Page images


Other vested interests felt themselves equally threatened. The it appears to have been in the first instance a secret association priests, whose temples were to be alienated; the military man- of malcontents chiefly drawn from the lower classes. Popular darins, who were led to believe that the army was going to be disaffection in China generally assumes some such shape, and handed over to foreign instructors; and, above all, the imperial there can be little doubt that with the waning prestige of the clansmen and bannermen, the eunuchs, and other hangers-on of dynasty, undermined by the Japanese war and foreign encroachthe palace, whose existence was bound up with all the worst ments, not less than by the family feud between the emperor traditions of Oriental misgovernment, were all equally alarmed, and the dowager-empress, a dangerous spirit of unrest was abroad and behind them stood the whole latent force of popular supersti- amongst all classes. The Tsing dynasty was reaching what tion and unreasoning conservatism.

would seem to be the allotted span of Chinese dynasties, its The dowager-empress saw her opportunity. The Summer tenure of power having already lasted longer than that of any of Palace, to which she had retired, had been for some time the the last twenty dynasties, excepting its immediate predecessors,

centre of resistance to the new movement, and in the the Mings, and neither omens nor predictions were wanting to The coup middle of September 1898 a report became current foreshadow its downfall. Whether the empress Tsu Tsi and her

that, in order to put an end to the obstruction which Manchu advisers had deliberately set themselves from the beginhampered his reform policy, the emperor intended to seize the ning to avert the danger by deflecting what might have been a reperson of the dowager-empress and have her deported into the volutionary movement into anti-foreign channels, or whether with interior. Some colour was given to this report by an official | Oriental heedlessness they had allowed it to grow until they were announcement that the emperor would hold a review of the powerless to control it, they had unquestionably resolved to take foreign-drilled troops at Tientsin, and had 'summoned Yuan Shih- it under their protection before the foreign representatives at kai, their general, to Peking in order to confer with him on the Peking had realised its gravity. Yü Hsien, one of its earliest necessary arrangements. But the reformers had neglected to patrons, had indeed been recalled on their representations from secure the goodwill of the army, which was still entirely in the Shantung, where he had given open support to the Boxer organizahands of the reactionaries. During the night of the 20th of tion, but only to be loaded with honours by the empress and September the palace of the emperor was occupied by the soldiers, transferred to the province of Shansi. The outrages upon native and on the following day Kwang Su, who was henceforth virtually Christians and the threats against foreigners generally went on a prisoner in the hands of the empress, was made to issue an increasing. The Boxers openly displayed on their banners the edict restoring her regency. Kang Yu-wei, warned at the last device: Exterminate the foreigners and save the dynasty,” yet moment by an urgent message from the emperor, succeeded in the representatives of the Powers were unable to obtain any escaping, but many of the most prominent reformers were arrested, effective measures against the so-called “rebels,” or even a definite and six of them were promptly executed. The Peking Gazette condemnation of their methods. announced a few days later that the emperor himself was danger- Four months (January-April 1900) were spent in futile interously ill, and his life might well have been despaired of had not views with the Tsung-Li-Yamen, who, encouraged, no doubt, by the British minister represented in very emphatic terms the the fact that the Russian minister for a long time serious consequences which might ensue if anything happened to held conspicuously aloof from the protests of his Diplomacy

at bay. him. Drastic measures were, however, adopted to stamp out the colleagues, treated the remonstrances of the Powers reform movement in the provinces as well as in the capital. The with growing contempt. In May a number of Christian reform edicts were cancelled, the reformers' associations were dis- villages were destroyed and native converts massacred in the solved, their newspapers suppressed, and those who did not care neighbourhood of the capital, and Mgr. Favier, the venerable to save themselves by a hasty recantation of their errors were head of the Roman Catholic missions in China, described the imprisoned, proscribed, or exiled. In October the reaction had situation as the gravest within his long memory. On the 2nd already been accompanied by such a recrudescence of anti-foreign June two English missionaries, Mr Robinson and Mr_Norman, feeling that the foreign ministers at Peking had to bring up were murdered at Yung Ching, 40 miles from Peking. The whole guards from the fleet for the protection of the legations, and to country was overrun with bands of Boxers, who tore up the raildemand the removal from the capital of the disorderly Kansu way and set fire to the stations at different points on the Peking, soldiery which subsequently played so sinister a part in the troubles Tientsin line. Fortunately a mixed body of marines and of June 1900. But the unpleasant impression produced by these bluejackets of various nationalities, numbering 18 officers and incidents was in a great measure removed by the demonstrative 389 men, had reached Peking on 1st June for the protection of the reception which the empress Tsu Tsi gave on 15th October to legations. The whole city was in a state of turmoil. Murder the wives of the foreign representatives—an international act of and pillage were of daily occurrence. Prince Tuan and the courtesy unprecedented in the annals of the Chinese court. Manchus generally, together with the Kansu soldiery under the

One of the most significant features of the coup d'état of 1898 notorious Tung-fu-hsiang, openly sided with the Boxers. The was the decisive part played in it by the Manchus, whose ascend- European residents and a large number of native converts took Manchu

ancy in the councils of the dowager-empress became refuge in the British legation, the largest and most central ascend

more and more marked. Manchus were substituted compound in the foreign quarter, where preparations were hastily

for Chinamen in many of the higher offices of the made on all sides in view of a threatened attack. On the 11th ancy.

