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Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1939. 




THIS book is founded on the experience gained during 
about nine months of travel and residence in Manchuria, in 
1929-30, under a fellowship from the Social Science Research 
Council, New York. Previous experience on the borders of 
China and Inner Mongolia, and a long journey through Mon- 
golia and Chinese Turkestan, had convinced me that a study 
of Manchuria must be essential to an understanding of the 
vast territory that lies between China and Russia. Manchuria, 
Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan were once important as the 
lands in which the "northern barbarians" of China's frontier 
maneuvered in war and migration, working out among their 
own tribes their destinies of conquest in China or migration 
toward the West. They are now becoming a field of contest 
between three types of civilization the Chinese, the Russian 
and the Western. In our generation the most acute rivalry 
is in Manchuria, and the chief protagonist of the Western 
civilization is Japan whose interpretation and application of 
a borrowed culture is of acute interest to the Western world, 
as on it turns to a great extent the choice which other nations 
have yet to make between their own indigenous cultures and 
the rival conquering cultures of Russia and the West. 

During our stay in Manchuria my wife and I tried to make 
our experience as varied as possible, but at the same time to 
stay long enough in each region studied to insure that our 
impressions should not be too superficial. Thus we spent part 
of the winter in one room at an inn, in a mud-walled "boom" 



town on the Western frontiers of Manchuria, where Chinese 
colonists are rapidly taking over Mongol pastures and open- 
ing them to cultivation. Then we moved to another one- 
room lodging in an old thatched schoolhouse, in a small 
town in Kirin province, where the population was old-fash- 
ioned and predominantly Manchu. 

In the spring I went up again to the Western frontiers and 
traveled, first by military motor convoy and then riding with 
border troopers, among the Mongols. When the ice broke 
up on the great Sungari river, I traveled on one of the first 
steamers down to the junction of the Sungari with the Amur 
about four hundred miles. As the steamers were afraid to 
venture into the Amur, no settlement having yet been made 
of the dispute between China and Russia, I traveled on by cart, 
with a good deal of difficulty, for some distance along the 
flooded banks of the Amur, among the "Fishskin Tatars." 
Later in the summer I visited Hailar, in the Barga region. 

In the intervals between traveling, or making long stays 
in the country, we visited the chief cities Mukden, Dairen, 
Harbin and Kirin city or made short stays at smaller towns, 
or in villages, or at temples in the hills. In the larger towns 
we naturally did our best to meet well-informed people of 
all nationalities, but out in the country we rarely saw a for- 
eigner, and often went for weeks without speaking English 
except to each other. As we traveled very simply, had no 
need of an interpreter, used always the same means of travel 
as the people of the region and lived in the same kind of 
houses or inns, our contact with the life about us was as close 
as possible. We were thus able to collect a great deal of local 
tradition not only legend and folklore, but the memories 
of the older inhabitants besides noting the signs of that 
"modern progress" which is the chief enthusiasm of the 
younger generation. 


Before leaving for Manchuria, I worked for about six 
months at Harvard, in the Department of Anthropology 
and at the Widener Library, so that by the time we set out 
we knew not only where we wanted to go but what kind of 
work we wanted to do. As for methods, we knew from ex- 
perience how we expected to get down to work; and consider- 
ing the difficulties of banditry, the disturbances consequent 
on the conflict between China and Russia over the Chinese 
Eastern Railway, and the local problems that can crop up 
in so wide a region as Manchuria, we succeeded passably 
W&Lin carrying out our plans. 

This book has been written since our return from Manchu- 
ria, in the intervals of further research in Peiping, and I feel 
that I should say something of the "source material" used. 
This has been almost entirely Chinese. There exists a great 
mass of Chinese material dealing with Manchuria, especially 
from the Ta Ch'ing or Manchu dynasty; but it is not well 
organized, and what is wanted has to be "dug out." 
My principal sources have been the following: 
The Ch'in Ting Ta Ch'ing Hui Tien, is an encyclopaedic 
compilation of the laws and regulations of the Manchu Em- 
pire, printed in 1818, bearing on the multifarious public ques- 
tions of administration, social organization, land tenure, taxa- 
tion, military establishment, religion, education, government 
of the non-Chinese races within the Empire, official and pri- 
vate life, and so on. As much of the "law" concerned is not 
strictly law, but administrative procedure, recorded in suc- 
cessive edicts and based on precedent and custom, the regular 
form of entry is chronological, the successive amendments of 
different reigns being recorded in order, together with many 
rulings given in disputed cases. The subject matter, however, 
is divided under many headings, so that whatever bears on 
Manchuria has to be sought out with diligence. As the whole 


work is published in sixty too or "cases," each containing an 
average of seven or eight pin or separate books, this is not a 
light matter. 

The Huang Ch'ing K'ai Kuo Fang Liich is the official 
Manchu account (in Chinese) of the origins and founda- 
tion of the Manchu dynasty. It was printed in 1786, in two 
"cases," each containing eight "books." There is a German 
translation by E. Hauer (1926). 

The Man Chou Shih Lu was published by the Mukden 
Bureau of Records, in 1930, in one fao of eight pin. It was 
printed from a manuscript in the Mukden Palace, and is 
apparently the account of the early Manchus as preserved 
for the imperial household. It differs in some respects from 
other accounts. 

The Tung Hua Hsu Lu or Tung Hua Ch'iian Lu is a chron- 
icle of the Manchu emperors. The form of compilation is a 
record, from day to day, of all manner of affairs dealt with by 
the emperor. It is in twenty-six t'ao, each containing on an 
average seven pin. Unless a date is known beforehand, there is 
no way of getting at the material required except by going 
right through the whole work. I am at present compiling an 
extract of all references in this chronicle to Korea, Manchuria, 
Mongolia, Chinese Turkestan and Russia. The record runs 
from T'ien Ming (1616) down to the end of the reign of Tao 
Kuang (1851), and I understand there is a continuation 
carrying the account to the end of the reign of Tung Chih 


The Tung Chih or "gazetteers" and Wai Chih or unof- 
ficial gazetteers of the various provinces are available in a 
number of editions, of which some are more comprehensive 
than others. They deal under classified headings with all 
manners of affairs within the province, and include even 
biographies of celebrated men and women. 


The Tung Pel Nien Chien, a new publication, is a yearbook 
of the Northeastern Provinces, issued for the first time in 1931, 
by the Cultural Society of the Northeastern Provinces, at 

The total amount of print in even the few Chinese sources 
just mentioned is so great that I have not, naturally, been 
able to search the whole. What I have done is to check, as 
far as possible, my own conclusions formed in the course of 
travel and from previous reading. 

In the material dealt with in this book I have tried to 
break new ground. It is, for instance, a common practice 
to treat the Manchu conquest of China as the beginning of 
intelligible history in Manchuria, and the entry of Russia 
and Japan into Manchurian affairs as the beginning of the 
significant history of the region. As the correction of this, 
estimate has been one of my objects, I have endeavored to 
bring out the fact that the ancient "tribal" history of Man- > 
churia, so far from being an academic question to be dis- 
missed in a prefatory chapter, should be recognized as the 
prototype out of which has developed, with remarkably full 
historic continuity, the modern relation between China and 
Manchuria, and therefore a great part of the conflict of the 
present day, with its invasion of colonists and rivalry of w&s 

Thus, on the foundation of a study of the type and style in 
action of the old barbarian tribes in their recurrent pressure 
on China, and the reflex action of China, and especially 
nese culture, on the barbarians, l]^SJ5^ 
of the interacting migrations of peoples and cu 
churia, TbeKeve, the influence of te region itseUHias tended 
always to predominate over the peoples and cultures that turn 
by turn have exercised the power of the region; so that even 
now, under the profound alteration of Manchurian life, and 


the rapid destruction of old Manchurian tradition brought 
about by the sudden, vigorous onslaught of machine civiliza- 
tion, can be traced the tidal influence of the ineluctable Man- 
churian regional relation to China, to Mongolia and to Rus- 
siaand also to Korea and Japan. The old forces persist, 
though they work through altered activities. 

My thanks are due not only to the Social Science Research 
Council, but to the American Geographical Society, which, 
interested especially in pioneer colonization, also gave me en- 
couragement and support, and to the Peabody Museum of 
Anthropology at Harvard, to which the Social Science Re- 
search Council sent me for preliminary study, and which fur- 
thered the specifically anthropological side of my work in 

After my wife and I had arrived in Manchuria, we met with 
generous encouragement on all sides. Marshal Chang Hsiieh- 
liang showed a personal interest which was of inestimable 
value in facilitating our approach to officials everywhere. 
General Chang Tso-hsiang, Governor of Kirin, and General 
Tsou Tso-hua, Tupan of the great Hsingan Colonization 
Project, gave us direct aid of the greatest value. Mr. W. H. 
Donald assisted us with his usual generous disregard for his 
own time and convenience. The South Manchuria Railway 
Company, always cordial to research workers, gave us every 
facility. From the Irish, Scotch and Canadian Presbyterian 
missionaries in Mukden, Kirin, T'iehling, Liaoning, Hulan 
and T'aonan, we received unstinted hospitality and help, as 
also from officials of the Chinese Maritime Customs, Post 
Office and Chinese Eastern Railway, and from private in- 
dividuals. In more than one place Chinese residents, on whom 
we had no claim at all, put themselves out to aid and enter- 
tain us, with the most friendly interest. 

To my wife, who accompanied me for the greater part 


of the time, putting up with inconveniences which can only 
be appreciated by those who know what it is like to stay for 
long periods in remote villages and country inns, I owe more 
than I can say. Finally, it is a pleasure to record once more the 
name of "Moses," Li Pao-shu, whose humor and shrewdness 
contributed as much to the success of our work in Manchuria 
as they had to our travels in Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan. 


December 10, 1931 












Differences between Manchuria and Other Undeveloped Lands 3 

Chinese Civilization and "Westernization" 8 

The Three Provinces 1 3 

Economic Effects of Climate J 7 

Communications and Foreign Pressure 20 


Old Non-Chinese Populations 3 1 

The Tribes and the "Reservoirs" 3 6 

Mongol, Manchu and Chinese 4 2 

Land Tenure and Tribal Organization 4& 


Chinese and Mongols 53 

Chinese and Manchus 60 

Manchuria at the Fall of the Manchu Empire 7 


East and West 79 

China and Japan 5 

Western Pressure on China through Manchuria 93 

The Old Age of Chinese Civilization 9^ 

The Manchurian Pressure on China 99 


Russians and Manchus *5 

The Russian Advance down the Amur no 

Foreign Aggression and Chinese Expansion "6 





Public Land and Tribal Land 1 19 

Officials as Exploiters i3 2 


Westernization and the Struggle against the West 149 

The Technician Master or Servant? 165 


Military Frontier Colonization 178 

The Opium Pioneers 187 

The Shantung Tradition *97 


Refugee Colonization 209 

Colonists by Birth and Tradition 221 

The Bandit as Frontiersman 224 


Japanese and Korean Immigration 236 

Russian Immigration 243 


Peasant and Townsman 254 

Standards of Living 264 


Manchuria and China 276 

The Place of Manchuria in World Affairs 290 

INDEX 303 





POPULAR interest in Manchuria turns on two things: the 
spectacular immigration of enormous numbers of Chinese 
(perhaps, in the rapidity of settlement and the numbers in- 
volved, the greatest peaceful migration in history), the pros- 
pect of commercial exploitation in a field unencumbered by 
out-of-date industries; and the recurrent political tension 
which makes it a danger to the international, relations not only 
of Asia but of the whole world. There is a" tendency to as- 
sume that in Manchuria there is a clear field; that there is 
almost no necessity of making over an old civilization, with 
all its vested interests, social and economic, and that it is there- 
fore an ideal territory for the introduction of "modern 

Yet there are striking differences between Manchuria (and 
the contiguous region of Mongolia) and any other region of 
pioneer settlement. The tension of international affairs alone 
is enough to distinguish it not only from Australia, the Ar- 
gentine, or Northwest Canada, but even from the regions of 
European settlement in Africa, where the international and 
racial factors differ not in degree but in kind from those of 
Northeastern Asia. Historically, Manchuria is a part of the 
great migration-ground of Eastern and Central Asia, In our 
time, the form b? migration is changing. The great move- 


ment of population toward Manchuria is paralleled and 
rivaled by a migration of ideas and cultures. The Western 
world tends to assume that "modern civilization" that is, 
the civilization of Europe and America is alone worth the 
name of civilization, and that the process .of spreading it and 
civilizing the rest of the world involves jio problem of the 
proof of superiority; for the inferior nations of the world, once 
they are confronted with "modern civilization," must ob- 
viously recognize its virtues and hasten to convert themselves, 
^et, in point of fact, Manchuria is a focus of conflict in which 
meet three antipathetic styles of civilization: the old but stilU 
vigorous civilization of China, the newer but materially more 
powerful civilization of the West, and the newest of all, a 
force still largely incalculable, the civilization which is being 
created in our time in Russia and, rejected by the West, is 
turning with great vigor toward the Orient. 

'So far from being a "virgin" country, Manchuria is a vast 
territory with an important regional, racial and cultural his- 
tory of its own. The problems of modern colonization can- 
not be dealt with simply in terms of the numbers of colonists 
who settle annually, and the number of new commercial op- 
portunities created. Historical forces, which influence the 
affairs of the living, must be taken into consideration; the 
importance of the region, in its bearing on culture, and of cul- 
ture, in its effect on races: above all, it is necessary to hold in 
mind the importance of ideas and the way of life of different 
peoples, as opposed to purely material factors of climate and 
geography. To elucidate these manifold and often conflicting 
forces, and to set forth, with as sympathetic an understanding 
as possible, the point of view and way of life of the different 
nations and cultures involved is the object of this book. 

Manchuria is a storm-center of the world. In actual colo- 
nization, China is overwhelmingly in the lead; but on either 


flank stand Russia and Japan, in strategic positions which we 
are accustomed to describe as ''dominating/' but which are 
really more than that they are imperative. As far as can be 
seen from present conditions the pressure of these two nations 
on Manchuria, unavoidable because inherent in their po- 
sitions, has not yet reached its maximum. It is commonly held 
that the Chinese are proving that in the basic fact of colo- 
nization, by occupying Manchuria with a Chinese population, 
they can put themselves beyond competition from Russians 
or Japanese, and far beyond competition from the non-Chinese 
indigenous races. If, however, Manchuria is in this inspect 
primarily a field of Chinese colonization, yet China is handi- 
capped by the difficulty of asserting its power and control 
over Manchuria as an integral part of China, or even as an 
outer dominion, for China is weak in its relation to any alien 
power. The power of united China is growing, undoubtedly; 
but that growth depends to a gravely dangerous extent on the 
good will of foreign nations, so that the Chinese: are not yet 
fullVmasters of theS: own destiny. The incorporation of alien 
principles with the traditional culture of China itself has not 
yet been successfully completed; a critical period has yet to 
be faced in which China must prove that its reconstructed cul- 
ture can develop the power of fresh social growth, and it must 
therefore be considered still an open question how far Man- 
churia may come to be a colonial region occupied by Chinese 
but in some degree dominated, and correspondingly exploited, 
by non-Chinese governments. 

The grave weight of the historical factor must also be con- 
sidered. In Africa, for instance, in the regions affected by 
actual settlement of Europeans on the land, the indigenous 
tribal populations offer problems which are often difficult 
enough. They have a history, of a sort, but it is emphatically! 
not a history of dynamic growth and really dangerous as- 


sertion. There is a problem of how to deal with them, but 
there is not a problem of whether they can be dealt with 

at all. 

In Manchuria, on the other hand, the factor of history is one 
of the most powerful living forces in the present. Time and 
again races emanating from Manchuria, and still to a certain 
extent represented there (of whom the most important are 
now not the Manchus but the Mongols), have led or shared 
in conquests of China, and have established in China domin- 
ions of greater or less territorial extent, in which the Chinese 
became politically a subordinate race. In fact China's im- 
mediate title to Manchuria derives historically from the con- 
quest of China by the Manchus. In earlier periods, however, 
China had exercised a certain sovereignty over parts of Man- 
churia. Signs of the influence of Chinese culture can be de- 
tected in the remotest parts of the country, and must often 
antedate by generations the actual arrival of Chinese colonists 
in decisive numbers. One of the important tasks of future 
research in Manchuria and Mongolia must be to determine 
how far Chinese influences were carried and actively propa- 
gated by the Chinese, and how far they were brought back as 
part of their plunder by admiring non-Chinese raiders and 
conquerers who would naturally be guided by non-Chinese 
criteria of what was admirable and imitable, and what was 
merely luxurious. 

We can appreciate to some extent the importance of this 
long historical relationship if we imagine that the various 
wars against native tribes in North America and Africa were 
not merely the overcoming of difficulties in the way of estab- 
lishing the white man, whose ultimate triumph was a fore- 
gone conclusion, but were vital decisions of recurrent prob- 
lems of whether the colonist was to rule the native or whether 
red or black dynasties were to be set up, ruling over and ex- 


ploiting the colonists. The fact is that however empty of 
"natives" the part of Manchuria in which a Chinese colonist 
settles, and however ignorant he may be, it is not to him an 
empty land historically. While he was growing up in China, 
long before he thought of emigrating, he was familiar with 
legends and hero-tales of battles and stratagems in which 
victory often wavered between the mighty but stupid bar- 
barians and the champions of his own people, often weaker 
but always more astute, often resigned to defeat but always 
confident of their superiority in culture. He has come to 
settle in and identify himself with a land into which, even in 
the glorious past, his own people always ventured at their 
peril, and in which was always latent a threat of dominion 
over China. 

There is no single Chinese name for Manchuria as a unit, in 
inevitable common use, corresponding to our use of the non- 
Chinese term "Manchuria," to which Chinese object because 
it does not suggest that Manchuria is an integral part of China 
but, on the contrary, implies a distinction between Manchuria 
and China proper. Even the term Three Eastern Provinces 
is comparatively modern, has been deliberately fostered by 
publicists, and is on the whole unsatisfactory, owing to the 
fact that at present, with the inclusion of the Jehol region of 
Inner Mongolia in the Manchurian military-political group, 
there is some uncertainty as between Three Eastern Provinces 
and Four Eastern Provinces. Consequently the simpler term 
Eastern Provinces is now preferred. The commonest ver- 
nacular terms for Manchuria are K'ou Wm, which means 
Outside the Passes (of the Great Wall) and applies to Mon- 
golia and Chinese Turkestan as well as to Manchuria, and 
Tung K'ou Wai, which means Outside the Eastern Pass (at 
Shanhaikuan) and applies to Manchuria in a general sense, 
but perhaps more specifically to the southern districts with 


which the Chinese have been most familiar from ancient 
times. These names have a certain ring of hostility, but there 
is no doubt that they evoke for Chinese an impressively rich 
association of ideas. To the emigrating European "the Colo- 
nies" mean, in one aspect, the sadness of separation from 
home; in another, the adventure into the unknown but a 
triumphant adventure, not an intrusion into the territory of 
the conquerors of his people. The comparable emotions of 
the emigrating Chinese, when it is a question of migrating 
beyond the Great Wall but not when it is a question of 
emigrating to, say, the South Seas are, in the first place, 
a feeling of risking himself beyond the Wall (the defensive 
Wall) and, in the second place, after he has once become es- 
tablished, a feeling that he is nowjna superior position with 
regard toJChina. He is npjpnger defended by the Great Wall 
frontier! it is China that is defended by the Wall from him 
and his compeers." In other words, there is a partial and 
curious, but most significant substitution of regional feeling 
for race or national feeling; the phenomenon, in fact, of the 
permanence of a certain social psychology within a region, 
governed by the conditions of the region and paramount, 
intermittently at least, over the conditions of race, culture or 
nationality of the different peoples that successively hold 
the region. 


If the psychology of regional feeling is a powerful motive 
running through Manchurian history, cultural motives are 
also of high importance. There is the unitary tribal feeling 
(from almost the beginning practically a caste-feeling) of the 
Manchus; the multiple tribal feeling of the Mongols; and 
above all the cultural and racial feeling of the Chinese. 


The most important thing about the civilization of China, 
in itself, is its age. It is not only a mature and an old civiliza- 
tion, but a decidedly "late" civilization; and it is correspond- 
ingly difficult for any population saturated with its feeling 
and oriented by its standard to modify either its instinctive 
feeling or its intellectual methods. The Chinese migration to 
Manchuria long ago passed the stage of the "Pilgrim Fathers" 
or "pioneers of the frontier," though pioneer elements do 
survive. It is, one may say, not a naive but a sophisticated 
migration. This is a truth too much obscured by the poverty, 
ignorance and general social depression of the migrants as 
individuals. Yet the fact is that, however "primitive" as in- 
dividuals, they are, as a group, under the pronounced control 
of "civilized" feelings. If the European-American pioneer 
colonist of the present day is psychologically biased by such 
artificial considerations as railways, motor roads and the ac- 
cessibility of towns, so is the Chinese. That is, he has no long- 
ing for the wilderness as such; he is reluctant to move beyond 
the reach of the civilization that he knows, and on the whole, 
as a community, he looks up to the city and down on the ; 
village and the farm. 

It must, however, be also always borne in mind that therd 
is a profound difference between our civilization and that of 
the Chinese. The difference is one both of underlying feeling 
and conscious point of view, a subjective difference in the 
mode of every process, and an objective difference in every i 
result that is planned for. 

The cleavages between Orient and Occident are prolific 
sources of prejudice and nonsense, and must therefore be 
handled with extreme wariness. It would be grotesque to 
study Manchuria, where so many powerful "modern" factors 
are at work and where technical borrowings from the West 
probably play a more important part than in any other part 


of China of equal area, with an imagination biased by popular 
conceptions of "Orientalism." At the same time the problems 
of Manchuria are, in spite of their international bearings, a 
specifically Chinese study, in view of the colonization now 
taking place and the overwhelming racial dominance and 
great cultural vigor of the Chinese. These problems therefore 
would also be distorted if the pronounced individuality in 
style of the Chinese culture and civilization were not con- 
sidered at all. 

The mere fact that the Chinese have a highly developed, 
individual civilization is enough to place Manchuria, with 
Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan, in a different category from 
all the other great regions of the world that are now being 
settled and civilized for the first time. This ought to be a 
glaring truth, but it has never been so treated. As a spectacle, 
the Chinese colonization of Manchuria is so magnificent, the 
rr^ions^^^l^ ^S & rapidity of their spread have 
such a dramatic appeal, that there cannot but be a tendency 
among Westerners especially in a nation like America with 
a strong and highly sentimentalized pioneering tradition 
to regard it as a spectacle in our own manner. We tend to 
stress the resemblances to the great colonizing migrations of 
our own people and kindred peoples the filling up of Amer- 
ica and the advance across the continent, and the parallel 
phenomena of the colonial expansion of European countries in 
the nineteenth century. What is amazing, however, is that 
the colonial problem of Manchuria should be so commonly 
discussed as if it were a subsidiary phenomenon of our own 
world, and nothing else a mere incident in the spread of 
our own technical methods and style of expansion and ex- 
ploitation, which began to dominate our society in the late 
eighteenth century and is now reaching out to grasp the 
rest of the world. Time and again discussions not only of' 


Manchuria but of all Chinese questions are vitiated by such 
misleading references to what may be happening, but what 
we cannot yet be sure is happening, as: "When China has 
added Western technique to her own ancient civilization . . "^ 
"When the modernization of China has been completed . . ." 
"The latest scientific methods are now being employed 
j n . . ._ as if the o/y question at issue were that of the rapid- 
ity with which China can be converted into a second and 
greater Japan. And the folly of describing "the relief of con- 
gested population in China by emigration to Manchuria and 
Mongolia" as if such relief were a solution of the population 
problem of China is constantly repeated. 

For there can be no doubt about the radical divergences 
between China and Japan. Just as the difference between ; 
America and'Spain is one of degree but that between America 
and China one of kind, so the difference between Japan and 
China also is one of kind, that between Japan and Germany 
essentially one of degree only. Japan, as an imperial and 
colonial power, must be ranked as one of our own group of 
Western nations; and that not merely in method, as is so 
often postulated, but in character. This must not be lost sight 
of when considering the pressure of Japan on the Chinese 
who are colonizing and governing Manchuria. 

If there had been any real, any valid drift toward Western- 
ization in China, the Chinese could easily and long ago in 
the eighteenth century, for instance, when the Jesuits stood so 
high at the court of the Manchu emperors-have forestalled 
the rise of Japan as the leading Western nation of the East. 
As things are, such Westernization as has taken place cannot 
definitely be rated as the beginning of a transformation from 
within of the Chinese culture; it can only be discussed as a 
question of the degree to which the Chinese instinct has suc- 
ceeded in adopting Western inventions without subordinating 


itself to the Western technique or the Western mental atti- 
tude in using them. The differences between Japan and China 
strike very deep. Japan, in the past, voluntarily reformed its 
own culture (which already contained a diversity of elements 
of widely differing provenance) by selective borrowing from 
the high civilization of China. A strong precedent therefore 
existed for a fresh voluntary reconstruction through selective 
borrowing from the West. The culture of China, on the other 
hand, was autochthonous and monopolistic, accustomed to 
cultural lending but not to cultural borrowing for even such 
an apparently important borrowing as, for instance, the intro- 
duction of Buddhism from India, was essentially a fashion, 
did not involve any radical revaluation of society or culture. 
The pride which the Japanese feel in their own skill in syn- 
thesis and constructive borrowing does not therefore by any 
means automatically stimulate admiration or respect in China 
for the way that Japan has jumped ahead in Westernization; 
on the contrary, there is a strong disposition in China to be- 
little Japanese "progress" as mere servile imitation, and to 
impute to Japan a weakness in the faculty of organic growth. 
China, it is felt, ought not to imitate either Japan or the 
West; to do so would be surrender. W^ernization, so far 
as it is to be adopted atjilk, ought to be introduced as a sub- 
ordinate jfckment, neverjisja contrpUing elejment. 

WHat is true is that the necessities of Manchuria are im- 
posing on the Chinese an increased use of Western borrowings 
which explains the relative material "progressiveness" of 
Manchuria in comparison with the rest of China and that 
parallel with the Chinese expansion, in a characteristically 
Chinese manner, throughout Manchuria, there is a direct ap- 
plication of Western methods, in the full Western manner, by 
Japan, in the zone of the South Manchuria Railway, and by 
Russia, in a somewhat modified manner, in the zone of the 


Chinese Eastern Railway. A crisis can therefore be foreseen, 
and is in fact near at hand, the upshot of which will be a 
decision as between the mastery of the Chinese by the Western 
methods, and the survival of the Chinese manner in spite 
of the Western methods which the Chinese tradition is in- 
creasingly forced to employ. This may completely alter the 
complexion of the colonizing and colonial problem in Man- 
churia. In the meantime Westernization is not, as is too 
generally assumed, the solution of all the problems of the 
rapid Chinese expansion, but is in fact the most ambiguous of 
the problems raised by that expansion. 

Still, different as are the factors of tradition and tempera- 
ment in East and West, it ought to be possible to assess Man- 
churian values in terms convincing to Western students. The 
essential requirement is a faculty of sympathy, which allows 
for states of feeling as well as for matters of fact. The living 
phenomena of society must be followed out and revealed in 
their relation to facts, which is like the relation of living 
motion to physical structure. Manner is as important as cause 
and effect. The study of the way in which things are done 
must be added to the catalogue of things that happen. There- 
fore, in all that follows, an effort has been made to balance 
the citation of facts and material circumstances with con- 
stant reference to cultures and the of different so- 
cieties, as far as an outsider can penetrate them, in order to 
illuminate, wherever possible, the importance in all social and 
historical processes of the mode in action. 


The general features of the land of Manchuria, and the 
relation of land to people, are well enough known. In con- 
sidering a map of Fengtien (now called Liaoning), Kirin and 


Heilungchiang, what leaps to the eye is the admirable regu- 
larity with which racial, cultural and political divisions have, 
in the course of history, been adjusted to physical conforma- 
tion. The region of Jehol, though commonly considered in 
the light of contemporary Chinese politics as a fourth prov- 
ince of Manchuria, need not be dealt with as a separate di- 
vision, since it is in effect a borderland, falling in part to the 
North China escarpment of the Mongolian plateau and in 
part to the region where the Mongolian plateau declines grad- 
ually toward the western plain of Fengtien or Liaoning. 

For western Liaoning is physically and historically an east- 
ern extension of Mongolia. From the Liao valley it extends 
northwestward to the Hsingan range; but most of the western 
frontier lies along a gradual rise to the Mongolian plateau, 
without the abrupt escarpment characteristic of the North 
China frontier. Liaoning east of the Liao valley and north- 
eastward up to the spurs of the Ch'angpaishan is also a plain, 
though under the influence of the hills, and is the old area of 
Chinese occupation and still the center of gravity of Chinese 

Central Kirin is a mountain country, dominated by the 
Ch'angpaishan and is the political scene of the rise of the 
Manchus to dynastic power. Kirin north of the Chinese 
Eastern Railway line from Harbin to Pogranichnaya, and 
practically the whole of Heilungchiang east of the Hsingan, is 
the land of the greatest plains and the greatest rivers, and of 
.mountain ranges almost unpenetrated. Historically the valley 
of the Mutanchiang or Hurka is the original home of the 
Manchus, while the rest is the old unregenerate wilderness 
hardly affected by Chinese culture and almost unpenetrated 
by Chinese colonists until the twentieth century. 

Heilungchiang west of the Hsingan is the great Barga 
plain, which is related to Outer Mongolia much as western 


Liaoning is related to Inner Mongolia, but with the historical 
difference that the political and cultural connection with 
China is much more tenuous. 

The chief mountain systems are those of the Ch'angpaishan 
in the east and the Hsingan in the west and northwest. The 
Hsingan, swinging round in the north by the extension of the 
Little Hsingan, more or less links up with minor ranges like 
the Ulgen-alin and, leaving a great cleft in which lies the lower 
valley of the Sungari, with the Nadan Hada-alin. Thus topo- 
graphically (though in structure and geological age the moun- 
tains are not necessarily homogeneous) the orographical 
skeleton of Manchuria is a vast arc, running from the east 
round by the north to the west. On the south, Manchuria 
is almost closed off from North China by the projection east- 
ward from Jehol of the escarpment of the Mongolian plateau. 
Thus while western Liaoning province merges into Mongolia, 
it shares with Inner Mongolia the barrier on the south, 
facing China. 

The basin of the Amur lies outside the main mountain arc, 
following it round in a great curve on the north. East of the 
mountain arc are the long, narrow valleys of the Ussuri and 
T'umen, running north, and the Yalu, running south. All 
three are heavily forested and comparatively impenetrable, 
except in so far as the rivers themselves can be used for travel 
and trade. Thus it is not surprising that the eastern valleys, 
and the greatest of all, the Amur, have historically and 
tribally, and now politically, always been outer wards of 

West of the mountain arc lies, in the northwest, the great 
Barga plain. Although politically included in the province 
of Heilungchiang, it also belongs to the outer wards, and 
merges geographically into the plateau of Outer Mongolia. 
The Great Hsingan range is here a comparatively pronounced 


frontier of many functions, geographical, climatic and ethnic. 
South of the latitudes of Barga, the Great Hsingan tapers away 
into the Southern Hsingan, and east-and-west distinctions be- 
come increasingly vague. Southward of latitude forty-five 
degrees North, the division between the inland drainage of 
the Mongolian plateau and the basins of the T'ao and Liao 
rivers has less and less the character of a ridge; south of 
latitude forty-two degrees North, in fact, the Mongol- 
inhabited plains of western Liaoning rise gradually west- 
ward, with an increasingly Mongolian topography and cli- 
mate, and merge through open, easily traversed hills, into 
the plateau. 

The core of Manchuria is the inner cirque of plains. The 
basin of the Liao, in the south, merges without sharp dis- 
tinction northwestward into the region drained by the T'ao'rh 
or T'ao river, which communicates with the next great plain, 
that of the middle Sungari but part of which is occupied by 
shallow inland-drainage basins. The plain of the middle Sun- 
gari, in turn, connects with that of the Nonni valley, which 
extends far northward between the systems of the Great and 
Little Hsingan, and is cut off by a narrow divide from the 
Amur. The Sungari itself, at its junction with the Nonni, 
turns abruptly east, and thence continuing eastward, but with 
an increasing northerly trend, waters a great corridor plain 
which opens into the Amur valley. It is significant that ac- 
cording to the Chinese the Amur is a tributary of the Sungari, 
and that they call the stream below the junction of the two 
rivers not Amur but Sungari. This is due in the first place to 
the historical line of Chinese penetration into Manchuria, 
and in the second place to the decisive fact that the Manchu 
power originated in the Mutan (Hurka) and upper Sungari 
valleys. In point of fact the Nonni, as well as the Amur, is a 
greater system than the Sungari, and at the junction of the 


Nonni and Sungari it is the Nonni which emphatically de- 
termines the direction of flow. Thus we might well, but for 
history, speak of the valley from Harbin to the Amur as the 
lower Nonni, just as we speak of the valley from T'ungchiang 
(Lahasusu) to the sea as the lower Amur, not the Sungari, 
in despite of the Chinese nomenclature. 


Generally speaking, neither climate nor soil has a decisive 
effect on society or colonization in Manchuria. In the east 
and northeast, it is true, a type of rice growing is profitable 
and much employed which is not familiar to the average 
colonist from North China, and is therefore carried on by 
Korean immigrants working for Chinese landlords. It is also 
true that Chinese rice growers from the south would not like 
the climate, and that southern Chinese generally are prac- 
tically never found on the land in Manchuria. However, the 
main supply of colonists is from North China, and these men 
find it necessary only to make comparatively unimportant ad- 
justments in housing, clothing and methods of farming. In 
general, they are able not only to grow exactly the same crops 
as those they farmed in their old homes, but do not even have 
to vary their methods. 

On the whole, other reasons than climate and farming are 
mainly responsible for the fact that southern Chinese, like the 
Japanese, are not attracted to the land in Manchuria. The 
southern Chinese migrate to Indo-China, the Straits Settle- 
ments, and even farther overseas. This is not a recent phe- 
nomenon due to famine at home or other drastic causes. Nor 
is it primarily due to suitable climate and familiar conditions, 
but to a pronounced "drift" and an ancient tradition, the im- 
memorial movement of the Chinese from northwest to south- 


east. They have no such tradition connecting them with the 
north, and though they come north as traders and capitalists, 
the land to them is alien and the people uncongenial. Eco- 
nomic factors confirm the tendency to southward emigration 
from South China. The processes of necessary adaptation, in 
moving south, are comparatively gradual: in moving north, 
they are abrupt and extreme. As for the Japanese, although 
climate has been blamed as one of the obstacles preventing 
them from settling on the land in southern Manchuria, yet it 
may be pointed out that climate makes no difference either 
to the Japanese exploiter or to the petty merchant. Japanese 
are found all over Manchuria, often putting up with con- 
siderable hardship and inconvenience; but they will only enter 
the occupations that are psychologically satisfactory to them. 
Now the~chief bar to possible Japanese colonization in Man- 
churia is usually said to be the standard of living; and this, 
though not the whole truth, is pretty close to the mark. The 
fact is that there is an unmistakable psychological inhibition 
on the part of the Japanese, which is in itself a cause, more 
than a result, of the standard of living. In Japan, as in Eng- 
land, the supply of emigrants, in spite of the surplus popula- 
tion, is not so large as the state would like it to be. 

The historical hinge on which this turns is the rapidity of 
Westernization in Japan. The Japanese have passed directly 
into a late stage of .the Western type of civilization, over- 
leaping thejghase of emigration through which, the English, 
for instance, have passe3. Omitting colonization, they have 
reached the exploiting "colonial" stage. Their instinct now 
is to control policy and exploitation in "spheres of interest" 
and "colonies" with non-Japanese populations, in preference 
to transplanting their own population. In this lies the final 
and most convincing proof of the now characteristically 
Western style of Japanese civilization. Japanese can live on 


the land in regions like California but this must be, to a great 
extent, because the Californian environment is even more 
Western than "Westernized" Japan. In other words, Japanese 
can remain on the land when the adaptation required is in 
conformity with the Westernizing trend of modern Japan, 
but not when the requirement is one of competition with the 
standards which Japan is abandoning as it is in territories 
with Chinese or Korean agricultural populations. 

The climate of Manchuria is, however, responsible for im- 
portant secondary social and economic phenomena. Thus the 
short growing season demands intensive work, especially at 
the time of plowing and again during the harvest. This labor 
has been supplied, for generations, by a class of migrant work- 
ers who come from North China for the season and return to 
their homes for the winter. Wages have to be good enough 
for men to be able to get home with something to spare for the 
winter, and this helps to keep up the standard of living. The 
short growing season and long idle season made it possible, 
even before the days of railway transport, for men to travel 
considerable distances from and to Manchuria, and encour- 
aged the migrant to remain a migrant rather than to settle on 
the land himself. 

The settlers themselves are idle during most of the long 
winter, when not even improvement work can be done on 
the fast-frozen land, nor ditch-digging, nor house-building. 
A few men work in the lumber camps; but it is worth noting 
that migrant, landless men from China appear to predominate 
in this work. A still smaller number take to hunting. On 
the whole, however, the men who are permanently attached to 
the land find their chief winter activity in transport. 

Winter transport by cart was once among the most striking 
economic characteristics of Manchuria. The hard-frozen 
roads, often covered with packed snow, are then at their best, 


whereas in summer they are either deeply rutted or filled with 
sloughs of mire. It is in winter that grain and beans are 
hauled to railhead or river bank. Besides hauling their own 
produce, the owners of oxen and ponies are willing to work 
for almost any hire that will cover the cost of feeding animals 
which would otherwise be idle. Before the railways played 
such a great part in the transport of Manchuria, the profits 
were higher; but so low is the basic cost that the Chinese East- 
ern Railway found only a few years ago that cargoes were 
being hauled from points west of Harbin, all the way to 
Ch'angch'un, where they were delivered direct to the South 
Manchuria Railway thus cutting out the entire Southern 
Line of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Special rates and 
facilities had to be granted in order to get these cargoes on 
to the Chinese Eastern Railway. 

Winter continues to be the great season of transport and 
travel, not only because it is the period of leisure, but because 
it is still the only season when the roads are at their best. 
In recent years motor-bus services have been started which 
cover hundreds of miles of rural districts; but many services 
have to be discontinued in the summer, owing to the state 
of the roads, and so pronounced is the difference between 
summer and winter traffic that many inns close up either 
partially or entirely after the spring thaw. 


Every large river in Manchuria has played an important 
part in the opening up of the country, and at the present time 
river transport supplements and feeds the railway systems. 
The chief cargo traffic of Manchuria is the export of agri- 
cultural produce, and among secondary exports the timber 
trade is important. For such freights the rivers are con- 
spicuously well adapted, as downstream voyages are easier, 


quicker and cheaper than journeys upstream, and every navi- 
gable river flows outward, favoring export as against import 
traffic. Cargoes forwarded to collecting and shipping points 
by cart over the frozen roads in winter can be carried by junk, 
raft or steamer in spring and summer, when the roads are 
hopelessly mired and the transport animals are at work in the 
fields. The river system radiates in a remarkable manner from 
the center of the country toward both north and south, and 
with some degree of improvement and the construction of 
canals an inland waterway system could be created that would 
serve an astonishing total area and penetrate into the very 
heart of the country. 

In the south, the Liao river carries cargoes in wooden junks 
down to the port of Yingk'ou or Newchwang. This traffic 
was the earliest developed in Manchuria, and the relation of 
the port of Yingk'ou to the ports of the Shantung promontory, 
across the Gulf of Peichihli, is one of the most important of 
the factors that determined the nature of the earliest Chinese 
impact on Manchuria. At the present time, however, both 
port and river have lost their dominant importance- The 
shallowness of the Liao, and the irregular silting of the chan- 
nel through floods, preclude steamer traffic, and the railway 
systems of the modern period have largely diverted trade to 
other outlets. 

In the east the Yalu forms a great part of the boundary be- 
tween Manchuria and Korea. It is used for floating down 
great timber rafts, which may be weeks on the journey, so 
that the raft crews even make a practice of growing small 
floating vegetable gardens. There is a summer passenger 
traffic in "scooters" flat-bottomed boats driven by aeroplane 
propellers, which can ascend the river to a great distance. In 
winter the frozen river becomes a thoroughfare for carts, all 
the more serviceable because the forest on both sides makes it 
difficult for carts to penetrate the mountains- 


The T'umen, the counterpart of the Yalu, flows north and 
completes the frontier between Korea and Kirin province. 
Partly because it flows through country even less developed 
and more thinly populated than the valley of the Yalu, it is 
not so much used, but in essentials it appears to complement 
the functions of the Yalu very exactly. 

The Ussuri, perhaps the most important of the eastern rivers, 
is also a boundary stream, defining a great part of the frontier 
between Manchuria and the Maritime Province of Siberia. 
Thus Russia has the same interest in the Ussuri that Japan has 
in the Yalu and T'umen; but the Ussuri has an additional im- 
portance inasmuch as its lower course is navigable by steamers, 
which call in from the Amur. The valley of the Ussuri, 
though potentially rich, is little developed, and the river itself 
is the key to future development; for so impenetrable are the 
approaches overland from the south that Chinese colonists 
travel all the way down the Sungari by river steamer and 
around by the Amur to the mouth of the Ussuri, whence 
they work upstream southward. The Ussuri is navigable as 
far up as Hulin, and probably by very shallow draught boats 
all the way to the Hsink'ai lake. 

The Sungari and Amur are, however, the most splendid 
waterways of the country. The Sungari is navigable from its 
mouth up to Harbin by paddle-wheel steamers, and by some- 
what lighter vessels as high as Petuna a total distance of 
about five hundred and ninety miles. From the junction of 
Sungari and Nonni, very light vessels and launches can navi- 
gate on the Nonni up to Tsitsihar, and on the Sungari up to 
and beyond Kirin city; and beyond these points both rivers 
can be used by wooden barges for considerable further dis- 
tances. The Amur, formed by the junction of the Shilka and 
Arghun, is navigable from a point on the Shilka all the 
way to the sea, a total distance of about fifteen hundred miles. 


Russian interest in the Amur and its tributaries is obvious. 
The upper course of the Amur forms the boundary between 
Siberia and Chinese territory. Of the two major affluents the 
Chinese hold one bank of the Ussuri and the entire Sungari- 
Nonni system. The Russians, however, have a railway skirt- 
ing their side of both the Amur and Ussuri, which enables 
them to offset many of the difficulties of upstream navigation, 
and to supplement the economic advantages of the rivers. 
Above all, the Russians hold the entire lower course of the 
Amur, below the infall of the Ussuri, which gives them 
absolute control of communication with the sea. This, and 
the better mechanical equipment of the Russians, gives them 
a strong initial advantage in the future development of the 
whole Amur basin, in Chinese as well as in Russian territory. 
It is important to note that they are also favored by the di- 
rection of flow of the whole northern river system out of 
Chinese territory into Russian territory. 

In the circumstances it is not surprising that river trade 
is greatly retarded by Russo-Chinese political questions. The 
steamer trade was at first entirely in Russian hands, and by 
treaty agreement river navigation was restricted to vessels 
under the Chinese or Russian flag. Later, as the Chinese began 
to realize the commercial possibilities of steam navigation, 
Russian-built ships were acquired by Chinese. The Chinese 
interest was increased during the period of the war in Europe 
and the Russian revolution, when Russian activities declined, 
and this was followed up by official pressure designed to ex- 
clude Russians from the right of navigation. In 1923 this 
pressure was brought to bear even on the vessels of the Chinese 
Eastern Railway, and Russian navigation is now in abeyance, 
on the Sungari, although non-Soviet Russians in Chinese em- 
ploy still dominate the technical side of navigation. As a re- 
sult of the anomalous international position between Russia 


and China, Chinese vessels now call only at the Chinese ports 
on the Ussuri and Amur, and Russian vessels only at the 
Russian ports. 

Russia, however, still retains potentially the better position. 
During the summer, sea-going vessels can ascend the Amur 
as far as Habarovsk, in wholly Russian territory, below the 
junction of the Ussuri and Amur; but it is doubtful if sea- 
going vessels could ever reach a port in Chinese territory. As 
the most valuable present and future freights of the Amur, 
Sungari, and Ussuri are heavy and bulky agricultural prod- 
ucts, and timber, the most economic procedure would be to 
float them downstream to Habarovsk, with a minimum ex- 
pense of time and fuel, and there load them direct into sea- 
going freighters. Timber, in particular, could be shipped 
direct from Habarovsk, whereas it is economically out of the 
question to haul it upstream in any quantity to the Chinese 
railways. The Chinese, however, naturally prefer to tow grain 
in barges nearly four hundred miles upstream along the Sun- 
gari, from Fuchin to Harbin, transfer it to the railway and ship 
it out through Dairen thus monopolizing the river trade, al- 
though in the railway freight they have to concede a half in- 
terest to the Russian share in the Chinese Eastern Railway 
and the whole of the freight charges of the Japanese-owned 
South Manchuria Railway; besides which the port of Dairen 
is dominated by Japan. There is no doubt, however, that the 
Russians are anxious to recover, and pressing diplomatically 
to obtain the rights of navigation on the Sungari and of 
touching at Chinese ports on the Ussuri and Amur which 
would clinch their strategic domination of all northern 
Manchuria. 1 

The greatest economic weakness of Manchuria is its lack 

1 Russian vessels have now begun to call again at Chinese ports on the Amur, 
Sungari, and Ussuri; but whether this agreement is temporary or permanent, and 
what are the formal terms of agreement, I do not know. 


of ports. The state of economic development favors the ex- 
port of raw produce and the import of machinery, which, 
owing to the lack of heavy manufactures in China, must 
necessarily come from abroad. The physical lay of the land 
favors a radiation of trade from the heart of the country to- 
ward every frontier. Yet the ports are not only few and, in 
view of the potential trade, insufficient, but are overwhelm- 
ingly dominated by foreign nations. The only ports of the 
north with sea communications are Habarovsk, Nikolaievsk 
and Vladivostok. These are in Russian territory. The two 
former, on the Amur, are favored by the flow of the Amur, 
Sungari, and Ussuri, while the latter is not only fed by the 
Russian railways which skirt the whole length of the Russo- 
Manchurian frontier, and in a position to attract the trade 
of a great part of Heilungchiang and northern Kirin, when- 
ever cross-frontier trade is reopened, but is also in direct com- 
munication with the Chinese Eastern Railway, in which 
Russia is a partner. The Russian interest in the Chinese East- 
ern Railway, in fact, makes it possible even now to export 
Manchurian products through Vladivostok, in spite of the sus- 
pension of trade across the frontier at other points. 

While Russia thus holds a mortgage on the future trade 
of the* north, the most important single factor in the present 
trade of all three provinces is the port of Dairen, in the part 
of Manchuria occupied as a Leased Territory by Japan. Al- 
though Dairen is an Open Port, with Customs administered 
by the Chinese Maritime Customs Administration, all car- 
goes, in and out, must perforce pass over the Japanese-owned 
South Manchuria Railway. This railway not only penetrates 
as far as Ch'angch'un, and monopolizes transport as far west 
as Mukden, but is fed by Chinese railways in some of which 
the South Manchuria Railway holds a financial interest, and 
through connection with the Chinese Eastern Railway taps 


the trade of the north. It also has branches feeding the ports 
of Antung and Yingk'ou (Newchwang). 

Of the other southern ports, Port Arthur, also in the Leased 
Territory, is of little importance to trade, but as a naval base 
is one of the keys to the strong Japanese naval position in re- 
gard to the coasts of Korea, Manchuria and North China. 
Antung, on the Korean frontier at the mouth of the Yalu, 
and fed by the Yalu and a branch of the South Manchuria 
Railway (besides being in communication with the Korean 
railway system), is also dominated by Japan. Yingk'ou or 
Newchwang, though served by a branch of the South Man- 
churia Railway and a branch of the Peking-Mukden Railway, 
is handicapped by shallow water and the comparative poverty 
of the Liao as a supplementary inland waterway, and is 
closed by ice in winter. 

The construction, now under way, of a port at Hulutao, to 
be fed by the Peking-Mukden Railway and its allied systems, 
proves that the Chinese are fully awake to the fact that their 
political sovereignty in Manchuria needs the reinforcement 
of an all-Chinese port. The funds for the construction of 
Hulutao are derived from the Peking-Mukden Railway; but 
although this railway was originally built with capital bor- 
rowed from a British syndicate, which until the loan is paid 
off retains a certain measure of financial control, the Chinese 
have demonstrated, by the allotment of the Hulutao con- 
struction contract to a Dutch syndicate, that they do not 
intend to allow the extension of British interests to the sub- 
sidiary enterprises of the Railway; moreover in allotting funds 
for the construction of Hulutao, they ignored the claims of 
certain British creditors of the railway, who have not been paid 
for material supplied. 

Even a new port at Hulutao, however, will not radically 
alter the balance of international political and economic in- 


terests in Manchuria. The trade returns indicate clearly that 
both the railway and port facilities of Manchuria are in- 
adequate to cope with expanding trade, and that the revenues 
of the Chinese Eastern and South Manchurian Railways can 
actually increase at the same time that quantities of new 
freights are being hauled by Chinese railways. Thus Hulutao 
will not be able to compete with either Russian or Japanese 
interests, but will merely take a share of the increasing trade 
of the future. This is the "official" Japanese view, as I under- 
stand it. As for the Chinese view, there can be no doubt that 
when the construction of the port at Hulutao was undertaken, 
it was hoped and believed that China could thus impair, and 
perhaps finally destroy, the Japanese economic domination 
over Manchuria. An important threat to Japanese interests in 
the development of Hulutao is that the port will remain open 
all winter, while the Amur ports, Vladivostok and Yingk'ou, 
the other rivals to Dairen, are closed by ice. 

These considerations make it plain that China may never 
be in a position to disregard the fundamental advantages of 
position which Russia and Japan hold in respect of access to 
Manchuria. It is equally plain that one of the capital problems 
faced by the Chinese in Manchuria, a problem of statecraft 
as well as of economic policy, and umbilically connected with 
colonization and industrial exploitation, is the development 
of communications by rail, water and road which will offset/ 
the advantages which the northern waterways offer to Russia 
and control of the sea to Japan, and the favored positions 
which Russia and Japan actually hold within Manchurian 
territory, through Russian participation in the northern ar- 
terial railway and Japanese ownership of the southeastern 
arterial railway respectively. 

That the Chinese are endeavoring to deal with the problem 
is evidenced by the energetic railway construction which has 


already placed Manchuria far ahead of any territory of equal 
size in China. It is impossible in the present discussion to go 
into the details of railway problems in Manchuria, but it is 
relatively easy to indicate the position schematically. 

The British and Dutch interests in the Peking-Mukden 
Railway and the port of Hulutao respectively are relatively 
unimportant. In both cases the foreign government has no 
other interest than the diplomatic protection of the interests 
of its nationals who have made the investment. While the 
original contract for the construction of the Peking-Mukden 
Railway provided that the investing syndicate should nomi- 
nate British nationals to certain positions of administrative 
and financial authority, the present trend both of Chinese 
methods and British Government policy indicates that the 
investors will have to rely more and more on Chinese good 
faith, and less and less on positive control. 

The Russian and Japanese positions are radically different, 
in that they represent direct national, governmental interest, 
operating merely for convenience under the form of cor- 

The Japanese position derives from treaties following on 
the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars, subsequently 
modified both by treaties between the three governments, and 
by agreements entered into by the South Manchuria Railway 
acting as a corporation. The South Manchuria Railway was 
designed originally to define and dominate a Japanese sphere 
of influence in southern Manchuria. One of the categorical 
safeguards was a stipulation that no railway should be built, 
with either Chinese or foreign capital, parallel to the South 
Manchuria system. No distance at which a parallel railway 
could be constructed was defined, and the treaty was, in fact, 
invoked at one time when a project was under discussion for 
building a railway hundreds of miles distant, from Kalgan 


to Urga. The Japanese Government has never explicitly aban- 
doned this treaty safeguard, but the South Manchuria Rail- 
way, as a corporation, has in fact made liberal concessions, 
both in allowing the construction of Chinese lines and in 
financing them. 

The Russian position also is founded on treaties following 
the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. This position 
has also been modified by subsequent treaties between the 
three governments, and by agreements between the Chinese 
Eastern and South Manchuria Railways as corporations. The 
Russian position is additionally complicated by events follow- 
ing on the fall of the old Russian Government and the estab- 
lishment of a new one, by the present anomalous and ill- 
defined international relations between Russia and China, 
by often conflicting negotiations between different Chinese 
interests and the Railway as a corporation, and between the 
Russian Government and the provincial authorities of Man- 
churia, and the Russian Government and the Central Govern- 
ment of China, whose unstable authority and interests some- 
times coincide and sometimes conflict with those of the 

The international factors, acting sometimes in the way of 
pressure and at other times in the way of more or less inert 
resistance, have made it necessary for the Chinese to work 
within a sort of fence. Although the Chinese have necessarily 
proceeded very often by temporary expedients, yet there has 
been a certain continuity and drift in their policy, as a result 
of which it can now be observed that a sort of solid Chinese 
core in Manchuria has been formed, with a " Japanese front" 
on the southeast and east, a "Russian front" on the northeast 
and north, and a "Mongol front" (complicated by Russian 
interests) on the west. Although Chinese colonization and 
many Chinese exploiting interests have spread beyond the 


railway fence of the Chinese Eastern and South Manchuria 
lines, yet these lines form recognizable frontiers impeding 
the full effect of Chinese expansion. The Chinese core which 
they envelop from east to north is the scene of the most con- 
fident Chinese activity, and by inevitable consequence the 
"Mongol front" on the west, where non-Chinese interests are 
least positively defined, is the outlet toward which Chinese 
expansionism is pressing most assertively. 

The railways of the "core" of Manchuria, in spite of certain 
Japanese financial interests which extend the influence of the 
South Manchuria Railway, are dominated by the most solid 
expansionist force of China. Their function is to round the 
southern escarpment of the Inner Mongolia plateau, by way 
of the Peking-Mukden trunk line and then, reaching north- 
westward, to approach the Hsingan range and the grasslands 
of Outer Mongolia. In so doing they turn the flank of the 
Gobi desert, which has always been the chief bar to a decisive 
Chinese expansion direct from the south, and potentially open 
up a vast new scope for Chinese action both in Manchuria 
and Mongolia, thus reorienting the triple interests of China, 
Japan and Russian in northeastern Asia. Thus it can be seen 
how devastating was the effect of the Japanese occupation of 
Mukden and other towns in September 1931. It completely 
shattered the Chinese "core" of Manchuria, and the military 
and administrative organization of Chinese expansionism. 
It virtually eliminated Chinese initiative in the affairs of 
Manchuria, from within Manchuria, and with it the buffer 
between Japan and Russia. 



THE modern Chinese colonization of Manchuria began in 
the eighteen hundred and nineties, following on measures 
adopted by the Imperial (Manchu) Government, which modi- 
fied the theory and practice of land tenure, and imparted in 
important respects a fresh character to the process of colo- 
nization. The rate of colonization did not however accelerate 
for many years, and it was only about 1926-28 that spectacular 
newspaper accounts of the "millions" migrating from China 
to Manchuria began to draw popular attention in the 
Western world. 

When the modern period began, population elements in 
Manchuria were comparatively static, and their distribution 
was well defined. In Liaoning province, east of the Liao river, 
was a Chinese population, typically Chinese in culture, but 
with a peculiar social status, owing to the large numbers of 
Han Chun or Chinese Bannermen, politically and socially 
identified with the Manchus. Numbers of true Manchus were 
also settled in this part of Liaoning (Fengtien) province. 

It may be as well at this point to clarify to some extent the use 
of the terms "Banner" and "Bannerman " The Manchu Ban- 
ner may have been originally the military levy of a particular 
tribe, contributed to the army of all the Manchus. Later it 
became a military administrative unit, the tribal association 
being replaced by a regional association. In every suitable 


region, a system of eight Banners was formed. As young men 
reached the military age of sixteen, and passed the military 
tests, they were assigned to Banners. Thereafter they drew a 
military subsidy, and could be called upon for active service. 
Each family was associated with a Banner, but the Banner was 
not a tribe, and members of the same clan might be associated 
with different Banners. For instance, the "Bordered Blue 
Banners" of Tsitsihar, Kirin, and Peking, respectively, had no 
connection with one another, tribal or administrative. 

In Southern Manchuria, when the Manchus began to en- 
roll Chinese troops, they introduced the same regional 
militia system of series of eight Banners. In such regions, 
where both Mahchu and Chinese troops were enrolled, each 
banner would have two "battalions" (so to speak) one Man- 
chu, one Chinese. In Peking, each Banner was in reality a 
triple formation, with Manchu, Mongol, and Chinese "bat- 
talions." In the Chahar region of Mongolia, which came 
under the Manchus by conquest, not by alliance, the Mongol 
princes were deposed and the Manchu Banner system sub- 

The Mongol Banner in regions which came over to the 
Manchus by alliance, or where the conquest was not thorough 
enough for the Manchus to depose the princes, is something 
quite different. It is a compromise between the Mongol tribal 
system and the Manchu military system. Hence it still retains 
a tribal connotation which the Manchu and Chinese Banners 
did not have. This type of Mongol Banner has always re- 
mained an hereditary tribal unit, ruled by an hereditary chief. 

In the western part of Liaoning was a Mongol population. 
These Mongols also extended into the western plain of Kirin 
province (west of Ch'angch'un) and northward toPetuna and 
Tsitsihar. The historic boundary between Mongols on the 
west and Chinese and Manchus on the east was the Willow 


Palisade, which ran from north of the Great Wall through 
Ichou and Fak'umen and Ssup'ingkai, then a little east of 
Ch'angch'un and on to the Sungari. At Tungchiangtze, 
where the Palisade crossed the Liao, a branch went off east and 
southeast, defining the most ancient "pale" of Chinese pene- 
tration and settlement. The Mongols west of the Willow 
Palisade derived from the migrations of the great Mongol con- 
quests in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

In Kirin province, not, in the first place, in the Sungari 
valley but in the valley of the Mutanchiang or Hurka, as far 
north as its junction with the Sungari at Sanhsing, was the 
true country of the Manchus. Their oldest centers were at 
Sanhsing and Ninguta, from which they later spread to the 
upper Sungari in the region of Kirin city, and still later, with 
the growth of their military power, all along the western 
slopes of the Ch'angpaishan until they overlooked and dom- 
inated Liaoning province, where they established a capital 
at Mukden in the first half of the seventeenth century, prior 
to their conquest of China. 

The Manchus appear never to have penetrated in numbers 
east of the Ch'angpaishaii. This eastern country, not only in 
Kirin but in Liaoning (Fengtien, or Mukden Province) was 
"old Korean." The Koreans must once have been well es- 
tablished, and the popular name for ruins of cities and for- 
tifications is still "Korean cities"; but they left little ethnic 
trace, and their withdrawal must have been practically com- 
plete by the rise of the Manchus at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. Only between the Ch'angpaishan and 
the Yalu, in heavily forested, mountainous country, is it prob- 
able that Koreans then lingered; and they, from the nature of 
the country, cannot have been numerous. The establishment 
of Korean settlers in eastern Fengtien (Hsingching region) 
and eastern Kirin (Hunchun region and Ussuri valley) is a 


modern phenomenon. The Koreans, however, did leave cer- 
tain cultural traces, notably in the type of dwelling house, 
and it is a question, not clear but all the more interesting, 
how many of the non-Chinese characteristics of the Manchus 
may be of Korean derivation. The question is further com- 
plicated by the fact that the Tungus, from whom the Manchus 
were differentiated at a late period, appear to have had an 
early influence in Korea. 

In northern Kirin and Heilungchiang, in the valleys of the 
Ussuri and lower Sungari, and generally speaking all the 
forested lands draining to the Amur, as well as in the Nonni 
valley, were tribes racially connected with the Tungus and 
thus with the Manchus. After the rise of the Manchu power, 
the kinship of most of these tribes was recognized by in- 
cluding them as auxiliaries in the Manchu military Banner 
organization, under the designation of New Manchus. These 
tribes were never numerous, and the chief interest of their 
distribution is historic and schematic. 

In the Nonni valley, from the lip of the Amur basin south- 
ward to Tsitsihar, were tribes that showed a merging of the 
characteristics of Tungus hunters (originally, most of them, 
without doubt reindeer owners as well) and Mongol pastoral 
nomads. Thus the Solons, who within living memory ex- 
tended as far down the Hsingan range as the T'ao river head- 
waters, where the town of Solun preserves their name, now 
survive as only a few wretched families except west of the 
Hsingan, where the almost completely Mongolized "Mongol- 
Solon" would hardly be recognized as kin of the original 
Solon forest hunters. Of the mixed Mongol-Tungus tribes 
the most important were the Daghurs, whose ready acceptance 
of Manchu influence made them important instruments of 
Manchu policy. As Manchu Bannermen some of them mi- 
grated west of the Hsingan, where they are still important 


as officials and traditional leaders among the predominantly 
Mongol population. 

Finally, west of the Hsingan, in a region so large and im- 
portant as to continue at the present time a recognizable po- 
litical sub-division of Heilungchiang province, is the Barga 
country. In the fringe of forest west of the Hsingan water- 
shed a few Tungusic elements are still distinguishable, but 
the great plains are decidedly Mongol, and political ques- 
tions are Mongol-Chinese-Russian. The Mongols of Barga 
are tribally and politically separate both from the Eastern 
Mongols of Liaoning province and the Mongols of Outer 
Mongolia. Their country is a sort of bay of Mongolia, which 
appears to have been comparatively little affected by the great 
upheaval of the Mongol tribes in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, not being swept by the migrations, but receiving 
the backwash and sheltering the fragments of many tribes. 
There is evidence, in the different structure of the aristocracy 
and the comparative weakness of the monastic lama hier- 
archy, of the late impact of alien influences. The reluctance of 
the Barga tribes, during the recent years of political unrest, to 
associate themselves definitely with either Inner or Outer 
Mongolia is also the result of long isolation and lack of as- 
sociation with the tribal affairs of other groups. 

The conglomeration of Barga tribes includes, besides groups 
related to the Khalkhas of Outer Mongolia and to the neigh- 
boring Leagues of Inner Mongolia, a few descendants of a f a* 
western group, the Olot or Jungar Mongols, of whom some 
were deported to Barga after the Manchu-Chinese conquest 
of Chinese Turkestan. There are also a few Buriats, whose 
ancient habitat was east of Lake Baikal in Siberia, who mi- 
grated to Barga some generations ago; and there are the 
Mongol-Solon, Daghur, and other mixed groups. In recent 
years there has been a secondary immigration of Trans- 


Baikalian Buriats, dissatisfied with Soviet rule, which further 
complicates the interest of Soviet Russia. 

