ePub 版
[ocr errors]

Sing ably forwarded the building of this line by his assistance and influence. Mr. R. R. Burnett (British) was chief engineer, and early in the development Mr. C. W. Kinder (British) was made resident engineer. Mr. Burnett retired in 1882; Mr. Kinder then became chief engineer and retained the position for many years, during the developments leading up to the present Peking-Mukden Railway system. It was, no doubt, largely because of his foresight and resourcefulness that this line was not built on a narrow gauge. He appreciated the vast importance of the wider gauge and to-day China has at least one factor in its railway development for which to be thankful, namely, the almost complete uniformity of gauge. This result is probably due, to a large extent, to Mr. Kinder's action on this initial line. Although this first line was clearly authorized as a mule tramway and the use of other motive power was prohibited, Mr. Kinder, recognizing that success meant the use of steam, made his plans from the first with that in view. The first locomotive was homemade and was known as "The Rocket of China."

In 1882 extensions were undertaken; the project then became known as the Kaiping Railway Co., and Mr. Wu Ting Fang was made general manager. While these developments met with much opposition and many discouragements, one addition after another was made until, at the opening of the Chino-Japanese war in 1894, the line was completed and in operation between Tientsin and Shanhaikwan, a distance of 174 miles, and an additional 40 miles northeast of the latter point was under construction and nearing completion. Surveys had also been made for a distance of about 160 miles of a proposed extension to Kirin, the capital of the Province of Kirin, in central Manchuria, about 450 miles from Shanhaikwan.

The results of the war and the “Battle for Concessions” rendered impracticable such extensions under Chinese control.

PERIOD FROM 1895 TO 1905.


The second period might be divided into two parts. First, the contest to secure railway concessions was one of the chief features of the “Battle for Concessions” waged from the close of the Chino-Japanese war until the Boxer uprising in 1900. "Spheres of influence marked out and claimed during this time. The second part of this period was marked by the diverging interests of some of the powers during the Boxer uprising, particularly the efforts to secure control of the Peking-Mukden line and the extension of this line into the Chinese part of the city of Peking. This was followed by what might be called the policy of consolidating these concessions.

PERIOD FROM 1906 TO 1911.

While progressive Chinese saw the need of railways in China, before either the Chino-Japanese or the Russo-Japanese war, this realization became much more potent after the latter war and has resulted in a very general desire among all classes of Chinese to see the construction of railways carried out in all parts of the country.

The period beginning with the year 1906 may also be divided into two parts—first, from 1906 to Mr. Sheng Hsuan-huai's advancement to the presidency of the Ministry of Communications in January, 1911, and second, from that date to the present writing. During

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

this first interval much interest was manifested by the provincial authorities, many efforts were made to raise money among the Chinese, and a number of concessions were granted to provincial organizations to build lines, particularly in Hupeh and Honan. In general, however, these efforts did not accomplish any material results. The Board of Communications, which is now known as the Ministry of Communications, and will be so referred to hereafter, was created by Imperial Edict November 6, 1906, to control the railways, posts, telegraphs, and telephones. Mr. Tsen Chun-hsuan, when president of the Ministry of Communications in 1907, petitioned the Throne, recommending that China's railways be brought under unified management, but no action resulted. During this period the central Government was negotiating the Hukuang Railway Loan (that is, the “Loan of Four Nations,” England, Germany, France, and the United States), but each Province was desirous of building its own railways, as many thought that in this way the several sections of China would secure the large profits that were expected to accrue. Grand Councilor Chang Chih-tung formulated a scheme that at the time seemed likely to satisfy both the provincial authorities and the central Government-a plan that might have prevented the revolution and possibly saved the Manchu Dynastybut his death in October, 1909, left no one to conclude this settlement. It should be added that his plan, while it might have prevented or deferred some of China's trouble, would hardly have afforded an ultimately satisfactory solution of Chinese railway problems. The end of this first period found China's authorities much divided, with intense feeling between the central Government and the various provincial organizations, and with the Powers pressing their demands for the conclusion of the Hukuang Railway Loan.


The second part of this period has witnessed one advance after another, so that, notwithstanding the great political changes that have occurred during this time, China to-day has on the whole a wellcrystallized working arrangement for the nationalizing of its railways, particularly when one considers the many difficult obstacles that have had to be overcome and the discouraging restrictions connected with some of the railway loans.

