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The Fight For The Republic In China by B.L. Putnam Weale

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political offenders are all pardoned. We shall, however, not be
able to pardon those who deliberately hold themselves aloof and
disturb peace and order.

9. All of our people and officials shall be left to decide for
themselves the custom of wearing or cutting their queues as
commanded in the 9th moon of the 3rd year of Hsuan Tung.

We swear that we and our people shall abide by these articles. The
Great Heaven and Earth bear witness to our words. Let this be made
known to all.

Counter-signed by Chang Hsun, Member of the Imperial Privy


In a memorial submitted this day, offering to return the sovereign
power of State and praying that we again ascend the throne to
control the great empire, Li Yuan Hung states that some time ago
he was forced by mutinous troops to steal the great throne and
falsely remained at the head of the administration but failed to
do good to the difficult situation. He enumerates the various
evils in the establishment of a Republic and prays that we ascend
the throne to again control the Empire with a view that the people
may thereby be saved. As to himself he awaits punishment by the
properly instituted authorities, etc. As his words are so mournful
and full of remorse they must have been uttered from a sincere
heart. Since it was not his free choice to follow the rebellion,
the fact that he has returned the great power of administration to
us shows that he knows the great principle of righteousness. At
this time of national danger and uncertainty, he has taken the
lead of the people in obeying their sovereign, and decided before
others the plan to save the country from ruin. The merit is indeed
great, and we are highly pleased with his achievement. Li Yuan-
hung is hereby to have conferred on him the dignity of Duke of the
first class so as to show our great appreciation. Let him accept
our Edict and forever receive our blessings.

Counter-signed by Chang Hsun, Member of the Privy Council.


At this time of restoration a Privy Council is hereby established
in order that we may be assisted in our duties and that
responsibility may be made definite. Two Under-secretaries of the
Council are also created. Other officials serving outside of the
capital shall remain as under the system in force during the first
year of Hsuan Tung. All civil and military officials who are now
serving at their various posts are hereby commanded to continue in
office as hitherto.

Counter-signed by Chang Hsun.

(Hereafter follow many appointments of reactionary Chinese

The general stupefaction at the madness of this act and the
military occupation of all posts and telegraph-offices in Peking
allowed 48 hours to go by before the reaction came. On the 2nd
July Edicts still continued to appear attempting to galvanize to
life the corpse of Imperialism and the puzzled populace flew the
Dragon Flag. On the morning of the 3rd, however, the news suddenly
spread that President Li Yuan-hung, who had virtually been made a
prisoner in the Presidential Palace, had escaped at nine o'clock
the night before by motorcar accompanied by two aides-de-camp, and
after attempting to be received at the French Hospital in the
Legation Quarter, had proceeded to the Japanese Legation where he
was offered a suitable residence. On the evening of the 3rd the
Japanese Legation issued the following official communique (in
French) defining its attitude:


President Li, accompanied by two members of his staff, came at
9.30 on the evening of July 2 to the residence of General Saito,
Military Attache of the Japanese Legation, and asked protection
from him. He arrived in a spontaneous manner and without previous

Under these circumstances, the Imperial Japanese Legation,
following international usage, has decided to accord him the
necessary protection and has placed at his disposal a part of the
military barracks.

The Legation further declares that as long as President Li remains
there, it will not permit any political action on his part.

Following this sensational development it became known that
President Li Yuan Hung had completely frustrated the efforts of
the Imperialists by sending away a number of important telegraphic
Mandates by courier to Tientsin as well as the Presidential Seal.
By a masterly move in one of these Mandates General Tuan Chi-jui
was reappointed Premier, whilst Vice-President Feng Kuo-chang was
asked to officiate as President, the arrangements being so
complete as at once to catch Chang Hsun in his own net.

Here is the text of these four historically important messages:

(1) Dated July 1. Today Inspector General Chang Hsun entered the
city with his troops and actually restored the monarchy. He
stopped traffic and sent Liang Ting-fen and others to my place to
persuade me. Yuan-hung refused in firm language and swore that he
would not recognize such a step. It is his hope that the Vice-
President and others will take effective means to protect the
Republic. LI YUAN HUNG.

(2) Dated July 1. As Heaven does not scorn calamity so has the
monarchy been restored. It is said that in an edict issued by the
Ching House it is stated that Yuan-hung had actually memorialized
to return the power of State to the said House. This is an
extraordinary announcement. China changed from autocracy to a
Republic by the unanimous wish of the five races of the country.
Since Yuan-hung was entrusted by the people with the great
responsibilities it is his natural duty to maintain the Republic
to the very end. Nothing more or less than this will he care to
say. He is sending this in order to avoid misunderstanding. LI

(3) The President to the Vice-President.

To the Vice-President Feng at Nanking--It is to be presumed that
the two telegrams sent on the 1st have safely reached you. I state
with deepest regret and greatest sorrow that as the result of my
lack of ability to handle the situation the political crisis has
eventually affected the form of government. For this Yuan-hung
realizes that he owes the country apology. The situation in Peking
is daily becoming more precarious. Since Yuan-hung is now unable
to exercise his power the continuity of the Republic may be
suddenly interrupted. You are also entrusted by the citizens with
great responsibilities; I ask you to temporarily exercise the
power and functions of the President in your own office in
accordance with the provisions of Article 42 of the Provisional
Constitution and Article 5 of the Presidential Election Law. As
the means of communication is effectively blocked it is feared
that the sending of my seal will meet with difficulty and
obstruction. Tuan Chih-chuan (Tuan Chi-jui) has been appointed
Premier, and is also ordered to temporarily protect the seal, and
later to devise a means to forward it on to you. Hereafter every
thing pertaining to the important question of saving the country
shall be energetically pushed by you and Chih-chuan with utmost
vigour. The situation is pressing and your duty is clear. In great
anxiety and expectation I am sending you this telegram. LI YUAN

(4) Dated July 3. To Vice-President Feng, Tu Chuns and Governors
of the Provinces, Provincial Assemblies, Inspector General Lu:--I
presume that the two telegrams dated 1st and one dated 3rd inst.
have safely reached your place. With bitter remorse to myself I
now make the statement that the political crisis has resulted in
affecting the form of government. Tuan Chih-chuan has been
appointed on the 1st inst. as Premier; and the Vice-President has
been asked to exercise the power and functions of the President in
accordance of office by the Vice-President. Premier Tuan is
authorized to act at his discretion. All the seal and documents
have been sent to Tientsin, and Premier Tuan has been told to keep
and guard the same for the time being. He has also been asked to
forward the same to the Vice-President. The body guards of the
President's Office have suddenly been replaced and I have been
pressed to give up the Three Lakes. Yuan-hung has therefore
removed to a sanctuary. As regards the means to save the country I
trust that you will consult and work unitedly with Vice-President
Feng and Premier Tuan. In great expectation, and with much of my
heart not poured out. LI YUAN HUNG.

Meanwhile, whilst these dramatic events were occurring in Peking,
others no less sensational were taking place in the provinces. The
Tientsin group, suddenly realizing that the country was in danger,
took action very swiftly, disclosing that in spite of all disputes
Republicanism had become very dear to every thinking man in the
country, and that at last it was possible to think of an united
China. The Scholar Liang Chi Chao, spokesman of Chinese
Liberalism, in an extraordinarily able message circularized the
provinces in terms summarizing everything of importance. Beginning
with the fine literary flight that "heaven has refused to
sympathize with our difficulties by allowing traitors to be born"
he ends with the astounding phrase that although he had proposed
to remain silent to the end of his days, "at the sight of the
fallen nest he has, however, spat the stopper out of his throat,"
and he calls upon all China to listen to his words which are
simply that the Republic must be upheld or dissolution will come.

Arms now united with Literature. General Tuan Chi-jui, immediately
accepting the burden placed on him, proceeded to the main
entrenched camp outside Tientsin and assumed command of the troops
massed there, issuing at the same time the following manifesto:


To Vice-President Feng Kuo-chang, Inspector General of Wumin, Tu
Chuns, Governors, Tu-tungs. ...

Heaven is chastening this country by the series of disturbances
that have taken place. Chang Hsun, filled with sinister designs,
has occupied the capital by bringing up his troops under the
pretext of effecting a compromise with the astounding result that
last night the Republican form of government was overthrown. The
question of the form of Government is the very fundamental
principle on which the national existence depends. It requires
assiduous efforts to settle the form of government and once a
decision has been reached on the subject, any attempt to change
the same is bound to bring on unspeakable disasters to the
country. Today the people of China are much more enlightened and
democratic in spirit than ever before. It is, therefore,
absolutely impossible to subjugate the millions by holding out to
the country the majesty of any one family.

When the Republic of China was being founded, the Ching House,
being well aware of the general inclinations of modern peoples,
sincerely and modestly abdicated its power. Believing that such
spirit deserved handsome recognition the people were willing to
place the Ching House under the protection of special treatment
and actually recorded the covenant on paper, whereby contentment
and honour were vouchsafed the Ching House. Of the end of more
than 20 dynasties of Chinese history, none can compare with the
Ching dynasty for peace and safety.

Purely for sake of satisfying his ambitions of self-elevation
Chang Hsun and others have audaciously committed a crime of
inconceivable magnitude and are guilty of high treason. Like Wang
Mang and Tung Tso he seeks to sway the whole nation by utilizing a
young and helpless emperor. Moreover he has given the country to
understand that Li Yuan-hung has memorialized the Ching House that
many evils have resulted from republicanism and that the ex-
emperor should be restored to save the masses. That Chang Hsun has
been guilty of usurpation and forging documents is plain and the
scandal is one that shocks all the world.

