Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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

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A special article opened, as treaty ports, Wuchow, Sanshui and
Kong Kun, and as ports of call, Kongmoon, Komchuk, Shuihing
and Takhing. The convention of September 6, 1894 (Hertslet,
pp. 110-113) affected the junction of the Chinese and Burmese
telegraph lines.

46. Hertslet, No. 17, pp. 92-94.

47. To this convention was later appended a set of regulations
signed on Dec. 5, 1893. Hertslet, No. 19, pp. 96-98.

48. State papers, Vol. 67, pp. 530-533.

49. State papers, Vol. 67, p. 531.

50. Hertslet, No. 61, pp. 361 -3o2.

51. State papers, Vol. 76, pp. 297-298; I bit, let, Vol. I, p. 362.

52. Morse, op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 19.

53. Kolnischer Xeitung, July 25. 1894, cited in North China
Herald, Sept. 7, 1894, quoted in Morse, op. cit., Vol. III. p. 29.

54. State papers, Vol. 87, pp. 799-804; Hertslet, pp. 362-369,
No. 62.

57. Hertslet, p. 365, Art. 6.

58. HertsKt, pp. 368-369.

59. State papers, Vol. 87, pp. 1195-1197; Hertslet, Vol. I, No.
63, pp. 37i» 373.

Hertslet, p. 379; cf. State papers, Vol. 62, pp. 322 and 323,
Art,. 8 and 1_'.
'■1 Hertslet, p. 381, Art. 25.
62. Hertslet, No. 65, pp. 382-383.


CONCESSIONS (1895-1911)

The third period of the diplomatic history of China
dates from the close of the Chino-Japanese War ( 1895)
to the beginning of the Chinese Revolution (1911). It
is a period characterized by the international struggle
for concessions. The first period (1689-1860), as we
have seen, opened China to the trade and intercourse of
Western nations. The second period (1860-1895), while
continuing the first in the process of the opening of China,
was chiefly characterized by the loss of dependencies.
The third period, which is our present theme, witnessed
the international struggle for concessions, which is prob-
ably the most interesting in our study of the foreign
relations of China.

The last period, by the loss of her dependencies, had
exposed China to the attacks of the West. For centuries
China had surrounded herelf with a cordon of depend-
encies which were to protect her from assault from the
outside world. But now a large number of these depend-
encies were taken away and China was exposed to the
onslaught of Western Powers.

Further, the Chino-Japanese War revealed to the world
the relative incompetency of the Chinese Government.
Hitherto China had fought with Western Powers, and
although she had been beaten several times, she was nev-
ertheless not considered so weak as to attract the un-
scrupulous aggression of the West. In fact, during the
Chino-French War of 1884-1885, the Chinese army stood

li'i own ground very well. Put the war with Japan
changed the opinion of the world. Japan was consid-



ered a secondary power in Asia. By one stroke she
brought the giant to the ground. This was a victory
of one Asiatic state over another. The world became
convinced that China was following in the wake of Africa
and that the nations should lose no time in taking what
they could.

Thus, during this period, China's integrity was ex-
posed to Western aggression, first by the loss of de-
pendencies and then by the disastrous defeat suffered
at the hand of Japan. From this time on. until checked
by the Chinese Revolution of 1911, the diplomatic his-
tory of China was marked by a series of unscrupulous
attacks on the sovereignty and integrity of China. And
this onslaught could not but produce the most strenu-
ous reaction on the part of the Chinese, which mani-
fested itself in the rise of Chinese nationalism. In
its first blind reaction, it took the form of the Boxer
Uprising, by which the Chinese, and especially the
Manchu rulers, thought that they could liberate them-
selves from the deadly intrusions of the West. Find-
ing this impossible, as evidenced in the disaster of 1900,
the next reaction took the form of the Chinese Revo-
lution of 1911, by which the Chinese wrested the reins
of government from the incompetent hands of the Man-
chus and sought to find shelter in their own republican
form of government.

Besides Chinese nationalism, this international strug-
gle for concessions brought into existence another con-
dition of affairs, which is commonly called the sphere
of interest or influence. In the heat of contest, the ag-
gressive states carved out the various spheres of influ-
ence for themselves, Russia in North Manchuria and
Outer Mongolia, Japan in South Manchuria and Inner
Mongolia, Germany in Shantung, Great Britain in the
Yangtze Valley, Thibet and Szechuan, France in Kwang-
tung, Kwangsi and Yunnan.

