballot, the individual votes are read off from the tribune. I had the
impression that a true election was going on. General Feng Kuo-chang,
the Military Governor of Kiangsu, had the lead from the start, which
was gradually increased by the balloting until finally he got the
necessary majority. I could not stay until the result was announced,
when there was a demonstration to honour the nominee. But I saw before
me a body which had evidently mastered the procedure of parliamentary
action, so that things were done with a smoothness and ease which
implied long experience. Many people witnessed the election, among them
several of my colleagues. I had a brief conversation with Mr. C.T.
Wang, who was hopeful that, now the Vice-Presidential succession was
settled legally and peacefully, the future of the Republic was assured.

General Feng has occupied a pivotal position at his post at Nanking. He
is shrewd and clever. Like a boy standing over the centre of a seesaw,
he used his weight to balance either side according as the pendulum
movement required. He was at first believed to have given Yuan Shih-kai
encouragement to be emperor, but when asked to express himself, had
allowed the report that he was neutral to gain currency; then, as
the opposition gained strength, he added his weight with gradually
increasing force to its side, although never at any stage coming out
with positive statements. His selection was an attempt to form a
compromise between the militarist and the progressive parties.

_November 10_: I took a long excursion with Prince Koudacheff. We rode
to the foothills by automobile, then climbed to the top of a lofty
range back of his temple, where one can promenade for six or eight
miles along the crest of the ridge with glorious views of mountain
country on either side.

_November 15_: I had a long conversation with Baron Hayashi to-day.

_November 20_: Admiral and Mrs. Winterhalter arrived for a few days'
visit. The Admiral is tall, gray-haired, strong-featured, of energetic
movements. He has always manifested a deep interest in what is going on
in China; we sat down for a long talk immediately after his arrival.

_November 22_: I presented the Admiral to President Li and we had
a pleasant conversation, although the President was not quite so
expansive and confidential as during my last call. As we made the
rounds of calls on the cabinet ministers, I took the conversation
beyond the ordinary civilities, so as to give the visitor an
opportunity of getting more insight into the affairs now engaging our
attention; also, to use this valuable time for an exchange of ideas
with the Chinese leaders.

_November 25_: The French are protesting against the Continental
Commercial Bank Loan, in so far as the security is concerned. The
security of the tobacco and wine tax had been assigned to some previous
French loans. I saw Doctor Chen, and Count Martel called on me. I
take the position that as the French loan--which is small in amount
and will require only a very minor portion of the proceeds of the
tax--remains entitled to be the first lien, the French interests are in
no way prejudiced. I imagine what they really object to is the eventual
appointment of an American auditor or co-inspector for this revenue. As
this, however, would still strengthen the security for their loan, I
do not see that they have any reason for complaint. The representative
of the French bank which is interested, saw me and made a tentative
suggestion that if advisorships were established, the French might take
the wine tax, and the Americans the tobacco tax. I feel, however, that
the hands of the Chinese were perfectly free when the loan was made;
there can be no objection, except on the supposition that whenever the
Chinese do business, no matter how small, with respect to any subject
matter, they impliedly give a lien on all future dealings.

_December 4_: I called on Doctor Morrison to take a look at his
library. This unusual collection contains about twenty thousand books
in European languages, dealing with China. The rare editions of early
works are almost completely represented. Doctor Morrison, who lives in
a Chinese-style house, has built a fireproof building for his books.
He has devoted the last fifteen years to getting them together, and
I believe has spent the larger part of his income on them. Recently
he married a lady who had been for a while his secretary. They now
have a little boy. I am told that his marriage and fatherhood have
greatly augmented Doctor Morrison's standing and influence among
the Chinese. A bachelor does not fit into their scheme of life. We
repaired to his study, and for a long time were discussing affairs.
We spoke particularly about the railway situation and the fact that
construction on all the lines contracted for has practically been
stopped. This is an enormous disadvantage to the Chinese. They have to
pay heavy interest charges on the initial loans, for which there is as
yet no income-paying property to show, but only surveys and partial
construction. We agreed that the Four-Power bankers, for instance, have
a very weak case if China should decide to cancel their contract for
non-performance, as money to continue the building is not forthcoming.
On the British concession of the Pukow-Singyang Railway, on which
virtually no work has yet been done, the Government nevertheless has to
pay interest on a million dollars of capital that has been advanced.

_December 7_: I visited Prince Koudacheff, the Russian minister. I
jokingly asked him whether he found that the Chinese thought of the
Russians as half-Asiatic, therefore as brothers. "No," he replied;
"they count us with you and with the other Europeans, as a scourge and
pestilence." In this conversation the Prince uttered a prophecy. "As a
result of this war," he said, "the empire will be abolished in Germany."

(Neither of us at this time dreamed of the enormous subversions and
convulsions which were soon to take place in Russia.)

_December 8_: I called on President Li in order to present a personal
letter from President Wilson, in which the latter sends his good
wishes. We discussed the American loan policy. The President, like
other Chinese, finds it difficult to understand why America, with
her great capital strength and industrial development, is so slow in
taking advantage of opportunities for investment and development in
China. The President said: "Americans love pioneering. In China there
is pioneering to do, with the added advantage of having a ready labour
supply and local capital, which may be enlisted. Why are they so slow
to come in?" I agree with him that it is difficult to understand.

_December 16_: Mr. Victor Murdock is in Peking, bringing a breeze
of American good-fellowship, and a vision unobstructed by theories.
He finds China interesting, but, I fear, he will suffer the usual
disability of the passing visitor, that is, he will see the
unfavourable aspects of Chinese life and will not stay long enough to
appreciate the deeper virtues.

       *       *       *       *       *

This diary account of some of the happenings during the fall of 1916
contains nothing of the daily work of conferences, discussions,
interviews, dictations dealing with the innumerable problems that come
up from the consulates, or that arise in the capital directly, or
referring to general policies which are hammered out and formed for
action.

A great part of the work of a legation is concerned with foreseeing
trouble and trying to avoid it. Such work usually does not appear at
all in the record. In a country where conditions are complicated as
they are in China, where there is such a crisscrossing of influences,
it is easy to make a mistake if constant care be not exercised to keep
informed of every detail and to head off trouble.



CHAPTER XXI

CHINA BREAKS WITH GERMANY


The time came for the United States to sever relations with the German
Kaiser's government. I had taken advantage of the clear sunshine and
mild air on Sunday, February 4, 1917, to visit Doctor Morrison at his
cottage outside of Peking near the race-course. After lunch a messenger
came from the Legation, bringing word that an important cablegram had
arrived and was being decoded. I returned to town, and at the Legation
Mr. White handed me the decoded message which said that the American
Government had not only broken off diplomatic relations with Germany,
but that it trusted the neutral powers would associate themselves
with the American Government in this action of protest against an
intolerable practice; this would make for the peace of the world. I was
instructed to communicate all this to the Chinese Government.

After a conference with the first secretary, Mr. MacMurray, and the
Chinese secretary, Doctor Tenney, I made an engagement to see the
President and the Premier on that same evening. I felt justified in
assuming that the invitation to the neutrals to join the United States
was more than a pious wish and that there was some probability that
the European neutrals would support our protest. As to China I had
already informed the Government that we could reasonably expect support
there. I therefore considered it to be the policy of the Government to
assure a common demonstration on the part of all neutral powers, strong
enough to bring Germany to a halt. So far as my action was concerned,
I therefore saw the plain duty to prevail upon China to associate
herself with the American action as proposed by my government.

I found President Li Yuan-hung resting after dinner in his palace
and in an amiably expectant mood. With him was Mr. Quo Tai-chi, his
English secretary. He was plainly startled by the prospect of having to
consider so serious a matter, and did not at first say anything, but
sat silently thinking. His doubts and objections were revealed rather
through questions than by direct statements. "What is the present state
of the war, and what the relative strength or degree of exhaustion of
the belligerent parties?" "Could the Allies, even with the assistance
of the United States, win a decisive victory?" Finally, he said: "The
effect of such a far-reaching international act upon the internal
situation in China will have to be carefully considered."

The President's secretary appeared strongly impressed with the
favourable aspects of our proposal, so that he began to argue a little
with the President. On my part, I pointed out the effects which a
positive act of international assertion in behalf of a just cause and
well-disposed associates would have upon China by taking attention off
her endless factional conflicts. When I touched upon the ethical phases
of the matter, the President fully agreed with me. I had particularly
impressed upon him the need of prompt action in order that counsels
might not be confused by adverse influences from without.

We next drove to the residence of the Premier, General Tuan Chi-jui,
who was then playing an important part in the politics Of China.
I recalled my first interview with him when he had received me in
a dingy room, himself wearing a frowzy long coat and exhibiting a
general air of tedium and lack of energy. There was no suggestion of
the military man about him. The qualities upon which General Tuan's
great influence is founded become apparent only upon a longer and more
intimate acquaintance. Despite his real indolence, his wisdom, his
fundamental honesty, and his readiness to shield his subordinates and
to assume responsibility himself have made this quiet and unobtrusive
man the most prominent leader among the Chinese militarists. His
interest centres chiefly in the education of military officers. He is
no politician and is bored by political theory. He is always ready to
turn over the handling of affairs to subordinates, by whom he is often
led into a course which he might not himself have chosen. This, coupled
with extraordinary stubbornness, accounts for his influence often
tending to be disastrous to his country. His personality, however, with
its simplicity and pensiveness, and his real wisdom when he lets his
own nature guide him, make him one of the attractive figures of China.

Though in himself the principal influence in the Government, Tuan
left all details to his assistants, Mr. Tsao Ju-lin and General Hsu
Shu-cheng. He preferred to play chess. He was, however, always ready
to shoulder responsibility for what his subordinates had done. Often
when he was deep in a game of Chinese chess, his mind focussed on the
complexities of this difficult pastime, General Hsu would approach
him with some proposal. Giving only half an ear to it, the Premier
would respond, "All right" (_How how_). When, later, the results of
the action thus taken turned out to be bad and the Premier asked for
an explanation, he was reminded that he had himself authorized it.
He would then faintly recollect, and would make a gesture toward his
shoulder, which indicated that--very well--he took the responsibility.

But on this occasion General Tuan was all attention. He had with
him Mr. C.C. Wu of the Foreign Office, who continued throughout
these negotiations to act as interpreter. The circumstance that the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Wu Ting-fang, was ill and had to
be represented by his son, and that in all important interviews both
the Premier and young Mr. Wu were present, greatly facilitated the
business and saved time which would have been needed to carry on
parallel conversations in the Foreign Office and with the Premier.
General Tuan was far from accepting the proposal at first sight. "It
would be wise for Germany to modify her submarine policy," he stated,
"because in land warfare she could press her opponents so seriously
that her absolute defeat would be difficult unless the United States
entered the war." He appeared to contemplate the possibility of China
taking so unprecedented a step as the breaking of relations with a
great power with less concern than did the President. We arranged for a
longer discussion on the following day.

Far into that night I was in conference with the legation staff, and
with certain non-official Americans and Britishers of great influence
among the Chinese. These men looked with enthusiasm upon the idea of
an association with the United States, aligning against Germany the
vast population of China. While the energies and resources of China
were not sufficiently mobilized to be of immediate use in the war,
yet by systematic preparation they might bring an enormous accession
of strength to the Allies if the war should last long. We felt,
also, that through positive alliance with the declared policy of the
United States, China would greatly strengthen herself internally and
externally.

Dr. John C. Ferguson addressed himself directly to the Premier and
the President; his thorough knowledge of Chinese enabled him to
bring home to them the essential points in favour of prompt action.
Mr. Roy S. Anderson and Mr. W.H. Donald, an Australian acting as
editor of the _Far Eastern Review_, who were close to the members of
the Communications Party and the Kuo Min Tang, addressed themselves
especially to the leaders in parliament. Dr. G.E. Morrison, the British
adviser of the President of China, had long worked to have China join
in the war: he quietly used all his influence with the President and
high officials, in order to make them understand what was at stake.
Other Americans and British newspapermen, like Charles Stevenson Smith
and Sam Blythe, who happened to be in Peking, all tirelessly working in
their own way with men whose confidence they enjoyed, urged the policy
proposed by America. These men made a spontaneous appeal based upon the
fundamental justice of the policy of resisting an intolerable practice,
and on the beneficent effect which a great issue like this would have
in pulling the Chinese nation together and in making it realize its
status as a member of the family of nations. However, what counted most
with the Chinese was the fact that America had acted, and had invited
China to take a similar step.

At a second long interview with the President, he asked me: "Would not
a positive active foreign policy, particularly if it should lead to
war, strengthen the militarist party?"

I replied that in my opinion such a contingency would strengthen
decisively the Central Government, enabling it to keep the military in
their proper place as an organ of the state and preventing the further
growth of the pseudo-feudalism inherited from Yuan Shih-kai.

"But would the American Government assist China in bearing the
responsibilities of such a step?"

Before replying to this question, I had to cable the Department of
State for instructions as to what assurances I would be authorized to
give to the Chinese Government in the event of their taking the action
suggested by the United States. Unfortunately, as was several times the
case during some critical situation, the cable connection was broken
and I failed to get any reply to assist me during the negotiations.

With a map the Premier and I, later that afternoon, analyzed the
military situation of the European Powers. From the analogy of the
American Civil War, I expressed to him the belief that Germany could
not resist the enormous pressure from all sides. "What," the Premier
asked, "may be expected of America by way of direct military action?
Bear in mind that I wish for nothing more than for a strong America,
able to exercise a guiding influence in the affairs of the world."

My positive belief that America would, if necessary, follow the
severance of relations with the strongest kind of military action
interested him. America had been represented to the Chinese as a big,
over-rich country which lacked energy for a supreme military effort.

"What, then, will happen at the conclusion of the war?" he asked.

The fact that Japan had already made efforts to assure for herself the
right to speak for China was worrying the Chinese. With the Premier,
as with the President, the idea that, through breaking with Germany,
China could assure herself of an independent position at the peace
table, had much weight. Both men also faced the possibility of being
drawn into the war. The Premier appeared to regard this with a certain
degree of positive satisfaction; to the President it seemed a less
agreeable prospect. I made it plain that the American proposal did not
go beyond breaking off diplomatic relations with Germany, and, that
by taking that step, China would effectually rebuke and discourage
the illegal and inhuman acts of Germany on the high seas, keeping her
hands entirely free as to future action. Should further steps be later
needed, the road would be open.

Intensive discussions were going on all day Monday and deep into the
night among the Chinese officials and the leaders of parliament. I
received calls on Tuesday from many Chinese leaders who wished to talk
over the situation. The progressive, modern-minded, and forward-looking
among the Chinese readily supported the idea that China should range
herself alongside the United States in this action. Admiral Tsai
Ting-kan, who was very close to the President, laboured in company with
Doctor Morrison to bring before Li Yuan-hung all the considerations
favouring positive action. The President, however, still adhered to his
idea that it was safer for China to remain entirely neutral.

In the cabinet, Dr. Chen Chin-tao, the Minister of Finance, and Mr.
C.C. Wu, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, from the
earliest moment associated themselves with those of the opinion
that China must act, and they led the younger officials. In the Kuo
Min Tang, Mr. C.T. Wang, vice-president of the senate; Dr. Wang
Chung-hui, the leading jurist of China; and General Niu Yung-chien,
of revolutionary fame, were the first to become active. The Peking
_Gazette_, with its brilliant editor, Eugene Chen, came out strongly
in favour of following the United States. A powerful public opinion
was quietly forming among the Chinese. The Young China party was
beginning to see the advantage which lay in having China emerge from
her passivity.

When I returned from a dinner with the Alstons at the British Legation
on Tuesday night, Mr. C.C. Wu brought me word from the cabinet that
it would be quite impossible to take action unless the American
Government could adequately assure China assistance in bearing the
responsibilities which she might incur, without impairment of her
sovereign rights and the independent control of her national forces.

The Chinese ministers had in mind two things: In the first place, the
need of financial assistance, in order to make it possible for China
eventually to participate in the war, if that should be desired; and,
second, the prevention of all arrangements whereby Chinese natural
resources, military forces, arsenals, or ships, would be placed
under foreign control incompatible with her undiminished national
independence.

All through Wednesday I struggled with this difficult problem. I had
to act on my own responsibility, as I could not reach the Department
of State by cable. If all the influences unfavourable to the action
proposed were given time to assert themselves, the American proposal
would be obstructed and probably defeated. The Chinese Government
would act only on such assurances as I could feel justified in giving
to them at this time; if I gave them none, no action would be taken.
It seemed almost a matter of course, should China follow the lead of
the American Government, that the latter would not allow China to
suffer through lack of all possible support in aiding China to bear
the responsibilities she assumed, and in preventing action from any
quarter which would impose on China new burdens because of her break
with Germany. Unable to interpret my instructions otherwise than that a
joint protest of the neutrals had actually been planned by the American
Government, and feeling that the effect upon Germany of the American
protest depended on the early concurrence of the important neutral
powers, I considered prompt action essential. I was sure that all sorts
of unfavourable and obstructive influences would presently get to work
in Peking.

When discussion had reached its limit, on the afternoon of February
7th, I felt it necessary to draw up a note concerning the attitude of
the American Government. The tenor of this note I communicated to the
Premier and the Foreign Office, with the understanding that I should
send the note if favourable action were decided upon by the Chinese
Government.

I believed that without such assurances the instructions of the
American Government could not be carried out, and that it would act
in all respects in a manner consonant with its position as a powerful
government and as a leader of protest among the neutrals; moreover,
that its relations with those who gave support in a policy of such
fundamental importance would be determined by principles of equity
and justice. I felt that the United States could not be less liberal
toward a country coming to its support than toward those countries
which the American Government was now going to help. It was only these
self-evident conclusions which I cautiously expressed in my note. The
text of this note, in its essential part, had the following form:

  Excellency:

 In our recent conversation concerning the policy of your Government in
 associating itself with the United States in active opposition to the
 unrestricted submarine warfare by which Germany is indiscriminately
 jeopardizing the lives of neutral citizens, you have with entire
 frankness pointed out to me that, whereas the Chinese Government is
 in principle disposed to adopt the suggestion of the President of
 the United States in that regard, it nevertheless finds itself in a
 position in which it would not feel safe in so doing unless assured
 that it could obtain from American sources such financial and other
 assistance as would enable it to take the measures appropriate to the
 situation which would thus be created.

 With like candour I have stated to you that I have recommended to my
 Government that in the event of the Chinese Government's associating
 itself with the President's suggestion, the Government of the United
 States should take measures to put at its disposition the funds
 immediately required for the purposes you have indicated, and should
 take steps with a view to such a funding of the Boxer Indemnity as
 would for the time being make available for the purposes of the
 Chinese Government at least the major portion of the current indemnity
 instalments; and I have indicated to you my personal conviction that
 my Government would be found just and liberal in effecting this or
 other such arrangements to enable the Chinese Government to meet
 the responsibilities which it might assume upon the suggestion of
 the President. I should not be wholly frank with you, however, if I
 were to fail to point out that the exact nature of any assistance
 to be given or any measure to be taken must be determined through
 consultation of various administrative organs, in some cases including
 reference to Congress, in order to make effective such arrangements
 as might have been agreed to in principle between the executive
 authorities of the two countries; and I therefore could not in good
 faith make in behalf of my Government any definite commitments upon
 your suggestions at the present time.

 I do, however, feel warranted in assuming the responsibility of
 assuring you in behalf of my Government that by the methods you have
 suggested, or otherwise, adequate means will be devised to enable
 China to fulfill the responsibilities consequent upon associating
 herself with the action of the United States Government, without any
 impairment of her national independence and of her control of her
 military establishment and general administration.

Final presentation of everything that had to be considered in making a
decision was arranged with the Premier for Wednesday evening. I found
General Tuan alone. We spoke awhile about the news of the day, then
I began to go into the main matter. But General Tuan appeared weary
and worried. This may have been the reason for the failure of the
interpreters to make smooth connection: I suggested, as the Premier had
had an excessively long day, that we meet again the following morning.
It was arranged for ten o'clock at the cabinet office, just before the
Thursday morning cabinet conference.

I had just dined with Mr. C.T. Wang and a number of parliamentary
leaders. They were keen on the policy of following the United States.
They had seen President Li during the day; he was still full of
doubts, but stated that he would leave the decision in the hands of
the cabinet, and would abide by the results. Mr. Wang believed that
the President was gradually coming around to the American point of
view, and that his acceptance of it would be the stronger and heartier
because of the conscientious doubts which he was overcoming.

The negotiations of these three days had gone on quietly. The men upon
whom rested the responsibility of making the decision were constantly
in conference. Several men of influence worked with officials of the
Government and leaders in parliament. But the outside foreign public
was not fully alive to what was going on, and those who knew and were
interested generally believed that ancient China would not take so
unprecedented a step. The Japanese minister, Baron Hayashi, was absent
from Peking. The German official representatives apparently had no idea
that any radical action could come from the Chinese Government.

I arrived at the cabinet office on Thursday morning, at ten, and was
shown to the room where the Premier was to receive me. As he had told
me that Mr. C.C. Wu would be present to interpret, I had not brought
an interpreter for this informal and intimate interview. The Premier
soon entered unattended and we sat down together, smoking cigarettes,
and observing an enforced silence, as Mr. Wu had not appeared. We
were without an interpreter, but even in such circumstances the
perfection of Chinese manners allows no embarrassment to arise. We had
been sitting in mute thought a little while, when Admiral Chen, the
Minister of the Navy, came in; he spoke English quite well, so that
our conversation could begin; soon we were in the midst of earnest
discussion. Within another ten minutes Dr. Chen Chin-tao, the Minister
of Finance, arrived, and shortly after him came Mr. C.C. Wu. Thus,
quite by chance, I had the opportunity of talking over these momentous
matters jointly with the representatives of the four departments of
government most nearly concerned: Foreign Affairs, Finance, War, and
Navy.

We could now once more thoroughly go over all doubts and objections,
and look at the proposed policy in all its manifold aspects and
probable results. In this intense and earnest conversation no formal
interpreting was needed. Whoever replied to my remarks would first
repeat in Chinese what I had said for the benefit of the Premier. When
the Premier had spoken, Mr. Wu would interpret his thought for me. All
the others addressed me directly in English. I advanced arguments on
every point, of which the following is a memorandum:

 The American Government has taken the present action because the
 wilful disregard of neutral rights went to the extent of imperilling
 not only neutral property, but the lives of our citizens. In this
 matter the interests of China are entirely parallel to those of the
 United States; both nations are peaceful and see in the maintenance
 of international right and peaceful conditions a vital guarantee of
 their national safety. Through association with the United States,
 China would enter upon this controversy with a position consonant with
 every tradition and interest of her national life, a position which
 would have to be respected by friends and foes alike, as dictated by
 the highest principles which could guide national action. By taking
 this action, China would improve her independent standing among the
 nations, she would have to be consulted during the course of the
 controversy and at the conclusion of the war; she would, in all this,
 be most closely associated with that nation which she has always
 looked upon as peculiarly friendly and just to her. In addition to
 these arguments, many favourable results were discussed which China
 would obtain in international diplomacy.

 Many arguments were advanced by the Chinese officials in doubt of
 the policy suggested; it was stated that China had not led up to
 a breach with Germany by notes of protest, such as had made the
 action of the United States seem natural and unavoidable; Germany
 had of late years always been considerate in her treatment of China,
 a sudden breach might seem treacherous; it might also be taken by
 Japan as so surprising an action as to give a favourable pretext for
 pressing the dreaded demands of Group V. It was also apparent that
 the representatives of the European Allies were not in a position to
 give China, at the present time, any advice favourable to the action
 suggested.

 I pointed out in turn that were the action suggested once taken by
 China, the representatives of the Allied Powers would have no choice
 but to applaud it, which some of them, at least, would do from the
 fulness of their hearts. As far as Japan was concerned, the situation
 would be such as to indicate that that country, too, would decide
 to express approval of the action. Having taken a definite position
 on this side of the controversy, without yet entirely associating
 herself with the Allies, China would be in a position to command their
 goodwill; any interference with China's sovereign rights would be
 rendered more difficult because of the situation thus created. It was
 almost inconceivable that coercive action should be taken against the
 friend who had declared himself. Moreover, the United States having
 taken the initiative in inviting China to participate in the protest,
 it would be unlikely that any action could be taken over the head of
 the United States or without consulting the American Government.

 As to the suddenness of the action suggested, I urged that the
 action of the German Government in announcing unrestricted submarine
 warfare was itself so astounding in its disregard of neutral rights
 that no action taken in reply could be considered too drastic. It
 was virtually a threat to kill Chinese citizens navigating certain
 portions of the high seas; and injury could be prevented only by
 taking a determined and forceful position.

We continued our discussion until nearly twelve o'clock, when I took
my leave, thanking the ministers for their courtesy and goodwill. The
cabinet sat until six in the evening. Shortly after six I received a
telephone call from Mr. C.C. Wu, who said: "I am very happy to tell
you that the cabinet has decided to make a protest to Germany, and
to indicate that diplomatic relations will be broken off unless the
present submarine warfare is abandoned."

It is interesting to remember, as the publication of the Russian secret
archives has shown, that on this very day the Japanese Minister for
Foreign 'Affairs was urging the Russian ambassador at Tokyo to get from
his government assurances of various benefits (including Shantung)
to come to Japan if she undertook the supposedly difficult task of
inducing China to join the Allies. Japan was thus asking a commission
for persuading the Chinese to join the Allies, although they were
willing to do so freely of their own accord, as their action this day
showed.

The Chinese had made a great decision. These men had acted
independently upon their judgment of what was just and in the best
interests of their own nation. It was the act of a free government,
without a shadow of attempt at pressure, without a thought of exacting
compensations on their part. When it is considered in comparison with
the manner in which some other governments entered the war, it will
stand as an honour to China for all time. Incidentally, this was
China's first independent participation in world politics. She had
stepped out of her age-long aloofness and taken her place among the
modern nations.

I now sent the note to the Chinese Government which contained the
simple assurance of fair treatment by the United States. In return I
received this promise:

 In case an act should be performed by the German Government which
 should be considered by the American Government as a sufficient cause
 for a declaration of war, the Chinese Government will at least break
 off its diplomatic relations with Germany.

In his formal note to me, dated February 9th, the Minister for Foreign
Affairs declared:

 The Chinese Government being in accord with the principles set forth
 in Your Excellency's note and firmly associating itself with the
 Government of the United States of America, has taken similar action
 by protesting energetically to the German Government against the
 new measures of blockade. The Chinese Government also proposes to
 take such action in the future as will be deemed necessary for the
 maintenance of the principles of international law.

On the same day a formal note of protest was dispatched to the German
minister.

The entire cabinet reported on February 10th to a secret session of
parliament on the diplomatic action it had taken. The report was well
received; only a few questions were asked concerning the procedure
which had been followed. Parliament did not take a vote on this matter,
as it was considered to be an action by the cabinet within the range of
its legal functions.

A wave of exultation passed over the country. There seemed to be
hope for harmony among factions; the self-respect of the Government
was visibly heightened. That China had without coercion or sordid
inducement taken a definite stand on so momentous a matter inspired the
Chinese with new hope. In coming to the support of international right,
they felt that they were strengthening the forces which make for the
independence of their own country.

Expressing themselves unofficially the representatives of the Allied
governments during these negotiations cautiously favoured the step
proposed. When the decision had once been taken, the approval of the
Chinese action was unanimous. My Belgian colleague remarked to me:
"The air has been cleared, a weight has been lifted off China and the
powers. The stock of America has risen 100 per cent."

Mr. Sam Blythe gave a dinner on the evening of February 9th, at which
Dr. George Morrison and many other American and British friends were
present. The dinner became a celebration. Greeting me, Doctor Morrison
said: "This is the greatest thing ever accomplished in China. It means
a new era. It will make the Chinese nationally self-conscious; and
that, not for narrow, selfish purposes, but to vindicate human rights."

But the thing was not yet accomplished. I knew well enough that the
decision of the Central Government would not be immediately accepted
in all parts of China. Opposition might crop out. In certain regions
men of strong German sympathies were in control, or political intrigues
to cause embarrassment and difficulties to the Central Government were
going on. All China must understand and support the decision taken by
the Government.

Of the leaders in the provinces the Vice-President, General Feng, at
Nanking, was most important; as the blunder had been committed of not
consulting him, he was predisposed against the decision; moreover,
General Feng had several German advisers in whom he placed confidence,
and who had given him a strong notion of German invincibility.

Fortunately, Mr. Sam Blythe was going to stop at Nanking on his way to
Shanghai, in order as a journalist to interview the Vice-President.
Blythe argued the matter out with him. He found that General Feng
really felt injured. This was smoothed over. With Mr. W.H. Donald as
an able second, Sam Blythe impressed upon the General that China had
merely been asked to break off relations, which did not imply going to
war. After a long and serious conversation, with some side-flashes from
Sam Blythe, the Vice-President declared himself fully satisfied, and he
came out in favour of the Government's policy. (Thus, as has often been
the case, an unofficial visit by private individuals accomplished the
good results.)

In other ways and by other persons, different leaders were visited and
familiarized with the underlying reasons for the act of the Central
Government. These influences interplayed with cumulative effect; no
concerted opposition was formed; by a sort of football "interference"
the policy to condemn German submarine warfare, and, if necessary, to
break relations with Germany, scored its touchdown.

Intelligent teamwork and American energy were in a fair way to give
China the backing she needed, having first assured her concerted
action with the United States. At a diplomatic dinner which I gave
the Minister for Foreign Affairs in February, the absorbing talk was
about the diplomatic action taken by China. Count Martel and M. Pelliot
of the French Legation, Miles Lampson of the British Legation, Mr.
Konovalov, Russia's financial adviser for China, and other Allied
representatives all came to me during the evening to say how enormously
gratified they were at the initiative of the United States and the
stand taken by China. For once nobody could disapprove of Chinese
action.

The Japanese also expressed approval, but immediately tried to get
China to take the further step of declaring war, and the French
minister, too, worked actively for this. Japan was eager to recover the
lead. A great campaign of intrigue and counter-intrigue resulted among
the various factions in China which threatened to destroy the unifying
and inspiring effects of China's action. The question of joining the
Allies out and out was thrown into politics. From all this most of the
ministers held aloof. When Liang Chi-chao sounded me on this question,
I told him, while lacking instructions from my government, that I
thought the rupture of diplomatic relations would be enough, if it
should come to that. Within a few days instructions came from the State
Department to the same effect.

