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[AU Articles are arranged alphabetically. On pp. 243-246 a full Index is printed which will facilitate reference.]
Amoy [No. 2,644].-Mr. Consul Mansfield's Report for 1900 shows that British exports to the port were of the value of £1,111,000 (57 per cent of the whole), and British imports from China £123,375, or 64 per cent. of the whole exports. At least 58 per cent. of the entire trade of Amoy is British. Mr. Mansfield makes the following suggestions for the Opening up of China :
1. Improvement in communications by railways, roads, and canals, with facilities for the employment of foreign capital.
2. A revised tariff, including the aboli. tion of export duties, with proportionately increased import duties, which should include 24 per cent. likin, freeing foreign goods to all parts of the Empire, in the same way as opium is freed under the additional Article of the Chefoo Convention,
3. An extension of the Transit Pass system to all Chinese produce whether in the hands of foreigners or Chinese, with a fixed duty payable to the Government of each province through which the goods have to pass. If necessary for provincial expenses, a small octroi might be levied in the towns and cities on native goods not in transit.
4. The establishment of a proper Mining Board with regulations liberally drawn to induce the employment of foreign capital.
5. The right of residence in the interior to foreigners.
Canton (No. 2,676].-Mr. Consul-General Scott's Report shows that:
The gross value of the trade of Canton during the year 1900 as recorded in the returns of the Imperial Maritime Customs, which take cognisance only of the trade imported and exported in foreign bottoms, as compared with the year 1899 (the difference in exchange being about 3; per cent. in favour of 1900) was £8,231,714,
against £8,873,771, showing a decrease of £642,057. Large as this decrease is it still leaves the trade of the year 1900 the largest on record with the exception of the year 1899.
The result of the year's trading may, therefore, as it stands be considered highly satisfactory and of large promise for the future of the port, but when the figures are analysed it will be seen that they are far more satisfactory than at first appears.
Both foreign imports and native imports show a sterling increase; the fallingoff has occurred entirely in exports, almost altogether in the one item of silk.
Chefoo-Shantung Railways [No. 2,652]. Mr. Consul Tratman's Report shows that the total trade for 1900 was £4,346,916. It is impossible to say what proportion was actually British. On the general situation he has the following observations :
The troublous times of 1900 have left their mark on the trade of Chefoo, but nothing like to the same extent as in the other two northern treaty ports. The starting point of the Boxer outbreak was, indeed, in the province of Shantung, and with the ordinary run of Chinese official in command, there is little doubt that the various districts would have been the scenes of that bloodshed and anarchy that have prevailed elsewhere, and that trade would have suffered accordingly. It was fortunate, however, that the uprising found in charge a Governor who was wise enough to realise the madness of it, and who proceeded with an energy not often displayed in China to take every possible step to keep order within his jurisdiction, and to sweep away the fanatical hordes whose watchword was the annihilation of the foreigner and all his works. Governor Yüan happily had under him some 10,000 troops, thoroughly well-armed and disciplined and devoted to their chief. With the ordinary type of native soldier he would probably have never attempted the task before him. With his own trained men he successfully completed what he set out to do. Some thousands of the Boxer revolutionists were slain, and most of the remainder were driven from the province. Naturally this result was not obtained without considerable disturbance of the ordinary life of the inhabitants and of the ordinary conditions of trade. The Boxer cult included virulent hatred of everything foreign, even down to buttons and thread, and merchants were disinclined to send consignments of foreign goods into the interior until they were assured on which side of the fence the provincial authorities would descend, and whether they would be able to remain on the side they had chosen. This will account in some measure for a decline in foreign imports in 1900 of some £270,000.
