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ministration. China pledged not to convert Tibet into
a province nor will < hiter Tibet he represented in the
Chinese Parliament. China was to send no troops, no
civil officers, nor colonizers to Outer Tibet. All these pro-
visions tend to indicate that Great Britain would advance
there in exactly the same way that Russia Wjould in
Mongolia. This convention, however, was not ratified
by the Chinese Government, which would not admit
Chinghai or Kokonor, south of the Altun-tag Mountains,
or north of the Tangla Range as part of ( hiter Tibet,
Batang and Litang in Szechuan as part of Inner Tibet,
and a small part of Sinkiang beyond Kuenlung Moun-
tains as part of Outer Mongolia. ;



POLICY OF GREAT BRITAIN" IN CHINA 141

After the Russo-Japanese War, however, when Russia
had been checked, Great Britain changed the objective
of her policy. A new menace had arisen against her, and
that was the rising power of Germany. Formerly in the
contest against Russia only her interests in the Far East
were threatened, but now her very existence was menaced.
The rapid naval construction and the weltpolitik of the
Kaiser challenged her naval supremacy, the preservation
of which was the cardinal principle of the British policy.

To face this growing menace, she had not only to ex-
pand her navy as far as her resources would allow her,
but also to come to an amicable understanding with her
old friends, and become reconciled with some of her old
enemies. She therefore entered into the Hay-Paunce-
fote Treaty with the United States in 1901, nullifying
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, removing the source
of friction with the United States by an amicable settle-
ment of the Panama Canal question, much to the satis-
faction of the United State.-, at the same time withdraw-
ing her fleet from the West Indies for concentration in
the North Sea, thus leaving the United States supreme
in the West Indies/- In 1904 she entered into an entente
with France, formerly her rival, admitting French in-
terests into the Yangtze Valley and withdrawing her fleet
from the .Mediterranean to the North Sea, leaving the
British interests there to the protection of France. In
1905 she renewed the alliance with Japan, this time pledg-
ing to help in war whenever either party should he in-
voked, and at the same time withdrawing her Pacific

fleet from the Pacific and Indian ( >ceans for concentration
in the North Sea, and leaving British interests in china
and India to the protection of Japan. In L907 she con-
cluded an aj reement with her once bitteresl enemy, Rus-
sia." Besides a division of sphere of influence in P
and an understanding relating to Afghanistan, she a
with Russia on the question of Thibet thai they would
mutually respect the integrity of the same (Art. 1 ), ab-



142 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

stain from all interference in internal administration
(Art 2), seek no economic concessions < Art. 4), -end no
representatives to Llassa (Art. .V), deal with the state
exclusively through the ( government of China, its suzerain
(Art. 2), and "agree that no part of the revenues of
Thibet, whether in kind or in cash, shall he pledged or
assigned to Great Britain or Russia or to any of their
subjects" i An. 5). : '■'

Comment must be made, in passing, that the policy of
Great Britain in China was characterized in a marked
degree by justice and fair play. A British subject occu-
pies the office of Inspector-General of the Chinese mari-
time customs only while her track- predominates. 35 This,
of course, means that, to continue to hold the position, she
must enter into commercial competition and win pre-
dominance. In other words, she holds the office, as long
as she remains the champion in the field of China's for-
eign trade ; conversely, the moment she loses the cham-
pionship, she loses therewith the post of Inspector-Gen-
eral. In fact, it was specifically agreed that "if at some
future time the trade of some other country at the various
Chinese ports should become greater than that of Great
Britain, China will then, of course, not be bound to neces-
sarily employ an Englishman as Inspector-General." M
As a corollary of this sportsman-like arrangement it is
thought by some powers that under the most favored na-
tion treatment, when Great Britain loses her trade pre-
dominance, whatever power gains the commercial ascend-
ency can likewise claim the post of Inspector-General.
Again, in the Maekav Treaty of 1902, though the honor
must also be equitably shared with the United State- and
Japan which entered into similar treaties in 1903, she
was the first power to concede the surrender of the extra-
territorial jurisdiction upon satisfactory judicial reform
on the part of China, and also the increase of the import
tariff to not more than 12 1-2 per cent and the export



POLICY OF GREAT BRITAIN IN CHINA 143

tariff to not more than 7 1-2 per cent in return for the
abolition of likin, upon the unanimous consent of all the
powers enjoying, and that may enjoy, the most favored
nation treatment, and upon the obtainment of the said
consent without the grant of any political concession or
exclusive commercial privileges.