During March I repeatedly saw Vice-President Feng and President Li.
Feng, small and slender, intelligent in appearance, bald, with keen but
shifty eyes, was courtesy itself. I was specially delighted with the
refinement and musical quality of his diction. I went over the whole
ground with him, satisfying him, especially, on the question of the
specific American objections to the German U-boats. "I approve heartily
and completely," he finally assured me, "of the proposed break with
Germany."

I found that General Li was not only in favour of breaking with
Germany, but of an internal break with his own premier, General Tuan.
"I cannot trust him," said Li; "he wishes to eliminate me from real
power." This friction within distressed me not a little, as I had
sincerely hoped that these two men would come to coöperate.

Then I saw Dr. Wu Ting-fang. Besides being China's foreign minister,
Doctor Wu is a spiritualist. When I entered, he followed his usual
bent, bundled the morning's business details over to the counsellor
in attendance, and devoted himself to philosophizing. Spiritualism,
longevity, and the advantages of a vegetarian diet, were to him topics
for real thought and speculation. In mystic language, he remarked:
"There is an aura gradually spreading from Europe over the entire
surface of the world. It enters the brains of the people and penetrates
them, making them war-mad. We are having the first signs here."

By March 10th, submarine warfare had not been modified. Parliament then
formally approved the breach of diplomatic relations with Germany.

I had almost belaboured the department for instructions during the
progress of our work. But it was not until the 13th of March, the very
day the break of diplomatic relations was formally notified, that the
instructions came. These rather implied that the circular inviting
coöperation on the part of the neutral powers had been too strongly
acted upon by me. I could not but be inwardly amused.

When a government takes a step involving life and death and all the
interests of its own and of general civilization; when, in connection
therewith, it calls upon other powers to associate themselves with
it--it ought to be safe to presume that the government means what
it says. It should see that the action it invokes involves great
sacrifices, and it must not invoke it lightly. A responsible official
would not be justified in interpreting such a note in a platonic sense.

At once questions of finance arose. Ancient China had taken her
brave step in modern world affairs. She might now have to go to war.
That would take money, and money would be needed to guard such a
contingency--indeed, internally and externally China had need to put
her financial house in order. Yuan Shih-kai's imperialism had left a
burden of debt. The Republic required strengthening by a new system of
national credit and by the building up of its natural resources. Now
the public debt was relatively still small, the rate of taxation upon
the hundreds of millions of citizens low. The situation was basically
sound. The question had been asked since last summer: Would America
supply China with an investment loan of a hundred millions, thus
delivering her of lenders who were seeking to dominate her and to split
her up into "spheres of influence"?

Minister Wellington Koo, who had journeyed to the United States in
behalf of Yuan Shih-kai's imperial ambitions, now worked for the
Republic there. I suggested at first that the firm of Lee, Higginson
& Company, which still held its option, should complete its loan.
This was not done. Then other capitalists were approached and in
November, 1916, Doctor Koo arranged for a large loan with Mr. John J.
Abbott, president of the Continental and Commercial Savings Bank of
Chicago. Mr. Abbott, wishing to study the Chinese financial situation,
arrived in Peking during April, 1917, bringing his lawyer. I got him
acquainted with the Chinese ministers, and took him and Mr. Joy Morton,
also of Chicago, to lunch with President Li and Dr. Chen Chin-tao and
Hsu Un-yuen. The President said: "I will back all financial legislation
which American experts may find necessary for the proper organization
of China's credit."

Doctor Chen was arrested and put in prison through the plotting of his
enemies, but Hsu Un-yuen remained, with his sound financial training.
Finally Mr. Abbott proposed an ingenious scheme, with the wine and
tobacco taxes as the basis--for every $1,000,000 of annual revenue
there should be a loan of $5,000,000; if the taxes amounted to ten
millions, they would serve as security for a loan of fifty millions.
Mr. Abbott left behind him a plan for reorganizing these taxes, and a
promise to take up at any time the question of loans on this basis, in
addition to five millions lent the preceding November and an option for
twenty-five millions more.



CHAPTER XXII

CHINA'S BOSSES COME TO PEKING


I have noted that Dr. Chen Chin-tao, Chinese Minister of Finance, was
put in prison. Doctor Chen had administered Chinese finances strictly
and well, in a most difficult period. For the military governors or
Tuchuns, who were the real bosses of China's vast population, he was
too honest and too strict. The Tuchuns looked upon the Minister of
Finance as in duty bound to procure funds for them by hook or crook.

When the government banks were broken and had declared a moratorium,
their large over-issues of notes were worth only one half their face
value. Working with Doctor Chen was Hsu Un-yuen, managing director
of the Bank of China. Mr. Hsu managed judiciously to bring the notes
of his bank virtually to par. The Tuchuns, aided by the pro-Japanese
clique, which formed part of the Premier's entourage, attacked both Hsu
and Doctor Chen. For the latter the cabal laid a trap. It was made to
appear that he gave support to a certain company in return for having
his brother employed. So the cabal, using this pretext to satisfy their
grievances, got him arrested and jailed, thus ending his negotiations
with the Chicago bank of John J. Abbott. President Li was interested
and distressed. When I asked Premier Tuan about Doctor Chen, he
smilingly stated that he should have a chance to clear himself.

Meanwhile, the breach between the Premier and the President widened.
To strengthen himself in his policy of favouring a declaration of war,
the Premier called all the Tuchuns to Peking for a conference. Nine
governors-general came, and all the other provinces sent delegates.
General Tuan was successful with them, and by April 28th they had
decided to support his war policy.

The Tuchun of Shantung was bulky, coarse-looking. I had some idea of
his views on representative government from his inaugural address
to the Shantung Assembly. "Gentlemen," the Tuchun said with genial
frankness, "you resemble birds who are in a large cage together. If
you behave well, and sing songs that are pleasing, we shall feed you;
otherwise, you shall have to go without food."

Several of the Tuchuns called on me by appointment, and later I gave
them a formal reception, at which I saw all who had come to Peking,
observed their personalities, and tried to fathom the source of their
personal prominence and power. I talked with them individually and in
groups, chiefly about the progress of the war and the relative strength
of the combatants. My guests were full of smiles and good cheer,
particularly did the Tuchun of Fukien radiate joy. In their sociability
they were true Chinese, and here, where they had been received with
the military honours due to their position and in the spirit of
hospitality, they could show themselves in a more amiable light than
when maintaining their power in their provinces. To a brief speech of
welcome which I made when they had all arrived General Hsu Shu-cheng
replied with a most emphatic expression of friendship for America.

That so many of these governors should have risen from the lowliest
position was indeed strong evidence of the underlying democracy of
Chinese life. But that a mere handful of men should wield such power,
each in his province, did not bespeak strength in representative
government.

Some of the military commanders were men of education, although most of
them had risen from very modest surroundings: Yen Hsi-shan, of Shansi;
Chu Jui, of Chekiang; Tang Chi-yao, of Yunnan; Chen Kuang-yuan, of
Kiangsi; Ni Tze-chung, of Anhwei; Li Shun, of Nanking, a fisherman's
son; Li Ho-chi of Fukien, Tien Chung-yu of Kalgan, both of middle-class
families--all these were fair scholars. General Wu Pei-fu, who rose
from the post of a private in the Chino-Japanese War, had through great
intelligence and industry acquired a good education, as likewise had
General Feng Yu-hsiang; both of these generals professed the Christian
religion. President Feng Kuo-chang came of a poor family, and as a
young man played a fiddle in a small local theatre.

Among the other Tuchuns were many to whom the Chinese applied the
proverb: "A good man will never become a soldier." These men, indeed,
deserve credit for having risen from their original state as coolies,
bandits, or horse-thieves, but they often owe their prominence to
qualities which by no means make for the good of the state. Chang
Tso-lin, the Viceroy of Manchuria, commenced his career as a bandit; he
was pardoned by Chao Er-shun, and became a government officer. Chang
Huai-chi was a coolie, and never got much education. Tsao Kun, of
Chihli, was a huckster. Wang Chan-yuan was a hostler. The trio, Chang
Hsun, Lu Yung-ting, and Mu Yung-hsing, headed the so-called Black Flag
Band; at one time the partners put up fifty thousand taels to enable
Chang Hsun to buy himself an office and become respectable. But he
spent it all in high living. With the antecedents of some of these men
one marvels not only at the position they have acquired, but at the
personal polish and air of refinement of many of them.

All of them dealt with political power as a commodity, secured
through the use of money and soldiers. They were somewhat like the
_condottieri_ of the Italian renaissance, looking ahead only to the
goal of their personal ambition for wealth and power. Even among these
militarists, however, there were those who gave some attention to
matters of public policy, and the idea of national welfare and unity
had begun to dawn upon their consciousness. Moreover, in them I felt
a mixture of the old and the new. They had suddenly come into great
power, thought in terms of airplanes and modern armaments, but had as
yet few other modern ideas to inspire their action with anything beyond
personal motives. In their human qualities, however, several of them
excelled; and some, even, showed a real spirit of public service and
ability as administrators.

The Japanese Government was still trying to get China into the war,
and its minister called on President Li to urge it. I talked on May
9th with the President, who said that he favoured a declaration of war
provided parliament was not overridden in the process. Then I saw the
Premier. "If parliament is obstinate," General Tuan said bluntly, "it
will be dissolved."

I told him it would make a very bad impression in the United States and
with other Western powers if parliament were ignored in so important
a matter. I knew that parliament did not oppose declaring war, but
desired to control the war policy. "But," the Premier urged, "the
opposition of parliament disregards national interests. It desires
merely to secure partisan advantage." Tuan discussed the attitude of
Japan. "The Japanese have assured me," he declared, "that if I follow a
strong policy I may count on their support. Now circumstances force the
Chinese Government to be friendly to Japan. Of course, I will not give
up any valuable rights to anybody, and I will strengthen China in every
way so that resistance may be offered to any attempted injustice."

Ironically, he asked whether confidence could be placed in the southern
leaders of the Kuo Min Tang. "I have proof," he continued, "that both
Sun Yat-sen and Tsen Liang-kuang have given written assurances to the
Japanese Consul-General at Shanghai that if either of them becomes
President of China he will conclude a treaty granting to Japan rights
of supervision of military and administrative affairs more extensive
than those sought in Group V of the twenty-one demands." So each party
believed the worst of the other.

Events were tending to a climax. The Government was demoralized. Doctor
Chen was in prison; Mr. Li Ching-hsi, a nephew of Li Hung-chang,
who was to take Chen's place, would not assume office while affairs
remained so unsettled. The Ministry of Communications was in charge of
an underling. The Minister of Education, who also acted as Minister of
the Interior, was seriously ill. The Kuo Min Tang ministers had lost
their influence with their party in parliament because of their failure
effectively to oppose the Tuchuns' policy. It was believed that the
Tuchuns, with the followers of General Tuan, were planning a _coup_
against Parliament.

In the midst of this I had a personal chat with Chen Lu, the
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, at an evening reception at the
British Legation. I told him of my surprise that the Tuchuns, instead
of attending to the urgent business in their provinces, should be
gathered here, interfering with the Central Government. I let it be
distinctly understood that any movement to overthrow parliament in
order to carry out the war policy could not be expected to receive the
sympathy of the United States. The vice-minister was in close touch
with the Tuchuns. I expected that he would repeat my remarks to them.
He did.

As I was leaving the Chancery a few evenings later Mr. Roy Anderson
appeared with the news that something was happening and drove me over
to the railway station. We went through the Chenmen gate. Along the
main street were many carts rapidly driven, loaded with military stores
and household goods. Automobiles were rushing by them to the station.
On the platform was a turmoil of troops busily transferring the various
military possessions to cars. In a parlour car our friends the Tuchuns
were assembling. I left Mr. Anderson there to observe and to get
information.

It appeared that the Tuchuns had all of a sudden decided to leave
Peking for their various capitals, taking their bodyguards with them.
Two or three were to remain in Tientsin a little longer to watch
developments. Their precipitous exit seemed to indicate that President
Li had at last got the upper hand.

As a farewell courtesy to Doctor Willoughby, the American legal
adviser, the President had invited him and me to luncheon on the
following day. President Li was cheerful. The discomfiture of the
Tuchuns filled him with glee. "All danger is passed," he announced; "I
will dismiss General Tuan, appoint a new cabinet, and have parliament
decide the war question without compulsion."

In order to inform myself as to what was behind the President's
confidence, I asked him what he had to put in the place of his cabinet
and General Tuan, and whether he believed that the Government could be
carried on without the concurrence of that important party.

"Oh, yes," the President assured me, "it is all arranged."

Pressing him a little further, and asking upon whom, in particular, he
was relying, to my unspeakable surprise, he said: "General Chang Hsun
will assist me."

Now General Chang Hsun was an old-time bandit and militarist. His ideas
were devoid of any understanding of representative institutions. It
passed my power of imagination to see how reliance could be placed in
this general for the vindication of parliament. As I looked dubious,
the President repeated: "Yes, you may believe me. I can rely on General
Chang Hsun."

It was not what Chang Hsun stood for that the President relied on, but
on his enmity to General Tuan. Li Yuan-hung, though quite modern in his
conception of government, in this instance followed a strong Chinese
instinct which aims to prevail by setting off strong individuals
against each other.

After I had heard that the dismissal of General Tuan had been
announced, General Chin Yun-peng called on me. He was agitated and much
worried. "Do you not think that General Tuan should leave Peking?" he
asked. "His enemies will undoubtedly wish to take his life."

I tried to cheer him up by telling him that in a modern government
such ups and downs must be expected. "Let the other side now develop
their policy, and show what they can do; let General Tuan use this time
for quiet recuperation, after the strain he has been through. Then,"
I said, "the time will come again when Tuan will be called back to
power." The eyes of the good general lit up with gratitude. General Ni
Tze-chung, most notorious and active among the military party, declared
on the 26th of May that the dismissal of General Tuan had been illegal.
His province of Anhwei disapproved; it would act independently of the
Central Government.

This was the crucial point in the development of the situation.

Expert observers said that had the President immediately dismissed
Ni and ordered his punishment, appointing a junior commander in his
place, the rest of the militarists would have fallen away from Ni, and
the President could have dealt with them individually. Instead, he was
persuaded to send a conciliatory letter to General Ni.

This, of course, confirmed the leadership of Ni over the military
party; further, it encouraged the majority of the Tuchuns to declare
their independence.

A so-called provisional government was set up at Tientsin. The older
and wiser heads of the military party, men like General Tuan Chi-jui
and Mr. Hsu Shih-chang, held themselves entirely aloof from this new
organization.

General Ni Tze-chung was the leading spirit. By dint of force the
so-called government helped itself to the deposits of the Chinese
Government in the Tientsin branch of the Bank of China. The men greatly
in evidence were the members of the pro-Japanese clique, Mr. Tsao
Ju-lin and General Hsu Shu-cheng. General Aoki, the Japanese military
adviser to the Government, was also on the ground.

In Peking a paralysis crept over the Government. The President lost his
advantage as quickly as he had gained it. On the railways all orders
of the Tuchuns for transportation were implicitly obeyed. When at this
time the question of the movement of revolutionary troops and their
stationing at Tientsin and along the railway came up, the Japanese
minister persisted in the position that it would be highly undesirable
to make any objection on the ground of any possible conflict with the
protection of the railway by foreign troops. Two months before, the
Japanese Legation had strongly objected to the stationing of a few
government troops along the same railway.

The President issued a mandate inviting Chang Hsun to Peking as
arbitrator.

When I interviewed the President, he looked disconsolate His youthful
English secretary, Mr. Kuo, tried his best to give a more cheerful
and confident note to Li's conversation, but Doctor Tenney, who was
with me, easily compared the President's doleful Chinese with the more
buoyant English translation.

The plan of the Tuchuns was directed toward isolating and strangling
Peking. They controlled the railways leading there, and were preventing
the shipment of foodstuffs. The ministry that controlled the railways,
it must be remembered, was controlled by Japanese influence.
Constitutional government in China was paralyzed through the lack of
military and financial authority.

The war issue worried the Chinese. First, they feared that the
militarist party would take advantage of it, through the support of
Japanese influence, to fasten its hold upon China; second, that China
might by the Allies be made a field in which to seek compensations.
But if local political troubles had not entirely upset the situation,
it might have been possible to arrange for a joint declaration of the
powers that would have allayed suspicion and made it feasible for China
to enter the war with a sense of security.

Dr. Wu Ting-fang, acting on the suggestion of Mr. Lenox Simpson and
liberal-minded Chinese publicists, made a move to have the American
Government do something. He sent advices to Minister Koo in Washington
telling him about General Ni and his leadership of the revolt of the
Tuchuns. The southern provinces were still loyal to the President and
parliament, and the civil and commercial population disapproved of the
rebellion. President Wilson and Secretary Lansing were asked to make
a statement in behalf of representative government in China. This was
followed by a direct appeal to President Wilson.

But the American Government had already instructed me on the 5th of
June to communicate to the Chinese Government a statement evincing
a sincere desire for internal political harmony. The question of
China's entry into the war, it said, was secondary to continuing the
political unity of China and the laying aside of factional disputes. I
accompanied it orally with a personal statement that the United States
conceived the war to be one for the principles of democracy; that it
would deplore any construction of its invitation which would lend
itself to the idea that it contemplated any coercion or restriction
upon Chinese freedom of action. I made plain that no matter how much
the United States wished the coöperation of China in the war, it did
not desire to bring this about by using the political dissensions or
working with any one faction in disregard of parliament.

General Tuan Chi-jui at once stated to Doctor Ferguson, who
unofficially informed him of the American note at Tientsin, that he
had totally withdrawn from all politics. The Chinese press gave a very
favourable reception to the note; the Chinese people welcomed America's
advice. General Feng Kuo-chang, later when he had become President,
spoke of the note to me, and remarked on the salutary influence it had
wielded upon public opinion in China.

While the political dissensions in the Chinese state were too
personal to be overcome by any friendly suggestions from the outside,
nevertheless the American note had set up a standard for all the
Chinese. It had, furthermore, given convincing proof of the fact
that the true interests of China were impartially weighed by the
American Government, and were not entirely subordinated to any war
policy which America might desire to advance. From all parts of China
came expressions of gratitude and satisfaction that the American
Government should have spoken to China so justly and truly. The Chinese
appreciated the spirit of justice of the American Government in not
desiring to have the war issue used for the purposes of enabling any
faction or party to override the free determination of the Chinese
Government and people. As America was itself at war and would therefore
have welcomed coöperation, this just policy particularly impressed the
Chinese.

The Japanese press both in Japan and China immediately launched forth
into a bitter invective against the American action. The United States
should have consulted Japan. Its action constituted interference in the
domestic affairs of China. "If China listens to advice from America,"
a Japanese major-general declared in an excited speech at a dinner in
Peking on the 7th of June, "she will have Japan to deal with."

The Japanese ambassador at Washington protested informally. Had not
Secretary Bryan, in a note dated the 13th of March, 1915, recognized
the special and close relations, political and economic, between Japan
and China? It was impossible that the American minister at Peking was
taking a part in political affairs in China, but the Japanese public
was sensitive about the note sent by the American Government to China.
Would it not be useful if the American Government would confirm Mr.
Bryan's statement?

The reply to this communication did not come until the 6th of July.
Mr. Bryan's statement, the reply said, referred only to the special
relations created by territorial contiguity in certain parts of China.
Even with respect to them it in no way admitted that the United States
might not in future be justified in expressing itself relative to
questions that might arise between China and Japan. The United States
could not be indifferent to matters affecting the welfare of the
Chinese people, such as the unrest in China.

The first detachments of Chang Hsun's troops arrived in Peking on
the 9th of June. Chang Hsun's theory was that it is the business of
a trooper to make himself terrible. These wild horsemen, wearing
loose-fitting black uniforms, with their cues rolled up on the back of
the head, rode about Peking with the air of conquerors. The "Mediator"
was coming with sufficient military force to back his judgment.

When General Chang himself arrived, the streets from the railway
station to the Mediator's house in the Manchu city were entirely shut
off. Mounted troopers blocked the way as my automobile came along a
side street to cross one of these thoroughfares. They nearly collided
with the front of my machine, drew their guns, and would not budge. To
explain to them my right to pass would have meant sending someone to
the Foreign Office; even then in order to go on I might have to run
over them, for the Foreign Office, undoubtedly, meant nothing at all to
them. I told my companion not to let them know my position. We tried to
pass through on the ground that we had business on the other side, but
they reared their horses up and down, and nearly came into the machine
with us. We were held up until the great man had arrived and had raced
from the station to his residence.

When I was with Dr. Wu Ting-fang a few days later the card of a
secretary of the cabinet was brought in. I knew that he was trying to
induce Doctor Wu to sign a decree dissolving parliament. I had heard in
the morning that President Li had finally caved in; for Chang Hsun's
first prescription for restoring China was to declare that parliament
must be dissolved. The President relied on Chang's assistance. He
could not help himself, he must accept the dictation of the man he had
summoned.

I rejoined a friend who awaited me outside in the automobile. He had
just overheard the chauffeur of the cabinet secretary and the doorman
of the Foreign Office. The chauffeur had said: "Is your old man going
to sign up? You had better see to it that he does, else something might
happen to him."

These subordinates were keeping their eyes open.

The Japanese minister, on whom I called that morning, said to me:
"General Chang's mediation is the last hope of peace. It is desirable
that parliament be gotten rid of, it is obstructive, and makes the
doing of business well-nigh impossible."

Dr. Wu Ting-fang stood out against countersigning the mandate
that would dissolve the parliament. In matters of spiritualism,
vegetarianism, and longevity, I had perhaps not always been able to
take him quite seriously. But I admired his quiet courage in not
allowing himself to be bowled over, after even President Li had given
in. Before daylight on the 13th of June Doctor Wu was roused from his
bed and now asked to countersign a Presidential mandate designating the
jovial General Chiang Chao-tsung, commander of the Peking gendarmerie,
to act as Premier, and accepting Doctor Wu's resignation. Before
daybreak General Chiang signed the mandate dissolving parliament. The
President consented to its issue, for he had been told it would be
impossible to prevent disturbances in Peking unless this were done.

So wore on the early summer of 1917. Affairs seemed to have arrived at
a stalemate.



CHAPTER XXIII

AN EMPEROR FOR A DAY


My family had gone to Peitaiho for the summer. I was staying at the
residence alone with Mr. F.L. Belin, who had recently come to Peking to
join my staff. I slept rather late on Sunday, July 1st, as the morning
was cool. When Kao, the first boy, came in to take orders he appeared
excited and cried: "Emperor has come back again!"

I did not immediately grasp the significance of this astonishing
announcement; but he went on volubly telling me that it was true, that
the Emperor had returned, that all the people were hanging out the
yellow dragon flag. I sent out for information and soon learned that
the little emperor, in some mysterious way, had been restored during
the night.

The monarchical movement came as a complete surprise to everybody,
for it was entirely the personal act of General Chang Hsun. The men
whose names were recited in his proclamations as assisting him had
known nothing about it; it was undreamed of even by those who found
themselves forced to assist, such as the Chief of Staff and the heads
of the gendarmerie and of the police.

Kang Yu-wei, the "Modern Sage" of China, arrived in Peking on June
29th, and with him the restoration was planned. Kang Yu-wei, who had
been the leader of the first reform movement in 1898, when he made a
stand against absolutism, had always remained a consistent believer in
constitutional monarchy. He encouraged Chang Hsun with philosophical
theory, and wrote all his edicts for him. The two believed that the
Imperial restoration would immediately bring to the active support of
the Government all the military governors, whose true sentiments were
notoriously imperialistic. Their consent was taken for granted, and the
edicts, as drawn up, expressly assumed that it had been given.

It became known to me that Chang Hsun had also discussed the
possibility of an Imperial restoration with the Japanese minister. The
latter expressed the opinion that the movement should not be undertaken
without first making sure of the assent of the chief military leaders.
Chang Hsun had no doubt of this support; he evidently regarded the
advice of the Japanese minister as encouraging, and believed that his
movement would have diplomatic countenance.

Chang Hsun had his intimate advisers, particularly Kang Yu-wei, draw
up the requisite Imperial edicts on the 30th of June. In these it was
stated that leading governors, like Feng Kuo-chang, Lu Yung-ting, and
others of equal prominence, had petitioned for the restoration of the
monarchy. Lists of appointments to the highest positions in the Central
Government and the provinces were prepared. The existing military
governors were in most cases reappointed. In the Central Government
the important men designated were Hsu Shih-chang as Guardian of the
Emperor, Liang Tun-yen as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Chu Chi-pao
as Minister of the Interior. Wang Shih-chen was retained as Chief of
the General Staff.

As an amazing instance of how consent was taken for granted, it was
recited in an Imperial edict that President Li Yuan-hung had himself
petitioned for the reëstablishment of the Empire; this edict appointed
Li a duke of the first class.

So soon as these edicts were prepared and ready for presentation, a
dinner was arranged for the evening of the same day, to which the heads
of the Peking military and police establishments were invited. They
met at the Kiangsu Guild Hall. After great quantities of wine had been
consumed, Chang Hsun broached his project for the salvation of China,
stating that all preparations had been made and that military and
diplomatic support was assured. Then, pointing to the Chief of Staff,
he said: "Of course, you are supporting the movement."

General Wang, completely taken aback, saw no way to refuse--since
he was in the presence of an accomplished fact. In the same way the
consent of General Chiang, head of the gendarmerie, and of General Wu,
head of the police, was obtained.

Thus the enterprise was launched. Chang Hsun directed General Wang and
four others to proceed immediately to the residence of President Li,
to wake him up, and to obtain his consent to a memorial asking for
reëstablishment of the monarchy. Chang Hsun himself proceeded to the
Imperial City. Not being able to obtain the support of the Imperial
dukes for his movement, he had lavishly bribed the eunuchs in charge of
the palace, who opened the gates for him and his retinue, and took him
to the private residence of the young Emperor. Chang Hsun prostrated
himself, and informed the Emperor that the whole nation demanded his
return to the throne. Thereupon he took the frightened boy to the great
throne room, and, in the presence of his retainers and members of the
Imperial Family, who had been summoned, formally enthroned the Emperor.
Then the edicts which had been prepared were formally sealed.

As may be imagined, there were some comic incidents. A rather
distinguished man had been summoned by the Premier to discuss with the
President his assumption of one of the cabinet portfolios. A Chinese
friend of mine who had just heard of the restoration saw him at the
hotel about ten o'clock in the morning. On being asked what was his
errand in Peking, the distinguished personage stated confidentially
that he was awaiting a carriage to take him to the President's palace.
"There is no President," he was told. "This is now an Empire; the
Emperor was enthroned at four o'clock this morning." The great man's
astonishment was amusing.

As the military chiefs were deceived on the preceding night, so Peking
was deceived for one day. As the news spread, the population showed an
almost joyous excitement. Everywhere the yellow dragon flags appeared,
soon the entire city took on a festive appearance. Revived memories
of past splendour seemingly made the population of Peking imperialist
to a man. But the height of this movement was reached as early as the
morning of the 2nd of July.

I had avoided receiving General Chang Hsun. Mr. Liang Tung-yen came to
assume office as Minister for Foreign Affairs; I also abstained from
seeing him, as well as the rest of General Chang's ministers, asking
Doctor Tenney to talk with those who presented themselves. Mr. Liang
had always been an imperialist, and was in high spirits, believing that
at last China was saved. He had been led to believe that the foreign
diplomats would readily recognize the restoration.

Strong doubts as to the character of the movement became manifest on
Monday, the 2nd of July. Tuan Chi-jui did not figure in the Imperial
official lists. When asked about this, Chang Hsun declared that
General Tuan was unimportant, having no troops under his command. But
Liang Chi-chao had been playing cards with friends at about 2 A.M. on
the fateful night, when the news was telephoned to Tientsin. Liang
immediately went to General Tuan's residence, where the latter was
similarly engaged at cards. General Tuan, who was thoroughly weary of
public affairs, was difficult to rouse; he begged to be spared the
trouble of thinking of what might be occurring in Peking. More details
came in, and it became apparent what a thoroughly one-man affair the
movement was. Then Tuan roused himself.

Tuan was at that time actually only a private citizen, without
authority or command. But I learned later that Liang Chi-chao had gone
to Japanese friends for funds to enlist the military against the
Imperial movement, and he got 1,000,000 yen as a loan to himself and
General Tuan for this purpose. It was to be treated as a government
loan upon restoration of normal conditions.

The two proceeded on Tuesday to Machang, where the Eighth Division had
been encamped since the attempt to overawe President Li Yuan-hung.
General Tuan, it was stated, felt nervous as to the outcome of his
venture, but he called the commanders, declaring that he had always
been opposed to a restoration of the monarchy, and that it was now
being attempted by a single general. To resist this act he proposed to
take command of the republican troops.

General Tuan was at once recognized as commander-in-chief. President
Li, on his part, did not yield to the importunities of Chang Hsun.
He gave out an absolute denial of the statement that he favoured the
restoration. After issuing a mandate that turned over the Presidential
powers to the Vice-President and appointed General Tuan Chi-jui Premier
and Commander-in-Chief, he took refuge in the Legation Quarter. I sent
a personal representative to General Tuan at Tientsin, who declared
that he already had complete control of the military situation and
could finish Chang Hsun inside of ten days.

As hostilities threatened in and around Peking, and as the danger of
looting was always present, I discussed the precautions to be taken
with several of my colleagues, and agreed with the Japanese minister
that we would each bring a company of reinforcements from Tientsin.
Meanwhile, the movements of Tuan's troops began. To hinder their
advance, Chang Hsun's men broke the railway at a point about one third
of the way from Peking to Tientsin.

Certain members of the diplomatic corps urged that we give notice that
no fighting should take place on or near the railways. As we had made
no objection to the bringing in of Chang Hsun's troops and to their
being stationed in Peking and along the railway, I took the position
that we were not justified in objecting to the troops of the government
to which we were accredited taking necessary action against Chang Hsun.
We might, however, insist upon the right of keeping the railway open.
This met with approval. On the 5th of July a demand was made upon the
belligerent generals that the railway must be kept open, and that at
least one train be allowed to pass in each direction every day.