On the subject of Railways and the extent to which Tsingtao, now a German port, may interfere with the prosperity of Chefoo, Mr. Tratman says :
The railway and mining enterprises in Shantung were effectually interrupted by the Boxer rebellion. Damage was done to the German line from Tsingtao, but the matter has now been settled and the required compensation paid. Trains are running from Nü Ku Kou to Kiaochow and the continuation to Kaomi, near the present limit of the German zone, is expected to be ready shortly. The next step will be to Wehsien, where German miners have resumed their work, and the intention is finally to carry on the line to Chin-fu, the capital of the province, with a branch to the Poshan coalfields. The effect on the future prospects of Chefoo likely to be caused by the advance of Tsingtao as a trading port, and by the railway facilities which it will probably offer in the near future are worthy of consideration. A far-seeing correspondent, writing in the leading Shanghai newspaper nearly eight years ago, before the acquisition of Tsingtao was thought of, argued in favour of the expediency of opening a new port in Shantung more conveniently situated for purposes of trade than Chefoo, and he fixed on Tsingtao as the best place. His statements are deserving of careful notice, and I am tempted to quote them. He says :—The new Chinese fort and naval station at Tsingtao, on the east side of Kiaochow Bay in Shantung, seem to point to that place as a practicable harbour for future commerce. For a year or more I have been studying that bay from a landsman's standpoint, and am convinced that if good anchorage can be found, we have in that locality the key to the future development of Shantung res rces. That portion of the province lying east of the Yellow River and Grand Canal has but one inlet and outlet for commerce, namely, Chefoo.
But Chefoo as a port not only lies at a greater distance from Shanghai than the geography of Shantung would warrant, but also lies with reference to the great interior in the most inconvenient position imaginable.
[Statistics show] a saving in favour of Tsingtao of 2,000 li (say 700 miles) in the delivery of goods at these six distributing centres, and any one conversant with the rude and expensive means of overland transportation in Shantung, need not be told that this saving in distance represents & proportionate decrease in the selling price of goods, and hence a marked increase in the demand for these imports, Besides this difference in distances there is also an important difference in the routes traversed. The “great road"
from Chefoo to Chinanfu passes through Weihsien City. The 207 miles between Chefoo and Weihsien follow the trend of the northern coast of Shantung, and hence cross all streams near their mouths, where the greatest possible interruption occurs during the rainy season. The road from Tsingtao to Weihsien crosses but three streams of any consequence, and two of these could be avoided if a port could be established on the west side of the bay, say somewhere near Kiaochow City. The remaining stream is crossed at a point 70 miles from its mouth, where it is not subject to long continued floods and seldom interrupts traffic. Then, again, Tsingtao is but twenty hours from Shanghai, whilst Chefoo is a full fortyeight hours' distant, with the dangerous promontory intervening, which is a constant menace to commerce. Now a word as to the advantages to China. An outlet for Shantung products is more important to the Chinese than an inlet for imports. What exports has Shantung that do not find ample outlet by the existing treaty ports? Many. The straw-braid trade is one that can be indefinitely developed to the great advantage of China. This trade is already followed by many villages as far south as Ichowfu, but the long distance to Shaho, the present market, and the lack of a more convenient market prevent the industry from developing as it should. Again, the centre of the beancake trade is at Ichowfu, whence immense quantities of this product are now wheeled by barrow to the north sea coast at ruinous prices to the purchaser and starvation wages to the poor barrowmen. A much shorter haul to Kiaochow would be to the profit of all concerned. Again, there is the great interior pongee silk trade which is being crushed out by competition simply for lack of better facilities for export. As to natural resources, the wealth of Shantung in minerals is an open secret. Gold, silver, lead, and iron exist in paying quantities within two days' journey of Kiaochow. Bituminous coal measures underlie the low hills 70 miles to the north-west. Chimai, adjacent to Kiaochow on the east,
abounds in marketable products, both mineral and vegetable. All these resources, in exchange for foreign goods, would not only make the new port a success, but would tend to build up the shattered fortunes of multitudes of Chinese. Tsingtao is now a German port, and it remains to be seen to what extent Chefoo will suffer. A German industrial syndicate holds from the Chinese Government a mining concession covering an area described by a radius of 80 miles with Chefoo as the centre. They contemplate making a prospecting survey shortly, and expect to find gold amongst other minerals.
