JOHN STUART THOMSON
The Chinese, Bud and Bamboo, Etc.
ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AND MAPS
THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPANY
Copyright, April, 1913
The Bobbs-Merrill Company
BRAUNWORTH & CO.
BOOKBINDERS AND PRINTERS
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
DEDICATED TO MOTHER
|I||The Genesis of the Republican Revolution||1|
|II||Wit and Humor in China||114|
|III||Industrial and Commercial China||137|
|IV||Finance and Budget in China||161|
|V||Business Methods of Foreigners in China||175|
|VI||Railways in China||186|
|VII||Shipping and Water Routes in China||196|
|VIII||America in China||206|
|IX||The Native Leaders||222|
|X||China’s International Politics||229|
|XI||Chinese Internal Politics||242|
|XII||Some Public Works in Old China||250|
|XIII||The Influence of Japan||259|
|XIV||Pressure of Russia and France on China||281|
|XV||Some Foreign Types in China, and Their Influence||288|
|XVII||China’s Army and Navy||317|
|XVIII||Modern Education in China||334|
|XIX||Literature and Language||351|
|XX||Life of Foreigners in China||363|
|XXI||Foreign Cities of China||375|
|XXII||Native Cities of China||433|
|XXIII||Religious and Missionary China||450|
|XXIV||Legal Practise and Crime in China||472|
|XXV||Chinese Daily Life||487|
|XXVI||Climate, Disease and Hygiene||499|
|XXVIII||Agriculture and Forestry in China||533|
|XXIX||Chinese Architecture and Art||541|
|XXXI||Awakened Interest in America||567|
THE GENESIS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINAAND ITS HISTORYFrom October 10, 1911, to Yuan Shih Kai’s Acceptanceof the Provisional Presidency
A republic in place of the oldest monarchy! Preposterous.It would involve making a yellow man think as a white man,and that had never occurred, not even in the case of theprodigy, Japan. It would involve free intercourse with thewhole wide world, and China had opposed such an innovationstubbornly for 400 years. It meant that the proudestand most self-contained nation should treat others as equalsand interchange with them. It involved throwing 4,000years of continuous history and agglomerated pride andprecedent to the winds, and humbly beginning anew as a tyrofor a while. It meant the dealing with 400,000,000 kings,instead of one, and asking: “My lord, what is your will?”An educational system 2,000 years old to be forgotten atonce! A religion 5,000 years old at least, whereby everyman had his own god (his father), to be made as cheap as thepaltry sacrifices of wine, rice and the painted stick of Confucianismwere in reality! The taking up of individual andnational responsibility for 400,000,000 people, and entranceupon a wide path of world-influence, with its divided shame2and fame! The taking and giving of blows for wrong andright! The giving up of the triple eternal Nirvana of father,self and son, in exchange for an exciting rôle limited to fifty-fivecrowded years in the individual! The scale of action!A land as large as all Europe, and a people as numerous asthe Caucasic race! The thunderous knock on the long-lockeddoors of science and medicine by 400,000,000 people whohad bowed to idol and charm alone! It shook the world. Itwas pregnant with paradisal possibilities for mankind, becauseof the vastness of the movement and the depth of itswell-spring. The launching of this new leviathan ship ofstate could not but raise a wave that would lift the alreadyfloating hulks of Europe and America, and give them addedimpetus, though temporary alarm. The rearrangement ofcommerce, manufacture, labor, finance, taxation, learning,agriculture, art and possibly religion for the whole world.The adding of the most difficult language to the tongues andpens of men, and the call on the English speech to rise oncemore greater than the mighty stranger, or die. The challengeto Palestine’s Bible to conquer by truth, or retreat withhalf a world lost. The uprising again of the yellow ghostsof Kublai Khan, Batu, Timurlane, and the Khans of theGolden Horde. What would be the Caucasian’s answer toEmperor William’s question: “The Yellow Peril”? It willbe remembered that the kaiser once painted a picture showingthe nations of Europe gathering to defend the cross andcivilization against an incendiary Buddha lowering in theeastern sky. Would the stranger within the gates be protectedeven while republican and imperialist fought out theirargument? Would leadership arise, and would the greatMongolian mass be intellectualized now that it was energized?Since the vast body was suddenly displaced, wouldit henceforward move by mere gravity, or sympathetic volition?3Could it collectivize and not disintegrate? Whatwould be the effect on the scores of trembling thrones, whereRominoff, Hapsburg, Savoy, Hohenzollern, Ottoman, Mikado,Billiken, etc., said they ruled by “divine right”, whichis quite a different thing from noble England’s “constitutionalright”? Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese republicans sentout this challenge: “Tien ming wu chang” (the divine rightlasts not forever).
