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of the Chinese question, it is not too all of which, except Japan, have most early to consider briefly the political important possessions upon the contirelations existing between the other nent of Asia, which are vitally conPowers having interests in China-re- cerned, directly or indirectly, in the lations which we must take cognizance settlement of the Chinese problem; and of and cannot blindly ignore-and to if Japan has not yet obtained a terriattempt to forecast the manner in torial foothold upon the continent, her which these will be affected by the en- interests are also, perhaps even more try of the great Republic into this new vitally, involved. On account of this field. That the balance of interests fact, as well as on account of our past which has heretofore existed between relations of friendship with the Chinese such Powers will be in some measure Government-signally illustrated by disturbed seems inevitable. The situa- the important services which we rention is one of such delicacy and danger dered to her in the making of peace that the Government of the United with Japan at the conclusion of the States must act with the fullest attain- late war-the United States occupies a able knowledge, with the amplest con- peculiarly advantageous position to assideration, with the most careful regard sist in negotiating a radical solution of of the existing rights and interests of the celestial question—if that be indeed other countries, and above all with a within the range of human possibility. desire to so calculate its own action as Perhaps it is no less fortunate that to preserve the peace between the vari- we are free from any complications, ous nations concerned, with all of whether of alliance or of hostility, whom it is fortunately on terms of affecting our relations with the other friendship.

Powers concerned. None of these PowIf the United States is to enter the ers, except Great Britain and France, field of Asiatic politics and diplomacy, have any interests whatever on the as she is now doing, it is certainly American continent or its islands-and fortunate for the world that she occu- the interests of France are merely nompies a position so free from the net- inal—while we have no interests, except work of complications, political and those of commerce, which clash with racial rivalries, and clashing interests, those of any other Power in any part which unhappily involve the other of the world. It may be true that Powers concerned. In the first place Russia, if she establishes her dominion her interests in China, both present over nearly the whole of Asia, may and future-if we lay aside those con- sometime be ambitious to bring the nected with missions-are exclusively rest of the world under the rule of the commercial, whereas the interests of Czar; or that the sympathies of the the five other Powers largely concerned French people were mostly with Spain -Great Britain, Russia, France, Ger- during our late war; or that Germany many and Japan-are necessarily also was willing to receive the Philippines political, and partly territorial. She from Spain without the consent of the desires neither territory nor exclusive United States; and it is certainly true sphere of influence upon the continent

that we

our independence from of Asia; she seeks only the mainten- Great Britain by force of arms in the ance of an open door for trade and the last century, and were again at war protection of the lives and property of with her in the early part of the cenany of her citizens lawfully resident in tury now closing. But surely there is China. The same thing certainly can- nothing in any of these facts, or connot be said of any of the other Powers, jectures, which should

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American statesmanship in dealing in Powers interested in the Orient. It is an impartial spirit with all the na- also doubtless true that the United tional interests involved in the Chinese States, Great Britain and Japan, acting situation. Commercially we freely con- firmly together, and prepared to make cede to every other nation all rights in their views prevail at any cost, could China which we ask for ourselves; po- control the settlement of the Chinese litically we should seek only to main- question, as Germany would at least tain good relations with the other Pow- remain neutral if her existing conces. ers and to contribute everything within sions were respected, while Russia and our ability to effect an honorable, and, France would be overmatched and so far as possible, a permanent settle- would be obliged to acquiesce. It is ment between their conflicting inter- also suggested in some quarters that ests, and to avert the terrible disaster for what may be called sentimental of a war between any two or more of reasons as well, arising out of the imthe Powers interested in the Far East. portant diplomatic assistance which

But it is argued in some quarters Great Britain extended to the United that there should be some special co- States during the Spanish-American operation or concert of action between war, American support should now be the United States and Great Britain given to British policy in China. It in China, joined perhaps by Japan, be- seems to the present writer that any cause the interests of these three Pow- expectations of this kind are based

are especially concerned in the upon a lack of understanding of the maintenance of the open-door policy, situation in Asia, and of the condiwhich is threatened, if at all, by the tions determining the action of the action of Russia, France and Germany. United States, which cannot be too It is quite true that the purely com- soon removed. mercial interests of the United States To take up the latter point first, senwould seem to lie in the direction of timent, even that of gratitude, affords assisting to establish an important a very insecure and doubtful basis for British sphere of influence in China, national action. In the present stage for two purely business reasons: first, of human progress, enlightened nabecause Great Britain believes in, and tional self-interest would is thoroughly committed to, the policy afford the safest guidance for those of free and equal trade for all nations who have charge of the political deswherever her rule extends; and, sec

tinies of nations, for the more national ondly, because she is by far the larg. self-interest becomes enlightened the est customer for our products, and any.

