« PreviousContinue »
The second great lesson is that the of nationality, to inspire them with ingovernment, state and national, and telligent pride in our history and politievery person connected in any way cal institutions; above all, to implant in with education, should strive by every their deepest consciousness the truth means to mould the youth of foreign that their country may justly demand ancestry into true Americans as fast as of them the supreme sacrifice, and that possible; to stimulate in them the spirit patriotism is the noblest of the virtues.
CHINA, JAPAN, AND THE HUNDRED DAYS
BY E. BRUCE MITFORD
WHILE the nations of the West have The trouble was not of yesterday. In been raging furiously together, for all the late nineties, Germany, established the world like the Psalmist's heathen, in Shantung, menaced the Middle the East has had an affair of its own, Kingdom from the south; Russia, with - a by-product, as it were, of Arma- a trans-continental railway behind her, geddon. To the long list of their differ- was coming down from the north. ences, dating far back into the past, Clearly a danger to China, this ‘forChina and Japan have added one more. ward policy' was also a challenge to Unlike all that went before, however, Japan. The Western powers aimed at this quarrel, originating in the action the political and commercial dominaof an Occidental power, has stirred the tion of the Middle Kingdom. Like a West almost as profoundly as the East. lion in their path lay the Island power, So close has become the interdepen- which had just won its naval and milidence between those who — the poets tary spurs. So with a cry of 'Hands have assured us — can never meet. off!' Japan was hustled out of her fair
Peking, headquarters of Orientalism ly won position in Liaotung. But 'the of the age-old type, was the theatre of little people’ (as the globe-trotter loves strife. Ever the home of intrigue, the to call them), undaunted by the odds, Chinese capital, on this occasion, ex- rose to the crisis of their history. To celled itself. Never was such a maze of insure the keeping of the ring, they alcontradictions, recriminations, impu- lied themselves with Britain - never tations, and hard swearing. Men are more truly great than when she extendstill asking where lay the rights and ed the right hand of fellowship to the wrongs of the matter. What, in truth, yellow man. Then, with a sublime auwas China's attitude? Which of the dacity, they measured themselves with European powers pulled the strings? the colossus, and, at an all but ruinous As for the aims of Japan toward her cost, stayed the Muscovite advance. vast, lethargic neighbor, must they be That was in 1905. The danger from written down as selfish and sinister, or the north headed off, there still realtruistic and benign?
mained the reckoning with Germany - the power which, posing as the no other way can a national compeHeaven-sent champion of Christendom, tence be acquired than by a large desought the ostracism of the Japanese as velopment of oversea trade. Near at ‘yellow barbarians,'enemies of civiliza- hand lies China, with well-nigh illimition. The opportunity came last year, table possibilities from this very point when the invitation to retrocede Kiao- of view. Japanese commercial circles Chao, conveyed, with such delicate believe that, in open competition with irony, to Berlin, was sullenly ignored. the West, - thanks to their twin adAs the result of naval and military op- vantages of position and cheap producerations, conducted with the skill and tion, they can hold their own, or thoroughness which have become pro- more, in that vast field of activity. verbial of Japan's war-work, the Far. Thus, they believe, can be remedied
Eastern outpost of Germanism, beloved the chief weakness of their national
, of the Kaiser, is no more. The signato- economy. But, with all this, there is no ries of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, idea of 'peaceful penetration,' absorpposted at Wei Hai Wei and Port Ar- tion, or territorial expansion of any thur respectively, remain the deliver- sort. Japan recognizes that China is ers of China and the joint guardians of not only the greatest, but the freest, her integrity.
of the world's markets; that practically Thus, for the second time in a single every Western nation has a stake theredecade, China had been laid under a in; and that, were she fired with the great obligation to her neighbor. What insensate ambition of acquiring the was Japan's reward? Glory, a 'special whole for herself, she would speedily
‘ position' in Manchuria, and — from
- lose that general good-will which she those whom she had succored—the win- prizes and has long sought to win. Nay ter's wind of ingratitude. It was little more, she would find against her a enough to show for an outlay of a billion
world in arms. dollars and half a million lives. When, а.