The damaged line was reconstructed, and on July 6th, the American
infantry arrived in Peking; on the 7th, the first trains travelled
between Peking and Tientsin--one train actually passing between the
armies during a battle. Fighting went on during these days between the
troops of General Tuan, directly commanded by General Tuan Chi-kwei,
and Chang Hsun's forces; there was much firing but small loss of life,
and the latter's forces were finally driven back toward Peking. The
troops of General Tsao Kun also advanced upon Peking from the west.

Mr. Grant, of the National Printing Bureau, on Friday rushed into the
legation compound in his automobile, with the report that looting
was going on in the southern part of the city. We ascended the wall.
From the Chenmen Tower we saw excited groups moving up and down the
main streets, but nothing was happening save the bringing in of a few
wounded men. To investigate the cause of the excitement I went with
Mr. Belin in our private rickshaws to the Chinese city, passing to the
end of the broad Chenmen thoroughfare. The street was still crowded,
the people were excited though well behaved; the shops all had their
shutters up. Near the south end of the street some shopkeepers posted
in front of their shops told us that the return of Chang Hsun's troops
from outside the walls had been reported. Looting had been expected but
had not taken place. We proceeded to the Temple of Heaven, where great
crowds were walking about among the tents of the troops. On returning,
we entered a shop to look at some antiques, remaining half an hour.
When we came out our rickshaws had disappeared. Doctor Ferguson joined
us as we searched for our men. Suddenly, Belin shouted to a rickshaw
man, who with a dozen others was conveying some of Chang Hsun's petty
officers southward. We insisted that the non-commissioned officer
occupying the rickshaw get out, and he finally complied.

The rickshaws had been requisitioned by these bandits. Upon our
return to the Legation, my rickshaw-runner had just arrived, excited
to the point of tears. Our two coolies had drawn the men who
originally commandeered them up to the Imperial City; there they were
requisitioned again to convey other men back to the Temple of Heaven.
But my man, when opposite the entrance to Legation Street, had upset
his bandit into the road and made a quick entry into the Legation
Quarter, where the angry and sputtering trooper dared not follow him.
That the rickshaws belonging to foreigners should thus be pressed into
service shows the disregard which these troopers had for everything but
their own desires.

As we returned to the Legation we noticed a wonderful colour effect.
Coal-black clouds were banked against the western sky, above which were
lighter clouds or angry shreds of flaming colour. Against this the dark
walls and towers of Peking stood out in sharp relief. In the streets
the crowds still surged, in restless expectancy. Suddenly the sunset
light disappeared; the sky became black with clouds; a sharp gust of
wind whirled the dust of the Chinese city northward; then came a flash
of lightning, a clap of thunder, and a heavy downpour, which cooled the
excited heads and drove all to shelter. The late afternoon had been
weird and fantastic, and appeared to presage the happening of still
stranger things.

I was lunching with a friend at his race-course house on Sunday, the
8th of July, when word was brought to me that a certain Colonel Hu,
coming from Chang Hsun, had persuaded the French minister that the city
was in imminent danger of sacking, fighting, and general disturbances.
The only salvation, Colonel Hu had said, lay in asking Hsu Shi-chang to
come from Tientsin to mediate. The French minister thereupon induced
his Entente colleagues to agree to transmit a note to General Tuan
Chi-jui urging him to prevail upon Hsu Chi-Chang to come as mediator.
This seemed to me ill-advised. It meant, at a time when Chang Hsun
was already as good as defeated, that he would be solemnly treated as
entitled to dictate the terms and personnel of mediation by influential
members of the diplomatic corps. I returned to Peking and saw my
colleagues, urging my opinion strongly. The British chargé withdrew his
consent; he had just received a telegram from his consul in Tientsin
reporting that General Tuan was absolutely opposed to mediation. The
action contemplated was not taken, though Chang Hsun persisted in his
attempts to gain recognition from the diplomatic corps. The French
minister, who hated Dr. Wu Ting-fang--this would explain his support
of Chang Hsun--gradually came to see the obverse side of his policy as
certain Germanic affiliations of Chang Hsun became known.

Kang Yu-wei presented himself at my house on the 8th, seeking refuge,
and I assigned him rooms in one of our compounds. He informed me that
Chang Hsun had had full assurances of support on the part of Hsu
Chi-Chang and other important monarchists. Next day he informed me that
Prince Tsai Tze was anxious to consult me.

I arranged to have the Prince come to the house assigned to Mr. Kang,
where I had two hours' conversation with the Manchu and the sage.
Kang Yu-wei commenced with a long disquisition on the advantages of a
constitutional monarchy. He wished to explain his action and to prove
to me that he was not a reactionary, but was aiming only for progress
under the monarchical form, which he considered most suitable to China.

All this time the Prince was silent. He seemed greatly depressed, not
inclined to say anything at first. After inquiries about his health, I
asked him what he would like to say to me. With eyes of real sadness
he looked me full in the face, saying: "What shall we do? My house has
been drawn into this affair without our consent. It has been forced on
us. We did not wish to depart from the agreements we had made with the
Republic. But Chang Hsun would not listen to us. He thought he saw the
only way. Now what shall we do?"

I told him that I appreciated the difficulty in which the Imperial
Family found itself, but that I of course could not know the details
of the situation sufficiently to give any opinion. One thing, however,
seemed to me certain: if the leaders of the republican government knew
the true attitude of the Imperial Family, and if the Emperor would
formally and absolutely dissociate himself from the movement of Chang
Hsun, I believed that they would not make the Imperial Family suffer.
I asked him whether they had considered having the Emperor issue a
decree, absolutely and for all time renouncing all rights to the throne
and declaring his complete fealty to the Republic.

The Prince regarded me aghast. "Oh, _no_! No matter how desirable
that might be from many points of view, it is not in the power of the
Emperor to do it. The rights he has inherited are not his. They came
to him in trust from his ancestors. He will have to maintain them, and
hand them on to his descendants. He, and we of his family, shall not
do anything to make these rights prevail against the State, but as the
sons of our ancestors, we cannot repudiate them."

Never had I been so deeply impressed with the complexity of Chinese
affairs as by this answer--an Imperial family maintaining traditions
of empire in the midst of a republic, an emperor continuing to reside
in the Imperial Palace, a neighbour of the republican President in his
residence, and yet no desire to enter again into politics and to grasp
the sovereign power! I could now understand why the Chinese had allowed
the Emperor to remain in the palace; it was the house of his ancestors,
from which he might not be driven. That common reverence was the one
point of understanding between Chinese and Manchus.

Prince Tsai Tze evidently still hoped that Hsu Shih-Chang, the loyal
friend of the Imperial Family, might be brought to Peking to mediate,
and that he might be prevailed upon to preserve the favourable
treatment hitherto accorded the Imperial Family. I could not give
Prince Tsai Tze any encouragement on this point, on which I had very
definite opinions, but had to content myself with general expressions
of sincere sympathy with the strange fate of this family.

The question of mediation was again taken up by the diplomatic corps
on the afternoon of this day. Some of the ministers feared that the
city would suffer greatly if things should be allowed to go on. I was
strongly of the opinion that our interference in this matter could
have no good result, but would only further confuse and complicate the
situation. For once, the Chinese must settle it themselves, regardless
of any incidental inconvenience. From what I knew of the strength
of the contending forces and of the whole situation, I had no doubt
whatsoever that if left alone the republican forces would be easily
successful and that there would be no disturbances. I was on principle
against any action which would be in substance intervening in behalf of
a general who had attacked the Republic and whom nothing could now save
from overthrow except such diplomatic action.

I was approached on the 10th of July by a representative of General
Chiang, chief of the gendarmerie. He stated that it was desired to
bring Chang Hsun into the American Legation, for his own safety though
against his will, and that an agreement to this effect had been made
among the different commanders. I stated that in the circumstances it
would be better for the diplomatic corps to discuss what protection
could be extended to Chang Hsun. An informal meeting was held, at which
the British chargé agreed that he would receive Chang Hsun if he were
brought in.

The legations were notified by General Tuan, late in the afternoon of
July 11th, that during the night the troops would move against Chang
Hsun's forces in the city, and bombardment of the Temple of Heaven and
the quarters near the Imperial City held by Chang Hsun would begin at
dawn on the 12th of July. In conjunction with the commandant of the
legation guard, I sent notice to the American residents in the quarters
particularly affected, directing them to seek safety. Eighteen refugees
came to the Legation, where they were cared for during the day at the
Students' Mess. A company of the Fifteenth Infantry, which had been
brought up from Tientsin, was encamped in the compound in front of my
residence, to which their tents and military equipment imparted an
aspect of great military preparedness.

I was awakened at daybreak on July 12th by the sound of artillery and
rifle fire. As the fighting commenced people went out of curiosity
upon the city wall. But stray bullets frequently fell on the wall, and
the commandant ordered it cleared. Unfortunately, several of these
onlookers--among them three Americans--were injured. During the battle
I received word from the Imperial tutors that the Dowager Empresses
were preparing to bring the Emperor to my residence. Since the 9th of
July they had wished to remove the Emperor to this legation for safety.
While the Empresses and some of the dukes desired this, the eunuchs
under Chang Hsun's influence opposed the removal. The Prince Regent,
also influenced by Chang Hsun, took the same view. Thus on various
occasions the eunuchs, whose existence had almost been forgotten, came
out on the stage of action in this curious affair.

About eleven o'clock, while the firing was at its height and after
several bombs had been dropped from aeroplanes upon the Imperial City,
telephone messages came to the effect that several friends of the
Imperial Family and Doctor Ferguson of the Red Cross were about to
rescue the Emperor from danger and bring him to the Legation. I had the
house prepared. Half an hour later two automobiles with the Red Cross
flag flying entered the legation compound. Mr. Belin ran to the door,
expecting to see the Emperor and Empress emerging from the automobiles,
but he returned with only Mr. Sun Pao-chi, who was shivering with
excitement. I took him to the reception room and comforted him with
tea. He still expected the Emperor to come. The automobiles left again
for the Imperial Palace, but as the aeroplanes had ceased dropping
bombs and the artillery fire was decreasing in violence, the people in
the palace decided against carrying out the flight.

As I sat in the library all through the forenoon receiving reports and
giving directions, there was a constant hissing of bullets and shells
overhead. No shell dropped in our legation, although two or three fell
in the British. The Chinese artillery fire was remarkably accurate.
Sitting there and listening to the tumult of shouting and firing from
the Chenmen gate and the volleys of guns and artillery exceeding in
volume of sound any Fourth of July I had ever experienced, I felt
thankful to have seen a day when the Chinese would stand up and fight
out a big issue. I soon found that the battle was not commensurate with
its sound.

Shortly before noon Chang Hsun was brought to the Dutch Legation,
accompanied by a German employé of the Chinese police. Chang Hsun had
been persuaded to come by his generals almost with the use of force.
He was still under the illusion that he could mediate. When the Dutch
minister informed him that this was impossible, he wished to return to
his troops. This, of course, could not be permitted.

Firing was violent from dawn until nearly noon. The field guns, machine
guns, and rifles filled the air with enormous tumult, but from eleven
o'clock on the firing gradually diminished, and it entirely ceased at
four in the afternoon. Immediately thereafter I proceeded by motor car
to the various centres of fighting. I found that Chang Hsun's house had
been struck by several shells and that the indirect artillery firing
of the government troops had been managed with considerable accuracy.
The human dead had already been removed from the neighbourhood although
numerous carcasses of horses remained. Thence I proceeded to the Temple
of Heaven, where I was astonished to find Chang Hsun's troops encamped
with all their guns and artillery, eating, drinking, and talking in
the best of spirits. They told me that five of their men had been
killed, and that their bodies were still there. The absence of visible
results from the enormous expenditure of ammunition during the day was
astonishing. I found, however, that the method of fighting employed
by the troops was to creep up as closely as possible behind a high
wall, and fire into the air in the general direction where the enemy
might be. Hence, the bystanders were in rather greater danger than the
combatants themselves. In fact, the total number of killed as a result
of the fighting of July 12th was twenty-six; seventy-six were seriously
wounded, and more than half of these were civilians.

The Chang Hsun contingents in the Temple of Heaven had hoisted the
republican flag at 10 A.M. An agreement was reached by which they were
to be paid $60 per man upon the delivery of their arms. Chang Hsun's
troops about the Imperial City held out for a larger payment. To my
astonishment, as late as Saturday, the 14th of July, I saw fully armed
soldiers of Chang Hsun on guard at the central police headquarters.
Asking the reason for this--for Chang Hsun's troops were supposedly
routed in pitched battle on the 12th of July--I was told that the
commanders had not yet settled upon the sum these contingents were to
be paid. Eighty dollars per man was finally agreed upon, and by the
15th of July Chang Hsun's troops, deprived of their arms and their
pigtails, had left Peking with their money, and were on their way to
their rural homes in Shantung.

The dragon flags disappeared on the 12th of July as suddenly as they
had appeared on the 2nd. The city quickly resumed its ordinary life.

The swift failure of Chang Hsun's enterprise was due to no inherent
weakness of monarchical sentiment in north China. In fact, monarchist
leanings among the northern military party are quite well known. It
had been assumed that such a movement would be launched, and, if it
had been more prudently planned and prepared, it might easily have
succeeded, at least for a time. Its total failure was due to the fact
that Chang Hsun, counting on monarchist tendencies among the northern
military men, neglected to make those preparatory negotiations which
would have turned the potential support into real strength. While
this is true, there can be no doubt that Chang Hsun's failure gave
an enormous setback to the cause of monarchism in China. After two
failures to reëstablish the empire, ambitious men will think many times
before embarking on such a venture again. Which is to say that the
efforts to restore the Empire actually served to entrench more deeply
the republican form of government.



CHAPTER XXIV

WAR WITH GERMANY: READJUSTMENTS


"It has been decided by the Chinese Government to declare war; on this
very day the decision has been formally adopted by the cabinet."

Thus General Tuan Chi-jui, then Premier, conveyed to me on the 2nd of
August the news of China's further entrance into world politics. I
had known about this from other sources. General Tuan had announced
it as his policy when I visited him on the 14th of July. He had then
stated that Vice-President Feng Kuo-cheng would assume the functions of
President, which President Li would relinquish, and that it would be a
war government.

The American Government had held to its view that China should not be
pressed to declare war. It believed that the breaking off of diplomatic
relations, for the time being, was sufficient contribution to our
cause in the war. But the Japanese, aided especially by the French,
had strongly urged the Chinese Government to join them. Not until much
later did the Chinese learn of secret treaties made between France,
Great Britain, Italy, and Japan, giving assurance to the Japanese that
no effective resistance would be offered by those powers to anything
which Japan might desire in China at the end of the war.

In their ignorance of these secret arrangements, the Chinese thought
that association with the war powers would put them on the footing of
an ally. Also, doubtless, the militarist party surrounding Tuan hoped
to increase its power through war activities. For my part, I allowed
the Chinese to feel that the American Government, desiring them to
decide this question according to their own best judgment, hoped that a
way might be found to bring the war situation into harmony with justice
to China.

When he announced the cabinet's decision, Premier Tuan took up with
me the matter of finance. He evidently expected that the American
Government, or the Consortium, together with independent banks, would
now furnish China the money needed for her war preparations. The powers
were considering what assurances to offer. In previous discussions with
Chinese officials I had repeatedly dwelt on the fact that should China
take this step, she would be entitled to specific and strong assurances
from the powers guaranteeing her political and administrative
integrity, in terms that could not easily be evaded in future. I had
made continued efforts to effect an agreement upon a declaration
favourable to the full maintenance of the sovereign rights of China. My
conversations with the Japanese minister during 1916 and 1917 had this
in view. Now that China was considering entry into the war, I again
suggested the desirability of such a declaration, and hinted to the
Chinese officials that they might be successful upon this occasion in
obtaining a statement which would fortify the sovereign rights of China
and prevent the further growth of special privileges and spheres of
influence.

My colleagues all appeared to be favourable to the idea. It would
undoubtedly have been possible for the Chinese Government to secure
such a specific and effective declaration. Instead, however, of taking
advantage of the position which their readiness to declare war gave
them, and boldly proposing such a declaration as a necessary condition,
they became tangled up in long discussions. The substance originally
proposed was worn down to a rather empty formula.

The first proposal was that the governments should declare their
policy to "favour the independent development of China, and in no way
to seek in China, either singly or jointly, advantages of the nature
of territorial or preferential rights, whether local or general."
The Chinese had suggested, in addition, a statement that the other
governments would accord to China their full assistance, in order
to "help it obtain the enjoyment of the advantages resulting from
the equality of powers in their international relations." As finally
adopted, the declaration simply gave assurance of friendly support
in "allowing China to benefit in its international relations from
the situation, and from the regard due a great country." Vague and
unmeaning as it was, the latter term was undoubtedly flattering to
Chinese _amour propre_. These assurances were given to China on August
14th, and the United States participated in them.

China's internal political situation had not improved greatly as a
result of the overthrow of the monarchical movement. On his return
to Peking as restorer of the republican government, General Tuan had
the chance to rally all elements in Chinese politics to a policy of
constructive action. With whom would he ally himself? As his distrust
of the Kuo Min Tang was great, he constituted his new government
without regard to that party, and sought instead to govern through
a combination of the Chin Pu Tang and the so-called Communications
Party. Of the latter the real leaders, Liang Shih-yi and his immediate
associates, were still living in exile under the mandate issued
by President Li. Mr. Tsao Ju-lin controlled the new wing of the
Communications Party, and he had a disproportionate prominence through
Japanese support. Both he and Liang Chi-chao, the leader of the Chin
Pu Tang, were under the Japanese thumb. This influence could thus
act strongly and extensively on Chinese affairs. It was a Japanese
loan that had facilitated the overthrow of Chang Hsun and made the
leadership of General Tuan possible.

These two factions, while they supported General Tuan, were mutually
antagonistic. Mr. Liang Chi-chao is a literary man and a theorist.
Long befriended by the Japanese, he doubtless believed himself to be
a patriotic Chinese who was ready to use Japanese aid, but would not
surrender any essential national rights. Not being a man of affairs,
he may not always have seen the bearing upon the ultimate independence
of China of the measures which he proposed. Some Chinese as well as
foreigners thought him merely the venal instrument of Japan; others
regarded him as essentially honest, but subject to being misled because
of his theories. As Minister of Finance, his administration tended to
bring about a great increase of Japanese influence in China.

Mr. Tsao Ju-lin, cynical, practical-minded, and keen, is a different
type of man. He was closely associated with Mr. Lu Tsung-yu, himself
the most pliable instrument of Japanese policy in China. Mr. Tsao
was educated in Japan; one or more of his wives were Japanese, and
in business and pleasure he was constantly in Japanese company. He
was out-spokenly skeptical about his own country and about republican
institutions.

The Government felt dependent upon assistance from abroad, for it had
financial difficulties due to inherited burdens and present military
expenses. It was made to believe that assistance could come only from
the Japanese. The Americans had left the Consortium four years ago;
they had every opportunity to interest themselves in China, but they
had done nothing substantial beyond the loan of the Chicago bank. In
China, the margin between tolerable existence and financial stress is
so narrow that a few million dollars may wield an enormous influence
for good or bad.

These needs were accentuated because the southern republicans were
holding aloof. They felt themselves excluded from the Government; they
doubted General Tuan's honesty of purpose, and they planned to remain
independent of the central authorities. From Shanghai Mr. C.T. Wang,
the most prominent of the younger republicans, wrote that Tuan Chi-jui
and his cabinet represented the reactionary element; that they were
strongly backed by undesirable foreign influence, and that the latter
would virtually control the Government. He ascribed to General Tuan
the ambition of paving the way to make himself emperor. The opposition
to Tuan, he said, would continue the fight until the Chinese Republic
was indeed a republic. As to American action in China, he noted that
America plays the game as a gentleman, therefore it is likely to be
outmanoeuvred by another country less squeamish about its methods.
Another letter from Mr. C.C. Wu, dated July 19, 1917, I will give
textually, in part:

 ... When General Tuan arrived at the head of his troops in Peking, he
 had a good opportunity to gain the goodwill and coöperation of the
 whole country if he had proclaimed his adherence to the constitution
 at present in force, and to reassemble the dissolved parliament
 in order that the Permanent Constitution may be completed and the
 organization of the future parliament provided for; in other words,
 that the basis for a legal and constitutional government may be
 found. Unfortunately, other counsels seem to have prevailed. Another
 assembly, without any semblance of legality, is to be convened and
 the future regulation of the Republic is to be left in its hands.
 This will only mean fresh internal dissension and strife. It is to be
 admitted that there is much fault to be found with the old parliament,
 but as I once told General Tuan, it is the name, the signboard, of
 parliament that we must respect.

 Meanwhile, the papers are full of the inquiry which the Entente Powers
 are alleged to have made in regard to the declaration of war against
 Germany, and the reply made by the Waichiao Pu that the step will be
 taken almost immediately. Now, it is unnecessary to tell you of my
 opinion in regard to this question ever since the interview we had on
 that fateful Sunday in February, of my firm conviction of the many
 advantages, both material and moral, that such a step would confer on
 China, nor of the efforts I have exerted in the cause. And my week's
 stay in Shanghai has not altered my opinion. At the same time I agree
 entirely with the view expressed in the note you recently presented
 to the Waichiao Pu on behalf of your government to the effect that
 the paramount need of the moment is the consolidation of the country
 and the establishment of an effective and responsible government, and
 that, compared with this, the demarche against Germany, desirable
 though it is, is of secondary importance. Indeed, it is nothing short
 of ridiculous to declare war against a foreign power when every man
 and every resource has to be kept in hand to meet possible civil
 strife and when the authority of the Central Government is effective
 in only a doubtful half of the country. It is difficult to see
 what benefit the Entente Powers expect to derive by urging such a
 government to take such a step, a step which is detrimental to the
 best interests of China and contrary to the good advice tendered by
 the U.S., with whom Great Britain, at least, associated herself. It
 is enough to make one almost suspect that it is for these very two
 reasons that the war measure is being urged on the Government.

Quite plainly, the southern leaders believed that the party of General
Tuan was in its war policy animated with the purpose of building up
its power at the expense of the rest of the country--particularly
of subduing the southern republicans. Even less unselfish purposes
were attributed to those who based their policy on foreign financial
support. In a speech in Parliament, Senator Kuang Yen-pao makes the
officials who contract ill-advised public loans say: "We are planning
for the conservation of the property of our sons and grandsons; why
should we have compunctions about driving the whole people to the land
of death? What matters the woe of the whole nation by the side of the
joy and happiness of our own families?" But the southern leaders did
not disavow the act of the Central Government in declaring war. Their
political opposition continued; but they accepted the international
action of Peking as binding on the whole country.

In such matters China has not the hard-and-fast ideas of sovereign
authority and legality which reign in the West. It was therefore
possible for a local government to be independent in most matters,
and yet to allow itself to be guided by the central authority in
some. A declaration of independence by no means implies that there
are no relationships whatever between the recalcitrant ones and the
central authorities. For this reason, too, the visit of a foreign
representative to any one of the governors who had declared his
independence would not, as in other countries, be regarded as an
affront to the Central Government. Circumstances might occur under
which the Central Government itself might favour such a visit, as
incidentally relieving the strain. I felt quite free to send attachés
of the Legation to the governors of disaffected provinces, and should
quite freely have gone myself.

In all my interviews with high officials the prime subject was finance.
Not that China, as an associate in the war, was to get such aid--which
was taken as a matter of course--but how it was forthcoming supplied
the only question. Mr. Liang Chi-chao, Minister of Finance, who called
on me on the 4th of August, talked in favour of a big loan by the
Consortium. With this he hoped that the United States would again
associate itself. When he spoke of independent American loans, I called
his attention to the difficulty of concluding them or of calling up
the option under the Chicago loan, unless there were a parliament
whose authority was recognized by the country. Shortly after this I
saw the Acting President, General Feng. "China," he said--undoubtedly
to tell me something pleasant, but also because all Chinese do prefer
association with America--"China has followed the United States in the
policy of declaring war upon Germany. Now will not the United States
independently finance China? Or, if that is out of the question, then,
surely America will join the Consortium since that is the only way the
Chinese Government can be safely and effectively supported."

"The republican form of government," he vowed, "is now eternally secure
in China." I could not but remember his previous monarchist leanings.
The Acting President spoke of General Tuan. "I have a very cordial
understanding with the Premier," he assured me.

I went to the Premier on the 21st of August. In this discussion the
Chinese iron industry came up. The Premier asked: "Why not go ahead
with the development of mining and iron manufacture? Create a national
Chinese iron industry, and it will form the basis of a general loan
for industrial purposes." He thought, at first, that the Chinese
Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce should summon experts and start
the enterprise. I told him about the enormous technical difficulties
of such a project. Then he seemed to recognize that a contract with an
experienced and powerful organization, which could be held responsible,
would be more effective in establishing a national iron industry for
China. "I am not sure about the ore deposits near Nanking," he added;
"they may not be included in such coöperative enterprises."

I suspected that he was trying to get financial support from another
source, and was leaving his hands free to make them a grant there. I
put in a _caveat_ against any grant of iron ores to foreign nationals.
Americans had in the past been invariably informed that iron deposits
could not be leased or granted to individuals because they had been
reserved for national uses.

I visited General Tuan on August 22nd and found him more talkative,
more anxious to discuss the general aspects of policies than ever
before. "We must first of all establish the authority of the Central
Government," he said; "this can be done only through a defeat of the
opposition. My purpose is that military organization in China be made
national and unified, in order that the peace of the country shall not
at all times be upset by local military commanders. The military power
thus unified I intend to take entirely out of politics and confine it
to its specific military purposes. At present the military is used in
factional and political disputes. When this is no longer possible, then
we shall leave the public mind in civil life entirely free to settle
all questions of the Constitution and of the public policy."

I believe the Premier was sincere in these views, and in his efforts
to vindicate the authority of the National Government, but he thought
only in terms of military authority. He did not realize what the
organization of public opinion and of a civilian administration
require. His opponents feared that a consolidated military power would
be used by him, after all, to accomplish the reëstablishment of a
military dictatorship, such as that of Yuan Shih-kai.

The personal wisdom and integrity of General Tuan commanded respect,
but he was not fortunate in selecting his assistants. Both in Peking
and in the provinces his immediate advisers gave him trouble. When he
appointed General Fu Liang-tso governor of Hunan Province, he expected
the ready settlement of all difficulties there; General Fu would know
how to handle the situation. But the people of Hunan did not welcome
General Fu. Soon his authority and that of the Central Government were
questioned throughout that province. But the Premier never disavowed or
deserted his representatives. He was loyal to them, which accounts for
the strong personal influence which Tuan enjoyed.

The country could not be unified, of course, until railways were built,
and representatives of the Chinese Government often approached me to
ascertain Whether some action could not be taken in regard to the
Hankow-Canton Railway, long delayed in construction. This trunk line
would have joined the north and south. A trip from Peking to Canton by
existing routes took from ten days to two weeks: by direct railway it
should be possible to make it in two days. Not only the movement of
passengers, but of mail and freight, would stimulate an intercourse
that would be sure to overcome separatist tendencies. But China had
entrusted the building of this railway to foreigners, who had played
with the concession, had lost it, and, after reacquiring part of it,
were now delaying its execution. Europe was preoccupied with the war.
And now that China was herself entering the war, it seemed a prime need
of national preparedness to have this comparatively short remaining
gap in the communications of China filled out. Good friends of America
among the officials--among them Mr. Pan Fu, Mr. T.C. Sun, the managing
director of the Siems-Carey railway offices, and Mr. J.C. Ho--argued
with me, as did their superiors, to have America lead in completing
this essential highway of commerce.



CHAPTER XXV

THE CHINESE GO A-BORROWING


The time was come for China to put money in her purse. She was sure she
could do it, and sure that the United States, her great, rich sponsor
and friend, would help her to the means commensurate with her needs
of development for war. A suggestion to this effect had been made to
the Chinese minister at Washington by the Department of State. It was
undreamt of that no assistance whatever could be given to China.

During the fall of 1917 all my powers were devoted to securing for our
Far Eastern associate in the war the best form of American assistance.
I wished to avoid, if possible, a loss of the chance for giving Chinese
financial affairs a sound basis. Above all, it was essential to aid
in steering China beyond earshot of the financial sirens that were
luring her upon the Japanese rocks. China invited American leadership,
relied upon it. No other nation in the circumstances could justly take
exception to it. It involved no vast enterprise of immediately raising
a huge army in China, but of preparing the way for such mobilization,
if need should arise. This could be done by facilitating works which
would endure and which would contribute to the welfare of China and
the world, war or no war. It meant building means of communication
and improving the food supply. It meant reconstruction after the war.
It meant an expenditure of money that would be infinitesimal compared
with the sums spent in Europe. America had lent billions to the Entente
Allies; the hundred millions that would have served to make China fit
were a mere trifle. Nor was it necessary to insist upon independent
American action in this matter. America's leadership in behalf of the
common interest and in coöperation with her associates could produce
the results desired of putting the situation in the Far East on a
sound basis. I had always desired American independent enterprise
in individual cases, free from all entanglements and semi-political
arrangements with other nations, whose favour, fortunately, we did
not require. But in the great task of the World War joint action with
others was natural, and action in China, given only positive American
leadership, could have produced fine results. The war powers did get
together for some action. They suspended the Boxer indemnity payments
for China, and she got the benefit of the twentieth of _ad valorem_
duty which the treaties provided; on the basis of reckonings two
decades back, the 5 per cent. had really shrunk to 3. To restore the
rate fixed by the treaties was hardly a beginning of justice.

Here was China, ready, willing to take her part in the war. What should
she do? In America the slogan: "Food Will Win the War" was in vogue,
and China could furnish food. She could supply coolies, millions if
necessary, as workmen and as soldiers. The war had proved that the
training of men as soldiers could be a matter, not of years, but of
months. Plans were drawn up, at first for hundreds of thousands of
Chinese soldiers, then for half a million.

I urged my proposals on the State Department. The Canton-Hankow
Railway needed finishing. The Chinese arsenals and shipyards could be
refitted. I asked the consular officers and attachés for a rapid survey
of China's food resources; their returns showed that a large surplus
could be produced, if steps were taken at once to assure a market.
The Chinese have a genius for growing food; among them they have the
world's most skilful gardeners. But they needed added credit if they
were to put in more seed and harvest bigger crops. In these estimates
Professor Tuck of Cornell, who was up in Manchuria, and Professor
Bailey, in Nanking, gave their expert aid.