Mr. Sheng was raised to the presidency of the Ministry of Communications in January, 1911. He was one of China's foremost men of this period. He had had extensive business and administrative experience; he was one of the largest stockholders of the China Merchants Steam Navigation Co. and the Han-Yeh-Ping Iron and Steel Works, manager of the China Merchants Steam Navigation Co., the Pinghsiang colliery and railway, the Tayeh iron mines, and the Han-YehPing iron and steel plant, director of Government telegraphs, administrator general of the Peking-Hankow Railway, and vice president of the Ministry of Communications. Mr. Sheng was highly regarded by both the Peking authorities and the Chinese gentry, and his ability was recognized by foreigners and natives alike. However, after he had put through measures that went far to solve some of China's railway difficulties, there arose a storm of objections from various sources, particularly from the Chinese gentry, resulting in the confusion of revolutionary occurrences in 1911. He was dismissed

* *


on October 26, 1911, was escorted by detachments from the legations to Tientsin, escaped to Tsingtau, and later went to Japan, where he died in 1916. His first actions early in 1911 were to negotiate loans for £2,000,000 and £500,000 and next to contract with the Four Nations banking group for £10,000,000. On the announcement of these loans, the people became much excited and the last loan was never actually floated.

Mr. Sheng realized that China must have a settled and continued railway policy. He apparently decided that a strong centralized

. organization was the proper one to adopt. He then proceeded to carry out his conclusions, with the result to himself above mentioned. With support of Prince Ching's cabinet he obtained the approval of the Throne, and on May 9, 1911, a most important Imperial Edict was issued, proclaiming in part as follows:

After careful and repeated deliberations, the conclusion is reached that the Nation must possess a complete system of trunk lines to and from the four quarters of its territory in order to administer the Government by a grasp on the central pivot. Therefore, we desire to proclaim explicitly to the world that all the trunk railways shall be State-owned; this shall be the fixed policy. Trunk railways in the Provinces that were under private management by companies established before the third year of Hsuan Tung (1911) and that have been delayed in construction shall immediately be taken over by the Government as State-owned, and their building work shall be pushed on with energy. With the exception of the branch railways, which shall continually be allowed to be undertaken by the people according to their ability, all permission for trunk railways formerly granted shall be canceled. With regard to the details of the manner of taking them over, let the Ministers of Finance and of Communications and Posts gravely obey this decree and devote their whole attention to devising the fulfillment of it.

This was followed by action to take over the Canton-Hankow and Szechwan-Hankow lines, then in the hands of organizations of the Chinese gentry for financing and construction. This was very shortly followed by the announcement of the signing of the Hukuang Railway Loan. These actions caused much excitement, and vigorous protests were made, particularly against the settlements proposed in return for the expenditures made on the projects named above. The Government, through Mr. Sheng as president of the Ministry of Communications, followed the nationalizing policy with firmness and showed no signs of changing the policy in the face of the impending crisis. To support this action, troops were moved into the disturbed districts; this further excited the people, with the ultimate result that Szechwan passed from agitation to revolt, shortly followed by Hupeh and Hunan. The avowed revolutionists and constitutionalists eagerly grasped this as their long-awaited opportunity, and the revolt rapidly spread to all parts of the Yangtze Valley, with the ultimate fall of the Manchu Dynasty and the establishment of the Chinese Republic. The assertion that the revolution was caused by the policy to nationalize the railways and the concluding of the Hukuang Railway Loan is probably an overstatement of the basic facts, but those certainly were the incidents over which the factions joined issue. It is interesting to note that the policy of nationalization has been carried through to a measurable degree by the Republican Government, and it is extremely doubtful whether this would have been done had the Manchu Dynasty survived.

The policy of the Provisional Government in power from the later part of 1911 to the middle of 1913, the period between the First and Second Revolutions, was to retain for the central Government all


the borrowing powers. This was strongly opposed by the provincial interests, as it was during the former period, and was one of the principal causes precipitating the Second Revolution in July, 1913. During this time, President Yuan Shi Kai empowered Dr. Sun Yat Sen to organize a national corporation to finance and construct future railways for the Chinese Government. This resulted in the organzation of the Chinese National Railway Corporation, with Dr. Sun as director general and Mr. George Bronson Rea, of the Far Eastern Review, as technical secretary. A system of railways approaching 10,000 miles in length and extending to all parts of the country was proposed to be financed and constructed on a program of from 10 to 15 years, contemplating an expenditure of some $500,000,000 (gold). When Dr. Sun was implicated in the Second Revolution, President Yuan annulled his powers as director general and dissolved the corporation. One substantial result of this incident was the negotiating and signing of an agreement with Pauling & Co. (Ltd.), of London, for the construction of the Canton-Chungking line, which was transferred in July, 1914, to the Shasi-Shingyifu line with little modification. This agreement, as representing the type of railway loan granting the most favorable terms to China, is referred to at length farther along in this report, under the heading of “Railway agreements.”