state, and even Li Hung-Chang's position was shaken. the chancellor of the Japanese legation was murdered by Chinese Though he was the only prominent Chinese statesman who had soldiers. On the night of the 13th most of the foreign buildings, actively supported the empress, he was temporarily removed from churches, and mission houses in the eastern part of the Tartar city the capital, under pretext of a special mission to inspect the were pillaged and burnt, and hundreds of native Christians course of the Yellow river in Shantung. The reactionary tide massacred. The work of destruction continued for days unchecked continued to rise throughout the year 1899, but it did not appear by any Chinese authority, and on 20th June the German minister, materially to affect the foreign relations of China, the dilatoriness Baron von Ketteler, was murdered whilst on his way to the and ill-will exhibited by the Tsung-Li-Yamen with respect to the Tsung-Li-Yamen, and there is little doubt that the same fate had punishment of the murderers of Mr Fleming and to other anti- been prepared for all the other foreign representatives, who were foreign outrages amounting to little more than the usual practice expected to visit the Yamen, as negotiations were proceeding of the Chinese Government in such matters. On 24th January with regard to a summons sent to them on the previous day to 1900 the Peking Gazette published

an imperial edict appointing leave Peking within twenty-four hours. At 4 P.M. on the afteras heir-presumptive to the throne Pu Chün, a son of Prince noon of the 20th the Chinese troops opened fire upon the legations, Tuan (himself son to Prince Tun and grandson to the emperor and the eight weeks' siege began which will remain memorable in Tao-kwang), which was generally regarded in China as a pre- history as one of the most splendid instances of what the heroism liminary step to the formal deposition of the emperor Kwang Su. and intelligence of a handful of Europeans can achieve against Influential memorials from Chinese officials deprecating any such

Asiatic hordes. measure would seem to have deterred the empress from following Meanwhile Peking had been completely cut off since the 14th up her original intention, but the choice of two rabid anti-foreign from all communication with the outside world, and in view of officials as tutors to Pu Chün, together with the prestige conferred the gravity of the situation, naval and military forces

Action upon Prince Tuan, one of the most reactionary of the Manchu were being hurried up by all the Powers to the gulf

of the princes, afforded a startling indication of the spirit which already of Pe Chili. On 10th June Admiral Seymour had

Powers. prevailed in court circles.

already left Tientsin with a mixed force of 2000 A few weeks earlier the brutal murder of Mr Brooks, an English British, Russian, French, Germans, Austrians, Italians, Americans, missionary, in Shantung, had compelled attention to a popular and Japanese, to repair the railway and restore communication The Boxer

movement which had been spreading rapidly through- with Peking. But his expedition met with unexpectedly severe move

out that province and the adjoining one of Chill-li resistance, the line was torn up in its rear, and, unprovided with meat.

with the connivance of certain high officials, if not transport or supplies, it had great difficulty in making good its

under their direct patronage. The origin of the retreat after suffering heavy losses. Great anxiety prevailed for "Boxer” movement is obscure. Its name is derived from a some days as to its fate, and no definite tidings of its whereabouts literal translation of the Chinese designation,' “The fist of were received until it had fought its way back to within a day's righteous harmony." Like the kindred Big Sword ” Society,

march of Tientsin. When it reached Tientsin again on 26th


June, the British contingent of 915 men had alone lost 124 well as Prince Ching and a few other influential mandarins, killed and wounded out of a total casualty list of 62 killed strongly protested against the empress's decision, but it was and 218 wounded. The Chinese had in the meantime made a acclaimed by the vast majority of those present. The moderate determined attack upon the foreign settlements at Tientsin, and party was probably not in a position to do more than act as communication between the city and the sea being also threatened, a drag upon the more violent faction. Three members of the the allied admirals had demanded on the 16th the surrender of the Tsung-Li-Yamen were publicly executed for attempting to modify Taku forts at the mouth of the Pei-ho. The Chinese replied to the terms of an imperial edict ordering the massacre of all the ultimatum by opening fire with great vigour during the foreigners throughout the provinces, and most of the Manchu following night, whereupon a flotilla of British, French, German, nobles and high officials, and the eunuchs of the palace, who Japanese, and Russian gunboats bombarded the forts, which were have played an important part in Chinese politics throughout captured by landing parties early on the 17th. The situation at the dowager-empress's tenure of power, were heart and soul Tientsin, nevertheless, continued precarious, and it was not till with the Boxers. But it was noted by the defenders of the the arrival of considerable reinforcements that the troops of the legations that Prince Ching's troops seldom took part, or only in allied Powers were able to assume the offensive, taking the native a half-hearted way, in the fighting, which was chiefly conducted city by storm on 14th July, at a cost, however, of over 700 killed by Tung-fu-hsiang's soldiery and the Boxer levies. The modern and wounded. Even in this emergency international jealousy had artillery which the Chinese possessed was only spasmodically grievously delayed the necessary concentration of forces. Three brought into play. Nor did any of the attacking parties ever British brigades were ordered up from India, a few French colonial show the fearlessness and determination which the Chinese had regiments were sent on from Saigon, the Americans detached a body somewhat unexpectedly displayed on several occasions during of