England and her European allies, it was determined, had "gone broke";
if there was to be a Consortium of lenders to China, would America
lead the way? Liang Chi-chao, Minister of Finance, proposed it. There
was China's public credit, with such vast human and material resources
as to stagger belief, waiting to be organized. There was the supreme
opportunity to send scattering all of the promoters of the unseemly
scramble to get special advantages through Chinese financial deals. I
spared no pains--for four years, indeed, I had laboured for this very
thing--to impress upon America the new vision of a developed China. Two
things halted action. Outside influences working in America itself were
aimed to stop the free play of financial enterprise in China; next,
there was the provincialism of the New York financiers. They would only
follow where other nations led.

Then there was the alternative--coöperation between the war powers. By
hoops and barrages of steel we were bound to our brothers of Britain,
France, and Italy; Japan was an allied and associated power; at every
point our gold and war bonds were mingled with theirs. We were powerful
enough to hold our associates to a policy of developing China for the
benefit of all participants; an end might be put there to "special
interests." I suggested a new consortium on this basis.

I went to the Chinese President. "I know," he declared, "that America
will spare no means whereby China may carry out her purpose to stand by
the side of the Allies on the battlefields of Europe."

From the President I went to the Premier. By this time he was not so
friendly. Time had elapsed; the glitter of Japanese money had been made
to catch his eye. I inquired concerning the Japanese loan of 20,000,000
yen, and incidental arrangements connected therewith. "Does not China
need to keep a credit balance in a foreign country," he asked; "and
would not the same arrangements be made with the United States if a
loan were made there?" Curiously, he added, "There is no need, yet,
of convoking parliament; no time has been set for it." A militarist
leader, he was being comforted by hopes of Japanese backing. But he was
quite willing to send a big army to Europe.

The Japanese were alive to this situation. Professor Hori was sent
to lecture on finance before an association which Liang Chi-chao had
helped form. The theme of his opening lecture was the bankruptcy of the
Western powers. China must rely on Japan for money. Following Hori came
a commission of ten officials from Tokyo to study Chinese financial
administration. Then came Doctor Kobayashi to act as Japan's expert
in China. Prominent posts, it was freely said, were to be created for
"currency reform," posts which would be held by Japanese. Later on
Baron Sakatani came, to study Chinese finance.

From Japan came loans and offers of loans. They lent 10,000,000 yen
through the Yokohama Specie Bank. This was merely an advance on a
future reorganization loan. Then a loan, labelled "Industrial," of
20,000,000 yen, was made through the Bank of Communications. Two
Japanese financial cliques sprang up and flourished. Liang sat at
the receipt of customs at the Ministry of Finance, dealing with the
Yokohama Specie Bank; the other clique, headed by Tsao Ju-lin and Lu
Tsung-yu, played in with the tri-fold group of the Industrial Bank
of Japan, the Bank of Chosen, and the Bank of Taiwan (Formosa). With
the loan dubbed "Industrial"--this to evade the provisions of the
reorganization loan--came Japanese advisorships in the Chinese Bank of
Communications. Not by the remotest chance would the loan be used by
the bank to strengthen its depreciated notes. It went for politics and
the military.

The Japanese financiers coolly calculated that the British and French
banks would fail to take up their option on the currency reform loan,
which they had held since 1911. That would leave the field clear for
Japan. The French and British legations got busy about this, and so did
we. As a consequence the American Government resumed its interest in
currency reform in China, and the sigh of relief was almost audible.
I called on Minister Liang. Did he not remember the Treaty of 1903
and America's long-continued interest in Chinese currency betterment?
There was the Jenks-Conant Monetary Commission; there were the long
negotiations conducted by Willard Straight, and the resultant Currency
Loan Agreement of 1911. "I remember all these things," Liang responded;
"America should lead in this matter. Our banknote issues are being
shot to pieces by local issuance of worthless paper. The Tuchuns have
bent the national banks to their purposes. The books of the banks must
be kept and made public. I suggest appointing three principal foreign
experts on a reform of the entire currency. Let them be an American, a
European, and a Japanese."

The currency loan option was extended until the following April.

But Japan had other shots in her locker. Suddenly the Japanese press
bristled with news of a projected "arms alliance" with China. It
sounded almost menacing. The Tai Hei Company, originally organized
by the Japanese Government to supply arms to Russia, was going to
furnish China with her armament. General Tuan said that he had long
been urged to buy a "limited amount" of war material from Japan.
The Japanese minister chimed in with the statement that, inasmuch
as the United States refused to sell steel to Japan--under the war
trade restriction--the time was come for Japan to control China's ore
deposits. "Japan is to sell China arms. Why may she not have the raw
materials for them?" he asked.

The disproportion involved in this demand served to amuse the Chinese.
The deposits on which Japan's eyes were fixed amounted to from forty to
fifty million tons of ore--enough to make several guns.

Along with these negotiations came proposals to establish Japanese
military and arsenal advisorships.

I asked the Premier about these reports. I told him we could not
object to the purchase of arms by China from any source whatever.
But in negotiations for loans and concessions the United States had
held unswervingly to the principle of the "open door" and no special
privileges. As it sought no control of this kind, it was equally
interested that none should be given to any other power.

"Have you not," the Premier asked me, "found me always candid and
true?" Most sincerely I assured him I had.

"Then," he replied, "we have bought of Japan 40,000 rifles, 160 machine
guns, and 80 field guns. There will be no incidental commitments. I can
rely implicitly on my military associates [General Hsu Shu-cheng, the
Vice-Minister of War; Ching Yun-peng, Acting Chief of Staff; and Fu
Liang-tso, Tuchun of Hunan]. They would not sanction such a thing."

But the next day I got positive evidence that they had. The
negotiations were in full blast for Japanese military advisorships,
control of the Nanking Arsenal, and rights to specific iron deposits.
I saw General Hsu, telling him everything before giving him a chance
to answer. I was not then solely concerned about the encroachment on
Chinese independence. American and European interests had been told:
"Hands off the national iron ore reserve; all remaining iron deposits
are to be held for the nation." Respecting this decision, we had told
our people that concessions for iron ores could not be obtained. We
could not in justice to them now consent to a change of policy, without
protecting our interests. Japan had already one half of China's iron
ore deposits. Was she to get the rest? Also, were Chinese armaments
to be standardized without consulting the experts of the Allied
Governments, so that the arms might be used in the present war?

"We have been hard pressed," General Hsu explained. "The Japanese
wished us to do something for them and we need the arms. They will be
of the larger calibre, such as China's armament now has. The Japanese
did demand the assignment of new ore deposits; they needed security for
the contract. They compromised by reducing the amount of ore we are
to furnish. But we must supply it under a contract of 1916, between
the Japanese and a company formed by Chow Tsu-chi, whereby a million
dollars was paid in advance on iron ores from deposits near Nanking.
This is the best we can do. They demanded at first the grant of new ore
deposits."

"I should like to visit you more often," General Hsu remarked later;
"but my movements are closely watched." I stated I hoped he entertained
no fear that would keep him from seeing the minister of a friendly
power at any time he wished.

The real trouble lay in the rivalries between the north and south.
The Premier and General Hsu were willing to barter the nation's
birthright in the form of concessions in order to impose an internal
unity of their own making. For China was torn. The situation in
October, 1917--how different from that of April and May, 1915, when
the twenty-one demands came to their climax! Then the Chinese people
and Government were united as one man. The sentiment of the nation was
now the same; nearly all the members of the Government were unchanged,
yet a small pro-Japanese minority were in the saddle. The men who
had Japanese funds under their control had the advantage over the
mass of officials. They succeeded in muzzling the Chinese press. By
Japanese insistence, aided in this case by the French minister--some
of the Chinese papers had criticized his attitude--news of diplomatic
negotiations had been absolutely suppressed. Without information,
the public was disturbed and confused. The editor of the Japanese
_Kokumin_, Mr. Tokutomi, in an interview in Peking, advocated still
more stringent press control. Japan was using the war to displace
the influence of her associates in China and to make her own power
predominant.

Bad as the situation was it might have been saved by an adequate loan
from America. Liang's first proposal was for a reorganization loan
of $200,000,000, which was vetoed by Europe; this shrivelled to the
mess of pottage of 10,000,000 yen offered by the Yokohama Specie Bank.
General Hsu had unfolded to me in September a comprehensive scheme of
equipping 500,000 soldiers, and providing for the immediate transport
of at least 500,000 to Europe, further detachments were to go as fast
as ships could be had. Later came more specific plans for 1,000,000
men, out of which the best contingents were to be sent to France. It
was planned ultimately to send the whole million, if needed. Then came
a modified proposal for outfitting 500,000 men and the completion of
the industrial plants needed for war materials and ships. The European
ministers were all anxious to secure China's active participation; the
French Legation, through its military attaché, was coöperating with
special energy in planning for the eventual use of Chinese forces. From
my conversations with the President, the Premier, and his most active
assistant, there was no doubt that the Chinese were in earnest. Now it
was all simmering down to a few millions of Japanese money, supplied
for politics and internal dissension, with Japan seeking special
advantages.

Work was to be done. The United States could still bring relief and
a strong call for united action into this troubled situation without
giving just cause for complaint or for taking offence. The French were
especially desirous of bringing the Chinese actually into the war.
The Belgians wished the mobilization of Chinese material resources,
particularly foodstuffs. The British were in general accord, though
they doubted whether Chinese troops could be soon transported to the
theatre of war. Dr. George Morrison who had just gone over the whole
situation with the President and cabinet, came to me saying: "The
Chinese will apply to you for advice. You have a freer hand than the
British minister."

But an event of profound significance was impending, and it interrupted
my efforts along these constructive lines. It was at this time that
the results of Japan's efforts to reach an agreement with the State
Department in Washington became known to China.



PART IV

LAST YEAR OF WAR AND AFTERMATH



CHAPTER XXVI

THE LANSING-ISHII NOTES


It was in rather an indirect way that I learned of the secret
negotiations which had been going on between the head of the State
Department in Washington and the Japanese Government. Since these
negotiations concerned some of the most vital problems in the whole
Chinese situation, it was surprising that everyone had been kept in
ignorance of them. I learned of them, I confess with mingled emotions,
from none other than Baron Hayashi himself. I called on him on the
evening of November 4th; and, after going over the matter of routine
which I had wished to take up with him, I remained chatting pleasantly
with him. In the course of our talk the Baron remarked: "I have just
received some information that is quite important, and I want you to
know about it. Let me get the cablegram."

He brought a paper and handed it over to me without comment. It
was a cablegram from Tokyo that informed him of the signing of
the Lansing-Ishii notes, and gave a summary of their text. The
first paragraph contained the vital clause: "The Government of the
United States recognizes that Japan has special interests in China,
particularly in the part to which her possessions are contiguous." This
naturally struck me in the face with stunning force, before I had time
to weigh its meaning in relation to the remainder of the declaration.
I read the dispatch twice and made an effort to impress its salient
points on my memory, and then turned to my Japanese colleague
attempting to retain my composure.

"Yes," I managed to say, "this is quite interesting. It is somewhat in
line with conversations we have had, yet differs in some respects."

I forced myself to remain a little longer and tried to continue the
matter-of-fact conversation which this astounding piece of news had
interrupted. When I finally took my leave, I was uncertain whether
Baron Hayashi did or did not know that I had been unaware of this
exchange of notes. Hurrying to the Legation, I dispatched a cablegram
to the Department asking that I be informed.

It had been agreed, so the cable from Tokyo had stated, that an
announcement of the parley should not be given out until November 7th.
But the Japanese minister had already informed the Chinese Foreign
Office on Sunday night; and early on Monday its representative called
to get my version of the matter.

No word had been sent me. It was inexcusable to fail to give the local
representative the earliest possible information, and I intimated as
much in my cablegram to the Secretary of State. As the Foreign Office
had been fully informed, I could only state to my visitor that I was
not authorized to deliver the text until later, and that I was myself
still considering the full import of the document, which in certain
respects followed lines of policy that had been discussed in the past.

As I could plainly see, the notes had been paraded in the Chinese
Foreign Office as yielding important concessions from the United
States and as a diplomatic triumph for Japan. I knew nothing of the
motives which had animated the President and Secretary of State when
they agreed to the paper. I could not explain its purposes; but when
my visitor asked: "Does this paper recognize the paramount position of
Japan in China?" I could and did answer with an emphatic "No." Beyond
that I said nothing.

All that day and the next reports streamed in from many quarters that
the Japanese were "crowing over their victory" in their talks with
the Chinese. More Chinese officials and many Americans applied at the
Legation for authentic word. But no help came from the Department of
State. Indeed no word reached me until the morning of the 7th.

It cannot be said that the American secrecy pledge was not
punctiliously observed--even to the extent of keeping in ignorance
the American minister, who would have to bear the brunt of the
consequences of this diplomatic manoeuvre. The Japanese, meanwhile,
had given the note not only to the Chinese Government several days in
advance, but--was it out of abhorrence for secret diplomacy?--even
before the notes had been signed their text was communicated to the
representatives of Great Britain, Russia, France, and Italy. This was
done at Tokyo.

It is not surprising that this procedure produced upon the Chinese the
impression that the Japanese had got what they wanted. They thought the
declarations made by the United States contained admission of a special
position held by Japan in China, not desired by the latter, but forced
through by the military and political power of Japan.

The reception given the note by Far Eastern experts and by the public
indicated that it would be interpreted in widely varying fashion. The
first impression only gradually gave way to a calmer judgment when
the specific terms of the notes were carefully read and the ambiguous
character of the instrument was realized. In the first place, the
Japanese Legation, in translating for the benefit of the Chinese
Ministry, had used for "special interest" a Chinese term which implied
the idea of "special position." Doctor Tenney's more direct translation
of the term was without this extra shade. The Department authorized
me to deliver an explanatory note to the effect that the interests
referred to were of an economic, not a political, nature. It referred
to "Japan's commercial and industrial enterprises in China"; these, it
added, "manifestly have, on account of the geographical relation of
the two countries, a certain advantage over similar enterprises on the
part of citizens or subjects of any other country."

I could not avoid the feeling that the form which the exchange of
notes at Washington had taken was unfortunate. It was indeed desirable
that the friendly attitude of the United States toward all Japan's
economic activities in China should be stated strongly. This had been
the tenor of the conversations between successive Japanese ministers
and myself, which had been communicated to the State Department. It was
necessary, if the Japanese really entertained it, to disabuse them of
the conception that the political influence of the United States was
being used to discourage close business relationships between China and
Japan, and to frown upon Japanese enterprises in China. On the basis
of such an understanding, it was hoped that Japan would join with the
United States in agreeing that special privileges in any part of China,
or any sort of economic advantage, would not be sought by political
means; that the Manchurian régime, to be more specific, would not
extend to other parts of China.

But the notes definitely stated that Japan would not use her special
interests in a way to "discriminate against the trade of other nations,
or to disregard the commercial rights heretofore granted by China in
the treaties with other powers." This might give rise to the idea that
"special interests" did not refer merely to specific economic interests
and enterprises. It might include also a certain political influence or
preference.

The Japanese minister, though disclaiming a reading which would imply
a paramount interest, evidently saw in the notes an endorsement of the
principle of spheres of influence. "The notes speak for themselves," he
said in an interview on the 8th of November; "they simply again place
on record the acknowledged attitude of the United States and Japan
toward China. They are simply a restatement of an old position. Even
the term 'special interests' is doubtless used in the same sense here
as in the past. Several other countries have territory that borders on
China; this fact gives them a special interest in these parts of China
which they touch. In exactly the same way, Japan has special rights in
China."

The non-official Japanese statements claimed much more than this. They
did "crow over" the Chinese. Was not here a vindication of distinct
priority enjoyed by Japan in China? In Japan the veteran Okuma, who
is never backward in airing his opinions in the press, also seemed to
have a rather broad idea of the notes. "Hitherto," he said, "America's
activities in China were often imprudent and thoughtless. For instance,
Secretary Knox's proposal to neutralize the Manchurian Railway was,
indeed, a reckless move. The United States also relegated Japan to the
background when she sent the note of June 7th to China, advising that
country concerning domestic peace. Thus America disregarded Japan's
special position in China. We may understand that she will not repeat
such follies, in the light of the new convention."

Of course, there is nothing in the notes to interfere with the
fullest and freest interchange of communications between the American
Government and the Chinese, on any topic whatever.

In reporting his conversation on the notes with the Japanese Minister
for Foreign Affairs before they were signed, the Russian ambassador
at Tokyo hit it off in this way: "Nevertheless, I gain the impression
from the words of the minister that he is conscious of the possibility
of misunderstandings, also, in the future; but is of the opinion that
in such a case Japan would have at her disposal better means than the
United States for carrying into effect her interpretation."

To show how different people were affected, I shall cite from some
letters. Dr. George Morrison wrote to a friend from southern China:
"Relays of Chinese have thronged to see the American consul, all
sounding one note--that they have been betrayed by America. After all
her valiant protestations, what earthly good did America gain by making
such a concession to Japan, giving recognition to that which every
American and Englishman in China had been endeavouring to prevent?
Carried to its logical conclusion this agreement gives recognition not
only to Japan's 'special interests' in Manchuria, but also to those
in Fukien Province which lies in 'geographical proximity' to Formosa.
Surely the British will now claim recognition of similar rights in
Kwangsi Province. It is all very deplorable."

Another Britisher, Mr. W.H. Donald, took a different view. "When I saw
the notes," he wrote, "I was delighted, because I read into them the
fact that America had, to use an Americanism, 'put one over' Japan.
Ishii went to America to get acquiescence in Japan's predominance in
China; to get America to admit Japan's hegemony of the Pacific. He
got neither. Instead, he had to reaffirm adherence to the previous
undertakings--undertakings which were discarded when Japan put in her
twenty-one demands."

The Chinese papers generally pronounced the notes inconsistent. The
_Chung Hua Hsin Pao_ saw no need for having the "special interests" of
Japan particularly recognized any more than those of other nations,
like Great Britain, France, Russia, and the United States, all of
which have territory adjacent to China. The paper thought that the
assurance that Japan seeks no special rights or privileges, should be
taken at its face value when the point of the whole agreement was the
recognition of "special interests" enjoyed by Japan. The tenor of the
note, therefore, appeared to favour "special interests," consequently
the division of China into spheres of influence--contrary to the
traditional policy of the United States.

Personally, from my knowledge of the situation in the Far East, I could
not see any urgent reason for making this declaration. I learned later
that the notes had been drawn up in consultation between the President
and the Secretary of State, without other reference to the Department
of State and without the knowledge of its staff. Also, the Secretary
had acted upon the belief and understanding that the first statement
concerning special interests was simply a self-evident axiom, but that
its restatement would clarify the situation. Certainly, on the other
hand, the positive affirmative pledge against "the acquisition by any
government of any special rights or privileges" was clearer and went
further than any previous declaration.

To safeguard its rights under any construction that might be given
to the document, the Chinese Government declared that it could not
recognize any agreement relating to China entered into between other
powers.

I have said that I could not see the need of these notes. Failing to
receive instructions which I sought from the Department of State,
I continued to take the position that the policy of the American
Government remained unchanged with respect to the existence of a
special position or special privileges on the part of any other
power in China. But the immediate effect of the notes on the Chinese
Government was to make its high officials feel that nothing very
positive could be expected from the United States by way of assistance
out of the nation's difficulties.

The general and continuing effect of the notes was seen in the
behaviour of the Japanese in China. The Japanese papers boldly
declared that Japan would interpret the term "special interests" in
a way to suit herself, and that it implied the supremacy of Japanese
political influence in China. The thrusting forward of this View did
not strengthen the government of General Tuan. Several more provinces
followed those which had declared their independence with acts that
made their allegiance at least doubtful. General Tuan's appointee as
military governor of Hunan suffered defeat at the hands of the southern
troops. The governors of the Yangtse Valley, under the leadership of
General Li Shun, addressed to the Government pointed inquiries about
financial dealings with the Japanese and the purchase of arms, which
was reported to involve an arms alliance.

As the attacks were directed at him personally, General Tuan felt that
he must resign. Notwithstanding an outward show of amity, General Feng
Kuo-chang and the Premier had actually not agreed. The Premier wished
to make war on the south and conquer it. The Acting President, on the
other hand, was in constant correspondence with southern leaders in an
attempt to bring about reconciliation. Tuan sent in his resignation.
The Japanese worked for his retention. The President did ask him to
reconsider, but his resignation finally took effect on the 20th of
November. General Wang Shih-chen, who was close to the President as
chief of staff, became acting premier. But Tsao Ju-lin, who headed the
Japanese clique, was retained.

Peace and unity did not result. The northern Tuchuns gathered at
Tientsin on December 4th, and decided to push the war against the south
with 200,000 men. This was to be made a pretext for getting more funds.

I kept in touch with General Tuan, in whose personal character and
honesty of purpose in wishing China to take part in the war I placed
reliance. Also his friend, Mr. Chu Ying-kuang, who had made a fine
record as civilian governor of Chekiang, had kept his eye mainly on
this goal. Through them I kept in touch with all of the Chinese who
fostered such action. If the Chinese of their own initiative should
create services for supplying urgent needs of the Allies, and should
train a model division for use on the battlefields of Europe, I
felt that the United States and her associates would find a way to
transport them to Europe. General Tuan was now free of politics. In
the conversations I had with the Premier and his associates, the idea
of a special organization for preparedness was talked over. The upshot
of this was the creation of a War Participation Office, with General
Tuan as its president. The Office was to make constructive plans for
developing resources useful in the war, and for training troops for
Europe.

Meanwhile, the Japanese were "cutting loose" in Shantung. Quite openly
they were trying to set up an administration in what they called the
railway zone. The agreements between China and Germany contained no
provision for such a zone. The Germans merely had the railway itself,
and certain specific mining enterprises, together with the port of
Tsingtao. A general priority in the mining districts within a zone
of ten miles along each side of the railway had been abandoned some
time previous to the war. Now the Japanese asserted in this "zone"
general administrative power, including policing, taxation, forestry,
and education. With this encroachment, the Chinese noted evidences of
Japanese toleration of revolutionary and bandit activities wherever
they served the purposes of the invaders.

People came frequently from Shantung to see me in order to lay before
me their complaints and petitions. They were distressed, but I could
not help them, save where American rights were involved. The Shantung
men reported that the Japanese were making the Lansing-Ishii notes the
basis of their propaganda, stating that Japan's special position had
now been recognized. This penetration into the interior of one of the
provinces of China proper by a foreign political administration was
undoubtedly the most serious attack ever made on Chinese sovereignty.

A member of the Chinese Foreign Office called on me on the 21st of
December, and spoke earnestly about the Japanese inroads in Shantung.
He said nothing could stop the Japanese. Their minister had stated that
it would be difficult to change an ordinance signed by the Premier and
sanctioned by the Emperor.

Among both Chinese officials and the general public all was
discouragement and depression. The first effect of the Lansing-Ishii
notes, the strong influence exercised by the pro-Japanese clique in the
government because of the financial backing they got, the knowledge
that such backing had to be bought with valuable national concessions,
the increasing disunion between north and south, the general despair
of any constructive and unifying policy being possible, made the
Chinese individually and collectively paralysed with doubt, fear, and a
feeling of impotence. It was plain that Japanese influences, making a
politico-commercial campaign in China, were everywhere actively taking
advantage of this demoralized state of the public mind and intensifying
it through their manipulations.



CHAPTER XXVII

AMIDST TROUBLES PEKING REJOICES


The Armistice meant the end of the Great War. Would it also mean the
end of sinister intrigue in China?

In the joy of the world victory everybody felt so. But when I returned
to Peking early in October, 1918, I found that things had gone from bad
to worse. Money had been squandered on war expeditions which had torn
the country, not united it. The unofficial Japanese financial agent,
Mr. Nishihara, a borer in the rotten trunk of Chinese finance, had
been at work all summer. The fact of his loan negotiations was denied
to the very last by the Japanese Legation. Suddenly, on October 1st,
Japan's Minister of Finance announced that his government had arranged
a number of loans to the Chinese. They involved commitments in the sum
of 320,000,000 yen, ostensibly to build railways and iron works; of
this amount 40,000,000 yen would be immediately advanced.

The earlier loans had all gone to the inept militarists. The advances
on these so-called industrial loans were in the same way dissipated
in partisanship, division, distraction. The new parliament had been
elected. It was to elect a new president. Money was poured into the
contest between Feng, the Acting President, and Hsu Shih-chang.
General Tuan had his army of small political adherents, who battened
on the funds supplied by the chief manipulators. They formed the Anfu
Club--from _An_hui, the province of the army clique, and _Fu_kien, the
province whence the navy drew most of its admirals.

The inner military ring was operating from the War Participation
Bureau, which had preëmpted the control of finance, natural resources,
and police. The ministries were powerless. The Government was debauched
with the easy money from Japan. With a sardonic grin, the Japanese
offered to lend China 200,000,000 paper yen, not redeemable, on which
the Chinese Government should base a gold-note issue. On this paper of
the Bank of Korea China should repay Japan, with interest annually.

Using the militarists, they tried hard to put it through. But the
foreign press, and such Chinese papers as dared, succeeded in laughing
it down. Redeemable in Korean or Japanese banknotes, which the Chinese
never use in daily trade, the proposed government gold notes could
not have been forced into circulation. They would only have worse
confounded the already existing monetary confusion.

The police terrorized and bullied the papers that opposed Japan's
loan negotiations and printed the facts about them. Nearly a dozen
were suppressed. The Anfu gang had cowed the Government and people in
north China. Without moral and legal authority, it made the Government
impotent in its prime functions, such as levying taxes and protecting
lives.

The diplomatic corps had to consider whether the customs and salt
revenues should be released to such a government. The best interests
not only of China, but of all the friendly nations, including
Japan herself, were being blighted. The prostitution of the War
Participation Bureau by the gold-lust of the militarists, with Japan
as pander, fostered the brawls of faction and disunion. Public opinion
was throttled and the corrupt elements found no organized popular
opposition.

Tsao Ju-lin, Minister of Finance, advocated the spurious gold-note
project, which had been dubbed the "gold-brick scheme." Tsao had
represented that the diplomatic corps had approved this scheme. Four
ministers jointly informed the Chinese Government that Mr. Tsao's
methods tended to destroy confidence between the Government and the
legations, and one minister said his legation would thenceforward
accept no statement coming from the Minister of Finance until the
Foreign Office had vouched for its truth.

The Finance Minister unblushingly tried to suspend the renewal of the
currency loan option until the foreign banks should consent to the
gold-note scheme. Here I protested, saying that under the Currency Loan
Agreement the American Government had a right to be consulted before
any such proposals could be considered.

His Excellency Hsu Shih-chang was elected President--a veteran
statesman of the old régime. In my first interview with him he
complained: "I am trying to deal with the south; but they have nobody
to bind them together and represent them. We are demobilizing most of
our superfluous troops, but I am worried because the Government lacks
financial support."

I talked with him again often. General Li Shun, of Nanking, had been
asked to mediate. The southern leaders needed to be "grubstaked" to pay
off their troops, then an agreement with them could be reached. The
President's solution smacked of buying them off. But this would not
end the militarist intriguing. President Hsu issued on October 25th a
peace mandate, taking President Wilson's statement about reconstituting
international unity as his point of departure. The President had cabled
this to Hsu when he was inaugurated. The press was reporting that the
British and American ministers were working for internal peace; our
mediation would have been popular. It would have pulled the leaders of
north and south out of their impasse. President Hsu cabled back to Mr.
Wilson: "Though we are separated by a great distance, yet I feel your
influence as if we were face to face."

President Hsu had gotten a report from Dr. George E. Morrison, who had
returned from investigations in south China. Doctor Morrison made the
point that internal strife must be ended if China was to do anything
in the Great War and to hold up her rights strongly at the Peace
Conference. I will quote this report somewhat at length:

 China under the advice of several of her more powerful ministers looks
 to Japan for guidance, Japan having in an incredibly short space
 of time, by the energy and patriotism of her united people and the
 wisdom of her rulers, raised herself to an important position among
 the nations. But Japan is no longer one of the great world powers.
 Japan lacks experience of modern war. Her army and navy are much out
 of date. Her troops have no experience of the marvellous methods of
 modern war. She has no submarine service, she has no air service.
 Her government, created after the model of Germany, her kaiserism,
 her Prussian militarism, are fast becoming obsolete. Compared with
 the great powers of Great Britain, America, France, and Italy, the
 strength of Japan is meagre. Japan at the end of the European war is
 a third-rate power. Her government is the only military autocracy
 existing in the world to-day, and for that reason Japan will occupy a
 unique position at any peace conference. Japan is the only one of the
 Allied nations who has failed to take any adequate part in the great
 world struggle.

 For China, a republic, to seek the guidance of the only existing
 autocratic military government in the world to-day has at least the
 appearance of inconsistency. Such action is viewed with suspicion by
 all those in China who are aspiring to a democratic government--a
 government by the people for the people.

 If intervention is to be prevented, there must be early restoration
 of democratic government, early reconciliation. As the simplest and
 quickest way in which this can be effected, I suggest that your
 Excellency invite the President of the United States to act as
 mediator, to bring together representatives of the two great parties
 of state in China that they may hear and weigh each other's view and
 agree to a compromise. There is no loss of face in doing this.

 During my recent visit to the south I gave expression to Chinese views
 to all the leading men with whom I had the opportunity of discussing
 the question of peace and reconciliation in China. All without
 exception expressed their belief and confidence that an invitation to
 the President of the United States to act as mediator would be a wise
 act and one that promised the easiest solution of the grave conflict
 which at present divides into hostile camps this fair land of China.

Japan persisted in her work, the United States remained indifferent.

The people of China got tired of all this. As a matter of fact, China
was divided only on the surface. Deep down into the life of the people
political controversies had not penetrated. They went on, placid and
industrious, regardless of the bickerings of politicians. Chinese
revolutions and declarations of independence might be bruited to the
world, which might think China had plunged into anarchy. As a people
the Chinese are freer from governmental interference than any nation
living. If the entire Central Government should suddenly disappear from
the face of the earth, it would make little difference in China. Yet
the long continuance of political conflicts lets foreign intrigue into
the national quarrels, and so reacts dangerously.

The people as a whole wished the nation to be a unit. But the
professional militarists had to be paid off. After the President had
issued his peace mandate, he asked that I see him. "If decisive action
for peace is taken," he asked, "may we depend on the United States
to back us in getting funds to pay off these large bodies of troops?
If not, will she not lead in a reorganization loan joined by several
powers?"

