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domination, whereas China would be parcelled out among different nations, and would not be like one people under one foreign rule.
Any change of American sentiment in the direction of recognizing the importance of keeping China intact has been largely brought about by an increased conviction that, legitimately, the United States must enter into movements that affect the world, and more particularly by the ambition to expand American trade throughout the whole of China. The sense of fair play, furthermore, is shocked by such a colossal programme as that of trying to divide a great and ancient Empire among outside nations, mutually jealous and relying for supremacy on skill in warfare.
VI. JAPAN.-In any question that concerns China, Japan must have a part. As Japan is the neighbor of China, this is to be expected, and as she is the recognized equal of Christian nations, this is her right. To prevent the further aggressions of Europe, and especially of Russia, all the people of Japan may be said to be in favor of defending China and strengthening her independ
The end of China might be the beginning of the downfall of Japan. As Oriental nations, they stand or fall together. The question of the "open door” was hardly thought of when Japan vanquished China on sea and land, but when Russia, France and Germany proceeded to interfere in the result, and later on to make demands for privileges for themselves, which China could not resist, then Japan reversed her course and sided with China. An alliance, formal or informal, is inevitable.
Thus, through mutual jealousies of the nations, China may be held together. All seek their own interests first, from what some would term patriotic motives, and yet this very self-interest is dependent on the preservation of China. A scramble for conquest, possessions, sovereignty, in China would endanger the peace of the whole world. Even a struggle for established spheres of influence, with Chinese authority weakened more and more, would not only be treacherous to China but provoke such discord, animosities, riots and resentments as to make the loss and trouble of the participants greater than the gain and honor. Each nation, while anxious for more influence, is opposed to the increased influence of any other nation. The whole territory of China presents so many opportunities for foreign enterprise that all prefer competition to exclusiveness and dismemberment.
GILBERT REID. VOL. CLXX.-NO. 82. 41
THE AMERICAN POLICY IN CHINA.
BY THE RIGHT HONORABLE SIR CHARLES W. DILKE, BART., M. P.
WHEN Mr. Choate wrote to Lord Salisbury to ask British concurrence in a proposed line of policy in China, he stated that:
"The President has strong reason to believe that the Governments of both Russia and Germany will co-operate in such an understanding as is here proposed."
It is not quite clear what that understanding was. The passage of the despatch which immediately preceded that which I have quoted began with a most important statement as to American policy in China. This was followed by an expression of a desire for support in the effort to obtain, from each of the Powers claiming spheres of influence, a declaration in favor of an international policy of the “open door," as contrasted with a selfish policy of preference for “nationals”—that is, subjects or citizens. At the moment of writing, I have not seen the actual text of the Russian and German replies. I hear from those who have read them that the German answer is satisfactory but general, and the Russian guarded and far from clear. What I do not know is how far any of the Powers have responded to what appears to me to be the gist of the American despatch, instead of confining their reply to the proposed declaration as to the "open door."
A more pregnant but less obvious portion of the American policy revealed in the despatches which began to be written in September, lies in the expressed hesitation of the Government of the United States to "recognize” "the exclusive rights” of any Power within any part of the Chinese Empire, and its acceptance, as the policy ultimately in view and now to be “hastened,” of "united action of the Powers at Peking to promote administrative reforms, so greatly needed for strengthening the Imperial Gov
ernment and maintaining the integrity of China in which it” (“my Government") "believes the whole Western world is alike concerned.”
This is a far more important pronouncement than anything which merely concerns the "open door.” It has attracted less attention than the proposed declarations of disinterestedness. It is not, however, novel as an expression of policy by distinguished Americans, though it has never previously been so frankly adopted as a national policy by the President and Secretary of State and Ambassadors of the Republic. In 1867 the same policy was proclaimed by an American, Mr. Anson Burlingame, at one time a Senator, at another time American Minister in China, and ultimately first Chinese Ambassador to Europe, who came to us with a legation composed of representatives of all the Powers, serving with the consent of their various countries. Mr. Burlingame's policy was exactly that now adopted on behalf of the United States. It was preached by him with the leave of the United States Government, which at one time he represented, and whose service he left for that of China, in which he shortly died. The policy was a wise one when taught by Mr. Burlingame in London in 1868; it was premature. The question that must now be asked with regard to it is not whether it is wise, for we shall agree upon that score, but whether the United States "mean business” about it, and are prepared to push it with their great influence-an influence to which the reception of their despatches testifies, if indeed testimony were needed.
