America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat
Chapter 12. American versus Chinese Civilization (Continued)
The question has often been asked "Which are the civilized nations?"
And the answer has been, "All Europe and America." To the query,
"What about the nations in the East?" the answer has been made
that with the exception of Japan, who has now become a great civilized power,
the other nations are more or less civilized. When the matter
is further pressed and it is asked, "What about China?" the general reply is,
"She is semi-civilized," or in other words, not so civilized
as the nations in the West.
Before pronouncing such an opinion justifiable, let us consider
the plain facts. I take it that civilization inculcates culture,
refinement, humane conduct, fair dealing and just treatment.
Amiel says, "Civilization is first and foremost a moral thing."
There is no doubt that the human race, especially in the West,
has improved wonderfully within the last century. Many inventions
and discoveries have been made, and men are now able to enjoy comforts
which could not have been obtained before.
From a material point of view we have certainly progressed,
but do the "civilized" people in the West live longer
than the so-called semi-civilized races? Have they succeeded
in prolonging their lives? Are they happier than others?
I should like to hear their answers. Is it not a fact
that Americans are more liable to catch cold than Asiatics;
with the least change of air, and with the slightest appearance of an epidemic
are they not more easily infected than Asiatics? If so, why?
With their genius for invention why have they not discovered means
to safeguard themselves so that they can live longer on this earth?
Again, can Americans say that they are happier than the Chinese?
From personal observation I have formed the opinion that the Chinese
are more contented than Americans, and on the whole happier;
and certainly one meets more old people in China than in America.
Since the United States of America is rich, well governed,
and provided with more material comforts than China,
Americans, one would think, should be happier than we are, but are they?
Are there not many in their midst who are friendless and penurious?
In China no man is without friends, or if he is, it is his own fault.
"Virtue is never friendless," said Confucius, and, as society is constituted
in China, this is literally true. If this is not so in America
I fear there is something wrong with that boasted civilization,
and that their material triumphs over the physical forces of nature have been
paid dearly for by a loss of insight into her profound spiritualities.
Perhaps some will understand when I quote Lao Tsze's address to Confucius
on "Simplicity". "The chaff from winnowing will blind a man.
Mosquitoes will bite a man and keep him awake all night, and so it is
with all the talk of yours about charity and duty to one's neighbor,
it drives one crazy. Sir, strive to keep the world in its original simplicity
-- why so much fuss? The wind blows as it listeth,
so let virtue establish itself. The swan is white without a daily bath,
and the raven is black without dyeing itself. When the pond is dry
and the fishes are gasping for breath it is of no use to moisten them
with a little water or a little sprinkling. Compared to their original
and simple condition in the pond and the rivers it is nothing."
Henry Ward Beecher says, "Wealth may not produce civilization,
but civilization produces money," and in my opinion while wealth may be used
to promote happiness and health it as often injures both.
Happiness is the product of liberality, intelligence and service to others,
and the reflex of happiness is health. My contention is that the people who
possess these good qualities in the greatest degree are the most civilized.
Now civilization, as mentioned in the previous chapter,
was born in the East and travelled westward. The law of nature is spiral,
and inasmuch as Eastern civilization taught the people of the West,
so Western civilization, which is based upon principles native to the East,
will return to its original source. No nation can now remain
shut up within itself without intercourse with other nations;
the East and the West can no longer exist separate and apart.
The new facilities for transportation and travel by land and water
bring all nations, European, American, Asiatic and African,
next door to each other, and when the art of aviation is more advanced
and people travel in the air as safely as they now cross oceans,
the relationships of nations will become still closer.
What effect will this have on mankind? The first effect will be,
I should say, greater stability. As interests become common,
destructive combats will vanish. All alike will be interested in peace.
It is a gratifying sign that within recent years the people of America
have taken a prominent part in peace movements, and have inaugurated
peace congresses, the members of which represent different sections
of the country. Annual gatherings of this order must do much to prevent war
and to perpetuate peace, by turning people's thoughts in the right direction.
Take, for instance, the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration,
which was started by a private gentleman, Mr. A. K. Smiley,
who was wont every year to invite prominent officials and others
to his beautiful summer place at Lake Mohonk for a conference.