Can it be imagined that Chang Hsun is actuated by a patriotic
motive? Surely despotism is no longer tolerated in this stage of
modern civilization. Such a scheme can only provoke universal
opposition. Five years have already passed since the friendly
Powers accorded their recognition of the Chinese Republic and if
we think we could afford to amuse ourselves with changes in the
national fabric, we could not expect foreign powers to put up with
such childishness. Internal strife is bound to invite foreign
intervention and the end of the country will then be near.

Can it be possible that Chang Hsun has acted in the interest of
the Ching House? The young boy-emperor lives in peace and
contentment and has not the slightest idea of ever ruling China
again. It is known that his tutors have been warning him of the
dangers of intriguing for power. That the boy-emperor has been
dragged on the throne entirely against his own wishes is
undeniable. History tells us that no dynasty can live for ever. It
is an unprecedented privilege for the Ching dynasty to be able to
end with the gift of special treatment. How absurd to again place
the Tsing house on the top of a high wall so that it may fall once
more and disappear for ever.

Chi-jui, after his dismissal, resolved not to participate in
political affairs, but as he has had a share, however
insignificant, in the formation of the Chinese Republic, and
having served the Republic for so long he cannot bear to see its
destruction without stretching out a helping hand. Further, he has
been a recipient of favours from the defunct dynasty, and he can
not bear to watch unmoved, the sight of the Ching House being made
the channel of brigandage with suicidal results. Wherever duty
calls, Chi-jui will go in spite of the danger of death. You,
gentlemen, are the pillars of the Republic of China and therefore
have your own duties to perform. In face of this extraordinary
crisis, our indignation must be one. For the interest of the
country we should abide by our oath of unstinted loyalty; and for
the sake of the Tsing House let us show our sympathy by sane and
wise deeds. I feel sure you will put forth every ounce of your
energy and combine your efforts to combat the great disaster.
Though I am a feeble old soldier, I will follow you on the back of
my steed. (Sgd) TUAN CHI-JUI.

Following the publication of this manifesto a general movement of
troops began. On the 5th July the important Peking-Tientsin
railway was reported interrupted forty miles from the capital--at
Langfang which is the station where Admiral Seymour's relief
expedition in 1900 was nearly surrounded and exterminated. Chang
Hsun, made desperate by the swift answer to his coup, had moved
out of Peking in force stiffening his own troops with numbers of
Manchu soldiery, and announcing that he would fight it out to the
bitter end, although this proved as false as the rest had been.
The first collision occurred on the evening of the 5th July and
was disastrous for the King-maker. The whole Northern army, with
the exception of a Manchu Division in Peking, was so rapidly
concentrated on the two main railways leading to the capital that
Chang Hsun's army, hopelessly outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, fell
back after a brief resistance. Chang Hsun himself was plainly
stupefied by the discovery that imperialism of the classic type
was as much out of date in the North as in the South; and within
one week of his coup he was prepared to surrender if his life and
reputation were spared. By the 9th July the position was this: the
Republican forces had surrounded Peking: Chang Hsun had resigned
every appointment save the command of his own troops: the Manchu
Court party had drafted a fresh Edict of Renunciation, but being
terrorized by the pigtailed troops surrounding the Palace did not
dare to issue it.

The usual bargaining now commenced with the Legation Quarter
acting as a species of middleman. No one was anxious to see
warfare carried into the streets of Peking, as not only might this
lead to the massacres of innocent people, but to foreign
complications as well. The novelty had already been seen of a
miniature air-raid on the Imperial city, and the panic that
exploding bombs had carried into the hearts of the Manchu Imperial
Family made them ready not only to capitulate but to run away. The
chief point at issue was, however, not the fate of the monarchy,
which was a dead thing, but simply what was going to happen to
Chang Hsun's head--a matter which was profoundly distressing Chang
Hsun. The Republican army had placed a price of 10,000 pounds on
it, and the firebrands were advocating that the man must be
captured, dead or alive, and suffer decapitation in front of the
Great Dynastic Gate of the Palace as a revenge for his perfidy.
Round this issue a subtle battle raged which was not brought to a
head until the evening of the 11th July, when all attempts at
forcing Chang Hsun to surrender unconditionally having failed, it
was announced that a general attack would be made on his forces at
daylight the next morning.

Promptly at dawn on the 12th July a gun-signal heralded the
assault. Large Republican contingents entered the city through
various Gates, and a storm of firing aroused terror among the
populace. The main body of Chang Hsun's men, entrenched in the
great walled enclosure of the Temple of Heaven, were soon
surrounded, and although it would have been possible for them to
hold out for several days, after a few hours' firing a parley
began and they quietly surrendered. Similarly in the Imperial
city, where Chang Hsun had taken up his residence, this leader, in
spite of his fire-eating declarations, soon fled to the Legation
Quarter and besought an asylum. His men held out until two in the
afternoon, when their resistance collapsed and the cease-fire
sounded. The number of casualties on both sides was infinitesimal,
and thus after eleven days' farce the Manchu dynasty found itself
worse off than ever before. It is necessary, however, not to lose
sight of the main problem in China, which is the establishment of
a united government and a cessation of internecine warfare,--
issues which have been somewhat simplified by Chang Hsun's
escapade, but not solved. That a united government will ultimately
be established is the writer's belief, based on a knowledge of all
the facts. But to attain that further provincial struggles are
inevitable, since China is too large a unit to find common ground
without much suffering and bitterness. President Li Yuan Hung
having declared that nothing would induce him to resume office,
Vice-President Feng Kuo-chang has become the legal successor and
has quietly assumed office. Chang Hsun's abortive coup has already
cleared the air in North China to this extent: that the Manchu
Imperial Family is to be removed from Peking and the Imperial
allowance greatly reduced, whilst the proscription of such out-
and-out imperialists as Kang Yu-wei has destroyed the last
vestiges of public support. Finally the completion of China's
foreign policy, i. e. the declaration of war against Germany and
Austria, has at last been made on the 14th August, 1917, and a
consistent course of action mapped out.



The careful narrative we have made--supported as it is by
documents--of the history of China since the inception of the
Republic six years ago should not fail to awaken profound
astonishment among those who are interested in the spread of good
government throughout the world. Even casual readers will have no
difficulty in realizing how many lives have been lost and how
greatly the country has been crippled both owing to the blind
foreign support given to Yuan Shih-kai during four long and weary
years and to the stupid adhesion to exploded ideas, when a little
intelligence and a little generosity and sympathy would have
guided the nation along very different paths. To have to go back,
as China was forced to do in 1916, and begin over again the work
which should have been performed in 1912 is a handicap which only
persistent resolution can overcome; for the nation has been so
greatly impoverished that years must elapse before a complete
recovery from the disorders which have upset the internal balance
can be chronicled; and when we add that the events of the period
May-July, 1917, are likely still further to increase the burden
the nation carries, the complicated nature of the outlook will be
readily understood.

Happily foreign opinion has lately taken turn for the better.
Whilst the substitution of a new kind of rule in place of the Yuan
Shih-kai regime, with its thinly disguised Manchuism and its
secret worship of fallen gods, was at first looked upon as a
political collapse tinged with tragedy--most foreigners refusing
to believe in an Asiatic Republic--the masculine decision of the
9th February, 1917, which diplomatically ranged China definitely
on the side of the Liberal Powers, has caused something of a volte
face. Until this decision had been made it was the fashion to
declare that China was not only not fit to be a Republic but that
her final dissolution was only a matter of time. Though the empire
disappeared because it had become an impossible rule in the modern
world--being womanish, corrupt, and mediaeval--to the foreign mind
the empire remained the acme of Chinese civilization; and to kill
it meant to lop off the head of the Chinese giant and to leave
lying on the ground nothing but a corpse. It was in vain to insist
that this simile was wrong and that it was precisely because
Chinese civilization had exhausted itself that a new conception of
government had to be called in to renew the vitality of the
people. Men, and particularly diplomats, refused to understand
that this embodied the heart and soul of the controversy, and that
the sole mandate for the Republic, as well as the supreme reason
why it had to be upheld if the country was not to dissolve, has
always lain in the fact that it postulates something which is the
very antithesis of the system it has replaced and which should be
wholly successful in a single generation, if courage is shown and
the whip unflinchingly used.

The chief trouble, in the opinion of the writer, has been the
simplicity of the problem and not its complexity. By eliminating
the glamour which surrounded the Throne, and by kicking away all
the pomp and circumstance which formed the age-old ritual of
government, the glaring simplicity and barrenness of Chinese life
--when contrasted with the complex West--has been made evident.
Bathed in the hard light of modern realities, the poetic China
which Haroun-al-Raschid painted in his Aladdin, and which still
lives in the beautiful art of the country, has vanished forever
and its place has been taken by a China of prose. To those who
have always pictured Asia in terms of poetry this has no doubt
been a very terrible thing--a thing synonymous with political
death. And yet in point of fact the elementary things remain much
as they have always been before, and if they appear to have
acquired new meaning it is simply because they have been moved
into the foreground and are no longer masked by a gaudy

For if you eliminate questions of money and suppose for a moment
that the national balance-sheet is entirely in order, China is the
old China although she is stirred by new ideas. Here you have by
far the greatest agricultural community in the world, living just
as it has always lived in the simplest possible manner, and
remitting to the cities (of which there are not ten with half-a-
million inhabitants) the increment which the harvests yield. These
cities have made much municipal progress and developed an
independence which is confessedly new. Printing presses have
spread a noisy assertiveness, as well as a very critical and
litigious spirit, which tends to resent and oppose authority.

