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from within, with the hope that, when final dissolution at length arises, the Celestial Empire may naturally fall helpless to her strongest neighbour? There is not the remotest possibility of such a contingency. The Dardanelles may make such a policy conceivable, if not practicable, as regards Turkey, but our interests are far too strong and easily guarded in China to allow us to acquiesce in her ruin and dismemberment. The partition of China' anticipated in some quarters is just the very arrangement that England will not consent to; and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach has expressed forcibly, but not a whit more so than the importance of the case demands, the national will when he says that England is determined, even at the cost of war, to prevent the door from being shut.

It appears unlikely, therefore, writing from the present standpoint of knowledge, that this opposition to fresh treaty ports is genuine, though there may be a little jealousy as regards Talienwan. The latter port lies north of Port Arthur, and has the advantage of being open to navigation all the year round, while Newchwang, still farther to the north, and the principal emporium for the trade of Manchuria, is closed by ice in the winter months. Both Talienwan and Port Arthur will therefore be important outlets of commerce when the southern or Manchurian branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway is completed, and though Mr. Balfour saw no objection to Russia's occupation, or, as Madame Novikoff might term it, 'utilisation,' of Port Arthur, it is clear that the British Government now regard the matter in a more serious light, and that they will not allow one country to monopolise, if not to filch, Chinese territory wholesale, to the exclusion of other nations.

The second condition of the loan to be provided by Great Britain is that no portion of the Yang-tze-Kiang valley shall be alienated or ceded to any other Power. The meaning of this condition is clear enough. Shanghai, at the mouth of the Yang-tze-Kiang, is the principal place, with the exception of Hong Kong (which is British territory, and therefore not under consideration), whither the trade flows, and whence the further distribution of merchandise throughout China is effected, mainly by Chinese merchants. The enormous area of the basin of the Yang-tze, which extends almost up to the confines of India, and which, with its tributaries, forms the most extensive system of waterways for the internal distribution of trade in China, necessarily makes the keeping open of this great highway a matter of supreme importance to a Power whose share of the gross tonnage entering and clearing at Chinese ports is within a fraction of 70 per cent. of the whole. This condition is one that is so obviously essential for Great Britain that it is probably needless to dwell further on it.

The right to extend the Burma Railway through Yunnan also requires but little comment. Railway extension from Burma to

Western China has been talked of for nearly thirty years, but it is only within the last few years that any steps have been taken by means of the Mandalay and Kunlon Ferry line to give effect to what has been so long a crying want. It was well known from the first that not much good could be effected by simply building a line up to the Chinese frontier of Yunnan; that province, in spite of its natural wealth, is so remote and thinly peopled, that to open up any real trade railways must be pushed right through it, to within reach of the Yang-tze-Kiang and West rivers. The only objection at present anticipated is that of the French, who might look upon their Red River as the natural outlet for the products of Yunnan, but it is difficult to imagine that so 'dog in the manger' an attitude could be seriously assumed. Yunnan is a very large province, big enough for both nations to exploit, and its proximity to British territory marked it out, long before the French arrival in Tonquin, as the first place in the western part of the Middle Kingdom where the inevitable 'opening up' of China would be put into operation. The great delay has not been very creditable to Anglo-Indian enterprise, but now that we have actually set out on the road to Yunnan we are not likely to turn back or stop short. Lastly, one may take note with satisfaction of the demand for facilities for steam navigation over the inland waters, a boon which every nation with a spark of commercial enterprise will be quick to appreciate.

On a general review of these conditions unprejudiced people will hardly help being struck by their extraordinary moderation. England might easily have insisted on some territorial concession to compensate for those made without any tangible quid pro quo to Russia and Germany, and she might have stipulated for many other exclusive privileges for herself, but she has preferred to take her stand on the ground of equal commercial privileges to all. She has not even demanded what, in the general interest, she might very fairly have pressed for in these days, the throwing open of the whole seaboard of China to the trade of the world. Under these circumstances the reluctance of Russia to consent to Talienwan being made a treaty port, and the recent confident proposals in the Cologne Gazette to regard the territory leased round and in Kiao-Chau as an enclave, where practically no one but a German subject has any rights at all - all this shows very clearly that while our intentions may be disinterested enough, other countries, in regard to the footing they have secured in Northern China, are more than half inclined to pursue a purely selfish and rigidly exclusive policy.

The last proviso of all, being conditional and merely in case of default of payment, does not take exactly the same rank as the foregoing ones. Nevertheless, it is of the greatest importance to England, who has to find the money, and at present nothing is absolutely known in detail except that in the event of default China is to place

certain revenues under the control of the Imperial Maritime Customs. This seems to point to the replacing of the likin collectorate by the authorities of the foreign customs, but in the absence of further information it is useless to discuss here a question of great complexity, ramifying into many distinct branches.

It appears to me that the Government have purposely made these conditions of the loan extremely, if not absurdly, moderate, in the hope that foreign jealousy may be thereby appeased. The field of desiderata in China is very large, and to realise these must prove a very slow process. Internal communications by means of roads, railways, rivers, and canals require extending, a uniform currency system needs to be established, and provincial taxation must be equalised (these two, as has been pointed out more than once, being indispensable to the creation of a railway system), rivers should be opened to steam transport, the thorny question of the likin duties and the perpetual conflict with the transit passes should be systematised, the administration of justice, in cases in which foreigners are parties, requires adjusting on a satisfactory basis, and last, but not least, the mineral amongst other resources of this great empire require development.