He has passed away, to the regret of his many friends,
but the good movement still continues, and the nineteenth annual conference
was held under the auspices of his brother, Mr. Daniel Smiley.
Among those present, there were not only eminent Americans,
such as Dr. C. W. Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University,
Ex-American Ambassador C. Tower, Dr. J. Taylor, President of Vassar College,
and Dr. Lyman Abbott, but distinguished foreigners such as J. A. Baker, M.P.,
of England, Herr Heinrich York Steiner, of Vienna, and many others.
Among the large number of people who support this kind of movement,
and the number is increasing every day, the name of Mr. Andrew Carnegie
stands out very prominently. This benevolent gentleman is a most vigorous
advocate of International Peace, and has spent most of his time and money
for that purpose. He has given ten million dollars (gold)
for the purpose of establishing the Carnegie Peace Fund; the first paragraph
in his long letter to the trustees is worthy of reproduction,
as it expresses his strong convictions:
"I have transferred to you," he says, "as Trustees of the Carnegie Peace Fund,
ten million dollars of five per cent. mortgage bonds, the revenue of which
is to be administered by you to hasten the abolition of international war,
the foulest blot upon our civilization. Although we no longer
eat our fellowmen nor torture our prisoners, nor sack cities,
killing their inhabitants, we still kill each other in war like barbarians.
Only wild beasts are excusable for doing that in this the Twentieth Century
of the Christian era, for the crime of war is inherent,
since it decides not in favor of the right, but always of the strong.
The nation is criminal which refuses arbitration and drives its adversary
to a tribunal which knows nothing of righteous judgment."
I am glad to say that I am familiar with many American magazines and journals
which are regularly published to advocate peace, and I have no doubt
that in every country similar movements are stirring,
for the nations are beginning to realize the disastrous effects of war.
If I am not mistaken, however, Americans are the most active in this matter.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, whose members belong
to nearly every nation, is a significant index of the spirit of the times.
Yet what an irony of fate that while people are so active
in perpetuating peace they cannot preserve it. Look at the recent wars
in Europe, first between Italy and Turkey, and afterward in the Balkans,
to say nothing of disturbances in China and other parts of the world.
It is just like warning a child not to take poison and then allowing him
to swallow it and die. Sensible men should consider this question
calmly and seriously. We all agree as to the wickedness of war
and yet we war with one another; we do not like war yet we cannot help war.
There is surely some hidden defect in the way we have been brought up.
Is not the slogan of nationality, to a great extent, the root of the evil?
Every schoolboy and schoolgirl is taught the duty of devotion,
or strong attachment, to his or her own country, and every statesman
or public man preaches the doctrine of loyalty to one's native land;
while the man who dares to render service to another country,
the interests of which are opposed to the interests of his own land,
is denounced a traitor. In such cases the individual is never allowed
an opinion as to the right or wrong of the dispute. He is expected
to support his own country and to cry at all times, "Our country,
right or wrong." A politician's best chance to secure votes
is to gloss over the faults of his own party or nation,
to dilate on the wickedness of his neighbors and to exhort his compatriots
to be loyal to their national flag. Can it be wondered at
that men who are imbued with such doctrines become selfish and narrow-minded
and are easily involved in quarrels with other nations?
Patriotism is, of course, the national life. Twenty-four centuries ago,
speaking in the Greek Colony of Naxos, Pythagoras described this emotion
in the following eloquent passage: "Listen, my children, to what the State
should be to the good citizen. It is more than father or mother,
it is more than husband or wife, it is more than child or friend.
The State is the father and mother of all, is the wife of the husband
and the husband of the wife. The family is good, and good is the joy
of the man in wife and in son. But greater is the State, which is
the protector of all, without which the home would be ravaged and destroyed.
Dear to the good man is the honor of the woman who bore him,
dear the honor of the wife whose children cling to his knees;
but dearer should be the honor of the State that keeps safe
the wife and the child. It is the State from which comes all
that makes your life prosperous, and gives you beauty and safety.
Within the State are built up the arts, which make the difference
between the barbarian and the man. If the brave man dies gladly
for the hearthstone, far more gladly should he die for the State."
