« EelmineJätka »
pletion of the task. By degrees the emperor's authority was perception are to be attributed all the vagaries of her diplomacy established from the contines of Kansuh to Kashgar and Yarkand, and the complications in which she became involved. Korea was and Chinese garrisons were stationed in touch with the Russian the first of the dependencies to come into notice. In 1866 some outposts in the region of the Pamirs (December 1877). There Roman Catholic missionaries were murdered, and about the same remained only the north-eastern province of Kuldja, occupied time an American vessel was burnt in one of the rivers and her by Russia, but under a promise made in 1871 to restore it when crew murdered.
China refused satisfaction, both to France and China was in a position to maintain order. This promise Russia America, and suffered reprisals to be made on Korea without protest. was now called upon to redeem. It is probable that, in making America and Japan both desired to conclude commercial treaties this promise, Russia calculated that the day was far distant when for the opening up of Korea, and proposed to negotiate with China. China would be in a position to fulfil the condition ; at all events China refused and referred them to the Korean Govern
Korea and she showed no desire to comply with the request. China de ment direct, saying she was not wont to interfere in
the affairs of her vassal states. As a result Japan con
Japan. spatched Chung-how, a Manchu of the highest rank, who had been notoriously concerned in the Tientsin massacre of 1871, to cluded a treaty in 1876, in which the independence of Korea was St Petersburg to negotiate a settlement. After some months of expressly recognized. This was allowed to pass without protest, discussion a document was signed (September 1879), termed the but as other nations proceeded to conclude treaties on the same
treaty of Livadia, whereby China recovered, not indeed terms China began to perceive her mistake, and endeavoured to Imperial
the whole, but a considerable portion of the disputed tack on to each a declaration by the king that he was in fact a consolida
territory, on her paying to Russia five million roubles tributary-a declaration, however, which was quietly ignored.
as the cost of occupation. At first sight it was con Japan, however, was the only Power with which controversy sidered by Western diplomatists that, having regard to the small immediately arose. In 1882 a faction fight, which had long been amount of pressure he could bring to bear, Chung - how had smouldering, broke out, headed by the king's father, the Tai acquitted himself, of his mission rather well. The treaty was, Won Kun, in the course of which the Japanese legation was however, received
with a storm of indignation in China. Li Hung- attacked and the whole Japanese colony had to flee for their lives. Chang and Tso Tsung-tang took up the cry: Chung-how was China sent troops, and by adroitly kidnapping the Tai Won Kun, placed under arrest as soon as he returned. Memorials poured in
order was for a time restored. The Japanese legation was from all sides denouncing the treaty and its author. Foremost replaced, but under the protection of a strong body of Japanese among these was one by Chang Chih-tung, then occupying a troops. Further revolutions and riots followed, in which the subordinate post in the Hanlin, who has since become the most troops of the two countries took sides, and there was imminent distinguished of the viceroys, and is actually governor-general of danger of war. To obviate this risk, it was agreed in 1885 Hupeh and Hunan. Its publication raised him at once into between Count Ito and Li Hung.Chang that both sides should eminence. He demonstrated seriatim the objections to the withdraw their troops, the king being advised to engage officers treaty, chief of which was that, under guise of trading facilities, of a third state to put his army on such a footing as would mainit opened a way for the military aggression of Russia from the tain order, and each undertook to give the other notice, should it west, and he wound up with declaring, “If we do not alter this be found necessary to send troops again. In this way a modus treaty we are not worthy to be called a nation.” Prince Chun, vivendi was established which lasted till the events which prethe emperor's father, came into prominence at this juncture as an ceded the outbreak of war in 1894. Chinese influence continued advocate for war, and under these combined influences the un predominant, but the unhappy kingdom was constantly disturbed fortunate Chung- how was tried and condemned to death (3rd by faction. March 1880). For some months warlike preparations went on, We can only glance briefly at the domestic affairs of China and the outbreak of hostilities was imminent. In the end calmer during the period 1875-82. The years 1877-78 were marked by a counsels prevailed; the foreign ministers interceded for Chung- famine in Shansi and Shantung, which for duration and intensity how, and he was first reprieved and finally released. Li Hung- has probably never been equalled. For two successive seasons Chang, though he had been one of the first to raise the storm, the crops failed. The population affected numbered 30 to 40 became alarmed at the near prospect of war, for which he well | millions, the districts lay far from the coast, there was no water knew China was unprepared, and threw in his voice with Prince communication, and the roads were unfit for wheeled vehicles. Kung on the side of peace. A visit from General Gordon, and Transport broke down, pack animals were not to be had, and the sound, though probably unpalatable, advice which he gave, sheer starvation stared the unfortunate people in the face. It weighed in the same direction. It was decided to send the was computed that 12 or 13 millions perished. It was hoped Marquis Tseng, who in the meantime had become minister in that this lamentable loss of life, due mainly to defective comLondon, to Russia to negotiate a new treaty. With more adroit-munications, would induce the Chinese Government to listen to ness he avoided his predecessor's mistakes, and produced a treaty proposals for railway construction, but even this argument had which, though not very materially different from the old, inas no effect. The fate of the experimental line at Shanghai has been much as it still left Russia in possession of part of the Ili valley, already mentioned. The Russian scare had, however, taught pleased everybody, and was universally accepted. This was rati the Chinese the value of telegraphs, and in 1881 the first line fied 19th August 1881. The Chinese Government could now con was laid from Tientsin to Shanghai. Further construction was template with satisfaction the complete recovery of the whole continued without intermission from this date. A beginning extensive dominions