The French strangle-hold on Yunnan;

Material Information

The French strangle-hold on Yunnan; a first-hand survey
Burton, Wilbur
Place of Publication:
China Weekly Review
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
44 p. : ; 27 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Foreign relations -- China -- France ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- France -- China ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- Yunnan Province (China) -- France ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- China -- Yunnan
亚洲 -- 中国 -- 云南
亞洲 -- 中國 -- 雲南
25 x 101.5


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Reprinted from The China weekly review.

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SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
503840 ( aleph )
OCM11684497 ( oclc )
CCY.951 /102522 ( soas classmark )


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Full Text
A First-Hand Survey
By Wilbur Burton
Published by the

The above map shows the broad scene of a significant struggle directly involving France,
Great Britain, and China, but which also affects the United States and Japan. Yunnan, or at least
the greater part of it, has already been made virtually a part of French Indo-China, but the French
have shown no objection to the capture of Chungtien by Tibetan puppets of Great Britain. The
map also shows Tachienlu (or Tatsienlu) which is the probable objective of the British in the con-
stant Tibetan invasion into Szechwan. Likewise the map shows the entire French sphere of in-
fluence in southern and southwestern China, including the French railway from Haiphong to Yunnanfu and the recently annexed Coral Islands. Aside from Tibet, England is involved in Kwangtung, through the position of Hongkong, which will inevitably feel the repercussion of events in
Yunnan and Kwangsi. American interests are also important in Kwangtung, and the Sino-Ame-
rican China National Aviation Corporation has started an air route from Shanghai to Canton,
which is probably intended to extend eventually to the Philippine Islands, across Fukien where
Japan claims special rights and which is opposite the Japanese Island of Formosa (Taiwan).

The remote and little known Chinese province of Yunnan has attracted consider-
able interest since 1931 because of constant rumors that France planned to annex
it in some fashion similar to the seizure of Manchuria by the Japanese. Few facts
were available to confirm or deny these rumors since the French, unlike the Japa-
nese, have always been able to keep their imperialistic moves in the Far East
largely secret. So the China Weekly Review sent Wilbur Burton, a well known
American journalist and special correspondent for the Baltimore Sun in the Orient,
to Indo-China and Yunnan to ascertain the facts of the situation.
Mr. Burtons report, consisting of six articles, appeared serially in the China
Weekly Review commencing September 2, 1933. A subsequent article on later
developments appeared in the China Weekly Review on October 28. These articles
aroused much attention not only in China, but in diplomatic circles all over the
world. Official translations have been made for the benefit of Chinese officials in
Nanking, and there have been extensive translations in the Chinese press while
summaries have been sent to newspapers in many parts of the world.
In view, therefore, of the widespread interest in the articles, and particularly
ecause they constitute the first comprehensive survey of French enterprise in Yunnan that has ever been published, it has been deemed of value to revise and
reprint them in convenient booklet form. At the time of this reprint there has been
no substantial change in the situation outlined, but a detailed background of all future
developments is herewith presented for both reading and reference.
Shanghai, China, November 20, 1933.

The province of Yunnan has always been isolated from the rest of China. To-
day, politically as well as economically, it is virtually a part of French Indo-China.
Recently the impression has gained ground in certain Chinese circles that actual
annexation of Yunnan by France was imminent. I have found no evidence to con-
firm this view; whether or not France ever forthrightly occupies the province depends,
I think, upon many factors, some of which are beyond the control of the Quai
dOrsay,including the situation in Tibet,that I shall discuss in some detail in
my concluding chapter. But regardless of whether France ever decides to raise the
tricolor over the crumbling walls of Yunnanfu, she has a strangle-hold on the province
that is growing more unbreakable each year, and which, as I shall show subsequently,
makes her imperialistic influence in China far more potent than most observers
probably suspect. And that France is by no means content with her existing
Oriental empire is clearly indicated by her seizure of the Coral Islands while I was
investigating the situation in Yunnan.
The French grip on Yunnan is possible through one of the most amazing com-
binations of simplicity and duplicity that can be found in the modern world. The
only practical way to enter Yunnan is by the French railway that runs from Hai-
phong to Yunnanfu via Hanoi and Laokay in Tonkin, French Indo-China. This rail-
way could be a strictly commercial enterprise without any political significance; in
French hands it is a far more powerful instrument of imperialism than the Japanese
South Manchuria Railway ever was.
For, practically speaking, no person and no thing can enter Yunnan Province
without French permission,and without paying whatever toll may be demanded
by the French authorities in Hanoi.
Consequently, not only the trade of the province is inevitably dominated by the
French, but any Yunnan government is at the mercy of Paris, for arms can be
obtained only from French sources and the French are always in a position to outfit
any rival of the government they wish.
In the course of this survey I shall present many specific examples of these
facts in practice; at the moment I shall only cite that a formal permit of the French
Consul in Yunnanfu is required to import not only arms and munitions in to Yunnan,
but anything that could conceivably be used to manufacture munitions. Thus the
English hospital in Yunnanfu has to get a permit to obtain acids that are used for
healing the sick, but which might be employed in making explosives! And, since
shipment must he made through Tonkin first, the Chinese Customs cannot give
their permission for the imports until the French Consul acts. Nor is the hospital
entrusted with any blanket permit; each shipment requires a special O.K.
Of course, it is possible to get into Yunnan without going through Tonkin. It
is also possible to go to the North Pole. The two things are not quite in the same
class, but it requires 23 days by caravan to go to Yunnanfu from Nanning, Kwangsi,
which is connected with Canton by the West River, while it requires less than a
week by boat and train to travel from Canton to Yunnanfu via Haiphong. And
caravan travel is highly expensive. It is also possible to reach Yunnanfu from
Chungking by about a week aboard a small boat on the Yangtsze River to Suifu
and thence by caravan that requires 21 days to the Yunnan capital.
[ 1 3

What this latter route means in practice is admirably illustrated by a radio
receiving set I saw in the office of Siemens, the great German firm, in Yunnanfu.
First it must be explained that the French will not allow any radio (expect for their
own official use) to be imported through Tonkin into Yunnan. The explanation is
that radios are war material. (One exception must be noted; the Chinese Govern-
ment was allowed to erect its commercial radio station in Yunnanfu without inter-
ference, but perhaps under certain secret conditions.)
But to continue with the Simens set; a customer desired a radio, and a permit
from Nanking for its importation was obtained. The meant nothing, however, to
the French officials. So the radio set was shipped by the Yangtsze to Suifu via
Chungking and thence by caravan to Yunnanfu. The set cost $400 in Shanghai,
but in Yunnanfu it cost $800 due to the freight charges! Had it been shipped via
Haiphong (in which case it would have been obtained from the Hongkong office of
Siemens) the transportation charges, including the probable Tonkin transit tax (of
which more anon), would most likely not have been more than $100 in Shanghai
Further, the shipment via Chungking and Suifu required six months. # Here,
however, there was no appreciable difference than if it been shipped via Haiphong,
for German goods invariably require about six months to reach Yunnanfu from
Haiphong. British and American goods take a little less time, while French goods
travel toute de suite,which means in this case only about a week or ten days. In
a later chapter I shall deal with this phase of the situation in greater detail, for it
is a major factor in the French economic domination of Yunnan.
The French economic domination of the province is shown by the fact that
American trade is less than 20 per cent of the total, British trade about 15 per
cent, and other non-French foreign trade (chiefly German and some Japanese that
comes in under Chinese auspices) amounts to but 5 per cent. All the rest of the
trademore than 60 per centis in French hands. The total trade of the province,
however, is not large since the bulk of the Chinese and aboriginal residents are even
poorer than in most other areas of China. The average annual income of a family
of five in Yunnan is estimated at about Shanghai $400 and the annual purchasing
power per capita for foreign imports is not more than Shanghai $1.20. In 1930,
according to American consular reports, the value of the whole foreign trade of the
province was approximately U.S. $20,556,194, while in 1932 it was only U.S. $4,582,921.
(These figures are roughly on the basis of 34 American cents to one customs tael,
the tael being used by the customs up to the end of last year.)
Still further evidence of the French economic position is presented by the fact
that there is only one non-French foreign business man in the province excepting
a few Greeks who operate under French auspices. The one non-French foreign
business man is the German agent of Siemens who, however, has half his salary
paid by the Yao Lung Electric Light Company, of which he is the technical advisor.
Otherwise he would not be there.
There are, of course, a few non-French foreign business firms operating. The
Standard Oil Company of New York holds forth with a Chinese manager. There
is also an agency of the Texas Oil Company with a Chinese Manager. There is a
branch of the British-American Tobacco Company, also with a Chinese manager.
The Asiatic Petroleum Company branch is French incorporated as the Franco-Asiatique Petroleum Companywhich means that France derives a profit from its oper-
ations. A little road-building in the province is encouraging motor sales, but the
only non-French company which is planning to enter the field is Ford,the French
incorporated Ford Company, however, which will mean that France will exact a toll
from its sales. There are now about 70 motor vehicles in the province, some of
which are American, but most of which are French.
[ 2 ]

The Principal French Firms.
The principal 100 per cent French firms are the all powerful Compagne Francaise
des Chemins de Fer de lIndochine et du Yunnan (which operates the railway from
Haiphong to Yunnanfu), Descours et Caboud (which deals in metals and machinery),
and Subira and Optorg (which are import and export firms). Except for the tin
company, there are no large Chinese firms, although there are many small firms
such as the electric light and telephone companies. Prior to the Japanese invasion
of Manchuria, there was a fair amount of Japanese business, including two Japanese
stores. These stores were destroyed by students shortly after the Japanese seizure
of Mukden and all except one of the Japanese residents of Yunnanabout 20, in-
cluding the Japanese consulleft the province. The one exception was the Japanese
wife of a Greek hotel-keeper. None of the Japanese have returned and about the
only Japanese goods now entering Yunnan are imported as Chinese goods.
What French control of the door to Yunnan means in entry of a person into
the province may be adequately indicated by my own experiences which, I presume,
are typical although I may have been given a little extra attention because of my
profession as revealed by my passport. First there were two forms to fill out in
Hongkong just for a transit visa which was limited to less than a month. This
included giving all the information ordinarily required for a passport, with such
additional touches as references not only in Hongkong, but in Indo-China. Then,
upon arrival in Haiphong there was another form to fill out that required repetition
of all the information given on the forms in Hongkong with such additions as
names, Christian names, age and birthplace and state in case of decease of my
father and mother, whether I was bachelor, married or widower, civil state of
wife, if any, and many blanks upon which to state all strange countries where
you have been. Having duly filled in this form, the police took my passport and
required a personal call for its return. It should be added that it was all very polite,
and I was cheerfully given lots of information on hotels, prices, and addresses of
various institutions.
Upon reaching Laokay to enter Yunnan, the police took possession of my pass-
port for another hour, but brought it back without a personal call. Later when I
left Yunnanfu, I had to obtain another transit visa for Tonkin, which required filling
out two more forms, and then at both Laokay and Haiphong the police again took
possession of my passport for an hour so. The system of course, has its advantages;
on my return through Laokay I made a policeman guide me to an out-of-the-way,
but inexpensive, hotel of which I had heard, before I would surrender my passport.
That is my idea of real service de la surete! But it is hard on ones passport;
five pages of mine were used up by visas and police stamping in going through
Tonkin. Further, the contrast between all this red tape and the informality of
France proper is very sharp. One can obtain a transit visa good for a month in
France without even a personal appearance at a French consulate, and no questions
whatsoever are asked,and the visa is inspected and stamped but once in France.
However, filling out forms and surrendering ones passport to the police are
not necessarily all that is in store for the visitor to Indo-China. A few hours before
sailing from Haiphong to Hongkong I was visited by an English-speaking intelligence
officer of the Haiphong police who, after offering me a drink at the hotel bar, wanted
to know what newspaper I represented.
We have to be inquisitive, be apologized as he carefully wrote down the in-
formation I gave him. What was the purpose of your trip?
Transit through Indo-China to Yunnan and back, I replied, assuming, of course,
that his inquisition was only to learn my reason for being in French territory.
[ 3 ]

But what was the purpose of your trip to Yunnan, he continued.
There was one very obvious and appropriate reply to that question, but since
I was still in French territory I did not make it.
I like the climate there, I said instead. It was a great relief after Hongkong.
Yes, he replied, the climate there is fine. Do you except to write anything
about your trip?
It is possible I may write something.
Journalists usually do, he observed in conclusion, apparently more in sorrow
than in anger.
Although the French make entry into Yunnan quite complicated, I was not able
to find any instance where anyone, foreign or Chinese, had been refused a transit
visa across Tonkin. I was told that there had been cases some years ago of Chinese
being refused such visas, but I could not obtain any actual records. But the power
to refuse such a visa is in French hands whenever they care to use it, and if it is
not now being employed it is the only unused weapon in the French armory to
dominate Yunnan.
Yunnan at the Mercy of the French.
How the Yunnan government is at the mercy of the French was clearly shown
by a revolt in 1931 against the present governor, Lung Yun,although there is no
evidence whatsoever available that the French had anything to do with the revolt.
But we can draw appropriate conclusions from the facts. The revolt was led by Lu
Han, then and now the No. 2 of the provincial government and a cousin of Governor
Lung, in alliance with Chang Feng-chuen. Lung was out of the capital when the
revolt took place, and upon his return he soon regained power,but meanwhile Chang
Wei-han had been permanently kicked out of his post as commissioner of foreign
affairs. Now Chang Wei-han was outspokenly anti-French; it was he who had
described the Ching-Yu Railway agreement for a French railway through Kwangtung,
Kwangsi, Kweichow, Yunnan and Szechwan (of which more anon) as the French
instrumentality to annex China. He had urged that the national government
abrogate this agreement. In other ways he had also opposed French penetration.
And the revolt lasted just long enough te kick him out of office. Further, Lu Han
is still in the government. Still further, the Frenchostensibly on purely humane
groundskept General Lung from executing Chang Feng-chuen although he is still
in jail in Yunnanfu and therefore a poor life insurance risk.
Did or did not the French have anything to do with this revolt? To be sure,
its significant consequence might have been purely fortuitous,but such an assump-
tion would be rather naive.
Many more examples of imperialistic politics can and will be set forth in the
due course of these chapters, but before proceeding further it is important to sketch
the more pronounced physical and economic aspects of Yunnan, and also to trace the
course of French conquest northward from Saigon to the Yunnan border since
Indo-China is the base from which Paris has spread, and is spreading, its tentacles
around a large part of China proper.
Yunnan covers an area of approximately 146,714 square miles in the south-
western-most part of China proper between latitude 21 and 29 degress and longitude
98 and 106 degrees. The altitude ranges from about 250 feet at the Tonkin border
to 22,000 feet with the passes in some places being 10,000 feet high. Yunnanfu
[ 4 ]

is 6,400 feet above sea level, and hence has a very salubrious climate despite the
fact that it is almost as far south as Canton. Much of Yunnan is on the same
great Himalayan plateau as Tibet, and outside of the railway zone it is about as
backward as Tibet.
The poverty of the natives has already been outlined. Agriculture is the prin-
cipal occupation with opium poppies, rice, beans, wheat and corn as the chief crops.
The population is about 11,000,000, or 75 to the square mile, with approximately
two-thirds of the people Chinese while the rest are divided among numerous
aboriginal tribes. Tin is the only extensively developed mineral, although coal and
salt are of importance. There are, however, many other minerals which will be
discussed subsequently, but it is doubtful if the province is as potentially wealthy
as some Chinese writers have claimed.
Yunnanfu, the capital and principal city, is in the Yangtsze watershed and has
a population of about 150,000. The city is only 529 miles by railway from Haiphong,
but almost four days are required to traverse the route. Most of the non-missionary
foreign population of the province live in Yunnanfu. There are only about 500
foreign residents in Yunnan, the bulk of whom are French. There are, however,
upwards of 100 Americans, all of whom excepting the consular staff of three are in
missionary work. Dr. Joseph F. Rock, the famous American naturalist and ex-
plorer, was until recently a verteran resident in the province, but has now departed,
probably permanently.
A Mandarin Dialect Is Spoken.
A Mandarin dialect is spoken by the Chinese of the province and Yunnanfu is
somewhat reminiscent of Peiping, even including the pigeons that make music when
they fly in consequence of small whistles fastened to their tails. The Yunnanfu wall
is a minor edition of Peipings wall, but more decayed and part of it is entirely
torn away. What is left, however, is well worth a trip around the top.
The province is rich in varied plant life that ranges from the tropical along the
Tonkin and Burma borders to the alpine arctic on the gigantic peaks toward the
borders of Tibet and Szechwan. There are vast, virginal forests of pine, spruce, hem-
lock and firs; the province has the only appreciable forests in all China excepting
Szechwan and southwestern Kansu. The hemlock is the largest tree, ranging up to
200 feet in height and eight to ten feet in diameter.
Dr. Rock, who has explored most of the province for the National Geographic
Society of the United States, the United States department of agriculture and
Harvard University, has sent 25,000 different kinds of Yunnan plants to the United
States in the last ten years. Some of them have been of considerable commercial
importance, notably a blight-resisting chestnut which is now being grown in America
to provide railway sleepers and bark for tanning. Dr. Rock also conducted one ex-
pedition that resulted in finding the hydnocarpus authelmintica, from which it is
hoped to obtain cheaper and better chaulmoogra oil for treating leprosy than was
previously available. The tree that produces quinine will grow in Yunnan, and some
Chinese are now trying to develop a forest of them.
The terrain of the province offers the possibility of considerable hydroelectric
development, assuming, of course, that development in other lines would ever make
this profitable. Today there is virtually no manufacturing beyond the handicraft
stage, no modern transportation facilities except the French railway that ends at
Yunnanfu and a small Chinese branch that runs to the tin mines near Mengtsz in
the southern part of the province not far from the Tonkin border, and no industry
of any importance except tin mining.
[ 5 ]

While, as has been stated, the mineral wealth of Yunnan has perhaps been
exaggerated, it is apparent from the brief description here given that the province
is not without considerable economic temptation to imperialistic exploiters. Politi-
cally, it is perhaps even more tempting. Stretching from British Burma and French
Indo-China to Szechwan, from which it is (except for a small area) separated by the
upper reaches of the Yangtsze River, and with Kweichow and Kwangsi on one side
and Tibet on the other, Yunnan is in a very strategic location. If it were provided
with modern means of transportation it could exercise a tremendous amount of
influence in both South China and the Yangtsze Valley as well as provide a con-
venient gateway to Tibet and Burma. Thus Great Britain, although she has never
made any attempt to exploit Yunnan, is as much interested in its future as is
[ 6 3

French imperialism is, in many respects, probably the cleverest on the planet.
While the French are neither as capable as pioneers nor as competent to fill lonely
outposts as Albions bulldog breed, they are far more adroit in dealing with the
peoples they exploit. One reason is that the French lack the almost incredible racial
superiority complex of the British. The French, however, make as much of a fetish
of their culture as the British do of racial purity, but there is assuredly a big
difference between these two fetishes. Certainly French culture is well worthy of
the pride the French take in it; it is, in my opinion, vastly superior to anything
that has ever been developed East of Suez, and I believe that most Orientals who
have fallen under its sway are of the same opinion although, perhaps, they might
not be willing to say so publicly. Let me emphasize, however, that the excellence of
French culture does not justify forcing it down non-French throats with bayonets.
The importance of racial purity, on the other hand, is a pseudo-scientific super-
stition that is only ridiculous, but which has caused the British much unnecessary
trouble. The French offer tangible rewards to their subjects who can pass the
cultural test; African Negroes, for example, command white French military units
in Indo-China and drink wine in complete comraderie with white officers in the cafes
of Saigon, Haiphong and Hanoi. An Annamese wife of a Frenchman is treated by
him and his white friends exactly as if she were French. Any Annamese who speaks,
French, shakes hands like a Frenchman and as often, and has French manners, is
received on a basis of equality by Frenchmen. In fact, to a Frenchman such an
Annamite is, for all practical considerations, a Frenchman,for he has absorbed
French culture. In sharp contrast, a Chinese who has absorbed English culture is
made to feel by virtually all Englishmen of the imperialistic ilk that he can never
be wholly accepted in English society because his skin is yellow and his eyes are
slant. Of course there are some contradictions in the French attitude, as shown in
Indo-China, that I shall presently point out, but the difference as outlined between
British and French imperialism is important to bear in mind in surveying Frances
Far Eastern empire that, roughly speaking, extends from Saigon to the Yunnan
boundary on the upper reaches of the Yangtsze River.
In ruthlessness, the French compare favorably with the Japanese, but they have
forgotten far more about puppet-making than the Japanese ever have learned.
Compare Bao Dai, King of Annam and Tonkin, Henry Pu Yi, chief executive of
Manchukuo; both are apparently nitwits, but whereas Pu Yi is, from all accounts,
an unwilling puppet despite the fact that he has no reason to be pro-Chinese, Bao
Daigenuinely Annamesereally believes that the sun rises and sets on that stretch
of the Seine that flows in front of the Quai dOrsay, and he is sincerely desirous
of making Annam as French as possible. This difference in puppet-making probably
is largely explained also by French culture; the French really have something to
offer a puppet in charm and warmth while Japanese culture (aside from imitation
of the Occident, cleanliness, and policing ability) is considerably inferior to other
Oriental varieties.
In addition to their really worth-while culture, the adroitness of the French in
imperialistic enterprise is also explained in large measure by their duplicity,a
duplicity that matches anything the Orient has to offer in the same line. I shall
[ 7 ]

deal with this duplicity in considerable detail subsequently when I recount how the
French use their railway into Yunnan; for the present I can illustrate best what I
mean by recalling an incident I observed in Shanghai back in 1927. The National-
ists had then come into possession of the city, and the Chinese residents of the
International Settlement were replacing the old Republican flag with the Kuomintang
flag. Wherefore, the North China Daily News, intrepid organ of King George V,
editorially yelled for the cops to do something to prevent the flaunting of the flag
of the enemy in our midst. Now the French didnt like Chinas new nationalism
any better than the British did, but since it was a fait accompli they acted ac-
cordingly. Wherefore, in the July 14 parade in the French Concession there was a
band of Chinese boy scouts carrying aloft side by side the tricolor of France and
the flag of Kuomintang and shouting Vive la Francaise! And, let it be added,
Chinas new nationalism has not affected a whit, nor even threatened, Frances grip
on Yunnan. Further, it may be cited, that although France had seized more Chinese
territory than any other nation until Japan took Manchuria, there has never been
an anti-French boycott in China, nor ever any appreciable strained relations between
Paris and Peking or Nanking. And all this despite the fact that today it is rather
obvious that France and Japan have some sort of an understanding on the partition
of China!
With this perhaps helpful introduction, let us now take a glance at Indo-China,
which includes Kwangchowwan, 190 square miles of leased territory on the Kwang-
tung coast which Franch promised to give back to China at the same time the British
returned Weihaiwei. All Indo-China totals 277,504 square miles with a population
of 21,148,762, of which 33,119 are Europeans. Hanoi, with a population of 135,000,
is the capital of the territory. All the Indo-China area was originally a part of the
Chinese empire, but at the time of the French conquest only Annam and Tonkin
(which was a sort of protectorate under Annam) were actually governed by China.
The French obtained their first foothold in Cochin-China, where Saigon is located,
and today this is the only area officially classed as a French colony. Cambodia,
with its own King, Laos, Annam, which boasts of King Bao Dai, and Tonkin,
which in theory is under the King of Annam in Hue, are all protectorates. The
system is quite complicated. Cochin-China is under French law, while the protecto-
rates are under their respective native laws, none of which, however, apply to French
activities. Nevertheless, a non-French foreigner who, for example, wished to buy or
lease some land in Tonkin would probably find that it conflicted with native law
which the French are pledged to uphold! For in theory the French are merely
protecting the native governments of Cambodia, Laos, Annam and Tonkin! One
practical difference between the protectorates and Cochin-China that may be cited,
is that European prostitution is not officially tolerated in Haiphong and Hanoi, while
in Saigon prostitution flourishes in true French fashion with 100 per cent French
files de joie.
The course of the French conquest northward from Saigon is too long to be
traced in detail here, but some account of the taking of Tonkin, which borders on
Yunnan (and also on Kwangsi and a small bit of Kwangtung), is in order. By the
time of the Taping rebellion, the French were firmly planted in Cochin-China and
had Annam pretty well under their thumb. Tonkin, reported rich in mineral wealth,
and also including around Hanoi a vast, verdant plain of extremely fertile paddy-
fields, was too tempting to ingore. Disturbances incident to the Taiping uprising
furnished an excuse for interfering in Tonkin affairs, but the Franco-German war in
1871 put an end to imperialistic enterprise for a time. However, once that war was
over, the French breast heaved all the more for conquest somewhere to make up
for the humilitation and cost of the German victory,and Jean Dupuis, merchant
and gun-runner, paved the way for the taking of Tonkin. Although the Tonkinese
[ 8 ]

refused the French passage through Tonkin into Yunnan, Dupuis had managed to
smuggle a cargo of arms there during the Taiping rebellion, and later he returned
to Hanoi where he aroused the suspicion of the authorities.
In consequence, the Tonkin general in charge of Hanoi asked the King of Annam
to have Dupuis removed. The King appealed to the French Governor of Cochin-
China, who asked Dupuis to return to Saigon. Dupuis refused and Francis Garnier
(who had previously conducted an exploring expedition up the Mekong) was sent to
Hanoi to investigate. Arriving in Hanoi with a detachment of troops, presumably
to oust Dupuis, Garnier enthusiastically joined hands with the merchant and gun-
runner,and thus there is a Francis Garnier avenue in Hanoi today.
How the French Got into Hanoi.
The Tonkin authorities continued to insist that Dupuis leave Hanoi, and so in
November, 1873, Garnier took the city and five nearby forts, meanwhile requesting
reinforcements from Saigon. At the same time a band of Chinese semi-bandits
known as the Black Flags came to the support of the Tonkin authorities and
several of the forts were recaptured. In one battle Garnier and his second in com-
mand, Balny dAvricourt, were slain. Alarmed, the Governor at Saigon sent M. Phil-
astre, inspector of native affairs, to make peace, and the places still held by the
French were evacuated, the native Christians being subsequently massacred,but
the Tonkin authorities were forced to allow French trading at Songkoi, Hanoi and
Nine years later, in 1882, Governor Le Myre de Villers, of Cochin-China sent
Henri Riviere and a small force to open a route to Yunnan via Songkoi, and so Hanoi
got another street name, today the main thoroughfare of the city. Riviere began
his job by seizing Hanoi and other places; he himself was killed in action in May,
1883. Meanwhile, Annam, which still thought it was under Chinese rule, appealed
to Peking for aid, whereupon the French brought in reinforcements under Admiral
Courbet and General Bouet. At the same time Dr. Harmand, commissary general,
took Hue, the capital of Annam, by a naval expedition up the Hue River. In August,
1883, a treaty was signed in Hue whereby the French formally established a pro-
tectorate over Annam, and by implication over Tonkin. Annamese troops in Tonkin
were to be recalled and a road was to be built from Saigon to Hanoi.
Under the treaty, the French continued their invasion into Tonkin to protect
it. There was considerable bloody fighting, with both Tonkinese units and Chinese
garrisons participating, but Peking failed to provide any assistance beyond lodging a
protest to the French government through the Chinese minister in Paris. In May,
1884, while hostilities were still in progress, M. Fournier negotiated with Li Hung-
chang in Tientsin a memorandum whereby Chinese troops should evacuate Tonkin.
In June another treaty signed in Hue confirmed the French protectorate over both
Annam and Tonkin. Fighting, however, continued until the following year with many
casualties on both sides. Finally Sir Robert Hart negotiated peace in Tientsin in
June, 1885, whereby France took Tonkin and Annam under her protection and at
the same time evacuated Formosa and the Pescadoreswhich were shortly there-
after seized by Japan!
Hanoi and Haiphong, and other places, were made into French concessions; the
small towns and villages were left under native rule so long as it did not interfere
with French exploitation. Separate courts were established for foreigners and
natives, with the former under French administration. And hordes of Frenchmen
came out from the homeland to do their stuff in protecting the natives. In
passing, it may be noted that the French always employ many more Frenchmen in
[ 9 ]

the work of imperialism than do the British. The British idea is to train natives
for virtually all kind of jobs below that of a taipan; in Indo-China there are
French conductors on the trains, Frenchmen selling stamps in the Post Office, and
Frenchmen as minor clerks in government offices. In fact, there are said to be more
foreign civil servants in Indo-China than in India, although the latter country is
many times larger. Thus, it might said that French imperialism is more democratic
than the British wariety! And to one accustomed to never seeing imperialists doing
anything but give orders, it is rather intriguing (and even a bit refreshing) to
watch a French conductor collecting tickets in the fourth class compartments of a
train in Indo-China. Further, it is rather intriguing after long association with the
British to see imperialists act as human in the Orient as they do at home,and the
sidewalk cafes of Hanoi are hardly distinguishable from those of Paris except for
the tropical lizards that gambol on the ceiling and (according to tradition) drop ever
and anon in ones wine, although the chances of this happening appear to be about
as remote as being hit by a meteor. And there is one other difference; the native
waiters are called boy, although this is the only non-French word one hears.
Catholicism Strongly Entrenched.
The are, however, as has already been indicated, some contradictions in the
French attitude. France for years has been one of the most anti-clerical countries
in Europe, while in Indo-China the Catholic Church has been made avowedly into an
arm of imperialistic rule. Originally, according to treaty, Catholicism was the only
non-native religion tolerated; today this was been modified to allow a limited amount
of activity by the American Protestant Church and Missionary Alliance and, I be-
lieve, there are some Swiss Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. But only the
Catholics have a really free hand, and a wise native who wants a government job
gets converted to this faith. Wherefore there are about one million Catholics in Indo-
China to 10,000 Protestants. The French-Catholic alliance, I suppose, is based upon
the well known cooperation of Catholic missionaries with French imperialists
throughout the world,but it is extremely ironic in view of the severe limitations
on the Catholic Church in France itself.
Another contradiction in the usually quite logical French mores, is the fact that
a French woman who marries an Annamese is ostracized to a considerable extent
by her own people, although, as has already been stated, an Annamese woman who
marries a Frenchman is accepted by French society without reservation. (And, it
may be added, there is a tremendous amount of Frenchmen-Annamese inter-
Except for these contradictions, French culture on the imperialistic front is
about the same as on the home front. The natives who do not register any objection
to French rule are treated very politely and humanely, and those who achieve a
French cultural status are accepted by Frenchmen on a basis of equality. They
cannot, however, become French citizens; if they are born in one of the concessions
they are French subjects, and born outside of the concessions they are French
proteges. But Eurasians, legitimate or otherwise, can become French citizens with
all rights thereunto pertaining upon application, and appearance is the only proof
required. Before the depression of recent years, any son of a French father born in
wedlock was virtually guaranteed a job for life, but it has not been found feasible
to maintain that rule recently. However, both Eurasians and French residents enjoy
a similar status of being given preference for any jobs open. It will thus be seen
that the French are deliberately seeking to build up a strong Eurasian group in Indo-
China, of which further mention anon.
[ 10 ]