troops from the Philippines, the Russians despatched a brigade | the fighting at and around Tientsin. Nevertheless, the position from Port Arthur, though their military resources were severely of the defenders at the end of the first four weeks of the siege taxed by the simultaneous outbreak of hostilities in Manchuria, had grown well-nigh desperate. Mining and incendiarism proved and preparations were made in Germany, France, and Italy, to far greater dangers than shot and shell. The Japanese had been send out fresh contingents, the German force alone numbering forced back to their third and last line of defence in the Fu, and over 20,000 men. But the situation required immediate action. two-thirds of the French legation had been destroyed or wrested No power was so favourably situated to take such action as Japan, from its heroic defenders. The British legation was being hard and the British Government, who had strongly urged her to act pressed from the Mongol market as well as from the Imperial speedily and energetically, undertook at her request to sound the Carriage Park, and the fighting on the city walls was severe and other Powers with regard to her intervention. No definite unceasing The casualty list, amongst the officers especially, objection was raised, but the replies of Germany and Russia barely was heavy, and the need of constant watchfulness along the disguised their ill-humour. Great Britain herself went so far as whole line of defences was a great strain upon the physical to offer Japan the assistance of the British treasury, in case finan- endurance of the attenuated garrison. Suddenly, just when cial difficulties stood in the way, but on the same day on which things were looking blackest, on the 17th of July the Chinese this proposal was telegraphed to Tokio (6th July), the Japanese ceased firing, and a sort of informal armistice secured a period Government had decided to embark forth with the two divisions of respite for the beleaguered Europeans. The capture of the which it had already mobilized. By the beginning of August native city of Tientsin by the allied forces had shaken the one of the Indian brigades had also reached Tientsin, together self-confidence of the Chinese authorities, who had hitherto with smaller reinforcements sent by the other Powers, and thanks not only countenanced, but themselves directed the hostilities. chiefly to the energetic counsels of the British commander, General By a curious coincidence it was just at the time when the Sir Alfred Gaselee, a relief column, numbering 20,000 men, at last besiegers were relaxing their efforts that the intense anxiety of set out for Peking on 4th August, a British naval brigade having the civilized world with regard to the fate of the besieged started up river the previous afternoon. It met with only half- reached its culminating point. Circumstantial accounts of the hearted resistance, and after a series of small engagements and fall of the legations and the massacre of_their inmates were very trying marches it arrived within striking distance of Peking circulated in Shanghai and telegraphed to Europe, and coupled on the evening of the 13th. The Russians tried to steal a march with the despairing tone of the few messages which had been upon the allies during the night, but were checked at the walls smuggled out of Peking in June—more especially Sir Robert and suffered heavy losses. The Japanese attacked another point Hart's message of 24th June -- and with the admissions of the walls the next morning, but met with fierce opposition, made by Chinese provincial officials, these reports found general whilst the Americans were delayed by getting entangled in the credence. Mr Brodrick, under-secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, Russian line of advance. The British contingent was more for- officially stated in the House of Commons on 17th July, that tunate, and skilfully guided to an unguarded water-gate, General though the British Government had no direct confirmation of Gaselee and a party of Sikhs were the first to force their way these painful rumours, they had, unfortunately, little reason to with trifling loss through to the British legation. About 2 P.M. regard them as otherwise than substantially correct. It was not on the afternoon of 14th August, the long siege was raised. till the following week that an authentic message received through

For nearly six weeks after the first interruption of communi- the Chinese legation at Washington from the American minister cations, no news reached the outside world from Peking except a proved these fears to be premature. Similar telegrams followed

few belated messages, smuggled through the Chinese from Sir Claude Macdonald and other foreign representatives, and The siege lines by native runners, urging the imperative necessity various communications from the Chinese Government, though the

of legations.

prompt relief. During the greater part of that pacific assurances they contained were largely mendacious, showed

period the foreign quarter was subjected to heavy rifle that they were at any rate growing alarmed at the consequences and artillery fire, and the continuous fighting at close quarters of their outrageous action. Desultory fighting, nevertheless, conwith the hordes of Chinese regulars, as well as Boxers, decimated tinued, and grave fears were entertained that the approach of the the scanty ranks of the defenders. The supply of both ammuni- relief column would prove the signal for a desperate attempt to tion and food was slender. But the heroism displayed by civilians rush the legations before effectual assistance could reach them. and professional combatants alike was inexhaustible. Some of The attempt was macle, but failed. The relief, however, came not the legations were totally or partially destroyed. In their a day too soon. Of thé small band of defenders which, including anxiety to burn out the British legation, the Chinese did not civilian volunteers, had never mustered 500, 65 had been killed hesitate to set fire to the adjoining buildings of the Hanlin, and 131 wounded. Ammunition and provisions were almost at an the ancient seat of Chinese classical learning, and the store- end. Even more desperate was the situation at the Pei-tang, the house of priceless literary treasures and state archives. The Roman Catholic northern cathedral and mission house, where Fu, or palace, of Prince Su, separated only by a canal from the with the help of a small body of French and Italian marines, British legation, formed the centre of the international position, Mgr. Favier had organized an independent centre of resistance for and was held with indomitable valour by a small Japanese force his community of over 3000 souls. Their rations were absolutely under Colonel Sheba, assisted by a few Italian marines and exhausted, when on 15th August a relief party was despatched to volunteers of other nationalities and a number of Christian their assistance from the legations. Chinese. The French legation on the extreme right, and the The ruin wrought in Peking during the two months' fighting section of the city wall held chiefly by Germans and Americans, was appalling. Apart from the wholesale destruction of foreign were also points of vital importance which had to bear the brunt property in the Tartar city-mission houses, churches,