Hankow (No. 2,601].-Mr. Acting Consul-General 'E. H. Fraser's Report shows that the net value of the Hankow trade in 1900 was £8,150,091, against £10,080,309 in 1899. He says:
The Imperial Maritime Customs returns for 1900 are surprisingly good when it is remembered that the Boxer outbreak in the North paralysed trade on the Yangtsze for nearly two months in the summer, during which the native banks feared to advance money. The figures for the first two quarters of the year equalled those during the same period of the record year 1899, and it was only in the September quarter that the effect of the Boxer madness was plain. There is thus reason to hope that, provided that the present high prices for exports continue, the trade passing through Hankow will not suffer long from the depression of 1900. Want of cheap transport is the great hindrance to the export trade, on which, of course, depends the extension of the demand for imports, and so, very possibly, the want of water in the creeks and streams during last summer had more to do with the falling-off of exports than the state of the political atmosphere which so seriously affected imports.
Hong Kong (New Territory) (ca. 382.) -The chief feature of this Report, which describes in detail the administrative measures put into force, is that malarial fever is very prevalent in the rainy season. A land Court has been established,
progress made in surveying the territory, and public works, medical, education,police, and magisterial de partments initiated. The total expenditure for 1900 was $243,361, and the revenue only $17,503, difficulties owing to conflicting land claims, in course of settlement by the Land Court, having made impossible a satisfactory collection of Crown rents. The police force numbers 27 Europeans, 105 Indians, and 30 Chinese.
Ichang [No. 2,619].-Mr. Consul Holland's Report :
In spite of the extraordinary state of things that prevailed at the capital of China during the summer when the representatives of the European Powers were fighting for their lives, it is a typical instance of the apathetic disregard of onehalf of this unwieldy great country for what
may be happening in the other half that the trade of this district should be the second largest on record. It is true that for the comparatively peaceful state of things which rendered such a trade possible we have largely to thank the two chief Viceroys in the Yangtsze Valley, Liu Kun-yi and Chang Chih-tung, who proved themselves friends in need at a very critical time.
The total trade of Ichang for 1900 was £3,592,082, against £4,674,949 in 1899. While the latter year stands far and away at the head of all previous records it is fair to assume that under ordinary circumstances the trade of last year might have equalled if not surpassed it ; and, moreover, it has to be remembered that the exceptionally large trade of 1899 was due to a reaction after the Yü Man-tzŭ rebellion. Never before 1899 has such a total as $3,000,000 been reached, and that the trade should amount to over £3,500,000 during such a disturbed year as 1900 speaks volumes for the possibilities of its development if only given a fair chance,
Newchwang—The Chinese and Russian Railways [No. 2,646].-Mr. Consul Tul. ford's Report for 1900 is quoted below, almost verbatim, because of the political as well as commercial importance of the port from the standpoint of British interests and Treaty rights in North China:
The trade of Newchwang suffered severely from the anti-foreign rising of the Chinese in the year 1900.
All forecasts of this extent of the trade were, in consequence, entirely overthrown, and comparison with the figures of other years seems to serve no purpose. The port opened after the winter ice-bound period, in the last week of March, and by the end of June the disturbances in the interior had reached a pitch which made regular business impossible. A certain amount of export trade went on in the autumn months, but the figures given below practically represent three months' work, in place of the usual eight months of open season,
The net amount of the trade was £3,418,408, compared with £7,253,643 in 1899, and $4,634,474 in 1898. These figures do not include the import and export of treasure, which amounted to £726,228 and £429,246 respectively in 1900.
Net imports amounted to £1,638,237, composed of foreign goods £1,200,138 and native goods £438,099, compared with £4,161,281, composed of foreign goods £3,266,390 and native goods £894,891 in 1899.
The principal items of foreign imports in 1900 were: opium, £19,911 ; cotton goods, £644,047; woollen goods, £29,330 ; metals, £52,048; sundries, £446,791. The figures for 1899 were: opium, £104,940 ; cotton goods, £2,033,700; woollen goods, $50,690; metals, £119,536; and sundries, £945,033.
