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But the possession of Kyao- the most serious of the reported chiao by Russia would partake gains of Count Cassini's treaty. rather of the character of an ag. The menace, so far as such may be gressive than a defensive move, for implied, points of course more imit is separated by an open sea from mediately at Japan; but having the territorial continuity which is regard to possible eventualities the strength of Russia. Howso- and the ultimate focussing of ever the move might be covered British interests in China, we also by the military maxim that attack should be at a terrible disadvanis but a form of defence, still the tage in asserting ourselves, with occupation of Kyao-chiao by Rus- Russia silently standing over us sia might fairly be construed as a in an impregnable naval strongmenace to all who are affected hold backed by a fertile country by it. And here, again, the char- and an indigenous force of the acter of the population is a most best fighting material in China. important element in the situation. And there is the less excuse for The natives of Shantung-whence, Russia seeking a position so far as has been said, the emigrants to beyond the natural sphere of her Manchuria are mostly drawn- defensive needs in that the coast possess the qualities of manhood in of Korea, which has now no coman eminent degree. Not only en- peting claimant, possesses commodowed with an excellent physique, dious harbours within easy strikthey are also loyal, intelligent, ing distance of Japan, which has and courageous men. In the dis- constituted herself the natural astrous collapse of the Chinese enemy of Russia in Far Asia. The forces in 1894 - 95, the Shantung Korean people, too, who are rather sailors displayed the highest mili- apt to be left out of account in tary quality. It was they alone international adjustments, have who enabled the brave Admiral shown high militant capacity in Ting to make a stand with his many a hard struggle.

Their shattered fleet after the desertion hatred of the Japanese, handed of the Chinese generals. Wielding down from father to son since the such a force as could be made out desolating invasion of 1597, and of such men, any Power holding intensely aggravated by the brief the key to Shantung would occupy experiences of 1894, is of itself a a vantage-ground whence all Cen

weapon of incalculable value in tral China might eventually be the hands of Russia,-a Power dominated.

which has the pre-eminent gift of Consequently the cession of a enlisting on her side the sympathy war-port in Shantung is perhaps of conquered peoples. 1

1 A letter from Korea thus depicts the present situation there : The influence of Russia is creeping like a shadow over the land. Never was a downfall more complete than Japan's. The King in the Russian Legation; the life-guards in embryo drilled by Lieutenant Hmelikoff ; Colonel Putiata, with a considerable staff, organising the Korean army ; Bryner with a timber concession in the northwest frontier; elsewhere a Russian gold-mining concession ; a French concession for a railway from Seoul to Wiju; a special tariff for Russian overland imports ; the Russian volunteer fleet calling at Korean ports. Absolutely not a single Japanese adviser, civil or military, left: Japan has had to make over her telegraphs ; her requests for facilities to begin her Seoul-Fusan railway scheme are treated with something like contempt. Was ever such a turning of the tables witnessed between a February and a June !

VOL. CLXI.-NO, DCCCCLXXVI.

U

With this mere hint at the way heaval was going to upset the balin which our British interests are ance of power in Asia, and bring touched by the new situation dangers to the front which, in the created by Japan and Russia, we natural course of events, might may glance at the further ques- have slumbered for a generation. tion, How the circumstances may Russia was, as a matter of fact, be modified to our advantage. The much concerned to prevent the attempt to answer it would lead war, and took unusual pains to far afield into regions of hypo- dissuade the Government of the thetical strategy, and into matters Mikado from the invasion. A more suited to the deliberations of special communication from St a conclave than for literary dis- Petersburg, communicated to the cussion. If the problem had been, Japanese Foreign Minister in how to make the worst of the sit- June, left no shadow of doubt as uation, our proceedings during the to the direction in which the vital past few years would supply a interests of Russia were threatfairly good solution; and some ened, or as to the necessity which negative wisdom at least may be events might impose on her to derived from chewing the cud of defend those interests. At that even such comparatively ancient juncture Russia softened towards history as that. Time was when England, holding out the hand the game was in our hands, though of fellowship, and inviting conot for long. We could not rise operation in the maintenance of to the occasion because we had peace. It was the psychological no man at home or abroad com moment sometimes dreamed of by petent to deal with it. The judg- political seers, but seldom recogment of events consequently went nised till it is past. England was against us by default, as has hap- dull of hearing and egregiously pened more than once—in Damara- misinformed. Though she did in land, for instance. It is far from a perfunctory way make an atagreeable to rake over the rubbish. tempt subsequently on her own heaps of failure; but if pearls of account to bring about an accompolicy may perchance lie buried modation, in which she had the there the operation becomes justi- moral support of Russia and of fiable. Moreover, no true appre- other Powers as well, it was ciation of the actual position of doomed to failure through the inaffairs can be had that does not adequacy of her tools.