But only when the State seeks the good of the governed,
for said Pythagoras on another occasion: "Organized society exists for
the happiness and welfare of its members; and where it fails to secure these
it stands ipso facto condemned."
But to-day should the State be at war with another,
and any citizen or section of citizens believe their own country wrong
and the opposing nation wronged, they dare not say so,
or if they do they run great risk of being punished for treason.
Men and women though no longer bought and sold in the market place
are subjected to subtler forms of serfdom. In most European countries
they are obliged to fight whether they will or not, and irrespective
of their private convictions about the dispute; even though, as is the case
in some European countries, they may be citizens from compulsion
rather than choice, they are not free to abstain from active participation
in the quarrel. Chinese rebellions are said to "live on loot",
i.e., on the forcible confiscation of private property, but is that worse
than winning battles on the forcible deprivation of personal liberty?
This is nationalism gone mad! It fosters the desire for territory grabbing
and illustrates a fundamental difference between the Orient and the Occident.
With us government is based on the consent of the governed
in a way that the Westerner can hardly understand, for his passion to expand
is chronic. Small nations which are over-populated want territory
for their surplus population; great nations desire territory to extend
their trade, and when there are several great powers to divide the spoil
they distribute it among themselves and call it "spheres of influence",
and all in honor of the god Commerce. In China the fundamentals
of our social system are brotherhood and the dignity of labor.
What, I ask, is the advantage of adding to national territory?
Let us examine the question calmly. If a town or a province is seized
the conqueror has to keep a large army to maintain peace and order,
and unless the people are well disposed to the new authority
there will be constant trouble and friction. All this, I may say, in passing,
is opposed to our Confucian code which bases everything on reason
and abhors violence. We would rather argue with a mob and find out,
if possible, its point of view, than fire on it. We have yet to be convinced
that good results flow from the use of the sword and the cannon.
Western nations know no other compulsion.
If, however, the acquisition of new territory arises from a desire
to develop the country and to introduce the most modern and improved
systems of government, without ulterior intentions, then it is beyond praise,
but I fear that such disinterested actions are rare.
The nearest approach to such high principle is the purchase
of the Philippine Islands by the United States. I call it "purchase"
because the United States Government paid a good price for the Islands
after having seized the territory. The intentions of the Government
were well known at the time. Since her acquisition of those Islands,
America has been doing her best to develop their resources
and expand their trade. Administrative and judicial reforms
have been introduced, liberal education has been given to the natives,
who are being trained for self-government. It has been repeatedly
and authoritatively declared by the United States that as soon as
they are competent to govern themselves without danger of disturbances,
and are able to establish a stable government, America will grant
independence to those islands. I believe that when the proper time comes
she will fulfill her word, and thus set a noble example to the world.
The British in Hongkong afford an illustration of a different order,
proving the truth of my contention that, excepting as a sphere
for the exercise of altruism, the acquisition of new territories
is an illusive gain. When Hongkong was ceded to Great Britain
at the conclusion of a war in which China was defeated,
it was a bare island containing only a few fishermen's huts.
In order to make it a trading port and encourage people to live there,
the British Government spent large sums of money year after year
for its improvement and development, and through the wise administration
of the local Government every facility was afforded for free trade.
It is now a prosperous British colony with a population of nearly
half a million. But what have been the advantages to Great Britain?
Financially she has been a great loser, for the Island which she received
at the close of her war with China was for many years a great drain
on her national treasury. Now Hongkong is a self-supporting colony,
but what benefits do the British enjoy there that do not belong
to everyone else? The colony is open to all foreigners, and every right
which a British merchant has is equally shared with everyone else.
According to the census of 1911, out of a population of 456,739
only 12,075 were non-Chinese, of whom a small portion were British;
the rest were Chinese. Thus the prosperity of that colony
depends upon the Chinese who, it is needless to say, are in possession
of all the privileges that are enjoyed by British residents.
It should be noticed that the number of foreign firms and stores
(i.e., non-British) have been and are increasing, while big British hongs
are less numerous than before. Financially, the British people
have certainly not been gainers by the acquisition of that colony.
