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ity, the feeling of belonging to one group of kindred, sympathetic, united people. You may have a small nation animated by this sentiment, or an immense nation filled with the same spirit. Within the last twenty-five years among her widespread people with little means of communication, China has developed in the educated class an intense feeling of nationality; and it has proved in the end that this sentiment of the educated class was capable of being communicated to the uneducated in numberless millions. The secret societies which developed, fostered, and brought about the Revolution found it possible to enlist over a million men in the revolutionary levies. Many of these men were coolies, mechanics, and farmers; but they were capable of feeling intensely the sentiment of nationality, which had sprung up in the breasts of the educated few. The Chinese are an Oriental race, and they have now a full sense of Oriental nationalism as distinguished from Occidental. They have been roused by the sight of another Oriental race close beside them suddenly developing a tremendous force in the broad world—West as well as East—and asserting the right to control by force Oriental regions which did not originally belong to them. In short, they have had before them the example of Japan. That example has stirred deeply all the Oriental peoples; and it is impossible to see now how far that influence is going. It is plainly to be seen in India, and far beyond.
The foreign visitor in China recognizes several types of face and figure in the population, yet does not see in these diversities any strong racial differences; but the Chinese themselves count five races in China, and have put five stripes of color into their new flag. These are, however, kindred races, closely allied in origin and history. That is a very important fact with regard to the creation of this spirit of nationality. The Orient teaches the world that the pure race is the best; that crosses between unlike races seldom turn out well; and everybody knows that the cross between any Oriental stock and any European stock is regarded as unsuccessful throughout the Orient. Japan illustrates the value of a race kept pure. Wherever the Japanese go as colonizers they keep their race pure. No European race has done that. On the contrary, the white race transported to the East has mixed with every native race it has encountered. It is the Oriental that has demonstrated the advantages of race purity.
Not only are the Chinese people penetrated with this spirit of nationality, they have been imbued with a fervent sentiment of patriotism. This, too, has originated in China with the educated class, and particularly with the young men who in recent years have been educated in Europe, America, and Japan. It was they who started the Revolution. Older people prepared it. Older people nursed it for nearly a generation; but it was fired by the Chinese youth, educated in other countries. I have never seen anywhere better evidences of a widespread and intense sentiment of patriotism than I saw in China.
Such are the chief means of unification for China. But consider for a moment what the obstacles are which this new government, now without any adequate resources, has to overcome.
In the first place, as I have already pointed out, the Manchu Empire left nothing at all to the Republic. I suppose that example is almost, if not quite, unique in the world. We have seen in Europe many transitions from one form of government to another, from one government to another. We are ourselves used to a transition every four or eight years, when the whole structure of government, with all its powers, is transmitted from one administration to another. Here is a case where an old empire went out, was extinguished, without transmitting anything of government organization or structure to its successor. Under these circumstances the poverty of China is a terrible obstacle to be overcome. It is poor not only in the sense that the government is poor, or has no resources, but that the whole population is poor. Under despotic government no people ever lays up any capital. That is one of the uniform failures of despotic government. Neither life nor property is safe under despotic government, and never has been. In China the rich man was always liable to be “squeezed”
by any official who discovered that he was rich. The Chinese who have become rich in Singapore and Penang do not dare to take their property home. They have given most generously to the cause of the Revolution; but they dare not take their properties home, because they believe that the property acquired with pain in foreign countries will be unsafe in China. Therefore there is no considerable amount of capital in China; and in this lack of accumulated savings China must borrow from outside, borrow from the western countries where capital has accumulated in huge amounts. The poverty of the Republic is the first obstacle to be overcome.
