Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

twenty-one millions. Peking and Tientsin are supposed to contain a population of about one million each.

Under the enlightened rule of powerful viceroys such as H.E. Li Hung-chang and the present H.E. Yuan Shih-kai, Chihli has been foremost in the adoption of Western ideas and industries. The first mining enterprise conducted with foreign machinery was started at Tangshan; and the Kaiping collieries are to-day the largest in China. From the pit-head to Hsu Kochuang, a distance of 7 miles, the first line of railway was laid. From Hsu Kochuang to Lutai the first canal on European principles was constructed, and at Tangshan the first locomotive was built. No longer is the Lutai canal needed for its original purpose, to carry coal to the river, for the railway has been extended to Tientsin and Peking in one direction, and to Shanhaikwan and Newchwang on the other. Gold mining has been tried, but with less satisfactory results.

To these industrial enterprises have to be added various educational reforms dating from the establishment in 1861 of the famous Tung wen College, under the patronage of the Government and the presidency of Dr. Martin, down to the great revival of learning, mainly under Japanese guidance and teaching, since the close of the Russo-Japanese War. The old order of education has changed. The old system of examinations has been abolished. New schools are being everywhere established; and we may soon see a law passed enacting compulsory education.

For lack of sufficient Board School accommodation, the old temples, cleared of their idols, are being freely used. Attention is also being paid to Industrial and Technical Schools, Girls' Schools, Normal and Medical Colleges, Prison Reformatories, and Sanitary Science. Of newspapers, there are in Tientsin alone seven dailies published, and the Public Lecture Halls have been opened in the city to spread the modern ideas among the adult population. A great wave of patriotism is spreading through all ranks of the people. The spirit of independence and emulation is abroad; and the electric tramway now running on broad