Commerce without amity soon runs therefore, by their third war in twenty dry. This industrial expansion in years, they had rid Shantung of the in- China which the Japanese consider of cubus of Germanism, it seemed to the such vital importance to themselves statesmen at Tokyo that, with the ex- could never be achieved in the teeth of German lease on their hands, the time Chinese ill-will — and they know it. was ripe for a general settlement of out- So, conquest being out of the question, standing questions. Such a settlement, coöperation must take its place. The it was hoped, while satisfying claims concessions for which Japan asked in old and new, would remove all future February of this year were expressly cause of friction and set the
of designed to meet this end. They may the Far East upon a permanent basis. be said to fall under three heads: (1)
Let us try to realize the Japanese the encouragement of commercial interpoint of view. By virtue of their mili- course in general; (2) the introduction tary achievements, the Island people of the principle of joint Chino-Japanese have attained to the status of a great enterprise; (3) the prevention of future power; but in material resources they causes of dispute. are far behind. To the commercial eye The demands were arranged in five – however it may delight the aesthe groups, officially designated articles.' tic - Japan is no land of promise: only The first four related, in order to the eighth of it has been, or can be, re- Shantung, South Manchuria, Eastern deemed from the unprofitable hills. In Inner Mongolia, and the Han-Yeh-Ping
Company - an important railway and neighboring peoples but, ultimately, of mining concern largely supported by the West. Japanese capital. They had for their Confronted with this new situation, objects, respectively, the adjustment what was China's attitude? She reof the new conditions arising out of sorted to the policy which has so often the expulsion of Germany from Kiao- stood her in good stead - that of playChao; the extension of the leasehold ing off one power against another, in privileges already enjoyed by Japan in the hope, Micawber-like, that someher specially recognized sphere; trad- thing would turn up. Thus predising and other facilities requisite for the posed, she fell among evil counselors, opening of Eastern Inner Mongolia; only too ready to work upon her preand the confirmation of the joint status judices
judices — the German intriguers at already in existence at Han-Yeh-Ping. Peking and the representatives of the Next followed a proviso that China foreign commercial interests in general. should not ‘cede or lease to any foreign Among the latter, anti-Japanese sencountry any harbor, bay, or island' on timent is perennial. The Japanese are her sea-coast — a stipulation clearly
a stipulation clearly their most dreaded rivals, and any suggested, and rendered expedient, by and every extension of Japanese influthe events of recent years. The fifth ence, commercial or political, is opgroup, or article, - to which the strong posed to them as a matter of course. In est exception has been taken, - em- the German minister at Peking, Von braced all the three principles enumer- Heincke, they found an able coadjutor. ated above. Concessions for railway Skillfully utilizing the favorable circonstruction were asked for in South- cumstances, German agents, under the ern China, subject to the assent of oth- direction of their minister, caused the er powers; China was urged to agree dismissal of the editor of the only pato the establishment of a joint Chino per published in English at Peking, Japanese arsenal, to the propagation of for no other reason than that he was religion by Japanese missionaries, and English,
English, — and, by substituting for to the formation of a joint Chino-Jap- him a pro-German Chinese, secured anese police force; and, finally, the control of its policy. A similar manPeking Government was requested (a) cuvre in Japan, carried through with to engage Japanese advisers 'in case of the aid of German residents there, need' (I quote from the revised text); was promptly countered by the Japa(b) to pledge itself not to permit the es- nese authorities — the paper was suptablishment of a naval or military base pressed and the entire staff deported; on the coast of Fukien, opposite the but the Peking journal was permitted Japanese island of Formosa. Far- to pursue its mischievous work unreaching though these demands were, checked. Here, as elsewhere, German they must be viewed in the light of his gold was freely used for German ends. tory and of the unique conditions pre- Circulars, printed in Chinese, were sent vailing in the Far East. China's weak- gratis to all parts of the country, conness has led to so much trouble that taining accounts, on the one hand, of that very weakness is, in large measure, dazzling German victories, and, on the their justification. Nor is there any other, of such disasters to the Allied thing in them incompatible with a sin- cause as the total destruction of the cere desire to set China on her feet in British fleet. Exaggerated and distorta world where she is still a stranger — ed versions of Japan's demands were to the advantage, not only of the two spread broadcast. With Machiavellian
cunning it was made to appear that when presented afresh, they were prothese demands were specially aimed nounced as unacceptable as ever. Even against Britain and America. Thus, the Tokyo government's offer of the
