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supplies, lamps, machinery, railway and electrical appliances, automobiles, hardware and building material.
The importance of adequate American banking facilities in China cannot be overestimated. The coöperation of leading financial interests with large business concerns, with branches in Peking, Shanghai, and other large business centres, for the purpose of financing great industrial undertakings, as well as furnishing all material, engineering and construction, is one of the great needs of the day, and one in which Americans are sadly behind their British and German competitors, who have far superior organizations in China, and make a more careful study of the requirements of the market. In Germany, in particular, the banks and manufacturers combine their interests and are thus prepared to secure profitable business by granting longer credits than it is possible for American concerns, to give under existing conditions.
This question of credits enters very vitally into our trade relations with China. It is of the utmost importance that we develop as speedily as possible this coöperation between our financial and industrial concerns, if we are to maintain our rightful position in connection with China's foreign trade.
In connection with railway construction and equipment, electrical and mechanical installations and general construction work, it is of the utmost importance that the representatives on the spot be competent to give intelligent information, specifications and quotations without delay. Many a good contract has been lost to a foreign competitor because of the absence of these requirements on the part of the American representative.
Illustrated catalogues printed in the Chinese language are a necessity in the introduction of many lines of goods, and where prices are quoted, they should always be c.i.f. Shanghai or some other Chinese port, as the people there have no way of ascertaining the cost of transportation from interior cities of the United States.
There should be established at Shanghai and possibly other important trade centres, permanent exhibitions of
American goods, in order to acquaint the people with our products.
I have only been able to touch briefly on a few of the most salient features bearing on successful commercial relations with China, and now to sum up:
1. China has a population of upwards of 400,000,000 people who are rapidly developing along western lines of living, with all the increasing demand for our goods consequent thereon.
2. The country has enormous natural resources which are being opened up to the markets of the world by rapid progress of railway construction, thus greatly increasing the purchasing power of the people.
3. Having this great population with ever-increasing requirements for foreign goods, it must be recognized that China will in the future furnish a great outlet for our surplus products. Now, therefore, is the time to secure a firm foothold and establish commercial relations that will gain for us the confidence and respect of the Chinese against the time of their great commercial activity.
4. We must make a careful study of conditions and requirements and acquire an intimate knowledge of the demands of the native trade.
5. We must not expect immediately profitable results, but by acquiring a better understanding of good export methods gradually lay the foundations of the great business that is sure to follow.
6. Establish adequate banking facilities, and put none but American representatives in the field, backed by sincere and genuinely interested producers.
7. Above all let us remember that American prestige is at stake. Not merely for the sake of financial gain, although this is sure to follow, but as patriotic Americans let us strive to attain and maintain our rightful position in China's commercial relations with the world, a position which shall* not only prove financially profitable to all concerned, but shall, by bringing these two great nations into close and harmonious commercial relations, materially assist in hastening the day of universal and permanent peace amongst the nations of the earth.
THE INDUSTRIAL FUTURE OF SHANSI PROVINCE
By Rev. Paul L. Corbin of Shansi Province
The province of Shansi is in the northern tier of the original eighteen provinces of China, and lies between Latitude 35° and 41° North and Longitude 111° to 114° East. The province is bounded on the north by Mongolia, on the east by Chihli, the metropolitan province, on the south and west by the Yellow River, separating it from Honan and Shensi provinces respectively. The area of the province, not including the districts lying to the north of the Great Wall, is about 56,000 square miles. Its population has been variously estimated from 9,500,000 to 12,000,000.
The importance of the province from an industrial viewpoint lies in two facts: first, it has vast deposits of mineral wealth; second, it is, in a sense, the gateway to the northwest of China and the heart of Asia. Certain lines of travel across the province have long indicated that one of its problems when the awakening to the touch of western civilization comes will be the problem of transportation. The chief problem in its industrial development, however, concerns its mineral wealth.