All these questions presented themselves when the reformersstartled the world with the announcement thatthere was to be a republic in China. It was to be a republic—nota monarchy—said even those Chinese who had beeneducated in Japan, where lately a Japanese editor educatedin America and ten others had been tried and executedin secret, the papers sealed, and the press censored. Theywanted pitiless publicity in the new republican China. Hadthere been no abatement of the opium habit through America’sleadership of sentiment, and Britain’s sacrifice of revenuefrom 1909 to 1911, there could have been no rebellionin 1911. The reform cleared the befogged heads of thenation, added a million men to agitation, and furnished ahundred million dollars directly and indirectly toward theindependence of the agitators. How great a stone Americaand Britain set rolling in that Opium Conference of 1909at Shanghai!
The great revolution of October, 1911, did not drop as abolt from a clear sky. The clouds had been gathering,though many at home and abroad did not, or would not seethem. In September, 1911, the imperial viceroy of Canton,Chang Ming Chi, sent spies along the new Canton-Hongkongrailway to apprehend smugglers of arms. Inthe same month troops under the command of MarshalLung Chai Kwong, suddenly surrounded the office of the4Shat Pat Po newspaper, at Canton, and arrested severalreformers. General Luk Wing Ting, of Kwangsi province,came down the Si Kiang (West River) in September, 1911,in the gunboat Po Pik to Canton and took back withhim from the Canton arsenal, machine guns and ammunitionto attack the “anarchists”, as the Manchus persistentlycalled all reformers. In the month previous, the Ministryof Posts and Communications at Peking stopped the use ofprivate codes, so as to censor messages to the reformers.Several viceroys, in secret sympathy with the reformers,had as early as August, 1911, wired for gunboats, so as todisperse the fleet from the Yangtze basin, where the revolutionwas to strike, and the largest cruiser, the splendid Hai Chi,well-known in New York, these viceroys suggestedshould be sent to King George’s coronation review at Spithead.Even as far back as July, 1907, the Chinese governmentapproached the powers, requesting that they makeespionage on arms consigned to South China. Rather toour amusement, they used to arrive at Hongkong as boxedpipes, condensers, bar iron, crockery, etc.—anything butguns, but that was the humor of the freight classificationwhich the shippers used! In December, 1906, the scholarsof the middle class in Wuchow, Kwangsi province, at thehead of navigation on the West River, decided to cut offtheir queues, and adopted khaki uniform, military drill andtrack races. They were independently preparing for strenuoustimes five years before the outbreak, and these boyswere found in the first line of the attack in October, 1911,up at Hankau, led by the Chinese Colonel Wen, who hadgraduated from West Point Military Academy, in America,in 1909. In August, 1911, the Hongkong and ShanghaiBanking Corporation reported that a large part of its $9,000,000gold note issue was being held, instead of circulated5by the Chinese of Kwangtung and other southern provinces.This hoarding of safe securities always indicates lack offaith as to the business and political future.
The celebrated Manchu, Tuan Fang, director-general ofrailways, was ordered by the Ministry of Communicationsto proceed to Canton and Kung Yik, the new town of theAmericanized Chinese, in August, 1911, to “pacify the people”.Tuan replied that he would not go, and gave as hisexcuse: “Canton is infested with anarchism”. In the samemonth the