The pressing problems of Barga are modern, and date from 
the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway, which broke 
in on the old isolation. Since the eighteen hundred and nine- 
ties and the beginning of Chinese reaction against the advance 
of Russia, the Barga tribes have been threatened with sub- 
mersion under a wave of Chinese immigration; in face of 
which they have distinguished themselves among the "native" 
elements in Manchuria by the effectiveness of their resistance. 
Several risings, with more or less open support from Russia, 
have staved off the Chinese advance, but have by no means 
decided the issue. In the effort to break down this resistance 
there have been several abortive attempts at asserting a Chinese 
"forward policy." It can now be foreseen that the "Barga 
question" will become acute again with the progress of the 
new Tao-an-Solun Railway, which in time is to be projected 
toward the Siberian frontier. This railway, taking off from 
the Chinese system in the "core" of Manchuria, will cut off 
a large part of Barga from Outer Mongolia, will flank the 
Chinese Eastern Railway, and still provide a new route for 
Chinese colonists and Chinese troops to support them; for at 
present the transport of Chinese troops along the Chinese 
Eastern Railway is hampered by recurrent disputes between 
the Russian and Chinese interests concerned over the question 
of fares to be paid. 


Wherever the old populations and old social conditions of 
Manchuria can still be detected, it is easy to discern the effects 
of a well-defined historical process; the periodic assault on 
China of barbarian tribes from the north, alternating with 


Chinese reactions which threw back the invaders and ex- 
tended Chinese authority and influence into barbarian terri- 
tories. Manchuria, sometimes as an appendage of Mongolia, 
occasionally through the independent action of Manchurian 
tribes, has for more than a score of centuries been concerned 
in this cyclical process. 

The process itself can be concisely described, for it has fol- 
lowed a curiously regular, almost stereotyped course. At 
different periods barbarian tribes north of the Great Wall 
have descended on China, establishing kingdoms and some- 
times empires of greater or less territorial extent. Thus in 
the fourth century the Hsiungnu, after capturing two suc- 
cessive Chinese emperors, forced the Chinese to move their 
capital to the site of Nanking. In the fifth and sixth centuries 
the Wei dynasty, founded by the Toba Tatars, ruled a great 
part of North China, with its capital first at Ta Tung (North- 
ern Shansi) and then at Loyang in Honan. The Tang 
dynasty of the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries was 
founded with the aid of tribal allies, and its power depended 
essentially on its tribal policy north of the Great Wall. In 
the tenth and eleventh centuries the Liao (Khitan) dynasty, 
originating in Manchuria, conquered China as far as the 
Yellow River, with a capital first at Liaoyang in Manchuria 
and then at Peking. In the twelfth century the Liao were over- 
thrown, not by the Chinese but by another Manchurian horde, 
that of the Chin (Niichen), who extended the conquest of 
China as far as the Yangtze. The Chin, in turn, were over- 
thrown by other barbarians the Mongols, who established 
the Yuan dynasty and completed the conquest of China. 
The Mongols, under Chinghis himself, had already over- 
thrown the Western Hsia or Tangut kingdom (a non-Chinese 
state), which had occupied what is now Kansu in North- 
western China. 


Thus when the purely Chinese Ming dynasty drove out the 
Mongols in the fourteenth century, China within the Great 
Wall was cleared of tribal dominance for the first time in 
many centuries; and even so the Mongols were still so strong 
that within a hundred years they were able to return, invade 
China and carry the Ming emperor into captivity, holding him 
for eight years. 

Owing, however, to the fact that each alien dynasty, as it 
matured, became more and more Chinese, the reflex action of 
Chinese culture north of the Great Wall was never lacking. 
Invariably the conquerors took over the Chinese dynastic 
model for their ruling families and Chinese forms of govern- 
ment for their new territories; and, gradually losing the 
characteristics of conquering aliens, became essentially a 
Chinese ruling class. Just as invariably, when the power of 
the dynasty waned, a Chinese reaction, tinged with racial 
animosity, took place. The dynasty was overthrown, the 
Chinese power moved north once more, sometimes as far as 
the Great Wall, sometimes even north of it, and an effort was 
made to define afresh the boundaries between civilization and 
barbarism. Whoever seized the power after the overthrow 
of the alien dynasty established a new dynasty; and when this 
in turn decayed the next invasion from the north swept over 
the Great Wall. 

During these fluctuations of conquest, a remarkable stratifi- 
cation became established, which may be schematically de- 
scribed as Great Wall-Inner Mongolia-Outer defense walls- 
Gobi-Outer Mongolia. While it is not possible here to go 
fully into the profound significance of the Great Wall, it can 
be pointed out that the frontier line it represents is the most 
ancient and fundamental line of cleavage between a highly 
individual civilization and a form of tribal barbarism only 
less individual and persistent. It is the country immediately 


north of the Gr^at Wall which most urgently needs the at- 
tention of the historian. This region appears to be considered 
most commonly as the area of maximum effect of outward- 
spreading Chinese culture. While its historic position in this 
respect is obvious enough, it has another function of at least 
equal importance. It is the "reservoir" area of the successive 
northern invaders of China. 

The Manchu conquest demonstrates most clearly a process 
which must have accompanied every previous conquest of 
the Manchu type. In this "reservoir," dominating the Great 
Wall by virtue of the plateau formation of Inner Mongolia, 
was repeatedly established a population composed of tribal 
followers of the conquest, who remained outside of the con- 
quered territory but were identified with the alien dynasty 
within the Great Wall. It supplied officials and troops to 
participate in the rule of China, and drew from China a great 
deal of wealth in the form of subsidies to the tribal chiefs. 
The Banner tribes of Inner Mongolia, who extend east- 
ward into western Liaoning province, are a living survival 
of the "reservoir" system. 

North of the "reservoir" lay another great zone, of which 
the part most easily recognized at the present day is Outer 
Mongolia. Here lay the lands of the "unregenerate," the 
tribes which had not participated as allies or auxiliaries of the 
conquest in North China. The Gobi from west to east, and 
the Hsingan range from south to north, mark the physical 
distinction between the "reservoir" and the lands of the un- 
regenerate; but the geographical cleavage was emphasized 
by a system of frontier defenses, which may still be detected 
south of the Gobi and east of the Hsingan. The fact that 
these defenses are Chinese in type has led to their being con- 
sidered chiefly as outworks of the Great Wall system. Out- 
works they were, in truth, during the periods of Chinese as- 


ccndancy; but at every period of the domination of an alien 
dynasty in China they became rearguard defenses. For one 
of the most important duties of the "reservoir" population, 
and the duty which explains why they did not all enter China, 
was that of staving off possible rival invasion on the part of 
"unregenerate" tribes not associated with the new dynasty. 

It cannot even be considered certain that the outer defense 
systems were first constructed as outward-facing Chinese 
frontiers. Nothing is more obvious than that establishment 
in the "reservoir" as privileged tribesmen had a pronounced 
effect on the territorial and social organization of the tribes. 
It is also beyond dispute that some at least of the ruined cities 
of Chinese type which characterize the "reservoir" zone, and 
have led to its being considered the region of maximum Chi- 
nese impact, were not constructed during periods of Chinese 
ascendancy, but were in fact "luxuries" which the tribal chiefs 
allowed themselves as part of their share of the spoil of China. 
If, as is quite certain, tribes associated with the "reservoir" 
system tended to become stabilized and decreasingly nomadic, 
while their chiefs tended to convert the prerogatives of chief- 
tainship into the powers of a fixed hereditary aristocracy 
strongly affected by Chinese ideas, and to build Chinese towns 
and import Chinese craftsmen and traders, then it is highly 
probable that they also emphasized their new static position 
by constructing static defenses of the Chinese type between 
themselves and the "unregenerate" tribes. 

Naturally, during periods of Chinese ascendancy, these 
towns of Chinese type, with partially Chinese populations, 
must have tended to become more active centers of the radia- 
tion of Chinese influences. It should, however, be a prime 
object of future research in Mongolia and Manchuria (and 
Chinese Turkestan as well) to determine as clearly as possible 
how far the spread of Chinese cultural elements is to be re- 


garded as an assertive and positive expression of Chinese ad- 
vance, and how far as "loot" brought back by the barbarians 
themselves. It is even probable that the elements brought by 
the Chinese themselves as indispensable and the elements 
chosen by the barbarians as forms of plunder can often be 

What emerges from all these considerations is a principle 
of the very highest importance. The "reservoir" region, both 
during periods of barbarian ascendancy and periods of 
Chinese ascendancy, is to be regarded as the key to the 
sovereignty of North China often of all China. It there- 
fore has a regional importance which transcends both its 
racial and its cultural importance. However triumphant the 
northward spread of Chinese power, any Chinese population 
flowing into the "reservoir" region inevitably becomes even 
more conscious of the fact that it can now exercise a control 
over the affairs of China behind it than that it can press 
forward to fresh conquests of barbarian territories. The over- 
throw of the Mongol dynasty of the Yuan and the establish- 
ment of the Ming was the last great resurgence of the Chinese 
power. Yet the Chinese population established in South Man- 
churia under the Ming became so regional in consciousness 
that it allied itself with the rising Manchu power and turned 
back to the conquest of China. Even at the present time, the 
disastrous defeats of the Manchurian armies in the quarrel 
with Russia over the Chinese Eastern Railway in the winter 
of 1929-30 had far less effect on the imagination of the mass 
of the population in China than any one of the incursions 
within the Great Wall of the racially and culturally Chinese 
but regionally Manchurian armies of Chang Tso-lin and his 
son Chang Hsiieh-liang not to mention the fact that the 
quasi-dynastic succession of political power in Manchuria is 
of deep significance. The crucial importance of such a region- 


alism, oriented as it is toward China with a tenacity appar- 
ently not to be overcome by any rise of nationalistic feeling, 
can hardly be exaggerated in a study of Chinese colonization 
beyond the Great Wall. 


The historical distinction between Manchuria and Mongo- 
lia is not nearly so sharp as that of modern times. The strati- 
fication of defense lines, "reservoir" and outer unregenerate 
territory is more easily illustrated by Mongolian examples, 
because Manchuria is the dead-end of the great migration 
ground of Eurasia. In Manchuria, of necessity, the currents 
of migration have turned and eddied. There is a little-known 
and almost uninvestigated frontier fortification which is a 
key to the warping of the historical strata. It runs from 
some point north of Jehol, follows the eastern watershed of 
the Hsingan, and extends almost to the Amur perhaps all 
the way. In spite of the extreme northern extension of this 
wall, probably to be explained by the far northward reach of 
power under the Liao and Chin dynasties of the tenth and 
twelfth centuries both of which originated in Manchuria 
the "reservoir" area of Manchuria, roughly and on the 
average of history, may be defined as all of Liaoning (Feng- 
tien) and Kirin provinces lying south of latitude forty-six 
degrees North. This "reservoir" is contiguous with Inner 
Mongolia, though it reaches farther to the north, and has the 
same historical function. Northernmost Kirin and all of 
Heilungchiang, which lie north of this latitude, are an ancient 
no-man's-land, with an historical importance comparable to 
that of Outer Mongolia. 

The peculiarity of "reservoir" Manchuria is the triple 
balance that was established there, as an essential preliminary 


to the Manchu conquest of China, between Mongols, Man- 
chus and Chinese. Without going into detail, it may be 
stated that the Manchu military power was based on an alli- 
ance between Manchus and Mongols, and an amalgamation 
between the Manchus and the highly "regional" Chinese of 
the "reservoir." This early grouping was perpetuated in re- 
gional sub-divisions which had much of the character of 
"spheres of interest," which persisted up to the beginning of 
the modern period, which can still be traced, and which had 
an important bearing on local conceptions of the bases of 
land tenure and social organization. 

One of the remarkable points of interest of the outer de- 
fense walls of the ancient "reservoir" is the fact that, though 
they are locally attributed to different dynasties or culture- 
heroes, like Yao Fei (Yiieh Fei) or Chin Wu-chu, or Chin- 
ghis Khan they almost everywhere are still recognized as 
tribal or sub-tribal boundaries. It is significant that the Mon- 
gols concerned in the Manchu Conquest (whose heirs in 
modern Manchuria are the Banners of the Cherim Chao-uda 
and Chosotu Leagues) held a territory south of the Gobi and 
east of the Hsingan and the Hsingan Outer Wall. On the east, 
the boundary between them and the Chinese and Manchus 
(confirmed under the Manchu dynasty) was the Willow 
Palisade. Thus they belonged not to the outermost barba- 
rians of the "unregenerate" lands, but to the ancient tribal 
"reservoir"; in fact they were, in the main, descendants of the 
Mongols of the Yuan dynasty, who had been displaced in 
China by the Ming. For this reason (a fact never sufficiently 
emphasized) there were elements of hostility in their alli- 
ance with the Manchus. There was in fact a close race for 
power between Manchus and Mongols, and the later Manchu 
policy, throughout the "reservoir," was confronted with the 
double problem of preserving the usefulness of the Mongols 


as military auxiliaries, while preventing the recrudescence of 
a Mongol power that might rival their own. Thus by trick- 
ery and coercion, and occasionally by planting Chinese col- 
onies, they edged the Mongols away from certain strategic 
points overlooking the Great Wall barrier; but on the whole 
they supported the tribalism of the Mongols and maintained 
the integrity of Mongol tribal domains. Thus the Mongols 
even in our own time continue to be a tribal people, while the 
Manchus long ago became Chinese; and not only is it difficult 
to distinguish Manchus from Chinese, even in the remotest re- 
gions, but the very bases of distinction, from a comparatively 
early period, ceased to be racial and became wholly social. 

The Manchus were, from the beginning, without either 
the strong tribal consciousness or the strong historical tradi- 
tions of the Mongols. They appear to have filtered in from 
the outer no-man's-land to the "reservoir" and though they 
endowed themselves offhand with a tradition of descent from 
the Niichen-Chin, 1 they rose to power with such rapidity 
that they never thoroughly absorbed the tradition and spirit 
of the "reservoir"; they rather created a new, modified "reser- 
voir"-regional tradition of their own. 

This very immaturity facilitated their extraordinarily rapid 
and thorough assumption of Chinese characteristics. Indeed 
nothing could be more evident (though the fact is usually 
given very little weight) than that the Manchus, from a very 
early period, not only looked on China as a country to con- 
quer, but on Chinese civilization as something to aspire to. 

1 While there was no political continuity between the Niichen and the Manchus, 
there was a certain racial kinship, in that they both derived from the same 
general Tungusic stock. Out of this tribal group the Niichen emerged, to found 
the Chin dynasty; on the fall of the dynasty, at least part of them fell back into 
the wilderness and merged again with the tribes. Centuries later the Manchus 
emerged from the same tribal group; and had it not been for the impact of the 
West, breaking up the cycle of Chinese frontier history, the most northerly of the 
Manchus left in Manchuria would, on the fall of the dynasty, have relapsed in 
the same way into a "tribal" state. 


There is some reason to suppose that the Manchus derived 
from a stock which originally owned reindeer, but lost the 
reindeer on moving south. If this is so, then the necessity 
of reorganization consequent on the loss of the reindeer 
economy may explain in part their rapid development toward 
the Chinese standard. 

The Chinese then in southern Manchuria must have been 
in the main the immediate descendants of those who had 
participated in the last great Chinese expansion, under the 
Ming; although the Chinese foothold in southernmost Man- 
churia was already very old, and the larger body must there- 
fore itself have been informed to a certain extent by the 
tradition of the oldest local Chinese elements. While char- 
acteristically Chinese in culture and social organization, they 
had taken on a strong "frontier" color, which is quite under- 
standable in the light of the historical forces already eluci- 
dated. Thus they were, for their part, willing to accept the 
authority, and identify themselves with the drive, of the 
rising and aggressive Manchu group, which promised them 
a share of the power and wealth to be garnered in China 
the rich land, the land of civilization and luxury; a land 
whose promise altogether overshadowed any promise of 
growth and expansion toward the barbarian wilderness. 

It has never been sufficiently emphasized how Chinese the 
Manchus were by the time they entered China. Still less has 
it been realized how far they were outnumbered, in Man- 
churia itself, by the Chinese, or how easy it would have been 
for these Manchurian Chinese, had there been any genuine 
social motive power urging them toward outward expansion, 
to exterminate the Manchu tribes on their first appearance. 
Yet, in point of fact, Chinese were willingly incorporated, 
from the very beginning, in the Manchu military system, and 
thoroughly identified themselves, politically, with the Man- 


chus. No one who has visited both the old Manchu and old 
Chinese regions of Manchuria and noticed the number, dis- 
tribution and known age of towns and villages can doubt 
that, long before the Conquest, the largest numerical element 
in the Manchu armies must have been Chinese. 

The Manchus, for their part, had taken on a thoroughly 
Chinese color. Their two emperors who ruled from Mukden 
before the entry into China were emperors in the Chinese 
manner. It is not too much to say that the final Manchu con- 
quest of China was less an alien invasion than the triumph of 
the strongest regional faction in a colossal Chinese civil war. 
This is borne out by the fact that the Manchus actually passed 
through the Great Wall as a result of negotiation, and in 
alliance with one Chinese faction against another, which had 
already desecrated the Ming tombs and occupied Peking, 
where the last Ming emperor had hanged himself. It is 
further borne out by the rapidity and success with which the 
Manchus assumed the administration of China and carried 
it on in the Chinese manner. 

It cannot be doubted that the racial character of certain 
laws of privilege passed by the Manchus has been greatly 
overemphasized. There was a residuum of racial feeling in 
some of these laws, but all of them, in operation, had an 
almost purely social function; and in any case their nominal 
racial character is vitiated by the fact that, from the begin- 
ning, Chinese Bannermen were counted as Manchus. The 
Banners themselves were purely a military, never a racial 
formation. The organization of distinct Chinese Banners 
must have been due initially to the overwhelming preponder- 
ance of Chinese in the southern part of Manchuria, who asso- 
ciated themselves politically with the Manchus; and although 
thereafter Manchu and Chinese Banners continued to be 
found frequently side by side, there were no grave distinctions 


between the races. Not only was intermarriage free (between 
Manchus and Chinese Bannermen), but it was certainly pos- 
sible for a Chinese Bannerman, moving north into a district 
so preponderantly Manchu that no Chinese Banners were 
maintained, to change his registration to a Manchu Banner; 
although technically the change of registration was sup- 
posed to be only temporary. Thus the distinction between the 
Bannermen as a group and non-Bannermen as a group in- 
cluded Chinese among the privileged as well as among the 
unprivileged. In discussing "Manchu" history, the term 
"Bannerman" should in the great majority of cases be substi- 
tuted for the term "Manchu"; and if this were done, the 
social intention of many laws and privileges would become 

Thus, in the case of laws prohibiting Manchus from inter- 
marrying with Chinese, it ought to be much better known 
that in fact there was no restriction on marriage between 
Manchus and Chinese Bannermen, and that at an early period 
Manchus began to marry non-Banner Chinese girls, although 
not giving their own daughters in marriage to non-Banner 
Chinese men. The laws forbidding Bannermen to engage 
in trade or agriculture 2 had the same intention as the mar- 
riage laws; the maintenance of a self-conscious class associated 
with the dynasty. 

Among the most conspicuous Manchu laws were those 
restricting the immigration of Chinese into regions outside 
the Great Wall, and especially forbidding women to pass 
beyond this traditional frontier. Undoubtedly many indi- 
vidual Manchus felt that such laws maintained their privi- 
leged position in the "reservoir"; but equally there is no doubt 
that these laws, far from striking the generality of Chinese as 

2 Manchus within the "reservoir" in Manchuria, especially in Kirin, continued 
of course to engage in agriculture; these laws applied only to garrisons in China. 


oppressive, satisfied the underlying feeling of Chinese state- 
craft, with which the Manchus had entirely identified them- 
selves. The very nature of the Great Wall and the outer 
frontier fortifications was defensive. Throughout history it 
can be seen that the fundamental aim of Chinese statecraft 
was to control the border territories, not to occupy them. 
Colonies were planted always as expedients to control strate- 
gic points. There was no general urge toward the complete 
occupation of outlying territory; for a general spread of pop- 
ulation toward the north would have upset the balance of the 
State, which was identified with a very ancient drift toward 
the south and east. The north was, in general, the rear; only 
exceptionally the front. 


, While there has apparently been a revolution in the Chinese 
feeling toward northward expansion, the effect on basic 
notions of land tenure of the different social organization of 
Mongols, Manchus and Chinese can still be detected, and has 
an important bearing on the methods of colonial expansion 
in the different "spheres" of the ancient "reservoir."' 

The relation of Mongol tribe to Mongol land emphasizes 
the profound cleavage between Mongols and Chinese. Un- 
doubtedly the basic feeling of the Mongols is that the land 
belongs to the whole tribe. Neither individuals nor the chief 
may establish a prescriptive claim to personal ownership of 
any part of the land. Even the tribal ownership is probably 
to be understood according to a psychology different from 
that involved in any modern "state" ownership. We have un- 
doubtedly to deal with ancient pure nom'adic instinct, 
although the Mongols are now no more than semi-nomadic. 
The Mongol attitude toward the land is guided by an instinc- 


tive reluctance to identify people with land. It seeks to 
gratify the feeling that the tribe ought, on occasion, to be able 
simply to pick up and move off, flatly abandoning the old 
land. Except where tribal frontiers are defined by ancient 
walls, which basically do not govern the tribe as a tribe, but 
the tribe in its relation to China, even Mongol frontiers are 
curiously inexact. They are marked erratically by landmarks 
at conspicuous points, and govern, in the last analysis, not 
limits of ownership, but relations of war and peace. To pass 
between two of the landmarks of a tribe is not, essentially, to 
encroach on its land, but to challenge its freedom of move- 

When a tribe comes within the "reservoir," however, the 
attitude toward boundaries is necessarily modified, because 
it occupies thenceforth a "station" governed by the relation- 
ship with China. When the tribe is an auxiliary ally of an 
alien dynasty ruling in China, the machinery of recruiting 
tribal levies requires at least a rough knowledge of the fixed 
distribution of population according to territory. In order, 
therefore, to regularize the relations between the sovereign 
dynasty and the "reservoir" tribe, there is a distinct tendency 
to transform the chieftain, originally the leader of a horde, 
with powers fluctuating according to necessity, into a petty 
territorial princeling. This tendency, however, is not a mani- 
festation of inward, spontaneous tribal feeling, but is pro- 
duced by the pressure of its external relations. Thus we find 
that in modern times there is a distinct cleavage between^the 
interests of princes and tribes, and that the closer the relations 
between the tribe and China the more stable and regular are 
the functions, rights and powers of the prince. 

Under the Manchu dynasty, the princely families and the 
religious hierarchy were the elements most easily modified 
into regular channels of intercourse between the tribal "reser- 


voir" and the civilized government of China. When colonies 
were planted to assure Manchu control of the passes over- 
looking the Great Wall, the necessary negotiations were con- 
ducted through the princes; and following this precedent 
Chinese colonization at the present time in Mongol lands 
continues to be regulated by negotiation between Chinese 
officials and Mongol princes or high ecclesiastical authorities. 
The inevitable consequence is that the princes play the double 
part of leaders in the occasional rebellions against China, and 
of profiteers who, when resistance is futile, take payment 
from the Chinese for the cession of tribal land, to the detri- 
ment of the tribe as a whole, making use of a kind of spurious 
title to territorial sovereignty which is only a modern fiction. 

At the same time the older instinct still preserves the abhor- 
rence of individual ownership of land within the territory 
occupied by the tribe. The idea that it is "impious" to culti- 
vate land is merely a late "rational" explanation of the innate 
aversion for permanent, fixed identification of man and land. 
Thus historically and at the present time the Chinese pene- 
trating into a region where tribal administration has not yet 
been replaced by direct Chinese administration is forced to 
modify his activities to conform with Mongol ideas. The 
result is that the Chinese frontiersman of the Mongol frontier 
is quite different, socially, from the frontiersman of the old 
Chinese and Manchu spheres within the Manchurian "reser- 

The attitude of the Manchus toward the land was from the 
beginning essentially different. In the first place, even during 
the generally postulated nomadic period of their history, 
they were forest nomads, hunters and fishers; and it is much 
easier for the nomad of this type to establish a fixed holding 
than it is for the pastoral nomad with a "vested interest" in 
valuable herds which require at the minimum a winter and 


a summer range. The Manchus, at the time they emerge into 
history, appear to have had a loose social organization of 
villages by the side of streams in forested country. They had 
lived by fishing and hunting, before they began to practice 
conquest as a form of exploitation, and the garden-patch 
agriculture, found on the edges of their villages, though 
apparently it had been practiced for a considerable period, 
had not risen to a more than ancillary status. 

The clan was the most important unit, notably for the 
control of marriage; but members of the same clan lived in 
different villages, and this weakened the. importance of the 
villages, and of the identification of society and locality. 
Under such conditions, land ownership can hardly have 
been of great importance, especially since land was both rich 
and plentiful along the streams. Nor was their relation to 
"wild" land the same as that of a tribal people like the Mon- 
gols. The intrusion of one pastoral tribe on the lands of 
another, or even on lands merely used by them when in mi- 
gration, does not necessarily mean the eating up of pastures 
of which they stand in imperative need for their flocks, but 
it does mean interference with their scope of movement and 
control of their flocks. Among a people of riparian villages, 
on the other hand, hunting parties that strike away from the 
river settlements may well converge on the same group or 
range of hills, and the general interest is therefore best served 
by the principle that hills, forest and unsettled land are 
public, but that private ownership could be established by 
the settlement of an individual or a village. The social organ- 
ization of the Manchus was obviously one that had not been 
so thoroughly worked out as to become rigid. With the asser- 
tion of a central military authority, they became at once a 
young nation, not a group of tribes, with a tendency to estab- 
lish fixed communities in preference to ranges of migration 


and, in consequence, an initial sympathy for Chinese as 
against Mongol ideals. The Manchus, from an early period, 
worked on two lines of endeavor: to establish a political 
superiority over the Chinese, and to raise themselves to an 
equality of civilization with the Chinese. The first result 
of military unity was the establishment of a dynasty on the 
Chinese model, closely followed by the assumption of the 
whole Chinese conception of society, both in agricultural 
and town communities. The individual ownership of land 
was thus confirmed, and it became easy for "wild" lands to 
pass from a somewhat vague "public" classification into the 
much more definite category of "state" lands, to which a 
prescriptive right was affirmed on behalf of the sovereign. 

The consequence was that when, in later times, the need 
of land was felt by either Manchus or Chinese "squatters," it 
was an easy matter to encroach on state lands, the officials 
being either indifferent or venial. "Uncontrolled" settlement 
at the present time can only be regarded as a continuation of 
this old process. It is extra-legal rather than illegal. The 
clearing of wild land is tacitly regarded as establishing a 
respectable claim. In such cases, as the country fills up and 
land boundaries become more important, it is necessary to 
legalize the tenure of the squatter; but he is far more likely 
to be accommodated by some form of compromise than to 
be summarily ejected. 




THE fundamental divergence in social orientation between 
Mongol and Manchu explains the fact that two distinct types 
of Chinese frontiersman are to be distinguished in the early 
Chinese penetration of Manchuria. So essential is the disparity 
between Chinese and Mongols that Chinese, when penetrat- 
ing the Mongol sphere of the "reservoir," have never become 
Mongol in their point of view; even when very decidedly 
influenced by the political atmosphere of the "reservoir,", 
unless they have "gone native!' On the other hand, when 
penetrating the Manchu sphere, it is evident that the Chinese 
never had to abandon or modify anything that was essentially 
Chinese in its outlook on life. The mark of success was a 
status of privilege, and there was nothing in the form of the 
privilege, or the way it was exercised, that was anything but 
satisfactory from a Chinese point of view. 

Because of the gulf between Chinese and Mongols, the 
formation of mixed groups has always been an essential 
preliminary either to the absorption of Chinese by Mongols, 
or of Mongols by Chinese. Mongol borrowings of Chinese 
cultural elements are strongly reminiscent of plunder. The 
Mongols have always taken from China only what they like, 
and used it as they like. Thus quantities of Mongol clothes, 
hats, boots, saddles and so forth have for centuries been made 



in China; but they have always been made to Mongol speci- 
fications, and Mongol costume, in spite of borrowed Chinese 
elements, continues to be recognizably Mongol This is in 
striking contrast to the manner in which the Manchus modi- 
fied their own society in order to conform to Chinese stand- 
ards. It is therefore axiomatic in the study of the racial and 
cultural migrations north of the Great Wall that every 
Chinese element among the Mongols is recognizably alien, 
while every pure Manchu element that survived the amal- 
gamation with the Chinese is recognizably a survival, and is 
felt in the social consciousness as a survival. 

The formation of mixed classes intermediate between 
Chinese and Mongol, being the only method of bridging the 
gap, definitely slowed down the rate of advance of Chinese 
colonization, and, paradoxically, though in itself an expedi- 
ent for obliterating frontiers, did much to preserve the exist- 
ence and meaning of frontiers. The underlying cleavage con- 
tinued to affect every kind of activity, official and mercantile, 
as well as the progress of agricultural colonization. 

Mixed classes are found, for instance, not only among the 
advanced squatters and colonists scattered through Inner 
Mongolia and western Fengtien, but among caravan traders, 
trading-post merchants, pedlars, and interpreters, artisans 
and scribes employed by Mongol princes and lamaseries. In 
practically every case the Chinese engaged in these frontier 
activities either has Mongol blood or, perhaps more fre- 
quently, comes from a family which has a definite tradition 
of activity among the Mongols. Success, in every case, 
depends to an important extent not only on learning the 
Mongol language, but on "going native" to a certain degree- 
perhaps taking a Mongol wife, certainly conforming to Mon- 
gol customs. Something Chinese has to be surrendered. The 
importance of this, in view of the intense racial and cultural 


self-consciousness of the Chinese, has never been properly 

Easy, quick and substantial profits have always been the 
essential inducement to any Chinese activity among the Mon- 
gols. This has always been necessary, because there has never 
been any guarantee of permanency. Caravan traders and 
trading-post merchants, like the Jews of medieval Europe, 
carried on hereditary businesses on credit terms at usurious 
rates, collecting the cattle and wool of the grandson against 
the interest owed by the grandfather. At the same time, they 
worked without social guarantees. One year they might be 
bullying and wheedling, threatening and promising, bent on 
the collection of their "just dues"; the next year many of them 
might be slaughtered and the rest plundered and driven out; 
a year more, and the survivors, with recruits from their fam- 
ilies and relations, would be back again: the individual ran 
hazards, but the trade was inevitable. In the circumstances it 
it easy to understand that the universal Chinese assessment 
of the Mongol closely resembles the Jewish estimate of the 
Gentile: brutal and violent and unreasonable, yet on the 
whole not only honest, but an honest fool. 

As for squatters and colonists beyond the actual reach of 
definite Chinese control and administration, they could only 
cultivate land under Mongol sufferance. They could never 
obtain a title to their land. Land ownership was a gauge of 
the respective military strength of Mongols and Chinese; if 
the Mongols were strong enough, they expelled Chinese who 
threatened to establish too definite a claim to the land they 
occupied. If the Chinese were strong enough, they ended by 
expelling the Mongols. Thus land policy lies at the bottom of 
every outbreak of massacre and war between Chinese and 
The curious thing is that when the Mongols are expelled 


and the Chinese move in, the true frontiersman, whether 
trader or farmer, moves on with the Mongol. That the trader 
should do so is easily understandable; that the farmer should 
do so can only be explained by the fact that during the period 
of uncertainty he has so far "gone native" that his interests 
have become largely Mongol. Apart from the fact that he 
may have a Mongol wife and half-breed children, he has 
commonly accumulated sheep, cattle and horses, the pastur- 
ing of which would be inconvenient in a closely settled region. 
The original accumulation of property in the Mongol form 
might be due in part to the business instinct of the Chinese; 
but it must also have been due in part to the necessity for 
insurance against the possibility of being forced to discon- 
tinue agriculture. 

The prevailing ignorance of the lives, methods and tradi- 
tions of the traders, frontiersmen and squatters in advance of 
the obvious front line of Chinese colonization accounts for the 
general impression that the chief phenomenon, when 
Chinese meet Mongols, is the turning of Mongols into 
Chinese, and has obscured the importance of the formation 
of advanced mixed groups. Thus frequent reference is made 
to the "agricultural Mongols" of the Chosotu and Chao-uda 
Leagues, north of Jehol; notably the Kharachin. In the 
eighteen hundred and nineties there was trouble between 
Mongols and Chinese over land policy in this region; num- 
bers of Mongols were massacred by the Chinese, and several 
thousand Kharachin migrated to Cherim League, in western 
Liaoning province, where they now form an important agri- 
cultural element. In the true manner of the advanced frontier, 
they made their own terms with the local tribes, occupying 
and cultivating land without being granted title of ownership. 
They live in houses of a Chinese type, but frequently possess 
also felt yurts put up on permanent foundations; as the felt 


wears out it is plastered with mud, and eventually becomes a 
round mud hut, which is commonly used as a storeroom, 
while the family lives in a house. They pay a portion of the 
grain they harvest to the chieftain of the local tribe, to whose 
winter food supply it forms a welcome supplement. At the 
same time they continue to own livestock, and members of the 
family are frequently away from home for long periods, 
camping with the flocks. In spite of their houses, they set 
great store by a certain measure of Mongol freedom, and 
frequently move from one valley to another. 

These Mongols are very much mixed in physical type. 
They are almost all bilingual from childhood, but the women 
are less fluent in Chinese than the men. Their clothes are a 
mixture of Mongol and Chinese, but those of the men are 
more Chinese, and those of the women more Mongol. Their 
family shrines are also a mixture of Mongol and Chinese, 
with Chinese elements predominating, as is natural to people 
living in houses; but they are as hospitable to lamas as are 
other Mongols. Most significant of all, they frequently have a 
Chinese family name, as well as Mongol clan name and per- 
sonal names. All of these indications point to the fact that 
many of them must be descended from Chinese frontiers- 
men who "went native"; and whose descendants elected 
to migrate with the Mongols rather than remain in the land 
permanently occupied by the Chinese advance. 1 

Such people are obviously of extraordinary interest in the 
history of Chinese colonial expansion. Their social equiva- 
lence to such precursors of American and Canadian coloniza- 
tion as the coureurs des bois and voyageurs, and the men of 

i There are instances* however, of the reversal o this process of "going native." 
Thus in the Jehol region numbers of families can be found which were ongmaUy 
Chinese, but "turned Mongol" after penetrating well into Mongol temtory. 
Since *e overwhelming advance of the Chinese in that region in the last thirty 
years, these "Mongol" families are now "turning Chinese. 


the Missouri "fur brigades" is probably closer than that of, 
for instance, Oklahoma "land-stampeder" to Shantung 
"coolie" immigrant in the modern phase. The influence of 
the "reservoir" is to be discerned however in the fact that such 
mixed groups function alternatively as a rearguard of the 
Mongols and an advanced guard of the Chinese; whereas the 
frontiersman of American colonization was prevailingly 
conscious of being in the front of the advance, and compara- 
tively seldom "went native" completely. The difference is 
due to the fact that there is no "reservoir" in American his- 
tory, and no alternation of political ascendancy. It is dis- 
tinctly noticeable that semi-settled Mongols of the Kharachin 
type are frequently massacred or driven out with other Mon- 
gols during periods of Chinese aggression; yet at the present 
time in the Cherim League, where the advance of Chinese 
colonization is producing a bandit class of dispossessed Mon- 
gols, bilingual Kharachins are willing to serve in Chinese 
irregular levies of cavalry engaged in checking banditry. On 
the other side there is no doubt that pastoral Mongols, too, 
regard them as a separate class; and also no doubt that in 
the event of a Mongol advance they would be found on the 
Mongol side. At present, with Chinese colonization proceed- 
ing vigorously in Cherim League, I know from personal 
observation that the Kharachin form potentially an element 
valuable to Chinese administration; for frequently, where 
pastoral Mongols take up agriculture under pressure of 
Chinese regulations, they turn over the cultivation of the 
lands allotted to them to Kharachin tenants or managers, and 
continue themselves to be interested primarily in their 

There is still another type of frontiersman to be found on 
the Mongol border. This is the man who first moves in to 
land taken over from the Mongols, when the pastoral people 


and semi-settled people of the Kharachin type have moved 
out. In this class also a marked tradition is to be discerned. 
It is a class of farmers, among whom knowledge of the 
Mongol language is not common, but who have a special 
knowledge of frontier conditions and a special experience in 
the cultivation of raw land. They own more livestock than 
the farmer working under typical Chinese conditions, and 
though land is the basis of their society, they are not rooted 
in a particular tract of land. They may move only once in a 
generation, but they tend to move. As the land about them 
fills up, and values rise, they sell out the land they have devel- 
oped and move forward to the next belt of newly opened 
land, there to invest once more their experience and special 
knowledge. This class, like that of the mixed groups of the 
extreme advance, is now being swamped by the mass immi- 
gration of people from China proper with little tradition 
behind them; but they are of great interest as being the class 
probably most nearly comparable to the pioneer of the West- 
ern type of colonization. 

As for the traders, they are recruited almost entirely from 
certain towns many of which now lie far within the borders 
of solid Chinese population, and from families which have 
maintained for generations a tradition of Mongol trade. 
Firms and families often have a history of several centuries 
of trade among the Mongols. The young men begin very 
early to serve an apprenticeship, in which the acquisition of 
the Mongol language plays an important part. Almost in- 
variably, when they can afford it, they marry or keep a Mon- 
gol woman; but just as regularly, after many years of work 
in distant regions, they retire to their own towns to spend 
their old age. Their lives are in two compartments, Mongol 
and Chinese, and though in the course of their active career 
they may often almost completely "go native," they never 


lose the feeling of superiority and distaste, and retire with 
relief at the appointed period. It is men of this class, based 
on the towns, who dominate the caravan trade also, as owners 
and capitalists; but among the caravan men themselves is a 
large proportion of the men of the advanced "mixed groups," 
born in the "reservoir" and knowing no other home. 


It has already been pointed out that the Chinese penetrat- 
ing into the Manchu sphere of the "reservoir" was never called 
on to make any surrender of the kind implied in "going 
native." In addition there was the fact that the different 
status of land tenure allowed a more sporadic and spon- 
taneous form of penetration and settlement, which must at 
an early period have obliterated any idea of a linear "front," 
if it ever existed. Nor was there any basic hostility to be 
overcome as between races or instinctive ideas of social order. 
It might be thought, from the nominal character of the 
Manchu laws discriminating between Manchus and Chinese 
and Bannermen and non-Bannermen that Chinese penetrat- 
ing into the "reservoir" would be confronted with a social 
order to which they would be instinctively hostile. On the 
contrary, such was the character of the "reservoir" itself, and 
so important was the number of Chinese already identified 
with it, even before the establishment of the Manchu dynasty, 
that the normal ambition of the newcomer was not to form 
a group hostile to the prevailing order, but to qualify himself 
individually for admission into the ranks of privilege in the 
order as it stood. This brings to the fore a fact which has 
never, so far as I know, been pointed out: the criterion of 
success, for the adventurer starting out with his back toward 
China and his face toward the wilderness, became the ability 


to turn about and, as a member of the privileged population 
of the privileged "reservoir," face toward China; which thus 
took the place of the wilderness as the "promised land," the 
source of wealth and the proper field for the exercise of 
power. The significance of this phenomenon, reversing the 
direction of an originally expansive movement like coloni- 
zation, cannot too strongly be emphasized. 

The Chinese Bannermen formed a natural gradation 
between Chinese and Manchus. Some distinctions were 
maintained in theory between Manchu and Chinese Banner- 
men, but Chinese Bannermen were definitely ranked, socially, 
with the Manchus and apart from other Chinese. Manchu 
and Chinese Bannermen intermarried freely; but in the 
south of Liaoning (Fengtien) province, where the weight of 
numbers had an effect, the two groups tended to remain dis- 
tinct, as groups, though practically identical in function. In 
the north, on the other hand, wherever the weight of popula- 
tion was in favor of the Manchus, there was undoubtedly a 
tendency for Chinese Bannermen to become actually Manchu 
Bannermen. This was facilitated by the fact that the Banners 
were not clan units, but territorial military cadres ; and military 
mobilization groups they remained, in spite of a tendency 
(apparently stronger in China than in Manchuria) to merge 
the hereditary organization of military service with the social 
unit proper, the clan. 

During the rise of the Manchu power, any Chinese who 
shaved his forehead and grew a queue (thus making it dif- 
ficult for him to desert at short notice to an anti-Manchu po- 
litical faction) could be recruited into a Chinese Banner. This 
method of social transformation continued to be recognized 
in later years, though it was invoked with decreasing fre- 
quency both in regions where the Bannermen hardened into 
a caste which was jealous of enlarging its privileged member- 


ship, and in regions where the Chinese ceased to find it an 
advantage to pass from the subject "race" to the dominant 


It was, however, certainly possible, in Manchuria, for a 
Chinese from China proper to become, in his own lifetime, 
an out-and-out "Manchu." An instance of this phenomenon 
came within my own experience when I formed an acquaint- 
ance with a Chinese military officer and his old father. The 
father, born in Honan, had gone to Manchuria as a young 
man, had traveled over the most remote parts of the three 
provinces, and had finally settled at Tsitsihar. One day I said 
to the young man, "Why is it that you, who were born in 
Tsitsihar, speak just like the generality of Manchurian Chi- 
nese, while your father, who was born in Honan, has not only 
the speech, but exactly the manner and even gestures of the 
old-fashioned Manchus of Manchuria" [which differ some- 
what from those of Peking Manchus]. He laughed, and said, 
"When my father was a young man, it was difficult for a rnin~ 
jen [non-Banner Chinese, "a civilian," "one of the people"] 2 
to get on in the world, up in the northern regions. The Man- 
chus dominated everything, and they harassed the mm Chi- 
nese. In Tsitsihar, where he settled down, they had a custom 

2 The fact that the word "Manchu" was and is almost never used in conversa- 
tion, and comparatively rarely in writing, is of distinct significance. The term in 
commonest use was Ch'i-jen, "Bannermen," which included both Chinese and 
Manchu Bannermen. The corresponding term for non-Banner Chinese was mm, 
"a commoner," "a civilian." This bears out the point I have made that the 
Manchus had become Chinese and retained not a racial, but a social distinction. 
Another term still in use in Manchuria for non-Manchurian Chinese and new- 
comers not yet identified with the still persisting "regionalism" is Man-tze. 
This peculiar term has a great psychological interest. It is a very ancient north- 
Chinese term for the non-Chinese "barbarians" south of the Yangtze. Its con- 
tinued use both by the people of Manchuria and the Mongols can only be re- 
ferred to the basic cleavage and antagonism between the Chinese of the north 
and south; and it indicates the extent to which the peoples of the "reservoir" 
identified themselves with the power of the north, and the true ancient direction 
of the driving force of Chinese national and cultural expansionism toward the 
south, not tie north. 


of "chasing out the min" twice a year. All the Chinese who 
had filtered in were liable to be driven out, and often beaten 
and robbed. Of course, many of them came back; but the 
only way to become secure was to "follow" [as the phrase 
went] the Manchus and become so like them as to be un- 
detectable. 3 So my father, when he had learned their ways, 
"entered the Banners" and married a Manchu [which of 
course was against the strict law] and has always remained 
like them. But when I was growing up, it was no longer of 
any use to be a Bannerman, and therefore I became like all 
the other young men of my generation. 

This is a story which illustrates the processes of the present 
as well as of the past; for the young Manchus of Manchuria 
are becoming rapidly indistinguishable from Manchuria- 
born Chinese. As for the practice of "harassing" (ch'iju) 
the under-dog, it cannot by any manner of means be con- 
strued as an attempt to differentiate the Manchus racially 
from the Chinese. It can at the present time be observed in 
any region which contains a self-conscious dominant element 
and an intrusive element whose competition is feared. The 
identification at which the newcomer had to aim was one of 
regionalism and social status. Even the tricks of manner and 
language which he had to acquire, though tinged with sur- 
vivals of Manchu characteristics and a few transformed Man- 
chu words, were on the whole Chinese. If newcomers had 
been faced with the necessity of acquiring the Manchu lan- 
guage, amalgamation would hardly have been possible until 
the second generation. 

Indeed, there is a great interest in the contrast between the 
rapid extinction of the Manchu language, and the strong 

8 This however is obviously not the same thing as "going native," which is a 
form of conversion. It is merely a climbing from one class to another a form 
of promotion* 


power of survival which the Mongol language has always 
shown. Thus the Manchu language was already in decay, 
and Chinese undoubtedly already the dominant language of 
administration, even before the Manchus entered China. The 
repeated efforts made by the Manchu emperors to keep the 
Manchu language artificially alive are themselves a proof of 
its complete decay. Yet Mongol is still spoken in Mongol 
families living within a hundred miles of Mukden, where 
they have been settled in the Chinese manner and surrounded 
by Chinese for several generations. The contrast can further 
be seen in the manner in which the Manchus, from the be- 
ginning of the modern Chinese advance, have surrendered 
their outworn social privileges and identified themselves with 
the Chinese; whereas the tendency of Chinese who have 
"gone Mongol" is distinctly to move on with the Mongols 
who retreat before the Chinese advance. 

So many of the old processes in the Manchu-Chinese sphere 
of Manchuria survive at the present time that it is possible to 
gauge the phenomena of the infiltration period of Chinese 
penetration. The migrant might be a Chinese born in south- 
ern Manchuria, or a borderer (there is still a slang name dis- 
tinguishing Chinese from the part of Chihli province ad- 
jacent to Manchuria) or a man from one of the districts in 
Shantung which, as will be seen, had an established tradition 
connecting it with Manchuria. 

The attraction of Manchuria was the prospect of a life 
more free from competition than in China proper, and more 
free also from restrictions, because it was a land of privilege, 
and governed accordingly more in a spirit of easy prosperity 
than of any urgent necessity of exploitation. The prospects 
of finding immediate work were facilitated by the existence 
of numerous families, both of Manchu and Chinese Banner- 
men, whose ambition was a life of leisure. The "reservoir" 


was full of families which lived on the wealth that some 
relative had acquired or was busy acquiring, as an official in 
China, and who were glad to turn over their lands to an in- 
dustrious and paying tenant. Indeed, the fall of the Empire 
revealed the fact that many Manchus had moved to Peking, 
leaving their lands in the hands of tenants; then, being in- 
terested in official careers, they had neglected these lands, 
and finally the tenants usurped them and, when the Empire 
fell, were able to maintain their claims against the lapsed in- 
terests of the original owning families. 

The activities of outsiders who penetrated the "reservoir" 
followed fairly regular courses. If they came among Chinese 
Bannermen they had only to prove themselves industrious 
and generally acceptable members of society. Then, by mar- 
rying into one of the established families, or by some other 
form of social negotiation, their position was quietly regu- 
larized. Undoubtedly many of them "became" Chinese Ban- 
nermen; but this was not necessary, for in southern Man- 
churia large communities of non-Banner Chinese existed, 
deriving from that part of the population which had passively 
accepted, rather than actively participated in the Manchu con- 
quest. On the whole, however, though permanent settle- 
ment was easier and more rapid in the south, only a fractional 
residue of the migrants (as is most conspicuously shown in the 
"Shantung" type of migration) took up permanent holdings. 
This was due not only to the formal prohibition against the 
emigration of Chinese women beyond the Great Wall, but to 
the fact that the recognized ambition of the established fami- 
lies was the marriage of their daughters, not to promising 
pioneers, but to members of the governing classes, who were 
oriented toward China. 

Farther to the north, in the markedly Manchu regions of 
the "reservoir," infiltration was distinctly slower and more 


difficult. Newcomers were almost invariably single men, and 
formed so distinct a class that they received an appropriate 
slang name, which their counterparts of the present day still 
b&xp'aoJuei'rh-ti or "leg-runners" drifters, wanderers, 
masterless men. This is distinctly a pejorative term, and it is 
worth noting that in other border regions it is the term ap- 
plied to bandit spies and go-betweens. 4 Even Chinese born 
in Manchuria, when venturing into an unknown region, 
were likely to go without their families. In other words the 
northward drift was in character a tentative and uncertain 
spread, not the instinctive and urgent drive of a spontaneously 
expanding nation. Whether or not the adventurer returned 
later for his family depended not only on whether he suc- 
ceeded but on the manner of his success; and on the whole 
the prevailing tendency was for the successful man to return, 
not to settle. 

The adventurer might strike into the forest and make a 
clearing for himself, like a true pioneer. The terms u/o-p'eng 
and wo-p'u, incorporated in many place names in Manchuria 
and Eastern Inner Mongolia are legacies of this form of 
settlement. Both terms mean not only "outlying farmer," or 
"outlying village" or "inn or shelter by the wayside" but 
and this is undoubtedly the earlier meaning "base camp of 
a hunting party." To this day a ting u/o-p'eng-ti is "a settler" 
as opposed to "a newly arrived member of an already estab- 
lished community." 

It was comparatively difficult for such a settler to obtain 
a recognized status. He might succeed, by purchase or nego- 
tiation or even theft, in getting a wife from one of the estab- 
lished communities. If he did not steal her, she would have to 

* Indeed, it is significant that there is no old-established vernacular word in 
common use, which has the same proud and honorable connotations as "pioneer" 
in English* 


be written off the clan lists as "dead," in order to evade the 
Manchu marriage laws; and such an evasion in itself em- 
phasized the non-acceptance of the newcomer by the com- 
munity. If he did steal her, he outlawed himself. He might 
in time return to his native village for his wife; but on the 
whole the man who could afford the double journey was 
more likely to retire from pioneering. 

The pioneer of this type almost never worked alone, but in 
groups of single men. The crucial moment of such a settle- 
ment arose when either it came within the cognizance of an 
official or into contact with an earlier-established community. 
If the new group was able to strike up terms, the settlement 
had passed the crisis; after a period of toleration it would be 
absorbed into the general group of communities and the 
settlers would be likely to "graduate," so to speak, into the 
Banner class. 

If, on the other hand, the squatters failed to hit it oft on 
coming into contact with official or community, or if they 
encroached on local interests, they would be driven away, thus 
becoming outlaws. The history of spontaneous colonization 
in Manchuria and Mongolia is closely interwoven with the 
history of banditry. Indeed, the pioneers were often squatters, 
wanderers and outlaws by turns. Their original quest might 
be for such valuable medicinal materials as ginseng or elk- 
horn in the velvet; or for gold (more often washed from 
streams than mined) ; or for sables (which were an article of 
imperial tribute and could be disposed of to the Manchu 
tribute officials even by illegal hunters) ; or other valuable 
furs. Now the State in China has from of old had a prescrip- 
tive interest in minerals and treasure. The mere act of pros- 
pecting for gold put a man beyond the law; and even if a 
party struck up an arrangement with the nearest official, on 
the quiet, they were no more than outlaws under temporary 


toleration. This explains the remark which I once heard of 
a region in Heilungchiang where the predominating influence 
is still that of the spontaneous period of colonization: 
"All the villagers there have the flavor of banditry." Nor 
was this a haphazard epigram; remarks of the same purport 
crop up in casual conversation all over the thinly settled 


The career of the adventurer who did not strike out for 
the wilderness, but made for an already established com- 
munity, was commonly more decorous. His immediate ob- 
ject was to find work under an employer, and usually his 
ambition was, as has already been pointed out, not to settle 
but to make money and return to his home. The Manchu 
of leisure who wanted to have his land worked for him was 
likely to be affable to the non-Banner Chinese, up to a point, 
because the outsider, having no legal status, was not likely 
to make trouble; whereas the local Bannermen, receiving 
government subsidy, were all anxious to rise above manual 
labor. The industrious immigrant would cultivate an agreed 
acreage for his landlord. Then, if out in the country, he would 
add a piece of land "of his own" whose harvest was his 
private profit. Or, if on the outskirts of a town or village, he 
would be likely to add a market garden, "his own" in prac- 
tice if not in theory, selling the produce in the village. The 
landlord had the tenant well under control up to a point; 
but if too much bullied the newcomer would either look out 
for another landlord or decamp to join the forest adventurers. 

The successful man of this type, if he did not retire to his 
own home, would gradually pass from a status of toleration 
to one of higher social recognition. If he were aiming at per- 
manent establishment he would be on the whole more likely 
to look for a wife locally than to bring his own from his old 
home. If he had become recognized as a sound man, a poor 


local family might evade the marriage laws and provide him 
with one of its daughters. 

Even at this level, however, he had not freed himself from 
a certain element of hazard. Too much assertion on the part 
of an individual, or too rapid growth of an intruding 
"tolerated" element, threatening the interests of the estab- 
lished community, might arouse the resentment of the privi- 
leged. Then the traditional process of "harassing" would 
begin, and the newcomers, except those whose ties in practice 
were strong enough to protect them, would be driven away to 
join the outlaws and adventurers. These intermittent pur- 
gations, obviously, played an important part in giving ban- 
ditry the curious social status which still distinguishes it in 

The fully successful pioneer of this type (if pioneer he can 
be called) was the man whose social value in terms of wealth 
and ability became so convincing that he stood at last pos- 
sessed of all the privileges most of them conferred on him 
indirectly and unofficially. Thus if, after due private nego- 
tiation, a son of his appeared at one of the periodical musters 
of the Bannermen, and was accepted without protest as quali- 
fied for the retaining subsidy of a Banner soldier, the whole 
family would quietly be inscribed on the rolls of a Banner, 
and perhaps at the same time, by the same type of private 
negotiation, the family would by change of surname merge 
into one of the local clans. 

The most significant result of this method of tacit social 
graduation was that the family which had succeeded became 
divorced from all the interests of the "pioneer." It not only 
was ranked above them, socially, but was oriented in an op- 
posite direction. The tide of infiltration, the people some- 
times tolerated, sometimes harassed, was definitely directed 
toward the frontier; it was on the edge of the wilderness that 


they had to qualify. But once a family had graduated into 
the corps of the elect, it faced about toward China. The peo- 
ple of privilege, the lords of the "reservoir," were oriented 
toward Peking. Official preferment was the norm of am- 
bition. The wealth and power to be derived from the po- 
tential new sources of the "reservoir" itself were distinctly sec- 
ondary ; they merely contributed to the ease of life. The richest 
prizes were to be had in China, and to be gained through 
careers in the imperial service. That this was the standard 
of social values is proved by evidences not yet obliterated. The 
villager in China is familiar with old legends and names of 
far-away regions; but their geography is curiously vague. 
On the whole, "the border" is all the same border to him, 
whether the land beyond be Turkestan, Mongolia or Manchu- 
ria. But the old-fashioned villager of "old" communities in 
Manchuria (a fast-vanishing type) was familiar with many 
names and their geography; for even in a small community 
there would be Banner families whose members had held 
high office all over China and its outer dominions. 


At the close of the Manchu period we have, therefore, a 
Manchuria which, in spite of the triumph of Chinese civiliza- 
tion over the barbarity of the "outer tribes," still fulfills the 
ancient function of the "reservoir." It is not an outlet for 
Chinese expansionism and a field for the growth and develop- 
ment of the power of China, but the key to the exercise of 
power within China itself. Within Manchuria itself, however, 
while the Manchus have amalgamated themselves with the 
Chinese, there persists a profound cleavage between the 
Manchu-Chinese amalgamation and the still practically intact 
Mongol mass. What emerges from this is a realization of the 


profound power of culture the way of life in comparison 
with the factors of race and environment (including climate, 
soil and natural vegetation, but not relative regional position, 
under the heading of environment); and of the equally re- 
markable power of geography regionalism in determining 
the social and historical orientation of culture itself; whether, 
that is, the culture is oriented toward civilization and cities 
or toward the frontier and the wilderness. 

What mattered most profoundly to the Manchus was not 
the way of life itself, nor the details of political conceptions, 
but the mere exercise of power. During the two generations 
of extraordinary activity leading up to the occupation of 
Peking in 1644 they practically took Chinese civilization in 
their stride. It has already been pointed out that the "con- 
quest" itself was not, in its essential aspects, an alien invasion 
but the last campaign in a series of Chinese civil wars. The 
quasi-"caste" structure of Manchu society, and the military 
Banner organization, were in the ultimate analysis nothing 
but a method of safeguarding the "reservoir" as the key to 
strategical power; and this is none the less true from the fact 
that in the popular opinion of both Chinese and Manchus, the 
distinctions that existed were racial. Popular misapprehen- 
sions of the meaning of "race" are, however, common enough 
in all histories. In point of fact, within the "reservoir" and 
through the Banner organization, and in China proper 
through the examination system, it was possible for the Chi- - 
nese to participate on terms of equality in the Manchu exercise 
of power; and this they did, to the point of outnumbering 
the Manchus. 

The Chinese beyond a doubt outnumbered the Manchus 
within the "reservoir" itself; but so far from resenting the 
Manchu dominion, they participated in it enthusiastically; 
the Manchu dominion could, it is obvious, have been most 


easily overthrown by a revolt within the strategic regional 
stronghold yet when revolt came, it came from far to the 
south, beyond the Yangtze. Not only was the whole of the 
North late in turning against the Manchus, but in Manchuria 
itself there were no massacres of the "tyrants." Indeed, the 
Manchu overlords not only did no violence to Chinese cul- 
ture or Chinese ideals, but their rule, because of the ancient 
orientation toward the Yangtze of the power of the North, 
was generally welcome. It was only with the decay of the 
ruling house, the growth of the power of revolt in the South, 
and the desire to find a scapegoat on which to hang the 
blame for all the ills of China, that a quasi-racial hatred was 
worked up against the Manchus, which is now being per- 
petuated in textbooks and political doctrines. While locally 
and in particular cases the Chinese were treated by the Man- 
chus as a subject race and the tendency to do so increased 
with the decay of the dynasty it can hardly be affirmed that 
they were in State theory regarded as an inferior race. On 
the contrary they seem to have been regarded, in the light 
of what may be called (since Chinese political terminology 
does not correspond with ours) "unconscious theory," as "the 
political party out of power." It is curious and interesting that 
Chinese officials referred to themselves, when received in 
audience by the emperor, as ch'en (an official); it was the 
Manchu officials who used the term (a slave)^ thus em- 
phasizing that they were regarded as the emperor's personal, 
or "party" followers. 

Language is primarily a vehicle of culture, not a symbol 
of race; and no more important contrast can be distinguished, 
as between Manchus and Mongols, than the use and fate of 
their respective languages. From the beginning, Chinese was 
the language of Manchu administration; the Manchu lan- 
guage, although used parallel with Chinese in decrees, as a 


matter of form, rapidly lost all significance except as the 
nominal vehicle of communication between the emperor and 
his personal following and even here Chinese was really 
the living language. The Manchu presented in audience to 
his emperor learned a few Manchu phrases, without neces- 
sarily understanding their meaning, which he repeated as a 
matter of form; but Chinese was the language of thought. 
Within eighty years of the Manchu conquest there was pro- 
duced, under imperial patronage, the great dictionary of 
K'ang Hsi one of the greatest monuments of Chinese 
scholarship. The survival of Manchu, as a dead language con- 
fined to the schoolroom use of a social class, is to be compared 
not with Norman French as used at the courts of the succes- 
sors of William the Conqueror, but with Greek and Latin 
as taught in the eighteenth century and at the English public 
schools of the nineteenth century. 

Among the Mongols, on the other hand, during the most 
brilliant period of their empire in China, such totally alien 
languages as Persian and Arabic seem to have been quite as 
important at court, if not more important, than Chinese. 
Marco Polo stood high at the court of Khublai Khan; he 
spent the prime of his life in China, made journeys of extraor- 
dinary length, and served as an official yet in his account 
there has not survived one reference to the Chinese written 
character. This indifference, to be appreciated, must be con- 
trasted with the overwhelming preponderance of Chinese 
elements in the accounts of the Jesuit Fathers at the Manchu 
court in Peking; who also made important journeys in Man- 
churia and Mongolia. Some casual reference to Chinese 
writing may have been lost from Polo's account; but if it had 
been dealt with at length, as important and marvelous, it could 
hardly have been lost entirely. Friar Rubruck, although he did 
not visit China proper and does mention Chinese writing, is 


often a better observer and more apt commentator than Polo; 
and his account, too, bears out the comparative unimportance 
of Chinese civilization to the Mongols, 

For to the Mongols the way of life is everything. The Chi- 
nese have always looked on the Mongol culture as rude and 
barbarous, and something of their contempt has been passed 
on to Westerners. Moreover we, obsessed by one critical 
method, look all too uncritically for "evolution" in every 
phenomenon, and therefore dismiss Mongol nomadism as 
a "lower" form of society awaiting evolution to something 
"higher." Yet the Mongol nomadic society is a phenomenon 
complete and independent. It resists "evolution" into the 
"higher" form of settled agriculture not passively but 
positively. It is, in fact, so complete that it is incapable of 
evolution, it can only be replaced. Nor can its origins be at- 
tributed entirely to environment. Both Russians and Chinese 
have proved in the modern period that the Mongolian en- 
vironment does not everywhere forbid agriculture, and ruins 
of "pre-Mongol" cities prove that agriculture was also pos- 
sible in the past. Environment plays a part, and change of 
climate may have acted as an impetus in launching the mi- 
grations of the Huns, and again in the sudden emergence of 
the Mongols of Chinghis Khan; probably the true importance 
of the environmental factor, on the average, is that the regions 
of the Mongolian plateau where agriculture and city life are 
possible have always lain open to, and been dominated by, 
the great regions which favored a pastoral life. 5 But even 
allowing for the full influence of environment, the devastating 
expansion of the modern Mongols in the twelfth century as 
an assertive conquering people must have been in the main 
a spiritual phenomenon, rooted in a passionate conviction of 

^See "Caravan Routes of Inner Asia," Geographical Journal, LXXJI, No. 6, 
Dec. 1928. 


the nobility and superiority of the free life. Too wide a dis- 
persion and which is far more important a profound con- 
tempt for the structure of power in settled communities, lost 
them their empires; but even in decline they are still in- 
stinctively satisfied with, and proud of, the pastoral life and 
the free life. Indeed, the most important modification of 
Mongol society is the result, not of the direct action of the ob- 
viously superior Chinese civilization, but of the introduction 
of monastic lamaistic Buddhism. The foundation of monas- 
teries has to a great extent undermined both the instinct for 
free movement and the idea of conquest as a career; and it is 
undoubtedly this influence of the lamas, and not ^ the fre- 
quently alleged cessation of increase in population "as a re- 
sult of (nominal) celibacy" which accounts for the present 
decay of Mongol society. It is my opinion that the Mongol 
conquests did not, in the ultimate analysis, originate in pres- 
sure of population, whether due to change of climate or any 
other cause, but in an attitude of mind. They did not set out 
to conquer because they had to, but because they wanted to. 
The idea of freedom, free movement, free migration, devel- 
oped to a point where conquest became an exaltation, the only 
career for noble souls. When this inspiration was sated, the 
Mongols declined. In 1242 they were at the gates of Vienna; 
nothing could stop them. Then came the news of the death 
of Ogotai, the Great Khan. This demanded the return of 
Batu, commanding the host in Europe, to take part in the 
election of a new supreme Khan. There was no reason at all 
why he should not have arranged to hold the new conquests 
he had made; but he did not. The truth is, he did not want 
them. The act of conquest had been enough. He and Su- 
butai, his great marshal, turned around with all their host 
and rode back. The high point of the expansive energy of 
the Mongols had been passed. 


