Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/361

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287
THE PROVINCE OF KWANGSI

than French, could be imported into the province. This has probably become a dead letter, but it did not tend to decrease the feeKngs of distrust on China's part. The continued rebellions and risings in the west have provided excellent grounds of grievance on the part of France, but all offers of men or money to repress the same have been steadily refused, and when threats of intervention followed offers of help, the Chinese authorities have over and over again risen to the occasion and suppressed the risings.

As an offset to French influence at the treaty port of Lungchow and also at Nanning, the Chinese have for eight years been trying to have Nanning opened as a treaty port. There being no particular commercial reason why it should be so opened, its actual opening has been, delayed until now, January 1907. At the same time, the Government is appointing a Tao-tai, with powers equal to a provincial governor, to have general superintendence over the west. This is as an alternative to the other suggestion, that the capital be removed from Kweilin to Nanning.

In every way possible the French colonial authorities are trying to gain a predominating influence in Kwangsi, speaking of it as " Our Kwangsi," as the Germans are reported to speak of "Our Shantung"; but the suspicions of the Chinese being fully aroused, such a consummation seems less likely than ever, quite apart from what other nations might have to say on the subject. The two " French " schools at Nanning and Kweilin are said to be subsidised by the French colonial authorities.

Roman Catholic Missions

Roman Catholic missionaries of "Les Missions ^fitrangeres" of Paris have, in modern times, been working in Kwangsi since about 1850, formerly making Kwei-hsien their headquarters. Latterly Nanning has become their principal centre, where several important buildings, among which a large foreign style cathedral with two towers, in red and