The Fight For The Republic in China eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Fight For The Republic in China.

One last anomaly has, however, yet to be done away with in Peking.  The deposed boy Emperor still resides in the Winter Palace surrounded by a miniature court,—­a state of affairs which should not be tolerated any longer as it no doubt tends to assist the rumours which every now and again are mysteriously spread by interested parties that a Restoration is imminent.  The time has arrived when not only must the Manchu Imperial Family be removed far from the capital but a scheme worked out for commuting the pension-system of so-called Bannerman families who still draw their monthly allowances as under the Manchus, thanks to the articles of Favourable Treatment signed at the time of abdication of 1912.  When these two important questions have been settled, imperialism in China will tend rapidly to fade into complete oblivion.


[21] Although the events dealt with in Chapter XVI have brought China face to face with a new crisis the force of the arguments used here is in no wise weakened.

[22] Since this was written two Cabinet Ministers have been summarily arrested.



Such, then, were the internal conditions which the new administration was called upon to face with the death of Yuan Shih-kai.  With very little money in the National Treasury and with the provinces unable or unwilling to remit to the capital a single dollar, it was fortunate that at least one public service, erected under foreign pressure, should be brilliantly justifying its existence.  The Salt Administration, efficiently reorganized in the space of three years by the great Indian authority, Sir Richard Dane, was now providing a monthly surplus of nearly five million dollars; and it was this revenue which kept China alive during a troubled transitional period when every one was declaring that she must die.  By husbanding this hard cash and mixing it liberally with paper money, the Central Government has been able since June, 1916, to meet its current obligations and to keep the general machinery from breaking down.

But in a country such as China new dangers have to be constantly faced and smoothed away—­the interests of the outer world pressing on the country and conflicting with the native interest at a myriad points.  And in order to illustrate and make clear the sort of daily exacerbation which the nation must endure because of the vastness of its territory and the octopus-hold of the foreigner we give two typical cases of international trouble which have occurred since Yuan Shih-kai’s death.  The first is the well-known Chengchiatun incident which occurred in Manchuria in August, 1916:  the second is the Lao-hsi-kai affair which took place in Tientsin in November of the same year and created a storm of rage against France throughout North China which at the moment of writing has not yet abated.

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The Fight For The Republic in China from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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