[Footnote: The growth of the Chinese press is remarkable. Although
no complete statistics are available there is reason to believe
that the number of peri-odicals in China now approximates 10,000,
the daily vernacular newspapers in Peking alone exceeding 60.
Although no newspaper in China prints more than 20,000 copies a
day, the reading public is growing at a phenomenal rate, it being
estimated that at least 50 million people read the daily
publications, or hear what they say,--a fact which is deemed so
politically important that all political parties and groups have
their chains of organs throughout the country.]

Trade, although constantly proclaimed to be in a bad way, is
steadily growing as new wants are created and fashions change. An
immense amount of new building has been done, particularly in
those regions which the Revolution of 1911 most devastated. The
archaic fiscal system, having been tumbled into open ruin, has
been partially replaced by European conceptions which are still
only half-understood, but which are not really opposed. The
country, although boasting a population which is only some fifty
millions less than the population of the nineteen countries of
Europe, has an army and a police-force so small as to allow one to
say that China is virtually disarmed since there are only 900,000
men with weapons in their hands. Casting about to discover what
really tinges the outlook, that must simply be held to be the long
delay the world has made in extending the same treatment to China
as is now granted to the meanest community of Latin America. It
has been almost entirely this, coupled with the ever-present
threat of Japanese chauvinism, which has given China the
appearance of a land that is hopelessly water-logged, although the
National Debt is relatively the smallest in the world and the
people the most industrious and law-abiding who have ever lived.
In such circumstances that ideas of collapse should have spread so
far is simply due to a faulty estimate of basic considerations.

For we have to remember that in a country in which the thoroughly
English doctrine of laissez faire has been so long practised that
it has become second nature, and in which the philosophic spirit
is so undisputed that the pillars of society are just as much the
beggars who beg as the rich men who support them, influences of a
peculiar character play an immense role and can be only very
slowly overcome. Passivity has been so long enthroned that of the
Chinese it may be truly said that they are not so much too proud
to fight as too indifferent,--which is not a fruitful state of
affairs. Looking on the world with callous detachment the masses
go their own way, only pausing in their work on their ancient
Festival days which they still celebrate just as they have always
celebrated them since the beginning of their history. The petty
daily activities of a vast legion of people grouped together in
this extraordinary way, and actuated by impulses which seem
sharply to conflict with the impulses of the other great races of
the world, appear incredible to Westerners who know what the outer
perils really are, and who believe that China is not only at bay
but encircled--caught in a network of political agreements and
commitments which have permanently destroyed her power of
initiative and reduced her to inanition. To find her lumbering on
undisturbed, ploughing the fields, marrying and giving in
marriage, buying, selling, cursing and laughing, carrying out
rebellions and little plots as though the centuries that stretch
ahead were still her willing slaves, has in the end become to
onlookers a veritable nightmare. Puzzled by a phenomenon which is
so disconcerting as to be incapable of any clear definition, they
have ended by declaring that an empty Treasury is an empty rule,
adding that as it is solely from this monetary viewpoint that the
New China ought to be judged, their opinion is the one which will
finally be accepted as authoritative. The situation is admittedly
dangerous; and it is imperative that a speedy remedy be sought;
for the heirs and assigns of an estate which has been mismanaged
to the brink of bankruptcy must secure at all costs that no public
receivership is made.

What is the remedy? That must consist simply enough in attacking
the grand simplicities directly; in recognizing, as we have
clearly shown that the bases of Chinese life having collapsed
through Euro-Japanese pressure, the politico-economic relationship
between the Republic and the world must be remodelled at the
earliest possible opportunity, every agreement which has been made
since the Treaties of 1860 being carefully and completely revised.
[Footnote: The mediaeval condition of Chinese trade taxation is
well illustrated by a Memorandum which the reader will find in the
appendix. One example may be quoted. Timber shipped from the Yalu
river, i.e. from Chinese territory, to Peking, pays duties at five
different places, the total amount of which aggregates 20 per cent
of its market value; whilst timber from America, with transit dues
and Peking Octroi added, only pays 10 per cent! China is probably
the only country that has ever existed that discriminates against
its own goods and gives preference to the foreigner,--through the
operation of the Treaties.]

To say this is to give utterance to nothing very new or brilliant:
it is the thought which has been present in every one's mind for a
number of years. So far back as 1902, when Great Britain
negotiated with China the inoperative Mackay Commercial Treaty,
provision was not only made for a complete reform of the Tariff--
import duties to be made two and a half times as large in return
for a complete abolition of likin or inter-provincial trade-
taxation--but for the abolition of extraterritoriality when China
should have erected a modern and efficient judicial system. And
although matters equally important, such as the funding of all
Chinese indemnities and loans into one Consolidated Debt, as well
as the withdrawal of the right of foreign banks to make banknote
issues in China, were not touched upon, the same principles would
undoubtedly have been applied in these instances, as being
conductive to the re-establishment of Chinese autonomy, had
Chinese negotiators been clever enough to urge them as being of
equal importance to the older issues. For it is primarily debt,
and the manipulation of debt, which is the great enemy.

Three groups of indebtedness and three groups of restrictions,
corresponding with the three vital periods in Chinese history, lie
to-day like three great weights on the body of the Chinese giant.
First, there is the imbroglio of the Japanese war of 1894-5;
second, the settlement following the Boxer explosion of 1900; and
third, the cost of the revolution of 1911-1912. We have already
discussed so exhaustively the Boxer Settlement and the finance of
the Revolutionary period that it is necessary to deal with the
first period only.

In that first period China, having been rudely handled by Japan,
recovered herself only by indulging in the sort of diplomacy which
had become traditional under the Manchus. Thankful for any help in
her distress, she invited and welcomed the intervention of Russia,
which gave her back the Liaotung Peninsula and preserved for her
the shadow of her power when the substance had already been so
sensationally lost. Men are apt to forget to-day that the
financial accommodation which allowed China to liquidate the
Japanese war-debt was a remarkable transaction in which Russia
formed the controlling element. In 1895 the Tsar's Government had
intervened for precisely the same motives that animate every State
at critical times in history, that is, for reasons of self-
interest. The rapid victory which Japan had won had revived in an
acute form the whole question of the future of the vast block of
territory which lies south of the Amur regions and is bathed by
the Yellow Sea. Russian statesmen suddenly became conscious that
the policy of which Muravieff-Amurski in the middle of the
nineteenth century had been the most brilliant exponent--the
policy of reaching "warm water"--was in danger of being crucified,
and the work of many years thrown away. Action on Russia's part
was imperative; she was great enough to see that; and so that it
should not be said that she was merely depriving a gallant nation
of the fruits of victory and thereby issuing to her a direct
challenge, she invited the chief Powers in Treaty relations with
China to co-operate with her in readjusting what she described as
the threatened balance. France and Germany responded to that
invitation; England demurred. France did so because she was
already the devoted Ally of a nation that was a guarantee for the
security of her European frontiers: Germany because she was
anxious to see that Russia should be pushed into Asiatic
commitments and drawn away from the problems of the Near East.
England on her part very prudently declined to be associated with
a transaction which, while not opposed to her interests, was
filled with many dubious elements.

It was in Petrograd that this account was liquidated. The
extraordinary chapter which only closed with the disastrous Peace
of Portsmouth opened for Russia in a very brilliant way. The
presence in Moscow of the veteran statesman Li Hung-chang on the
occasion of the Tsar's Coronation afforded an opportunity for
exhaustively discussing the whole problem of the Far East. China
required money: Russia required the acceptance of plans which
ultimately proved so disastrous to her. Under Article IV of the
Treaty of Shimonoseki (April, 1895) China had agreed to pay Japan
as a war-indemnity 200 million Treasury taels in eight
instalments: that is 50 million taels within six months, a further
50 millions within twelve months, and the remaining 100 millions
in six equal instalments spread over seven years, as well as an
additional sum of 50 millions for the retrocession of the Liaotung

China, therefore, needed at once 80 million taels. Russia
undertook to lend her at the phenomenally low rate of 4 per cent
the sum of 16,000,000 pounds sterling--the interest and capital
of which the Tsar's Government guaranteed to the French bankers
undertaking the flotation. In return for this accommodation, the
well-known Russo-Chinese Declaration of the 24th June (6th July)
1895 was made in which the vital article IX states that--"In
consideration of this Loan the Chinese Government declares that it
will not grant to any foreign Power any right or privilege of no
matter what description touching the control or administration of
the revenues of the Chinese Empire. Should, however, the Chinese
Government grant to any foreign Power rights of this nature, it is
understood that the mere fact of having done so will extend those
rights to the Russian Government."

This clause has a monumental significance: it started the scramble
in China: and all the history of the past 22 years is piled like a
pyramid on top of it. Now that the Romanoff's have been hurled
from the throne, Russia must prove eager to reverse the policy
which brought Japan to her Siberian frontiers and which pinned a
brother democracy to the ground.