Of course I shall be told that it adds to the prestige of Great Britain,
but this is an empty, bumptious boast dearly paid for
by the British tax-payer.
From an economic and moral point of view, however, I must admit
that a great deal of good has been done by the British Government in Hongkong.
It has provided the Chinese with an actual working model
of a Western system of government which, notwithstanding many difficulties,
has succeeded in transforming a barren island into a prosperous town,
which is now the largest shipping port in China. The impartial
administration of law and the humane treatment of criminals
cannot but excite admiration and gain the confidence of the natives.
If the British Government, in acquiring the desert island, had for its purpose
the instruction of the natives in a modern system of government,
she is to be sincerely congratulated, but it is feared that her motives
were less altruistic.
These remarks apply equally, if not with greater force, to the other colonies
or possessions in China under the control of European Powers,
as well as to the other colonies of the British Empire, such as Australia,
New Zealand, Canada, and others which are called "self-governing dominions".
The Imperial Government feels very tender toward these colonists,
and practically they are allowed to manage their affairs as they like.
Since they are so generously treated and enjoy the protection
of so great a power, there is no fear that these self-governing dominions
will ever become independent of their mother country; but if they ever
should do so, it is most improbable that she would declare war against them,
as the British people have grown wiser since their experience with
the American colonists. British statesmen have been awakened to the necessity
of winning the good-will of their colonists, and within recent years
have adopted the policy of inviting the Colonial premiers to London
to discuss questions affecting Imperial and Colonial interests.
Imperial federation seems to be growing popular with the British
and it is probable that in the future England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland
will each have its own parliament, with an Imperial Parliament,
sitting at Westminster, containing representatives from all parts
of the British Empire, but America is the only nation
which has added to her responsibilities with the avowed purpose
of making semi-civilized tribes independent, self-governing colonies,
and America is almost the only great power that has never occupied
or held territory in China.
Let me ask again what is the object of nations seeking new possessions?
Is it for the purpose of trade? If so, the object can be obtained
without acquiring territory. In these days of enlightenment
anyone can go to any country and trade without restriction,
and in the British colonies the alien is in the same position as the native.
He is not hampered by "permits" or other "red-tape" methods. Is it for
the purpose of emigration? In Europe, America and all the British colonies,
so far as I know, white people, unless they are paupers or undesirables,
can emigrate to any country and after a short period become naturalized.
Some statesmen would say that it is necessary for a great power
to have naval bases or coaling stations in several parts of the world.
This presupposes preparations for war; but if international peace
were maintained, such possessions would be useless and the money
spent on them wasted. In any case it is unproductive expenditure.
It is the fashion for politicians (and I am sorry to find them supported
by eminent statesmen) to preach the doctrine of armaments; they allege
that in order to preserve peace it is necessary to be prepared for war,
that a nation with a large army or navy commands respect,
and that her word carries weight. This argument cuts both ways,
for a nation occupying such a commanding position may be unreasonable
and a terror to weaker nations. If this high-toned doctrine continues
where will it end? We shall soon see every nation arming to the teeth
for the sake of her national honor and safety, and draining her treasury
for the purpose of building dreadnaughts and providing armaments.
When such a state of things exists can international peace be perpetuated?
Will not occasion be found to test those war implements and to utilize
the naval and military men? When you purchase a knife don't you expect
to use it? Mr. Lloyd George, the English Chancellor of the Exchequer,
in a speech in which he lamented the ever-increasing but unnecessary
expenditure on armaments, said in Parliament: "I feel confident
that it will end in a great disaster -- I won't say to this country,
though it is just possible that it may end in a disaster here."
A man with a revolver sometimes invites attack, lest what was at first
intended only for a defense should become a menace.
When discussing the craze of the Western nations for adding to
their territories I said that white people can emigrate to any foreign country
that they please, but it is not so with the yellow race. It has been
asserted with authority that some countries are reserved exclusively
for the white races, and with this object in view laws have been enacted
prohibiting the natives of Asia from becoming naturalized citizens,
besides imposing very strict and almost prohibitory regulations
regarding their admission. Those who support such a policy hold that they,
the white people, are superior to the yellow people in intellect,
in education, in taste, and in habits, and that the yellow people
are unworthy to associate with them. Yet in China we have manners,
we have arts, we have morals, and we have managed a fairly large society
for thousands of years without the bitter class hatreds, class divisions,
and class struggles that have marred the fair progress of the West.