which had at any time owned the imperial also was made in naval affairs. The arsenal at Foochow was sway. The regions directly administered by the officers of the turning out small composite gunboats, a training ship was emperor extended from thë borders of Siberia on the north to bought and put under the command of a British officer. Annam and Burma on the south, and from the Pacific Ocean on Several armoured cruisers were ordered from Armstrong, and the east to Kashgar and Yarkand on the west. But even that did some progress was made with the fortifications of Port Arthur not complete the tale, for outside these boundaries there was a and Wei-hai-wei. Forts were also built and guns mounted at fringe of tributary nations which still kept up the ancient forms Foochow, Shanghai, Canton, and other vulnerable points. Money of allegiance, and which niore or less acknowledged the dominion for these purposes was abundantly supplied by the customs duties of the central kingdom. As most of China's subsequent mis on foreign trade, and China had learnt that at need she could fortunes have been in connexion with one or other of these tribu borrow from the foreign banks on the security of this revenue. tary states, a brief notice may here be permitted of the actual In all the elements of material strength she had grown enormously relationship subsisting at this date. The principal tributary within the previous ten years, and her prestige had grown even nations then were Korea, Liuchiu, Annam, Burma, and Nepaul. more, for she was believed to be very much stronger than she The dynastic records enumerate several others, including even really was. England, Lord Macartney's mission of 1793 having been gravely de In 1881 the senior regent, the empress Tsu An, was carried off scribed as bringing tribute, but these were more or less accidental. by a sudden attack of heart disease, and the empress Tsu Tsi The tie which bound these states to their suzerain was of the remained in undivided possession of the supreme power during loosest description. China accepted their homage with calm the remainder of the emperor Kwang Su's minority. Li Hungsuperiority, but conceived herself to be under no reciprocal obliga- Chang, firmly established at Tientsin, within easy reach of the tion. It was usual for the kings, on succession, to seek investi- capital, as viceroy of the home province of Chihli and superinture, which consisted in the grant of a patent and a seal, but even tendent of northern trade, enjoyed a larger share of his imperial that was not invariably insisted on. In any case, it was no part mistress's favour than is often granted by the ruling Manchus to of the duty of China to keep the king on his throne. If his sub oflicials of Chinese birth, and in all the graver questions of foreign jects chose to depose him and set up another, they might do so, policy his advice was generally decisive. and she received a successful usurper and bestowed a new patent While the disputes with Japan were still going on regarding and a new seal with the same nonchalance as she had manifested Korea, China found herself involved in a more serious quarrel in to his predecessor. This happened more than once in Annam. respect of another tributary state which lay on the
TongSuch was the attitude which China still maintained when southern frontier. By a treaty made between France
king and foreign nations first began to come into contact with these and Annam in 1874, the Red river or Songkoi which,
Hanoi. tributary states. She did not recognize that the position of rising in south - western China, flows thro the suzerain involved responsibilities as well as rights, and to this non province of Tongking, was opened to trade together with the cities
of Haiphong and Hanoi situated on the delta. The object of the The attempt was not renewed, and the fleet thereafter confined French was then, as it is now, to find a trade route to Yunnan itself to a semi-blockade of the island, which was prolonged into and Szechuen from a base of their own, and it was hoped the Red 1885 but led to no practical results. Desultory operations were river would furnish such a route. Tongking at the time, however, continued in the neighbourhood of Shanghai and Ningpo, two was infested with bands of pirates and cut-throats, many of whom old vessels were taken and burnt, but the two or three really were Chinese rebels or ex-rebels who had been driven across the powerful boats which the Chinese then possessed took refuge frontier by the suppression of the Yunnan and Taiping rebellions, behind the guns of Port Arthur, whither the French admiral did conspicuous among them being an organization called the Black not care to follow them. By way of bringing pressure on the Flags. The Annamese Government undertook by the treaty to Chinese Government, the French at this time declared rice conrestore order, and France had promised help. Some years having traband of war, in order to stop the supplies going forward to the passed without any improvement, France, which meanwhile had capital by sea. Even this, though raising an interesting point in kept a small guard at Haiphong, sent' reinforcements (1882), international law, had no practical effect. Meanwhile the Chinese nominally to assist the Annamese troops in putting an end to had been greatly emboldened by the successful defence of Tamsuy, disorder. The Annamese officials, however, declined to receive and the failure of the French to push home such successes as they them as friends, opposed their progress, and the expedition took had gained. Preparations on a great scale were made to conthe form of a military occupation. China, meanwhile, began to tinue the war, and a rising tone was noticed, not only in the take alarm at the near approach of a strong military power to her acts of the Government, but throughout the country. The southern frontier. When the treaty of 1874, which gave France new-born native press assiduously encouraged this feeling, and trading privileges, was communicated to her, she seems to have from this time forward began to count as a factor in the situatreated it with indifference as she treated the Japanese treaty tion. Troops were massed on the frontier of Tongking, and the with Korea, and neither in the one case nor in the other took any French forces which had pushed their way as far as the border steps to see that the provisions were carried out. Now, however, were compelled by overwhelming masses of the enemy to fall she began to protest, claiming that Annam was a vassal state and back on their base in the delta of the river. Negotiations for under her protection. France took no notice of the protest, peace, however, which had been for some time in progress through declaring that the claim had merely an archaeological interest, the mediation of Sir Robert Hart, were at this juncture happily and that, in any case, China