In the lethargy that followed the great conquests, lamaism 
was introduced. The present decay of the Mongols is not 
due to "monastic celibacy" but to change in the attitude of 
mind, of which lamaism was, originally, not the cause but 
a result. Even at the present day, and in spite of the damage 
done by lamaism, the average attitude of Mongol communities 
to the advance of civilization is avoidance. Some Mongols do 
settle down and "become Chinese"; but even when they do 
their language (the index of pride in non-Chinese origin) 
shows a power of survival extraordinary in comparison with 
Manchu. On the whole, in spite of the superiority of the 
Chinese, it is still necessary for Chinese to "go Mongol" when 
penetrating among the Mongols in a sense quite different from 
that of "going Manchu" during the period when Chinese 
entered Manchu regions of old Manchuria. 

It is all the more striking that, whether the social condition 
was one of amalgamation, as between Manchus and Chinese, 
or irremediable disparity, as between Mongols and Chinese, 
the influence of the region continued paramount. At the 
same time that the Manchus were becoming Chinese in cul- 
ture, the Chinese of Manchuria were becoming Manchu, or 
perhaps it would be better to say Manchurian, in politics. 
At the same time that a Chinese population was driving out 
a Mongol population, and pushing back the "Mongol men- 
ace" from the plateau overhanging North China, it did not 
produce a new regionalism, but perpetuated the old. So long 
as the colonizing frontiersmen were establishing a territorial 
foothold, they represented a Chinese advance; when they had 
succeeded, they faced about. The Mongol front became de- 
fensive, and the escarpment of the plateau between them and 
China became "the frontier." 

A regionalism of this kind enters into the blood, it survives 
changes in the type of civilization, and defies intellectual 


definitions of policy and expansionism. That this regionalism 
does survive, and that it produces an inner discord in Man- 
churian affairs, is proved by the categorical differences in 
temper and execution between contemporary Manchurian 
frontier policy, whether the frontier is Mongol, Russian or 
Japanese, and the policy of that other, inward-facing frontier 
still essentially defined by the Great Wall. The fall of the 
Manchu dynasty has altered only the names, not the facts, 
of one of the radical problems confronting the statesmanship 
of China the problem of so controlling the inevitable and 
now very rapid expansion into Manchuria that it will ef- 
fectively alter the balance between China and other nations, 
without precipitating fresh crises in the ancient opposition 
between North and South within China, and without 
strengthening the ancient power of regionalism and the 
"reservoir." The fact that the problem of regionalism as a 
dangerous obstacle is instinctively appreciated is borne out 
by the strong feeling among Chinese that the regional term 
"Manchuria," used in all foreign languages, ought to be 

Western opinion generally has been misled by the extraor- 
dinary acceleration in contemporary colonization and ex- 
ploitation in Manchuria into the belief that "the Manchurian 
question" is essentially a problem of the new world; that Man- 
churia is in the forefront of the development of a new China, 
and that its problems are chiefly those of Chinese expansion, 
affecting external frontiers. In point of fact the crux of all 
Manchurian affairs is still the relation of Manchuria to China. 
The policies of the inward-facing frontier of regionalism still 
take precedence over the outer frontiers of the nation. It is 
not sufficiently realized that the growth of wealth and power 
in Manchuria still increase the pressure of Manchuria on 
China far more than they increase the pressure of China on 


Mongolia and the wilderness or on Japan or Russia. The fron- 
tiersman still has his back to the frontier. 

What is in fact taking place is the revaluation of a still 
vigorous regionalism in terms of new categories of power 
of which the chief are Western mechanics and the railway. 
Because of the comparative emptiness of the land, the Western 
factors have had a freer play and more immediate effect than 
in other parts of China, and this in itself accounts for a great 
deal of the superficial resemblance of colonization in Man- 
churia to colonization in Western lands. This very resem- 
blance, however, obscures the underlying conflict between the 
civilization of China and that of the West. The "progressive- 
ness" of Manchuria is, in fact, part of the impact of the West 
on China; and while Westernization is now accepted as in-' 
evitable, and the achievement of Western technical standards 
is regarded by the most active public opinion in China as an 
end to be striven for, Western civilization as a whole is con- 
sidered to have a number of menacing qualities. In the process 
of modernizing Manchuria there is, therefore, a struggle to 
subordinate Western technical methods to Chinese ideals of 
civilization; a struggle to master the West, not to become 
Western. It is therefore necessary to consider two aspects 
of the complex of problems in Manchuria the derivation of 
the modern phase from a historical process of great vigor and 
distinct individual character, and the contemporary struggle 
between two civilizations totally alien to each other. 



No MORE fruitful breeding ground of fallacies exists than 
the comparison of the civilization of China and that of the 
modern West. One thing, however, is certain: the civilization 
of China is not only the oldest living civilization in the world, 
,but it is in itself extremely "late," in the full Spenglerian sense 
of the term. It is the final expression of a culture which long" 1 
ago fulfilled and matured every potentiality of growth in-, 
herent in its own powers. While, therefore, the radical prob- 
lem of modern China is frequently defined as the adaptation 
of Western forces to Chinese culture, what is more commonly 
to be observed in the contact of the two civilizations is not 
a process of blending but a struggle in which Western elements 
either kill off and replace Chinese elements or are successfully 
subdued and so transvalued that they no longer have their 
own meaning; in other words, are themselves defeated. 

So imperfectly has the West as yet comprehended the spirit 
of Chinese civilization, that it is probably not yet possible 
to interpret the whole of Chinese civilization in terms which 
are valid for Western understanding. I should like, however, 
to discuss two Chinese characteristics which, while they can- 
not begin to "explain" the total character of Chinese civiliza- 
tion, may serve to illuminate some of its working processes. 
The two characteristics are interdependent; one is die attitude 
toward responsibility, the other the attitude toward definition. 



The Western attitude toward responsibility is character- 
istically defined in terms of will and activity. The individual 
assumes and asserts responsibility; and equally, when there is 
a legal question of the determination of responsibility, it can 
only be defined in terms of intention and action. In ac- 
cordance with this instinct, even a negative attribution of re- 
sponsibility must be defined in terms of what a man has not 
done, or not decided. Moreover, in sympathy with the re- 
spect for will inherent in the Western concept of responsibility, 
we judge the ability of a man by his capacity to "do things" 
with the forces of nature, and to "make things happen" in 
the world of men. The type of the settler in the wilderness, 
the pioneer colonizer, that emerges against the background 
of this tradition of assertive personal responsibility is obvious 
and to us familiar; but there can be no doubt that he differs 
from the frontiersman nourished by the Chinese tradition. 

For the Chinese tradition inevitably tends to appear, to the 
Westerner, one of passivity. It is probably, in truth, more 
neutral than passive; there seems to be a profound instinct 
for adjusting the forces of nature and of humanity and, in 
the affairs of humanity, active forces and negative forces, in 
order to produce a pure harmony in which any conflict of 
negative and positive is as completely eliminated as possible. 
So impatiently assertive is the West, however, that it invari- 
ably assesses as negative this method of "canceling out." 

To begin with the Chinese method appears, in practice, to 
fix responsibility not in terms of "who has done something," 
but of "what has happened." When something has once hap- 
pened, responsibility must be assigned; and hence there is al- 
waysjui^^ to try to preyentjdeQi3iye Jthings 

from happening^ and to diff use responsibility. In legal prac- 
tice,T6r instance, this leads to the convention that when a 
murder has been committed, a murderer must be produced 


to match the corpse. If the individual cannot be apprehended 
by the police, the family or the village or some larger com- 
munity must be made responsible and made to produce "satis- 
faction." Similarly, when a murderer has been apprehended, 
the fixing of responsibility on him by the official prosecution 
is not in itself sufficient, because it is assertive, one-sided and 
unbalanced. The murderer must be made to confess, thus 
bringing the whole process into harmony, canceling out the 
assertion of the prosecution with the acquiescence of the 

Naturally such conceptions often led, in the old typical 
tradition, to such evasions as the hiring of a victim to replace 
the actual criminal, or the production of a scapegoat by a 
community within whose bounds a crime had been committed 
by someone totally unknown. This conception of respon- 
sibility, leading apparently to such working theories as the 
idea that a conviction for every crime is even more important 
than proving that the convicted man is the actual criminal, 
and that an employee can, for instance, be made to bear the 
penalty that should have been allotted to an absconding prin- 
cipal, have led Westerners to liken the Chinese system to the 
Hebraic canon of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 
It is, however, in the ultimate analysis, something different. 

Be that as it may, the fact emerges that an instinct which 
tends to work in terms of what has happened rather than in 
terms of who assumes the responsible initiative for making 
things happen, must produce a type of conquest of the wilder- 
ness, a type of colonization, and a type of colonist totally 
strange to Western ideas. Thus in the Empire builder, the ad- 
ministrator and the great official the type to be looked for is 
not the type of Clive or Cecil Rhodes, but the type of the 
negotiator, the mediator, the man who adapts the change 
of the old to the progress of the new. In the colonist the 


type to be looked for is not the man who goes off in search 
of loneliness and "room to be free," but the man who adapts 
himself to the necessities of a spreading society. In the sup- 
pression of bandits, extermination is only exceptional; nego- 
tiation is the typical process usually, and very significantly, 
by merging the bandits, through enlistment, in the ranks of 
their enemies the troops. Some of the bandits, or their leaders, 
may subsequently be exterminated through treachery; but 
that is a secondary adjustment; the antecedent negotiation 
is the primary process. 

A comparable contrast distinguishes Western and Chinese 
ideas of definition. To the Westerner, definition is a primary 
thing. So urgent is the assertion of personality and control 
that all definitions must be carried out to the remotest extreme 
even to extremes of absurdity, as may be seen, for instance, 
in the multiplicity and arrogant assertiveness of American 
laws, which are not unique or different from the laws of 
Europe, but m'erely carry further the general tendency in- 
herent in all Western codes. In China, on the other hand, 
definition is often avoided, and even when used is purely 
secondary. No matter how elaborate and specific the de- 
clared theory, all working processes are consciously carried out 
in a spirit of compromise between fact and theory. In the 
West, any such compromise is felt to be a failure of the sys- 
tem; in China it is the system. No greater contrast could be 
imagined than the fact of a liquor traffic and the theory of 
liquor prohibition in America, and the fact of an opium 
traffic and the theory of opium prohibition in China. In 
America the connivance of officials in violations of the pro- 
hibition law is felt to be a failure of the system, and efforts to 
perfect the system, however futile, are incessant. The situa- 
tion arises from a conflict of individual wills with the official 
will. The connivance of individual officials is merely one of 


the incidents of the struggle. Even were the system perfect, 
the official will would still conflict with innumerable private 

In China, on the contrary, the whole opium traffic depends 
on the fact of official participation; the official prohibition is 
merely one of the incidents which contribute to the profits 
of the trade. Official participation is so real that the very of- 
ficials who are theoretically responsible for the suppression of 
opium frequently enforce in practice the cultivation of the 
poppy. The difference between this method and venial con- 
nivance ought not to have to be pointed out. In the same way, 
in spite of strenuous efforts at reform, new theories of the 
functions of the officials still conflict with the living tradition 
that the official is not expected to execute, but to manipulate 
the policies with which he is entrusted; and, specifically, that 
he does not rely on pay and promotion, but on the profits of 
his actual office and private negotiation for the acquisition of 
higher office. 

All this does not prove, what Westerners frequently think, 
that the Chinese tradition, and the family system especially, 
tend to the suppression of personality. In no country in the 
world is the personality of the individual more potent than 
in China. The working of personalities of great depth and 
power may be seen in every turn of Chinese events. It is only 
that the modes of personality differ in China and the West. 
In the Western style, the individual strives to realize every 
potentiality within him; he defines his courses, assumes re- 
sponsibility for them, and stands or falls by the successful im- 
plementing of his own assertions. In China, on the other hand, 
the individual holds every potential power and resource of his 
personality in reserve; he negotiates warily, and deploys all 
his resources, before allowing responsibility to be allotted to 
him and thereafter displays his personality, and wins approval 


or condemnation, by his manipulation of events as they 

Thus in Western crises leading to war, the justifications 
which are cited by the responsible leaders are based typically on 
asserted responsibilities or policies, and are even so of sec- 
ondary importance; public commendation and public sup- 
port depend primarily on the assertion of what is going to 
be done during and after the war. In China, on the other 
hand, the justifications for entering on a war are of the most 
profound importance; they are designed to show that the 
responsible leaders are making the most skillful adjustment 
possible to inevitable events. The announcements of policy 
during the war and after victory are secondary; public opinion 
is far from being outraged when the war itself is carried on by 
shifts and expediencies, and the terms of peace arrived at turn 
out to be quite different from those postulated. Unrest in 
Europe is very largely due to the fact that the results of the 
Versailles Treaty are different from the objectives responsibly 
announced. Unrest in China proceeds not from the terms of 
peace at the conclusion of any given civil war, but from the 
feeling that the "inevitables" postulated at the beginning of 
the conflict are not genuine but merely disguise personal am- 

Even the Great Wall, which appears at the first blush to be 
one of the most magnificent monuments in history of definite 
assertion and definite policy is in fact nothing of the sort. It 
is indeed the symbol of perhaps the most passionately asserted 
attitude in Chinese history; but that attitude was not declared 
in a single gesture. The Great Wall is not the result of a 
military conception dynamically carried out. It is the out- 
growth of the discovery of a type of defense that was of 
unique value in stemming the force of barbarian invasions, 
and graduating the steps of necessary adjustment. The system 


was gradually built to suit current needs, and though largely 
unified under the great Ch'in Chih Huang-ti, it could be 
shown, were the records complete enough, that in any given 
generation the frontier was not absolute, but a basis of ad- 
justment, the balance wavering to one side or the other. In 
the same way, the greatest conquests of expansion beyond 
the Great Wall have a character of defense; they belong 
in the category of British operations beyond the Northwest 
Frontier of India, and the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa. 


The modern history of Japan illustrates the fact that, in 
a region like Manchuria where the civilizations of East and 
West are abruptly opposed to each other, the resulting unrest 
proceeds not from the mechanical difficulties of amalgama- 
tion, but from a struggle for domination. Underlying the 
profound Chinese antagonism toward Japan there is a hos- 
tility, not of race but of culture. For Japan is now essentially 
a Western nation. Though it retains its national character- 
istics, these modify its essential Westernness not very much 
more than, say, the "Latin" characteristics of France modify 
the position of France in the Western group. The eagerness 
with which the Japanese took over the Western civilization, in 
spirit as well as in fact, is to be compared with the rapid 
assumption of Chinese characteristics by the Manchus; while 
the profound distrust which the Chinese feel for the civiliza- 
tion of the West is to be compared with the traditional avoid- 
ance of the civilization of China by the Mongols. 

The first approach of the West was resisted in Japan as in 
China; but when Perry demonstrated that the West 
"amounted to something," the effect approximated to a revela- 
tion, and was so accepted. It is now evident that the really 


important subsequent conflicts of opinion within Japan itself 
turned, in the main, not on questions of the desirability of 
Westernization, but on the methods to be adopted in accom- 
plishing Westernization. There was a latent power of growth 
within the nation which was released by the West, which wel- 
comed the West, and has flowed eagerly since then into the 
Western outgrowth grafted on to the original stock. Char- 
acteristics that are merely national have survived with little 
modification; but cultural characteristics that are incompati- 
ble with the spirit of the West tend to fall into the category 
of survivals, respected and preserved for the sake of tradition, 
but no longer governing the national life. 

There is, it is true, a gap between Japan and the West which 
is very important. Japan, viewed from China, may well seem 
more Western than when viewed from America. It may even 
be that the Japanese are more Western in Manchuria than 
in Japan itself. Some critics hold that Westernization in 
Japan is only a veneer. It has, however, affected Japan too 
vitally, I think, to be called merely superficial. It is the 
Westernization of Japan, above all else, that conditions its in- 
ternational relations that is to say, its life in the world, as dis- 
tinguished from its private life. Even if it be conceded that 
Westernization in Japan itself is imperfect, that does not 
materially affect the truth that Japan in Manchuria functions 
as a unit of the group of Western nations. 

Perhaps what is most important, and to the Japanese most 
dangerous, in the difference between Japan and the West 
proper, is the chronological "lag." The pace of development 
in the West itself is so rapid that Japan has never, in many 
important respects, really caught up. Technical inventions 
and improvements drag behind the progress of the West, and 
the processes of Westernization have been much more thor- 
ough in some departments of the national economy than in 


others. Under the stress of keeping up with the West and 
trying to cut down the handicap of a late start, much that is 
"modern" in Japan is, perforce, more imitative than creative. 
It can be argued that Japan, in converting itself, has aban- 
doned to a great extent initiative and latitude of choice, being 
forced to follow the majority lead of the West. This, how- 
ever, is true also of the less "developed" European nations. 

The commonly accepted statement that Japan adopted the 
technique of the West in order to preserve itself from sub- 
jugation by the West misses a great part of the truth. Un- 
doubtedly this was the overt aim of many leaders of reform in 
Japan, and to this end they staved oflE the West as best they 
could while schooling the nation in its assumption of the 
qualities of the West. But the spirit of the nation itself real- 
ized innumerable fresh possibilities; its unfulfilled powers of 
growth reached out toward the new dispensation. The na- 
tion that emerged after the schooling was not an Eastern na- 
tion with an external Western armor but a nation which has 
integrated itself with the West, has continued to be a vigorous 
member of the West, and has carried on, in the East, the work 
of the West. 

It is China, on the contrary, which has endeavored to use 
the weapons of the West to preserve itself from the West 
Misunderstanding of the cleavage between China and Japan 
has done a great deal to pervert Western judgment, and 
above all has led to the fallacious and self-flattering expecta- 
tion of an "awakening" of China which is to be comparable 
to the "awakening" of Japan. Contact with the West was es- 
tablished earlier and more gradually in China than in Japan, 
and for a long time, so far from there being any threat of 
Western domination, the governments of the West were re- 
spectfully cautious in dealing with China as a great power 
of unknown quantity. Yet such curiosity as China displayed 


in regard to Western civilization was only the curiosity of 
fashionable diversion. Chinese interest in the West only be- 
came serious when the foreign nations, finding that China, 
in spite of its impressive potential power, was vulnerable to 
Western methods of attack, became aggressive. The interest 
then awakened was primarily defensive, and it has remained 
essentially defensive. While the power of many Western in- 
ventions has been recognized, and the profit to be realized 
from many Western methods, no single quality of the West, 
no subjective conviction, has truly appealed to the Chinese. 
The Western style, for the Chinese, reveals no new dispen- 
sation, nor any opening up of fresh and desirable or morally 
superior worlds of inspiring possibilities. There is nothing 
in it that, from the standard of Chinese spiritual values, it 
would be disgraceful to have to go without. 

While Japan maneuvered for time to adopt Western char- 
acteristics and catch up with the West, the whole history of 
Chinese relations with the West implies an underlying in- 
stinctive playing for time, in the hope that the West would 
exhaust itself and China be able to assert once more the 
superiority of which the Chinese are morally convinced. 
The normal type of the Chinese "employment of Western 
methods to defeat the West" has consistently been not the 
adoption of Western methods in order to attain Western 
standards, but the interposition of Western methods between 
China and the West, in order to stave off the West; and this 
type of manoeuver can only be explained, viewing the con- 
flict from the standpoint of China, by postulating as ideal 
some such eventual solution as the sloughing off of the West 
and the survival of the Chinese tradition in its full integrity. 

Had the Western spirit possessed any such true appeal for 
the Chinese as it had for the Japanese, China would have been 
ideally situated for receiving and adopting it. It is true that 


China, on account of its territorial mass * and innumerable 
population offers great difficulties to the penetration of alien 
ideas. Japan, in comparison, with its limited area, accessible 
from all sides, its numerous ports and small population, could 
be approached and penetrated at many points simultaneously. 
This consideration is frequently brought forward by both 
Chinese and foreign critics, when comparing the problems 
of Westernization in China and Japan. It is a sound point, 
but in emphasizing the material difficulties it begs the question 
of cultural feeling. As against this point, it may be said that 
other factors might have been expected to favor China. The 
Western approach to China was gradual, was in the first in- 
stance highly conciliatory (as is shown by the histories of the 
early embassies) and was for long restricted to a few coastal 
ports. Had Western inventions been adopted and developed 
in China as rapidly as Chinese inventions were adopted and 
developed in the West, it would have been easy, in the vast 
hinterland, to marshal the latent forces of the nation during 
a period of transformation, making it possible for a formid- 
able and well-integrated nation to emerge and participate in 
international affairs. 

The West, however, was at first regarded as an intrusive,, 
element which had to be subordinated, then as an importunate 
element which had to be accommodated, and is now still re- 
garded, on the whole, as a violent but stupid element which 
may yet be neutralized, as a forest fire is defeated by counter- 
fires. The consequence is that every "advance of Westerniza- 
tion" in China tends to have the character of an aggression. 

The period of doubt and struggle in Japan turned on the 

1 It may not be out of place to point out, in respect of the great size of China, 
that if we subtract Mongolia, Chinese Turkestan and Tibet, where the Chinese 
provide only a fraction of the population, but which are usually marked and 
colored on maps as if they were homogeneous with China, we are left with 
a China reduced in size by nearly half. 


question of whether Japan was to be "run" by foreign interests, 
or whether the Japanese could "run" their own country as a 
Westernized State transformed by themselves. The process of 
Westernization was directed by the men who had Westernized 
themselves; they had full responsibility and full initiative. In 
China, on the contrary, policy and control are still in the hands 
of men who are not Westernized. Men with railway training 
may be directors of railways, but they are themselves con- 
trolled by men who understand the functions of railways in 
Chinese, not in Western terms. Western military training is 
not an essential but an incidental qualification for a com- 
manding general. Western military science, in fact, affects 
only the tactics, never the strategy of Chinese warfare. Not 
only do Chinese commanders with foreign training altogether 
discard Western ideas of strategy, but even foreign military 
advisers, called in to train armies, are jealously restricted from 
any voice in the conduct of a campaign as a whole. 

So irrational is all Western civilization when assessed by 
Chinese standards that Chinese statesmen of great ability 
have repeatedly and regularly handled the question of "West- 
ern power" not as if it were subject to rational analysis but as 
if it were some kind of knack or trick, which could be used 
without having to be understood. The problem of under- 
standing the West is repeatedly abandoned in favor of an 
experimental search for the "secret" of Western power. 
Japanese military training is tried; maybe that will do the 
trick. The Russian combination of military units and prop- 
aganda units is tried; maybe that will do the trick. German 
staff organization is tried; maybe that will do the trick. All 
kinds of formulae are tried; it may be that one day one of 
them will suddenly provide a universal, a quasi-magical 
solution of all problems, and the "problem of the West" will 
have been mastered. The whole career of the great Dr. Sun 


is a kind of quest of a philosopher's stone. Not only do his 
analyses of political, social and economic forces appear 
weirdly irrational to Western thought, but they never affected, 
by any power of reason, the political thought of China. He 
was always distrusted while he was alive by the majority of 
his countrymen. He will be remembered in time as an histor- 
ical figure of tragic irony. When his working life was at an 
end, his name suddenly was invoked all over the country, as 
if it were magical in itself; for he had won a following, not 
by intellectual persuasion, but because his latest, weirdest and 
least understandable formula seemed for a moment to have 
turned the trick, to have captured the knack. Since then his 
name and his formulae have been invoked only for tactical 
purposes; his method of modernization has no more been 
followed out than that of any other philosopher, and the 
quest for a magic formula that carries the secret of Western 
power but does not demand the price of Westernization is 
more pursued in doubt and conflict by two-and-seventy jar- 
ring sects. 

The tragedy of Dr. Sun's devoted life is that his ideas, as 
expounded in the San Min Chu I or "Three People's Princi- 
ples," and elevated to the authority of dogma, serve chiefly 
to stultify original thought in the generation that is now 
maturing. Exegesis of the San Min Chu I has, to an appalling 
extent, superseded original thought. To outquote a rival in 
terms of the San Min Chu I is better than to out-think him; 
to quote Dr. Sun on foreign aggression or economics has, for 
the student generation, practically replaced the quest for 
methods of defeating foreign aggression, or for a new 
economics. So authoritative is the canon that independent 
utterances on public problems, foreign affairs and political 
economy can be as dangerous for Chinese politicians as are 
independent judgments on Russian affairs for American 


public men. I a quotation from Dr. Sun can be made to 
apply to any situation, with intent to obstruct, the handling 
of that situation on its merits can usually be prevented. In 
the meantime, the world of affairs lives from hand to mouth, 
convinced neither by the teachings of Dr. Sun, nor by the 
"new dispensation" of the West, nor yet wholly confident of 
its own autochthonous tradition. 

In the world of affairs the struggle still turns on the ques- 
tion of whether Western activities are to remain essentially 
Western, or whether they can be transvalued into Chinese 
terms. Thus foreign interests advancing the capital, under- 
taking the construction and initiating the administration of 
railways owned by and operated on behalf of the Chinese 
Government have consistently found it necessary to stipulate 
for safeguards of foreign control. All questions of control, 
and all controversies affecting private investment, Central 
Government control, Provincial Government control, and so 
forth, can be reduced to one simple statement of an ultimate 
antagonism: Are railways in China to be what Westerners 
think a railway should be, or are they to be what the Chinese 
think it is enough for a railway to be permitted to be? 

In railways which are not safeguarded by some element of 
foreign control, "capital investment," "operating expenses," 
"maintenance," "director," "shareholder" and all other tech- 
nical terms lose their Western significance. The whole enter- 
prise, except for the fact that it was fashioned in the image of 
a railway, and is called a railway, becomes as unintelligible 
to a Westerner as are the operations of a Chinese tax- 
monopoly or the machinery of a Chinese parliament. The 
chief residuum of fact, from the investor's point of view, is de- 
faulted payments on capital and interest. 

On the other hand, every railway or other comparable 
enterprise which is protected by safeguards, however tact- 


fully disguised, for the benefit of the foreign interests con- 
cerned, inevitably affronts the Chinese as an aggression. In 
other words, what appears to the investor to be the minimum 
protection insuring a fair return on the investment is con- 
strued in the country of investment as "foreign aggression"; 
and the mere existence of this concept obliterates distinctions 
of detail between the "aggression" of individuals, corporate 
firms, or nations. It is all "foreign aggression"; because the 
whole thing would be done differently if the Chinese had 
a free hand. 

There is no denying the substratum of bitter truth in Dr. 
Sun's bitter description of China as a "semi-colonial" country. 
There can be no doubt that only the accident of geographical 
situation saved China in the past century from being accorded 
full colonial treatment. Other parts of the world were 
reached and dealt with first, and by the time China was 
reached, there was enough tension among the Western 
nations to make them impede one another in the subjuga- 
tion of China. The process went little further than the es- 
tablishment of Western safeguards for processes of Western- 


The fact that the Chinese instinct still seeks, not to become 
Western but to use Western methods for holding off the 
West, is of cardinal importance in the frontier problems of 
Manchuria, Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan; and above 
all in Manchuria, which is accessible from the West both by 
land and sea. In China proper the clash with the West is 
one of cultures, not of populations. In Manchuria there is a 
threatened pressure of mutually unassimilable populations. 


There is an accelerating spread of Chinese populations, largely 
made possible by an accelerated introduction of Western meth- 
ods of transport and exploitation. The strategic position of the 
^nations across the frontiers is becoming decidedly stronger; 
economic pressure is increasing, and it can hardly be doubted 
that while direct political pressure is being abandoned, it 
will as it were inevitably be replaced by increased indirect po- 
litical pressure. 

All of these factors result in a reflex action exceedingly 
difficult to analyze, but potent in itself, within the "Man- 
churian situation." The increasing Chinese population 
represents a Chinese expansion, nominally comparable to 
the nineteenth-century spread of people of European stock 
into the American West. Yet on the other hand this Chinese 
population, worked on both by direct Western pressure and 
the indirect influences of a Westernization distinctly higher 
in dynamic power than the parallel forces of Westernization 
in China proper, itself serves as an intermediary in the 
increasing general Western pressure on China. 

For the pressure of the West on China is not diminishing, 
but undergoing a transformation of phase. Recent develop- 
ments in the situation as between China and Russia clearly 
point out the type of transformation. Direct political pres- 
sure is being relaxed, and the privileged position of foreigners, 
of which "extraterritoriality" is the stronghold and catch- 
word, is being abandoned. The experience of the Russians 
after the abandonment of extraterritoriality, the unelimi- 
nable antagonism between Chinese and Russians over funda- 
mental ideas of the functions of a railway, the dispute of 
1929-30, distinguished by the comical avoidance by both 
sides of the name "war," and the subsequent negotiations, 
not yet completed, all point to the replacement of "privilege" 
by something else 'Vested interests" or whatever it may be. 


The essential processes of Westernization, in defiance of all 
conciliatory phraseology, continue to be carried on chiefly in 
forms of aggression; and the status of individuals and cor- 
porate bodies associated with an aggressive process cannot 
be other than "privileged," however earnestly legal definitions 
of privilege may be avoided. 

Moreover, while the direct forces of pressure and privilege 
are being transformed into activities of different form but 
equivalent function, there is an inevitable tendency, in the 
case of a region like Manchuria, toward the taking over of 
many of the functions of political pressure on China by the 
Manchurian Chinese themselves. This tendency is reinforced 
by the political and social tradition of the "reservoir," and 
facilitated by the employment of such Western instruments 
of power as the railway, the factory and the arsenal. The 
obvious and frequently asserted aim of the Chinese in Man- 
churia is to employ Western methods to hold off the West; 
to transform Manchuria from a colonial region into a part of 
China proper, and to support the Chinese front against Russia 
and Japan. As against the execution of this ideal, however, 
the reflex action of which I have spoken works in such a 
manner that, in practice, the mere borrowing of Western 
technique is enough to prompt the assertion of the power of 
Manchuria, as a quasi-autonomous unit, in China. The sit- 
uation, restated in its most simple contradictions, is that the 
mass colonization of Manchuria by Chinese is in the main 
made possible by Western methods which were first intro- 
duced as a form of aggression (the Chinese Eastern and 
South Manchuria Railways are good examples) and are in 
great measure hostile to the spirit of Chinese culture; and 
that the power inherent in the methods encourages the Man- 
churian Chinese to reassert against China the ancient domi- 
nation of the "reservoir" thus providing a channel which 


conducts toward China the increased pressure of forces de- 
structive of the essential Chinese civilization. 


The civilization of China, as has already been pointed out, 
is not only extremely old but extremely "late." The period of 
growth and of dynamic expansion must have been completed 
before the time of Confucius, for Confucius was no creative 
thinker, but the didactic tabulator of formulae already sanc- 
tioned as the wisdom of the sages of antiquity. It is the quality 
of age and fulfilled growth which lies back of the "static" or 
"repetitive" appearance of Chinese life which very commonly 
impresses Westerners. Except for the conflict between West- 
ern introductions and the old tradition, there seems to be 
little movement that is not in the manner of variations on old 
themes. Conservatism not only tends to do the old things in 
the old way, but the new things, as far as possible, in the old 
manner. The really crucial problems, in face of such an as- 
sertive encroaching power as the civilization of the West, 
though they are called problems of development, turn more 
truly on methods of destruction and replacement than on 
methods of adaptation. That is why the processes of Westerni- 
zation, though they are felt to be imperative by leaders of 
Chinese thought and the type of statesman who tries to rule 
performance by theory, meet with an inert but living opposi- 
tion in the body of the nation there is a feeling that reforma- 
tion is not a triumph, but a defeat. 

For this very reason the greatest danger which hangs over 
China, which disturbs the leaders of all factions and is rapidly 
coming to be realized as a menace even by the solid, untheo- 
retical classes that have kept China going through the hazard- 
ous years of the revolutionary phase the classes that stick 


doggedly to practical measures is the danger of total rev- 
olution and chaotic destruction. This danger is generally 
called Communism, but the label is more convenient than 
accurate, for Chinese Communism is different both from 
Marxian theory and Russian practice. It is the embodiment 
of the danger that all alternatives of adaptation may be 
abandoned and swept away in a total collapse, with all the 
violent phenomena of defeat and despair. If the conflict 
between East and West should end in such a catastrophe, 
the nation that would at last emerge might be a China dom- 
inated and exploited by the West, or it might be something 
totally different; but it certainly would not be either an 
"evolved" nation like Japan, in which the old currents have 
been turned into new channels, or a nation vigorously pre- 
serving in all its integrity the old civilization of China, 
fortified externally by borrowed Western methods. 

This latter ideal, that of Western methods adventitiously 
used but not incorporated into the old tradition nor allowed 
to modify the essential point of view an "adaptation" which 
would preserve the old currents running in the old channels, 
but would fortify the banks of the channels by the latest 
modern methods was the result which all the great modern 
statesmen of China, from Li Hung-chang to K'ang Yu-wei 
and Dr. Sun, attempted to achieve by widely differing 
methods, all of which failed. 

The problem of colonization in Manchuria is therefore the 
problem of assessing an apparently vigorous expansive move- 
ment in its relation to the equally apparent and contradictory 
fact that the expanding nation is shaken down to its roots 
by an offensive and defensive struggle over the most funda- 
mental conceptions of civilization and instincts of culture, 
and in the light of the fact that the very factors which make 
possible a rapid colonizing expansion are in themselves mani- 


festations of forces which threaten the whole of the living 
Chinese tradition. 

Now the civilization of China, it is generally agreed, grew 
up in the Northwest, in the basin of the Yellow River. The 
period of its positive expansion is undocumented, for old as 
Chinese written history is, it only begins at a period when 
philosophers, historians and statesmen were taking stock of 
a situation the broad lines of which had already been perma- 
nently determined. The driving power of the Chinese, in the 
period which, though undocumented, must have been the 
most creative in their history, was directed toward the South 
and Southeast. China south of the Yangtze was a conquest 
a total conquest in terms of civilization, a partial conquest 
in terms of population. It is for this reason that the center of 
gravity of the most truly Chinese policies has always lain in 
the North. The military vigor characteristic of the North, 
during the long period of documented history, is based on 
the survival of the ancient domination. It is not, as is occasion- 
ally postulated, the result of the incorporation among the 
northern Chinese of barbarian invaders. These invasions 
merely reaffirmed a military superiority, in relation to the 
South, which had always existed, and carried on a political 
tradition which had long been established. 

It is because the ancient center of gravity lay in the North 
that novel ideas and alien borrowings have always been more 
welcome in the South, for in the South the Chinese civiliza- 
tion was not quite so ancient, nor so fully worked out; it had 
undergone initial modifications in the process of establish- 
ment, and above all it was not autochthonous. This is so 
profoundly true that it is axiomatic in Chinese affairs that 
the less characteristically Chinese any new social or political 
movement is, and the more it contains of drastic innovation, 
the further south is its point of initiation and center of gravity. 


As for the regions north of the Great Wall, the instinctive 
attitude toward them was long ago manifested. A positive 
expansion does not build limiting walls. There are no Great 
Wall systems in the South. For at least twenty-five centuries, 
every extension of Chinese authority beyond what is now the 
line of the Great Wall, even when backed up by a move of 
population, has had a peculiar lack of vitality. Strategically 
and politically, as has already been shown, expansion beyond 
the Wall was defensive. The prime object was to secure the 
frontier; the acquisition of extra territory was incidental. The 
social equivalent of this defensiveness can be detected in the 
substitution of amorphous phenomena of mere spread for 
phenomena of drive and directional energy. Emigration 
beyond the Wall is bound up, in the consciousness of the 
people, with proverbs and legends of lament and despair. 
The most important positive attitude in such a vaguely 
spreading population is always the "inward facing" char- 
acteristic of the "reservoir" a characteristic which appar- 
ently has no important equivalent among Southern Chinese 
migrating to, for instance, Malaysia. These emigrants con- 
tribute largely to Chinese political funds 2 but they do not 
exercise a pressure on South China equivalent to the pressure 
of the northern "reservoir" on North China. 


It must be evident that many of the forces already consid- 
ered run counter to generalizations on Manchuria, and on 
China and Chinese policies, that are based on Western for- 
mulae or on analogies with Europe, America or Japan. If these 

2 It is even doubtful how far political contributions from Chinese overseas are 
spontaneous, since it appears that they arc to some extent elicited by threats of 
reprisals against relatives still in China, or by "racketeering" methods of secret 


forces have been correctly appreciated, we shall have to look 
at the territorial question, not as the eager occupation of 
"virgin" lands in which an impetuous nation is clamoring to 
demonstrate its vigor, but as a wary maneuvering to main- 
tain control over lands which dominate North China stra- 
tegically, and in which Chinese authority has ebbed and 
flowed for centuries. The immigrants arriving in such num- 
bers are not spontaneously and competitively thrusting for- 
ward to find room in which to release their pent-up energies; 
they represent in the main a reluctant, eddying backwash 
from a stream which, after flooding its ancient outlet, has 
backed up sullenly, obliterating its own current. ^ Psycho- 
logically, the colonists are less pioneers, carrying with them 
a young and confident tradition, than refugees, looking over 
their shoulders at a homeland unwillingly abandoned, and 
burdened with everything they can save of the old tradition. 
Nor, in spite of what Manchuria owes to rapid Western- 
ization, can it be said that, in the popular consciousness, 
Western technique is regarded as a new dispensation. West- 
ern methods are only expedients; the more detached and 
adventitious the manner in which they can be used, the better; 
and the reward of successful exploitation with the use of 
Western means is the ability to live better by the old stand- 
ard. All exploitation and industry bear the marks of an old 
society. That most significant phenomenon of a young society, 
the man who has grown up with an industry and risen to 
command it, is comparatively rare. On the contrary, the 
men who dominate the use of .the new techniques are gener- 
ally men who do not understand them and do not want to 
understand them: they are interested in the profits, not in 
the thing itself, and they employ subordinates to look after 
the incomprehensible details. And which is highly illumi- 
natingthis is generally regarded as natural and right. 


"Progress" is dominated by "big interests," absentee land- 
lords and distant capitalists. It distinctly does not spring from 
the roots of the nation, and is not carried on by ardent 
pioneers, working spontaneously with their own hands to 
further the promise of their new home. 

Politically, the outlying provinces do not regard themselves 
as primarily the outposts of a growing empire, in spite of the 
fact that they inevitably function as outposts. Their forward 
positions they occupy tentatively, and maintain by shifts 
and compromises, and forward movement is hesitant. The 
ambition of the most able and energetic men looks backward, 
toward China. Here tradition is at its strongest. Subcon- 
sciously, much more than consciously, men are powerfully 
affected by the unbroken tradition of the "reservoir" where, 
throughout history, the tendency to expand the authority in 
China has been overborne by the tendency to turn and assert 
authority in China. I do not see how a man can merge him- 
self at all in the popular feeling of Manchuria and not detect 
this urgent counter-drift; of which the meaning is, in practice, 
that a comparatively strong policy of advance, no matter how 
well planned at headquarters, tends to dwindle, on the front 
of advance, into a comparatively feeble spread; while, con- 
versely, a relatively slight pressure from beyond the frontier 
inevitably develops into a relatively strong Manchurian 
thrust toward China. 

This is in many respects the most obscure and the most 
important riddle of the future. The balance between a for- 
ward frontier policy in Manchuria and the domestic relations 
between Manchuria and China affects the status of all North- 
eastern Asia, not only in terms of population but of social 
system and civilization. It is commonly held that China's 
enormous reserves of population predetermine the final result 
but nevertheless the balance at present swings against China. 


Thus there was a period of minimum Russian initiative in 
Russo-Manchurian affairs, following on the death of Chang 
Tso-lin in 1928. Russia may have been induced by the disap- 
pearance of the greatest personal figure in Manchuria the 
"Old Marshal," Chang Tso-lin and perhaps also by the ex- 
pediency of cultivating good relations in Japan to try the 
policy of allowing the Manchurian situation to develop itself. 
This period was marked by the rapid acceleration of the 
Chinese spread into North Manchuria, and the attainment 
of a maximum rate of development of Chinese exploiting en- 
terprises of all descriptions. The projection and initiation of 
new railways was perhaps the most striking index of expan- 
sion. The first sign of trouble from an over-hasty expansion 
was an outbreak among the Barga Mongols; but as the Young 
Mongol party in Barga received no strong support from either 
Outer Mongolia or Russia, the trouble subsided, and the warn- 
ing was disregarded. It may well be that the Russian attitude 
of deference to Chinese ambitions was construed as an indica- 
tion of weakness. At any rate, the Chinese "forward policy" 
became still more assertive, until the crucial Russian interest 
in the Chinese Eastern Railway was jeopardized. Russia 
then called a halt, took up the challenge of the bold Chinese 
intervention on the Chinese Eastern Railway, and forced the 
crisis to a definite issue. The Chinese "forward policy" col- 
lapsed. No serious effort was made to measure the power of 
China against that of Russia. The initiative was once more 
surrendered, and a policy adopted which amounts in practice 
to a feeling out of the Russian strength and a manipulative 
adjustment to it a policy, not of deciding what is to happen 
and proceeding to make it happen, but of waiting until things 
have happened and then dealing with the situation de- 
The consequences of this precipitate abandoning of the im- 


tiative can hardly be exaggerated, although the challenge and 
conflict were so brief and quasi-unofficial, the underlying 
issues so carefully obscured, and the name of war so disingen- 
uously evaded by both sides. The whole northward drift has 
almost openly been acknowledged to be a negative policy, 
profiting opportunistically by every indication of lack of 
resistance, but not itself informed with inward dynamic 
power. The streams of colonization in the North have with- 
ered, and even those in the South have shrunk. More impor- 
tant still, the whole of Manchuria has frankly faced about 
toward China once more. The question of the hour is not the 
technical rectification by treaty of Russo-Manchurian ques- 
tions, but the potential assertion of the power of Manchuria 
in China proper. The troops and material which were held 
in reserve at the time of the Russian conflict have been freely 
deployed in China: and in spite of the modern names given 
to many Chinese problems, the essential situation reveals the 
cleavage between North and South China, and the power 
of the "reservoir" impending over North China, in a form 
more pronounced than at any time since the decay of the 
Ming dynasty and the rise of the Manchus. The fact that 
Manchuria is still a comparatively empty and undeveloped 
country, with an inexhaustible supply of settlers from China, 
and with railways to bring them in and distribute them, and 
capital to launch them in many enterprises, merely heightens 
the paradox. The outward-facing frontiers are still frontiers 
of defense; the front of decisive action is still the line of the 
Great Wall. So true is this that it is virtually impossible in 
any moment of crisis to dispatch the best troops and the best 
material toward the north. The prestige accruing from 
success would enable the successful general to turn back with 
irresistible momentum on Manchuria and China. Armies 
of the North are armies of defense and forlorn hope. There- 


fore it is a commonplace in the armies of Manchuria that 
orders for the North endanger the career of an ambitious man, 
while orders for the South are welcomed as an opening of the 
gates of opportunity. 3 

8 While this passage was written before the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, 
it may well be allowed to stand. The Japanese are hardly likely to make them- 
selves leaders of the "reservoir" in die old Manchu style, though it is quite likely 
that, having studied Manchurian history with care, they will attempt it. They 
are too much alien to the tradition. If they consolidate their position in Manchuria, 
they are most likely to replace the old style of "reservoir" pressure with a Western 
style of pressure, exercised through Manchuria and bearing on China proper. If, 
on the other hand, they should retire to their old position, the rule of China could 
not be established afresh in Manchuria except by conceding increased power to 
Manchuria in the affairs of China "within the Wall." 



IT is hardly surprising that the modern period of coloniza- 
tion in Manchuria opened with a series of defensive measures; 
that these measures failed, and that the first true acceleration 
of settlement began with the construction of railways which 
were essentially forms of Western aggression. 

Although the Manchus are commonly held to have initi- 
ated and to have been responsible for a policy of exclusion in 
Manchuria, in reality they were highly unoriginal and merely 
confirmed a state of affairs which (whatever the people con- 
cerned) was usual and traditional. The Chinese Bannermen 
in Eastern Liaoning, the Mongols in Western Liaoning and 
north of Jehol, the Manchus from Mukden northward to the 
junction of the Hurka (Mutan) with the Sungari, each dom- 
inated a "sphere of interest" in the "reservoir ." Imperial 
rulings repeatedly confirmed the autonomy of the Mongols 
within their own sphere; an autonomy which included the 
right of being tried and punished by their own courts. These 
rights were even confirmed where Chinese or Manchu 
colonies were planted at strategic points in territory taken 
over from the Mongols; and apparently when cases of mixed 
jurisdiction arose, affecting both Mongols and Manchus, they 
had to pass through two courts. These distinctions are 
nothing like so clear as between Manchu and Chinese Ban- 
nermen, undoubtedly because of the rapidity with which the 
Manchus "turned Chinese." 




From the Manchus northward the "reservoir" merged in 
an undefined way into the "unregenerate," largely unknown 
and largely unwanted regions. Tribes like the Daghurs, the 
Solons and the Gold, incorporated into the Manchu Banner 
organization as "New Manchus," mark unmistakably the 
transition between the people of privilege and the tribes of 
"outer darkness"; the Gilyak, the Tungus of Siberia, and, 
finally, the Russians. The reluctance to expand northward 
is clearly borne out by the Treaty of Nerchinsk. JThe whole 
of the Amur_ basin and much pf Siberia, ,was,,.in^reality^a 
no-man Viand. The jErst Russians began to appear when the 
Manchus were invading China. This is a fact which has 
always passed almost unnoticed; yet it is probably of high 
importance. It is only because the penetration of the Russians 
to the Amur and the rise of the Manchu power are alike 
insufficiently documented that the two series of events are 
usually passed over as if they were merely accidentally con- 
temporary, and had no linked significance. A consideration 
of the general structure and style of the history of the region, 
however, makes it practically certain that the advance of the 
Russians into extreme Eastern Siberia and the emergence of 
the Manchus on the edge of the Manchurian "reservoir," 
were both parts of a series of interconnected tribal move- 
ments, which originated among the extra-"reservoir" or unre- 
generate tribes, and are therefore undocumented and cannot 
be reconstructed. 1 Although the Manchus must have been 
impelled originally by pressure from beyond the "reservoir," 

first Russian pioneers in this region were Cossacks; and it is not for 
nothing that the very name Cossack was borrowed by the Russians from the 
nomadic Qazaqs of Southwestern Siberia. The first Cossacks were adventurers 
who struck out into the wilderness for various reasons of restlessness and discontent, 
and borrowed the name to fit their quasi-tribal life. In their later migrations they 
functioned to an extraordinary degree in a "tribal" manner, and there was there- 
fore every reason, when they first appeared on the Amur, to consider them as merely 
the latest comers out of the unknown wilderness which had so often bred fierce 
and incomprehensible tribes. 


of miles 

Reproduced by permission of Fore, 


all we have now, because the middle links have dropped out, 
are the apparently independent phenomena of the emergence 
of the Manchus as organizers and leaders of the "reservoir," 
and the appearance of Cossack adventurers on the Amur. 
The success of the Manchus in their southward movement 
allowed an easing off of inter-tribal pressure, and this accounts 
for the loss of continuity. Yet what was happening, during 
the lull in tribal movements was (from the point of view of 
Chinese history) the assumption by the Russians of the posi- 
tion of latest-arrived tribe among the "unre generate northern 
barbarian/'; and, under the thin veil of "modern world 
history," that is the function the Russians have continued to 
exercise, and still exercise, on the whole frontier from the 
Pamirs to the Pacific. The present stratification Siberia- 
Amur-"Manchurian Reservoir"-North China, which trans- 
mits cumulating pressures southward, but diminishing pres- 
sures northward, is the full equivalent of the ancient strati- 
fication (which also is not yet out of the picture) definable as 
Outer Mongolia-Gobi-"Inner Mongolian Reservoir"-Great 

In fact the early Manchu policy toward the Russians must 
have been characteristically in the "reservoir" historical style. 
Although the Manchus cannot but have been aware that the 
Russian raids up to the Amur and the consequent Russian as- 
cendancy among the "unregenerate tribes" corresponded with 
their own ascendancy in the "reservoir" and their irruption 
into China, they made no determined effort to clear and define 
the frontier. They were content with measures of a punitive 
and preventive order. Finally, after Albazin had changed 
hands more than once, in an indecisive manner, and before the 
relative strength of Russia and China had been put to any- 
thing like definite proof, frontier relations were adjusted by 
the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) when the Manchus were at 


the height of their power. The Russians agreed to withdraw 
north of the Amur watershed; but in spite of the Chinese 
(Manchu) claims preferred in the treaty, it is clear that there 
was no desire to expand into and occupy this territory. 

In fact the Manchus, thereafter, kept well to the south of 
the Amur, except for a few outposts. The importance of the 
great dockyard at Ninguta (later transferred to Kirin city) 
and the river fleet guarding the Sungari all the way to the 
Amur was not a function of "empire building" but one of 
patrol. For the rest, the maintenance of a huge, virtually 
uninhabited and trackless forested waste between Manchus 
and Russians minimized frontier incidents. All Northern 
Manchuria more than half the area of the three modern 
provinces became for the Manchus precisely what Tibet is 
to the British in India: a buffer region where the encroach- 
ment of another power would cause apprehension, but where 
the responsibility of occupation and government was by all 
means to be avoided, short of the most imperative necessity. 
For the Russians, on the other hand, it became what the Dark 
and Bloody Ground of Kentucky was to the American 
pioneers: the land of expansion, of adventure and empire- 
building for the sake of empire-building. Even with a com- 
plete lack of population-pressure behind them they were 
impelled forward. The wilderness, as wilderness, had an 
attraction for them which it has never had for the Chinese 

All of this confirms what has already been said: that the 
Manchu laws which hampered emigration to Manchuria, 
although in the first instance they did maintain "preserves" of 
the privileged "reservoir" populations, were also congruent 
with the traditional Chinese statecraft, in maintaining the 
balance of the Empire by discouraging any pronounced exten- 
sion of population to the North. It is evident from edicts and 


imperial pronunciamentos dealing with the "reservoir" that 
the paramount Manchu principle was not to reserve the waste 
land for Manchu expansion, but to keep out Chinese because 
they might contaminate the vigorous Manchu tradition. 
Even when attempts were made to plant colonies of Peking 
Manchus in the Nonni-Sungari region (Petuna), the govern- 
ing idea was not a "forward policy" for the North, but the 
feeling that there were too many idle Manchus in China, 
that they were losing the Manchu speech and tradition, and 
that by moving them back to the "reservoir" they might 
recover the "reservoir" spirit. ^ 

From this point of view the "reservoir" functioned effi- 
ciently almost up to the end of the dynasty. It kept up a supply 
of troops whose loyalty was to the dynasty primarily; who 
were never used for "opening up" the North, but merely for 
holding it down, and who were regularly drafted for service 
in China as well as on the frontier. Thus the Solons were 
drawn on to garrison Urga, Kobdo and Uliassutai in Outer 
Mongolia the stronghold of the "unregenerate" and 
Chuguchak and Hi in Chinese Turkestan. They were also 
employed in campaigns against Tibet, and against the West- 
ern Muhammadans in the eighteen hundred and sixties. 
All of these duties were, strategically, defensive. Manchu 
Bannermen from Kirin province also served against the 
Muhammadans, and against the Taiping rebels on the Yang- 
tze. Mongol troops from the Inner Mongolian and Man- 
churian "reservoir," under a Mongol commander, not only 
safeguarded the north of China while Ward and after him 
Gordon trained the Ever-Victorious Army which crushed 
the Taipings, but were also the most effective of the troops 
opposed to the French and British advance on Peking in 1860. 
Had an energetic expansion of colonists into Manchuria 

reversed the traditional "reservoir" style which the Manchus 


did not originate but took over, not only the balance but the 
orientation of the Empire would have been disturbed (as the 
balance of the Republic is now disturbed by the vacillation 
between inward-facing and outward-facing policies), while 
none of the ancient problems of China would have been any 
nearer solution. It is perfectly true that if there had been a 
spontaneous, dynamic urge within the Chinese people, impel- 
ling them toward Manchuria, subsequent developments 
would have been quite different. As far as that goes, there 
would never have been a Great Wall. Nothing could be 
more certain than that there was no such overwhelming urge, 
and it follows that the restrictive measures passed by the 
Manchus were not felt as monstrous or unduly repressive by 
the Chinese of China, who were, in fact, still completely satis- 
fied with the grand and final gesture of the Great Wall It is 
hard, therefore, to concede total validity to the post-Revolution 
charges of narrow selfishness that have been preferred against 
the Manchus, as if they alone were responsible for the char- 
acter of Chinese northern frontier policy. 


In effect, then, it was the slackening of the Russian advance 
after the Treaty of Nerchinsk that allowed the northern 
frontier regions to become stabilized during the Manchu rule 
in China. The Manchus themselves were perfectly content so 
long as the Russians remained out of sight, and in order to 
help them stay out of sight were willing to refrain from doing 
more than patrolling the Sungari and keeping a watch on the 
Amur. They thus forwent in practice the claim advanced in 
the Treaty of Nerchinsk to a dominion extending up to the 
northern watershed of the Amur. 

It might be possible to draw up an extreme accusation 


against Russia of having filched enormous areas of Siberia; but 
realistically speaking it can only be said that the Russians, 
although comparatively late arrivals, occupied effectively 
territories which might have been occupied by China, but 
never had been. In point of fact most of these territories, up 
to the Treaty of Nerchinsk, could not validly be assigned to 
any owners except scattered nomadic tribes which claimed 
"ownership" in the nomadic sense of freedom to move, not 
in the elaborate civilized sense of theoretical group ownership 
superimposed on subdivided individual ownerships. "Trib- 
ute," chiefly in the form of sable pelts, found its way from 
these regions to Peking; but it also, at an early period, was 
offered to the Tsar. 

An historical analysis of the real status of "tributary" tribes 
would be of the greatest interest. Undoubtedly, many "trib- 
utary" offerings were in fact a form of trade, the tribute being 
purchased by the appointed officials. In extreme instances, 
the nominal tribute to the suzerain power was actually a form 
of levy on the suzerain power; the "presents" offered in ex- 
change for the "tribute" greatly exceeding the value of the 
"tribute" itself. Thus the tribute offered by the Mongol tribes 
was in large measure a disguise for the subsidies paid to the 
lords of the "reservoir"; but in the Amur region generally the 
tribute offerings appear to have been obtained chiefly by 
trade. The sable-tribute claimed by the Cossacks appears to 
have been much more in the nature of an oppressive ex- 
action; and it was largely the diminution in the supply of 
sables, and the consequent extension of Cossack forays into the 
forests south of the Amur, that brought about the acute po- 
litical situation leading finally to the Treaty of Nerchinsk. 

The lull after the Treaty of Nerchinsk lasted up to the mid^ 
die of the nineteenth century, when the great modern Rus- 
sian surge toward the Pacific began to gather way. The ad- 


vance of the Russians into Northeastern Asia, although slow 
in point of time, was one of extraordinary vigor, considering 
th^great range of distance and the difficulties overcome. It 
has been pointed out that the Cossacks who led the advance 
operated largely in a "tribal" manner. As a "mixed group" 
they are in some respects comparable to the mixed groups 
of the Chinese-Mongol frontier, but with the difference that 
they penetrated to a much greater depth and that they never 
had the tendency to reverse political action characteristic of 
the "reservoir." This all-important difference allowed them 
to become to a great extent enlisters and leaders of other 
tribes. The heritage of this tendency can be seen even at the 
present day; its most important phenomenon being the^use 
of the Buriat Mongols of Siberia in extending Russian policies 
in Mongolia. 

Indeed the whole nineteenth-century Russian advance in- 
herited a great deal of the Cossack spirit, although in point of 
numbers the Cossacks were swamped by peasants, and al- 
though the colonizing spirit as a whole was modified strongly 
by the convict exiles. One of the striking characteristics of 
the Cossack spirit of adventure into the wilderness was that 
it operated in spite of governmental policy, and was at its 
best when free of official influence. The Russian Government, 
like that of China, was not originally oriented toward the 
wilderness. From the time of Peter the Great there had been 
a strong movement of Europeanization; higher policy con- 
demned commitments in the vast unknown East. Therefore 
the regular type of the Russian advance was that government 
authority, without having proposed or administered the ad- 
vance, was more or less dragged after it perforce. In this lies 
the great contrast between Russia and China. The Chinese 
people as a whole were in accord with the policy which re- 
frained from frontier adventures, while the Russians, in de- 


spite of policy and apart altogether from such "natural causes'* 
as population pressure, impelled solely by an inward unrest, 
broke away into the East and drew the government after them 
into a situation which practically forced the later deliberate 
policy of Eastern expansion. 

The tradition of the roving adventurer goes back clearly at 
least as far as the mighty Yermak, who conquered "Sibir" 
as an outlaw, and offered his private conquest to the Tsar as 
a bribe to recover lawful public standing. In much the same 
spirit the great Muraviev, on his own initiative, and using the 
men and resources of Siberia alone and deceiving the home 
government into the belief that he was only organizing a de- 
fense, undertook to reach the Pacific and succeeded. The 
home government was then confronted with the alternative 
of withdrawing, which would not only have damaged its 
prestige in the eyes of China but, in view of the recent defeat 
in the Crimea, would have been a confession of weakness to 
the world at large, or of consolidating the position won. Thus 
Muraviev was able to conclude the Treaty of Aigun, in 1858, 
which the home government backed up and amplified in the 
negotiations at Peking in 1860. Russia then stood on the 
Pacific, with a port at Vladivostok and a Manchurian border 
following the course (no longer merely the watershed) of the 
Amur and Ussuri. The buffer territories established in part 
through the Treaty of Nerchinsk and in part through sub- 
sequent Manchu policy were largely in Russian hands, and 
a situation had been created which compelled the govern- 
ment to implement the eastward-directed ambition of the 
pioneers. The crux of the situation, historically, was the mo- 
ment when Muraviev, acting on his own initiative, confronted 
the home government with advantageous treaty terms which 
had either to be accepted or inconveniently disavowed. 
The Russians had now emerged as the modern exemplars of 


the northern barbarians, threatening the "reservoir" and 
therefore the whole power of China. As for the tribes of the 
"unregenerate" region, far from being in a position to stave off 
the Russians and thus act as the pawns of China, they were 
obviously incorporated in the Russian advance; witness the 
enlistment of "Buriat Cossacks" from a comparatively early 
period. Yet even so, the reluctance of China to face the north 
was so deep-seated that counter-policies did not develop until 
Russian railway construction began first to fill up Siberia 
and then to project railways in Manchuria, which ranked 
definitely and unmistakably as methods of aggression. It was 
not until the late eighteen hundred and eighties that the Man- 
chu Government was forced to recognize that the "reservoir" 
frontier structure, as it stood, was inadequate, and that an 
active attempt must be made to fill up the northern front in 
order to make a stand against the northern barbarians; by 
which time the Russian momentum was too great for the un- 
aided power of China to divert it. 

In default of a, flow of raiding, thrusting Chinese pioneers 
who might have rivaled and forestalled the Russian adventur- 
ers, it was necessary to undertake artificial colonization under 
government encouragement. The method adopted was that 
of throwing open "public" domains and allotting land grants 
on terms which might tempt a supply of settlers. Colonies 
were thus established not only in Manchuria but in Outer 
Mongolia, and a partial screen of agricultural Chinese was 
actually settled along the Orkhon river, masking the entry 
into Outer Mongolia from Kiakhta. So weak were its foun- 
dations, however, that it collapsed after the Chinese Revolu- 
tion in 1911, and it is said that there is now practically no 
trace of the colonists. 

The weakness of the colonization fostered out of policy 
alone was that it went against the grain of the characteristic 


Chinese method of advance. The settlers much preferred to 
filter up through territory already occupied, and to establish 
themselves on the fringe, where success would mean early in- 
corporation into the main body. They had never inclined to 
the "raiding," deep-penetrating Cossack style of advance, 
which resulted in isolated settlements; though settlements 
approximating to this type are to be found, notably in the 
Ussuri region. On the whole, they were shy of getting too 
far beyond the "spread." The small element which had a 
tradition of penetrating among the Mongols by means of 
"going native" to a greater or less extent was already fully oc- 
cupied. The numbers of such people, rooted in a special 
tradition, cannot be summarily augmented; and moreover 
they were not exactly of the Cossack type of combined roving 
adventurers and land-fast settlements, having been too 
strongly modified by the Mongol tradition. 

In the upshot, the politically encouraged frontier colonies 
proved to be separated by too great a gap from the main front 
of the "spread." Nor could the "spread" itself be greatly 
speeded up, for lack of spontaneous desire for emigration in 
the people of China proper. The land-grant policy therefore 
collapsed. Its chief result was that huge tracts passed into the 
hands of individuals or firms in which the officials who had 
handled the grants were, as a group, heavily interested; but 
thereafter, for lack of colonists and ability to exploit dynam- 
ically, they remained undeveloped. The holders resigned 
themselves to wait patiently while the "spread" approached 
the regions of political anxiety. The main result was a more 
general recognition of the importance of the northern fron- 
tier (an importance in no way different from that it had as- 
sumed in cycle after cycle of assault from the barbarians^of 
the north); but it remained characteristically a defensive 
frontier. There was no sign of transformation into a fron- 


tier of expansion. In the meantime, the Russian expansion 

r . . . - ^.U-^,,,VU foilroT7 rnnstniC- 


The period that Mowed, that of the wars between Japan 
and China and Japan and Russia, need hardly be discussed 
in detail. It is plain enough that they originated in the rivalry 
between Japan and Russia for strategic command of the 
Korean-Manchurian region; the stake of Japan being con- 
mental security and the stake of Russia an ice-free Pacific port, 
which alone could energize the vast conquests in Siberia. 
Not only did the Chinese defensive front in Manchuria break 
down, but in the second stage, that of the war between Japan 
and Russia, she was compelled to endure passively the cam- 
paigns of alien armies on her territory. The upshot of the 
period of warfare was the beginning of a period of active 
exploitation by Japan and Russia, in which China was a 
partner more in the sense of being exploited than of sharing 
in the exploitation. It was the construction of the Chinese 
Eastern and South Manchuria Railways, both enterprises of 
exploiting "Imperialism," which determined the future of 
Manchuria as a scene of successful Chinese colonization, for 
which the Peking-Mukden Railway (itself, from the Chinese 
point of view, not free from the taint of foreign aggression) 
was not alone sufficient. 