The of the Chinese attack. Little is known as to what passed in the hospitals, native stores where foreign goods had been

condition councils of the Chinese court during the siege. But there is sold, native houses suspected of any connexion or

of Peking. reason to believe that throughout that period grave divergences sympathy with foreigners—and of Chinese as well of opinion existed amongst the highest officials. The attack as European buildings in the vicinity of the legations, the upon the legations appears to have received the sanction of the wealthiest part of the Chinese city had been laid in ashes. dowager-empress, acting upon the advice of Prince Tuan and the The flames from a foreign drug store fired by the Boxers extreme Manchu party, at a grand council held during the night had spread to the adjoining buildings, and finally consumed of 18th-19th June, upon receipt of the news of the capture of the the whole of the business quarter with all its invaluable stores Taku forts by the international forces. The emperor himself, as of silks, curiosities, furs, &c. The retribution which overtook Peking after its capture by the international forces was scarcely been maintained by the energy of the viceroys of Nanking and less terrible. Looting was for some days almost universal. But Wu-chang, who had acted throughout the critical period in loyal it would have been well, for the credit of Western civilization and co-operation with the British consuls and naval commanders, and Christianity, had the reprisals exercised by some of the foreign had courageously disregarded the imperial edicts issued during contingents been confined to looting. The whole city was divided the ascendancy of the Boxers. After some hesitation, an Indian up into separate areas of occupation between the contingents of brigade, followed by French, German, and Japanese contingents, different nationalities, and in the Russian and French quarters had been landed at Shanghai for the protection of the settlements, unbridled license prevailed for some time. It should be added and though the viceroy, Liu Kun-yi, had welcomed British supthat the French force at that period consisted chiefly of colonial port, and even invited the joint occupation of the Yangtse forts troops from Tongking and Annam. Order was, however, gradu- by British and Chinese troops, the appearance of other European ally restored, first in the Japanese and then in the British and forces in the Yangtse valley was viewed with great suspicion. In American quarters, though several months elapsed before there the south there were serious symptoms of unrest, especially after was any real revival of native confidence.

Li Hung-Chang had left Canton for the north, in obedience, as he So unexpected had been the rapid and victorious advance of the alleged at the time, to an imperial edict which, there is reason to allies, that the dowager-empress with the emperor and the rest believe, he invented for the occasion. The Chinese court, after one

of the court did not actually leave Peking until the or two intermediate halts, had retired to Si-nghan-fu, one of the The flight day after the legations had been relieved. But the ancient capitals of the empire, situated in the inaccessible province Chinese

northern and western portions of the Tartar city had of Shen-si, over 600 miles south-west of Peking. The influence of court.

not yet been occupied, and the fugitives made good the ultra-reactionaries, headed by Prince Tuan and General Tung

their escape on the afternoon of the 15th in the fu-hsiang, still dominated its councils, although edicts, illusory direction of the Western Hills. When the allies some days later if genuine, were from time to time stated to have been issued for marched through the Forbidden City, they only found a few the punishment of some of the leading officials concerned in the eunuchs and subordinate officials in charge of the imperial a part- anti-foreign outrages, and credentials were sent to Prince Ching ments. At the end of September, Field - Marshal Count von and to Li Hung-Chang, who, after waiting for some weeks upon Waldersee, with a German expeditionary force of over 20,000 men, events at Shanghai, had proceeded to Peking, authorizing them arrived to assume the supreme command conferred upon him with to treat with the Powers for the re-establishment of friendly the more or less willing assent of the other Powers. “As a matter relations. of fact, his authority was never practically recognized by either On 16th October the Anglo - German agreement, to which the French or the American commanders, and was only effectively reference has already been made, was signed in London, exercised over the British and the small Italian and Austrian and its publication immediately upon signature The Anglocontingents. A large portion of the Japanese troops was shipped created some excitement at the time. The nego

German back to Japan soon after the relief of the legations, and the bulk tiations which had led up to it had been con