What acembrace to some extent the ante- tually happened was, that while cedent circumstances.

the British representative in daily In June 1894 Japan betrayed conference with the Japanese Minhostile designs against China. ister was expressing his confidence There was no dispute between the in the peaceful issue of their delibtwo countries, and the most la- erations, a Japanese admiral was boured ingenuity, not on the part actually torpedoing in cold blood of the Japanese, but of their paid an English steamer conveying and unpaid counsel, has never been Chinese troops to Korea. The able to formulate any ground for meek acceptance of this outrage the war that would not equally by the British Government gave have served Cetewayo in his prime. the coup de grâce to British influRussia was too gravely affected to ence in the Far East; and it is miss the tru. meaning of the a debatable question whether the movement. T'he threatened up- lost position can ever be regained.

Whether the abstention of Eng- for, with the best intentions in land from the

later European the world, we do not appear to interference between China and possess agencies competent to cope Japan was the result of a policy with the political forces which are of abdication deliberately adopted now arrayed against

us.

In view by or forced upon us, or whether it of the world-shaping transactions was the mere negation of policy, that are taking place under our makes little practical difference in eyes, there is something pathetic the result. We have to bear the in the appeal that we hear made consequences of our own negative, to China to assert her independas France has to do in the case of ence, to guard her neutrality, and Egypt. Possibly the paralytic so forth; and the exhaustion of action of the British agents abroad British policy finds its appropriate may have resulted from their expression in the comfort that is ignorance of the change that had taken in the arrival of a Belgian come over the mind of the Home jurisconsultas adviser to the Government. Futile efforts to Tsungli Yamên. As if advice cover their limbs with the rags of were the desideratum ! Did not the old worn-out policy may explain Siam possess the luxury of a much of the shiftiness which super. Belgian jurisconsult when France seded orthodox diplomacy during dismembered her in 1893, regardthe eventful years 1894 and 1895. less of all other interests, claims, That the long course of anti- and obligations? English measures which emanated Our wisest course under these from the Russian and French circumstances would obviously be legations in China were largely to discard the effete policy frankly prompted by personal antagonisms, and fall back on our true base has been avowed by the principals commercial interests pure and themselves. The personal factor simple. There we would at teast undoubtedly had an important be on familiar ground, engaged bearing on the negotiation for the in an enterprise which could be first indemnity loan in China, which made intelligible to the public, was snatched out of English hands and where great national interests because they were English, almost could not easily be jeopardised by when the pen had been dipped to personal idiosyncrasies or hidden sign the contract. Yet not solely away among the skeletons of Govbecause they were English, but ernment offices. Properly conquasi-official English. For if the sidered, Commerce is all in all to financiers had been independent this country, the very breath of they would not have aroused the our national life. The pomp and open hostility of the Russo-French circumstance of empire, our army officials to the pitch it actually and navy, law and police, and the reached. It

the British rest of our administrative paraofficial behind that constituted the phernalia, are but the protective red rag which drove those infuri- covering to the true lifework of ated bulls into the China shop, the country, the mere shell of the and led to Russia's forcibly assum- oyster. And although it be iming the role of guarantor of China. possible in the present state of the

In the face of this unedifying world to dissociate trade altogether record it would be presumptuous from politics, it is obvious that the to indicate any means of recovering more we do so the fewer will be our lost influence in the Far East; the points of friction between our

was

With this mere hint at the way heaval was going to upset the balin which our British interests are ance of power in Asia, and bring touched by the new situation dangers to the front which, in the created by Japan and Russia, we natural course of events, might may glance at the further_ques- have slumbered for a generation. tion, How the circumstances may Russia was, as a matter of fact, be modified to our advantage. The much concerned to prevent the attempt to answer it would lead war, and took unusual pains to far afield into regions of hypo- dissuade the Government of the thetical strategy, and into matters Mikado from the invasion. A more suited to the deliberations of special communication from St a conclave than for literary dis- Petersburg, communicated to the cussion. If the problem had been, Japanese Foreign Minister in how to make the worst of the sit- June, left no shadow of doubt as uation, our proceedings during the to the direction in which the vital past few years would supply a interests of Russia were threatfairly good solution; and some ened, or as to the necessity which negative wisdom at least may be events might impose on her to derived from chewing the cud of defend those interests. At that even such comparatively ancient juncture Russia softened towards history as that. Time was when England, holding out the hand the game was in our hands, though of fellowship, and inviting conot for long. We could not rise operation in the maintenance of to the occasion because we had peace. It was the psychological no man at home or abroad com moment sometimes dreamed of by petent to deal with it. The judg- political seers, but seldom recogment of events consequently went nised till it is past. England was against us by default, as has hap- dull of hearing and egregiously pened more than once—in Damara- misinformed.

