Copyright
Mingchien Joshua Bau.

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

. (page 8 of 39)
Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 8 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


to the battlefields of Europe, leaving Japan alone, su-
preme and untrammeled in the Far East, the oppor-
tunity of which she had fully availed herself.

But during this period we may also notice that new

forces have come into the life of China. I'he first is
the Japanese effort to gain the control of China during
the World War. In order to forestall the exigency of



COOPERATION AND CONTROL 87

the international' control of China, Japan made the abor-
tive attempt by the presentation of Group V of the 21
demands. The other is the full awakening and maturity
of Chinese nationalism, which was touched to the
quick by the Shantung decision and which promises to
be the savior of Chinese independence in the days to
come.

This completes our sketch of the diplomatic history
of China. Viewing the four periods as a whole, we
clearly discern that there are definite tendencies and
forces at work.

First, we have seen that the Chinese did not welcome
Western intercourse in the first and second periods, and,
in fact, they were hostile to the unwarranted interfer-
ence with their isolation and tranquillity. During the
first period they were haughty, feeling themselves supe-
rior to western barbarians. During the second period,
while they had abandoned the conceit of superiority, they
were still antagonistic to the west. This hostile attitude
culminated in the Boxer Uprising of the third period
in 1900. Thereafter, however, the Chinese attitude
underwent a radical change. Instead of feeling superior,
they regarded themselves as inferior; instead of being
hostile, they welcomed Western contact, and were
anxious to learn the best of Occidental civilization.

On the other hand, the attitude of the Western na-
tions, during the first period, was one of struggling for
equality, and during the second period, that of treating
China more or less on a basis of equality; bul when the
third period eame, it distinctly changed for the worse
and they regarded the Chinese as an inferior and down-
trodden race destined to be ruled by the West. After,
however, the Chinese Revolution took place in I'M 1 . it

began to change for the better, and when China joined

the Allies in 1917 and subsequently proved herself to be
worthy of respect and admiration at the Paris Peace



88 THE DIPLOMATIC HISTORY OF CHINA

Conference and in the League, Western states began to
assume more and more an attitude of equality.

Second, the method and nature of Western aggression
have undergone a radical change during the four periods
of Chinese diplomatic history. In the first period, the
Western states were merely hent on opening China for
trade and intercourse. In the second period, having
opened China, they deprived her of one dependency
after the other. In the third period, when protection
from the dependencies was eliminated and the weakness
of China was revealed by Japan's easy victory, they
entered into an international struggle for concessions,
victimizing China and threatening her very integrity. In
the fourth and present period, however, they have
changed their policy from struggle to cooperation, and
from partition to control.

On the other hand, the Chinese were determined to
preserve themselves in the face of Western aggression.
In the first period, while China was heing opened up,
they were fast asleep. In the second period, when the
outlying dependencies were being taken away one after
the other, the Chinese were still asleep. In the third
period, when Western nations began to threaten the
very existence of China, they speedily woke up. They
first resorted to the fanatical attempt to expel all "for-
eign devils" from China, as was shown in the Boxer
Uprising, and having failed in that endeavor and being
humiliated, they directed their efforts at the reforma-
tion of their government, as manifested in the Chinese
Revolution of 1911. In the fourth and present period,
Chinese nationalism was wide-awake, determined to save
their land and independence from the encroachments of
either the West or Japan.

With this sketch of Chinese diplomatic history, let
us now turn to the policies of the Great Towers in
China, which will he treated in Parts II and III. 70



COOPERATION AND CONTROL 89



NOTES TO CHAPTER IV

1. MacMurrav, Treaties and Agreements with and Concern-
ing China, 1911/2.

2. MacMurrav, ibid., China Year Book, 1912, p. 288.

3. MacMurrav. ibid., 1911/2.

4. MacMurrav, ibid., 1913/5.

5. MacMurrav, ibid., 1912/4.

6. For a full account, see F. H. Huang, Public Debts in
China, ch. on The Reorganization Loan of 1913, pp. 56-71.

7. F. H. Huang, ibid., pp. 58-59; China Year Book, 1913, pp.
358-359.

8. MacMurrav, op. cit., 1912/9; China Year Book, 1913, pp.
359-364.

9A. China Year Book, 1914, p. 379.
9B. U. S. For. Rel., 1913, pp. 170-171.