agreement. of the Russian forces was withdrawn into Manchuria. There ducted with great celerity and secrecy, and it would were indeed no longer any important military operations to be appear, from a despatch which was subsequently published carried out. After a few punitive expeditions had been sent to from Lord Salisbury to the British representative in St PetersPaoting-fu and other districts in the neighbourhood of Peking, burg, that the British negotiator was in no small degree influenced where exceptionally brutal outrages had been committed during by the aggressive features of Russia's action at the time in the summer, the duties of the foreign troops were henceforth northern China. Germany, on the other hand, would seem to chiefly in the nature of police work. The Germans, however, have been chiefly actuated by the desire to forestall any isolated having arrived too late to take any part in the relief of Peking, action on the part of Great Britain in the Yangtse valley. The often showed a mischievous anxiety to extend the sphere of agreement certainly had no immediate effect upon the political operations. Their discipline, especially in their treatment of the situation. It did not modify Germany's attitude with regard to defenceless Chinese population, fell lamentably short of the high Russia, for Count von Waldersee continued to lend his support as standard expected from a great military nation, and their pre- far as possible to the Russian military authorities in northern datory raids in search of Boxers resulted only in increasing the China whenever differences of opinion arose between them and the confusion and misery which prevailed in the zone of foreign occu- British, and the German Government a few months later openly pation. The removal by the Germans of the ancient astronomical denied that the agreement applied to Manchuria, in spite of the instruments from Peking was condemned even in the German contrary opinion entertained by the British Government. But it press as an act of unjustifiable vandalism. Towards the end of has given Germany a claim to a footing in the Yangtse valley February 1900 preparations were made at the German head- which it is difficult to reconcile with the policy propounded by, quarters for an extensive forward movement in the direction of British ministers when they published the Yangtse assurance, Si-nghan-fu, but it was ultimately abandoned, owing to the obtained in 1898 from the Tsung-Li-Yamen. In one of his staterefusal of the other Powers, and more especially of Great Britain ments to the Reichstag, the imperial chancellor referred to the and Japan, to countenance such an adventurous enterprise. Anglo-German agreement as “the Yangtse agreement,” and that Strangely enough, the German contingent, which saw less actual designation has ever since been universally adopted in Germany, fighting than any other foreign force, suffered the two most The harmony of the Powers, which had been maintained with conspicuous losses during the whole campaign. Count York, a some difficulty up to the relief of the legations, was subjected to staff officer of the greatest promise, died of asphyxia in a Chinese a severe strain as soon as the basis of negotiations

The negoinn during a winter march, and General von Schwarzhoff, chief of with the Chinese Government came to be discussed.

tiations. the staff to Count von Waldersee, lost his life in the fire which The eleven Powers having diplomatic represendestroyed the apartments the Winter Palace occupied by tatives in Peking, including, therefore, such minor Powers as German headquarters (17th April).

Spain, Holland, and Belgium, claimed to have an equal voice in The political task which confronted the Powers after the occu- these discussions, and the conferences held between the foreign pation of Peking was far more arduous than the military one. ministers in the Chinese capital had constantly to be supplemented

The action of the Russians in Manchuria, even in a The

by references to their governments and by prolonged corretreaty port like New-chwang, the seizure of the railway spondence between the different cabinets. While for various political

line not only to the north of the Great Wall, but also reasons Russia, Japan, and the United States were inclined to situation.

from Shan-hai-kwan to Peking, by the Russian military treat China with great indulgence, Germany insisted upon the authorities, and the appropriation of an extensive line of river signal punishment of the guilty officials as a conditio sine quâ frontage at Tientsin as a Russian "settlement,” were difficult to non, and in this she had the support not only of the other reconcile with the pacific assurances of disinterestedness which members of the Triple Alliance, whose interests in China were Russia, like the rest of the Powers, had officially given. Great only of secondary importance, but also of Great Britain, and to anxiety prevailed as to the effect of the flight of the Chinese court some extent even of France, who, as protector of the Roman in other parts of the empire. The anti-foreign movement had not Catholic Church in Eastern countries, could not allow the authors spread much beyond the northern provinces, in which it had had of the atrocities committed upon its followers to escape effectual the open support of the throne and of the highest provincial punishment. It was not until after months of laborious negoofficials. But amongst British and Americans alone, over 200 tiations that an agreement was finally arrived at with regard defenceless foreigners, men, women, and children, chiefly mission- to the general tenour of the demands to be formally made aries, had fallen victims to the treachery of high-placed mandarins upon the Chinese Government. They were embodied in a joint like Yü Hsien, and hundreds of others had had to fly for their note signed by all the foreign ministers on 20th and 21st December lives, many of them owing their escape to the courageous protec- 1900. The preamble recited the chief crimes committed by tion of petty officials and of the local gentry and peasantry. The the Chinese, denounced the treachery of the Chinese Government Roman Catholic missionaries and communities throughout the in declaring, through its representatives abroad, that it was pronorth had met, or been threatened, with the same fate, and tecting the legations while it was actually besieging them, and sporadic outbreaks such as that which had occurred at Su-chan, announced that the allied Powers consented to accede to China's south of the Yangtse, showed that there were explosive materials petition for peace on "irrevocable conditions” therein stated. scattered all over the empire. In the Yangtse valley order had These were substantially as follows:-Honourable reparation for