Another result of the wars was the confirmation of the 
Chinese tide to sovereignty in Manchuria, which can thus be 
regarded as dependent to a certain extent on the adjustment 
of the policies of Russia and Japan, after failure on the part 
of China to defend it effectively. The struggle, in fact, veered 


away from questions of political title and became largely 
transformed into a rivalry of economic control. Consequently 
all Chinese measures in Manchuria have continued, ever since, 
to be strongly influenced by necessities of defense. The mod- 
ern phase of apparently triumphant Chinese expansion in 
Manchuria is, in its other aspect, a desperate struggle to main- 
tain control. It is commonly said that the establishment of a 
successful and growing Chinese population had settled for 
all time the question of sovereignty in Manchuria. This is 
true as far as it goes, but it burkes the most vital issue; for 
the question of sovereignty in Manchuria has to a certain ex- 
tent (and by virtue of alien policies, not of Chinese policies) 
become a side-issue; whereas the true crux, the struggle for 
the initiative in exploitation and real control is a living issue 
by no means yet decided. Chinese, when an enterprise of far- 
reaching importance is under discussion in Manchuria, have 
often to consider not only "What do we want to do?" but 
"What can we do ?" and "What must we do ?" This forces the 
conclusion that the period of "foreign privilege" in China is 
by no means over, but is merely passing into a new phase, 
disguised under novel forms, leaving the ultimate antagonism 
between East and West still uneliminated. 

For, from this point of view, Chinese colonization in Man- 
churia, which is generally regarded as the most important 
contemporary phenomenon of successful Chinese expan- 
sionism, appears as one of the functions of successful foreign 
aggression. All the phenomena of mass colonization are in- 
herent in the very forms of Western-imposed exploiting enter- 
prises in Manchuria; but, until the advent of the West,^ there 
was nothing inherent in the Chinese contact with the "reser- 
voir" except a fortuitous and gradual "spread." Therefore one 
of the capital problems of Manchurian colonization, from the 
Chinese point of view, is the recovery of the initiative, of 


the power to determine the degree of Westernization to be 
aimed at, and of the control of the rate of Westernization. 
The type and trend of Chinese colonization having been so 
. largely predetermined by Western aggression and exploita- 
tion, the influx of Chinese colonists remains, to a great ex- 
tent, an induced "reaction/' and to that extent cannot be con- 
sidered an original "pioneer" movement 



THE types of land tenure were so well recognized in old 
Manchuria that, when rapid colonization began, there was 
no problem of creating new systems. The old land laws and 
methods of administration could be applied, but on a larger 
scale, and with gradual adaptation to the accelerating rate of 

Since, in Manchu regions, there had already been an easy 
transition from a conception of "public" land to a theory of 
"state" land, no problem arose except the question of ad- 
ministrative processes in allotting state land to private holders. 
In general, mere "squatter" occupation appears to have been 
sufficient, in the early period, to establish an option of owner- 
ship. Thereafter all that was required was official assessment 
of the land for taxation. At a later period, when large grants 
were made from the public domain, the land was, in theory, 
first assessed by officials and then turned over to colonists. 
In the case of large grants, it was understood that the owner 
would himself find and establish cultivators, and that there- 
after the tax rate would be adjusted according to the degree 
of cultivation. If squatters were found already established 
in nominally empty lands, it was easy for them to make terms 
with the new owner, because their cultivation of the land had 
enhanced its value, and they provided a nucleus for new settle- 
ment. The development of rent-purchase methods for the 


transfer of land from large holders to small holders appears 
to have been early and spontaneous. 

This type of colonization naturally affected first such val- 
leys and plains as were most attractive for agricultural occu- 
pation. Moreover there seems to be a deep-seated Chinese 
prejudice which retards the allotment of mountain wilder- 
ness to private ownership. It is probably based on the feeling 
that such "natural" wealth as mines and timber (not man- 
created, like agricultural wealth) is public property, and 
should not pass into outright private ownership, though it 
may be exploited through contracts and concessions leased 
to private enterprise through official agencies. 

"Tribal" questions, largely because of the status of moun- 
tain and forest wilderness, have always been comparatively 
unimportant in the Manchu region and the adjacent "un- 
regenerate" lands of northernmost Kirin and Heilungchiang. 
The tribesmen were few in numbers and in the main kept 
to the forested ranges. Where colonization did intrude into 
their hunting domains, they either withdrew or became cor- 
rupted, as savages always are corrupted by civilization, es- 
pecially by civilized traders; and such remnants as now sur- 
vive are rapidly being extinguished. 

The most interesting question of a "tribal" type, or nearly 
tribal type, that did develop was perhaps that affecting the 
Tungusic tribe known to the Russians as Goldi and to the 
Chinese as one of the group of "Fishskin Tatars." The fate of 
the Daghur of the Nonni valley, in their transition from tribes- 
men to Bannennen and later in the inundation of their land 
by Chinese colonists, is probably a close parallel to the fate 
of the Goldi or Gold, 

The valley habitat of the Gold on the lower Sungari was 
of a kind to attract Chinese colonists, especially after the open- 
ing of steamer traffic, about 1903-04 under Russian influence 


(a clear case of the determination of Chinese colonization 
trends by Western enterprise). An arrangement was therefore 
made which has a certain resemblance to the American Indian 
"Reservation," with the difference that the American Indians 
were usually penned into their reservations to get rid of them, 
while the Gold were given what amounted to an option on the 
best land. The Gold owed this to the fact that they were auxil- 
iaries of the Manchus, and technically had the status of Man- 
chu Bannermen in the division known as "New Manchus," 
and to the fact that the project of colonization was inaugurated 
while the Manchu dynasty still ruled originally with the in- 
tention of frontier defense, although colonization never got 
under way until steamer traffic was opened and the "aggres- 
sors" were, in reality, within the border. 

The Gold have long been a non-nomadic people. They live 
largely by fishing and by hunting; but though the technique 
of travel and camping used by the hunting parties are remi- 
niscent of an earlier nomadism, and though they travel over 
great distances and are away from home for long periods, 
their society is based on fixed village homes. When coloniza- 
tion began, therefore, they were allotted strips of land ad- 
joining their villages, and as these were regularly on the banks 
of the Sungari, Amur, and Ussuri, they held potentially the 
most valuable land in centers of future colonization. These 
block grants were made according to the size of the village, 
and then distributed to individuals by the clan and village 
organizations of the tribesmen themselves. The tragedy of 
the Gold has been that their privileged Banner position had 
already given them a taste for the benefits of the Chinese 
type of culture, without a secure enough grounding in it to 
enable them to meet the incoming Chinese on equal terms. 
Having already, like the early Manchus, begun the process of 
turning culturally Chinese, they had no instinct to migrate 


away from the new pressure. Above all, having learned most 
of what they knew of the Chinese culture from a position of 
social privilege and guided by tastes of self-indulgence, they 
had not acquired the habit of trade. Consequently their lands 
have passed almost entirely into the hands of the Chinese, and 
they have become a depressed class, hangers-on of the more 
able newcomers. 

Hunting is now more important to the Gold than fishing; 
and they also practice a comparatively slovenly agriculture. 
They bring back from the mountains not only furs, but such 
valuable ingredients of Chinese medicine as elk-horn in the 
velvet, and ginseng. These they sell to the Chinese dealers. 
They spend riotously the money thus earned and remain 
poor. On account of their f ecklessness the Chinese, who are 
short of women, can outbid the Gold themselves for Gold 
women as wives, and this has finally determined the ex- 
tinction of the Gold as a separate people. 

Between the time when the Chinese began to enter the 
lower Sungari valley in large numbers and the time when 
they unmistakably dominated the Gold, there was a good deal 
of inter-racial trouble. At first the Gold, holding the privi- 
leged status of Bannermen, domineered over the Chinese. 
Then came a period when the Gold were alarmed by the in- 
flux of Chinese. At this time, in spite of the new official 
sanction granted to Chinese colonization, murders of Chinese 
were common. All travel was unsafe and all strangers went 
in danger of their lives in lonely places. The trouble was ag- 
gravated by the fact that many of the newcomers were bad 
characters, that questionable methods were used in trade, 
and that one of the axioms of trade was the demoralization 
of the Gold by drink and opium. As for drink and opium, 
they were inevitable, for the Gold demanded them; but none 
the less they resented the advantage taken of them through 


their own vices. Chinese ascendancy grew inevitably, was 
confirmed with the fall of the Manchu dynasty, and reached 
the stage when the Gold could be swindled with impunity 
and no longer dared make reprisals. Thereafter they sank 
rapidly to their present lamentable condition. 

Yet it is remarkable that in spite of the period of lawless- 
ness (now continued in the non-racial form of chronic ban- 
ditry) the remnant of the Gold are not regarded by the Chi- 
nese with anything like that deep-seated hostility which per- 
sists between Chinese and Mongols, but on the whole only 
with a sort of good-humored contempt. This must be very 
largely due to the fact that they were never numerous enough 
to threaten to displace the Chinese, once colonization had be- 
guna contrast with the Mongol regions, where periods of 
Chinese advance have alternated with temporary Mongol 

It is true that the Gold were associated with the Manchus, 
who were, like the Mongols, direct conquerors of the Chinese, 
and therefore, in kind, "oppressors," though they had never 
handled the Chinese so roughly as the Mongols had. On the 
other hand the Gold, like the Manchus, had always shown a 
decided tendency, in spite of Imperial policies which aimed 
at keeping them "tribal," to admire and adopt Chinese ways 
of life though they had begun with the upper strata of privi- 
lege, not with the groundwork strata of the peasant, artisan 
and trader. Their chief interest as a remnant-people is there- 
fore the manner in which they preserved, until very recently, 
a social transition-stage between the "tribal" and the "reser- 
voir," of a kind which can confidently be labeled "early post- 
conquest Manchu." 

In the comparatively simple land administration of the 
Manchu "reservoir" and the adjacent "unregenerate" regions, 
the historical stages can be satisfactorily distinguished. People 


like the Manchus and Gold, of an original hunting nomad 
stock (who almost undoubtedly once owned reindeer) be- 
came attached to permanent village sites in great river valleys 
in the wilderness. It may be that one reason for their settling 
down was the fact that they had ranged south of country 
suitable to reindeer. While the villages were permanent, 
hunting was kept up by parties which stayed out in the forest 
for weeks, and wandered over great distances. A garden- 
patch agriculture grew up in the villages, with family or in- 
dividual ownership of the land cultivated. Villages were not 
restricted to single clans, but members of the same clan lived 
in different villages. This weakened any idea of clan terri- 
tory, and all the wilderness remained free to all. Parties from 
different villages traveled to and hunted in the same forests 
and mountains. What remained of inter-tribal division was 
almost obliterated when all the people were united into a 
military nation; tribal divisions persisted only in distinctions 
between such groups as the Gold and Daghur, who were 
outside of the immediate scope of the original Manchu 

The similar tribal groups that once existed among the 
Manchus proper can now be traced only in very faint tradi- 
tions. A territorial military cadre, that of the Banners (which 
perhaps derived its numeration in series of eights from some 
antecedent tribal league, but which retained few tribal func- 
tions), was superimposed on the clans and villages. The 
territorial associations of villages became more important, 
and the wilderness, which had once been public in the sense 
that nobody had any more right to it than anybody else, be- 
came public in the sense that it was the domain of the sover- 
eign, die lord of land and people alike. Even so, in practice, 
the custom survived that a clearing in the wilderness and 
the tilling of fields established private ownership, subject 


only to the payment of taxes. Efforts were made, however, 
to restrict the opening of new land to the privileged people, 
the Manchus and other Bannermen. 

In this social structure a new policy of colonization did not 
require a change of basic social attitudes. All that was re- 
quired was enlargement of the privilege of settlement, to in- 
clude non-Banner Chinese. Tracts of the imperial domain 
were thrown open, allotted to firms or individuals, and de- 
veloped by attracting settlers. Questions of land measure- 
ment, land purchase and land taxation could be dealt with 
by the existing official organization, assisted by extra land 
commissioners. As population increased, the administrative 
problem could be met (as it still is met) by subdividing the 
areas of government. A "county" of great area, with a popu- 
lation concentrated at a few points, can thus be split into 
several new counties. 

In Mongol-inhabited regions, the tribal concept of land- 
ownership, and the antipathy felt for individual property in 
land make the problem radically different although, super- 
ficially, the mechanics- of administration, with the allotment 
of land by special commissioners and the organization of 
"counties," do not seem to differ greatly. Above all, the per- 
missive expedient of allowing individual ownership to be 
constituted by occupation and tillage could not work except 
as an irritant, and could not be practiced at all except at points 
where Chinese colonists felt that they could choose their own 
way of doing things in spite of the Mongols in which case 
the first operation in clearing the land was likely to be clear- 
ing it of Mongols. That "squatter" claims run counter to the 
Mongol tradition is borne out by the fact that where the 
Mongols themselves do practice tillage, for the sake of neces- 
sary winter supplies, it is common to enforce a rule that tie 
same land may not be permanently cultivated. This practice 


was additionally encouraged by the fact that Mongol tillage, 
being crude and slipshod, allowed fields to become overrun 
with weeds. Moreover the Mongol instinct of the "freedom 
to move" must be considered, even where, as in the "reser- 
voir,^ the tribes have long been allotted to defined territorial 
stations. It is my opinion that, apart altogether from the 
lesson of experience that Chinese encroachment on unused 
Mongol lands is followed by encroachment on indispensable 
pasture, the instinct of the "freedom to move" is an important 
factor in the Mongol reluctance to allow colonization even on 
lands that have been unused as pasture for many years. 

In order, therefore, to take over even unpopulated Mongol 
land it is necessary to deal first with a tribe. The land must 
first be taken over by the state from the tribe, and thus, after 
having passed through the intermediary status of "public 
domain," be allotted to private ownership. The concomitant 
social adjustment that has to be made is thus not, as in the 
Manchu "reservoir," the abolition of the privilege of a class, 
or the enlargement of the privilege to include non-Banner 
immigrants (which comes to the same thing) but the almost 
complete withdrawal of one people, and the total abolition 
of their culture, to be replaced by a hostile population and an 
inimical culture. Hence the swamping of the Manchus by 
a largely contemptuous but at the same time largely tolerant 
Chinese population, in contrast with the extrusion (often 
amounting to gradual extermination) of the Mongols, ac- 
companied by chronic and unavoidable ill-feeling between 
Mongols and Chinese. 

The two elements of latest growth in the Mongol culture 
the development of the princes into a petty territorial feudal 
aristocracy, and the growth of lamaism, of which the most 
important phenomenon is the establishment of monasteries 
both do violence to the old Mongol instinct for free move- 


ment. The monasteries, because they cannot be moved when 
the Mongols withdraw, often become pawns of Chinese pol- 
icy. Just as princes frequently sacrifice the interests of the 
tribe as a whole to their own interest in special privileges and 
fixed revenues, so monasteries, to preserve their corporate 
existence and the privileges of the hierarchy, tend to throw 
their influence on the side of the Chinese when the land passes 
under Chinese administration. Many lama monasteries, 
founded in tribal lands, now stand surrounded by a Chinese 
population. The Mongols continue to come into them on 
pilgrimage, and pressure is often exercised on the high lamas 
to secure their aid as intermediaries in negotiating for fresh 
tracts of land to be taken over for settlement. 

As for the princes, their "feudal" status has been badly un- 
settled by the fall of the Empire. The feudal loyalty felt by 
a prince for an emperor can hardly be transferred intact to 
a republic. This point has, in fact, been openly raised in Outer 
Mongolia, as one of the titles to freedom and independence of 
the Mongol Republic. There the stand is taken that the 
Outer Mongolian princes, now succeeded by the Mongol Re- 
public, owed allegiance to the Manchu emperors of China, 
but not to the Chinese nation. With the abdication of the 
last emperor, therefore, the Mongols became an autonomous 
people, as they had been when the Ming emperors ruled in 
China, and were free to identify their fortunes with China or 
not, as they chose. The princely families of Outer Mongolia, 
never so strong as those of Inner Mongolia, because they had 
not come within the closer organization of the true "reser- 
voir," have now gone under. The princes of Inner Mongolia, 
therefore, are left in an awkward position. Any move on 
their part to identify their tribes with those of Outer Mon- 
golia would mean the abolition of their own tides and loss 
of their hereditary privileges. Every concession made to the 


suzerainty of China, on the other hand, means a loss of actual 
power and a fall of status to the position of subsidized figure- 
heads. In this the monastic foundations are practically at one 
with the princes; and none the less for the fact that the high- 
est lamas are frequently relatives of ruling princes. Under 
such conditions it has been inevitable that the Inner Mongo- 
lian princes and high lama dignitaries should as a class have 
become tools of Chinese policy; though at times individual 
princes and lamas have taken the lead in the abortive and 
hopeless (but also inevitable) Mongol rebellions that inter- 
mittently interrupt the modern Chinese advance. The tend- 
ency to look out for their own interests at the expense of 
their people is made stronger by the Chinese method of ex- 
propriating land. Not only is the land arbitrarily, and against 
the main trend of Mongol tradition, treated as the personal 
domain of the prince; but thereafter, for lack of government 
funds to pay out cash compensation for expropriated land, 
the prince is assigned a perpetual rental interest. Temple 
foundations, in the same way, are assigned a rental compen- 
sation to take the place of the previous income from temple 
herds. At the same time, as the Mongols continue to visit the 
temple, the trade of Chinese merchants benefits and the temple 
itself and its lamas become hostages for the good behavior 
of the Mongols. 

When the land has thus been taken over by the Chinese 
officials, an immediate cash fund to cover administrative ex- 
penses is raised by selling it to colonists, or rather to colo- 
nizing entrepreneurs. The sale price is very low; it is equiva- 
lent to the payment of an option or premium which secures 
to the investor the future profit on the land when its value 
has been raised by development. Normally, there is an inter- 
mediate stage in colonization, the majority of the land being 
taken over from the official land-commissioners by individu- 


als or firms with large capital, who redistribute it to tic actual 
farming colonists. A certain proportion of the initial cash 
fund is passed on by the commissioners to the princes or 
monasteries; partly to give them an immediate interest in 
closing the transaction, partly to assist them in moving out 
the Mongols without untoward incidents of resentment and 
hostility. In this way some of the cash does find its way to 
the individual tribesmen who have been dispossessed or 
rather, to use a word more suited to Mongol conditions, 


The bulk of the fund raised by the first turnover in land 
goes to finance the new administration during the period 
that intervenes before regular revenue can be collected; for 
the colonists or development agencies, in consideration of their 
initial cash outlay, are allowed an interval, usually of three 
years, in which to plow the virgin land, settle tenants and get 
cultivation started. Thereafter regular land taxes are col- 
lected, a percentage of which is paid to the Mongol prince. 

It might be thought that after a lapse of time, especially 
when the Mongols have withdrawn to a comparatively great 
distance, the payment of such subsidies might be allowed to 
default. There are three chief reasons why this does not hap- 
pen. One is the necessity for keeping up the standard of con- 
tract so long as any Mongol land remains to be acquired. One 
is the absence of a popular form of government, under which 
taxpayers have to be flattered and under which it would be 
natural for elected representative demagogues to make a cam- 
paign issue of the abolition of "unearned and undeserved 
revenues paid to a distant and impotent princeling. One 
and this is the most important is that a special bureau, a de- 
partment of the general administrative system, normally han- 
dles the prince's share of revenue. The officials of the bureau 
have a vested interest in keeping up the collections and pay- 


ments; the more so as, by immemorial usage, they make a 
profit on all their transactions which is far more important 
than their salaries. Thus it is common to find city properties 
(as in Ch'angch'un and numbers of other places) which to 
the present day pay revenue to Mongol princes, though the re- 
gion has long lost any Mongol appearance, or even any 
special "frontier" associations. 

Nor is the profit on the manipulation of funds between 
collection and payment to the Mongol prince or monastery 
the only margin of interest in land administration and land 
transactions. There are many such margins. One, which re- 
curs repeatedly, is the margin of measurement. In the first 
instance, the land is taken over in great stretches, "Mongol 
fashion," from landmark to landmark. Thereafter it is dis- 
tributed by measurement; and the first measurement, granted 
to large buyers, is more generous than the second measure- 
ment, when the extent of cultivation is checked over and 
land taxation begins. In the course of years, occasional reas- 
sessments are made, as the region is filled up and officials mul- 
tiply. Reassessment commonly requires a tax on the verifica- 
tion of documents, in addition to the fact that the unit of land 
measurement is more and more strictly narrowed down. A 
grant originally measured as one hundred mu may thus, in 
time, come to be measured as several hundred mu; not to 
mention the fact that the tax per unit may also gradually in- 
crease. In fact, if only it were possible to tabulate the regional 
ratios between nominal measurement and actual measure- 
ment, and relate them to a common standard (a task of enor- 
mous difficulty, owing to the play of custom and precedent 
in each region) it would be both interesting and feasible to 
estimate the age and stage of colonization of any region by 
the actual size of the nominally standard unit of measurement. 
Owing to the fact that the Mongols, even in retreat, hang 


together as a social body, they are not normally swamped by 
the Chinese colonists, as the Gold have already been swamped 
and as the Manchus have practically been swamped. Race 
hostility thus tends to persist, although the Mongols progres- 
sively diminish in numbers and power, and are confined to 
rapidly shrinking ranges of pasture. Distinctions between 
Mongol and Chinese administration also survive, which oc- 
casionally amount to a kind of extraterritoriality. There is no 
set code or formal agreement between Mongol and Chinese 
authorities regulating the extent of this autonomy; in fact it 
increases recognizably in proportion to the distance from the 
nearest Chinese troops; but it is based to a certain extent on 
precedents drawn from imperial edicts and rulings in specific 
instances under the Manchu dynasty. Except in times of 
tension and heightened feeling there is undoubtedly a tend- 
ency for Mongols to get rid of Chinese undesirables simply 
by expelling them from the region in which Mongol auton- 
omy is exercised, and a similar, but less general tendency 
for the Chinese to hand over Mongol delinquents to the 
Mongol authorities; while cases of important dispute between 
Mongols and Chinese are frequently settled by a kind of semi- 
official arbitration between deputies of the Chinese and Mon- 
gol administrations. 

Curiously enough, it is probably Mongol autonomy, 
especially in regions administered by rapacious under- 
lings, the prince having departed to live on his revenues in 
Peking or Mukden, that is chiefly responsible for the fact 
that a minority of Mongols do remain behind when the 
pastures are abandoned, and settle down among the Chinese 
to "turn Chinese. 5 ' Mongols who take up agriculture rarely 
feel any "aspiration" for the "higher standards" of the Chinese 
culture; they commonly say that they have stayed on in the 
sphere of Chinese advance because the exactions on behalf 


of the Mongol prince have become unbearable. They look 
back on the old tradition with melancholy and regret, and re- 
gard their new way of life not as the dawn of opportunity, 
but as the best choice open to a fallen generation in an evil 
day. When land is first taken over for colonization, settlers 
are in demand and taxation is light usually much lighter 
than Mongol taxation. The Mongol can then take up a hold- 
ing on excellent terms, or even, under the best-administered 
modern settlement projects, on nominal terms or entirely free 
of purchase charges. Even so it is common, and probably 
general, to find that Mongols who have taken on the Chinese 
way of life, even after a couple of generations, retain their 
pride of race and do their best to retain their language, with 
a vitality which, as has already been pointed out, contrasts 
strongly with the lack of vitality in the Manchu language 
though it is true that the oldest settled groups, like the Tumet, 
both those north of Jehol and those of the Suiyiian-Kueihua 
plain, after probably two centuries of settlement, have almost 
or completely lost their language* 


While these methods of allotting lands to colonists, thus 
briefly and schematically described, may seem as simple as 
any in the world, it is impossible to understand them in opera- 
tion properly without some insight into the manner in which 
officials work and authority is exercised in China. The ques- 
tion of the part played by officials becomes of even greater 
importance in the consideration of the development of the 
land after allotment. 

An adequate analysis of official methods in China is not 
easy. For one thing, newly established, "model" administra- 
tions interlock, in practice, with remnants of the old ad- 


ministrative order. The new influences affect, to a certain ex- 
tent, even the old-model administrations; while the spirit and 
point of view of the old officialdom also affect, very power- 
fully, officials who are making a career in new-model ad- 
ministrations. Nor is it easy to isolate characteristics which are 
peculiar to Chinese society which belong to the culture as 
distinguished from other cultures from characteristics which 
are only relatively different which belong, that is, to the 
age of the culture and the stage of development reached, 
and which are therefore not to be distinguished from, but 
to be compared with, the stage of development of other 

For instance, there is a decentralization, a diffusion of re- 
sponsibility and a style in the handling of local affairs, allow- 
ing an enormous scope for the indirect exercise of individual 
policy, which is probably essentially Chinese. There is also 
a style of family linkage, and an idea of the personal career 
worked out through family connections, which may, perhaps, 
be called Chinese. On the other hand the prevalence of 
nepotism, involving the use of state information and public 
machinery for private and family benefit, which is often called 
a "Chinese" characteristic, is not by any means peculiar to 
China. Such things are becoming more and more potent in 
contemporary Western societies, and probably, by the time 
any Western society has reached the same relative stage of 
development as that of China, will be equally significant. 
"Reform" and "progress" are terms too loosely used. Eco- 
nomic conditions can, to a certain extent, be affected by so- 
cial action; but the type of social action itself is, on the whole, 
a matter of growth, age and decay. Even the ideals of "re- 
form" and "progress" current in a given society are on the 
whole predetermined less by the direct force of "environment" 
than by the period of growth and age of the living society. 


No society can fully control its future, because it cannot alter 

its past. , 

Partly because of the lack of government funds to adminis- 
ter "from above" the development of colonization lands, but 
ultimately because of the Chinese type of decentralized official 
administration, officials as individuals are inseparably asso- 
ciated with colonizing exploitation. Thus, in default of budg- 
eted and audited colonization funds, the colonization and the 
officials administering it pay their own way from the begin- 
ning. Officials appointed to distribute land allot themselves, 
as a matter of course, large private holdings; and thereafter 
they are concerned in the development of the region bodies 
individuals and as officials. Moreover, because of the in- 
stinctive feeling for diffused responsibility, official approval, 
even official control is not enough for any enterprise with a 
powerful effect on society. Officials must also be implicated as 
individuals with a personal interest at stake. The power of 
the official, and his methods in action, are not closely regu- 
lated functions, but mutable indices. In the West, official 
policy reveals a "scheme," a "system"; in China, what has to 
be apprehended is the "feel" of the characteristically obscure 
trend of development and center of gravity. Consequently 
the actual functions and social value of the official cannot be 
elucidated by reference to definite regulations, but must be 
artistically felt out and manipulated. 

In fact Western "systems" of government are assertive, 
and informed both with theory and purpose. The common- 
est cause of abuse and confusion in action is the over- 
multiplication of principles, which conflict in practice. More- 
over "corruption" often proceeds from deliberately engineered 
social principles which, once launched as laws, favor par- 
ticular classes, groups, or individuals. The tendency char- 
acteristic of China appears to be a preference for "schemes" 


of authority which are largely neutral. They indicate a man- 
ner of action, but they do not prescribe a course of action. 
Therefore the things which actually happen and actually are 
done, within the non-prescriptive framework, are mainly 
determined by fluctuating individual adjustment and manipu- 

The facts of "corruption" in America as discussed in books 
by enthusiasts of "reform," are no more peculiar to America 
than they are to China; but the style of working is different. 
Again, in China, as in other countries where railways are 
State enterprises, it is a frequent occurrence of fact that of- 
ficials of the railway use their official knowledge for private 
speculation in land; but, here again, the style of working is 
different. The whole history of foreign railway enterprise in 
China is, for instance, a struggle to insure to the investing 
bondholders a kind of railway familiar to them; a self- 
defined unit with functions that are specified in every respect 
an ambition which is inevitably suspect to the national 
feeling, which requires enterprises of which every function 
is variable, in spite of definition, and in which Central Gov- 
ernment interests, Provincial Government interests, local in- 
terests and the personal interests of the officials representing 
these groups of authorities, can all have room for manceuver. 
According to this counter-feeling the bondholder, by infer- 
ence, cannot rely on his "rights," but must work through his 
alliances of interest. The condition aimed at is one in which 
the identity and affiliations of the investor are more important 
than the fact that he holds bonds a condition seen also in 
the West, but for different reasons, arising from principles 
and precepts which have been enforced by a given group in 
its own interests. 

Purely Chinese enterprises are operated as a matter of 
course by linking the interests of the backers with the private 


interest of officials. It would be quite absurd for an individual 
to buy a large tract of land, bring in tenants, pay his taxes and 
set out independently to become a land magnate of the pio- 
neer colonizing frontier, with only a copy of the official regu- 
lations as a guide to his relations with officials. The lonely 
responsibility of such a career would be insupportable to the 
individual, and the bald assertiveness of it would be abhor- 
rent to society. Even if he could refer to regulations of the 
most elaborate kind, he would feel uneasy about dealing with 
the definition of an official; he would seek to find touch with, 
and accommodate himself to, the officials. The office, as an 
abstraction, is not negotiable; the officials, on the other hand, 
as human beings, are variable and therefore understandable 
indices to the tendencies current in the official world. To this 
group, as it feels its way in action, the individual can make 
functional but undefined adjustments, which satisfy his in- 
stinct for keeping up a play of policy, which potentially may 
last for an indefinite time into the future, without commit- 
ting himself to a scheme of action assertively projected into 
the future. Thus he can remain, so to speak, "in balance" 
with his society, without having to strike a balance that 
would commit him individually, and can remain one of a 
nexus of individuals without isolated responsibilities. 

Consequently, it is axiomatic that in any enterprise of large 
scope, officials will be found as implicated participants, but 
not as declared participants with fully limited functions. It 
will never be possible to strike a balance between the office and 
the official, the person as public official and the person as pri- 
vate agent, the individual as manager of a large enterprise 
and the individual as nephew of a general. That is why what 
we call the "abuses" of nepotism, "squeeze," private par- 
ticipation in public affairs, the use of state information for 
private ends, and so forth, exhibit parallels of fact between 


East and West, but cannot be called parallels of style in ac- 
tion, and why it is a gross misundertanding to call them all, 
without further consideration, "defects" of the Chinese sys- 
tem which have crept in through decay. They are defects in 
the Western system, and they indicate the age of any given 
society to the extent that the older the society, the more likely 
they are to be both prevalent and, in a way of their own, 

In all Western societies, however, such "abuses" are both 
felt and defined as defects. We recognize their existence, but 
the public conscience, through repeated redefinition, works 
incessantly (however hopelessly) to eliminate them. In the 
Chinese society, the stigma of "abuse" does not automatically 
attach. "Abuse" is not "abuse" in kind, but in degree. Too 
much nepotism is considered reprehensible, and in due course 
brings retribution; but it is characteristic that the degree is not 
defined; reproof and correction work themselves out through 
a gradual play of forces, without reference to a rigid scheme. 
As for the "system" itself (so to call it) not only does it pro- 
vide the most obvious, but the most necessary and practical 
channels of action. If these channels were abruptly cut off, 
all the processes of society would be paralyzed. There is an 
effort to do away with them in modern times; it is this effort 
which produces many of the discords of contemporary so- 
ciety, and the chief motive power of the effort itself does not 
come spontaneously from within the society, but from the 
growing necessity of adaptation to alien standards it is one 
of the reactions to foreign aggression. 

These considerations are of the greater importance in that 
colonization enterprises are preponderantly carried on^by 
"big interests." The low standard of living of the colonists 
themselves has apparently led to a general assumption that 
the whole phenomenon of colonization is a primitive, spon- 


taneous surge of migration. It is nothing of the sort, and the 
style of operation of the "big interests" proves beyond a doubt 
that as a social phenomenon the colonization of Manchuria 
belongs to a highly elaborated, highly self-conscious, highly 
artificial, very "late" stage of civilization. In southeastern 
and central Manchuria, it is true, the natural pressure of in- 
creasing population is responsible for a certain amount of 
spontaneous enterprise in adjacent undeveloped lands, and 
the same is true of the "oldest" parts of the Mongol "reser- 
voir." Even here, however, all new industry and manufacture 
is dominated by "big interests." In the open, typical "pioneer" 
lands, not only such industry as exists, but the actual settle- 
ment of the land is an affair of the "big interests." 

The two most typical kinds of large enterprise are the land 
company and the grain company; and these often interlock. 
The bigger they are, the more certain it is that officials are im- 
plicated in them. The norm of operation is as follows: either 
an official has taken up an allotment of land and needs to have 
it run for him, or a group interested in land exploitation need 
to have official connections in order to work smoothly. A 
combination is accordingly formed in which interest and in- 
fluence have a capital value; the consequence being that the 
cash returns on the capital actually invested cannot be me- 
chanically distributed as calculable dividends, but must be 
apportioned by mutual agreement according to all kinds of 
incalculable categories. Even a manager drawing by agree- 
ment a stipulated percentage of profits would never expect 
to draw a sum exactly calculated on a fixed basis. Both real 
basis and real sum may vary from year to year, and more- 
over the exactness of the sum finally entered in the accounts 
is shaded off either by delays in payment or by presents and 
perquisites. Indeed, the value of the position itself is not an 
exact quantity, for it depends in part on the facilities it af- 


fords for the occupant to use the advantages of his nominal 
position for other activities. 

It is not surprising that such alliances of capital invest- 
ment and official interest are often reinforced by intermar- 
riage; with the result that a marriage settlement often has 
the effect of a business merger, or a tariff agreement. Thus the 
activities, profits and liabilities of every participant become 
subject to perpetual concession and manipulation. When 
credit or fresh capital are needed, they are acquired by com- 
parably unregulated methods. Each investment that comes 
in has its own terms; it comes in on nominal terms that vary 
with the status and ramifying relations of the investor, and 
remains at work on actual terms that are subject to perpetual 
rediscussion and readjustment. 

In enterprises thus constituted, it is obvious that even when 
a scheme of operation has been drawn up, it must be worded 
as non-committally as possible, and be largely meaningless 
in practice. No step that has to be decided on and carried out 
falls within the prescribed sphere of an executive with defined 
duties and responsibilities, but is on its merits a matter for 
complicated delegation and combined execution. Thus all re- 
sponsibility for performance is diffused; all are involved in a 
drift of action stimulated by merging interests and accom- 
modated by pliant adaptation to circumstances, with the re- 
sult that personal initiative and assertiveness have to be dis- 
counted as dubious qualities in business and society. On the 
other hand negative responsibility, though equally undefined, 
must always be met If anything happens, responsibility must 
be adjudged; and normally it is adjudged, not by discriminat- 
ing the person whose positive position, duties or actions point 
him out as the responsible agent, but primarily by ascribing 
it to the person who happened to be nearest in position when 
the event occurred, and secondarily by making a scapegoat 


of the person whose relative position makes it better for him 
to bear it than anybody else. 

In such involved operations the official serves as the link 
giving an adaptability of relation between the nominal func- 
tions of private enterprise and the nominal functions of gov- 
erning authority. From the very beginning there is manipu- 
lation of the measurement and allotment of the land. There is 
a nominal division into "first," "second" and "thjrd"-class 
land; but this is merely a concession to the "natural" factors, 
which have thereafter to be brought into relation with the 
"human" factors. The practical problems which have to be 
met are: 

On the fart of the land. Is it, while falling within the gen- 
eral "first-class" category, good, extra good, and so on? What 
are its possibilities in the way of development, transport, 
bandits and so on, and is there anybody who is "on the inside" 
with regard to any of these questions. 

On the part of the purchaser. Who is he? What are his 
other interests and activities? What are his relations with 
other buyers, officials and those whose interests converge on 
the land, whether in matters of development, transport, ban- 
ditry or anything else? 

All of these factors may be called potentials of policy, rather 
than principles of action. They invade the future with no too 
definite assertion, but rather provide a neutral standard of 
manner in action, which may as well continue perpetually if 
nothing happens; consequently, when anything does hap- 
pen, it can be adjusted without loss of principle, so long as the 
manner of doing things is not affected. As for practical func- 
tion, all these factors must be taken into account when land 
devolves from the government to the individual. The land 
measure may be expanded or contracted and the price may be 
shaded off by terms of cash, credit, installments and so on. 


Obviously such adjustments cannot be made unless officials 
are involved as understanding participants; for, from the 
very beginning, an official personally interested in a tract of 
land can make arrangements for not collecting his own taxes 
from himself. 

With a central government that is weak in authority and 
lacks funds for the impartial development of distant lands 
by strict bureaucratic methods, there is often no alternative 
to this expedient of localizing the capitalization and develop- 
ment of each region, and allowing the officials of the ad- 
ministration to become heavily interested in the projects they 
administer. 1 If accidents of situation and auxiliary facilities 
encourage the officials to develop the interests they have staked 
out, the expedient often works well. On the other hand there 
is often a tendency on the part of those interested to let the 
investment wait until the facilities arrive. It is general, at least 
in the modern period, to insert a clause in the regulations of 
land grants to the eflect that if the investor does not begin 
development within a specified time, the grant reverts to the 
government. When, however, the officials themselves are 
heavily interested, this clause becomes a dead letter. There 
are huge tracts of apparent wilderness, especially in the north, 
which actually have been allotted to private ownership under 
land-grant projects, with title deeds dating back twenty or 
thirty years, which have never been developed. Occasionally 

1 While this type of unassertive central government and the unofficial expedient 
of allowing inadequately paid officials to enrich themselves by lending the aid of 
their official positions to personal and extra-official undertakings were inherent 
in the Chinese system as taken over by the Manchus, the extra-official ac- 
tivities of officials at least were further promoted by the Manchu law that 
Manchus might not engage in trade. The Manchu official and his relatives had 
therefore to engage in trade and other activities indirectly, through agents, in order 
to invest their funds. Such proceedings could hardly be put on a contract basis, 
because they were in the nature of things extra-legal. Obviously it was both effective 
and discreet for the official to operate as an unseen angel in the affairs of business 
concerns with which he had an understanding. 


smaller holders have begun development and then been forced 
out, because the rules of taxation were enforced against 
them, but not against the "big interests" about them, with the 
result that, failing to make a profit because of the lack of de- 
velopment in the region as a whole, they have abandoned their 
farms-wither selling them at a sacrifice to the "big interests" 
or allowing their titles to lapse and be redistributed, thus also 
passing, eventually, into the hands of the "big interests." 

When a big exploiting enterprise begins to operate, linked 
with the interests of officials and with its balances of capital, 
management, executive responsibility and so forth delicately 
but vaguely disposed about an obscure, undeterminable, mo- 
bile center, all of its functions have to be adjusted in terms 
of policy, in preference to principle. None of the terms of 
tenantship, rental, taxation, "assisted colonization," loans, 
provision of livestock, are rigid. When taxation is to be 
levied, the governing standard is not a rigid assessment, but 
the standard of "how much is enough ?" So long as the higher 
authorities get "enough" the lower authorities are given scope 
to make their own adjustments, and so on down to the actual 
taxpayer. When rental is to be collected, if it is in kind, as is 
most general, there is an agreed ratio for the division of 
crops; but this has to be recurrently readjusted. How good is 
the crop? What is the current relative value of different 
crops ? What is the state of money, transport rates, loan quota- 
tions ? If a tenant's crop has failed, has he really got nothing, 
or a little something? What are his other resources? Who 
are his relatives and friends ? Nor are the accommodations ar- 
rived at by the bald calculation of a profit and loss account, 
but the terms are shaded off by granting a somewhat smaller 
measure, or by giving a new plow or by counting two donkeys 
as a horse, or by not counting the number of young pigs, or by 
helping a boy through school, or transferring a family to dif- 


f erent land, or urging that the value of services rendered in 
making a marriage settlement be considered, or any one of a 
countless number of expedients. 

In marketing a crop, such a thing as a "straight deal," writ- 
ten up, balanced off and closed out, must be very rare, if not 
practically impossible. Transport rates, terms of delivery, 
quality, are all subject to rediscussion at any moment. For- 
eigners trading in China are only beginning to appreciate 
this lack of clarity in Chinese business as they are being forced 
gradually to meet Chinese terms in order to do any business 
at all. The saying that "the word of a Chinese is as good as 
his bond" dates back to the trading conditions of the eight- 
eenth and nineteenth centuries, when amidst a maze of per- 
plexities it was the only basis on which business could be done 
between Chinese and foreigners; it was the minimum con- 
dition dictated by foreigners. In Chinese business proper, 
neither time, price nor quality is the essence of a contract; 
bondsmen have to be associated with every contract in order 
to diffuse responsibility during the almost inevitable nego- 
tiations for adjustment and readjustment. Nor is the for- 
eigner, demanding payment on the nail for goods delivered, 
or delivery on the dot for goods contracted for and paid for 
in advance, regarded as a sound, practical, hard-headed busi- 
ness man, but as a stupid, violent, simple fellow who does not 
understand the secrets of keeping a business running, but 
must always close his deals with uncivilized plunging and 


In the marketing of agricultural produce there is a mixture 
of tenant's transport, landlord's transport, and outside pro- 
fessional transport; and the initial cart transport must be 
carefully adjusted to rail transport. There are questions of 
taxation in transit, and the relations of those engaged in trans- 
port to those engaged in tax collection. For this reason trans- 


port men of all kinds avoid working off a beaten route which 
they have made their own; to encounter tax officials with 
whom they have no acquaintance is as bad as encountering 
robbers. 2 Moreover, taxation being farmed out to concession- 
aires, there is a fluctuating margin between the receipts esti- 
mated and the amount the traffic can bear; not to mention 
the margin between the amount the concessionaire has agreed 
by contract to pay the authorities above him, and the amount 
he may be called on to pay, or the amount that he thinks ought 
to be enough for him to pay. Finally, woven through many 
types of commercial activity, there are the interests of officials 
associated with land companies, with grain companies, with 
transport companies, and so on. 

The introduction of new types of activity, like railways, 
alien to the traditional complex, immediately forces an im- 
portant issue; there is a tendency for the kind of strict control 
and schematic planning associated with railways to crys- 
tallize the loose organization of the older activities into closely 
defined units, in order to facilitate the work of the railway. 
This is one of the effects of the impact of Western aggression. 
There is also an opposite tendency for the rigid, self-inclusive 
organization originally associated with the railway to break up 
into the vague associations which characterize the economic 
structure of the region in which it operates; this is the effect 
of the reaction of the traditional society, endeavoring not to 
be dominated by the alien method, but to adapt the alien 
utility to its own methods. Generally speaking, the more ob- 
viously a railway is the tool of "Western aggression," the 
more Western it remains. Unless it was financed by a foreign 
loan, with a certain amount of foreign control over accounts 

2 For a tax collector, conversely, the question "Whose goods are you carrying?" 
is almost as important sometimes more important than the question "What 
goods are you carrying?" 


to guarantee the service of the loan, there is an almost over- 
whelming tendency for the actual functions of the railway to 
diverge from its planned functions; and the most obvious 
sign of this is the margin between the freight carried and the 
freight charges collected. Thus it is characteristic that a re- 
gion of new colonization may be booming, with rising land 
values, an expanding outward trade in grain and a com- 
pensating inward trade in general merchandise; and yet be 
served by a railway which is badly in arrears in payments on 
interest and capital The railway serves the community, in 
a manner of speaking, very efficiently; all benefit by it; but 
the benefits, instead of being made manifest in a definable and 
accountable sum marked "railway profits," are dispensed 
through the community by a multitude of indirect and in- 
visible channels. All railways run through the spheres of 
operation of a number of officials; and as all railways are 
State railways, there is a perpetual flux of adjustment between 
central authority and regional authority, and between the of- 
ficials who are primarily interested in the railway and those 
whose local interests impinge on the railway. 

It is easier to understand the structure of a region that is be- 
ing developed by rapid colonization than to summarize it. 
The briefest summary possible is to say that the land com- 
missioner takes up good holdings for himself in the land he 
distributes, and delegates his interest in development to a 
land company. The land company delegates a part of its in- 
terest to a grain company. The grain company delegates a 
part of its interest to a distillery (for grain that is too far from 
a market can be turned to profit by distilling alcohol on the 
spot and transporting the alcohol) ; and another part of its 
interest to a transport company. Each sphere of operation 
pays for itself, but each depends on intimate understanding 
with all the others. The land company turns over part of its 


profit to the official, who needs it because failing a strict 
bureaucratic organization and a career based on a definite 
schedule he must pay most of his own salary and all of his 
own pension. The grain company turns over part of its 
profit to the land company; the distillery and the transport 
company turn over part of their profits to the parent grain 
company. Finally, at the base of the whole structure, the 
tenant peasant, who may hold his land either from the official, 
the land company, the grain company or the distillery, turns 
over part of his crop to his landlord, and keeps the rest for 
himself. What he does not need for food he turns in to the 
grain company, partly for money but mostly for utensils. 
The peasant has only a minimum hold on the money, the cash, 
which in the highly developed civilization of China, as in 
that of the West, is the one universally and rapidly negotiable 
agent of power. The peasant therefore has only a minimum 
scope of ambition and enterprise. It is almost impossible for 
him to escape bondage to the land he tills and the grain^he 
harvests, except by cutting loose from the land and turning 
to the towns and cities. It is almost impossible for him to 
win through money an economic independence in the use of 
land; for money values are determined by paper currencies 
which, with the banks that issue them, are overwhelmingly 
dominated by the private interests of various officials. 

Under modern conditions in the settlement of new land, the 
independent small holder is inevitably swamped by tenant 
fanners whose entire economic life is dominated by the big 
interests. It might appear that the great supply of land, 
matched by a great supply of colonists impelled to migrate 
from China by famine conditions, would stimulate a free- 
for-all colonization favoring individual enterprise. Actually, 
because the big interests have a priority of choice in taking up 
land, and can recruit tenants who, being economically des- 


perate, are willing to accept almost any terms, the majority 
of the new land is settled by people who do not go where they 
want, but are put where they are wanted. The new colonists 
arriving by the ever-expanding new railways, transported 
either free of charge or at special minimum rates, and either 
taking up land at a minimum capital outlay or land on which 
they may begin work without any capital at all, and with 
housing, plows and livestock provided by the landlord, have 
a minimum economic initiative. The new land company and 
the new grain company have their representatives in the new 
chamber of commerce, and their interests interlock with the 
interests which direct railway policy. Therefore they are able 
to plan in advance the number of new tenants they can settle 
in a given season, and by representations in the right quarter 
to secure the required supply at a minimum cost. In other 
words the allotment of land and the transport and settlement 
of colonists are not directed by impersonal agencies; nor are 
impartially administered state funds available for financing 
settlers without capital. On the contrary, the distribution's 
the land itself is manipulated largely in favor of the interests 
of people in privileged positions, and these interests develop 
into "big interests" of a thoroughly sophisticated type, which 
thereafter interpenetrate and influence the whole mechanism 
of settlement and development. ^^ 

It is in consequence misleading even to attempt totfiscuss 
colonization in terms of bureaucratically administered, self- 
contained "schemes," isolated region by region. The best that 
can be done is to attempt to interpret the manner of working 
of an intricately patterned drift of personal and public action. 
One of the most characteristic phenomena of the merging of 
the private person and the official is the fact that invariably 
the official is dealt with as individual rather than as func- 
tionary. Therefore every time an official is promoted or trans- 


ferred, a ripple of adjustment spreads over the former sphere 
of his activity, followed by a corresponding ripple as his suc- 
cessor works into place. For this reason in every province, 
every county, every tax-office, every military district and in- 
numerable industrial, commercial and agricultural enter- 
prises, there can be detected not only the growing influence 
of new interests, but the waning influence of old "connec- 
tions. 59 Because of the diffusion of his interests, the in- 
dividual cannot wind them up, write out a profit and loss 
account, realize in cash and boldly invest his capital else- 
where. He cannot abruptly form new connections any more 
than he can abruptly sever old ones. He must make countless 
exchanges, concessions, delegations of interest; and while his 
diminishing influence is being sloughed off in one group and 
region, he is fostering its introduction and tentative growth 




HOWEVER important the "style" of operation in land settle- 
ment and agricultural development, it remains evident that 
there are strong parallels between modern Chinese coloniza- 
tion and colonization under a Western government The 
results achieved above all, the importance of large corporate 
activities which can bring pressure to bear on the activities 
of government are in many ways more obvious than the man- 
ner of operation. In other words it appears to be more sig- 
nificant that the civilization of China is mature and "late," 
and that Western civilization is beginning to show the same 
phenomena of age, than that the styles of the two civilizations 
are different. Perhaps the most obvious distinction that ap- 
pears is that in the West "big interests" tend to control in- 
dividuals in official positions, in order to increase their scope 
of operation, while in Manchuria officials tend to increase their 
influence and power by taking a hand in and controlling the 
enterprises of "big interests"; so that under one system the 
public pays a toll to private enterprise, while under the other 
the officials take a toll from the public through the manipula- 
tion of private enterprise. 

When, however, we consider industry and manufacture, 
finance on a large scale and all activities that require the use 
of machinery in short, all activities in which it is necessary 
to cope with Western standards, Western competition and 



Western pressure the cleavage between East and West be- 
comes more obvious. The cleavage is not one which the 
Western mind readily appreciates. We are too much accus- 
tomed to think of Western civilization as a force in itself, 
which spreads over the world with the imperative converting 
effect of a new religion, imposing a unity of creed and social 
life. We are therefore impatient of differences in attitude to- 
ward our style of civilization. We are prone to assume that 
a bank is a bank, a factory a factory, a railway a railway and 
a mine a mine, all the world over; that there may be differ- 
ences in nationality but none in the essential structure of 
civilization, wherever the civilization of which these are the 
visible portents has been established. Yet the truth of the mat- 
ter is that differences of culture and the feeling of what life 
and civilization ought to be do continue potent in operation. 
In Northeastern Asia may be seen the phenomena of three 
great processes in the life, death and transformation of civili- 
zations. Japan has taken to itself the whole of Western civil- 
ization and attempted to master it, and has become, with 
differences of national culture and tradition, but not of essen- 
tial economy and civilization, as nearly as possible a Western 
nation. Russia, which was never a Western nation of the 
genuine Western tradition, is now apparently succeeding in 
taking over the powers of the Western civilization and trans- 
forming them, and at the same time the Russian nation, with 
results which point to the emergence of a new style of civili- 
zation, with social, economic and intellectual values peculiar 
to itself. In China, the struggle has not yet swung finally 
in one direction or the other. There is no overwhelming na- 
tional ambition to discipline the nation in Western modes 
and make the Western civilization its own, as in Japan. Nor 
is there any overwhelming ambition to adopt the Russian 
method, that of disintegrating both old and new, the in- 
digenous and the alien, in order to create, by inspiration from 


within, something fresh and unheard of in the world. The 
majority of the vigor available in the nation appears to be 
working toward a stalemate decision; namely, a maximum 
objective use of the new means available, with a minimum 
adoption of new subjective values. 

One of the pronounced characteristics of the new Russian 
civilization is the decided assertion of national taste in the 
choice of borrowings from the Western civilization, par- 
ticularly the Western industrialism. In spite of what appear 
to be failures abortive experiments and uncompleted pro- 
gramsthe Russians on the whole would seem to know both 
what they want from the West and how they intend to use 
it. In such a momentous creative experiment as the Russian 
revolution, the f ailure to carry out a few details of the program 
is immaterial, in face of the lively assertion of likes and dis- 
likes which testifies to a living national inspiration at work. 
It is as though the Russians always know inwardly what they 
want, even though they cannot always define and execute 
completely what they want. 

Herein lies the great difference between modernization in 
Russia and Westernization in Japan. The Russians are highly 
critical and selective, and do not hesitate to remodel what 
they are not prepared to take over in its European-American 
form. The Japanese, carried away by the desire to be Western, 
have always tended to swallow everything whole. Selection 
has gone chiefly by countries the navy being modeled on 
that of one country, the army on that of another, and so on. 
Hence the charge of imitation without imagination that is al- 
most a catchword in criticism of Japan. There is, however, 
evidence in history that the Japanese have a power of di- 
gestion equal to their boa-constrictor method of acquisition. 
The Chinese civilization brought over to Japan a thousand 
years and more ago, and reinforced at intervals later, became 
in time a genuine Japanese growth, with a national cast in 


literature, art, religion and society, and a vitality which in 
many respects has outlasted that of China itself. There have 
already been reactions in Japan against indiscriminate West- 
ernization, and the final achievement of a new Japan, de- 
veloped out of the present nation with its characteristics of 
over-Westernization in some respects and incomplete West- 
ernization in others, depends chiefly on the ability of Japan 
to stand the economic strain. When the Western culture, al- 
ready adopted, has been finally assimilated, the Western 
origins of the new Japanese culture will be as obvious as the 
Chinese origins of the older culture; but, like the older cul- 
ture, it will have an unmistakable Japanese cast and a life of 
its own. 

In contrast with this sense of certitude and inspiration, one 
of the major phenomena produced by the impact of the West 
on China appears to be a feeling of doubt and indecision. THe 
crucial question "What do we want?" which was the touch- 
stone of Westernization in Japan, and is, though differently 
applied, the touchstone of the creation of a new Russia, is re- 
placed by the question "What do we have to have ?" The New 
China is not at all impressed with any inward, moral or 
spiritual superiority inherent in the West. There is none of 
that urgent desire to assume the standards of the West, to 
measure up to the standards of the West and to pass proudly 
as "first class" by the standards of the West which made the 
Westernization of Japan as passionate as a crusade although 
Westerners commonly enough, with gross lack of apprecia- 
tion, deplore that crusade as nothing but a drab process de- 
structive of a picturesque old culture. 1 

Nor is there any of that instinctive feeling for what is to be 

1 It is true that China also passionately desires to be recognized as a "first-class** 
nation with a "first-class" culture; but the essence of the Chinese demand is that 
the Western standard ought to be modified to admit China, without the antecedent 
remodeling o China to suit the Western standard. 


chosen and what rejected, and how that which is chosen is 
to be used, which characterizes the Russia of to-day, and which 
often confounds and disgusts Western enthusiasts, reformers 
and idealists who think they know what Russia ought to 
want. The arrival of Perry's squadron had, in Japan, the effect 
of the revelation of a new dispensation. The war in Europe, 
which destroyed the superficial strata of Westernism in Rus- 
sia, released the dormant energy of the autochthonous Rus- 
sian inspiration. In China, the different assaults of Western 
nations led only to defensive measures and a conviction of 
the essential savagery of Western civilization; and the war 
in Europe, and its sequelae, put an end to any hope that China 
might accept the civilization of the West as admirable in 
itself, and gave strength to the instinct that China ought to 
bide her time, in the hope eventually of sloughing off the 
West and its barbarisms. Hence a strong intellectual tend- 
ency, in the China of to-day, to accord to considerations of 
the possible decay and collapse of Western civilization an 
importance at least equal to considerations of the desirability 
of Westernizing China. 

There is, indeed, in the processes of Westernization in 
China, a play of fashion which often appears irresponsible 
to Westerners, because random and unconvinced. Western 
standards, far from being considered admirable in themselves, 
are all suspect and feared as "soulless," because inimical to 
the spirit of China. Accordingly there appears to be, very 
often, in the course of adaptation to Western standards, a 
difficulty in distinguishing between the mechanics of any 
given process and the spirit that informs the process. In 
this way attempts are often made to take over a method, 
without adopting the spirit of the society in which the method 
was originally developed, and of which it was the natural 
fruit Perhaps the most striking illustration of this type of 


contradiction is to be found in the adoption on a large scale 
of Western armaments, with the minimum adoption of the 
Western style in warfare. In the same way, when there^is 
a question of handing over to Chinese control any enterprise 
originally developed by foreigners, the least of the difficulties 
is that of training a technical staff. The true crisis comes when, 
with the full assertion of Chinese control, a standard of enter- 
prise and responsible direction based on adaptation is sub- 
stituted for one based on assertion. 

The pronounced tendency toward State monopolies and 
State activities of different kinds is a part of the feeling of 
uncertainty in face of the alien spirit which lingers about all 
kinds of alien activities. This tendency is the stronger for 
being based on a preexistent attitude toward mines, forests 
and all such natural wealth as men do not create but find: 
it accounts for an effort to treat many Westernisms, particu- 
larly those which are bound up with machinery and indus- 
trialism, as if they were, by analogy, not phenomena that men 
choose, invent or construct in the pursuit of individual am- 
bition and self-fulfillment, but phenomena which men en- 
counter, phenomena which they find it necessary to deal 
with as if they were complete in themselves. 

It is therefore not surprising that the greatest danger to 
the independent strength and freedom of initiative of a na- 
tion like China (or Turkey) which is making an effort to 
adapt itself to the standards of the West is that it thereby 
admits, at least by implication, the superior authority of the 
West; with the result that, by the time it has mastered West- 
ernization as a thing complete in itself, the West proper, 
whose Westernism is a living force informed with growth 
and activity, has progressed spontaneously to a further point 
with the result that the nation striving for adaptation, hav- 
ing once admitted the authority of the alien standard, finds 


itself still chronologically in arrears and accordingly restricted 
in the faculty of initiative. Even in a nation like Japan, where 
the process of Westernizing was less an adaptation than a 
transformation, a genuine phenomenon of rebirth, the effects 
of this chronological handicap can very definitely be traced. 

In China, the old conception of state rights of possession 
in respect of natural wealth ("wealth in itself," like gold) is 
increasingly being extended to all kinds of activities ("wealth 
created by work") notably rail transport, and many industrial 
and exploitational enterprises, and even the distribution of 
commodities. There is, for instance, a strong and recurrent 
tendency to assert regional-monopoly control of trade in oil 
products, tobacco and matches all of which are dominated 
by foreign interests. The type of state monopoly that works 
out in practice is different both from the Russian concep- 
tion, which aims at doing better than individual enterprise, 
and the normal Western type of state control which aims as 
a rule at prevention of abuse by private enterprise; in the 
Chinese type, apart altogether from the perennial question 
of revenue, which often superficially appears to be the main 
question, die problem of the relation between the State and 
the individual is secondary to the profound problem of safe- 
guarding Chinese standards, during the period of adaptation, 
from coming too far under the authority of Western stand- 
ards. Maneuvers of defense are constantly in evidence. 

Although Russian state enterprises differ in inspiration 
from those of typically Western nations, yet in Russia and 
the West alike the type of action is the use of state machinery 
to express the policy, the will, of individuals who have mas- 
tered the state and use it for the assertion of their own ideas 
of what should be done and how it should be done. The 
State is the spear of the individual. At the core of the system 
the individual is always to be found; the system itself is one of 


pyramided individual wills and responsibilities. The state 
machinery in China, although fitfully and opportunistically 
exploited by the individual, functions above all as a shield for 
the individual. The state and its organizations, in the modern 
phase, play a part of vital importance in deadening the im- 
pact on society of aggressive Western activity; they diffuse 
responsibility where the Western instinct focuses it. At the 
core of the system the group can always be found; the in- 
dividual is hard to define. The individual shelters within and 
behind the group, in order to work out his own position; 
though this does not impair the importance of the individual, 
whose personality has always been of high importance in 
China, and never more than at the present time. 

This can be felt in all negotiations with the State, not only 
international but domestic. The individual is responsible 
when responsibility for what has happened can be pinned on 
him; but when responsibility must be assumed in advance for 
what is going to be done, for what is willed and projected, it is 
diffused as widely as possible over the group. In the West, 
both in domestic crises within the State and in international 
negotiations, the individual with convictions steps out to make 
a claim for leadership; the strongest claim he can make for 
himself is the number and loyalty of the group that follow 
him; he works by persuading the group to follow his lead. 
In China, when something must be decided, the individual 
works from behind the group, pushing it before him to the 
best of his ability. The strongest case he can make for himself 
is that he has followed the most important group. 

It is not for nothing that, in the West, all important treaties, 
of the kind that mark epochs, turning points in history, are 
associated naturally, and as it were unthinkingly, with the 
names of great men who dominated the decisions and terms of 
the treaties. There is never any doubt about the figurehead and 


the representative, the spokesman. In treaties between China 
and Western nations, owing largely to the series of treaties 
brought about by Western insistence, there has always been 
a disconcerting vagueness about the relation of the signatories 
of China to the feeling of the Chinese nation. The compara- 
tive unimportance of the individual name has persisted re- 
markably even into the modern phase where China is ma- 
nceuvering energetically to hold the initiative in foreign 
treaties. Able and brilliant as is the Foreign Minister who has 
conducted, under foreign eyes, the foreign policy of the 
Nationalist Government, it cannot be doubted that in Chinese 
eyes the treaties he has signed are not his treaties but the 
treaties of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist Party. Probably 
the man who was most conspicuously a leader and an in- 
dividualist in Chinese negotiations with a foreign power was 
Eugene Chen, the man who conducted and dominated the 
negotiations for the rendition of the British Concession at 
Hankow and he was an overseas Chinese, educated abroad, 
who first came to China as a man grown, rose to high power 
under the influence of a Russian military advisor, and shortly 
after his most brilliant achievements was eliminated from 
Chinese political life and forced into exile. 2 Much of the bit- 
terness in China over past foreign treaties arises from the fact 
that the West habitually enforced the Western interpretation 
of treaties, the terms of which carried neither intellectual nor 
instinctive conviction to the China with which they were con- 
cluded. In the same way much of the friction between China 
and Western nations during the revolutionary period has 
been due to the stubborn Western persistence in trying to find 
a "strong man" with whom to deal a type of "strong man" 
abhorrent to Chinese statesmanship; not exactly the Yuan 
Shih-k'ai type, but the type that the Powers tried to prod 

2 He returned again in 1931 to join the anti-Nanking Canton faction. 


Yuan Shih-k'ai into becoming ignoring the fact that the 
nearer a Chinese statesman approaches to this type, the nearer 
he is to downfall through being rejected and disowned by 
the group-feeling of the nation. 

In Manchuria, easily accessible regions of great geographical 
extent lie open to development by either new methods or old. 
It is therefore of extraordinary interest to consider the inter- 
action of the groups and the individual, and the old Chinese 
tradition proper, the regional tradition of the "reservoir" and 
the pressure from without of a civilization of totally different 
style. To begin with, modern banking operations, modeled 
on Western lines, tend very strongly to become official mo- 
nopoliesespecially provincial monopolies. There is probably 
not a provincial bank in China that is not closely linked with 
the personal credit of the members of the provincial govern- 
ing group. The tendency is to identify personalities of the gov- 
erning group with the impersonal entity, "the province," and 
also to identify the financial prosperity of the province with 
the personal careers of the governor and his group of sup- 
porters. It is a tribute to the national skill in negotiation that 
when a provincial administration falls, the currency and credit 
of the province do not necessarily collapse altogether. In fact 
the common procedure, when a governor is removed, whether 
by death, defeat or transfer, is not to repudiate the provincial 
currency but to discount it. The new controlling interests 
agree, in effect, to redeem a proportion of the currency and to 
confirm a proportion of the province's credit. This form of 
compromise represents a personal investment by the new 
official in the region he has undertaken to govern, and the 
process of identifying the personal interests of the official 
with the public interests of die sphere of office being thus re- 
peated, a continuity of routine and procedure is assured. 
Thereafter, if the official is of the type that develops and ex- 


ploits his interests as investments, the value of the provincial 
currency begins to improve ; but if he is of the plundering type, 
it remains depreciated. 

The great value of the system is that, during a period of 
transition such as that of modern China, the political affilia- 
tions of an official, and the extent to which he is involved in 
civil wars, do not prevent all the economic interests within 
the region he governs from supporting him, so long as he 
endeavors to promote economic development. The great dis- 
advantage, in a region like Manchuria where the general eco- 
nomic condition is of necessity sympathetic to the development 
of great untouched lands, is that colonization cannot be de- 
veloped uniformly under an impartial administration, but 
must proceed locally and to a certain extent spasmodically, 
being always under the influence of a great number of in- 
dividual careers. Moreover, though an official may be just 
toward individuals and encourage every kind of immediate 
development, he is hardly able to take a long view of the de- 
velopment of natural resources, being inevitably inclined to 
forms of exploitation which offer the greatest immediate 
profit, regardless of waste and rapid exhaustion. 

