Manchuria, the Cockpit of Asia

By Colonel P. T. Etherton; H. Hessell Tiltman | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

FEW questions in recent years have excited more interest and anxiety in diplomatic and political circles than the future of Manchuria, that rich treasure-house of natural wealth forming three of the outlying provinces of China, in which Japan, the United States, Soviet Russia, and Great Britain have vital interests, yet which to the public is scarcely more than a name.

Manchuria was destined by the accident of history to become the cockpit of international ambitions. Nominally Chinese soil, and yet outside China proper, its strategic and industrial importance caused world statesmen to realize the complications which might arise from the presence of a predominant foreign Power attempting to occupy and exploit it.

The present situation is the outcome of all that has happened since the Treaty of Peace signed at Shimonoseki, between China and Japan, in April 1895, allocating to the Japanese a portion of the southern half of Manchuria as the spoils of war.

The booming of the guns announcing the victory had scarcely died away before Russia stepped in and deprived the Japanese of all they had won by right of conquest. Russia in turn was expelled ten years later, and thenceforth the story of Manchuria, with its rapid industrialization and ever-increasing foreign trade has been a dramatic one.

-ix-

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