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the murder of Baron von 'Ketteler and of M. Sugiyama was to be come, and Russian forces overran the whole province, occupying made in a specified form, and expiatory monuments were to be even the treaty port of New-chwang. The Russian Government erected in cemeteries where foreign tombs had been desecrated. officially repudiated all responsibility for the proclamations issued “The most severe punishment befitting their crimes” was to by General Gribsky and others, foreshadowing, if not actually be inflicted on the personages designated by the decree of 21st proclaiming, the annexation of Chinese territory to the Russian September, and also upon others to be designated later by the empire. But Russia was clearly bent on seizing the opportunity foreign ministers, and the official examinations were to be for securing a permanent hold upon Manchuria. In December suspended in the cities where foreigners had been murdered or 1900 a preliminary agreement was made between M. Korostovetz, ill-treated. An equitable indemnity, guaranteed by financial the Russian administrator-general, and Tseng, the Tartar general measures acceptable to the Powers, was to be paid to states, at Mukden, by which the civil and military administration of the societies, and individuals, including Chinese who had suffered whole province was virtually placed under Russian control. In because of their employment by foreigners, but not including February 1901 negotiations were opened between the Russian Chinese Christians who had suffered only on account of their Government and the Chinese minister at St Petersburg for the faith. The importation or manufacture of arms or matériel was conclusion of a formal convention of a still more comprehensive to be forbidden; permanent legation guards were to be maintained character. The Russian Government refused to disclose its terms, at Peking, and the diplomatic quarter was to be fortified, while but the draft prepared by the Russian Foreign Office was informcommunication with the sea was to be secured by a foreign military ally communicated through Chinese channels to the British and occupation of the strategic points and by the demolition of the other friendly governments. In return for the restoration to Chinese forts, including the Taku forts, between the capital and China of a certain measure of civil authority in Manchuria, the coast. Proclamations were to be posted throughout China for Russia was to be confirmed in the possession of exclusive military, two years, threatening death to the members of anti-foreign civil, and commercial rights, constituting in all but name a prosocieties, and recording the punishment of the ringleaders in the tectorate, and she was also to acquire preferential rights over all late outrages; and the viceroys, governors, and provincial officials the outlying provinces of the Chinese empire bordering on the were to be declared by imperial edict responsible, on pain of imme- Russian dominions in Asia. The clauses relating to Chinese diate dismissal and perpetual disability to hold office, for anti- Turkestan, Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, and Mongolia were subforeign outbreaks or violations of treaty within their jurisdictions. sequently stated to have been dropped, but the convention neverChina was to facilitate commercial relations by negotiating a re- theless provoked considerable opposition both in foreign countries vision of the commercial treaties. The Tsung-Li-Yamen was to be and amongst the Chinese themselves. Most of the Powers, reformed, and the ceremonial for the reception of foreign ministers including Germany, who, however, denied that the Anglomodified as the Powers should demand. Compliance with these German agreement of 16th October 1900 applied to Manchuria, terms was declared to be a condition precedent to the arrangement advised the Chinese Government not to pursue separate negoof a time limit to the occupation of Peking and of the provinces tiations with one Power whilst collective negotiations were in by foreign troops.

progress at Peking, and both Japan and Great Britain pressed for Under instructions from the court, the Chinese plenipotentiaries definite information at St Petersburg with regard to the precise affixed their signatures on 14th January 1901 to a protocol, by tenour of the proposed convention. At the same time the two which China pledged herself to accept these terms in principle, viceroys of the lower Yangtse memorialized the Throne in the and the conference of ministers then proceeded to discuss the strongest terms against the convention, and these protests were definite form in which compliance with them was to be exacted. endorsed not only by the great majority of Chinese officials of This further stage of the negotiations proved even more laborious high rank throughout the provinces, būt by popular meetings and protracted than the preliminary proceedings. No attempt and influential guilds and associations. Últimately the two was made to raise the question of the dowager-empress's respon- viceroys, Chang Chih-tung and Liu Kun-yi, took the extreme sibility for the anti-foreign movement, as Russia had from the step of warning the Throne that they would be unable to recogfirst set her face against the introduction of what she euphemisti- nize the convention, even if it were ratified, and notwithstanding cally termed “the dynastic question." But even with regard to the pressure exercised in favour of Russia by Li Hung-Chang, the the punishment of officials whose guilt was beyond dispute, grave court finally instructed the Chinese minister at St Petersburg to divergences arose between the Powers. The death penalty was decline his signature. The attitude of Japan, where public ultimately waived in the case even of such conspicuous offenders feeling ran high, was equally significant, and on 3rd April the as Prince Tuan and Tung-fu-hsiang, but the notorious Yü Hsien Russian Government issued a circular note to the Powers, stating and two others were decapitated by the Chinese, and three other that, as the generous intentions of Russia had been misconstrued, metropolitan officials were ordered to commit suicide, whilst upon she withdrew the proposed convention. others sentences of banishment, imprisonment, and degradation The work of the conference at Peking, which had been temporwere passed, in accordance with a list drawn up by the foreign arily disturbed by these complications, was then resumed, and representatives. The question of the punishment of provincial soon reached a stage which brought the possibility of officials, responsible for the massacre of scores of defenceless men, an early evacuation within the range of discussion.

protocol. women, and children, was unfortunately reserved for separate It was generally felt that the prolonged occupation treatment, and, when it came up for discussion, it became impos- and the inaction to which the majority of the foreign troops were sible to preserve even the semblance of unanimity, the Russian necessarily condemned were detrimental to the maintenance of minister at once taking issue with his colleagues, although he discipline, and the friction which led to such unpleasant incidents had originally pledged himself as formally as the others to the as those which occurred in March and April at Tientsin, where principle. Count Lamsdorff frankly told the British ambassador conflicts between British troops and French, Germans, and at St Petersburg that Russia took no interest in missionaries, and Russians were with difficulty averted, gave additional cause for as the foreigners massacred in the provinces belonged mostly to anxiety. The Anglo-Russian dispute over the construction of that class, she declined to join in the action of the other Powers. certain roads and railway sidings at Tientsin also showed that, Fortunately the rest of the Powers, including even Japan, who, as although the Russians had been

induced to hand over the Pekinga non-Christian state, might have been excused for adopting the Shan-hai-kwan railway (18th January) to the German military same attitude as Russia, preserved a united front, and though authorities, who in their turn surrendered it (21st February) to the satisfaction ultimately obtained was not altogether adequate, the British, an international occupation was still fraught with the list of punishments proposed by the British minister, Sir manifold dangers. Early in April Count von Waldersee invited Ernest Satow, was presented to the Chinese plenipotentiaries with all the foreign commanders to meet him and discuss the feasibility the signatures of all the foreign representatives except the of a partial withdrawal of troops. The discussion led to no immeRussian.