As far as the mass of natives are concerned, it would be difficult to say that
they are any better or any worse off in material matters under French rule than if
they were entirely under native rule. Today, however, within the limits of their low
standard of living they are better off than many of their French masters, for native
agriculture is quite well off while most of the French plantation enterprises, notably
rubber, are bankrupt except where they are getting government aid.
The French do provide a considerable amount of educational facilities to those
who want to acquire French culture. Only two years of schooling are given in the
Annamese language, all the rest being in French. Further, the French have virtually
abolished Chinese characters; an alphabet has been provided for Annamese, and the
use of Chinese characters (in which the language was formerly written! is definitely
discouraged. This, of course, is an important step in making French Indo-China
really French.
Almost all business is French. The Chartered Bank and the Hongkong &
Shanghai Bank (both British) have branches in Haiphong, and it is interesting to
note that many Frenchmen regard them as more safe than French banks. About
the only American business is the Standard Oil Company of New York. British
Shell is French incorporated. Almost all import shipping is in French hands with
the result that freight rates are higher from Marseilles to Saigon and Haiphong
than to Hongkong and Shanghai. The British China Navigation Company (Butter-
field and Swire) has a strong foothold in Haiphong, but, as I discovered to my pro-
found financial sorrow, they are not allowed to offer any competition to the French
Compagnie Indochinoise de Navigation in the export of goods or passengers from
Haiphong to Hongkong or points in China proper.
The passenger fare from Hongkong to Haiphong is $65 Hongkong currency
abroad the B. & S. boats, while the French boats charge 50 piastres. The piastre,
Indo-China unit of currency, is pegged to the French gold franc at the rate of about
ten francs to one piastre, and one piastre is worth about $1.70 Hongkong money,
or $1.87 Shanghai currency. Thus the B. & S. fare from Hongkong to Haiphong is
about $22 (Shanghai currency) cheaper than the fare on the French boats. But
when buying a ticket to return from Haiphong to Hongkong I was told by the B. & S.
agent (Denis Freres, a prominent French firm and once British Vice Consul in
Haiphong) that the fare was 50 piastres. My indignant protest was countered with
the explanation that thats the fare on the French boats. Inquiring at the British
Vice Consulate (now in the Chartered Bank), I was told that they were not aware
of the racket, but would investigate. Subsequently I was diplomatically informed
that there was no compulsion by taxation or otherwise on Butterfield & Swire to
charge the same as the French company, but the fare rate had been established by
agreement between the two companies. I was also informed that all freight rates
out of Haiphong were uniform, while from Hongkong to Haiphong the B. & S. rates
were lower than the French rates.
The French Open Door.
Whether or not there was any compulsion would seem to be a matter of inter-
pretation of the facts; at any rate there is no competition, which is doubtless the
French idea of an Open Door.
How firmly the French have entrenched themselves in Indo-China may be best
indicated by the fact that there has never been but one major revolt by the natives
since the imperialistic conquest was completed. Other colonial and semi-colonial
countries, such as India, China, the Dutch East Indies, Korea, and even the Philippine
Islands have been recurringly torn by uprisings, but only in 1931 was French rule
[ 11 ]

in Indo-China appreciably challenged,and that outbreak was put down quickly and,
to all present appearances, completely and permanently.
The revolt began brewing in 1930, and represented a combination of both na-
tionalistic aspirations and communistic influence among the peasants who comprise
the overwhelming bulk of the native population. Part of the impetus probably came
through Yunnan, which was semi-Red in 1927-28 from the backwash of the Chinese
Nationalist Revolution of 1925-26-27, and it was brought to a head in 1931 by bad
crops and increasing taxation that was imposed to make up the deficits caused by
the slump in rubber in Cochin-China and other factors originating in the world-wide
The revolt, most persons will recall, attracted almost no attention in the world
at large because the French allowed almost no news of it to leak out, and even if it
had been better publicized it could not have competed in the press with the beginning
of the Japanese conquest in Manchuria with which it, in part, coincided. I have been
able to obtain a fairly complete account of the revolt, but the reader will understand
I cannot cite any authorities for my statements in this connection, nor in many
other parts of these articles, for almost all of my informants live either in French
Indo-China or semi-French Yunnan and so might be penalized for telling tales out
of school. I can only say that while I can not guarantee complete immunity against
some minor errors, all my essential facts here and elsewhere have been carefully
checked from many varied sources and their substantial accuracy is beyond dispute,
nor have any been disputed since this survery was first published in the China
Weekly Review. |
Several million Annamesewho form the bulk of the population in Cochin-China,
Annam and Tonkinwere involved in the revolt, which appears to have been entirely
under Red direction although, obviously, it was peasant instead of proletarian. No
Russian agents, however, are charged with being implicated, but some of the Annam-
ese leaders are alleged to have been trained in Moscow. Also some French Com-
munists are charged with having been involved, including Serge Lefranc, alias Paul
Ducroix whose arrest by the British in Singapore in June, 1931, led to the arrest
of Mr. and Mrs. Noulens in Shanghai a short time thereafter. In addition, some
Frenchmen operating small business firms in Saigon were deported to France on
charges of having supplied arms and munitions to the rebels.
One aspect of the revolt was the formation of a Soviet state, similar to the
Soviet Republic of China in Kiangsi, around Vinh, a city in Annam about 150 miles
south of Hanoi. This state, including about 1,000,000 people, defied French autho-
rity for a few months before it was ruthlessly suppressed by 2,000 soldiers of the
French Foreign Legion who were sent there direct from Morocco. At one time Hanoi
itself was virtually under martial law and fearful that a Red army was marching
on it. The motor road from Hanoi to Haiphong was blocked off at intervals with
chains manned by patrols of the Foreign Legion, and a few villages in the vicinity
of this highway were actually raided by native forces who killed some of the man-
darins that the French use as their puppets.
The Foreign Legion to the Rescue.
In Yen-Bay, a strategic city about half way between Hanoi and the Yunnan
border, a detachment of Annamese troops revolted and killed seven or eight of their
French officers, hacking some of them to death with axes. This, however, was the
sole revolt in the Annamese army, and the only possible chance the uprising had to
succeed was through a widespread mutiny of native forces. In many cases the
Annamese troops mercilessly fought the rebels, although it is hardly necessary to
[ 12 ]

record that the French feared to trust the native troops very far, especially after
the Yen-Bay incident. The Foreign Legion and other imported troops were de-
pended upon to do the dirty work,and they did it as ruthlessly, and probably far
more efficiently, than the Japanese ever could. Natives suspected of any participa-
tion in the uprising were rounded up by the thousands; hundreds were slaughtered.
Airplanes bombed villages all over Tonkin that could not be conveniently reached by
roads, and men, women and children alike were massacred. The Foreign Legion was
instructed in effect, if not in so many words, to wipe out for all time any nationalistic
or communistic aspirations among the sons and daughters of Annam,and con-
sidering the relative ease with which Indo-China can be policed by road and air, and
the number of natives and Eurasians who are loyal to the French in self-interest,
it is probable the Legionnaires succeeded in their task to an amazing degree.
It was in connection with this revolt that the Yunnan-Tonkin border incident
of 1931 occurred that gave rise to rumors the French were invading Yunnan simul-
taneously with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. French troops are said to have
crossed the Yunnan border, but French sources at the time avowed they were only
chasing bandits, and did not actually cross the border. The explanation, I think,
was correct, the bandits being, of course, rebels against French rule of their native
land. If the borderwhich is tropical junglewas actually crossed, it was only for
a short distance.
Also in connection with the revolt, French railway workers in Amitchow, about
halfway between the Tonkin border and Yunnanfu, kidnapped a half dozen Anna-
mese who had participated in the uprising and later taken refuge in Yunnan. The
Chinese authorities filed a protest, but the Annamese were taken back to Tonkin
and there most likely executed.
Perhaps more interesting than true is one ingenious theory that the revolt was
a major factor in inspiring France to negotiate a non-aggression pact with the Soviet
Union last year, thus obtaining a promise from Moscow not to give even moral
support to any more native outbreaks in French colonies.
Most Peaceful Colony in the Far East.
Today Indo-China is probably the most peaceful and contented colony in the Far
East. The actively discontented are dead and nature has remedied one of the
precipitating causes of the revoltbad cropsby providing good crops this year
and last while the French have cannily reduced taxation. The standard of living
among the bulk of the natives is lowas low as in China,but there is peace and
no starvation, and probably no appreciable amount of hunger.
Many lessons may be learned from our brief survey of French imperialism in
Indo-China, particularly in view of the possibilitymaybe probabilityof further
expansion of Frances colonial empire. It is especially interesting to note the signi-
ficance of the Foreign Legion in the French imperial scheme of things. A major
revolt in the colony of any other country as democratic as France would arouse
much attention at home (and so in the world at large) if for no other reason than
because the army was sent to suppress it. Every village which provided one or
more residents to the affray would be very much interested in what was going on,
and why. But a revolt in a French colony can go almost unnoticed, for France has
an efficient body of alien adventurers who, for reasons best known to themselves
and usually under assumed names, have deliberately doomed and damned themselves
to do the Quai dOrsays dirty work abroad. From the far reaches of the scorched
Sahara Desert to the mist laden jungles of the Celestial frontier where the Red River
roars out of the mountains of Yunnan, the French Foreign Legion kills and mains
[ 13 ]

to keep the tricolor aloft,and neither the peasants of Normandy nor the boule-
vardiers of Paris have any profound interest in its movements even if they are aware
of them.
Another important aspect of French imperialism is the development of a large
and potent class of natives and half-natives whose self-interest coincides with that
of Paris. Generally speaking, imperialists other than the French have imposed their
rule directly (as in India) or indirectly (as in China) from above except for main-
taining or aiding in maintaining the feudal status quo ante. Thus, modern bourgeois
development in colonial and semi-colonial countries has been anti-imperialist, and in
the end (after abortive nationalist revolts) the native bourgeoisie have been driven
to support the imperialists only to counter communism. The French, on the other
hand, in addition to ruthless force majeur from above and support of the status
quo ante (such as Puppet Bao Dai), have from the first sought to develop a class of
petty bourgeoisie and white collar workers, consisting of Eurasians and Frenchified
natives, who have a vested interest in French rule. These tactics, carried out
suavely, are summed up in the phrase I have used to describe French imperialism
the mailed fist in a velvet glove.
This policy appears to be in the course of complete and successful achievement
in Indo-China unless it is eventually upset by developments elsewhere in the world.
In another 50 years of uninterrupted French rule, the feeble nationalism and native
culture now existing will be almost, if not entirely, liquidated,and communism,
assuredly, has not much chance of developing among a well policed peasantry.
In Yunnan, as we shall see, there is no possibility of bourgeois development to
any qualitative extent under present conditions, and so France has not needed to do
more there than assist in maintaining the status quo ante of a feudal government,
and there has been no change in the provincial government in more than 20 years
except that caused by death, and the repercussions of the Chinese Nationalist Re-
volution which were fundamentally insignificant. But the French have not neglected
to cultivate such bourgeoisie as exist as well as the western educated Chinese in the
government or in professional work. Thus the foundation has been laid should
France ever decide to convert the area from a semi-colonial status into a colonial
[ 14 ]

Shortly after the conclusion of the World War, the provincial government of
Yunnan asked for bids to supply piping for a water project. The amount of piping
desired was fairly sizable, amounting to about $100,000 in Shanghai currency which,
at that time, was nearly equivalent to U. S. $100,000. Bids, involving delivery in
Yunnan, were offered by an American, a Briton and a Frenchman.
The Americans bid was frankly at dumping prices, for there was a surplus of
piping in the United States at the time due to over-production during the war period.
Dumping in those days, it should be emphasized, was a common and entirely respect-
able method of getting rid of surplus goods; only after the Soviet Union started in-
dulging in it, did it acquire its present sinister and subversive connotation. But to
get back to our American salesman; he had made due allowance for freight charges
and transit tax over the French railway from Haiphong into Yunnan and the fact
that a Frenchman would not have to pay as high transit tax as a citizen of some
other country, but he was positive that nevertheless no bid could possibly be lower
than his offer. Wherefore, he was considerably astounded when the contract was
awarded to the French bidder.
Being exceedingly curious to know just how the Frenchman had put it over,
the American placed a spy, so to speak, in the railway station in Hanoi where, on
a certain bulletin board, are posted all notices pertaining to any changes in freight
or passenger rates or in transit tariff on the railway from Haiphong to Yunnanfu.
In due time the Americans espionage was rewarded, for just before the piping began
to arrive in Haiphong and for a month thereafter appeared a notice announcing that
the Governor-General of Indo-China had ordered a temporary reduction in the transit
duty on water piping destined for Yunnan, while another notice proclaimed that
that Compagnie Francaise des Chemins de Fer de llndochine et du Yunnan, with
headquarters in Paris and Direction de 1Exploitation in Hanoi, had temporarily
reduced the freight rates on water piping destined for Yunnan.
French Economic Domination.
A volume could not reveal more clearly than this one brief story how the French
have achieved economic domination over Yunnan, although I will shortly recount
other incidents illustrating various aspects of the situation. But with the Governor-
General of Indo-China being empowered to raise or lower customs charges on goods
into Yunnan at his discretion and without any advance warning to non-French
business men, while the French management of the railway company cooperates
(probably at governmental instigation) in altering the freight rates on the line
without advance notice to anyone except Frenchmen, non-French business hasnt a
chance to make any headway in the ostensibly Chinese province of Yunnan. The
reader, of course, will bear in mind what has already been outlined, that the only
practical way to reach Yunnan, or to ship goods there, is via the French railway.
So much for the moment for purely commercial transactions. I will now tell a
story that I dont believe has ever before been published which has pronounced
political significance. Just last year the Yunnan provincial government ordered six
[ 15 ]

Arrow training airplanes from the United States. It was the first substantial bit of
American business that had been transacted in Yunnan in recent years, although
there was one other ancient American plane in the province; just how it got there
I do not know. Further, it was the first big venture of the Yunnan authorities in
flying; in addition to the antique American plane there were a few other equally
ancient planes which had been purchased in France, but which had become practic-
ally useless.
Discrimination Against American Planes.
In due course the six Arrow planes arrived in Haiphong. French officialdom
had doubtless been aware of the deal, but had been silent until the arrival of the
machines. Then the order went forth that the planes would not be allowed to go
through Tonkin to Yunnanfu; they were war material and France would be derelict
in her mission of civilizationas French propagandists delight in describing their
imperialistic enterpriseif such weapons (from non-French sources) were allowed
to corrupt the heathen Chinese. But Harry E. Stevens, the then American consul
in Yunnanfu (he is now in Tsinanfu), did not see it that way. He first protested
to the French authorities in Hanoi, but without result. He then appealed to the
State Department in Washington, which took up the matter with the Quai dOrsay
in Paris. Finally, due of course to Americas powerful position in the world, the
officials in Paris yielded and instructed the authorities in Hanoi to permit transit of
the planes. Thus they eventually arrived in Yunnanfu. According to one report I
obtained they were damaged in transit, but this was officially denied by the Ame-
rican Consulate in Yunnanfu.
Anyway, the deal evidently discouraged the Yunnan government from engaging
in any similar future transactions with American firms, for when four more air-
planes were recently purchased (which arrived in Yunnanfu just about the time
of my sojourn there), they were obtained from a French manufacturer despite the
fact that they were technically inferior to the American product and cost little, if
any, less.
This story of the airplanes speaks sufficiently clearly for itself to require no
analysis nor comment.
A little history and description of the French railway is in order before we
proceed further, for in addition to being one of the most effective weapons of im-
perialism in Asia, it is one of the worlds most wonderful and beautiful iron horses.
And, incidentally, it is all iron; even the sleepers (or ties, as they are called in the
United States) are steel, and so are the telegraph poles. The gauge is one meter;
the 'mileage in Tonkin is 240Vk and 288 in Yunnan. The company, which is entirely
French, is capitalized at Francs 19,250,000. The Tonkin section was built in 1901
and extended to Yunnanfu in 1910. When the Yunnan section was opened a weird
rumor spread among the illiterate Chinese that Chinese babies were to be kidnapped'
and killed to grease the tracks and wheels )f the fearsome foreign monster. Children
who had previously been fondled by foreign residents were rushed out of sight
whenever foreigners approached by scared Chinese mamas who subsequently regis-
tered considerable shame and loss of face rver their fright. And Chinese gangsters
took advantage of the rumor to make it come true in part by kidnapping a large
number of children!
Complete Control of Railway.
The land for the Yunnan section of the railway was furnished by the Yunnan
government which undertook the job of policing the zone. There never have been
any foreign guards as along the foreign railways of Manchuria, but France has al-
[ 16 ]

ways been in as complete control of the line as if she had a squad of the Foreign
Legion to every kilometer. It costs the Yunnan government about $50,000 (Shang-
hai currency) a year to maintain the railway guards, but the only profit the Chinese
ever have derived from the line is the right to transport all military supplies at half
the regular rate. How much profit the French obtain from the railway, aside from
the political and economic grip it give them on Yunnan, is not definitely known except
to the French themselves. There can be no doubt that the line was expensive to
build, and is expensive to maintain because of landslides almost every summer which
cause a constant addition to the number of tunnels, the new tunnels being built
where mountains have displayed a habit of constantly moving onto the tracks.
The official French figures, which may or may not be entirely accurate since any
profit over a reasonable return on the original French investment would have to be
divided with the Yunnan government, show that receipts in 1931 amounted to Francs
43,973,988.50 while expenditures totaled 41,208,025.20, a ratio of working expenses
to gross revenue of 92 per cent. Receipts dropped approximately Francs 6,000,000
from 1930 while expenditures were reduced by about Francs 3,000,000. The railway
carries about 3,000,000 passengers a year, chiefly fourth class.
Only one coach a trip is devoted to the entire first, second and third class, and
in passing I will report for the benefit of any reader who may be contemplating a
trip to Yunnan that there is no appreciable difference whatsoever (except in price)
between first and second class; third class is hard, but not crowded or dirty. And
while on this subject, I advise any traveler to avoid the regular French hotels at the
two overnight stops between Hanoi and Yunnanfu. The little, out-of-the-way Hotel
Zenner in Laokay is highly recommended, and incidentally it has the cheapest and
best vin rouge I found in all Indo-China. In Amitchow, the most convenient Chinese
hotel is not recommended except on a price basis, but it means a saving of about
ten Shanghai dollars over the French hotel. In Yunnanfu itself I enthusiastically
recommend the Hotel de la Poste which, although some of its accomodations are a bit
primitive, is clean and comfortable, and it serves the best foreign food in town and
is managed by an extraordinarily hospitable and charming French boniface who,
incidentally, speaks quite good English. Further, with adequate bargaining, its rates
are very reasonable in a city where everything foreign is on the gold piastre basis.
As indicated, it takes three days to reach Yunnanfu from Hanoi although by
the standards of the best English or American trains the run should not take over
12 hours. But the trains used are not built for speed, and in addition they stop at
every station, there being no express service. Travel at night through Yunnan would
be hazardous because of the treacherous terrain, and in years past there was the
additional hazard of bandits. But despite the time consumed, the trip is not boring;
instead, it is extremely intriguing. Up to Laokay, on the Yunnan border, the
country is beautiful, but not especially outstanding, at least to one already fairly
familar with paddy-fields and tropical jungle of palms and banana trees. But
through Yunnan, the journey is dizzy and dazzling. There is a constant ascent from
not more than about 250 feet above sea level to more than a mile by mid-afternoon
on the first days travel in the province.
A Magnificent Journey.
The railway first follows the gorge of the Namti which flows into the Red River,
at the mouth of which Haiphong is located. There are many gorgeous waterfalls,
sheer peaks of brown rock, verdant ravines, overhanging crags crowned with moss
and small trees, and small valleys here and there as well as terraced hillsides where
rice and corn are growing. There are many sharp rises in elevation which are
negotiated by the train traveling almost in circles; at times the engine is headed
[ 17 ]

almost directly toward the rear coach. One bridge, the Pont Sur Arbaletriers, which
is but 67 meters in length, connects two tunnels, spanning a canyon of breath-taking
magnificence. This bridge, incidentally, is a superb tribute to French engineering;
designed on the spot with beautiful accuracy, it was built in two parts in France
and shipped to Yunnan where each half was connected with the other by being
lowered on human backs down the almost sheer sides of the vast mountains it joins
The first great plateau that is reached is around Tschetsouen, which is 1,630.49
meters in altitude. Then there is a drop to Mengtsz, near which the Yunnan tin
mines are located, and a still further drop to Amitchow, which is the terminus of
the days journey. On the next day, there is a further climb in the gorge of the
Taho which flows into the West River to Canton, then a slight descent, and then up
again to the great plateau, 6,400 feet above sea level, upon which Yunnanfu is
located. Shortly before reaching Yunnanfu is the splendid spectacle of blue Lake
Tangtche surrounded by a Vermillion mountain range trimmed with green patches of
trees and plants. In the crisp air of the evening, gloriously illuminated by the
setting sun, it provides an exquisite esthetic end to one of the finest trips in all
In all, there are about 200 tunnels, ranging from 20 meters to 500 meters in
length, in the Yunnan section of the railway, and for long stretches there is at least
one tunnel to every mile. Needless to point out, these have their disadvantages on
a coal-burning train where it is impossible to keep the windows closed, but I think
any real traveler will find the journey worth the grimeand time.
Enough now of the beauties of Yunnan; let us return again to less pleasing
economic and political realities. It has already been pointed out how the French can
manipulate transportation charges on the railway and even refuse the right of transit.
Refusal to transport, of course, is purely a political measure except, as will be dealt
with in the next chapter, their ban on the export of opium from Yunnan through
Tonkin to Canton. In this case there is a justifiable fear that the narcotic would be
smuggled off the trains in Tonkin and thus interfere with the Indo-China opium
monopoly. But except for a small number of items, there is no prohibition of transit
of the goods of any nation. Thus most of the manipulation of the railway is through
transportation charges, or more specifically the transit customs duty, for except
in extreme cases, like the piping incident, there is no appreciable manipulation of
freight rates.
Transit Customs Duty.
The transit customs duty is purely and simply a racket, to employ a modern
American term. It is equivalent to the tactics of Chicago gangsters who exact a
toll from anyone operating a pantspressing establishment in their districts, or more
exactly to the practice of robber barons of the Middle Ages in Europe who collected
squeeze from ships that passed their castles. No right other than might could be
invoked for charging customs duty on goods that merely pass through Tonkin.
In theory, the transit customs charges amounts to merely one twentieth of the
duty on imports into Tonkin. Thus, even by theory, French goods have to pay less
tax than goods of other nations, China included, for naturally the Indo-China import
duty is less on French goods than on non-French goods. But if theory and practice
conformed, the duty would be very small, and while it would still be a racket, it
would not seriously handicap trade since it would never amount to more than four
or five percent ad valorem.
[ 18 ]

In reality, however, the tax on non-French goods runs as high as 15 per cent.,
and in some instances probably more. I will herewith reproduce one bill in detail
of the tax imposed on the transportation of a small church organ manufactured in
Shanghai and shipped to Yunnanfu via Haiphong. First, it is necessary to explain
that since there is no shipment in bond, and as transit goods, like other goods enter-
ing Indo-China, are examined by the French customs, it is necessary to employ an
agent in Haiphong to supervise the forwarding of merchandise from ship-side to the
train. This agent, always French, is known as a transitaire, and many French-
men make quite a good living as transitaires in Haiphong.
Here is a transitaires itemized bill for the organ made in Shanghai, the bill
being, of course, in piastres:
Debarquement.........................................$ 1.80
Imprimes douanes..........................................24
Timbre connaissement................................... 1.20
Taxes docks...............................................82
Douanes ...............................................10.26
Formalitie en douane................................... 2.00
Commission transit .................................... 1.50
Transport S.127 X f/o.................................. 1.69
Avis dexpedition.........................................10
Redaction manifestes.................................. 1.00
Correspondance.......................................... .20
Commissions debours.......................................14
I cannot explain all the items in this bill, nor could the person who presented
it to me. Presumably debarquement is a handling charge and hence not a tax.
Every other item, however, has nothing to do with freight, which is not included in
the bill. And except for the commission of the transitaire and debarquement,
the proceeds go to the coffers of the Indo-China government, including the stamps
listed for telling the person in Yunnanfu who bought the organ that it is on its way
there. Further, it will be noted that the actual customs dutydouanes-is only
about half the total bill; the rest, with the exceptions already noted, are taxes of
various other kinds.
Excessive Taxation.
Assuming that debarquement is a handling charge and went provide rice for
some Haiphong dock workers, it may be deducted, leaving what can best be described
as political charges of French imperialism The total of such charges is, therefore,
19.15 piastres, which in Shanghai currency is approximately $37. Now the value of
the organ in Shanghai currency was $250. Consequently the French toll for jmt
allowing it to pass through Tonkin was approximately 15 per cent ad valorem. It
must be emphasized that this charge had nothing to do with the freight charge from
Haiphong to Yunnanfu, part of which, of course, went to the French government
through taxes imposed on the railway. Further, it must be emphasized, that the
organ was made in China and shipped to an ostensibly Chinese city, and for merely
allowing it to be shipped there the French collected 15 per cent ad valorem! The
organ, incidentally, arrived in Yunnanfu badly damaged,a fact I want the reader
to bear in mind for subsequent discussion
Suppose the organ had been made in France and shipped to Yunnanfu; what
would it have had to pay? Unfortunately I cannot given any exact answer to that
question, but in discussing the transit toll with M. Baudez, the French Consul in
[ 19 1

Yunnanfu, I asked him for information on the difference between the charges on
French and non-French goods. He said he did not know, but he felt sure all was fair,
and to prove his point he brought forth a transitaire bill of Subira Freres, one of
the leading French import and export firms of Yunnanfu. The goods involvedhe
did not know exactly what they were except that they included general household
provisionsamounted to $250 in Hongkong currency, or about $275 Shanghai cur-
rency. The total of the transitaires bill was 15.22 piastres, but this included a
freight charge of about eight piastres from the ship to the train, and the item
marked douanes was less than three piastres. Since the total political charges in
this bill were only about $13 Shanghai currency, the ad valorem rate was about five
percent, or one third the rate on the Chinese-made organ. Of course, the French
would reply that this does not prove anything except that the duty on general pro-
visions is less than on organs, regardless of origin,so I leave it to the reader to
draw his own conclusions.
While the transit toll is the principal weapon used by the French to dominate
Yunnan economically, there are also other weapons that illustrate the Gallic effi-
ciency I mentioned in a previous chapter The organ from Shanghai that arrived
in Yunnanfu badly damaged was no exception to a general rule applying to non-
French goods reaching Yunnanfu. The exception is when they dont arrive damaged.
Those who prefer American canned milk, or example, usually find a half dozen cans
drained in each shipment. If any kick i registered, the French recipient thereof
shrugs his shoulders with a winsome smile, and says, Ah, these Chinese coolies on
the train in Yunnan are hard to watch; we do our best, but we cant keep an eye on
them all the time. Probably he doesnt except the person registering the kick to
believe this story, but its his story and he sticks to it!
German Goods Delayed.
I pointed out in previously that German goods take about six months to arrive
from Haiphone to Yunnanfu, with British and American goods arriving in some-
what less time while French goods somehow make the journey in a week or ten
days. This is also of part of the French method, in manipulating their railway
in French interests. Siemens, the German firm, sells all its goods c.i.f. Shanghai,
Hongkong, or Haiphong because it cannot afford to guarantee either prompt delivery
or the condition of the goods upon reaching Yunnanfu. Once, a Briton protested
vigorously to his transitaire in Haiphong against the long delays in forwarding
certain British goods from that point to Yunnanfu; Well, why dont you buy French
goods and see if they would arrive any quicker? the transitaire blandly replied.
Still one further illustration of French tractics was the holding up of a shipment
of American canned goods to Yunnanfu because the cans were not marked with the
country of origin. Now, to be sure, Indo-China regulations, like those of many other
countries, including the United States, require that imports be marked with the
country of origin, but since the goods were merely in transit through Tonkin to
China proper, holding them up can only be set down as deliberate interference with
non-French trade.
Whether the French take advantage of their opportunity to interfere with mail
to and from Yunnan, I could not definitely determine. According to one informant,
they have in times past, and I did learn that British faith in Gallic honor is such
that all consular dispatches of any importance to the British Consulate in Yunnanfu
are sent by safe hand, that is, by trusted messengers. In this connection, how-
ever, it is only fair to add that there is probably no country in the world which
could be trusted not to learn the diplomatic secrets of another country whenever the
opportunity arises.
[ 20 ]

After this brief survey of how the French use their railway, it is obvious that
there are few ventures in non-French business in Yunnan. Persons are not apt to
play in a game where they know in advance that the cards are stacked against them,
and every non-French business firm who has ever considered entering in Yunnan
field has been able to find on inquiry the conditions I have outlined here. Nor is
there any prospect that these conditions will be substantially changed in the predict-
able future. The still unratified Sino-French commercial treaty does provide for
a reducation in transit tax on Chinese goods,which reduction, if it ever becomes
effective, other nations would probably claim under the most favored nation clause
in almost all international treaties. And the proposed reductionsincorporated in
the pact when China was in a much stronger position than todayare probably why
France has so far failed to ratify the treaty; M. Baudez told me discussions about
commerce in connection with customs on various articles were delaying recent
negotiations in Nanking on the pact.
I asked M. Baudez whether France would ever be willing to abolish the transit
tax entirely if the Yunnan authorities would abolish likin. He believed not. I also
asked him whether France would be willing to allow shipment in bond through
I dont believe it would be possible in the present state of China, he replied.
We never know when Yunnan might revolt aganist the central government in
French Strangle-hold on Yunnan.
There is much significance in this statement. I will return to it again when I
discuss the grip on all of China that France can exercise as a result of her strangle-
hold on Yunnan.
Obviously, of course, France would not be likely to allow shipment in bond
through Tonkin to Yunnan, for that would be a major blow to her economic domin-
ation of the province. Shipment in bond would, to a large extent, convert the rail-
way into a purely commercial enterprise,and purely commercial enterprises dont
usually count for very much in the great game of imperialism.
One of the results of the present system is the high cost of living in Yunnan.
With the French able to crush most competition by political tactics, they can charge
virtually what they want for their goods, and since the bulk of the merchandise sold
is French it high before it ever reaches Yunnan because as I previously pointed out,
the French virtual monopoly on imports into Indo-China makers freight rates from
Marseilles to Saigon and Haiphong higher than from Marseilles to Hongkong or
China proper. Then, of course, there is also the Chinese customs. Further, the
Yunnan government imposes likin, officially described as a consumption tax, on
almost all imports, and this amounts to from one tenth to one half of the regular
Chinese customs charges. Thus imported products in Yunnanfu are at least twice
what they cost in Shanghai, and some Shanghai products are over three times as
high in Yunnanfu as in Shanghai. Shanghai beer, for example, costs at least $1.87
Shanghai currency for a large bottle in a Yunnanfu hotel!
The Yunnan railway, it is of interest and importance to note, constitutes the only
major French investment in the province. There was a project back in 1914 for
another railway from Yamchow (or Chingchow) on the Kwantung coast, between
Pakhoi and the Tonkin border, to Yunnanfu and thence via Suifu to Chungking in
Szechwan. A contract for the construction of this line was negotiated between the
Peking government and the Banque Industrielle de Chine which subsequently went
bankrupt, but not until after some money in connection with the contract had been
[ 21 ]

advanced to the Chinese government. The Banque de Tlndochine is in effect, if not
in name, the successor to the Banque Industrielle de Chine, but nothing has ever
been done about the railway contract.
The fact that the money advanced to China by the bankrupt bank has never
been repaid precludes, according to some authorities, construction of a line by the
Chinese on the route outlined in the contract. China could presumably build on an-
other route that would be equally desirable, or build on the route outlined after
repaying the money. The question, however, is extremely academic. In the first
place, China is in no position now, nor will be at any time in the predicable furture,
to construct anywhere a railway as extensive as this would be. Further, judging by
the way in which the question of parallel railways in Manchuria has been decided,
it would be up to Paris and no other authority to say whether construction on the
route in the contract, or on any other route, would be allowed.
The contract contains no clause by which it ever becomes void if its terms are
not carried out, and there is reason to believe France would oppose construction of
any railway by other than French interests in the territory affected. It is obvious
that such a railway would be extremely potent both politically and economically in
Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Kweichow, Yunnan and Szechwan.
In a petition against the contract, Chang Wei-han, commissioner of foreign
affairs in Yunnan, pointed out the Kwangtung and Kwangsi are under the French
sphere of influence, while Yunnan is dominated by the French. He also declared
that the contract is the French instrumental^ to annex China. I have already
pointed out Changs subsequent and, most likely, consequent fate.
Under the contract it may be assigned to any other group or company of French
nationality, but nothing has ever been done about it since the bank failed. In pre-
sent conditions it is not likely that France is prepared to carry through the contract,
but its existence puts her in a powerful position in the area involved, particularly
as long as she is dominant in Yunnan,and she can continue to hold dominion there
as long as she is able to utilize the Haiphong-Yunnanfu railway in the manner now
C 22 ]

Only through careful study of the native economy of any area is it possible to
correctly estimate and appreciate imperialistic enterprise therein. Imperialism does
not afflict (at least for long) fundamentally strong countries although, of course, it
can bury its fangs in a backward, but potentially strong, country and thereby keep
it backward and weak indefinitely. But if a country with adequate resources in
men and raw materials ever really develops its strength it is hard to crush unless
it acquires some internal weakness.
In the preceding chapters, we have obtained some appreciation of the impor-
tance of Yunnan and the French grip on it, have surveyed the Indo-China
base of French Far Eastern imperialism, and have indicated how France is able
through her railway into Yunnan to keep the door of the province pretty well closed
against all non-French political and commercial activity. Next in logical order is the
study of the relations prevailing between the French and the Yunnan provincial
government; hence this outline of native economy.
Now economy may be briefly defined as the interreaction of men and natural
resources. Wherefore, it is extremely significant to note that the two major items,
and the only two important items, in the native economy of Yunnan are tin and
opium,with the latter being overwhelmingly dominant. Tin production amounts to
about $15,000,000 (Shanghai currency) a year; opium production amounts to pro-
bably more but exact figures are impossible to obtain since all governmental sources
are exceedingly mum about this phase of provincial affairs.
Yunnan, of course, offers the possibility of many other mineral and agricultural
items in its economy, and there is, to be sure, considerable production of various
foodstuffs, especially rice and corn. But right now rice is being imported from Indo-
In minerals, however, tin is the only one which is worth extracting to any con-
siderable extent under present conditions,that is to say, it is the only mineral
which can be profitably exported. Many other minerals could be exploited for local
use if the province were not so backward, or for use elsewhere in China if there
were any practical means of transportation except through Indo-China and thence by
sea back into China. If the province had an outlet to the Yangtsze valley by the
Yangtsze river (that constitutes its northern boundary) or to the China coast
through Canton, it could supply many raw materials for the more industrially ad-
vanced sections of China. Nevertheless, the mineral wealth of Yunnan does not
appear to be as vast as many have supposed.
For example, William A. Wong, E. M., Met. E., M. A., in his book on Mineral
Wealth of China (The Commercial Press, Shanghai, 1927), paints an extraordinarily
alluring picture of Yunnans underground potentialities. Antimony, coal, copper,
gold found all over the province, iron in almost every prefecture, mercury, nickel,
petroleum, platinum, tin, and some silver and tungsten are enumerated. But Miao
Yun-tai, an American educated mining engineer who is commissioner of industries
of Yunnan, discounts this picture to a considerable extent. There is, according to
Mr. Miao, quite a lot of antimony and silver, but the former does not compare
favorably with the deposits in Hunan. (Antimony and tungsten, incidentally, are the
only minerals in which China leads world production; in all other minerals, according
[ 23 ]

to the best evidence available, the country is exceedingly poor and thereby very
much handicapped in industrial potentialities.)
Minerals Are Poor in Quality.
There is also, according to Mr. Miao, a fair amount of lead and zinc available for
exploitation. Further, copper exists in appreciable quantities, but the ore is vastly
inferior in both quantity and quality to that existing in the American state of
Montana alone. Iron is widespread enough, as is shown by the brilliantly red soil in
many places, but the ore is so low grade that it will probably never be worth ex-
ploiting except, perhaps, for purely local needs. Thus the province is very poor in
what, altogether literally, is the backbone of modern industry. There is enough
coal for local use, but it is not good coking coal such as would be required for the
little iron production possible.
Tin, which will be discussed in greater detail presently, is really not very exten-
sive when compared to the great tin deposits of the world around Singapore and in
South America. Approximately 6,000 tons of tin are now being mined yearly in
Yunnan, and at this rate of production Mr. Miao estimates the life of the deposits
at not more than 40 years.
From this brief survey, it will be seen that Yunnan is not extraordinarily temp-
ting from the viewpoint of its mineral wealth, though it is by no means to be ignored.
After all, some day the world will have to depend to a large extent on mineral de-
posits that are now insignificant when compared to those that are intensively ex-
ploited, and hence being used up. It is possible that the French were fooled in
Yunnan; perhaps they were lured to obtain their present grip on the province by the
belief that it was much more wealthy than it really is. If so, this would explain
why they have never made any attempt to exploit its 'minerals and, whatever may
be their future intentions, appear to be in no hurry to annex it. But there can be
no doubt that they regard it as worth holding in reserve, and so have stamped it all
over with the chop of the Quai dOrsay.
It is an exceedingly curious fact, and one for which I can find no satisfactory
explanation, that the French have never taken possession, in one way or another, of
the Yunnan tin mines and exploited them. Tin is one of the essential raw materials
of modern industry, and being a component of bronze it has been used for thousands
of years. Today the bulk of the worlds tin supply is in British hands, except for
the vast deposits in Bolivia and in the Gran Chaco over which Bolivia and Paraguay
are fighting. Here there has been a long struggle between British and American
interests to dominate the Bolivian tin industry.
England has mined tin for centuries in Cornwall, where the supply is well on its
way to exhaustion, but she has huge deposits that are now being worked in the
Malay Straits Settlements as well as large deposits in Australia. France, on the
other hand, has no tin mines of her own except some relatively poor ones in Indo-
china that, I believe, are not now being exploited to any extent. By all imperialistic
logic, therefore, one of the Frances first acts upon penetrating Yunnan with her
railway early in the present centry should have been to grab the tin mines, which
are, incidentally, not very far from the Tonkin border. Instead, France has not only
never made any known attempt to take possession of the mines, but never except once
has she interfered with their operation by others. And she has but rarely bought
any of their output, usually obtaining her tin supply from England in the London
[ 24 ]