And to create these spheres of influence the Powers cm-


ployed definite means. The first step was to secure a
base, from which to radiate their forces of influence.
After this, the railroad was usually employed to extend
from the base to the interior, thus dominating the eco-
nomic life of the sphere. To finance the railway, min-
ing, and other forms of economic exploitation, a foreign
bank was usually established. Thus came into existence
what was commonly called the policy of conquest by rail-
road and bank. And in order to avoid international con-
flicts, the powers made agreements among themselves
that they would respect each other's spheres of influence.

Having seen the general characteristics of the period,
let us now return to the point where we left off at the
last period, that is, the Chino- Japanese War. As we
have seen, this war imposed on China an indemnity of
230.000.000 taels to be paid in seven years with interest
or in three years without interest. In order to save in-
terest, the Chinese Government strove to pay off the in-
demnity in three years. To this end, foreign loans were
contracted, and here we first witnessed international
rivalry or struggle. France and Russia obtained in 1895
the concession of the first loan of 400,000,000 francs. 1
This excited the jealousy of Great Britain, who feared
that the success of the Franco-Russian diplomacy would
upset the balance of power and hurt British prestige.
So the subsequent loans were obtained by Great Britain
in partnership with Germany. -

As we recall, the retrocession of Liaotung was due to
the tripartite intervention on the part of Russia, Ger-
many and France. These three Powers did not i
neer their intervention merely for the of China,

but rather to charge the account of service to the Em-
pire. On June 20, 1895, by two separate conventions,
France obtained a delimitation of the boundaries be-
tween Tonkin and China, much in favor of France,
including the alienation of a pari of Kiang Hung, 1 for


which China was later penalized by Great Britain by the
agreement of February 4, 1887, * according to which
China lost her sovereign rights over some frontier lands
bordering on Burma. France also secured the opening
to trade of Lungchow, Mengtze, Ho-Keou, ft and Szemao,
special mining privileges in Yunnan, Kwangsi, and
Kwangtung,' and the right of extension of the Annum
railway into China. 8

Russia was not slow in exacting her share of reward.
By the Convention of September 8, 1896,° she secured
the right to extend the Trans-Siberian Railway through
Northern Manchuria to Vladivostok, thereby obviating
the longer and more expensive route of running along
the Amur and Ussuri rivers, earmarked Kiaochou and
Port Arthur as the naval bases of Russia, and obtained
the mining privileges in Heilungkiang, Kirin, and along
the Long White Mountain Ranges.

Germany was the third of the tripartite Powers that
composed the Liaotung intervention of 1895. She waited
for her chance of obtaining her reward. When, in No-
vember, 1897, two of her Catholic priests were murdered
in Kiachwang, Shantung, she immediately seized Kiao-
chow Bay and demanded its lease besides redress for
the murder. As a consequence of this high-handed ac-
tion, the ECiaochow lease convention was signed on March
6, 1898. 10 Under Section 1 Kiaochau was leased to Ger-
many for ninety-nine years (Art. 2). The jurisdiction
over the leased territory was to be exercised by Germany
(Art. 3). A neutral zone of fifty kilometers was pro-
vided, in which Germany was to have the right of free
passage of her army, and China was to abstain from
taking any measures without the previous consent of the
( r( rman Government. Under Section 2 Germany ob-
tained the concessions of two railways in Shangtung, one
to run from Kiaochau to Chilian and the Shantung fron-
tier, the other from Kiaochau to I-Chou, and thence past


Laiwuhsien to Chinan. Under Section 3 she secured the
first option in any undertaking in which foreign assist-
ance was needed. 10

This was the first wanton assault on the sovereignty
and integrity of China. By the doctrine and operation
of the balance of power, the other European states im-
mediately followed suit. Russia seized Port Arthur and
Talienwan in December, 1897, and later demanded the
lease thereof. Consequently the agreement was signed on
on March 27, 1898. u Port Arthur and Talienwan were
leased to Russia (Art. 1) for a term of twenty-five
years, with the privilege of the renewal (Art. 3). The
jurisdiction of the leased territory for the term of the
lease, was to be exercised by Russia (Art. 4). A neutral
territory north of the leasehold was to be provided, in
which the Chinese Government was still to retain its
jurisdiction, but was not to send any troops except with
the consent of Russia (Art. 5). Port Arthur was to be
a closed port (Art. 6), which only Chinese and Russian
vessels were allowed to use, but Talienwan, with the
exception of a part reserved like Port Arthur, was to
be an open port (Art. 6). The right of extension from
a point in the Trans-Siberian Railway in Northern Man-
churia to a point in Liaotung Peninsula was granted on
the same principle as that applied in the grant of the
Trans-Siberian Railway through Northern Manchuria in
1896. Subsequently, on May 7, 1898, an additional
agreement between China and Russia was signed re-
specting the boundaries of Port Arthur and Talienwan 1J

and defining the Russian rights in the neutral zone.