10. MacMurrav, op. cit., 1913/5.

11. China Year Book, 1914, p. 387.

12. MacMurrav, op. cit., 1912/11.

13. MacMurrav, ibid., 1912/11.

14. Far Eastern Review, Jan., 1921, pp. 31-33.

15. MacMurray, op. cit, 1913/8.

16. MacMurrav, 1913/10.

17. MacMurrav, 1914/2.

18. MacMurray, 1895/5.

19. MacMurray, 1913/16.

20. It is to be observed here in this connection that later, on
September 24, 1918, Japan secured the concession of these two
railways, changing, however, Hancbuang to Hsuchowfu.

21. MacMurrav, op. cit., 1913/12.

22. MacMurrav, 1914/7.

23. MacMurrav, 1914/7.

24. MacMurray, 1914/4.

25. The Chino- Japanese Negotiations, published by the Chinese
Government, 1915, pp. 10-11.

26. MacMurrav, op. cit., 1916/6.

27. MacMurray, 1916

28. MacMurray, \ ( >\(,/7.

29. MacMurrav, 1913/9.

30. MacMurrav. 1913/9.

31. MacMurrav, 1918/16.

32. MacMurrav. 1917/9.

33. MacMurray, 1918/7.

34. MacMurra

35. MacMurrav, 1918/11.

36. MacMurray, 1916/3.

37. MacMurrav. 1911/13.

38. MacMurray, 1912/12.

39. MacMurray, 1913/11.



90 THE DIPLOMATIC HISTORY OF CHINA

4(). MacMurray, 1914/12.

41. MacMurray, 1915 10.

42. The Shantung . officially presented by the Chinese

Delegation t«> the Paris Conference of 1919. published by
itional Welfare Society, 1920, pp. 39-40.

43. The Chino-Japanese Negotiations, p. 19.

44. Ibid., pp. 19-21.

45. Ibid., p. 21.
4o. Ibid., p. 21.

47. Millard, Democracy and the Eastern Question, Appendix,
PP. Mh-2>77.

48. The Chino-Japanese Negotiations, op. cit., p. 23.

49. II .id., pp. 24-27.

50. Ibid., p. 27.

51. Ibid., pp. 28-29.

52. Ibid., p. 42.

53. Millard, op. cit., App., pp. 405-406.

54. The Chino-Japanese Negotiations, pp. 53-54.

55. B. L. Putnam Weale, The Fight for the Republic in China,
p. 302.

56. The ShanUme Question, p. 40; Millard, op. cit., pp. 55-96.

57. Ibid., pp. 97-100.'

58. Ibid., p. 106.

59. Millard's Review, Supplement, July 17, 1920, China's Case
at the Peace Conference, pp. 1-3.

60. The Shantung Question, App. to Vol. 2, No. 18, pp. 04-65.

61. W. R. Wheeler,' China and the World War, pp. 93-94.

62. Millard, Democracy and the Eastern Question, p. 118 et
seq.

63. For a detailed account of the Mission, see The Imperial
Japanese Mission to the United States, 1917, pub. by the Car-
negie Endowment for [nternatl. Peace.

64. Hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations in
the United States Senate, 66th Congress, First Session, pp. 225-
226.

65. Millard, op. cit., p. 164.

66. Ibid.. App. C, pp. 421-425.

67. For the full t( xt of the claims, see Millard's Review, Sup-
plement. July 17, 1920, China's Case at the Peace Conference,
pp. 4-6.

68. For a full account, see Millard's Review, Supp., July 17,
1920, pp. 10-13.

69. For a full account, see Thomas W. Camont, Preliminary
Report on the New Consortium for China, 1920; also see below
the chapters on the New International Banking Consortium.

70. During this period Chile entered into treat] relations with
China on Feb. 18, 1915 (MacMurray, 1915/2), and Switzerland,
on June 13, 1918 (MacMurray, 1«'1878).



PART II

POLICIES OF THE GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

V. The Policy of Russia

VI. The Policy of France

VII. The Policy of Germany

VIII. The Policy of Great Britain

IX. The Policy of the United States



THE POLICY OF RUSSIA IN CHINA

The policy of Russia in China has been one of terri-
torial expansion. She has pursued this policy persistently
until checked by the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, and
interrupted by the Soviet Revolution of 1917. The ob-
jective behind her policy was to reach an ice-free seaport.
Russia had attempted to approach the Mediterranean
through the Balkan Peninsula, but had been definitely
blocked, for the Great Powers considered her advance in
that direction dangerous to the integrity of the Ottoman
Empire, and to the balance of power in Europe. She
had then attempted to reach the Persian Gulf and the
Indian Ocean through Persia and Central Asia, but that
door had been effectively closed by England. Thus frus-
trated, she finally concentrated all her energies on estab-
lishing a foothold on the Pacific. After the acquisition
of the maritime province by the Treaty of 1860 with
China, she built the city of Vladivostok facing the Pacific
but that was ice-bound for part of the year. So she was
compelled to turn southward toward North China.

