Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/219

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The Imperial Chinese Post is rapidly extending throughout the Empire. It now carries the Government mails. The branch at Kaifeng Fu controls 72 offices and 35 box offices. There are also thirteen telegraph stations in the province: at Kaifeng Fu, Yencheng Hsien, Chowkiakow, Sinyang Chow, Chengchow, Honan Fu, Shanchow, Chinghwa, Weihwei Fu, Taokow, Changte Fu, Nanyang Fu, Kingtzekwan. The cost of messages between the above places is 20 cents (about 4d.) a word. From Honan to Shantung, Hupeh, Chihli, Shensi, costs 26 cents a word; from Honan to Canton, Kweichow, Kwangsi, Chekiang, Anhuei, 38 cents a word; from Honan to Kiangsi, Kiangsu, Shansi, Szechwan, 32 cents a word; and from Honan to Yunnan and Fukien, 44 cents a word.

The military encampment at the capital comprises 8000 foreign drilled troops, 250 cavalry and an artillery corps. The German manual of drill is used; all arms are modern, the troops being supplied with the Mauser rifle. A Military School has been built near the railway station.

The mint has now been in operation for more than a year. In 1905 a large building was erected with three or more presses. The daily output of copper coins amounted to 400,000. A foreign manager is in charge of the work.

The Compagnie Impériale des Chemins de Fer Chinois built the line known as the Ching-han Railway, running from Peking to Hankow, a distance of 1215 kilometres or 755 miles; this line crosses the province of Honan from north to south. The Yellow River is spanned by a bridge two miles in length. Owing to the treacherous nature of the bed of the river, the engineering difficulties encountered in the course of construction were very great. The Chinese looked upon it as a battle between the "River God" and the foreigner, and really prophesied that the bridge would be destroyed. The difficulties have been surmounted, however, and the "Yellow River Bridge" is an accomplished fact.

Work on the bridge commenced in April 1904. It was