Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/388

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

for a high military post. And one thing more, the Chinese, in so many things essentially democratic, abases himself before the power of riches as much as the American, and far more than any other Asiatic.

Now, since the Chinese expects little of the government, he has learned to rely upon himself and his fellows. Like the Englishman and the American, and unlike the Frenchman and the German, he takes the initiative. The Government is weak, the individual or group of individuals strong; the Government does little, so the other side does much. All over the East,—in Burma, Indo-China, the Malay States, the Philippines, wherever he can force an entrance,—you find the Chinese merchant and the Chinese coolie, and it is no state-managed enterprise that takes them there. Just as the British workmen emigrate, or the British merchants seek out new markets, so the Chinese make their way without leading or assistance. And they succeed; throughout all that territory that lies between the China Sea and the Bay of Bengal, whether under British or French rule, unless actually barred out, the Chinese is entrenching himself and prospering. Heavy poll-taxes alone keep him from controlling trade and the labour market in IndoChina; in the Malay States he is ousting the native and running the British merchant and banker hard; in Burma he is getting more and more control of trade, and has even succeeded in convincing the