Varied Uses of Tin,
Of course, while tin is an essential raw material in modern industry, including
war, no great quantities of it are required. A very little tin will make a lot of
tinplate, which is an essential requirement of the canning industry. Neither pewter
nor bronze, which require tin, are extensively use at the present time, but tin is a
component of Babbitts metal (together with antimony and copper) which is used for
bearings, bushings, etc. in all kinds of machinery. And in chemical saltsstannous
oxide, stannic oxide, stannous chloride, stannic chloride, etc.tin has such varying
uses as polishing optical glasses and providing mordants for dyeing and calico-printing.
But only a few thousand tons of tin year are necessary for any great industrial
The Yunnan tin mines are located at Kochiu, 20 miles west of Mengtsz, on a
bare, granite ridge that is 5,900 feet above sea level. The mines were worked by
primitive methods for many years before the imperialistic opening of China, and
until the 1911 revolution foreigners were forbidden by law to buy tin in Yunnan,
export being entirely in Chinese hands. Nor did the French ever attempt, so far
as I can learn, to violate the law.
Development of the tin mines with modern machinery started in 1909 when the
Yunnan government and the owners of the land on which the mines are located
formed the Yunnan Mutual Tin Trading Company with capital of a million taels.
German engineers were engaged to erect a refinery which could smelt 50 tons of
standard tin a day (far too high an estimate) with gas from the adjacent coal field
of Takwang. The engineers suggested erecting the refinery at the railway station
of Pichichai, the ore to be transported from the mines 21 miles away by aerial rope-
way. The Chinese, however, feared to be this close to the French railway, so it was
decided to build the refinery at the mines. The plant was delivered from Germany
during 1910 and 1911 c.i.f. Haiphong, and the Chinese had to pay approximately 50%
of its value to transport it over the French railway to Pichichai.
In 1913, 138,000 piculs of tin were smelted and refined, and then the capital of
the company was exhausted. Arrangements followed for a loan of £35,000 from
the French-Russian firm of Panoff and Company, with the refinery to supply tin to
Panoff at Panoffs prices. The Chinese finally rejected this scheme and the refinery
closed with a total loss to shareholders. Native tin smelting then resumed.
The French displayed no further known interest in the mines. Shortly after
the world war an Englishman named Collison came to Yunnanfu from Singapore with
large qualities of silver dollars to induce the Yunnan government to give the Singa-
pore tin interests a monopoly on the ore at Kochiu. He proposed that the Straits
government would mint a special silver trading dollar to pay cash for the ore at the
mines at the world prices of the day. Whether the French would have allowed the
scheme to materialize is questionable; anyway, Mr. Collison died in Yunnanfu before
negotiating any contract, and no one followed him to attempt to carry through
the deal.
Since that time another Chinese company has been organized under auspices of
the provincial government to exploit the mines with modern machinery. A smelting
and refining plant has been erected, and a small railway has been built from the
mines to Pichichai. S. B. Archdeacon, an Englishman who was long technical ma-
nager of the Straits Tin Trading Company, has been engaged to supervise production.
The French, so far as I could learn, have absolutely nothing to do with the smelting
and refining company, and derive no profit from the tin except for hauling it to
Haiphong over their railway; by treaty there is no transit tax on the export of tin
through Tonkin. (With this exception, as I suppose is clear to the reader, Chinese
[ 25 ]

goods shipped out of Yunnan through Tonkin is taxed as extensively with transit
customs duties as non-French goods shipped through Tonkin into Yunnan.)
Yunnan Tin Sold in U. S. A.
The bulk of the tin produced in Yunnan is now sold to the United States, fetching
U. S. $600 a ton.
Such is the history and present status of Yunnan tin production; only time can
tell whether France will again register any interest in the mines. Today and for
some years past, tin is one of the many things of which there is world overproduction,
so France has no immediate economic incentive to bother about the Kochiu mines;
perhaps, however, they are secretly earmarked held in reserve.
Should the French ever ask for the tin mines, or anything else in Yunnan, I
cannot conceive of much resistance being offered by the Yunnanese Chinese. Most
native commercial enterprise, incidentally, is in Cantonese hands. The governor,
and many other high officials, as I shall recount in detail in the next chapter, are
aborigines whom the Chinese call Lolos.
So much for the economy of Yunnan. As has been stated they constitute
the only important non-French enterprise in the province. There is one other
bit of non-French development under foreign technical supervisionthe Yao Lung
Electric Light Company of Yunnanfu,and while it is not now of much conse-
quence, and probably never will be as long as the French are in control, its history
may be given here for the further illumination it sheds on the obstacles France
places in the way of non-Gallic activity.
The light company, with hydroelectric powerwhich could be developed exten-
sively in small units throughout Yunnan, started before the world war and is
privately owned by Chinese. Its plant of 500 horsepower was installed by Siemens,
the great German firm already mentioned. Germany then was in a too powerful
position for France to oppose. A German engineer was employed to supervise the
operations of the company and a German remained on the job until the last year
of the war when a French engineer was installed. One German engineer died in
Yunnanfu during the war period and neither the French nor the British would
allow him to be buried in their cemeteries, but the Chinese owners of the company
provided an especial burying-ground and have kept the grave green ever since.
After the war, the company succeeded somehow in getting rid of the French
engineer, and a Danish engineer, who was really employed by Siemens, took charge.
In 1923 the first extension of 650 horsepower was purchased for the plant. It was
bought from Siemens by the Chinese very secretly and installed by the Dane. Later
another German engineer was able to enter the province and take over.
Due to a large amount of theft of electricity and improper installation of wires,
the plant has been very inefficient in recent years, not enough light being available
much of the time for reading. So another extension of 950 horsepower was recently
decided upon, and this time French influence was sufficiently strong to call for pur-
chase of the new unit in France. However, when the French discovered the com-
pany, for financial reasons, would have to buy on credit, they declined the order.
So Siemens is installing the new extension without objection, and due to their
long association with the company they are apparently confident of being paid in full
The moral of this little story seems to be that the French are quite liberal with
other peoples credit.
[ 26 ]

The characters for Yunnan mean clouds south, or south of the clouds, the
significance supposedly being that the province is south of cloudy Szechwan. And
Szechwan today, incidentally, is cloudy politically as well as meterorologically,
judging not only by its geographical relation to British Tibet and French Yunnan,
but also by the recent mysterious parleys in Chungking which involved Sir Miles
Lampson, British minister to China, and M. Meyrier, French Consul-General at
Yunnan has had a hectic political history every since the days when it was in-
dependent NanchowSouthern Kingdomto the present. After it came under
Chinese sway it was long a sort of Siberia to which political offenders from the
north were exiled. In fact, it thus acquired its Mandarin dialect which, in the course
of time, has become somewhat corrupted, both in pronunciation and by non-Mandarin
idioms such as chow-tien (wine dispensary) for hotel instead of the Mandarin fan-
tien (food dispensary).
Today Yunnan is the last stronghold of the aboriginal tribes of China who were
probably constantly pushed south by the Chinese into not only Yunnan, but also
into adjoining provinces and Tonkin and Burma. Some of the tribes, however, have
most likely lived in the Tankin-Burma-Yunnan area from time immemorial. The
Yunnan aborigines are divided into three groups. The first group is the Tibeto-
Burman, including the Nosh, Moso and Chin tribes.^ These are lumped together by
the Chinese under the name of Lolo,^ardesignation the tribesmen regard as in-
sulting. The second group is the Mon-Khmer, including the Miao and Yao tribes,
as well as some others. The third group is the Chino-Siamese, which includes the
Tai tribes.
These various tribes constitute at least one third of the population of Yunnan
with the Lolos being the highest in culture (having developed not only a picture
writing but also their own system of characters) and the most virile. The Lolos also
extend into Szechwan, and on the Szechwan side of the Yangtsze River, across from
Yunnan, there has existed for centuries what is usually designated Independent
Lololand for the tribesmen there are completely independent of all Chinese authority.
Further, to this day they regularly capture and enslave Chinese from the surrounding
territory to perform menial toil. This territorylying between Ningyuanfu and
Hweilichow and about 70 miles wide and 120 miles longis not unified, being split
up among a number of Lolo kings, but they invariably unite in keeping Chinese
out of the area unless they are forcibly brought in as slaves.
A Lolo Governor.
The present governor of YunnanLung Yunis a Lolo of the Nosu tribe who
was bom in Yunnan along the Yangtsze, but who has relatives in Independent Lolo-
land. The No. 2 of the provincial government, Lu Han, who distributes patronage
and collects revenue, is General Lungs cousin. There are also several other Nosus
in the government. General Lungs first wife was a Nosu, but he later married a
Chinese who, before her recent death, is said to have aided him extensively in playing
politics. He now has another Chinese wife, but she is apparently only decorative.
General Lung has acquired a fair degree of Chinese culture, despite addiction to
I 27 ]

the opium pipe, but allegedly in moderation. He, however, retains a close connection
with his tribe on both sides of the Yangtsze.
General Lung is the first Lolo in modern times to achieve any high position in
Yunnan affairs, and this fact gives new importance, political and otherwise, to the
aborigines of the province. Generally, the aborigines had been regarded as degene-
rating rapidly until recent years when many missionaries started working among
them. The Rev. A. Evans, a veteran in the service of the English Methodist mission
in Yunnan, which has a large station in Chaotung in the Lolo country and near
Independent Lololand, voiced the opinion to me that Christitanity has saved the
Lolos. Psychologically speaking, that is quite a sound thesis in many respects.
For centuries the aborigines have been surrounded by the hostile Chinese, and except
in Independent Lololand they have been too isolated to put up an effective re-
sistance, despite their warlike qualities, against the prolonged attrition. Educational
and other aid to them by the missionaries, aside from any moralistic or supernatural
influence, could very well achieve what Professor Pavlov so succinctly describes as
a reconditioning of reflexes, and thus give them a new lease on life.
Against the opinion of Mr. Evans, however, I will cite Dr. Joseph F. Rock, the
distinguished American scientist and explorer who has spent much time among all
the aborigines, but particularly among the Mosos, and who is now engaged in writing
an exhaustive account of this tribe, including a complete grammar and dictionary of
their written and spoken language. The Mosos number about 300,000 and Dr. Rock
declares they are the most cultured and virile of all the aborigines, and not one of
them has ever been converted to Christianity. Further, he reports, they generally
boycott missionaries.
Of course, long before the advent of missionaries into Yunnan, 'many of the
aborigines had to a greater or less degree come into the Chinese cultural orbit,
although not many of them have taken to opium. Further there are a few hundred
tumuh Lolos who are among the wealthiest land owners in the province. General
Lung is of this class. But the struggle of the aborigines against the Chinese has
been a hard one; in the days of the empire, government officials in the Lolo country
derived their principal revenue from fining the Lolos,both litigants in any law case
being fined impartially.
There are about a million Lolos in the province, and they comprise the most im-
portant group among the aborigines. Missionary work among them has aroused
considerable supsicion among the Chinese who only a few years ago effectively
blocked a plan of the English Methodists to extend their activity into Independent
Lololand. The Chinese reason was fear that an effort was being 'made to ally these
tribesmen with the Tibetans in the constant assault of the latter on Kokonor. The
Lolos are distantly related to the Tibetans, but they have little cultural contact with
them at the present time.
Red Elements Gradually Eliminated.
Naturally, the possibility exists for a truly Machiavellian maneuver of mobili-
zing the Lolos for foreign political purposes in both Yunnan and Szechwan. It can
be cited, for example, that General Lung himself once attended a missionary school,
although he has never made any pretense to acquiring Christianity. But the school
he attended was an English Methodist institution and, as I shall presently recount,
he became governor of Yunnan with the aid of the French. Further, the French
Catholic missionaries in Yunnan have never been active to any appreciable extent
among the Lolos or other aborigines. So at the moment no very valid evidence can
be presented of any political plot involving the Lolos. However, there would be an
[ 28 ]

obvious advantage to France if the Lolos could be enlisted in her support to counter
any Chinese opposition to her domination of Yunnan. And with the growing eleva-
tion and influence of the Lolos in the province, such as development may well be
under way. In fact, judging by the tactics of the Japanese in maintaining that Man-
churia is Manchu, France might sometime claim that Yunnan is Lolo and thereby
assert her right to protect it even as Tonkin and Manchukuo are now protected!
General Lung succeeded Tang Chia-yao as governor of Yunnan. General Tang
ruled with the exception of a few brief intervals from 1912 until his death in 1927.
General Lung was then in the provincial army, and started maneuvering for the
governorship, but there was a long period of fighting, anarchy and Red activity be-
fore old fashioned law and order were again established. I recall receiving in 1929
a letter from Yunnanfu from Captain Erich von Salzmann, the eminent German
correspondent, who was there for quite a period waiting until the British officials in
Burma could find out from London, or somewhere, that the world war was over and
in consequence allow him to proceed overland to Rangoon. Captain von Salzman
reported that soviets had been established in some villages and persons with any
appreciable property were protecting it by going around disguised as beggars!
But the Red elements were never able to establish any sort of a provincial
regime and were gradually eliminated. They did leave their imprint on the province
in certain minor social changesfree choice in marriage is fairly common today even
in the villages and feminism is quite pronounced in Yunnanfu,but they largely
disappeared without a trace. And while feminism has obtained a distinct hold on
the province, foot-binding is not unknown to this day even in Yunnanfu.
With the Red failure, various military chieftans fought each other for a con-
siderable period, and General Lung once escaped death by taking refuge in the French
Consulate. About a year ago the then French consul, M. Levi, inadvertently ment-
ioned in an address at a dinner attended by General Lung that we (French) are
glad to have once given protection to the governor. This reminder so infuriated
General Lung that the French are said to have recalled M. Levi in consequence.
That General Lung was given French protection does not prove, of course, that
he was an avowed tool of the French. Many warlords have been protected thus
from time to time; it is French practice to provide sanctuary in time of trouble for
anyone of importance who is not their enemy. There is no indication that the
French preferred General Lung to any of his rivals; very likely they were benignly
indifferent except for a genuine desire to see the best man (from a military view-
point) win, because such a man would be most useful in establishing order and
protecting French interests. And if he should turn out to be anti-Frenchwell, let
him try to get a supply of arms and munitions! And a good rival could easily be
found and inspired to gubernatorial ambitions. Naturally, under conditions prevail-
ing in Yunnanwith the French in control of the door through which arms must
enter (except by impracticable caravan routes), and with the province so isolated
from the rest of China that aid from outside Chinese sources is virtually impossible,
any provincial government will almost inevitably be pro-French. Most persons
refrain from deliberately pounding their heads against a stone wall.
Maintains Order Ruthlessly.
In 1930 General Lung came out on top in the scramble for power, and he has
remained firmly in the saddle ever since except for the brief revolt in 1931 which
resulted in the outsing of Chang Wei-han, the anti-French Commissioner of foreign
affairs. Since he has been governor, General Lung has ruthlessly maintained order.
Not only have all Reds, suspected Reds and suspected pro-Reds been slaughtered,
[ 29 ]

but banditry has been pretty well eliminated. Only one important bandit chief is
still at large, Li Shao-tsung, who perhaps significantly is in the southwestern
part of the province, near the Burma border. It is to any foreign interest to keep
him there? That he has a certain amount of following was indicated by the pre-
cautions taken last year when his lieutenant, Yu Fa-chi, was captured and sub-
sequently executed in Yunnanfu. The execution was conducted very secretly simul-
taneously with the posting of a proclamation to the effect that he was being well
treated in jail while awaiting trial. After his execution another proclamation was
posted that he would be executed.
At the present time General Lungs regime gives every indication of strength
and permanence, although there is a considerable amount of political jockeying. Just
recently, for example, Swen Tu, an avowed enemy of Lu Han and whom Lu once
sought to kill, has returned to Yunnanfu after a long absence and has been appointed
chief of staff by General Lung. Many observers think General Lung is using Swen
to counter Cousin Lu who is regarded as unduly ambitious.
Due to his elimination of the Reds, and the fact that he has, with aid of French
arms and munitions, made Yunnan into probably the most peaceful province of
China, General Lung is quite popular with most of the foreigners who are living
under his protection. The French especially seem very well satisfied with him al-
though he allows vigorously anti-French propaganda campaigns to be conducted now
and then. For example, when the Nanking Government recently instigated a nation-
wide drive to raise an anti-Japanese fund by deducting 10% from the wages of all
government employes, General Lung fell in linehe always professes profound loy-
alty to Nanking,but upon second thought he decided the Yunnan provincial govern-
ment ought to keep the money it raised to build defenses against a possible French
invasion. Whereupon there was an obviously officially inspired propaganda cam-
paign throughout the province that a French invasion was imminent. And later
France obligingly supplied the arms and munitions (and four airplanes, as told
previously) to protect the province against herself!
Another recent incident resulting from real, or otherwise, fear of the French
occurred during a serious fire in Hokow which is separated by a short bridge from
Laokay in Tonkin. The French authorities in Laokay offered to send across their
engines to assist in fighting the blaze, but the offer was refused by the Chinese on
the grounds that the French army might follow.
It is my own impression that in at least a part of the Yunnan government there
is a genuine fear of the French. In a sense the government is a puppet regime,
although it is by no means a 100% willing puppet regime. But in the last few
years, I think the French have been putting forth strenuous efforts to 'make it so
by assiduous cultivation and entertainment of government officials, and also, accord-
ing to one informant, by outright subsidies to some of the large French-educated
element among them.
General Lungs method of government are those of an old fashioned Oriental
military satrap with additional modern technique as a Tangpu (Kuomintang
member) to enlist popular support among the business men and exceedingly small
intelligentsia. Students, for example, are subsidized to the extent of $20 to $30
(Yunnan money, ten dollars of which are about one dollar Shanghai money) a month
to proclaim the glory and beneficence of the government to the public.
A carryover from General Tangs day is a revival of Buddhism. General Tang
proclaimed himself a patron of Buddhism and started restoring the temples of
Sishan (Western Mountain) which overlooks Yunnanfu across Lake Kouenyang just
outside the city. Sishan rises about 1,500 feet above the level of Yunnanfu with a
thousand steps (really many more) leading sharply to the top past a series of
[ 30 ]

temples constructed on narrow terraces. At the top are two temples, one above the
other, that have been hewn into the solid rock with Buddhas and other designs
carved out of the rock in their interiors. Each temple runs about 15 feet into the
massive mountain, and each is about ten feet high,truly monumental accomplish-
ments considering the tools available at the time of their construction. The temples,
the woodlands on the mountain, especially the exquisite bamboo groves, flowers as
varied at the tropical orchid and the alpine edelweiss for which the Alps are famous,
and the vividly blue lake below combine to make Sishan one of the most beautiful
places in China. So General Tangs campaign to restore it and preserve it was not
without merit, but the Buddhist priests he established there are now claiming com-
plete possession and refusing to allow the peasants living along the lakes edge to
obtain firewood and other materials from what was formerly regarded as communal
land. And to justify possession, the priests have dug up the bones of their dead
brothers from many places and planted them on the mountain! In this maneuver
they have been supported by the present government although General Lung makes
no boast of Buddhism.
Thus the Buddhist revival continues, while at the same time members of the
Kuomintang have closed a number of temples in Yunnanfu. And some anti-religious
propagandists have painted in huge Chinese characters The Great Brothel on one
of the Sishan temples!
The Yunnan army consists of about 26,000 men. Arms include fairly modern
rifles, machine guns and one and two pounders. There is some conscription. The
soldiers are paid regularly though little and in public deportment they are much
better than in many places in China, although they do not compare favorably with
the well disciplined troops of such a relatively advanced and progressive area as
Kwangtung. The Yunnanese officers are quite cocky, and I received many apparently
authentic accounts of their misbehavior.
As has frequently been mentioned, the army obtains its supplies from French
sources. An unusually large arms deal was negotiated a few months ago and the
goods 24 carloads of rifles, anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and ammunition
arrived while I was in Yunnanfu. Hundreds of oxcarts were commandeered without
compensation to transport the munitions from the railway station to various depots.
The deal amounted to U. S. $1,450,000 and was enlivened by some rare Celestial
comedy. It was negotiated by a Frenchman named M. Dedieu in U. S. currency just
before the United States went off the gold standard. Just why U. S. currency was
preferred to the French franc, I was unable to learn. Anyway, after the contract
had been duly signed and sealed, U. S. forsook gold, and M. Dedieu doubtless suffered
acute pain in many parts,for he asked the Yunnan authorities to change the con-
tract into French francs. They refused, M. Dedieu insisted. General Lung sent
some troops into the vicinity of the place where M. Dedieu was staying. The French
consul personally escorted M. Dedieu to a train. Eventually, things were evidently
amicably arrangedwith the contract remaining in U. S. currency, however,for M.
Dedieu returned to Yunnanfu at about the same time the munitions arrived, and for
all I know he is still living happily there.
At the rate of exchange then prevailing, it will be noted that the arms deal
involved over $5,000,000 in Shanghai currency, or more than $50,000,000 in Yunnan
currency, while the total annual budget of Yunnan is only about $86,000,000 in the
currency of the province.
Yunnan Currency.
Yunnan currency, as is obvious, is in very low state and is constantly fluctua-
ting. There is, it should be explained, two kinds of currency in circulation, the old
[ 31 ]

and the new. The new currency is worth five times as much as the old, but the
old still dominates. The old dollar during the past year has ranged from 12 to 18.50
for one Indo-China piastre. The last quotation I obtained was 18.30. In large part,
probably the largest part, the depreciation is due to the unstable economic condition
of the Yunnan, but it is definitely known that bear raids have been conducted on the
currency by the branch of the Bank de llndochine in Yunnanfu. Thus, whenever
the provincial government is able through shipments of tin or opium to establish
credits in Shanghai or Hongkong, the Bank buys up these credits. Consequently the
bank is able to manipulate the currency of the province as it wishes, which is in-
variably downward.
The reason for seeking to keep the Yunnan dollar down is evidently purely
political, for trade would be better served by maintaining as favorable rate of ex-
change between the dollar and piastre as possible. It can only be surmised that the
French think the amount of additional trade from a more favorable rate of exchange
would be so small as to be unimportant compared to keeping Yunnan finances under
the thumb of the Bank de llndochine. Because of the currency fluctuation, most
contracts in the province are negotiated in piastres.
The new Yunnan currency is issued by the reorganized provincial bank, known
as the New Futien Bank. It may or may not be of importance to record that this
bank has one foreign advisor, a Frenchman named M. Pihiet. He is the only
foreigner now connected with the provincial government.
The Bank de llndochine is the only foreign bank in the province. One of its
big sources of revenue is selling drafts to military men to export their savings from
the province to banks elsewhere.
French Activities.
Yunnanfu, it may surprise the reader to learn, is not a treaty port, and foreign
residence (except for missionaries) and foreign institutions (except missions) there
are really illegal. The only treaty ports of Yunnan are Mengtsz, Hokow, Szemao
and Tengyueh. Yunnanfu is what the Chinese call self-openedreally, of course,
it was opened by the French because it is the most important city in the province,
and institutions other than French, including the British and American consulates,
followed the French there.
If and when the new Sino-French commercial treaty is ratified, Yunnanfus
position as treaty port de facto will be legalized. Also Chinese consulates will be
allowed in Indo-China, none being allowed there now.
In addition to illegally opening Yunnanfu to foreign trade and residence, the
French are violating other treaties. They have, for example, several radio receiving
and sending sets in the railway zone while at the same time, as I previously pointed
out, they will not allow any importation of radios for other people, including the
Chinese, into the province. The French also have a dozen or so Anna'mese consular
guards in Yunnanfu, although they are apparently purely decorative and hence of
not much significance.
There are other Annamese resident in the province, and the French, following
the same policy as Japan in the case of Koreans resident in China, will not allow
the Annamese to become Chinese citizens. This tends, of course, to keep the Anna-
mese and Chinese separated.
In cultural penetration, French activity is largely confined to Catholic mission-
aries who are not as numerous as non-French Protestant missionaries. The French
also indulge in considerable entertainment of influential Chinese. Two hospitals
[ 32 ]

the Calmette and the Francaisare maintained largely to woo Chinese good will.
An Annamese school is maintained which admits Chinese. Little direct propaganda
is conducted by the French, probably because they regard literacy as too low to make
it worth while. Havas (French official news agency) reports, which are distributed
so assiduously to both foreign and Chinese newspapers in Shanghai and elsewhere
in China, are not distributed to the Chinese press of Yunnanfu. Some of them are
picked up by radio and posted in a few places (in French) for the benefit of foreign
The French, incidentally, own very little land in Yunnanfu outside of that neces-
sary for operation of the railway. This is further evidence of what I have pointed
out before, that French activity in the province, except for the railway, has so far
been more political than economic.
About half the foreign educated element in the government are returned
students from France.
Non-French cultural activity is slightly more extensive than French cultural
activity. I already have cited the preponderance of non-French Protestant mission-
aries, but noneCatholic or Protestantappear to be making much headway in con-
versions. The only estimate of results I could obtain, which was from a missionary,
placed the professed Christians of both the Protestant and Catholic varieties at not
more than 7,000 throughout the province. The American Y.M.C.A. has a member-
ship of about 1,200, only 60 of whom profess Christianity. When the Y estab-
lished itself in Yunnanfu several years ago it was denounced in the Indo-China press
as a subversive American political institution, but it has not encountered any other
opposition from the French. Nor do the French appear to place any obstacles in
the way of non-French Protestant missionary work.
The Church Missionary Society of the Church of England operates a hospital in
Yunnanfu and also engages in some educational work.
As far as the naked eye can observe, the chief activity of the British and
American consulates, aside from protecting their missionary nationals, is to watch
the Frenchwhich must keep them pretty busy.
[ 33 ]

Many Chinese have recently compared the position of Yunnan with that of
Manchuria; actually there is very little resemblance except that all national brands
of imperialism have much in common. But Yunnan is no life-line to France as
Manchuria was claimed to be by imperialistic Japan. Yunnan gives France a small
trade territory, provides an income of several thousand piastres annually for the
French Indo-China treasury in transit customs duties and transit visas, and con-
stitutes a strategic wedge into China, but the province assuredly is not absolutely
vital to French imperialistic welfare.
In my opening chapter I said that the French railway into Yunnan is a more
potent instrument of imperialism than the South Manchuria Railway ever was. This
is because the French railway is the only practical means of entry into and exit
from Yunnan while Manchuria was provided with rail transportation to and from
China proper and the Soviet Union, as well as to and from Japanese territory.
Thus Manchuria was not isolated from China proper as Yunnan is, and further it
was possible to play two major powersJapan and Russiaagainst each other in
Manchuria. In Yunnan the French grip is not challenged by China or any other
country,which fact, rather ironically, may save the province from the fate of Man-
churia. For one thing that might induce France to alter her present policy and
formally sever Yunnan from Chinese sovereignty would be the same thing that
happened in Manchuria,Chinese development, which threatened alien domination,
while at the same time another power was extremely influential in the area. The
purported Memorial of Tanaka to the contrary notwithstanding, it seems to me that
Japan would most likely never have taken the course she pursued had not Chinese
railway construction, harbor-building at Hulutao, etc. threatened Tokyos economic
dominion in Manchuria concidentally with Soviet trade advancement. In brief, had
the Chinese offered no effective opposition to Japanese exploitation, Tokyo probably
would have been content to allow Nanking to retain technical sovereignty over the
How the French Strangle-hold Could Be Broken.
The French strangle-hold, political and economic, on Yunnan could be broken by
such a superfically simple development as building a railway, or even a good motor
highway, from Yunnanfu to Nanning, on a branch of the West River, in Kwangsi
Province. This would furnish an outlet to Canton via the West River and thence to
other parts of China by sea, and also by train when the Canton-Hankow railway is
completed. A Yunnanfu-Nanning road or railway would be less than 500 miles in
length, and while construction would require expert engineering and it would not be
inexpensive, it is altogether feasible. The route is, in fact, the natural outlet for
Yunnan to the rest of China. It is now a caravan route, requiring about 23 days to
traverse,and nothing but opium can afford the transportation charges.
A railway or motor highway to Suifu, on the Yangtsze, River, would also be
possible, but transportation facilities down the Yangtsze from Suifu to Chungking
are not very adequate for modern commerce, and even from Chungking to Ichang
(through the gorges) the trip is somewhat hazardous and expensive.
[ 34 ]

An efficient outlet through Kwangsi, therefore, is the most practical way to
break the French monopoly on Yunnan. But while superfically simple, it is virtually
impossible at any time in the predictable future. For one thing the French are so
dominant in Yunnan and sufficiently influential in Kwangsi to prevent the govern-
ments of these provinces from reaching the necessary accord and raising the re-
quired funds for such a project. Further, there is it too much indigenous provincial
rivalry to allow a development of this nature; were the provinces^ effectively con-
nected, Yunnan would constantly be in fear of agression by the warlords of Kwangsi
and Kwangsi would likewise constantly be in fear of an assault by the warlords of
Yunnan. Any sense of nationalism is almost, if not entirely, non-existent among
the military cliques that hold sway in these provinces,and its absence is undoubt-
edly fostered by the French. And the Nanking government is not able to assert any
authority in the two provinces even if it were in the position otherwise to supply the
money for a Yunnanfu-Nanning road or railway project. Nor is the Canton go-
vernment in any better position to undertake such a scheme.
Hence the question of whether or not France would permit the Chinese to obtain
real sovereignty, political and economic, over Yunnan is today purely academic and
need not be discussed further.
On the other hand, the health of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa is at the present
time of perhaps major importance to the future of Yunnan. The Dalai Lama is
now 58, and with sanitation being what it is in Tibet his actuarial prospects are
probably none too good. And when he dies a major crisis may be precipitated in
Central Asia. For the present British hold on Tibet depends largely on the Dalai
While the Dalai Lama is ardently pro-British, the other lamas are largely anti-
British and would support the Panchan Lama who is pro-Chinese and who has lived
in China ever since he was forced out of Tibet in 1924 by the British. (My infor-
mation given here on Tibet comes, I will add, from an extremely alert and reliable
person who has investigated the situation first hand and knows exactly whereof he
speaks. I cannot, however, reveal his name for political reasons).
The Panchan Lama is younger than the Dalai Lama, and if he survives the
Dalai Lama he will undoubtedly attempt a comeback. In any event the reins of the
Tibetan government would, upon the death of the Dalai Lama, automatically fall
into the hands of the various leading lamas of the country until a new Dalai Lama
reaches maturity, an infant being chosen for the new reincarnation. Since the
majority of these lamas are anti-British, the British raj would thus be threatened.
The British are quite well aware of this possibility and so in recent years have
devoted much attention to developing a British-educated younger generation in the
government as well as endeavoring to Anglicize the Tibetan army. The lamas are
vigorously opposing all westernization on principle, and at the moment they appear
to be effectively blocking further Anglicization. However, if the Dalai Lama lives
long enough the British may eventually triumph in their policy of peaceful puppe-
tization of the government and so avoid a crisis when he dies.
A Delicate Situation in Tibet.
But if British hegemony is threatened by the death of the present Dalai Lama,
Downing Street will be forced to take vigorous action or face the prospect of losing
Tibet. Consequently, actual annexation of the area by England looms,and France
could hardly afford to see such an upset in the balance of power in Central Asia
without some counter-action, which most likely would be the annexation of Yunnan.
Moscow is also taking some interest in Tibet, partly through the Buriats, who are
r 35 ]

kinsmen of the Tibetans, in the Soviet Union, and British annexation would doubt
less have reprecussions in the Kremlin. Here, however, no further discussion of
this angle of the situation is necessary.
According to Tibetan tradition, incidentally, the 13th Dalai Lama will be the
last,and the present Dalai Lama is No. 13.
The delicate situation in Tibet, it is important to note, fully explains the con-
stant Tibetan aggression in Kokonor and Szechwan. Tatsienlu, near the Min River
in Szechwan and less than 200 miles southwest of Chengtu, is the natural gateway
of the rest of China into the Tibetan area, including western Szechwan, Chambo
and Kokonor. And British maps show Tatsienlu as the proper eastern boundary of
Tibet,which means the British regard Tibet as including all of western Szechwan
extending to the Yalung River and along more than half the northern border of
Yunnan. And in this connection the British China Year Book proclaims that the
Tibetans claim a boundary which is supported by records of great antiquity, while
the Chinese stand upon the results of their imperialistic policies during the last
200 years.
Now if the Tibetans under the present Dalai Lama, with an army directed by
British-trained officers and possessing British Enfield rifles and other British arms, are
able to extend their eastern boundary to Tatsienlu, possible future developments
would be very much simplified. Then, should Great Britain ever find it necessary
in pursuit of her imperial policy to annex Tibet, she would obtain also another large
and valuable slice of China without any ostensible aggression on her part. Thus,
despite reports of peace pacts, the Tibetan assault on western China may be ex-
pected to continue steadily, and since the Tibetans are being armed by the British
they have a vast technical superiority over the Chinese forces opposing them. One
significant result of the war so far has been the closing of the caravan route from
Yunnanfu into Tibet through Yerkelo on the present Yunnan-Tibetan border. This
not only cuts off a certain amount of Chinese trade with Tibet, especially export of
teawhich the British perhaps hope to supply the Tibetans from India,but also
may be regarded as an omen of the future. It requires, incidentally, 41 days to
reach the present Tibetan border from Yunnanfu.
From what has been set forth, it can be seen that the next great imperialistic
drama of the Orient may be staged on the vast tablet-lands of Yunnan and Tibet,
which border on India, Burma, Indo-China, the U. S. S. R., Szechwan and the upper
navigable part of the Yangtsze River. A few years ago, it is worth while to note
in passing, such a drama would not have been practicable save in very primitive
fashion, such as the fighting that has been going on between the Tibetans and the
Chinese. Mountainous terrain with passes thousands of feet high and buried in
snow most of the year, tropical jungles in some places, such as southern Yunnan,
and the extreme isolation of strategic points would have made warfare exceedingly
difficult if not often impossible. But today, if one or more of the worlds great
powers ever get into action, Gods greatest gift to imperialiststhe airplanewill
be brought into play.
The Potency of Aerial Warfare.
Peaks wont have to be climbed; they will be flown over and death will be
dealt from the skies to any below who deny or defy the supremacy of imperialistic
civilization. A few men can spread more destruction and terror in a week than
vast armies formerly could in years, and few persons can be expected to retain
any morale long when exposed to aerial attack. In the past, 'modern imperialistic
aggression has been largely confined to areas that could be conquered and patroled
36 ]

