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.

On the 10th October he took his final oath of office as President for a term of five years before a great gathering of officials and the whole diplomatic body in the magnificent Throne Room of the Winter Palace.  Safe now in his Constitutional position nothing remained for him but to strike.  On the 4th November he issued an arbitrary Mandate, which received the counter-signature of the whole Cabinet, ordering the unseating of all the so-called Kuomingtang or Radical Senators and Representatives on the counts of conspiracy and secret complicity with the July rising and vaguely referring to the filling of the vacancies thus created by new elections.[10] The Metropolitan Police rigorously carried out the order and although no brutality was shown, it was made clear that if any of the indicted men remained in Peking their lives would be at stake.  Having made it impossible for Parliament to sit owing to the lack of quorums, Yuan Shih-kai was able to proceed with his work of reorganization in the way that best suited him; and the novel spectacle was offered of a truly Mexican situation created in the Far East by and with the assent of the Powers.  It is significant that the day succeeding this coup d’etat of the 4th November the agreement conceding autonomy to Outer Mongolia was signed with Russia, China simply retaining the right to station a diplomatic representative at Urga.[11]

In spite of his undisputed power, matters however did not improve.  The police-control, judiciously mingled with assassinations, which was now put in full vigour was hardly the administration to make room for which the Manchus had been expelled; and the country secretly chafed and cursed.  But the disillusionment of the people was complete.  Revolt had been tried in vain; and as the support which the Powers were affording to this regime was well understood there was nothing to do but to wait, safe in the knowledge that such a situation possessed no elements of permanency.


[6] The defective nature of this oath of office will be patent at a glance: 

“At the beginning of the Republic there are many things to be taken care of.  I, Yuan Shih-kai, sincerely wish to exert my utmost to promote the democratic spirit, to remove the dark blots of despotism, to obey strictly the Constitution, and to abide by the wish of the people, so as to place the country in a safe, united, strong, and firm position, and to effect the happiness and welfare of the divisions of the Chinese race.  All these wishes I will fulfil without fail.  As soon as a new President is elected by the National Assembly I shall at once vacate my present position.  With all sincerity I take this oath before the people of China.

“Dated the tenth day of March in the First Year of the Republic of China (1912).”

(Signed) Yuan Shih-kai.

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