Then comes the dependence of China on the six powers that are sitting round about her and on her, each one except the United States really longing for a piece of China. What is the defence of China against that fear, that apprehension? Just the jealousy of one power toward another, or toward all the others. We are not liable to the accusation of selfinterest and jealousy, because we want nothing in China in the way of a “concession,” a piece of territory, or a sphere of influence; but all the other five powers want harbors, free access to the multitudinous Chinese with the products of western factories, and free opportunities for the profitable investment of western capital. Now that dependence is a fearful trial to all Chinese statesmen, to all Chinese lovers of their country. What escape from that dependence? No escape, except the invention of a national system of taxation which will yield promptly an adequate national annual revenue. That way lies the only escape from the dependent condition of China. How can such a system be established? Not by any action of the Chinese themselves unaided. There are no men in China competent for that task; no Chinese have been trained competent to establish such a revenue for the government. Therefore, foreign advice is indispensable. It must be disinterested advice; it must not come through advisers thrust upon them by any one of the six powers. It must be advice given by foreigners employed by the Chinese government itself as its servants. One of the most difficult problems before the Chinese government today is, how to obtain disinterested foreign advisers for its service. It is encouraging that they have found one suitable adviser, Dr. George Ernest Morrison, a great friend of the Chinese people, a liberal, open-minded British subject, long resident in China, the collector of a unique library of books on China, and himself master of the library. There is a good beginning made. It is a great puzzle for the educated Chinese themselves how they can select the expert foreign advisers they reluctantly admit to be indispensable. One of the cabinet said to me, “We Chinese cannot select the right kind of foreign adviser by looking at him and talking with him. We have difficulty in discerning the character of a western person in his face and manner. His manners are sure to be different from what we call good manners; and we cannot judge by the aspect, speech, and bearing of the foreign person whether he possesses the needed qualities of integrity and good judgment.” I have heard a good many Occidental gentlemen say the same thing about judging the quality of Chinese gentlemen. We feel quite alike, Orientals and Occidentals, on that subject.
What, then, are the grounds of hope for the Republic? How many Americans, Englishmen, and Scotchmen I met in China who had no hope at all for the Republic! How many who had really regretted the departure of the Manchus? I met several eminent diplomats who until the middle of April had hoped that the Manchus might return to power, and had done everything in their power to bring about that return; it was not until the middle of April that the diplomatic corps at Pekin made up their minds that the Manchus had gone forever. They were taken wholly by surprise by the outbreak of the Revolution, and for months they believed that the Manchus could head a limited monarchy with constitutional adjuncts. Now the most difficult form of government to set up and carry on is a constitutional monarchy. It is vastly more difficult than to set up a republic, or a dictatorship with republican forms. Nevertheless, a great majority of the diplomats, consuls, and foreign merchants and barristers in China believed and hoped it would be possible to create in China a constitutional monarchy after the Manchus had abdicated. There are many foreigners now resident in China who cannot bring themselves to believe that it is possible for a republic, even with a closely restricted suffrage, to be carried on in China. What ground is there for supposing, or imagining, that a republican form of government can be set up in China and be made stable? To my thinking, there is in the quality of the Chinese people as a whole strong ground for holding to that hope. The Chinese people have come through every possible struggle with adverse nature, and every possible suffering from despotic government; they have come through recurrent floods, droughts, and famines; they have been subject without defence not only to the sweeping pestilences like small-pox, cholera, and the plague, but to all the ordinary contagious diseases, to tuberculosis, and to all the fevers. Yet here they are by unknown hundreds of millions, tough, industrious, frugal, honest, and fecund. One hears of dishonest (at least, foreigners use that word in speaking of them) officials; but one seldom hears of a common Chinese man who is dishonest. They are notoriously honest in trade, in dealing with each other, and even with foreigners. They seem not to be liable to the alcoholic temptation, and as a rule are peaceably inclined, although liable, like some other peoples, to be transported by gregarious passions, superstititions, and panics. Now these are solid moral qualities in the Chinese. Their virtues are great, and high, and deep. Moreover, they have a producing value which is wonderful. They get everything possible out of the soil of China; and as a Western-trained, refined Chinese woman physician said to me in Tientsin, a woman who has been through everything that a woman can endure, and is now practising her profession in the midst of the Chinese poverty and desolation, "Here we are, poor, suffering, but indomitable!” Here is the ground for believing that it may be possible to create a free government in China. After all, the real foundations of free government all over the world lie in the character of the people. They must deserve to be free.