We have not enslaved our lives to wealth. We like luxury but we like
other things better. We love life more than chasing imitations of life.
Our differences of color, like our differences of speech, are accidental,
they are due to climatic and other influences. We came originally
from one stock. We all started evenly, Heaven has no favorites.
Man alone has made differences between man and man, and the yellow man
is no whit inferior to the white people in intelligence.
During the Russo-Japan War was it not the yellow race that displayed
the superior intelligence? I am sometimes almost tempted to say
that Asia will have to civilize the West over again.
I am not bitter or sarcastic, but I do contend that there are yet many things
that the white races have to learn from their colored brethren.
In India, in China, and in Japan there are institutions which have a stability
unknown outside Asia. Religion has apparently little influence
on Western civilization; it is the corner-stone of society
in all Asiatic civilizations. The result is that the colored races
place morality in the place assigned by their more practical white confreres
to economic propositions. We think, as we contemplate the West,
that white people do not understand comfort because they have no leisure
to enjoy contentment; THEY measure life by accumulation, WE by morality.
Family ties are stronger with the so-called colored races
than they are among the more irresponsible white races;
consequently the social sense is keener among the former
and much individual suffering is avoided. We have our vices,
but these are not peculiar to US; and, at least, we have the merit
of being easily governed. Wherever there are Chinese colonies
the general verdict is: "The Chinese make good citizens."
This is what the late Sir Robert Hart, to whom China owes
her Customs organization, said about us:
"They (the Chinese) are well-behaved, law-abiding, intelligent,
economical, and industrious; they can learn anything and do anything;
they are punctiliously polite, they worship talent,
and they believe in right so firmly that they scorn to think
it requires to be supported or enforced by might; they delight in literature,
and everywhere they have their literary clubs and coteries
for learning and discussing each other's essays and verses;
they possess and practise an admirable system of ethics,
and they are generous, charitable, and fond of good work;
they never forget a favor, they make rich return for any kindness,
and though they know money will buy service, a man must be more than wealthy
to win esteem and respect; they are practical, teachable,
and wonderfully gifted with common sense; they are excellent artisans,
reliable workmen, and of a good faith that everyone acknowledges and admires
in their commercial dealings; in no country that is or was,
has the commandment `Honor thy father and thy mother',
been so religiously obeyed, or so fully and without exception given effect to,
and it is in fact the keynote of their family, social,
official and national life, and because it is so their days are long
in the land God has given them."
The cry of "America for the Americans" or "Australia for the Australians"
is most illogical, for those people were not the original owners of the soil;
with far greater reason we in the far East might shout,
"China for the Chinese", "Japan for the Japanese". I will quote
Mr. T. S. Sutton, English Secretary of the Chinese-American League of Justice,
on this point. "The most asinine whine in the world," he says,
"is that of `America for the Americans' or `China for the Chinese', etc.
It is the hissing slogan of greed, fear, envy, selfishness,
ignorance and prejudice. No man, no human being who calls himself a man,
no Christian, no sane or reasonable person, should or could ever be guilty
of uttering that despicable wail. God made the world for all men,
and if God has any preference, if God is any respecter of persons,
He must surely favor the Chinese, for He has made more of them
than of any other people on the globe. `America for the aboriginal Indians'
was once the cry. Then when the English came over it changed
to `America for the English', later `America for the Puritans',
and around New Orleans they cried `America for the French'. In Pennsylvania
the slogan was `America for the Dutch', etc., but the truth remains
that God has set aside America as `the melting pot' of the world,
the land to which all people may come, and from which there has arisen,
and will continue to rise, a great mixed race, a cosmopolitan nation that may,
if it is not misled by prejudice and ignorance, yet lead the world."
Although Mr. Sutton's phraseology is somewhat strong,
his arguments are sound and unanswerable.
I now pass to some less controversial aspects of my theme,
and note a praiseworthy custom that is practically unknown in the Far East.