To carry out this policy astutely, she adopted a method
of reaching her ends, which was unique and, at the
same time, unscrupulous. That is, she always pretended
to be the friend of the weaker state which she aimed
to absorb or annex by extending the protection of her
alliance to the latter. Having thus broken down the
wall of distrust, she would then obtain strategic points
or concessions as a preliminary to her final occupation
or absorption. In addition, she did not hesitate to re-
sort to corruption, in case that could open up the way
to her. Expressed in the words of E. J. Dillon: •

93



94 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

"Russia's foreign policy in the past, whatever its real
motives, may therefore be summarily described in the
light of its effects as ruinous 'protection' of the feeble.
It was the lethal hug of the polar bear. She would shield
the government of a weaker neighbor from the immediate
consequences of its own folly, and enable it to go on mis-
governing its subjects, thwarting attempts at internal re-
form, financial and administrative. The body politic
would thus be left to decompose until it entered upon a
stage sufficiently advanced to allow of its being digested
almost without an effort. ... It is thus that Georgia,
Persia, Turkey, China, Korea, were dealt with."

In short, the Russian policy was imperialistic, unscrupu-
lous, and opportunistic.

Having seen the general nature of the Russian policy,
we shall now trace its development. The Siberian ex-
pansion of Russia was eilected in the 17th century, within
a period of seventy years. It was done, not by the order
of the Government, hut rather by the pluck and initiative
of the freebooters of fortune who went there for self-
interest and new abode. It was consummated very much
as was the westward expansion of the United States,
except that the Siberian expansion did not result in any
great educational and economic development of the set-
tled regions. Using the language of E. J. Harrison: 2

"It is equally important to note that the action of these
Siberian pioneers was wholly voluntary and in no sense
dictated by orders from the central government. Later
on it was continued under the pretext of searching for
'free lands,' but personal gain was actually at the root
of the movement from the first to the last, the empire
occupying quite a secondary place in the calculations of
these adventurers, although the Government had no ob-
jection to recognizing an accomplished fact, and assumed
nominal control over the lands thus subjugated. In
truth, however, for three hundred years Siberia remained
destitute of proper administration, means of communi-



THE POLICY OF RUSSIA IN CHINA 95

cation, colonization, education, and real citizenship. . . .
The ostensible- outward success of this enterprise was due,
not to a species of epic pressure, or all-powerful national
momentum but simply to the absence of resistance from
the other side. . . ."



This eastward expansion of Russia into Siberia could
not but come into conflict with the Chinese. As early
as about 1650 the Russian pioneers had penetrated the
Amur region, which was then Chinese territory. At this
time the Manchu Dynasty which had just established
itself on the Chinese throne (1642) was busily occupied
with the conquest and pacification of China proper.
After about twenty years, however, the Manchus. having
finally established themselves in China, turned their at-
tention to the Russian encroachment. They wiped out
the Russian settlements at Sungari and pushed the Rus-
sians back far beyond the Amur region and established
Aigun and Tsitsihar as advance posts against Russian
aggression. Twice did the Russians return to Albazin,
but twice were they driven back. As a conseepjence of
this conflict, the Treaty of Nerchinsk was concluded
in 1689. The Albazin fortress of Russia was demol-
ished, and the Amur region became a de facto Chinese
territory. Thus the Russians were pushed back by the
Manchus in this early confiT I

After the lapse of more than a century and a half,
another adventure of the Russians was made. This
time, however, the advance was ordered with the sup-
port, and under the guidance, of the Russian Govern-
ment. About 1854 the Russians occupied the Amur re-
gion again. This move was made largely because the

Crimean War of that time had blocked the Russian

ambition to reach an ice-fret- seaport through Constan-
tinople, and the Russian Government was consequently
compelled to seize the Amur River as the possible out-
let. 4 This advance on the part of Russia was not op-



96 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

posed by the Chinese, for the Manchu Dynasty had
then its hands full with the Taiping rebellion, which
was threatening the safety of the Dynasty.