It ought to be a portion of the policy, if that policy be seriously intended, that the United States should be strongly represented in China. At Pekin there must be a Minister of high authority who will take the lead in pressing the enlightened and trading views of our Governments and of the Powers who will concur with them, and, on the Coast, a Commodore who will use the naval power of the United States, in conjunction with the British Admiral on the station, in suppressing piracy and lawlessness on the West River, the Yang-tse and other inland waters where British trade and the trade of the United States are, and in an increasing degree will be, done. The United States are now showing their power, as a manufacturing and exporting nation, to hold their own in markets far more distant from their shores than those of China. Rivals we must be in trade; but we have, both of us,
everything to gain by making ours a friendly rivalry, and by cooperating in maintaining order throughout China, and in asking, as a return, for the regularization of inland duties and for the extension of the Imperial Customs system to financial matters which are at present outside its control.
We must recognize the fact that, although other countries may yield to the views put forward by the United States and supported by ourselves, they are not friendly to them. There was a most interesting debate in the French Chamber on the 27th of March, in which several of the leading speakers discussed the colonial policy of France and Germany, making as it were common cause with Germany in the matter, and explaining that it is a policy which is intended to enable Europe to face the future development of the United States. The speakers pointed out (to use the words of M. Raiberti, the Radical Deputy of Nice) that England has under her sceptre a world; that Russia has absorbed all northern Asia; that, in face of what the British and Russian Powers and the United States already are, France and Germany are forced to establish themselves outside Europe, and "to be extraEuropean if they are to live.”
"The old nations of Europe feel that its worn-out frame has no longer the strength to carry their future. They cross the frontiers of Europe and go to new continents to search for life. The European Powers with limited population and territory are threatened with extinction or with lapse into the position of States of the second order, when considered in comparison with such extraordinary agglomerations as the United States, if they do not themselves constitute outside of Europe their empires of the future. The only means to create an equilibrium with the United States and with Greater Britain is to create a Greater France and a Greater Germany."
We in the United Kingdom do not seek to be alone or to be first in China as a whole, or even in the Yang-tse Valley. Some English speakers have, for party reasons, asserted that we have obtained a separate and individual control of the Yang-tse Valley, which in fact has not been granted to us, and which the majority of our statesmen and of our people do not desire. What they wish is that the vast population of that region, doing already a large trade with foreign countries, and likely to do a rapidly increasing trade with them in the future, shall be accessible to the enterprise of the world. We know that we shall have in that territory the growing competition of the United States and that
of Germany, possibly also that of Japan, but we are content to take our chance, and are content also to let America, if she chooses, take the lead, or act equally with us, in insisting that the future of these territories shall not be marred by piracy, brigandage and rapacious inland taxation. The aims of Russia in the north, of Germany in one Chinese province at least, and of France in the south, are different; but the action of the United States, which has virtually arrested for the moment the selfish action on the part of France and Germany, will, if continued, be strong enough, in conjunction with our own, to check for good the process of disintegration and of division which had commenced.
Let no American hater of militarism fear that this language points to alliance in view of war. The Government of the United States is not asked by the British Government to pull chestnuts out of the fire for us, or to offend Russian customers for our benefit. The impulse on this occasion has come from Washington, and our Foreign Office, though unable to resist the national feeling here, is not enthusiastic about the American new departure which our people welcome. In the debate of the 9th of June last, the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs declared that the United States were hostile to a policy of concert of the Powers at Pekin in favor of reform. We have advanced since that day, for the policy which Mr. Broderick told us was repudiated is now avowed as the aim of the Republic. Resolutely keep the lead in the policy of reform; give an earnest of your desire for co-operation by offering to assist in the complete opening of the rivers to the trade of the world, and rest assured that, with less risk to peace than a policy of abstention involves, American action will be crowned with a full measure of success.
CHARLES W. DILKE.