with gunboats, or where comparatively level land made army maneuvers facile;
what can be done through aerial conquest has already been admirably illustrated
by the Japanese campaigns in Manchuria and Jehol. Further, possession of a few
airplanes and ability to operate them in industrially backward countries cant mean
much in countering attack from the air; efficient aerial technique, by its very nature,
must be rooted firmly in a solid industrial base.
The French already have given Yunnan one aerial scare. In February, 1932,
five French war planes soared unannounced over Yunnanfu and landed in a field
outside the walled city. The visit of course, was alleged to be entirely friendly, and
the fact that it was unannounced was conveniently explained as a telegraphers
error,but one may be pardoned for wondering if it were not more of a warning
than a good will junket. No dispute was, let it be noted, pending at the time, but
warnings are often issued as a matter of principle as well as for specific purposes.
Yunnan as a Buffer State.
I said in the first chapter that I found no evidence that any French invasion of
Yunnan was imminent. And as the obverse of possible eventual British annexation
of Tibet which 'most likely would precipitate a change in French policy, it must be
noted that any violent alteration in the present tactics of the Quai dOrsay in Yun-
nan would have repercussions in Downing Street. For the British now undoubtedly
regard Yunnan as a sort of buffer state between Burma and Indo-China. Siam
serves as a buffer between most of the rest of Indo-China and Burma, with the half
of Siam adjacent to Indo-China being recognized as a French sphere of influence
with the half adjoining Burma is a British sphere of influence. Great Britain once
apparently contemplated offering competition to France in exploiting Yunnan, and
there was talk for years of a railway from Burma to Yunnanfu, but there is nothing
to indicate that it is now under consideration. Great Britain still has some influence
in the part of Yunnan adjacent to Burma and a SinoBritish border dispute in Pi
Ma and Kiang Sing Pu (along the Yunnan-Tibet-Burma boundary) is still in pro-
gress. It appears, however, to be more a matter of face than of importance, and
England seems to be content to allow France to maintain uncontested its present
strangle-hold on Yunnan. But if Paris upsets the existing balance of power, there
would almost certainly be something more interesting than equanimity to report
from London.
Now, since there looms no challenge in the predictable future to French domin-
ation of Yunnan, while the British hold on Tibet is more precarious, future changes,
if any, are most likely to be precipitated in the land of the lamas unless, of course,
something wholly out of the field of the present discussion arises sooner somewhere
in the world to shake even the massive peaks of the Himalayas. In any event,
judging by the sanguinary history of imperialism, the present balance of power in
Central Asia can not exist indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Yunnan constitutes a French spearhead into China proper. Further,
France regards as her sphere of influence all of China bordering on Indo-China,
that is, Kwangsi and western Kwangtung. There is a railway from Hanoi to near
the Kwangsi border. In Kwangtung France now has a minor base in the leased
territory of Kwangchowwan, and she also has some sort of a vested interest in
Yamchow (or Chingchow) on the Kwangtung coast through the Yamchow-Chungking
railway contract that has already been described. The large island of Hainan, said
to be quite rich in various mineral resources and located across the Gulf of Tonkin
from Haiphong, is also included in the French imperialistic sphere although British
trade there is today greatly in excess of French trade. But of all countries, France
only has a consul in Kiungchow, the principal city of Hainan Island. France also
[ 37 ]

is the only country to maintain consulates in Lungchow and Nanning, in Kwangsi
Province, and in Pakhoi, which is not far from Yamchow.
That France is still intent upon expanding and consolidating her Far Eastern
empire was clearly indicated just recently in the annexation of the seven Coral Island
in the South China Sea east of Saigon and southeast of Hainan Island. These
islands comprise no more than 300 acres and apparently are of no commercial im-
portance except for sea products and some small deposits of bird ordure, but as a
writer in the French magazine UIllustration pointed out, certain reefs there are 10
miles across and enclose lagoons of calm water that can provide excellent refuge
for seaplanes, submarines and small craft. Thus the islands loom as a naval and
air baseagainst whom? The Japanese protests against the French annexation of
the islands are doubtless quite sincere, despite the rather obvious understanding
between Paris and Tokyo on the exploitation of China, but doubtless amity will
eventually be fully restored and who knows ? the isles might turn out to be a
joint base for both France and Japan.
French Plans in the Far East.
Reuter reported on August 28 this year from Rabat, Morocco, that with the
surrender of Sheik Ouskounti France had completed the pracification of French
Morocco. In consequence, the Quai dOrsay may now plan to devote its undivided
imperialistic energy to the Far East.
Aside from possible developments in Central Asia, the Far Eastern balance of
power has already beeii badly upset by Japans conquest, and a new era of intensive
western imperialism at the expense of China is almost inevitably bound to follow if
it has not already started. Other powerful nations cannot afford in their own self
interest, to let Japan get away with everything; if China is to be despoiled there
must be some equity in the division. This does not necessarily mean actual annex-
ation, either outright or through puppets. The other great powers might not care
to add to their already extensive policing duties, and so will seek to offset Japans
gains by increasing demands for special rights in trade and exploitation in lieu of
forthright seizures.
If that is to be the immediate policy of France, her strangle-hold on Yunnan
gives her a powerful weapon in dealing with both Nanking and Canton. Despite
transportation difficulties, Yunnan has sent forth three military expeditions in the
last 17 years to engage in civil war in other parts of China. The first of them, in
fact, was largely instrumental in preventing Yuan Shih-kai from becoming emperor
in 1916. There is no evidence to indicate that France had anything to do with these
expeditions of the past,hut she could inspire similar expeditions in the future.
In a previous chapter I quoted M. Baudez, French Consul in Yunnanfu, as ex-
plaining that he did not believe it would be possible for France to allow shipment in
bond through Tonkin into Yunnan in the present state of China because we
never know when Yunnan might revolt against the central government in Nanking.
Here is clear admission, even though probably not so intended, that France is in a
position to keep Yunnan outwardly loyal to Nanking on a quid pro quo basis.
Yunnan could also be similarly manipulated against the Canton government.
Perhaps that explains why Canton has taken so much greater interest in faraway
Japanese imperialism than she has ever displayed in French imperialism in her
own bailiwick, for Dr. Kan Chieh-hou, one of the leaders of the Canton clique, is
inspector-general for foreign affairs in the five southwestern provinces, which in-
cludes Yunnan. Last June, before I knew anything about the Yunnan situation save
second hand, I asked Dr. Kan about various reports I had heard. He assured me
[ 38 ]

he had investigated all of them, and there was nothing to worry about. A little
tension had arisen, he said, because the son of Governor Lung Yun had had some
difficulties with French customs inspectors on his return from Europe through Indo-
china, but it was nothing serious. Further, Dr. Kan boasted that Yunnan had
enough troops to drive the French out of Indo-China if they started anything.
In regard to the incident involving the governors son, Dr. Kan was right;
it was not serious. Whether there was anything else for the Chinese to worry
about, I leave to the best judgement of the reader. As to the strength of the
Yunnan army, Dr. Kan must have been badly misinformed. In size it may out-
number the French troops in Indo-China; I dont know. But with no artillery
heavier than two-pounders, only a few airplanes capable of flying (several of the
planes that have been purchased have cracked up), only one or two really competent
pilots, and largely directed by a corrupt and opium-soaked general staff, the Yunnan
army would have little chance in either offense or defense against the efficient and
well equipped French forces. The Yunnan army might make excellent headway in
a civil war where it faced troops similary handicapped, but except for a miracle it
could not be expected to defend the province successfully against a French invasion.
A few thousand Foreign Legionnares with the assistance of an airplane squadron
could probably take most of Yunnan as quickly as the Japanese did Jehol, both areas
having a somewhat similar terrain. The railway in Yunnan would he of no value to
either side in warfare, for it could be easily and completely incapacitated by destruc-
tion of a few bridges and tunnels, but the railway in Tonkin could be readily used
by the French to rush all troops and equipment needed to the border.
No Invasion of Yunnan Contemplated.
If one may believe M. Baudez, however, a trial by combat is very unlikely ever
to happen.
Would France under any circumstances ever invade Yunnan? I asked him.
I think not, he replied.
I then presented a hypothetical situation of the province turning Red and asked
him what action France might be expected to take.
I think, he said, that we would abandon the railway and close the frontier.
After all, France has had many opportunities in the past to take Yunnan, and not
one of them has ever been used. It would appear extremely unlikely, therefore,
that we would make any attempt to seize it at this late date.
M. Baudez also repeated the customary French denial that there is any under-
standing between Paris and Tokyo on Yunnan and Manchuria, and stated that the
chief object of the French in Yunnan was to operate the railway.
M. Baudez, of course, is quite right in saying that France has neglected many
opportunities to annex Yunnan. Had she desired, she probably could have seized it
immediately the taking of Tonkin although, considering the terrain, it could have
been much more easily defended against weapons available in those days that it could
today against aerial conquest. Thus, in one way, this late date might be more
propitious than four decades ago. Nevertheless, no one, at least publicly, in recent
years suspected France of other designs in Yunnan than she had already achieved
until Japan grabbed Manchuria and so started a new deal in eastern Asia.
However, M. Baudez may be entirely accurate in his disavowal of French annex-
ation ambitions, for in the new deal of imperialism control of an area seems to
be preferred to outright and forthright ownership,and Frances control of Yunnan
is today so thorough and complete as to make the province practically one of the
protectorates of Indo-China.
C 39 ]

Several developments that superficially do not appear to have an especial relation
to each other, but which are probably very closely connected, have taken place re-
cently in southwestern China.
Chief among them are:
The Tibetans have extended their invasion of Chinese territory into north-
western Yunnan, capturing and holding Chungtien.
A short time ago, two Kwangsi delegates visited Yunnan to seek an anti-
Nanking alliance with Governor Lung Yun. The proposed alliance would have
embraced Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Kweichow and Yunnan. Governor Lung re-
fused to join the anti-Nanking bloc, but pledged neutrality as between the other
southwestern provinces and Nanking.
Almost simultaneously, according to information I obtained in Canton, a
report was making the rounds in official circles that Nanking and Yunnan had
completed a deal whereby the opium route from Yunnan to Kwangtung would
be shifted entirely away from Kwangsi and thereby deprive that province of
of approximately one-fourth of its present budgeted revenue.
Also almost simultaneously, the Yunnan provincial Government petitioned
the Nanking Government for Shanghai $12,000,000 of the American cotton and
wheat loan for reclamation work near the Yunnan frontier and the opening of
mines, or, if the money is not forthcoming, permission is asked to negotiate a
foreign loan.
It would require a seer to explain exactly the meaning of all these maneuvers,
but only a few facts need to be reviewed to indicate their omnious significance.
Tibetan Invasion Is British Inspired.
First must be borne in mind what I have already outlined, namely, that the
French have a strangle-hold on Yunnan province and whether or not they contem-
plate eventual annexation, there can be no doubt that they regard the area as de-
finitely and permanently within the political and economic orbit of the Quay dOrsay.
Likewise, there can be no doubt the Tibetan invasion of China, which is largely
confined to Sikong and Szechwan, is inspired by the British.
Does the extension of the Tibetan invasion into Yunnan mean, therefore, that
the British are poaching on French territory? The most probable answer is, con-
trary to casual observation, in the negative. Reference to a map will show that a
small part of what is now Yunnan is north of the Yangtsze River. For the most
part the river separates Szechwan and Yunnan, but in two large bights it takes in
slices of the latter. In one sharp bight is included Chungtien. Directly west of
this point is the present border of Burma, which the British long ago annexed.
Northwest of Chungtien is the present Yunnan-Tibet border.
Of course, as already indicated, the British claim special interests on the basis
of territorial propinquity in that part of Yunnan bordering on Burma, an area
extending roughly from the Burma boundary to the Mekong River which farther
[ 40 ]

south divides Burma from Tonkin, Indo-China, for a short distance between Yun-
nan and Siam. The Mekong, incidentally, reaches the sea at Saigon and in navigable
for a tremendous distance, thus being of vast strategic importance in the French
scheme of things.
Now the French interests in Yunnan are all concentrated south of the Yangtsze
and east of the Mekong, which includes the bulk of the province and is effectively
dominated by the French railway. It is only logical, therefore, to assume that they
are not worried by the British consolidating their extending grip on western
Szechwan by securing themselves on the north bank of the upper reaches of the
Yangtsze which is technically Yunnan through some Celestial geographers whim
in bygone centuries, for the Chungtien area is of strategic importance in the Tibetan
thrust that is probably destined to reach to Tatsienlu on the Yalung River which
flows into the Yangtsze on the Yunnan boundary. And if the Tibetans continue
much farther toward the Tatsienlu they will probably also grab another silce of
what is now in Yunnan in the bight of the Yangtsze where is flows almost directly
west from its junction with the Yalung and then turns sharply north until it
touches the present Szechwan border, after which it flows south and then north
again to embrace the Chungtien area. Nor would the French probably object to
the British entering the area between the present Burma boundary and the Me-
kong, but it is not likely the British will venture there for the present since
that would be direct aggression because the Burmese are outright British while the
Tibetans are conveniently puppets whose acts can be diplomatically disavowed by
Downing Street.
But the fact that the Albions Tibetan puppets (in this case the Hsiang Chengs
and Tonwas, according to a direct report to me) have descended into Yunnan and
established a base in Chungtien may very well be regarded as proof of Franco-
British understanding on a partition of western and southwestern China. And a
British move in the area is doubtless the forerunner of a French movenot neces-
sarily with armies, puppet or otherwise, but in some fashion for an equitable division
of what the Japanese have left of Cathay. And, as I has already pointed out,
the new aggression may not chiefly territorial, but through various kinds of con-
cessions which allow the continuation of nominal Chinese soevereignty.
Opium in the Politics of Yunnan.
Wherefore, the fact that General Lung Yun turned down the Kwangsi delegates
on their anti-Nanking proposalbut pledged neutralityis of considerable impor-
tance. What next? The alleged plan to divert Yunnans opium away from Kwangsi,
with the resulting loss of some Shanghai $9,000,000 a year to that province, comes
into the picture at this point. As the story was recounted to me in Canton from a
source of the utmost reliability, the reason for the purported shift in the route was
to punish Kwangsi for its continued opposition to Nanking. What other route was
contemplated, I could not learn, but presumably it would be either through Kweichow
and Hunan or Szechwan and Hunan, unless the French are contemplating allowing
transit through Tonkin. If the story is to be taken at its face value, Kweichow
would have to come terms if it were to be the beneficiary; there is no doubt of
Hunans loyalty to Nanking. Any route outside of Kwancrsi (except through Ton-
kin where the French railway runs) would be much more expensive, but opium can
stand a lot of transit with taxes and all.
In keeping with Oriental tradition, the story may have a meaning far different
from its face valuebut the fact that it is circulating in official circles definitely
reveals that something important is stirring in the southwestern air. Perhaps it is
only a French deal in Kwangsi. The French also regard that province as a part of
[ 41 ]

their sphere of influence, and they may be circulating the threat to scare the autho-
rities there for purposes that remain to be seen. Or perhaps the story has to do
with something not yet apparent in Canton,for if Kwangsi lost one fourth of her
budgeted revenue something would have to be done to make up the deficit, and that
something might very well not be in the interests of Kwangtung.
Kwangsi is a poor province and her lilitarists are always casting longing eyes
on relatively fat Kwangtung, which is not only her wealthiest neighbor, but the
only one she could ever hope to invade with impunity. Yunnan would be difficult
to penetrate because of the terrain; Kweichow is even poorer than Kwangsi; and
Hunan is part of Nankings pastures.
Kwangsi Poor, But Not Impotent.
While poor, Kwangsi is far from impotent. Her people are little addicted to
opium and her government rules with Spartan skill and virtue. Also, in freedom
from the prevailing Celestial vices of opium addition and gambling, Kwangsi is truly
outstanding in Cathay and her armies today, as in the past, are capable of fighting
valiantly for either luscious loot or in defense of their present modest domain. So a
threat to deprive them of their opium transit revenue, which has long been a vested
interest of the province, is not to be viewed lightly. Kwangsi, incidentally, is the
only province in China excepting Yunnan in which the Japanese are not attempting
to regain their former foothold although no one takes much interest in poor Kwei-
chow, but whether this fact has any connection with French interests can only be
In any event, there can be doubt in view of the domination of Yunnan by the
French that they are back of the story of the opium route diversion, and whatever
it means it seems altogether probable that there is some very close relation between
this item and the last maneuver set forth at the beginning this chapter, the
petition of Yunnan to Nanking for a share of the American loan or, alternatively,
permission to negotiate a foreign loan. Who would be honored by the prospective
foreign loan has not been stated, but under prevailing conditions only one country
could be expected to invest money in Yunnanand that country is France.
Canton has already asked for somewhat more of wheat loan than there is wheat
loan, and the requests of various other parts of the land also more than exhaust the
loan, so unless Yunnan is awfully lucky she is rather late in seeking a share. And
obviously, any money invested there would be more for French than Chinese benefit
and any money France invested there would merely tend to tighten her present
strangle-hold on the area. Consequently the conclusion is inescapable that Yunnans
petition to Nanking echoes a strident Gallic chant to the effect that heads I win,
tails you lose. And the loan part of the petition can only be viewed as the handi-
work of Paris rather than of Yunnanfu.
While France and Great Britain are the only foreign nations directly involved
in the far southwest, maneuvers there will inevitably have repercussions elsewhere.
Any drastic changes would immediately affect the Canton area, including Fukien,
and Japanese interests. The exact course of the reactions cannot be charted, but
a very delicate balance of power exists between the Kwangsi Clique, the Canton
regime and the 19th Route Army in Fukien with the Kwangsi and Fukien warlords
casting envious eyes on the City of Rams.* But far more important than provincial
* The development of an independence movement in Fukien just at the time of this booklet
going to press indicates quite clearly what is here outlined, and it is not unlikely that this move-
ment grew out of some of the factors involved in the complications of Franco-Japanese-British-
American interests.
[ 42 ]

rivalry, although related to it, is the international rivalry prevailing in and around
France and Japan in Accord.
A few notes on this are in order here, for while France and Britain may have,
and probably do have, a perfect understanding on Tibet, Szechwan and Yunnan;
France and Japan are very likely in accord on Yunnan and Kwangsi and perhaps on
Kwangtung; and Great Britain and Japan may be in harmony insofar as Tibet and
Manchuria are concerned; this imperialistic amity definitely does not include British,
Japanese and American interests in Kwangtung and Fukien which are bound up
with southwestern developments.
Due to the position of Hongkong, the Canton area is a British sphere of in-
fluence, but at the same time an important American trading area. Japan mean-
while is waiting patiently to effect a rapprochement with Canton and there
are several signs that such a rapprochement may not be far off*while the British
are expediting completion of the Canton-Hankow railway through a Shanghai
$60,000,000 loan to the Nanking Ministry of Railways from the British Boxer In-
demnity Fund. Construction will require five or six years, and when it is completed
it will provide a quick, efficient overland route from Kowloon, the mainland part of
the British colony of Hongkong, to Hankow in the heart of the Yangtsze Valley
where British interests are immense from Shanghai to Szechwan. Thus Britain
would be independent of the present sea route from Hongkong to the Yangtsze
Valley should the need arise.
Japan already has a firm grip on Fukien through one of the treaties growing
out of the 21 Demands whereby China is pledged not to grant any concessions in
that province to any non-Japanese foreign interests. Further, the Fukien coast is
separated by only a narrow channel from the Japanese island of Formosa and Japa-
nese agents have been active for years in Foochow and Amoy. In the latter city
there is a powerful group of gangsterlike Formosans who are said to the directed by
the Japanese Consulate; in a recent brief visit to Amoy I was able to note that they
were much in evidence and I had previously been informed by M. Yoshida, the then
Japanese Consul-General in Canton, that very friendly relations existed between the
Chinese and Formosans there.
At the same time the 19th Route Army, which is in command of most of Fukien,
is generally regarded as pro-American. Certainly many American returned students
and American born Chinese now occupy high .positions in the Fukien Provincal
Government. Further, the Japanese charge that the American authorities are con-
ducting negotiations to establish an air and/or naval base on Tungshan Island off
the Fukien coast in return for airplanes and arms to the 19th Routh Army.
This, however, is vigorously denied by American officials, but the mere fact that
the story is circulating indicates the growing tension. And the Sino-A'merican
China National Aviation Corporation 45% of which is owned by the Pan-
American Airways and 55% by the Nanking Government has opened an air
route across Fukien to Canton, which will probably be eventually extended to Manila,
over Japanese opposition. Also, the China National Aviation Corporation is con-
templating opening a route from the Yangtsze Valley to Yunnanfu, which to at
least some slight extent would adversely affect the present French strangle-hold on
Yunnan province. No intimation has yet been given of the French attitude to this
* The Hongkong correspondent of the North China Daily News reported on November 6 that
the Anti-Japanese boycott in the Canton area had been definitely halted by order of the provincial
[ 43 ]

project. If France opposes, as would seem likely, she would thus have another cause
in common with Japan since there is no Franco-Nippon rivalry in Fukien.
In any event, when a Tibetan invasion of northwestern Yunnan, refusal of Yun-
nan to join Kwangsi against Nanking, talk of a shift in the Yunnan-Kwangtung
opium route away from Kwangsi, and a petition of Yunnan to Nanking for money
or permission to negotiate a foreign loan, all occur almost simultaneously, the south-
western situation bears careful watching, but much time may be marked before
anything decisive occurs.
[ 44 ]

Full Text


I'L s !.,i THEFRENCHSTRANGLE-HOLDONYUNNANA -'Fir s t -H and Survey".'ByWilburBurtonc-:l . PublishedbytheCCyI J-----,-_ I12 522ICHINAWEEKLYREVIEWSHANGHAI -


SOUTWESTRNseENEMARKEDBMPERIALISTCMANEUVE C1('--.'\ o5BUR ...-.......---. TibetBayofBengal '--"Lga sa j "'"'-.. Y atu n gJ Sikki-n:t:. c:-"-".. '!.!..?A{n: / -.......-../J1'" 0 Calcutta. B Gi"h.tO/,J.f Theabove111apshowsthebroadsceneof a significant struggle'directly "involving France,GreatBritain,andChina,butwhichalsoaffectstheUnitedStatesandJapan.Yunnan,oratleastthegreaterp artofit,hasalreadybeen1nadevirtuallyapartofFrenchIndo-China,buttheFrenchhavesho wn noobjectiontothecaptureof Chungtien byTibetanpuppetsofGreatBritain.Themapalsoshows'I'achienlu(orTatsienlu)whichistheprobableobjectiveoftheBritishintheconstantTibetaninvasionintoSzechwan.LikewisethemapshowstheentireFrenchsphereofinfluence insouthernandsouthwesternChina,includingtheFrenchrailwayfromHaiphongtoYunnanfuandtherecentlyannexedCoralIslands.AsidefromTibet,Englandis involvedin' Kwang tung, throughthepositionofHongkong,whichwillinevitablyfeeltherepercussionofeventsinYunnanandKwangsi.AmericaninterestsarealsoimportantinKwangtung,andtheSino-Amer icanChinaNationalAviationCorporationhasstartedan'airroutefromShanghaitoCanton,whichi sprobablyintended toextendeventuallytothePhilippineIslands,acrossFukienwhereJapanclaimsspecialrightsandwhichisoppositetheJapaneseIslandofFormosa(Taiwan}.


I ." INTRODUCTORY NOTE.Theremoteandlittleknown Chinese province ofYunnanhasattractedconsider ableinterestsince 1931 because ofconstantrumorsthatFranceplanned toannexitin somefashionsimilartotheseizure ofManchuriabytheJapanese.Fewfactswereavailable to confirm or denytheserumorssincetheFrench,unliketheJapanese,havealways been able to keeptheirimperialistic moves intheFarEastlargely secret. SotheChina WeeklyReviewsentWilburBurton, awell knownAmericanjournalistandspecial correspondentfortheBaltimoreSunintheOrient, to Indo-ChinaandYunnantoascertainthefactsofthesituation. Mr.Burton'sreport,consisting ofsixarticles,appearedserially intheChina WeeklyReviewcommencingSeptember2,1933.Asubsequentarticle onlaterdevelopmentsappearedintheChina WeeklyReviewon October 28. These articles arousedmuchattentionnotonlyin China,butindiplomatic circles all overtheworld. Officialtranslationshavebeenmadeforthebenefit of Chinese officialsin Nanking,andtherehavebeen extensivetranslationsintheChinesepresswhile .ummarieshavebeensentto newspapers inmanypartsoftheworld.Inview,therefore,ofthewidespreadinterestinthearticles,andparticularly ecausetheyconstitutethefirst comprehensivesurveyofFrenchenter.prise in unnanthathaseverbeen published,ithasbeen deemed of valuetoreviseandr eprintthemin convenient booklet form.Atthetimeofthisreprinttherehasbeen10substantialchangeinthesituationoutlined,buta detailed background ofallfuture .J developments isherewithpresentedforbothreadingandreference. Shanghai, China, November 20,1933.


. .' I.ISYUNNANGOINGTHESAMEROADAS MANCHURIA? The province ofYunnanhasalways been isolated fromtherestof China. To day, politically aswellaseconomically,itis virtually apartofFrenchIndo-China. Recentlytheimpressionhasgained ground in certain Chinese circlesthatactual annexation of Yunnan byFrancewas imminent. I have found no evidence tocon firmthisview;whetherornotFranceeverforthrightlyoccupiestheprovince depends, I think, uponmanyfactors, someof whicharebeyondthecontrol oftheQuaid'Orsay,-includingthesituationin I shall discuss in some detail in my concluding chapter.Butregardless ofwhetherFranceever decidesto raisethetricolor overthecrumbling wallsof Yunnanfu,shehasa strangle-hold ontheprovincethatis growing more unbreakable each year, and which, asI shall show subsequently, makesherimperialistic influence in Chinafarmorepotentthanmostobservers probably suspect. AndthatFranceisbyno means contentwithherexisting Oriental empire is clearly indicated byherseizure oftheCoral Islands whileIwasinvestigatingthesituationin Yunnan.TheFrenchgripon Yunnan is possiblethroughoneofthemostamazing com binations of simplicity and duplicitythatcanbe found inthemodern world.The only practical waytoenterYunnan isbytheFrenchrailwaythatrunsfrom Hai phong toYunnanfuviaHanoi and Laokay in Tonkin,FrenchIndo-China. This railwaycouldbeastrictlycommercial enterprisewithoutanypolitical significance; inFrenchhandsitisafarmore powerfulinstrumentof imperialismthantheJapanese South Manchuria Railway ever was.For, practically speaking, nopersonandno thing can enterYunnanProvince without Frenchpermission,-andwithout paying whatever toll may bedemanded bythe French authorities inHanoi. Coneequenttu, not onlythetradeoftheprovinceis inevitably dominated bythe French,butany Yunnan governmentisatthe mercy of Paris, for a1'W,S canbe obtained only from French sourcesandthe French are always ina position to outfit any rival ofthegov ,ernment they wish.Inthecourse ofthissurveyI shallpresentmanyspecific examples ofthesefactsin practice;atthemomentI shall only citethata formalpermitoftheFrenchConsulinYunnanfuisrequiredtoimport not onlyarmsand munitions into Yunnan,butanythingthatcould conceivably be used tomanufacturemunitions. Thusthe English hospital inYunnanfuhastogetapermittoobtainacidsthatareused for healingthe' sick,butwhichmightbe employed inmakingexplosives! And,sinceshipmentmusthe madethroughTonkin first,theChinese Customs cannot give theirpermissionfortheimports untiltheFrenchConsul acts. Noristhehospitalentrustedwithanyblanketpermit;' eachshipmentrequires a special O.K. Of course,itis possible togetintoYunnanwithoutgoingthroughTonkin.Itisalso possible togototheNorthPole.Thetwothingsarenotquite inthesame class,butitrequires 23 days bycaravantogoto Yunnanfu from Nanning, Kwangsi, which is connected withCanton bytheWestRiver, whileitrequires lessthana weekbyboatandtraintotravelfromCanton to YunnanfuviaHaiphong. Andcaravantravelis highly expensive.Itisalso possible to reach Yunnanfu from Chungking by about aweek aboard a smallboatontheYangtsze River to Suifu and thence bycaravanthatrequires 21 days totheYunnan capital.[1]


Whatthislatterroutemeans in practice is admirablyillustratedbya radio receivingsetIsawintheofficeof Siemens,thegreatGermanfirm,inYunnanfu.Firstitmustbe explainedthattheFrenchwillnotallowanyradio(expectfortheirownofficialuse)tobe importedthroughTonkin into Yunnan.Theexplanationisthatradiosarewarmaterial. (One exceptionmustbenoted;theChinese Governmentwasallowedtoerectitscommercial radiostationinYunnanfuwithoutinterference,butperhapsundercertainsecretconditions.)Butto continuewiththeSimensset;a customer desired a radio, and apermitrom Nankingforitsimportationwas obtained. TI1e meantnothing, however, totheFrenchofficials.Sotheradiosetwas shipped bytheYangtszetoSuifuviaChungkin and thence bycaravanto Yunnanfu.Thesetcost$400illShanghai,butinYunnanfuitcost$800duetothefreightcharges!HaditbeenshippedviaHai110ng(in which caseitwould have been obtainedfromtheHongkongofficeof iemen )thetransportationcharges, includingtheprobable Tonkintransittax(ofwhich mo anon), wouldmostlikelynothave been morethan$100inShanghaiurrency.Further,theshipmentviaChungking andSuifurequiredsixmonths.Here, 110v er,11rewasno appreciable differencethanifitbeenshippedviaHaiphong,forGrmngood invariablyrequireaboutsixmonthstoreachYunnanfufrom.iphn.Britihand American goodstakea little less time, whileFrenchgoods I0dSlOte,-whichmeansinthiscaseonlyabouta week ortendas,In1 ,rhrIhall dealwiththisphaseofthesituationingreaterdetail,forit, mjrfactorilltheFrencheconomic domination of Yunnan.