Of the cotton goods imported in 1900, £310,980 represents the value of American drills, sheetings, and jeans, the figures for which were £65,108, £238,091, and £7,781 respectively. Japanese cotton goods amounted to £45,670, and Dutch cotton goods to £215. The bulk of the remainder, £287,182, were British.
In foreign sundries, the heaviest item was £145,841 for railway material. Coals amounted to £45,317, mostly from Japan; flax, to £36,002, mostly from America ; American oil, to £32,448 ; and sugar, to £34,235, mostly from Hong Kong.
So far as it is possible to ascertain the origin of the foreign goods imported, British goods account for £366,784, American for £379,429, and Japanese for $104,206. But this leaves a large balance of imports, and it is impossible, under the conditions of local trade, which looks chiefly to Shanghai and not to foreign countries as its source of supply, to ascertain the origin of such imports as are included in the long list of sundries and metals. The trade of Newchwang is principally in the hands of southern Chinese merchants who come north for the open season only. They are numerous and their transactions complicated. It is doubtful if they themselves know the origin or ultimate destination of all, or nearly all, of the goods they deal in, and they are suspicious of any attempt to ascertain the details of their shipments. The trade with Japan is the most distinct and direct. Imports from Japan in 1900 are given in the customs returns as £192,428.
The total net exports in 1900 amounted to £1,780,171, compared with £3,092,362 in 1899. It is thus seen that the export trade suffered less proportionately than the import trade by the disturbances. Goods to the value of £606,145 went direct to foreign countries, and the balance £1,174,026 to Chinese ports. Of the latter a small proportion is destined for export to foreign countries, but details are impossible to obtain here. Of the goods shipped direct to foreign countries, merchandise to the value of £526,108 went to Japan. The export trade to all other foreign countries, whether direct or indirect, is inconsiderable.
Beans, bean-cake, and bean-oil, formed, as usual, the bulk of the exports. The figures were 6,731,504 cwts., and value £1,496,696, compared with 10,984,352 cwts., and value £2,496,763 in 1899.
An unusual feature in the trade was
the large amount of goods both foreign and native re-exported.
The former amounted in value to £68,077, and the latter to £39,068. During the September quarter, when matters were at their worst, there was
more business done in reexports than in imports, the native merchants hastening to put as much of their property as possible out of harm's way.
The figures for shipping do not show as much falling-off as those for trade. In addition to the ships included in the return there were a good many vessels which arrived as transports for Russian troops and stores. The British total was augmented by several ships formerly under the Chinese flag, which were transferred to British ownerships on the outbreak of hostilities.
The native passenger returns show 29,862 brought into the port and 66,995 taken away from the port by foreign: ships. The bulk of these men were from or going to Chefoo. There was naturally an exodus of railway coolies when work ceased, and this port was glad to see the departure of the few thousand employed on the Chinese railway, for they were a menace to the peace of the place as soon as their work and wages were stopped.
Progress of Chinese Railway.-When operations were suspended in the middle of June, the Chinese railway was running daily trains from here to Shanhai. kwan. The earthworks on the Sinminting extension were nearing that town. The line was not much damaged by the Boxers. In fact, trains were kept running by the Chinese between Shanhaikwan and Chin Chou all through the trouble, and the Russians on working their way along the line in October found it in good order. Between Chin Chou and New. chwang two large temporary bridges had gone, and a short portion of the line had been torn up, but it is expected now (April, 1901) that the Russians will soon be able to run trains through to this port.
Progress of Russo-Chinese Railway. --The Russo-Chinese line was running trains from Port Arthur to Tich Ling, some 40 miles north of Moukden. This line was more damaged but more quickly repaired for military purposes. It is being rapidly pushed forward. Construction trains can now go to Kai Yuan, 25 miles north of Tich Ling. Work is also going on from Harbin, near Hulan on the Sungari River, and the two ends will meet this summer. From Harbin there is already connection for construction purposes with Vladivostock. The distance in a straight line from Newchwang to Harbin is about 500 miles, and from Harbin to Vladivostock about 400 miles. The railway line is of course much longer.
There was happily no reappearance in 1900 of the bubonic plague described in