The last-mentioned subject is most important. No regular economic survey has, of course, ever been made of China, and for information regarding her minerals, with one exception, mentioned farther on, we are dependent on the chance notes of stray travellers, foremost amongst which may be mentioned the writings of Pumpelly and Von Richthofen. The latter, being a distinguished geologist, was specially qualified for the interesting tour which he made in 1871 and 1872 at the instance of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce. He reports on Hunan that the whole of the south-eastern part of that province may be called one great coalfield, covering in all some 21,700 square miles. Over large areas of this the coal measures are visible on the surface, and a good proportion of the coal is of an excellent quality. Hunan also produces iron, copper, silver, quicksilver, tin, lead, and gold. As to the latter mineral, Pumpelly's tables give sixty-four localities in fourteen provinces where gold is to be found, and, though some of the washings' may be poor, many mines are indisputably rich. Honan is said by Baron von Richthofen to be another province most favoured by nature, being rich in both agricultural and mineral products, lead and iron constituting the latter. The same minerals with the addition of salt are found in Shansi, which in proportion to its area has probably the largest and most easily workable coalfield of any region in the globe, while the manufacture of iron is capable of almost unlimited extent. Its own resources for supplying its population with food and clothing are far from suficient, and a considerable importation is required.

The above brief particulars, extracted from Baron von Richthofen's

book, will give some idea of the capabilities of the provinces he traversed. Latterly my firm have been supplied with a most valuable series of reports on the mineral resources of Manchuria and the Northern Provinces, where, at the invitation of the Viceroy, Li Hung Chang, a mining engineer of great repute was deputed by them to make an exhaustive examination of such mining districts as might be indi. cated to him by the Chinese Government. These reports are now in my possession, and go to show the still undeveloped condition of the rich mineral resources of those provinces.

In order, however, that China should be in a position to make the most of this latent wealth, it is essential that she should have an organisation and code of mining regulations such as have been found necessary for the purpose by all modern States. The following extract from a recent Foreign Office report will bear out the force of the above contention :

Legal conception such as right, title, and property do not apply underground. Whoever wants to mine may do so. He makes a tunnel or sinks a shaft at any place which is not occupied already by a mine, and extracts as much anthracite as he can profitably sell from the coal bed.'

The details of such an organisation and code are of too technical a nature for this Review, and hereit is sufficient to say that they can easily be adapted to the peculiar conditions of China. Indeed, I have already indicated in the proper quarter the outlines of such a scheme, and I have reason to believe that my suggestions are receiving the most serious consideration by the highest authorities in China. The better and more enlightened Chinese clearly realise that the time is not far distant when the vast mineral resources of their country must be opened up. But in her own interests, as well as in those of other countries, it is important that no territory be conceded to one country to the exclusion of the rest of the world. By clause 7 of the Cassini Convention, Russia has already obtained mining rights, which, while of undoubted value to her, "may prove highly prejudicial to China in ultimately dealing to the best reasonable advantage for herself with her mineral resources in the territory to which these concessions refer. It behoves this country now to assist China to utilise the hitherto undeveloped sources of wealth contained in her mines to our mutual benefit; for the manufacture of mining machinery, steam engines, boilers, &c., as is well known, is one of the greatest industries in this country, and it will be long before China is in a position to supply these for herself. The opportunity before China in this direction is one of the grandest imaginable, and such as any other country would eagerly embrace.

A special point to be borne in mind is that the present situation is very critical. As long as China was under no pecuniary obligation to foreign countries there was no pressing need for interior develop

ment. Even the large loans, the Russo-French 4 per cent. loan of 1895, and the Anglo-German loan of 1896, are secured by the annual revenue of the Imperial Customs, so that had it not been for the untoward results of the war, necessitating further loans for which the Customs Revenue does not offer sufficient margin, China might have been enabled to jog along in the old clumsy fashion for some years to come. What, however, does not seem to be realised is that the urgent necessities imposed by the war indemnity have changed all this, and that now China, in straits for money wherewith to satisfy the unpaid instalments of the indemnity, has been and is being irresistibly driven to the necessity of appealing to foreign nations to find her a loan on the security of the exploitation of her intrinsic resources. This is the minimum security that any country will accept, but it will satisfy Great Britain. The maximum security, such as Russia demands, includes large territorial concessions in the north, the placing of China's armaments under Russian control, and other onerous conditions, which would practially convert her into a protectorate of the Czar. The instinct of self-preservation ought assuredly to make her choose the less ruinous of these alternatives, especially when England is determined that the policy of excluding other nations shall not be put in force. All those interested in the trade of the East must realise, if they consider the above facts, that the throwing open of the Celestial Empire is thus, from the great necessities of the case, very near at hand, and when once the development sets in the process of opening up of the country will be rapid.

It is impossible to pass over one reform which lies actually within our own competence, and which will assuredly conduce greatly to enlarge British commerce with the Middle Kingdom-I mean the appointment of a Special Commissioner or Commercial Agent to take cognisance and charge of all matters relating to trade with China. This recommendation has been so admirably put by the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce that it ought to have carried conviction as a matter of course, but apparently up to the present it has failed to persuade either the right official in the Foreign Office or the Treasury, probably the latter. Similar appointments exist at Paris and other countries, and in China the need for such an officer is really most urgent.

Under the present decentralised system of (Chinese) government, material reform in the finances is not to be looked for, unless we can directly treat with each semi-independent provincial government, and, while the British Minister at Pekin is accredited to the Chinese Government, we should have an agent apart who, while subordinate to Her Majesty's Minister at Pekin, should be accredited to the provincial governors.

This is how Mr. Brenan summarises the recommendation in his interesting report on the trade of the treaty ports for 1896. The

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