Mingchien Joshua Bau.

The foreign relations of China: a history and a survey online

. (page 19 of 39)
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world — to face the increasing domination of the West.

What is worse. Japan's destiny and welfare are inti-
mately related to those of China. Japan depends upon

her for the Supply Of basic materials, particularly coal,
iron and Steel, for a market for her manufactured prod-

and for mutual cooperation against the \\


domination. Should China fall. Japan would undoubt-
edly be crippled. "With the history of European diplo-
macy in the Near and Far East before them, the Japa-
nese cannot but shudder at the thought of the day when
China shall be held fast in the grip of Western Powers." s
To Japan, therefore, the Chinese question is one of
life and death, and upon its proper and successful solu-
tion depends her future prosperity and well-being :

"For many years to come Japan's efforts will be con-
centrated upon the solution of the Chinese question.
Whether or not she is equal to the task, she must here
make supreme efforts, for her place in world politics
primarily lies in the molding of Asia's destiny. She will
urred to play the leading role in the disposition of
the Chinese situation, not from any motives of empire
building, but from the necessity of self-preservation.
Open the map of China, and mark out the territories
staked out by various European Powers as their spheres
of influence. Then you will begin to realize why the
Japanese, deep in their heart, still cherish the fear of the
Occident." *

For this reason, Japan would not hesitate to take such
measures as are necessary for her own self -preservation
as regards China. Consequently, she endeavors to fore-
stall Western control by Japanese control.

\ ide from existing conditions and out of fear of
the WCstern control of China, there is yet another vital
reason why Japan desires to attain political control, and
that is the future of China and its relation to herself.
Should China be partitioned, Japan would again he iso-
lated, and have to face the West alone. If she should be
controlled by the Western Powers, Japan would again
the economic support and political cooperation which
China can give her. If China should remain weak and
divided, as she now is, Japan's own welfare and safety
will be jeopardized by frequent rebellions and insurrec-


tions and possible foreign intervention. If, however,
China should become strong. Japan has to face the alter-
native of a strong and friendly China or a strong but
hostile China. Frankly speaking, a strong and hostile
China, possessing ten times the strength of Japan, is
the last choice Japan wishes to have to make. On the
other hand, a strong and friendly China would be diffi-
cult to secure. Having attained her own status of inter-
national equality at the expense of China's defeat, and
entertaining territorial designs on South Manchuria and
Eastern Inner Mongolia, she is quite aware of the pos-
sible revenge that a strong China is likely to take. Apart
from the possibility of revenge, the rise of a strong
China, granting it to be friendly, is bound to stand in
the way of Japan's territorial expansion and to over-
shadow her strength and importance. It would prob-
ably wrest from her the leadership of the Orient, which
she would never willingly yield. While it must be stated
in all fairness that there are Japanese who believe sin-
cerely that a strong and friendly China is the best pro-
tection Japan can have, there is an overwhelming ma-
jority who hold to a contrary opinion. Prince Yanmagata
once remarked : "A strong Emperor is what is needed to
rejuvenate China, and to enable her to surpass Japan.
Japan, therefore, does not want a strong Emperor in
China. Still less does Japan want a successful republic
there. Japan wants a weak and incapable China; and
a weak- China under a weak Emperor, subject to Japan's
influence, would be the ideal state." B '' T s h is, therefore,

fair to infer that Japan does not wish to see a partition

of China, nor a Western control of China, nor a strong

China, nor a hostile China. What she desires is her own

control of China. Thai is her ideal. By this means she
can not only forestall Western control, but also safeguard
her own future againsl China. With control assured,
she can, as a matter of course, cany out at will tl.<
of her policies in China — economic exploitation, territorial


expansion, paramount influence and an Asiatic Monroe

Much more than as a measure of self-defense against
a rising China, Japan desires to control the former coun-
try so as to use her as an instrument for what may be
calkd world domination. Japan dreams of a day when
she will rule the entire Orient, and be able to measure
swords with the West, if not actually to dispute Western
superiority and domination. While this dream is not
entertained by all Japanese, it is nevertheless the ambi-
tion of some of them, particularly the Jingoists. A
Japanese Imperial Pronouncement written in the autumn
of 1916 contains the following:

"Fifty million of our race wherewith to conquer and
possess the earth ! It is indeed a glorious problem ! . . .
To begin with, we new have China; China is our steed!
Far shall we ride upon her! Even as Rome rode Latium
to conquer Italy, and Italy to conquer the Mediterranean,
even as Napoleon rode Italy and the Rhenish States to
conquer Germany, and Germany to conquer Europe;
even as England to-day rides her colonies and her so-
called "allies" to conquer her robust rival — Germany —
even so shall we ride China. So become our 50,000,000
race 500,000,000 strong; so grow our paltry hundreds of
millions of gold into billions ! . . . But using China a^
our steed, should our first goal be the land? India?
or the Pacific, the sea that must be our very own. even as
the Atlantic is now England's? The land is tempting
and easy, but withal dangerous. ... It must, therefore,
be the sea; but the sea means the Western Americas and
all the islands between and with those must soon come
Australia, India, and then the battling for the balance of
world-power, for the rest of North America. Once that
is ours, we own and control the whole — a domination
worthy of our race !"

It is, therefore, fair to conclude that certain Japanese,
especially the Jingoists, entertain the dream of consoli-


dating the yellow race under the banner of Dai Nippon
and of disputing Western domination, at least in the
Orient, through the instrumentality of a subjugated and
enthralled China.

With such a policy determined on, she waited for an
opportunity for its execution. When the Powers were
present in China, she was not able to disclose her
desire. When, in consequence of the war, the Eu-
ropeans retired, the opportunity came, which, as the
Japanese said, would "not occur again for hundreds
of years to come." At that opportune moment the Black
Dragon Society appeared, urging the Government to form
a defensive alliance with China, as a means to control
her, and to resist the post-bellum Western aggression.
It read in part:

"It is a very important matter of policy whether the
Japanese Government, in obedience to its divine mission,
shall solve the Chinese Question in a heroic manner by
making China voluntarily rely upon Japan. To force
China to such a position there is nothing else for the
Imperial Japanese Government to do but to take advan-
tage of the present opportunity to seize the reins of po-
litical and financial power and to enter by all means into
a defensive alliance. . . ." X1

"From date of the signing of this Defensive Alliance,
Japan and China shall work together hand in hand.
Japan will assume the responsibility of safeguarding
Chinese territory and maintaining the peace and order in
China. These will relieve China of all future anxieties
and will enable her to proceed energetically with her re-
forms, and. with a sense of territorial security, she may
wait for her national development and regeneration
Even after the presenl European war is ever and i"


Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 19 of 39)