clearer will it be that in this age of the thing which increases the purchasing world the interests of all nations are power of her people—and the occupa- inextricably bound up together. If the tion of an important part of Chipa governing statesmen of Great Britain might be expected to do this-might be adopted the course which they did dursupposed indirectly to benefit American ing the Spanish-American war purely producers. It must also be agreed that, from a sentimental attachment to the besides the community of language,

United States, and without believing the political institutions and ideas of that in the long run their course would the two countries largely resemble also promote the best interests of Great each other, and their respective peoples Britain, they were guilty of an act of are better able to understand one an- folly, if not of a betrayal of national other-even if they do not always do trust; but no thinking man supposes so--than those of any other two great anything of the sort. Anything which

seem

to

tends to strengthen the power and in- sians to take part successfully in that ternational influence of the United network of intrigue which seems to be States must tend, speaking generally, the normal form of Oriental governto promote the welfare of Great ment; the military and political power Britain, merely because of

the com- possessed by that great autocratic emmunity of interests and ideas existing pire, together with the remarkable sucto a large extent between the two na- cess already achieved by her-first, in tions, and because of the great im- depriving Japan of an important part probability of hostilities between them; of the fruits of her victory over China and the risk of incurring the enmity of and excluding her from the mainland a declining power like Spain could of Asia, and second, in controlling to well be incurred for an object of such no small degree the action of the Pekin importance. That this service on the Government, weakened and disorganpart of Great Britain materially influ- ized by that war, and in obtaining enced at the time not only the present from it such extraordinary rights as Administration but American opinion those conveyed by the lease of Port generally in her favor was only natu- Arthur and the adjacent territory, and ral.

by the Manchurian Railway agreeTaking into account, then, the fact ment; that imposing and wonderful that we are entering the Asiatic arena project, already carried so far towards in a spirit of entire good-will, if not of success, the Trans-Siberian Railway;actual friendliness, to Great Britain, at all these things indicate that Russia is least as far as President McKinley, his thus far not only the strongest, but acCabinet and his party are concerned, tually the dominant, factor in the Far and the further patent fact that the East. She approaches China from becommercial policy of that country in hind, by land, while all the other Powthe Orient is peculiarly favorable to the ers except France-and France is her trade interests of the United States, ally-now approach that empire in let us briefly consider the position of front, and by the sea. With the active the different Powers in the Far East assistance of France and the assured as it stood prior to the Boxer outbreak, neutrality of Germany, Russia, in spite and as it will in all probability again of the insignificance of her present stand after that movement has been trade interests, and in spite of suppressed-if haply it is going to be the control by Great Britain of over suppressed.

two-thirds of the foreign commerce of The Chinese question has become China, has been able thus far to checklargely a Russian question; recent mate the latter Power at almost every events on the Amur only emphasize point, and to make her own policy prethis fact. The extraordinary exten- vail. sions which have taken place within Great Britain has been obliged to the last half-century in the Russian abandon the policy of endeavoring to dominions in Asia; the intense racial preserve intact the full territorial inand national ambition of the Slavs, tegrity of China, to recognize the rights with their steady and, as some believe, of Germany in Shantung and of Rusirresistible movement towards more sia in Manchuria, and even to particisouthern climes and ice free waters; pate herself in the partial dismemberthe patient and consistent policy of ment of China by taking Wei-Hai-Wei, that Power, and the extraordinary dip- as a small offset to the infinitely more lomatic ability displayed in carrying it valuable acquisitions of the other two forward; the peculiar talent of Rus- Powers; that Secretary Hay is

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obliged to speak of preserving the “en- sia would certainly be likely, for sentitity" of China, her integrity being al- mental and political reasons, to give the ready gone. It might not be courteous preference to American products over for an American to describe the vacilla- British. tion and weakness of British policy, or While the United States has recently rather lack of policy, in the East since entered upon a policy of insular expanthe appearance of Russia on the scene, sion, both in the Pacific and Atlantie though he would only have to quote oceans, it would be a great mistake to language used by the English author- infer that we desire more territory ities best informed upon China. What- wherever we can get it, or that because ever the explanation or excuse may be, we are in the Philippines-and even it is a fact too plain to be denied that now one of our great political parties British influence, formerly preponder- favors a practical withdrawal from ant, has sunk almost to the zero point these islands-we are going to become in China, and American diplomacy can- engaged in the general politics of Asia, not be expected to ignore this patent or to throw our weight into her polititruth in shaping its own policy. The cal scales, except to the extent of safequestion whether it is desirable to guarding, as far as possible, our own maintain British influence in China, or commercial interests. To put the matwhether this can be done without in- ter more plainly, if, as some of the curring too great burdens there, or too best-informed authorities believe, there great dangers in other quarters, is one two irreconcilable conflicts