For China, instead of being nearly bankrupt as so many have
asserted, has, thanks to the new scale of indebtedness which the
war has established, become one of the most debt-free countries in
the world, her entire national debt (exclusive of railway debt)
amounting to less than 150 millions sterling, or seven shillings
per head of population, which is certainly not very terrible. No
student who has given due attention to the question can deny that
it is primarily on the proper handling of this nexus of financial
interests, and not by establishing any artificial balance of power
between foreign nations, that the peace of the Far East really
hinges. The method of securing national redemption is ready-made;
Western nations should use the Parliament of China as an
instrument of reform, and by limiting themselves to this one
method secure that civil authority is reinforced to such a point
that its behests have behind them all the wealth of the West. In
questions of currency, taxation, railways and every other
vexatious problem, it is solely by using this instrument that
satisfactory results can be attained.

[Footnote: We need only give a single example of what we mean. If,
in the matter of the reform of the currency, instead of
authorizing trade-agencies, i.e. the foreign Exchange Banks, to
make a loan to China, which is necessarily hedged round with
conditions favourable to such trade-agencies, the Powers took the
matter directly in their own hands; and selecting the Bank of
China--the national fiscal agent--as the instrument of reform
agreed to advance all the sums necessary, PROVIDED a Banking Law
was passed by the Parliament of China of a satisfying nature, and
the necessary guarantees were forthcoming, it would soon be
possible to have a uniform National Currency which would be
everywhere accepted and lead to a phenomenal trade expansion. It
should be noted that China is still on a Copper Standard basis,--
the people's buying and selling being conducted in multiples of
copper cent-pieces of which there has been an immense over-issue,
the latest figures showing that there are no less than
22,000,000,000 1-cent, ten cash pieces in circulation or 62 coins
per head of population--roughly twenty-five millions sterling in
value,--or 160,000 tons of copper! The number of silver dollars
and subsidiary silver coins is not accurately known,--nor is the
value of the silver bullion; but it certainly cannot greatly
exceed this sum. In addition there is about 15,000,000 pounds of
paper money. A comprehensive scheme of reform, placed in the hands
of the Bank of China, would require at least 15,000,000 pounds;
but this sum would be sufficient to modernize the currency and
establish a universal silver dollar standard.

The Bank of China requires at least 600 branches throughout the
country to become a true fiscal agent. It has today one-tenth of
this number.]

For once Chinese realize that parliamentary government is not
merely an experimental thing but the last chance the country is to
be given to govern itself, they will rally to the call and prove
that much of the trouble and turmoil of past years has been due to
the misunderstanding of the internal problem by Western minds,
which has incited the population to intrigue against one another
and remain disunited. And if we insist that there is urgent need
for a settlement of these matters in the terms we have indicated,
it is because we know very prcisely what Japanese thought on this
subject really is.

What is that thought--whither does it lead?

It may be broadly said that Japanese activities throughout the Far
East are based on a thorough and adequate appreciation of the fact
that apart from the winning of the hegemony of China, there is the
far more difficult and knotty problem of overshadowing and
ultimately dislodging the huge network of foreign interests--
particularly British interests--which seventy-five years of Treaty
intercourse have entwined about the country. These interests,
growing out of the seed planted in the early Canton Factory days,
had their origin in the termination by the act of the British
Government of the trading monopoly enjoyed until the thirties of
last century by the East India Company. Left without proper
definition until the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 had formally won
the principle of trading-rights at five open ports, and thus
established a first basis of agreement between England and China
(to which all the trading powers hastened to subscribe), these
interests expanded in a half-hearted way until 1860, when in order
to terminate friction, the principle of extraterritoriality was
boldly borrowed from the Turkish Capitulations, and made the rock
on which the entire fabric of international dealings in China was
based. These treaties, with their always-recurring "most-favoured
nation" clause, and their implication of equal treatment for all
Powers alike, constitute the Public Law of the Far East, just as
much as the Treaties between the Nations constitute the Public Law
of Europe; and any attempt to destroy, cripple, or limit their
scope and function has been very generally deemed an assault on
all the High Contracting Parties alike. By a thoroughly
Machiavellian piece of reasoning, those who have been responsible
for the framing of recent Japanese policy, have held it essential
to their plan to keep the world chained to the principle of
extraterritoriality and Chinese Tariff and economic subjection
because these things, imposing as they necessarily do restrictions
and limitations in many fields, leave it free to the Japanese to
place themselves outside and beyond these restrictions and
limitations; and, by means of special zones and secret
encroachments, to extend their influence so widely that ultimately
foreign treaty-ports and foreign interests may be left isolated
and at the mercy of the "Higher machinery" which their hegemony is
installing. The Chinese themselves, it is hoped, will be gradually
cajoled into acquiescing in this very extraordinary state of
affairs, because being unorganized and split into suspicious
groups, they can be manipulated in such a way as to offer no
effective mass resistance to the Japanese advance, and in the end
may be induced to accept it as inevitable.

If the reader keeps these great facts carefully in mind, a new
light will dawn on him and the urgency of the Chinese question
will be disclosed. The Japanese Demands of 1915, instead of being
fantastic and far-fetched, as many have supposed, are shown to be
very intelligently drawn-up, the entire Treaty position in China
having been most exhaustively studied, and every loophole into the
vast region left untouched by the exterritorialized Powers marked
down for invasion. For Western nations, in spite of exorbitant
demands at certain periods in Chinese history, having mainly
limited themselves to acquiring coastal and communication
privileges, which were desired more for genuine purposes of trade
than for encompassing the destruction of Chinese autonomy, are to-
day in a disadvantageous position which the Japanese have shown
they thoroughly understand by not only tightening their hold on
Manchuria and Shantung, but by going straight to the root of the
matter and declaring on every possible occasion that they alone
are responsible for the peace and safety of the Far East,--and
this in spite of the fact that their plan of 1915 was exposed and
partially frustrated. But the chief force behind the Japanese
Foreign Office, it should be noted, is militarist; and it is a
point of honour for the Military Party to return to the charge in
China again and again until there is definite success or definite

Now in view of the facts which have been so voluminously set forth
in preceding chapters, it is imperative for men to realize that
the struggle in the Far East is like the Balkan Question a thing
rooted in geography and peoples, and cannot be brushed aside or
settled by compromises. The whole future of Chinese civilization
is intimately bound up with the questions involved, and the
problem instead of becoming easier to handle must become
essentially more difficult from day to day. Japan's real objective
being the termination of the implied trusteeship which Europe and
America still exercise in the Far East, the course of the European
war must intimately effect the ultimate outcome. If that end is
satisfactory for democracies, China may reasonably claim to share
in the resulting benefits; if on the other hand, the Liberal
Powers do not win an overwhelming victory which shall secure the
sanctity of Treaties for all time, it will go hard for China.
Outwardly, the immediate goal which Japan seeks to attain is
merely to become the accredited spokesman of Eastern Asia, the
official representative; and, using this attorneyship as a cloak
for the advancement of objects which other Powers would pursue on
different principles, so impregnably to entrench herself where she
was no business to be that no one will dare to attempt to turn her
out. For this reason we see revived in Manchuria on a modified
scale the Eighteenth Century device, once so essential a feature
of Dutch policy in the struggle against Louis XIV, namely the
creation of "barrier-cities" for closing and securing a frontier
by giving them a special constitution which withdraws them from
ordinary jurisdiction and places foreign garrisons in them. This
is precisely what is going on from the Yalu to Eastern Mongolia,
and this procedure no doubt will be extended in time to other
regions as opportunities arise. Already in Shantung the same
policy is being pursued and there are indications that it is being
thought of in Fuhkien; whilst the infantry garrison which was
quietly installed at Hankow--600 miles up the Yangtsze river--at
the time of the Revolution of 1911 is apparently to be made
permanent. Allowing her policy to be swayed by men who know far
too little of the sea, Japan stands in imminent danger of
forgetting the great lesson which Mahan taught, that for island-
peoples sea-power is everything and that land conquests which
diminish the efficacy of that power are merely a delusion and
snare. Plunging farther and farther into the vast regions of
Manchuria and Mongolia which have been the graves of a dozen
dynasties, Japan is displaying increasing indifference for the one
great lesson which the war has yielded--the overwhelming
importance of the sea. [Footnote: It should be carefully noted
that not only has Japan no unfriendly feelings for Germany but
that German Professors have been appointed to office during the
war. In the matter of enemy trading Japan's policy has been even
more extraordinary. Until there was a popular outcry among the
Entente Allies, German merchants were allowed to trade more or
less as usual. They were not denied the use of Japanese steamers,
shipping companies being simply "advised" not to deal with them,
the two German banks in Yokohama and Kobe being closed only in the
Autumn of 1916. It was not until April, 1917, that Enemy Trading
Regulations were formally promulgated and enforced,--that is when
the war was very far advanced--the action of China against Germany
being no doubt largely responsible for this step. That the
Japanese nation greatly admires the German system of government
and is in the main indifferent to the results of the war has long
been evident to observers on the spot.] Necessarily guardian of
the principles on which intercourse in Asia is based, because she
framed those principles and fought for them and has built up great
edifices under their sanction, British sea-power--now allied
forever, let us hope, with American power--nevertheless remains
and will continue to remain, in spite of what may be half-
surreptitiously done to-day, the dominant factor in the Far East
as it is in the Far West. Withdrawn from view for the time being,
because of the exigencies of the hour, and because the Anglo-
Japanese Alliance is still counted a binding agreement, Western
sea-power nevertheless stands there, a heavy cloud in the offing,
full of questionings regarding what is going on in the Orient, and
fully determined, let us pray, one day to receive frank answers.
For the right of every race, no matter how small or weak, to enjoy
the inestimable benefits of self-government and independence may
be held to have been so absolutely established that it is a mere
question of time for the doctrine not only to be universally
accepted but to be universally applied. In many cases, it is true,
the claims of certain races are as yet incapable of being
expressed in practical state-forms; but where nationalities have
long been well-defined, there can be no question whatsoever that a
properly articulated autonomy must be secured in such a way as to
preclude the possibility of annexations.