ThePrincipalFrenchFirms.Theprincipal 100percentFrenchfirmsaretheall powerful CompagneFrancaisedes Chemins deFerde l'IndochineetduYunnan(which operatestherailway from Haiphong toYunnanfu),DescoursetCaboud (which deals in metals andmachinery),andSubiraandOptorg(whichareimportandexportfirms).Exceptforthetincompany,therearenolargeChinese firms,althoughtherearemanysmall firms such astheelectriclightand telephone companies.PriortotheJapanese invasion of Manchuria,therewasafairamountofJapanesebusiness, including two Japanese stores. Thesestoreswere destroyedbystudentsshortlyaftertheJapanese seizure of Mukdenandall except oneoftheJapaneseresidents ofYunnan-about20,in cludingtheJapaneseconsul-lefttheprovince. Theone exception wastheJapanesewife ofa Greek hotel-keeper. NoneoftheJapanesehavereturnedand abouttheonlyJapanesegoodsnowenteringYunnanareimported as Chinese goods.WhatFrenchcontrol ofthedoortoYunnan. meansin .entry ofa person intotheprovince maybe adequately indicated bymyown experiences which, I presume,aretypicalalthoughImayhavebeen given a littleextraattentionbecause of my profession as revealedby mypassport. Firsttherewere two forms tofilloutin Hongkongjustforatransitvisawhich was limitedtolessthana month. This included giving alltheinformationordinarily requiredfora passport,withsuch additional touches as referencesnotonlyin Hongkong,butin Indo-China. Then, uponarrivalin Haiphong therewasanotherformtofilloutthatrequired repetition ofalltheinformationgiven ontheforms in Hongkongwithsuch additions as "names, Christiannames, ageandbirthplace andstateincase of decease" ofmyfatherandmother,whetherIwas "bachelor,marriedor widower," "civilstateof wife,"ifany,andmanyblanks upon which tostate"allstrange. countrieswhereyouhavebeen."Havingduly filledinthisform,thepolice took mypassportand required a personal call for itsreturn.Itshould be addedthatitwasallverypolite, andIwascheerfullygiven lots ofinformationon hotels, prices, and addresses of variousinstitutions,UponreachingLaokay toenterYunnan,thepolicetook possession ofmy passportforanotherhour,butbroughtitbackwithouta personal call.LaterwhenIleftYunnanfu, IhadtoobtainanothertransitvisaforTonkin, which required fillingouttwomoreforms,andthenatbothLaokay and Haiphongthepoliceagaintook possession ofmypassportforanhourso.Thesystemof course,hasitsadvantages;onmyreturnthroughLaokay I made a policeman guide metoan out-of-the-way,butinexpensive, hotel of which Ihadheard, before Iwouldsurrendermy passport.Thatis my ideaofreal"service delasurete!"Butitishardon one'spassport;five pages of minewereusedupbyvisas andpolicestampingin goingthroughTonkin.Further,thecontrastbetween allthisredtapeandtheinformality ofFranceproperisverysharp.Onecanobtainatransitvisa goodforamonthinFrancewithouteven a personal appearanceataFrenchconsulate, andno questionswhatsoeverareasked,-andthevisais inspected andstampedbutoncein France. However, fillingoutformsandsurrenderingone'spassporttothepolicearenotnecessarily allthatisinstoreforthevisitor to Indo-China. Afew hours before sailingfromHaiphong to Hongkong Iwas visited byan English-speaking intelligence officeroftheHaiphongpolicewho,afteroffering me adrinkatthehotel bar, wanted toknowwhatnewspaper I represented. "Wehavetobe inquisitive," be apologized ashe carefully wrote downtheinformationI gave him."Whatwasthepurpose of yourtrip?""TransitthroughIndo-China to Yunnan and back," I replied, assuming, of course,thathis inquisition wasonlytolearnmy reasonforbeing inFrenchterritory.[ g ]


"But whatwasthepurpose ofyourtripto Yunnan," he continued.Therewas oneveryobviousandappropriatereply tothatquestion,butsince IwasstillinFrenchterritoryIdidnotmakeit."Iliketheclimatethere,"I said instead."It' wasagreatreliefafterHongkong." "Yes," he replied,"theclimatethereisfine.Doyou except towriteanythingaboutyour trip?" "Itis possible Imaywritesomething.""Journalistsusually do,"he observed in conclusion,apparentlymore in sorrowthanin anger.AlthoughtheFrench make entryintoYunnanquitecomplicated, I wasnotable tofindanyinstancewhereanyone,foreignor Chinese,hadbeenrefusedatransitvisa across Tonkin. I was toldthattherehadbeen cases someyearsagoof Chinese beingrefusedsuch visas,butIcouldnotobtainanyactual records. .Butthepower torefusesuch avisaisinFrenchhandswhenevertheycare touseit,andifitis notnow being employeditistheonly unused weapon intheFrench armory to dominate Yunnan. .YunnanattheMercyoftheFrench.HowtheYunnangovernmentisatthemercyoftheFrenchwas clearly shown bya revolt in1931againstthepresentgovernor,LungYun,-althoughthereisno evidencewhatsoeveravailablethattheFrenchhadanythingtodowiththerevolt.Butwe can drawappropriateconclusionsfromthefacts. The revolt was l ed byLu Han,thenandnowtheNo.2oftheprovincialgovernmentanda cousin of Governor Lung, in alliancewithChangFeng-chuen,Lungwasoutofthecapitalwhentherevolt took place,andupon hisreturnhesoon regainedpower,-butmeanwhile Chang Wei-hanhadbeenpermanentlykickedoutof hispostas commissioner of foreign affairs. NowChangWei-han was outspokenlyanti-French;itwashewhohaddescribedtheChing-Yu RailwayagreementforaFrenchrailwaythroughKwangtung, Kwangsi, Kweichow,YunnanandSzechwan (of which more anon) as"theFrenchinstrumentalitytoannexChina." Hehadurgedthatthenational governmentabrogatethisagreement.Inotherwayshehadalso opposed Frenchpenetration. Andtherevolt lastedjustlong enoughte' kickhimoutof office.Further,LuHanis still inthegovernment. Stillfurther,theFrench-ostensiblyon purelyhumanegrounds-keptGeneralLungfromexecutingChangFeng-chuenalthoughheis still injailinYunnanfuandthereforeapoor life insurance risk. DidordidnottheFrenchhaveanythingtodowiththisrevolt? Tobe sure,itssignificant consequencemighthavebeen purelyfortuitous,-butsuch an assumptionwouldberathernaive. Many more examples of imperialistic politicscanandwillbesetforthinthedue course ofthesechapters,butbefore proceedingfurtheritisimportanttosketchthemore pronounced physicalandeconomic aspects of Yunnan,andalsototracethecourse ofFrenchconquestnorthwardfromSaigon totheYunnanbordersince Indo-China isthebasefromwhichParishasspread, andis spreading,itstentacles around alargepartof China proper.Yunnancovers anareaof approximately 146,714squaremilesinthesouth western-mostpartof China properbetweenlatitude21and29 degressandlongitude 98and106 degrees. Thealtituderangesfromabout250feetattheTonkin border to22,000feetwiththepasses insomeplaces being 10,000feethigh.Yunnanfu[ 4 ]


is6,400feetabovesealevel,andhencehasaverysalubriousclimatedespitethefactthatitisalmostasfarsouthas Canton. Much ofYunnanisonthesamegreatHimalayanplateauas Tibet,andoutside oftherailwayzoneitis about asbackwardas Tibet.Thepovertyofthenativeshasalreadybeen outlined.Agricultureistheprincipal occupationwithopium poppies, rice, beans,wheatandcorn asthechiefcrops.Thepopulationisabout11,000,000, or75tothesquaremile,withapproximatelytwo-thirdsofthepeople Chinese whiletherestaredividedamongnumerousaboriginaltribes.Tinistheonlyextensivelydeveloped mineral,althoughcoalandsaltareofimportance.Thereare, however,manyotherminerals which willbe discussedsubsequently,butitisdoubtfuliftheprovince isaspotentially wealthy assomeChinesewritershaveclaimed.Yunnanfu,thecapitalandprincipalcity,isintheYangtszewatershedandhasa population ofabout150,000.Thecityis only 529 milesbyrailwayfromHaiphong,butalmostfourdaysarerequiredtotraversetheroute.Most ofthenon-missionaryforeignpopulationoftheprovince liveinYunnanfu.Thereareonlyabout500foreignresidentsinYunnan,thebulkof whomareFrench.Thereare,however,upwardsof100Americans,allofwhomexceptingtheconsularstaffofthreeareinmissionarywork. Dr.JosephF.Rock,thefamousAmericannaturalistandex plorer,wasuntilrecently a verteranresidentintheprovince,buthasnowdeparted,probablypermanently.AMandarinDialectIsSpoken. AMandarindialect isspokenbytheChinese oftheprovinceandYunnanfuisrsomewhatreminiscentof Peiping,evenincludingthepigeonsthatmakemusicwhentheyflyinconsequenceofsmallwhistlesfastenedtotheirtails.TheYunnanfuwall isaminoreditionofPeiping'swall,butmoredecayedandpartofitisentirelytornaway.Whatisleft,however, iswellworthatriparoundthetop.Theprovince isrichinvariedplantlifethatrangesfromthetropical alongtheTonkinand Burma borderstothealpinearcticonthegiganticpeakstowardthebordersofTibetandSzechwan.Therearevast,virginalforestsof pine, spruce,hemlockandfirs;theprovincehastheonly appreciableforestsinallChinaexceptingSzechwanandsouthwesternKansu.Thehemlock isthelargesttree,rangingupto 200feetinheightandeighttotenfeetindiameter.Dr.Rock, whohasexploredmostoftheprovincefor the NationalGeographic SocietyoftheUnited. States,theUnitedStatesdepartmentofagricultureandHarvardUniversity,hassent25,000 differentkindsofYunnanplantstotheUnitedStatesinthelasttenyears.Someofthemhavebeenof considerable commercialimportance,.notablyablight-resistingchestnutwhichisnowbeinggrowninAmericato providerailwaysleepersandbarkfortanning.Dr.Rock also conducted oneex peditionthatresultedinfindingthehydnocarpus authelmintica,fromwhichitis hoped toobtaincheaperandbetterchaulmoograoilfortreatingleprosythanwaspreviously available.Thetreethatproduces quinine will grow inYunnan,andsome Chinesearenowtryingto develop aforestofthem.Theterrainoftheprovince offersthepossibility of considerable hydroelectric development,assuming, of course,thatdevelopment inotherlines wouldevermakethisprofitable.Todaythereisvirtuallynomanufacturingbeyondthehandicraftstage,nomoderntransportationfacilitiesexcepttheFrenchrailwaythatendsatYunnanfuanda small ChinesebranchthatrunstothetinminesnearMengtszinthesouthern.partoftheprovincenotfarfromtheTonkinborder,andnoindustry of anyimportanceexcepttinmining. [ 5]


While,ashasbeenstated,themineralwealthofYunnanhasperhapsbeen exaggerated,itisapparentfromthebriefdescription here giventhattheprovince isnotwithoutconsiderable economictemptationto imperialistic exploiters. Politi cally,itisperhapseven moretempting.StretchingfromBritishBurmaandFrenchIndo-China to Szechwan,fromwhichitis (exceptfora smallarea)separatedbytheupper reaches oftheYangtsze River,andwithKweichowandKwangsi ononesideandTibetontheother,Yunnanisinaverystrategiclocation.Ifitwere providedwithmodern. means oftransportationitcould exercise a tremendousamountof influenceinbothSouthChinaandtheYangtszeValley aswellas provide acon venientgatewaytoTibetandBurma.ThusGreatBritain,althoughshehasnevermadeanyattemptto exploit Yunnan, is asmuchinterestedinitsfutureasis France.[6]


II.FRENCH IMPERIALISM-"THE MAILED FISTINAVELVET GLOVE."Frenchimperialismis,inmanyrespects, probablythecleverest ontheplanet. WhiletheFrenchareneitheras capable as pioneersnoras competenttofill lonelyoutpostsas Albion's bulldog breed,theyarefarmoreadroitin dealingwith-thepeoplestheyexploit. OnereasonisthattheFrenchlackthealmostincredibleracialsuperioritycomplex oftheBritish.TheFrench,however,makeasmuchofafetish' oftheircultureastheBritishdoofracialpurity,butthereisassuredlyabigdifferencebetweenthesetwofetishes.CertainlyFrenchcultureiswellworthyof thepridetheFrenchtakeinit;itis,inmyopinion,vastlysuperiortoanythingthathaseverbeendevelopedEastofSuez,andI believethatmostOrientalswhohavefallenunderitsswayareofthesameopinion although,perhaps,theymight.notbe willing tosayso publicly.Letme emphasize, however,thattheexcellenceofFrenchculturedoesnotjustifyforcingitdownnon-Frenchthroatswithbayonets,Theimportanceofracialpurity,ontheotherhand,isa pseudo-scientificsuperstitionthatis only ridiculous,butwhichhascausedtheBritishmuchunnecessarytrouble.TheFrenchoffertangiblerewardstotheirsubjectswhocanpasstheculturaltest;AfricanNegroes,forexample, commandwhiteFrenchmilitaryunitsin Indo-Chinaanddrinkwineincomplete comraderiewithwhiteofficers in. thecafesof Saigon,HaiphongandHanoi.AnAnnamesewife ofaFrenchmanistreatedbyhimandhiswhitefriendsexactlyasifshewereFrench.AnyAnnamesewho speaks,French,shakeshandslike aFrenchmanandas often,andhasFrenchmanners,is received onabasisofequalitybyFrenchmen.Infact,toaFrenchmansuchanAnnamiteis,forallpracticalconsiderations, aFrenchman,-forhehasabsorbedFrenchculture.Insharpcontrast,a Chinese whohasabsorbedEnglishcultureismadeto feelbyvirtuallyallEnglishmenoftheimperialistic ilkthathecanneverbe wholly acceptedinEnglishsociety becausehisskinisyellowandhis eyes areslant.Of coursetherearesome contradictions intheFrenchattitude,as showninIndo-China,thatI shallpresentlypointout,butthedifference as outlinedbetweenBritishandFrenchimperialism isimportanttobearinmindinsurveyingFrance'sFarEasternempirethat,roughlyspeaking,extendsfromSaigon totheYunnanboundaryontheupperreachesoftheYangtszeRiver. .Inruthlessness, the FrenchcomparefavorablywiththeJapanese,buttheyhaveforgottenfarmoreaboutpuppet-makingthantheJapaneseeverhavelearned. Compare BaoDai,"King"ofAnnamandTonkin,HenryPuYi,"chiefexecutive" ofManchukuo;bothareapparentlynitwits,butwhereasPuYiis,fromall accounts,anunwillingpuppetdespitethefactthathehasnoreasontobe pro-Chinese, BaoDai-genuinelyAnnamese-reallybelievesthatthesunrisesandsetsonthatstretch of theSeinethatflowsinfrontoftheQuai d'Orsay,andheis sincerely desirous ofmakingAnnamasFrenchas possible.Thisdifferenceinpuppet-makingprobably islargelyexplained alsobyFrenchculture;theFrenchreallyhavesomethingto offer apuppetincharmandwarmthwhileJapanese culture (asidefromimitationoftheOccident, cleanliness,andpolicing ability) is considerablyinferiortootherOrientalvarieties.Inaddition totheirreallyworth-while culture,theadroitnessoftheFrenchinimperialisticenterpriseisalso explained inlargemeasurebytheirduplicity--caduplicitythatmatchesanythingtheOrienthastoofferinthesameline.Ishall[7]


dealwiththisduplicityinconsiderabledetailsubsequentlywhenIrecounthowtheFrenchusetheirrailwayintoYunnan;forthepresentIcanillustratebestwhatImeanbyrecallinganincidentI observedinShanghaibackin1927.TheNational-istshadthencomeinto. possessionofthecity,andtheChineseresidentsofthe InternationalSettlementwerereplacingtheold Republican flagwiththeKuomintangflag.Wherefore,theNorthChinaDailyNews,intrepidorganofKingGeorge V,editoriallyyelledforthecopstodosomethingtopreventtheflaunting"oftheflagoftheenemyinourmidst."NowtheFrench didn't likeChina'snewnationalismanybetterthantheBritishdid,butsinceitwasafaitaccomplitheyactedac cordingly.Wherefore,intheJuly14paradeintheFrenchConcessiontherewasabandof ChineseboyscoutscarryingaloftsidebysidethetricolorofFranceandtheflagofKuomintangandshouting"VivelaFrancaise!"And,letitbe added,China'snewnationalismhasnotaffected awhit,noreventhreatened,France'sgriponYunnan.Further,itmaybe cited,thatalthoughFrancehadseizedmoreChineseterritorythananyothernationuntilJapantookManchuria,therehasnever been; ananti-FrenchboycottinChina,noreveranyappreciablestrainedrelationsbetweenParisandPekingorNanking.AndallthisdespitethefactthattodayitisratherobviousthatFranceandJapanhavesomesortofanunderstandingonthepartitionofChina!Withthisperhapshelpfulintroduction, "let usnowtakea glanceatIndo-China,whichincludesKwangchowwan,190squaremiles ofleasedterritoryontheKwangtungcoastwhichFranchpromisedtogivebacktoChinaatthesametimetheBritishreturnedWeihaiwei. AllIndo-Chinatotals277,504squaremileswitha population of 21,148,762,ofwhich33,119areEuropeans.Hanoi,witha population of135,000, ... isthecapitaloftheterritory.AlltheIndo-ChinaareawasoriginallyapartoftheChinese empire,butatthetimeoftheFrenchconquestonlyAnnamandTonkin(whichwasasortofprotectorateunderAnnam)wereactuallygovernedbyChina.TheFrenchobtainedtheirfirstfootholdinCochin-China,whereSaigonis located,andtodaythisistheonlyareaofficially classed asaFrenchcolony. Cambodia,withitsown"King,"Laos,Annam,whichboastsof"King"BaoDai,andTonkin,whichintheoryisunderthe"King"ofAnnamin Hue,areall"protectorates."Thesystemisquitecomplicated. Cochin-China isunderFrenchlaw, whilethe"protectorates"areundertheirrespectivenativelaws, none of which, however,applytoFrenchactivities.Nevertheless,anon-Frenchforeignerwho,forexample,wishedtobuyor lease somelandinTonkinwouldprobablyfindthatitconflictedwithnativelawwhichtheFrencharepledged to uphold!ForintheorytheFrencharemerely"protecting"thenativegovernmentsof Cambodia, Laos,AnnamandTonkin!Onepracticaldifferencebetweenthe"protectorates"andCochin-Chinathatmaybe cited, isthatEuropeanprostitutionisnotofficiallytoleratedinHaiphongandHanoi, whileinSaigonprostitutionflourishesintrueFrenchfashionwith100percentFrenchfillesde[oie.Thecourse oftheFrenchconquestnorthwardfromSaigonistoolongtobetracedindetailhere,butsomeaccountofthetakingof Tonkin,whichbordersonYunnan(andalso on KwangsiandasmallbitofKwangtung),isinorder.Bythe time oftheTapingrebellion,theFrenchwerefirmlyplantedinCochin-ChinaandhadAnnamprettywellundertheirthumb.Tonkin,reportedrichinmineralwealth,andalsoincludingaroundHanoiavast,verdantplainofextremelyfertilepaddy-"fields,wastootemptingto ingore,Disturbancesincidenttothe'I'aipinguprisingfurnishedanexcuseforinterferinginTonkinaffairs,buttheFranco-Germanwarin1871putanendtoimperialisticenterpriseforatime.However, oncethatwarwasover,theFrenchbreastheavedallthe' moreforconquestsomewheretomakeup far thehumilitationandcostoftheGermanvictory,-andJeanDupuis,merchantandgun-runner,pavedthewayforthetakingof Tonkin.AlthoughtheTonkinese[8]


refusedtheFrenchpassagethroughTonkinintoYunnan, Dupuishadmanaged to smuggle a cargo ofarmsthereduringtheTaiping rebellion,andlater' hereturnedto Hanoiwherehe arousedthesuspicion oftheauthorities.Inconsequence,theTonkin general inchargeof Hanoi askedtheKing ofAnnamtohaveDupuis removed.TheKing appealed totheFrenchGovernor ofCochin China, who asked Dupuis toreturntoSaigon'.DupuisrefusedandFrancisGarnier (whohadpreviously conducted 'anexploring expedition uptheMekong) wassentto Hanoi to investigate.Arrivingin Hanoiwithadetachmentof troops, presumably tooustDupuis,Garnierenthusiastically joinedhandswiththemerchantandgunrunner,-andthusthereisaFrancisGarnier avenue in Hanoitoday. HowtheFrenchGot into Hanoi.TheTonkinauthoritiescontinued toinsistthatDupuis leave Hanoi,andsoin November, 1873,Garniertookthecityandfivenearbyforts,meanwhilerequestingreinforcementsfromSaigon.Atthesametimea band of Chinese semi-bandits known asthe"BlackFlags"cametothesupportofthe'I'onkinauthoritiesandseveralofthefortswere recaptured.InonebattleGarnierandhis secondincom mand, Balny d'A vricourt,wereslain. Alarmed,theGovernoratSaigonsentM. Philastre,inspector ofnativeaffairs, tomakepeace,andtheplaces still heldbytheFrenchwere evacuated,thenativeChristians being subsequentlymassacred,-buttheTonkinauthoritieswere forced toallawFrenchtradingatSongkoi, HanoiandHaiphong. Nineyearslater, in1882, Governor Le Myre de Villers, of Cochin-ChinasentHenriRiviereanda small force toopenarouteto YunnanviaSongkoi,andso Hanoigotanotherstreetname,todaythemainthoroughfareofthecity. Rivierebeganhis jobby seizing Hanoiandotherplaces; he himself waskilledin action inMay, 1883. Meanwhile, Annam, which stillthoughtitwasunderChinese rule, appealed toPekingforaid, whereupontheFrenchbroughtin reinforcements under Admiral CourbetandGeneral Bouet.AtthesametimeDr. Harmand, commissary general, tookHue,thecapital of Annam, bya naval expedition uptheHueRiver.InAugust, 1883,atreatywas signedinHuewherebytheFrenchformally established aprotectorateover Annam,andby implication over Tonkin. Annamese troops in Tonkin were tobe recalledandaroadwastobebuiltfromSaigon to Hanoi.Underthetreaty,theFrenchcontinuedtheirinvasion into Tonkin to"protect"it.Therewas considerable bloody fighting,withbothTonkinese units and Chinesegarrisonsparticipating;butPekingfailed to provideanyassistance beyond lodging aprotesttotheFrenchgovernmentthroughtheChineseministerinParis.InMay, 1884, while hostilitieswerestill in progress, M.FourniernegotiatedwithLi HungchanginTientsina memorandum whereby Chinese troops should evacuate Tonkin.InJuneanotherLreatvsigned inHueconfirmedtheFrenchprotectorate over bothAnnamand Tonkin.Fighting,hawever, continued untilthefollowingyearwithmanycasualties onbothsides. FinallySirRobertHartnegotiated peacein Tientsin in June, 1885,wherebyFrancetook Tonkin andAnnamunderherprotectionandatthesametimeevacuatedFormosaandthePescadores-whichwereshortlythereafterseizedbyJapan!Hanoi and Haiphong,andotherplaces, weremadeintoFrenchconcessions;thesmall townsandvillages wereleftunder native rule solongasitdidnotinterferewithFrenchexploitation.Separatecourts were establishedforforeignersandnatives,withtheformerunderFrenchadministration. And hordes ofFrenchmencarneoutfromthehomeland todotheirstuffin"protecting"thenatives.Inpassing,itmaybe notedthattheFrenchalways employmanymoreFrenchmenin[9]


theworkof imperialismthandotheBritish.TheBritishideaistotrainnativesforvirtuallyall kindofjobsbelowthatofa"taipan;"in Indo-ChinathereareFrenchconductors onthetrains,FrenchmensellingstampsinthePostOffice,andFrenchmenasminorclerks ingovernmentoffices.Infact,therearesaidtobemoreforeigncivilservantsinIndo-ChinathaninIndia,althoughthelattercountryismanytimeslarger.Thus,itmightsaidthatFrenchimperialism is more democraticthantheBritishwarietyIAndtoone accustomed toneverseeing imperialists doinganythingbutgive orders,itisratherintriguing(and even abitrefreshing)towatchaFrenchconductor collectingticketsinthefourthclasscompartmentsofatrainin Indo-China.Further,itisratherintriguingafterlong associationwiththeBritishtosee imperialistsactashumanintheOrientastheydoathome,-andthesidewalk cafes of HanoiarehardlydistinguishablefromthoseofParisexceptforthetropical lizardsthatgambol ontheceilingand(accordingtotradition)drop everandanon in one's wine,althoughthechances ofthishappeningappeartobeaboutasremoteas beinghitbya meteor.Andthereisoneotherdifference;thenativewaitersarecalled "boy,"althoughthisistheonly non-French word onehears.CatholicismStronglyEntrenched.Theare, however, ashasalreadybeen indicated, some contradictions in the Frenchattitude.Franceforyearshasbeen oneofthemostanti-clerical countries in Europe, whileinIndo-ChinatheCatholic Churchhasbeen made avowedlyintoanarmof imperialistic rule. Originally, according totreaty,Catholicism wastheonly non-native religiontolerated;todaythiswas been modifiedtoallowa limitedamountofactivitybytheAmericanProtestantChurchandMissionary Alliance and,Ibe lieve,therearesome SwissProtestantmissionaries in Cambodia.ButonlytheCatholicshavea reallyfreehand,andawisenativewho wants agovernmentjobgetsconvertedtothisfaith.Whereforethereareaboutone million Catholics in Indo Chinato10,000Protestants.TheFrench-Catholic alliance, I suppose, is based uponthewell known cooperation of Catholic missionarieswithFrenchimperialiststhroughouttheworld,-butitisextremelyironicinviewofthesevere limitations ontheCatholic ChurchinFranceitself.AnothercontradictionintheusuallyquitelogicalFrenchmores,isthefactthataFrenchwomanwhomarriesanAnnamese is ostracized toa considerableextentbyherownpeople, although, ashasalreadybeenstated,anAnnamese woman whomarriesaFrenchmanis accepted byFrenchsocietywithoutreservation. (And,itmaybe added,thereisa tremendousamountof Frenchmen-Annameseintermarriage.)Exceptforthesecontradictions,Frenchcultureontheimperialisticfrontisaboutthesameasonthehomefront.Thenatives whodonotregisteranyobjection toFrenchrulearetreatedverypolitelyandhumanely,andthosewho achieve aFrenchculturalstatusareaccepted byFrenchmenona basisofequality.Theycannot, however, becomeFrenchcitizens;iftheyareborninone of theconcessionstheyareFrenchsubjects,andbornoutside oftheconcessionstheyareFrenchproteges.ButEurasians,legitimateor otherwise,canbecomeFrenchcitizenswith) allrightsthereuntopertainingupon application,andappearance istheonly proof required. Beforethedepression ofrecentyears,anysonofaFrenchfatherborninwedlock wasvirtuallyguaranteedajobforlife,butithasnotbeen found feasible tomaintainthatrule recently. However,bothEurasiansandFrenchresidents enjoy a similarstatusof being given preferenceforanyjobs open.Itwillthusbe seenthattheFrencharedeliberately seeking to build upastrongEurasiangroup in Indo China, of whichfurthermention anon. [10]


Asfarasthemassofnativesareconcerned,itwouldbe difficult tosaythattheyareanybetteroranyworseoffinmaterialmattersunderFrenchrulethaniftheywereentirelyundernativerule. Today, however,withinthelimits oftheirlowstandardof livingtheyarebetteroffthan many oftheirFrench' masters,fornativeagricultureisquitewelloff whilemostoftheFrenchplantationenterprises,notablyrubber,arebankruptexceptwheretheyaregettinggovernmentaid.TheFrenchdo provide a considerableamountof educational facilities tothosewhowanttoacquireFrenchculture.Onlytwoyearsof schoolingaregivenintheAnnameselanguage,alltherestbeinginFrench.Further,theFrenchhavevirtuallyabolished Chinesecharacters;analphabethasbeenprovidedforAnnamese,andtheuse of Chinesecharacters(inwhichthelanguagewasformerly written) is definitely discouraged, This, of course, isanimportant step inmakingFrenchIndo-ChinareallyFrench.AlmostallbusinessisFrench.TheCharteredBankandtheHongkong&ShanghaiBank(bothBritish)havebranchesin Haiphong,anditisinterestingtonotethatmanyFrenchmenregardthemasmoresafethanFrenchbanks.AbouttheonlyAmericanbusinessistheStandardOil Company of New York.BritishShell isFrenchincorporated.AlmostallimportshippingisinFrenchhandswiththeresultthatfreightratesarehigherfromMarseilles to SaigonandHaiphongthantoHongkongandShanghai.TheBritishChinaNavigationCompany(ButterfieldandSwire)hasastrongfootholdinHaiphong;but,asI discovered tomyprofoundfinancial sorrow,theyarenotallowed to offeranycompetition totheFrenchCompagnie Indochinoise deNavigationintheexportofgoodsorpassengersfromHaiphongtoHongkongor pointsinChinaproper.ThepassengerfarefromHongkongtoHaiphongis$65HongkongcurrencyabroadtheB.&S. boats, whiletheFrenchboatscharge50piastres.Thepiastre,Indo-Chinaunitofcurrency,is peggedtotheFrenchgoldfrancattherateofabouttenfrancstoonepiastre,andonepiastreisworthabout$1.70Hongkongmoney,or$1.87Shanghaicurrency.ThustheB.&S.farefromHongkongtoHaiphongisabout$22(Shanghaicurrency)cheaperthanthefareontheFrenchboats.ButwhenbuyingatickettoreturnfromHaiphongtoHongkongIwastoldbytheB.&S.agent(DenisFreres,aprominentFrenchfirmandonceBritishVice Consul inHaiphong)thatthefarewas50piastres.Myindignantprotestwascounteredwiththeexplanationthat"that'sthefareontheFrenchboats."InquiringattheBritishVice Consulate (nowintheCharteredBank),Iwastoldthattheywerenotaware ill theracket,butwouldinvestigate.SubsequentlyIwasdiplomaticallyinformedthattherewasno "compulsion"bytaxationorotherwiseon Butterfield&Swire tochargethesameas the Frenchcompany,butthefareratehadbeen established by"agreementbetweenthetwocompanies." IwasalsoinformedthatallfreightratesoutofHaiphongwereuniform, whilefromHongkongtoHaiphongtheB.&S. rates werelowerthantheFrenchrates.TheFrench"Open Door". .Whetherornottherewasanycompulsion would seemtobeamatterofinterpretationofthefacts;atanyratethereisno competition, which is doubtlesstheFrenchideaofan"OpenDoor." How firmlytheFrenchhaveentrenchedthemselves in Indo-Chinamaybebestindicatedbythefactthattherehasneverbeenbutonemajorrevoltbythenativessincetheimperialisticconquestwascompleted.Othercolonialandsemi-colonial countries,suchas India, China,theDutchEastIndies, Korea,andeventhePhilippineIslandshavebeenrecurringlytornby uprisings,butonlyin1931wasFrenchrule[11]


in Indo-China appreciablychallenged,-andthatoutbreakwasputdown quickly and, toallpresentappearances, completelyandpermanently.Therevoltbeganbrewingin1930, and representeda combination ofbothnationalisticaspirationsandcommunistic influence among thepeasantswhocomprisetheoverwhelmingbulkofthenativepopulation.Partoftheimpetus probably camethroughYunnan, which was semi-Red in1927-28fromthebackwash oftheChineseNationalistRevolution of1925-26-27,anditwasbroughttoaheadin1931bybadcropsandincreasingtaxationthatwasimposed tomakeupthedeficits caused bytheslump inrubberin Cochin-Chinaandotherfactorsoriginatingintheworld-wide depression.Therevolt,mostpersons will recall,attractedalmost noattentionintheworldatlargebecausetheFrenchallowed almost nonewsofitto leak out,andevenifithadbeenbetterpublicizeditcouldnothavecompeted inthepresswiththebeginning oftheJapaneseconquest inManchuriawithwhich it,inpart,coincided. Ihavebeen ableto obtain afairlycomplete account of therevolt,butthereaderwillunderstandIcannotciteanyauthoritiesformystatementsinthisconnection,norinmanyotherpartsofthesearticles,foralmost allofmyinformantsliveeitherinFrenchIndo-China or semi-FrenchYunnanandsomightbe penalizedfor"tellingtalesoutof school." Icanonlysaythatwhile Icannotguaranteecompleteimmunityagainstsomeminorerrors,allmyessentialfactshereandelsewherehavebeen carefully checkedfrommanyvariedsourcesandtheirsubstantialaccuracy is beyond dispute,norhaveanybeen disputed sincethissurverywas first publishedintheChina Weekly Review.I i Several millionAnnamese-whoformthebulk ofthepopulationinCochin-China,AnnamandTonkin-wereinvolvedintherevolt, which appears tohavebeen entirelyunderRed direction although, obviously,itwaspeasantinsteadofproletarian. NoRussianagents, however,arechargedwithbeing implicated,butsomeoftheAnnam ese leadersarealleged tohavebeentrainedinMoscow.AlsosomeFrenchCommunistsarechargedwithhavingbeen involved, includingSergeLefranc,aliasPaulDucroix whosearrestbytheBritishinSingapore in June, 1931,ledtothearrestofMr.andMrs. NoulensinShanghaiashorttimethereafter.Inaddition, someFrenchmenoperatingsmall business firms in Saigon were deported toFranceonchargesofhavingsupplied arms andmunitions totherebels. One aspect oftherevoltwastheformationofa Sovietstate,similartothe"Soviet Republic of China"inKiangsi,aroundVinh,acityinAnnamabout150 milessouthof Hanoi.This"state,"includingabout1,000,000people,defiedFrenchauthorityforafewmonthsbeforeitwasruthlesslysuppressed by2,000 soldiers oftheFrenchForeignLegionwhoweresenttheredirectfromMorocco.AtonetimeHanoiitselfwasvirtuallyundermartiallawandfearfulthataRedarmywasmarchingonit.ThemotorroadfromHanoi toHaiphongwasblocked offatintervalswithchainsmannedby patrols oftheForeignLegion,andafew villagesinthevicinity ofthishighwaywere actually raided bynativeforces whokilled some ofthemandarinsthattheFrenchuseastheirpuppets.TheForeignLegion totheRescue.InYen-Bay, astrategiccityabouthalfwaybetween Hanoi andtheYunnanborder, adetachmentof Annamese troops revoltedand' killed seven oreightoftheirFrenchofficers,hackingsomeofthemtodeathwithaxes. This, however, wasthesole revolt intheAnnamesearmy,andtheonly possible chancetheuprisinghadto succeed was througha widespreadmutinyofnativeforces.InmanycasestheAnnamese troops mercilesslyfoughttherebels,althoughitishardlynecessary to [12] '7


recordthattheFrenchfearedtotrustthenativetroopsveryfar,especially aftertheYen-Bay incident.TheForeignLegionandotherimportedtroopswerede pended upon todothedirtywork,-andtheydiditas ruthlessly,andprobablyfarmoreefficiently,thantheJapaneseevercould.Nativessuspected ofanyparticipationintheuprisingwereroundedupbythethousands;hundredswereslaughtered.Airplanesbombed villagesalloverTonkinthatcouldnotbe convenientlyreachedbyroads,andmen, womenandchildren alike 'were massacred.TheForeignLegionwasinstructedin effect, if notinsomanywords, towipeoutforalltimeanynationalistic or communisticaspirationsamongthesonsanddaughtersofAnnam,-andconsideringtherelative ease withwhich Indo-China can bepolicedbyroadandair,andthenumberofnativesandEurasianswhoareloyaltotheFrenchin self-interest,itis probabletheLegionnaires succeeded intheirtasktoanamazingdegree.ItwasinconnectionwiththisrevoltthattheYunnan-Tonkinborderincident of1931 occurredthat gave risetorumorstheFrenchwereinvadingYunnansimultaneouslywiththeJapaneseinvasion of Manchuria.FrenchtroopsaresaidtohavecrossedtheYunnanborder,butFrenchsourcesatthetimeavowedtheywereonlychasing"bandits,"anddidnotactuallycrosstheborder.Theexplanation, Ithink,.wascorrect,the"bandits"being, of course, rebelsagainstFrenchruleoftheirnativeland.Iftheborder-whichis tropicaljungle-wasactually crossed,itwasonlyforashortdistance. Alsoinconnectionwiththerevolt,Frenchrailwayworkersin Amitchow,abouthalfwaybetweentheTonkinborderandYunnanfu,kidnapped ahalfdozenAnnainesewhohadparticipatedintheuprisingandlatertakenrefugeinYunnan.TheChineseauthoritiesfiled aprotest, but theAnnameseweretakenbackto Tonkinandtheremostlikely executed.Perhapsmoreinterestingthantrueisone ingenioustheorythattherevoltwasamajorfactorininspiringFrancetonegotiatea non-aggressionpact with theSoviet Unionlast year, thusobtaininga promisefromMoscownotto give evenmoralsupporttoanymorenativeoutbreaksinFrenchcolonies. MostPeacefulColonyintheFarEast.TodayIndo-China isprobablythemostpeacefulandcontented colonyintheFarEast.Theactively discontentedaredeadandnaturehasremedied oneoftheprecipitatingcauses oftherevolt-badcrops-byproviding good cropsthisyear and last while theFrenchhavecannily reducedtaxation.Thestandardoflivingamongthebulkofthe.nativesis low-ag lowasinChina,-butthereis peaceandno 'starvation,andprobablyno appreciableamountofhunger.ManylessonsmaybelearnedfromourbriefsurveyofFrench imperialism in Indo-China,particularlyinviewofthepossibility-maybeprobability-offurtherexpansion ofFrance'scolonial empire. Itis especiallyinterestingto notethesigni ficanceoftheForeignLegion intheFrenchimperial scheme ofthings.Amajor revolt inthecolony ofanyothercountryas democratic asFrancewouldarousemuchattentionathome(andsointheworldatlarge)iffornootherreasonthanbecausethearmywassenttosuppressit.Everyvillagewhichprovided oneormoreresidentstotheaffraywould beverymuchinterestedinwhatwasgoing on,andwhy.ButarevoltinaFrenchcolonycango almost unnoticed,forFrancehasan efficient body of alienadventurerswho,forreasonsbestknown to themselvesandusuallyunderassumednames,havedeliberately doomedanddamnedthemselves todotheQuaid'Orsay'sdirtyworkabroad.FromthefarreachesofthescorchedSaharaDeserttothemistladenjunglesoftheCelestialfrontierwheretheRedRiverroarsoutofthemountainsof Yunnan,theFrenchForeignLegion killsand mains [13]


tokeepthetricoloraloft,-andneitherthepeasantsofNormandynortheboulevardiersofParishaveanyprofoundinterestinitsmovementseveniftheyareawareofthem.AnotherimportantaspectofFrenchimperialismisthedevelopment ofalargeandpotentclass ofnativesandhalf-nativeswhoseself-interestcoincideswiththatofParis.Generally speaking,imperialistsotherthantheFrenchhaveimposedtheirruledirectly(asin. India)orindirectly(asinChina)fromaboveexceptformaintaining or aidinginmaintainingthefeudalstatus quoante.Thus,modernbourgeois development in colonialandsemi-colonialcountrieshasbeenanti-imperialist,andintheend(afterabortivenationalistrevolts)thenativebourgeoisiehavebeendriventosupporttheimperialistsonlytocountercommunism,TheFrench,ontheotherhand,inadditiontoruthlessforcemajeurfromaboveandsupportof 'thestatus quo ante(suchasPuppetBaoDai),havefromthefirstsoughtto develop a classofpettybourgeoisieand"whitecollar"workers,consistingofEurasiansandFrenchifiednatives,who,haveavestedinterestinFrenchrule.Thesetactics,carriedoutsuavely,aresummedupinthephraseIhaveused to describeFrenchimperialism-themailed fistinavelvetglove.Thispolicyappearstobeinthecourseof completeandsuccessfulachievementinIndo-China unlessitiseventuallyupsetbydevelopments elsewhereintheworld.Inanother50years of uninterruptedFrenchrule,thefeeblenationalismandnativeculturenowexistingwillbe almost,ifnotentirely,liquidated,-andcommunism, assuredly,hasnotmuchchanceof developingamongawell policedpeasantry.InYunnan,asweshallsee,thereisno possibility of bourgeoisdevelopment toanyqualitativeextentunderpresentconditions,andsoFrancehasnotneededtodomoretherethanassistinmaintainingthestatus quo anteofa feudalgovernment,-andtherehasbeennochangeintheprovincialgovernmentinmorethan20yearsexceptthatcausedbydeath,andtherepercussionsoftheChineseNationalistRe volutionwhichwerefundamentallyinsignificant.ButtheFrenchhavenotneglected tocultivatesuchbourgeoisie asexistaswellasthewesterneducatedChinese inthegovernmentorinprofessional work.Thusthefoundationhasbeenlaid shouldFranceeverdecidetoconverttheareafroma semi-colonialstatusintoa colonial"protectorate." [14]