Following upon the heels of Russia came 1'" ranee. She
demanded the lease of Kwangchouwan, the right t build
a railway from Tonkin to Yunnan, and a representative
of the French nationality for the head of the Chinese
Post ( Mtiee staff. By an exchange of notes of .April
9/10, 1898, 11 all these concessions were granted. In the
draft convention for the lease of Kwangchouwan of


189S, 11 the lease was arranged for ninety-nine years
(Art. 1 ) ; the French administration of the leased terri-
tory was conceded (Art. 3); the right of fortification
and garrison by France (Art. 4) and the concession
of a railmad from ECwangchouwan to Leichou or to a
point in the neighborhood thereof (Art. 7) were also

Compelled by the driving force of the balance of
power, Great Britain could not stand idle. To compen-
sate for the damages incurred by the gains of the other
Powers, Great Britain likewise stretched out her hands
and snatched concessions and leases necessary for self-
defense and for the preservation of the balance of power.
On February 4, 1897, by the agreement modifying the
Convention of 1894 relative to the boundaries between
Burma and China, in order "to waive its objections to
the alienation by China, by the Convention with France
of the 20th of June, 1895, of territory forming a por-
tion of Kiang Hung, in derogation of the provisions of
the Convention between Great Britain and China of the
1st March, 1894," 15 Great Britain secured a re-delimita-
tion of the boundaries between Burma and China, much
to the favor of Great Britain, and also obtained a con-
cession for the connection of the Yunnan and Burmese
Railway. 10 By the Convention of June 9, 1898, the
territory of Hong Kong was extended to include Deep
Bay and Llirs Bay and the lease of the extension was
for ninety-nine years. 17 Finally, by the Convention of
July 1, 1898, 18 Great Britain obtained the lease of Wei-
haiwei, "for so long a period as Port Arthur shall re-
main in the occupation of Russia." 10 "The territory
leased shall comprise the Island of Liu Kung, and all
the islands in the Bay of Weihaiwei, and a belt of land
ten English miles wide along the entire coast line of
the Bay of Weihaiwei. Within the above-mentioned ter-
ritory hased Great Britain shall have the sole jurisdic-
tion." 20 On February 13, 1898, Great Britain further


obtained the declaration that the Inspector-general of the
Maritime Customs should be a British subject while
British trade predominates. 21

Following the example of the other great Powet
Europe, Italy, in February, 1899, also attempted to lease
a naval base in China. She demanded the Sanmen Bay
in Chekiang. But she came too late. The control of
the Peking Court had already changed hands from the
feeble Emperor Kwang Hsu, to the master mind, the
Empress Dowager, Tse Hsi. The latter ordered the
Yangtze viceroys on the seacoast to make preparations to
resist with force. In face of this determined resistance,
Italy withdrew her demands.

In addition to leases and concessions, the Powers put
in the prior claims on their various spheres of influence
by means of the declaration of non-alienation. On their
face these declarations were nothing more than mere
utterances from a territorial sovereign that these various
spheres of influence would not be ceded in any form
to any power; but in reality, and in spirit, the Powers
understood them to mean that, by receiving these pledges
of non-alienation, they had a prior claim to their respec-
tive spheres of influence. Accordingly, France obtained
the declaration of non-alienation of the Island of Hainan
on .March 15, 1897." Later, on April 10. 1898. she
secured the declaration of non-alienation of the terri-
tory bordering on Tonkin.-' 1 Likewise, on February 11,
1898, Great Britain procured the declaration of non-
alienation of the Yangtze Valley. 84 On April 26, 1898,

Japan received a declaration concerning the non-aliena-
tion of Fukien. 88 By an exchange of notes annexed to
the Treaty of May 25, I'M 5, respecting the Province of
Shantung, Japan also secured the pledge from China
that "within the Province of Shantung or a '• coasts

no territory or island shall he 1. ased or c<

Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 4 of 39)