Now although in their consideration of Asia it is notorious that
Western statesmen have not cared to keep in mind political
concepts which have become enthroned in Europe, owing to the fact
that an active element of opposition to such concepts was to be
found in their own policies, a vast change has undoubtedly been
recently worked, making it certain that the claims of nationalism
are soon to be given the same force and value in the East as in
the West. But before there can be any question of Asia for the
Asiatics being adopted as a root principle by the whole world, it
will have to be established in some unmistakable form that the
surrender of the policy of conquest which Europe has pursued for
four centuries East of the Suez Canal will not lead to its
adoption by an Asiatic Power under specious forms which hide the
glittering sword. If that can be secured, then the present
conflict will have truly been a War of Liberation for the East as
well as for the West. For although Japan has been engaged for some
years in declaring to all Asiatics under her breath that she holds
out the hand of a brother to them, and dreams of the days when the
age of European conquests will be nothing but a distant memory,
her actions have consistently belied her words and shown that she
has not progressed in political thought much beyond the crude
conceptions of the Eighteenth Century. Thus Korea, which fell
under her sway because the nominal independence of the country had
long made it the centre of disastrous international intrigues, is
governed to-day as a conquered province by a military viceroy
without a trace of autonomy remaining and without any promise that
such a regime is only temporary. Although nothing in the
undertakings made with the Powers has ever admitted that a nation
which boasts of an ancient line of kings, and which gave Japan
much of her own civilization, should be stamped under foot in such
manner, the course which politics have taken in Korea has been
disastrous in the extreme ever since Lord Lansdowne in 1905, as
British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, pointed out in a careful
dispatch to the Russian Government that Korea was a region which
fell naturally under the sway of Japan. Not only has a tragic fate
overcome the sixteen million inhabitants of that country, but
there has been a covert extension of the principles applied to
them to the people of China. Now if as we say European concepts
are to have universal meaning, and if Japan desires European
treatment, it is time that it is realized that the policy followed
in Korea, combined with the attempt to extend that treatment to
soil where China rightly claims undisputed sovereignty, forms an
insuperable barrier to Japan being admitted to the inner council
of the nations. [Footnote: A very remarkable confirmation of these
statements is afforded in the latest Japanese decision regarding
Manchuria which will be immediately enforced. The experience of
the past three years having proved conclusively that the Chinese,
in spite of their internal strife, are united to a man in their
determination to prevent Japan from tightening her hold on
Manchuria and instituting an open Protectorate, the Tokio
Government has now drawn up a subtle scheme which it is believed
will be effective. A Bill for the unification of administration in
South Manchuria has passed the Japanese Cabinet Conference and
will soon be formally promulgated. Under the provisions of this
Bill, the Manchuria Railway Company will become the actual organ
of Japanese administration in South Manchuria; the Japanese
Consular Service will be subordinate to the administration of the
Railway; and all the powers hitherto vested in the Consular
Service, political, commercial, judicial and administrative, will
be made part of the organization of the South Manchuria Railway.
This is not all. From another Japanese source we learn that a law
is about to take effect by which the administration of the South
Manchuria Railway will be transferred directly to the control of
the Government-General of Korea, thus making the Railway at once
an apparently commercial but really political organization. In
future the revenues of the South Manchuria Railway are to be paid
direct to the Government-General of Korea; and the yearly
appropriation for the upkeep and administration of the Railway is
to be fixed at Yen 19,000,000. These arrangements, especially the
amalgamation of the South Manchuria Railway, are to take effect
from the 1st July, 1917, and are an attempt to do in the dark what
Japan dares not yet attempt in the open.] No one wishes to deny to
Japan her proper place in the world, in view of her marvellous
industrial progress, but that place must be one which fits in with
modern conceptions and is not one thing to the West and another to
the East. Even the saying which was made so much of during the
Russian war of 1904, that Korea in foreign hands was a dagger
pointed at the heart of Japan--has been shown to be inherently
false by the lessons of the present struggle, the Korean dagger-
point being 120 sea miles from the Japanese coast. Such arguments
clearly show that if the truce which was hastily patched up in
1905 is to give way to a permanent peace, that can be evolved only
by locking on to the Far East the principles which are in process
of being vindicated in Europe. In other words, precisely as Poland
is to be given autonomy, so must Korea enjoy the same privileges,
the whole Japanese theory of suzerainty on the Eastern Asiatic
Continent being abandoned. To re-establish a proper balance of
power in the Far East, the Korean nation, which has had a known
historical existence of 1,500 years, must be reinstated in
something resembling its old position; for Korea has always been
the keystone of the Far Eastern arch, and it is the destruction of
that arch more than anything else which has brought the collapse
of China so perilously near.

Once the legitimate aspirations of the Korean people have been
satisfied, the whole Manchurian-Mongolian question will assume a
different aspect, and a true peace between China and Japan will be
made possible. It is to no one's interest to have a Polish
question in the Far East with all the bitterness and the crimes
which such a question must inevitably lead to; and the time to
obviate the creation of such a question is at the very beginning
before it has become an obsession and a great international issue.
Although the Japanese annexation may be held to have settled the
question once and for all, we have but to point to Poland to show
that a race can pass through every possible humiliation and endure
every possible species of truncation without dying or abating by
one whit its determination to enjoy what happier races have won.

The issue is a vital one. China by her recent acts has given a
categorical and unmistakable reply to all the insidious attempts
to place her outside and beyond the operation of international law
and all those sanctions which make life worth living; and because
of the formal birth of a Foreign Policy it can be definitely
expected that this nation, despite its internal troubles and
struggles, will never rest content until she has created a new
nexus of world-relationships which shall affirm and apply every
one of the principles experience elsewhere has proved are the
absolute essentials to peace and happiness. China is already many
decades ahead of Japan in her theory of government, no matter what
the practice may be, the marvellous revolution of 1911 having
given back to this ancient race its old position of leader in
ideas on the shores of the Yellow Sea. The whole dream Japan has
cherished, and has sought to give form to during the war, is in
the last analysis antiquated and forlorn and must ultimately
dissolve into thin air; for it is monstrous to suppose, in an age
when European men have sacrificed everything to free themselves
from the last vestiges of feudalism, that in the Far East the cult
of Sparta should remain a hallowed and respected doctrine. Japan's
policy in the Far East during the period of the war has been
uniformly mischievous and is largely responsible for the fierce
hatreds which burst out in 1917 over the war issue; and China will
be forced to raise at the earliest possible moment the whole
question of the validity of the undertakings extorted from her in
1915 under the threat of an ultimatum. Although the precise nature
of Anglo-Japanese diplomacy during the vital eleven days from the
4th to the 15th August, 1914, [i. e. from the British declaration
of war on Germany to the Japanese ultimatum regarding Kiaochow]
remains a sealed book, China suspects that Japan from the very
beginning of the present war world-struggle has taken advantage of
England's vast commitments and acted ultra vires. China hopes and
believes that Britain will never again renew the Japanese
alliance, which expires in 1921, in its present form, particularly
now that an Anglo-American agreement has been made possible. China
knows that in spite of all coquetting with both the extreme
radical and military parties which is going on daily in Peking and
the provinces, the secret object of Japanese diplomacy is either
the restoration of the Manchu dynasty, or the enthronement of some
pliant usurper, a puppet-Emperor being what is needed to repeat in
China the history of Korea. Japan would be willing to go to any
lengths to secure the attainment of this reactionary object.
Faithful to her "divine mission," she is ceaselessly stirring up
trouble and hoping that time may still be left her to consolidate
her position on the Asiatic mainland, one of her latest methods
being to busy herself at distant points in the Pacific so that
Western men for the sake of peace may be ultimately willing to
abandon the shores of the Yellow Seas to her unchallenged mastery.

The problem thus outlined becomes a great dramatic thing. The
lines which trace the problem are immense, stretching from China
to every shore bathed by the Pacific and then from there to the
distant west. Whenever there is a dull calm, that calm must be
treated solely as an intermission, an interval between the acts, a
preparation for something more sensational than the last episode,
but not as a permanent settlement which can only come by the
methods we have indicated. For the Chinese question is no longer a
local problem, but a great world-issue which statesmen must
regulate by conferences in which universal principles will be
vindicated if they wish permanently to eliminate what is almost
the last remaining international powder-magazine. A China that is
henceforth not only admitted to the family of nations on terms of
equality but welcomed as a representative of Liberalism and a
subscriber to all those sanctions on which the civilization of
peace rests, will directly tend to adjust every other Asiatic
problem and to prevent a recrudescence of those evil phenomena
which are the enemies of progress and happiness. Is it too much to
dream of such a consummation? We think not. It is to America and
to England that China looks to rehabilitate herself and to make
her Republic a reality. If they lend her their help, if they are
consistent, there is still no reason why this democracy on the
shores of the Yellow Sea should not be reinstated in the proud
position it occupied twenty centuries ago, when it furnished the
very silks which clothed the daughters of the Caesars.



