Tuesday, April 16, 2013



The Liao (K'i-tan) and the Kin (Niuchen), two Tatar tribes which governed northern China from the tenth to the thirteenth century, sprang from Manchuria. The present imperial Manchu dynasty of China, the Ts'ing, comes from the Ngai-sin family, and is related closely to the Kiu, both being descended from a common stock, the Su-shen of Kirin. The Manchu chieftains, ancestors of the present dynasty, bear the dynastic title (miao-hao) of Chao Tsu Yuan, Hing Tsu Chih, King Tsu Yih, Hien Tsu Yih, Hien Tsu Siuan (1583), T'ai Tsu Kao, and T'ai Tsung Wen; the two last have the title of reign or nien-hao of T'ien Ming (1616) and T'ien Tsung (1627), the latter changed into Ts'ung Teh (1636). These kings are buried at Mukden. The first emperor at Peking was Shun-che (1644), with the dynastic title of She Tsu Chang. During the war between China and Japan, after the severe engagement at Ping Yang (16 Sept., 1894) and the naval fight at the mouth of the Yalu River (17 Sept., 1894), the Japanese crossed the river, entered Manchuria, and marched on Feng-huang-cheng and Hai-cheng, whilst another army under the command of Count Oyama landed at Kin-chou and captured Ta-Lien-Wan and Port Arthur (21 Nov., 1894). Under Article II of the treaty of peace signed between China and Japan at Shimonoseki on 17 April, 1895, China ceded to Japan in perpetuity full sovereignty over the southern portion of the province of Fêng-tien, including all the islands belonging to it, which are situated in the eastern portion of the Bay of Liao-tung and in the northern part of the Yellow Sea. By a new convention signed at Peking on 8 Nov., 1895, Japan retroceded this portion of Fêng-tien to China for a compensation of 30,000,000 Kuping taels; this gain to China was obtained through the action at Tokio of Russia, France, and Germany. Russia was to reap the benefit of it. By a convention signed at Peking on 27 March, 1898, China agreed to lease to Russia Port Arthur, Ta-Lien-Wan, and the adjacent waters, while an additional agreement, defining the boundaries of leased and neutral territory in the Liao-tung peninsula, was signed at St. Petersburg on 7 May, 1898. Six years later, war broke out between Russia and Japan. In the night of the 8-9 Feb., 1904, the Russian fleet anchored at Port Arthur was attacked by Admiral Togo. The culminating point of the defence was Port Arthur, which surrendered on 2 Jan., 1905. Manchuria was the field of the action between the two contending armies, the chief battles being those of Liao-yang (25 Aug.-3 Sept., 1904) between Kuropatkin and Oyama, of Sha-ho (9-14 Oct.), and of Mukden (1-9 March, 1905). By the Treaty of Portsmouth both Russia and Japan agreed to evacuate simultaneously Manchuria, with the exception of the portion of the Liao-tung peninsula leased to Russia and surrendered to Japan, and to retrocede the administration of the province to China

On 8 Sept., 1896, an agreement was signed between the Chinese Government and the Russo-Chinese Bank for the construction and management of a line called the Chinese Eastern Railway, and running from one of the points on the western borders of the province of Heh Lung Kiang to one of the points on the eastern borders of the province of Kirin; also for the connexion of this railway with those branches which the Imperial Russian Government was to construct to the Chinese frontier from Trans-Baikalia and the Southern Usuri lines. An agreement between Russia and China with regard to Manchuria was signed at Peking on 26 March (8 April), 1902, by which Russia agreed to the re-establishment of the authority of the Chinese Government in that region, which remains an integral part of the Chinese Empire. By the regulations for mines and railways, approved by the Emperor of China on 19 Nov., 1893, it had been stipulated that mining and railway questions in the three Manchurian provinces, in Shan-tung, and at Lung-chou, being affected by international questions, shall not hereafter be invoked as precedents by the Chinese or foreign authorities. The Russian line from the Lake Baikal to Vladivostok passes via Hâilar, Tsitsihar, and Harbin, whence a line branches southwards to Port Arthur via Ch'ang-ch'un and Mukden. A short line runs from Port Arthur to Dalny; another from Tashi-li-k'iao to Yingk'ou (New-chwang) ; another from Liao-yang to the Yen-t'ai mines; another from Mukden to Ngantung at the mouth of the Yalu River. The Peking-T'ientsin line is extended through Shanhai-kwan to Sinmint'un and Mukden, and has a branch line which diverges to New-chwang. Express trains with Pullman cars began running towards the end of October, 1908; a train leaves Dalny every Monday and Friday morning, connecting with the Russian express at Kwan-cheng-tze, and returning on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
We give the revenue of the various customs districts according to the statistics of 1908, the last published (1 Haikwan tael = 65 cents): — Gross value of the trade in taels: Ngantung, 6,941,986; Tatungkau, 353,517; Dalny, 32,688,186; Suifenho, 12,754,878; Manchouli, 4,078,788; New-chwang, 41,437,041. Net value of the trade: Ngantung, 6,188,799; Tatungkau, 350,850; Dalny, 32,258,461; Suifenho, 11,985,705; Manchouli, 3,829,785; New-chwang, 41,199,027. Suifenho and Manchouli form the Harbin District. On 11 Sept., 1908, the Japanese and Chinese commissioners signed at Mukden the detailed working regulations of the Sino-Japanese Yalu Timber Company, the re-establishment of which was first provided for by Article X of the Komura Agreement signed at Peking on 22 Dec., 1905, and later made the subject of a more definite compact when the Yalu Forestry Agreement was concluded at Peking on 14 May, 1908