in military affairs was a quantité concluded (April 1885), and the French cabinet was thereby renégligeable, France found, however, that she had undertaken a lieved from a very embarrassing situation. The terms were very serious task in trying to put down the forces of disorder in practically those of the Fournier convention of the year before, Tongking. The Black Flags were, it was believed, being aided by the demand for an indemnity having been quietly dropped. money and arms from China, and as time went on, her troops China, on the whole, came out of the struggle with greatly inwere more and more being confronted with regular Chinese creased prestige. She had tried conclusions with a first-class soldiers. Several forts, well within the Tongking frontier, were European Power and had held her own. In material resources known to be garrisoned by Chinese troops. Operations continued she had not been weakened. The provincial fleet at Foochow had with more or less success during the winter and spring of 1883-84. indeed been destroyed, but it was of no serious value as a fighting Both sides, however, were desirous of an arrangement, and in force. On the other hand she had saved her three armoured May 1884 a convention was signed between Li Hung-Chang and cruisers, the value of the new fortress of Port Arthur as a naval a Captain Fournier, who had been commissioned ad hoc, whereby base had been proved, and, most satisfactory of all, she was not China agreed to withdraw her garrisons and to open her frontiers crippled by the exaction of an indemnity. Morally she might to trade, France agreeing, on her part, to respect the fiction of claim a victory. Reasonings such as these, however, omitted to Chinese suzerainty, and guarantee the frontier from attack by take note of the fact that France was never more than half-hearted brigands. The arrangement was satisfactory to both sides, but, over the war. No effective support was given to the French adstrange to say, it was completely frustrated by a series of un miral from home, the number of troops sent to Tongking was fortunate misunderstandings which led to a renewal of hostili- inadequate to the task they were called on to perform, and no ties. No date had been fixed in the convention for the opportunity was afforded to see how Chinese soldiers would stand evacuation of the Chinese garrisons, and Fournier endeavoured up against regular European troops. Incorrect conclusions as to supplement this by a memorandum to Li Hung-Chang, at the to the military strength of China were consequently drawn, not same time announcing the fact to his Government. In pursuance merely by the Chinese themselves—which was excusable—but by of this arrangement the French troops proceeded to occupy European and even British authorities, who ought to have been Langson on the date fixed (21st June 1884). The Ch ese better informed. China was lulled into a false security which commandant refused to evacuate, alleging, in a despatch which proved disastrous when the day of trial came. For the time, no one in the French camp was competent to translate, that he | however, the lessons of the war were so far learned that the had received no orders, and begged for a short delay to enable necessity for a strong fleet became generally recognized, and him to communicate with his superiors. The French com means were at once adopted to that end. War vessels were mandant ordered an attack, which was repulsed with severe loss. ordered both from England and Germany, and Admiral Lang, Mutual recriminations ensued, the French declaring the resistance who had withdrawn his services while the war was going on, was an act of treachery, and the Chinese declaring that the French re-engaged together with a number of British officers and inhad broken faith by advancing before the date fixed. The whole structors. The completion of the works at Port Arthur was question turned on the unfortunate memorandum of Captain taken in hand, and a beginning was made in the construction of Fournier. The Chinese alleged that in deference to Li Hung-forts at Wei-hai-wei as a second naval base. A new department Chang's representation, Captain Fournier had agreed to postpone was created for the control of naval affairs, at the head of which the date of evacuation, and himself erased the original figures and was placed Prince Chun, father of the Emperor, who since the inserted others, attesting the alteration by putting his initials in downfall of Prince Kung in 1884 had been taking a more and the margin ; and they produced the original document so altered. more prominent part in public affairs. A tour made by Prince Captain Fournier afirmed, on his honour, that he had made no Chun in the spring of 1886, in the course of which he visited alteration, and declared the whole thing an impudent forgery. Port Arthur and Chefoo escorted by the fleet, attracted much On whichever side the truth lay, the result was greatly to attention, as being the first time that a prince so near the throne embitter the feeling on both sides. From Paris there came a had emerged from palace seclusion and exchanged friendly visits demand for a huge indemnity as reparation for the insult. The with foreign admirals and other representatives. Peking Government offered to carry out the convention, and to From 1885 to 1894 the political history of China does not call pay a small indemnity for the lives lost through the misunder for extended notice. Two incidents, however, must be recorded, standing. This was refused, and hostilities recommenced, or, as the first being the conclusion of a convention between Great the French preferred to call them, reprisals, for the fiction was Britain and China, in which the latter undertook to recognize still kept up that the two countries were not at war. Under British sovereignty in Burma, to delimit the frontier, and to procover of this fiction the French fleet peaceably entered the mote overland trade intercourse between the two countries. harbour of Foochow, having passed the forts at the entrance to Great Britain, on the other hand, consented to the conthe river without hindrance. Once inside, they attacked and tinuance of the customary decennial tribute mission to destroyed the much inferior Chinese fleet which was then quietly be despatched by the “highest authority in Burma,' at anchor, destroying at the same time a large part of the the members, however, to be Burmese, and she also consented not arsenal which adjoins the anchorage (23rd Aug. 1884). Retracing to press a mission which the Indian Government were proposing its steps, the French fleet attacked and destroyed with impunity the to send to Tibet and to which China had agreed. The recogforts which were built to guard the entrance to the Min river, and nition of Chinese suzerainty implied in the sending a tribute could offer no resistance to a force coming from the rear.