I asked the American Government for the funds desired. If they came
conditionally upon the reunion of China, the responsible military
governors and civilian leaders north and south would have the means
to be rid of the predatory and parasitic bands. Japan then roused
herself. She approached the governments of the United States, France,
Great Britain, and Italy on October 23rd, asking that they work toward
a peace settlement with the leaders both north and south. The American
Government approved, adding that China needed money, but that no funds
would be afforded her until a reunited government was seated.

Meanwhile, the temper of the Chinese people was sounded in a
gratifying way. John Mott asked the Y.M.C.A. in China to raise $100,000
for the War Works Drive. I sat at dinner one evening with Liang Shih-yi
and Chow Tsu-chi, and said: "A drive is going on in the United States
to aid all the war works undertaken for the benefit of the soldiers at
the front. Do you suppose that some of our friends in China would wish
to contribute?" They both replied: "Yes, we are sure they would."

Two days elapsed. Chow Tsu-chi called, told me they had formed a
National War Works Committee, and that local committees were being
formed in every provincial capital. They raised, not $100,000, but more
than $1,000,000!

It was the more remarkable because this way of contributing to a public
purpose had never been tried in China. Only the _Shun Tien Shih Pao_ of
Peking, Japanese-controlled, threw cold water on the movement, saying
that to be sending money to Europe while so many provinces in China
themselves needed aid was peculiar.

The representatives of the Associated Powers met on October 18th.
They felt that participation in the war had not united China; a
clique had perverted it to factional uses. Each representative, it
was agreed, should present instances in which the Central Government
or local officials had obstructed action or been remiss. At the next
meeting, on the 28th, I had prepared a memorandum of instances; this
was made the basis of a statement. A conference was to be held with
the President of China, to be quite friendly, but to make manifest
the grave shortcomings due to political vices. Thus, it was thought,
the responsible and conscientious elements in the Government would
be fortified against the clique that had invaded it. The Foreign
Minister, however, asked that the conference be deferred, in order that
the Government might strive to bring its action more completely into
accord with its real desire. There was no threat in our suggestion. But
publicists often overlooked its true object, and treated it as if it
had been a condemnation of China rather than of the controlling clique
in the Government.

Joy and cheerfulness greeted the news of the Armistice. The American
Legation Band was the first to celebrate, with a detachment of marines
it paraded the legation compounds; only the Japanese Legation sentinel
failed to salute it; he had failed to gather its purport. At Sir John
Jordan's personal invitation I joined the British Legation's impromptu
festivities that night, with some members of my staff. Responding to
Sir John's remarks of welcome, I spoke of the trinity of democratic
peoples, the British, French, and Americans, as destined to lead the
world to a fuller understanding of free institutions and popular rights.

In the continuous round of festivities and celebrations the foreign
and Chinese communities joined whole-heartedly, with dinners,
receptions, special meetings of societies, and finally a great national
celebration on the 28th of November. We gave a reception on the 20th
to the ministers of the Associated Powers. As each minister arrived,
the national air of his country was played by the Marine Band. When
the Russian minister came in, the band, without special instructions,
played the old Russian Imperial hymn. Prince Koudacheff was moved, for
this anthem was now outlawed in his country; he came to me in tears.
Next day he showed me a song with music which he had suggested for
adoption by the Siberian Government as the Russian national hymn. But
at the solemn service held on the Sunday following, when the national
airs of the different countries were played, when the turn came for the
Russian hymn a pause was noted. Those conducting the service had ruled
out the old Imperial hymn. As there was apparently no music available
as a substitute, poor Russia had to go unsaluted.

From early in the morning of the national celebration, Chinese troops
marched toward the Imperial City, where they lined the spacious
interior courts. The legation guards followed. Multitudes of Europeans
and Chinese flocked to the palace, where the diplomats were gathered,
all but myself resplendent in gorgeous uniforms. The neutral ministers,
too, were in attendance. The European adviser had found a precedent
among peace celebrations in Europe, such as that after the Danish War
and the Franco-Prussian War, in accordance with which the neutral
ministers might attend, though peace was not fully concluded. Also,
it was argued that the Chinese were celebrating the cessation of
hostilities, and the participation of friendly representatives might be
invited.

Whispered controversy was heard among the ministers. The representative
of France, seeing senior neutral representatives ahead of him, said
this occasion was different, and demanded that the rank of precedence
be changed. Time was too short for so thorny a problem. We agreed to
say nothing at all, but to walk in a group forming itself spontaneously.

We gathered in the pavilion of the Ta Ho-men, the gate which leads into
the court immediately before the main Coronation Hall of the Imperial
City. Here, in the very inner sanctuary of the thousand-year-old
imperialism of China, the victory of freedom was celebrated. The square
was massed with troops, Chinese and foreign. On the ascending terraces
stood thousands of guests, the military and officials in uniform; over
the balustrades waved forests of flags of the Associated Nations, as
well as long floating banners with Chinese inscriptions in gold.

After the President had ascended the steps to the music of bands
of the nations, bowed to all the flags, and made his address,
aeroplanes appeared, dropping innumerable Chinese flags and messages
of felicitation printed in gold on red; then they continued to circle
above the Imperial City. While the military were marching to the gate,
rockets were sent skyward; exploding, they released paper figures of
animals, as well as soldiers and weapons of war, which floated a long
time in the air. When the President left the Tung Hua Palace, where he
had received thousands of guests, the aeroplanes preceded him on his
ride to his own residence.

We celebrated Thanksgiving that afternoon in American fashion with
a religious service, the American colony and many British and
other Allied residents attending, as well as the ministers of the
Associated Powers with their staffs. Premier Chien Neng-hsun dined
the diplomatic corps and welcomed President Wilson's proposal for a
league of nations. President Hsu invited us on November 30th, and then
the French minister, who still was troubled with the question of the
non-belligerents, objected to the neutral ministers being there at all.
If they went, he said, he would not go. The British minister and I
devised, as we thought, a way out. Would the neutral ministers view the
Allied ministers as guests of honour on this occasion? The secretary
to the Foreign Minister was chosen to ask them. Unfortunately, the
neutrals took it as a demand rather than an inquiry. Then the fat was
in the fire--the neutral ministers would not attend the dinner. This
was the one discordant note in our celebrations.

In order to enable the Central Government to get along at all, the
diplomatic corps agreed to the release of surplus salt revenues to the
extent of $5,300,000. President Hsu on the 16th of November ordered
immediate cessation of hostilities in the Chinese interior. The
northern leaders were still war-like, but accepted his decision. The
British, French, American, Japanese, and Italian representatives and
myself met on the 22nd to uphold President Hsu's attitude. We took
up the Japanese proposals, deciding that identical representations
be made at Peking and Canton. My colleagues asked me to draft an
_aide mémoire_ which was to accompany the oral representations.
Japan objected to including in it the American suggestion that no
financial advances would be made now but that a reunited China would
get support from the powers. The Japanese banks had bound themselves
to make further payments to China, it was said. The _aide mémoire_
deplored disunion, disavowed wishing to intervene, and hoped that,
"while refraining from taking any steps which might obstruct peace,
both parties would seek without delay, by frank confidence, the means
of obtaining reconciliation." In the clause about obstructing peace
I had in mind such acts as the election of a northern militarist as
Vice-President. This, though in itself a peaceful act, would have
raised an insurmountable obstacle to peace.

Five powers were represented in an audience before the President on
December 2nd, the British minister speaking. The northern military
leaders had held a conference at Tientsin. If, as reported, they wished
to demand that Tuan be reinstalled as Premier, and that Tsao Kun,
Military Governor of Chihli, be elected Vice-President, it would have
embittered the south. The public therefore welcomed the representations
of the powers. The American reference to loans was omitted;
nevertheless, the situation produced made it no longer possible for any
one country to lend money to either faction without putting itself in
an equivocal position.

The Japanese felt moved on the 3rd of December to publish a statement
about Chinese finance. Japan could not discourage financial and
economic enterprises of its nationals in China, the statement read, "so
long as these enterprises are the natural and legitimate outgrowth of
special relations between the two neighbouring and friendly nations. At
the same time they fully realize that under the existing conditions of
domestic strife in China loans are liable to create misunderstandings
and to interfere with peace in China. Accordingly, the Japanese
Government has decided to withhold such financial assistance to China
as is likely in their opinion to add to the complications of her
internal situation."

This declaration left great latitude in the making of loans, yet
it did, in fact, acknowledge the appropriateness of the American
position. I asked Baron Hayashi about it. What exceptions would be
made? The Baron was not very definite but said _bona fide_ industrial
loans were meant. "Most decidedly," he added in reply to my continued
questioning, "I favour the strictest scrutiny of each loan, and mutual
information among the governments about such transactions." He gave
me plainly to understand that he did not approve, and had opposed,
certain deals attempted by his countrymen in the semi-official group.
I gathered his thorough disapproval of direct interference by the
military in international affairs; but the military were in power in
Japan, and its diplomats were helpless.

In accordance with its main suggestion, the American Government
followed with a memorandum about financing China, sent to Great
Britain, France, and Japan. It had already proposed a new consortium,
including virtually all parties interested in each national group. The
Currency Reform Loan should come first, with the shares of the British
and French groups carried by the Americans and Japanese so long as the
former could not furnish funds. Industrial as well as administrative
loans should be included, and thus removed from the sphere of
destructive competition.

The danger that industrial loans might be converted to political ends
was patent. Yet in my recommendations I felt it difficult to avoid
evils of monopoly, unless independent enterprises involving loans
should be admitted.

The British and French banking representatives plainly wished to have
America lead in the international financial reorganization of China.
Japan, as its minister often said, desired the United States to reënter
the Consortium--but he meant the old Consortium, in which Japan had
the leadership. Japan did not readily take to the idea of the new
Consortium. It declared that it favoured the proposal "on principle,"
but found it necessary to weigh every detail with considerable
minuteness. This caused great delay.



CHAPTER XXVIII

A NEW WORLD WAR COMING?


The old World War ended with the Armistice. Was a new one looming?

If one came it would break in China--of that we were convinced.
Unless it settled China's problems the Peace Conference would fall
disastrously short of safeguarding the world against a renewal of
its titanic conflict. In China the powers were rivals, each with its
jealously guarded sphere of influence. In the extravagant language
of fancy, Ku Hung-ming thus pictured to me the situation: "China's
political ship, built in the eclipse and rigged with curses black, has
been boarded by the pirates of the world. In their dark rivalries they
may scuttle it and all sink together, but not until they have first
plundered and burned civilization as we know it."

Should any action be taken which might be interpreted as a recognition
of a special position for Japan in China, whether in the form of a
so-called Monroe Doctrine or a "regional understanding" or in any other
way, forces would be set in motion that in a generation would be beyond
controlling. In comparison with this tremendous issue, even the complex
re-alignments of Central Europe fell into relative unimportance. The
same fatal result was sure to follow any further accentuation of
spheres of influence.

We in China realized this, and in deadly earnest we worked out a plan
of joint preventive action by the powers, which would unite them
instead of leaving them in fatal rivalry. The root of all evil is in
the love of money. It was local financing by single exploiting powers
in spheres protected by political influence that was the evil. If,
instead, the finance of the world could be made to back a united
China, there would be a great constructive development, from which all
would benefit far in excess of selfish profits garnered in a corner.
We planned a system of joint international finance. That, despite
its drawbacks, would destroy the localization of foreign political
influence. The plan in its relations to the Chinese Government was
worked out with everyone that we could reach competent to give advice.
There were the official and business representatives of Great Britain
and France; the Chinese cabinet ministers and other officials, and all
of the American representatives, including the commercial attachés
Julean Arnold and P.P. Whitham, and the American advisers, Dr. W.W.
Willoughby, Dr. W.C. Dennis, and Mr. J.E. Baker of the Department of
Railways. Day and night the conferences went on informally; by day and
night these matters were threshed out. Japanese experts, too, were
consulted.

The time seemed propitious. The Armistice brought the hope that the
powers would coöperate. The separatist political aims in China might
be overcome, together with the sinister intrigue for dismembering or
dominating that mighty nation of freemen. Could foreign financial
action and influence in China be gathered up into a unit? Could it be
made to build for the whole of China, not tear it down in its several
parts? At all events, we hammered out a plan to make this possible.

Foreigners had gone deeply into railway loans, making their chief
investments there. Hence we made the plan of unified financial support
apply, first of all, to the railway service. The operating of the
different Chinese lines according to the respective national loans
was a curse; it was evil politics, and it broke down the railway
service. Foreign experts, acting as servants of the Chinese Government,
might unify the Chinese railroads, though of this Liang Shih-yi,
Chow Tsu-chi, and Yeh Kung-cho--who knew most about Chinese railway
affairs--had their doubts. It would pile up the overhead expenses, they
thought. The railways could be managed thriftily only by the Chinese.
The foreign banking interests, too, might try to be depositories for
the railway funds, as they were already for the customs and salt
revenues. Thus Chinese capital would pay tribute to foreign capital. If
still other revenues were thus absorbed, as might be feared, national
economy would be fettered too much.

Therefore they proposed a Chinese banking group. It would help in the
financing and could be made the depository of funds.

These men sympathized, however, with the main purpose of the suggested
arrangement for unification. Foreign expertship on the railways, also,
was highly valued by Chinese railwaymen trained in the West. True,
Mr. Sidney Mayers somewhat frightened them by his proposals. This
British industrial representative of long experience in China proposed
internationalizing each separate line by putting on it an international
group of experts. The Chinese objected; it would mean giving all the
important positions to a large staff of foreign officials. Of this they
had had enough in the Customs.

It was necessary to dissociate banking from building; such a union
would mean monopoly and fierce attacks upon it by all outside
interests. With the financing separate, the contracting might be left
free to all competitors, bidding low and resting their bids upon their
repute and responsibility.

So long as it remained possible for different countries to acquire
special privileges in distinct spheres, promises of "integrity and
sovereignty" would be nothing but empty words. No matter how much they
might promise that they would not discriminate against the trade of
other nations, the fact remains that established position in itself
constitutes preference.

The favoured nations might more honestly say: "Give us our special
position and we will give you all the equal opportunity you ask."

Foreign influence could safely be wielded only as a trusteeship
for China and the world, without any vested political interests or
economic advantages secured through political pressure. But Chinese
administration was lax. I urged the Chinese officials to set their
house in order, to put their public accounting on an efficient plane;
even if necessary to employ foreign experts to do this. They said:
"Yes, if the United States will lead," for a long record of square
dealing had endeared our business men to the Chinese.

But Americans had been slow in China. Two years had fled, and the
Grand Canal was not yet restored as promised. The half million dollars
advanced had been spent on preliminary surveys. Silver had risen;
American gold bought only one half what it had before. Overhead expense
was high, and for the preliminary work more than the half-million was
needed. The Chinese were disappointed, grief-stricken; they began to be
suspicious.

The Japanese-controlled papers redoubled their attacks on Americans.
Pretty soon a Japanese journal at Tsinanfu assaulted the name and
character of President Wilson. I had an understanding with my Japanese
colleague that all press misstatement should be corrected. I saw him
about this attack on the head of a friendly nation. He promised to
look into it. After ten days I wrote inquiring again. Under the press
laws of Japan, he responded, a paper could indeed be punished for
libellous attack upon the head of a foreign state, provided that such
head happened to be in Japan at the time. As this paper was notoriously
under the domination of the Japanese authorities, amenable to their
very breath and whisper, I failed to see how the minister should find
it hard to bring it to book. I merely called for a retraction where the
Japanese, if a Chinese-owned paper so scurrilously had attacked the
Japanese Emperor, would have asked for total suppression. The Japanese
minister said he would "further consider the matter" and would see what
he could do. A mild apology and retraction were eventually published.

The action of the Japanese in China, official and unofficial, during
the war, had aroused the deepest resentment among the Chinese, who
were on the verge of despair. The Chinese people were being whirled
in the vortex of old and new. The old organization was beginning to
crumble; the new had not yet taken shape. It was easy to find spots
of weakness and corruption, aggravation of which would bring about an
actual demoralization of social and political life and the obstruction
of every improvement; bandits could be furnished with arms; weak
persons craving a stimulant could be drugged with morphia; the credit
of native institutions could be ruined; and the most corrupt elements
in the government encouraged. For the original weaknesses and evils the
outside influence was not responsible, but it was culpable for making
them its instruments for the achievement of its aims of political
dominion.

A vast system whose object was the drugging of China with morphia,
which utilized the petty Japanese hucksters and traders throughout the
country, was exposed in the "opium blacklist" published by the British
papers in China. Specific proof was adduced in each case. Often the
blacklist extended over two pages of a paper. Obviously these Japanese
druggists, photographers, and the whole outfit of small-fry traders
could not traffic in morphia without the connivance of the Japanese
Government and the support of semi-official Japanese interests. The
Japanese post offices were used for its distribution in China. Chinese
police interference with the thousands of Japanese purveyors was ruled
out under the exterritoriality agreements. In Korea, the Japanese opium
grown officially for "medicinal uses" was produced far in excess of
medicinal needs, and through the ports of Dairen and Tsingtao large
quantities of morphia came into China.

The Japanese-controlled press at first answered the blacklist with
charges of _tu quoque_; but when they defamed the American missionary
hospitals, alleging that they were centres for distributing narcotic
drugs, nobody among the Chinese paid further attention to them. The
blacklists mapped graphically the thickly sown morphia "joints"
around the police station of the Japanese settlement at Tientsin and
the responsibility was brought home to Japan. An official Japanese
announcement was evoked that no effort would be spared to stop the
"regrettable, secret, illicit traffic."

In Shantung Japanese civil administration had been set up along the
railway without a scintilla of right. It was later withdrawn for new
concessions and privileges wrung from the Peking Government. The
Japanese were old masters of this trick. Seize something which you
do not really want, and restore it to its owner if he will give you
something you do want. Then what you want you get, but it is not
"stolen," and can be kept with smug immunity. The arrangements in
Shantung were made secretly, riding roughshod over Chinese rights,
and intended to sterilize in advance the enactments of the Peace
Conference. If a foreign power should wish to own the Pennsylvania
Railway system, and should actually come into the United States and
occupy it, the parallel would be exact with what Japan did in Shantung.
After taking the Shantung Railway and holding it, the Japanese stoutly
claimed an "economic right" to it. The whole course of Japan in China
during the Great War alarmed both Chinese and foreigners. I may not
name the responsible and fair-minded writer of a letter from which I
quote:

 It would be in the highest degree unfortunate if the present
 fortuitous and temporary possession of the Leased Territory and
 Shantung Railway by Japan should be confirmed by the final Treaty of
 Peace, for not only would China's sovereignty in Shantung be in danger
 of impairment, but the trading rights of Chinese, Americans, and
 Europeans would undoubtedly be prejudiced.

 Another consideration that has the greatest weight with the writer is
 that the principles for which the United States entered the European
 War and on behalf of which the United States, in common with the
 whole world, has paid an unthinkable price in gold and blood, make
 unbearable a continuance, not to say accentuation, of the old system
 of foreign intrigue in China. It is unbearable that one result of the
 victory bought in part with American lives should be the extension
 of Japanese power in China, when such extension means the further
 strengthening of the domination of a monarchical and imperialistic
 foreign nation over China, a result constituting in its own sphere a
 complete negation of the objects for which the United States devoted
 its entire resources in the war against Germany.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen wrote me at Shanghai on the 19th of November, referring
both to internal and external troubles, and the union of militarists,
foreign and Chinese:

 Through you alone will the President and the people of the United
 States see the true state of affairs in China. Your responsibility
 is indeed great. Whether Democracy or Militarism triumphs in China
 largely depends upon Your Excellency's moral support of our helpless
 people at this stage.

These words show the Chinese belief in the sheer force of public
opinion, and their wish that the Chinese situation be known and
understood abroad. This achieved, the evils under which China groans
and travails would shrivel.

We built up our solution of unity for China. In carefully weighed
dispatches I sent it to the American Government, and cabled the
President a statement of China's vital relation to future peace. I was
constrained to condemn Japan's policy, quite deliberately, summing up
the evidence accumulated in the course of five years. I had come to the
Far East admiring the Japanese, friendly to them--my published writings
show this abundantly. I did not lose my earnest goodwill toward the
Japanese people but I could not shut my eyes to Japanese imperialist
politics with its unconscionably ruthless and underhanded actions and
its fundamental lack of every idea of fair play. The continuance
of such methods could only bring disaster; their abandonment is a
condition of peace and real welfare. The aims and methods of Japan's
military policy in the Continent of Asia can bring good to no one,
least of all to the Japanese people, notwithstanding any temporary
gains. Such ambitions cannot permanently succeed.

A cure can come only when such evils are clearly recognized.
Lip-service to political liberalism might mislead the casually
regardful outside world. To those face to face with what Japanese
militarism was doing to continental Asia there was left no doubt of its
sinister quality. Japan herself needs to be delivered from it, for it
has used the Japanese people, their art and their civilization, for its
own evil ends. More than that, it threatens the peace of the world. If
talk of "a better understanding" presupposes the continuance of such
aims and motives as have actuated Japanese political plot during the
past few years, it is futile. What is needed is a change of heart.

Here is the substance of the memorandum upon which my cablegram to the
President was based:

 In 1915, coercion was applied and China was forced by threats to
 solidify and extend the privileged position of Japan in Manchuria
 and Mongolia and to agree prospectively to a like régime in Shantung
 together with the beginnings of a special position in Fukien Province.
 After this there was a change of methods although the policy tended to
 the same end--domination over China.

 Instead of coercion, Japan applied secret and corrupt influence
 through alliance with purchasable officials kept in office by Japanese
 support. The latter insidious policy is more dangerous because it gave
 the appearance that rights are duly acquired through grant of the
 Chinese Government; no demands or ultimatums are necessary because
 corrupt officials strongly supported by Japanese finance, acting
 absolutely in secret channels, suppressing all public discussion with
 the strong arm of the police, are able to deliver contractual rights
 regular in form, though of corrupt secret origin and evil tendency.

 Japan has used every possible means to demoralize China by creating
 and sustaining trouble; by supporting and financing the most
 objectionable elements, particularly a group of corrupt and vicious
 military governors akin to bandits in their methods; by employing
 instigators of trouble; by protection given to bandits; by the
 introduction of morphia and opium; by the corruption of officials
 through loans, bribes, and threats; by the wrecking of native banks
 and the debauching of local currency; by illegal export of the copper
 currency of the people; by local attempts to break down the salt
 administration; by persistent efforts to prevent China from going into
 the war and then seeing to it that China was never in a position to
 render to the common cause such aid as would be in her power and as
 she would willingly render if left to herself: finally, by utilizing
 the war and the preoccupation of the Allies for enmeshing China in the
 terms of a secret military alliance.

 As a result of these methods and manipulations, Japan has gained the
 following advantages: a consolidation of her special position in
 Manchuria and eastern Mongolia, and the foundation of the same in
 Shantung and Fukien; control in the matter of Chinese finance through
 the control of the Bank of Communications and the Bureau of Public
 Printing and the appointment of a high financial adviser together with
 the adoption of the unsound gold-note scheme happily not yet put in
 force. She has secured extensive railway concessions in Manchuria,
 Shantung, Chihli, and Kiangsu; mining rights in various provinces;
 and special monopolistic rights through the Kirin forestry loan, the
 telephone loan, and others. Through the secret military convention
 Japan attempts not only to control the military policy of China but
 incidentally national resources such as iron deposits. All these
 arrangements are so secretly made that in most cases not even the
 Foreign Office is in possession of the documents relating thereto.
 Together with this goes the persistent assertion of special interests
 which are interpreted as giving a position of predominance.

 This is a strong indictment and I feel the fullest responsibility in
 making these statements. Fundamentally friendly to the Japanese as my
 published expressions show, I have been forced through the experience
 of five years to the conclusion that the methods applied by the
 Japanese military masters can lead only to evil and destruction and
 also that they will not be stopped by any consideration of fairness
 and justice but only by the definite knowledge that such action will
 not be tolerated.

 As a steady stream of information from every American official in
 China and from every other source as well as my own experience have
 made this conclusion inevitable, I owe the duty to state it to the
 American Government in no uncertain terms. Nor is this said in any
 spirit of bitterness against the Japanese people but from the
 conviction that the policy pursued by their military masters can
 in the end bring only misery and woe to them and the world. During
 all this period it has not been possible for the European powers
 or the United States to do anything for China. The United States,
 though assisting all other Allies financially, could not contribute
 one dollar toward maintaining the financial independence of China
 as undivided attention was needed to the requirements of the west
 front. The Lansing-Ishii notes, undoubtedly intended to express a
 friendly attitude toward any legitimate aspirations of Japan while
 safeguarding the rights of China, were perverted by the Japanese into
 an acknowledgment of their privileged position in China. Now at last,
 when the pressure has been released, America as well as the European
 countries must face the issue which has been created, that is, whether
 a vast, peaceable, and industrious population whose most articulate
 desire is to be allowed to develop their own life in the direction of
 free and just government, shall become material to be moulded by the
 secret plottings of a foreign military despotism into an instrument of
 its power. If it is said that the aims of Japan are now but economic
 and in just response to the needs of Japan's expanding population, it
 must be remembered that every advantage is gained and maintained by
 political and military pressure and that it is exploited by the same
 means in a fashion, taking no account of the rights of other foreign
 nations or of the Chinese themselves. Divested of their political
 character and military aims the economic activities of Japan would
 arouse no opposition.

 Only the refusal to accept the results of Japanese secret manipulation
 in China during the last four years, particularly, the establishment
 of Japanese political influence and a special privilege position in
 Shantung can avert the result of either making China a dependence of a
 reckless and boundlessly ambitious military caste which would destroy
 the peace of the entire world, or bringing on a military struggle
 inevitable from the establishment of rival spheres of interest and
 local privilege in China.

 Peace is conditioned on the abolition for the present and future
 of all localized privileges. China must be freed from all foreign
 political influence exercised within her borders, railways controlled
 by foreign governments, and preferential arrangements supported by
 political power. If this is done, China will readily master her own
 trouble, particularly if the military bandits hitherto upheld by Japan
 shall no longer have the countenance of any foreign power.

 The advantages enumerated above were gained by Japan when she was
 professedly acting as the trustee of the Associated Powers in the
 Far East, and they could not have been obtained at all but for the
 sacrifices made by them in Europe. They are therefore not the
 exclusive concern of any one power. With respect to Shantung the
 German rights there lapsed, together with all Chino-German treaties,
 upon the declaration of war. A succession of treaty rights from
 Germany to Japan is therefore not possible, and the recognition of
 a special position of Japan in Shantung could only proceed from
 a new act to which conceivably some weak Chinese officials might
 be induced but which would be contrary to the frequently declared
 aims of international policy in China and which would amount to the
 definitive establishment of exclusive spheres of influence in China
 leading in turn to the more vigorous development of such exclusive
 spheres by other nations. The present situation of affairs offers the
 last opportunity by common consent to avert threatening disaster by
 removing the root of conflict in China.

 Never before has an opportunity for leadership toward the welfare
 of humanity presented itself equal to that which invites America in
 China at the present time. The Chinese people ask for no better fate
 than to be allowed freedom to follow in the footsteps of America;
 every device of intrigue and corruption as well as coercion is being
 employed to force them in a different direction, including constant
 misrepresentation of American policies and aims which, however, has
 not as yet prejudiced the Chinese. Nor is it necessary for America to
 exercise any political influence. If it were only known that America
 in concert with the liberal powers would not tolerate the enslavement
 of China either by foreign or native militarists the natural
 propensity of the Chinese to follow liberal inclinations would guide
 this vast country toward free government and propitious development of
 peaceful industrial activities, even through difficulties unavoidable
 in the transition of so vast and ancient a society to new methods of
 action.

 But if China should be disappointed in her confidence at the present
 time the consequences of such disillusionment on her moral and
 political development would be disastrous, and we instead of looking
 across the Pacific toward a peaceable, industrial nation, sympathetic
 with our ideals, would be confronted with a vast materialistic
 military organization under ruthless control.



CHAPTER XXIX

JAPAN SHOWS HER TEETH


Mr. Obata had succeeded Baron Hayashi as Japanese minister in
December. He was a dour, silent man who had been much in China, as
consular officer and in the Legation. He had sat with Mr. Hioki in the
conferences in which the twenty-one demands were pressed on China.
He was known to be a very direct representative, in the diplomatic
service, of the militarist masters of Japan. His appointment was to
the Chinese ominous of a continuance of aggressive tactics. A wail of
indignation went up from the Chinese press, but Mr. Obata remained. In
my personal relations with this secretive man I thought I saw gradually
emerging a broader and more humane outlook.

The new Japanese minister called on the 2nd of February, 1919, at
the Foreign Office and expressed resentment at the attitude of the
Chinese delegation at Paris. The Chinese representatives had said they
were willing to publish all the secret agreements which the diplomacy
of Nippon had been weaving around China. Japan objected. The sacred
treaties between China and Japan were not to be divulged without the
consent of both parties. If China was so anxious to purge herself of
secret diplomacy, let her publish first the agreement of September
24, 1918, which gave the special privileges of Germany in Shantung to
Japan. The displeasure of the Japanese in Paris was reënforced by Mr.
Obata in Peking by what the Chinese took to be a veiled threat. "Great
Britain," said he, "is preoccupied with internal disorders. She cannot
assist China. But Japan is fully able to assist, as she has a navy of
500,000 tons, and an army of more than a million men ready for action."

The Shantung agreement had been the consummation of the
Japanese-controlled Minister of Communications. The Chinese Foreign
Office was not consulted when the Chinese minister at Tokyo signed it,
and it had not been ratified by the Chinese Government. The Chinese
people viewed it merely as a draft, and demanded its cancellation with
the return to Japan of the moneys received under it by the politicians.

Mr. Obata's threat, which the Chinese took to be an attempt to
intimidate the Chinese delegation at Paris, evoked a deluge of
telegraphic messages urging the President and the Government by all
possible means to back their delegates. These expressions came from
men of all parties. Chen Lu, Acting Foreign Minister, tried in vain
to minimize the effect of the interview. Called before the Chamber of
Representatives in secret session, he said that the newspaper reports
had been "somewhat exaggerated," and added: "In this time when the
right and justice of the Allied Powers have definitely destroyed
militarism and despotism, we Chinese, although as yet a weak country,
may consider every menace of foreign aggression as a thing of the past,
and accept it with a smile."