Since the establishment of the Republic after the Second Revolution, notwithstanding the lack of funds, the many changes in officials, and the discouraging restrictions of the railway loan agreements, very considerable further progress has been made in nationalizing the Chinese railways except the concessioned lines. At the present writing, nearly 3,700 miles of line are, so far as the loan agreements will permit, under the control of the central Government through the Ministry of Communications. This does not include two branch lines in Manchuria amounting to 130 miles, now practically under Japanese management, although nominally Chinese Government lines. There is also nearly 3,000 miles contracted for construction through loan agreement, and this will probably be added to in the course of time. This does not include a considerably larger mileage proposed and claimed as under agreement by several of the Powers; while much of this will probably be built in the course of time, the agreements, no doubt, will be much modified before the lines are undertaken. The objections of the Provinces have either been overcome or have disappeared to a large extent; they probably will not obstruct progress in the future, particularly if the needed railways are built—which seems to be the chief concern at present. During this period, however, on account of the lack of funds and other conditions, there has been a constant tendency to complicate matters by making further loans on any available asset, and this has been and is now a constant handicap, hindering progress along the best lines. Some examples of these loans are those on the Nan-Shan (Kiangsi) Railway, the Pinghsiang colliery, the Tayeh iron mines, and the HanYeh-Ping iron works of the Han-Yeh-Ping Co., and the later instances of the long-time loan on the Kirin-Changchun Railway and the shorttime loan on the Peking-Suiyuan Railway. Most of these loans are in foreign hands, and in some instances are held to the considerable disadvantage of China's future development.

Regulations have been issued from time to time that have improved the situation. One of the very creditable achievements has been the working out and adoption by all the Government lines of a very excellent system of uniform accounts, which will be referred to later.

SPHERES OF INFLUENCE. “Spheres of influence" or "spheres of interests," as they are called, were established as the result of the “Battle for Concessions.”' One of the principal objects sought was the granting of concessions for building and operating railways. The United States has never made any claims for a "sphere of influence" but has consistently contended for the maintenance of the “open door” for all, with opportunity for China to develop as a whole.

The difficulties encountered by the Siems-Carey projects, and a further study of conditions prevailing in the country, will show the great obstacles in the way of China's developing a comprehensive system of its own railways, particularly if not carried out with exclusively Chinese capital. The history of the Tientsin-Pukow Railwaythe northern part built with German capital, materials, and equipment and the southern part with British capital and different materials and equipment-is alone sufficient to demonstrate the character of existing conditions.

The claimants for concessions have insisted on the right to furnish capital in their spheres of influence for any projects undertaken by the Chinese for which other than Chinese capital is used. Restrictions have varied all the way from the simple provision just mentioned to long-time leases for portions of territory, with concessions for the claimant nation to build and operate railways, including zones under the police and business control of the lessor; in some instances these concessions have carried the right to develop and operate other resources such as coal and iron mines, as is the case in Shantung and Manchuria.

A number of Chinese authorities claim that the principal cause for the Boxer uprising was the opposition to the granting of concessions during this period, particularly to the course followed by the Germans in Shantung and the Russians in Manchuria. There are grounds to support this belief. The Shantung man is the most vigorous of the Chinese people and at least the equal mentally of any of the others. A large number of these Shantung men yearly go to South Manchuria. The people where the uprising originated thus came in contact with the new railways and the rigorous handling of the natives which, it is claimed, occurred in both instances. Contrary to the opinion sometimes entertained, the knowledge of such conditions spreads with surprising rapidity among all classes of the Chinese. In this connection it was interesting to find that Chinese newspapers are published in many parts of China, and many of these are quite as sensational as some of the extreme publications in Occidental countries. It is probably true that the two most striking occurrences in recent Chinese history—the Boxer uprising and the fall of the Manchu Dynasty, followed by the establishment of the Republic of China-were largely precipitated by the railway concessions and loans.


Opposite this page is a map of the railways of China, showing their relation to other systems. This appeared in the Far Eastern

« 上一頁繼續 »