Sih-Gung Cheng.

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was in Port Arthur. To these demands China was forced
to agree as in the case of the other two leases, and she further
gave a pledge to France that she would not alienate the
three southern provinces, Kwangtung, Kwangsi, and Yunnan
to any other Power. To balance her interest in the South
against France, Great Britain was also granted the lease of
Kowloon for ninety-nine years, a portion of which, it will
be remembered, had already been ceded to her by the treaty
of i860.

It was then generally believed that the time was ripe for
the partition of China, and that the lease of territory and the
delimitation of spheres of interest were only preliminary
steps to the break-up of an Empire that had developed the
world's most ancient and most original civilization, but that
had failed to adapt itself to changes of environment produced
by modern scientific invention. Like a giant, it had now
been stabbed and helplessly laid on the ground pending
spoliation at the hands of those better equipped with arms
and scientific instruments. There was a twofold tragedy
in the situation : firstly, the past achievements of China
availed nothing to uphold her in this time of trouble ; and
secondly, there was no one to help her along the paths by
which she might consolidate and strengthen herself.

The tragedy was, however, not yet. President McKinley
of the United States proclaimed in 1899 an ' open door '
policy for China, and requested all European Powers and

China's Foreign Relations 163

Japan to realize his hope that they would not interfere with
the interests of each other ; and that the tariff in the leased
territories and spheres of interest would not be made higher
than that adopted by China for the whole country.

This secured an equal opportunity for the commerce of
all nations and minimized the chance of any conflict between
different Great Powers which might lead to an extension
of their territory at the expense of China. Great Britain,
to her credit, first endorsed this policy, and other Powers
followed her example.

Next year, however, China witnessed another upheaval,
which saved her from the long-expected disruption only
by the width of a hair. The foreign aggressions reacted on
the Chinese and aroused their feelings of revenge. A secret
society under the title of ' Harmonious and Peaceful
Fists ' organized an agitation with tlje object of killing all
the foreigners in China so as to save the country from further
humiliation and territorial encroachment. Many ruling
princes and viceroys, arrogant and ignorant, welcomed the
idea and patronized the movement. Orders were issued
from the capital to protect the Boxers, and many Imperial
troops joined their cause. In June 1900 the movement
had spread to Peking and the ringleaders had converted
many Manchu noblemen. They destroyed European
churches, firms, and residential buildings, and cut off the
railway line between Peking and the sea-coast. Finally,
they murdered the German Minister and the Chancellor
of the Japanese Legation and made elaborate plans to
besiege all the Legations.

The foreign warships in the Gulf of Pei-chili landed
troops in Taku, which fought their way to Peking. The
landing was, however, construed by the ruling Princes as

M 2

164 A Historical Sketch of

a casjis belli by the treaty States, and war was actually
declared on them. The province of Chi-li became the
battlefield, and the massacre of foreigners in general and
missionaries in particular was carried out by the Boxers in
the North- Western provinces. After the capture of the
Taku forts by the mariners, the British and the Japanese
decided on a punitive expedition, and Russia, France,
Germany, and the United States also dispatched contin-
gents to relieve their Legations. Within two months from
their arrival at Taku, they captured Tientsin and, in August
1901, entered the capital and occupied the Imperial Palaces.

The Emperor together with the Empress Dowager and
many Princes had fled to S-i-an-fu and, as a refugee, he
communicated with the sovereigns of the States con-
cerned with a view to expiating the oflFence committed by
his Government. He expressed his deep regret to the
Emperors of Germany and Japan for the murder of their
diplomatic representatives, and hoped to console the
spirits of the dead by offering them the most elaborate
sacrifice permitted by his religion. He degraded the
culpable Princes and viceroys and issued instructions to
punish officials of other ranks. At that time it was firmly
believed that a change of dynasty or even of the form of
government would be more promotive of order and pro-
gress in China than a restoration of the decadent Manchus.

