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.

The problem thus outlined becomes a great dramatic thing.  The lines which trace the problem are immense, stretching from China to every shore bathed by the Pacific and then from there to the distant west.  Whenever there is a dull calm, that calm must be treated solely as an intermission, an interval between the acts, a preparation for something more sensational than the last episode, but not as a permanent settlement which can only come by the methods we have indicated.  For the Chinese question is no longer a local problem, but a great world-issue which statesmen must regulate by conferences in which universal principles will be vindicated if they wish permanently to eliminate what is almost the last remaining international powder-magazine.  A China that is henceforth not only admitted to the family of nations on terms of equality but welcomed as a representative of Liberalism and a subscriber to all those sanctions on which the civilization of peace rests, will directly tend to adjust every other Asiatic problem and to prevent a recrudescence of those evil phenomena which are the enemies of progress and happiness.  Is it too much to dream of such a consummation?  We think not.  It is to America and to England that China looks to rehabilitate herself and to make her Republic a reality.  If they lend her their help, if they are consistent, there is still no reason why this democracy on the shores of the Yellow Sea should not be reinstated in the proud position it occupied twenty centuries ago, when it furnished the very silks which clothed the daughters of the Caesars.


[27] The growth of the Chinese press is remarkable.  Although no complete statistics are available there is reason to believe that the number of periodicals in China now approximates 10,000, the daily vernacular newspapers in Peking alone exceeding 60.  Although no newspaper in China prints more than 20,000 copies a day, the reading public is growing at a phenomenal rate, it being estimated that at least 50 million people read the daily publications, or hear what they say,—­a fact which is deemed so politically important that all political parties and groups have their chains of organs throughout the country.

[28] The mediaeval condition of Chinese trade taxation is well illustrated by a Memorandum which the reader will find in the appendix.  One example may be quoted.  Timber shipped from the Yalu river, i.e. from Chinese territory, to Peking, pays duties at five different places, the total amount of which aggregates 20 per cent. of its market value; whilst timber from America, with transit dues and Peking Octroi added, only pays 10 per cent.!  China is probably the only country that has ever existed that discriminates against its own goods and gives preference to the foreigner,—­through the operation of the Treaties.

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