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In this act Russia is following the lead of her ally, Great Britain, who not long ago proclaimed what amounts to a protectorate over the territory of Thibet, just as, on a recent occasion, Great Britain joined Russia in their monstrous and disgraceful treatment of Persia. It is the consummation of the policy of "squeeze" that has been carried on ever since China opened her doors, at the mouth of the cannon, to the crime of the century, the opium trade of England, and later, to so-called modern civilization.
Thus it seems that the vivisection of the sick man of the Far East may proceed merrily, without consideration for the interests or sentiments of the patient under the scalpel. This at the moment seems to be the lamentable result of the action of the six-power syndicate. It seems apparent that the famous combination has signally failed in its financial policy, despite governmental assistance, and that nothing has been gained by the delay in the recognition of the Republic. But what has been lost?
By formally recognizing the new government as soon as it had demonstrated its right to such recognition, America would have followed the splendid traditions of our forebears, who enunciated and practiced the laws of justice and liberty which made our country great, and from whose teachings we have departed too far. We would have had the proud distinction of being the first to welcome the Republic in its hour of trial. We would have secured the eternal friendship and respect of a nation, which, no matter what adversity it may yet have to face, is destined to be one of the greatest and grandest on earth. We would have immeasurably increased our prestige in the Orient, and possibly, by proclaiming the policy of "hands off" and the "open door" in China, averted the tragedy that now seems almost inevitable.
Is there anyone present who believes that if John Hay had been in the Department of State during the past year, the republic of China would not have been recognized long ago? Had his policy been followed directly after the abdication of the Manchu dynasty, China, in the opinion of well-informed authorities, would have escaped many of the dangers now menacing her. Time was, in the history of American diplo
macy, when our Executive acted upon the recognition of downtrodden nations which had emancipated themselves from tyranny and established republican forms of government, without consultation or dictation from Lombard or Wall Street. The majority of our people are, and from the first have been, in sincere sympathy with China in her struggle for liberty. Is their will to be carried out or is liberty, and opportunity, to be throttled and made subservient to a group of capitalists who seek to monopolize the privilege of dictatorship?
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
THE GENESIS OF THE REPUBLICAN REVOLUTION
IN CHINA FROM A SOUTH CHINA
By John Stuart Thomson, sometime Agent at Hong Kong, China, of the Pacific Mail and Toyo Kisen Kaisha Trans-Pacific Steamship Companies
Many have thought of, many have spoken on the Chinese revolution, but each onlooker probably sees it in slightly varying lights, as the matter has very many sides. With your permission I will add a few statements, trying to outline the genesis of the astonishing movement as it appeared to me, and selecting some salient points while the revolution was in progress. I lived longest in south China, which section has thought longest on revolution, and I will therefore speak largely as a neighbor of the southern Chinese, but I will always remember that every "National" has his inalienable right to free opinion and his opinion and personality I have hearty respect for. "A man's a man for a' that!"
A republic in place of the oldest monarchy! Preposterous. It would involve making a yellow man think as a white man, and that had never occurred. It would involve free intercourse with the whole wide world, and China had opposed such an innovation stubbornly for 400 years. It meant that the proudest and most self-contained nation should treat others as equals and interchange with them. It involved throwing 4000 years of continuous history and agglomerated pride and precedent to the winds, and humbly beginning anew as a tyro for a while. It meant the dealing with 400,000,000 kings, instead of one, and asking, "My lord! what is your will." An educational system 2000 years old to be at once forgotten! a religion 5000 years old at least, whereby every man had his own god (his father) to be made as cheap as the paltry sacrifices of wine, rice
and the painted stick of Confucianism, were in reality! The taking up of individual and national responsibility for 400,000,000 people, and entrance upon a wide path of world-influence, with its divided shame and fame. The taking and giving of blows for wrong and right. The giving up of the triple eternal Nirvana of father, self and son, in exchange for an exciting role limited to 55 crowded years in the individual. The scale of the action! A land as large as all Europe, and a people as numerous as the Caucasic race. The thunderous knock on the long-locked doors of science and medicine by 400,000,000 people, who had bowed to idol and charm alone. It shook the world. It was pregnant with Paradisial possibilities for mankind, because of the vastness of the movement, and the depth of its wellspring. The launching of this new Leviathan ship of state could not but raise a wave that would lift the already floating hulks of Europe and America, and give them added impetus, though temporary alarm. The rearrangement of commerce, manufacture, labor, finance, taxation, learning, agriculture, art, and possibly religion for the whole world. The adding of the most difficult language to the tongues and pens of men, and the call on the English speech to rise once more greater than the mighty stranger, or pale before the light of his march. The challenge to Palestine's Bible to conquer by truth and love, or retreat with half a world lost. The uprising again of the yellow ghosts of Kublai Khan, Batu, Timurlane, and the Khans of the Golden Horde. What would be the Caucasian's answer to Emperor William's question "The Yellow Peril?" It will be remembered that the brilliant Kaiser once painted a picture showing the nations of Europe gathering to defend the cross of Calvary and civilization against an incendiary Buddha lowering in the eastern sky. Would the stranger within the gates be protected, even while republican and imperialist fought out their argument? Would leadership arise, and would the great Mongolian mass be intellectualized now that it was energized? Since the vast body was suddenly displaced, would it henceforward move by mere gravity, or sympathetic volition? Could it collectivize and
not disintegrate? What would be the effect on the scores of trembling thrones, where Romanoff, Hapsburg, Savoy, Hohenzollern, Ottoman, Billiken, etc. said they ruled by divine right," which is quite a different thing from noble England's "constitutional right." Dr. Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese republicans sent out this challenge: "Tien ming wu chang" (the divine right lasts not forever). All these questions presented themselves when the reformers startled the world with the announcement that there was to be a republic in China. It was to be a republic-not a monarchy -said even those Chinese who had been educated in Japan. Had there been no abatement of the opium habit through America's leadership of sentiment, and Britain's sacrifice of revenue from 1909 to 1911, there could have been no rebellion as early as 1911. The reform cleared the befogged heads of the nation, added a million men to agitation, and furnished a hundred million dollars directly and indirectly toward the independence of the agitators. How great a stone America and Britain set rolling in that Opium Con\ference of 1909 at Shanghai.
The great revolution of October, 1911, did not drop as a bolt from a clear sky. The clouds had been gathering, though many at home and abroad did not, or would not see them. In September, 1911, the Imperial Viceroy of Canton, Chang Ming Chi, sent spies along the new CantonHong Kong Railway to apprehend smugglers of arms. the same month, troops under the command of Marshal Lung Chai Kwong suddenly surrounded the office of Shat Pat Po newspaper at Canton, and arrested several reformers, who had been blacklisted for opinion's sake. General Luk Wing Ting of Kwangsi province came down the Si Kiang (West River) in September 1911 in the gunboat Po Pik to Canton, and took back with him from the Canton arsenal, machine guns and ammunition to attack the "anarchists," as the Manchus persistently called all reformers. In the month previous the Ministry of Posts and Communications at Peking stopped the use of private codes, so as to censor messages to the reformers. Several viceroys, in secret sympathy with the reformers, had as early as August, 1911,