Germany had declared herself indifferent to the future
form or personnel of the Chinese Government provided
it was capable of affording the foreigners on its soil some
reasonable protection. England, France, Japan, and the
United States, though they did not make any official
declaration on this point, were inclined to adopt the same
attitude as Germany. Of all the Powers interested, Russia

China's Foreign Relations 165

alone stood for Manchu restoration. It was finally agreed
that peace must be made as soon as possible and a Govern-
ment set up with which the Powers could negotiate. Any
attempt to change the dynasty or to set up a Republic would
simply intensify the chaos and prolong the war, and such
a prolongation might produce conflicts between the Powers

In December 1900, when the Allies had agreed among
themselves on the terms to be imposed upon China, they
formally notified the Emperor that they would negotiate
with his plenipotentiaries. After some deliberations with
Prince Ch'ing and Li Hung-chang on the punishment of
culprits and on the amount of indemnity to be paid,
a protocol was signed on September 7, 1901, according
to which China was to dispatch special envoys to Germany
and to Japan to apologize for the assassination of Baron
von Kettler and Mr. Sugiyama ; to pay an indemnity of
450,000,000 taels ; to destroy for ever the Taku forts ;
to allow the Powers to station troops in the districts between
Peking and the sea-coast and to delimit a Legation quarter
in Peking, to which the Chinese would have no access, and
in which they might maintain their own guards.

So ended the fanatic hope of killing all the foreigners !

During the progress of the Boxer rebellion, collisions
took place between the Chinese and the Russian troops in
Manchuria, and the ignorant Chinese commanders actually
led troops to destroy Russian churches, railways, and other
properties. A relief contingent was dispatched from
Siberia and, after a few encounters with the Chinese, occu-
pied the whole province of Manchuria. Russia had accepted
the principle of the Anglo-German agreement signed
during the rebellion, according to which no Power

i66 A Historical Sketch of

would ' make use of the present complication to obtain
any territorial advantages in the Chinese dominions ',
but according to her interpretation, it was only applicable
to China proper and not to Manchuria. A secret treaty
was believed to be under discussion between the Russian
Foreign Office and the Chinese Minister in St. Petersburg
to give Russia the sole right to train an army and navy for
Northern China ; to build a railway from Manchuria to
the Great Wall in the direction of Peking ; to limit, at
her discretion, the number of Chinese troops that might
be stationed in Manchuria ; and to prevent China from
granting to foreigners any railway or mining concessions
in her frontier provinces, including Mongolia and Tibet,
without her permission.

The treaty, though denied by Russia and abrogated
after the restoration of peace in Peking, alarmed Japan,
whose interest in Korea would be threatened by a Russian
control in Manchuria. Moreover, the Russian expansion
in the East would come into conflict with British interests
and might eventually threaten British rule in India.
England had always in fact been on cordial terms with Japan
ever since the Chino-Japanese war, whereas Germany
seemed to have gone to the side of Russia. An Anglo-
Japanese treaty was signed in London in January 1902 to
provide that if either Great Britain or Japan, in defence of
tlieir respective interests in China and Korea, should become
involved in war with another Power, the other High Con-
tracting Party would maintain a strict neutrality, and use
its eiforis to prevent other Powers from joining in hostilities
against its ally ; and that ' if, in the above event, any other
Power or Powers join in hostilities against that ally, the
other High Contracting Party will come to its assistance,

China! s Foreign Relations 167

and will conduct the war in common and make peace in
mutual agreement with it '.

As a counter-move to this Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Russia
concluded an agreement with France in the following terms :

' Les deux Gouvernements estiment que le respect de ces
principes de la Convention Anglo-Japonaise est en meme
temps une garantie pour leurs interets speciaux en Ex-
treme-Orient. Toutefois obliges d'envisager, eux aussi, le
cas ou, soit Taction agressive de tierces Puissances, soit de
nouveaux troubles en Chine, mettant en question I'inte-
grite et le libre developpement de cette Puissance, devien-
draient une menace pour leurs propres interets, les deux
Gouvernements allies se reservent d'aviser eventuellement
aux moyens d'en assurer la sauvegarde.'