III. HOW THE FRENCH RAILWAYDOMINATESTHEPOLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF YUNNAN.Shortlyaftertheconclusion of theWorld War,theprovincial government ofYunnanaskedforbids to supply pipingforawaterproject. Theamountof piping desired wasfairlysizable,amountingtoabout$100,000inShanghaicurrency which,atthattime,wasnearlyequivalent toU.S.$100,000.Bids, involving delivery in Yunnan, were offered byanAmerican, aBritonandaFrenchman.TheAmerican's bidwasfranklyatdumping prices,fortherewas a surplus of piping intheUnitedStatesatthetimedueto over-productionduringthewarperiod. Dumping inthosedays,itshould be emphasized, wasacommonand entirely respect. ablemethodofgettingridof surplus goods; onlyaftertheSoviet Unionstartedin dulginginit,diditacquireitspresentsinisterand subversive connotation.Buttogetback toourAmericansalesman;hehadmade due allowanceforfreightchargesandtransittaxovertheFrenchrailwayfromHaiphongintoYunnanandthefactthataFrenchmanwouldnothavetopayas 'hightransittaxasa citizen ofsomeothercountry,buthe was positivethatnevertheless nobidcould possibly be lowerthanhisoffer. Wherefore, he was considerably astoundedwhenthecontractwas awardedtotheFrenchbidder. Being exceedingly curious toknowjusthowtheFrenchmanhad"putitover,"theAmerican placed aspy,soto speak,intherailwaystationin Hanoi where, on acertainbulletin board,areposted all noticespertainingtoanychanges infreightorpassengerratesorintransittariffontherailway from Haiphong to Yunnanfu.InduetimetheAmerican's espionagewasrewarded,forjustbeforethepiping began toarrivein Haiphongandfor a monththereafterappeared a notice announcingthattheGovernor-General of Indo-Chinahadordered atemporaryreduction inthetransitdutyonwaterpiping destinedforYunnan, whileanothernotice proclaimedthat thatCompagnieFrancaisedes Chemins deFerde l'Indochineetdu Yunnan,withheadquartersinParisand"Direction de l'ExpIoitation" in Hanoi,hadtemporarIly reducedthefreightratesonwaterpiping destinedforYunnan.FrenchEconomic Domination. A volume couldnotreveal more clearlythanthisonebriefstoryhowtheFrenchhaveachieved economic domination over Yunnan, although Iwillshortlyrecountotherincidentsillustratingvarious aspects ofthesituation.ButwiththeGovernor General of Indo-China being empowered toraiseorlower customs charges ongoods intoYunnanathisdiscretionandwithoutanyadvancewarningto non-French business men, whiletheFrenchmanagementoftherailway company cooperates (probablyatgovernmental instigation)inalteringthefreightratesonthelinewithoutadvance notice to anyone except Frenchmen, non-French businesshasn'ta chance tomakeanyheadwayintheostensibly Chinese province of Yunnan.Thereader,ofcourse, willbearin mindwhathasalready been outlined,thattheonly practical way toreachYunnan, ortoshipgoods there, isviatheFrenchrailway. Somuchforthemomentforpurely commercial transactions. IwillnowtellastorythatIdon'tbelievehasever before been published whichhaspronounced political significance.JustlastyeartheYunnanprovincial government orderedsix[15]


ArrowtrainingairplanesfromtheUnitedStates.ItwasthefirstsubstantialbitofAmericanbusinessthathadbeentransactedinYunnaninrecentyears,althoughtherewasoneotherancientAmericanplane intheprovince;justhowitgotthere. Idonotknow.Further,itwasthefirstbigventureoftheYunnanauthoritiesin flying; in addition totheantiqueAmericanplanetherewere a fewotherequallyancientplanes whichhadbeenpurchasedinFrance,butwhichhadbecome practic ally useless. DiscriminationAgainstAmericanPlanes.Indue coursethesixArrowplanesarrivedin Haiphong.Frenchofficialdomhaddoubtless beenawareofthedeal,buthadbeensilentuntilthearrival at themachines.Thentheorderwentforththattheplanes wouldnotbeallowedtogothroughTonkintoYunnanfu;theywere"warmaterial"andFrancewouldbe derelict inher"mission ofcivilization"-asFrenchpropagandistsdelight in describingtheirimperialisticenterprise-ifsuchweapons(fromnon-French. sources)wereallowed tocorrupttheheathenChinese.ButHarryE. Stevens,thethenAmericanconsul inYunnanfu(heisnowinTsinanfu), didnotseeitthatway. He firstprotestedtotheFrenchauthoritiesinHanoi,butwithoutresult.Hethenappealed totheStateDepartmentinWashington,whichtook upthematterwiththeQuaid'OrsayinParis.Finally, dueof course toAmerica'spowerful positionintheworld,theofficialsinParisyieldedandinstructedtheauthoritiesinHanoi topermittransitoftheplanes.ThustheyeventuallyarrivedinYunnanfu.According toonereportI obtainedtheyweredamagedintransit,butthiswasofficially deniedbytheAmericanConsulateinYunnanfu.Anyway,thedeal evidently discouragedtheYunnangovernmentfromengaginginanysimilarfuturetransactionswithAmericanfirms,forwhenfourmore air planes wererecentlypurchased(whicharrivedinYunnanfujustabout thetimeofmysojournthere),theywereobtained from aFrenchmanufacturerdespitethefactthattheywere technicallyinferiorto theAmericanproduct and cost little,ifany, less. Thisstoryoftheairplanes speaks sufficiently clearly for itselftorequireno analysisnorcomment. Alittlehistoryanddescription oftheFrenchrailwayisinorderbeforewe proceedfurther,forin addition to being oneofthemosteffective weaponsofim perialism in Asia,itisoneoftheworld'smostwonderfulandbeautiful"ironhorses." And, incidentally,itisalliron;eventhesleepers(orties, astheyarecalledintheUnitedStates)aresteel,andsoarethetelegraphpoles.Thegaugeisonemeter;themileage in Tonkin is2401/2and288inYunnan.Thecompany, which isentirelyFrench,is capitalizedatFrancs19,250,000.TheTonkin sectionwasbuiltin1901andextendedtoYunnanfuin1910.WhentheYunnansectionwasopened a weirdrumorspreadamongtheilliterateChinesethatChinese babies were tobe kidnapped r andkilledtogreasethetracksandwheelsrfthefearsomeforeignmonster.Children whohadpreviouslybeenfondledbyforeignresidentswererushedoutofsightwheneverforeignersapproached byscaredChinesemamaswho subsequently registeredconsiderableshameandlossof face rvertheirfright.AndChinesegangsterstookadvantageoftherumortomakeitcometrueinpartby kidnapping alargenumberof children! Complete Control of Railway.ThelandfortheYunnansectionoftherailwaywasfurnishedbytheYunnangovernmentwhichundertookthejobof policingthezone.Thereneverhavebeenanyforeignguardsasalongtheforeignrailways of Manchuria,butFrancehasaI[16]


waysbeeninas complete control oftheline asifshehadasquadoftheForeignLegiontoeverykilometer.ItcoststheYunnangovernmentabout$50,000(Shanghaicurrency)ayeartomaintaintherailwayguards,buttheonly profittheChineseeverhavederivedfromtheline istherighttotransportallmilitarysuppliesathalftheregularrate.HowmuchprofittheFrenchobtainfromtherailway, asidefromthepoliticalandeconomicgripitgivethemon Yunnan, isnotdefinitely known excepttotheFrenchthemselves.Therecanbenodoubtthatthelinewasexpensivetobuild,andis expensive tomaintainbecause of landslidesalmosteverysummerwhichcause a constantadditiontothenumberof tunnels,thenewtunnelsbeingbuiltwheremountainshave" displayed ahabitofconstantlymoving ontothetracks.TheofficialFrenchfigures,whichmayormaynotbeentirelyaccuratesinceanyprofitoverareasonablereturnontheoriginalFrenchinvestmentwouldhavetobe dividedwiththeYunnangovernment,showthatreceiptsin1931amountedtoFrancs43,973,988.50 whileexpenditurestotaled41,208,025.20, aratioofworkingexpensestogrossrevenueof92percent. Receipts droppedapproximatelyFrancs6,000,000from1930 whileexpenditureswerereducedbyaboutFrancs3,000,000.Therailwaycarries about' 3,000,000passengersayear,chieflyfourthclass. Only one coach atripis devotedtotheentirefirst, secondandthirdclass,andinpassingIwillreportforthebenefit ofanyreaderwhomaybecontemplatingatriptoYunnanthatthereisno appreciable differencewhatsoever(except in price)betweenfirstandsecondclass;thirdclass is"hard,"butnotcrowded ordirty.Andwhile onthissubject,I adviseanytravelerto avoidthe regular FrenchhotelsatthetwoovernightstopsbetweenHanoiandYunnanfu.Thelittle, out-of-the-way HotelZennerinLaokayishighlyrecommended,andincidentallyithasthecheapestandbestvinrougeIfoundinall Indo-China.InAmitchow,themostconvenient Chinesehotelisnotrecommendedexceptona price basis,butitmeansasavingofabouttenShanghaidollarsovertheFrenchhotel.InYunnanfuitselfIenthusiasticallyrecommendtheHoteldelaPostewhich,althoughsome ofitsaccomodationsareabitprimitive, is clean 'andcomfortable,anditservesthebestforeignfoodintownandismanagedbyanextraordinarilyhospitableandcharmingFrenchboniface who, incidentally,speaksquitegoodEnglish.Further,withadequatebargaining,itsratesareveryreasonableinacitywhereeverythingforeignisonthegoldpiastrebasis. As indicated,ittakesthreedaystoreachYunnanfufromHanoialthoughbythestandardsofthebestEnglishorAmericantrainstherunshouldnottakeover12hours.Butthetrainsusedarenotbuiltforspeed,andin additiontheystopateverystation,therebeingnoexpressservice.TravelatnightthroughYunnanwould behazardousbecause ofthetreacherousterrain,andinyearspasttherewastheadditionalhazardofbandits.Butdespitethetimeconsumed,thetripisnotboring;instead,itisextremelyintriguing.Upto Laokay, ontheYunnanborder,thecountryisbeautiful,butnotespecially ,outstanding,atleasttoonealreadyfairlyfamilarwithpaddy-fieldsandtropicaljungleof palmsandbananatrees. .ButthroughYunnan,thejourneyis dizzyanddazzling.Thereisaconstantascentfromnotmorethanabout250feetabovesealeveltomorethana mile by mid-afternoon onthefirstday'stravelintheprovince. A MagnificentJourney.TherailwayfirstfollowsthegorgeoftheNamtiwhich flowsintotheRed River,atthemouthofwhichHaiphongis located.Therearemanygorgeouswaterfalls,sheerpeaksofbrownrock,verdantravines,overhangingcragscrownedwithmossandsmalltrees,andsmall valleyshereandthereaswellasterracedhillsideswherericeandcornaregrowing.Therearemanysharprisesin elevation whicharenegotiatedbythetraintravelingalmostin circles;attimestheengine isheaded[17]


almostdirectlytowardthe. rearcoach.One bridge,thePontSurArbaletriers, which isbut67metersin length, connects two tunnels, spanning a canyon ofbreath-takingmagnificence. This bridge, incidentally, isa superb .tributetoFrenchengineering; designed onthespotwithbeautifulaccuracy,itwas built intwopartsinFranceand shipped toYunnanwhereeachhalfwas connectedwiththeother' by being lowered onhumanbacks downthealmostsheersides ofthevastmountainsitjoinstogether.The first great plateauthatis reached is around Tschetsouen, which is1,630.49metersin altitude.Thenthereisa drop to Mengtsz,nearwhichtheYunnantinminesarelocated,anda stillfurtherdrop to Amitchow, which istheterminusoftheday'sjourney. Onthenextdayvthereisafurtherclimbinthegorge oftheTaho which flowsintotheWestRivertoCanton,thenaslightdescent, andthenupagaintothegreatplateau, 6,400 feet above sea level,upon whichYunnanfuis located.Shortlybefore reachingYunnanfuisthesplendid spectacle ofblue Lake 'I'angtche surrounded bya vermillionmountainrangetrimmedwithgreenpatches oftreesand plants. .Inthecrisp air oftheevening, gloriously illuminated bythesettingsun,itprovidesanexquisiteestheticendtooneofthefinesttripsinall China. 'Inall,thereareabout 200 tunnels,rangingfrom20metersto500metersinlength, intheYunnansection of the railway,andforlongstretchesthereisat least onetunnelto every mile. to point out,these'havetheirdisadvantages on a coal-burningtrainwhereitis impossible to keepthewindows closed,butIthinkanyrealtravelerwillfind the journeyworththegrime-andtime. .Enoughnowofthebeauties ofYunnan; letusreturnagaintoless pleasing economic and political realities. Ithas already been pointedouthowtheFrenchcanmanipulatetransportationchargesontherailwayandevenrefusetherightoftransit.Refusal totransport,of course, is purely a political measure except, aswillbe dealt withinthenextchapter,theirbanontheexport' of opium from YunnarifhroughTonkin to Canton.Inthiscasethereisa justifiablefearthatthenarcotic would be smuggled off the trainsinTonkinandthus-InterferewiththeIndo-China opium monopoly.Butexceptfora smallnumberof items,thereisnoprohibition oftransitofthegoodsofanynation.Thusmost. ofthemanipulation oftherailway isthroughtransportationcharges, ormorespecificallythetransitcustoms duty,forexceptinextremecases, likethepiping incident, there isno appreciable manipulation offreightrates." TransitCustomsDuty.Thetransitcustoms .dutyis purelyandsimply a racket, toemploya modern Americanterm.Itis equivalent tothetactics of Chicagogangsterswho exact a tollfromanyoneoperatingapantspressingestablishmentintheirdistricts,ormore exactly tothepractice of robber barons oftheMiddleAgesin Europe who collected squeezefromshipsthatpassedtheircastles. Norightotherthanmightcouldbe invokedforchargingcustomsdutyongoodsthatmerelypassthroughTonkin.Intheory,thetransitcustoms charges amounts to merely onetwentiethofthedutyon imports into Tonkin. Thus, even by theory,Frenchgoodshavetopaylesstaxthangoodsofathernations, China included,fornaturallytheIndo-ChinaimportdutyislessonFrenchgoodsthanon non-French goods.Butiftheoryand practice conformed,thedutywouldbeverysmall,and whileitwould still bea racket,itwouldnotseriously handicaptradesinceitwouldneveramountto morethanfourorfive percentadvalorem.[18]


Inreality,however,thetaxonnon-Frenchgoodsrunsashighas15percent.,andin: someinstancesprobablymore. I willherewithreproduce onebillindetailofthetaximposedanthetransportationofa smallchurchorganmanufacturedinShanghaiandshippedtoYunnanfuviaHaiphong.First,itisnecessarytoexplainthatsincethereisnoshipmentinbond,andastransitgoods,likeothergoodsenteringIndo-China,areexaminedbytheFrenchcustoms,itisnecessarytoemployanagentinHaiphongtosupervisetheforwardingofmerchandisefromship-side tothetrain.Thisagent,alwaysFrench,isknownasa"transitaire,"andmanyFrench-'menmakequiteagood living as"transitaires"in Haiphong.Hereisa"transitaire's"itemized billfortheorganmadeinShanghai,thebill being, of course,inpiastres:. .Debarquement....Imprimesdouanes ..TimbreconnaissementTaxesdocks .... Douanes.....Formalitieen douane Commissiontransit....'.TransportS.127XfloAvis d'expedition..Redactionmanifestes. Correspondance Commissions debours .....Total.....$ .82 10.26 2.00 1.501.69.10 1.00.20 .14..$20.95 Icannotexplain alltheitemsinthisbill,norcouldthepersonwhopresentedittome.Presumably"debarquement"isahandlingchargeandhencenotatax.Everyother item, however,hasnothingtodowithfreight,whichisnotincluded inthebill.Andexceptforthecommissionofthe"transitaire"and"debarquement,"theproceeds goto the coffers oftheIndo-Chinagovernment,includingthestampslistedfortellingthepersoninYunnanfuwhoboughttheorganthatitisonitswaythere.Further,itwillbenotedthattheactualcustoms duty-"douanes" onlyabouthalfthetotalbill;therest,withtheexceptionsalreadynoted,aretaxesofvariousotherkinds.Excessive Ta:xation...Assumingthat"debarquement"isahandlingchargeandwentprovide riceforsomeHaiphongdock workers,itmaybe deducted,leavingwhatcanbestbe described as politicalchargesofFrenchimperialism .Thetotalofsuchchargesis,therefore,19.15piastres,whichinShanghaicurrencyisapproximately$37.Nowthevalue oftheorganinShanghaicurrencywas$250.Consequently the French tollfor lust allowingittopass through Tonkin was approximately15percentadvalorem.Itmustbe emphasizedthatthischargehadnothingtodowiththefreightchargefromHaiphongtoYunnanfu,partof which, of course,wenttotheFrenchgovernmentthroughtaxesimposed ontherailway.Further,itmustbe emphasized,thattheorganwasmadeinChinaandshipped to an ostensibly Chinese city,andformerelyallowingittobe shippedtheretheFrenchcollected 15percentad valorem!Theorgan, incidentally,arrivedinYunnanfubadlydamaged,-afactIwantthereadertobearinmindforsubsequentdiscussion Supposetheorganhad been madeinFranceandshipped toYunnanfu;what. wouldithavehadtopay?UnfortunatelyIcannotgivenanyexactanswertothatquestion,butin discussingthetransittollwithM. Baudez,theFrenchConsuiint, 19]


, Yunnanfu, I askedhimforinformationonthedifference betweenthe'chargesonFrenchandnon-French goods.He saidhedidnotknow,buthefelt. sureall wasfair,andto prove his point hebroughtfortha"transitaire"bill of SubiraFreres,oneoftheleadingFrenchimportandexportfirmsof Yunnanfu.Thegoodsinvolved-hedidnotknowexactlywhattheywereexceptthattheyincluded general householdprovisions-amountedto$250inHongkong currency, orabout$275Shanghaicur.. rency.Thetotal of the"transitaire's"billwas15.22 piastres,butthisincluded a ,freightchargeofabouteightpiastresfromtheship tothetrain,andtheitemmarked"douanes"waslessthanthreepiastres. Sincethetotalpoliticalchargesinthisbill were onlyabout$13Shanghaicurrency,thead valoremratewasaboutfive percent, oronethirdtherateontheChinese-made organ. Of course,theFrenchwouldreplythatthisdoesnotproveanythingexceptthatthedutyon general pro visions is lessthanon organs,regardlessoforigin,-soI leaveittothereadertodrawhisownconclusions, .While 'thetransittoll istheprincipal weapon used bytheFrenchto dominateYunnaneconomically,therearealsootherweaponsthatillustratetheGallic"effi ciency" I mentionedina previouschapterTheorganfromShanghaithatarrivedinYunnanfubadly damaged was no exception toa general rule applying tononFrenchgoodsreachingYunnanfu.Theexception is whentheydon'tarrivedamaged. Those whopreferAmericancanned milk,or example, usually findahalfdozen cans drainedineachshipment.Ifanykick i registered,theFrenchrecipientthereofshrugshis shoulderswitha winsome smile,andsays,"Ah,theseChinese cooliesonthetraininYunnanarehardtowatch;wedoourbest,butwecan'tkeep an eye onthemallthetime."Probablyhedoesn'texceptthepersonregisteringthekickto believethisstory,butit'shisstoryandhe sticks toit!German Goods Delayed. I pointedoutinpreviouslythatGermangoodstakeaboutsixmonthstoarrivefromHaiphonetoYunnanfu,withBritishandAmerican goodsarrivinginsomewhatlesstimewhileFrenchgoods somehowmakethejourneyina week ortendays. This isalsoofpartoftheFrenchmethod, inmanipulatingtheirrailway inFrenchinterests.Siemens,theGermanfirm,sellsallitsgoodsc.i.f. Shanghai, Hongkong, orHaiphongbecauseitcannotafford toguaranteeeitherpromptdelivery orthecondition ofthegoods uponreachingYunnanfu. Once,aBritonprotestedvigorously tohis"transitaire"inHaiphongagainstthelong delays inforwardingcertainBritishgoodsfromthatpoint toYunnanfu;"Well,whydon't you buy French goodsandseeiftheywould arrive anyquicker?"the"transitaire"blandly replied. Still onefurtherillustrationofFrenchtracticswastheholding upofashipmentof American canned goodstoYunnanfubecausethecans werenotmarkedwiththecountryof origin. Now,tobe sure, Indo-China regulations, likethoseofmanyothercountries, includingtheUnitedStates,requirethatimportsbemarkedwiththecountryof origin,butsincethegoods were merelyintransitthroughTonkin to China proper, holdingthemupcanonlybesetdownas deliberateinterferencewithnon-Frenchtrade.WhethertheFrenchtakeadvantageoftheiropportunitytointerferewithmail toandfromYunnan, Icouldnotdefinitely determine. According toone informant,theyhaveintimespast,andIdidlearnthatBritishfaithinGallic honor is suchthatall consular dispatches ofanyimportance totheBritishConsulate inYunnanfuaresent"bysafehand,"thatis,bytrustedmessengers.Inthisconnection, how ever,itisonlyfairtoaddthatthereis probably nocountryintheworld which couldbetrustednottolearnthediplomatic secrets ofanothercountrywhenevertheopportunityarises. .[20]


.AfterthisbriefsurveyofhowtheFrenchuseth.eir railway,itis obviousthattherearefewventuresin non-French business in Yunnan.Personsarenotaptto playinagamewheretheyknowin advancethat the cardsarestackedagainstthem,andeverynon-Frenchbusiness firmwhohasever consideredenteringinYunnanfieldhasbeen abletofindoninquirytheconditions Ihaveoutlined here.Noristhereanyprospectthattheseconditions willbesubstantiallychanged inthepredict ablefuture.Thestill unratifiedSino-French commercialtreatydoes provideforareducationintransittaxon Chinesegoods,-whichreduction,ifitever becomes effective,othernationswould probably claim underthe"mostfavorednation"clause inalmostallinternationaltreaties.Andtheproposed reductions-i-incorporated inthepactwhenChinawas inamuchstrongerpositionthantoday-areprobably .whyFrancehassofarfailedtoratifythetreaty:M. Baudez toldme "discussionsaboutcommerce in connectionwithcustoms on various articles" were delayingrecentnegotiations inNankingonthepact. IaskedM. BaudezwhetherFrancewould ever be willing to abolishthetransittaxentirelyiftheYunnanauthoritieswould abolish likin.He believed not. Ialso askedhimwhetherFrancewouldbe willing toallowshipmentin bandthroughTonkin. ."Idon'tbelieveitwouldbe possibleinthepresentstate. of China," he replied. 'WeneverknowwhenYunnanmightrevoltaganistthecentralgovernmentin Nanking."FrenchStrangle-hold on Yunnan. .Thereismuchsignificance inthis statement.IwillreturntoitagainwhenI discussthegriponallofChinathatFrancecan exercise asaresultofherstrangleholdon Yunnan. Obviously, of course,Francewouldnotbe likely toallow shipmentin bondthroughTonkintoYunnan,forthatwouldbeamajorblowtohereconomic dominationof theprovince. Shipmentinbondwould',toalargeextent,converttherailwayintoapurelycommercialenterprise,-andpurely commercialenterprises.don'tusuallycountforverymuchinthegreatgameof imperialism. Oneoftheresultsofthepresentsystemisthehighcost of living in Yunnan.WiththeFrenchabletocrushmostcompetition by political tactics,theycanchargevirtuallywhatthey want fortheirgoods,and sincethebulk ofthemerchandise sold isFrenchithighbeforeiteverreaches'Yunnanbecause asI previously pointed out,theFrenchvirtualmonopoly onimportsintoIndo-ChinamakersfreightratesfromMarseilles to Saigon and HaiphonghigherthanfromMarseilles to Hongkong orChinaproper. Then,ofcourse,thereisalsotheChinese customs.Further,theYunnangovernmentimposes likin,officially described asa "consumptiontax;" on almost all imports,andthisamountstofromonetenthtoonehalfoftheregularChinese customs charges.Thusimported products inYunnanfuareatleasttwicewhattheycost inShanghai,andsomeShanghaiproductsareoverthreetimes ashighinYunnanfuasinShanghai.Shanghaibeer,forexample, costsatleast$1.87Shanghaicurrencyforalargebottle inaYunnanfuhotel!TheYunnanrailway,itisofinterestand importance to note,constitutestheonlymajorFrenchinvestmentintheprovince.Therewasaprojectbackin1914foranotherrailwayfromYamchow(orChingchow) ontheKwantungcoast, betweenPakhoiandtheTonkin border,toYunnanfuandthenceviaSuifutoChungkingin Szechwan. Acontractfortheconstruction ofthisline was negotiated betweenthePekinggovernmentandtheBanque Industrielle de Chine which subsequentlywentbankrupt,butnotuntilaftersome moneyInconnectionwiththecontracthadbeen [21]


advanced totheChinese government.TheBanque de l'Indochine isineffect,ifnotinname,thesuccessor totheBanqueIndustrielle deChine,butnothinghasever been doneabouttherailwaycontract.Thefactthatthemoney advanced to China bythebankruptbankhasnever been repaid precludes, accordingtosomeauthorities,constructionofalinebytheChinese ontherouteoutlinedinthecontract. China could presumably build onanotherroutethatwouldbe equally desirable, or build ontherouteoutlinedafterrepayingthe. money,Thequestion, however, isextremelyacademic.Inthefirst place, China isinno position now,norwillbeatanytimeinthepredicablefurture,toconstructanywherearailwayas extensive asthiswouldbe.Further, Judging bythewayinwhichthequestion of parallel railwaysinManchuriahasbeen decided,itwouldbeuptoParisandnootherauthoritytosaywhetherconstruction ontherouteinthecontract, oronanyotherroute, wouldbeallowed.Thecontractcontains no clause by whichitever becomes void ifitstermsarenotcarriedout,andthereisreasonto believe France wouldoppose construction ofanyrailwaybyotherthanFrenchinterestsintheterritoryaffected.Itis obviousthatsuch arailwaywouldbeextremelypotentbothpoliticallyandeconomically inKwangtung,Kwangsi, Kweichow,YunnanandSzechwan.Inapetitionagainstthecontract,ChangWei-han, commissioner of foreign affairsinYunnan, pointedoutthe"KwangtungandKwangsiareundertheFrenchsphereof influence, whileYunnanis dominated bytheFrench."Healso declaredthatthecontract"istheFrenchinstrumentallytoannexChina." IhavealreadypointedoutChang'ssubsequentand,mostlIkely, consequentfate.Underthecontractitmaybe assigned toanyothergroup-orcompany ofFrenchnationality,butnothinghaseverbeen doneaboutitsincethebankfailed.InpresentconditionsitisnotlikelythatFranceispreparedtocarrythroughthecontract,butitsexistenceputsherina powerful positionintheareainvolved,particularlyas long assheisdominantinYunnan,-andshecancontinue tohold dominionthereas long assheisableto utilizetheHaiphong-Yunnanfurailwayinthemannernow prevailing. [ 22]


IV.TINPRODUCTIONIN THE ECONOMYOFYUNNAN.Onlythroughcarefulstudyofthenativeeconomy ofanyareaisitpossible to correctly .estimateandappreciateimperialisticenterprisetherein.Imperialism doesnotafflict(atleastforlong)fundamentallystrongcountries although, of course,itcanburyitsfangsina backward,butpotentiallystrong,countryandtherebykeepitbackwardandweakindefinitely.Butifacountrywithadequateresources inmenandrawmaterialseverreallydevelopsitsstrengthitishardtocrushunlessitacquires someinternalweakness. Intheprecedingchapters,wehaveobtained some appreciation oftheimportanceofYunnanandtheFrenchgripon it,havesurveyedtheIndo-ChinabaseofFrenchFarEasternimperialism,andhaveindicated howFranceisablethroughherrailwayintoYunnanto keepthedooroftheprovinceprettywellclosedagainstall non-French politicalandcommercial activity.Nextin logicalorderisthestudyoftherelationsprevailingbetweentheFrenchandtheYunnanprovincialgovernment;hencethisoutline ofnativeeconomy. Now economymaybe briefly definedastheinterreactionofmenandnaturalresources. Wherefore,itisextremelysignificanttonotethatthetwomajoritems, and theonlytwo important items,inthenativeeconomy ofYunnanare tin andopium,-withthelatterbeingoverwhelmingly dominant.Tinproductionamountsto about $15,000,000(Shanghaicurrency)ayear;opiumproductionamountstoprobablymorebutexactfiguresareimpossib letoobtain' since all governmental sourcesareexceedinglymumaboutthis phase of provincial affairs. Yunnan, of course, offersthepossibilityofmanyothermineralandagriculturalitemsinitseconomy,andthereis,tobe sure, considerable productionofvarious foodstuffs,especially riceandcorn.Butrightnow rice is beingimported from Indo China.Inminerals, however,tinistheonly one which isworthextractingtoany, con siderableextentunderpresentconditions.c-thatistosay,itistheonlymineralwhichcanbe profitably exported. Manyotherminerals couldbe exploitedforlocal useiftheprovincewerenotso backward,orforuse elsewhereinChinaiftherewereanypracticalmeansoftransportationexceptthroughIndo-Chinaandthenceby sea backintoChina.Iftheprovincehadan outlettotheYangtszevalleybytheYangtszeriver(thatconstitutesitsnorthernboundary)ortotheChina coastthroughCanton,itcould supplymanyrawmaterialsforthemoreindustriallyad vanced sections of China. Nevertheless,themineralwealthofYunnandoesnotappeartobeasvastasmanyhavesupposed.Forexample, William A. Wong, E.M.,Met.E.,M.A.,inhisbookon "MineralWealthofChina"(The CommercialPress,Shanghai, 1927),paintsanextraordinarilyalluringpictureofYunnan'sunderground potentialities. Antimony, coal, copper, "gold found 'allovertheprovince,""ironin almosteveryprefecture,"mercury, nickel, petroleum, platinum, tin,andsome silverandtungsten are enumerated,ButMiao Yun-tai,anAmericaneducatedminingengineer whois commissioner ofindustriesof Yunnan, discountsthispicturetoa considerableextent.Thereis, according to Mr.Miao,quitealotofantimonyandsilver,buttheformerdoesnotcomparefavorablywiththedeposits inHunan.(Antimonyandtungsten,incidentally,aretheonly minerals in whichChinaleads world production; inallotherminerals, according[ 23" ]


tothebestevidence available,thecountryis exceedingly poorandtherebyverymuchhandicapped inindustrialpotentialities.) MineralsArePoorin Quality.Thereisalso, according toMr.Miao,afairamountofleadandzinc availableforexploitation.Further,copperexistsinappreciable quantities,buttheoreisvastlyinferiorin both quantityandqualitytothatexistingintheAmericanstateofMontanaalone.Ironis widespread enough, asis shown bythebrilliantlyredsoilinmanyplaces,buttheoreissolowgradethatitwill probablyneverbeworthex ploiting except,perhaps,forpurelylocal needs.Thustheprovince isverypoorinwhat,altogetherliterally, isthebackbone ofmodernindustry.Thereis enough coalforlocaluse,butitisnotgood coking coalsuchaswouldberequiredforthelittleironproduction possible. Tin,whichwillbe discussed ingreaterdetail presently, is reallynotveryexten sivewhencompared tothegreattindeposits oftheworldaroundSingaporeandinSouthAmerica.Approximately6,000tonsoftinarenowbeingminedyearlyin Yunnan,andatthisrateof production Mr.Miaoestimatesthelife ofthedepositsatnotmorethan40years.Fromthisbriefsurvey,itwillbeseenthatYunnanisnotextraordinarilytemptingfromtheviewpoint ofitsmineralwealth,thoughitisbynomeanstobe ignored.Afterall, somedaytheworld willhavetodepend toalargeextentonmineralde positsthatarenow insignificantwhencomparedtothosethatareintensively ex ploited,andhencebeingused up.Itis possiblethattheFrenchwerefooledinYunnan;perhapstheywereluredtoobtaintheirpresentgripontheprovince bythebeliefthatitwasmuchmorewealthythanitreallyis.Ifso,thiswould explainwhytheyhavenevermadeanyattempt to exploitits'minerals and, whatevermaybetheirfutureintentions,appeartobeinnohurrytoannexit.Buttherecanbe nodoubtthattheyregarditasworthholding in reserve,andsohavestamped itall overwiththechop oftheQuai d'Orsay.Itisanexceedingly curious fact,andonefor' which Icanfind no satisfactoryexplanation,thattheFrenchhavenevertakenpossession, inonewayoranother,of theYunnantinminesandexploitedthem.Tinisoneoftheessentialrawmaterialsofmodernindustry,andbeinga component of bronzeithasbeen usedforthousandsof years. Todaythebulkoftheworld'stinsupply isinBritishhands, exceptforthevastdeposits in BoliviaandintheGranChaco over which Boliviaand Paraguay arefighting.Heretherehasbeen a longstrugglebetweenBritishandAmericanintereststo dominatetheBoliviantinindustry.Englandhasminedtinforcenturiesin Cornwall,wherethesupply iswellonitswayto exhaustion,butshehashugedepositsthatarenow being worked in theMalayStraitsSettlementsaswellaslargedeposits inAustralia.France,ontheotherhand,hasnotin min-es ofherown except some relatively poor ones inIndoChinathat,I believe,arenotnowbeingexploitedtoanyextent.Byall imperialistic logic,therefore,oneoftheFrance'sfirstactsuponpenetratingYunnanwithherrailwayearlyinthepresentcentryshouldhavebeen tograbthetinmines, which are, incidentally,notveryfarfromtheTonkin border.Instead,Francehasnotonlynevermadeanyknownattempttotakepossession ofthemines,butneverexcept oncehassheinterferedwiththeiroperationbyothers.Andshehasbutrarelyboughtanyoftheiroutput,usuallyobtaininghertinsupplyfromEnglandintheLondonmarket.[24]