misinformed. Though she did in land, for instance. It is far from à perfunctory way make an atagreeable to rake over the rubbish. tempt subsequently on her own heaps of failure; but if pearls of account to bring about an accompolicy may perchance lie buried modation, in which she had the there the operation becomes justi- moral support of Russia and of fiable. Moreover, no true appre- other Powers as well, it was ciation of the actual position of doomed to failure through the inaffairs can be had that does not adequacy of her tools. What acembrace to some extent the ante- tually happened was, that while cedent circumstances.

the British representative in daily In June 1894 Japan betrayed conference with the Japanese Minhostile designs against China. ister was expressing his confidence There was no dispute between the in the peaceful issue of their delibtwo countries, and the most la- erations, a Japanese admiral was boured ingenuity, not on the part actually torpedoing in cold blood of the Japanese, but of their paid an English steamer conveying and unpaid counsel, has never been Chinese troops to Korea. The able to formulate any ground for meek acceptance of this outrage the war that would not equally by the British Government gave have served Cetewayo in his prime. the coup de grâce to British influRussia was too gravely affected to ence in the Far East; and it is miss the true

meaning of the a debatable question whether the movement. The threatened up- lost position can ever be regained.

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Whether the abstention of Eng- for, with the best intentions in land from the later European the world, we do not appear to interference between China and possess agencies competent to cope Japan was the result of a policy with the political forces which are of abdication deliberately adopted now arrayed against us. In view by or forced upon us, or whether it of the world-shaping transactions was the mere negation of policy, that are taking place under our makes little practical difference in eyes, there is something pathetic the result. We have to bear the in the appeal that we hear made consequences of our own negative, to China to assert her independas France has to do in the case of ence, to guard her neutrality, and Egypt. Possibly the paralytic so forth; and the exhaustion of action of the British agents abroad British policy finds its appropriate may have resulted from their expression in the comfort that is ignorance of the change that had taken in the arrival of a Belgian come over the mind of the Home jurisconsult as adviser to the Government. Futile efforts to Tsungli Yamên. As if advice cover their limbs with the rags of were the desideratum ! Did not the old worn-out policy may explain Siam possess the luxury much of the shiftiness which super. Belgian jurisconsult when France seded orthodox diplomacy during dismembered her in 1893, regardthe eventful years 1894 and 1895. less of all other interests, claims, That the long course of anti- and obligations ? English measures which emanated Our wisest course under these from the Russian and French circumstances would obviously be legations in China were largely to discard the effete policy frankly prompted by personal antagonisms, and fall back on our true base has been avowed by the principals -commercial interests pure and themselves. The personal factor simple. There we would at teast undoubtedly had an important be on familiar ground, engaged bearing on the negotiation for the in an enterprise which could be first indemnity loan in China, which made intelligible to the public, was snatched out of English hands and where great national interests because they were English, almost could not easily be jeopardised by when the pen had been dipped to personal idiosyncrasies or hidden sign the contract. Yet not solely away among the skeletons of Govbecause they were English, but ernment offices. Properly conquasi-official English. For if the sidered, Commerce is all in all to financiers had been independent this country, the very breath of they would not have aroused the our national life. The pomp and open hostility of the Russo-French circumstance of empire, our army officials to the pitch it actually and navy, law and police, and the reached.

the British rest of our administrative paraofficial behind that constituted the phernalia, are but the protective red rag which drove those infuri- covering to the true lifework of ated bulls into the China shop, the country, the mere shell of the and led to Russia's forcibly assum oyster. And although it be iming the role of guarantor of China. possible in the present state of the

In the face of this unedifying world to dissociate trade altogether record it would be presumptuous from politics, it is obvious that the to indicate any means of recovering more we do so the fewer will be our lost influence in the Far East; the points of friction between our

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