Before discussing either of these problems it may be well to describe the general topography of the province. Rising from the low plain which covers the greater portion of Chihli Province are ranges of hills extending from north to south. Shansi lies amid these hills. It is made up of successive ranges, bisected by water-courses, and with three elevated plains, or basins. The greater number of streams in the mountains are, naturally, tributary to the Yellow River: the river of chief importance among these is the Fên, which drains the central, largest, and most important of the three plateaus. The lower ranges of hills are of the wonderful loess formation, and are tillable. The higher ranges approach to the dignity of mountains, and are, for the most part,
rocky and with scant vegetation. Broadly speaking, the ranges diminish in altitude as one travels from the north to the south.
The first investigator into the mineral resources of Shansi was a German scholar, Baron von Richthofen. In connection with extensive journeys through all China to determine the industrial possibilities, this indefatigable explorer traveled across Shansi in 1870, approaching from the south and following the great central highway of the province from Pingyangfu to Jaiyuanfu, the provincial capital. He returned some months later for a second visit, reaching on that occasion the northern districts of the province. It is certain that he did not see a great part of the bituminous coal field of Shansi, but he saw the best-known portions of the anthracite field. He also investigated some of the districts where iron is produced. He concluded that the eastern half of the province over-lay a vast bed of anthracite, while in the western half there were extensive bituminous formations, the two fields being separated by the basin of the Fên River. However, the writer has found bituminous mines in the very center of what von Richthofen described as the anthracite field, and there are other indications that the respective fields may not be as regular in outline as he thought. It is probably true, too, that von Richthofen under-estimated rather than overestimated the bituminous fields. Certain very rich districts he did not visit at all. But he was evidently very greatly impressed by what he saw, and wrote that "there is coal enough in Shansi to last the world for thousands of years at the present rate of consumption." A recent writer has said that the anthracite deposits of Shansi alone are equal to all the anthracite deposits of the United States.
The information von Richthofen gave naturally drew some attention to the mineral wealth of Shansi. For a long time, however, no effort was made either by the foreigners or by the Chinese themselves, aside from the crude methods already in vogue, to exploit this mineral wealth. The conditions of transportation, the lack of markets in north China, and the fact that China was still a sealed land, made it
impossible to act upon the information von Richthofen gave for many years. The year 1898 saw far-reaching changes imminent in north China, following the reform program of the Emperor Kuang Hsü. In that year a mining concession in Shansi was granted to the Peking Syndicate. The overthrow of the reform party, and the reactionary policy of the government which followed, culminating in the so-called "Boxer rebellion" in 1900, kept the Syndicate from beginning the development of its concession. Later, however, as the railway from Chêngtingfu to Taiyuanfu penetrated the eastern ranges of Shansi, so affording an outlet by rail to Peking and Tientsin, the Syndicate began to open up its field. Experts were sent in to make careful investigations, especially in the department of Pingting. A base was established in that department and houses erected for the foreign staff.
About this time the Chinese themselves awoke to the possibilities of the concession they had given. The terms of the concession were manifestly not liberal to the Chinese. They made it practically impossible for the native mine-owners to work their mines by modern methods, or for native capital to open up new mines. An agitation against the Syndicate was begun, given some dramatic touches by the students in the provincial capital, and carried to an issue that the people of Shansi esteemed successful when, in 1907, the Syndicate was ousted from the province. The concession was given up, but the people of the province indemnified the Peking Syndicate to the amount of 2,750,000 taels. Every sincere well wisher of China must regret that this outcome was necessary. Had the terms of the concession been fair and liberal to the Chinese, the Peking Syndicate might today be in possession of its concession, at work in that magnificent field, and paying regular dividends to satisfied and happy stockholders.
Prior to the ousting of the Peking Syndicate the Chinese themselves had organized a company, called, the "Pao Chin Kung Ssu," i.e., the "Corporation for the Protection of Shansi," Chin being an ancient name of Shansi. This company took over the buildings erected by the Peking