Varied Uses of'I'in, Of course, whiletinisanessentialrawmaterialin modernindustry,including war, nogreatquantitiesofitarerequired. Averylittletinwillmakealotof tinplate, which isan essentialrequirementofthecanningindustry.Neitherpewternorbronze, whichrequiretin,areextensively useatthepresenttime,buttinisa component ofBabbitt'smetal(togetherwithantimonyandcopper) which isusedforbearings, bushings, etc.inall kinds of machinery. Andin chemicalsalts-stannousoxide,stannicoxide,stannouschloride,stannicchloride,etc.-tinhassuchvaryingusesas polishing optical glassesandprovidingmordantsfordyeingandcalico-printing.Butonlyafewthousandtons oftinyeararenecessaryforanygreatindustrialcountry. The YunnantinminesarelocatedatKochiu, 20mileswestof Mengtsz, ona bare,graniteridgethatis5,900feetabovesealevel.Themineswereworked by primitive methodsformanyyearsbeforetheimperialistic opening of China,anduntilthe1911 revolution foreignerswereforbidden bylawtobuytininYunnan,exportbeingentirelyin Chinese hands. NordidtheFrencheverattempt,sofarasIcanlearn, to violatethelaw. Development ofthetinmineswithmodern machinerystartedin1909whentheYunnangovernmentandtheowners oftheland on whichthemines are located formedthe"YunnanMutualTinTradingCompany"withcapital of a million taels. German engineers were engaged toerecta refinery which couldsmelt50 tons ofstandardtinaday(fartoohighanestimate)withgasfromtheadjacentcoalfield of Takwang. The engineers suggestederectingtherefineryattherailwaystationof Pichichai,theore tobetransportedfromthemines 21 milesawayby aerial rope way.TheChinese, however,fearedtobethisclosetotheFrenchrailway, soitwas decidedto buildtherefineryatthemines.TheplantwasdeliveredfromGermanyduring1910and1911c.i.f. Haiphong,andtheChinesehadtopayapproximately 50% ofitsvalue totransportitovertheFrenchrailwayto Pichichai.In1913,138,000piculsoftinwere smelted and refined,andthenthecapital ofthecompanywasexhausted.Arrangementsfollowedforaloanof,000fromtheFrench-Russianfirm of PanoffandCompany,withthe refineru tosupply" tintoPanofjatPanoff'sprices.TheChinese finallyrejectedthisscheme andtherefinery closedwithatotallossto shareholders. Nativetinsmeltingthenresumed.TheFrenchdisplayed nofurtherknowninterestinthemines.ShortlyaftertheworldwaranEnglishmannamed Collison came toYunnanfufromSingaporewithlarge qualities of silver dollars to inducetheYunnangovernment togivetheSinga poretininterestsa monopoly ontheoreatKochiu.He proposedthattheStraitsgovernmentwouldminta special silvertradingdollar topaycashfortheoreattheminesattheworld prices oftheday.WhethertheFrenchwouldhaveallowedtheschemetomaterialize is questionable; anyway, Mr.CollisondiedinYunnanfubeforenegotiatinganycontract, andnoonefollowedhimtoattempttocarrythroughthedeal. SincethattimeanotherChinese companyhasbeen organizedunderauspices oftheprovincialgovernmentto exploitthemineswithmodern machinery. A smelting and refiningplanthasbeen erected, anda small railwayhasbeenbuiltfromthemines to Pichichai. S.B. Archdeacon,anEnglishmanwhowas long technical manageroftheStraitsTinTradingCompany,hasbeen engaged to supervise production. The French, sofarasIcould learn,haveabsolutelynothingtodowiththesmelting and refining company, and derive no profitfromthetinexceptforhaulingitto Haiphong overtheirrailway;bytreatythereisnotransittaxontheexportoftinthroughTonkin.(Withthisexception, asI suppose is cleartothereader, Chinese[25]


goods shippedoutofYunnanthroughTonkin istaxedas extensivelywithtransitcustoms duties as non-French goods shippedthroughTonkinintoYunnan.) Yunnan TinSoldinU.S.A. The bulk ofthetinproduced inYunnanisnowsoldtotheUnited States,fetchingU.S.$600a ton. Such isthehistoryandpresentstatusofYunnantinproduction; onlytimecantellwhetherFrancewillagainregisteranyinterestinthemines. Today andforsomeyearspast,tinisoneofthemanythingsof whichthereis worldoverproduction, soFrancehasno immediate economicincentivetobotherabouttheKochiu mines; perhaps, however,theyaresecretlyearmarked"held in reserve." Should the Frencheveraskforthetinmines, or 'anythingelseinYunnan, Icannotconceive ofmuchresistancebeingoffered bytheYunnanese Chinese. Mostnativecommercialenterprise,incidentally, isinCantonese hands,Thegovernor,andmanyotherhighofficials asI shall recount in detail inthenextchapter,areaborigines whomtheChinese call "Lolos." .. Somuchfortheeconomy ofYunnan.Ashasbeenstatedtheyconstitutetheonlyimportantnon-Frenchenterprise' intheprovince.Thereisoneotherbitofnon-Frenchdevelopmentunderforeigntechnicalsupervision-theYaoLungElectricLightCompany ofYunnanfu,-andwhileitisnotnowof much conse quence,andprobablyneverwillbe as longastheFrencharein control,itshistorymaybe givenhereforthefurtherilluininationitsheds ontheobstaclesFranceplacesinthewayof non-Gallic activity. Thelightcompany,withhydroelectricpower-whichcouldbedeveloped exten sively in smallunitsthroughoutYunnan, -:startedbeforetheworldwarandis privately ownedby Chinese.Itsplantof500 horsepowerwas installed by Siemens,thegreatGermanfirmalreadymentioned. Germanythenwasinatoo powerful positionforFrancetooppose.AGermanengineer was employedtosupervisetheoperations ofthecompanyandaGermanremained onthejob untilthelastyearofthewarwhenaFrenchengineer was installed. One German engineer diedinYunnanfuduringthe.warperiod andneithertheFrenchnortheBritishwould allowhimtobe buriedintheircemeteries,buttheChinese owners ofthecompany provided an especial burying-groundandhavekeptthegravegreeneversince.Afterthewar,thecompany succeeded somehowingettingridoftheFrenchengineer, anda Danish engineer, whowas really employed by Siemens, took charge.In1923thefirst extension of650 horsepower was purchasedfortheplant.ItwasboughtfromSiemens bytheChineseverysecretlyand installed bytheDane.LateranotherGerman engineer wasabletoentertheprovince andtakeover. Duetoalargeamountoftheftof electricity and improper installation of wires,theplanthasbeenveryinefficient inrecentyears,notenoughlightbeing available much ofthetimeforreading. Soanotherextensionof950 horsepower was recently decidedupon, andthistimeFrenchinfluence was sufficientlystrongtocallforpur chase ofthenewunitinFrance.However,whentheFrenchdiscoveredthecom pany,forfinancial reasons, wouldhavetobuyon credit,theydeclinedtheorder. So Siemens is installingthenew extensionwithoutobjection,andduetotheirlong associationwiththecompanytheyareapparentlyconfident of being paidinfull eventually . Themoral ofthislittlestoryseems tobethattheFrencharequite liberalwithotherpeople's credit.t26]


v.IMPER IALISTIC POLITICS "SOUTHOF THE CLOUDS".,ThecharactersforYunnanmean"cloudssouth,"or"southofthe, clouds,"thesignificance suppose-dly beingthattheprovince issouthof cloudy Szechwan.AndSzechwan today, incidentally, is cloudy politically aswellas meterorologically,judgingnotonlybyitsgeographicalrelationtoBritishTibetandFrenchYunnan,butalsobytherecentmysteriousparleysin ChungkingwhichinvolvedSirMiles Lampson,Britishministerto China,andM. Meyrier,FrenchConsul-GeneralatShanghai. Yunnanhashada hectic politicalhistoryeverysincethedayswhenitwasindependentNanchow-SouthernKingdom-tothepresent. After itcameunderChineseswayitwaslong asortofSiberiato. whichpolitical offendersfromthenorthwereexiled.Infact,itthusacquireditsMandarindialect which,inthecourse of time,hasbecomesomewhatcorrupted,bothinpronunciationandbynon-Mandarin idiomssuchas"chow-tien"(winedispensary)forhotelinsteadoftheMandarin"fan-.tien"(fooddispensary).TodayYunnanisthelast strongholdof theaboriginaltribesofChinawho were probably'constantlypushedsouthbythe, Chineseintonot only Yunnan,butalsointoadjoiningprovincesandTonkinandBurma.Some ofthetribes,however,havemostlikely livedintheTonkin-Burma-Yunnanareafromtimeimmemorial.TheYunnanaborigines are divi ed-into threegrous.ThefirstgroupistheTibetoBurman,including te os). MosoandChintribes.ThesearelumpedtogetherbytheChineseunderthename0 "" 010,' a-= esignationthetribesmenregardas in ': sulting,Thesecond .groupistheMon-Khmer, includingtheMiaoandYaotribes, as wellas someothers.The third groupis 'theChino-Siamese, whic h includesthe rai tribes.'Thesevarioustribesconstituteatleastonethirdofthepopulation ofYunnanwiththeLolosbeingthehighestinculture(havingdeveloped 'notonlyapicturewritingbutalsotheirownsystemofcharacters)andthemostvirile.TheLolos alsoextendintoSzechwan,andontheSzechwan side oftheYangtszeRiver, acrossfromYunnan,there has existed' forcenturieswhatis usuallydesignated"IndependentLololand"forthetribesmentherearecompletelyindependentofall Chineseauthority.Further,tothisdaytheyregularlycaptureandenslave Chinesefromthesurroundingterritorytoperformmenial toil.Thisterritory-lyingbetweenNingyuanfuand, Hweilichowandabout70 miles wideand120 mileslong-is not unified, ,beingsplitupamonganumberofLolo"kings,"buttheyinvariablyuniteinkeeping Chineseoutoftheareaunlesstheyareforciblybroughtinas slaves.ALolo Governor. 'ThepresentgovernorofYunnan-LungYun-isaLolooftheNosutribewhowasborninYunnanalongtheYangtsze,butwhohasrelativesin"IndependentLolo land."The"No.2"oftheprovincial government, Lu Han,whodistributespatronageandcollects revenue, is GeneralLung'scousin.Therearealso severalotherNosus inthegovernment.GeneralLung'sfirstwifewasa Nosu,buthelatermarrieda Chinese who,beforeherrecentdeath,issaidtohaveaidedhimextensively inplayingpolitics. HenowhasanotherChinese wife, butsheisapparentlyonly decorative. General Lunghasacquired afairdegree of Chinese culture, despiteaddictiontoI27]


theopium pipe,butallegedlyinmoderation. He, however,retainsaclose connectionwithhistribeonbothsides oftheYangtsze,GeneralLungisthefirstLoloinmoderntimestoachieveanyhighpositioninYunnanaffairs,andthisfactgivesnewimportance, politicalandotherwise, totheaborigines oftheprovince. Generally,theaborigineshadbeenregardedas degeneratingrapidlyuntilrecentyearswhenmanymissionariesstartedworkingamongthem.TheRev.A.Evans,aveteranintheservice oftheEnglishMethodistmissioninYunnan,whichhasalargestationinChaotungintheLolocountryandnear"Independent' Lololand," voicedtheopinion tomethat"ChristitanityhassavedtheLolos." Psychologicallyspeaking,thatisquitea soundthesisinmanyrespects.Forcenturiestheaborigineshavebeensurroundedbythehostile Chinese,andexceptin"IndependentLololand"theyhavebeentoo isolatedtoputupaneffectiveresistance,despitetheirwarlikequalities,againsttheprolongedattrition.Educationalandotheraidtothembythemissionaries, asidefromanymoralisticorsupernaturalinfluence, couldverywell achievewhatProfessorPavlovso succinctly describes as a"reconditioningof reflexes," and thusgivethemanewlease on life.Againsttheopinion ofMr.Evans,however, I Will citeDr.JosephF.Rock,thedistinguishedAmericanscientistandexplorerwhohasspentmuchtimeamongalltheaborigines,butparticularlyamongtheMosos,andwhoisnowengagedinwritinganexhaustiveaccountofthistribe,including a completegrammaranddictionaryoftheirwrittenandspokenlanguage.TheMososnumberabout300,000andDr.Rock declarestheyarethemostculturedandvirile ofalltheaborigines,andnotone ofthemhaseverbeenconvertedtoChristianity.Further,hereports,theygenerallyboycottmissionaries. Of course, longbeforetheadventofmissionariesintoYunnan,'many Ofthe aborigineshadtoagreaterorlessdegreecomeintotheChineseculturalorbit,althoughnotmanyofthemhavetakentoopium.Furtherthereareafewhundred"tumuh"Loloswhoareamongthewealthiestlandownersintheprovince. GeneralLungisofthisclass.ButthestruggleoftheaboriginesagainsttheChinesehasbeenahardone;inthedaysoftheempire,governmentofficialsintheLolocountryderivedtheirprincipalrevenuefromfiningtheLolos,-bothlitigantsinanylaw casebeingfi nedimpartially.Thereareabouta million Lolosintheprovince,andtheycomprisethemostimportant group amongtheaborigines. Missionaryworkamongthemhasarousedconsiderable supsicionamongtheChinesewhoonly afewyearsagoeffectively blocked aplanoftheEnglishMethodiststoextendtheiractivityinto"IndependentLololand."TheChinesereasonwasfearthataneffortwasbeing'madetoallythesetribesmenwiththeTibetansintheconstantassaultofthelatteron Kokonor.TheLolosaredistantlyrelatedtotheTibetans,buttheyhavelittleculturalcontactwiththematthepresenttime.RedElementsGraduallyEliminated.Naturally,thepossibilityexistsforatrulyMachiavellianmaneuverof mobilizingtheLolosforforeignpolitical purposes inbothYunnanandSzechwan.Itcanbe cited,forexample,thatGeneralLunghimselfonceattendedamissionaryschool,althoughhehasnevermadeanypretensetoacquiringChristianity.Buttheschool heattendedwasanEnglishMethodistinstitutionand,asI shallpresentlyrecount, he becamegovernorofYunnanwiththeaidoftheFrench.Further,theFrenchCatholic missionariesinYunnanhaveneverbeenactive toanyappreciableextentamongthe Lol03 orotheraborigines. Soatthemomentnoveryvalid evidencecanbepresentedofanypolitical plot involvingtheLolos. However,therewould bean[28]


obviousadvantagetoFranceiftheLoloscouldbe enlisted inhersupporttocounteranyChinese opposition toherdomination ofYunnan,Andwiththegrowingelevationandinfluence oftheLolosintheprovince,suchas developmentmaywellbeunderway.Infact,judgingbythetacticsoftheJapaneseinmaintainingthatManchuriais Manchu, FrancemightsometimeclaimthatYunnanisLoloandtherebyassertherrightto"protect"iteven as Tonkin and Manchukuoarenow"protected!"GeneralLungsucceededTangChia-yao asgovernorof Yunnan. GeneralTangruledwiththeexception ofafewbriefintervalsfrom1912 untilhisdeathin1927. GeneralLungwasthenintheprovincialarmy,andstartedmaneuveringforthegovernorship,buttherewasa long period of fighting,anarchyandRed 'activitybeforeoldfashionedlawandorderwereagainestablished. I recall receiving in1929 aletterfromYunnanfufromCaptainErichvon Salzmann,theeminentGerman correspondent, whowasthereforquitea periodwaitinguntiltheBritishofficialsinBurmacouldfindoutfromLondon, or somewhere,thattheworldwarwasoverandin consequence allow 'himtoproceed overland to Rangoon.Captainvon Salzmanreportedthatsovietshadbeenestablishedinsome villagesandpersonswithanyappreciablepropertywereprotectingitbygoingarounddisguised asbeggars!ButtheRed elementswereneverabletoestablishanysortofa provincialregime.andweregraduallyeliminated.Theydid leavetheirimprintontheprovince incertainminorsocialchanges-freechoice inmarriageisfairlycommontodayeven inthe. villagesandfeminismisquitepronounced inYunnanfu,-buttheylargelydisappearedwithout. atrace.Andwhile feminismhasobtained a distinct hold ontheprovince, foot-binding isnotunknown tothisdayeveninYunnanfu.WiththeRed failure,variousmilitarychief tans foughteachotherforacon siderable period,andGeneralLungonce escapeddeathbytakingrefugeintheFrenchConsulate.AboutayearagothethenFrenchconsul,M.Levi,inadvertentlymentionedinanaddressatadinnerattendedbyGeneralLungthat "we (French)areglad tohaveoncegivenprotectiontothegovernor."ThisremindersoinfuriatedGeneralLungthattheFrencharesaidtohaverecalled M. Levi in consequence.ThatGeneralLungwasgivenFrenchprotection does 'notprove, of course,thathewasanavowed tooloftheFrench.Many warlordshavebeenprotectedthusfromtimetotime;itisFrenchpracticeto providesanctuaryintimeof troubleforanyone ofimportancewhoisnottheirenemy.Thereisno indicationthattheFrenchpreferredGeneralLungtoanyofhisrivals;verylikely they werebenignlyindifferentexceptfora genuine desiretoseethebestman(fromamilitaryview point) win, becausesuchamanwould bemostuseful inestablishingorderandprotectingFrenchinterests.Andifhe shouldturnouttobeanti-French-well,lethimtrytogetasupplyofarmsandmunitions!Andagoodrivalcould easily befoundandinspiredtogubernatorialambitions.Naturally,underconditions prevailinginYunnan-with,theFrenchin control ofthedoorthroughwhicharms must enter(exceptbyimpracticablecaravanroutes),andwiththeprovince so isolated ,fromtherestofChinathataidfromoutsideChinese sources isvirtuallyimpossible,-anyprovincialgovernmentwillalmostinevitablybe pro-French. Most personsrefrainfromdeliberately poundingtheirheadsagainstastonewall.MaintainsOrderRuthlessly.In1930 GeneralLungcameoutontopinthescramblefor. power,andhehasremainedfirmly inthesaddleeversinceexceptforthebriefrevoltin1931 whichresulted' intheoutsingofChangWei-han,theanti-FrenchCommissioner offoreign affairs. Since hehasbeengovernor, GeneralLunghasruthlesslymaintainedorder.Not. onlyhaveall Reds, suspected Redsandsuspected pro-Reds beenslaughtered,[29]


butbanditry'hasbeenprettywell eliminated. Onlyoneimportantbanditchiefis stillatlarge, Li Shao-tsung, who-perhapssignificantly -isinthesouthwesternpartoftheprovince,neartheBurmaborder.Itistoanyforeigninteresttokeephimthere?Thathehasacertainamountof following was indicated bythepre cautionstakenlastyearwhenhislieutenant,Yu Fa-chi, wascapturedandsub sequently executedinYunnanfu.Theexecution was conducted very secretly simul taneouslywiththepostingofa proclamation totheeffectthathewas being welltreatedinjailwhileawaitingtrial.Afterhisexecutionanotherproclamationwaspostedthat he wouldbe executed.AtthepresenttimeGeneralLung'sregime giveseveryindication ofstrengthandpermanence,althoughthereisa considerableamountof political jockeying.Justrecently,forexample, Swen Tu,anavowed enemy ofLuHanandwhom Luoncesoughttokill,hasreturnedtoYunnanfuaftera long absenceandhasbeen appointedchiefofstaffbyGeneral Lung. Many observersthinkGeneralLungisusingSwen tocounterCousin Luwhoisregardedas unduly ambitious. Duetohiselimination oftheReds,andthefactthathe has,withaidofFrencharmsandmunitions,madeYunnanintoprobablythemostpeaceful province of China, GeneralLungisquitepopularwith'mostoftheforeigners whoarelivingunderhis protection.TheFrenchespecially seemverywell satisfiedwithhimalthoughheallows vigorouslyanti-Frenchpropagandacampaigns tobe conducted nowandthen.Forexample,whentheNankingGovernmentrecentlyinstigateda nation wide drive toraiseananti-Japanesefundby deducting10%fromthewages ofallgovernmentemployes, GeneralLung. fellinline-healways professes profound loyaltytoNanking,-butupon secondthoughthe decidedtheYunnanprovincial governmentoughtto keepthemoneyitraisedtobuild defensesagainsta possibleFrenchinvasion. Whereupontherewasan obviously officially inspiredpropagandacampaignthroughouttheprovincethataFrenchinvasion was imminent. AndlaterFranceobligingly suppliedthearmsandmunitions (andfourairplanes, as told previously) to"protect"theprovinceagainstherself!'Anotherrecentincidentresultingfromreal,orotherwise,fearoftheFrenchoccurredduring. a serious fireinHokow which isseparatedby.ashortbridgefromLaokayin' Tonkin.TheFrenchauthoritiesinLaokayoffered to send acrosstheirengines toassistinfightingtheblaze,buttheofferwasrefusedbytheChinese onthegroundsthattheFrencharmymightfollow.Itismyown impressionthatinatleastapartoftheYunnangovernmentthereisa genuinefearoftheFrench.Ina sensethegovernmentisapuppetregime,althoughitisbynomeansa 100%willingpuppetregime.Butinthelastfew years, IthinktheFrenchhavebeenputtingforthstrenuouseffortsto'makeitso by assiduous cultivationandentertainmentofgovernmentofficials,andalso, accordingtooneinformant,byoutrightsubsidies to some ofthelargeFrench-educated elementamongthem.GeneralLung'smethod ofgovernmentarethoseofanold fashioned Orientalmilitarysatrapwithadditionalmoderntechnique asaTangpu(Kuomintangmember)toenlistpopularsupportamongthebusinessmenandexceedingly small intelligentsia.Students,forexample,aresubsidized to theextentof$20to$30(Yunnanmoney,tendollars of whichareaboutone dollarShanghaimoney) amonthto proclaimthegloryandbeneficence ofthegovernmenttothepublic. A 'carryoverfromGeneralTang'sdayis a revival of Buddhism. GeneralTangproclaimedhimselfapatronof Buddhismandstartedrestoringthetemples ofSishan(WesternMountain) which overlooksYunnanfuacross Lake Kouenyangjustoutsidethecity.Sishanrises about 1,506feetabovethelevelofYunnanfuwitha"thousandsteps"(reallymanymore) leadingsharplytothetoppasta seriesof[30]


temples constructed onnarrowterraces.Atthetoparetwotemples, oneabovetheother,thathavebeenhewnintothesolid rockwithBuddhasandotherdesigns carvedoutoftherockintheirinteriors.Eachtemplerunsabout15feetintothemassive mountain,andeach isabouttenfeethigh,-trulymonumental accomplishmentsconsideringthetools availableatthetimeoftheirconstruction.Thetemples,thewoodlands onthemountain, especiallytheexquisite bamboo groves, flowersas variedatthetropical orchid andthealpine edelweissforwhichtheAlpsarefamous,andthevividly blue lake below combine tomakeSishanoneofthemostbeautifulplacesin China. So GeneralTang'scampaign torestoreitandpreserveItwasnotwithoutmerit,buttheBuddhistpriestshe establishedtherearenow claiming com plete possessionandrefusingtoallowthepeasantsliving alongthelake's edgetoobtainfirewoodandothermaterialsfromwhatwas formerlyregardedas communal land. And tojustifypossession,thepriestshavedugupthebonesoftheirdeadbrothersfrommanyplacesandplantedthemonthemountain!Inthismaneuvertheyhave been supported bythepresentgovernment although GeneralLungmakes no boastof Buddhism.ThustheBuddhistrevival continues, whileatthesametimemembers oftheKuomintanghaveclosedanumberof templesinYunnanfu.Andsome anti-religiouspropagandistshavepaintedinhugeChinesecharacters"TheGreatBrothel" ononeoftheSishantemples!TheYunnanarmyconsists ofabout26,000men.Armsincludefairlymodern rifles, machinegunsandoneandtwo pounders. There issome' conscription.Thesoldiersarepaidregularlythoughlittle andinpublicdeportmenttheyaremuchbetterthaninmanyplacesinChina,althoughtheydonotcompare favorablywiththewell disciplined troops of such a relatively advanced and progressiveareaasKwangtung,TheYunnanese officersarequite cocky,andI received manyapparentlyauthenticaccounts oftheirmisbehavior. Ashasfrequentlybeen mentioned,thearmyobtainsitssuppliesfromFrenchsources. An unusuallylargearmsdeal was negotiated afewmonthsagoandthegoods -24 carloads ofrifles,anti-aircraftguns, machinegunsandammunitionarrivedwhile I wasinYunnanfu,Hundreds of oxcarts were commandeeredwithoutcompensation totransportthemunitionsfromtherailwaystationto various depots.Thedeal amounted toU.S.$1,450,000andwas enlivened bysomerareCelestial comedy.Itwas negotiated byaFrenchmannamed M. Dedieu inU.S. currencyjustbeforetheUnitedStateswentoffthegoldstandard.JustwhyU.S. currency waspreferredtotheFrenchfranc, I was unable to learn. Anyway,afterthecontracthadbeen duly signedandsealed, U.S. forsook gold,andM. Dedieu doubtless sufferedacutepain inmanyparts,-forhe askedtheYunnanauthorities to changethecontractintoFrenchfrancs.Theyrefused, M. Dedieu insisted. GeneralLungsentsome troopsintothevicinity oftheplace where M. Dedieu wasstaying.TheFrenchconsul personally escorted M. Dedieu toatrain.Eventually,thingswere evidently amicablyarranged-withthecontractremaininginU.S. currency,however,-forM. DedieureturnedtoYunnanfuataboutthesametimethemunitions arrived, andforallIknowheis still living happily there.Attherateof exchangethenprevailing,itwillbe noted thatthearmsdeal involved over$5,000,000inShanghaicurrency, or morethan$50,000,000inYunnancurrency, whilethetotalannualbudgetofYunnanis only about $86,000,000inthecurrencyoftheprovince.YunnanCurrency.Yunnancurrency, asisobvious,isinverylowstateandisconstantlyfluctua ting,Thereis,itshould be explained,twokinds of currency in circulation,theold[31]


andthenew.Thenewcurrencyisworthfivetimes' as much astheold,buttheold stilldominates.Theold dollarduringthepastyearhasrangedfrom12to18.50foroneIndo-Chinapiastre.ThelastquotationIobtainedwas18.30.Inlargepart,probablythelargestpart,thedepreciationisduetotheunstableeconomic condition oftheYunnan,butitis definitelyknownthatbearraidshavebeen conductedonthecurrencybythebranchof the Bankde l'IndochineinYunnanfu.Thus,whenevertheprovincialgovernmentisablethroughshipmentsof tin oropium toestablishcreditsinShanghaior Hongkong,theBankbuysupthesecredits.Consequentlythebankis abletomanipulatethecurrencyoftheprovince asitwishes,whichisinvariablydownward.ThereasonforseekingtokeeptheYunnandollardownisevidentlypurelypolitical,fortradewould bebetterservedbymaintainingasfavorablerateofexchangebetweenthedollarandpiastreas possible.Itcan only besurmisedthattheFrenchthinktheamountofadditionaltradefromamorefavorablerateofexchangewould besosmallastobeunimportantcomparedtokeepingYunnanfinancesunderthethumboftheBankde l'Indochine.Becauseofthecurrencyfluctuation,mostcontractsintheprovinceare.negotiatedinpiastres.ThenewYunnancurrencyisissuedbythereorganizedprovincialbank,knownastheNewFutienBank.Itmayormaynotbeofimportancetorecordthatthisbankhasoneforeign"advisor,"aFrenchmannamedM.Pihiet.Heistheonly.foreignernow connectedwiththeprovincialgovernment.TheBankde l'Indochine istheonlyforeignbankintheprovince. Oneofitsbigsources ofrevenueis sellingdraftstomilitarymentoexporttheirsavingsfromtheprovince tobankselsewhere,FrenchActivities.Yunnanfu,itmaysurprisethereaderto learn, isnotatreatyport,andforeignresidence(exceptformissionaries)andforeigninstitutions(exceptmissions)therearereallyillegal.TheonlytreatyportsofYunnanareMengtsz, Hokow,SzemaoandTengyueh.YunnanfuiswhattheChinese call"self-opened;"really, of course, itwasopenedbytheFrenchbecauseitisthemostimportantcityintheprovince,andinstitutionsotherthanFrench,includingtheBritishandAmerican consulates, followedtheFrenchthere.IfandwhenthenewSino-Frenchcommercialtreatyis ratified,Yunnanfu'sposition astreatyportdefactowillbe legalized. Also Chinese consulates willbeallowedinIndo-China, nonebeingallowedtherenow.Inadditionto illegallyopeningYunnanfutoforeigntradeandresidence,theFrenchareviolatingothertreaties.Theyhave,forexample,severalradioreceivingandsendingsetsintherailwayzone whileatthesametime,asI previously pointed out,theywillnotallowanyimportationofradiosforotherpeople, includingtheChinese,intotheprovince.TheFrenchalsohave' a dozenorsoAnnameseconsularguardsinYunnanfu,althoughtheyareapparentlypurelydecorativeandhenceofnotmuchsignificance.ThereareotherAnnameseresidentintheprovince,andtheFrench,followingthesamepolicy asJapaninthecase ofKoreansresidentinChina, willnotallowtheAnnameseto become Chinese citizens.Thistends,of course, to keeptheAnnameseandChineseseparated.Inculturalpenetration,FrenchactivityislargelyconfinedtoCatholic missionarieswhoarenotasnumerousasnon-FrenchProtestantmissionaries.TheFrenchalsoindulgeinconsiderableentertainmentof influential Chinese.Twohospitals[32]


-theCalmetteandtheFrancais-aremaintainedlargely towoo Chinese goodwill.AnAnnameseschool ismaintainedwhichadmitsChinese.Littledirectpropagandaisconducted bytheFrench,probably becausetheyregardliteracyastoolowtomakeitworthwhile.Havas(Frenchofficial news agency)reports,whicharedistributedso assiduouslyto bath foreignandChinese newspapersinShanghaiandelsewhereinChina,arenotdistributedtotheChinesepressofYunnanfu.Someofthemare picked up byradioandpostedinafewplaces (inFrench)forthebenefit offoreignresidents..TheFrench,incidentally, ownverylittleland inYunnanfuoutside ofthatnecessaryforoperationoftherailway.Thisisfurtherevidence ofwhatIhavepointed r out before,thatFrenchactivityintheprovince, exceptfortherailway,has so farbeenmorepoliticalthaneconomic.AbouthalftheforeigneducatedelementinthegovernmentarereturnedstudentsfromFrance.Non-FrenchculturalactivityisslightlymoreextensivethanFrenchculturalactivity.Ialreadyhavecitedthepreponderance ofnon-FrenchProtestantmissionaries,butnone-CatholicorProtestant-appeartobemakingmuchheadwayincon versions.TheonlyestimateofresultsIcould obtain,whichwasfroma missionary, placedtheprofessedChristiansofboththeProtestantandCatholicvarietiesatnotmorethan7,000throughouttheprovince.TheAmericanY.M.C.A.hasamembershipofabout1,200, only 60ofwhomprofessChristianity.Whenthe"Y"establisheditselfinYunnanfuseveralyearsagoitwasdenounced intheIndo-Chinapressasasubversive,"Americanpoliticalinstitution,"butithasnotencounteredanyotheroppositionfromtheFrench.NordotheFrenchappearto placeanyobstacles inthewayofnon-FrenchProtestantmissionarywork.TheChurchMissionary SocietyoftheChurchofEnglandoperatesahospitalinYunnanfuandalsoengagesinsome educational work. Asfarasthenakedeyecanobserve,thechiefactivityoftheBritishandAmericanconsulates, asidefromprotectingtheirmissionarynationals, isto' watchtheFrench-whichmustkeepthemprettybusy. [' 33]


VI. NEXT IMPERIALIST DRAMAINASIAMAYBESTAGEDON. TABLE-LANDS OF YUNNAN ANDTIBET.Many Chinesehaverecentlycomparedtheposition ofYunnanwiththatofManchuria;actuallythereisverylittleresemblance exceptthatall nationalbrandsof imperialismhavemuchincommon.ButYunnanisno "life-line" toFranceasManchuria was claimedtobebyimperialisticJapan.YunnangivesFrancea smalltradeterritory,. providesan income of severalthousandpiastresannuallyfortheFrenchIndo-Chinatreasuryintransitcustoms dutiesandtransitvisas,andconstitutesastrategicwedgeintoChina,buttheprovince assuredly isnotabsolutely vital toFrenchimperialistic welfare.InmyopeningchapterI saidthattheFrenchrailwayintoYunnanisamorepotentinstrumentof imperialismthantheSouthManchuria Railwayeverwas.Thisis becausetheFrenchrailwayistheonly practical means ofentryintoandexitfromYunnanwhileManchuriawasprovidedwithrailtransportationtoandfromChinaproperandtheSoviet Union, aswellas toandfromJapaneseterritory.ThusManchuriawasnotisolatedfromChinaproperasYunnanis,andfurtheritwas possible to playtwomajorpowers-e-JapanandRussia-againsteachotherinManchuria.InYunnantheFrenchgripisnotchallenged by China oranyothercountry.c--whichfact,ratherironically, maysave theprovincefromthefateof Man churia.ForonethingthatmightinduceFrancetoalterherpresentpolicyandformallyseverYunnanfromChinese sovereignty wouldbe 'thesamethingthathappenedinManchuria,-Chinesedevelopment, whichthreatenedalien domination, whileatthesametimeanotherpowerwasextremelyinfluentialinthearea.ThepurportedMemorial ofTanakatothecontrarynotwithstanding,itseems to'methatJapanwouldmostlikely never have takenthecourseshepursuedhadnotChineserailwayconstruction, harbor-buildingatHulutao, etc.threatenedTokyo's economic dominion inManchuriaconcidentallywithSoviettradeadvancement .Inbrief,hadtheChinese offered no effective opposition toJapaneseexploitation, Tokyo probably wouldhavebeencontenttoallowNankingtoretaintechnical sovereignty overthe. area. HowtheFrenchStrangle-hold CouldBe Broken.TheFrenchstrangle-hold, politicalandeconomic,onYunnancouldbebrokenbysuch a superfically simple development as building a railway, or even agoodmotorhighway,fromYunnanfuto Nanning, onabranchoftheWestRiver,inKwangsi Province. This wouldfurnishanoutletto Canton viatheWestRiverandthencetootherpartsof China bysea,andalsobytrainwhentheCanton-Hankow railwayiscompleted. AYunnanfu-Nanningroadorrailwaywouldbelessthan500milesinlength,andwhile construction wouldrequireexpertengineeringanditwouldnotbe inexpensive,itisaltogetherfeasible.Therouteis,in fact,thenaturaloutletforYunnantotherestof China.Itisnowacaravanroute,requiringabout23 daystotraverse,-andnothingbutopiumcanaffordthetransportationcharges. Arailwayormotorhighwayto Suifu,ontheYangtsze, River, wouldalsobepossible,buttransportationfacilities downtheYangtszefromSuifuto Chungkingarenotveryadequateformoderncommerce,andevenfromChungking toIchang(throughthegorges)thetripissomewhathazardous and expensive.[34]