After mission was sharply criticized, but in point of fact it has never this exploit the French fleet left the mainland and continued its been acted on and is now forgotten. The other incident was the reprisals on the coast of Formosa. Keelung, a treaty port, was temporary occupation of Port Hamilton by the British fleet (May bombarded and taken, Oct. 4th. A similar attempt, however, on 1885). Rumours of Russian intrigues in Korea, coupled with the neighbouring port of Tamsuy was unsuccessful, the landing recent proceedings in Afghanistan, made it appear desirable that party having been driven back to their ships with severe loss. Great cain should have a naval base ther north than Hong
S. III. — 5
kong. For this purpose a small group of islands at the southern her troops there until the necessary guarantees had been obtained point of the peninsula of Korea, forming the harbour known as for the security of her trade. At the same time categorical Port Hamilton, were occupied. Objections, however, were raised schemes of civil and military reform were laid before the Korean by the Chinese Government to their continued occupation, and Government, and the Japanese force in Seoul was largely inGreat Britain expressed her willingness to withdraw on receiving creased. By the beginning of July she had over 10,000 men sufficient guarantees against their cession to any other Power. A there. The Chinese Government thereupon proceeded to send trilateral agreement was thereupon come to, by which Russia more troops to reinforce General Yeh, who was stationed at Asan, bound herself to China to respect the integrity of Korean territory, a short distance south of Seoul. Among other transports a and Great Britain thereupon agreed to evacuate Port Hamilton, British steamer, the Kowshing, was chartered and despatched with which was carried out in February 1887. In 1890 occurred an some 1200 troops. On the way, and when nearing the coast of event which, though seemingly insignificant in itself, marks a Korea, the Kowshing met a Chinese man-of-war steaming back turning-point in Chinese history, viz., the resignation of Admiral full speed to China with evident signs of disorder. As subseLang from the command of the Chinese fleet. One of the lessons quentĪy became known, this vessel, the Chi-yuen, had exchanged which the Chinese Government seemed to have learned from hostile shots a few hours previously with a Japanese man-of-war the French war was the recognition of the value of a strong and got the worst of it. The Kowshing was presently accosted fleet. Money was not spared, and a really efficient squadron by a Japanese war vessel, the Naniwa, and was called upon to had been got together and put under the joint command of Ad surrender. This the Chinese soldiery refused to permit, and the miral Ting and his British colleague Admiral Lang. By tact and British officer in charge then proposed to take the troops back to judgment the latter had so far avoided directly raising the ques China. This in turn the Japanese refused to allow, and after a tion of who was really chief. Order and discipline were well warning the Naniwa opened fire on the doomed vessel. A scene maintained, and both men and officers were steadily improving of indescribable confusion followed. The vessel sank with her in the knowledge of their profession. During a temporary living freight, a few escaped by swimming to a neighbouring absence of Admiral Ting, however, the Chinese second in command island, three of the British officers were picked up by Japanese claimed the right to take charge, –a claim which Admiral Lang boats, and all the rest perished. Formal declarations of war soon naturally resented. The question was referred to Li Hung-Chang, followed. The first battle was fought at Asan on the 27th July, who decided against Admiral Lang, whereupon the latter, feeling The Japanese attack was repulsed, but the Chinese evacuated that his authority to maintain discipline was gone, threw up his their position during the night and retreated northwards. A commission. His resignation was accepted, and he left, never to series of desultory skirmishes followed, but the only real stand return. From this point the fleet on which so much depended the Chinese made was at Pingyang. The division under General began to deteriorate. Superior officers again began to steal the Tso—the only capable and honest general in the Chinese armymen's pay, the ships were starved, shells filled with charcoal offered a stubborn resistance till their leader was killed, when instead of powder were supplied, accounts were cooked, and all the they turned and fled. The defeat became a rout, and left corruption and malfeasance that were rampant in the army crept the road to China open to the victorious Japanese. Two days back into the navy. It is needless to point the moral. Chinese afterwards, on the 17th September, the naval engagement of superciliousness, jealousy of foreigners, and contempt of foreign Yaloo was fought. The Chinese fleet possessed two ironclads instruction, once more proved her ruin. What th dismissal heavier than anything in the Japanese navy, but it was hopeof Admiral Lang cost her was soon to be proved in the fatal | lessly out-manoeuvred by the Japanese and lost heavily. Five battle of the Yaloo. Meanwhile things had not been going vessels were sunk, burnt, or driven ashore. Night coming on, well in other respects. Excessive taxation and misgovernment the Japanese drew off, and the remainder of the Chinese squadron produced a general feeling of unrest which continued throughout was allowed to seek shelter in Port Arthur. They did not ven1889-90-91. Rumours of risings and rebellions were prevalent, ture to put to sea again, and in the end were captured or destroyed promoted, it was said, by secret societies, chief of which was the in the harbour of Wei-hai-wei in February of the following year. “Ko lao hwei,” or Old Brotherhood Society. Numerous arrests On land the Japanese continued their progress, crossed the Yaloo and executions took place, especially in the Yangtse valley. In river, and entered Chinese territory on 24th October. City 1891 there was a series of violent anti-foreign outbreaks in the after city fell into their hands, and Newchwang, a treaty port, same region. At Wusieh, two Englishmen were murdered, and was occupied on the 4th March. Meanwhile a second Japanese at