(1) The so-called Nineteen Articles, being the grant made by the
Throne after the outbreak of the Wuchang Rebellion in 1911 in a
vain attempt to satisfy the nation.

(2) The Abdication Edicts issued on the 12th February, 1912,
endorsing the establishment of the Republic.

(3) The terms of abdication, generally referred to as "The
articles of Favourable Treatment," in which special provision is
made for the "rights" of Manchus, Mongols, Mohammedans and
Tibetans, who are considered as being outside the Chinese nation.


1. The Ta-Ching Dynasty shall reign for ever.

2. The person of the Emperor shall be inviolable.

3. The power of the Emperor shall be limited by a Constitution.

4. The order of the succession shall be prescribed in the

5. The Constitution shall be drawn up and adopted by the National
Assembly, and promulgated by the Emperor.

6. The power of amending the Constitution belongs to Parliament.

7. The members of the Upper House shall be elected by the people
from among those particularly eligible for the position.

8. Parliament shall select, and the Emperor shall appoint, the
Premier, who will recommend the other members of the Cabinet,
these also being appointed by the Emperor. The Imperial Princes
shall be ineligible as Premier, Cabinet Ministers, or
administrative heads of provinces.

9. If the Premier, on being impeached by Parliament, does not
dissolve Parliament he must resign but one Cabinet shall not be
allowed to dissolve Parliament more than once.

10. The Emperor shall assume direct control of the army and navy,
but when that power is used with regard to internal affairs, he
must observe special conditions, to be decided upon by Parliament,
otherwise he is prohibited from exercising such power.

11. Imperial decrees cannot be made to replace the law except in
the event of immediate necessity in which case decrees in the
nature of a law may be issued in accordance with special
conditions, but only when they are in connection with the
execution of a law or what has by law been delegated.

12. International treaties shall not be concluded without the
consent of Parliament, but the conclusion of peace or a
declaration of war may be made by the Emperor if Parliament is not
sitting, the approval of Parliament to be obtained afterwards.

13. Ordinances in connection with the administration shall be
settled by Acts of Parliament.

14. In case the Budget fails to receive the approval of Parliament
the Government cannot act upon the previous year's Budget, nor may
items of expenditure not provided for in the Budget be appended to
it. Further, the Government shall not be allowed to adopt
extraordinary financial measures outside the Budget.

15. Parliament shall fix the expenses of the Imperial household,
and any increase or decrease therein.

16. Regulations in connection with the Imperial family must not
conflict with the Constitution.

17. The two Houses shall establish the machinery of an
administrative court.

18. The Emperor shall promulgate the decisions of Parliament.

19. The National Assembly shall act upon Articles 8, 9, 10, 12,
13, 14, 15 and 18 until the opening of Parliament.



We (the Emperor) have respectfully received the following Imperial
Edict from Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Dowager Lung Yu:--

As a consequence of the uprising of the Republican Army, to which
the different provinces immediately responded, the Empire seethed
like a boiling cauldron and the people were plunged into utter
misery. Yuan Shih-kai was, therefore, especially commanded some
time ago to dispatch commissioners to confer with the
representatives of the Republican Army on the general situation
and to discuss matters pertaining to the convening of a National
Assembly for the decision of the suitable mode of settlement has
been discovered. Separated as the South and the North are by great
distances, the unwillingness of either side to yield to the other
can result only in the continued interruption of trade and the
prolongation of hostilities, for, so long as the form of
government is undecided, the Nation can have no peace. It is now
evident that the hearts of the majority of the people are in
favour of a republican form of government: the provinces of the
South were the first to espouse the cause, and the generals of the
North have since pledged their support. From the preference of the
people's hearts, the Will of Heaven can be discerned. How could We
then bear to oppose the will of the millions for the glory of one
Family! Therefore, observing the tendencies of the age on the one
hand and studying the opinions of the people on the other, We and
His Majesty the Emperor hereby vest the sovereignty in the People
and decide in favour of a republican form of constitutional
government. Thus we would gratify on the one hand the desires of
the whole nation who, tired of anarchy, are desirous of peace, and
on the other hand would follow in the footsteps of the Ancient
Sages, who regarded the Throne as the sacred trust of the Nation.

Now Yuan Shih-kai was elected by the Tucheng-yuan to be the
Premier. During this period of transference of government from the
old to the new, there should be some means of uniting the South
and the North. Let Yuan Shih-kai organize with full powers a
provisional republican government and confer with the Republican
Army as to the methods of union, thus assuring peace to the people
and tranquillity to the Empire, and forming the one Great Republic
of China by the union as heretofore, of the five peoples, namely,
Manchus, Chinese, Mongols, Mohammedans, and Tibetans together with
their territory in its integrity. We and His Majesty the Emperor,
thus enabled to live in retirement, free from responsibilities,
and cares and passing the time in ease and comfort, shall enjoy
without interruption the courteous treatment of the Nation and see
with Our own eyes the consummation of an illustrious government.
Is not this highly advisable?

Bearing the Imperial Seal and Signed by Yuan Shih-kai, the

Hoo Wei-teh, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Chao Ping-chun, Minister of the Interior;

Tan Hsuch-heng, Acting Minister of Navy;

Hsi Yen, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Works and Commerce;

Liang Shih-yi, Acting Minister of Communications;

Ta Shou, Acting Minister of the Dependencies. 25th day of the 12th
moon of the 3rd year of Hsuan Tung.


We have respectfully received the following Imperial Edict from
Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Dowager Lung Yu:--

On account of the perilous situation of the State and the intense
sufferings of the people, We some time ago commanded the Cabinet
to negotiate with the Republican Army the terms for the courteous
treatment of the Imperial House, with a view to a peaceful
settlement. According to the memorial now submitted to Us by the
Cabinet embodying the articles of courteous treatment proposed by
the Republican Army, they undertake to hold themselves responsible
for the perpetual offering of sacrifices before the Imperial
Ancestral Temples and the Imperial Mausolea and the completion as
planned of the Mausoleum of His Late Majesty the Emperor Kuang
Hsu. His Majesty the Emperor is understood to resign only his
political power, while the Imperial Title is not abolished. There
have also been concluded eight articles for the courteous
treatment of the Imperial House, four articles for the favourable
treatment of Manchus, Mongols, Mohammedans, and Tibetans. We find
the terms of perusal to be fairly comprehensive. We hereby
proclaim to the Imperial Kinsmen and the Manchus, Mongols,
Mohammedans, and Tibetans that they should endeavour in the future
to fuse and remove all racial differences and prejudices and
maintain law and order with united efforts. It is our sincere hope
that peace will once more be seen in the country and all the
people will enjoy happiness under a republican government.

Bearing the Imperial Seal and Signed by Yuan Shih-kai, the

Hoo Wei-teh, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Chao Ping-chun, Minister of the Interior;

Tan Hsuen-heng, Acting Minister of the Navy;

Hsi Yen, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Works and Commerce;

Liang Shih-yi, Acting Minister of Communications;

Ta Shou, Acting Minister of the Dependencies. 25th day of the 12th
moon of the 3rd year of Hsuan Tung.


We have respectfully received the following Edict from Her
Imperial Majesty the Empress Dowager Lung Yu:--

In ancient times the ruler of a country emphasized the important
duty of protecting the lives of his people, and as their shepherd
could not have the heart to cause them injury. Now the newly
established form of government has for its sole object the
appeasement of the present disorder with a view to the restoration
of peace. If, however, renewed warfare were to be indefinitely
maintained, by disregarding the opinion of the majority of the
people, the general condition of the country might be
irretrievably ruined, and there might follow mutual slaughter
among the people, resulting in the horrible effects of a racial
war. As a consequence, the spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors might
be greatly disturbed and millions of people might be terrorized.
The evil consequences cannot be described. Between the two evils,
We have adopted the lesser one. Such is the motive of the Throne
in modelling its policy in accordance with the progress of time,
the change of circumstances, and the earnest desires of Our
People. Our Ministers and subjects both in and out of the
Metropolis should, in conformity with Our idea, consider most
carefully the public weal and should not cause the country and the
people to suffer from the evil consequences of a stubborn pride
and of prejudiced opinions.

The Ministry of the Interior, the General Commandant of the
Gendarmerie, Chiang Kuei-ti, and Feng Kuo-chang, are ordered to
take strict precautions, and to make explanations to the peoples
so clearly and precisely as to enable every and all of them to
understand the wish of the Throne to abide by the ordinance of
heaven, to meet the public opinion of the people and to be just
and unselfish.

The institution of the different offices by the State has been for
the welfare of the people, and the Cabinet, the various Ministries
in the Capital, the Vice-royalties, Governorships,
Commissionerships, and Taotaiships, have therefore been
established for the safe protection of the people, and not for the
benefit of one man or of one family. Metropolitan and Provincial
officials of all grades should ponder over the present
difficulties and carefully perform their duties. We hereby hold it
the duty of the senior officials earnestly to advise and warn
their subordinates not to shirk their responsibilities, in order
to conform with Our original sincere intention to love and to take
care of Our people.

Bearing the Imperial Seal and Signed by Yuan Shih-kai, the

Hoo Wei-teh, Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Chao-ping-chun, Minister of the Interior;

Tan Hseuh-heng, Acting Minister of the Navy;

Hsi Yen, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Works and Commerce;

Liang Shih-yi, Acting Minister of Communications;

Ta Shou, Acting Minister of the Dependencies.

25th day of the 12th moon of the 3rd year of Hsuan Tung.


