Tortured China

Tortured China

Tortured China

Tortured China

Excerpt

Long ago John Hay, American Secretary of State, fearing the partition of China by territory-hungry Powers, issued the "Open Door" declaration, and secured from the rest of the world what were tantamount to pledges to respect the territorial integrity of China.

This American policy was actuated by a mixture of altruism and enlightened self-interest. The United States did not covet any portion of China's territory, but it did covet the right to compete on a basis of equality for the trade of a nation containing nearly a fourth of the population of the world; and it hoped that China would develop a stable and enlightened Government which would make possible the modernization of the country, and would foster such an adaptation of western civilization as might be found congenial to the ancient civilization evolved by the Chinese people themselves.

This "hands off China" policy, as it is often called, would probably have proved a blessing for the Chinese people had not their then ruling dynasty been decadent and corrupt, and had not the overthrow of this dynasty been followed by year after year of civil commotions with an accompanying breakdown of all authority.

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