Wuhu, Ichang, and Kiukiang, attacks were made on the foreign army had landed on the Linotung peninsula, and captured the settlements and serious damage was done. Many missionary navál stronghold of Port Arthur on 22nd November. A third establishments in the interior were destroyed. The origin of expedition was launched against Wei-hai-wei, where the Chinese these outbreaks was the same old story. Placards were circulated fleet had now sought refuge. In spite of the inclemency of the accusing foreigners of kidnapping children and of murdering them winter, operations were vigorously pursued by land and sea, and in order to boil down their eyes, brains, etc., for medicine. Mis on 12th February 1895 the fortress and fleet were surrendered. sionaries were charged with the grossest immorality, and with Admiral Ting and the general commanding committed suicide. using religion as a cloak to the vilest offences. It was found that Further resistance was hopeless, and negotiations were opened a society in Hunan, at the head of which was a notorious ex
After two abortive missions, which the Japanese reofficial named Chou Han, had been flooding the country with fused as being unprovided with sufficient powers, Li Hung-Chang incendiary literature of this class. Repeated efforts were made to was sent as plenipotentiary, and on 17th April 1895 the treaty secure the punishment of these instigators, but with indifferent of Shimonoseki was signed. The terms included the cession of
i the Chinese Government, though not exactly screening Liaotung peninsula, then in actual occupation by the Japanese the offenders, took no energetic measures to put a stop to the troops, the cession of the island of Formosa, an indemnity of calumnies. The anti-foreign agitation, however, gradually died H. taels 200,000,000 (about £30,000,000), and various commercial out and things reverted to the normal condition. There appeared privileges. even a prospect of considerable railway development—the leading The signature of this treaty brought the European Powers on officials having at last come round to the opinion that railways the scene. It had been for some time the avowed ambition of might be beneficial at least for strategic purposes.
Russia to obtain an ice-free port as an outlet to her Siberian Wo pass on to 1891, a year which was fraught with momentous possessions—an ambition which was considered by British statesconsequences to China, inasmuch as it witnessed the outbreak men as not unreasonable. It did not, therefore, at all suit her
of the Japanese war. It opened auspiciously, for in purposes to see the rising power of Japan seated along the Gulf of Japan.
November was to be celebrated the 60th anniversary Liaotung, and by implication commanding the whole of the coast
of the birth of the empress-dowager. It was resolved line of Korea. Even before proceeding to Shimonoseki, Li Hungthat it should be marked with unusual magnificence, and loyal Chang is believed to have received assurances from Russia that contributions poured in from all parts. In the spring, however, she would not allow any cession of territory in that region to the state of Korea began to attract attention. A series of chronic become operative. At any rate, in the interval between the rebellions had baffled the authorities, and help from China was signature and the ratification of the treaty, invitations were asked for. China responded and sent 2000 men under General addressed by Russia to the Great Powers to intervene with a Yeh, notifying Japan of the fact, as she was bound to do under view to its modification on the ground of the disthe convention of 1885. Japan replied by sending troops also,
European turbance of the balance of power, and the menace to
intervennominally to guard her legation, which she had a right to do China which the occupation of Port Arthur by the
tion. under the same convention. The rebellion was stamped out, Japanese would involve. France and Germany acand then China proposed that both sides should withdraw. Japan cepted the invitation, Great Britain declined. In the end the made a counter proposal that both should join in imposing three Powers brought such pressure to bear on Japan that she such reforms on Korea as would prevent a recurrence of these gave up the whole of her continental acquisitions, retaining only internal dissensions. This, in turn, China refused, alleging once the island of Formosa. The indemnity was on the other hand more that she was not wont to interfere with the domestic affairs increased by H. taels 30,000,000. For the time the integrity of of her vassals. Again Japan retorted, denying the alleged China seemed to be preserved, and Russia, France, and Germany suzerainty, and intimating that whether China joined or not she could pose as her friends. Great Britain, who had taken no proposed to prosecute her schemes of reform, and would keep | hand in the retrocession, was looked on with coldness, and China
even bore her a grudge because she had not at an early period | pleased to call the generosity of China, Germany alone had so stepped in and put a stop to the war. Li Hung-Chang, who far received no reward for her share in compelling the retrohad had his honours restored, was personally grateful to Russia cession of Liaotung; but, in November 1897, she proceeded to for having extricated him from a very awkward position, and help herself by seizing the Bay of Kiaochow in the
Klaochow, cherished the general grudge against England in an unusual province of Shantung. The act was done ostensibly degree, a state of mind of which Russia is believed to have taken in order to compel satisfaction for the murder of two
Arthur, full advantage during that statesman's sojourn at the Russian German missionaries, which had been perpetrated a