Further, in the agreement of January. 1908, 37 Great
Britain pledged to reduce the importation of opium by
one-tenth every year for a period of ten years, beginning
with 1908, provided the Chinese Government would re-
duce the production and consumption of native opium in
China in the meantime in the same ratio, and also agreed
that this ten-year agreement was to last for three years,
at the end of which time, if the Chinese Government
should have faithfully executed its obligations, the agree-
ment would be extended until the completion of the whole
period of ten years, in 1917. Accordingly, at the end of
the three years, when the Chinese Government was found
to have faithfully done its part of the obligation, on
May 8, 191 1, 38 she entered into a further agreement
ing to continue the previous convention of January,
1908, and to agree

"that the export of opium from India to China shall
cease in less than seven years if clear proof is given of
the complete absence of production of native opium in
China" (Art. 2), and "that Indian opium shall nol be
conveyed into any province in China which can establish
by clear evidence that it has effectively suppressed the
cultivation and the import of native opium" (Art.

Subsequently, when the Chinese Revolution and the

civil war had caused either the relaxtion of the efforts in
Suppression Or the revival of the cultivation of native'
opium, she generously overlooked the fault and faith-
fully adhered to her previous agreements. Thus, by a
repentance of heart and earnest cooperation in the sup-
pression of the opium evil, she obliterated the one damag-



144 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

ing blot on her fair name and removed the great cause
of grudge cherished by the Chinese ever since the Opium
War of 1840-42.

There were, however, instances when her sense of jus-
tice and fair play was carried to excess, resulting in a
disregard of the popular sentiment of the Chinese, and
the unwise assertion of the superiority of a ruling race.
In the case of the Shanghai-Hangchow-Ningpo Railway,
for instance, the people of the region traversed by the
line had already collected the funds and brought the line
almost to completion, when the British insisted on their
rights based on the grant of 1898, and forced a loan on
the Chinese Government in 1908. 30



Such being her policy, let us now speculate as to her
probable future course in China. Her traditional adher-
ence to the Open Door doctrine and her present participa-
tion in the New International Banking Consortium indi-
cate that she will return to China with a new zeal and
determination to uphold the principles of the equal op-
portunity of trade and the integrity of China. Her pur-
suance of this policy will, however, depend upon two
contingencies. The first depends upon whether the New
Consortium will succeed or not. If it succeeds, it means
the assurance of American leadership in the affairs of
China, and consequently the maintenance of the Open
Door doctrine, in which case she will be able to uphuld
it, and also incidentally continue her old policy of the
internationalization of loans and the proper supervision
of the expenditure of the proceeds of the loans. But
if the New Consortum should fail, it would mean the
loss of American leadership in the Orient, and conse-
quently the breakdown of the Open Door, in which case
she would not be able to check the general struggle for
concessions in China, but would be compelled to join
in the scramble as she did in 1898, 1908 and 1913-14. 40



POLICY OF GREAT BRITAIN IN CHINA 145

The other contingency is the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
now waiting for renewal. Should she renew the alliance
in its old form, which is not expected, she would have to
overlook Japan's attack on her interests in the Yangtze
Valley in 1915, as evidenced by the Twenty-one Demands,
and Japan's unfaithfulness during the war as evidenced
by the press attack after the failure to impose Group V
on China, and also the secret alliance with Russia of
191 6. 41 She would also have to compromise her Open
Door principles, in exchange for the Japanese protection
of British interests in China and India, by giving Japan
a free hand in South Manchuria and Eastern Inner Mon-
golia, if not in the whole of Manchuria and Mongolia in
view of the temporary ebb of Russian influence in these
regions, and also probably in the whole of North China
because of Japan's succession to the former German
rights in Shantung. She would further be obligated, un-
less otherwise provided, to support Japan, as against
China in the League in the Shantung question and the
abrogation of the Treaties of May 25, 1915, which obli-
gation would seriously disable her from a frank and im-
partial judgment, when China, as is expected, might bring
up these questions for reconsideration. Further, she
would have to suffer loss in the favor of the nations with
which Japan had causes of friction, such as the United
States, China, Siberia and Australia, unless she could
obtain immunity from such a liability and reserv<
own freed. in of action by an exemption from the obliga-
tion to assisl Japan, either in war or in diplomacy, or in
both, in case of a conflict of Japan with either of these
powers. On the cither hand, should she discontinue the
alliance in toto, she would be confronted with Japanese
resentment. This would be almost inevitable, in view of
Japan's anxiety to save herself from diplomatic isolation
and to forestall the eventuality of the reconsideration of
the Shantung question and the cancellation of the 1915
treaties. This would surely manifest itself in hostile



146 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

fomentation of rebellions in India and Egypt and other
territories, if not in entering into alliance with the enemies
of Great Britain.