Having accomplished the occupation, the Russian Gov-
ernment proceeded to secure the recognition of a fait
accompli from the Chinese Government. Characteristic
of the foreign policy of Russia, the Czar's Government
took advantage of the Taiping rebellion and offered to
suppress the revolt in exchange for the cession of Man-
churia, 5 which was, however, declined. Later, during
the second war with Great Britain and France (1857-
1860), as the allied forces were advancing on Canton
and Taku, Russia again took advantage of the situa-
tion and secured the recognition from China of the north-
ern bank of the Amur River as Russian territory by the
Treaty of Aigun, 1858. 6 Finally, as the allied forces
captured Peking in 1860 to enforce the ratification of
the treaty of Tientsin, 1858, she posed as the friend
and savior of the Manchu Dynasty by inducing the quick
withdrawal of the allied forces from Peking. In rec-
ognition of this service, the Aigun treaty was confirmed
and the Treaty of Peking was signed, ceding to Russia,
as we have seen, the territory east of the Ussouri River,
including the maritime province. 7 Thus, backed by the
Russian Government, and taking advantage of the Tai-
ping rebellion and China's second war with Great Britain
(and France), the second advance of Russia toward
Manchuria was a success.

Shortly after, Russia repeated the same practice again,
but this time at another corner of China and not quite
so successfully as in the Amur region. Again taking ad-
vantage of the rebellions in Chinese Turkestan, Russia
occupied Kuldja in Hi in 1871, with a proclamation that
she would withdraw as soon as China was able to assume
the functions of government in the territory. To repeat,
by 1878 General Tso Tsung-tang having reconquered the
rebellious region, China demanded the restoration of Hi.



THE POLICY OF RUSSIA IN CHINA 97

By the Treaty of 1879, concluded by Chung Chow, Rus-
sia was given the western parts of Hi, and the impor-
tant military passes of the Ticnshan Mountains, with an
indemnity of 5,000,000 roubles. This treaty was re-
jected by the Chinese Government, and the second treaty
was concluded by Marquis Tseng, in 1881, whose elo-
quent tongue and diplomatic skill, together with the fiery
zeal of General Tso Tsung-tang for military resistance,
brought back to China the greater part of Hi, together
with the strategic passes, through the payment, however,
of an increased indemnity of 9,000,000 roubles. Thus,
in this case, Russia, while gaining the western strip of
Hi, was, on the whole, unsuccessful in her expansion in
that part of China.

Bent, however, on her policy of territorial expansion,
she soon seized other opportunities that presented them-
selves. In 1895, Japan had defeated China, and, by the
Treaty of Shimonoseki, had snatched, besides Korea,
the Pescadores and Formosa, and the Liaotung Penin-
sula, including the strategic naval base, Port Arthur.
When the news of the cession of Liaotung reached his
ears, it was said Count Witte hurried to the Czar Nicho-
las II and said to him:

"We cannot allow Japan to quit her islands and get a
firm foothold upon the Asiatic mainland. That would
effectively block our Far-Eastern policy of peaceful pene-
tration." 8

Therefore, again posing as the friend and savior of
China, and in conjunction with Germany and France,
she forced Japan to retrocede the- Liaotung Peninsula
to China. Besid< -. she arranged an immediate loan of
400,000,000 francs for China upon the guarantee of the
Imperial Russian Government, thus relieving the Chinese
Government of the pressing need for the first payment
of the Japanese indemnity falling due at that time. I l.iv-



98 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IX CHINA

ing thus rendered effective assistance to China al her

hour of need, she was read)' t demand compensation.

At that time, the Trans-Siberian Railway, started in

1891, had just readied Lake Baikal. The question was

as to which \\a\ it should extend, — by the kiakhta- Peking
mute, or by the Amur River route, or via North Man-
churia. As the Kiakhta-Peking route would surely
arouse the suspicion of the other Powers, tnd as the Amur
River route was confronted with great engineering diffi-
culties and might also he accompanied by the possible
risk of economic losses, the North Manchuria route was
chosen. Having decided upon the route, the question
naturally followed as to how to secure the consent of
the I hinese Government to the construction of this rail-
road.

Opportunely, the Czar's coronation was to take place
in May, 1895. Li Hung-chang was requested to be sent
to attend the coronation. Before his departure, he had
cute red into a tentative agreement with Count Cassini,
the then Russian minister at Peking, as to the construc-
tion of the Trans-Siberian Railway across the plains of
North Manchuria to Vladivostok. While at the coro-
nation, Count Witte convinced l.i Hung-chang that, to
render effective armed assistance to China in case of a
future struggle with Japan, it was necessary for Russia
to send her troops quickly to Manchuria, and that, to do
so, a railway would nerd to be constructed through North
Manchuria toward Vladivostok. 9 In the words of Count
Witte:

"In ni\ conference with l.i Hung-chang, I dwell on the
service which he had recently done to his country. I
assured him that, having proclaimed the principle of
China's territorial integrity, we intended to adhere to
it ill the future; hut. to he able to uphold this principle,
1 argued, we must he in a position, in c -^rucw

to render to China armed assistance. Such aid we would
not be able to render her until both European Russia