Wei-haicourt as special representative of the Chinese emperor at the few weeks before, but it soon was found that she was wei. Tsar's coronation. Ample evidence was indeed soon forthcoming determined to hold the place in any event. A cession that Russia and France had not been quite disinterested in rescu was ultimately made by way of a lease for a term of ninety-nine years ing Chinese territory from the Japanese grasp, for each began to —Germany to have full territorial jurisdiction during the conclaim a reward as evidence of the imperial gratitude. Russia tinuance of the lease, with liberty to erect fortifications, build obtained the right to carry the Siberian railway, which, for the docks, and exercise all the rights of sovereignty. In December past four or five years, she had been pressing on with eagerness, the Russian fleet was sent to winter in Port Arthur, and though across Chinese territory from Stretensk to Vladivostock, thus this was at first described as a temporary measure, its object was avoiding a long détour, besides giving a grasp on northern Man- speedily disclosed by a request made, in January 1898, by the churia. France obtained, by a convention dated 20th June 1895, Russian ambassador in London that two British cruisers, then a rectification of frontier in the Mekong valley and certain rail also anchored at Port Arthur, should be withdrawn "in order to way and mining rights in Kiangsi and Yunnan. Both Powers avoid friction in the Russian sphere of influence.” They left obtained concessions of land at Hankow for the purposes of a shortly afterwards, and their departure in the circumstances was settlement. Russia was also said to have negotiated a secret regarded as a blow to Great Britain's prestige in the Far East. treaty, frequently described as the “Cassini Convention,” but In March the Russian Government peremptorily demanded a more probably signed by Li Hung-Chang at Moscow, giving her lease of Port Arthur and the adjoining anchorage of Talienwanthe right in certain contingencies to Port Arthur, which was to a demand which China could not resist without foreign support. be refortified with Russian assistance. And by way of further After an acrimonious correspondence with the Russian Governsecuring her hold, Russia guaranteed a 4 per cent. loan of ment Great Britain acquiesced in the fait accompli. The Russian £15,000,000 issued in Paris to enable China to pay off the first occupation of Port Arthur was immediately followed by a coninstalment of the Japanese indemnity.
cession to build a line of railway from that point northwards to The convention between France and China of 20th June 1895 connect with the Siberian trunk line in north Manchuria. As a brought China into sharp conflict with Great Britain, and gave counterpoise to the growth of Russian influence in the north, Mekong
rise to important negotiations which must be briefly Great Britain obtained a lease of Wei-hai-wei, and formally took
noticed. China, having by the Burma convention of possession of it on its evacuation by the Japanese troops in May valley dispute.
1898. 1886 agreed to recognize British sovereignty over
Burma, her quondam feudatory, also agreed to a After much hesitation the Chinese Government had at last delimitation of boundaries at the proper time. Effect was resolved to per the construction of railways with rei given to this last stipulation by a subsequent convention con capital. An influential official named Sheng Hsuan-hwai was cluded in London (1st March 1894), which traced the boundary appointed director-general of railways, and empowered to enter line from the Shan states on the west as far as the Mekong river into negotiations with foreign capitalists for that purpose. A on the east. In the Mekong valley there were two semi-inde keen competition thereupon ensued between syndicates of different pendent native territories over which suzerainty had been claimed nationalities, and itheir claims being espoused by their various in times gone by both by the kings of Ava and by the Chinese Governments an equally keen international rivalry was set up. emperors. These territories were named Meng Lun and Kiang Germany had insisted upon obtaining as part of the Kiaochow Hung—the latter lying partly on one side and partly on the settlement certain preferential railway and mining rights in the other of the Mekong river, south of the point where it issues from province of Shantung. France had previously obtained a similar Chinese territory. The boundary line was so drawn as to leave recognition for the southern provinces of Kwangsi and Yunnan, both these territories to China, but in consideration of the fact and Russia indicated clearly that she considered Manchuria as that Great Britain was surrendering to China territory over which her particular field of exploitation. Great Britain, though inshe might claim sovereignty as successor to the kings of Ava, and timating her preference for the “open door policy,
* Open in respect of which sovereign rights had in point of fact been meaning equal opportunity for all, yet found herself
door, recently exercised, it was stipulated that China should not alienate compelled to fall in with the general movement to
and any portion of these territories to any other Power without the pre wards what became known as the “spheres of in
* spheres vious consent of Great Britain. The Power contemplated, though fluence” policy, and claimed the Yangtse valley as not named, was France, who by a treaty with Siam, concluded in her particular sphere. This she did by the somewhat
fluence." 1893, had pushed the boundary of her Annamese possessions up to negative method of obtaining from the Chinese Governthe left bank of the Mekong, and it was desired to interpose this ment a declaration that no part of the Yangtse valley should be particular territory as a sort of buffer, so as to avoid any conflict alienated to any foreign Power. A more formal recognition of of French and British interests in this remote and difficult region. the claim, as far as railway enterprise was concerned, was emThis object was frustrated by the convention between France and bodied in an agreement (28th April 1899) between Great Britain China of 1895. Yielding to French pressure, and regardless of the and Russia, and communicated to the Chinese Government, undertaking she had entered into with Great Britain, China so whereby the Russian Government agreed not to seek for any drew the boundary line as to cede to France that portion of the concessions within the Yangtse valley, including all thc proterritory of Kiang Hung which lay on the left bank of the Mekong. vinces bordering on the great river, together with Chekiang and Compensation was demanded from China for this breach of_faith, Honan, the British Government entering into a similar underand at the same time negotiations were entered into with France taking in regard to the Chinese dominions north of the Great for the better determining of the interests of the two countries in Wall. (A