N.B. These terms are generally referred to in China as "The
Articles of Favourable Treatments."

A.--Concerning the Emperor.

The Ta Ching Emperor having proclaimed a republican form of
government, the Republic of China will accord the following
treatment to the Emperor after his resignation and retirement.

Article 1. After abdication the Emperor may retain his title and
shall receive from the Republic of China the respect due to a
foreign sovereign.

Article 2. After the abdication the Throne shall receive from the
Republic of China an annuity of Tls. 4,000,000 until the
establishment of a new currency, when the sum shall be $4,000,000.

Article 3. After abdication the Emperor shall for the present be
allowed to reside in the Imperial Palace, but shall later remove
to the Eho Park, retaining his bodyguards at the same strength as

Article 4. After abdication the Emperor shall continue to perform
the religious ritual at the Imperial Ancestral Temples and
Mausolea, which shall be protected by guards provided by the
Republic of China.

Article 5. The Mausoleum of the late Emperor not being completed,
the work shall be carried out according to the original plans, and
the services in connexion with the removal of the remains of the
late Emperor to the new Mausoleum shall be carried out as
originally arranged, the expense being borne by the Republic of

Article 6. All the retinue of the Imperial Household shall be
employed as hitherto, but no more eunuchs shall be appointed.

Article 7. After abdication all the private property of the
Emperor shall be respected and protected by the Republic of China.

Article 8. The Imperial Guards will be retained without change in
members or emolument, but they will be placed under the control of
the Department of War of the Republic of China.

B.--Concerning the Imperial Clansmen.

Article 1. Princes, Dukes and other hereditary nobility shall
retain their titles as hitherto.

Article 2. Imperial Clansmen shall enjoy public and private rights
in the Republic of China on an equality with all other citizens.

Article 3. The private property of the Imperial Clansmen shall be
duly protected.

Article 4. The Imperial Clansmen shall be exempt from military

C.--Concerning Manchus, Mongols, Mohammedans and Tibetans.

The Manchus, Mongols, Mohammedans and Tibetans having accepted the
Republic, the following terms are accorded to them:--

Article 1. They shall enjoy full equality with Chinese.

Article 2. They shall enjoy the full protection of their private

Article 3. Princes, Dukes and other hereditary nobility shall
retain their titles as hitherto.

Article 4. Impoverished Princes and Dukes shall be provided with
means of livelihood.

Article 5. Provision for the livelihood of the Eight Banners,
shall with all dispatch be made, but until such provision has been
made the pay of the Eight Banners shall be continued as hitherto.

Article 6. Restrictions regarding trade and residence that have
hitherto been binding on them are abolished, and they shall now be
allowed to reside and settle in any department or district.

Article 7. Manchus, Mongols, Mohammedans and Tibetans shall enjoy
complete religious freedom.


(1) The Provisional Constitution passed at Nanking in January,

(2) The Presidential Election Law passed on the 4th October, 1913,
by the full Parliament, under which Yuan Shih Kai was elected
President,--and now formally incorporated as a separate chapter in
the Permanent Constitution.

(3) The Constitutional Compact, promulgated on 1st May, 1914. This
"law" which was the first result of the coup d'etat of 4th
November, 1913, and designed to take the place of the Nanking
Constitution is wholly illegal and disappeared with the death of
Yuan Shih Kai.

(4) The Presidential Succession Law. This instrument, like the
Constitutional Compact, was wholly illegal and drawn up to make
Yuan Shih Kai dictator for life.


Passed at Nanking in 1912, currently referred to as the old


Article 1. The Republic of China is composed of the Chinese

Art. 2. The sovereignty of the Chinese Republic is vested in the

Art. 3. The territory of the Chinese Republic consists of the 18
provinces, Inner and Outer Mongolia, Tibet and Ching-hai.

Art. 4. The sovereignty of the Chinese Republic is exercised by
the National Council, the Provisional President, the Cabinet and
the Judiciary.


Art. 5. Citizens of the Chinese Republic are all equal, and there
shall be no racial class or religious distinctions.

Art. 6. Citizens shall enjoy the following rights:--

(a) The person of the citizens shall not be arrested, imprisoned,
tried or punished except in accordance with law.

(b) The habitations of citizens shall not be entered or searched
except in accordance with law.

(c) Citizens shall enjoy the right of the security of their
property and the freedom of trade.

(d) Citizens shall have the freedom of speech, of composition, of
publication, of assembly and of association.

(e) Citizens shall have the right of the secrecy of their letters.

(f) Citizens shall have the liberty of residence and removal.

(g) Citizens shall have the freedom of religion.

Art. 7. Citizens shall have the right to petition the Parliament.

Art. 8. Citizens shall have the right of petitioning the executive

Art. 9. Citizens shall have the right to institute proceedings
before the Judiciary, and to receive its trial and judgment.

Art. 10. Citizens shall have the right of suing officials in the
Administrative Courts for violation of law or against their

Art. 11. Citizens shall have the right of participating in civil

Art. 12. Citizens shall have the right to vote and to be voted

Art. 13. Citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes according to

Art. 14. Citizens shall have the duty to enlist as soldiers
according to law.

Art. 15. The rights of citizens as provided in the present Chapter
shall be limited or modified by laws, provided such limitation or
modification shall be deemed necessary for the promotion of public
welfare, for the maintenance of public order, or on account of
extraordinary exigency.


Art. 16. The legislative power of the Chinese Republic is
exercised by the National Council.

Art. 17. The Council shall be composed of members elected by the
several districts as provided in Article 18.

Art. 18. The Provinces, Inner and Outer Mongolia, and Tibet shall
each elect and depute five members to the Council, and Chinghai
shall elect one member.

The election districts and methods of elections shall be decided
by the localities concerned.

During the meeting of the Council each member shall have one vote.

Art. 19. The National Council shall have the following powers:

(a) To pass all Bills.

(b) To pass the budgets of the Provisional Government.

(c) To pass laws of taxation of currency, and weights and measures
for the whole country.

(d) To pass measures for the calling of public loans and to
conclude contracts affecting the National Treasury.

(e) To give consent to matters provided in Articles 34, 35, and

(f) To reply to inquiries from the Provisional Government.

(g) To receive and consider petitions of citizens.

(h) To make suggestions to the Government on legal or other

(i) To introduce interpellations to members of the Cabinet, and to
insist on their being present in the Council in making replies

(j) To insist on the Government investigating into any alleged
bribery and infringement of laws by officials.

(k) To impeach the Provisional President for high treason by a
majority vote of three-fourths of the quorum consisting of more
than four-fifths of the total number of the members.

(1) To impeach members of the Cabinet for failure to perform their
official duties or for violation of the law by majority votes of
two-thirds of the quorum consisting of over three-fourths of the
total number of the members.

Art. 20. The National Council shall itself convoke, conduct and
adjourn its own meetings.

Art. 21. The meetings of the Advisory Council shall be conducted
publicly, but secret meetings may be held at the suggestion of
members of the Cabinet or by the majority vote of its quorum.

Art. 22. Matters passed by the Advisory Council shall be
communicated to the Provisional President for promulgation and

Art. 23. If the Provisional President should veto matters passed
by the National Council he shall, within ten days after he has
received such resolutions, return the same with stated reasons to
the Council for reconsideration. If by a two-thirds vote of the
quorum of the Council, it shall be dealt with in accordance with
Article 22.

Art. 24. The Chairman of the National Council shall be elected by
ballots signed by the voting members and the one receiving more
than one-half of the total number of the votes cast shall be

Art. 25. Members of the National Council shall not, outside the
Council, be responsible for their opinion expressed and votes cast
in the Council.

Art. 26. Members of the Council shall not be arrested without the
permission of the Chairman of the Council except for crimes
pertaining to civil and international warfare.

Art. 27. Procedure of the National Council shall be decided by its
own members.

Art. 28. The National Council shall be dissolved on the day of the
convocation of the National Assembly, and its powers shall be
exercised by the latter.


Art. 29. The Provisional President and Vice-President shall be
elected by the National Council, and he who receives two-thirds of
the total number of votes cast by a sitting of the Council
consisting of over three-fourths of the total number of members
shall be elected.

Art. 30. The Provisional President represents the Provisional
Government as the fountain of all executive powers and for
promulgating all laws.

Art. 31. The Provisional President may issue or cause to be issued
orders for the execution of laws and of powers delegated to him by
the law.

Art. 32. The Provisional President shall be the Commander-in-Chief
of the Army and Navy of the whole of China.

Art. 33. The Provisional President shall ordain and establish the
administrative system and official regulations, but he must first
submit them to the National Council for its approval.

Art. 34. The Provisional President shall appoint and remove civil
and military officials, but in the appointment of Members of the
Cabinet, Ambassadors and Ministers he must have the concurrence of
the National Council.

Art. 35. The Provisional President shall have power, with the
concurrence of the National Council, to declare war and conclude

Art. 36. The Provisional President may, in accordance with law,
declare a state of siege.

Art. 37. The Provisional President shall, representing the whole
country, receive Ambassadors and Ministers of foreign countries.

Art. 38. The Provisional President may introduce Bills into the
National Council.

Art. 39. The Provisional President may confer decorations and
other insignia of honour.

Art. 40. The Provisional President may declare general amnesty,
grant special pardon, commute punishment, and restore rights, but
in the case of a general amnesty he must have the concurrence of
the National Council.