diate results, but it helped to stimulate the proceedings of the The real explanation of Russia's cynical secession from the diplomatists. The question of indemnities, however, gave rise to concert of Powers on this important issue must be ught in her renewed friction. Each Power drew up its own claim, and whilst

anxiety to conciliate the Chinese in view of the Great Britain, the United States, and Japan displayed great moderThe Manchurian separate negotiations in which she was at the same

ation, other Powers, especially Germany and Italy, put in claims time engaged with China in respect of Manchuria. which were strangely out of proportion to the services rendered by vention.

When the Boxer movement was at its height at the their military and naval forces. Not only the amount of the indem

end of June 1900, the Chinese authorities in Man- nity, but the mode of payment and the ear-marking of revenues churia had wantonly “declared war against Russia, and for a out of which China was to meet it, gave rise to great differences moment a great wave of panic seems to have swept over the of opinion. Germany proposed an immediate 10 per cent. increase Russian administration, civil and military, in the adjoining of the Chinese customs tariff on foreign imports, but this proposal provinces. The reprisals exercised by the Russians were propor- met with determined opposition from other commercial Powers, tionately fierce. The massacre at Blagovestchensk, where 5000 and especially from Great Britain, whose trade would have to bear Chinese-men, women, and children-were flung into the Amur the chief part of the burden. It was at last settled that China by the Cossacks, was only one incident in the reign of terror by should pay altogether an indemnity of 450 million taels, to be which the Russians sought to restore their power and their secured (1) on the unhypothecated balance of the customs revenue prestige. The resistance of the Chinese troops was soon over- administered by the imperial maritime customs, the import duties

The peace

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

being raised forth with to an effective 5 per cent. basis ; (2) on the foreign contingents unquestionably lowered the reputation of all revenues of the native" customs in the treaty ports ; (3) on the Western powers collectively, notwithstanding the high standard total revenues of the salt gabelle. Finally, after more than sixty of discipline maintained by the British, American, and Japanese plenary conferences and innumerable meetings of sub-committees forces, and by the later French contingent sent out direct from had been held by the diplomatists in Peking, the peace protocolFrance. It must be noted also that amongst progressive Chinese was drawn up in a form which satisfied all the Powers as well as a

officials a widespread feeling of disappointment prevailed that the the Chinese court. The formal signature was, however, delayed Powers should have failed to avail themselves of the opportunity at the last moment by a fresh difficulty concerning Prince Chun's to insist upon the introduction of administrative reforms into penitential mission to Berlin. The prince, an amiable and China. The necessity of such reforms had been more widely enlightened youth, half-brother to the emperor, had reached realized by the Chinese themselves during the recent crisis than Basel towards the end of August on his way to Germany, when at any previous moment in the modern history of China, and he was suddenly informed that he and his suite would be several high officials like the Yangtse viceroys, the viceroy of expected to perform kotow before the German emperor. The

Canton, and the governor of Shantung, Yuen Shih-kai, one of the prince resented this unexpected demand, and referred home ablest of the young Chinese mandarins, repeatedly memorialized for instructions. The Chinese court appear to have remained the Throne in this sense. Imperial edicts were from time to time obdurate, and the German Government perceived the mistake issued from Si-nghan-fu announcing important reforms, especially that had been made in exacting from the Chinese prince a form of in the system of education and qualifications for the public serhomage which Western diplomacy had for more than a century vice, but their value remained speculative so long as most of the refused to yield to the Son of Keaven, on the ground that it appointments made by the court continued to be bestowed on was barbarous and degrading. The point was waived, and members of the old reactionary party. Prince Chun was received in solemn audience by the Emperor AUTHORITIES.—BERESFORD, Lord CHAS. The Break - up of William at Potsdam on 4th September. Three days later, on China. London, 1899.-—BISHOP, Mrs J. F. The Yangtze Valley 7th September, the peace protocol was signed at Peking by the

and Beyond. London, 1899.—COLQUHOUN, ARCII. R. China in two Chinese plenipotentiaries and the representatives of Great

Transformation. London, 1898.—BOULGER, DEM. C. The HlisBritain, Germany, France, Russia, the United States, Japan, tory of China. London, 1898. --BABER, E. C. “Travels and ReAustria-Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain. searches in Western China,” R. Geo. Society Supp. Papers, 1882. —

Article 1 recorded the satisfaction to be given to Germany for BRETSCHNEIDER, E. History of European Botanical Discoveries in the murder of Baron von Ketteler.