арfor the people of England to decide for proaching in Asia-first, a struggle bethemselves, and they do not need any tween Russia and Japan orer the conforeign advice on the matter; but the trol of Corea, and second, a larger, but United States should frame her course perhaps more remote, conflict between in Asia according to the situation Great Britain and Russia as to the adwhich she finds existing. If it is the vance of the latter power in Asia, and destiny of a large part of China and of ultimately as to the possession of India most of Asia to be Russianized-and itself, already threatened by the rapid Great Britain, perhaps with the aid of growth of Muscovite power and influJapan, seems to be the only Power ence upon its borders—the United which can interpose any effective re- States, wherever the sympathies of a sistance, whether by diplomacy or by majority of her people might be, force of arms, to prevent this result- should, and doubtless will, maintain a then in the not distant future the strict neutrality. The development of United States must depend upon her her own continental territories, with established friendship with Russia to the newly-acquired islands, together secure access to markets of the greatest with the maintenance of the Monroe value to her commerce. The reply of doctrine throughout the Western hemCount Mouravieff to the proposals of isphere, affords a large enough scope the United States in reference to the for some time to come for her ambiopen-door policy, even if leaving much tions. To join with England, or with to be desired in fully meeting them, at Japan, or both, in settling the polities least contains something of value, and of Asia, in which they are both vitally indicates the desire of Russia to accept concerned while we are not, would be our commercial views as far as she to allow ourselves to be used to profeels she can afford to do so. More- mote the interests of other Powers inover, if the principle of commercial stead of conserving our own-an act of preference is at any time adopted, Rus. folly so great that it need not be con

templated as a probability. Commer- maintenance of a central government, cially, the United States has a definite whether it be that of the Manchu policy in Asia, that of the open door, dynasty or some other, which should and she will doubtless join with any be provided with the means of preservPowers which have the same policy so ing order, and should be to a considerfar as diplomatic action within reason- able extent subject to the control of able bounds is concerned; politically, the representatives of the Powers, neither having nor desiring any ter- whether acting as a council or merely ritory upon the continent of Asia, she as a diplomatic body; or the division of should keep entirely free from the gov- Chinese territory into separate political ernmental complications of the Orient. districts, within each of which some By so doing we shall not only best con- one Power should have its sphere of inserve the interests of our own people, fluence, and should be responsible, actbut may continue to occupy such a ing through such native rulers as might happy relation to all the other Powers be constituted, for the maintenance of that when the Asiatic crisis comes, it law and order. If the first course is unfortunately come it must, we may be followed, the recent note of Secretary able to render a great service to the Hay would seem to lead to the particiworld by mediating to preserve its pation by the United States in such peace. All Americans must hope that diplomatic control; if the latter, she out of the horrors of the present situa- will ask only for the assurance by tion in China may at least come that treaty that the open door will be prebetter understanding of one another, served by the Powers concerned, and that larger regard for the interests of that other existing treaty rights will all, which may establish a lasting and be safeguarded. Each of these courses assured concord among the Powers is full of difficulties, but it would now allied in the interests of Western seem that one or the other of them civilization. China and Asia are large must be followed in order to re-estabenough to satisfy the reasonable anibi- lish lasting order in China and keep tions of all of them.

the world's peace. The only third Finally, let us consider what alterna- course would seem to be the practical tive settlements of this dread problem control of China by Russia-and this is of the future of China seem possible. threatening. The actual partitioning of that great From one great error at least the empire among the Powers, its full in- Christian Powers, and the United corporation within their respective States most of all, should keep scrupolitical systems and under their flags, pulously free. Whatever may have seems so utterly impossible that it been the outrages committed in China, need not be considered. To rule the or whatever the moral complicity of Chinese people otherwise than through the Empress and her officials, some a Chinese government of some sort is a stronger and higher motive than that of task beyond the power even of the inflicting revenge, even for such an uncombined nations. Yet it is equally exampled atrocity as the attack upon a clear that if the Chinese question is in- whole Diplomatic Corps, must inspire deed to be settled, if the fire is really to the action of the Powers. It is almost be put out, and not left to smoulder inconceivable that any organized govand break out again, there must be ernment, even in China, should have some sort of effective control by the committed, or permitted unless powerrepresentatives of Western civilization. less to stop it, such an act of insane Only two courses seem practicable; the political folly, to say nothing of its

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