supplementary exchange of notes of the same date Siam and the territories lying between Siam and the Chinese excepted from the scope of this agreement the Shan-hai-kwanfrontier. These resulted in a joint declaration by the Govern- Newchwang extension which had already been conceded to the ments of France and Great Britain, dated 15th January 1896, by Hongkong and Shanghai Bank.) A similar promise of nonwhich it was agreed as regards boundary that the Mekong alienation in respect of the province of Fuhkien was made to from the point of its confluence with the Nam Huok north the Japanese Government (April 1898), which thus earmarked wards as far as the Chinese frontier should be the dividing that province as the Japanese sphere. As a general partition line between the possessions or spheres of influence of the two seemed thus to be in progress the Italian Government stepped in Powers. It was also agreed that any commercial privileges and applied for a lease of a coaling station at Sanmun, on the obtained by either Power in Yunnan or Szechuen should be open coast of Chekiang, together with a grant of railway and mining to the subjects of the other. The negotiations with China resulted rights in that province. The manner in which the request was in a further agreement, dated 4th February 1897, whereby con put forward gave offence to the Yamen, and a blunt refusal was siderable modifications in favour of Great Britain were made in returned. The incident gave rise to much feeling both in Peking the Burma boundary drawn by the 1894 convention. The net and Rome. The Italian minister was recalled, but his successor result of these various conventions is, that from the Gulf of Tong- fared no better. China, apprehending a repetition of the Kiaochow king westwards, as far as the Mekong, the French Annamese incident, sent orders to the local troops to resist a landing if such possessions are coterminous with the southern frontier of China, should be attempted on the part of the Italian men-of-war. No and from the Mekong as far as the confines of Assam the British landing, however, was attempted, and though negotiations were Burmese possessions are coterminous with the south-western continued the demand has not been further pressed. frontier. In the middle where the possessions meet, the Mekong, In 1899 Talienwan and Kiaochow were respectively thrown from the frontier of China down to the northern boundary of Siam, open by Russia and Germany to foreign trade, and, encouraged is the dividing line.
by these measures, the United States Government initiated in While Russia and France were profiting by what they were September of the same year a correspondence with the great
European Powers and Japan, with a view to securing their definite | Yangtse, as also the Shansi Mining Companies' lines, were adhesion to the "open-door” policy. The British Government secured. A contract for a trunk line from Canton to Hankow gave an unqualified approval to the American proposal, and the was negotiated in the latter part of the same year (1898) by an replies of the other Powers, though more guarded, were accepted American company, which completed the list for the time being. at Washington as satisfactory. A further and more definite step It would have been more satisfactory if these various concessions, towards securing the maintenance of the “open door” in China instead of being wrung out of the weakness of China by the was the agreement concluded in October 1900 between the British rivalry of foreign Powers, had been freely granted in the confidence and German Governments. The signatories, by the first two articles, of strength. agreed to endeavour to keep the ports on the rivers and littoral There can indeed be little doubt that the Powers, engrossed free and open to international trade and economic activity, and in the diplomatic conflicts of which Peking was the centre, had to uphold this rule for all Chinese territory as far as (wo in the entirely underrated the reactionary forces gradually
The reform German counterpart) they could exercise influence ; not to use the mustering for a final struggle against the aggressive
movement. existing complications to obtain territorial advantages in Chinese spirit of Western civilization. The lamentable condominions, and to seek to maintain undiminished the territorial sequences of administrative corruption and incompetence, and condition of the Chinese empire. By a third article they reserved the superiority of foreign methods which had been amply illustheir right to come to a preliminary understanding for the pro trated by the Japanese war, had at first produced a considertection of their interests in China, should any other Power use able impression, not only upon the more enlightened commercial those complications to obtain such territorial advantages under classes, but even upon many of the younger members of the any form whatever. On the submission of the agreement under official classes in China. The dowager-empress, who, in spite the fourth and last article to the Powers interested, Austria, of the emperor Kwang Su having nominally attained his France, Italy, and Japan accepted its principles without express majority, had retained practical control of the supreme power reservation—Japan first requesting and obtaining assurances that until the conflict with Japan, had been held, not unjustly, she signed on the same footing as an original signatory. The to blame for the disasters of the war, and even before its concluUnited States accepted the first two articles, but expressed no sion the young emperor was adjured by some of the most opinion on the third. Russia construed the first as limited to responsible among his own subjects to shake himself free from ports actually open in regions where the two signatories exercise the baneful restraint of “petticoat government,” and himself To their” influence, and favourably entertained it in that sense, take the helm. In the following years a Reform Movement, unignoring the reference to other forms of economic activity. She doubtedly genuine, though opinions differ as to the value of the fully accepted the second, and observed that in the contingency popular support which it claimed, spread throughout the central contemplated by the third, she would modify her attitude accord and southern provinces of the empire. One of the most signiing to circumstances.
