Edward Harper Parker.

China, her history, diplomacy, and commerce, from the earliest times to the present day online

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sympathies.

The Danes had a " hong " in the old factory
days at Canton : they, the French, and the
Swedes depended for their profits largely upon
their success in smuggling tea about the English
coasts. The Danes, through the good offices of
Sir Thomas (then Mr.) Wade, concluded a
treaty with China in 1863, and until 1893 their
interests were usually looked after at the ports
by the British consular authorities : in that
year they were placed in Russian hands. Danish
interests lie chiefly in the direction of Telegraph
Conventions, and they have a large staff at
Shanghai in connection with the Great Northern
and Eastern Extension Companies. It need
hardly be said that without the countenance
and support of Russia and Great Britain Den-
mark would not count for much in the Far East.
The Spaniards concluded a treaty with China
in 1864, but it does not appear to have been
ratified until 1867. In 1877 there were nego-
tiations about coolies for Cuba, but until 1881



118 ARRIVAL OF EUROPEANS [chap, v

the Spaniards do not seem to have had any
permanent minister in China. The Chinese
traders who went to Manila were always kept
under in rather an uncompromising way, and
it was manifestly the policy of Spain, subsequent
to the events described at the beginning of this
chapter, to have as little to do with official
China as possible. But in 1874 the new question
of the ill-treatment of Chinese in Cuba came
under discussion, and a Chinese mission was sent
to Cuba to inquire ; the result was the treaty of
December, 1878. When a permanent Chinese
minister was sent to the United States in 1879,
Spain and Cuba were included in his mission ;
and so it came about that the Spaniards had
to despatch to China an envoy in return. His
influence at Peking was never very great,
though Senor Cologan, as Doyen during the
" Boxer " settlement, acquitted liimself with
distinction. Since the loss of the Philippines
to America, Spanish influence in Peking may
be said to have disappeared altogether, except
in an academic sense.

Italy is recorded to have sent tribute in 1670,
and the Pope in 1723 ; but both these alleged
events are connected with the Jesuit-Dominican
dispute, the stormy conference at Macao, and
the unsuccessful missions of Tournon and Mezzo-
barba. The Italians, not having come to trade,
arc stated by Chinese authors to be the most
cultured and respectable of the barbarians, who
would never have " rebelled " but for the evil
example of England and France. The words of
the Chinese historian are almost prophetic, in view
of "Boxer "-time Italian action in Cheh Kiang:
" Even Italy, the most famous and civilised of
European countries, was moved by the same
prospect of greed, and in 1861 an application was
made by the Italian Consul for a share in trade



A.D.1866-96] ITALY, AUSTRIA. SWITZERLAND 119

privileges." The first Italian treaty was con-
cluded in 1866, but the Itahans did not put in
an official appearance until 1877, when a man-
of-war visited the coasts of Corea. The Italian
minister has usually resided in Shanghai, in
order the better to push the commercial interests
of his countrymen, as, for instance, the Peking
Syndicate agreement, signed in 1898. It was
not till 1899, in connection with the expected
concessions on the Cheh Kiang coasts, that Sr.
Salvago Raggi on behalf of Italy first showed
signs of a spirited forward policy. Her expec-
tations were, however, nipped in the bud by an
unexpected display of energy on the part of the
Chinese. It was success which followed this
last gasping effort of resistance that probably
inspired the vacillating Manchu rulers with a
part of the courage necessary in order to brace
themselves up for the crazy " Boxer " outburst.
In 1902 Sr. Gallina insisted that Italy should
receive a special Chinese minister, and not a
mere " double-barrelled " man.

The Austrians did not draw up a treaty until
1869, and for many years they left their interests
in British hands. Their minister until 1901
ordinarily resided in Japan, to which country
he was also accredited, but in 1902 Baron
Czikann, following the example of his Italian
colleague, demanded as a quid pro quo for his
presence at Peking a " single-barrelled " man
for Vienna. From this date Austria was a (not
very) " brilliant second " to Germany in China.

The Swiss have no treaty, and their interests
are commonly entrusted to French hands.
This absence of diplomatic contact had its
inconveniences in 1896 in connection with the
Postal Conference, and again in 1904 when Red
Cross matters were under discussion.

Peru drew up a treaty with China in 1875,



120 ARRIVAL OF EUROPEANS [chap, v

the interests of the latter country having special
reference to the alleged ill-treatment of coolies,
whilst the former's interest lay in procuring
them as cheaply, and with as few restrictions
as possible. The war with Chili practically
snufted out Peru, at all events so far as any
influence in China was concerned, and she may
be regarded for the present as non-existent in
Peking councils.

Brazil (1880), Mexico (1900), and the Congo
State (1898) have treaties with China, but, so
far, nothing has occurred to bring any of these
states prominently forward ; in each case
coolies were wanted by the one party, and it
was desired by the other to secure for them
decent treatment. Difficulties arose after Presi-
dent Diaz ceased his long firm rule, on account
of Chinese traders receiving ill-usage at the
hands of rival aspirants or their followers ; but
these appear to have been reasonably met on
both sides.

The Swedes established an East India Com-
pany in 1627, but their nationals who visited
China came on board vessels belonging to other
countries. A Swedish vessel reached Canton
in 1731, and fifty years later others are men-
tioned. There is a Swedo-Norwegian treaty
with China, and Mr. Carl Bock was resident in
Peking for a time (1897-1898) ; but since the
separation of 1905 the Scandinavian interests,
chiefly shipping, are sufficiently watched over
by consuls-general at Shangliai ; there has never
been a Norwegian minister at Peking so far as I
am aware ; but Count Wallenberg seems to
have been there for many years (off and on) as
minister for Sweden.

There was some flutter when in 1889 the
Sultan decided to send a frigate and a mission
to Japan. The reappearance on the high seas



A.D. 1882-1915] THE BALKAN POWERS 121

and in Chinese waters of the Turks so dreaded of
old was a highly interesting development. They
put in at Pagoda I. for refreshments, and there
I endeavoured to prove to the gallant com-
mander that he was a Hiung-nu in disguise ;
but the luckless Ertogrul came to grief on the
rocks in the Inland Sea, and the fierce Turks had
to be sent home as " distressed mariners." To
add local colour to an amusing denoument, the
Japanese man-of-war which took the men home
was refused free admittance through the Dar-
danelles, and had to " get ready for action."

In 1882 the Serbian King Milan begged the
Chinese Minister in France to hand in a letter
to his august master announcing Serbia's pro-
motion to kingly rank. Rumania had already
set Balkan examples in 1881, when two separate
missions were either sent (or perhaps locally
commissioned) to announce (1) the accession
of King Charles, and (2) his promotion to royal
status. In 1915 the death of King Charles and
the succession of King Ferdinand were " an-
nounced."

In 1902 "Great Han" (i.e. "Imperial" Corea)
sent resident envoys to China, and exchanged
certain consuls; but of course these amenities
ceased after the Japanese had ousted all foreign
political influence from Corea- — as a result of the
Russo-Japanese conflict.

In 1915 the newly elected President of Uruguay
announced his accession.



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Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina, her history, diplomacy, and commerce, from the earliest times to the present day → online text (page 12 of 35)