Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/286

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

and the perfectly reasonable fear of foreign loans. The Chinese want railways, and they want to build them themselves, but they have not got the money, and for the moment they prefer to go without rather than put themselves in the power of European capitalists and European governments. And who can blame them?

The Six Power Railway Loan of 1908 proved the undoing of the Manchus, and the inevitable sequence, the appointing of European and American engineers,—to the American was assigned the important section between Ichang and Chengtu,—was bringing matters to a head before I left China. The Changsha outbreak in the early summer was directed against the Government's railway policy, represented for the moment in the newly appointed Director of Communications, the Manchu Tuan Fang, who visited the United States in 1906 as a member of the Imperial Commission. Many will remember the courteous old man, perhaps the most progressive of all the Manchu leaders. I had hoped to meet him in China, but on inquiring his whereabouts when in Shanghai I was told that he had been degraded from his post as Viceroy of Nanking and was living in retirement. A few weeks later the papers were full of his new appointment, extolling his patriotism in accepting an office inferior to the one from which he had been removed. But delays followed, and when the rioting