ficant symptoms was the relatively large demand which suddenly Meanwhile, negotiations carried on by the British minister at arose for the translations of foreign works and similar publicaPeking during 1898 resulted in the grant of very important privi tions in the Chinese language which philanthropic societies, such leges to foreign commerce. The payment of the second instalment as that “for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge of the Japanese indemnity was becoming due, and it was much amongst the Chinese,” had been trying for some time past to discussed how and on what terms China would be able to raise popularize, though hitherto with scant success. Chinese news the amount. The Russian Government, as has been stated, had papers published in the treaty ports spread the ferment of new made China a loan of the sum required for the first portion of the ideas far into the interior. Fifteen hundred young men of good indemnity, viz., £15,000,000, taking a charge on the customs family applied to enter the foreign university at Peking, and in revenue as security. The British Government was urged to make some of the provincial towns the Chinese themselves subscribed a like loan of £16,000,000 both as a matter of friendship to China towards the opening of foreign schools. Reform societies, which and as a counterpoise to the Russian influence. An arrangement not infrequently enjoyed official countenance, sprang up in many was come to accordingly, on very favourable terms financially to of the large towns, and found numerous adherents amongst the the Chinese, but at the last moment they drew back, being younger literati. Early in 1898 the emperor, who had gradually overawed, as they said, by the threatening attitude of Russia. emancipated himself from the dowager-empress's control, sumTaking advantage of the position which this refusal gave him, the moned several of the reform leaders to Peking, and requested British minister obtained from the Tsung-Li-Yamen, besides the their advice with regard to the progressive measures which declaration as to the non-alienation of the Yangtse valley above should be introduced into the government of the empire. Chief mentioned, an undertaking to throw the whole of the inland amongst these reformers was Kang Yu-wei, a Cantonese, whose waterways open to steam traffic. The Chinese Government at scholarly attainments, combined with novel teachings, earned for the same time undertook that the post of inspector-general of him from his followers the title of the “Modern Sage.” Of his customs should always be held by an Englishman so long as the more or less active sympathizers who had subsequently to suffer trade of Great Britain was greater than that of any other nation. with him in the cause of reform, the most prominent were Chang Minor concessions were also made, such as the opening of new Yin-huan, a member of the Grand Council and of the Tsung-Liports, but the opening of the waterways is by far the greatest Yamen, who had represented his sovereign at Queen Victoria's advance that has been made since 1860. The privilege is jubilee in 1897 ; Chin Pao-chen, governor of Hu-nan ; Liang Chihampered as yet by the obstruction of the likin service, but as chao, the editor of the reformers' organ, Chinese Progress ; Su Chithe Chinese have applied for a general revision of the treaty ching, a reader of the Hanlin College, the educational stronghold tariffs it may be presumed that the occasion will be used to put of Chinese conservatism ; and his son Su In-chi, also a Hanlin the inland revenue tariff on a more satisfactory footing.
man and provincial chancellor of public instruction in Hu-nan. Of still greater importance are the railway and mining con It soon became evident that there was no more enthusiastic cessions granted during the same year (1898), a list of which advocate of the new ideas than the emperor himself. Within a has already been given above. The Chinese Government had few months the vermilion pencil gave the imperial
The reform been generally disposed to railway construction since the con sanction to a succession of edicts which, had they been
edicts. clusion of the Japanese war, but hoped to be able to retain carried into effect, would have amounted to a revoluthe control in their own hands. The masterful methods of tion as far-reaching as that which had transformed Japan thirty Russia and Germany had obliged them to surrender this control years previously. The fossilized system of examinations for the so far as concerned Manchuria and Shantung, the lines in which public service was to be altogether superseded by a new schedule were left to be financed and worked by the Powers interested. In based on foreign learning, for the better promotion of which a the Yangtse valley, Sheng, the director - general of railways, number of temples were to be converted into schools for Western had been negotiating with several competing syndicates, playing education ; a state department was to be created for the translaone off against the other to force better terms. One of these was tion and dissemination of the standard works of Western literature a Franco-Belgian syndicate, which was endeavouring to obtain and science ; even the scions of the ruling Manchu race were to the trunk line from Hankow to Peking. A British company was be compelled to study foreign languages and travel abroad ; and tendering for the same work, and as the line lay mainly within last, but not least, all useless offices both in Peking and in the the British sphere it was considered not unreasonable to expect it provinces were to be abolished. A further edict was even reported should be given to the latter. At a critical moment, however, to be in contemplation, doing away with the queue or pigtail, which, the French and Russian ministers intervened, and practically originally imposed upon the Chinese by their Manchu conquerors forced the Yamen to grant a contract in favour of the Franco as a badge of subjection, had gradually become the most characterBelgian company. The Yamen had only a few days before istic and most cherished feature of the national dress. Had China explicitly promised the British minister that the contract should possessed a governing class imbued with similar enlightened not be ratified without his having an opportunity of seeing it. patriotism to that which induced the Japanese daimios in As a penalty for this breach of faith, and as a set-off to the 1869 to sacrifice their feudal rights in the interests of national Franco-Belgian line, the British minister required the immediate regeneration, even the crude series of imperial edicts drawn up grant of all the railway concessions for which British syndicates by Kang Yu-wei might have proved the starting-point of a new were then neg ting, and on terms not inferior to those granted But the bureaucracy of China, which had battened for cento the Belgian line. In this way all the lines in the lower turies on corruption and ignorance, had no taste for self-sacrifice.