After the conclusion of this agreement, Russia consented
to withdraw her troops from Manchuria, in three successive
instalments. The first withdrawal was effected, but when
the time came for the second, Russia demanded from China
that a Russo-Chinese Commission should be constituted
to take charge of the political, military, financial, and
judicial administration in Manchuria ; that the Russo-
Asiatic Bank should be entrusted with the administration
of its customs ; and that she should share with China the
responsibility of governing Tibet. All these demands
caused indignation in Japan, who considered it fatal to her
position in Korea and to her expansion on the mainland
if Russia were allowed to establish herself in Northern
China. Moreover, Japan at the beginning of the twentieth
century was full of ambition and willing to accept any
challenge from Russia. Her power in arms was strong
enough to meet any Western State on equal terms, and
skilful diplomacy had secured her many sympathetic
allies. She had reasons to expect that in the event of war

i68 A Historical Sketch of

Great Britain would render her moral support, and that
victory would increase her prestige in the eyes of European
nations and give her the right to claim hegemony over
Eastern Asia.

Negotiations were going on between the Governments
of Tokyo and St, Petersburg. Although there was some
inclination on the part of the Russian Government to
recognize the special position of Japan in Korea, it abso-
lutely refused to discuss any plan which would restrict its
own movements in Manchuria. Months passed and envoys
were exchanged, but they came to no satisfactory con-
clusion. On February 8, 1904, when the Embassies of
the two Powers had been withdrawn, war was declared.
The question now arose as to the position of China. It
was thought and agreed that the best course for her to
pursue was to maintain neutrality, but her territory in
Manchuria had already been occupied by the troops of one
of the belligerents. It would be impossible to enforce
neutrality then, and yet it was out of the question that
she should be dragged into the war on that account. On
the suggestion of the United States Government it was
agreed that that part of Manchuria which lay east of the
Liao-ho River should be delimited as a belligerent zone,
but that military actions must not be extended to neutral
districts. As soon as this arrangement was accepted by the
three parties concerned, Japan signed a treaty with Korea
which practically converted the latter into a Japanese

Japan had the initiative and took Russia by surprise.
After a successful landing in, and passage through, Korea,
her troops defeated the Russians in the battle of the Yalu.
Her navy first blockaded the ingress to Port Arthur and

China s Foreign Relations 169

then the coast of Kingchou. Having swept the Russian
fleet out of the Eastern Sea, Japan beat her enemy on land.
After the victories of Liaoyang and Sha-ho, she captured
Port Arthur and destroyed the Russian defence. The
Russian Navy, now reinforced by the Black Sea fleet,
fought another battle with the result that many of its
ships were sunk or captured. Russia had, however, not
been daunted by her reverses and was fully prepared to
make further efforts to turn the current of events. So far
as man-power and resources were concerned, she was far
superior to Japan ; but owing to the distance from the
scene and the lack of rolling-stock on the Trans-Siberian line,
she was much hampered in her military transport. At
this critical time, both belligerents thought it unwise to
persist in the war, and, by the good offices of President
Roosevelt, they agreed to cease hostilities. In July 1905
the Russian and the Japanese plenipotentiaries who met
in Portsmouth (U.S.A.) signed a Treaty of Peace, by which
Russia was pledged to recognize the special military,
political, and economic interests of Japan in Korea. Russia
also agreed to transfer to her enemy the lease of Port Arthur
and Dalny and the railway line from Port Arthur to Chang-
chum, together with the rights, privileges, and properties
within the railway zone ; and the transfer was duly
sanctioned by the Chinese Government in a treaty signed
with Japan on December 22, 1905. The line from Antung
to Mukden, built by Japan during the war for military
transport, was retained by her. Both Russia and Japan
agreed to evacuate Manchuria and restore it to China,
but they retained their rights to station armed guards on
the railway lines. In return, China opened several ports in
Manchuria to foreign trade.

170 A Historical Sketch of

During the war a new Anglo-Japanese Alliance was
concluded, the preamble of which stipulates for the following
conditions :

(a) the consolidation and maintenance of general peace
in the regions of Eastern Asia and of India ;

(b) the preservation of the common interests of all Powers
in China by insuring the independence and integrity of the
Chinese Empire and the principle of equal opportunities
for the commerce and industry of all nations in China ;

(c) the maintenance of the territorial rights of the High
Contracting Parties in the regions of Eastern Asia and of India,
and the defence of their special interests in the said regions.