China. London, 1898. —CHIROL, VALENTINE. The Far Eastern Article 2 recited the punishments inflicted on the guilty Question. London, 1896.—Curzon, The Right Hon. GEO. N. officials and the posthumous honours rendered to the three

(Lord Curzon). Problems of the Far East. London, 1894.mandarins who had been executed during the siege for their

DOUGLAS, R. K. Society in China. London, 1894.—Du BOSE, endeavours to stem the anti-foreign movement. It also placed HAMPDEN C. The Three Religions of China. New York, 1887. on record the suspension of official examinations in all cities where -FIELDE, A. M. A Corner of Cathay. New York, 1894.—GILES, anti-foreign outrages of an aggravated character had been per- H. A. Chinese Biographical Dictionary. London, 1897.—GILL, petrated.

Capt. W. E. The River of Golden Sand. London, 1883. Article 3 recorded the satisfaction to be given to Japan for the GUNDRY, R. S. China and Her Neighbours. London, 1893 ; murder of M. Sugiyama.

China Present and Past. London, 1895.-HOSIE, ALEX. Three Article 4 provided for the erection by the Chinese of expiatory Years in Western China. London, 1897.—LITTLE, ARCII. J. monuments.

Through the Yangtze Gorges. London, 1898. —NORMAN, HENRY. Article 5 dealt with the prohibition of the importation of arms The Peoples and Politics of the Far East London, 1895.–POOLE, and warlike material.

S. LANE. Life of Sir Harry Parkes. London, 1894.-RichtArticle 6 set forth the amount and mode of payment of the

HOFEN, FERDINAND VON. China. Berlin, 1877-83.—MARTIN, indemnity.

W. A. P. The Chinese Education, Philosophy, and Letters. New Articles 7, 8, and 9 defined the area of the new legation quarter York, 1898.—WILLIAMS, F. WELLS. A History of China. Lonat Peking, and dealt with its protection and with that of the don, 1897.—HENRY, AUGUSTINE. “ Chinese Names of Plants,' railway and the whole line of communication between Peking and Journal of China Branch of Royal Asiatic Society, vol. XXV. the sea.

MOLLENDORF, O. F. von. The Vertebrata of the Province of Article 10 recorded the measures taken by the Chinese Govern- | Chih-li,” Ibid. vol. xv. For political affairs see Blue-books on China ment to prevent the recurrence of anti-foreign agitation or troubles. since 1875. For commercial and statistical information see Con

Article 11 provided for the amendment of existing treaties of sular Reports, Foreign Office, and Reports of Chinese Imperial commerce and navigation, and for river conservancy measures at Maritime Customs. Tientsin and Shanghai.

(G. J.; V. c.) Article 12 dealt with the reorganization of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and modifications of court ceremonial as regards of the war between China and Japan arose out of the rival

China-Japan War of 1894-95.—The causes the reception of foreign representatives.

The British Government at once appointed a Special Commission, claims of the two Powers to assert influence in Korea. It with Sir J. Mackay, member of the Council of India, as chief was an old tradition in Japan, dating back to the legendary commissioner, to proceed to Shanghai to carry on the commercial achievements of the Emperor Jingu, that Korea occupied a negotiations, provided for in article 11, with the commissioners

At the end of appointed by China. These negotiations were also to deal with position of quasi-vassalage to the empire. the removal of existing obstacles to foreign trade, such as likin, the 16th century an expedition sent by the Emperor &c., and with regulations for facilitating steamer navigation on Hideyoshi occupied Seoul and Phyong-yang. The Koreans inland waters.

invoked the aid of China, and after a prolonged war the In accordance with the terms of the protocol, all the foreign Japanese forces were withdrawn shortly before the death troops, with the exception of the legation guards, were withdrawn from Peking on 17th September, and from the rest of Chih-li, with of Hideyoshi. Inadequate sea power, rendering the supply the exception of the garrisons at the different points specified of the Japanese troops precarious, seems to have been the along the line of communications, by 22nd September. On 7th cause of the ultimate failure, although the Chinese were October it was announced that the Chinese court had left Si-nghan; frequently defeated in the field. In 1627, and again in fu on its way back to the northern capital. A month later (7th November) the death of Li Hung-Cháng at Peking removed, if 1637, Korea was invaded from the north by the Manchus, not the greatest of Chinese statesmen, at any rate the one who who soon afterwards established their dynasty at Peking. had enjoyed a larger share of the empress-dowager's confidence According a purely nominal allegiance to China, the and figured in the eyes of the outside world more prominently Koreans subsequently maintained their isolation for more than any other during that long chapter of wasted opportunities which had opened for the Chinese empire after the suppression of than two centuries. After the revolution which ended in the great Taiping rebellion, and was brought to a close by the 1868— when Japan, adopting Western reforms, started Boxer movement, the international occupation of Peking, and upon a wonderful career of progress-it was natural that the peace protocol of 1901.

With this settlement a new era opens. What it will produce her ambitions in regard to Korea should receive a fresh none can venture to foretell. On the one hand, the Powers have

impulse. In 1875 a Japanese force landed on Kang-hwa been induced to display great leniency with regard to the punish- Island, and after a naval demonstration at Chemulpo a ment of the court and the high officials implicated in the anti- treaty was obtained opening Fusan to Japanese trade. foreign outrages of 1900 ; and on the other, the pecuniary compen. From this time Japan began to play an active part in sation they have exacted is calculated to weigh heavily on the Chinese people, and on the innocent not less than on the guilty. Korean affairs, and under her influence a progressive In the north of China the excesses committed by some of the party arose in Seoul, which soon found itself in conflict

S. III. — 6


« EelmineJätka »