I refer to the habit of international marriages which are not only common
in cosmopolitan America but are of daily occurrence in Europe also,
among ordinary people as well as the royal families of Europe,
so that nearly all the European courts are related one to the other.
This is a good omen for a permanent world-peace. There have been
some marriages of Asiatics with Europeans and Americans,
and they should be encouraged. Everything that brings
the East and West together and helps each to understand the other better,
is good. The offspring from such mixed unions inherit the good points
of both sides. The head master of the Queen's College in Hongkong,
where there are hundreds of boys of different nationalities studying together,
once told me that formerly at the yearly examination
the prizes were nearly all won by the Chinese students,
but that in later years when Eurasian boys were admitted,
they beat the Chinese and all the others, and generally came out the best.
Not only in school but in business also they have turned out well.
It is well known that the richest man in Hongkong is a Eurasian.
It is said that the father of Aguinaldo, the well-known Philippine leader,
was a Chinese. There is no doubt that mixed marriages of the white
with the yellow races will be productive of good to both sides.
But do Chinese really make good husbands? my lady friends ask.
I will cite the case of an American lady. Some years ago
a Chinese called on me at my Legation in Washington accompanied by
an American lady and a girl. The lady was introduced to me as his wife
and the girl as his daughter; I naturally supposed that the lady
was the girl's mother, but she told me that the girl was the daughter
of her late intimate friend, and that after her death, knowing that
the child's father had been a good and affectionate husband to her friend,
she had gladly become his second wife, and adopted his daughter.
Those who believe in reincarnation (and I hope most of my readers do,
as it is a clue to many mysteries) understand that when people
are reincarnated they are not always born in the same country or continent
as that in which they lived in their previous life. I have an impression
that in one of my former existences I was born and brought up
in the United States. In saying this I do not express the slightest regrets
at having now been born in Asia. I only wish to give a hint
to those white people who advocate an exclusive policy
that in their next life they may be born in Asia or Africa,
and that the injury they are now inflicting on the yellow people
they may themselves have to suffer in another life.
While admitting that we Chinese have our faults and that in some matters
we have much to learn, especially from the Americans, we at least possess
one moral quality, magnanimity, while the primal virtues of industry, economy,
obedience, and love of peace, combined with a "moderation in all things",
are also common among us. Our people have frequently
been slighted or ill-treated but we entertain no revengeful spirit,
and are willing to forget. We believe that in the end
right will conquer might. Innumerable as have been the disputes
between Chinese and foreigners it can at least be said,
without going into details, that we have not, in the first instance,
been the aggressors. Let me supply a local illustration showing how
our faults are always exaggerated. Western people are fond of horse-racing.
In Shanghai they have secured from the Chinese a large piece of ground
where they hold race meetings twice a year, but no Chinese are allowed
on the grand-stand during the race days. They are provided with
a separate entrance, and a separate enclosure, as though they were
the victims of some infectious disease. I have been told that a few years ago
a Chinese gentleman took some Chinese ladies into the grand-stand
and that they misbehaved; hence this discriminatory treatment of Chinese.
It is proper that steps should be taken to preserve order and decency
in public places, but is it fair to interdict the people of a nation
on account of the misconduct of two or three? Suppose it had been Germans
who had misbehaved themselves (which is not likely), would the race club
have dared to exclude Germans from sharing with other nations
the pleasures of the races?
In contrast with this, let us see what the Chinese have done.
Having learned the game of horse-racing from the foreigners in China,
and not being allowed to participate, they have formed their own race club,
and, with intention, have called it the "International Recreation Club".
This Club has purchased a large tract of land at Kiangwan,
about five miles from Shanghai, and has turned it into a race-course,
considerably larger than that in Shanghai. When a race meeting is held there,
IT IS OPEN TO FOREIGNERS AS WELL AS CHINESE, in fact complimentary tickets
have even been sent to the members of the foreign race club inviting
their attendance. Half of the members of the race committee are foreigners;
while foreigners and Chinese act jointly as stewards and judges;
the ponies that run are owned by foreigners as well as by Chinese,
and Chinese jockeys compete with foreign jockeys in all the events.