THE POLICY OF RUSSIA IN CHINA 99

and Vladivostok were connected with China by rail,

our armed forces being concentrated in European
Russia." '

As a result of negotiations, a secret agreement was
reached which was virtually a secret defensive alliance. 11
Every aggression directed by Japan against Russia or
China was to be deemed as necessarily bringing about
the immediate application of the Treaty of Alliance
(Art. 1). In this case, both Powers pledged to sup-
port each other with all their military and naval forces
(Art. 1). No treaty of peace could be made with the
adversary without the consent of the other party (Art. 2).
During the operations of the war. all parts of China were
to be open to Russian warships which should receive the

sary help (Art. 3). To facilitate military co-
operation, Russia was granted the right to build a rail-
road across Heilungkiang and Kirin in the direction of
Vladivostok (Art. 4). The treaty was to last for fif-
teen years subject to renewal (Art. 6). Thus, by the
pretense of an alliance, Russia obtained the railway con-
cession which was so necessary at that time to connect

rn Siberia with European Russia.

"It must he confessed that in the light of subsequent
event- the conclusion of the agreement was in the nature
of a diplomatic farce. Russia was bent upon aggression
in Manchuria, and the promise of military assistance in

certain eventualities was merely tendered as a me.r
proteel I hinese amour propre." 1J

Having entered into the Treaty of Alliance, not blindly.
but with a full knowledge of Russia's ulterior aim-, Li

Hung-chang wrote, 18 in July. 1895, shortly after the
coronation of the Czar:

"Russia is to-day our greatesl friend and our most-to-
ired enemy. She i- our friend because < treat Britain

and France i friends also. She wishes to he a



100 POLICIES OF GREAT POWERS IN CHINA

better friend than they. She is our greatest enemy, be-
cause what the- Russians call the trend of her destiny
makes her so. She dominates all Northern Asia and
hopes some day to have preponderating influence in China.
She will help us to keep Japan out, because she herself
wants to get in."

No sooner had this prescience been recorded than the
actual fulfillment came. Germany had seized Kiaochau
in November. 1897, which was formerly earmarked by
Russia in the so-called Cassini Convention. The ques-
tion was whether Russia should seize Port Arthur and
Talienwan, the ice-free ports of North China, which had
been the goal of Russian territorial expansion in Asia.
Count Wittc, a believer in the policy of peaceful pene-
tration which presupposed the integrity of China, re-
vealed later that he opposed the seizure in the Council,
vehemently denouncing it as faithless and unwise, 11 and
brought about the adverse vote of the Council. But
Muraviov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs at
that time, who conceived the idea of seizing an ice-free
seaport in East Asia, persuaded the Czar to take action
contrary to the decision of the Council. In his explana-
tion to Count W'itte for the apparent deviation, the Czar
offered the excuse that Port Arthur and Talienwan might
be seized by Great Britain, which was later discovered,
however, to be unfounded.

" 'You know, Sergey Yulyevich,' said the emperor to
me, evidently somewhat put out, 'I have decided to occupy
Port Arthur and Talienwan. Our ships with troops
are already on their way there. Here is why I have
taken this step. After the conference the Foreign Min-
ister reported to me that according to his information
British warships were cruising off the ports in ques-
tion, and that if we did not occupy them the British
would do so.' Muraviov's information was, of course,
false, as I later found out from the British Ambassa-
dor." xi



THE POLICY OF RUSSIA IN CHINA 101

Thus Russia entered into the place whence she had forced
Japan to recede, and thus, by this wanton seizure, she
threw to the winds the Treaty of Alliance which, as we
have seen, was merely used as a cloak under which to
obtain the much needed railway concession and proba-
bly to achieve her program of territorial expansion in
North China.

No sooner had Port Arthur and Talienwan been seized
than another opportunity presented itself, which offered
the irresistible temptation for the final consummation of
the Russian design on Manchuria, and that was the Boxer
Uprising in 1900. Quite in line with her traditional
policy, and again taking advantage of the situation, Rus-
sia occupied Manchuria. 10 Having done so, her task
was to secure the recognition of the Chinese Govern-
ment. The tactics employed in this move were paralleled
by those of 1860, when she wrested the Amur and
maritime regions from China. As she then pretended
to be the friend and savior of the Manchu Dynasty,
she now repeated the same strategy. Shortly after the
relief of the allied legations, she proposed, as we have



Online LibraryMingchien Joshua BauThe foreign relations of China: a history and a survey → online text (page 8 of 39)