. , British advisers throughout China voluntary retrocession of Kiao-Chao were to be dismissed and replaced by was met by Peking with a counter-deJapanese; while a sort of Monroe mand that Japan should pay for all Doctrine was to be set up by Ja- damage suffered by the Chinese in the pan with regard to China, as a check operations undertaken for its capture. to American enterprise in the Pacific It at last became evident that the area. It was useless for Sir Edward Chinese had no intention of coming to Grey, on the one hand, to declare that terms of any sort. And the explanation Japan was keeping well within the let- of this extraordinary attitude is not ter of the law, and for Mr. Bryan, on far to seek. So successfully had the the other, to aver that 'neither Japan German agents at Peking done their nor China' had suggested anything work that the final victory of the Teuwhich could involve the surrender of tonic powers in the Great War was beAmerican treaty-rights. The stream of lieved, by the Chinese, to be assured. misrepresentation continued to flow, In that event, of course, Kiao-Chao and, merely because of its provenance, would revert to German hands, and held the field. Even journals of repute there would be nothing for China to were found complaining, with touching disburse. Japan, indeed, would have naïveté, that the versions of the situa- to look to herself. So, they argued, it tion cabled from Peking did not tally was obviously unwise to make conceswith those officially communicated by sions – whether for the purpose of Japan to the governments concerned! gaining Japanese good-will or not
The results of the German-inspired over an issue not yet decided. Pro-Geranti-Japanese campaign exceeded the man Chinese went so far as to suggest wildest hopes of its propagators. The that the Japanese, well aware of this, humane onlooker is wont to side with were merely making haste to secure in the weaker combatant, irrespective of advance what they might be unable to the merits of the case. So the assump- get if they waited till the war was over. tion became general that the Japanese Thus a matter for the adjustment of were taking advantage of the preoccu- which a few weeks should have sufficed, pation of the powers to set up what was dragged on into months. No less amounted to a hegemony of the Chi- than twenty-five meetings of the pleninese Republic. As a matter of fact, potentiaries took place, with no practimoderation in the conduct of the nego- cal result. Others arranged for had to tiations was all on the Japanese side. be postponed through the illness of one After the accepted Oriental manner, or another of the Chinese officials. Popthey had begun by asking more than ular opinion in Tokyo, well accustomed they expected; but concession after to Chinese dilatoriness, rose against concession on their side brought no re- this unprecedented and unmistakable sponse from the other. Among other delay. The staff of the Foreign Office, , modifications, the proposals for the remembering the assassination of Mr. propagation of religion and for the for- Abé, not many months ago, for alleged mation of a joint police force were with- weak handling of Chinese affairs, went drawn. Twice the entire list of the in fear of their lives. In these circumdemands was revised in accordance stances, the Cabinet called to its aid with the wishes of the Chinese; but the Supreme Council of the Genro, or
Elder Statesmen, -a measure resorted litical development, Japan's position to only in times of grave national crisis; with respect to China differs radically and it was decided though not with
from that of any Western power out the greatest reluctance to use with the exception, in part, of Russia. the final argument.
The motives which govern her policy At the eleventh hour Chinese opin- are not altogether altruistic; this, as we ion showed a cleavage. Some, foresee- have seen, she cannot afford to be; but ing the next Japanese step, were in neither are they sordid. It is true that, favor of yielding before an ultimatum were the Chinese market to be closed could be sent. Others were for yielding against her, she would suffer irreparto the threat of force, and to that alone. able ruin - and she knows it. It is no This, they urged, would have the effect less true that she takes a higher view of of placing Japan in the worst possible her relationship with China, as of her light. While under no delusions as to rôle in the Far East. In the words of obtaining armed assistance from the her venerable Prime Minister, Count West, they would thus insure the lar- Okuma, uttered years ago, she has a gest measure of sympathy from that mission in the Oriental world. It is a quarter. Yuan Shih-kai, there is good mission calling for a new way of life.
. reason to believe, was not with the ex- China has been saved from external tremists. But the sands of Japanese enemies; she has yet to be saved from patience had run out. Upon all this herself. Corrupt, weak, and lacking in strife of tongues Mr. Heki, the Japan- national spirit, the whilom Celestial ese minister, broke with his govern- Empire is in danger of disintegration ment's ultimatum, on May 6. To make and decay. Such a collapse (which to its acceptance less difficult, in the Japan would be a calamity) can be interests of Far Eastern peace and in averted only by China's regeneration deference 'to the wishes of a certain on Western lines. Yesterday Japan power,' Article 5 — comprising, in the trod that path; she would have China main, questions not directly concerned tread it now. But, as the task is infinwith the situation in Manchuria or itely more difficult than in her own Shantung - was separated from the case, she would advise, guide, coöpermain body of the demands, to be held ate. Who, indeed, more fitted for the over for future discussion. As to the work? Could she accomplish it, future remainder, a reply was requested with generations of a transformed Cathay in forty-eight hours. It came in the
- would yet arise to call her blessed. shape of an unreserved acceptance; Such, in spirit, is the policy of Japan and the crisis was ended. The war of toward her Chinese neighbor. It is a patience against intrigue, of progress great and worthy policy. And, because against reaction, had lasted just a hun- it is both great and worthy, her statesdred days.
men may be trusted to pursue it, as far Whether viewed from the historical as in them lies, through good report standpoint or from that of modern po- and evil, to the end.