Obviously, in the financing of colonization projects, provin- 
cial banks are of the greatest importance. Their operations 
interpenetrate all land development, the grain trade and the 
foundation of new industries ; and there is an obvious tendency 
for those who exercise authority to take as much as possible 
of their own profit in cash, and to pass on to the public as much 
as possible of its share in the form of credit largely in the 
form of paper currency. Thus it frequently happens in a new 
center of the grain trade, for instance, that the men who direct 
the local banks private banks as well as the provincial bank, 
for the larger a private bank the more likely it is to be identi- 
fied with the interests of some official exploit their bank posi- 


tions in order to foster their own activities in the grain trade, 
thus throwing a certain burden on the grain trade as a whole. 
Nor is this to be condemned as malpractice ; the imputation of 
malpractice only attaches if it goes too far. If the general 
development of the region begins to be impeded by ^ such 
preferred interests, the converging pressure of the majority 
interest eventually results in a change of bank directors; 
whereupon the process is renewed on a more reasonable scale. 
Under such a system it is evident that in negotiating for 
a mortgage on land, for instance, the economic soundness of 
the transaction itself must be secondary to the question of the 
identity of the owner of the land, the identity of the bank 
director, and their relation to each other and to various offi- 
cials. Thus different landowners, grain companies, flour 
mills, promoters of new industries and so on not only secure 
different terms according to their personal affiliations, but 
the original terms are, by tacit recognition, subject to revision, 
in spite of written terms, as the result of changes in the bank, 
or changes in the personnel (not necessarily connected with 
commercial profit or loss) of the enterprise which the bank 
is financing. By corollary, the importance of any given per- 
son in any given corporate enterprise is likely to be determined 
by the question "Who is he?" in preference to the question 
"What can he do?" Even the amount of actual cash invest- 
ment which he represents may well be less important than 
his political and family associations. The advantages of the 
system have been pointed out, particularly the tendency to 
make those participating in government sensitive to the eco- 
nomic life of the community: but its weakness (from the 
Western point of view) must again be pointed out; partic- 
ularly the phenomenon, obvious everywhere in Manchuria, 
of enterprises of industry and exploitation dominated by men 
who, far from having "grown up with the business," are lim- 


ited in the extent of their interests by the degree of official 
power held by relatives and friends, and in the duration of 
their interests by the tenure of office held by those same rel- 
atives and friends. This accounts for a comparative paucity 
of large-scale undertakings developed slowly over a long pe- 
riod of years and the existence of numbers of enterprises 
which, however large in scale, are operated fitfully, governed 
by circumstances of opportunity, and characterized by phe- 
nomena of heavy investment risk, quick turnover and large 
profits when successful. 

Associated with this type of enterprise is the phenomenon 
of industries and activities of all kinds which "run down"; 
the more mechanical and technical the undertaking, the more 
likely being the phenomenon of running down. Flour mills, 
for instance, very commonly pay for their capital cost by the 
end of the second year; sometimes in one year. Thereafter, 
every cent of intake is regarded as profit, and there is a pro- 
nounced reluctance to reinvest any serious proportion of the 
profits in maintenance and adequate care of the machinery. 
There is no prevalent feeling that the directors of such a mill 
are under any moral obligation to hand over the mill in per- 
fect running order to their hypothetical successors; and in- 
deed the average director is more likely to advise investing 
profits in a totally new mill than to urge the reinvestment of 
a smaller sum in keeping up and looking after the original 
mill. The fact that many prosperous regions are conspicuous 
for factories and other enterprises that have been "sucked 
dry" and abandoned is not, in Manchuria, an anomaly. Man- 
churia, indeed, owes its continued and comparatively rapid 
increase of prosperity to two circumstances which do not de- 
pend on the national style of culture and political economy 
at all. One of these is the fact that no prolonged, and only 
one serious campaign in any of the civil wars in which Man- 


churia has been concerned since the foundation of the Re- 
public has been fought out on Manchurian territory. The 
other is the fact that political and factional continuity has been 
unbroken, allowing a much greater continuity in social and 
economic development than has been possible in most parts 
of China proper. These factors are probably at least as im- 
portant as the great reserves of surplus land and untouched 
resources in Manchuria; for other Chinese frontier regions, 
analogous to Manchuria in natural wealth and social struc- 
ture have not enjoyed an analogous prosperity, but have suf- 
fered the same cultural, social and economic disintegration 
that characterizes the main regions of contemporary China. 

Given the circumstances which have made for prosperity 
in Manchuria, the indigenous economic methods work hap- 
pily enough, geared as they are to the structure of society. 
They are readily adjusted to margins of risk, scales of profit 
and terms of family organization which are all matters of com- 
mon understanding. It is when Western pressure appears, in 
the form of foreign investment through railway loans, for 
example, or through construction undertaken or machinery 
supplied on credit that friction becomes inevitable. West- 
ern interests are not so adjusted, financially, that they can 
easily compromise on the original terms of a contract, or pur- 
sue their enterprises by fits and starts. Consequently, in pe- 
riods of political and financial readjustment, when Chinese 
interests philosophically compromise in the traditional man- 
ner, or resign themselves to a period of coma, foreign interests 
try to hold out for their "rights" to the limit of their ability 
and, in so doing, make it impossible to escape the imputa- 
tion of foreign arrogance and ruthless exploitation. 

Again, it is increasingly difficult to sell foreign imports, es- 
pecially machinery, on a large scale and on credit, without 
first inflating the price in order to allow commissions to the 


middlemen without whom the business could not be done. 
In the case of official or semi-official business, only too often, 
a large part of these commissions is taken by men who do not 
actively further the enterprise, but who are entitled to a per- 
centage simply as their price for not obstructing the deal. The 
degree of inflation, in turn, increases in proportion to the 
wealth and credit of the buyer, in accordance with the prin- 
ciple that the man who has more money ought to pay more 
than the man with less money would pay for the same article 
this being yet another difference in point of view between 
the East and the West, where normally the buyer with good 
credit can purchase more cheaply than the buyer with limited 
credit. Since this type of inflation is a concession to Chinese 
methods, it is easy to accuse foreign entrepreneurs of col- 
lecting profits on the Chinese scale, while taking advantage of 
foreign "special privileges" to insure a Western standard of 
protection from risk, thus evading the Chinese remedy of 
readjustment of contracts and terms of payment. With the 
decrease of actual foreign control in China, it is not surpris- 
ing that there is not only a tendency to default on payments 
to foreign enterprises, but to justify the defalcation as a form 
of resistance to outrageous exploitation. 

One of the expedients now being tried as a remedy for the 
bad condition of credit in China is the use of guaranteed funds 
for enterprises of Westernization. The recent allotment of 
portions of the remitted British Boxer Indemnity for railway 
construction and other enterprises is an example, and an ex- 
ample of the highest interest. For, while the British manufac- 
turers who are thus guaranteed payment for the materials they 
supply can hardly be accused of "imperialistic" designs, it is 
impossible to deny that the arrangement necessarily increases 
the interest and responsibility of an alien government in the 
internal affairs of China. Nor can it be doubted that leaders 


of the Chinese Government would avoid the arrangement if 
any other were open to them. Indeed the whole experiment, 
while intended and described as a gesture of amity, cannot 
but be considered as an important instance of that change 
in the form of Western pressure on China to which I have 
already referred. 

The tendency, on the one hand, to regard Western products 
and methods either as necessary for China (and chiefly "nec- 
essary" in the sense not of what is wanted but of what has to 
be had) or merely as profitable to the individual Chinese who 
are concerned with them, but on the other hand to manipulate 
foreign activities concerned in the Westernization of China 
as if they were dangerous and inherently hostile, is given a 
special emphasis by the fact that officials are so generally in- 
terposed between the foreign activity and the Chinese public 
which it affects. Not only direct attempts to introduce West- 
ern capital, but many kinds of commercial and industrial 
activity, especially those leading to the installation and in- 
creased use of machinery, and the employment of foreign tech- 
nical supervisors, come in touch at once either with official 
bodies or with the private interests of officials. Thus not only 
the State, but officials as a class are assigned an important part 
in distributing through society the impact of the West on the 
old order. The larger the enterprise, the more likely it is 
that officials who are developing their private interests as well 
as those of the State will interpose the organization of the 
State between themselves and tie actual enterprise, in order 
to diffuse and minimize their personal responsibility. This, 
in turn, not only reinforces the trend toward State monopolies 
and semi-official corporations, but casts about every impor- 
tant activity of Westernization an atmosphere of State con- 
cern, of the public interest and of international affairs. It is 
hardly surprising that, in the popular estimation, any impor- 


tant activity in which any foreign interest can be detected is 
regarded as a form of contest, in which with varying fortune 
either the officials succeed in exploiting the foreigners, or the 
foreigner succeeds in exploiting China: thus relegating to a 
secondary importance the question of the desirability of as- 
similating, subjectively, Western technique and the Western 
point of view; and perpetuating the popular feeling of an 
immanent hostility between the Chinese way of doing things 
and the foreign way of doing things. 


The function of the machine itself, as an instrument 
through which the people of a particular society express the 
aims of their culture, is worth a special study. There is an 
obvious tendency, in the West, to elevate the machine and its 
technicians to a dominant position in society, and an increas- 
ing tendency to regard specialized mastery of some one tech- 
nique as the highest qualification for an important position in 
society at large; and a tendency to subordinate the living or- 
ganisms of society and culture to the dead, inorganic structure 
of machines, industries and other creations of technique. The 
term "engineer" is a powerful catchword in government and 
many kinds of social administration, and it is a characteristic 
Americanism of the mind, only to be expected in the most 
advanced and mechanized state of the West, that multiply- 
ing millions of Westerners undoubtedly accept, without any 
sense of the ridiculous, formulae of this general category, 
"Henry Ford's opinions on history must be of first-class im- 
portance, because look at the Ford car." The specialist, the 
technician, is the true dictator of culture and society, and far 
more important than the man who has great wealth only. 
In China, on the other hand, in spite of the vital importance 


to the nation and its culture of all questions bearing on the ac- 
ceptance or rejection of Western technique an d its accompany- 
ing mentality, the technician has not progressed beyond a 
comparatively servile status. In view of the importance of 
"big interests" as a gear for connecting the machinery of au- 
thority with the enterprise of personal interests, which points 
obviously to an advanced and sophisticated civilization, it is 
extremely significant that the "big men" of the "big interests" 
are normally not the technicians. Given a social and cultural 
order as highly developed as that of China, the crucial factor 
in the modification of the economic order is the factor already 
emphasized, of the strong objective operation of Western 
technical appliances, associated with a poor subjective assim- 
ilation of Western technique. Thus we have the paradox 
that the recent rapid progress of Chinese colonization in Man- 
churia is directly proportionate to the spread of Western meth- 
ods of transport and exploitation; while these activities them- 
selves continue to be generally valued only as sources of 
profit, not as providing opportunities for admirable careers. 
The normal ambition, in respect of such activities of alien 
type, is to be able to control them, in preference to being able 
to do them. Socially, it is more admirable to be a mine owner 
or mine-concessionaire than a mining engineer. This throws 
into relief once more the fact that very few technicians of 
Western training are to be found in positions of control. 
Trained railwaymen do their best to administer railways un- 
der the control of men who have no understanding of, and still 
worse, no feeling for the technical needs and professional 
standards of railway administration. In spite of numbers of 
men available who have thoroughly mastered different tech- 
niques of industry, manufacture and all kinds of mechanical 
exploitation, only a very few can be found working with a 
free hand in positions of real control. Normally, they remain 


subordinate to men and interests whose whole instinct is to 
avoid fusing West and East organically; who endeavor to 
take what profit they can out of Western machines, but are 
unwilling to subordinate their own way of doing things to 
the demands of the Western technique that goes with ma- 
chinery. The machine is welcome so long as it is obedient 
to orders; but it is not regarded as it was in Japan as the 
symbol of an epoch, a turning point, and the revelation of a 
new way of life. 

The machine was a natural product of the Western mind, 
whose latent mechanical instinct woke with full vigor at the 
very moment that adequate motive power became available, 
and made inevitable the domination of the Western world by 
a civilization grounded on machinery. Yet, inevitable though 
the transformation was, the strain on the whole structure of 
society caused agonies in the process of adjustment, until a 
generation matured which had been bred in the living tradi- 
tion of machines, mechanical technique and mechanized in- 
dustries. The mastery of technique now so dominates all our 
society that every type of activity is increasingly restricted by 
the demands of specialization; and there can be no doubt that 
much of the discontent that disturbs the Western world to- 
day springs from the fact that we have so thoroughly worked 
out the major implications of the mechanical age that little 
remains for the youthful and ambitious but the subdivision 
and re-subdivision of specialized techniques. 

Considering the pains of transformation in the West, where 
the new order was generated in and grew out of the old, the 
transvaluation effected in Japan approaches the miraculous, 
and the convulsions of Russia and China are no matter for 
surprise. Russia, however, was a formless barbarism overlaid 
by an aristocratic crust which gave a misleading impression 
of identity with die West. When the crust was destroyed 


the barbarians below began to construct a civilization of their 
own. Crude though their barbarism yet remains, it is so strong 
and individual that it disdains mere imitation of the West, 
and holds obstinately to its own vision of the construction of 
a new industrialism and a new mechanized civilization, 
which is to be something new in all history. China also in- 
stinctively rejects the idea of straightforward adoption of 
Western standards; but for the totally different reason that 
its most genuine idealism lies in the past. Nor is this past a 
primitive Golden Age falsified in the manner of Rousseau. 
A certain loose type of thinking describes the social and eco- 
nomic conditions of China as "medieval," because they are 
not galvanized by the instinct for machinery which germi- 
nated and began to flourish in the West after the close of the 
Middle Ages, and was only delayed in its full development by 
the lack of suitable fuel power. For no better reason than 
this, Westerners are instinctively prone to compare any non- 
mechanized culture with their own pre-machine past as 
"primitive." The past to which China turns for its ideal of 
civilization is neither one of medievalism nor one of over- 
simplified "natural simplicity," but one of great spiritual 
richness, creative achievement and elaborate structure, so 
indubitably noble that it is not unreasonable to argue a case 
attributing the misfortunes of China to a decline from its an- 
cient standard, instead of to failure to assume an alien 

The fact that gunpowder, the compass, printing and other 
inventions which played an enormous part in the develop- 
ment of the West from medievalism to civilization were pre- 
viously known in China proves much more than the flat 
statement usually offered that China was already civilized 
when the West had not emerged from barbarism. The fact 
that these inventions were never developed in China in the 


dynamic style which characterized their effect on the culture 
of the West ought to be recognized as proof that the genius 
of Chinese civilization chose not to develop in the channels 
which appeared obvious to the West, but sought by preference 
other media for the highest expression of the powers of man. 
The true point at issue in the conflict caused by the impact of 
Westernism on China, including the reintroduction of original 
Chinese inventions metamorphosed by Western use, is there- 
fore not one of "progress" from medievalism to civilization, 
but one of the substitution of one civilization for another. 
Hence the long struggle, not yet decided, to master the West 
and hold in check its inventions, rather than offer up the 
proud heritage of the true Chinese civilization to the Moloch 
of the West and its machines. In manufacture, in mechanized 
agriculture, in motor and rail transport, in all the range of 
Western activities, the old proud instinct holds with the ob- 
stinacy of a fine tradition to the judgment that it may be ex- 
pedient, for the sake of cash profit, to have the thing done, 
but that there is not necessarily any virtue, any moral su- 
periority in understanding how the thing is done; far less in 
undertaking a career in the doing of it for the sake of satis- 
fying the personal instinct for a noble and superior life. 

The man of technical training, unless he has political con- 
nections or family connections of a first-class order, ap- 
proximates in social status to the mechanic; and the mechanic, 
far from being the aristocrat of the artisans, is one of the 
most dangerously discordant social elements in modern China. 
Nor is the reason far to seek; for while Westernization has 
proceeded as far as the adoption of the machine for the sake 
of profit, the processes of the machine, technique itself for its 
own sake, have not been naturalized. Failing high control and 
direction, the machine is therefore exploited by manipulation, 
by negotiation with the machine-men. While the engineers, 


the masters of machines, have never risen as a class to the di- 
rection of policy and the control of power, the mechanics, the 
servants of machines, form a jealously self -conscious^ class 
whose power depends on guarding the "secrets, the mys- 
teries of the craft," of their mechanism, and who can by no 
means be flatly ordered about. I have seen a major, in com- 
mand of a party traveling by military motor transport in a 
region under direct military administration, where effective 
military control was based in theory on a system of motor 
patrol-routes, unable to proceed at his own discretion because 
his mechanics had reached a place where they preferred to 
stop. The major shrugged his shoulders. "You can't get in 
wrong with mechanics," he said; "if you do, they monkey 
with the works." 

Nor does this machine-servant even approach machine- 
mastery, as might be expected. Strictly speaking, he is not 
artisan but artist; if one goes far enough back it is not too 
much to say that he is comparable, art for art, with the in- 
spired alchemist who stands in the background of the origins 
of true Western science, or with the magician or shaman, of 
whom it may be said that he does not "control" the powers 
with which he works; the powers manifest themselves through 
him and control is negotiated in terms of art and adaptation. 
Much has been said of the remarkable versatility which a 
Chinese with no advantages of education or training can 
achieve in the working of an engine; the knack of driving a 
car with a motor "tied together with string" is a constant 
source of humorous admiration. What is invariably missed 
is that this knack of improvisation is a quality, not of trained 
skill, but of adaptive ingenuity. The car is persuaded to run 
in spite of the violence done to the principles of the engine. 
It remains essentially an unmastered, alien group of forces, 
which are not analyzed but taken as a whole and manipulated. 


The art or knack, not the science, the magic, not the tech- 
nique of engines forms the craft-knowledge of the mechanics 
as a class. There is a difference in kind between this cajoling 
of engines and the flair often demonstrated in the West, 
where also many instances can be seen of machinery used be- 
yond its proper power. The commonest difference is that in 
the West the "type" of such performances is either the tinker- 
ing of decrepit engines to work when they ought to be 
scrapped, or the coaxing of normal engines to do more than 
their designed work, this being accomplished by a quasi- 
instinctive feeling for machinery, a mechanical second-nature 
now bred into the fiber of the Western nature; whereas by 
contrast the gasping bus (for instance) that still miraculously 
achieves its daily run over Manchurian roads has been allowed 
to decay to its distressing condition within a few months 
after purchase, and is kept running not by the best tinkering 
possible in the circumstances, but by some fortuitous, hit- 
and-miss "inspiration" that "does just as well." 

Many of the dominant men in China to-day, socially and 
economically, the exploiters, the men of the "big interests," 
would very likely prefer to be able to use foreign mechanics 
with the foreign engines, thus putting themselves in a po- 
sition to deal with the alien but profitable force as a unit; 
but this is precluded by the danger of the foreigner as an as- 
sertive, aggressive personality. In Manchuria, however, where 
non-Soviet Russians with no "rights" are available, and too 
strong trade-union organization of Chinese mechanics (who 
would tend to agitate against the employment of Russians) 
is officially discouraged, it is common to see Russians in 
charge of machinery operating under the control of Chinese 
interests. Nor are these man-and-machine "units," though 
admitted to be more efficient than the one-sided combination 
of Chinese mechanic and foreign machine, placed under the 


control of one man who is given a free hand. Indeed, such 
men regularly complain that they cannot bring their em- 
ployers to adopt a method of running and operation that is 
really economic; that really meets, in fact, the requirements of 
the machine. The Chinese employers, at the same time, com- 
plain that foreign technicians are a cranky lot to put up with; 
"they are so unbusinesslike." 

There is, in fact, a constant, shifting, and to the blind for- 
eigner incomprehensible, futile and wasteful process of 
negotiation, adaptation and compromise between the man- 
machine-unit and its owners or employers. Yet this is nothing, 
after all, but the instinctive effort to subordinate the foreign 
means to the Chinese method. It is the same struggle as that 
(usually disguised by greater amenities) which takes place in 
die working of every railway in which foreign investments 
are protected by a partly foreign personnel whose duty is to 
maintain the foreign standard of values of operating-costs, 
profits, interest-payment and so forth; to do which it is neces- 
sary not merely to "train a Chinese staff," which is easily 
enough done, candidates of excellent quality being in good 
supply, but to protect all the Western concepts implicated in a 
railway from being transposed into Chinese terms. In propor- 
tion as control of a railway is foreign, it is unsatisfactory to Chi- 
nese; in proportion as it is Chinese, it is unsatisfactory to for- 
eigners. Yet, apart from the obvious passion-engendering re- 
sentment of a sensitive, proud nationalism, how little the inner 
meaning of this truism is dealt with by either Chinese or for- 
eign publicists, who perennially essay to convince each other 
with claims for reasonable justice, disregarding fundamental 
cleavages of instinct and point of view owing largely, of 
course, to the lip-service now universally rendered to the 
Western theorem that all true culture and civilization are one. 

An enormous proportion of the technical terms that are cur- 


rently being incorporated into the Chinese language is not 
directly created; they are either artificially translated, or taken 
over through the Japanese. The fact that such terms are writ- 
ten in the Chinese character tones down the fact that they are 
none the less in a foreign language, and a language far more 
foreign to the existing body of Chinese thought than are, for 
instance, the technical terms created from Latin and Greek 
roots that are commonly used throughout the West. It is dif- 
ficult for foreigners to appreciate that such terms have a sort 
of unreality which keeps them alien from the body of the 
language, and that the processes of thought behind these terms 
are so alien to the language itself that many of them cannot 
be expressed in terms naturally evolved from the language, 
but must be dealt with in a language within the language.^ 

Nor is this a true parallel to the use of Graeco-Latin 
technical-scientific jargon in Europe and America. The swift 
development of technique in different nations of the West 
was pursued on parallel courses; but a genuine unity of cul- 
ture throughout the nations demanded a universal technical 
phraseology. Nevertheless, the major part of the jargon of 
medicine, of engineering, even of chemistry and physics, can 
also be expressed clearly, without loss of scientific clarity, in 
the vernacular of each nation, for the antecedent processes of 
thought are native in each nation. In this lies the great handi- 
cap of Chinese technical phraseology; for many terms either 
cannot be expressed in locutions understandable by the peo- 
ple, or have to be expressed with such a burden of circum- 
locution that the thought which it is intended to convey is 
borne down and smothered, becoming in the end meaning- 
less and absurd; for the thought inherent in the processes 
which it is desired to express is alien to the modes of thought 
inherent in the language itself. Consequently a terminology 
which is thought of in the West as merely a specialized Ian- 


guage remains in China a foreign language, though written in 
the Chinese character. The final proof of this is in the fact 
that it is better for a Chinese to learn a foreign language as 
a means to the mastery of advanced technique than to attempt 
to study it in Chinese. The equivalent is true to a certain 
extent of Japanese; but it would be absurd to^say^that an 
American chemist or physicist needs to be proficient in Latin 
and Greek. 

This truth is perhaps more evident in Manchuria than else- 
where; for throughout the North, where the alien machine is 
frequently operated by an alien mechanic, the use of Chinese 
neologisms is foregone, whether or not they are borrowed 
through the Japanese. In Northern Manchuria especially 
the language of technique, of technical appliances, of tech- 
nical occupations is Russian, used as such not only between 
Chinese and Russians but among Chinese themselves. The 
operating language of the Chinese Eastern Railway has from 
the very beginning been Russian, and this of necessity, not 
because of political domination only. Recently, as a matter 
of politics, it has been declared in principle that in railway af- 
fairs Chinese must have an equal status with the Russian lan- 
guage. Presumably a Chinese vocabulary, with its burden 
of neologisms and its quota of terms borrowed through the 
Japanese, will be introduced accordingly; but neither Chinese 
nor Russians concerned with the railway feel this to be any- 
thing but a gesture. 

It is not only the higher ranges of the technical vocabulary 
that are affected, however. On a Sungari river steamer all the 
officers and crew may be Chinese, but the whole process of 
operation and navigation is carried on in Russian. Nor are the 
captain, helmsman, pilot, engineer, greaser and deckhand by 
any means necessarily men who have grown up under Rus- 
sian influence in Harbin or along the Sungari. A very large 


proportion of them come from Taku (near Tientsin) or from 
one of the Shantung ports, and therefore had an inclination 
to work for their living on boats ; but on reaching the Sungari 
as grown men they found that the "trade-union" language 
of the profession was Russian; and Russian they learned. If 
this language were not a class-language it would not be used, 
as it is, even for such elementary terms as "left" and "right" 
and even in calling out the depths (in Russian feet!) when 
sounding at the bows. Yet, at the same time, this initiate lan- 
guage is not adopted out of pure admiration for the superior 
virtues of Russian civilization; as is abundantly proved by the 
way in which numerous Russian words, used in occupational 
jargon and in all kinds of slang, are adopted by shifting the 
pronunciation into Chinese phonetic equivalents, to which at 
the same time a twist is given that imparts a sort of humorous 
contempt to the whole. Sao Tfrtze, "smelly Tatar," for sMat 
is a good example. I remember also an occasion on a Sungari 
steamer when a dinghy came away from one of the davits and 
trailed precariously awash. A sailor rushed forward crying 
Hsiao ch'uan lao-mari-la!zn expression which puzzled me, 
since it meant literally "the small boat is old ants," which 
might be rendered, perhaps, "the small boat is full of ants " 
After inquiry I found that the phrase was perfectly ^intel- 
ligible to the whole crew, lao-mcw being the Chinese pidgin- 
Russian for slornat, "the small boat has broken loose." In 
the same way morshen* "horse's body," is used for "machine" 
thus conveying also the idea of "horsepower" and ma-shen 
lao-mfrtia, "the horse's body is old ants," means "the ma- 
chinery has broken down." Hud, from the Russian lyudei, 
means "people," especially in the sense of "passengers." Here 
the syllable Ku means "to wander," "to travel.'^ KcMioi 
Jtu-lu-ft, from the Russian \rutit, means "to wind up," "to 
crank a motor " Here the association is with the Chinese word 


\uAu, "a wheel" Lao-po-tei, "a workman," is from the Rus- 
sian robot, "work/' incorrectly used for rabotni\, "a work- 
man." Here the syllable lao, "old," conveys a sense of familiar- 
ity toward the person spoken to and of superiority on the part 
of the person speaking. Many terms in this category are used 
not only by the uneducated, but even by educated people who 
do not happen to have studied Russian. 

In other words, it is just as easy to learn a foreign language 
and be done with it as to learn an awkward vocabulary of 
terms that are none the less foreign for having been rendered 
into Chinese. The learning of a foreign language, however, in 
no way implies admiration for any inherent superiority in 
foreign civilization or any of its mores. On the contrary, the 
most illiterate unskilled workman who speaks a garbled 
Russian, and for that reason rates himself high among his 
fellows, none the less looks down with moral superiority on 
all Russians as uncouth creatures entangled in barbaric mis- 
conceptions of all the true values of life and culture. Even 
such innocent Russianisms as the wearing of Russian costume 
are felt to be, at the best, amusing self-indulgences, while such 
mores as dancing and free-and-easy public association with 
women are definitely felt to be vices vices that may be for- 
given in the young, perhaps, but that are considered rather 
serious if not shaken off when the time comes for a young 
man to settle down. 

The older generation regard with a good deal of alarm the 
spread of Russian standards of courtship and marriage among 
Chinese students. "They married of their own accord" (that 
is, without previous arrangement through the parents) is a 
common equivalent for "he keeps a mistress"; while "he 
married a Russian" is the exact equivalent for "he keeps a 
native woman." Foreign standards of morality, and even the 
structure of the family, are not generally admitted to be worth 
the name of "standard." The common verdict is, "They 


mate and part like beasts, and have no notion of filial piety" 
much as the colonial Westerner might say, "The position 
of women among the natives is inferior, and family life may 
be said hardly to exist." 

In a society in which affairs of machinery tend thus to fall 
into the hands of an artisan-class, with a jargon of their own 
and. a social outlook of their own, who keep their quasi-occult 
knowledge to themselves and endeavor consistently to uphold 
the privilege of being negotiated with as a group before ef- 
fective orders can be given to set the machinery in motion, 
the effect of Western impact is more sharply focused than 
ever. This isolation is all the more obvious because the men 
of genuine expert technical training, having little real control 
in the direction of affairs, unless they use a political approach, 
are handicapped in undertaking enterprises in such a man- 
ner as to make them more truly expressive of novel but genu- 
inely Chinese ambitions. 

From this lack of integration in the national life springs 
a great danger of class-isolation identified with cultural hos- 
tility, growing with the increase of activities that require 
machinery, and increasing instead of diminishing the sense 
of conflict and social disintegration already associated with 
Westernization. Artisans, as a class, are men who by neglect 
have lost a great deal of what is finest and soundest in the old 
culture, especially that inarticulate but vigorous tradition 
which makes the yeoman-peasant, for instance, a bulwark of 
the old social morality, but have not acquired enough genuine 
Western training to make them intelligent agents of West- 
ernization. Consequently Westernization is felt to be a bru- 
talizing agency among the lower orders, while educated men 
of superior technical qualification find that if they are truly 
ambitious the best use they can make of their Western 
degrees is to use them as a gambit for entering a political 



IN THE history of the "reservoir" military colonization for 
the specific purpose of garrisoning areas of strategic impor- 
tance must always have been of great consequence. This type 
of colonization might even be employed as a measure for 
holding in check the power of the "reservoir," in the inter- 
ests of a dynasty whose authority was largely based on strategic 
use of the "reservoir." Thus under the Manchu dynasty one 
part of the "reservoir" was played off against another. Mongol 
troops were used in China, but at an early date measures 
were taken to prevent actual control by the Mongols of the 
passes from Inner Mongolia into North China. In spite of the 
fact that Inner Mongolian levies proved their loyalty during 
the Taiping Rebellion and against the French and British k 
1860-61, strategic control of the frontier was extended by in- 
creased colonization in such regions as Jehol and Suiyiian. 

Later attempts to plant colonies along the frontiers in the 
areas of Russian pressure were also made chiefly through 
the military organization. It may be said that under the 
Manchus the colonization of remote regions was primarily a 
question of strategy; and this applies especially to the Amur 
frontier, the North Mongolia-Siberia frontier and Chinese 
Turkestan. Granted the fact that there was no urge toward 
colonization except as a matter of government policy, and that 
all colonization was dominated by government officials, the 



garrison method of settlement was probably better suited than 
any other to the conditions of the time. The garrisons were 
regarded, not as cantonments of professional troops perma- 
nently under arms, but as groups of land-owning, self- 
supporting yeoman farmers with a military tradition. The 
able-bodied men were not permanently in service, but were 
liable to be called on for service at need. They reported regu- 
larly for drill and archery training, and instead of drawing 
fixed pay they received subsidies in accordance with the de- 
gree of qualification. Settlement was initiated by moving 
Bannermen and their families to the chosen region, where- 
upon the able-bodied men at once and automatically formed 
a military reserve of land-fast, self-supporting yeomanry 
a much better method than the maintenance of regiments in 
barrack-garrisons. Successive imperial edicts make it plain 
that the "reservoir" was in truth a "reservoir," for there is 
little reference to military units, but repeated reference to the 
reliance of the State on a good sound Banner tradition con- 
servative social ideas, a yeoman-farmer economy and a mar- 
tial spirit. 

A curious and typically Manchu blend of Chinese and 
tribal ideals is apparent in imperial references to a model 
manner of life combining agricultural work in season and 
hunting in the forests in autumn after the harvest. Any tend- 
ency to revert to the tribal life entirely was deplored. Ef- 
forts were made at intervals to clear the mountains and forests 
of wandering hunters, ginseng-gatherers, gold-washers and 
men who cut down timber without authority. Nominally 
these men were guilty of trespass on imperial preserves and 
suspected of banditry; but there are also repeated references 
to the fact that they were men "without registry." Evidently 
there was an underlying feeling that all good subjects ought to 
be identified with places and settlements, for while the prof es- 


sion of the wandering forest hunter was forbidden on prin- 
ciple, the settled farming population was not only permitted 
but exhorted to ride and hunt, and it was even considered per- 
missible for such farmers to penetrate, in season, into the im- 
perial domains. The people who had taken to the Chinese 
ideal of a settled farming life were urged again and again 
not to forget the manly practices of horsemanship and 
archery and, later, musketry. 

When settlements of this type succeeded at all, especially 
in Northern Manchuria, it is obvious that the area brought 
within reach and under control must have been far greater 
than the area actually opened to cultivation. The progress of 
settlement also benefited by the use of slaves, especially when 
city Manchus were given land grants which they lacked the 
experience to farm themselves. Slave-cultivators must un- 
doubtedly have increased the area under cultivation, but the 
system had its disadvantages. It encouraged the wealthy, es- 
pecially those who had become successful in official careers, 
to become absentee landlords. It is a matter of common 
knowledge that at the present time a great deal of land in 
Manchuria is held by the descendants of slaves and stewards 
who usurped in time the estates of their proprietors. 

On the whole this type of military colonization, relying on 
the establishment of a population of martial spirit, from which 
good recruits could be raised at need, appears to have been 
satisfactory. The greater number of the colonists were yeomen 
who had not been dissociated by permanent professional mili- 
tary service from the life of the prosperous and self-reliant 
small-holder. In the age in which it was devised, no better 
method could have been found for holding down a frontier 
and maintaining the essential spirit of the "reservoir." It had, 
it is true, the inherent weakness of the "reservoir" the able 
and ambitious men, instead of turning their energy to frontier 


expansion, were attracted irresistibly to the south, to the quest 
of power and preferment in official careers, in which they 
could turn to profit the great initial advantage of belonging 
to the dominant regional faction. It suffered also from the 
clumsy economics of the age. Poor communications and dis- 
tance from markets, excluded jiie idea of .exploitation,, .which 
Is "an essential element of pioneering colonization as under- 
stood by the pioneering nations bred up in the Western 
civilization. The chief growth of population was effected by 
the natural increase and gradual spread of agricultural com- 
munities economically self-contained. In fact, only the par- 
ticular social and political spirit of the "reservoir" distin- 
guished Manchu Manchuria from the general polity of China. 
Even military colonization was analogous to colonization 
generally, and to the influx of Chinese into the "reservoir," 
in that the expansion achieved can best be expressed in terms 
of the characteristic Chinese "spread," as against the terms 
of "drive" in which Western colonizing is typically worked 

Military colonization at the present time shows very clearly 
the continuance of the old tradition. Its aim is still a com- 
bination of providing a population and providing a defense. 
Its function is still analogous, in a striking degree, to the func- 
tion of the military colonies of the "reservoir"; for the Man- 
churian provinces which are heirs to the old "reservoir" con- 
tinue to exercise on China proper a pressure greater than the 
pressure on Manchuria exerted by China. This may be con- 
cisely expressed in the formula that the northern foreign 
frontier policy of China remains secondary to the China 
policy of the Manchurian provinces. Nor is this by any means 
to be construed as a bias toward Manchurian autonomy or in- 
dependence as Western societies understand those terms. 
Important moves toward political autonomy there have been 


in Manchuria, and they may recur; but they are altogether 
different from any independence movement of any colony 
of any Western nation. This again cannot be identified with 
the geographical fact that most outer dominions of Western 
nations are separated by oceans from the colonizing nation, 
while the outer dominions of China are contiguous with 
China. As far as that goes, California cares less for the old 
United States than they do for California, while conversely 
the sea-divided Chinese communities of Malaysia have more 
influence on China than China has on them. 

The fact is that Western movements of independence are 
centrifugal and uni-directional. When the American Colo- 
nies established their independence they did no more than 
define schematically the fact that England had become a 
historic focus of minor validity, the new future foci of im- 
perative validity being the Continental Divide and the shores 
of the Pacific. When an outlying Western community di- 
vides politically from the parent nation, influences of all 
kinds continue to flow vigorously from the old community 
to the new; but when received they are not reflected back 
or at least the reflex action is of minor importance. They 
are taken up, informed with new vigor and projected on- 
ward and outward. The Pacific Ocean and South American 
future of the United States entirely dwarfs its European 
future. The contemporary importance of the United States in 
the affairs of Europe is a chance effect of the unity of Western 
civilization, and is as much distrusted and resented by the 
people of the United States as it is by the peoples of Europe. 

Conversely, in the affairs of China, a different organic style 
is to be discerned. No matter how effective the political 
autonomy of Manchuria at any given moment, China itself re- 
mains the major focus of the life of the community, eclipsing 
the importance of the Korean-Siberian-Mongolian frontiers. 


The influences received from China are reflected back on 
China with a fresh and intensified vigor, and what is radiated 
toward the periphery is passed on with diminished force. It 
is not exactly that the frontier provinces of China are centrip- 
etal, for "centrifugal" and "centripetal" are Western terms 
that lose the edge of their exactitude when applied in China. 
Rather, the autonomy-tendencies of Chinese provinces reveal 
an omni-directional capacity, in contrast with the uni- 
directional force of Western political action. The autonomy of 
provinces, avoiding the stemming-off process of Western in- 
dependence movements, works itself out in a coagulation of 
groups disposed with the lack of declared form of a "Chinese 
puzzle" about a center pulsing with life, and strongly felt 
but weakly defined. Unity of civilization, in spite of re- 
gional politics, reveals the strongly felt center, but it is a 
center without schematic definition, a "center" that may be 
said to vacillate, perhaps, in the huge region of the Yangtze 
basin, from the ramparts of Tibet to the Yellow Sea. In no 
nation is the site of the capital city so revealing, and so su- 
perficial in importance, as in China. 

Military colonization at the present time illustrates the im- 
portance of new factors. The terms of land grants are a 
modification of the old system, and the governing ideas are 
largely the same; but they are hampered in fulfillment by 
the prime change of military organization from a system of 
regional levies engaged in soldiering only when called out to a 
system of mercenary professional armies. This in itself is an ef- 
fect of Western influence, and consequently the armies, in spite 
of their inefficiency from a Western professional point of view, 
are a dreadfully efficient factor in the threatened destruction 
of the old Chinese way of life, and the old values of civilization. 
Because there is at present a superfluity of soldiers, modern 
schemes of military colonization are normally drawn up with 


a view to the desirability of disbanding troops; whereas un- 
der the Manchus there was no over-supply, and the main 
problem was the safeguarding of the potential supply. The 
most obvious impediment to the successful disbandment and 
settlement on the land of professional mercenary soldiers is 
that they make very poor colonists. It is true that the majority 
of the men are country-bred and have either worked on farms 
or know something of farm life; but the overwhelming major- 
ity are men who have long been dissevered from their fam- 
ilies, and in their years of military service have lost the taste 
for the monotonous drudgery of farm labor. It is true that 
the soldier, like the peasant, lives on the coarsest of food and 
rarely has money to spend; but at least he has more oppor- 
tunities for the diversions of city life, besides which he is 
usually thoroughly infected with that spirit of the reckless 
adventurer which always pervades a nation torn by revolu- 
tion and civil war, when every illiterate trooper stands an 
equal chance of thrusting his way to rank and power. The 
average ranker in a military colonization area makes no bones 
about his distrust of the project into which he has been 
drafted, considering that he has lost status. 

The social background of the soldier-colonist is thus as 
different as can be from that of the yeoman type available in 
Manchu days. Although, under the Manchus, efforts were 
made to provide land and opportunities for Peking Manchus 
and other city Bannermen who had lost touch with the life 
of their forbears, a good stiffening was always available, of 
Manchuria-born, farm-bred men, Chinese and Manchu, of ad- 
mirable stock. Under modern conditions a great many, if not 
most of the soldiers in the Manchurian armies are recruited 
from Shantung and Chihli, who may be of peasant stock, 
and may have been in Manchuria for some years, but were 
certainly not bred to the pioneer colonizing tradition. The 
Manchuria-born farm lad, if he is making good money, is not 


likely to join the army; if he has joined the army, he is un- 
likely to welcome the idea of being put back on the land. 

Not only do the troops themselves tend to distrust tie 
whole business of colonization, but they do not mix well with 
civilian settlers. I remember asking a tenant fanner, who was 
working on the land of a great official on a forty per cent crop- 
share rental, why he did not move up a few miles and take 
land of his own under the good terms offered to colonists 
who were needed to supplement a military colonization en- 
terprise. "With them!" he said. "That's likely! What with 
the beating and the cursing !" In fact the Manchurian farmer is 
comparatively independent and self-reliant, and likes to make 
his own terms. He is willing to work in association with of- 
ficials, but is exceedingly suspicious of official "schemes.** 
Since, however, civilian colonists, preferably men with fam- 
ilies, are needed to round out a project for disbandment- 
colonization, they are generally gathered from among refugees 
from China proper. The refugee, unfortunately, is com- 
paratively shiftless and unadaptable. Once he has received 
subsidy, he tends to demand further subsidy. Soldier and 
civilian colonists together therefore tend to form a somewhat 
unassimilable bloc on the outskirts of older "natural" pioneer 

In the upshot it is not surprising to find that military colo- 
nization tends to run a course of compromise. A minority of 
soldiers do take up land, often in association with officers. 
The majority of the land actually taken up on special military 
terms is acquired by officers who have enough capital to bring 
in civilian tenants and proceed in the manner of ordinary 
capitalists engaged in land development. The rate of civilian 
settlement gradually increases and becomes normal, while 
the bulk of the troops for whom the project was nominally in- 
tended remain in garrison cantonments, occupied from time 
to time with patrolling the country against bandits. The 


fringe of settlement in any country is likely to pass through 
a period of lawlessness until, in fact, it is no longer the 
fringe. In Manchuria they have, besides, a saying that "the 
more soldiers the more bandits." In a period of recurrent 
civil wars, troops naturally prefer campaigns on a large scale, 
with chances for loot and promotion, to the equal risks and 
smaller rewards of frontier patrol. Consequently, when troops 
are scattered out over a wild country in small detachments, de- 
sertion is common, the men turning bandit and increasing 
the general disorder. Conversely, when bandits are really hard 
pressed, they often come to terms by enlisting as units in the 
army; whereupon they come within the law but all too com- 
monly do not lose the habits of violence and indiscipline. 

If the region prospers, passing beyond the first period of 
lawlessness, the importance of the group of officials concerned 
in its administration and exploitation increases accordingly. 
This importance in turn demands an increased military es- 
tablishment, in order that the new regional-political group 
may make itself felt. From this derives the paradox that it is 
a usual procedure to send out recruiting agents to Shantung 
and Chihli to find farmers to be turned into soldiers to garri- 
son a region that is ostensibly being developed as a measure 
for disbanding surplus troops; at the same time that refugees 
are also being gathered to colonize the region to produce reve- 
nue to finance the troops. 

In this respect there is a marked contrast between con- 
ditions under the Manchu dynasty and at the present time. 
Under the Manchus, one of the normal abuses of official life 
(frequently referred to in, for instance, the satiric and pica- 
resque novels which were often under official ban and had to 
be surreptitiously circulated) was the practice of reporting 
a nominal payroll of troops far in excess of the actual estab- 
lishment* At that time military officials were allotted revenue, 


but only exceptionally had the power of controlling or di- 
rectly levying it. At die present time, all real power resides 
with military groups, regionally based and masking their ter- 
ritorial identity under the name of political factions, who 
monopolize practically the whole of the inland revenue of 
the nation. The ambitious official, therefore, of necessity 
maintains a military establishment in excess of the numbers 
to which he is nominally entitled, holding the surplus in re- 
serve to make a bid for increased power when opportunity 
offers. He draws what pay he can for these troops from what- 
ever central organization nominally claims his allegiance, 
and pays the rest what he can, when he can, from the revenues 
which he raises himself or derives privately from enterprises 
of exploitation in which he engages through agents. 

Considering the strong continuity between the history and 
present situation of Manchuria, which is bound up with the 
necessity of upholding a strong military position in re- 
lation to China proper, any measure that promotes colo- 
nization, expands the exploitable area and increases the 
revenue-producing population, is a good measure, including 
military colonization. At the same time military colonization, 
whether or not undertaken with the intention of disbandment, 
is strictly conditioned by the fact that the very structure and 
mode of function of contemporary political life forbid any 
real reduction in armed strength. In the near future there- 
fore it is likely that the total military establishment will have 
to be increased at least in proportion to the general increase 
of population, if not at an even higher rate. 


Of all forms of unassisted colonization in Manchuria, es- 
pecially of adventurous colonization, the most creative, fruit- 


ful and beneficial, with the single exception of the remarkable 
Shantung style of migration, has undoubtedly been opium 
colonization. Opium has played in Manchuria the part played 
by gold in California, Australia and elsewhere. The fact is 
plain, and ought to be frankly recognized, that hundreds of 
square miles in frontier regions of Manchuria, now inhabited 
by an industrious and prosperous population, could never 
have been opened up and settled so early, rapidly and thor- 
oughly without the lure of opium. 

Unfortunately it is impossible to obtain the figures of opium 
production and trade, and difficult to approach the study of 
the real importance of opium in the economic and social life 
of the community. This is chiefly because, in all public dis- 
cussion of opium, conventional attitudes have become ob- 
ligatory. It is hardly considered respectable even to discuss 
the opium problems of China as if they were, in the main, like 
the prohibition problem of the United States, problems of 
national legislation and social morality; convention demands 
that they be discussed as if they were governed by standards 
of universal validity. This attitude is essentially unreal and 
certainly not Chinese in origin, but is subscribed to by Chinese 
who enter the debate because the association of opium with 
political events of international significance has artificially at- 
tached to all opium questions a quasi-political value of inter- 
national importance. Not since the implication of opium in 
the issues of the War of 1840, issues which basically had 
nothing to do with opium and in which opium was only 
fortuitously involved, has it been customary to deal with the 
non-moral aspects of poppy growing, the opium trade and 
opium smoking. 

To make matters worse the British apologists for opium in 
the nineteenth century, by pushing to absurd lengths argu- 
ments intended to vindicate on moral grounds a trade that in 


its origins had nothing to do with morality one way or the 
other, succeeded in permanently discrediting the one real ar- 
gument, reasonable in itself, that the use of opium is not 
necessarily a degrading vice. Since that time, and largely on 
that account, as well as because opium and its derivatives 
are rarely used in Europe and America except by people al- 
ready on the verge of degeneracy, there has been a prac- 
tically universal acceptance of the canon that opium must, 
a priori, always and everywhere be an overwhelming evil for 
Asiatics, whether under self-government or under the im- 
perial government of a Western power. It is now hardly pos- 
sible for a serious student, except at the risk of having his 
motives impugned, to air the fact that Chinese can, and often 
do, consume a great deal of opium without becoming addicts 
or suffering any harm whatever, any more than the Westerner 
who has a drink when he feels like it but is not a drunkard; 
and that probably men of any other race could do the same, 
under equal conditions. It is, indeed, impossible to discuss 
reasonably the opium trade in China, as a trade, comparable, 
but for the letter of legality, with the brewery trade in Great 
Britain as "the trade," and open, like the purveying of al- 
coholic drinks, to grave abuse if not regulated on practical 
and social rather than moral grounds. It is quite in keeping 
with the associations of "guilt" now attached to all trade in 
opium that, in order to press home the moral claim against 
foreigners who profit from opium and, latterly, other nar- 
cotics, the Chinese profits from the same trade should be 
habitually obscured. 

On examining the actual business of growing poppies 
and distributing opium in China at the present time, it at 
once becomes apparent that the most serious abuse, creating 
a social danger far greater than the tax on society of unpro- 
ductive drug addicts, is forced cultivation of the poppy. The 


normal form of overproduction is that found in territories 
where land taxation is enforced at a rate which can only be 
met by poppy growing; the revenue usually being spent in 
the maintenance of armies. Production on such a large scale 
brings down the price and increases the consumption; but, 
more than that, it weakens the economic structure by re- 
ducing the area under food crops. In heavily populated agri- 
cultural communities in China this is very serious, for the 
average farmer, even in normal times, not only lives poorly 
and eats poorly but is unable to hold more than a very small 
food reserve. Lack of railways, bad roads and the slowness 
and cumbrousness of road transport have always made it 
difficult to transport food supplies even over comparatively 
short distances. Under the stronger unity of an imperial 
government, supplies were brought to Peking by the Grand 
Canal, and State granaries in the provinces protected the 
greater part of the country in seasons of bad harvest. Since 
the fall of the Manchus, the regional storage of grain by 
officials has been generally discontinued. One of the con- 
sequences of this loss of grain reserves is a decided weaken- 
ing of rural economy. Opium, in loads of small bulk and high 
value, can be sent out much more easily than grain consign- 
ments, of great bulk and lower value, can be brought in; and 
this applies not only to hilly regions but to any region dis- 
tant by more than a cart-haul of two or three days from a rail- 
way. In a region, therefore, in which the land tax has en- 
forced poppy growing widely enough to reduce food crops to 
a bare subsistence level, one bad season can precipitate a 
famine, even when other parts of the country have an ample 

As for the abuse of opium in consumption, the chief danger 
is not that men smoke opium, but that they do not know of 
anything else more worth doing. The chief social danger of 


drunkenness in the countries of the West is among the lower 
strata of the population, where the individual, sunk in the 
crowd and losing hope and ambition in an apparently soul- 
less economic situation, may be reduced to spending what 
he cannot afford in the only way of alleviation and temporary 
release that he knows. In the same way in China, in an era 
of social change, of strife without end, lack of economic 
security and hopelessness all too often seemingly without 
horizon, it is in the lower strata, the foundations on which 
society ought to be based, that the greatest damage is done. 
If people of the leisured classes destroy their own usefulness 
by dissipation, whether they prefer drink or drugs, they can 
always be replaced. They make a sensational topic for dis- 
cussion, but they are not nearly so great a tax on the nation, 
nor so great a danger to society, as a degraded producing class. 
The men who are most harmed by opium, and who do the 
most harm to society, are not those who can afford to pay for 
their pleasures, but those who buy opium to-day because the 
inadequate money they have is pitifully insufficient to buy 
hope of security or real betterment for the morrow. Even 
superficial observation shows that there are noticeably more 
hopeless addicts in a region where poppy growing is en- 
forced by high taxation than in a region where it is volun- 
tarily but illegally grown, and locally consumed to a certain 
extent but chiefly exported at a high profit. 

On almost every frontier of settlement in Manchuria the 
evil features of the picture are altered in a most remarkable 
way. The pioneer setder can often make out of opium a 
profit offered by no other crop. Agricultural districts in China, 
generally speaking, are self-sufficient to a degree unknown in 
Western countries with highly developed transport systems. 
They export comparatively little, and transport that little 
over comparatively short distances, the agricultural com- 


munities being grouped about market towns which provide 
most of the needed trade and traffic. In Manchuria, the 
figures of railway mileage per square mile of territory are 
higher than in China. The real figures; that is, the railway 
mileage per square mile of inhabited and productive terri- 
tory, must obviously be very much higher. Agricultural Man- 
churia, in strong contrast with China proper, lives by the ex- 
port of its produce in great bulk over comparatively long 
distances. The producing areas nearest to the service of rail- 
ways and river steamers have so great an advantage that the 
new settler, moving out to the fringe of cultivation, faces a 
difficulty in getting his grain to market at a profit; and this 
difficulty increases rapidly with the ratio of distance. If, 
however, he produces opium, his problems are solved. High 
price for small bulk covers the cost of transportation and gives 
a handsome profit. Money brings in traders, and encourages 
the growth of villages and small-town communities. These in 
turn create a demand for cheap locally produced food, and 
result in the settlement of normal agricultural communities. 
The settlement of the Lower Sungari, from Sanhsing to 
the Amur, was due chiefly to opium cultivation; much more, 
by universal local testimony, than it was to the river steamers. 
First the opium made it profitable to increase the steamer 
transport, and then the increased transport made it profitable 
to increase the production of grain and soy beans. It is also 
said that the extended service from the Sungari to the Ussuri 
would not yet be profitable were it not for the opium, but 
that the existence of the service will rapidly increase traffic 
to a point where opium becomes of minor importance. A 
great proportion of the settlers now moving by steamer down 
the Sungari to the Amur, and thence along the Chinese bank 
of the Amur and up the Ussuri, are attracted by the prospects 
of opium growing. Fuchin, the largest town on the Sungari 


below Sanhsing, grew from a village of Fishskin Tatars to 
a town of probably well over one hundred thousand popula- 
tion, in a few years, chiefly because it was the center of a great 
poppy-growing region. From farmers and traders alike can 
be heard the tale of the boom years and easy money when 
opium was the paying crop. Opium has been driven out now 
toward the farther fringes, but that does not mean that 
Fuchin suffers from depression. It has several flour mills 
which are credited with profits equal to the total invested 
capital, every normal working year. In spite of the long up- 
river haul to Harbin it does a flourishing trade in agricultural 
produce; and if trade on the much shorter and easier down- 
river haul to Russian territory across the Amur were freed of 
legal restrictions, it would increase enormously. 

A comparable region is that which will be traversed by the 
Solun Railway, now under construction. Here, on the western 
frontier of Manchuria, all Chinese colonization in advance 
of the railway was based either on the supply of grain to the 
Mongols, or of opium to the Chinese market. With the intro- 
duction of an official program of colonization in that region, 
poppy growing has been forbidden, and many of the original 
colonists, discontented with the law, have moved on beyond 
its reach. In this and many another region just coming within 
the scope of rapid settlement and development the complaint 
can be heard, "If only we were allowed to raise opium, you'd 
see how this place would boom"; but as a matter of fact the 
mere transfer from poppy growing to normal agriculture 
is a standard indication that transport and other facilities 
have been developed to a point which eliminates the im- 
portance of opium. 

Luckily, the administrative authorities of Manchuria do 
not have to rely on moral conviction alone for the formula- 
tion of a policy in dealing with opium. It cannot be denied 


that officials are sometimes involved in the opium traffic. 
A late governor of Heilungchiang, now deceased, was reputed 
to draw a large income from opium grown on his wilderness 
holdings; or at least, minor officials under him profited by 
the trade. On the other hand, the more powerful an official is, 
the more likely he is to be interested in land development, 
grain companies, flour mills, railways and steatiiers. All of 
these require normal agricultural production to furnish trade 
and cargo; for which reason the overwhelming tendency, as 
a frontier region is settled up and comes under the same 
general administrative system as the older Chinese-populated 
regions of Manchuria, is to clear out the poppy farmers, 
forcing them on to a still farther frontier. It is the enormous 
reserve of unpopulated land that saves Manchuria from being 
seriously menaced, economically, by poppy growing. 

Opium has been cultivated openly, under official license 
and land tax, in the oldest settled regions of Manchuria, in 
years when the large revenue thus available was imperatively 
needed for the financing of Manchurian armies participating 
in civil war in China. In ordinary years, however, this is not 
necessary. A sufficient supply can be raised in outlying re- 
gions, beyond the scope of fully established and fully staffed 
civil administration, satisfying the public demand without 
endangering the economic structure of ordinary society or 
reducing the food supply and the tonnage demanded by trade 
and transport. The highly practical attitude toward the laws 
against opium is well illustrated by the progressive laxity of 
enforcement as one moves outward toward the frontiers. 
The steamers and carts that feed the trade of Harbin by water 
and road are searched for opium on arrival at Harbin; but 
aboard the same steamers, and at the inns used by the same 
carts, on the radii outward from Harbin, opium is bought, 
sold and smoked without concealment. 


The communities whose chief occupation is poppy growing 
provide some of the finest frontiersmen in Manchuria- 
men of adventure and enterprise who year by year expand 
the frontiers of effective Chinese occupation. This the gold 
prospectors have never been able to do to anything like the 
same extent, because of the enduring social and administra- 
tive prejudice against the private exploitation of minerals. 
The gold prospector, once his "strike" is known, and author- 
ity arrives, cannot stay to share in the benefits of his discovery. 
The gold is placed under official or semi-official monopoly, 
and he has no choice but to become a laborer on the site of 
his own discovery, or to vanish and seek for himself some new 
site for furtive exploitation. The opium grower, on the other 
hand, knows that he may be able to stay for years, until the 
whole economic aspect of the region changes. He founds a 
community and a village, which grows its own food and 
gradually develops a trade,- which is attracted by the compara- 
tively high buying power of the village. 

A frontier opium-producing region is, on first acquaintance, 
lawless and bandit infested; but in reality there is far more 
peril for the stranger than for the people of the region. Ban- 
ditry is ruled by strict convention. Many of the bandits are 
themselves poppy growers in season. A great number of them 
are recruited from outside adventurers, but others are drawn 
from among the unmarried men of the poppy-cultivating vil- 
lages. The men with families live in villages, and often the 
bandits are chiefly financed by subsidies from opium villages 
which they protect from the law. Inter-bandit and inter- 
village feuds arise, but on the whole the man who knows 
his way about the region need not find trouble unless he looks 
for it. Outlying detachments of troops or police may demand 
a share in die profits, and occasionally one gang will jump 
the opium convoy of another; but the average tendency is to 


break new ground rather than challenge a community al- 
ready established. 

When in the course of time the frontier of normal settle- 
ment is pushed forward to include the fringe of outlying 
opium villages, it is quite common for a number of the vil- 
lagers to stay on, using their local knowledge to advantage 
in the expansion of trade and the rise of land values; just 
as it is quite common for local bandits to make terms with 
the newcomers and turn themselves into police or troops. 
These elements that remain provide a continuity between 
the old days and the new. On the other hand a large propor- 
tion of these outlying frontiersmen, who have never known 
any law but that of their own gangs and resent the imposi- 
tion of outside control, move on still farther into the wilder- 
ness, carrying on the vigorous tradition of founding fresh 
communities. There are, by common report, "outlaw" opium 
villages on the Chinese side of the Ussuri that are virtually 
autonomous. They defend their valley approaches, govern 
themselves and hold themselves independent of ordinary 
civil administration, admitting no officials and paying no 

Yet these outlaws are valuable defenders of the frontier. 
Were it not for the poppy, Chinese colonization in force 
would not reach the Ussuri for a good many years to come. 
Although it can be reached by steamer, the distance from 
markets and the expanse of unsettled wilderness to be over- 
passed before the Ussuri is reached are factors that as yet for- 
bid an agricultural boom. Were it not for the lure of opium 
the Chinese on the Chinese side of the Ussuri would find 
themselves in danger of being outnumbered, in a region dif- 
ficult of access, where adequate policing is as yet impossible, 
by Russians who have migrated across the frontier because 
of dissatisfaction with Soviet rule, and Koreans who, after 


migrating from Korea to Primorsk because of discontent 
under Japanese rule, have later moved again from Russian 
into Chinese territory. As it is, however, every steamer that 
runs from the Sungari down into the Amur and then up again 
into the Ussuri carries its complement of Chinese colonists, 
and the Chinese population is growing at a yearly accelerated 
pace. It can only be a question of a few years before the in- 
crease of numbers will demand other kinds of exploitation 
and a greater development of normal administration. If these 
demands can be met by an expansion of transport, both by 
river and land, the Ussuri valley will automatically be brought 
within the scope of "regular" colonization* 


The long-established practice of migrating to Manchuria 
to work for a season, in order to get funds for going back to 
China to stay, is one of the evidences of the negative style of 
Chinese migration, and illustrates its characteristic form of 
drift. On the other hand, it has played a large part in the 
establishment of the Shantung element in the Chinese popu- 
lation of Manchuria, and is also responsible for the fact 
which might at first seem paradoxical that the Shantung 
settlers are, by general recognition, the soundest and most 
successful of all immigrants. There is no adequate explana- 
tion other than the fact that the settler who derives from the 
old system of seasonal migration has behind him a solid 
tradition. To him Manchuria means something definite be- 
fore he ever goes there, and when he sets out he has before 
him a known course of action. This, more than any question 
of facility of transport, similarity of agricultural methods, or 
any other factor whatever, explains the extraordinary pre- 
dominance of Shantung men in Manchuria. A living social 


tradition has more validity than the most pressing economic 

The association of Shantung with Manchuria is very old, 
having in all probability been established in prehistoric times, 
and appears to be connected primarily with the ease of sea- 
communication between the Shantung peninsula and the 
Liaotung peninsula. Even at the time of the rise of the Man- 
chus there seems to have been a conspicuously strong pro- 
portion of Shantung men and men of Shantung descent 
among the Chinese enlisted as Chinese Bannermen. Certainly 
they have been regarded, ever since Manchu times, as a 
special class in the community. In everyday speech, in Man- 
churia, Shantung men are referred to simply as Shantung 
men; people from that part of Chihli province adjacent 
to the Great Wall at Shanhaikuan by a slang name which 
refers to their accent, and men from the rest of North China 
(except for Shansi, which is almost exclusively associated 
with pawnbroking) under the inclusive term "people from 
within the Wall"; while Southerners are specifically called 
Southerners, with the implication that they are, compara- 
tively speaking, outsiders. 

The facility of sea communication first made it possible 
for men to migrate from a thickly populated region, without 
passing through intermediate territory in which there was 
no room or need for them, to a thinly populated region in 
which there was a demand for their labor. They could em- 
bark in Shantung at a number of convenient ports and dis- 
embark also at a choice of ports; while the valley of the lower 
Liao gave a direct route for penetration into the hinterland. 
The land approach was through the bottle-neck passage at 
Shanhaikuan, west and northwest of which penetration was 
limited physically by hilly country and politically by the 
comparatively unreceptive attitude of the Mongols. More- 


over this region was more or less monopolized by the early 
established frontier Chinese, whose great center was at Chin- 
chou. This population, while itself expanding as opportunity 
offered, and exploiting the Mongol trade in particular, im- 
peded the advance of non-frontier Chihli men from behind, 
who neither shared their traditions nor understood their 
methods. Thus the land migration depended largely on the 
increase of the actual frontier population and was in the 
main characterized by "spread" without "drive." It is true 
that poor men from remoter Chihli and Shantung have al- 
ways been able to find their way by land to Manchuria. 
Their numbers, however, until the railway was built, were 
kept down by difficulties of time and expense, and the inert 
resistance of an intervening population which had no par- 
ticular interest in supplying work or food to poor migrants. 
The shorter time and expense of the sea passage, together 
with direct access to regions where work could be found, 
encouraged the practice of seasonal migration and return. 
This was further encouraged by the fact that the great land 
holders of the "reservoir" had no particular need of tenants, 
but benefited by extra "hands" during the short plowing, 
planting, cultivating and harvest season. With the extra 
labor they could produce a surplus of grain, a great part of 
which was also exported by sea. There is, however, no doubt 
that a certain number of the seasonal migrants remained, 
after perhaps one or two trips, as permanent settlers, and that a 
far greater number could have remained, in spite of the Man- 
chu laws of land tenure, if they had been impelled by a true 
quest for new lands and opportunities, and elbow-room for 
new growth and self-expression. Indeed, the seasonal mi- 
grants to Manchuria often prolonged their stay to several 
years, without entertaining the idea of permanent settlement; 
and this type of long-term temporary immigrant is still 


very common. The land laws alone cannot account for the 
strong tendency to return to China after working in Man- 
churia for a season. The provincial records frequently refer 
to the need for keeping the tiu min, the wandering people, 
from settling without authority; but whenever they did 
settle and establish a hold, the offense was repeatedly con- 
doned. The desire not to leave China permanently must there- 
fore have had a deciding importance; it manifested itself in 
the feeling that definite settlement in Manchuria was an ex- 
pedient only for those destitute of other resources, a mark 
of exile, failure and defeat. To my mind, this pull toward 
China is proof of the orientation of the true Chinese tradition; 
while the Manchu land laws themselves are a proof of the 
assumption of this tradition by the Manchus. The desire to 
safeguard the Manchu dominance in the "reservoir," far from 
being a measure solely designed to repress the Chinese, was 
congruent with the immemorial Chinese formula, long before 
expressed in the Great Wall frontier system, that a northward 
shift of Chinese population must never be put forward as a 
desideratum, and never effected save as an expedient. The 
most successful emigrant, and socially the most respected, 
was the man who went out, made his money, and came back. 
When, however, railways and modern exploitation in- 
creased the demand for men in Manchuria, and the cumula- 
tive disasters of disintegration within China began to force 
up the supply of emigrants, the Shantung type of seasonal mi- 
gration provided a transition-period link of inestimable value. 
Numbers of "old hands" were available, men who had been 
to Manchuria several times, knew the conditions and were 
able to guide contingents from their old home villages to 
the places where they could find work or land. Other "old 
hands" who had already settled in the new country provided 
nuclei for further settlement, gathering about them friends 


and neighbors from their old homes and giving news in ad- 
vance of the number who could be accommodated. The 
services of these old hands are curiously similar to those of 
the Russian peasants described by Stephen Graham, 1 who used 
to travel through Siberia to select in advance a site for coloni- 
zation, returning after they had made their choice to fetch 
a contingent from west of the Urals. 

