Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/818

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462 CHINA

Asiatisclie Bank. This loan was secured on certain likin collections pledged by the Chinese Government, the collections being confided to the Inspector- General of Customs. The outstanding amount of the foreign debt is about 54,000,000^.

Defence.

The army of China comprises : —

1. The Eight Banners, nominally containing about 300,000 men, descen- dants of the Manchu conquerors and their allies. The number maintained on a war footing is from 80,000 to 100,000. The whole force is subdivided into three groups, consisting respectively of Manchus, Mongols, and Chinese, and forms a sort of hereditary profession within which intermarriage is com- pulsory. About 37,000 are stationed in garrisons in Manchuria ; the Imperial Guard at Peking contains from 4,000 to 6,000.

2. The Ying Ping, or National Army, called also the Green Flags and the Five Camps (five being the unit of subdivision). This army consists of 18 corps, one for each province, under the Governor or Governor-General. The nominal strength is from 540,000 to 660,000 men, of whom about 200,000 are available for war, never more than one-third being called out. The most important contingent is the Tientsin Army Corps, nominally 100,000 strong, really about 35,000, with modern organisation, drill, and arms, employed in garrison duty at Tientsin, and at Taku and other forts.

Besides these forces there are mercenary troops, raised in emergencies, and Mongolian and other irregular cavalry, nominally 200,000 strong, really about 20,000, but of no military value. The total land army on peace foot- ing is put at 300,000 men, and on war footing at about 1,000,000, but the army, as a whole, has no unity or cohesion ; there is no proper discipline, the drill is mere physical exercise, the weapons are long since obsolete, and there is no transport, commissariat, or medical service.

The Chinese navy, during the war with Japan, disappointed those who

regarded it as an effective fighting force. At the opening of hostilities, on July

25th, 1894, when the Kcwshing transport was sunk, an engagement took

place between the Japanese cruiser Yoshino and the Tsi- Yuen, with other

vessels, and the small Chinese cruiser Kuang-Yi was driven ashore and

destroyed. In the battle of the Yalu (September 17th), or in immediate

consequence of that action, the barbette armour-clad King Yuen, 2,850 tons,

and the cruisers Chih Yuen, 2,300 tons, Chao Yung, 1,350 tons, Ya7ig Wei,

1,350 tons, and Kuang Ki, 1,030 tons, were sunk or burned. Subsequently

at Wei Hai Wei the barbette ship Ting Yuen and the cruiser Ching Yuen

were sunk, and the armour-clad Chen Yuen was captured. The Chinese fleet

is organized in district squadrons, which are severally raised and maintained

by the provincial viceroys. At the conclusion of the war the Chen-Hai and

the Kang Chi alone remained to China of her effective Pei Yang squadron.

Some smaller vessels have since been added to the fleet. Among these are

the cruisers ffai Chi and Hai Tien (4,300 tons) launched in the Tyne in

1897 and 1898. They have 6 in. armour on the guns positons and a 5 in.

deck, and they carry 2 8 in., 10 47 in., and 12 3 pr. Armstrong quick-firers.

The speed is 24 knots. The small cruisers Hai- Yung, Hai Shea, and Hai

Sheiv, 2,950 tons, have been launched at Stettin (1897) ; and 3 destroyers,

the Hai Lung (33*6 knots), Hai Niu, Hai Ching, and Hai Hoha a.t Elbing.

A French engineer, M. Doyere, lias reorganistnl the arsenal of Koochow, and

a torpedo gun vessel (817 tons) and a 20 '5 knot torpedo )>oat are in hand

there.