A most pleasing feature of these races is the very manifest
cordial good feeling which prevails throughout the races there.
The Chinese have been dubbed "semi-civilized and heathenish",
but the "International Recreation Club" and the Kiangwan race-course
display an absence of any desire to retaliate and sentiments of
international friendship such as it would, perhaps, be difficult to parallel.
Should such people be denied admission into Australia, Canada,
or the United States? Would not the exclusionists in those countries
profit by association with them?
The immigration laws in force in Australia are, I am informed,
even more strict and more severe than those in the United States.
They amount to almost total prohibition; for they are directed
not only against Chinese laborers but are so operated
that the Chinese merchant and student are also practically refused admission.
In the course of a lecture delivered in England by Mrs. Annie Besant in 1912
on "The citizenship of colored races in the British Empire",
while condemning the race prejudices of her own people, she brought out a fact
which will be interesting to my readers, especially to the Australians.
She says, "In Australia a very curious change is taking place.
Color has very much deepened in that clime, and the Australian has become
very yellow; so that it becomes a problem whether, after a time,
the people would be allowed to live in their own country.
The white people are far more colored than are some Indians."
In the face of this plain fact is it not time, for their own sake,
that the Australians should drop their cry against yellow people
and induce their Parliament to abolish, or at least to modify,
their immigration laws with regard to the yellow race?
Australians are anxious to extend their trade, and they have sent
commercial commissioners to Japan and other Eastern countries
with the view to developing and expanding commerce. Mr. J. B. Suttor,
Special Commissioner of New South Wales, has published
the following advertisement:
"NEW SOUTH WALES. The Land of Reward for Capital Commerce and Industry.
Specially subsidized steamers now giving direct service between Sydney,
THE PREMIER COMMERCIAL CENTER OF AUSTRALIA, AND SHANGHAI.
Thus offering special facilities for Commerce and Tourists.
NEW SOUTH WALES PRODUCTS ARE STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE."
Commerce and friendship go together, but how Australians
can expect to develop trade in a country whose people are not allowed
to come to visit her shores even for the purposes of trade,
passes my comprehension. Perhaps, having heard so much
of the forgiving and magnanimous spirit of the Chinese,
Australians expect the Chinese to greet them with smiles
and to trade with them, while being kicked in return.
I believe in the doctrine of the universal brotherhood of men.
It is contrary to the law (God) of creation that some people
should shut out other people from portions of the earth solely from motives
of selfishness and jealousy; the injury caused by such selfish acts
will sooner or later react on the doers. "Every man is his own ancestor.
We are preparing for the days that come, and we are what we are to-day
on account of what has gone before." The dog-in-the-manger policy
develops doggish instincts in those who practise it; and, after all,
civilization without kindness and justice is not worth having.
In conclusion, I will let the English poet, William Wordsworth,
state "Nature's case".
Listen to these noble lines from the ninth canto of his "Excursion".
"Alas! what differs more than man from man,
And whence that difference? Whence but from himself?
For see the universal Race endowed
With the same upright form. The sun is fixed
And the infinite magnificence of heaven
Fixed, within reach of every human eye;
The sleepless ocean murmurs for all years;
The vernal field infuses fresh delight
Into all hearts. Throughout the world of sense,
Even as an object is sublime or fair,
That object is laid open to the view
Without reserve or veil; and as a power
Is salutary, or an influence sweet,
Are each and all enabled to perceive
That power, that influence, by impartial law,
Gifts nobler are vouchsafed alike to all;
Reason, and, with that reason, smiles and tears;
Imagination, freedom in the will;
Conscience to guide and check; and death to be
Foretasted, immortality conceived
By all -- a blissful immortality,
To them whose holiness on earth shall make
The Spirit capable of heaven, assured.
..............................The smoke ascends
To Heaven as lightly from the cottage hearth
As from the haughtiest palace. He whose soul
Ponders this true equality, may walk
The fields of earth with gratitude and hope;
Yet, in that meditation, will he find
Motive to sadder grief, as we have found;
Lamenting ancient virtues overthrown,
And for the injustice grieving, that hath made
So wide a difference between man and man."
Chapter 11 Chapter 13
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