Even so, the supply of permanent settlers never satisfied 
the potential demand, and seasonal migrants continued to 
outnumber permanent settlers until the situation in Shan- 
tung made it increasingly unsafe to return there with money. 
The period of maximum disorder in Shantung, when famine 
augmented the effects of military demands and bandit depre- 
dations, coincided roughly with a period of minimum asser- 
tion in Manchuria on the part of both Russia and Japan. 
In this period the whole population of Manchuria took heart 
of grace; a spirit of increased confidence and optimism was 
abroad, and there was a feeling that Russia at last was in re- 
treat and Japan on the verge of yielding. The years^of spec- 
tacular migration, in which the yearly immigration first 
showed a preponderance of settlers over seasonal laborers, 
and the figures mounted to something like a million a year, 
with half a million permanent settlers, were 1926, 1927* 1928, 
with an abrupt check in 1929 when Russia at last jibbed at 
the pressure that was being put upon her, and the Japanese 
attitude hardened in sympathy with Russia. 

The years of rapid expansion are curiously interesting. 
Settlers who might never have been drawn into Manchuria 
by the power of attraction were forced to go there, and in 
enormous numbers, by the conditions within China. At the 
same time Russia, feeling for a new and stronger position in 
the Far East, was diplomatically conciliating Japan and en- 

1 Stephen Graham, Through Russian Central Asia. London, Cassell, 1916. 


deavoring to secure an orthodox diplomatic recognition in 
North China, as a basis for more definite procedure. For these 
reasons Russian activities in Manchuria were greatly cur- 
tailed and directed instead toward suitable parties in China 
itself, especially in the South. Instead of bearing directly on 
Manchuria an effort was made to increase the Russian influ- 
ence throughout all China, thus eventually bearing on Man- 
churia also. It appears that Chinese opinion misjudged the 
Russian policy as a confession of weakness in Manchuria 
and an attempt to effect a lodgment elsewhere instead. In 
the meantime Japan, attempting to improve the tone of its 
relations with all the Powers interested in the Pacific, and 
making extraordinary efforts to show its adherence to the 
spirit of the Washington Conference, was doing its best to 
conciliate China both in Manchuria and elsewhere. The main 
object of Japan was to show that while nothing would be 
yielded to China as a concession to forceful measures, sympa- 
thetic attention would be given to a number of old points 
of dispute if they were approached through friendly negotia- 
tion. 2 The rapprochement between Japan and Russia al- 

2 The Japanese "policy of conciliation and cooperation" broke down calami- 
tously in 1931. It can hardly be doubted that the Chinese considered this policy 
to be no better than a velvet glove intended to make more decorous the dreaded 
mailed fist. The Japanese, for their part, considered that a fair (in Japanese eyes 
a generous) offer had not been received in the spirit in which it had been made; 
that the Chinese, instead of meeting the offer of cooperation, were construing it 
as a sign of weakness and endeavoring to take advantage of the supposed weak- 
ness. The whole Japanese "overseas" community in Manchuria the ^ military in 
the lead, but with the agreement of probably the majority of the civilians began 
to agitate for the abandonment of the "policy of conciliation and cooperation 
and the revival of a "positive" policy. Tension between Chinese and Japanese 
increased, and the "Nakamura incident" the killing of a Japanese officer travel- 
ing in the hinterland gave the Manchurian Japanese material for renewed agita- 
tion in Japan. Up to this point there was a certain similarity with the conditions 
preceding the break between Chinese and Russians in 1929.* with the difference 
that the Chinese had been obstructive rather than aggressive and the Japanese 
more resistant than the Russians. 

After this point had been reached, the Chinese began to yield over the Naka- 
mura incident but too late. Feeling in Japan had already been worked up to the 
point of genuine public clamor that "something be done," in spite of the fact 


lowed a better understanding in regard to Manchuria, wl 
the quiescence of Russian policy gave Japan a margin 
conciliating China. Thus the old Japanese policy of op 
ing the construction of Chinese railways which might im 
the commanding position of the South Manchuria Rail 
was very considerably modified. The Chinese were actt 
assisted in the building of some of these lines, with Japa 
capital and material, while Japan acquiesced in the const 
tion of others. 

The apparent recession of both Japan and Russia was 
lowed up with great eagerness, but the real strength of 
foreign nations was misjudged. The pressure of Chinese 
pansion was lacking in coordinated policy; opportunism 
allowed to go too far, and the enthusiasts overreached tl 
selves, forcing Russia to take a firmer stand. In the up* 
the Chinese "forward policy" collapsed, in a manner ha 
to be understood except in the light of the inherent neg; 
characteristics of Chinese expansionism that have already 1 
discussed. It is at least open to argument that the three } 
in which the forward policy reached a peak in Manch 
represented an aberration from the historically rooted r 
trend of Manchurian colonization; for a comparatively trii 
display of determination on the part of Russia was enc 
to check the Chinese forward policy with startling eifec 
ness. Not only did the forward policy fail alarmingly, b 
strong reaction set in at once, with a return to the old empl 
on the "inward-facing" characteristics of the old "reservi 
The immediate results of the revelation of real danga 
the northern frontier was a strong assertion of the import; 

that the Government wished to settle this aFai^-and other questions outstand 
with as much decorum as possible. Consequently, on the occurrence of an e 
an "outrage'* on the Japanese railway which the Chinese accuse the Jai 
o having manufactured the Japanese military forces in Manchuria struck, 
out waiting for authority from Japan, and with paralyzing effect. 


of the southern frontier; and at the moment the chief concern 
of Manchuria is no longer the outer frontiers, but once more 
the important option of authority which it holds in the affairs 

of China. 3 

Even at the height of the boom, when every form of immi- 
gration was modified as far as possible in favor of speed and 
general expansion, the Shantung tradition retained to a nota- 
ble degree its own character and quality. It is extraordinary 
how many Shantung families, even the most destitute, forced 
out of Shantung by disastrous necessity, without the possi- 
bility of making definite plans, have yet a knowledge of 
where they want to go and what they can expect when they 
get there. Inevitably, while opportunities of individual choice 
were smothered by the rush of numbers, they became increas- 
ingly at the disposal of the "big interests"; but even when 
submitting to the manipulations of the great land agencies 
the Shantung family retains enough individual purpose to 
edge its way persistently toward a place where "neighbors" 
of the old home are already established. Time and again 
the same story can be heard from a Shantung family, starv- 
ing and dependent on charity, but working toward a known 
goal: "If we can reach such-and-such a place, we have people 
we know." 

One of the most exclusive fields of Shantung settlement 
is along the lower Sungari, from below Sanhsing to the Amur. 
In this region there is not only an overwhelming general pre- 
ponderance of Shantung people, on the land and in the towns ; 
but in district after district there is to be found a remarkable 
proportion of people from the same county in Shantung. 

8 This remained true up to the moment when the Japanese forced the issue 
of the Manchurian policy toward Japan. On the whole the Chinese in Manchuria 
were much more obstructive and non-cooperative in their Japanese policy than 
aggressive; the active attention of the Manchurian Government being preoccupied 
with affairs in China proper. 


This holds for merchants and exploiting groups as well as for 
peasants. It indicates that the local "big men" shared in ma- 
nipulating the flood of migration, guiding toward the in- 
terests in which they participated a supply of settlers in whom 
they had also an interest. 

The adventurer and the forerunner, the single men coming 
without their families, are as dependent on this linkage as 
are the family groups. The commonest explanation given 
by the solitary immigrant is chao jen, "looking for a man." 
The man may be a relative, or somebody linked by old group 
obligations to the impoverished newcomer. Whatever the 
linkage, the raw immigrant knows not only the name and 
connections of the man he is seeking, but the place where 
he is established or was last known to be. Even if he has 
moved, and both men are illiterate and unable to communi- 
cate, the newcomer is certain of finding his man so long as he 
works through the reticulation of Shantung men and Shan- 
tung interests. When the man is found, the procedure exem- 
plifies the whole method of graduated manceuver. The es- 
tablished man seeks out someone with whom he has a con- 
nection, and finds work for the newcomer, and the three 
then form a minute complex of triple interdependence and 
obligation. The newcomer, finding his feet and gradually 
establishing fresh connections, may work away from the origi- 
nal point of lodgment; but the web of mutual dependence 
and diffused responsibility not each for himself, but each 
as a member of his group is never wholly broken. It is 
the same indefinite but tensile web that links not only 
peasant with townsman and artisan with capitalist, but 
merchant with official and bandit with soldier, and even 
limits, according to time and occasion, the sphere within 
which the bandit works and, sometimes, his choice of vic- 


Even when the Shantung man has arrived with a mob of 
refugees, and finds himself placed willy-nilly on a land hold- 
ing under the control of some large enterprise, he struggles 
to escape the absolute authority of the "interests." A man 
may give up one holding and move to another, with no evi- 
dent difference in status or real economic freedom, and for 
no reason whatever, except that he had been put on one hold- 
ing, but was able to negotiate the second. It frequently hap- 
pens, not only with Shantung men but even with the com- 
paratively helpless men from other provinces, that the settler 
absconds from the holding allotted to him in a scheme, and 
sets up for himself as a squatter on land not occupied, but 
already privately owned. He does not know the owner, and 
to all appearances has wantonly put himself at a disad- 

In practice, however, he has improved his standing. The 
uninvited squatter has a social position of tacitly recognized 
social value. It is not that he has any legal "squatter's rights," 
for he is an intruder on land already owned and registered; 
but public opinion is against the landlord who would sum- 
marily evict a man already established, on the strength of 
a mere legal theory. He must compromise with the practical 
fact that the man is there. In the Chinese conception of re- 
sponsibility a fact that has happened is of more importance 
than the motives or actions that led up to it. Moreover, he 
has improved the land, not only by farming it, but because 
his mere presence has enhanced the value of neighboring 
land, since the average "pioneer" abhors the wilderness but 
is comforted by the presence of people who are already es- 
tablished. The squatter, then, has the strong advantage of 
simply being there, and the supplementary advantage of 
having contributed to the value of the land; while the owner 
for his part has the advantage for this also is an advantage, 


and no small one of not being responsible for having put 
him there. Consequently, it is easy to come to terms* 

One major fact relating to the importance of the Shantung 
element in Manchuria is probably not generally recognized; 
the part played by Shantung men in military affairs. The 
soldiers, like the settlers, are linked by an unbroken tradition 
with the earliest Manchu days, when Shantung men filled 
the Chinese Banners of the Manchu army. It is a common- 
place remark in Peking at periods when the old capital is 
occupied by Manchurian troops, that they "are just like the 
Manchus when they first came in" that is, like the early 
Manchu and Chinese Bannermen of traditional memory. 
Yet a very large proportion of these troops have acquired their 
"Manchurian" manners and character in only a few years 
in Manchuria; for in the Manchurian armies the Manchuria- 
born men are at least equaled and probably outnumbered 
by non-Manchurian-born Chinese, among whom the Shan- 
tung men are the most important. The recruiting of Shan- 
tung troops is a parallel to the recruiting of Shantung settlers. 
Just as the "old hand," seasonal laborer or settler, returns to 
Shantung to bring back men that he knows to a country 
that he has learned to know, so the trusted old soldier or non- 
commissioned officer returns to Shantung, with money fur- 
nished by his commander, to find recruits. He pays a bounty 
for each recruit, and this method is frankly called "buying 
soldiers." The new men are placed in the ranks with sea- 
soned troops, among whom they find many from their own 
district in Shantung, and in a year or two are thoroughly 
"Manchurian" in attitude. 

This association with the army is of great importance, for 
in an era of civil war promotion from the ranks is rapid 
and common. Similarly, the ultimate measure of an official's 
importance is the measure of his military connections and 


backing. There is thus inevitably a large proportion of men 
of Shantung birth or extraction among important civil and 
military officials, and these men, when looking for opportuni- 
ties of investment and exploitation, naturally turn to Shan- 
tung land holders, merchants and industrialists. The army, 
the administration and the great moneyed interests being, 
to a great extent, different spheres of activity of the same 
controlling group, it is common to find that the different sub- 
groups are closely linked by exchanges of appointments and 
influence among the leaders; and that these private alliances 
are confirmed by intermarriage among the controlling fami- 
lies. Thus the Shantung element ramifies through the whole 
economy and social structure of Manchuria. The Shantung 
town merchant or industrialist of importance will be found 
to have an elaborate reticulation of alliances, extending to 
civil and military officials, holders of great estates tenanted 
by Shantung farmers, and so on all Shantung men or local 
men associated by marriage with the Shantung group. 

Moreover, in spite of the sufferings that Shantung province 
has gone through, every comparatively safe place in Shan- 
tung has its prosperous homes of leisured people who live 
on the income of fortunes made in Manchuria, or on incomes 
remitted by relatives in Manchuria. If conditions in Shan- 
tung improve, the numbers of successful Shantung men re- 
turning from Manchuria will increase. In the meantime, not 
a little of the money made in Manchuria is reinvested by buy- 
ing up land at cheap prices during famines in Shantung. 



THE colonization of waste land in Manchuria by refugees 
from famine regions and overpopulated regions in China 
is almost entirely a phenomenon of railway exploitation. So 
far as the natural pressure of population within China had 
an effect in promoting emigration before the period of West- 
ern impact, it worked through the old Shantung type of mi- 
gration, and the spreading expansion of border communities 
along the fringe of the age-old "reservoir." In the first place, 
there was the difficulty of escaping on foot or with animal 
transport only from a famine region, and of passing through 
regions poor in cash and food reserves and unable to support 
refugees on their way to territories suitable for colonization. 
In the second place, there was the extreme traditional repug- 
nance toward migration and the stigma of despair and defeat 
attached to the permanent abandonment of the ancient home. 
In the third place, there was the special fear and dislike of 
all the "barbarian" country north of the Great Wall the re- 
gion of defense and fear, not of advance and hope. Thus along 
the whole land frontier it was exceptional to find any spread 
of Chinese colonists except such as was effected by specific or- 
der, as at strategic points like Jehol and Suiyiian. 

The border population itself did tend to expand northward. 
The men of this population had a tradition and method of 
their own; but even so their expansion was a "spread" in 



character, lacking drive and the ambition of conquest. They 
were prepared to sacrifice Chinese characteristics and stand- 
ards by "turning Mongol" whenever it was expedient. They 
moved forward tentatively when conscious of a strong China 
behind them, but withdrew hastily or "turned Mongol" com- 
pletely when the government weakened and the old forces 
of the "reservoir" reasserted themselves. For comparatively 
large numbers, bringing a strong, definitely Chinese impact 
to bear on a comparatively short front, we have to look to 
the Shantung type of migration, where the direct sea passage 
and the possibility of quick return broke down to a certain 
extent the "irrevocable sentence of exile" associations of emi- 
gration from non-frontier China. 

The development of railways modified the old conditions 
in a remarkable way. Refugees could be transported over 
great distances in a very short time, and brought direct to 
regions that needed colonists. Rail transport disposed alto- 
gether of the inert resistance to the passage of emigrants that 
had been offered by intervening territory thickly populated 
and not adapted to accommodate even a temporary influx of 
migrating strangers. Railways, moreover, quite as much as 
the acquisitions of Western armament, destroyed the old mili- 
tary ascendancy of such "reservoir" people as the Mongols. 
Under the immemorial conditions when there was no appre- 
ciable difference in armament between Chinese and barba- 
rians, it needed a very large military effort on the part of the 
Chinese to confirm the conquest of very narrow strips of ter- 
ritory. The barbarians, on the other hand, could raid into 
and "hold down" comparatively wide settled Chinese regions; 
though they could not convert these regions entirely to their 
own social code. Manchus, Mongols and the Central Asian 
tribes, traditionally able to campaign without fixed bases and 
heavy transport (especially transport of food) and accus- 


tomcd to warfare in terms of rapid mobility over great dis- 
tances, and to quick apprehension of the topography even of 
unknown country, offered a military problem as difficult and 
expensive to deal with as that which confronts the British 
on the Northwest Frontier of India. The Chinese military 
tradition, that of a land-fast peasantry, demanded a solid front 
in battle and the use of large numbers of men who could 
see and hear one another all the time; together with food and 
transport supplied from the rear in other words, the basic 
requirements of infantry warfare throughout history. Even 
at the present time, Chinese troops with superior arms can- 
not operate effectively against Mongols, in Mongol country, 
without very great superiority in numbers; because there is 
no fixed population to conquer, and no opportunity to assert 
their superiority in pitched battles. In times past, the most 
effective method of counteracting the Mongol strategy of 
raiding attacks and quick movement over long distances was 
the encouragement of lamaism and lama monasteries. The 
great, wealthy monasteries did to a certain extent tend to 
make the Mongols land fast, or at least vulnerable at fixed 
points, and to impair their essential tradition. 

Railways clinched the decision. A line of railway is equiva- 
lent to a fixed base. It gives to troops the comfort of a fixed 
line to fall back on, and it makes possible the rapid concentra- 
tion of forces, thus tending to restore the balance of mobility. 
Wherever a region of frontier colonization is served by a 
railway, there is no longer any doubt of the ascendancy of 
Chinese over tribesmen. Road transport by motor, the most 
modern development in Manchuria (aviation not yet hav- 
ing reached the practical stage), enormously increases the 
range of operation from a railway base, and has been used 
with great effectiveness in the Hsingan Colonization Project, 
in Western Fengtien (Liaoning) province, where a great 


stretch of land is being taken over from the Mongols and 
settled by civilians and troops together. In this region, the 
Mongols are held down by military outposts, linked by motor 
transport, while a railway is being built which will perma- 
nently decide the matter. 

The "reservoir" tradition has thus been so far modified that 
it is no longer imperative for the frontiersman, if he is within 
reach of a railway, to acquire a special technique of frontier 
life, or to "turn Mongol" in any important degree. The con- 
tinuance of the "reservoir" tradition now depends essentially 
on the fact that the expanding Chinese population, in spite 
of its new advantages, still maintains the social outlook and 
regional orientation bred under the old conditions. Given, 
therefore, the wealth of a boom of colonization in the "reser- 
voir" and the tradition of the superiority of success in China 
over success on the frontier, it is just as easy for the railways 
to bring the increasing power of the frontier to bear on China 
as it is for them to transport fresh colonists to the frontier. 

The true frontier tradition in Manchuria was always con- 
fined to a comparatively small and socially specialized popu- 
lation, as it was also in America: and the advent of the rail- 
way is killing the true frontier tradition, as it killed it also in 
America. There is a pious fiction in America that the great 
post-Civil War railway and industrial "reconstruction," and 
the westward spread of population, carried on the old pioneer 
tradition and that we all have a pioneer heritage in our blood. 
That fiction performs a certain service, in that it transvalues 
otherwise non-American values in our society; the manipula- 
tion of herds of immigrants, as a form of big business, we call 
by convention a triumphal march, in order to preserve the 
spirit of "onward and upward" which animates the expan- 
sionist drive in the American tradition. In reality, the later 
expansion in America was a secondary phenomenon, dis- 


tinct from the original expansion of the wilderness pioneers. 
It was controlled in the main by "big interests" which satis- 
fied the demands of the new industrialism and at the same 
time provided traffic for the vast new transport systems which, 
in America then as in Manchuria now, were the hinge on 
which turned the change to a new era. 

The present colonization of Manchuria equally represents 
a secondary stage, which both supersedes and destroys the 
primary stage. It is equally dominated by "big interests," 
and is equally dependent on a cheap supply of docile immi- 
grants. The primary stage differed from the early period 
of the great colonizing movements of Western nations iix 
that it provided no outlet for discontented minorities. In 
China also there are discontented minorities; but coming as 
they do within the orbit of Chinese civilization, in spite of 
being dissenters, they tend to work out their differences on 
the spot, not to migrate for the purpose of setting up a new 
dispensation in the wilderness. The secondary stage is closer 
to that of the West; for the migration settles no fundamental 
issues within the civilization itself, and the migrants are 
anything but arbiters, or even champions of their own des- 
tiny: and certainly migration to Manchuria, however great 
the numbers involved, no more solves the problems of popu- 
lation pressure in China than the transport of immigrants 
to America solved the population problems of Europe. Nor 
has the refugee colonist in Manchuria any more option of 
pursuing the "pioneer tradition" than had the gangs of 
Italians laboring on railways to cross the Rockies and open 
America's "last frontier," or the Poles and Bohemians fed 
into America's coal mines and steel mills. The fact that 
the expansion into Manchuria is as yet predominantly agricul- 
tural gives a certain pioneering color to the present great 
population movement; but the fact that practically all the 


land open to colonization is already privately owned by the 
"big interests," who dominate the economics of the country 
as effectively as the "big interests" in the days of unrestricted 
immigration into America, determines the major colonization 
phenomena of Manchuria. 

The typical refugee colonist is a man who leaves his home 
in despair and unwillingly, for a destination which he does 
not choose but which is appointed for him by a relief organiza- 
tion or the recruiting agent of a landholder in Manchuria. 
He is carried by rail from his old home all the way through 
and past the old frontier territory to his destination, at a 
speed which precludes his learning anything of the old fron- 
tier spirit or methods. When he reaches the destination, he 
is put on the land on terms in which he himself has the 
minimum of choice. This usually means rental terms as 
high as forty to sixty per cent of the yearly crop. Even if the 
terms make rental purchase possible, the interest charged for 
equipment and initial financing during the settlement years 
makes it extremely difficult for him to succeed in becoming 
the owner of land with a clear title : and even if he does succeed 
in becoming a farmer with land of his own, he has to deal 
with a grain market and a transport system which are thor- 
oughly under the control of great vested interests. 1 

In the outlying districts, in order to hold the colonists on 
the land at all, and keep them from drifting back to China 
or beyond the reach of organized control to become squatters, 
terms are granted which mean that for at least a generation 
the farmer will eat more and live better than he did in China. 
Basically, however, the economic and social system is not 
one built up in Manchuria the time is past for that; the 

1 Compare the situation of the great numbers of "crop-sharers** or tenant- 
farmers in America, whose fundamental economic impotence is revealed in any 
time of general agricultural depression. 


pace is too fast, and such societies can only be found in the 
heart of the old "reservoir" country but one imported from 
China. This means that, apart from the political bias imparted 
by the regional feeling, and the disruptive effect of West- 
ernization, the new population, as it grows, tends to repro- 
duce in full the situation as it is in China, with the same prob- 
lems of over-population, pauperization, economic bondage 
to the land and landholders and insufficient margins of food 
reserve and financial security. 

The most favorable terms of all are offered in regions 
which are at the same time the frontier of Chinese settlement, 
and adjacent to an international frontier that is, to Russia. 
Where the Mongols are still powerful, settlement on the edge 
of Mongol territory is also encouraged on specially favorable 
terms. The setback suffered by the Chinese as a result of the 
Chinese Eastern Railway dispute, and the facile military suc- 
cesses of the Russians, caused a feeling of the greatest uncer- 
tainty all along the frontier. As a result, this is the last region 
in which colonists are anxious to settle of their own accord. 
Obviously, however, from the official point of view, the settle- 
ment of at least a screen of Chinese colonists all along the 
Amur frontier is a measure of imperative importance; while 
the great landholders are willing to give good terms in order 
to get their land opened at all. The favorable terms offered in 
this region are roughly as follows, and they are arrived at 
by cooperation between the provincial authorities and the 
landowners it being understood that the greatest land hold- 
ers are likely to be officials themselves, or related by blood or 
marriage to officials. The terms differ a good deal in Kirin and 
Heilungchiang, the Kirin Government being more liberal 
and progressive, on the whole. 

Villages are marked out at convenient distances in abso- 
lutely virgin, uninhabited country, usually from three to six 


in a day's journey of twenty-five to thirty miles. Building 
timber is transported to these sites, in advance. This is likely 
to be done or supervised by a special Agricultural Bureau, 
centered in the nearest county town, and linked by organiza- 
tion both with the local chamber of commerce and the pro- 
vincial authorities. Colonists are recruited either by agents 
of the land holders themselves, or by "old-timers" (usually 
Shantung men) who, having gained experience as laborers, 
market gardeners or small tenant farmers, are prepared to 
take up land on permanent tenure, and have gone back 
to Shantung to fetch relatives, friends and neighbors in 
order to form a congenial village nucleus. When the settlers 
arrive, they build their own houses, using the timber pro- 
vided, and for bricks digging out earth themselves, press- 
ing it in wooden frames and drying it in the sun to make 

Settling down, and perhaps the breaking of a little soil, 
takes up the first short season. Then they hibernate for the 
first winter, living on provisions supplied under the settle- 
ment scheme. With the next thaw and the first full plow- 
ing season using draught cattle and plows provided for 
them ach head of a family selects what land he likes, near 
the village, and all plow as much as they can. They may not 
even know whose is the soil they plow. Virgin soil is often 
simply plowed and harrowed, to break up the sod, without 
planting; but sometimes a rough crop of beans is planted. 
I believe that the slowness of getting cultivation started is 
partly due to the poor quality of the plows, which do not bite 
deep. The top sod has first to be turned over, harrowed and 
left to disintegrate. A second plowing, in the following year, 
then gives the required depth. Cultivation is based on a 
system of deep furrows and high ridges, which are main- 
tained year after year. They are renewed in the spring by light 


plowing in the same old furrows, while the ridges are kept 
up during the season by hand cultivation with hoes. 

In any case the third season (the second of plowing) pro- 
duces a crop; and at the same time extra land can be broken. 
By this time, usually, the country has been "opened" enough 
for a reckoning. The actual landowners or their agents then 
arrive. The land is all remeasured, and owner and settler 
negotiate a partition, on the basis of six parts to the farmer 
(without purchase price) and four parts to the owner (with- 
out charge for plowing). It may happen that a farmer finds 
he has been plowing for several owners; but most of the 
original land grants were so large that he will find he has 
only one owner to deal with. The site of the village itself is 
deducted from the reckoning, the landowners among them- 
selves contributing its value. The title deeds for the farmer's 
land are then made over to him; and as for the four parts 
which revert to the original owner, he may rent or sell them 
as he pleases. 

This method contrasts well with the standard in more de- 
veloped regions, where from the beginning the settler is likely 
to find himself a tenant, paying a rental of from forty to 
sixty per cent of the crop, with little chance of acquiring own- 
ership. Under these special terms the settler becomes a land- 
owner on a scale that would require a generation of toil, 
and a lot of good luck as well, in his native province. The 
original owner is left with forty per cent of his land; but this 
forty per cent, by virtue of having been opened, is worth the 
whole of the original undeveloped holding. Often the origi- 
nal landowner remains the largest individual land holder of 
the region, and its most important capitalist. 

The new peasant-proprietor is not subject to land tax until 
the seventh year. From the fourth year to the seventh year, in- 
clusive, he pays off by installments the capital cost of the 


building material, equipment, livestock, food supplies and so 
forth, with which he had been supplied in advance. There- 
after he pays ordinary land tax, police dues and so forth. 
"You are well off here," I said to one such man; "enough 
people to open the land, but plenty of land for expansion. Not 
too many people and too little land, like Shantung." "Ha!" 
he replied, contentedly; "you wait a couple of generations! 
We'll be running around like ants!" And indeed, judging 
from the visible rate of development in many regions where 
settlement has once taken hold, I think that in two genera- 
tions many of the new settlements of to-day will be approxi- 
mating to agricultural districts generally in North China, in 
size of farms and ratio of land tax to capital value. A Liao- 
ning province man, whom I met in Heilungchiang, told me 
that in districts of Heilungchiang developed within the last 
thirty years, taxation was much lighter than in Liaoning, the 
"oldest" province. Taxation of undeveloped land in Heilung- 
chiang, he said, was even lighter; not only is the tax light in 
itself, but it is assessed on only an estimated percentage of 
the land. The tax is made lighter yet by the fact that a larger, 
more generous measure is used for undeveloped land. In the 
"oldest" parts of Liaoning, he said, not only is the tax higher 
and the measure smaller, but the measurement is made to 
include even ponds and rough patches of irreclaimable land, 
which in Heilungchiang are simply "thrown in," without 
being measured. 

Incidentally, the power of the big interests is illustrated by 
the custom of taxing undeveloped land very lightly. Thus 
there is no pressure on the great land holders, forcing them to 
sell or develop; only when, at their convenience, they have 
found settlers, is the tax increased, and it can then be taken 
out of the value developed by the settlers. 

The refugee colonists, who are now numerically the most 
important, and whose importance has forced down the old 


standards of the Shantung migrants, owing to the fact that 
Shantung in recent years has suffered as heavily as any other 
province, illustrate all the most "negative" characteristics of 
so-called "pioneer" colonization when undertaken by a so-, 
ciety of advanced civilization. Being quite unable to fend 
for themselves, they are poor material to begin with. Being 
emigrants by necessity only, they have not the mental atti- 
tude which facilitates adaptation. Indeed, they are inclined 
to resent everything in food, climate, housing and so forth 
that is not "like home"; even though, with properly directed 
energy, the environment might be made better than home. 
Moreover ironic though this may seem the relief projects 
and colonization projects which are most efficiently run and 
treat the refugees best have the most trouble with them. This 
is largely because of the peasant's interpretation of "respon- 
sibility" "you have saved me, therefore you are responsible 
for my being alive an d for my -future; and now, what are you 
going to do about it?" Relief of the old type was purely de- 
fensive. Grain was issued from the local state granaries, and 
taxes were remitted; if the grain gave out, the people died. 
That type of relief has gone. The new, "dynamic" type, 
with its overtones of expansion and the creation of new 
wealth, is essentially a new concept, and the reaction of the 
conservative, simple-minded peasant tends to be: "You must 
be getting more out of this than I am. Anyhow, this is not my 
idea. I am not responsible for being saved. You are respon- 
sible for bringing me here. Now you ought to do something 
more for me." 

Consequently the losses by desertion from relief-coloniza- 
tion projects are very high. The landowners consider that the 
settlers are ungrateful, and are on the whole glad to get rid 
of those who are not docile, although the rate of develop- 
ment is slowed down. The settlers very soon find out that 
they have in fact been brought out largely for the benefit 


of vested interests in need of cheap labor. Consequently, the 
most capable of them are the most likely to desert. From this 
it might appear that the only people who stay on the land are 
the least enterprising and energetic. This is not wholly true; 
for some of those who abscond do in fact settle on the land, 
often as squatters, in regions not yet being systematically colo- 
nized, where later they can make their own terms with the 

In order to minimize this type of defection, organized colo- 
nization projects endeavor to secure a high proportion of 
married settlers with children. Even this admirable measure, 
however, does not wholly obviate the loss. Only too often, 
the family which is able to hang together at all is one which 
has enough resources of its own, or ability among its mem- 
bers, to support itself and eventually find its way home again, 
without going to the dreaded extreme of migrating to Man- 
churia. On the other hand, many desperate people, in order 
to secure cheap transport to Manchuria, band themselves 
hastily into fictitious families a man and a woman who 
are not married, gathering up several children not their own 
and applying for relief as a family. When such a group is 
placed on the land, very little discontent is enough to make 
the man abandon his adventitious family; especially if he 
has endeavored to turn them back on the authorities, and been 
refused. He may well abandon them; he has reached Man- 
churia, there is work to be had, or he can at a pinch join the 
army or turn bandit. If he wants to work his way back to his 
native province, he can do so more easily without his follow- 
ing. Losses from this kind of defection, and similar causes, 
may run very high in the first year or two of a colonization 
project; sometimes, I believe, as high as forty per cent. I have 
heard higher figures quoted locally in such regions; but of 
course, no accurate statistics are available. 


When women are thus deserted, they do not necessarily 
starve. Owing to the great shortage of women, particularly 
on the fringes of settlement, the ordinarily strict Chinese 
standards are relaxed during the settling-down years of a new 
population, and almost any woman who has any qualities to 
recommend her can form a fresh alliance often with a man 
who has already begun to prosper. Girl children even are 
popular, and can find homes, because when they grow up 
their marriage-settlements will be profitable. In China proper 
a son is more valuable; girls are in such plenty that, unless 
a family is already well-to-do, it is hard to marry off a daugh- 
ter advantageously. The son stays in the family and his earn- 
ings contribute to it, while a daughter, at marriage, "goes out 
of the family." In Manchuria, on the other hand, women are 
so scarce that if a daughter is at all personable there will be 
many bids for her hand, and the parents can choose a son- 
in-law on terms advantageous to themselves. 

Nor is the case of a young boy, when a refugee family or 
pseudo-family has broken up, too desperate. Once a boy is 
past his infancy he can earn a living. Perhaps the greatest 
difficulty, in practice, is that an adopted son tends to desert his 
adoptive parents if they do not prosper, so soon as he is able 
to fend for himself. 


One other important type of frontier settlement has yet 
to be considered that of the secondary migrants. These are 
men with families; men whose forebears have been in Man- 
churia for several generations and who derive from the old 
pre-railway times of the drifting spread into Manchuria. 
They form a special class among the old frontier or "reser- 
voir" population, functioning as developers of agricultural 


land, in close touch with the exploitation undertaken by of- 
ficials. They are chiefly to be found in lands taken over from 
the Mongols, but they differ from the first-line frontiersmen 
of the old Mongol "reservoir" in that they are definitely not 
a "mixed class"; they rarely have Mongol blood, and jarely 
speak Mongol At the same time they have a strong "reser- 
voir" color; they are not land fast; they tend always to move 
forward, and their special knowledge is the knowledge of 
how to break and develop raw land. Naturally, they are of the 
greatest value in extending the frontiers of Chinese occupa- 
tion, and are looked on with high favor by the officials con- 
cerned with border expansion. They form an admirable core 
for any project of new colonization; the pity is that owing to 
the pace of modern colonization brought about by railway 
construction their numbers cannot be multiplied fast enough 
to keep up with the opening of suitable new territories. 

They are the only settlers who, as a class, have capital, which 
they raise by selling out the land which they have previously 
developed and enhanced in value, in order to move on to new 
land. Their careers are thus worked out in terms of con- 
tinuous generations, not of a single lifetime. The land which 
their fathers or grandfathers took up on the edge of Mongol 
territory has doubled and trebled in value through the ar- 
rival of later colonists and the growth of communications and 
markets. They themselves have a personal or family back- 
ground of "raw* land. Therefore they capitalize their old 
holdings and move on. They know the working of frontier 
methods and the ways of frontier officials ; and they know that 
as they prosper they increase their prospects of having sons 
graduate into the ranks of the real controlling classes the of- 
ficials and the "big interests." Indeed, patriarchs of such 
groups often have a semi-official standing and are frequently 
consulted by the officials. 

Settlers of this type tend to move as communities, and will 


be found in groups all of whom lived in the same old villages 
and benefited by their loose group and class association in bar- 
gaining for the new lands and founding the new villages. 
They continue to benefit by this group organization, forming 
a subsection of the new community as a whole. They act in 
conjunction in matters of policy, and among themselves they 
have their own gradations of leaders and followers. Their 
land operations are often complicated, owing to differences in 
value between old lands and new. Often they will even settle 
for a generation and more on comparatively poor land, wait- 
ing until better regions are expropriated from the Mongols. 
Thus there is a long stretch of land between Ssup'ingkai and 
T'aonan in Western Fengtien (Liaoning), filled with aban- 
doned villages, whose inhabitants have moved on west of 
T'aonan or southwest toward K'ailu. West and northwest of 
T'aonan can also be found contingents of secondary migrants 
from the Petuna region who, with the weakening and with- 
drawal of the Mongols have overpassed the inferior lands 
between their old homes and their new settlements; although 
actually their new lands are often not so rich as the fields they 
formerly owned. They have sold out good land, moved across 
poor land, and settled in land of medium grade, having nicely 
calculated the profits to be made by selling out developed 
land, buying at least three times the acreage of undeveloped 
land, and opening it to cultivation in order to clear a further 

This type of settler is far less conspicuous in non-Mongol 
regions, because there, the land not being "Mongol" but "pub- 
lic," the settler was able in the past to settle as a squatter on 
land chosen for a permanent home, and to arrange terms 
of tenantry or purchase when the land was eventually re- 
leased for settlement and passed into private ownership. 

The "reservoir"-bred, secondary migrant and the semi-out- 
law opium-growing settler are probably the nearest in tradi- 


tion and feeling to the old-style Western pioneer; at least to 
the early, pre-railway American pioneer and, like the early 
Western pioneers, they are the survivors of an older order. 
They cannot stand the pace of a machine-grounded econ- 
omy; their style of life demands a training too long drawn- 
out, and too close a linkage of tradition-informed generations. 

It is noteworthy, however, that the "pioneer" in one of the 
oldest and most typical Western senses of the word the 
"lonely settler" is almost unheard-of. This is of significant 
interest because it means that the quest for loneliness, the 
hunger for an empty land in which a man can express his own 
starkest individuality, are psychological characteristics of an 
individualism that is not congruent with the Chinese tradition 
and the Chinese civilization. The farthest-outlying frontiers- 
man forms for himself a group-connection by attaching him- 
self to Mongols, Manchus or other non-Chinese tribes; the 
second-line frontiersman moves forward as part of a group; 
the squatter is always found as an extension of the group 
never wholly removed. 

The general instinct running through society is not to get 
away from the old order, nor to found any new order, but 
merely to extend the old order, and to reproduce it as fast as 
possible. Although there are outlaw communities, there are 
no communities of revolt; no rebellious minorities that have 
migrated from the old home in order to get away from an un- 
sympathetic majority, and founded new communities in or- 
der to be independent. 


Banditry is one of the great plagues of modern China, and 
is commonly said to be chiefly due to civil war, famine and 
desperation. Yet in Manchuria also banditry is endemic. If, 


then, banditry has not been eliminated in Manchuria, where 
food and work are plentiful and where the population is prac- 
tically free from the effects of civil war, how is it ever to be 
eliminated? The answer is that the banditry of Manchuria 
is essentially a "frontier" banditry, organically different from 
the banditry of social disintegration and despair which char- 
acterizes so much of China proper. 

The axiom that "the more soldiers the more bandits," 
though heard all over Manchuria, does not indicate a pecu- 
liarity of Manchurian conditions. On the contrary, it points 
to a condition of over-militarization, from which Manchuria 
does not suffer so badly as any equivalent area of China proper, 
under which the soldier, becoming the master, not the protec- 
tor of society, takes to banditry and soldiering alternately, ac- 
cording to the current chances of profit and promotion. This 
type of downright destructiveness is much more "sophisti- 
cated" than the old Manchurian banditry, is not so local in 
its connections, and is as modern as the phenomena of mass- 
colonization. Like modern colonization, it tends to obliterate 
antecedent conditions, while occasionally preserving certain 
elements of the antecedent tradition. 

The Manchurian bandit tends very strongly to adhere to 
a group; and to a group which is identified with a particular 
region. There are no more solitary bandits than there are 
solitary settlers; there are bands of robbers and occasional 
footpads, who hardly count as bandits. Single desperadoes, 
or very small bands of two or three wandering outlaws, of 
the kind that, in the history of the American frontier, are 
far more typical than the group, are almost non-existent. 
In fact the bandit not only seeks the comfort of plurality; 
he likes to belong to an organic body, with a recognizable 
place in the community. His chief comfort is that, through 
various affiliations, there is always a degree of communication 


between the outlaw community and the law-abiding com- 
munity. This explains the fact that when a countryside is 
rid of bandits, the cleaning-up is normally accomplished 
by negotiation, only exceptionally by the shock of con- 

Bandits are most commonly disposed of by enlisting them in 
the troops or police, or, not uncommonly, by betrayal and 
massacre; but even betrayal and massacre are essentially the 
results of negotiation, not of outright warfare. Violence, it is 
true, is common in fact, general all over Manchuria; but it 
is sporadic, spontaneous and undirected. The collective or- 
ganized violence of the vigilante is, in my experience, un- 
known. Village and regional self-defense corps are quite fre- 
quently formed, and maintain on the whole better protection 
than ordinary police or regular troops; but this is because 
the self-defense corps and the bandits are very well known to 
each other. They almost never fight it out to a finish; on 
the contrary, a stalemate arises and the bandits avoid the or- 
ganized villages, while the defense corps refrain from pur- 
suing the bandits. Unfortunately for the villages thus de- 
fended, the more efficient their local volunteer corps, the 
more likely it is to be brought within the wider organization 
of regular troops; whereupon outsiders break in to the 
"racket," the local interest is handicapped, and the plague of 
banditry begins again, because of the easy interchange of pro- 
fession as between bandits and soldiers. 

The older Manchurian banditry is not only regional, but is 
obviously a phenomenon of the old "reservoir," and like all 
"reservoir" activities has a recognizable historical derivation. 
It was originally a by-product of the restrictions on Chinese 
penetration into the "reservoir"; and this explains why nu- 
merically there are always more Chinese among bandits than 
Manchus or Mongols, and why, to the present day, China- 


born Chinese (especially Shantung men) are rather more 
common than Manchuria-born Chinese. 

It has already been pointed out that "illegal" Chinese set- 
tlers, under the Manchu rule, were in fact commonly al- 
lowed to remain if they had really succeeded in establishing 
themselves before being officially noticed. If, however, the 
settlement could not be said to have taken root, and especially 
if it encroached on the forest preserves, the Imperial Hunting 
Grounds or the fringes of the sacred Ch'ang-pai-shan, it was 
likely to be broken up, with the result that the evicted settlers 
turned to banditry. Thus to the fringe of tolerated settlers 
and the outer fringe of nominally illegal squatters, there was 
added an outermost fringe of bandits, commonly based on 
hidden villages as well as on camps. Obviously this bandit 
fringe, and its representatives of the present day, must often 
be indistinguishable from the lawless fringe of opium-growing 

The bandits also drew recruits, and still draw them, from 
gold prospectors, lumbermen, hunters and ginseng gatherers. 
Owing to the ancient prejudice against private exploitation of 
such natural resources as mines and forests, those who ex- 
ploited them without a license granting a semi-official monop- 
oly (which required a certain amount of capital and a social 
standing high enough to allow familiarity with official cir- 
cles) were always outside the law. Hunters and ginseng 
gatherers were also perpetually on the outer edge of the law. 
Ginseng was under a kind of imperial patronage, its collec- 
tion and distribution being under official supervision. Indeed, 
at one time it became so scarce that an effort was made to 
conserve the supply by restricting collection. Naturally, the 
resulting high prices tempted men to venture into the forests 
without license. In much the same way sable hunters con- 
tinually attempted to evade the yamen or collecting stations, 


in order to dispose of their catch not as articles of tribute but 
by sale, sables having become very scarce throughout Siberia 
and Manchuria because they were demanded in tribute both 
by the Russian Tsar and the Emperor in Peking. 

Such pursuits as these were originally Manchu; but as the 
Manchus became accustomed to living comfortably in their 
villages, enjoying government subsidy and concerned with 
securing official employment for their sons, more and more 
liu win or unauthorized Chinese immigrants, disappointed 
in the attempt to settle on the land, turned to the profitable oc- 
cupations of the wilderness. The knowledge thus gained of 
topography, routes and hiding places naturally aided them 
when they took to banditry. Much of their way of life and 
point of view has been passed on to the bandits of the present 
day. It might seem strange, for instance, that a large propor- 
tion of the modern bandits of the Kirin and Liaoning forest 
belt are Shantung men, with no experience of forests prior to 
their emigration to Manchuria. The explanation is that 
through working at different lumber camps they have gained 
a special knowledge of the region, and scraped an acquaint- 
ance with the semi-lawless, practically ungoverned outermost 
settlers, squatters and hunters. After a season of hard work, 
lumbermen frequently gamble away and spend in dissipation 
the whole of their pay, at the first little town reached. Unable 
to return to Shantung, or to find congenial work in the off- 
season, such men bolt back into the hills they have learned 
to know so well, and from the wilderness make bandit raids 
on highways and villages. 

The significance of Manchurian banditry cannot be appre- 
ciated without bearing in mind that very few men take to 
the life of the outlaw for the sake of adventure and excite- 
ment, though some do. There are more men of the naturally 
wild and adventurous type in Manchuria than in any non- 


frontier province of China, because the frontier tradition tends 
to produce them, in spite of the peaceful counter-tradition of 
the steady-going Chinese stock. Their numbers also are 
augmented by escaped criminals and desperate characters. 
Nevertheless a surprising proportion of them are men who 
would naturally settle down to cultivate land or follow a 
trade were it not for the difficulties in the way of private ex- 
ploitation of the wilderness, the laws against the highly 
profitable opium business and the difficulty of acquiring a 
holding in the untenanted but privately owned wilderness, 
without capital. 

The result is that Manchurian bandits found more villages 
probably than any outlaws in the world, and though lawless 
are an effective advance-guard of normal settlement and ex- 
ploitation. Almost no bandits are truly independent of bases 
either in villages founded by themselves or dominated by 
them because of their isolated position. Thus there is always 
a certain amount of communication between bandit villages 
and law-abiding villages, and it is almost always possible to 
"reclaim" most of the population of a bandit region, as 
normal administration is pushed forward into previously un- 
administered country. The negotiations for "reclaiming" 
bandits are often marred by subsequent treacherous massacre; 
nevertheless, as has been said, negotiation and not outright 
warfare is the normal method of reducing a bandit region 
to order. It is as a result of such negotiations that so many 
bandit leaders become transformed into military officers. 
From the military career many of them achieve administrative 
power; and thus it comes about quite naturally that some 
of the ablest and most powerful officials in Manchuria are 
men who got their first schooling in the ranks of the bandits. 
When I was dining once with a general in whose territory the 
bandits were an important initial problem, obstructing the 


beginnings of peaceful development, one of his staff, a man 
of the new school of national patriotism, referred to the 
bandits as a pest that must be destroyed outright. The general 
himself not by any means a man of bandit antecedents cor- 
rected him, saying that bandits were by no means all "bad." 
"It depends on how you treat them and use them," he said. 
After a good deal of frontier experience, I understand per- 
fectly well what he meant; for the bandit, properly under- 
stood, is in some respects a valuable frontiersman and path- 

The old banditry of Manchuria is recognizably divided into 
several regional types. There is the opium banditry that has 
already been discussed. There is the banditry of the central 
region of Kirin and Liaoning. There is the banditry of the 
Mongol frontier of Western Liaoning and Western Heilung- 
chiang, and there is the banditry of the previously uninhab- 
ited wildernesses of Northern Heilungchiang, which has a 
somewhat milder counterpart in northernmost Kirin. 

The banditry of the forested and hilly country of the cen- 
tral region of Kirin and Liaoning is strongly colored by 
"reservoir" traditions, and has an unbroken connection with 
the old days when most of the bandits were Chinese who had 
not succeeded in establishing tolerated settlements in the 
Manchu "reservoir." Many of these bandits are still lumber- 
men, hunters and ginseng gatherers by turns. With the in- 
creased settlement and development of the region, however, 
the days of the really big troops of bandits in this region are 

The banditry of the Mongol frontier is peculiar in that 
many Mongols are among the bandits. In strictly Mongol 
territory, bandits are so rare that they may be said not to 
exist at all. The Mongol population is as mobile as the bandits 
themselves could be, and knows the country as well. Bandits 


are far more afraid of Mongol levies than they are of Chinese 
regular troops. Mongol banditry only breaks out on the fringe 
of Chinese colonization, where numbers of Mongols, whose 
pastures have been taken and who have not been properly 
provided for either by the colonization officials or their own 
princes, turn their hands against all men. 

Pastoral Mongols do not like to live within less than a day's 
ride of Chinese villages, partly because they are afraid of be- 
ing governed and taxed, but chiefly because their livestock, 
trespassing on fields, might be the cause of quarreling. It is 
in this gap that the bandits range. They are recruited not 
only from discontented Mongols, but from Chinese some 
of them men who have given up trying to get land for them- 
selves, some of them deserting soldiers, others young men 
who have got on the wrong side of the law through quarrel- 
ing or gambling. In addition to these, the most outlying set- 
tlements frequently contribute a man each to the bandits, in 
order to secure themselves from attack. The mere fact that 
so many of the bandits are malcontents means that among 
them are some of the most independent, able and vigorous 
men of the region. Such men frequently see a quicker, though 
more dangerous way to power and position through rising 
to the command of bandits than through ordinary industry 
or even ordinary enlistment in the army. If they can make 
themselves formidable enough, there is always a price at 
which they can negotiate a position on the right side of the 
law. An ambition of this kind is, however, far more dan- 
gerous for Mongols than for Chinese as, being outsiders, they 
are much more likely to be treacherously killed in the process 
of negotiation. A Mongol bandit is therefore a man who ex- 
pects no other end than a violent death; consequently he is 
a much more determined and dangerous fighter than the 
ordinary bandit. 


Such mixed groups of bandits attack only the Chinese, 
unless they are desperate. The Chinese clannishness enables 
them to play off one group against another getting informa- 
tion or supplies from one village, and attacking others 
whereas if they attacked one Mongol encampment, all the 
others within reach would send out men against them; and, 
not content with driving them off, they would push them 
until it came to a fight. 

While the Mongol element in these bands contributes mo- 
bility, the Chinese element requires touch with fixed com- 
munities. Thus they use the unoccupied no-man's-land to give 
them freedom for manceuver, and from it raid in among the 
thinly scattered outer villages. They frequently descend on 
one outlying farm or settlement after another, for food and 
shelter, and the general rule is that from the poorest people 
they demand food and shelter but nothing else. The com- 
monest end of such a band is that they are either enticed into 
negotiation and killed, or else enlisted as a part of the re- 
gional military establishment often with the title of anti- 
bandit patrol. This comes about as their sphere of activity is 
narrowed down by increasingly close settlement. They are 
rarely driven out permanently while the country is not yet 
thoroughly settled. It not infrequently happens that those 
who have relations among the respectable succeed in making 
terms, and even betray the outsiders who have no connections, 
so that the "biggest" men are taken over while the others 
are trapped and killed. 

Where there is practically no clash of populations to foment 
banditry, as in vast stretches of Northern Heilungchiang and 
Kirin, banditry is largely a winter avocation of settlers in 
thinly populated regions. The bandits of Heilungchiang have 
a special reputation for savagery, and I should not be at all 
surprised if this were the result of influences imparted in ear- 


lier days when Heilungchiang was a place of exile for crimi- 
nals and political offenders, many of whom subsequently es- 
caped and took up banditry. In such regions, the farmers 
themselves are often bandits, and prey on one another's base- 
villages; though the highways provide most of their victims. 
The winter season is long, and while numbers of people 
then engage in the carting trade, hauling grain to market, 
others are idle, for lack of subsidiary occupations like stock- 
raising or home industries. Moreover winter is the season 
of travel, the roads of packed snow being at their best. Ban- 
ditry in Heilungchiang, until recently at least, had the repu- 
tation of being often a kind of "racket," engaged in by people 
who had relatives among the troops or petty officials, who 
could protect them from being too seriously pursued. At any 
rate it is certain that where the Sungari forms the boundary 
between the provinces of Heilungchiang and Kirin (it being 
possible to cross on the ice in winter) the common people 
consider that the bandits of their own side are a nuisance, but 
part of the natural social order and usually amenable to di- 
plomacy and reasonable arrangement; while the bandits from 
the other side of the river they loathe and dread. 

The banditry of this region has one characteristic in com- 
mon with that of the Mongol border; it is at its worst near the 
fringes of settlement. Colonization has followed the main 
lines of travel, leaving wide uninhabited stretches on either 
side, which give the bandits room for dodging and hiding. 

It is commonly held that banditry slows down the rate of 
colonization. 2 This is perfectly true; but I do not think that it 
is altogether an evil. While the bandits are themselves in a 

2 One of the important economic effects of banditry is that over wick re- 
gions transport by ox-cart is common, where horses would be more efficient, 
and would be used, were it not that bandits leave oxen alone, but are in perpetual 
need of horses as remounts. The introduction of motor transport is tending 
to solve this problem. 


sense active frontiersmen, continually pushing forward into 
the wilderness, they do delay the period of intensive coloniza- 
tion that comes after them. Banditry often expresses the feel- 
ing of resentment that the true frontiersmen have against the 
powerful interests which own great stretches of wilderness 
land. The more they can make themselves feared, the better 
chance they have, when the eventual period of negotiation 
comes, of securing good terms from the great landholders on 
whose land grants they have founded villages. While the 
bandits themselves are taken into the army, their relatives get 
a chance to take up land on much more favorable terms than 
could be secured by refugees. Thus while they slow down 
the rate of colonization, they tend to add to the quality of the 
community, offsetting the poor "tone" of purely refugee colo- 
nization, which tends to be too helpless and too much at the 
mercy of a limited and over-powerful class, and can well 
benefit by the tradition of independence and self -sufficiency 
which the bandit element contributes. 

The greatest danger of banditry in Manchuria, in fact, is 
that the old indigenous banditry, with its occasional flashes of 
the Robin Hood instinct, may be entirely overwhelmed by 
the savagely destructive soldier-banditry that harries so many 
thousand square miles of China proper. It is already true 
that the common soldier has no great stomach for fighting 
bandits. He would far rather come to a sensible arrangement 
by which the bandits withdraw when the patrols come around, 
and the patrols, as they make their rounds, do not look over 
their shoulders at the bandits coming back. Even when, under 
orders from above, it is necessary for the troops to make a 
definite effort to clear a given territory, the private soldier 
will often give the game away. He will have one signal by 
groups of rifleshots which means "We are on patrol, but 
nothing serious/ 5 and another which means "Look out ! We'll 
fight you if we find you!" This is because, in a generation of 


unscrupulous violence, the soldier is far from regarding the 
bandit as his natural enemy. The soldier, like the bandit, is a 
professional. The bandit wants to take villages and loot them; 
the soldier waits for his chance in a civil war to take towns 
and get either loot or promotion and power. Neither sees any 
point in a stand-up fight, when the prisoners and the dead 
are not likely to have anything on them but arms. Moreover 
the bandit may some day be a soldier and the soldier a bandit. 
Consequently they regard themselves as colleagues with a 
certain professional rivalry, but not enemies unless personal 
quarrels arise. 

The great wealth of Manchuria and the necessity of main- 
taining a good army in view of the civil-war phase of politics 
in China account for a higher average and greater regularity 
of pay than in the armies of North China generally, while the 
prospects of recognition of merit and quick promotion on 
active service are also very good. Consequently the soldier- 
bandit, bandit-soldier menace is not nearly so great as in China 
proper. It is at its worst in the province of Jehol, which now 
forms an extra fourth added to the three nuclear provinces 
of Manchuria. Where it does occur, however, it tends, as has 
been said, to overwhelm and supersede the older banditry. 
While it often perpetuates some of the methods of the older 
tradition, it has none of the same quasi-constructive, pioneer- 
ing qualities. The elimination of the typical Manchurian 
banditry, indeed, is largely a question of the passing of the 
frontier phase, and the extension of normal administration. 
The elimination or increase of soldier-banditry and the ban- 
ditry that accompanies social collapse, on the other hand, 
depends largely on the quality of that supervening adminis- 
tration, and on the soundness of the new society. It is not a 
specifically Manchurian problem but a question of victory over 
or defeat by the major problems of society and civilization 
that confront China as a whole. 



IT HAS frequently been stated that the idea of a great Jap- 
anese colonizing migration into Manchuria, once dreamed of, 
has now gone by the board because the Chinese have every- 
where proved that they can underlive the Japanese as farmers 
and farm-laborers. To my mind, however, the simple op- 
position of the standards of living of farmers and laborers 
is not the whole of the question. The example of Korea ought 
to have demonstrated this Japan introducing Western tech- 
nique for the development and exploitation of Korea, and 
Korean peasant-laborers migrating to Japan. It is, to my mind, 
more important that the Japanese have reached a stage of 
social, economic and above all historical development where 
settlement on the land, out of Japan, even under urgent eco- 
nomic pressure, no longer appeals to them. The land-hunger 
has gone out of their blood just as effectively as it has gone 
out of the blood of the Americans who, in spite of their con- 
stantly cited pioneer traditions, and long before the pressure 
of population has become anything like as severe as that of 
Europe not to mention Japan are now turning from the 
land to the cities; and, when they go abroad, go only as ex- 
ploiters, never as settlers. In both nations the historical phase 
is the imperative factor; economic pressure and economic op- 
portunity are only contributory and permissive factors. 

The Japanese have now developed the instinct for ex- 



ploitation as capitalists, industrialists, technicians entrepre- 
neurs, in fact. The average peasant would far rather move to 
a town and become a factory worker than go abroad to take 
up land. The average townsman will move gladly to a big- 
ger town, but not to the country. The colonization problems 
of Japan are somewhat similar to those of Great Britain, which 
finds it easy to export technicians and traders, but difficult, 
even with severe unemployment at home and ample lands for 
colonization within the Empire, to export colonists. Not only 
are the unemployed unwilling to emigrate even under severe 
economic pressure, but when they do emigrate, even on fa- 
vorable terms of settlement, they make such poor settlers 
that they are less and less in demand in the dominions. 
The chief difference in the case of the Japanese is that Japan 
has not the same reserve of lands within the Empire, nor the 
same supply of raw products, to keep the swarming towns in 
food and work. The type of agricultural colonization for 
which the British are now best suited is that of the plantation 
which, historically considered, is late and decadent in 
which they can act as overseers and directors. Hence the great 
modern British interest in Africa. Much the same is true of 
the Japanese; but with the additional handicap of lack of suit- 
able territory under their own flag. 

Failing such territory, the land which potentially could of- 
fer them the best scope is Manchuria, which offers obvious 
opportunities for capital and skilled training. Even this, 
however, raises intricate questions of treaty relations, treaty 
privileges and treaty restrictions. Japan, besides being one of 
the nations which, by treaty, holds concessions in certain of 
the Treaty Ports, and extraterritorial jurisdiction over its own 

1 At the present time, the British Dombions tend increasingly to legislate 
against all immigration. This, however, does not alter the fact that even before 
the days of such legislation, encouraged emigration from Great Britain had more 
and more obviously become a failure. 


nationals in Chinese territory, also holds on lease the area 
adjacent to Port Arthur and Dairen known as the Kuantung 
Leased Territory, of over thirteen hundred square miles, to- 
gether with the one hundred square miles occupied by the 
South Manchuria Railway right of way and settlements adja- 
cent to railway stations. Like other aliens, however, the Japa- 
nese do not in practice have the right to buy or lease land in 
China outside of the concessions 2 a restriction which obvi- 
ously hinders not only agricultural enterprise on the part of 
foreigners, but also all kinds of industrial exploitation. 

Nominally, when the nations which hold by treaty the 
rights of extraterritoriality (legal, fiscal and disciplinary juris- 
diction over their own nationals resident in China, which 
make it necessary for both civil and criminal actions against 
foreigners to be tried in a court presided over by a judge or 
consul of the defendant foreigner's nationality) are prepared 
to relinquish these rights, they will in turn receive rights of 
free travel and residence in the interior, together with the 
right to buy and lease land at present enjoyed only by mis- 
sionaries. Actually it is doubtful to what degree foreigners 
will ever be allowed to purchase and develop properties in 
China. There are precedents in various parts of the world for 
controlling the terms of entry and scope of enterprise of aliens, 
on which China may well base regulations that satisfy the al- 
ready very strong prejudice against seeing Chinese land in 
foreign ownership. Moreover there is, apart from the preju- 
dice against direct foreign enterprise, the patent danger that 
increase of direct foreign ownership and investment may lead 
to renewed foreign pressure. It seems to me highly probable 
that, pan passu with the modification of existing treaties, there 
will be continual pressure to secure rights of direct purchase 

2 For the special Japanese position in Manchuria, see below, p. 240. 


and direct investment in China, that the success of any enter- 
prise on a large scale will lead to national jealousy, and that 
the situation thus arising will lead to renewed demands for the 
protection of legitimate vested interests. 

One aspect of these problems of the future may already be 
detected in the special problems of Japanese enterprise gen- 
erally, and Korean colonization in particular, in Manchuria. 
In extensive regions in Eastern Manchuria, especially in what 
is known as the Chientao district, there is an important 
Korean population. The question of the extent and exercise 
of Japanese authority and control over these Koreans has pro- 
duced various points of dispute between Japan and China, es- 
pecially in regard to Japanese consular guards and the police 
control and frequent arrest of Koreans in Chinese territory. 3 
A great proportion of these Koreans are revolutionary and 
anti-Japanese, having for that reason migrated from Korea 
into Chinese territory. Their most important occupation is 
rice farming. They have a technique of northern rice culture 
which the Chinese themselves cannot rival, and are thus able 
to occupy land in important numbers and with a density of 
population that makes them practically immune to Chinese 
linguistic and cultural influences. 