The point that makes this alliance differ from that
concluded in 1902 is that the former is applicable to India,
and the latter only to China and Korea. The new alliance
also requires either Power to ' come at once to the assist-
ance of its ally ', in case by reason of unprovoked attack or
aggressive action it should be involved in war in defence
of its territorial rights or special interests mentioned in the
preamble, whereas the old alliance only required active
assistance in the event of its being at war with more than
one Power. The new alliance does not only recognize
Japan's special interests in Korea, but also her right to
' take such measures of guidance, control, and protection
as may be deemed proper and necessary to safeguard her
paramount political, military, and economic interests '.^

^ This alliance was valid for ten years from 1905, but it has been
replaced by a new alliance in 1911, which is substantially similar and
for the same duration, with the exception of the clause relating to Korea,
which had been annexed by Japan in 1910, and the clause relating to
a Japanese recognition of England's right to take such measures in the
proximity of the Indian frontier as she may find necessary for safe-
guarding her Indian possessions.

China's Foreign Relations 171

France, in order to safeguard her possession in Indo-
China, signed in 1907 an agreement with Japan to the
effect that

' Les Gouvernements de la France et du Japon, d'accord
pour respecter I'independance et I'integrite de la Chine,
ainsi que le principe de I'egalite de traitement dans ce pays
pour le commerce et les ressortissants de toutes les nations,
et ayant un interet special a voir I'ordre et un etat de
choses pacifique garantis, notamment dans les regions de
I'Empire chinois voisines des territoires ou ils ont des droits
de souverainete, de protection, ou d'occupation, s'engagent
a s'appuyer mutuellement pour assurer la paix et la securite
dans ces regions, en vue du maintien de la situation respec-
tive et des droits territoriaux des deux Parties contractantes
sur le continent asiatique.'

In the same year a Russo-Japanese agreement was signed
in the following terms :

' The Government of His Majesty the Tsar of All the
Russias and the Government of His Majesty the Emperor
of Japan, animated by a desire to strengthen the peaceful,
friendly, and neighbourly relations which have happily
been restored between Russia and Japan, and to remove
the possibility of future misunderstandings between the
two Empires, have entered into the following agreement.

'Article I. Each of the two high contracting parties
undertakes to respect the present territorial integrity of the
other, as well as all rights, accruing to one or the other of
the high contracting parties from existing treaties, agree-
ments, or conventions now in force between the high
contracting parties and China, copies of which have been
exchanged by the contracting powers, so far as these rights
are not incompatible with the principle of equal oppor-
tunity enunciated in the treaty signed on September 5,
1905, and in the special conventions concluded between
Japan and Russia.

' Article 2. Both high contracting parties recognize the

172 A Historical Sketch of

independent and territorial integrity of the Empire of
China, as well as the principle of equal opportunity in
commerce and industry for all nations in the said Empire.
They also pledge themselves to uphold the maintenance of
the status quo and the respect of this principle with all
peaceful means at their disposal.'

In 1908 the following note was addressed by Mr. Taka-
hira, the Japanese Ambassador at Washington, to the
United States Government, and confirmed by Secretary
Root :

' Sir, вАФ The exchange of views between us which has
taken place at the several interviews which I have recently
had the honour of holding with you has shown that, Japan
and the United States of America holding important out-
lying insular possessions in the region of the Pacific Ocean,
the governments of the two countries are animated by
a common aim, policy, and intention in that region.

' Believing that a frank avowal of that aim, policy, and
intention would not only tend to strengthen the relations
of friendship and good neighbourhood which have immor-
tally existed between Japan and the United States, but would
materially contribute to the preservation of the general
peace, the Imperial Government have authorized me to
present to you an outline of their understanding of that
common aim, policy, and intention.

' I. It is the wish of the two Governments to encourage
a free and peaceful development of their commerce on the
Pacific Ocean.

' 2. The policy of both Governments, uninfluenced by
any aggressive tendencies, is directed to the maintenance
of the existing status quo in the region above mentioned
and to the defence of the principle of equal opportunity
for commerce and industry of all nations in China.