Thus Great Britain is confronted with a most delicate
and serious diplomatic problem, upon the decision of
which hangs the future of her policy in China. It is,
however, expected that she will find a way out, by which,
on the one hand she can restrain Japan from any tendency
to create opposition or to foment rebellions, and yet,
on the other hand, she can uphold the Open Door doctrine
in China and avoid conflict, because of Japan, with the
powers bordering on the Pacific*"



NOTES TO CHAPTER VIII

I. MacMurrav, Treaties and Agreements with and Concern-
ing China, 1896/1.

MacMurray, 1000/5.

3. MacMnrra'v, 1899/3.

4. MacMurrav, 1907/16.

5. MacMurrav, 1902/2.

6. MacMurray, 1905/6.

7. MacMurra'y, 1911/7.

8. The rarliamentarv I Abates, Vol. 56, Apr. 4, 1898 to Apr. 29.
1898, p. 1559 et seq.

9. Morse, The international Relations of the Chinese Empire,
I. p. 348.

10. U. S. For. Rel., 1899, Lord Salisbury to Mr. Choate,

same, Nov. 30, 1899, pp. 135-136.

II. State Papers, Vol. 94, p. 1227, The Marquis of Salisbury
to Sir C. Scott. . 2 1902.

M MacMurray, 1905/6, and 1911/7.

13. Vide infra, chapters on the New International Banking
Consortium.

14. R. R. Gibson, Forces Mining and Undermining China, p.
279.

15. State Papers. Vol. 106, pp. 328-330, Mar. 4, 1912, Bigned by
\Y. Langley.

16. Vol. 106, p. 330. For. Off. to Lord Balfour
of Burleigh, Mar. 4, 1912, signed by W. Langley.

17. Stat. Sir Edward Gre) to Sir J. Jordan,
p. 432. Aug. 23, 1912

Parliamentary Debates, 5th Sen.-.. Nov. -Dec., 1911, Vol.
32, pp. 73-74.

Murray, The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey,
1906-1915, p. 48.



POLICY OF GREAT BRITAIN IN CHINA 147

19. F. It. Huang, Public Debts in China, p. 21 et seq.

20A. Vide supra, Chapter on the International Struggle for
Com

Hishida, the International Position of Japan as a Great
Power, p. 207; China, No. 1, 1899, pp. 344-347; M. C. Hsu,
Railway Problems in China, p. 43.

21. China, No. 1, 1899, No. 20, p. 15.

22. Hishida, op. cit., p. 200; Parliamentary Papers, China, No.
2, 1898.

23. Hertslet's China Treaties, Vol. 1, No. 24, pp. 120-122;
State Papers, Vol. 90, pp. 17-18.

24. Hen 25, p. 122; State Papers, Vol. 90, p. 16.

25. Balfour's instruction to Sir F. Lascelles, British Am-
bassador at Berlin, April 2, 1898: "You should inform the
German Government, pointing out to them that the action of
Russia forces this step on us. Its sole object is to maintain the
balance of power in the Gulf of Pechili, which was menaced by
Russia's occupation of Port Arthur. We do not anticipate this
policy will give any umbrage to German interests in Shantung,
since it is not possible to make Weihaiwei a commercial port, and
it would never be worth while to connect it with the peninsula
by railway."— China, No. 1, 1899, No. 2, p. 2.

26. MacMurray, 1898/2.

27. M. C. Hsu, Railway Problems in China, pp. 39-43; British
Blue Book, Affairs of China, No. 1, 1899, pp. 344-347, Sir Mac-
Donald to Lord Charles Beresford.

28. MacMurrav, 1906/2.

29. MacMurrav. 1906/2.

30. MacMurray, 1906/2.

31. H. K. Tong, British and Chinese Government Again Con-
ring Tibetan Question, Article in Millard's Review, June 7,

32. I. II. l.atane, From Isolation to Leadership, pp. 120-121.
.U. MacMurrav, 1907/16.

34. Millard, (jur Eastern Question, App. X, pp. 459-463;
Hertslet, Vol. 1, No. 121, pp. 620-622.

35. MacMurray, 1898/2, Feb. 13, KS98.
3d. MacMurrav, 1898/2.

.U. MacMurrav, 1911/4; L\ S. For. Rel., 1908. i
38. MacMurray, 1911/4.

.MacMurray, 1908/3, Mar.



Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 12 of 39)