The national status of many of these Koreans is anomalous 
and unsatisfactory. In the first place Koreans who are sus- 
pected by the Japanese of revolutionary propaganda may try 
to claim Chinese citizenship, without being able to furnish 

3 Actually the Chientao region, in which Koreans outnumber Chinese, was 
once in dispute between Japan and China. Finally Japan recognized a frontier 
between Manchuria and Korea which gave Chientao to China; and at the same time 
turned over the Chientao Koreans to China, willy-nilly. The Chientao Koreans 
are historically a rearguard; for the Koreans undoubtedly once occupied a con- 
siderable part of Manchuria, from which they were driven by the Manchus and 
other tribes. This and other rearguard Korean communities are, however, now 
being turned into advance-guards by a fresh impulse of Korean migration toward 


adequate proof, while others, who have previously stated to 
Chinese officials that they have "renounced" their status as 
subjects of Japan, will later try to claim Japanese protection. 
In the second place, there appears to be occasional lack of 
uniformity in Chinese practice in admitting Koreans to nat- 
uralization, in respect of residence qualifications and so forth. 
In the third place there can be no doubt that Koreans fre- 
quently attempt to take out Chinese papers chiefly as a screen 
while carrying on anti-Japanese propaganda in connection 
with revolutionary societies across the border in Korea. In 
the fourth place, Koreans aspire to Chinese citizenship in 
order to be able to hold land. In such cases, it may be found 
that the Korean, naturalized as a Chinese, is actually serving 
as agent for a Japanese who finances him. This leads to com- 
plicated claims of jurisdiction, and the assertion of the right 
of consular protection for a Japanese investment. 

Such claims touch a very sore point in Manchurian affairs. 
Under the treaty arising out of the celebrated Twenty-one 
Demands of 1915, the Japanese acquired the right of unre- 
stricted residence and trade in Manchuria, including the 
right to lease land; a special modification of the general re- 
strictions on foreign enterprise. This right the Chinese have, 
in practice, consistently obstructed, bringing strong pressure 
to bear on Chinese who attempt to lease land to Japanese. 
Although individuals are tempted by the profits of Japanese 
cooperation, public opinion is decidedly against it, for fear 
of the consequences of the extension of Japanese vested in- 

Consequently the officials, in regions where Koreans form 
an important element in the population, are bedeviled -by a 
double problem. On the one hand, to uphold their own pres- 
tige, they are anxious to extend their administrative control 
over Koreans, to exercise their prerogative of naturalizing 


Koreans, and to assert their right of protecting Koreans who 
have already been naturalized. Naturalization o Koreans 
tends to weaken Japanese claims of direct authority, and to 
aid the Chinese in attempts to break up the solidarity of the 
Korean communities and facilitate their assimilation to the 
Chinese. On the other hand the Koreans have thus far shown, 
even when naturalized as Chinese, great resistance to ab- 
sorption by the Chinese, and no tendency at all to consider 
themselves truly Chinese. While they are glad to reside in 
China, they have no desire to be anything but Korean in race, 
language and culture. Few of them even learn to speak Chi- 
nese well, many of them speak practically no Chinese at all, 
and they tend to settle in strong enough groups to prevent 
modification of this attitude even in the second generation. 
Moreover there are to be found among them, besides the purely 
anti-Japanese revolutionaries, numbers of enthusiasts for the 
Russian type of revolution, who are as much disliked by the 
Chinese as they are by the Japanese. 

Finally, there is the recurrent problem of Koreans financed 
by Japanese. While attempts at direct Japanese colonization 
have always failed, even in the Leased Territory of Kuantung 
under Japanese administration, there is no doubt that great 
and rapid development can be obtained from large estates 
financed and managed by Japanese, employing Korean or 
Chinese labor. This has been proved on a small scale in the 
Leased Territory, but the Chinese are anything but anxious 
to see demonstrations on a larger scale. Such extensions 
of Japanese vested interests, combining Korean colonization 
with Japanese investment, are regarded as a menace of the 
gravest kind. 

The general result is a tendency to restrict all Korean colo- 
nization, although locally landlords often welcome Korean 
tenants because rice-cultivation by Koreans provides a bigger 


rent-roll than could be secured if the same land were cul- 
tivated by Chinese. The officials, however, are nervous of 
Korean penetration for the reasons already discussed, and the 
Chinese farming population dislike Koreans because no agri- 
cultural community likes to have neighbors that rival it eco- 
nomically, whether the competition comes from a lower stand- 
ard of living or a higher technique. This feeling, on the whole, 
does not yet run high, because there is no serious pressure of 
population; but it is obviously an important potential prob- 
lem of the future.* 

Finally, there is a sort of "irredentist" problem connected 
especially with the region of Chientao, where numerically the 
Koreans are an important element in the population. Many 
of these Koreans are descended from the population estab- 
lished there before the annexation of Korea by Japan and the 
final determination of the boundary between Korea and Man- 
churia along the Tumen river. They are therefore Chinese 
by birth, but have no papers to show either their status as 
Chinese or as Japanese. There was for some time a dispute 
between Japan and China over the actual boundary between 
Korea and Manchuria in the Chientao region; this was settled 
by treaty in 1909, the T'umen river being established as the 
frontier; but, the Koreans being earlier established than the 
Chinese, the special Japanese interest in them has never 
lapsed, although they are admitted to be subject to China. 

The present situation seems to be that while the already 
large Korean communities are if anything increasing, ob- 

4 Since these lines were originally written, the problem discussed has been 
vividly illustrated by the Wanpaoshan incident in Kirin province, where Chinese 
farmers opposed with violence the exploitation of land leased to Koreans, The in- 
cident led to retaliatory outrages of a much graver kind against Chinese in Korea, 
and has raised in an acute form all the old disputes that turn on the leasing of land 
to Japanese and Koreans. In fact this outbreak of trouble was as important an 
antecedent cause of the rupture between China and Japan as the Nakamura 


stacks are put in the way of new settlement. In the region of 
the Ussuri, for instance, many Koreans have crossed the border 
from Russian territory, to which they had originally migrated 
from Korea, but where in recent years they have grown un- 
easy under the social and economic reforms enforced by 
Soviet government. 5 These unhappy people, whose ancestors, 
without doubt, occupied a great deal of what is now Man- 
churia and the Russian Primorsk province, and have since 
become exiles successively from Korea and from the land of 
their first adoption, find anything but a hearty welcome in 
Chinese territory. The Chinese no more welcome incom- 
patible minorities than do the Russians, and in addition they 
fear that an important Korean population in the Ussuri region 
might lead to Japanese claims similar to those advanced in 
respect of Koreans elsewhere in Manchuria. Consequently, 
wherever the Chinese population along the Ussuri is nu- 
merous enough, both populace and officials are extremely sus- 
picious of Koreans, and try either to drive them back across 
the frontier or to break up attempts to found separate Korean 


Russian penetration is another problem altogether. There 
can be no doubt that the Russians are on the move toward 
the East and the Pacific; in fact theirs is by all odds the most 
important combined migration of people and culture in the 
modern world. Although some hold that the Russian con- 
ceptions of society and the State have yet to prove their fitness 
for survival, I myself think that the major crisis has already 
been decided. Russian theories will be progressively modified, 
because if the new Russian social-economic organism has 

6 Other Koreans, however, have adapted themselves well to Russian rule. 


demonstrated anything, it has proved its extraordinary vigor 
and faculty of growth, and no organism can grow without 
changing; but of the fact of its survival I think there can be 
no doubt. 

The most significant quality of modern Russia is its extraor- 
dinary faculty of incorporating alien populations within its 
own organism. For this reason the Russian advance into the 
East is even more important as a migration of ideas than it is 
as the movement of a people. The eastward movement of a 
strictly Russian population is as yet a minor factor; what is 
decisive is the movement of "conversion." Russianized Buriat 
Mongols of the Baikal region in Siberia are important instru- 
ments of Russian policy in Outer Mongolia, and the "conver- 
sion" of natives of Outer Mongolia itself is increasingly 
important. Bitterly as Russian policy is detested by certain ele- 
ments in Outer Mongolia, it must be conceded (though non- 
Russian publicists hate to concede it) that it could not be 
carried out at all without the fervid support of other indige- 
nous elements. Russianized Central Asians play a similar 
part in the new republics of Central Asia. Russianized Mon- 
gols, and even a certain number of Koreans and Chinese, in- 
cluding officers, appear to have served with the Russian troops 
in the actions of 1929-30 on the Manchurian borders, and with 
great success. They were distributed among the Russian 
forces, not serving as separate units, except for the Mongol 
cavalry who marched and fought with great dash and suc- 
cess in the Manchuli-Hailar sector who appear to have been 
deliberately employed with the idea of demonstrating the 
solidarity between Russians and Russian-ruled Mongols in 
contrast with the distrust and more or less overt hostility be- 
tween Chinese and Chinese-ruled Mongols. 

The secret of the Russian style of advance is that it does not 
merely establish an administrative order over the heads of 


subject peoples. Nor does it depend essentially either on 
Russian colonization or "colonial" administration. It inter- 
penetrates the indigenous life with great rapidity and thor- 
oughness, and every move is prepared in advance with great 
care, taking local peculiarities into account and endeavoring 
to give a Russian orientation without destroying local loyal- 
ties. It spreads control through a local population, rather than 
exercising it over them. It thus differs both from the Chinese 
style of expansion, which eliminates what it can and absorbs 
the rest, and from the Western, which proceeds by administra- 
tion from the outside and above, not entering into the indige- 
nous life no matter how many native officials are employed 
but still tending, normally to "improve" it and create "prog- 
ress." The criteria of "progress," however, are Western, and 
the very processes of improvement imply that the people who 
are. "progressing" are still left in the rear of the West itself. 

The truth is that the Russian model of civilization is not 
built up so high above its foundations that to adapt it to 
local requirements needs postulate extensive sacrifice of es- 
sential structural elements. Thus it can offer to any popula- 
tion a model which, while Russian in action, is largely local 
in structure whereas both the Western and the Chinese 
models have been so specialized in the course of their own 
evolution that they are old and rigid, and must handle new 
material more inconsiderately in order to adapt it to their 
own requirements. Russian action can therefore more easily 
accomplish its effects by the dynamic use of converted minor- 
ities; for while it requires as "articles of faith" a certain creed 
of its own, for the assertion of which it sticks at nothing, it can 
yet tolerate and even encourage a type of "patriotism" of lan- 
guage and tradition, and local nationalisms of race and cul- 
ture, that would inevitably ruin the forward movement of any 
Western nation, or of China. 


For adequate comparison, we must look to the early Cen- 
tral Asian migrations, which did not essentially require the 
movement of entire populations over great distances, as is 
commonly supposed, but rather imparted a wavelike motion 
from one people to another, and often resulted in the leader- 
ship of one people by a very small minority of another people. 
Or we may look to the creative years of Islam, which, for all 
the slaughter it caused, had also an extraordinary tolerance for 
all kinds of diverse elements; which enlisted and carried with 
it as many as it slew, and which replaced its own losses with 
whole-hearted recruits. The spread of Russian influence is 
marked by the striking phenomena which attend the creative 
years of a new force in the world. It is so overwhelmingly con- 
fident of its own power to create that it is not for a moment 
ashamed to borrow freely witness the intensive campaign 
for industrialization, with its use of American and German 
models which, however, when set in motion turn out to be sur- 
prisingly different from anything in Germany or America. 
True creativeness, indeed, is as much a faculty of inward 
digestion as it is of outward expression. There is all the dif- 
ference in the world between the old type of Russian borrow- 
ing and the new. Under the old order, enterprises of all kinds 
were established on "the latest and most improved" Euro- 
pean model, and thereafter, under Russian management, 
gradually ran down. Under the new, enterprises on "the 
latest and most efficient" American model turn, in Russian 
hands, into something startlingly un-American; but, in spite 
of frequent foreign accusations that things "run down" in 
the same old way, they are lively enough to cause excited 
speculation abroad. Russia is, beyond a doubt, in the affairs 
of its portentous Far Eastern frontier, at least abreast of Japan 
and a move ahead of China, which is yet in the stage which 
both Russia and Japan have left behind. 


The Russian population in Manchuria, while important in 
numbers, is chiefly concentrated at one point, in Harbin. 
It is markedly urban, being originally derived from Russians 
who left Russia before the Revolution, and later strongly re- 
inforced by exiles cast out by the Revolution. It has therefore 
a strong original anti-Soviet bias; but the anti-Soviet feeling 
is on the whole diminishing. At the same time, it has not in 
the least become Chinese in sympathy or point of view. 
Indeed, its resistance to Chinese influences is more striking 
than that of either Mongols or Koreans. In the Russians, the 
remarkable Chinese faculty for absorption, which for many 
centuries has disposed of a succession of alien conquerors, ap- 
pears to have met its match. The Russian exile community in 
Manchuria is not even a victorious community; it is a com- 
munity of defeat. Yet in spite of loss of prestige, and political 
impotence, it remains stubbornly ignorant of China and un- 
interested in China. To intermarry with Chinese or live like 
Chinese, in spite of the fact that Russians are conspicuously 
less influenced by "race-feeling" than are most Westerners, is 
a mark of failure. The more successful a Russian is, the less\ 
he is likely even to speak Chinese. On the other hand, in the*' 
sphere of Russian influence in Manchuria, the more success- 
ful a Chinese is, the more he is likely to learn Russian or to^ 
marry a Russian; while Chinese who cross the border intgf 
Siberia show a marked tendency to "go Russian" altogether. 
The backwash of Chinese and Koreans from Siberia is due 
chiefly to their own reluctance to modify their ideas of pri- 
vate property, not to Russian unwillingness to incorporate 
them within the new order. In North Manchuria, the com- 
munity despises Russians, but individuals are eager to be as 
Russian as possible, at least socially. Among the Russians, 
on the other hand, the community fears the Chinese, but in- 
dividuals look down on them. The general situation is per- 


haps a reflection of the general mutual intolerance between 
Chinese and foreigners. Nevertheless, it is important that the 
Chinese have had practically no success in absorbing or even 
influencing this large foreign community under Chinese rule. 
While the agricultural Russian community in Manchuria 
is not of great importance in numbers, it is experimentally im- 
portant. It has proved that Russians can settle on the land, 
not only without aid, but in spite of important handicaps. 
It has however also proved that they do not tend strongly 
to mix with Chinese (though they do mix with and inter- 
marry with Mongols and other non-Chinese tribesmen) and 
that they do not agree well with Chinese administration. 
Russian minorities on the Chinese side of the border appear, 
on the whole, to be worse off than Chinese minorities on 
the Russian side of the border. I have always been surprised 
at the comparatively good-humored tolerance toward Russians 
even of Chinese who had attempted to establish themselves 
in Siberia, and given it up and returned. The essential differ- 
ence appears to be that while they were there, at least they 
circulated more freely among the Russians than Russians 
do among the Chinese. Russian colonists in Manchuria, in- 
deed, tend to settle as far as possible away from Chinese of- 
ficials and effective administration, whereas Chinese in Si- 
beria very decidedly tend to establish themselves alongside 
of Russians, in order to turn to advantage their own superior 
quickness and ability, especially in bargaining. The most nu- 
merous Russian settlements are in the Hsingan range and 
along the upper Amur, with a few villages also near the Us- 
suri frontier. Their standard of living is at times very little 
if at all higher than that of the Chinese, but their occupa- 
tions are distinctly more varied, especially in the raising of 
livestock. They push much farther into the wilderness; they 
like loneliness, and have none of the fear of the remote unin- 


habited wilderness that is a common characteristic of Chinese 

A certain number of these villagers, as well as many towns- 
men, have served as mercenaries in Chinese armies, but this, 
far from leading to better understanding, has tended to in- 
crease mutual dislike. The Chinese are naturally fearful of giv- 
ing real military authority to alien mercenaries, and being 
given no opportunity for a career of success and power, the 
Russians look on military service as an expedient nearly as 
desperate as banditry. A great many Russian village colonists 
are naturalized Chinese, and this also has led to bitter feel- 
ings. The Soviet Russians claim that on the outbreak of 
trouble between China and Russia in 1929, these exiles fur- 
nished "partisan" bands which, encouraged by the Chinese, 
raided across the Russian frontier. It is doubtful whether re- 
sponsible Chinese officials encouraged such raids; but there 
can be no doubt that Chinese generally, at least at the begin- 
ning of the trouble, when confidence was high, the Russians 
were thought to be on the run, and the real power of the 
Soviets had not yet been categorically demonstrated, were 
glad to hear of any attack on Soviet Russia. 

The villagers, for their part, claim that after the flight p 
the Chinese armies, the Soviet forces raided among the exile 
colonies and carried off many prisoners; and that when nego- 
tiations were opened, the Chinese officials were afraid to chal- 
lenge the Russians by demanding the return of naturalized 
Chinese Russians together with other prisoners exchanged 
the Russians having, in fact, forestalled them, by demanding 
the punishment, by the Chinese themselves, of "White'' Rus- 
sian "partisans." At any rate, one of the sequels of the Russo- 
Chinese conflict was an outbreak of peculiarly savage ban- 
ditry among the remoter Russian settlers. These bandits kill 
all Chinese at sight, regardless of whether they are worth 


robbing or not, claiming that they were "betrayed" by the 
Chinese, that the protection offered them as Chinese citizens 
is worthless, and that there is nothing left for them but to live, 
fight and die as desperate outlaws. This banditry has not 
yet been put down, it has the tacit sympathy of many towns- 
men, and owing to their sparsely inhabited country, and their 
intimate knowledge of it, they are able to evade or hold off 
superior bodies of Chinese troops. Indeed, they have so much 
fighting spirit that they are said sometimes to take the ini- 
tiative in attacking Chinese troops, from whom they capture 
arms and ammunition. 

The divergence between exile Russians and Soviet Russians 
has, owing to the progress of the Revolution in Russia, be- 
come so extreme that, as I was informed and can readily be- 
lieve, it is now virtually impossible for an exile to cross the 
frontier surreptitiously to settle down in Soviet Siberia. The 
extraordinary re-creation of national life in Russia has led to 
such changes, to such totally new manners, modes of address 
and deportment, conversation and even vocabulary, and to 
such alterations in the familiar petty details of life, that a re- 
turning exile, Russian though he be, almost immediately be- 
trays himself a stranger. On the other hand, there are still 
surreptitious crossings from the Russian side to the Chinese 
side. Even during the months of actual military hostility, in 
spite of the fact that the Chinese, in dread of spies, often 
treated Russians very harshly, a certain number of peasants, 
rebelling against the Five Year Plan and the collectivization 
of farms, fled into Manchuria. Nevertheless in fact, partly 
because of this one-way communication the effect of Soviet 
Russia on the exile community is far greater than the reaction 
of the exiles on Siberia. Indeed every fugitive advertises, 
by his flight, that there is no hope of overthrowing the new 
order in Russia. With the steady increase of Russian prestige 


in the face of the world, as well as in relation to China, there 
is a decided tendency for the Russian exiles of Manchuria to 
remember that, politics apart, they are Russians after all. 
Indeed, were it not for the exacting demands made by the 
Russians themselves on exiles who wish to recover Russian 
citizenship, reconciliation between the exiles and the Rus- 
sian Government could be made to proceed much more rap- 

Soviet Russia is in the strong position of not having to tempt 
back its exiles; it can do without them, and can therefore 
hold up citizenship as a reward which has to be earned. 
It has therefore the option of opening negotiations with the 
exile community on favorable terms. In this respect it has the 
advantage over China. Neither "White" Russians nor Chi- 
nese, in the years between the collapse of the old Russia and 
the emergence of Soviet Russia as a power of magnitude, made 
the best of their opportunities, and the prospects of improved 
relations now are not good. The exiles went so badly to pieces 
as to give the impression that the only Russian group which 
has the power of uniting Russians is that of the Bolsheviks. 
The exiles were anxious to escape from Bolshevik rule; they 
never relished the idea of Chinese rule, and yet they were 
incapable of looking after themselves. Ill-armed, outnum- 
bered, with an organization so hopelessly chaotic as to be 
worse than no organization at all, they have yet obstinately 
held on to a conviction of superiority which outfaces even 
the profound Chinese sense of superiority. 

They consider that under Chinese rule they have been put 
on the same level as Chinese for taxation and administration, 
but not on the same level in respect of opportunities for ca- 
reers; that they are used as technicians and so forth, but not 
granted responsible control; that it would be absurd to think 
of a Russian, naturalized in China, holding high office with 


real power; that in fact they have only a one-way equality. 
The Chinese, for their part, consider that the Russians under 
their rule are, as a community, ungrateful and unreliable: 
that, as uninvited step-children of the Republic they have 
been given ample consideration and opportunities; but that, 
after enjoying for years a refuge from Bolshevism they were, 
in the actual crisis of conflict between China and Russia, less 
than half-hearted in support of their country of refuge, and 
in fact glad on the whole (the urban population at least) to 
see China beaten. 

If the feeling between urban Russians and Chinese is none 
too good, the feeling between agricultural Russian settlers 
and Chinese appears now to be hopeless. The Chinese were 
never enthusiastic about the settlement of aliens on the land, 
and after their recent experiences there is no likelihood that 
they will ever encourage it. In view of this, and in spite of 
the fact that the colonists fell into their present evil case largely 
through their own precipitancy in attacking Soviet Russia, 
and the fact that, as peasants, their ingrained suspicion of the 
newest Soviet trends is stronger than that of the urban popu- 
lation, there is now probably more likelihood than before 
that the remnants of them may eventually try to make terms 
with Russia. 

Whether or not the Russians in Russia ever attempt to make 
considerable use of the Russians already in Manchuria, their 
position is extremely strong. If the exile Russians have been 
able to influence the Chinese to the extent that they have, 
and actually to settle on the land, make a living out of it, 
and even maintain themselves, however precariously, when 
reduced to outlawry, how much more could fresh contingents 
from Russia do with the backing of their own nation? 
Granted the inevitable historic force of the Russian attraction 
toward the Pacific; granted their reluctance to cooperate with 
Chinese under Chinese rule, but their proved talent for com- 


bination with all kinds of alien elements under their own 
rules; granted their ability to settle on the land itself, and 
their superior talent for modernization without corollary sub- 
ordination to the West it is difficult not to foresee a steady 
increase of Russian influence in the region roughly bounded 
on the south by the Chinese Eastern Railway. It is possible 
even to foresee actual Russian occupation to an indefinite 
depth south of the Amur. 

Russia is overflowing, under the pressure of ideas which 
the diverse examples of America, England, China, Japan and 
India prove, each in its own way, to be a far more potent force 
than that mere superfluity of numbers that we call "pressure 
of population." Its chief outlet is into the ancient "reservoir 
of the outer barbarians," which lies north of and powerfully 
affects the inner "reservoir" contiguous to the Great Wall 
frontier of China proper. The power of Russia is only pre- 
cariously damned away from Chinese Turkestan; it has over- 
flowed into Urianghai and Outer Mongolia, where the 
Russians have proved that they have an ability to rule by 
"conversion," enlistment and amalgamation superior to that 
of either China or Japan. 

It is difficult to see how the same pressure can be held away 
from the Amur-Ussuri frontier of Manchuria, which projects 
so awkwardly into Siberia. From the Pamirs to the Pacific 
Russia has, from the Chinese point of view, assumed the 
historic Hun-Turk-Mongol-Manchu functions of the north- 
ern barbarian, and is exhibiting in a striking manner the 
same historical phenomenon of the ability to enlist, recruit 
and lead, not driving local populations before it, but drawing 
them along with it. Chinese Turkestan and Mongolia are, 
in themselves, more important and significant in the Rus- 
sian expansion than Manchuria; but Manchuria commands 
the gates to the Pacific, and the Pacific is an imperative factor 
in the destiny of Russia's eastern frontier. 



THE fact that the great mass of the Chinese population, cal- 
culated at I know not what per cent, consists of economically 
impotent tenant farmers, peasants and small-holders, is often 
and far too readily interpreted to mean that the Chinese are 
a nation of peasants, with a peasant culture and peasant stand- 
ards. This is because, in our own world, the importance of 
the land and the land-fast farming population was destroyed 
by the Industrial Revolution. Organically, our structure has 
changed from one of social classes to one of occupational 
classes; our only valid social criteria are capital and lack of 
capital, technique and lack of technique. Consequently, we 
look down on any state in which the classes are still organi- 
cally social (peasantry, bourgeoisie, aristocracy) not occupa- 
tional (unskilled labor, skilled labor, labor and capital), call- 
ing it backward or even, in the loose phraseology of the day, 

Now the essential characteristic of the state in which the 
peasant is truly a peasant is judgment by birth. Hence the 
English saying (now in effect outmoded; a lingering, not a 
vital tradition) that "it takes three generations to make a 
gentleman." America is proud of having no peasantry, the 
implication being that the farmer does not have a "feudal" 
relation to a landed aristocracy, but America is willfully blind 
to the fact that American farming, like that of China, is over- 



weighted with "crop-sharing" farmers who ought, strictly 
speaking, to be classed economically as laborers, not as 
farmers. In truth this is, however, only another way of stating 
that the farm lad may, within his own lifetime, become a 
financier or industrialist, scientist or technician or adminis- 
trator, and that his opportunities of marriage into the so- 
called upper classes are not limited by birth but by the ac- 
cidents of occupation. The corollary of this is that we are 
all rootless nations; we are divorced from the land. Our oc- 
cupations are no longer determined by place and class of 
birth but by talent and opportunity. We substitute one kind 
of accident for another, and call it progress, because it is 
congruent with our respect for the assertiveness of the in- 
dividual. Our equivalent of aristocracy is no longer rooted 
in the land but (to continue the metaphor) in portable pots, 
which can be moved from one city to another; and when 
the plants decay, they are not thrown back on to the land, but 
on to the waste-heaps of the city. When a civilization reaches 
this point, the city looks down on the country. We no longer 
slight a man because he has no pedigree; but we do slight 
him if he is in his proper person a country bumpkin. 

In these fundamental respects China has not been a peasant 
nation for some two thousand years. For at least that period 
there has been no important restriction of birth on occupa- 
tional choice or promotion (except, under the Empire, for 
such vestigial degraded classes as barbers, actors and so on). 
As might be expected, also, technique concurrently assumed 
the place of birth as the essential social criterion, in the 
specialized form of literary knowledge, codified in the old 
examination system. It is the abandonment of the old techni- 
cal standard without, as yet, the successful substitution of a 
new (Western) standard that differentiates China from the 
West 00* the lack of the technical standard as such. 


The parallel phenomenon of the flight from the country 
to the city, and the superior attitude adopted by city people 
toward country people is also fully evident in China; and, 
as in all cultures which have reached the city-age of their 
history, city-populations are comparatively rootless and trans- 
fer with comparative ease, so long as the transfer is only from 
one city to another. Finally, the complementary phenom- 
enon, that of the relatively debased status of the country 
people, who are exploited and victimized by the city people, 
and fed into the bowels of the great cities, is as true of China 
as it is of the West. 

The fact that the Western metropolis, the vast city dominat- 
ing the nation and drawing to itself all the resources of the 
nation, has not, perhaps, an obvious equivalent in old China, 
is unessential. It is due primarily to the fact that the Chinese 
civilization never demanded the rapidity and thoroughness 
of communication that the West felt to be imperative. Never- 
theless Sian, Nanking, Peking were all at different times 
characteristically megalopolitan, embodying in themselves 
the cultural essence and chief vitality of the nation; and in 
spite of the cultural preference for vague communications, the 
fact that they were such cities forced on them the construction 
of imperial arterial highways, enterprises of the magnitude 
of the Grand Canal, and courier systems that far outpaced 
the normal leisurely rate of communication. The rapid 
growth of Shanghai and Harbin as typically cosmopolitan 
cities, far in advance of the Westernization of the nation and 
people at large, proves that the nation is more sympathetic 
to the stage of culture represented by the great city than to 
the type of culture represented by the West. 

Indeed the city-feeling, combined with sluggishness of 
transport, long ago led to the institution of the metropo- 
lis in miniatures-scattered "great cities," each dominat- 


ing its countryside. For many centuries money (which can 
be transferred from city to city) has been dominant over 
land. For as many centuries the greatest land holders have re- 
lied more on their connection with officialdom (which is 
quartered in the cities) than on their territorial power, and 
have tended, while still holding their land, to live actually 
in the cities ; and these are metropolitan conditions. The great 
financial importance retained by land is due only in part to 
the uncertainty and frequent manipulation of currency 
values in itself an index of high sophistication and "late" 
civilization. It is due ultimately to the lack of mechanical 
manufacture and speed in transfer, characteristics which the 
West alone among mature civilizations has developed to the 
point where they overshadow all the other features of the 
civilization; with the result that land, among Western na- 
tions, has a minimum value compared with its retained im- 
portance in any other of the great civilizations of history 
whether that of Rome or that of China. 

Where the "big interests," the city magnates of the West, 
manipulate to finance and inspire government to their own 
benefit, but base their values on manufacturing power, the 
"big interests" of China also manipulate finance and work 
through government agencies ("power" being, first and fore- 
most, power achieved through an official career), but continue 
to base their values very largely on land. Just as the highest 
finance of the modern West spreads its investments through 
different countries, the land-magnates of China, which is 
equivalent to a continent in itself, spread their investments 
over different provinces. In other words, what we call the 
Chinese peasantry, dominated by money values, the trade- 
manipulations of grain companies and city-dwelling land- 
lords, and the tax demands of officials, actually fulfills many 
of the functions of the Western working proletariat. Like the 


proletariats of the West, they furnish the mob. Their re- 
volts are revolts against over-exploitation, and are regularly 
marked by hostility between country and city: they are, like 
the riots of the Western mob, risings of the "have-nots" 
against the "haves." They tend, in the same way, to be equal- 
itarian, and to work by blind destruction. They do not (as in 
Russia) have a creative value, for they are not efforts to free 
society for growth, but struggles, within a society which has 
already fulfilled its growth, to alter the distribution of power. 
It is therefore easy to understand the sophisticated, exploita- 
tional character of colonization in modern Manchuria. What 
Western observers, with too glib a facility, call the "land hun- 
ger of the Chinese peasant * is not the primary motive power. 
Far from being hungry for the land in Manchuria, the great 
mass of the colonists are in flight from the land in China. 
Perhaps the commonest of all reasons for coming to Man- 
churia given by immigrants is that in the old home they 
chan pu chu, they "can't stick it," "can't hold on." It is the 
fact that they are migrants without option that throws coloni- 
zation into the hands and under the control of land magnates 
and exploiting groups. The fact that the peasants themselves, 
like the city workers of the West, have no way of making 
themselves felt except by mass action is one reason a reason 
in the background, as it were why they want always to set- 
tle in areas contiguous to land already settled, and fearful of 
penetrating independently into the farther wilderness. 

1 There are two kinds of land hunger. One is that of the man who wants 
land because it is the only kind of wealth he likes who would rather have 
land, and more land, than hard cash or business investments, and who wants 
to live on his land, preferring it to any city luxury. Such an affection for land is 
bred only in landowning, land-rooted countrymen and yeomen. This type of 
"land hunger'* can be found in "old" communities in Manchuria. The other is 
the land hunger of the laboring peasant, not skilled enough to seek a trade, who 
must have work on the land in order to live, but who, given the chance, would 
rather learn a trade and move to a town. This is far the commoner type in 
China, and among immigrants in Manchuria. It is not, essentially, land that such 
men want, but employment. 


The striking Manchurian phenomena which are popularly 
described as the juxtaposition of the "latest developments of 
Western civilization" and the "medieval economy of China," 
the clash of the primitive and the modern, are in reality 
phenomena of a rivalry between the methods of two highly 
developed but incompatible civilizations. In China proper, 
the West contends with the Chinese civilization as established 
from time immemorial. Hence the chief phenomena are 
those of the destruction of one civilization by another. 

In Manchuria, the two styles are rivals contending for prior 
establishment in what is as nearly as possible a virgin country 
for the area of old Chinese occupation is decidedly over- 
balanced by the area of former tribal country and practically 
uninhabited land. In this contest the West has the advantage 
of the comparatively great speed inherent in Western meth- 
ods. Thus Westernization and industrialization, in spite 
of being slowed down by the rivalry of the Chinese civiliza- 
tion, proceed faster than in China proper. For this very rea- 
son, as has already been argued, the importance of Manchuria 
as a channel conducting toward China the aggression of the 
West is at least as great as its importance in bringing the 
expansive powers of China to bear on the frontier. 

It must also be borne in mind that the older establishment 
of Chinese civilization in Manchuria had already been modi- 
fied by regional characteristics, and that in the competitive 
effort to establish it in advance of Westernization in the course 
of the further spread through Manchuria, the factor of vested 
interest is less strong. True constructive amalgamation be- 
tween East and West is therefore in certain aspects easier 
in Manchuria than in China proper just as, in the past, in 
spite of the eagerness of the Manchus themselves to learn all 
they could from the Chinese, the Chinese in Manchuria took 
on a certain Manchu color. In the modern phase, Westerniza- 


tion reinforces the old regional "reservoir" importance of 
Manchuria to the extent that a Manchuria made strong and 
rich by the use of Western methods of exploitation, while it 
tends in an obvious manner to continue to expand outward, 
in no wise relaxes its tendency to bear down on and domi- 
nate China. 

Manchuria, owing both to the form of Chinese colonization 
itself and to the pronounced focusing of Western forces, is 
already more "megalopolitan" than any part of China of 
equivalent area, and far more metropolitan in ratio of great 
cities to total population. Harbin and Dairen, as great cities 
of the modern type, are far ahead of Peking and Nanking, 
and tend increasingly to rival Shanghai. The drift away from 
the land and into the cities is as important as the colonization 
of land. The old pride of land, there can be no doubt, has 
long been defeated. The peasant and the farmer deprecate 
their inferiority to the townsman, and the townsman looks 
down on the country boor. The typical ambition of the son 
of a well-established landowning family is directed away 
from the land and the old comfortable superiorities of the 
"squires." The more "progressive" he is the more he wants 
to go to the city, where the real opportunities of promotion 
and power are to be found. The newly rich invest in land, 
but remain in the cities; their town footing is more important 
to them than their investments in the country, for it is in the 
towns that they negotiate for and keep up the power that 
gives them control in the countryside. 

The "reservoir" itself, under the Manchus, did still repre- 
sent to a certain extent, the power of the country over the 
city especially the power of the landed gentry but even so 
it was already a dying power. From the country, the great 
Banner families sent their sons to the cities to take up offi- 
cial careers. Gradually, as the Manchus became more Chinese, 


the successful families tended to move altogether into the 
cities. The power of the land lingered in the "reservoir" only 
because, being the "reservoir," it dominated China, the land 
of civilization. The caretakers and bailiffs of great estates, 
more and more neglected by absentee landlords, tended to 
form powerful families of their own and in their turn 
migrated gradually to the cities, leaving sub-agents in 
charge. This was revealed at the fall of the Empire, when 
numbers of Peking Manchus, deprived of their subsidies and 
virtually shut out of the new official classes, remembered their 
estates in Manchuria but found that through the lapse of 
time the descendants of their bailiffs (often slaves by origin) 
had become rich and powerful. They were in possession, they 
collected the revenue, they were in touch with the local offi- 
cials; and they held on to the land, in defiance of the de- 
scendants of the owners. In the very act of so doing, however, 
they had to shift their power from a territorial to a city base. 
The city was essential for negotiation with officials. One of 
the commonest expedients for a landlord in possession but 
without a clear title is to place the land "in trust" with a high 
official, "pending fair settlement." The official thus acquires 
a revenue, and the title remains permanently unsettled. There 
are important lands in Manchuria which have been held 
thus "in trust," or "in chancery," as it were, passing through 
the hands of a succession of officials, ever since the Revolu- 
tion. In the meantime the affairs of the de facto owners have 
become interlocked with those of officials, their sons have 
entered official careers, and they have permanently moved 
from the country to the city in order to handle their affairs 

The landed gentry, the squires and the yeomen, as masters 
of the country dominating the towns, have everywhere had 
to give way. They have had to abandon the land, leaving 


it, in their turn, to tenants and overseers, because if they wish 
to remain in touch with the springs of power and control 
they must live close to the officials, in the cities. Mukden, 
Kirin, Tsitsihar each provincial capital is full of city- 
dwelling land magnates. The flight of the rent-supported 
landlords from land to city is, it is true, explained by them- 
selves usually as due to banditry and the fear of being taken 
for ransom if they stay in the country. This, however, is an 
indirect confirmation of the truth; for if their status as great 
landlords represented power in itself, as once it did, they 
could look after the bandits themselves. As it is, it is no 
use living in the country and depending on the troops; they 
must move to the cities and keep in touch with those who 
have authority over the troops. 

While the townsman, when he becomes wealthy, invests in 
land but does not move to the country, the countryman, in 
proportion as he grows wealthy and acquires land, feels im- 
peratively the need of moving to the city. The standards of 
the peasant are puritanical, compared with those of the 
town: at least in the old settled regions. In the regions of new 
settlement, because of the standard of "get rich however you 
can, but get rich quick," and because of the scarcity of women, 
morals of all kinds are looser. The greatest pride of the coun- 
tryman is his ability to fyto jih-tzu a highly idiomatic phrase 
meaning that he makes each day pay for itself, that he does 
not touch what he can save, that he eats for nourishment, not 
because he likes food. Houses that are better than necessary, 
the wearing of good clothes, the eating of food "above his sta- 
tion," all frivolity, all unnecessary expense, are moral de- 
linquencies. But the idea, the ultimate standard that the 
farmer has in mind is not a puritan standard. The things that 
are wrong are not wrong in themselves. They are wrong "for 
the likes of him," but not for those who can afford them. 


In fact, he rather admires extravagance, and even dissipation, 
in the rich. He himself lives with a bleak austerity. He saves 
because, by superhuman effort, he may one day get ahead in 
the bitter struggle for life. If he does, if he ever has in fact 
a superfluity of land and wealth, he moves first to a town 
and then to a city, or sends his sons there. Basing himself on 
the land, he works himself into trade the grain trade and 
the transport trade first of all. He lives in dignity on his 
income. He endeavors to marry his daughters to officials or 
men powerful in trade, and his sons and grandsons are edu- 
cated for power and prestige and anything but a puritan 

life. . 

The refugee peasant, once torn from the land in the prov- 
ince of his birth, commonly looks with little ambition on the 
land where he settles in Manchuria. His real land hunger 
was exhausted in the losing struggle before he migrated. 
He knows that the odds are against him, that the landlord 
and the merchant will have the whip hand over him as they 
did in China. To be torn from the land which at least he 
knew, and planted on land in what to him are barbarous sur- 
roundings, is, by his standards, bitter defeat. Consequently, 
there is a strong drift from country to town among those who 
have failed as well as among those who have succeeded. 
"Boom" years have decidedly a stronger effect in towns than 
in the countryside; for while land values grow, town values 
are forced up. The refugee who escapes from the land into a 
factory considers that he has gone up in the world. Economi- 
cally, he may have become even less secure, but socially he has 
become more sophisticated, and with the shallow superiority 
of the townsman all over the world he looks down on the 
plodding country lout. He may later become a soldier; he may 
get into trade ; he may get rich and buy land ; but he will never 
go back to the land. 



The higher standard of living, which is the most important 
real attraction of Manchuria for immigrants from China, is in 
part a survival from "reservoir" days and in part a product 
of new Westernizing conditions. Under the Manchus,^ there 
was in fact something approaching a true peasantry in the 
regions of Chinese and Manchu population, with class- 
equivalents of serfs, yeomen and landed gentry. Social limita- 
tion by the accident of birth was fairly effective, except for 
the way out offered by the official examinations; but under 
certain conditions notably valor in war it was possible 
for the individual to rise gradually from one class to another. 
The countryside except of course in Mongol and tribal re- 
gionswas agricultural, and the towns were important mainly 
as administrative centers and garrison points. Trade counted 
for comparatively little in the structure of society. Man- 
churia produced ample for its own needs, and neither imports 
nor exports were vital to its economic life. Its "invisible" im- 
ports gave it a favorable balance in the form of salaries, pay 
and subsidies to officials, garrisons and Bannermen, and the 
fortunes brought back by retired officials. Against these it ex- 
ported troops and officials. Ease, plenty and security made 
possible a carelessness for money and the needs of the future 
which rather horrified the monetary sense of the Chinese. 
Nevertheless the Manchu open-handedness communicated it- 
self also to Chinese living in contact with the Manchus and 
sharing the security of the privileged region. As a result, the 
people of the old settled regions to this day live in rather better 
houses, eat more (especially more meat), and spend more on 
clothing and comfort than the population of north China in 


general. There is the feeling that there is always more where 
the last lot came from. The countryman of Kirin or Eastern 
Liaoning, on a journey, will stop by the way when he might 
have reached home, and eat a good meal and pay handsomely 
for it, where the Shantung or Chihli man would trudge on 
hungry until he got home. 

In trade, again, there is less close application to detail and 
much less of the feeling that a man should begin in early youth 
to master a craft or trade, rise gradually to responsibility, and 
stick to the same thing all his life. Safety is the dearest hope 
of the artisan and small trader in North China; in Manchuria, 
the average man wants profits that are quick as well as good. 
The trader who has come in from China proper has the same 
spirit; what, he thinks, is the good of leaving civilization if 
you don't make good money by it ? If the profits are not good 
enough and quick enough, a man will cut his losses and start 
afresh in a manner which, in China proper, would be fool- 
hardy. Merchants who have connections in Manchuria know 
that they must watch the business with care, for while the 
connection pays well if it pays at all, the first sign of a set- 
backnot necessarily a loss in the business but, often enough, 
a falling-off in profits is enough to make the Manchurian 
correspondent default and vanish. There are the same phe- 
nomena of unlimited opportunity, combined with unscrupu- 
lous default, that characterized the period of heavy foreign 
investment in development projects in America, when foreign 
capital financed American railways, and States of enormous 
potential wealth defaulted on their foreign bonds. Manchuria 
is also "American" in the freedom with which men change 
their occupations, residence and interests. This is not the rest- 
lessness of primitive migration. Manchuria is to China as 
America is to Europe; a country to which have been trans- 


planted not the original elements, but the late products, of a 
civilization already advanced, with the consequence that these 
late forms, comparatively unimpeded by the accumulations 
of the past, take on a fresh growth of their own. In China, as 
in Europe, sophisticated money values overrule all other 
values; but in Manchuria, as in America, money has a freer 
hand than in either China or Europe. 

It is not at all uncommon in Manchuria, for instance, for 
a man to invest his capital in motor-road transport in Liao- 
ning; fail, leaving heavy debts; go to Kirin and start in the 
timber trade with no capital, no training, nothing but con- 
fidence and (usually) an "inside" personal connection, and 
make a great deal of money; invest his profits in Heilung- 
chiang in the grain and bean business, and lose everything; 
move back to Western Liaoning and make money again. It is 
common even to find a man who is known to be "wanted" 
for banditry or embezzlement or something else outside the 
law in one part of the country, and high in the councils of the 
chamber of commerce and allied with the private investments 
of officials in another. 

The frontiers of expansion and colonization have peculiar- 
ities of their own. The legend of the hardy pioneer, which 
arises in every colonized country after the true pioneer period 
is safely over and done with, is largely false. The early pioneer, 
in Manchuria as in the American West, was bold and hardy, 
and quite as often as not a far from ideal citizen. Where the 
early period survives, as it does among the opium pioneers 
and bandit pioneers, the frontier is still the land of men who 
can look after themselves; but this period precedes the boom. 
When the boom comes, the "admirable bad men" move on, 
and their place is taken by the sly, the quick-witted and the 
unscrupulous, who do not work with their own hands but 
make other men work for them; who profit by rising values 


and look out for themselves by looking after other people. 2 
Although wages are high as well as prices on the frontier, 
and big profits are made on a quick turnover, the big money 
is all in the hands of the middlemen. The settler himself 
must face a far harder standard. The long reach of the land- 
owner and the dealer in farm produce give them a powerful 
advantage. The secondary migrant, it is true, with his back- 
ground of special experience and a capital provided by the sale 
of his old land, has only to play safe. The seasonal laborer, 
with no stake to lose and high pay in the short, busy season, 
can take his money back to China where the lower standard 
of living gives it a much greater buying power. 

The immigrant settler, however, whether refugee or man 
of small capital, must either take over land at the enhanced 
price put on it by middlemen, or work off the price put on it 
by a landlord. Whether he works on terms of straight- 
forward tenant-rental or rent-purchase, it is difficult for him 
to save toward his own economic independence except by re- 
ducing his standard of living. The tenant or laborer in the old 
settled regions has only to underlive an already comparatively 
high standard. For this reason the old, easy-going Manchu 
villages of Kirin, for instance, have each their fringe of 
Shantung hangers-onmarket gardeners and small tenants 
who in a generation or two work their way up to become 
small-holders, firmly established. On the frontiers of new 
colonization, on the other hand, with their new railways, their 
land magnates, their powerful grain-buying and transport 
companies, the mass of moneyless refugees have to compete 
against one another and the low standard of the destitute. 
Their chief safeguard is the prevailing distaste for "planted" 

2 To appreciate the equivalent stage in, for instance, American colonization, in 
the middle of the last century, one should consult the contemporary accounts of 
European observers, which give an impression quite different from the now 
popular, non-contemporary, romanticized American version. 


colonization, causing a steady drain away from the new settle- 
ments and forcing the exploiting interests to offer, sporadi- 
cally, more tempting terms. It is small wonder that the line 
of colonization wavers; that there is always a discount, a back- 
wash of men who give up the idea of holding land and either 
work as laborers for a season and go back to China, if they can, 
or make for the towns and employment as laborers; that in 
many regions of "new settlement" the villages stand within 
sight of abandoned villages where the attempt was made be- 
fore, and failed. Nor is it surprising that the final residue of 
permanent settlers tends to be made up not of those of the 
"pioneer" spirit, but of the most docile and least independent 
and enterprising. 

In the towns, the standard is even more "American," with 
its high wages in contrast with poor security. Under the old 
Chinese system, with its apprentice-standards, where men 
grow up and work all their lives in the same employment, all 
labor is kept on as long as possible in bad times. In Manchuria, 
in times of prosperity, the demand for labor is so great that 
wages are high and the unskilled man graduates quickly into 
skilled labor; but he is turned off ruthlessly the moment that 
trade slackens. The towns therefore are full of "floating" 
labor that has high standards of getting and spending, no 
security, no attachment to a particular business and little 
sense of responsibility. This class, like the new proletarian 
class in China itself, is of some danger politically, for in break- 
ing away from the land and the old guild-system it has lost 
its roots and become to a great extent less Chinese, while, un- 
like the equivalent class in the West, it has not been evolved 
from an indigenous individualistic society and hence is in- 
completely Westernized. It is intellectually more active than 
the old "common people," and far more positive in times of 
discontent; but intellectually confounded by the uncompre- 


hended issues that are being fought out between the Western 
order and the old Chinese order. When it strikes, it is likely 
to be short-sighted in its demands; when there is no use 
in striking it is open to the incitement of any unscrupulous 
political agitation that promises something for nothing; and 
in between whiles the wilder spirits are likely at any time to 
take to gang robbery and banditry. 

The standard among women is a reflection of that among 
men. In the old settled regions, it is paradoxically at once 
higher and more conservative than in China proper. The 
early Manchu tradition, with its greater freedom for women, 
had a powerful effect on the Chinese who made common 
cause with the Manchus; just as the Manchus who went to 
Peking were strongly affected by Chinese standards, and 
tended increasingly to seclude and restrict their women. Chi- 
nese living in contact with the Manchus in Manchuria began 
very early to abandon the practice of binding women's feet; 
just as Manchus in Peking, while continuing to forbid the 
practice of binding the feet of their own women, adopted 
a form of shoe which gave their women something of the tod- 
dling gait of Chinese women with bound feet. There is a 
curious contrast in the readiness with which Chinese aban- 
doned foot binding in Manchuria, and the tenacity of the 
practice along the Mongol frontier. I am inclined to at- 
tribute this to the ready amalgamation between Chinese and 
Manchus, as contrasted with the profound cleavage between 
Chinese and Mongols. While the Manchus were much more 
eager than the Mongols to adopt Chinese standards of civiliza- 
tion, the Chinese population in Manchuria, identifying itself 
politically with the Manchus, took on Manchu characteristics 
to a surprising extent. 

At the present time the comparative social freedom of 
women in the old settled regions in Manchuria, in going 


about, joining in general conversation when men are present, 
and making their opinion felt in household and family affairs, 
gives an impression of "emancipation" when compared with 
old-fashioned rural China. At the same time real or rather 
fresh emancipation the education of girls, freedom of choice 
in marriage, economic independence probably lags some- 
what behind the average in China. It is true that the endow- 
ment of schools for girls, like the endowment of all educa- 
tion in Manchuria, proceeds very rapidly; but I doubt if, in 
the general social consciousness, there is the same enthusiasm 
for the emancipation of women as a "cause" perhaps for 
the very reason that women, in many respects, were not so 
backward to begin with. 

The comparative scarcity of women must always have had 
an effect in enhancing their general value and hence their 
social status. This is especially noticeable in the rapidly grow- 
ing towns and in regions of new settlement, where the effort 
to attract colonists with families has not by any means offset 
the surplus of men. This accounts for certain marked diver- 
gences between "old" and "new" Manchuria. In the regions 
of old settlement, while the proportion of women may on 
the whole be smaller than in China proper, there is no really 
pronounced lack of women. In the country and in small vil- 
lages prostitution exists to a minimum extent. Owing to this, 
and to the custom of early marriage, venereal disease is not 
at all common. Country people regard it as a city disease. 
(This is true also of China proper.) On the frontiers of new 
settlement, however, and in the towns, owing to the dispropor- 
tion of men to women, prostitution is a flourishing business. 
This is not true of villages which are merely groups of farm- 
houses, but it is true of the smallest villages to which men 
come from the countryside to trade. A village of even forty 
or fifty houses will have its brothel and two or three shops 
selling cures for venereal disease. 


Women can enter brothels of their own free will, but are 
often placed there by husband or family. In the latter case, 
although money changes hands and the transaction is com- 
monly called a "sale/* it is not strictly a sale but a form of 
indenture. The contract provides that the money spent by 
the brothel represents, as it were, a capital investment. Of the 
money earned by the woman, a certain part is kept by her, and 
part goes to the brothel. This is placed, in the books, to the 
credit of her account. When her account is paid off, with in- 
terest, the indenture terminates, and she is free to do as she 
pleases, either leaving the business or remaining in it on a 
commission basis. Actually, it is often difficult for a woman to 
redeem herself, because she receives clothes and jewellery, 
the cost and interest being charged against her account. Ow- 
ing, however, to the great demand for women, prostitutes^are 
frequently "redeemed" by men who take them either as wives 
or concubines. To be thus redeemed by a rich man is their 
commonest ambition. The whole system, naturally, is ab- 
horrent to the ideas of social reform which are rapidly making 
themselves felt in China. Immediate abolition is, however, 
impossible practically, in view of local social ideas; more- 
over the legal concepts on which it is based are very old, and 
generally tolerated by conservative opinion. 3 Constant efforts 
toward police control are made, and it appears to be generally 
true that a woman who has been forced into the life, and ob- 
jects to it violently, can succeed in breaking the contract and 
getting free without "redemption." 

Surprisingly enough, the number of women imported from 
China to be placed in brothels is not very large; though a 
regular, but of course surreptitious trade exists. Women born 
in Manchuria often take to the life because of its gayety and 
the chances of a fashionable life and a good match. Although 
the family standards of chastity in China are very high ui- 

8 The situation is thus generally comparable with that in Japan. 


deedprobably higher, among poor country people, than 
in Western nations they are lowered locally by the pressure 
of the demand for women. The woman "with a past" can 
make a respectable marriage much more easily than in China 
proper. On the other hand, the same demand tends to raise 
the age of marriage for girls, in spite of the patriarchal tradi- 
tion which encourages early marriage for the provision of as 
many descendants as possible, as soon as possible; for parents 
will wait several years on the chance of fixing up a really ad- 
vantageous marriage. 

In spite of the demand for women in Manchuria, the im- 
migration of unattached women appears to be comparatively 
small. A certain number do come in when large numbers of 
refugees are being transported; some of them having, as has 
been said, fictitiously registered as wives and daughters. On 
the whole, however, the agricultural population (as every- 
where else in the world) is shy of strange women. Farmers 
want wives who are not only farm-bred, but locally bred. 
Probably the most important agency in bringing women into 
Manchuria is the army. Whenever troops are sent into China 
from Manchuria, a great many of the officers, and even some 
of the soldiers, return with wives. The cost of marriage in 
China proper is very much lower, and the officer classes, at 
least, also think that a wife from the "old country" is smarter 
and more fashionable. 

In the question of match-making, the influence of the drift 
away from the land and toward the cities and money- 
standards is very evident. The cost of marriage for a young 
fanner is not only extraordinarily high compared with the 
cost in China proper, but disproportionately high compared 
with the cost for other classes in Manchuria. I have repeatedly 
heard it stated, in regions of new settlement, that the young 
fanner just beginning to make his own way must pay at least 


a thousand dollars for a match of quite ordinary attractions. 
In other words, the cost is almost prohibitive; and the poorer 
the man, the more he is asked. On the other hand the mer- 
chant, and above all the official and military officer with 
good prospects of promotion, even if they have little capital 
of their own, can arrange marriages on extremely favorable 
terms with country families of comparative wealth; because 
such a marriage, to the landowner, is an alliance with power 
and fits in with the shift away from immobile land values 
to mobile values of money and position. 

The standards of living reflected in education in Manchuria 
illustrate an acute local development of the conflict between 
the old order and the new that is going on throughout China. 
The educational endowment (controlled by the State, as 
everywhere else in China) is probably higher in proportion 
to the population than the average in China proper. Tech- 
nological training, benefiting by the extra stimulus of the 
South Manchuria and Chinese Eastern Railways, and the ex- 
cellent schools maintained by them, is also well advanced.^ 

At the same time there is a strong conservative tradition 
which aff ects the orientation of all education. In China itself 
"Western education" still has many of the characteristics of a 
"cause," and is, as such, highly destructive of old standards. 
In Manchuria, because of the old and firm attraction to China, 
intellectual trends, in the very classes which in China are 
least conservative, lean toward conservatism. Here again 
appears the difference in the East-and-West relationships^ of 
China and Manchuria competition, in Manchuria, to decide 
which standard is to be set up, as against frank opposition in 
China, where the problem is, how far the Chinese standard 
will be destroyed before it can rally and subordinate the 
Western standard. 
Consequently, loyalty to the old tradition in China and in 


Manchuria is, in certain aspects, loyalty of a different color 
and feeling. A profound inner discord is caused in Man- 
churian affairs by the higher and more rapid technical de- 
velopment, which assists the Manchurian pressure on China 
and conducts toward China the pressure of the West and of 
Russia, working against a counter-trend of vigorous conserv- 
atism, which endeavors to preserve the old influence of the 
Chinese civilization, and to increase the vitality of nation- 
alistic Chinese expansionism in Manchuria. Nationalism and 
conservatism are thus identified in a way in which they are 
not identified in China itself. 

This accounts for the existence, in competition with rapid 
Westernization, of an undeniably conservative ideology in 
social thought and government practice. While new devices 
are spread rapidly, new thought is under administrative sus- 
picion. Many of the older school of officials appear to have 
a horror of the idea of incorporating Western thought with 
Chinese, and to hold that Westernization should be isolated 
in compartments, only to be drawn on when needed, and by 
no means to be granted the right of demanding to be used. 
Even the formulae of Dr. Sun, and the doctrines of the Kuo- 
mintang, are not so freely taught as in China, and there is a 
decided tendency to keep the teachers of them under ad- 
ministrative supervision; while on the other hand the old 
classical curriculum is retained and taught (especially in the 
lower schools) to a greater extent than is common in the rest 
of China. The total result, as a matter of fact, appears from 
the foreigner's point of view to be satisfactory, in that it re- 
strains theory from getting too far ahead of practice, and 
checks the spread of merely "fashionable" Westernization; for 
while Westernization as a fashion is very common, there is 
a reluctance to allow it to take practical effect until it is 
truly inevitable. 


Intellectual circles all over China are as much concerned 
with the possibilities of decay and collapse in the Western 
civilization as they are with the suitability of Western stand- 
ards for adoption in China. This is a characteristic that has al- 
ready been touched on. In Manchuria this "hope of deliver- 
ance from the West" takes the form of a widespread, eager 
expectation that China may yet some day, from within the 
repository of her own traditions, produce a latent strength 
which can in some manner be triumphantly revived and de- 
veloped to the overthrow and consternation of all foreign 
power and foreign standards, and enable Chinese Manchuria 
to vindicate its Chinese character. The very circles which 
are most progressive in clearing away "medievalism," in im- 
proving administration and Westernizing economic affairs, 
are filled with a strong and conscious pride in the Chinese 
point of view, the Chinese way of life and the superiority of 
the basic values of Chinese civilization over those of the West. 
This is a characteristic which deserves further consideration. 



THERE is a curious double phenomenon in the affairs of 
modern China. There is a stronger effort toward expansion 
of territory and extension of authority than at any time since 
the reign of Ch'ien Lung. Popular knowledge of and interest 
in the territories of the northwestern, northern and north- 
eastern frontiers has grown prodigiously since the foundation 
of the Republic, and especially since the unification of the 
country under the Kuomintang. The securing of the frontiers 
by colonization under government control has become a 
definite policy. The division of Inner Mongolia into new 
provinces Ninghsia, Suiyiian, Chahar and Jehol is in ef- 
fect an effort to get rid of the "reservoir" by obliterating its 
regional identity. The assertion of the government's interest 
in Chinese communities abroad (notably in the Straits Settle- 
ments and the South Seas) represents a new conception of 
China's functions as a State, and of the standing of China 
among the nations of the world. The cumulating success of 
negotiations for drawing up new treaties, abolishing such- 
foreign privileges in Chinese territory as foreign-controlled 
concessions and extraterritorial jurisdiction, has resulted in an 
increase of prestige and an apparent recovery, in part at 
least, of the freedom of initiative in international affairs. 

Yet in another aspect this interest in the frontiers is only 
a reflection of the fact that the frontiers threaten to have more 



control over China than China has over them. The fact of 
the matter is that China, though a nation homogeneous in 
culture, more homogeneous in population than most Western 
nations, and more united in national will than at any time 
since the foundation of the Republic, was never weaker than 
it is to-day. Foreign aggression, potentially, is a greater danger 
than it ever wasT*f he fact that a nation depends on the good 
will of foreign nations, and that that good will exists and is 
actively exercised, does not alter the fact that it is dependent. 
The underlying weakness of China's position could not be 
better illustrated than by the fact (not as generally appre- 
ciated as it should be) that Westernization, technology, 
higher scientific development and higher education all 
the things which Chinese leaders themselves feel to be im- 
peratively necessary if China is to hold its own with other 
nations depend to a very important extent on the re- 
mitted Boxer indemnities, and to an only less important ex- 
tent on private and institutional philanthropic remittances 
from abroad. 

It is true that the indemnities are collected from China 
herself; but it is none the less true that their remission for 
the benefit of China depends on the accident that the remit- 
ting nations happen to think that by remitting the funds they 
will benefit themselves as well as China, by making China 
a country more profitable for Western trade. The remission 
of these indemnities is merely another illustration of the 
change in form of foreign aggression; yet without them, it 
would be exceedingly difficult, in the present state of national 
finances in China, to find other funds for the purpose, owing 
to the disagreement of regional factions. The Boxer funds, 
once remitted, do not remain entirely under the control of 
the remitting nation, but are administered by boards on which 
China is represented; but this merely obscures the fact that 


the remission itself, under stipulated conditions, means noth- 
ing if it does not mean an option of interference. 

It amounts, indeed, to a kind of permissive control over 
Chinese affairs; and the latest development, that of stipu- 
lating for the construction of railways and the foundation of 
industries, the materials for the construction of which are to 
be purchased in the country remitting the indemnity, ap- 
proximates to the assertion of an option of control over the 
form that Westernization is to take in China. There is no 
doubt that the remitting nations think they are doing "the 
best thing for China" ; but it is the best thing from the foreign 
point of view. It is no wonder that Chinese opinion does not 
glow with quite the same satisfied enthusiasm, 

Given this weakness at the heart of domestic affairs, it is 
possible to understand how the expansion of Chinese frontiers 
by colonization is weakened by an inner conflict. In one sense 
it is a part of the struggle to recover internal unity by re- 
covery of the initiative in foreign affairs. In another sense, 
however illustrated by the dependence on refugee colonists 
it illustrates the flight from the weak center. In this re- 
spect, the paradox that became evident in the conflict between 
China and Russia emerges again; the periphery of China is 
in jtsjd^ in, its..extejptil 

relations. The provincial governments of the frontiers can 
intervene with immediate effect in the domestic politics of 
China by mere declarations of attitude; but to expand their 
own authority at the cost even of so weak, ill-organized and 
poorly armed a people as the Mongols requires a dispropor- 
tionate expenditure of strength and money. 

Expansion does not gain momentum without Westerniza- 
tion; and Westernization, at the moment, hangs uncertain 
between the difficulty of raising Chinese capital at all, and 
the difficulty of raising foreign capital except on terms which 


either give the lender a measure of control or as in the case 
of certain railways in Manchuria, built for the Chinese by 
the South Manchuria Railway, on which payments have 
fallen into default an uncertain but none the less dan- 
gerous option of reentry by government action into Chinese 
affairs. Moreover these railways for railways are the most 
dynamic single factor in Westernization simply because they 
increase the speed and effect of action, independent of ma- 
turely deliberated policy or the purpose of the action tend, 
as has been shown, to accelerate the general pace of Western- 
ization to a point where China alone cannot handle it, and to 
bear strategically on China. 

The option of interference which foreign nations hold, the 
changing forms of foreign pressure and the disproportionate 
physical strength of foreign nations when it comes to de- 
cisive, rapid action, as demonstrated by Russia, and again by 
Japan, clearly revealed the new aspect of affairs. Incidentally, 
the Russian course of action also illustrated a probable future 
development in international affairs generally, proving that 
it is possible to put troops in the field, win victories and settle 
international disputes by virtue of military superiority, with- 
out declaring war. On the occasion of this crisis, which was 
in effect a test case of major importance, the immediate result 
of decisive Russian action was a breakdown in the theory and 
conduct of Chinese foreign policy. Factional leaders turned 
the occasion to their own account, playing on the variations 
which it brought about in the adjustment of provincial and 
national policies, and especially in the relation between re- 
gional governments and the Central Government, while the 
specific responsibility of dealing with the crisis itself w^ 
warily evaded. The Russians proved that they know exactly 
what they want from the West, and that when they have 
taken what they want, they cannot be made to take any 


more; they outwitted several foreign offices by twisting the 
Kellogg Treaty against war, which had only just been signed, 
into a brilliant extemporary device for conducting an entire 
campaign under cover, with complete success, without de- 
claring war and while in the act of politely debating, according 
to the "rules of the game" (Western style) whether or not 
the situation warranted the declaration of a war "for purposes 
of self-defense" in order to regain a position of crucial of- 
fensive strategic importance. On the other side the Chinese, 
caught in confusion between the Western "rules of the game" 
and their own conflicting opinions of what ought to be done 
and what could be done, had finally to fall back on the un- 
satisfactory expedient of citing the Kellogg Treaty, and their 
own restraint in not declaring war, in order to cover up as 
far as possible their actual defeat. 