The Government at first cabled the Paris delegation not to make
the secret treaties public; they were not held to be valid by the
Chinese Government, and publication might lend them force. Later,
the Government cabled, leaving it entirely to the discretion of the
delegates. The diplomatic commission of the Chin Pu Tang recommended
this. Meanwhile, Mr. Liang Chi-chao had gone to France. He meant to go
by way of the United States, where I had prepared for him an itinerary
and letters of introduction. Then his intimate associate, Tang
Hua-lung, was assassinated in Vancouver. Liang, fearful of a similar
fate, went straight to France, evading the Kuo Min Tang sympathizers in
America. Ex-Premier Hsiung Hsi-ling told me that Liang was to inform
the Chinese delegates unofficially about the state of things in China.

This was so bad that the American recommendation that the powers keep
their money away from either party until China was reunited looked
more and more desirable. An influential and responsible Chinese, who
talked with me about the clique that ran the War Participation Bureau,
made this statement: "The danger to China is in the efforts of Tuan's
militarists. Japan is giving them money to build up an army. With this
they will try to overawe the President and force him to fall in with
their aims. The negotiations for peace with the south will cease; the
war with the south will go on."

One of the most burning questions both to private individuals and
the press was how to oblige Japan and her officials to cease their
support of the northern militarists by the sending of money and
arms. Certainly a fire was built under them. The Japanese minister
called on me on the 9th of January to say that his government would
now join in a declaration on financial assistance to China. He had
to make reservations about the loan of 20,000,000 yen, pledged in
connection with the secret military agreement, also as to the so-called
"industrial" loans. The secret loan arrangement had been made with
three Japanese banks: the Bank of Chosen, the Industrial Bank of Japan,
and the Bank of Formosa, by the War Participation Bureau. With this,
the minister said, he could not interfere. Also, his government was
in principle favouring a restriction of the sale of arms, as America
recommended; but it would be best for the powers to say nothing
about it, as their joint statement would be taken as an attempt to
restrain Japan, which was the only country able to furnish arms to
China. Besides, the War Participation Bureau had a troublesome private
contract for arms with the Tayeh Company, which the Government felt it
couldn't interfere with. So there you are, as Henry James would put it.

I told the Japanese minister that we were not proposing any platonic
arrangement as Americans were both able and willing to furnish arms
to the Chinese under legitimate contracts, if the American Government
would permit it. Moreover, as to the transaction of those three
Japanese banks--since the Government of Japan had an interest both in
them and in the munitions company mentioned, their alliance with the
War Participation Bureau would be dissociated with difficulty in the
public mind from the Japanese Government.

The War Participation Bureau clique was actually getting ready to equip
an army against the south while the North-and-South Peace Conference
was sitting at Shanghai. Tang Shao-yi, chief peace representative of
the south, formally remonstrated to the British minister, as dean of
the diplomatic corps, against such doings of this "Bureau" and its
Japanese support.

Now, the Bureau had been established as its name implied, to facilitate
participation of China in the Great War. Japan's financial support
of it was ostensibly given also in behalf of the other Allies. If it
were to be prostituted to the fomenting of civil war the others as
well could not escape responsibility. A meeting was held on the 12th
of February by the Allied and Associated ministers. Several strongly
urged that outside money continually given for recruiting of troops was
opposed to the aim of restoring settled conditions in China and to the
policy of the joint declaration of December. The Japanese minister was
silent. He said he must await instructions.

He informed me on February 21st that Japan had called a halt on the
shipping of ammunition and equipment to the War Participation Bureau,
but the payment of the balance of the loan could not be stopped. Just
then, as it happened, an American firm would soon be ready to begin
delivery of a certain amount of equipment in China, contracted for in
good faith during the previous August. America had proposed a joint
declaration against the furnishing of arms, which Japan had blocked. As
the declaration had not been made, I could not then stop the American
delivery though I did so later. But America would still be only too
glad to join in the declaration as proposed.

As the Japanese were still paying the loan funds into the War
Participation Bureau, another diplomatic "indignation meeting" was
held about it on March 6th. The Japanese minister said his banks could
not help paying over those funds, but he had suggested to the Chinese
Government that it might be well, in the circumstances, to refrain from
drawing the money; Japan could not object to this. Forthwith one of the
ministers spoke up: "Then let us all make this recommendation which
Japan has made."

At this the Japanese minister was taken aback, almost shocked. He had
always argued that the War Participation Bureau was a Chinese internal
affair, not one in which the powers that had helped form it should
presume to dip. But the suggestion was quickly adopted. As a result,
the representatives of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United
States, all solemnly called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
expressing their opinion that to draw the war participation funds was
not advisable, as it constituted an obstacle to internal peace.

But Japan's advice had been merely for the record, not at all to
be acted upon. Soon there came over to Sir John Jordan an informal
memorandum from the Foreign Office, taking the Japanese line of thought
that the War Participation Bureau was China's internal affair. It
might be construed as an intimation that we were meddling. Indeed, two
Chinese of high position told me that the President and the Premier had
held up the memorandum for several days for fear that it might give
offense, until the Minister of War absolutely insisted upon its being
sent.

Through these two men I sent a quiet intimation to the President that
withdrawal of the memorandum would prevent unpleasant feelings among
men who were sincerely friendly to him and to China. The memorandum was
pulled back without delay; thereupon all the Chinese officials, except
the few directly connected with the War Participation Bureau, rejoiced.

The five representatives who signed the original declaration of
December met again on the 11th of March, because the French minister
had instructions favouring action upon the Bureau. The Japanese
minister advanced his arguments about its being China's business,
not ours. But the others took the view that as it was an Allied war
institution and Japan had dealt directly with it, it was quasi-external
in character. "Is it not quite clear," protested the Japanese minister,
"that the loan was purely a commercial affair, made by certain banks,
and not controlled by the Japanese Government?" How, then, it was asked
in reply, does it happen that in connection with this loan, officers of
the Japanese army had been assigned to the War Participation Bureau as
advisers and instructors; was it customary to make such extraordinary
arrangements in connection with a purely commercial transaction?

"I am not sufficiently informed," Mr. Obata responded evasively. "I
shall have to refer to the reports of these transactions."

The position of Japan in this matter was so patently equivocal that
it was amusing. We decided that we should make it plain that as this
bureau was created to further our common purposes, we could not
acquiesce in any political action or in the use of any money which
would tend to prolong internal strife.

The Japanese minister on the 1st of March had notified the Chinese
Government that no further deliveries of arms would be made to the War
Participation Bureau pending the termination of the North-and-South
Peace Conference at Shanghai. We proposed to follow this up with joint
action. Certain representatives were uninstructed, though they favoured
frowning on the arms imports. Finally eight powers united "effectively
to restrain their subjects and citizens from importing into China arms
and munitions of war until the establishment of a government whose
authority is recognized throughout the whole country." This included
the delivery of arms under contracts already made but not executed. I
could then warn the American firm not to execute its contract for the
time being, and I did so.

From time to time, since the early spring of 1918, Baron Sakatani,
Japanese ex-Minister of Finance, had been in Peking. Mr. Liang
Chi-chao, when as Minister of Finance he made his Japanese loans, had
held out the possibility of the appointment of a Japanese financial
advisor. The Baron was an old acquaintance of mine and I held him
in high regard; but, in view of the fact that I could not consider
this time a proper one for settling the matter of the financial
advisorships, I had to distinguish between my personal feelings for him
and the official stand which I might have to take. A Japanese friend
wrote me in connection with Baron Sakatani's visit to China: "A section
of our capitalists have been given every facility to make money and
to lend it to China; with the money squeezed from them, the military
bureaucrats have been corrupting party men and sending them to China
and elsewhere, to exploit the warring nations while they are busy with
the war. The civilian officials and militarists cannot think anything
except in terms of German fear or admiration. If such Japanese are
employed by the Peking government, it will forever alienate Chinese
sympathies from anything we may propose."

Baron Sakatani from the first had nursed the ambition of being made
currency adviser to the Chinese Government; by January, 1919, it
appeared that his wish was to be fulfilled. The Japanese minister
announced that the other nations had agreed to the Baron's appointment.
I had not agreed to it. I had heard nothing whatever about it and had
consistently and energetically opposed any action of this sort. I
considered that it would permanently determine the course to be taken
with regard to currency loans, and would preclude the possibility of
any consultation with the United States. I requested the Minister of
Finance to defer the appointment until I could consult my government.
The next development came on the 20th when the Japanese minister
handed me a memorandum which referred to the personal goodwill I had
expressed to Baron Hayashi and which went on to state that the proposed
appointment of Baron Sakatani had been sanctioned by Mr. Lansing in
Washington.

I cabled to Washington, receiving therefrom on the 30th instructions
saying that the appointment of a currency adviser should be settled
only after full consultation by all concerned, and that Mr. Lansing had
not committed himself to any other understanding. I sent a note to the
Minister of Finance, stating that as one of the parties to the Currency
Loan Agreement, the United States wished that action be postponed
until further consideration could be given. I was immediately assured
that the position taken would be considered as final. As a personal
friend I regretted that Baron Sakatani could not be retained, but in
so important a matter it was impossible to stand aside while action
was rushed through which would be prejudicial to the long-established
interests of the powers who were, at the time, preoccupied with
after-war problems.



CHAPTER XXX

BANDITS, INTRIGUERS, AND A HOUSE DIVIDED


There is a phase of Chinese life which I should touch upon if the
picture I am trying to give of the China I knew is to be complete.

Brigandage is an established institution in China, where it has
operated so long that people have become accustomed to it and take
it for granted as a natural visitation. At this time there was a
vicious circle around which brigands and troops and rich citizens and
villagers were travelling, one in pursuit of the other. The brigands
were recruited from disbanded soldiers--men who had lost connection
with their family and clan. Often their families had been wiped out
by famine, flood, or disease, or had been killed in the revolution.
At other times the individual may have lost touch through a fault
of his own causing him to be cast out. It is very difficult for an
isolated person, without family and clan connections, to reëstablish
himself. The easiest way is to enlist in the army. If that cannot be
done, he becomes a brigand. Brigands foregather in provinces where the
administration is lax or in remote regions difficult to reach. They lie
in ambush and seize wealthy persons, who are carried off to the hills
and released only when ransom is paid. In this way, a considerable
tax is levied on accumulated wealth. This money the brigands spend
among the villagers where they happen to be. Meanwhile, the Provincial
Governor bethinks himself that a certain brigade or division has
not been paid for a long time and therefore might cause trouble,
so he announces what is called a "country cleansing campaign." The
situation is so intolerable that the general sees himself forced to
go to extremes, and to send his troops with orders to exterminate the
brigands. They proceed to the infested regions; the brigands, having
meanwhile got wind of these movements, depart for healthier climes,
leaving the troops to quarter themselves on the villagers, who are by
them relieved of the money which they have made out of the brigands.
Some brigands may be unfortunate enough to be caught; some will be shot
as an example, and others will be allowed to enlist. When the soldiers
have dwelt for a while among the villagers, they report that the
bands have now been fully suppressed and that the country is cleaned.
They are then recalled to headquarters; their general reports to the
governor, and is appropriately rewarded. Meanwhile, the brigands return
from their safer haunts and begin again to catch wealthy people, whom
they relieve of their surplus liquidable property. And so the circle
revolves interminably.

A little more efficiency in China would deliver it of much of its
intriguing and all of its banditry. Returning to Peking from a trip
to the Philippines I found that Mr. Kyle, an American engineer on the
Siems-Carey railway survey, and Mr. Purcell, another employé, had been
seized by bandits in a remote part of Honan. The bandits took a large
sum of silver these men were carrying to pay off the surveying parties
farther up toward Szechuan, then they decided to hold Kyle and Purcell
for ransom.

Doctor Tenney, the Chinese secretary, was in Kaifengfu, stirring up
the provincial governor to hurry the release of the men. The company
was quite ready to pay the ransom, and I could easily have induced
the Chinese Government to pay it. I was advised that this would be
the only certain way of rescuing the men, but I felt it would be
a dangerous precedent; as the bandits would then go on taking and
holding foreigners for ransom. Mr. Kyle was neither young nor robust.
I feared for the strenuous life and the worry he was undergoing, but
waited two weeks for the Central and the Provincial Government, which
I made responsible, to get them back. One night, Mr. Purcell escaped.
I then through Doctor Tenney notified the Governor-General that he
must surround the entire region where the bandits were, telling them
emphatically that if anything happened to Mr. Kyle the band would be
hunted down and exterminated.

The threat was "got across" to the bandits, and with it a promise that
those instrumental in restoring the captive would escape punishment
and in some way be rewarded. After a week's further suspense Mr.
Kyle was delivered to the pursuing troops and forthwith returned to
Peking. The chief of the band was rewarded with a commission in the
army; his henchmen were enlisted as soldiers. But those who had no
part in the delivery were one by one caught and executed. So, in the
end, a salutary example was set to keep bandits from interfering with
foreigners.

Mr. Kyle moved with the band every night in their mountainous and
inaccessible region. Over divides they went from valley to valley. Mr.
Kyle kept his normal health, but complained that they had not let him
sleep. He snored so loudly, the bandits told him, that they feared he
would attract the notice of the troops; so, during the final ten days,
he had not had a solid hour of sleep. But he made up his mind that he
would keep his mental equipoise and his physical fitness in order to
live through the experience.

Two woman missionaries had been taken at about the same time by bandits
in Shantung Province. But they were released after a few days. The
missionaries of the society they belonged to circulated a pamphlet
somewhat later, pointing out the superior efficacy of prayer over
diplomatic intervention. In response to prayer these two teachers had
been freed within a week; whereas all our diplomatic efforts had not
yet secured the release of the American engineer.

Fear of foreign displeasure lost the Chinese the chance to get the
services of a great engineer. Before going to the Philippines I had
been visited by Mr. Ostrougoff, Minister of Railways in Kerensky's
time, who had inaugurated the Russian agreement under which Mr. John
F. Stevens was given the task of helping to reorganize the Russian
railways. The work had been prevented by disturbed conditions. Admiral
Kolchak, together with Alexis Staal, had also called on me, with
others who had faith in the beginnings of a representative political
organization in Siberia. I recall Kolchak's fine, serious face, and his
manner which was that of a man under the strain imposed by duties that
transcend any mere personal interest. On my return, John F. Stevens
came to Peking for a month. He was discouraged by the Russian and
Siberian situation. The general breakdown, the social revolution, and
the establishment of soviets had demolished the chances for carrying
out his railway plans in Russia. No organized authority had backed
him. In Peking he studied the Chinese railway situation. In his quiet,
thorough-going way, he looked into the whole question for China; it was
not long before he had great confidence in its possibilities. I felt
it would be a godsend if a man of his genius for original planning and
constructive work, proved in the great Panama Canal project; a man,
moreover, who had intimate experience of American railway operation,
could work out with the Chinese a systematic plan for developing their
railway service. The Chinese would have eagerly welcomed this chance,
but they were not free. The engagement of one foreigner would have
brought demands to employ many more.

This was in the spring of 1918. I called on Mr. Liang Shih-yi to greet
him on his return from exile. "The urgent thing," he said, "is to
put a stop to military interference with the civil government. The
question of a parliament is not quite so important, but, as it has been
put to the fore, it must be solved first. My solution is to elect a
new parliament under the old law. Then reduce the army and separate
military from civilian affairs."

Liang described to me the characteristics of the nine chief southern
leaders. They were rivals, they had their hostilities; no three leaders
would agree. Two would come to an understanding, and the rest would
turn and rend them. Finally, he predicted that Hsu Shih-chang would be
the most likely candidate for President, Tuan having declined.

In Hunan the northern and southern troops were still fighting and
inflicting suffering on the people there; General Chang Chin-yao,
in particular, an opium-smoking gambler and corrupter, the military
governor of Hunan; his troops destroyed certain property belonging to
missionaries. American and British residents of Changsha, the capital,
petitioned the British and American ministers for protection to foreign
life and property. I had learned that the governor put no bridle on
his troops. With my British and Japanese colleagues I insisted that
commanding officers be held personally and individually responsible
for injuries to foreigners. We pointed out that Chang, especially,
was under observation. The Minister for Foreign Affairs delivered
a warning, and Admiral Knight, whom I had fully advised, ordered a
gunboat to Changsha.

Meanwhile, the War Participation Bureau, created to aid the Associated
Powers in the Great War, was watched by Japan. Because of it they made
their special military convention of which General Tuan had spoken
to me, using the revolution in Russia and the rise of Bolshevism as
their pretext. The Japanese militarist element in the Government was
active and urgent, and General Aoki at Peking and General Tanaka at
Tokyo were leaving no stone unturned to aid them. They sought at first
a general military alliance. The Chinese would not consider anything
so sweeping. Then the unrest in Siberia was made the basis of more
limited coöperation. In March a preliminary entente was formed; China
and Japan would consider in common the measures to be taken to cope
with the Russian situation and to take part in the present war, and the
means and conditions of coöperation would be arranged by the military
and naval authorities of both countries.

War participation in general was thus put into the purview of mutual
agreement between Japan and China. While no general military alliance
was concluded, nevertheless the Japanese could now control what was to
be done by China in the war. It meant that China would do nothing.

The terms of the military and naval conventions on methods of
coöperating, concluded the 16th of May, flexibly permitted Japan in
certain circumstances to control Chinese railways and resources. The
whole thing was managed secretly. The public became suspicious of the
results, since the chief arrangements were made not by the cabinet or
the Foreign Office, but by the military and naval representatives.
Would China longer freely coöperate with the other Allies? Would she
not be under Japan's strict leadership? Was not this the entering wedge
for a complete control of Chinese military affairs by Japan? Would not
Chinese militarism be strengthened and made obedient to Japanese policy?

Japan's acts in Shantung gave these questions pertinence. There she was
expropriating by eminent domain; in Tsingtau the Japanese authorities
thus acquired about twelve square miles of land, including the shore
of Kiaochow Bay for several miles, which gave control of every land
approach and every possible steamship and railway terminal in this
port. Plainly, Japan was carrying out a policy of permanent occupation.

While the Chino-Japanese entente was being negotiated,
Japanese-controlled papers in China were preaching enmity to the white
race. In May a Japanese parliamentary party visited China, making
speeches calculated to stir racial feeling. The burden of the appeals
was that, after the war, European nations would try to fasten their
control more firmly on China, hence the yellow race should now unite in
timely opposition.

Mr. Nishihara, close associate of the Japanese Premier, General
Terauchi, was unofficially doing the financial business of Japan in
China. The Japanese Legation could deny that negotiations were going
on, while Japanese interests were actively influencing the financial
measures of the Peking Government. A large loan was proposed, to be
secured on the tobacco and wine revenues. They were the security for
the existing American loan, with option for further advances. I asked
Tsao Ju-lin, Minister of Finance, about this and his answer was: "The
United States is not giving to China the assistance she gives to her
other associates in the war. The American bankers have not completed
their contract. It is necessary for China to look elsewhere."

Mr. Tsao said he would at any time consider American proposals and give
them as favourable treatment as to any other nation. I asked assurances
that before anything further was done on the basis of the tobacco and
wine revenues, the American bank have a chance to consider a proposal
from the Chinese Government under its option. The minister had denied
that the revenues were now in any way involved; but at this request he
sidestepped. I made the most of his denial, placing it on record in a
note to the Foreign Office. The French minister took action similar
to mine. Tsao was not only Minister of Finance; he was concurrently
Minister of Communications. Both departments, therefore, were under the
thumb of Japan.

I have rather rapidly sketched the state of affairs within China up
to July of 1918. I wished a personal discussion of the situation
with the officials at Washington--my first since America's entrance
into the war. I left Peking for the United States after another long
interview with General Tuan, who had become Premier. On June 27th the
Premier stated to me his policy and motives with frankness. "If we stop
military action," he said, "that would be interpreted as weakness. The
south would only make more extravagant demands, and further encroach on
northern territory. Force that is adequate--that answers the question.
For this we need money. If home revenues are not enough, then we must
have foreign loans. That will restore national unity, which, in turn,
will make repayment easy. The army will be reformed. The people will
get protection, and the country will prosper."

This policy was wise, inevitable, he thought. But it suited a class of
inept generals who systematically made war at home, with only moderate
risk of actual fighting. Their methods involved money more than
bayonets.

"When you return from America," Tuan said at parting, "everything will
be settled, and the south will recognize our authority."

A sea-borne war expedition, sent to conquer the south, was in his mind.
I could not but express my conviction of the impossibility of such an
achievement but he was obstinate.

I divided my time in America between Washington and New York, save for
a visit to my mother. In four weeks I saw representatives of most of
the great interests, public and private, involved in China. I by no
means stopped with the State Department. I saw the Secretary of War
and the Adjutant General, on questions dealing with the recruiting
of troops to be stationed in China; the Intelligence Division of the
War Department and of the Navy, as well as the Committee on Public
Information; the Secretary of Commerce, and officials of the War
Trade Board and War Industries Board, about restrictions on commerce
and American commercial developments in China, together with the men
of the Shipping Board about trans-Pacific lines. Among great private
organizations I conferred with members of the National City Bank; J.P.
Morgan & Company; the Guaranty Trust Company of New York; Kuhn, Loeb &
Company; the General Electric and American Locomotive companies; the
Standard Oil Company of New York; the International Banking Corporation
and American International Corporation; the Chase National Bank;
the Siems-Carey Company; Pacific Development Corporation, and the
Continental & Commercial Bank of Chicago.

The American policy with respect to Russia and Siberia had not been
determined, and in interviews with President Wilson the Siberian
problem, to which I had been very close, as well as Chinese finance,
were subjects of particular attention. I showed to the President how
the Chinese got loans for alleged industrial purposes; then, with the
connivance of the lenders, instead of building railways and telephone
systems, they diverted them to political or partisan ends. Thus Chinese
credit and the authority of the Government were progressively weakened.
Then foreigners would encroach, and in some fields American opportunity
was in danger of being restricted or lost entirely. I wished to see
the United States backing financially a sound programme of Chinese
reorganization. That would accord with our traditions. But jealousies
and friction were to be eliminated, hence I favoured the forming of an
International Public Loan Consortium.

This would support the credit of the Chinese Government and put Chinese
finance on a sound basis. Such a consortium would claim priority in
making all administrative or political loans; but monopoly should
be avoided by leaving contracts for building and supplies open to
competition, and by letting outside financiers make industrial loans.
Of course, the Consortium as the chief backer of China should have full
information about industrial loans, and each government should engage
to scrutinize all loans made by its nationals for industries. All this,
at his request, went to the President in a memorandum submitted on the
14th of August.

With respect to Siberia and Russia, my information led me to believe
that the Russian people might still be influenced to remain friendly
to the Allies, so as to prevent the growth of German control. I had in
mind, not intervention, but economic assistance. I urged a commission
that would aid the Russian people to import the commodities they
needed most. The Russian Coöperative societies were anxious for just
such assistance; thus, their leaders believed, further unfavourable
developments could be prevented. I knew the Russians to be universally
friendly; any movement initiated by America would be received with
extreme goodwill.

President Wilson seemed to wish something like this to be carried
out. He even discussed with me what men were most likely to succeed
in organizing so huge an enterprise. But he feared to place a
representative of "big business" in such a position; men would suspect
selfish national motives. I felt that he wished America to lead in
giving the Russian people such aid in reorganizing their economic life
as would permanently benefit them and preserve them for our common
cause.

After many, many departments and boards were consulted, I found they
were not thinking of China. Their chief problem was to train the
American army and transport it to the western front. They did not care
to get Chinese contingents there. This was the critical moment of
the war. By comparison other interests shrivelled. As for financial
advances to China, the Government found that China entered the war
after the law authorizing advances was passed. A new law would be
needed. To propose it would bring up the whole question of war policy.
The temper of the day was to concentrate every effort on the greatest
immediate show of strength on the west front. I appreciated all this,
but I deeply regretted that a tiny rivulet out of the vast streams of
financial strength directed to Europe could not pass to China. Even
one thousandth part of the funds given to Europe, invested in building
up China, would have prevented many disheartening and disastrous
developments. For every dollar tenfold in value would have been gained
in fortifying Chinese ability to help in the war and in the post-bellum
recovery.



CHAPTER XXXI

YOUNG MEN IN PEKING, OLD MEN IN PARIS


A crowd of students appeared before the legation gate on the 5th of May
clamouring to see me. I was absent, that day, on a trip to the temple
above Men Tou-kou and so missed seeing them. Their demonstration, as
it turned out afterward, was the first step in the widespread student
movement which was to make history. Their patriotic fervour had, on
that morning, been brought to the boiling point by the first inkling of
the Paris decision on Shantung.

The first reaction of the Chinese people as a whole to this news was
one of dumb dismay. It was a stunning, paralyzing blow. It seemed
that all the brazen intrigue through which Japan had been seeking to
strengthen her hold on Shantung, all the cunning by which she had
prepared the basis of her claim to permanent possession of the German
rights, had been endorsed by the Versailles Conference.

The Chinese people, discouraged in Peking, had centred their hopes on
Paris. When hints of a possible acceptance of Japan's demands were
received in Peking, the first impulse of the students was to see the
American minister, to ask him whether this news was true, and to see
what he had to say. I escaped a severe ordeal.

When they were told that I was absent there was at first a hum of
voices, then came the cry: "To the house of the traitor!" They meant
the house of Tsao Ju-lin, where the schemers had assembled to make the
contracts which China hated. Tsao Ju-lin, the smooth little plotter
whom most people regarded as the guiding spirit of the humiliating
business, was the most despised; but they associated with him Chang
Ching-hsiang, who had been Chinese minister at Tokyo when the secret
treaties were drawn up. The students rushed over to the house and
broke down the door and trooped inside. They found both men there. No
time was lost, either on the part of the students or their prey. The
students breaking up chairs and tables and using pieces of them for
weapons went after the two diplomats. Tsao, still smooth and slippery,
managed to escape through a window and into a narrow alley where he
eluded his pursuers. Chang, however, was beaten into insensibility.
Lu Tsung-yu, the other plotter whom the students would have "treated
rough", was not to be found.

For four days we were without foreign news. The first brief telegraphic
intimation of the Paris decision was followed by the cutting of the
wires; Japanese agents, the people surmised, did this to prevent the
universal Chinese protest from influencing the decision or causing its
review.

Primarily the cause of the student violence lay in the proximity of the
fourth anniversary of the Japanese ultimatum of 1915; but they were
also anxious and stirred because of the reported action of the old men
at Paris.

While other telegraphic communication was cut off I got information of
what was actually done by wireless. I found it hard to believe that
President Wilson would be compliant to the Japanese demands, in View
of the complete and insistent information the American Government had
had from me and all other American officials in China as to what would
result from such action. The Shantung decision constituted a wrong
of far-reaching effect; no general benefits bestowed by a league of
nations could outweigh it. Indeed, as I stated to the Government, it
destroyed all confidence in a league of nations which had such an ugly
fact as its cornerstone.

To any one who had watched, day by day, month by month, the
unconscionable plotting for these claims, the decision was a lamentable
denial of every principle put forward during the war. President Wilson
brushed aside the unanimous opinion of the American experts, it would
seem, for two reasons: first, he believed that if only the League were
established, all difficulties of detail could easily be resolved; and,
second, he had not given enough attention to the Shantung question to
realize that this was not a matter of detail, but a fundamental issue.

President Wilson tried to make himself and others believe that with the
acceptance of the Treaty and Covenant, the Shantung question would be
solved through fulfilment by Japan of its promise "to restore Shantung
Peninsula to China with full sovereignty," reserving only economic
rights. This was his primary misconception. The ownership by a foreign
government of a trunk railway reaching from a first-class port to
the heart of China could not be correctly termed an economic right.
Political control of such "economic rights" was exactly what American
policy had tried to prevent for decades. The President submitted, also,
in the apparent fear that Japanese delegates might follow the lead of
the Italians and leave the Conference. Colonel House, it appears, was
frightened into this belief and communicated it to President Wilson;
the two believed the League was endangered, and that every sacrifice
must be made to save it.

The fear was quite unfounded. I had seen indications enough, of which
I had told the Government, that the Japanese set enormous store upon
their membership in the Conference and their position in Paris. As a
military, naval, and financial power, Japan could certainly not be put
in the first class, notwithstanding the tactical advantages which the
war had brought her. She would never forego the first-class status
bestowed by the arrangements of the Peace Conference. The Japanese had
not the remotest idea of throwing these advantages to the wind. The
impression they produced on Colonel House simply proved their capacity
for bluffing. Had President Wilson taken the trouble to understand
the situation, he could without difficulty, by the use of friendly
firmness, have secured a very different solution. As a matter of fact,
it is now well known that the Japanese were ready to agree to an
arrangement whereby the German rights in China should accrue to the
Allied and Associated Powers jointly with an early reversion to China.

Probably nowhere else in the world had expectations of America's
leadership at Paris been raised so high as in China. The Chinese
trusted America, they trusted the frequent declarations of principle
uttered by President Wilson, whose words had reached China in its
remotest parts. The more intense was their disappointment and
disillusionment due to the decisions of the old men that controlled
the Peace Conference. It sickened and disheartened me to think how the
Chinese people would receive this blow which meant the blasting of
their hopes and the destruction of their confidence in the equity of
nations.

In the universal despair I feared a revulsion of feeling against
America; not because we were more to blame than others for the unjust
decision, but because the Chinese had entertained a deeper belief in
our power, influence, and loyalty to principle. They would hardly
understand so abject and complete a surrender. Foreign papers, also,
placed the chief responsibility on the United States. The British in
China felt that their government had been forced into the unfortunate
secret agreements with Japan when it could not help itself, because of
the German danger and the difficulties Japan might raise by going over
to the other side. The United States, whose hands were free, could have
saved us all, they said, by insisting on the right solution. They had
really hoped for this; their saying so now in their editorials and in
private conversation was in no spirit of petty hostility, but they had
to give vent to their feelings. I feared the Chinese might feel that
they had been betrayed in the house of their friends, but they met the
blow with sturdy spirit. They never wounded my feelings by anything
approaching an upbraiding of the United States for the part that
President Wilson played at Paris. They expressed to me their terrible
dejection, but said merely that President Wilson must have encountered
very great difficulties which they could know nothing about.

They all knew, of course, that the case of China had been weakened
by the treaties made through the connivance of Tsao Ju-lin and his
associates in the fall of 1918. Their resentment was turned toward
Japan, which had thus taken advantage of the war and the weakness of
China, and against the Chinese politicians who had become Japan's tools.