AnefficientoutletthroughKwangsi, therefore, isthemostpracticalwaytobreaktheFrenchmonopoly onYunnan.Butwhile superfically simple, itisvirtuallyimpossibleatanytimeinthepredictablefuture.ForonethingtheFrencharesodominantinYunnanandsufficiently influential in Kwangsitopreventthegovernmentsoftheseprovincesfromreachingthenecessary accord andraisingtherequiredfundsforsuch a project.Further,thereisittoo much indigenous provincialrivalrytoallowa development ofthisnature;weretheprovinces effectively con nected, Yunnan would constantly beinfearof agression bythewarlords of Kwangsi and Kwangsi would likewise constantly beinfearofanassaultbythewarlords of Yunnan.Anysense of nationalism is almost,ifnotentirely, nan-existent amongthemilitarycliquesthatholdswayintheseprovinces,-anditsabsence is undoubt edly fostered bytheFrench.AndtheNankinggovernment isnotabletoassertanyauthorityinthetwoprovinces evenifitwereintheposition otherwise to supplythemoneyforaYunnanfu-Nanningroadorrailwayproject.NoristheCanton governmentinanybetterposition toundertakesuch a scheme. Hence thequestion ofwhetherornotFrancewouldpermittheChinese toobtainreal sovereignty, political andeconomic, overYunnanistodaypurely academicandneednotbe discussedfurther.Ontheotherhand,thehealthoftheDalaiLamainLhasaisatthepresenttimeofperhapsmajorimportance tothefutureof Yunnan. The DalaiLamais now58,andwithsanitationbeingwhatitisin Tibet hisactuarialprospectsareprobably nonetoogood. Andwhenhediesamajorcrisismaybe precipitatedinCentral Asia.ForthepresentBritishholdon Tibet depends largely ontheDalai Lama. WhiletheDalaiLamaisardentlypro-British,the other lamas are largelyantiBritishandwouldsupportthePanchanLamawhois pro-Chineseandwhohaslived in Chinaeversince hewas forcedoutof Tibet in1924bytheBritish.(My informationgivenhere an Tibetcomes,Iwilladd,fromanextremelyalertandreliable person whohasinvestigatedthesituationfirsthandand knows exactly whereof he speaks. I cannot, however, revealhisnameforpoliticalreasons).ThePanchanLamais youngerthantheDalai Lama,andifhe survivestheDalaiLamahewill undoubtedlyattempta comeback.Inanyeventthereins oftheTibetangovernmentwould,uponthedeathoftheDalai Lama, automatically fall intothehandsofthevarious leadinglamasofthecountryuntil anew DalaiLamareachesmaturity,aninfantbeing chosenforthenew reincarnation. Sincethemajorityoftheselamasareanti-British,theBritish rai wouldthusbethreatened.TheBritisharequitewellawareofthispossibility andsoinrecentyearshavedevotedmuchattentiontodeveloping a British-educatedyoungergenerationinthegovernmentaswellas endeavoring to AnglicizetheTibetanarmy.Thelamasarevigorously opposing all westernization on principle,andatthemomenttheyappeartobe effectively blockingfurtherAnglicization. However,iftheDalaiLamalives long enoughtheBritishmayeventuallytriumphintheirpolicyof peaceful puppe tization ofthegovernmentandsoavoida crisiswhenhedies. A DelicateSituationin Tibet.ButifBritishhegemony isthreatenedbythedeathofthepresentDalai Lama, DowningStreetwillbe forced totakevigorous action or facethe" prospectoflosing Tibet. Consequently, actual annexation oftheareabyEnglandlooms,-andFrancecouldhardlyafford tosee suchanupsetinthebalance of powerinCentralAsiawithoutsome counter-action, whichmostlikely wouldbetheannexation of Yunnan. Moscowisalsotakingsomeinterestin Tibet,partlythroughtheBuriats, whoare[ 35 ]


kinsmenoftheTibetans,intheSoviet Union,andBritishannexationwoulddoubtlesshavereprecussionsintheKremlin.Here, however, nofurtherdiscussion ofthisangle ofthesituationisnecessary.According toTibetantradition,incidentally, .the13th' DalaiLamawillbethelast,-andthepresentDalaiLamaisNo.13.ThedelicatesituationinTibet,itisimportantto note, fully explainstheconstantTibetanaggressionin KokonorandSzechwan. Tatsienlu,neartheMinRiverin Szechwan and lessthan200 milessouthwestof Chengtu, isthenaturalgatewayoftherestofChinaintotheTibetanarea,includingwesternSzechwan, ChamboandKokonor.AndBritishmapsshow Tatsienlu asthe proper eastern boumdom;ofTibet,-whichmeanstheBritishregardTibetas including allofwesternSzechwanextendingtotheYalungRiverandalong more thanhalfthenorthernborderofYunnan.AndinthisconnectiontheBritishChinaYearBookproclaimsthat"theTibetansclaim aboundarywhichissupportedbyrecords ofgreatantiquity,whiletheChinesestandupontheresultsoftheirimperialistic policiesduringthelast200years."NowiftheTibetansunderthepresentDalaiLama,withanarmydirected byBritish-trainedofficersandpossessingBritishEnfield riflesandotherBritisharms,areable toextendtheireasternboundarytoTatsienlu, possiblefuturedevelopments would beverymuchsimplified. Then, shouldGreatBritaineverfinditnecessaryinpursuitofherimperialpolicy toannexTibet,shewouldobtainalsoanotherlargeandvaluable slice of China withoutanyostensibleaggressiononherpart.Thus,despitereportsof peacepacts,theTibetanassaultonwesternChinamaybeexpected to continue steadily,andsincetheTibetansarebeingarmedbytheBritish they haveavasttechnicalsuperiorityovertheChinese forces opposingthem.One significantresultofthewarsofarhasbeentheclosing ofthecaravanroutefromYunnanfuintoTibetthroughYerkelo onthepresentYunnan-Tibetanborder.Thisnotonlycutsoffacertainamountof ChinesetradewithTibet, especiallyexportoftea-whichtheBritishperhapshope-tosupplytheTibetansfromIndia,-butalso may beregardedasanomenofthefuture.Itrequires,incidentally, 41daystoreachthepresentTibetanborderfromYunnanfu.Fromwhathasbeensetforth,itcanbeseenthatthenextgreatimperialisticdramaoftheOrientmaybestagedonthevasttablet-landsofYunnanandTibet,whichborderon India,Burma,Indo-China,the' U.S.S.R., SzechwanandtheuppernavigablepartoftheYangtszeRiver. Afewyearsago,itisworthwhile tonotein passing,suchadramawouldnothavebeenpracticablesaveinveryprimitivefashion,suchasthefightingthathasbeengoingonbetweentheTibetansandtheChinese. Mountainousterrainwithpassesthousandsoffeethighandburiedin snowmostoftheyear,tropicaljunglesinsome places,suchassouthernYunnan,andtheextremeisolation ofstrategicpointswouldhavemadewarfareexceedingly difficultifnotoftenimpossible.Buttoday,ifoneormoreoftheworld'sgreatpowersevergetintoaction, God'sgreatestgifttoimperialists-theairplane-willbebroughtintoplay.ThePotencyofAerialWarfare.Peakswon'thavetobe climbed ;theywillbeflown overanddeathwill bedealtfromtheskies toanybelowwhodenyordefythesupremacyof imperialistic civilization. Afewmencanspreadmoredestructionandterrorinaweekthanvastarmiesformerlycouldinyears,andfewpersonscanbe expected toretainanymoralelongwhenexposed toaerialattack.Inthepast,modernimperialisticaggressionhasbeenlargelyconfinedtoareasthatcouldbe conqueredandpatroled [ 36]


withgunboats,orwherecomparativelylevel landmadearmymaneuversfacile;whatcanbedonethroughaerialconquesthasalreadybeenadmirablyillustratedbytheJapanesecampaignsinManchuriaandJehol.Further,possession ofafewairplanesandabilitytooperatetheminindustriallybackwardcountriescan'tmeanmuchincounteringattackfromtheair;efficient aerial technique, byitsverynature,mustberootedfirmlyinasolidindustrialbase.TheFrenchalreadyhavegivenYunnanone aerial scare.InFebruary,1932, fiveFrenchwarplanes soared unannounced overYunnanfuandlanded inafield outsidethewalled city.Thevisitofcourse,wasalleged tobeentirelyfriendly,andthefactthatitwasunannouncedwasconveniently explained asatelegrapher'serror,-butonemaybe pardonedforwonderingifitwerenotmoreofawarningthanagoodwilljunket.Nodisputewas,letitbe noted, pendingatthetime,butwarningsareoftenissued asamatterof principle aswellasforspecific purposes..Yunnanasa BufferState.IsaidinthefirstchapterthatI found no evidencethatanyFrenchinvasion ofYunnanwasimminent.Andastheobverse of possibleeventualBritishannexationofTibetwhich 'most likely wouldprecipitateachangeinFrenchpolicy,itmustbe notedthatanyviolentalterationinthepresenttacticsoftheQuaid'OrsayinYunnanwouldhaverepercussionsinDawningStreet.FortheBritishnow undoubtedlyregardYunnanasasortofbufferstatebetweenBurmaandIndo-China.Siamserves asabufferbetweenmostoftherestof Indo-Chinaand' Burma,withthehalfofSiamadjacentto Indo-Chinabeingrecognized asaFrenchsphereof influencewiththehalfadjoiningBurmaisaBritishsphereof influence.GreatBritainonceapparentlycontemplated offering competitiontoFranceinexploiting Yunnan,andtherewastalkforyearsofarailwayfromBurmatoYunnanfu,butthereisnothingto indicatethatitisnowunderconsideration.GreatBritainstillhassome influence illthepartofYunnanadjacenttoBurmaanda Sino-BritishborderdisputeinPiMaandKiangSingPu(alongtheYunnan-Tibet-Burmaboundary)is stillinprogress,Itappears, however, tobemoreamatterof"face'.'thanof importance,andEnglandseemstobecontenttoallowFrancetomaintainuncontesteditspresentstrangle-hold on Yunnan.ButifParisupsetstheexistingbalance of power,therewouldalmostcertainlybesomethingmoreinterestingthanequanimitytoreportfromLondon. Now, sincethereloomsno challenge inthepredictablefuturetoFrenchdominationof Yunnan, whiletheBritishholdonTibetismoreprecarious,futurechanges,ifany,aremostlikely tobe precipitatedintheland of thelamasunless, of course,somethingwhollyoutofthefieldofthepresentdiscussionarisessooner somewhere intheworld toshakeeventhemassive peaks oftheHimalayas.Inanyevent,judgingbythesanguinaryhistoryof imperialism,thepresentbalance of powerinCentralAsiacannotexistindefinitely. Meanwhile,YunnanconstitutesaFrenchspearheadintoChina proper.Further,Franceregardsashersphereof influence allofChinaborderingonIndo-China,thatis,KwangsiandwesternKwangtung,ThereisarailwayfromHanoi toneartheKwangsiborder.InKwangtungFrancenowhasaminorbase intheleasedterritoryof Kwangchowwan,andshealsohassomesortofa vestedinterestin Yamchow (or Chingchow) ontheKwangtungcoastthroughtheYamchow-Chungkingrailwaycontractthathasalreadybeendescribed.Thelargeisland of Hainan, said tobequiterichinvariousmineralresourcesandlocated acrosstheGulf of TonkinfromHaiphong, isalso included intheFrenchimperialisticspherealthoughBritishtradethereistodaygreatlyin excess ofFrenchtrade.Butofall countries,Franceonlvhasa consul in Kiungchow,theprincipalcityofHainanIsland.Francealso[37]


istheonlycountrytomaintainconsulatesinLungchowandNanning,inKwangsiProvince,andinPakhoi,whichisnotfarfromYamchow.ThatFranceis stillintentuponexpandingandconsolidatingherFarEasternempirewasclearlyindicatedjustrecentlyintheannexationofthesevenCoralIslandintheSouthChinaSeaeastofSaigonandsoutheastofHainanIsland.Theseislands comprise nomorethan300acresandapparentlyareofnocommercialimportanceexceptforseaproductsandsomesmall deposits ofbirdordure,butasawriterintheFrenchmagazineL'Illustrationpointed out,certainreefsthereare10 miles acrossand"enclose lagoons ofcalmwaterthatcanprovideexcellentrefugeforseaplanes,submarinesandsmallcraft."Thustheislands loomasanavalandairbase-againstwhom?TheJapaneseprotestsagainsttheFrenchannexationoftheislandsaredoubtlessquitesincere,despitetheratherobviousunderstandingbetweenParisandTokyo ontheexploitationof China,butdoubtlessamitywilleventuallybe fullyrestoredand-whoknows?-theislesmightturnouttobeajointbaseforbothFranceandJapan.FrenchPlansintheFarEast.ReuterreportedonAugust28thisyearfromRabat,Morocco,thatwiththesurrenderofSheikOuskountiFrancehadcompleted"thepracification ofFrenchMorocco."Inconsequence,theQuaid'Orsaymaynowplanto devoteits' undividedimperialisticenergytotheFarEast.Asidefrompossible developmentsinCentralAsia,theFarEasternbalance of powerhasalreadybeenbadlyupsetbyJapan'sconquest,andaneweraofintensivewesternimperialismatthe' expenseofChinaisalmostinevitablyboundtofollowifithasnotalreadystarted.Otherpowerfulnationscannotaffordintheirownselfinterest,toletJapangetawaywitheverything;ifChinaistobe despoiledtheremustbe same equity'inthedivision.Thisdoesnotnecessarilymeanactualannexation,eitheroutrightorthroughpuppets.Theothergreatpowersmightnotcaretoaddtotheiralreadyextensivepolicing duties,andsowillseek to offsetJapan'sgainsbyincreasingdemandsforspecialrightsintradeandexploitationinlieu offorthrightseizures.Ifthatistobetheimmediatepolicy ofFrance,herstrangle-holdonYunnangiveshera powerfulweaponindealingwithbothNankingandCanton. Despitetransportationdifficulties,Yunnanhassentforththreemilitaryexpeditionsinthelast17yearstoengageincivilwarinotherpartsof China.Thefirstofthem,infact,waslargelyinstrumentalinpreventingYuanShih-kaifrombecomingemperorin1916.Thereisno evidence toindicatethatFrancehadanythingtodowiththeseexpeditions ofthepast,-butshecould inspire similar expeditionsinthe future.Ina previouschapterI quoted M. Baudez,FrenchConsul inYunnanfu,asexplainingthathedidnotbelieveitwould be possibleforFrancetoallowshipmentin bondthroughTonkinintoYunnan"inthepresentstateofChina"because"weneverknowwhenYunnanmightrevoltagainstthecentralgovernmentinNanking."Hereis clear admission, eventhoughprobablynotso intended,thatFranceisina positiontokeepYunnanoutwardlyloyal toNankingonaquidpro quo basis.YunnancouldalsobesimilarlymanipulatedagainsttheCantongovernment.PerhapsthatexplainswhyCantonhastakensomuchgreaterinterestinfarawayJapaneseimperialismthanshehaseverdisplayedinFrenchimperialisminherownbailiwick,forDr.KanChieh-hou, oneoftheleaders oftheCantonclique, isinspector-generalforforeignaffairsinthefivesouthwesternprovinces,whichin cludesYunnan.LastJune,beforeIknewanythingabouttheYunnansituationsavesecondhand,IaskedDr.KanaboutvariousreportsIhadheard.Heassuredme [38]


hehadinvestigated allof them, andthere was nothing toworryabout. A little tensionhadarisen, he said, becausethesonof GovernorLungYunhadhadsome difficultieswithFrenchcustoms inspectors on hisreturnfrom EuropethroughIndo China,butit "vas nothingserious.Further,Dr.KanboastedthatYunnanhadenough troops to drivetheFrenchoutof Indo-Chinaiftheystartedanything.Inregardtotheincident involvingthegovernor's son,Dr.Kanwasright;itwasnotserious.WhethertherewasanythingelsefortheChinese toworryabout, I leave tothebestjudgementofthereader. AstothestrengthoftheYunnanarmy,Dr.Kanmusthavebeen badly misinformed.InsizeitmayoutnumbertheFrenchtroops in Indo-China; Idon'tknow.Butwith no artilleryheavierthantwo-pounders, onlyafew airplanes capable offlying (several oftheplanesthathavebeen purchasedhavecracked up), onlyoneortwo really competent pilots,andlargely directed byacorruptand opium-soaked general staff,theYunnanarmywouldhavelittle chance ineitheroffenseor defenseagainsttheefficientand well equippedFrenchforces.TheYunnanarmymightmakeexcellent headway in acivilwarwhereitfaced troops similary handicapped,butexceptfora miracleitcouldnotbe expected to defendtheprovince successfullyagainstaFrenchinvasion, .A fewthousandForeignLegionnareswiththeassistance ofanairplane squadron could probablytakemostofYunnanas quickly astheJapanesedid Jehol,bothareashavingasomewhatsimilarterrain.Therailway in Yunnan wouldheofno value toeithersideinwarfare,foritcouldbe easily and completely incapacitated by destructionofafew bridgesandtunnels,buttherailwayinTonkin couldbe readily used bytheFrenchtorushall troops and equipment needed totheborder. No Invasion of Yunnan Contemplated.Ifonemaybelieve M. Baudez, however, atrialby combat isveryunlikely ever to happen. "WouldFranceunderanycircumstances ever invadeYunnan 1" I asked him."Ithinknot," he replied. Ithenpresented a hypotheticalsituationoftheprovinceturningRedand asked him .whatactionFrancemightbe expected to take."Ithink,"he said,"thatwewould abandontherailway andclosethefrontier.Afterall,Francehashadmanyopportunities inthepasttotakeYunnan, andnotoneofthemhaseverbeen used.Itwouldappearextremely unlikely, therefore,thatwewouldmakeanyattempttoseizeitatthislatedate."M. Baudez also repeatedthecustomaryFrenchdenialthatthereisanyunderstandingbetweenParisandTokyo onYunnanandManchuria,andstatedthatthechief object oftheFrenchinYunnanwasto operatetherailway. M. Baudez, of course, is quiterightinsayingthatFrancehasneglectedmanyopportunities toannexYunnan.Hadshe desired,sheprobably could have seizeditimmediatelythe. takingof Tonkin although, consideringtheterrain,itcould have been much more easily defendedagainstweapons available in those daysthatitcouldtodayagainstaerial conquest. Thus, inoneway,this"latedate"mightbe more propitiousthanfourdecades ago. Nevertheless, 110 one,atleastpublicly,inrecentyearssuspectedFranceofotherdesigns inYunnanthanshehadalready achieved untilJapangrabbed Manchuria andsostarteda "new deal"ineasternAsia. However, M. Baudezmaybe entirely accurate inhis disavowal ofFrenchannex ation ambitions,forinthe"new deal"ofimperialism control ofanareaseems to bepreferredtooutrightandforthrightownership,-andFrance'scontrol of Yunnan istodaysothoroughand complete astomaketheprovince practically oneofthe"protectorates"ofIndo-China, [39]


OMINOUS MANEUVERS IN SOUTHWESTERN CHINA.Several developmentsthatsuperficially donotappeartohaveanespecialrelationtoeach other,' butwhichareprobablyveryclosely connected,havetakenplacerecently insouthwesternChina. Chiefamongthemare:TheTibetanshaveextendedtheirinvasion of ChineseterritoryintonorthwesternYunnan,capturingandholding Chungtien, Ashorttimeago,twoKwangsidelegates visitedYunnantoseekanantiNankingalliancewithGovernorLungYun.Theproposed alliance wouldhaveembracedKwangtung,Kwangsi, KweichowandYunnan. GovernorLungrefusedtojointheanti-Nankingbloc,butpledgedneutrality' asbetweentheothersouthwesternprovincesandNanking. Almost simultaneously, aecordingtoinformationI obtainedinCanton, areportwasmakingtheroundsinofficial circlesthatNankingandYunnanhadcompleted a dealwherebytheopiumroutefromYunnantoKwangtungwould beshiftedentirelyawayfromKwangsiandtherebydeprivethatprovinceof ofapproximatelyone-fourthofitspresentbudgetedrevenue. Alsoalmostsimultaneously,theYunnanprovincial Government petitionedtheNankingGovernmentforShanghai$12,000,000oftheAmericancottonandwheatloanforreclamationworkneartheYunnanfrontierandtheopening of mines, or,ifthemoneyisnotforthcoming, permission isaskedtonegotiatea foreign loan.Itwouldrequireaseertoexplain exactlythemeaningofallthesemaneuvers,butonlyafewfactsneed tobe reviewed to indicatetheiromnious significance.TibetanInvasionIsBritishInspired.FirstmustbeborneinmindwhatIhavealreadyoutlined, namely, that theFrenchhavea strangle-hold onYunnanprovinceandwhetherornottheycontem plate eventual annexation,therecanbenodoubtthattheyregardtheareaasde finitelyandpermanentlywithinthepoliticalandeconomicorbitoftheQuay d'Orsay. Likewise,therecanbenodoubttheTibetaninvasion of China, which islargelyconfinedtoSikongandSzechwan, isinspiredbytheBritish.Doestheextension oftheTibetaninvasionintoYunnanmean,therefore,thattheBritisharepoaching onFrenchterritory?Themostprobableansweris,contraryto casual observation, inthenegative. Referencetoamap will showthata smallpartofwhatisnowYunnanisnorthoftheYangtszeRiver.ForthemostparttheriverseparatesSzechwanandYunnan,butintwolargebightsittakesinslices ofthelatter.Inonesharpbightis included Chungtien, Directlywestofthispoint isthepresentborderofBurma,whichtheBritishlongagoannexed.NorthwestofChungtienisthepresentYunnan-Tibetborder. Of course, asalreadyindicated,theBritishclaim specialinterestsonthebasis ofterritorialpropinquityinthatpartofYunnanborderingonBurma,-anareaextendingroughlyfromtheBurmaboundarytotheMekongRiverwhichfarther[40]


southdividesBurmafromTonkin, Indo-China,forashortdistance between Yunnanand Siam.TheMekong, incidentally, reachestheseaatSaigon andin navigablefora tremendous distance,thusbeing ofvaststrategicimportance intheFrenchscheme of things. NowtheFrenchinterestsinYunnanareall concentratedsouthoftheYangtsze andeastoftheMekong, which includesthebulk oftheprovince and is effectively dominated bytheFrenchrailway.Itisonlylogical, therefore, to assumethattheyarenotworried bytheBritishconsolidatingtheirextendinggriponwesternSzechwan by securing themselves onthenorthbank oftheupper reaches oftheYangtsze which is technicallyYunnanthroughsome Celestial geographer's whim in bygone centuries,fortheChungtienareaisofstrategicimportance intheTibetanthrustthatis probably destined to reach to Tatsienlu ontheYalung River which flowsintotheYangtsze ontheYunnan boundary. AndiftheTibetans continue muchfarthertowardtheTatsienlutheywill probably alsograbanothersilceofwhatisnowinYunnaninthebightoftheYangtsze where isflows almost directly west fromitsjunctionwiththeYalung andthenturnssharplynorthuntilittouchesthepresentSzechwan border,afterwhichitflowssouthandthennorthagain to embracetheChungtien area.NorwouldtheFrenchprobably object totheBritishenteringtheareabetweenthepresentBurmaboundary andtheMe kong,-butitisnotlikelytheBritishwillventurethereforthepresentsincethatwouldbe direct aggression becausetheBurmeseareoutrightBritishwhiletheTibetansareconveniently puppets whose acts canbe diplomatically disavowed by DowningStreet. ButthefactthattheAlbion'sTibetanpuppets (inthiscasetheHsiang Chengs and Tonwas, according toa directreporttome) have descendedintoYunnan and established a base in Chungtienmayverywellbe regarded as proof of FrancoBritishunderstandingonapartitionofwesternandsouthwesternChina. AndaBritishmoveintheareais doubtlesstheforerunnerofaFrenchmove-notnecessarilywitharmies, puppet or otherwise,butinsome fashionforanequitable division ofwhattheJapanese haveleftof Cathay. And,asIhasalready pointed out,thenew aggressionmaynotchiefly territorial,butthroughvarious kinds of con cessions whichallowthecontinuation of nominal Chinesesoevereignty,OpiuminthePolitics of Yunnan, Wherefore,thefactthatGeneralLungYunturneddowntheKwangsi delegates ontheiranti-Nankingproposal-butpledgedneutrality-isof considerable impor tance.Whatnext? The alleged plan to divert Yunnan's opium awayfromKwangsi,withtheresultinglossofsome Shanghai $9,000,000ayeartothatprovince, comes intothepictureatthispoint. Asthestorywas recounted tomein Canton from a source oftheutmostreliability,thereasonforthepurportedshiftintheroutewastopunish Kwangsiforitscontinued opposition to Nanking.Whatotherroutewas contemplated, Icouldnotlearn,butpresumablyitwouldbeeitherthroughKweichow andHunanor Szechwan and Hunan, unlesstheFrencharecontemplating allowingtransitthroughTonkin.Ifthestoryistobetakenatitsfacevalue,Kweichow would havetocometermsifit were tobethebeneficiary;thereisno doubt ofHunan'sloyaltytoNanking.Anyrouteoutside ofKwanzsi(exceptthroughTonkinwheretheFrenchrailwayruns)wouldbe much more expensive,butopiumcanstandalotoftransitwithtaxesandall.InkeepingwithOriental tradition,thestorymayhave a meaningfardifferent fromitsfacevalue-butthefactthatitis circulating inofficialcircles definitely revealsthatsomethingimportantisstirringinthesouthwestern air.Perhapsitis only a Frenchdealin Kwangsi.TheFrenchalsoregardthatprovince asapartof[41]


theirsphereofinflu .ence,andtheymaybecirculatingthethreattoscaretheauthoritiesthereforpurposesthat re-main tobe seen. 01'perhapsthestoryhastodowithsomethingnotyetapparentinCanton,-farifKwangsilost onefourthofherbudgetedrevenuesomethingwouldhavetobedonetomakeupthedeficit,andthatsomethingmightverywellnotbeintheinterestsofKwangtung.'Kwangsiisa poor provinceandherrilitaristsarealwayscastinglonging eye s onrelativelyfatKwangtung,whichis .notonlyherwealthiestneighbor,buttheonly oneshecouldeverhope toinvadewithimpunity.Yunnanwould bedifficult topenetratebecause oftheterrain;Kweichow is even poorerthanKwangsi;andHunanis ,partofNanking'spastures.KwangsiPoor,ButNotImpotent.While poor,Kwangsiisfarfromimpotent.HerpeoplearelittleaddictedtoopiumandhergovernmentruleswithSpartanskillandvirtue.Also,infreedomfromtheprevailingCelestial vices of opiumadditionandgambling,KwangsiistrulyoutstandinginCathayandherarmiestoday, asinthepast,arecapable offightingvaliantlyforeitherluscious lootorin defense oftheirpresentmodestdomain. So athreattodeprivethemoftheiropiumtransitrevenue,whichhaslong been avestedinterestoftheprovince, isnotto be viewed lightly. Kwangsi, incidentally, istheonly province inChinaexceptingYunnaninwhichtheJapanesearenotattemptingtoregaintheirformerfootholdalthoughnoonetakesmuchinterestinpoor Kwei chow,butwhetherthisfacthasanyconnectionwithFrenchinterestscanonly be surmised.Inanyevent,therecanbedoubtinviewof'thedominationofYunnanbytheFrenchthattheyarebackofthestoryofthe' opiumroutediversion,andwhateveritmeansitseemsaltogetherprobable that thereis someverycloserelationbetweenthisitemandthelastmaneuversetforthatthebeginningthischapter,-thepetitionofYunnantoNankingforashareoftheAmericanloan or,alternatively,permission tonegotiateaforeignloam:Whowould be honoredbytheprospectiveforeignloanhasnotbeenstated,butunderprevailingconditions onlyonecountrycouldbe expectedtoinvestmoney inYunnan-andthatcountry isF rance.Cantonhasalreadyaskedforsomewhatmoreofwheat. loanthanthereiswheatloan,andtherequestsof variousotherpartsoftheland alsomorethanexhausttheloan,so unlessYunnanis awfully luckysheisratherlateinseekingashare.Andobviously,anymoneyinvestedtherewould bemoreforFrenchthanChinese benefit-andanymoneyFranceinvestedtherewouldmerelytendtotightenherpresentstrangle-hold onthearea.Consequentlytheconclusion is inescapablethatYunnan'spetitiontoNankingechoes astridentGallicchanttotheeffectthat"headsIwin, tails you lose."Andtheloanpartofthepetitioncanonly be viewed asthehandiworkofParisratherthanofYunnanfu.WhileFranceandGreatBritainaretheonlyforeignnationsdirectlyinvolvedinthefarsouthwest,maneuverstherewillinevitablyhaverepercussions elsewhere.AnydrasticchangeswouldimmediatelyaffecttheCantonarea, includingFukien,andJapaneseinterests.Theexactcourse ofthereactionscannotbecharted,butaverydelicate balance of powerexistsbetweentheKwangsiClique,theCantonregimeandthe19thRouteArmyinFukienwiththeKwangsiandFukienwarlordscastingenvious eyes ontheCityof Rams.*Butfarmoreimportantthan' provincial*Thedevelopment ofanindependencemovement inFukienjustatthetimeofthisbookletgoingtopressindicatesquiteclearlywhatishereoutlined,anditisnotunlikelythatthismovementgrewoutof. some, ofthefactorsinvolved inthecomplications ofFranco-Japanese-BritishAmericaninterests.[42]


rivalry,althoughrelatedtoIt,istheinternationalrivalryprevailinginandaroundCanton.FranceandJapanin Accord. Afewnotesonthisareinorderhere,forwhileFranceandBritainmayhave,andprobably do have, aperfectunderstandingon Tibet, SzechwanandYunnan;FranceandJapanareverylikely in accord onYunnanandKwangsiandperhapsonKwangtung;andGreatBritainandJapanmaybe in harmonyinsofarasTibetandManchuriaare concerned; thisimperialisticamitydefinitely doesnotincludeBritish,JapaneseandAmericaninterestsinKwangtungandFukienwhicharebound upwithsouthwesterndevelopments. Duetotheposition of Hongkong,theCantonareaisaBritishsphereofin fluence,butatthesametimean.importantAmericantradingarea.Japanmeanwhile iswaitingpatientlyto effect arapprochementwithCanton -andthereareseveralsignsthatsucharapprochementmaynotbefaroff*-whiletheBritishareexpeditingcompletion oftheCanton-HankowrailwaythroughaShanghai$60,000,000loantotheNankingMinistryof RailwaysfromtheBritishBoxerIndemnityFund.Constructionwillrequirefiveorsixyears,andwhenitis completeditwill provide a quick, efficient overlandroutefromKowloon,themainlandpartoftheBritishcolony of Hongkong, toHankowintheheartoftheYangtszeValleywhereBritishinterestsareimmensefromShanghaitoSzechwan.ThusBritainwould beindependentofthepresentsearoutefromHongkongtotheYangtszeValley shouldtheneed arise.JapanalreadyhasafirmgriponFukienthrough one ofthetreatiesgrowingout of the21 DemandswherebyChina is pledgednottograntanyconcessions inthatprovincetoanynon-Japaneseforeigninterests.Further,theFukiencoastisseparatedbyonly anarrowchannelfromtheJapaneseisland ofFormosaandJapaneseagentshavebeenactiveforyearsin FoochowandAmoy.Inthelattercitythereisa powerfulgroupofgangsterlike "ormosans who are said tothedirectedbytheJapaneseConsulate;inarecentbriefvisittoAmoy IwasabletonotethattheyweremuchinevidenceandIhad' previously beeninformedbyM. Yoshida,thethenJapaneseConsul-General in Canton,thatveryfriendlyrelationsexistedbetweentheChineseandFormosansthere.Atthesametimethe19thRouteArmy,which isincommand ofmostofFukien,isgenerallyregardedas pro-American.CertainlymanyAmericanreturnedstudentsand AmericanbornChinesenowoccupyhighpositionsintheFukienProvincal Government.Further,theJapanesechargethattheAmericanauthoritiesareconductingnegotiationstoestablishanairand/ornavalbaseon 'I'ungshan Island off theFukiencoastinreturnforairplanesandarmstothe19th Routh Army.This, however, is vigorously deniedbyAmericanofficials,butthemerefactthatthestoryiscirculatingindicatesthegrowingtension. AndtheSino-AmericanChinaNationalAviationCorporation-45%ofwhichis owned J;>y thePanAmericanAirwaysand55%bytheNankingGovernment-hasopenedanairrouteacrossFukientoCanton, whichwill probably be eventually extended to Manila, overJapaneseopposition. Also,theChinaNationalAviation Corporation iscontemplatingopening aroutefromtheYangtszeValley toYunnanfu,which toatleastsomeslightextentwould adversely affectthepresentFrenchstrangle-hold onYunnanprovince. NointimationhasyetbeengivenoftheFrenchattitudetothis :'I< TheHongkong correspondent oftheNorthChina DailyNewsreported on November 6thattheAnti-Japaneseboycott intheCantonarea had been definitelyhaltedbyorderoftheprovincial authorities.[43]


project.IfFranceopposes,aswouldseemlikely,shewouldthus have anothercause incommonwithJapansincethereisno Franco-Nippon rivalry in Fukien. Inanyevent,whena Tibetan invasion ofnorthwesternYunnan, refusal ofYunnanto join KwangsiagainstNanking,talkofa shift intheYunnan-Kwangtung opiumrouteawayfromKwangsi, anda petition of Yunnan to Nankingformoney or permission to negotiate aforeignloan,all occur almost simultaneously,thesouthwesternsituationbears careful watching,butmuch timemaybe marked beforeanythingdecisive occurs.[44]


/:. .