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England And United States

England And United States image
Parent Issue
Day
22
Month
December
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Dr. James B. Apgell, minister of the Uñited States tó China, Sunday issed the Bnsiness Men 's Class of ! Congregational church upon the t "The Dismeinberment of Hls references to Rnssia abont to auuax Persia and to ossiMlity of England and the United Rafees being factors in the presentie f. u división of China, were partir ilalíy interesting, coming as they didrfn .sucha diplomatic authority. in part: '%You may naturally , ásk why this question sohuld ri%. China has an area one-half as mu'ish again as that of the United 'Stares and a population five times as lai?ge. lts resources are unlimited. It is rich in mines of iron, coal and in some places gold. It has navigable rivers ' and its prairies are as f ertile as those of Illinois. Why, then, cannot they defy any or all the powers ? In the first place China has no well organized military defense. lts little iiavy was destroyed by Japan. lts íioldiers have little or no discipline, :&iid are poorly armed. For the most part their weapons are a bout as danrerous to the man at the breech as to -he man at the muzzle. In 1880, when 1 went there, I found the government preparing a better defense for the city of Pekin and had just ordered 10.000 new bows and arrows. There is ''a, lack of centati power in China. AÍthough it has an absolute monarchy, its government is a notoriously weak one. Eaoh of the provinces of China is governed by a viceroy or governor who is appointed for three years. The governor has absolute power over life ,nd liberty of the subjects in his province. When China wants soldiers, the government simply makes a requi.■sition on the viceroy and he can comply or not, as he sees fit. In China there is no feeling of common ■strength - no patriotism. The inhabitants for the most part; live in villages. It is a looalized life, and the affections of every man is limited to his village. There arises intense jealousies among neigh boring villages. Again, there is no means of communioating news. There are no newspapers, and there is no opportunity of making an appeal to the whole empire for the defense of the country. The defenses are simply local, and such a tfying as a general rally of forces for the defense of the entire country is ïmpossible. Thus any power, or all powers, may be considering why they can carve up China for themselves. They feel sure that there will be no defense. "Will there be dismem berment? We can only guess, but there are some things which indícate that dismemberment is not improbable. The great powers have pursued such a course on the continent of África. They flrst set up commercial houses or trading stations and naval stations. They then profess that, in order to protect and control their naval stations, they must have some stretch of country back of the stations - 'hinter-land, ' as it is called. This is ceded to them Therefore, for the purposes of great advantage in trade, the powers may do the same thing in China. "Again, what looks to be a sign of tismemberment is the especial menace of Russia, the greatest Asiatic power. Russia has been likened to a great glacier with its back to the Arctic circle and its face to the seaward and southward. Russia has been steadily moving southward and eastward. It has moved eastward across Asia, and within a few years has gained control from the Black Sea to Thibet. Very Tapidly has she absorbed the country. In the next place, Russia is on the point of taking possession of Persia, and she will have the whole of it unless Great Britain interferes. Russia has obtained concessions for railroads. She wants to get through Persia to the Indian Ocean, and it is strongly euspected that she wants India. Again, Russia has aided in the construction of a Trans-Siberian railway by which she can hurí her troops upon China. She has been working to get possession of ice-free ports on the Pacific Ocean. She early showed a disposi tion to get Korea. She obtained permission to use one of the ports, and it was only Japan which prevented her from taking absolute possession of Korea,. But no one doubts that Russia demands and will get Korea. When Japan wanted to get possession of certain Chinéese territory, Russia interfered and in gratitude China allowed Russia certain railroad concessions and also Port Arthur. She has such concessions in Manchooria, and that province is sure to be Russia's henceforth. When Russia has gone thus far is she going to stop? Does auyone onbt but that, ïf she could take Pekin and the whole of China, she would do so? "The minute Russia got Port Arhur, England said she must have some concessions, and she was given the port of Wei-Hai-Wei. Then Germany . was not far behind. She took up the excuse of the treatment of her missionaires in the province of Shan-Tung and got the port of Hai-Yang and the right to build all the railroads in the province of Shan-Tung. Japan then came in for ooncessions and secured them. France also got some most valuable ones in the South of China. Her concessions are in Tun-Nan and SzeChuen, the richest provinces in China This is just the way the countries gof their control in África. They cali it their sphere of usefulness, and those countries would, at one time, have divided up South America amongr themselves if it had not been for the Monroe Doctrine. Dismemberment of China is not au improbability. "Now let us look at the other side of the question China is, of course, opposed to dismemberment. If only one power attempted it, she would make au armed resistance, hut I think two of Sherman's old regiments could march olear acroes China without much trouble. "Enlgand and the United States do not want dismemberment of China. They are deeply interested in the trade of that country. They would prefer tne whole of China to be open rather than to have some of its ports closed. Our trade with China is in petroleum and heavy cotton cloths. Our market is in North China at present. If Russia get complete possession there, it would be a problem whether or not we are to be excluded. The object of the United States is to see that China throws open the whole country to us. We have entrances to but twnty ports now and we should prefer to have the influence of the two nations thrown in the direction of open markets. Another thing that may work against rdismemberment is that the great nations cannot easily agree upon a división of the spoils. Again, the difficulty of keeping peace after dismemberment would be so great that the step might not be favored. It is !possible that the great powers might agree to let things drift along rather than have war with each other, if (they can all get the open door. "In conclusión I would say that China may be in just the position that Turkey was. If it had not been for the great powers, Turkey would have been carved up long ago. The great prvversmay go on justas they have in reference to China if the government at Pekin can hold on, but that government is so contemptously weak ïhat it is always offering something Eor help. Within the last few months Mantchus are beginning to take possession of the government of China, leaving out the Chinese from power. This is liable to make the Chinese rebellious. If it should, the great powers might intervene so that their commerce can go on. But the greatest security against the dismemberment of China is that the great powers cannot agree upon the terms of división. Et is conjectural to a great extent as to what will be done. For the nonce, things are likely to go along as they are now, but ultimately a dismemberment is not improbable."