The Americans in China, as well as the British and the Chinese, were
deeply dejected during these difficult weeks. From the moment America
entered the war there had been a triumphant confidence that all this
sacrifice and suffering would establish just principles of world
action, under which mankind could live more happily and in greater
security. That hope was now all but crushed.

In commemoration of the soldier dead, the American community gathered
on May 30th, Decoration Day. It fell to me to make the address, in
which I spoke of those recently stationed in Peking who had died during
the war. Especially, I spoke of the fruitful career of Major Willard
Straight. It was remarkable how many officers of the Marine Guard
recently in Peking had gone through the brunt of the war and had been
distinguished in their service. I spoke of General Neville, General
Bowley, Commander Hutchins, Colonel Newell, and Colonel Holcombe, all
of whom had been in the thick of it, and rejoiced in their record and
the fact that though they passed through the valley of death they had
been spared. My eyes often rested on the sad face of Mrs. Deering,
transfigured with the mother's pride in that heroic son whose war
letters, published by her, are one of the intimately human memorials of
the great struggle.

I was impressed with how inadequately this wonderful country of
China and the promise of its people were understood in America. I
knew the difficulties and dangers to be overcome there, and I felt
that Americans well-disposed toward China would take a hand in its
development. But the "folks back home," especially the interests that
controlled the economic life of America, remained blind and deaf,
lavishing their money in Europe.

I had spent my energies freely, withholding assistance from none who
deserved it, although I could easily have limited my official action
within narrower and more convenient bounds. In developments that would
mean a slow lift of this fine old civilization to a modern plane real
American interests had come in. Foundations had been laid in the
Canal Contract, the China Medical Board, the railway concessions, the
creation of a Chino-American bank, and many other enterprises. America
stood no longer with empty hands; she could not be confronted with the
gibe so often used before: "It is easy for you to suggest generous
action, for you have nothing to contribute."

With these as beginnings, I arrived at the conclusion that more,
possibly, could be done by way of arousing American interests in Far
Eastern affairs by going to the United States than by staying in China.
I feared, also, that if I remained away from America too long, it would
be difficult readily to get in touch again with affairs there.

For such reasons, I came to the decision that I should send my
resignation to the President. I did not wish to run away from a
difficult and disagreeable situation. Indeed, until the first effects
of the Paris decision had been overcome, I would not leave. Beyond that
time, I had no desire to remain. Like the Chinese, I at that time still
believed that President Wilson had probably met tremendous difficulties
of which I had no knowledge. At any rate, it was far from my purpose to
embarrass him or the Government through my action. Therefore, the only
motive I gave for my resignation was my desire to return to the United
States. However, in my letter to the President I tried to express in
moderate but serious terms my view of the situation and of the action
which had been taken at Paris. This letter follows:

  June 7, 1919.

  Dear Mr. President:

 I have the honour to place in your hands my resignation as minister to
 China and to request that I may be relieved of the duties of this post
 as soon as convenient to yourself and to the Secretary of State. My
 reason for this action is that I am wearied after nearly six years of
 continuous strain, that I feel that the interests of my family demand
 my return to the United States, and that I should like to reënter
 affairs at home without making my absence so long as to break off all
 of the most important relationships.

 I desire to thank you for the confidence you have reposed in me,
 and it shall be my greatest desire to continue in the future to
 coöperate in helping to realize those great purposes of national and
 international policy which you have so clearly and strongly put before
 the American nation and the world.

 In making this communication to you I cannot but refer to recent
 developments with respect China. The general outlook is indeed most
 discouraging, and it seems impossible to accomplish anything here
 at present or until the home governments are willing to face the
 situation and to act. It is not difficulties that deter me, and I
 should stay at my post if it were necessary and if I did not think
 that I could be of more use in the United States than in China at the
 present time. But in fact, the situation requires that the American
 people should be made to realize what is at stake here for us in
 order that they may give the necessary backing to the Government for
 support in any action which the developments here may Inquire. Unless
 the American people realize this and the Government feels strong
 enough to take adequate action, the fruits of one hundred and forty
 years of American work in China will inevitably be lost. Our people
 will be permitted to exist here only on the sufferance of others, and
 the great opportunity which has been held out to us by the Chinese
 people to assist in the development of education and free institutions
 will be gone beyond recall. In its stead there will come a sinister
 situation dominated by the unscrupulous methods of the reactionary
 military régime centred in Tokyo, absolutist in tendency, cynical of
 the principles of free government and human progress. If this force,
 with all the methods it is accustomed to apply, remains unopposed
 there will be created in the Far East the greatest engine of military
 oppression and dominance that the world has yet seen. Nor can we
 avoid the conclusion that the brunt of evil results will fall on the
 United States, as is already foreshadowed by the bitter hostility and
 abnormal vituperativeness of the Japanese press with regard to America.

 The United States and Great Britain will have to stand together in
 this matter; I do not think this is realized as fully by Britishers
 at home as by those out here. If Russia can become an independent
 representative government its interests would parallel ours. The
 forces of public opinion and strength which can thus be mobilized are
 entirely sufficient to control the situation here and to keep it from
 assuming the menacing character which is threatened at present; but
 this can only be done if the situation is clearly seen and if it is
 realized that the military party of Japan will continue its present
 methods and purposes which have proved so successful until it becomes
 a dead wall of firm, quiet opposition. There will be a great deal of
 talk of friendship for China, of restoration of Shantung, of loyalty
 to the League of Nations, but it will be dangerous to accept this and
 to stop questioning what are the methods actually applied; as long as
 they exist the menace is growing all the time. We cannot rest secure
 on treaties nor even on the League of Nations without this checking
 up of the facts. Otherwise these instruments would only make the game
 a little more complicated but not change its essential character.
 The menace can be avoided only if it is made plain to Japan that her
 purposes are unmistakable and that the methods utilized to effect
 them will by no means be tolerated. Such purposes are the stirring
 up of trouble and revolution, encouragement of bandits and pirates,
 morphia, financial corruption, misleading of the press, refusal of
 just satisfaction when Americans are injured in order to gain prestige
 for absolute power, and chief of all official duplicity, such as
 the disavowal of knowledge when loans are being made to the Chinese
 Government by leading Japanese banks and the subsequent statement by
 the Japanese minister that these loans were private arrangements by
 "merchants."

 If continuous support could be given not only to the activities of
 American merchants but to the constructive forces in Chinese national
 life itself these purposes and methods would not have the chance to
 flourish and succeed which they now enjoy.

 During the war our action in the support of constructive forces
 in China necessarily could not be effective, as our energies were
 required elsewhere. Yet I believe that a great opportunity was missed
 when China had broken of relations with Germany. The very least
 recognition of her sentiments, support and efforts, on our part, would
 have changed the entire situation. But while millions upon millions
 were paid to the least important of the countries of Europe not a cent
 was forthcoming for China. This lack of support drove Tuan and his
 followers into the arms of the pro-Japanese agents. Instead of support
 we gave China the Lansing-Ishii Note.

 Throughout this period the Japanese game has still been in the stage
 of bluff; while Germany seemed at her strongest in the war, indeed the
 Japanese were perhaps making their veiled threats with a feeling that
 if they should ally themselves with a strong Germany the two would
 be invincible; but even at that time a portion of the American navy
 detached could have checkmated Japan. Since the complete breakdown of
 Germany the case of Japan has been carried through solely on bluff
 though perhaps it may be that the Japanese militarists have succeeded
 in convincing themselves that their establishment is formidable. But
 it is plain that they would be absolutely powerless in the face of a
 stoppage of commerce and a navy demonstration on the part of any one
 of the great powers. No one desires to think of this contingency, but
 it is plain that after the breakdown of Germany it was not feasible
 for Japan to use force nor could she have suffered a greater damage
 than to exclude herself from the Peace Conference where she had
 everything to gain and nothing to lose. In ten years there may be a
 very different situation. Then also our people, having grown wise,
 will be sure to shout: "Why was not this stopped while there was yet
 time?" It seems to me necessary that someone in the Government ought
 to give attention primarily to China and the Far Eastern situation.
 It is very difficult to get any attention for China. I mean any
 continuous attention that results in getting something actually
 done. Everything else seems to come first because Europe seems so
 much nearer; and yet the destinies of Serbia, Czecho-Slovakia, and
 Greece are infinitesimal in their importance to the future of America
 compared With those of China.

 During my service here I have constantly suffered from this lack of
 continuous attention at home to the Far Eastern situation. It has
 reacted on the consular service; the interpreter service which is
 absolutely necessary to make our consular corps in China effective
 has been starved, as no new appointments have been made. In my own
 case promises of assistance which had been given repeatedly went
 unfulfilled. In this matter I have not the least personal feeling.
 I know the result is not due to the personal neglect or ill-will of
 any man or group of men, only it seems to me to indicate a general
 sentiment of the unimportance of Far Eastern affairs, which ought to
 be remedied. I repeat that these statements are not made in a spirit
 of complaint; all individual members of the Department of State have
 shown nothing but consideration and readiness to assist, but there
 has been lacking a concentrated interest in China, which ought to be
 represented in some one of the high officials, designated to follow
 up Far Eastern affairs and accorded influence commensurate with
 responsibilities in this matter.



CHAPTER XXXII

A NATION STRIKES AND UNITES


The students of Peking "started something." For the first time in
thousands of years public opinion was aroused and organized in China.
Through the action of the students, with whom the merchants made common
cause, before and after the Shantung decision, China found herself.

The Japanese papers insisted steadfastly that these student
disturbances had been brought on at the "instigation of certain
countries." But instigation was not needed. If foreigners had wished
to make trouble in this way, they would have been kept extremely
busy trying to keep pace with the Chinese themselves. You do not
have to instigate a man to resist a pillager who is trying to break
into his house. Those who started this tremendous movement toward
nationalism--for that is what it grew into--were students in the
government schools and in the private schools of Peking and Tientsin.
In the beginning the students were alone in the agitation, but not for
long. Throughout the agitators were referred to as "students," but this
term came to be used in a broad sense; it came to mean Young China,
including all of the youth of the land who had been educated in modern
schools.

China is the home of the strike and the boycott; but never before
had these weapons been employed on such a scale. The merchants and
students of north China met during the second half of May, declared a
general boycott of Japanese goods, and demanded the dismissal of the
three men called traitors, the notorious agents in the Chino-Japanese
negotiations. The boycott spread rapidly, a spontaneous expression of
deep resentment. But the movement strove also to control and purify
the action of the Chinese Government. The instrument for this was the
strike--passive resistance--the stopping of the wheels of commerce and
industry till the will of the people was listened to.

The popular sense of equity, which in China asserts itself naturally
in strikes, responded everywhere. Unless the Government dismissed the
three offenders, merchants would close their shops. Teachers, students,
shopkeepers, chauffeurs, dockhands, all classes of workmen would
strike. All China, indeed, would go on strike.

The movement gained momentum like an avalanche thundering down a
mountain. Its fury was first of all concentrated on the attempt to
force the dismissal of the three officials who were, in the popular
mind, guilty of trading away the national birthright. The organization
of the uprising seemed to be almost spontaneous. Active little groups,
similar to the Committees of Correspondence in the time of Adams and
Franklin, sprang up in all parts of China. The masses of the people
were marshalled for action. From the ten thousand students who had
originally struck in Shanghai the movement expanded swiftly until it
included merchants and chambers of commerce and dozens of other bodies
in every walk of life. Associations of servants were formed under the
title of The Industrial National Salvation Society. Even Japanese
bankers were put under the ban by the Chinese financiers; finally the
boycott went so far that it blacklisted the foreign goods which were
brought to Chinese ports by Japanese steamers.

In Peking, fifty groups of student speakers were sent out to appeal
to the public. General Tuan Chi-jui, who, among others, was held
responsible by the students for the nation's troubles, stoutly stood by
his subordinates. The militarists in general, feeling that the student
movement was not favourable to them, prevailed on the Government to try
to suppress it. Martial law was proclaimed, and students trying to
speak were arrested. The students were undaunted and working en masse.
The Government soon saw that it could imprison them, but that it was
powerless to stem the tide of feeling they were creating. Thundering
from all parts of the country, it was recognized that the students
could, if they chose, turn the entire people against the Government.
By June 4th, nearly a thousand students were under forcible detention
in Peking; those recently arrested had wisely provided themselves with
knapsacks stocked with food before taking their lecture trips.

Then the girl students came forth. They fully shared the patriotic
feelings of their brothers. Seven hundred girls from the Peking schools
assembled and marched to the President's palace to request the release
of the young men under arrest.

The Government made a technical mistake. When the student feeling
seemed to be a little on the ebb, the Government took occasion to issue
a decree trying to white-wash Tsao Ju-lin and his confederates. That
fanned the flame which ultimately swept all over China.

Weakening, the Government offered the students release if they would
return to work and make no further trouble. The students saw their
advantage, and stated that they had no wish to leave their prisons, if
it meant promising to abstain from expressing their opinion in future;
moreover, they would not leave until the Government had apologized for
their unjust arrest.

The jailing of this large number of the youth of China finally
brought such ill-concealed opposition that the Government complied
with the students' ultimatum. An apology was offered them, whereupon
the students returned to their colleges and their work. But they
continued their street lectures, calling upon the people to join in a
powerful expression of national opinion through which their country's
institutions and policies might be put on a sounder basis, and Japanese
aggression powerfully resisted.

In Shanghai the boycott and the strike of the shopkeepers were in full
force. Their shops were closed, they threatened to pay no taxes unless
the "traitors" were ousted. American officials at Shanghai sent me
alarming reports. The British there, particularly those of the official
class, were inclined to repress the movement.

The Japanese, who were feeling the full force of the popular thrust,
tried to brand it anti-foreign and to reawaken memories of the Boxer
period. Some of the influential British in Shanghai, frightened by the
successful efforts of the merchants and students among the industrial
workers, began to call them anti-foreign, too. I was told that the
municipal council in Shanghai might take very stringent action against
the boycott and strike. The British minister had gone to the seashore,
and I sent him word that the situation was serious.

It would have been the height of folly had either we or the British
let ourselves be dragged into the disturbance, which was directed
solely against the Japanese, and was fortunately not our concern,
and in no sense anti-foreign. I sent specific instructions to the
consulate-general at Shanghai advising the American community neither
to encourage nor oppose this movement, which was the affair of the
Chinese. The Americans saw the point clearly, and realized how
undesirable it would be to entangle the municipal council in the
business. I told the Consul-General that, illegal and overt acts
excepted, the foreign authorities in China had nothing to do with the
strike; being happily free of Chinese ill-will, we wished to remain
free. In order to avoid all danger of more general trouble, Americans
exerted considerable influence with the Chinese leaders to cause them
to abstain from action that would tend to involve foreigners generally.
They responded willingly.

By this time even the mafoos (horse boys) at the Shanghai Race Club
were on strike. A run on the Bank of Communications was started because
Tsao Ju-lin was associated with it. More and more serious grew the
situation, but the demand on the Government remained unchanged: "When
the three traitors are dismissed, the strike will be called off;
otherwise, still more people will strike."

The Government finally yielded on the 11th of June. The insistent
demand had come from all parts of China that the three unpopular
officials go in disgrace. The Peking Government complied. But the great
public in Shanghai was not content until the British minister and I
gave confirmation of the report that the mandate of dismissal had been
issued. Then the strike was off.

However, the boycott against Japanese goods continued unabated. Yet
it must not be supposed that the movement, which at the beginning was
distinctly turned against Japan, was either essentially anti-Japanese
or purely oppositional and negative. Quite early, its true, positive,
national Chinese character stood revealed. The Japanese had stung the
Chinese national pride to the quick. It turned against them, not in a
spirit of blind hostility, but only in so far as the Japanese stood in
the way of the national Chinese regeneration.

Out of this unprecedented popular uprising several momentous facts
emerged. First, public opinion must be so awakened that it would be
a continuing force, so organized that it would at all times have the
means of expressing its will, so that it would be able to compel the
Government to resist further encroachments on China's rights. That
would take time; but it could be done, the strike and boycott proved
that. For the first time in her history China had roused herself and
wrung from her government a specific surrender. That lesson sank deep.
The leaders realized that this single act was merely a very small
beginning. But the important thing was that it did constitute a
beginning.

The second important result was the sudden focussing of attention on
the means by which native Chinese industry might be built up. The
boycott of Japanese goods had had a positive as well as a negative
side. Indeed it had been stated positively all along. The people were
not told to refrain from buying Japanese goods; they were advised to
avoid buying goods of an inferior quality--which would be interpreted
to mean Japanese products, of course--and they were pointedly urged to
patronize home industries. The people responded with a will. They did
buy the wares produced by their own factories. It gave great impetus to
the development of Chinese industry, and gave both the manufacturers
and the Government a clue as to what a definite campaign for the
stimulation of the home industries might accomplish.

While we were talking together informally at a meeting of the
diplomatic corps, the French minister, M. Boppe, remarked: "We are in
the presence of the most astounding and important thing that has ever
happened--the organization of a national public opinion in China for
positive action."

Thus out of the evil of the Paris decision came an inspiring national
awakening of the Chinese people, a welding together for joint thought
and joint action. All ranks of the population were affected. When
to avoid foreign complications student delegates went among the
workers of a factory in Shanghai to persuade them not to strike, the
workers asked: "Do you think we have no feeling for our country, nor
indignation against the traitors?"

About the evil of the Shantung decision the foreign communities were
unanimous, nor did they feel that they ought to be silent. They were on
the ground; they knew the inevitable consequences that would follow the
rigid application of the decision. They spoke out. Sir Edward Walker,
chairman of the Commercial Bank of Canada, gave an address on June 6th
before the Anglo-American Association of Peking, dealing particularly
with the needs of transportation. What the completion of two or three
trunk lines would mean to China he fully realized. After his address
the British minister and I, who were honorary members, took our leave,
as it had been intimated that the Association would discuss the
Shantung matter. The meeting then adopted a resolution which expressed
the conviction of Americans and British in China in this wise:

 We express our solemn conviction that this decision will create
 conditions that must inevitably bring about extreme discord between
 the Chinese people and Japan, and raise a most serious hindrance
 to the development of the economic interests of China and other
 countries. A settlement which perpetuates the conditions created by
 Germany's aggression in Shantung in 1898, conditions that led to
 similar action on the part of other states, that were contributing
 causes to the disorders in North China in 1900, and that made
 inevitable the Russo-Japanese war, cannot make for peace in the Far
 East, for political stability in China itself, or for development of
 trade and commerce equally open to all.

 Further, the evil consequences of conditions which are not only
 subversive of the principle of national self-determination, but also
 a denial of the policy of the open door and of the principle of
 equality of opportunity, will be greatly accentuated if Japan, a near
 neighbour, be now substituted for Germany, whose centre of political
 and economic activities was on the other side of the globe.

 Therefore we, the members of the Peking Anglo-American Association,
 resolve that representations be made to the British and American
 Governments urging that the states taking part in the Peace Conference
 devise and carry through a just settlement which will not endanger the
 safety of China and the peace of the world.



CHAPTER XXXIII

TAKING LEAVE OF PEKING


The Government was now confronted with the question of whether its
delegates at Paris should or should not sign the Treaty and Covenant.
The Chinese people were opposed to signing, for with China's signature
would go specific recognition of the transfer of German rights to
Japan. They had learned one great lesson: that to make concessions to
foreign powers never got them out of trouble, but only aggravated it.
If the Peking officials in 1898 had turned a deaf ear to the German
demands, despite threats of naval demonstrations, the Germans could
never have secured the things which the Chinese actually gave them. The
Chinese people now said: "Never again!"

I was informed on the 28th of May that nearly all the officials in
Peking were agreed that the Treaty should be signed. Knowledge of
their readiness to capitulate brought the national movement of the
Chinese people to its height almost immediately, in opposition to the
reactionary militarist control. By the 1st of July, a gentleman from
the immediate entourage of the President, who often came to see me on
the latter's behalf, told me that the President had instructed the
delegates at Paris not to sign the Treaty. They did not sign it then,
and steadfastly resisted all efforts to make them sign it later.

When the student troubles were at their height, on the 2nd of June
I was at the Legation late one evening to answer some cablegrams. I
was interrupted by an American woman teacher who with five Chinese
schoolgirls came to my office in a state of great excitement. The girls
had stood with a crowd for forty-eight hours asking admission to the
President's palace to present their grievance. They had endured these
hardships as bravely as any of the young men, but they were now alarmed
because two of the student leaders had been seized and taken inside the
palace. The girls feared their execution, and begged me to intercede.
As I could not quiet their apprehensions, I finally said I would direct
that an inquiry be made at the palace. By telephone I learned that the
students were being detained because they had been too forward in their
demonstrations, but that nothing untoward would happen to them. The
girls, happy and thankful at this reassurance, went home.

No one could fail to sympathize with the aims and ideals of the
students, who were striving for national freedom and regeneration. I,
too, felt a strong sympathy, though I, of course, abstained from all
direct contact with the movement, as it was a purely Chinese matter.
Nevertheless, the Japanese papers reported quite in detail how I
had organized the student movement, and how I had spent $2,000,000
in getting it under way. As everybody knew how spontaneous and
irrepressible the movement of the students was, these items excited
only amusement.

Pessimism reigned among liberal-minded people in early June. They
feared that followers of General Tuan would insist upon putting him
back into the Premiership, in which case there would be no escape from
another revolution to oppose him, with the general demoralization
and waste of national resources which would attend it. The second
_aide mémoire_ of the associated representatives was presented to the
President by Sir John Jordan on the 5th of June; it conveyed the hope
that China's internal difficulties might now come to an end, that
the peace conference at Shanghai might be resumed and successfully
concluded without delay, and it stated that meanwhile military
measures should not be resumed. The friendly advice encouraged the
liberal elements, particularly the express desire that there should
be no further fighting. It was felt that the President's hands were
strengthened for peace.

Dr. Chiang Monlin, Acting Chancellor of Peking University in the
absence of Dr. Tsai Yuan-pei, went to Shanghai because the militarist
faction wished to hold him responsible for the acts of the students.
He was, indeed, one of their chief counsellors, but he counselled
wisdom and moderation. He told me that the leaders were conscious of
much progress in organizing public opinion, but that at least ten
years of further work and experience would be necessary before there
could be any approach to a public opinion consciously and unceasingly
active in support, or in proper restraint, of the Government. "All we
ask," Doctor Chiang said, "is ten years' time--freedom from outside
interference--then the New China will be organized."

I visited General Tuan, finding him calm but stubborn as usual. I
asked him whether, if the students should call on him, he would go out
to speak to them. "I would certainly do that," he replied; "I am in
sympathy with them, but I feel that they are often misled by people
whose motives are not disinterested." I told him that I believed the
students would gladly follow him and make him their leader if they
could be assured that he would not be controlled by counsellors who had
not the true welfare of China at heart.

This movement of the Chinese people impressed me the more vividly in
the light of a letter from R.F. Johnston on July 3rd which led me to
hark back to the days of the old Empire. Mr. Johnston was a tutor of
the young Emperor, and he inclosed a translation of a Chinese poem
which the Emperor had written out for me. It bore the Imperial seals,
and was dated: "Eleventh year of Hsuan Tung, sixth month, fifth day."
Here is the first verse:

  The red bows unbent,
  Were received and deposited.
  I have here an admirable guest,
  And with all my heart I bestow one on him.
  The bells and drums have been arranged in order,
  And all the morning will I feast him.

Shortly after, in a talk I had with Mr. Johnston, he told me that the
little Emperor had himself conceived the idea of writing something for
me. Johnston had suggested a certain poem but it did not satisfy his
pupil, who finally made his own selection. He said to his tutor: "I
want to imagine that the American minister is coming to the palace as
my guest."

The young Emperor, Mr. Johnston said, was interested in everything
that went on in the political and social life of the capital, and read
the papers every day. I attributed his interest in my doings to the
fact that the Emperor shared the love for America that is general in
China; but, also, I think the repeated likelihood of being taken to
the American Legation for refuge and shelter had impressed itself very
strongly on his youthful mind, so that it seemed to him a haven of
escape from all terror and danger.

Reports came at the end of July that President Wilson was defending
the Shantung settlement, by stating that it conferred on Japan no
political rights but only economic privileges. Had Mr. Wilson given
attention to the details of the question, as reported over and over
again in telegrams and dispatches from the Legation and consulates in
China, he could not have harboured such a misunderstanding. In this
instance the President based his action rather on vague assurances
given by Japan, the actual bearing of which he did not know. The term
"economic privileges" can hardly apply to such matters as control
of the port of Tsingtao and the Shantung Railway, and to a general
commercial preference in Shantung Province; yet these were plainly what
Japan wished to retain. Her pledge "to return Shantung Peninsula with
full sovereignty" sounded satisfactory, but it was never defined to
cover more than the 150 square miles of agricultural and mountain land
which the Germans had held as a leasehold, exclusive of Tsingtao port.
That important harbour the Japanese intended to retain, as well as the
terminals, railway, and mines.

The refusal of the Chinese to sign the Paris Treaty afforded an
opportunity for saving Shantung to China. But if the German rights
were to be confirmed to Japan under the term of "economic privileges,"
we should soon find that these economic privileges meant an end of
independent American enterprise in Shantung Province. Japan had used
such "economic privileges" in Manchuria. We were amply warned what to
expect from an extension of that policy to other parts of China.

President Wilson stated later that the League would prevent Japan from
assuming full sovereignty over Shantung. Here he again misunderstood.
Japan had no idea of asking for sovereignty over Shantung; she had
absolutely no right to it, and did not need it for carrying out her
plans, so long as she could retain the politico-economic rights awarded
at Paris.

I reiterated these statements in my telegrams to Washington. I
explained again that ownership by a foreign government of port
facilities and of a railway leading into the interior of China,
together with exclusive commercial preferences, are economic rights
so fortified politically that they constitute political control--as
Manchuria shows--without the name. In fact, they could be safely
accompanied with most profuse protestations to respect Chinese
sovereignty.

The question of political sovereignty was beside the mark. It had
been broached, as I have pointed out, to make the world believe that
something was being returned. "Returning Shantung Peninsula with full
sovereignty" was a big phrase and it had an imposing sound. But the
sovereignty of Shantung was not involved, it had never been either
German or Japanese: it had always been Chinese. The 150 square miles of
unimportant land outside the port of Tsingtao might be "returned with
full sovereignty," but nobody cared for that. To talk of sovereignty
merely obscured the issue.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was just then busying himself with the task of
drawing up projects for the further economic development of China
with international participation, and I corresponded with him. In
one of my letters I considered how rapid and sweeping the industrial
transformation of China should be. I wrote:

 I believe that we should at all times keep in mind the fact that we
 are not dealing with a new country, but with one in which social
 arrangements are exceedingly intricate and in which a long-tested
 system of agricultural and industrial organization exists. It is to
 my mind most important that the transition to new methods of industry
 and labour should not be sudden but that the old values should be
 gradually transmuted. It is highly important that artistic ability,
 such as exists, for instance, in silk and porcelain manufacture,
 should be maintained and protected, and not superseded by cheaper
 processes. The one factor in modern organization which the Chinese
 must learn to understand better is the corporation, and the fiduciary
 relationship which the officers of the corporation ought to occupy
 with respect to the stockholders. If the Chinese cannot learn to use
 the corporation properly, the organization of the national credit
 cannot be effected. Here, too, it is necessary that the principle of
 personal honesty which was fostered under the old system should not
 be lost, but transferred to the new methods of doing business. So,
 at every point where we are planning for a better and more efficient
 organization, it seems necessary to hold on to the values created in
 the past, and not to disturb the balance of Chinese society by too
 sudden changes.

Among his suggestions for constructive works, Dr. Sun Yat-sen had
spoken of a northern port, somewhere on the coast of Chihli Province,
which should have water deep enough to admit large ocean-going
ships. The port of Tientsin is not adequate: it is far up river,
and lacks satisfactory anchorage where the river empties into the
sea. Chinwangtao is a far better port, but so exposed that enormous
expenditure would be needed to improve it; and its capacity, even then,
would be too small. I asked Mr. Paul P. Whitham, special commissioner
of the Department of Commerce, to go to the Chihli coast to see
whether about half way between Tientsin and Chinwangtao a satisfactory
port site might be found. He succeeded in finding a site where, with
comparatively moderate expense, a deep-sea port could be built. It
was easy to see the transformation in north China commerce that this
would bring about. Here would be an outlet for a rich and extensive
hinterland, including the Province of Chihli and all the region to the
north and northwest of it, particularly inner Mongolia and western
Manchuria. I talked the matter over with the civil governor and other
provincial leaders of Chihli Province, also with the representatives
of Governor Li Hsun of Nanking, besides certain members of the Central
Government. They greatly favoured the project, and before many weeks
preliminary surveys were made. It was to be known as the Great Northern
Port.

I visited Sir John Jordan on August 14th telling him of my resignation,
at which he expressed regret; but he admitted that he could understand
why I wished to return to the United States. He, too, wished to be
relieved of his duties as soon as possible. I had on that day a very
full talk about Shantung with Mr. Yoshizawa, Japanese Chargé, in which
we considered ways which might render the Shantung arrangement more
satisfactory, especially if Tsingtao should be made into a genuine
international settlement. But I emphasized the importance of the return
of the railway.

The negotiations for the new Consortium had been going on for some
time. The Japanese proposed that the Consortium should not apply to
Manchuria and eastern Mongolia. The Japanese-controlled press had
attacked the first proposal of this Consortium, as Japan purposed
during the war to achieve complete leadership of foreign finance in
China. If the United States would join the _old_ Consortium, Japan
would have been pleased, for there she led. But ordinarily the
financial power of Japan is of distinctly secondary importance, and the
abnormal conditions of the war could not last. Now Japan approved of
the new Consortium in principle, but continued to procrastinate when a
decision on details was required.

My resignation was accepted in a cablegram received on the 18th of
August, the President expressing formally his regret that I should find
it necessary to insist upon relinquishing my post. Even now, when I
knew how decidedly the President had misjudged the Chinese situation,
notwithstanding my insistent and detailed warnings, I had no desire
to advertise differences in policy. The Japanese press, I knew, would
consider my resignation due to the defeat of my "policy" to have
America maintain her honourable and trusted position in China. I did
not wish to favour this sort of interpretation by a controversy with
the administration.