The whole situation, as far as China was concerned, was a 
paradoxical reverse illustration of the aphorisms of Spengler 
that "domestic politics exist simply in order that foreign pol- 
itics may be possible," and that "the State's position in point 
of outward power in fact completely conditions its freedom 
for inward development" a point, incidentally, well enough 
appreciated in China, for on it turns the struggle to get rid 
of foreign extraterritorial jurisdiction. The reassertion of the 
Russian interest in the Chinese Eastern Railway both strength- 
ened the position of the Japanese with regard to the South 
Manchuria Railway, and weakened the position of the Chi- 
nese with regard to die railways designed to offset the hold of 
the South Manchuria and Chinese Eastern systems. The 
strength of the movement of independent Chinese expansion 
in Northern and Northwestern Manchuria, which had aug- 
mented enormously during the period of Russian quiescence, 
was immediately and noticeably curtailed. 

The outcome of the struggle also threw a light on the fu- 


ture of "foreign privilege" in China; for while the theoretical 
status of Russian citizens in China was not altered, their 
standing in fact improved. Russians began to receive better 
treatment at the hands of common people, police and officials. 
When, in a court of law or any dispute, in the face of theories 
of "justice" and "guilt," the question "Is he a White Russian 
or a Red Russian" has a practical importance, the existence 
of "privilege," apart altogether from legal definition, cannot 
be denied. "Privilege" and "prestige" are only different for- 
mula for the expression of the same thing. 

The only conclusion possible is that the expansion of Chi- 
na's land frontiers is, in large measure, a function of Western 
activities and Western pressure, and emphasizes the grave- 
ness of the problem of whether, in the future, China can 
manage to throw off its dependence on foreign good will, 
and define its policies (as Russia does) purely in terms of 
what Chinese feeling demands. Thus, in our time, the maxi- 
mum Chinese colonizing expansion is in Manchuria, and is 
dominated in the strategy of both war and economics by 
Western agencies. The momentum of colonization dimin- 
ishes westward along the frontiers of Inner Mongolia, in a 
proportion directly related to diminished railway construc- 
tion, and at the western end of the northern line, in Chinese 
Turkestan, is practically nil, the Chinese administration there 
being hard enough put to it to maintain itself in the face of 
Russian influence. Where the line turns, along the frontiers 
of Tibet, colonizing expansion passes from nil to minus; for 
the Tibetans, during the twenty years of the Chinese Repub- 
lic, have actually been encroaching on lands once conquered 
from them by the Chinese, and have been driving out the 
Chinese and establishing themselves again; and this move- 
ment appears to be spreading over an ever wider territory 
and to be gaming in speed. 


What is more, it is evident also that the less expansive the 
Chinese frontier, the less the regions under Chinese adminis- 
tration adjacent to the frontier press inward on China itself. 
This is an interesting reversal of the popular theory that move- 
ments of conquest are necessarily cumulative in effect; for in 
that case the province of Ssuch'uan, which is losing to the 
Tibetans, ought to recoil on China with pronounced effect. 
As a matter of fact it does not; on the contrary, it has less 
influence on the politics of China than have 'the frontier prov- 
inces of the north. Thus the influence of Manchuria (includ- 
ing Jehol), the most progressive group of provinces, is ex- 
tremely great; the influence of Chahar, Suiyiian and Ninghsia 
much less, and the influence of Chinese Turkestan latent. 
The reason why the pressure of the Ssuch'uan frontier has 
no important cumulative effect, while that of Manchuria has, 
is that the Tibetan pressure is chiefly one of population, and 
one that has been inherent in the situation for centuries, in- 
volving no new conceptions, the cultural pressure being un- 
important, while the Manchurian pressure is coincident with 
that of the West and Russia. 

In practice, the attempt to obliterate the "reservoir" by the 
formation of the new provinces of Jehol, Chahar, Suiyiian and 
Ninghsia, on a non-"reservoir," "normal" model, has merely 
resulted in a reorganization of the "reservoir" and the con- 
tinuance of its functions. The process is the same as that 
which has preceded every important period of Northern 
pressure on China. All through the border regions, powers 
and dignities are conferred by the Central Government on the 
regional authorities; a device which obscures the fact that 
these authorities would have the same powers, whether the 
dignities were conferred or not. Where, however, the border 
authorities increase their own strength, they have a strong 
inclination not to put it automatically at the service of China, 


but to use it to emphasize their importance with respect to 
China. The most recent phenomenon of this kind is the 
conferring of important titles and subsidies on the Panch'an 
Lama; but (a fact not yet appreciated abroad) this only paral- 
lels a strong movement throughout Inner Mongolia to bring 
the different tribes, princes and ecclesiastical authorities into 
a policy of concerted action, based on resistance to Chinese 
colonization; and to coordinate the princely interest with that 
of the powerful Lama church and with the growing "Young 
Mongol" demand for regional autonomy using the Panch'an 
Lama as a symbol and a rallying point. 

The crux of the importance of the regional groups is that 
they nowhere serve primarily as tools of Chinese expansion- 
ism, directed and controlled from China itself. On the con- 
trary, they themselves control expansion and exploitation. If 
it were possible to build railways fast enough, under the 
authority of a strong central government, it ought to be pos- 
sible to extend the radical authority of the national govern^ 
ment. As it is, however, even railways built under authority' 4 
of the national government tend to fall under the power of 
regional authorities, who handle the rolling stock and receipts 
primarily for their own benefit. They themselves control ex- 
pansion and exploitation. They decide how many colonists 
they want, and where to place them; but the fresh wealth 
created by exploitation is brought to bear on China^in the 
form of a political importance which dictates to China the^ 
terms on which the border regions participate in the federal 
activity of government in China. ^^ 

In practice, the factor on which all action turns is the army, 
which in modern China constitutes a world in itself, inde- 
pendent of national life and feeling and turning from national 
to local policy and action according to the interests of its own 
leaders, who arise from within it. The armies of China aro 


the chief instruments of Western pressure, and have super- 
seded, or rather made unnecessary in the political sense, that 
foreign partition of China into "spheres of influence" which 
at one time was threatened. What makes the armies more 
deadly is the fact that they have become Western in armament 
without becoming Western in technique. One of the first 
results of successful preliminary Westernization in Japan was 
the trial of the new army and navy. After an easy victory over 
China, the much more serious challenge of Russia was ac- 
cepted and dealt with successfully. It is frequently claimed 
that the Japanese forces in these wars demonstrated no 
original talent in warfare in the Western style, but adhered 
woodenly to the methods of their textbooks. This unduly dis- 
credits the courage of the Japanese in sticking to their own 
faith in having learned their lessons adequately a courage 
which can best be appreciated by comparing these wars with 
the modern wars of China, with their hopeless combination 
of modern armament and traditional tactics and strategy. 
Nor does it give due weight to the fact that the Russo- 
Japanese War, though it may have contributed nothing orig- 
inal to the Western technique of warfare, was an important 
stage in the development of Western military methods from 
the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War to the 
War of 1914-18; a more important stage than, for instance, 
the British wars in South Africa. The study of the Russo- 
Japanese War is an essential of military history for modern 
soldiers, which cannot be said for the modern wars of China 
with their far greater slaughter and sweep of territory. 

Twenty years of civil war in China, indeed, and of govern- 
ment based on what are practically private mercenary armies, 
have not produced a single development of interest to West- 
ern military technique. As for Russia, now a very different 
nation from that which fought Japan and engaged as an 


apathetic, pseudo-Western nation in the War of 1914-18, it is 
rapidly developing a specifically Russian, non-Western tech- 
nique of warfare which is the cause of intense interest, and 
no little alarm, to Western nations. The Russian army is an 
engine of unknown power and very great importance. 

In China, no matter how complete the Western armament, 
no campaign, even when foreign military advisors are used, 
is carried out in the spirit of the Western method. Thus no 
quarrel over domestic mastery is fought to an assertive de- 
cision, as the Western feeling would demand, and there is no 
question that cannot be reopened; but the definite issue, that 
of the relative importance of the West and China, being per- 
petually evaded, impends fatally over the country, paralyzing 
constructive effort. The weakness of China is a fundamental 
reluctance to choose. 

The armies of the South are largely financed by Chinese 
abroad. The armies of the Center are umbilically dependent 
on the revenue of the Maritime Customs. As a large part of 
the foreign debt of the country is a primary charge on the 
Customs, the Western nations are resigned to the expenditure 
of the extra Customs revenue on armaments, if only the prior 
loan charges are met; while the Central Government is re- 
signed to the necessity of retaining the international foreign 
personnel of the Customs, so long as it can impose Customs 
surtaxes as freely as it likes. The armies of the North, while 
they have at different times been under foreign influence, are 
the most free. That is because the North alone is in contact 
with undeveloped resources of its own. The armies of the 
South and Center destroy as they grow; they are instruments 
of the direct conflict between East and West. The armies of 
the North are financed in great measure by new expansion and 
the opening of new territories; they are an important factor 
in the race between the East, the West and Russia for priority 


in the development of the borders, and they are chiefly de- 
structive when they are brought to bear in the civil wars within 
China proper. 

It is a matter of grave difficulty for the commanders of such 
armies not to use them thus. An army, being an army, is not 
adapted to the conquest of the wilderness. It is not a natural 
instrument of "colonization," however well it may serve for 
the "colonial" conquest of a region already inhabited. A levy 
soldiery, based on a land-fast yeomanry, which is not on per- 
manent professional service (like the old Manchu reserve in 
Manchuria, or the Cossack organization which accomplished 
so much in the conquest of the Siberian wilderness for Russia) 
can extend its frontiers by colonization even when, like the 
Manchus, it looks to the domination of a civilized land like 
China for the real exercise of its power; still more when, like 
the Cossacks, it is oriented by inward impulsion toward the 
wilderness. A professional mercenary army, however, dis- 
sociated from the land, inevitably demands a standard of pure 
power. It may base itself on a region, and operate by extend- 
ing the power of the region, but primarily it does not demand 
land with room for settlement and raw materials to exploit; 
it demands cities to occupy, with loot and promotion for the 
troops and prestige and power for the commanders. 

In such circumstances, policy turns on the accident of the 
ambition of the leader. In this respect it is true (as many 
Chinese think) that the present phase in China is nothing 
new. The political struggle, based on personal ambitions and 
dissociated from rival tendencies in social form and cultural 
growth, has been known in China ever since China passed 
from a civilization that was shaping its future form into a 
civilization that had determined its form and settled its char- 
acteristics. The Chinese civil war, as a cyclical phenomenon, 
is nothing new; it is the substitution of the West, as a de- 


structive intruding factor in domestic affairs, partly rein- 
forcing and partly replacing the old "standardized" barbarian 
pressure of the North, that is new. 

The Chinese of the present generation who is born with a 
taste for theory can, by rational processes, arrive at any one 
of a number of possible methods for the redemption of 
China; but he is at the mercy of the man of action. Hence 
the discontent, often disillusioned and bitter, of the intellec- 
tual classes. For the man of action in this generation gravitates 
inevitably to the army. No other life in China rivals it in 
scope for action. The man of thought may become an en- 
gineer or a political economist, but the man of action becomes 
a general, dictating the use of railways, controlling the use of 
capital in industry and decreeing the collection of taxes. In- 
dustries, to him, are sources of wealth; as long as he can ar- 
rive at wealth, he does not care for theories of industrializa- 
tion. Troops, to him, are the raw material of power, and if 
it is easier to achieve power by civil war than by a war against 
foreign enemies, he will turn to civil war. The extension of 
a frontier is, in its practical aspect, a question of the exten- 
sion of his own power, and he measures his power by the 
extent to which he is the master, not the servant of the nation ; 
hence an expansion of his outer frontier must, for him, pay 
dividends in the increase of his domestic power. Western 
armaments immediately and palpably increase his domestic 
power; hence he does not pause in his career more than long 
enough to master enough of the Western technique of 
militarism to give him an advantage over his domestic op- 

Above all he does not care for the theory of the opposition 
of Western and Chinese culture and civilization. If he can, 
in his foreign policy, keep up enough of a front to give him 
independence in his domestic policy he has, for his time and 


generation, achieved the position of a strong man. Con- 
structive foreign policy is the luxury of the man who is strong 
enough to spare time from domestic policies. To be properly 
appreciated, this has to be contrasted with the state of affairs 
in Russia, where domestic reconstruction is the luxury of 
the men who have succeeded in keeping Russia on her feet 
against a hostile world. The careerist, in China above all 
the military careerist is content, as a product of his own 
civilization, to benefit by as much of the Western civilization 
as he can turn to immediate profit in power and wealth, ac- 
cording to the standard that prevails in China, and leaving 
out of question the relative standard as between China and 
the West. The fusion of East and West is not his concern, so 
long as the degree of Westernization he adopts is under his 
own control, to be used according to his own ideas in as un- 
Western a manner as he pleases. 

It was the good fortune of Manchuria, both as a region 
and as a province of China, that it should have had, in suc- 
cession, two such rulers as Chang Tso-lin and his son Chang 
Hsiieh-liang. The older Marshal developed with great vigor 
the historic "reservoir" position. His son, bred to the career 
of the army, combined the habit of the man of action with 
the tastes of the man of theory. Before he was burdened with 
the chief responsibility, and before he had to treat with the 
ideas of the West practically and opportunistically, he became 
well acquainted with them as ideas. His own tastes gathered 
around him a young group with a strong tincture of theory, 
while the family succession secured to him the loyal support 
of a strong group of the men of his father's generation, men 
strictly of action. 

Thus he was able, with an extraordinary degree of success, 
to maintain the indispensable regional strength of Manchuria, 
while using the strength of his own personality to divert 
Manchuria as far as possible from the fate of the pure "reser- 


voir" policy. It was owing entirely to his personal choice, 
and personal courage in making the choice, that the potential 
power of Manchuria over China was exercised with restraint 
and discretion. It was because he himself chose to be guardian 
of China's frontier, and a leader in the expansion of China, 
rather than one of the claimants to power in China, that Man-, 
churia was able to keep up its frontiers as well as it did. The 
successes of Manchuria notably in the rapid expansion into 
Inner Mongolia stand to his personal credit, while such 
failures as that of the stand against Russia and the disaster off 
the Japanese blow of September 1931 resulted in part from 
the historic weaknesses in the material at his command (such 
as the inherent distaste for northward campaigns, as against 
the enthusiasm for southward campaigns) but in the main 
from the lack of a strong nation behind him in the south. 

The measure of his success was that by his personal in- 
fluence he made Manchuria, potentially China's most dan- 
gerous frontier, into an outpost that, in spite of difficulties, 
was strong and confident. So formidable was the develop- 
ment that the Japanese, after being afforded a pretext by too 
cavalier treatment at the hands of the Kuomintang and "young 
China" group, thought themselves forced to take the grave 
risk of direct intervention in September 1931, in order to cut 
short the rapid growth of Chinese power. Fundamentally the 
Chinese error in allowing events to go so far was the old er- 
ror of pressing too far their old land-frontier technique against 
a sea-power. 

The hope of a rally within China lies, after all, not with 
the men of action but with the men of thought, and espe- 
cially with what is called the "Chinese Renascence" move- 
ment. For the present, the men of action exclude its leaders 
from any real control in affairs; and this is to the good, for it 
turns the movement inward, into the life of the nation, giving, 
it a chance to spread widely before breaking into the sphere 


of action. The Chinese Renascence is a movement toward 
the rediscovery, reexperiencing, revaluation and reinterpreta- 
tion of the basic values of the indigenous culture of China. 
If it has the vitality to spread (and it has many signs of such 
a vitality) from literature and academic discussion into the 
world of life and action, it may yet reanimate China. The 
movement involves, in certain aspects, the application of 
Western criteria, by Chinese, to Chinese values of thought 
and experience. Nevertheless its constructive power comes 
from within, for it demands the prior mastery of the Western 
criteria themselves by Chinese. 

In such processes, though they have yet to spread from the 
cities and from intellectual circles into the life of the nation 
at large, there is real hope, because they make possible a true 
integration of Western elements. In this way they are supe- 
rior to schematized programs of "reform," which begin in 
the world of politics, not of life and inward experience, and 
represent in the ultimate analysis (even the "Three People's 
Principles" of Dr. Sun, for instance) merely proposals of 
maximum voluntary surrender on the part of China; and in 
so far as the Renascence movement replaces compromise by 
integration, digestion of the West by China, it tends to break 
the present stalemate of ruinous makeshifts. The very slow- 
ness of the spread of the Chinese Renascence from the world 
of thought to the sphere of action may prove ultimately a 
source of strength, through making possible a more thorough 
antecedent integration of thought and feeling with practice. 


The two views of the "Manchurian Question" most com- 
monly held are that, on the one hand, Manchuria is destined 
to be a Flanders or Alsace-Lorraine of the Far East; or that, on 


the other hand, Chinese colonization in Manchuria is the van- 
guard of a Chinese advance that will one day throw the 
dominating shadow of China over all the territories of the 
North Pacific seaboard. 1 According to this view, Japan is 
destined to become a Far Eastern Belgium, dominated by the 
continental mass of China as Belgium is dominated by Eu- 
rope; while China is also destined to intervene between Russia 
and the Pacific as Western Europe intervenes between Russia 
and the Atlantic. 

Whatever the outcome may be, there can be no doubt that 
the fate of Manchuria turns not only on the population 
movements of our own generation, but on the policies that are 
now being formulated by China, Russia and Japan. Chinese 
colonization may or may not, in the end, settle the question; 
in the meantime, what it has definitely brought about is the/ 
necessity of a considered change of policy on the part of all 
the nations immediately affected. 

The period of more or less vague wariness and policies of 
precaution is at an end, and all depends now on policies of 
action. The policy of Japan in Manchuria, ever since the 
Washington Conference, appears at the first glance too es- 
sentially defensive. This quality of defensiveness it shares, 

1 These concluding pages were written before the Japanese intervention in 
September 1931. Rather than try to amend them by bringing in references to 
a crisis not yet settled when this book goes to the printer, I let them stand, tor 
I think that thus they may more clearly bring out the underlying situation, and 
so less quickly go out of date. 

I have only to add that any attempt to establish a Japanese leadership over 
the Manchurian Chinese and the neighboring Mongols, comparable to the 
Manchu power over the "reservoir," is not likely to work smoothly. The Japanese 
are utterly alien to the "reservoir" tradition-^as are all Western nations. At the best 
they could create only another Korea or a new India. The possibility of a 
recrudescence of the "reservoir" power lies with the Russians, and with them 
alone; for only the Russians are true "northern barbarians"; the Japanese and 
all the Westerners are "sea barbarians." What the Japanese action has already 
accomplished, however, is a staggering blow to that typi cal my& of the_ ate 
Western culture-which however is indestructible-the belief that good intentions 
can produce peace throughout the world. 


indeed, with the China policies of all the Western nations. 
Nevertheless I do not believe that Japan and the Western na- 
tions generally are, in the ultimate analysis, easing up in their 
pressure on China. The apparent relaxation is, in reality, as 
I have tried to indicate, due to a change in the form of the 
pressure. There is no doubt that there is an intention, among 
the different foreign offices, to keep out of Chinese politics as 
far as is physically possible, and that public opinion supports 
government policy, and is even anxious to assist, wherever 
possible, the growth of a Chinese nation with a complete free- 
dom of initiative of its own. 

The question is, how far the logic of events (if it can be 
called a logic) will favor the aspirations of Chinese patriots 
and foreign altruists. We are, in short, living in the last phase 
of the mixed doctrines of national self-determination, inter- 
nationalism and, so to speak, super-national government, and 
aspiration for world peace, which gained currency during the 
period of exhaustion and mental lassitude after 1918. In the 
West itself, the conflict of these doctrines is leading toward bit- 
ter disappointment, the failure of national self-determination 
as a basis for a sound internationalism, and loss of hope for 
the ideal of a permanent international peace ruling through- 
out the world with the force of law. How far can the West, 
which is failing tragically in the West itself, succeed in the 
East; and how far can China, dependent as it is on the West, 
succeed where the West is failing? 

The nations of the West are quite as dependent as China 
on the accidents of individual leadership. The leader is now 
more important than the nation. This is true of Japan also, 
where the political party tends more and more to be identified 
with the individual personality of the leader. Policies are no 
longer inherent to the same extent in the nation itself, ir- 
respective of parties and leaders. Yet the enormous physical 


powers we have created continue to operate. Our nations are 
now the tools of our manufactures, industries, and stock ex- 
changes, and these now produce our leaders. 

Hence, while individual nations may, for instance, desire 
a weak China or a strong China, our industries and our 
finances continue to operate as independent powers, irre- 
spective of whether China is weak or strong, and the pressure 
of the West, accordingly, is changing from the pressure of 
separate national policies to the pressure of a civilization which 
cannot be controlled by any nation, or group of nations. The 
specific internationalism oifthe West, with its characteristics 
of good will in intention and helplessness in action, is an in- 
dex of the" fact 'that 'the nations of the West no longer guide 
the civilization which they created. Yet the old Western pas- 
sion for indlividuaiism, responsibility and assertive control 
lives on; our leaders only last so long as they can keep up the 
illusion of controlling the uncontrollable. 

"^Tii^FseeimLS tcTBe no cbriclusion^but that the West has ex- 
hausted its powers of creativeness, and left behind the period 
when the party meant more than the leader and the nation 
meant more than the party. It can be said, of the Europe 
of the French Revolution, that if it had not produced Napo- 
leon it musTEaye proHuced someone else who would Have 
had much the same careerTTo that extent, he was a man of 
destiny. The phase was inevitable. On the other hand it can- 
not be said of American or British politics of the present day 
that a Harding, a Coolidge, a Hoover, or a Lloyd George, a 
Baldwin or a Macdonald, are "men of destiny." They wield 
enormous powers, but thcyjrc not created or dcmandcd^by 
the situation; they are thrown up more or less accidentally 

out oFTFewhirl of politics, and the accidents of their coun- 
tries' policy follow the accidents of their individual careers. 

Important as they are in person, it is not inevitable, but ac- 


cidental, that one should succeed the other. Our modern tend- 
ency to create commissions and delegate committees is a con- 
fession of subconscious loss of confidence in the inevitability 
of our leaders. 

Russia appears to be the only nation of the modern world 
that is "young" enough to have "men of destiny." It creates 
its Lenin and its Stalin; they follow each other with the cer- 
tainty of fate. Russia, more than China and more than any 
nation of the West, is launched on a career of growth, and 
grow it will, irrespective of the leader. Russia, of all countries, 
is the one of which it can be said not only that something new 
may happen, but that something new is bound to happen. 

The activity^. JRussia (which is more important than its 
policy} not only in Manchuria but in Mongolia and Central 
Asia, illustrates this witlTa deadly clearness. Chinese policies in 
MaHEhuria, irrespective of whether the Manchurian Govern- 
ment wishes to engage in the politics of civil war in China or 
to devote itself to the colonization and exploitation of its own 
territory, is inevitably conditioned by the balance between the 
domestic affairs of China and its foreign relations. The Jap- 
anese policies in Manchuria, irrespective of political pro- 
grams of "forward policy" or "policy of conciliation and co- 
operation," are inevitably controlled by the struggle between 
Western civilization as a whole and Chinese civilization. 
Above all, however, the policies of Russia are conditioned by 
historic forces. In the early Russian eastward expansion, 
forces from within the nation itself, the instinctive efforts of 
pioneers and adventurers, overrode the considered policies 
of the government. This power from within the nation it- 
self is as active as ever, and is chiefly responsible for the fact 
that, apart altogether from the difference in government, in 
social structure and in declared international policy between 
Imperial Russia and Soviet Russia, the actual Russian expan- 


sion, the type of action taken on the spot, is essentially what 
it always was. It is a continuation of what went before. It 
still carries on an imperative eastward drift, and still demon- 
strates the knack of incorporating non-Russian elements in 
the Russian advance. This genius of conquest is more potent 
than methods of subjugation or obliteration, for it recruits at 
least as fast as it destroys. Of Russia, more than of any nation, 
it might be said that there is enough to do at home, without 
being active abroad; but there is no point in saying it, for the 
nation is oriented outward, and is bound to thrust outward. 
The government can only organize what the people of them- 
selves accomplish. 

The main front of Russian advance is not Manchuria, but 
Mongolia and Central Asia. Nevertheless Manchuria , js^the 
pivot on which turns the main advance, because it commands 
the Pacific outlet which is imperative if the main advance is 
to be turned into a permanent occupation and given facilities 
of continued growth. Powerjnjhe : North Pacific, however, 
is as vital to Japan and China as it , is to Russia. Hence the im- 
portance of Manchuria as a front on which not only Russia 
and China are opposed, and Japan and China, but on which 
Japan and Russia have in the past been opposed and may yet 
be opposed again. It is inevitable that China, as the weakest 
of the three nations in the sphere of foreign action, should en- 
deavor to play off Russia and Japan against each other. It is 
also inevitable, however, that, given a certain degree of weak- 
ness on the part of China, Russia and Japan should endeavor 
to defer issues of direct rivalry between themselves, by con r 
cessions to each other at the expense of China. 

These are the elementary factors of the situation, well 
enough known since the end of the last century, when it had 
become evident that China was disproportionately weak as 
a military power, that Japan had made itself over into a strong 


nation of Western type, and that Russia was piling itself up all 
along the edge of the old buffer region, north of the Chinese 
"reservoir" frontiers, and must, unless stopped by military 
measures, overflow into them. 

The success of Japan in the Russo-Japanese War deferred 
the final issue, and was, beyond a doubt, of immediate benefit 
to China in terms of the northern frontier as a whole, though 
it increased the pressure on the much shorter Manchurian 
frontier proper. The final issue was again deferred by the 
implication of Russia in the .War .in Europe, and by the tem- 
porary collapse of Russian expansion during the Revolution. 
The problem is now, however, returning to all its old im- 
portanceand more. 

In this connection, the livingjorce ^history is demon- 
strated in one very curious andTnteresting respect the com- 
parativ^cordiality of relations between Russia and China, as 
against the acrimony that repeatedly recurs in relations be- 
tween China and Japan. There is, to my mind, onlj one satis- 
factory explanation" of this. The territories in which Russia 
operates are, historically, the territories of the northern bar- 
barians; Russian policies are, from the Chinese point of view, 
a recurrencejof the old barbarian pressure. Deep in the Chi- 
nese consciousness there is a feeling that these processes are 
normal; at the very least, they are familiar. 

This type of feeling is of enormous importance. It is a 
parallel to that between Frenchmen and Germans. No matter 
what the individual intellectual capacity of a Frenchman or a 
German, they conform to a certain type of action when in in- 
ternational negotiation with each other. It is the same with 
Russians and Chinese. Rooted in the Chinese consciousness 
there is a peculiar contempt Tor Russians. There Is a feeling 
that they are to Be "feared, but only" within limits, and that in 
spite of being dangerous they can always be used. When it 


comes to a blunt opposition of force, it may be necessary 
to yield to them. It may be necessary to grant them special 
powers in the north, just as the old barbarian chiefs were 
granted special titles, and their power disguised under the 
assumption that it was a power delegated by China. Apart 
from direct military conflict, however, the Chinese have never 
been afraid of them and are not now. They are profoundly 
sure of their superiority in negotiation; they are sure that they 
know always what kind of thing the Russians will do next, 
and that they will be able to prepare counter measures. Chi- 
nese negotiators, even when being forced to yield, appear to 
be much more at their ease, and sure of themselves, in deal- 
ing with Russia than in dealing with any other nation. De- 
feat by Russia has never caused anything like the same con- 
sternation as defeat by any other power. The loss of Outer 
Mongolia, and its virtual inclusion in the Soviet Union of 
Republics, aroused only a fraction of the feeling and comment 
caused by any advance of Japanese railway policy in Man- 
churia. There is a surejeeling (whether justified or not) 
that it is only those .violent but stupid^northern barbarians 
again, and that as soon as they calm down they can be 

'In respect of Japan the feeling is quite different. Military 
defeat from the seaward side, in spite of the history of the 
nineteenth century, is still 'novel and terrifying to the con- 
sciousness of the people at large. There is no J?uffer territory 
between the sea and the hejyr^^Ohina; there are no non- 
Chinese "reservoir" tribes to graduate the shock; and the 
tradition of the sea-going population itself is one of ex- 
ploiting, not of being exploited. The impact of Western na- 
tions, the alimjtandards of the West, treaties dictated by the 
West, have always^ aroused^ reaction pyerror and hate far 
greater than any defeat in the vague buffer territories of the 


north. There is no underlying tradition to prescribe a method 
of dealing with aggression from over the sea. The methods 
appliedTn the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were, gen- 
erally speaking, colored by the traditions applying to the 
northern land-frontier barbarians. They did not work well; 
in fact, they tended to bring on disasters. Hence a feeling, 
which has now penetrated very deep, that the Western na- 
tions are incalculable, that they are always likely .to spring 
a fresh surprise, something quite outside of experience and 
the "rules of the game." 

Indeecf/this feeling is likely to be justified afresh by the 
change in the form of Western pressure. At any rate there is a 
pronounced tendency for Western nations, when they are tri- 
umphan^oyer China, to be visited with a much greater yin- 
dictiyeness, because of an underlying terror of the strange- 
ness and unpredictability of Western action, than is visited 
on Russia. In the Manchurian theater this hostility is con- 
centrated on Japan. A minor defeat in negotiation bj^ Japan 
causes^more Baffled rancor throughout the population both 
of^Hanchuria and China, than a major military defeat by 
Russia. In the same way, sporadic outbreaks of race-feeling 
between Russians and Chinese die down and are forgotten, 
by botHlidesrinuch more cjuictly than similar "incidents" 
between Chinese and Japanese^ 

In the circumstances, whatever the temporary formal rela- 
tion between Russia and China, there is a recurrent tendency 
on the part of China to hope and work for help from Russia 
against^Japan, father than fi'elp from Japan against Russia. 
There is, I think, a feeling that wher^ Russia can be "used" at 
all, the method of the use is plaufand tfieT results calculable; 
but that any attempt to "use"Japan is profoundly dangerous, 
because the tool* however carefully studied!, is never really* 


familiar and may turn at any moment in the user's hand. 
Whatever the momentary incidents of the future, I cannot 
but foresee a prevailing tendency for China to align itself 
with Russia against Japan; although whether this will be 
justified in the upshot by ability to handle Russia as well is 
another question. In any case, history is here again on the 
side of Russia's Pacific aspirations. 

s When the great background of history is taken into con- 
sideratiion7anH' tKe strife of civilizations, the actual migration 
into Manchuria cannot, I think, be considered the major fac- 
tor in the destiny of Manchuria, although it may prove to be 
an. important determining factor. Racial stocks, in the or- 
dinary physical sense, do not create cultures; they are the 
material in which a culture works itself out. It may be that 
cultures are born of land and people together; that they de- 
mand/for a given setting. 

Howevef^ttiat may be, once they are launched they have a life 
and career of their own. 

"There Is' little difference, in physical racial type, between 
the majority of Northern Chinese and the majority of Mon- 
gols. Such differences as do exist cannot be divided into 
satisfactory categories of measurements. It is often possible to 
mistake a Chinese in Mongol costume for a Mongol, or a 
Mongol in Chinese costume for a Chinese. On the other hand, 
when it is possible to tell them apart, it is possible not because 
of differences in stature, dimensions, proportions, of which 
one can say definitely "this is Chinese and that is Mongol"; 
'it is only possible because of differences in stance, movement, 
expression, manner, which are intangible in the material 
sense, but unmistakable. They are not :jd|%rence^the 
physique itself, bii^J^J^JHAm^ c physical structure 
Yet these intangibles, which belong to outlook, culture, fed- 


ing and the way of life, establish a cleavage as marked as that 
between the most pronounced Latin and the most obvious 

Theoretically, perhaps, Chinese and Mongols ought to fuse 
by amalgamation, as the different European stocks are fusing 
in America. Actually, their effect on each other is one of 
conflict. In the past, the Mongols invaded China, where some 
turned Chinese and some remained Mongol, to be driraa 
out by the rise of the next Chinese dynasty; but even so, they 
had their effect as in emphasizing the cleavage between 
North and South in China. In the present, the Chinese in- 
vade Mongolia, where the first wave tends to a large extent 
to turn Mongol, but the second wave drives out and prac- 
tically obliterates the Mongols; but even so they feel the ef- 
fect of Mongolia as in taking over the border tradition. 

The future of Manchuria is not by any means only a ques- 
tion of the prevalence of a Chinese population over Russian, 
or Japanese and Korean efforts to plant colonies of settlers. 
There is decisive action as well in the rivalry between the 
Chinese waj of life, the Russian Vay of life, and the Japanese- 
Western way of life. It is possible, perhaps probable, that any 
attempt at Russian settlement, even in northernmost Man- 
churia, would be smothered by an incoming Chinese popu- 
lation; or that, as some hold, Chinese colonization may thrust 
into Siberia and overwhelm the Russian element. On the other 
hand it is also at least possible far more possible than is gen- 
erally realized that the Chinese population adjacent to Si- 
beria might be caught up in the Russian advance toward the 
Pacific and so Russianized that its Chinese qualities would 
become secondary characteristics, like the secondary Mongol 
characteristics of the Buriats in Siberia. It is even possible 
that Korean migration might result in a Japanese-Korean ad- 
vance across the Yalu (rivers always being highly unsatis- 


factory frontiers of population and culture) and the estab- 
lishment of a new frontier aligned on the Ch'angpaishan 
range. The underlying, struggle in Manchuria is, and will be 
throughout our century, caused by the conflicting migration 
of cultures and people, and the effort of cultures to assert them- 
selvesjover peoples. In such a struggle, generals and states- 
men are the accidents of history; tradition, the way of life, 
the effort of race and region to assert themselves in the face 
of culture and nation, and the effort of nation and culture to 
impose themselves on race and region, are history, itself. 




1 - 






Abuses, Chinese and Western, 137 

Accommodation, 142 

Activity, 80 

Adjustments, 136 

Adventurers, 68, 69 

Agriculture, Mongolian, 74 

Aigun, Treaty of, 113 

Albazin, 107 

Aliens, land and, 236, 238 

America, 267; Europe and, 265-266; 
pioneer tradition, 212 

American Colonies, 182 

Amur river, 15, 16, 22, 24; basin, 23, 
1 06; colonists along, 215; opium cul- 
tivation on, 192; Russian advance 
down, no; Russian interest in, 23; 
trade, 23 

Antung, 26 

Arghun, 22 

Aristocracy, 254, 255 

Armies, 183, 235; Chinese, 283, 285; 
colonization and, 286; Shantung men 
in, 207 

Artisans, 177 

Assertion, 80 

Autonomy, 181 


Baikal region, 244 

Banditry, 67, 68, 69; colonization and, 
233; frontier, 224, 227; group char- 
acter, 225; regional types, 230; Rus- 
sian settlers, 249-250; significance, 
228; soldiering and, 225 

Bandits, 82, 186, 195, 226; reclaiming, 
229; Shantung men, 227, 228; sol- 
diers and, 234 

Banking, 158, 159, 160 

Bannermen, 31, 47, 62, 69 

Banners, 31, 61, 124 

Barbarians, 36, 210, 291, 296; civiliza- 
tion and, 38; invasions, 84; north of 

the Great Wall, 37; Russians as, 107, 

113-114, 167,253,297 
Barga, 14, 15, 35, 102; problems, 36; 

tribes, 35 
Battalions, 32 
Belgium, 291 
Big interests, 101, 137, 138, 142, 146, 

147; colonization and, 213 
Birth, 254, 255, 264 
Block grants of land, 121 
Bolsheviks, 251 
Bondholders, 135 
Border, 70 

Bordered Blue Banners, 32 
Boundaries, 49 
Boxer Indemnity, 163, 277 
Boys, 221 

British Dominions, 237 
British interests, 28 
Brothels, 271 
Buddhism, 12, 75 
Buffer region, 108 
Buriat Cossacks, 114 
Buriat Mongols, 112; Russianized, 244 
Buriats, 35 
Business methods, 143 

California, 19, 182 

Canals, 21 

Canceling out, 80 

Caravan trade, 55, 60 

Celibacy, monastic, 76 

Central Asia, 246; Russia and, 244 

Chahar region, 32, 276, 282 

Chang Hsiieh-liang, 41, 288 

Chang Tso-lin, 41, 102, 288 

Ch'angch'un, 20, 25, 32, 33, 130 

Ch'angpaishan, 14, 15, 33, 301 

Chao jen, 205 

Chao-uda, 56 

Chastity, 272 

Ch'en, 72 




Chen, Eugene, 157 
Cherim, 56, 58 
Ch'ien Lung, 276 
Chientao, 239, 242 
Ch'i-ju, 63 
Ch'i-jen, 62 
Chihli, 184, 186, 199 
Chin dynasty, 44 
Chin (Nuchen) horde, 37 
Ch'in Chih Huang-ti, 85 . 
China, 4; armies, 285; awakening, 75 
center o gravity, 98; city and country, 
256; civil war, 284, 286, 287; colo- 
nization, 281; culture, 795 ganger 
overhanging, 96; destiny, 291; double 
phenomenon, 276; emigration from, 
99; emigration southward, 18; expan- 
sion, 94, 280, 281; expansion beyond 
the Wall, 99; expansion in Manchuria, 
116, 117; feeling toward Western civi- 
lization, 152; foreign debt, 285; for- 
eign ownership of land, 238; foreign 
privilege in, 117, 281; forward policy, 
102; forward policy in Manchuria, 
203; history, 98; idealism of the past, 
168; interest in the West, 88, 89; 
Japan and, n, 12, 85; military life, 
287; north versus south, 98, 103; 
northern invaders, 38-39; political 
funds, 99J pressure on, 77, 292; re- 
flected influences, 183; regional prob- 
lem, 77; relief of congestion, n; 
Russia and, 29; semi-colonial nature, 
93; stalemate civilization, 150-151; 
weakness, 277, 278, 285; West, rela- 
tions with, 88; Western pressure on, 
164; Western pressure on, through 
Manchuria, 93; Westernization, 89, 
153, 164 
Chinchou, 199 

Chinese, 3; becoming Manchu, 62; colo- 
nial expansion, 57; colonization, 5, 
31; culture, 79, 290; driving power, 
98; early expansion, 53; in southern 
Manchuria, 45; migration to Man- 
churia, 9; military tradition, 211; 
Russians and, 247, 248, 252, 279-280, 
296, 298; southern, 17 
Chinese and Manchus, 60; facing back 

toward China, 60-61 
Chinese and Mongols, 53, 126, 131, 
299-300; land policy, 55, 56; mixed 
classes, 54; trade, 55 

Chinese Bannermen, 46, 61, 65, 198, 

207 . 

Chinese Banners, 46 
Chinese civilization, 8, 9, 10, 73, 79, 
96, 149, 169; old age of, 96; stale- 
mate, 150-151; superiority, 275 
Chinese core, 29, 30 
Chinese Eastern Railway, 13, 20, 23, 
24, 25, 29, 36, 41, 102, 116, 215, 280 
Chinese language, 72 
Chinese Renascence, 289, 290 
Chinese tradition, 88 
Chinese Turkestan, 10, 35, 253, 281, 


Chinese writing, 73 
Chinghis Khan, 37, 43 74 
Chosotu, 56 
Cities, 254; drift to, 256, 260, 261; large 

cities in Manchuria, 260 _ 
Civilization, 255, 257; Chinese, 8, 9, 
10, 73, 79> 9 6 > J 49 169; Chinese 
center, 183; differences, 150; nvalry 
of different, 259; Russian, 245; three 
kinds, 4; Western as seen by China, 

Clans, 51, 6 1, 69, 124 
Climate, economic effects, 17 
Colonies, 48 . 

Colonists, 100, 147; allotting land to, 
132; soldiers as, 184; traditional, 221 
Colonization, 78, 81, 95 "4, *59'> 
banditry and, 233; big interests and, 
137, 138; by refugees, 209, 214; 
character, 258; Chinese, 57, 58, 281; 
desertion from projects, 219; military, 
178, 180, 181, 183, 184^185, 187; 
negative policy, 103; officials, funds, 
and lands, 134; opium and, 188; 
pioneer, 219; problem, 97; projects, 
219, 220; railways and, 211; sec- 
ondary stage, 213; summary of eco- 
nomics O, B 1455 Ussuri valley, 197; 
wavering line, 268 
Commissions to middlemen, 162-103 
Communications, 20, 27 
Communism in China, 97 
Compromise, 158 
Confucius, 96 
Conquest, Mongol, 75 ^ 
Conservatism, 274; Chinese, 96 
Contracts, 143 
Control, 1 66 
Corruption, 135 



Cossacks, 106, in, 112; style of ad- 
vance, 115 

Counties, 125 

Countrymen, 262 

Credit, 158, 159, 163 

Crime, 81 

Crop-sharers, 214* 255 

Crops, 17 . 

Cultivation, frontier, 216 

Culture, 13. 7i 299, 301; Chinese, 79, 
290; differences, 150 

Currency, 158, 159, 257 

Customs revenue, 285 

Daghurs, 34 35, Io6 I20 I2 4 

Dairen, 24, 25, 238, 260 

Decentralization, 133 

Defaults, 265, 279 

Definition, Chinese attitude, 79, 82 

Desertion of families, 220, 221 

Developers of land, 221, 222, 223 

Dictionary, 73 

Distilleries, 145 

Drifters, 66 

Dutch interests, 28 

Fengtien (province), 31, 42, 211, 223. 

See also Liaoning 
Fishing, 51, 121, 127 
Fishskin Tatars, 120, 193 
Foot binding, 269 
Ford, Henry, 165 

Foreign aggression, 277; in China, 93 
Foreign languages, 176 
Foreign politics, 280, 288 
Foreign pressure, 20 
Foreigners, Chinese business methods 

and, 143 

Fortification, frontier, 42 
Free life, 75 

Frontiers, 54, ?6, 266, 276; Great Wall 
and, 103; international, settlement, 
215; old tradition, 212; policy, 77; 
poppy-growing, 194, I95> *96; Rus- 
sians and, 115 

Frontiersmen, 56, 57, 80, 209; Ameri- 
can, 58; Mongol border, 58; secondary 
migrants, 221; two types, 53 
Fuchin, 24, 192, 193 
Furs, 67, 122 

East versus West, I37 I5 I 6 3> 259 
Economic continuity, 162 
Education, 273 
"Empire building," 108 
Engineers, 165, 169-170 . 
Enterprises, Chinese, 135? importance 
of personal relations, 160; policy and 
principle, 142; "run-down," 161 

Environment, 74 

Europe, United States and, 182 

Evolution, 74 

Expedients, 84, 143 

Exploitation, 149, I0 5 *7i 

Extraterritoriality, 94* 238, 280 

Facing toward China, 70* 99 "i, 20 
Failures in business, 266 
Fak'umen, 33 . . 
Families, 133. W; fictitious, 220 
Farmers, 56, 262; frontier, 217; retugee, 

185; type that move forward, 59 
Farming and hunting, 179 

Gilyak, 106 
Ginseng, 227 
Girls, 221, 270, 272 
Gobi desert, 30, 39 
Going Mongol, 76, 210, 212 
Going native, 53, 54. 56, 57* 58, 59 03 
Gold, 67; prospectors, 195. 227 
Gold (tribe), 106, 120, 121, 122, 131; 
Chinese and, 122; demoralization, 
122, 123 
Goldi, 120 
Good intentions, 291 
Graham, Stephen, 201 
Grain companies, 138, 145 
Grain trade, 160 

Great Britain, emigration from, 237 
Great Hsingan, 15-16 
Great Wall, 8, 46, 77, "o; , as luie 
cleavage, 38; Chinese culture and, 
40; Chinese culture north of, 38; 
frontiers and, 103; nature, 48; out- 
works, 39; regions north, 99? sym- 
bol, 84; tribes north of, 37 
Group, individual and, 156, 158; set- 
tlers that move on, 221, 222 
Guaranteed funds, 163 

3 o6 



Habarovsk, 24, 25 

Han Chun, 31 

Hankow, 157 

Harassing, 63 

Harbin, 14, I7 20, 22, 193, 256, 260; 

opium trade, 194; Russians in, 247 
Heilungchiang, 14, 25, 42, 68, 215, 

218; banditry, 232-233 
Honan, 62 
Hsingan, 14, 15, 42 
Hsingan Colonization Project, 211 
Hsink'ai lake, 22 
Hsiungnu, 37 
Hulin, 22 

Hulutao, 26, 27, 28 
Huns, 74 

Hunting, 51, 121, 122, 124, 227 
Hurka, 14, 16, 33 
Huts, 57 

Ichou, 33 

Idealism of China, 168 

Immigrants, solitary, 205; temporary, 


Imports, 162 
Individual, 155; group and, 156, 158; 

state and, 155 
Individualism, 293 
Indo-China, 17 
Infiltration, 64, 65, 69, 163 
Ingenuity, 170 
Inner Mongolia, 15, 39, 276, 281, 289; 

effort for regional autonomy, 283 
Interdependence, 205 
Internationalism, 292, 293 
Invaders, 37 

Inventions, Chinese, 168, 169 
Investment, 139 
Investors, 135 
Irredentist problem, 242 
Islam, 246 


Japan, 5, 25, 26; advantages in Man- 
churia, 27; armies, 284; assimilation 
of Western civilization, 151-152; 
breakdown of conciliation policy in 
1931, 202; China and, n, 12, 85; 
Chinese feeling toward, 297; in Man- 
churia, 86; occupation of Manchuria, 

104; policy in Manchuria, 201, 202, 
203, 204, 291, 294; powers of growth, 
87; railway position, 28; war with 
Russia, 1 1 6; Westernization, 18, 86, 
89, 150, 284 

Japanese, 18; as entrepreneurs, 236-237; 
financing Koreans, 241; immigration 
into Manchuria, 236; in Manchuria, 
1 8; intervention of September, 1931, 
291; leasing of land, 240; problems 
of enterprise in Manchuria, 239 

Japanese front, 29 

Jargon, 177; scientific, 173 

Jehol, 7, 14, 42. 57, 209, 235, 276, 282 

Jesuits, ii 

Jungar Mongols, 35 

K'ailu, 223 

Kalgan, 28 

K'ang Hsi, 73 

K'ang Yu-wei, 97 

Kellogg Treaty, 280 

Kentucky, 108 

Khalkhas, 35 

Kharachin, 56, 58 

Khublai Khan, 73 

Kiakhta, 114 

Kirin (city), 22, 33, 262 

Kirin (province), 13, 14, 32, 33, 42, 
215, 265, 267; banditry, 230 

Korea, 21, 34, 236 

Koreans, 33, 34, 196, 242, 300; Jap- 
anese financing of, 241; migration, 
236; naturalization, 240-241; status 
in Eastern Manchuria, 239, 242 

K'ou Wai, 7 

Kuantung Leased Territory, 238, 241 

Kuo jih-tzu, 262 

Kuomintang, 157, 274, 276, 289 

Labor, 268 

Lahasusu, 17 

Lamaism, 76, 126 

Lamas, 57, 75, 127, 128, 283 

Land, 48, 119, 254, 255; administra- 
tion in the reservoir, 123; aliens and, 
236, 238; allotment, 121, 132; hun- 
ger for, 258, 263; in trust, 261; Jap- 
anese right to lease, 240; leasing to 
Japanese and Koreans, 242; Manchu 



attitude to, 50; measurement, 125, 
130; measurement and allotment, 
140; Mongol attitude to, 48-49; Mon- 
gol regions, 125, 128; owners in 
cities, 262; ownership, 50, 51, 52; 
private ownership, 120, 124-125; 
public and tribal, 119; rent-purchase 
methods, 119-120; values based on, 

Land companies, 138, 145 

Land-grant policy, 115, 141 

Landmarks, 49, 130 

Language, 72 

J^ao-ma-i, 175 

Lawlessness, 186, 228 

Laws, 82 

Leaders, 294 

Leadership, 292 

Leased territory, 25, 26, 238, 241 

Leg-runners, 66 

Leisure, 64 

Lenin, 294 

Li Hung-chang, 97 

Liao (Khitan) dynasty, 37 

Liao river, 16, 21; valley, 14, 198 

Liaoning, 13, 31, 42, 211, 218, 223, 
265; banditry, 230; Mongols, 32 

Liaotung, 198 

Liaoyang, 37 

Liquor traffic, 82 

Little Hsingan, 16 

Liu mm, 200, 228 

Loneliness, 224, 248 

Loyang, 37 


Machinery, 162, 164, 165, 167, 171, 
177; Chinese view of, 168 

Manchu Banner, 31 

Manchu Bannermen, 34, 61 

Manchu dynasty, 43 

Manchu empire, 70 

Manchu language, 63, 64, 72-73 

Manchuria, 3; attractiveness to Chinese, 
64; Chinese in, 10, 45; climate, 19; 
colonization by Chinese, 95; destiny, 
299, 300; friction with Western in- 
terests, 162; historical forces, 4, 6; 
influence on China, 282; Japanese oc- 
cupation, 86, 104; Mongolia and, 42; 
name, 7; Northern, 180; peculiarities, 
3; place in the world, 276; power over 
China, 289; pressure on China, 99; 

relation to China, 77; situation, 94; 
term, 77; thrust toward China, 

Manchurian Chinese, 45 
Manchurian Question, 77, 290 
Manchus, 6, 14, 31, 105, 107; Chinese 
character, 44, 45, 46; hatred against, 
72; laws, 46, 47, 108, 141, 200; lines 
of endeavor, 52; Mongols and, 43; 
Russians and, 105, 108; social or- 
ganization, 51; tribal feeling, 8; true 
country, 33. See also Chinese and 

Man-tze, 62 

Marketing of agricultural produce, 143 

Marriage, 67, 69, 270, 272, 273; busi- 
ness interests and, 139; cost, 272; 
Manchus and Chinese, 47; Russian 
standards, 176 

Mechanics, Chinese, 169, 170 

Medicinal materials, 67, 122 

Men of destiny, 293, 294 

Metropolis, 256 

Migration, 3-4; North China workers, 
19; seasonal, 199; Shantung settlers, 
197; Shantung type, 65, 210; spec- 
tacular period, 201 

Military colonization, 178, 180, x8x, 
183, 184, 185, 187 

Military officer, story of, 62 

Military officials, 186; Shantung and, 

Military reserve, 179 

Military science in China, 90 

Militia systems, 32 

Min, 62 

Minerals, 67 

Mines, 120, 154 

Ming dynasty, 38, 41 

Ming tombs, 46 

Mixed classes, 54 

Modernization, 78 

Monasteries, 75, 126, 127, 211 

Money, 146, 257, 266 

Mongol Banner, 32 

Mongol language, 64, 76, 132 

Mongol princes, 49, 50 

Mongol Republic, 127 

Mongol-Solon, 34, 35 

Mongol troops, 178 

Mongol-Tungus, 34 

Mongolia, 10, 30; Barga tribes, 35; 
front, 76; Manchuria and, 42 

Mongolian plateau, 14 



Mongols, 8, 37 38, 105; banditry of 
the frontier, 230, 231; Barga Mon- 
gols, 35; Chinese civilization and, 
73, 131; Chinese troops against, 211; 
conquests, 75; culture, 73, 74, 126; 
displacement from land by Chinese, 
129; frontiers, 49; going Mongol, 76, 
210, 212; land problem, 125, 126, 
128; Liaoning 32; Manchus and, 43; 
Manchus and Chinese and, balance, 
42-43; physical type, 57; settlers on 
land taken over from, 222, 223; 
tribal character, 44; tribal feeling, 8; 
twelfth century, 74. See also Chinese 
and Mongols 

Motor transport, 20, 211, 233 

Mukden, 25, 33, 46, 262; Japanese oc- 
cupation, 30 

Muraviev, 113 

Mutan valley, 16 

Mutanchiang, 14, 33 


Nadan Hada-alin, 15 

Nakamura incident, 202 

Nanking, 37. 256 

Napoleon, 293 

National self-determination, 292 

Nationalism and conservatism, 274 

Nationalist Party, 157 

Natural wealth, 154, i55> 227 

Negotiation, 158 

Neologisms, 174 

Nepotism, 133, 136, 137 

Nerchinsk, Treaty of, 106, 107, no, 

m, 3 

New Manchus, 34, 106, 121 
Newchwang, 21, 26 
Nikolaievsk, 25 
Ninghsia, 276, 282 
Ninguta, 33, 108 
Nomadism, Mongol, 74 
Nomads, 48, 50, in, 121 
Non-Banner Chinese, 62, 68 
Nonni river, 16, 22 
North China, 14, 15, 17, 4* 98, 100 
North Pacific seaboard, 291 
Nu, 72 
Nuchen-Chin, 44 

Occident and Orient, 9 

Officials, 72, 164; bandits and, 229; 

individuals rather than functionaries, 
147; methods, 132, 134, 140; office 
and official, 136; personal and pub- 
lic interests, 158; railways and, 144 

Ogotai, 75 

Old ants, 175 

Old order, 224 

Olot, 35 

Opium, 122, 178; discussion of the 
problem, 188, 189; morality of the 
use, 189; outlaw villages, 196; pio- 
neers and, 187; policy in dealing with, 
193-194; profit in raising, 191; so- 
cial danger, 190-191; trade in China, 
189; traffic, 82, 83 

Orient and Occident, 9 

Orkhon river, 114 

Outer Mongolia, 14, 39, "4 297; Rus- 
sia and, 244, 253 

Outlaws, 67 

Ox-carts, 233 

Pacific Ocean, 295; Russian expansion 
toward, 252, 253 

Panch'an Lama, 283 

P'aQ-t'uei'rk-ti, 66 

Passivity, 80 

Pastoral life, 74 

Pastures, 51 

Peace, 291; aspirations, 292 

Peasantry, 254, 257, 264; bondage to 
the law, 146; refugee, 263; standards, 

'Peking, 37, 46, 6$, 70, 71, 113* 207, 

Peking Manchus, 261 

Peking-Mukden Railway, 26, 28, 117 

Pengtien, 33 

Perry, Commodore, 85, 153 

Personality, 83, 292, 293 

Petuna, 22, 32, 109, 223 

Pioneers, 59, 66, 67, 69, 80, 266; Ameri- 
can prototypes, 223-224; coloniza- 
tion, 219; old American tradition, 
212; opium production, 187, 191- 
192; Russian, 106 

Plains, 1 6 

Pogranichnaya, 14 

Police, 226 

Policy, 142 

Political autonomy, 181 

Politics, American and British, 293 



Polo, Marco, 73 

Poppy cultivation, 189-190, 193; 

tiersmen and, 194, i95> J 9^ 
Population, old non-Chinese, 31 
Power, Manchus and, 71 
Port Arthur, 26, 238 
Ports, 27; lack of, 24-25 
Primorsk, 197* 243 
Princes, Mongol, 49, 50, 126, 127, 128, 

130, 131 

Profits, 265, 266, 267 
Progress, 101, 133* 2 45 2 55 
Progressiveness, 12, 78 
Prostitution, 270 

Qazaqs, 106 


Race feeling, 131 

Racket, 233 

Railway fence, 30 

Railways, 20, 27, 105, 203, 278, 279; 
China, 90, 92; colonization and, 211; 
control, 1 66, 172; core of Manchuria, 
30; Japanese position, 28; officials and, 
135, 145; problems, 28; refugees and, 
210; regional powers and, 283; Rus- 
sian position, 29, 114; Western ag- 
gression in, 144 

Reform, 133, I35 290 , . 

Refugees, 100, 186, 263, 267; coloniza- 
tion by, 209, 214; farmers, 185; rail- 
ways and, 210 

Regional feeling, 8 

Regional militia systems, 32 

Regionalism, 71, j6, 78 

Reindeer, 45, 124 

Relief projects, 219 

Remnant people, 123 

Rentals, 142, 214 

Reservations, 121 

Reservoir, 31, 70, 99. 209, 276; banditry 
and, 226; defense walls, 435 effort to 
get rid of, 276, 282; Japanese and, 
291; military use, 178; orientation, 
42; peculiarity, 42; regional impor- 
tance, 41; Russians and, 114; spheres 
of interest, 105; spirit of, 109; sys- 
tem, 39; tribes and, 36 

Responsibility, 80, 81, 164; Chinese at- 
titude, 79-80, 206; diffusion, 139, 
156, 205; peasant's interpretation, 219 

Revolution, China's danger of, 97 

Rice, 17; Korean culture, 239 

River system, 21 

River transport, 20 

Rubriick, Friar, 73 

Russia, 5, 22; activity, 294; advantages 
in Manchuria, 27; China and, 29, 94; 
movement toward the East, 243, 244- 
245, 252, 294; new civilization, 150, 
151; orientation, 112; policies, 294; 
pressure of ideas, 253; quiescence of 
policy, 201, 202, 203; railway po- 
sition, 29; State and individual, 155- 
156; technique of warfare, 285; vigor 
of new organism, 243-244, 246; war 
with Japan, 116; Western civilization 
and, 153 

Russian front, 29 

Russian language, 174, 176 

Russian revolution, 151, 296 

Russian troops, 244 

Russian words, 175 
Russians, 23, 176; advance, first, 106; 
advance down the Amur, no, 112; 
as barbarians, 107, 113-114, 167, 253, 
297; Chinese and, 247, 248, 252, 279, 
280, 296, 298; eastward advance, 300; 
exiles, 250-251; Far East and, 105; 
function, 107; Harbin and, 247; mili- 
tary service, 249; model of civiliza- 
tion, 245; Soviet Russians and, 250; 
standards, 176; standing in China, 
281; Ussuri valley, 197 
Russians and Manchus, 105, 108 
Russo-Chinese political questions, 23 
Russo-Japanese War, 284, 296 
Russo-Manchurian affairs, 102, 103 


Sables, 67, in, 228 

San Min Chu 1, 91 

Sanhsing, 33, 192, 204 

Sao Ta-tzc, 175 

Scapegoat, 81, 139 

Self-determination, 292 

Settlement, 66, 67; garrison method, 


Settlers, 19, 66; groups that move 

221, 222; "lonely," 224 
Shaman, 170 
Shanghai, 256, 260 
Shanhaikuan, 7, 198 
Shantung, 21, 184, 186, 208, 218; as- 


sedation with Manchuria, 198; fam- 
ily settlement in Manchuria, 204; 
military affairs and Shantung men, 
207; period o disorder, 201; sea- 
sonal migration, 200; Shantung tradi- 
tion, 197, 204; type of migration, 65 

Shifts, 84 

Shilka, 22 

Sian, 256 - 

Siberia, 22, 23, 106, in, H3> 4 " 
201, 244. 247 

Slaves, 1 80 

Soldiers, 178, 183, 184; bandits and, 
234; mercenary, 184 

Solons, 341 1 06 

Solun, 34 

Solun Railway, 193 

South China, 18, 98 

South Manchuria Railway, 12, 20, 24, 
25, 26, 28, 29, 116, 238, 279, 280 

South Seas, 276 

Southerners, 198 

Soviet Russia, 36, 249, 250, 251 

Specialization, 167 

Spheres of influence, 284 

Spread, 115. I99 209 

Squatters, 52, 56, 67, 119, 125* 206, 219 

Ssuch'uan, 282 

Ssup'ingkai, 33, 223 

Stalin, 294 

Standards, 176, 255 

Standards of living, 264; immigrant 
settlers, 267; in towns, 268 

State and individual, 155 

State monopoly, 155* l6 4 

Straight dealing, 143 

Straits Settlements, 17, 276 

Stratifications, 107 

Strikes, 269 

Subutai, 75 

Suiyuan, 209, 270, 282 
Sun, Dr., 90-91, 97 274, 290 
Sungari river, 15, 22, 23, 24, 108, no, 
120; opium cultivation near, 192; 
plain of, 1 6; Shantung settlement, 
204; steamer, 174. I75J valley, 122 
System, the, 137 

TaT'ung, 37 
Taiping Rebellion, 178 
Taku, 175 

Tang dynasty, 37 
Tangut, 37 
T'ao river, 16 
T'aonan, 223 
T'ao'rh. See T'ao 

Taxation, 119, 142, i44 frontier, 217, 
218; poppy cultivation and, 189-190; 
undeveloped land, 218 
Technical terms, 172-173 
Technicians, 165; in China, 166 
Technique, 165; Western, 100 
Temples, Mongol, 128 
Tenants, 146 
Terminology, 173 
Three Eastern Provinces, 7 
Three People's Principles, 91* 290 
Three Provinces, 13 
Tibet, 1 08, 281 
Tibetans, 281, 282 
Timber, 24, 120; rafts, 21; trade, 20 
T'oa-an-Solun Railway, 36 
Toba Tatars, 37 , 

Townsmen, 254, 260, 262, 263 
Trade, 141, 265; Mongol, 59 
Traders, 59; Chinese and Mongol, 56 
Tradition, 101 
Transport, 19, 143 
Transport companies, 145 
Treaties, 156, 157, 237, 27$ 
Tribal feeling, 8 
Tribal groups, 124 
Tribal invasions, 31 
Tribal questions, 120 
Tribes, 31; land and, 48; reservoirs and, 


Tribute, in 
Troops, Chinese, 211 
Tsitsihar, 22, 32, 62, 262 
Tumen river, 15, 22, 242 
Tung K'ou Wai, 7 
T'ungchiang, 17 
Tungchiangtze, 33 
Tungus, 34, 106 
Twenty-one Demands, 240 


Ulgan-alin, 15 

Under-dog, 63 

United States and Europe, 182 

Unregenerates, 39, 4 43> I0 ^ 1 

Urga, 29 

Urianghai, 253 



Ussuri river, 15, 22, 24, 192; coloniza- 
tion and opium on, 196; Koreans 
near, 243; region, 115; valley, 22 

Venereal disease, 270 

Versatility, 170 

Villages, 124; abandoned, 223; defense, 

226; settlement scheme, 216 
Violence, 226 
Vladivostok, 25, 28, 113 


Wages, 267, 268 

Wanpaoshan incident, 242 

War, 84, 284; Kellogg Treaty, 280 

Wealth, 65 

Wei dynasty, 37 

West, 79 85, 293; approach to China, 
89; hope of deliverance from, 275; 
how regarded in China, 89; pressure 
on China, 292; pressure on China 
through Manchuria, 93; problem of, 
90; standards, 154; struggle against, 
149; technique, 100 

West versus East, 137, 150* *63 259 

Western civilization, 149; possible de- 
cay, 153 f o 

Western codes, 82 

Western technique, 165 

Western Hsia, 37 

Westernization, 8, 78, 95, 117-118, 

149, 177, 259, 274; China, n, 89, 

164, 278; Japan, 18, 86, 89, 284; 

railways and, 279 

Wilderness, 9, 60, 108, 123, 141, 228 
Will, 80 

Willow Palisade, 32-33, 43 
Winter, 19, 20 
Wives, 66-67, 68, 272 
Women, 272; deserted, 221; freedom, 

269-270; scarcity, 270; social status, 

270; standards among, 269 
Wo-p'eng, 66 
Wo-p'u, 66 
Work, 64, 68 

Yalu river, 15, 21, 300 

Yamen, 227 

Yangtze river, 37, 72, 183 

Yellow river, 37, 98 

Yeomanry, military, 179 

Yermak, 113 

Yingk'ou, 21, 26, 28 

Young China, 289 

Young Mongol party, 102, 283 

Yuan dynasty, 37, 41, 43 

Yuan Shih-k'ai, 158 

Yurts t 56