' 3' They are accordingly firmly resolved reciprocally to
respect the territorial possessions belonging to each other in
the said region.

China's Foreign Relations 173

' 4. They are also determined to preserve the common
interest of all Powers in China by supporting by all pacific
means at their disposal the independence and integrity of
China and the principle of equal opportunity for the
commerce and industry of all nations in that Empire.

' 5. Should any event occur threatening the status quo
as above described or the principle of equal opportunity as
above defined it remains for the two Governments to
communicate with each other in order to arrive at an under-
standing as to what measures they may consider it useful
to take.

' If the foregoing outline accords with the view of the
Government of the United States, I shall be gratified to
receive your confirmation.

' I take this opportunity, etc.,

' Takahira.'

After the establishment of a Governor-Generalship in
Liaotung and the opening of a South Manchurian Syndicate
in 1906, and after the extortion of many more economic
concessions from China, Japan signed a new alliance with
Russia in 1910 in the following terms :

' The Imperial Governments of Russia and Japan, being
sincerely attached to the principles established by the
Convention concluded between them on July 30, 1907, and
being desirous of developing the effects of this Convention
with a view to the consolidation of peace in the Far East,
have agreed to complete the said arrangement in the
following manner :

' I. With the purpose of facilitating communications and
developing the commerce of nations, the two High Con-
tracting Parties agree to extend to one another their friendly
co-operation with a view to the improvement of their
respective railway lines in Manchuria and the perfecting of
the connecting lines, and to abstain from all competition
prejudicial to the realization of this object.

' 2. Each of the High Contracting Parties undertakes to

174 ^4 Historical Sketch of

maintain and respect the status quo in Manchuria resulting
from all the treaties, conventions, and other arrangements
concluded up to this date, either between Russia and Japan
or between those two Powers and China. Copies of the
said arrangements have been exchanged between Russia and

' 3. In the event of anything arising of a nature to
threaten the status quo mentioned above, the two High
Contracting Parties shall enter each time into communica-
tion with each other with a view to coming to an under-
standing as to the measures they may think fit, if necessary,
to take for the maintenance of the said status quo.'

This Alliance put an end to any attempt to neutralize
the Manchurian Railways, as it was proposed by America in
1909, and compelled the two Powers concerned to respect
and to defend their mutual interests, aspirations, and obliga-
tions. The hope of a Muscovite Empire on the Asiatic
continent was no longer cherished, and Russia diverted her
colonial activities to other directions. In Manchuria she
contented herself with the acquisition of some economic
privileges, and with the consolidation of her interests in
Harbin and in other towns along the Chinese Eastern
Railway, It was now Japan v/ho was in ascendancy in
North-Eastern China, and her influence penetrated into
every corner of the Celestial Empire. Korea was annexed
in 191 1 and many railways and mining concessions were
granted to Japan by the Chinese Government,

Next in importance to the Manchurian problem is that
of Tibet. In 1904 the British Government dispatched a
military expedition to Lassa, and a treaty was signed between
the Lama and Colonel Sir Francis Younghusband, which
provides (i) ' that no portion of the Tibetan territory shall
be ceded, sold, leased, or mortgaged to any Power without

China's Foreign Relations 175

the previous consent of the British Government ; ' (2) ' that
no representative of any other country may be admitted ; '

(3) ' that no concession for railways, telegraphs, mining or
other rights shall be granted to another Power ; ' and

(4) ' that no Tibetan revenue shall be pledged or assigned
to any other government.' Confronted with this new
situation, China, in exercising her suzerain power over
Tibet, agreed with Great Britain that this treaty should
be confirmed, and in return for her obligation not to permit
any other Power to interfere with the internal administration
of Tibet, she obtained from Great Britain a pledge not to
annex Tibet or encroach on its internal autonomy.

In 1908 another convention was signed with Great
Britain, by which it was agreed that from 1909 onwards
the annual import of Indian opium should be reduced by
one-tenth of the total amount imported in the preceding
year and should be stopped altogether at the end of ten

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