The Chinese understood the situation quite completely. When I told
the President, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Premier, and
non-official Chinese friends, they seemed discouraged at the prospect
of my leaving China at this juncture. I had the good fortune to make
many friendships in China with men whose loyalty and truthfulness could
be relied upon. Though seemingly distressed at the idea of my going,
they knew I only hoped it might enable the work of developing close
relations between the two countries to continue more effectively. I
wished to bring about positive practical action. The spirit of the
American policies and declarations was admirable, but not enough
individual and specific American activity in China accompanied them.

Mr. Fu, Acting Minister of Education, and a number of his associates
visited me on the 25th of August, to consider arrangements for exchange
professorships in American and Chinese universities. I had always
favoured bringing young Chinese scholars into lectureships in American
universities, to make accessible to the American public the treasures
of Chinese literature, philosophy, and art. President Yuan Shih-kai had
supported this idea, and, but for the unfortunate monarchical movement,
would have done much to promote intellectual contact between the United
States and China. His successors shared his sentiments, and only the
turmoil in Peking's political life prevented their working out plans in
detail.

General Hsu Shu-cheng called on me from time to time and told me about
his Mongolian venture. When the War Participation Bureau became plainly
obsolete its name was changed to "Northwest Frontier Defence Bureau."
Everybody knew against whom this Bureau was to "defend" China, though
there was talk about Bolshevik activity in Mongolia, also of the
designs of General Semenoff to create a Pan-Mongolian state. General
Hsu unfolded in his talks with me very large schemes for developing
Mongolia, including a colonial bank, the building of highways for
motor transport, the digging of artesian wells, and the establishment
of model farms. He would, he said, also promote the completion of
the railway from Kalgan to Urga, and would even extend it to Chinese
Turkestan. Report had it that the Japanese had promised General Hsu
an advance of $50,000,000 for his enterprises. But he told me that he
would carry them out with capital entirely subscribed in China. The
President and other Peking leaders, it was said, apprehensive of the
direction the overflowing energies of General Hsu might take next,
bethought themselves of the undeveloped reaches of Mongolia. There
would be the field ample enough for his ebullient nature. All this
time the Japanese were carefully watching any factor that might become
active in Mongolia, including General Semenoff, General Chang Tso-lin,
the Viceroy of Manchuria, and General Hsu Shu-cheng. Whatever might
happen there, they undoubtedly intended that it should fit in with
their policy of imposing their influence upon that dependency.

Mrs. Reinsch and my family had sailed from Chinwangtao on the 12th
of June for Honolulu, where they were to spend the summer. As my
resignation had already gone forward, it was a farewell to Peking for
Mrs. Reinsch, who was reluctant to leave the city which she had enjoyed
so much. A series of farewell luncheons, dinners, and receptions began
for me in August which, with the heavy work of winding up the business
of my office, filled the remaining weeks with activity every day from
sunrise until after midnight. When President Hsu Shih-chang entertained
me for the last time, he said: "The Chinese look to you to be a friend
and guide to them, and we hope your action and influence may continue
for many decades." On the next day he invited me, through Mr. Chow
Tsu-chi, to act as counsellor to the Chinese Government, with residence
in America.

I left Peking on the evening of September 13th. All my colleagues with
members of their staffs, the high Chinese officials, and a throng of
other people, had gathered at the station to say "good-bye." Drawn up
on the platform were companies of the American marines, the Indian
troops of the British Legation Guard, and Chinese troops. With the
Acting Premier, Mr. Kung Shin-Chan, I inspected them, accepted their
salute, and made a few farewell remarks to the faithful marines. As
the American band played "Auld Lang Syne," the train moved out of the
station, and the thousands of faces of those who had come to see me
off became blurred in the distance, leaving impressed on my mind a
composite face, friendly, eager, urging to endeavour.

My friend, Chow Tsu-chi, accompanied me as far as Tientsin where
I parted with him. It had, all in all, been a truly heart-warming
leave-taking. I felt that the spontaneous expressions of deep
confidence both on the part of my countrymen and of the Chinese would
remain with me as the best reward for any exertions and efforts I had
made.

Dr. Charles D. Tenney, American Chargé d'Affaires after my departure,
wrote the following report to the Secretary of State concerning the
farewell hospitalities:

 I have the honour to state that the departure from Peking of the
 Honourable Paul S. Reinsch, American Minister to China, whose
 resignation has been accepted by the President, was made the occasion
 of gratifying manifestations of cordiality toward the United States
 and of the highest popular and official esteem for the retiring
 Minister.

 Mr. Reinsch was naturally the guest of honour at numerous dinners
 and receptions in the period just preceding his departure, at which
 the Chinese present expressed the deepest appreciation of his
 diversified activities during the six years of his tenure of office.
 Published references to Mr. Reinsch's career as American Minister,
 also, refer to his many-sided interest in and efforts to promote the
 joint commercial, industrial, and educational interests of China
 and the United States, in addition to the usual duty of fostering
 international unity between the two nations. It was made strikingly
 evident that the Government and people of this Republic have come
 earnestly to desire and expect a policy of vigorous advancement of
 these interests by the United States in China. The feeling of all was
 epitomized by President Hsu Shih-chang, who, at Mr. Reinsch's farewell
 interview, asserted his profound belief that the latter's activities
 as Minister had advanced and strengthened in a very real way all
 those economic and social relations that to-day bind the governments
 and peoples of China and the United States in close friendship, at
 the same time expressing his hope that on his return to the United
 States Mr. Reinsch would abate none of his efforts toward these ends,
 but that in his altered capacity he would continue to work in the
 interests of China.

 Mr. Reinsch left Peking on the evening of the thirteenth instant and
 the scene at the railway station was of an unusual and gratifying
 description. Although it is not customary for guards of honour to
 be tendered by other legations on the departure of ministers,
 on this occasion there was present a detachment from the British
 Legation Guard, and there were also present detachments from the
 American Legation Guard, the Peking police force and the Peking
 gendarmerie, with military music. The Acting Premier came in person
 to the station to bid farewell to Mr. Reinsch and there were present
 a thousand persons, including Chinese officials, foreign diplomats,
 representatives of all varieties of institutions and societies, and
 personal friends of all nationalities.

I had turned over arrangements for my trip through Japan to Mr. Willing
Spencer, the First Secretary, who had consulted with Mr. Tokugawa,
of the Japanese Legation. Their main difficulty had been the fact
that Korea was under quarantine because of the cholera. An amusing
experience ensued. In order to avoid any risk of delay I agreed to be
inoculated; this was done deferentially by a little physician who came
from the Japanese Legation. At Shimonoseki our steamer arrived in the
early morning, and was held in quarantine. The inspecting officers who
boarded said I should be permitted to land almost immediately. However,
they left and said a launch would be sent for me before noon. As the
evening train would be the last that could make my connection with the
steamer at Yokohama, I waited somewhat nervously for the launch. It
was three o'clock before the officers returned, saying that my baggage
could now be taken ashore; soon they disappeared with the baggage, but
left me still on the boat. I wired the embassy at Tokyo, telling them
of my predicament. The train was to leave at half-past seven, and no
launch had appeared at six.

Suddenly out of the evening mist covering the bay a little launch
emerged, and an official I had not seen before boarded and asked me
to accompany him. Descending to the launch with my two servants, I
was surprised to notice that it did not head toward Shimonoseki, but
took the opposite direction. I remonstrated, but the officer, smiling
reassuringly, said: "It will be all right." Then the two inspecting
officers appeared from below; smiling and bowing they told me we were
going to the Isolation Hospital!

And to the Isolation Hospital we went. There in the central reception
room I was introduced to the chief, who, after a brief exchange of
civilities, announced, "Now, everything is all right."

We took the launch, and arrived at Shimonoseki with still a quarter
of an hour to spare before the train departed, whereon a special
compartment had been reserved for me. Everything was now clear. The
Japanese passengers on the steamer were as little pleased at being
detained there as I was. Had a foreigner, even a foreign minister, been
taken off the ship to Shimonoseki, a small riot might be looked for.
So the word was passed around that I was being taken to the Isolation
Hospital, where nobody had any particular wish to go. I could not but
admire the resourcefulness of these little officials, and to feel
thankful to them for all the trouble they took to solve this knotty
problem without doing violence to any of their quarantine regulations.

I had only one day in Tokyo. A luncheon had been arranged for me
at the house of Baron Okura, where I went with Ambassador Morris
and met several Japanese gentlemen, among them Mr. Hanihara, just
made Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Baron Shidehara, the new
Ambassador to the United States. We took lunch on an open veranda,
overlooking delightful gardens, and after an animated conversation
I took my leave and hurried to Yokohama, with the same agreeable
impression of Japanese hospitality that I had received six years
before, on my first arrival in the Far East.


THE END



INDEX


    Abbott, John J., 256, 260

    Adams, Dr. Henry C., 30, 32, 35, 68, 154

    Administrative Conference, 46

    Advice from America, 269

    Advisers, Foreign, 47, 68

    Aglen, Sir Francis, 233

    Aide mémoire of December 2, 1918, 326

    Alston, Mr., 151, 233

    American activity, 75

    American aims in China, 65

    American Chamber of Commerce, 200

    American coöperation, 72, 73

    American enterprise in China, 64, 65, 82, 88, 91, 102, 106, 128, 200,
    207, 210, 214, 226

    American International Corporation, 208, 217, 219, 225

    American Legation, 19

    American Marines, 17, 18

    American minister, 143, 309, 319, 358, 378, 385

    American Red Cross, 14, 80, 81, 151, 163, 218

    American University Club, 200

    American-French coöperation, 223

    Ancestor worship, 34

    Anderson, Meyer & Co., 208

    Anderson, Roy S., 12, 85, 109, 213, 244, 264

    Anfu Club, 317

    Anglo-American Association, 156, 374

    Anglo-American friendship, 155

    Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 135

    Anhui Party, 188

    Anti-foreign propaganda, 141

    Aoki, General, 267, 351

    Ariga, Professor, 154

    Armistice, 317

    Arms, Importation of, 342

    Army, 53, 189

    Arnold, Julean, 103, 185, 329

    Arsenals, 297

    Associated Press, 132

    Authority, 177

    Automobiles, 108, 117


    Backhouse, Edward, 52

    Bain, Dr. F., 224

    Baker, J.E., 329

    Bandits, 190, 347

    Bank of China, 90, 91, 97, 202

    Bank of Communications, 190, 299, 372

    Banking, 102

    Bashford, Bishop, 50

    Battle of Peking, 284

    Beelaerts, van Blokland, M., 52

    Belin, F.L., 272, 277, 283

    Bemis, E.W., 223

    Bethlehem Steel Corporation, 67, 82, 84, 99, 140

    Bevan, Professor, 154

    Billings, Dr. Frank, 151

    "Bite to death," 110

    Blood of enemies, 109

    Blythe, Sam L., 245, 255

    Boardman, Miss, 93

    Bolshevism, 351

    Botanical Gardens, 29

    Bowley, Major, 109, 362

    Boxer indemnity payments, 297

    Bredon, Sir Robert, 154

    Brigands, 54, 347

    British Legation, 114

    British minister, 325, 371

    British-American Tobacco Company, 66, 67, 75, 89

    Bryan, Secretary, 84, 140, 269, 270

    Business representatives, 215

    Buttrick, Dr., 150


    Calhoun, W.J., 161

    Carey, W.F., 207, 208, 209, 213

    Central Government, 54, 55, 56, 292, 293, 321

    Chadbourne, Mrs., 235

    Chang Chien, 29, 70, 71, 80, 81

    Chang Chin-yao, 351

    Chang Chung-hsiang, 113, 359

    Chang Hsun, General, 11, 184, 262, 265, 267, 270, 272, 274, 283

    Chang Hu, 172

    Chang Tso-lin, 262, 384

    Chen Chin-tao, Dr., 100, 201, 202, 222, 232, 247, 251, 257, 260, 264

    Chen, Eugene, 247

    Chen Huan-chang, Dr., 23

    Chen Lu, 340

    Chen Pan-ping, 213

    Chiang, Dr. Monlin, 377

    Chien Neng-hsun, 227, 325

    Chienmen, 17

    Chin Pu Tang, 96, 103, 288, 340

    Chin Yun-peng, General, 266, 301

    China Medical Board, 150, 363

    China Press, 62

    Chinchow-Aigun Railway, 67, 97

    Chinda, Ambassador, 140

    Chinese art, 29, 157, 228

    Chinese dinners, 32, 33, 152

    Chinese ethics, 34

    Chinese life, 22, 49

    Chinese handwriting, 29

    Chinese industry, 373

    Chinese iron industry, 224, 293

    Chinese language, 51

    Chinese manners, 71

    Chinese _materia medica_, 151

    Chinese musicians, 196

    Chinese navy, 74

    Chinese politics, 13, 42, 53

    Chinese Social and Political Science Association, 153, 235

    Chinese traditions, 177

    Chinese women, 27, 28

    Chino-American Bank, 227, 363

    Chino-American steamship line, 164

    Chino-Japanese entente, 352

    Chinwangtao, 381

    Chou Hsueh-hsi, 227

    Chow Tsu-chi, 95, 96, 105, 118, 152, 175, 176, 179, 183, 184, 190, 192,
    201, 207, 213, 322, 330, 385

    Chu Chi-chien, 24, 27, 182, 189, 201, 215

    Chu Jui, 167, 261

    Chu Ying-kuang, 167, 314

    Chuan Liang, 225

    Chuchow Chinchow Railway, 221

    Chüfu, 35, 37, 40, 41

    Chung Hua Hsin Pao, 311

    Claims, 113, 166

    Coal Hill, 19

    Communications, Ministry of, 104

    Confucian family, 38

    Confucian Society, 26, 111

    Confucianism, 23, 26, 35, 111

    Consortium, 62, 63, 69, 70, 80, 97, 216, 239, 287, 298, 327, 355, 382

    Constitution, 199

    Continental & Commercial Bank loan, 222, 236, 238, 256

    Coolidge, Charles A., 320

    Corruption, 57, 291

    Crane, Charles R., 40

    Currency loan, 97

    Currency loan agreement, 319, 346

    Currency reform loan, 327

    Customs, 55, 68, 69


    Dane, Sir Richard, 68

    Davis, Arthur P., 82

    Decoration Day, 362

    Deering, Mrs., 362

    Democratic party, 43, 45, 86, 96, 203

    Denby, Charles, 211

    Denials, diplomatic, 132, 135

    Dennis, Dr. W.C., 329

    Department of State, 101, 102, 148, 171, 176, 258, 297, 307, 313, 354

    Diplomacy and commerce, 65

    Diplomatic corps in Peking, 114

    Diplomatic tactics, 116

    Disorganization, 56

    Donald, W.H., 48, 78, 244, 255, 312

    Dragon flags, 275


    Economic development, 380

    Eliot, President, 68

    Emerson, Miss, 185

    Emperor, 283, 377

    Empress Dowager, 15, 18, 29, 33, 108

    Equal opportunity, 100

    Extra-territoriality, 114


    Famine, 50, 162

    Fan Yuen-lin, 151

    Farewell, 384

    Feng Kuo-chang, General, 54, 172, 183, 184, 236, 237, 255, 258, 262,
    292, 314

    Feng Yu-hsiang, 262

    Ferguson, Dr. John C., 244, 268, 283

    Festivities, 323

    Fifteenth United States Infantry, 14, 282

    Finance, 89, 105, 214, 296, 317, 326, 345, 355

    Finch, John W., 224

    Fleisher, B.W., 159

    Flexner, Dr. Simon, 150, 151

    Forbidden City, 18, 19

    Foreign Office ball, 27

    Frazar, E.W., 163

    Frazar & Company, 67

    French interests, 222

    French minister, 302, 325, 344, 353

    Fu Liang-tso, 294

    Fukien, 84, 99, 100, 133, 139, 140

    Funeral of Yuan Shih-kai, 194


    Gailey, Robert, 118

    Gary, Judge Elbert H., 230

    Gattrell, Dr., 52

    Gest, G.M., 90, 101, 105

    Gilbert, Mrs., 12

    Gold-note scheme, 318

    Goodnow, Dr. F.J., 30, 31, 32, 47, 68, 154, 172

    Grand Canal, 81, 170, 207, 213, 217, 331

    Grant, Ulysses S., Jr., 185

    Great northern port, 381

    Group V demands, 134, 135, 138, 139, 142, 143, 145, 147

    Guthrie, Ambassador, 234


    Han Yeh Ping Co., 87, 224

    Hanihara, Mr., 387

    Hankow-Canton line, 97, 294, 297

    Harrison, Governor-General, 164

    Hayashi, Baron, 233, 237, 250, 307, 327, 339, 346

    Haxthausen, Von, Baron, 88

    Herrera de Huerta, M., 233

    Hicks claim, 166

    Hilfsaktion, 163

    Hintze, Admiral von, 167

    Hioki, Mr. Eki, 126, 129, 136, 137, 142, 189, 233

    Ho, J.C., 295

    Holcombe, Lieut.-Colonel, 362

    Holy Duke, 37, 38, 40, 41, 59

    Honorary LL.D., 157

    Hornbeck, Dr. Stanley K., 12, 61

    House, Colonel, 360

    Hsiung Hsi-ling, 86, 98, 103, 223, 341

    Hsu Shih-chang, 47, 103, 154, 172, 192, 266, 273, 279, 281, 317, 319,
    325, 344, 351, 385

    Hsu Shih-ying, 201

    Hsu Shu-cheng, General, 202, 243, 301, 302, 383

    Hsu Sing-loh, 227

    Hsu Un-yuen, 202, 227, 231, 257, 260

    Hukuang Railways, 67, 97, 169, 210, 211, 294, 297

    Hunan, 351

    Hutchins, Lieut.-Commander, 183, 184, 362

    Hwai River conservancy, 13, 60, 71, 74, 80, 98, 162, 207


    Immortality, 34

    Imperial City, 24, 164, 323

    Imperial Family, 154, 280

    Imperial movement of Yuan Shih-kai, 171-179

    Imperial Palace, 18, 281, 283

    Imperial restoration, 1917, 272

    Industrial Bank, 72, 227, 263

    Industrial Bank of Japan, 299, 341

    Industrial loans, 341

    International Banking Corporation, 47, 74, 102, 208

    International railway syndicate, 101

    Iron deposits, 224


    _Japan Mail_, 141

    Japanese activity, 73

    Japanese coöperation, 217

    Japanese diplomats, 83

    Japanese hegemony, 191

    Japanese in Manchuria, 113

    Japanese in Shantung, 124, 126

    Japanese loan, 232

    Japanese methods, 335

    Japanese minister, 287, 310, 331, 339, 344, 346

    Japanese morphia, 332

    Japanese opposition to Yuan, 178

    Japanese papers, 269, 331, 352, 365, 382

    Japanese post offices, 332

    Jeme Tien-yew, Dr., 210

    Jenks-Conant Monetary Commission, 300

    Jernigan, T.R., 89

    Johnston, Archibald, 67, 99

    Johnston, R.F., 377

    Jordan, Sir John, 51, 77, 155, 157, 323, 376

    _Journal de Pekin_, 61, 88

    Judson, President, 32


    Kalgan-Urga route, 117, 219

    Kang Yu-wei, 272, 279

    Kiang, General, 110, 271

    King Ya-mei, Dr., 28, 112

    Knight, Admiral, 151, 351

    Knox, Secretary, 311

    Kobayashi, Dr., 299

    Kolchak, Admiral, 350

    Konovalov, M., 154

    Koo, Dr. Wellington, 5, 10, 144, 171, 256, 268

    Korea, 332

    Koudacheff, Prince, 197, 220, 237, 239, 323

    Krupenski, M., 77, 127

    Ku Chung-hsiu, 204

    Kuangsi, 186, 221

    Kuangtung, 187

    Kung Shin-chan, 384

    Kuo Min Tang, 2, 9, 43, 46, 86, 200, 203, 244, 247, 263, 264, 288, 340

    Kyle, Mr., 348, 349


    Lama priests, 194

    Lansing, Secretary, 268, 346

    Lansing Ishii Notes, 307, 337, 366

    Lee Higginson loan, 187, 191, 202

    Legal talent, 208

    Legation guards, 77

    Legation Quarter, 19

    Li Ching-hsi, 264

    Li Ho-chi, 262

    Li Shun, 262, 314, 319, 381

    Li Yuan-hung, General, 44, 45, 174, 181, 193, 198, 235, 237, 239, 242,
    258, 265, 273, 276

    Liang Chi-chao, 32, 33, 174, 275, 288, 289, 292, 298, 299, 340, 345

    Liang Chi-chao, resignation of, 174

    Liang Shih-yi, 89, 90, 95, 109, 172, 173, 184, 188, 190, 193, 201,
    209, 213, 288, 322, 330, 350

    Liang Tun-yen, 103, 104, 124, 169, 192, 273, 275

    Library, 238

    Liggett, General, 235

    Living Buddha, 28

    Liu, Civil Governor, 14

    Loans, 287, 303, 317, 326, 345

    Localized privileges, 337

    London _Times_, 136

    Lowry, Dr., 156

    Lu Tsung-hsiang, 4, 136, 137, 141, 148, 153, 169

    Lu Tsung-yu, 112, 299, 359

    _Lusitania_, 168


    Ma Liang, 46

    MacMurray, J.V.A., 50, 241

    Mailed fist, 117

    Manchuria, 133, 137

    Martel, Count, 22, 233, 257

    Martin, Dr. W.A.P., 50, 66

    Mayers, Sidney, 52, 330

    Mazot, M., 154

    McClatchey, C.K., 159

    Mead, Professor D.W., 82

    Medical missions, 28

    Midzuno, Mr., 82

    Militarists, 318

    Missionaries, 23, 39, 66, 333, 349

    Mongolia, 76, 79, 383

    Moratorium, 190

    Morris, Ambassador, 387

    Morrison, Dr. George E., 48, 68, 154, 238, 244, 246, 255, 304, 312,
    319, 320

    Morton, Joy, 257

    Murdock, Mr. Victor, 240

    Music, 26


    Nan Tung-chow, 70

    Nanking, 11, 293

    Nanking Road, 11

    Naval base, 99

    Neville, Colonel Wendell C., 185, 212, 234, 362

    New China, 30

    New Year, 164, 165, 183

    Newell, Major, 183, 362

    News from abroad, 158

    News service, 159

    Newspapers, 157

    Ni Tze-chung, General, 266

    Nishihara, Mr., 353

    Nobility, 181

    Norris, Bishop, 151

    North China _Daily News_, 88

    Note of May 13, 1915, 148


    Obata Mr., 137, 339, 340, 344

    Oil Development Bureau, 86

    Okuma, Count, 126, 311

    Open Door policy, 73

    Orphans strike, 112

    _Ostasiatische Lloyd_, 88

    Ostrougoff, Mr., 350


    Padoux, M., 154

    Pan Fu, 117, 208, 217, 395

    Paris, Chinese delegation at, 339

    Parliament, 2, 3, 43, 46, 58, 199, 204, 231, 236, 263, 350

    Pastor, Don Luis, 51

    Paulding & Company, 101

    Peace Planning Society, 173

    Peace Conference, 360

    Peace Conference at Shanghai, 345

    Peck, Willys R., 2, 17, 50, 161

    Peitaiho, 201

    Peking, 18, 52

    Peking, city walls of, 16

    Peking _Gazette_, 247

    Peking Language School, 157

    Peking tramways, 91

    Peking University, 156

    Peking-Kalgan Railway, 210

    Pelliot, Paul, 154, 257

    People's Convention, 186

    Pettus, W.B., 52

    Political discussions, 269

    Pott, Dr. Hawks, 10

    Prisoners in Siberia, 162

    Progressive party, 103

    Provisional Constitution of 1912, 199, 201

    Pu Lun, Prince, 108, 118

    Putnam Weale, 49, 78, 136


    Quo Tai-chi, 234, 242


    Railway contract, 142, 213, 232

    Railway guards, 267

    Railway unification, 329

    Randolph, W., 98

    Rank in seating, 234

    Rank of precedence, 324

    Real property value, 150

    Recognition, question of, 176

    "Regional understanding," 328

    Reinsch, Mrs., 40, 78, 118, 384

    Reorganization Loan, 62

    Republicanism, 3, 25, 31, 42, 198, 290

    Resignation, A Chinese, 174

    Resignation, letter of, 364

    Resources, 76

    Revolutionists, 130

    Roads, 163

    Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, 150

    Rockhill, W.W., 20, 30, 31, 32, 161

    Rogers, Walter, 159

    Rosthorn, von, M., 52

    Russia and Siberia, 355, 356

    Russian ambassador at Tokyo, 311

    Russo-Asiatic Bank, 77, 83

    Russo-Japanese entente, 72


    Salt Revenue, 55, 68

    Sakatani, Baron, 345, 346

    Sarajevo, 105

    Saturday Lunch Club, 9

    Savings banks, 228

    Secret agreements, 361

    Sforza, Count, 52

    Shanghai, 9, 115, 200, 371, 373

    Shansi Bankers' Guild, 90

    Shantung, 14, 35, 123, 129, 180, 188, 190, 209, 218, 251, 315, 333,
    337, 338, 340, 352, 359, 374, 378, 379

    Shantung railway, 125, 190, 379

    Sheng Hsuan-huai, 96

    Shidehara, Baron, 387

    Shimonoseki, 386

    Shun Tien Shih Pao, 191, 322

    Sibert, Colonel, 92, 99, 207

    Siems-Carey Company, 207, 219, 225

    Simpson, B. Lenox, 48, 49, 52, 103, 131, 132, 154

    Sinologists, 52

    Smith, Dr. Arthur H., 50

    Smith, Charles Stevenson, 235, 245

    Social life, 208

    Southern party, 291

    Special interests, 100, 309, 312

    Spencer, Willing, 386

    Spheres of interest, 100, 219, 221, 309, 312

    Spiritualism, Dr. Wu, 258

    St. John's University, 10, 200

    Staël-Holstein, Baron, 154

    Standard Oil Company, 62, 66, 83, 84, 85, 89, 98, 105, 223

    Statement of 5th of June, 268

    Stevens, John F., 350

    Stewart, Dr. M.A., 233

    Stone, Dr. Mary, 28

    Straight, Williard, 91, 94, 212, 300

    Strike and boycott, 372

    Strikes, 369

    Student movement, 358, 368, 375

    Sun Hung-yi, 203

    Sun Pao-chi, 5, 17, 27, 169

    Sun, T.C., 295

    Sun Yat-sen, Dr., 43, 263, 334, 380

    Surplus salt revenue, 325

    Sze, Alfred, 4, 10

    Szechuan, 211


    Taft, President, 74

    Taishan, 35, 37, 39

    Tanaka, General, 351

    Tang Shao-yi, 200, 201

    Tartar City Wall, 211

    Taxation, 55, 115

    Telephone and telegraph agreement, 225

    Temple of Confucius, 39

    Temple of Heaven, 25, 277, 282, 284

    Tenney, Dr. Charles D., 66, 161, 241, 309, 348, 385

    Terauchi, General, 353

    Thanksgiving, 325

    Tien Chung-yu, Tuchun, 117, 262

    Tientsin, 14

    Tobacco and wine revenue, 353

    Tobacco and wine tax, 222

    Tokugawa, Mr., 386

    Tokutomi, Mr., 303

    Troops, foreign, 79, 115

    Tsai, Duke, 33, 279, 281

    Tsai Ao, 180, 182

    Tsai Chu-tung, 14

    Tsai Ting-kan, Admiral, 6, 108, 129, 246

    Tsai, Dr. Yuan-pei, 377

    Tsao Ju-lin, 113, 137, 189, 213, 243, 267, 288, 289, 299, 314, 318,
    353, 358, 362, 370

    Tsao Kun, 262, 277, 326

    Tsing Hua College, 112, 113

    Tsur, Dr. T.T., 112

    Tuchuns, 43, 54, 261, 264, 265

    Tuan Chi-Jui, General, 54, 174, 188, 189, 193, 199, 202, 226, 242, 243,
    250, 260, 265, 266, 268, 275, 276, 282, 286, 288, 293, 298, 300, 313,
    317, 354, 369, 376

    Twenty-one demands, 129, 149


    Ultimatum, 143, 145, 146, 147


    Versailles Conference, 358


    Walker, Sir Edward, 373

    Wang, Dr. C.C., 112

    Wang Chung-hui, Dr., 10, 247

    Wang, C.T., 43, 231, 247, 250, 290

    Wang Shih-chen, 273, 314

    War Participation Office, 315, 318, 341, 342, 343, 351, 383

    War Works Drive, 322

    Weil, Miss, 185

    Welch, Dr. George A., 150, 151

    Western Hills, 16

    White, Corporation, J.G., 82, 98

    White Wolf, 54

    Whitham, W.P., 329, 381

    Williams, E.T., 2, 17, 50

    Willoughby, Dr. W.F., 154

    Willoughby, Dr. W.W., 233, 235, 265, 329

    Wilson, President, 63, 89, 125, 239, 268, 308, 319, 331, 356, 360,
    362, 363, 378, 379

    Winterhalter, Admiral, 237

    Wireless telegraph, 159

    Wu Fu Ssu, 89

    Women's Medical College, 28

    Worship of heaven, 23, 24, 25

    Wu Pei-fu, 262

    Wu, C.C., 186, 243, 247, 251, 253, 290

    Wu Ting-fang, Dr., 9, 226, 258, 268, 270, 279


    Y.M.C.A., 62, 66, 88, 89, 118, 155, 163

    Yamaza, Mr., 82, 83, 87

    Yang Shih-chi, 172

    Yangtse, 211

    Yangtse Valley, 133

    Yeh Kung-cho, 104, 172, 330

    Yen Fu, Dr., 46, 235

    Yen, Mr. Hawkling L., 185

    Yen Hsi-shan, 261

    Yen, Dr. W.W., 10

    Yi Shih Pao, 157

    Ying Chang, General, 2, 4, 110

    Yin Chang-heng, General, 110, 111

    Yokohama Specie Bank, 299

    Yoshizawa, Mr., 381

    Young China, 368

    Yuan, Madame, 165

    Yuan Ko-ting, 195, 196

    Yuan Shih-kai, 1, 3, 5, 8, 23, 25, 31, 43, 47, 58, 72, 79, 95, 108,
    125, 129, 134, 138, 145, 146, 171, 172, 174, 177, 180, 184, 185, 192,
    193, 383

    Yunnan, 180, 182, 183, 184





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