Art. 41. In case the Provisional President is impeached by the
National Council he shall be tried by a special Court consisting
of nine judges elected among the justices of the Supreme Court of
the realm.

Art. 42. In case the Provisional President vacates his office for
various reasons, or is unable to discharge the powers and duties
of the said office, the Provisional Vice-President shall take his


Art. 43. The Premier and the Chiefs of the Government Departments
shall be called Members of the Cabinet (literally, Secretaries of
State Affairs).

Art. 44. Members of the Cabinet shall assist the Provisional
President in assuming responsibilities.

Art. 45. Members of the Cabinet shall countersign all Bills
introduced by the Provisional President, and all laws and orders
issued by him.

Art. 46. Members of the Cabinet and their deputies may be present
and speak in the National Council.

Art. 47. Upon members of the Cabinet have been impeached by the
National Council, the Provisional President may remove them from
office, but such removal shall be subject to the reconsideration
of the National Council.


Art. 48. The Judiciary shall be composed of those judges appointed
by the Provisional President and the Minister of Justice.

The organization of the Courts and the qualifications of judges
shall be determined by law.

Art. 49. The Judiciary shall try civil and criminal cases, but
cases involving administrative affairs or arising from other
particular causes shall be dealt with according to special laws.

Art. 50. The trial of cases in the law Courts shall be conducted
publicly, but those affecting public safety and order may be in

Art. 51. Judges shall be independent, and shall not be object to
the interference of higher officials.

Art. 53. Judges during their continuance in office shall not have
their emoluments decreased and shall not be transferred to other
offices, nor shall they be removed from office except when they
are convicted of crimes, or of offences punishable according to
law by removal from office.

Regulations for the punishment of judges shall be determined by


Art. 53. Within ten months after the promulgation of this
Provisional Constitution the Provisional President shall convene a
National Assembly, the organization of which and the laws for the
election of whose members shall be decided by the National

Art. 54. The Constitution of the Republic of China shall be
adopted by the National Assembly, but before the promulgation of
the Constitution, the Provisional Constitution shall be as
effective as the Constitution itself.

Art. 55. The Provisional Constitution may be amended by the assent
of two-thirds of the members of the National Council or upon the
application of the Provisional President and being passed by over
three-fourths of the quorum of the Council consisting of over
four-fifths of the total number of its members.

Art. 56. The present Provisional Constitution shall take effect on
the date of its promulgation, and the fundamental articles for the
organization of the Provisional Government shall cease to be
effective on the same date.



Passed October 4, 1913, by the National Assembly and promulgated
by the then Provisional President on October 5 of the same year.

Article 1. A citizen of the Chinese Republic, who is entitled to
all the rights of citizenship, is 40 years or more in age and has
resided in China for not less than ten years, is eligible for
election as President.

Art. 2. The President shall be elected by an Electoral College
organized by the members of the National Assembly of the Chinese

The said election shall be held by a quorum of two-thirds or more
of the entire membership of the said Electoral College and shall
be conducted by secret ballot. A candidate shall be deemed elected
when the number of votes in his favour shall not be less than
three-fourths of the total number of votes cast at the election.
If no candidate secures the requisite number of votes after two
ballotings, a final balloting shall be held with the two persons,
securing the greatest number of votes at the second balloting, as
candidates. The one securing a majority of votes shall be elected.

Art. 3. The term of office of the President shall be five years;
and if re-elected, he may hold office for one more term.

Three months previous to the expiration of the term, the members
of the National Assembly shall convene and organize by themselves
the Electoral College to elect the President for the next period.

Art. 4. The President on taking office shall make oath as follows:

"I hereby swear that I will most sincerely obey the constitution
and faithfully discharge the duties of the President."

Art. 5. Should the post of the President become vacant, the Vice-
President shall succeed to the same TO THE END OF THE TERM OF THE

Should the President be unable to discharge his duties for any
cause the Vice-President shall act in his stead.

Should the Vice-President vacate his post at the same time, the
Cabinet shall officiate for the President. In this event the
members of the National Assembly of the Chinese Republic shall
convene themselves within three months to organize an Electoral
College to elect a new President.

Art. 6. The President shall vacate office on the expiry of his
term. Should the election of the next President or Vice-President
be not effected for any cause, or having been elected should they
be unable to be inaugurated, the President and Vice-President
whose terms have expired shall quit their posts and the Cabinet
shall officiate for them.

Art. 7. The election of the Vice-President shall be according to
the fixed regulations for the election of the President, and the
election of the Vice-President shall take place at the same time
when the President is elected. Should there be a vacancy for the
Vice-Presidency a Vice-President shall be elected according to the
provisions herein set forth.


Before the completion of the Formal Constitution, with regard to
the duties and privileges of the President the Provisional
Constitution regarding the same shall temporarily be followed.


Drafted by Dr. Frank Johnson Goodnow, Legal Adviser to Yuan Shih-
kai, and promulgated on May 1, 1914


Article 1. The Chung Hua Min Kuo is organized by the people of
Chung Hua.

Art. 2. The sovereignty of Chung Hua Min Kuo originates from the
whole body of the citizens.

Art. 3. The territory of the Chung Hua Min Kuo is the same as that
possessed by the former Empire.


Art. 4. The people of the Chung Hua Min Kuo are all equal in law,
irrespective of race, caste, or religion.

Art. 5. The people are entitled to the following rights of

(1) No person shall be arrested, imprisoned, tried, or punished
except in accordance with law.

(2) The habitation of any person shall not be entered or searched
except in accordance with law.

(3) The people have the right of possession and protection of
property and the freedom of trade within the bounds of law.

(4) The people have the right of freedom of speech, of writing and
publication, of meeting and organizing association, within the
bounds of law.

(5) The people have the right of the secrecy of correspondence
within the bounds of law.

(6) The people have the liberty of residence and removal, within
the bounds of law.

(7) The people have freedom of religious belief, within the bounds
of law.

Art. 6. The people have the right to memorialize the Li Fa Yuan
according to the provisions of law.

Art. 7. The people have the right to institute proceedings at the
judiciary organ in accordance with the provisions of law.

Art. 8. The people have the right to petition the administrative
organs and lodge protests with the Administrative Court in
accordance with the provisions of law.

Art. 9. The people have the right to attend examinations held for
securing officials and to join the public service in accordance
with the provisions of law.

Art. 10. The people have the right to vote and to be voted for in
accordance with the provisions of law.

Art. 11. The people have the obligation to pay taxes according to
the provisions of law.

Art. 12. The people have the obligation to serve in a military
capacity in accordance with the provisions of law.

Art. 13. The provisions made in this Chapter, except when in
conflict with the Army or Naval orders and rules, shall be
applicable to military and naval men.


Art. 14. The President is the Head of the nation, and controls the
power of the entire administration.

Art. 15. The President represents the Chung Hua Min Kuo.

Art. 16. The President is responsible to the entire body of

Art. 17. The President convokes the Li Fa Yuan, declares the
opening, the suspension and the closing of the sessions.

The President may dissolve the Li Fa Yuan with the approval of the
Tsan Cheng Yuan; but in that case he must have the new members
elected and the House convoked within six months from the day of

Art. 18. The President shall submit Bills of Law and the Budget to
the Li Fa Yuan.

Art. 19. For the purposes of improving the public welfare or
enforcing law or in accordance with the duties imposed upon him by
law, the President may issue orders and cause orders to be issued,
but he shall not alter the law by his order.

Art. 20. In order to maintain public peace or to prevent
extraordinary calamities at a time of great emergency when time
will not permit the convocation of the Li Fa Yuan, the President
may, with the approval of the Tsan Cheng Yuan [Senate], issue
provisional orders which shall have the force of law; but in that
case he shall ask the Li Fa Yuan [House of Representative] for
indemnification at its next session.

The provisional orders mentioned above shall immediately become
void when they are rejected by the Li Fa Yuan.

Art. 21. The President shall fix the official systems and official
regulations. The President shall appoint and dismiss military and
civil officials.

Art. 22. The President shall declare war and conclude peace.

Art. 23. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of, and controls,
the Army and Navy of the whole country. The President shall decide
the system of organization and the respective strength of the Army
and Navy.

Art. 24. The President shall receive the Ambassadors and Ministers
of the foreign countries.

Art. 25. The President makes treaties.

But the approval of the Li Fa Yuan must be secured if the articles
should change the territories or increase the burdens of the

Art. 26. The President may, according to law, declare Martial Law.

Art. 27. The President may confer titles of nobility, decorations
and other insignia of honour.

Art. 28. The President may declare general amnesty, special
pardon, commutation of punishment, or restoration of rights. In
case of general amnesty the approval of the Li Fa Yuan must he

Art. 29. When the President, for any cause, vacates his post or is
unable to attend to his duties, the Vice-President shall assume
his duties and authority in his stead.


Art. 30. Legislation shall be done by the Legislature organized
with the members elected by the people.

The organization of the Legislature and the method of electing the
legislative members shall be fixed by the Provisional Constitution

Art. 31. The duties and authorities of the Li Fa Yuan shall be as
follows: (1) To discuss and pass all bills of law.

(2) To discuss and pass the Budget.

(3) To discuss and pass or approve articles relating to raising of
public loans and national financial responsibilities.

(4) To reply to the inquiries addressed to it by the Government.

(5) To receive petitions of the people.

(6) To bring up bills on law.

(7) To bring up suggestions and opinions before the President
regarding law and other affairs.

(8) To bring out the doubtful points of the administration and
request the President for an explanation; but when the President

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